Navigating the sticky, jam-covered road of life.  

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Over the River and Through the Woods...

Hello from Virginia. We are visiting family for the holidays. Well, I should say that we'll be here for just three quick days. Not nearly long enough. With no family in the lovely state of Georgia, I desperately miss the hustle and bustle of these humongous family gatherings. Aunts, Uncles, siblings, and cousins. Many, many cousins. My family knew something about procreating.

I love that we can cram so many women into my grandmother's postage stamp-sized kitchen. I love that we work so flawlessly together in said postage stamp-sized kitchen. Well, if you consider several small arguments about whose mother was going to live with who, a burned pan of mac and cheese, one flying green bean flawless. The green bean was really good.

Somehow supervising the children downstairs became my responsibility tonight. Not quite sure how that happened, and I'll be sure to have several glasses of wine before doing that again. For the most part, I like to be there primarily to avoid a costly trip to the ER. I actually enjoy watching the children try to work out their little tiffs on their own. They're incredibly creative. Not always fair... but creative. And who knew that the "it" toy this year would be a play microwave. Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, that is what the children are fighting for over here. A play microwave.

I'm super psyched about tomorrow. I get to go shopping. At the butt-crack of dawn. Without my children. With my mom and sisters. At the Victoria's Secret Semi-Annual Sale. See, and you thought I was being sarcastic. And my husband's even excited about it.

Could it get any better?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to All, and to All A Good Night!

The Apple Store elves were working overtime this year.  I got my MacBook back, and it's beautiful.  It's embarrassing how much more productive I was when I did not have my computer just a room or two away.  I even got the bathroom counters cleaned and the laundry folded.  I even just managed to finish wrapping presents.  Good thing, too, seeing as Christmas is tomorrow.  The tree looks beautiful.  I think the girls will be thrilled.  As for Todd and I, we just can't wait to see the look on their faces. 

Merry Christmas to All, and to All a Good Night!  

Sunday, December 21, 2008

It's gone...

The Apple Store is holding my MacBook hostage for the next 7-10 business days. I predict that by tomorrow afternoon I will be huddled in a corner, eating my hair. Either that or I will be incredibly productive tomorrow. Let's hope it's the latter.

Posting will unfortunately be dependant on my husband's nightmarish work schedule as I will need to fight him for his computer. He automatically wins. Something crazy about needing to support us. If anyone wants to call me when Redneck Mommy updates, I will be forever in your debt.

Love to everyone!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Silly Mommy... Why would you think I wanted chocolate?

OK.  So now I'm really bummed.  Todd is working.  We're all a little off today.  In an attempt to add a little spontaneity, and perhaps a little whimsy, to our day; I decided to make chocolate chip pancakes for dinner.  Chocolate?  For dinner?  Yes.  Me.  I actually made something chocolate for dinner.  What did my oh so grumpy kid say?  "Mommy?  (Of course it is in her most sarcastic, know-it-all voice.)  You made chocolate pancakes?  But I wanted couscous for dinner."  Are you kidding me?  She wanted couscous?  I'm trying desperately not to take this personally.  But seriously, no good deed, folks.  


I haven't gotten any sleep in two days.  I am WAAAAAYYYYY behind in doing laundry, and I ran out of sheets for our bed.  I had to resort to using a set of sheets that I never, ever use.  They're satin. Luxurious, or so you'd think.  No.  Wrong.  So very wrong.  They're awful.  And every time I put them on the bed, I remember why it is that I never use them.  (Except until I run out of all other clean sheets.)  My pillow slips off the bed.  The blankets slip off the bed.  I almost fell off the bed.  At around 3 am, Todd asked if I was still awake.  I was, and he suggested sleeping in between the blankets.  That just completely defeats the purpose.

Things have been really busy.  Aren't they always?  We've had a lot to do these last few nights, and the girls have been going to bed way late.  And weirdly enough, getting up a little early.  Combine those with smaller nap times, and I feel like our house is a powder keg waiting to blow.  Todd and I are tired and grumpy.  The girls' moods are rapidly cycling between giddiness and severe grumpiness.  Sunshine and I had a birthday party to go to today for one of her classmates.  So in addition to being tired, she's now hyped up on sugar.  Super.  I'm actually a little jealous of Todd who got to dash off to work when I returned home with Sunshine.  

Cookies to bake, presents to wrap, ornaments to repair, mountains of laundry to fold... I feel like I'm missing out on the joy of the season.  I can't seem to get past what I need to do.  I don't want any of this to feel like a chore.  Maybe it's the weather.  It just doesn't feel like Christmas when it's a balmy 70 degrees outside.  Maybe it's just a long, tumultuous year coming to an end.  I don't know.    Whatever it is... I need an injection of holiday spirit.  It seems a bit hard to come by this year.  I want to go see some Christmas lights, spend just one evening with the girls doing nothing but having fun.  Todd is working tonight, so maybe tomorrow.  Definitely tomorrow.  

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Once every year, around this time, pigs fly....

This is the one time of year my husband enters the kitchen for something other than sneaking tastes of what I'm cooking.  It's my birthday, and every year he makes me a birthday cake.  The last two years, Sunshine has helped.  It's such a treat to watch them, because I don't pick just any box cake recipe.  I like a loaded carrot cake.  Nothing in the world better than homemade carrot cake with cream cheese icing.  This particular recipe involves shredding carrots (so much fun to watch him try to figure out the food processor), whisking eggs for what seems like forever (because our hand held mixer died and I lent out our large one), and the addition of lots of fun, complex spices (like cinnamon).  Todd is such a good sport.  This particular evening has been made all the more special because it is now almost an hour past the girls' bedtime, and Ladybug keeps taking her diaper off.  She does love her naked time, and I love this man more than life itself!  

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ai ya... Ai... Itai... Aeya... Oy Vey!

On what must have been an incredibly frustrating day, many, many moons ago, my lovely mother (and I'm not being sarcastic when I say that.  My mother is lovely.) put a bowl on the top of my head.  And she cut.  Now I know my sister and I were not the only children to suffer from the dreadful bowl cut.  I'm sure it was fairly popular back then.  But I still cringe when I look back at photos taken of me around that time.  What can I say?  I have beyond stick straight hair, and that bowl cut is meant for people whose hair curls just a tad at the ends.  At least then it looks just a little bit feminine.  Me... not so much.  I looked like a boy, a boy with an awful hair cut.  

I've often wondered about what possessed my mother to do something so drastic.  And now I know.  I have two beautiful little girls of my own.  One of them with long, beautiful curls, what must be an incredibly sensitive scalp, and the lungs to let me know when I've damaged said scalp.  Of course all I have to do is look at her hair and that is damage enough.  She flees with the speed of a baby cheetah at suppertime when I suggest that it is time to brush it out.  When I finally manage to wrangle my child, her hairbrush, and whatever I'm using to torture her hair with on that particular day, she screams and waves her hands.  "Mommy, you're hurting me," she yells... before I've even touched a hair on her head.  

It is starting to take every ounce of strength I have not to threaten her with the bowl cut.  She really does have the prettiest curls.  It would be such a shame to cut them off.  I know I won't do it, which is why I don't threaten to do it.  I hate not being able to follow through on my threats.  Seriously though... something's got to give.  I hate starting our mornings this way.  It's not a total monarchy though.  She does, for the most part, get to choose how she wants her hair done on any particular day.  It's just that it must be brushed.  For a while I joked about how hard I must be pulling her hair, and how the children in China must have felt it.  Worked for a while.  But now, I'm just plain out of material.  Maybe I'll teach her "Ouch" in several languages and we'll laugh as we try to pronounce each word.  Any other suggestions?  

Sunday, December 14, 2008

He Said What?

I can't even begin to tell you how fantastic this weekend was.  Well, Sunday was great.  Friday night and Saturday... not so much.  Ladybug screamed all night on Friday.  And I do mean ALL NIGHT.  Anyone who knows my kids knows that they are probably the world's best sleepers.  I put them to bed at 7:30 pm, and don't hear from them until close to 7 am.  Ladybug has always been this way.  I can probably count on one hand the number of times she's woken up in the middle of the night.  I know it sounds a little unbelievable, and trust me... there aren't many people that I tell that too.  I have no desire to be the target of a sleep-deprived new parent.  

So after screaming all night long, I called the pediatrician.  She had had a fever on Wednesday and Thursday, and I was a little worried about ear infections.   Did I mention the fact that she screamed bloody murder ALL NIGHT?  After the doctor, who didn't bother introducing himself, listened to me talk about how fantastic a sleeper she is and how out of character it was that she SCREAMED ALL NIGHT LONG, he had the nerve to say, "So you mean to tell me that you brought your daughter in this morning because she was a little fussy last night?"  

I had gotten less than 3 hours sleep that night, and I was thinking a little slow.  I did manage to sputter out something about how he must have misunderstood me.  That "a little fussy" didn't begin to describe the tirade that occurred.  We ended up leaving the office with a nice little diagnosis of "virus."  Now honestly, that's what I expected.  

What I didn't expect was the level of disrespect I received from the physician treating my child.  I expect that her doctor should take into consideration the fact that, at this point, I know my child far better than he does.  I have no patience for a physician that  does not believe me or listen to me when I tell him important information regarding my child.  I absolutely will not tolerate being blown off by my child's doctor.  So we're leaving the practice.  When I have calmed down, I will write a letter describing why we are leaving.  Don't quite think I'm there yet.  To add insult to injury, the parking payment machine gave me back $17, in change.  Lots and lots of change.  

The weekend did get a little better.  Ladybug slept perfectly on Saturday night, and I got a nap.  I actually managed to finish most of my Christmas shopping, at least the thing I had to get before school ended for Sunshine.  Actually that alone should make the weekend a stunning success.  

Friday, December 12, 2008

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

We went to see Santa this past weekend.   It's difficult to tell exactly who looks unhappiest in this photo.  Well, maybe not.  Ladybug was sincerely unhappy when I unceremoniously placed her on Santa's lap.  Santa really doesn't look thrilled either.  Sunshine was ambivalent.  I should probably add that this is the first year Sunshine has gone anywhere near Santa.  She even managed to suggest, in her quietest voice, that Santa bring her a sled, some skis, and some skates.  We've been reading the Berenstain Bears' Christmas a lot lately.  We can't seem to convince her that it doesn't snow here in Georgia and those particular gifts really won't work well.  

I think what was most amusing of all was the fact that they tried to lock us into a photo package before the girls even got so much as a peek at Santa.  Are you kidding me?  Do they really think I'm going to pay $25  for ONE photo of my kid screaming on Santa's lap.  I think the issue was that they didn't want me to use my camera.  Well, really.  You mean I can't use my camera, but everyone and their brother can use camera phones?  I told them in my nicest, you must be crazy, voice that I would have to wait and see what the photo looked like before I would commit to purchasing it.  The sad thing was that I would have been more than happy to purchase a photo if the prices had been anywhere near reasonable.  

We went to the Aquarium later that day, when what to my wondering eyes should appear, but another Santa, although missing his reindeer.  We were quick on the uptake that day and explained that Santa was following us around.  How cool it was that we got to see Santa twice.  Sunshine didn't seem to notice that the second Santa really didn't look anything like the first.  I think all she noticed was the red suit.  I don't think that explanation will work next year.  

We're a little late with the Christmas cards this year.  Since none of our Santa pictures passed muster; I'm going to try again this weekend.  Wish me luck.  For every fabulous picture you see of the girls, there are fifty more with Sunshine trying to put Ladybug in a headlock, and Ladybug doing just about anything she can to break out of Sunshine's grasp.  We may actually be sending out New Year's cards.  

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Play Dates and Clay

Sunshine's teacher suggested during our conference that she might benefit from play dates with several of her classmates.  She's making friends, but perhaps some time together out of the classroom would help her feel more at ease in the classroom.  Always one to complete my homework, I invited several children to spend the afternoon at our house.  Different afternoons, of course.  I'm not a total masochist.  I did accidently schedule two play dates for the same day.  Luckily I realized it at about 5 am one morning, and had just enough time to correct it.  That's always a fun conversation.  "Gee, I really screwed up dates, and I've double booked my kid.  Do you think we could reschedule?"  

All in all though, the play dates have gone fairly well.  It's strange... having play dates without the other parent there.  Makes me wonder how my kiddo behaves when she goes to someone else's house without me.  Does she demand first choice because she's the guest?  Is she loud?  Is she a picky eater?  How well does she share?  I guess it's  all about chemistry.  She plays really well with some children, not so well with others.  I think you could call it the perfect play date if I don't have to do any mediating; if the girls can occupy themselves with no input from me.  

Sunshine was behaving a little badly during today's play date.  She had very little interest in sharing, and cried several times.  We spent a lot of time talking about how we should behave when we have guests.  How exciting it is to have friends come to our home.  That how sometimes friends can have some really great ideas about what to do.  She wasn't very receptive.  That's when I thought she could use a hug, and realized that she was burning up.   Poor kid finally managed to contract whatever it is that has slowly been making its way through her class.    

I'm exhausted, and I'm so glad that we don't have anymore child-only play dates scheduled.  Hopefully the next few will take place at someone else's house.  I don't have to do carpool tomorrow (don't actually think Sunshine will be attending school tomorrow anyways).  Yippee!  There's no more auction project work for a while.  (What was I thinking, joining the committee to create the classroom auction project?)  I'm not creative.  And, as I discovered this morning, I can't even cut clay evenly.  Thankfully one of the other parents spent most of the morning telling me that I was doing a lousy job cutting the clay.  I'm so happy, because I was actually planning on quitting my day job to devote my life to ceramics.  Now I know I would be wasting my time.  

I would say that I'm looking forward to the weekend because I'm exhausted, but frankly I need the shopping time.  Seven more mornings to holiday shop without Sunshine and counting.  Actually 6, thanks to the awesome fever bug that just bit us.  

Saturday, December 6, 2008

All By Myself

I get very little time to myself.  During the weekend, when Todd is home, we like to spend time together as a family.  He rarely takes the kids out by himself.  Well, today he took the girls out to get a gift for my birthday.  Before they left, Sunshine looked up at me with those gorgeous hazel eyes.  "You're going to be so lonely, Mommy,"  she said.  Well, not really.  But I didn't tell her that. 

Definitely One I'm Going to Tuck into My Parenting "Bag"

The girls were earsplittingly loud after school yesterday.  About 30 seconds before I was about to pull my hair out, I sent them out onto the porch.  Told them they could scream their heads off for as long as they needed to.  The hitch was that they couldn't leave the porch, and that they had to speak in indoor voices when they came back inside.  You would have thought Christmas came early.  I don't know why I haven't thought of this before.  They screamed and screamed and screamed for close to 15 minutes.  And thanks to the incredible insulation in this house, I could barely hear it.  They were perfect, quiet angels for the rest of the afternoon.  Saved my sanity yesterday.  

Speaking of saving my sanity, a little sleep might help.  That lovely "mommy radar" that wakes me up at the slightest sound in the middle of the night needs to go.  Any sound after 3 am, and I'm up for good.   Definitely doesn't make for the happiest mommy come dinnertime.  I think that's my witching hour.  It's not even really the girls waking up.  It's just them crying out in their sleep, or the cats playing, or a crack of light in the curtains.  I've already invested in room darkening curtains and eyeshades to get rid of any stray beams of light.  You know those LEDs on alarm clocks can be so intensely bright.  I guess I'm going to have to start thinking about ear plugs.  Heck, why not invest in a sensory deprivation helmet or something.  Now that might allow me a full night of sleep.  Speaking of sleep, the girls are evidently done with that for the night, as I hear the sounds of singing from their room.  

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

It's really December? Already?

So I think I'm definitely in the running for the World's Worst Gift Giver.  Ask my family.  It's either a lousy gift on time, or a decent gift several months too late.  I just can't seem to get it together and do both at the same time.  Case in point... my sister's birthday is in June.  I finally managed to find her gift in October.  To be perfectly honest though, it was a great bag.  Christmas is a tough time for me because it requires that I have gifts (good gifts, even) for lots of people, all on the same day.  I wish I could be one of those people who painstakingly hides gifts away throughout the year.  That simply requires organizational skills I just don't possess, or maybe I'm just too lazy.  

Most of the time, I just can't think of what to get someone.  I have not one creative bone in my body.  Inspiration will eventually come, but it usually arrives long after the actual holiday or birthday.  It's far easier when I see the person everyday.  But I've lived so far away from family for so long, that I don't really know what they would love.  I wish I were a little more like my sisters and mom.  They've had their shopping done for a while, and they're so incredibly creative.  Their gifts are always spot on, thoughtful.   Christmas has just snuck up on me this year.  

I've been working really hard over the last few days on some ideas that I have.  I just don't want to have to resort to gift cards.  I know... it's nice for the person to actually be able to pick out something that they like.  (Especially when the gift comes from someone like me.)  But I really do want to find that perfect gift.  I think what I need is a huge kick in the rear in September.  A countdown perhaps.  I would probably still ignore it, waiting until Dec 1 to start placing online orders.  Lets just hope my expedited shipping costs aren't too high.