Thursday, June 30, 2005

How My Day Is Going

I am currently on step 54. There have been a few changes and additions. I didn't forget the dog, but I did have a dead battery as I tried to leave the house today! I have a five minute break at work before it gets crazy again and before my food gets here! I was only an hour late for work and will only have to stay about 45 minutes later than planned. It's gonna all work out. I'm going to need more caffeine and definitely some chocolate before this day is over though.

I've got a lot of driving to do tonight an tomorrow. They better have lots of margaritas in The Land of Plenty! Thanks y'all!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Long List of Terror

On Friday I am going to the Land of Plenty to visit my sweet hubby and to look at houses.

My older children are going to Brian's sister's house to spend the weekend so that I can actually see houses rather than wrangle children all weekend. We don't know any babysitters in the Southland yet and frankly don't feel like shelling out another $600 in plane tickets, dragging three children through an airport, on to an airplane, and then sitting there for 2 hours, twice. So, I'm just bringing Peevers, who sits in my lap for free and is easily transported.

Until I arrive in Atlanta, my TO DO list is as follows:

1. Work until 7:00 pm tonight.
2. Pick up kids at sitters.
3. Go to Y and swim.
4. Stop at Target to get a computer disc so I can download the damn file of the photo of my house that the dratted House Selling People just cannot seem to upload via email even though they have already received all the other ones taken by the exact same camera in the exact same way!!!!! I paid them two weeks ago and still do not have my house listed on their website!
5. Arrive home around 9:00 pm.
6. Begin laundry.
7. Give kids a snack and put them to bed around 10:00.
8. Continue laundry.
9. Put kids back to bed 10:15.
10. Nurse Peevers back to sleep around 10:20.
11. Tidy kitchen and run dishwasher to keep ant population in check. (Must sell house.)
12. Put kids back to bed and actually lie there with them until they fall asleep around 10:30
13. Wake up at 3:00 am and realize I never got back up from putting kids to bed to turn off lights and take out contacts. Get up and do so.
14. Wake up with kids at 7:30 am.
15. Make coffee.
16. Feed kids breakfast.
17. Bring laundry up from basement, fold and sort.
18. Continue trying to feed children healthy protein-acious food while they are begging for a popsicle at 8:00 am.
19. Go on line and pay a few bills that cannot wait until after the weekend.
20. Negotiate truce with whining children: One bowl of cereal, then a popsicle outside!
21. Check email.
22. Become sucked into blog world.
23. Children interrupt morning blog fog by screeching for promised popsicle.
24. Peevers can be put off no longer is escalating fussiness. Nurse Peevers while watching trashy morning television and occasionally peering at children outside in their pajamas.
25. Realize Gabe is now naked. Go outside and force him to come back in and get dressed again.
26. Begin packing all the things the kids will need at Aunt Jodi's this weekend.
27. Observe that the kids are now swimming in the wading pool in their pajamas.
28. Continue packing kid's stuff including toys, movies, diapers for Quin and snacks for the car.
29. In separate bag, begin packing self and Peevers for trip to Atlanta.
30. Search for wallet and photo ID.
31. Strip down wet children and start up Dora the Explorer video for them.
32. Remember that the dog must go somewhere too and throw bag of dog food in back of van. Aunt Jodi loves dogs, right?
33. Outfit diaper bag for plane trip including camera, trashy novel and baby sling.
34. Begin loading van.
35. Arbitrate argument between kids over Scooby Doo vs Baby Doolittle.
36. Find Peevers has completely squirmed out of her baby seat onto the floor near the other kids and now has jelly (!?!) in her hair. She doesn't protest until you rinse her head in the sink.
37. Nurse Peevers again.
38. Look at watch. Realize you now have 45 minutes to finish packing, shower self and dress self and all three children.
39. Lose mind.
40. Regain mind 3 minutes after leaving the house to drive into town.
41. Think: "Did I remember everything? I know I must have forgotten something important."
42. Remember that dog was left sitting on sofa. Remember that I never downloaded the dratted photo of house.
43. Go back and get dog.
44. Drive to babysitters. Only 40 minutes late so far.
45. Arrive at the office at the same time as first patient arrives. No time for prepping for day at work.
46. Work (with dog locked in back room, barking occasionally).
47. Realize you have eaten nothing and are running on fumes of 2 cups of coffee for breakfast.
48. Send assistant to grocery store to buy a sandwich. Answer phone yourself while adjusting patients and scheduling new appointments. (Note assistant deserves raise.)
49. Finish with last patient and run to car. Run back for dog.
50. Eat sandwich while driving to pick up kids at babysitters.
51. Start Dora video as you drive out of sitter's driveway. Hand out PB & J sandwiches. Dole out sippy cups. Force Gabe to put seatbelt on properly.
52. Hit highway at 7:00 pm
53. Drive 400 miles. (Only stopping 6 times for bathroom breaks and nursing meltdowns).
54. Arrive at SIL's and unload each sleeping child. Incoherent of time.
55. Wake up via strange alarm clock at 5:30 am. Sneak away from sleeping children and get back in van.
56. Drive 3 hours to Milwaukee Airport (the nearest direct flight to Atlanta).
57. Sit at gate and eat crappy fastfood breakfast while guzzling sweet delicious mocha.
58. Fly to Atlanta.

I'll stop there: I think. You get. The picture. (Extra Credit-What movie quote is that, smarties?)

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Gabe's Deepest Wish

Gabe: Mom! On Fairly Odd Parents, Jimmy has two fairies named Wanda and Cosmo.

Me: Really? What do they do?

Gabe: They pretend to be things like squirrels and frogs.

Me: Okaaay. What do they do for Jimmy?

Gabe: He wishes for things all the time and they help him with their magic.

Me: That sounds cool. What would you wish for?

Gabe: Hmmm. I know! I wish I had a double coated marshmellow fudge sandwich.

Twelve Reasons Why I Wish I Carried a Watermelon

There is a movie that cures all ills in the world for me, even if temporarily. This film cheers me up when I don't feel well, when I am stressed to the hilt, when I am bored, when I go through a breakup and even when my husband and I live in different states and I am suddenly a single mom. This film has the perfect combination of a deeply moving plot, glorious cinematography, inspiration for life, and whimsical nostalgia for my youth. This movie is quite simply all that I aspire to be.

And the esteemed film is: Dirty Dancing starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey.

What exactly do I love about it?

1. I love that Johnny (Patrick Swayze) is both cheesy and sexy in the perfect combo of manliness and dopiness. Generally macho guys leave me cold but Johnny Castle: hubba hubba.

2. I love the music. This soundtrack was one of the first cassettes of my very own that I played relentlessly on my tiny tape player in my bedroom. Even the songs performed by Patrick Swayze. (Did you know that Patrick Swayze was almost cast as Danny in Grease?!) Admit it: As you read this post, specific songs are playing in your head as you imagine the scene. You know it's true!

3. Fine Dancing Moment #1) I love when "Baby" is walking home from "dance practice" with Johnny and dances to "Wipeout" on the stairs. That is exactly how I dance.

4. Excellent Movie Dialogue Moment #1) "Me? I'm scared of everything. I'm scared of what I saw. I'm scared of what I did, of who I am. And most of all... I'm scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life, the way I feel when I'm with you!" (Awww. How sweet and real is that? The purity and innocence. Especially knowing that immediately afterward she goes and gets herself de-virginated. The perfect justification, no?)

5. I love Jerry Orbach.

6. Fine Dancing Moment #2) I love it when Baby and Johnny go to The Drake to perform and she chickens out on the lift move and makes up an improptu hand gesture instead. A hand gesture instead of a dramatic lift. I'm sure no one will notice. (This movie moment also always makes me think of my friend, Patrick in Buffalo, who does the best Baby Misses Her Lift impression ever seen. I am chortling right now just thinking of it. Aww Patrick. I miss you.)

7. I love the way this movie reminds you of what it really feels like to be a teenager. Now that I am slowly sinking into the world of Mom-itude it feel good to remember how backward and clueless my parents seemed (sorry mom) and how my need to go out and makeout with stupid guys and drink crappy beer seemed so reasonable. I don't have teenaged children so I am right in the center of the emotions of this film. On the one hand, yes, teenagers are real people with real needs and desires and raging hormones. But on the other, parents need to guide them. I should watch this movie with my daughters once a month from puberty through age 21. Does that seem too long? Regardless, I will always totally relate to Baby.

8. Excellent Movie Dialogue Moment #2) Penny: "Go back to your playpen, Baby."

9. I love the chemistry between Baby and Johnny. I saw on E! that Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey met while filming Red Dawn and they HATED each other. I think that actually translated as perfect chemistry on the screen. He is so rude to her and she just tries sooo hard. Love it!

10. Fine Dancing Moment #3) When they first meet, Johnny tries to teach Baby the basic niceties of dirty dancing. She is a total clod. He keeps trying until the music stops as the song ends. She continues dancing jerkily and alone. Oh, the horror! Yes folks, that is me on the dance floor.

11. I love love love the scene where they are practicing the sexy breast-stroke in their dance number and Baby alternates between giggling uncontrollably as his hand grazes her boob and melting into him as she stops freaking out and gets all hubba hubba. That is like porn for me. (Sigh. I miss my husband. No more talking about sexy Dirty Dancing moments.)

12. The Ultimate Excellent Movie Dialogue Moment: "I carried a watermelon." Baby says this stupidly and out of the blue when she is first introduced to the stud, Johnny. Then immediately afterward she snerks to herself, "I carried a watermelon?!" Oh, isn't that just the way it always is. Realizing you have said something supremely stupid 30 seconds too late. I watch this movie just for this scene because it tickles me so. When ever I see a watermelon I must repeat that line. Produce clerks think I am nuts.

Interestingly, the AFI recently published this list of the top 100 Memorable Movie Lines and Dirty Dancing made the list at #98. Sadly, it is NOT the best line from this movie, since "I carried a watermelon" clearly IS. But the folks at AFI are almost certainly fuddy duddies and I'm surprised they have even heard of Dirty Dancing, since their taste seems to run pretty old school. I've never heard of some of their movies or quotes for that matter. Perhaps we should begin a new and more *hip* version of the Memorable Movie Quote list, filled mostly with Terrantino and Will Farrell quotes. I mean seriously, give me: "That is some fucked up repugnant shit" over "You had me at 'hello' " any day! But I'll save that list (You can help if you want. Send me your favorites.) for another day.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Batman Begins

I'm sorry ladies, but Gabe has Christian Bale beat!
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Sunday, June 26, 2005

I'm a Bit Down Today. And Hot.

This is the day I have been dreading. I should amend that statement. Actually, this is the day I have been avoiding really thinking about in order to avoid getting all down and dread-y.

I felt a little sick to my stomach all day yesterday, but I mostly managed to avoid thinking about it and just go on as if it were any other miserably furnace-like day in Iowa. It was so hot and damn humid (All together now: It's Not So Much the Heat as the Humidity) that the kids didn't even want to go out and play in the pool. I started the AC at 7:30 in the morning. We still have some yard work to do before we show the house and we simply couldn't bring ourselves to face the sauna of our backyard. Seriously, my gramma's woodburning Finnish sauna can barely compete with the natural windless swamp created by the endless fields of corn that surround my house. Ugh. So we were hot and trying not to think about Brian leaving. But we packed his stuff into the subaru and then sat around and drank squirt (elixer of the gods) and watched HBO. Escapism at its best.

We made full use of the family bed last night. Brian slept with each of us in turn during the night. He snuggled Quinny down to sleep on her nest on the floor. Then he climbed into the king with Peevers and me for a while. When Gabe fussed a bit in his mary-like sleepwalking stupor, Brian joined him in his floor-nest for bit.

Brian was already up and getting ready to leave when I got up at 7:30. I helped him finish packing his stuff. I moped around like a lovesick goose while he made coffee. I dragged him out to the front of the house for a final picture of us living in Iowa. He went upstairs and kissed all the sleeping babies (awww!). And then he had to leave.

And what will I do while he is gone? Weep. Copiously.

Honey, when you arrive in the land of plenty, can you send me a good absorbent mop and a dehumidifier? Between the weeping and the goddamn cornfields, I'm going under here.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Oh Computer, how you mock me!

I am so slow when it comes to computer stuff. I try to blame it on my advanced age (33) but since so many others who have me cooked age-wise still manage to put together a reasonably techno-savvy blog, I have no excuses.

I tried today to enter the blog-roll world and thereby needed to enter the proper code into this blogging do-jiggy so you, my faithful readers, can see all the interesting blogs where I waste all my time ( like this and this and this to name a few). All I managed to do was curse a lot and look up help and FAQ a lot and ultimately end up with no changes to my blog format. However, faithful reader, you may note that I am getting better at this exciting hyperlink thingy!

I swear, I am not slow. If you want to learn more about what a subluxation is and why you should take care of your spine from birth on; I can give you a clear, concise, and compelling argument that could change your way of thinking about your nerve system forever. If you need to swap out a leaky drain in the bottom of your tub; hand me the plumber's putty and a pliers. If you would like a discourse on the merits of Blue's Clues vs Dora the Explorer vs Julie Clark and her goddamn Baby Einstein Empire; I can debate you for weeks. If you want to know where Brian has put his book, Gabe has left his Batman flashlight, and Quin has left her Waterbaby (Don't ask. It's a weird toy); I can usually produce it for you within minutes.

I am competent, practical, intelligent, and rational. And yet this f-ing computer kicks my ass every time. Bah!

I could get nasty and call the computer (my nemesis) a bunch of names but then it might just eat the next four posts I write, introduce Gabe to online porn, and then send an email to Brian's new boss calling him a pantywaist. I think I'll just quit for now.

How I Won the Name Game

I was reading this and I realized: "I may be one of them!" Egads!

This website is devoted to the egregious wrongs done by insipid parents in the search for the elusive "unique yet gorgeous name" for their children. Each parent is trying so desperately to avoid having any other child with their child's name that they make up crazy things and crazy spellings and ultimately and ironically, end up with a bunch of names that are amazingly similar and frankly, hokey sounding.

I am afraid that I may be one such parent, however.

It typically begins slowly. The first born will have a somewhat recognizable name with frequently a "unique" middle name.

My first born is named Gabriel Palmer [Recognizably Irish Lastname].

Gabriel because we like it and we like the shortened version (Gabe) just as well. And we liked its Celtic tradition.

Palmer for the founder of Chiropractic and the Chiropractic school we both attended. This seems well meaning but may stray into the territory of contrived namery (I just made that word up too! How creative am I?)

Our second child is named Quinlan Maia [Recognizably Irish Lastname].

We had planned to name her Maia if she were a girl because I have always always planned to name my first daughter Maia. Maia/Maja is Scandinavian for Mary and would have been my given name if my parents weren't such pussies and wimped out at the last minute to give me the lame, trite, and biblical version: Mary. Bah. So, I have always intended to right this wrong. However, in the three days leading to Quin's birth I notice suddenly scores and scores of little girls suddenly being named Maya! Different spelling, but I am no dummy. For those deluding themselves by thinking that changing the spelling changes the name: Sorry! Wrong! You lose!

Quinlan was the intended middle name and as soon as she was born we said: "She's not a Maia. Definitely a Quinlan." And so it is.

So, to sum up:

Quinlan because it is pretty and unique and shortens attractively to Quin. And it's Celtic once again. I should however note that in all baby name books, Quinlan or Quin is listed as a boys name. So I am clearly bending the rules into creative namery once again!

Maia because I must right the wrong done to me and settle The Curse of Lame Namery once and for all (to save future generations and all that).

And then the third pregnancy. We had long since settled on the perfect boy's name: Seamus. Celtic, manly, cute, and it rhymes with famous, so the child would be destined for greatness, right?

But alas, a girl's name was not so easy to settle on. We were clearly hooked on the Celtic thing and found all the names to be to Mary-ish. Not original enough, not fun or interesting, and so on. At last I gave in a bought this book, Celtic Names for Children, because it was actually written by an Irish person, rather than the usual made-up crap in Irish baby name books. We considered names in this book for weeks and finally took to just reading names aloud to each other when trapped in the car or while one of us was taking a shower. And then it happen: we found the name we both liked and... the descent into namery madness truly began.

The chosen name: Ribh. Pronounced 'Reeve'. Ribh Wallis [Recognizably Irish Last Name].

Ribh because it sounds strong and pretty at the same time and it's Celtic (duh) . For us, the fun Gaelic spelling is just an added bonus. We think of it as an opportunity to teach others a little about the wonky Gaelic alphabet and its proper pronunciation. Most encounters go a little like this:

Random Normal Person: Oh, what a sweet baby! What is her name?

Us: Ribh. Its pronounced 'reeve' like Christopher Reeve.

RNP: Oh, that's pretty/different/interesting. How to you spell it?

Us: Uuhhh. Its R. I. B. H. (talking very fast now) Because in Gaelic, a B is pronounced like a V.

RNP: Oh. (pause) What's her middle name?

Us: Wallis. (talking fast again) But it's spelled W. A. L. L. I. S. That is the feminine spelling. Like Wallis Simpson. Edward VIII gave up his throne for her in 1936.

RNP: Oh. (trying to get away) Um.

Us: But we usually just call her "Peevers".

RNP: I gotta go now. Nice meeting you. (Thinking to self: That pooor child.)

So, have we done it? Am I one of them? In my defense: I still like all their names very much, and besides Gabe, I think they will have pretty unique names. Nothing in the top 50. No Madisons or Jaydens or the like. And ultimately, at least none of them are named Mary!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Lap Swim (A Deep Post At Last, If Underwater Counts)

Last night I was swimming laps at the Y. This is part of my new commitment to exercise (to keep me healthy) to weight loss (to keep me a hot mama rather than a dumpy mama) and to personal time even while Brian is away in GA (to keep me sane so that my children will live to tell the story of the summer of '05).

The first thing I noticed was that all three lanes were occupied which meant that I would have to swim in close proximity to another person. Gasp. It's weird how territorial we get about our workout space, neh? I also noted that all three lap lanes were occupied by slow and lazy swimmers. While I am far from a competitive swimmer, I at least get down to business and swim during my allotted swim time. These people were swimming slowly (strolling really, swolling?) and taking long contemplative (couldn't be catching their breath, really) breaks at the end of each pass. C'mon people...Get in one lane for slow sloppy swimming 'cuz I need to tear things up (snort)!

So I chose the lane with the slowest swimmer, hoping to scare them out of my way, and discovered it was a kid. He was probably about 13 or so and clearly just killing time. He would dive deep at each turn and peruse the pool bottom and stopped frequently to adjust his goggles. Astonishingly, rather than responding internally by thinking, "move child or I will cut you!" I tried to follow his example. I didn't slow my pace of workout but I tried to recapture that feeling of childhood.

Think of those idyllic summer days that drifted by while you dangled your feet in the lake or read a book flopped on your bed with absolutely no thought of what you would do next or what needed to be done. A child's casual reverie and complacent ability to think of nothing and worry about nothing is such an amazing talent. This youngster had no concerns about getting in shape or having a little alone time. He was just playing in the water. Sigh. I am so jealous. So, this is my new YMCA goal: Just Have Fun In The Water (And Get a Tight Ass to Boot!)

And by the way, my "lifeguard": was about 5 years older than Gabe, I swear! (Okay, he was probably actually a manly 16 years. But still. A child. I'm old.)

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Scabs, Band-aids, and Hair Loss

My children are bent on self-mutilation.

Gabe has gouged both of his big toes running around outside with no shoes on. You may be thinking, "Why doesn't she just make him wear shoes?" I'll tell you.

My children have inherited my intense dislike for wearing shoes. As a child, my hatred of footware of any kind ran hot, (much like the intensity of a thousand suns) and frequently ended in teachers, babysitters, busy-bodied church ladies telling me of the many dire things that would happen if I did not put on said footwear posthaste! And yes, I did my share of foot damage including stepping on glass and jumping on a rusty nail. And it was no big deal. Feet are hardy creatures. I only wear shoes when I am truly forced, to this very day. Feet need to be allowed to breathe and be one with the universe in my opinion.

In contrast, I have a friend who abhors bare feet. I have seen him stocking-footed exactly once in my life. He was my boyfriend's roommate, and my roommate's boyfriend (at the same time) and has been a friend for over 15 years. I have stayed over at his house and had him at my house as a guest countless times. I have seen him first thing in the morning, late into the night and passed out drunk, and in all kinds of weather including the inferno that is Wisconsin in August, but he is always always wearing socks and steel-toed combat boots. He has NEVER gouged the hell out of his big toes. At least his baby gets to go barefoot. In the summer. Inside the house.

So, Gabe has ugly nasty flaps of skin hanging off his toes. Which seem to require about 13 band-aids daily.

Quin somehow bashed her face up. I don't know how or when this injury occurred, but she now has scabs all across her nose. She never even came crying to me with this injury, which I find almost unbelievable, since I usually hear The Cry Of Unimaginable Agony following her brother looking at her just so or The Pterydactyle Shrieks Of Suffering following her brother pointing his fingers at her!

Ribh has been scraping and scratching her face with the intensity of a creature with no fine motor skills and too long fingernails and poison ivy or somesuch itchy nasties. Mayhaps I should cut her nails again? But I usually, very organically, bite them off and this truly pisses her off. I imagine the clippers would enrage her as well and she doesn't seem to mind the scratches across her entire visage. Yes, yes, I know; Bad Granola Mama.

Her rooting reflex doesn't seem to have slowed down. Whenever she is sleepy she thrashes her head back and forth repeatedly in search for the elusive phantom nipple. She does this even when asleep with her head pillowed against my bare breast. She is a future headbanger or something. All this thrashing has served to wear a pathway of baldness all along the back of her head, looking for all the world like a tiny comb-over gone wrong (aren't they all wrong?) on my perfect and fashionable baby.

Oh the mutilation!

And just 5 days until my husband moves out of state. Grump!

Friday, June 17, 2005

The Post in Which Scooby Doo Rules the World

Scooby Doo is Gabe's role model. Particularly his eating habits. Like most four year olds, he has few favorite foods (mostly PB &J and yogurt) and anything outside of that is considered evil alien food with which mom is trying to secretly poison him. But, if I tell him it is a "Scooby Snack" he will try just about anything.

Recently, food has become an even greater source of make-believe delight. It began with the plastic kitchen Quin received for Christmas. Now he and Quin delight in whipping us up batches of "cookies", "cakes", and "cheese sandwiches". The added bonus of this activity is that they both go upstairs to their play room for at least 5 minutes at a time! This is an unprecidented ability to not play directly under my feet and I am truly grateful for the five minutes in which I can watch a movie without the subtitles! (These are movies which are filmed in English, people! Need I say more? You can't imagine how excited we were when we discovered this trick and watched the first movie through in three years without rewinding 27 times just to see what critical piece of dialogue we had missed. Plot continuity; its a good thing.)

Now Gabe frequently requests a new Scooby Doo treat: "Double Dipped Marshmellow Fudge Sandwich" (followed by a slurping/smacking sound, just like Shaggy). The problem here: I am one of "those moms" who doesn't allow the routine ingestion of sugar, chocolate, marshmellows and the like (at least not by the kids!). So, I simply make him a peanut butter and jelly (#2087) and we discuss how marvelously gooey the marshmellow (peanut butter) is and how fantastically drippy the fudge ( all-fruit-natural-granola-ass-jelly) is. He likes it when I garnish it with a piece of fruit and stack it up just so. Then he joyously announces, Shaggy style: "Through the teeth and over the gums, watch out stomach, here it comes!"

Who says you can't learn anything watching television? What, do you want him to have no pop culture references? Jeez! Look at all that imagination he is using! He's a phenom!

I'm a bad granola mom.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Bungalow For Sale

I staged the house for these schmancy photos so someone will snatch up my house real quick. The instructions from the web hosting group we are selling from suggested that I make the house "look like it stepped out of the pages of a decorating magazine" and would "invite a prospective buyer into every room". Isn't that the look I go for every day anyway?

I got all the toys and dishes and paperwork out of the six photos I am allowed to submit, but where am I gonna put that stuff when the prospective buyers come to see the house in person? They will know something is afoot when they open closets to reveal all the crap I stashed in there in order to make the house appear inviting. Then they will see that the neatly sliced fruit on the kitchen counter (seen in every house magazine) have little bite marks where some child or animal tried to nibble a taste before I shooed them out of the kitchen. They will see the boxes upon boxes of clothes and toys under the beds and in the basement. They will see my dirty laundry. Hopefully it will be neatly lying in the laundry basket, but still! Gasp! They will realize that I am a mother to three small children who works part time and whose husband has moved to another state.

They will then offer me $25 K less for the house than I am asking for it because they will be able to not just smell, but taste my desperation. And I will say, "Yes! I'll take it! Just free me from this torment!"

I think I need to invest in storage. Or a maid. Help!

The Pictures That Must Sell My House

Classic Craftsmen Bungalow Posted by Hello

Breakfast Nook Posted by Hello

Formal Dining Posted by Hello

Living Room Posted by Hello

Bedroom Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

It's official: we're moving again

While I was in Eau Claire last weekend for my sister's baby shower, Brian flew down to Atlanta for his final interview. And, he got the job. And they want him to start in a week. He gave his two weeks notice on Monday and steeled himself for the quite possible *You Can Just Leave Right Now* speech from the administration at his current job, but it didn't happen. So he will be here for two weeks. He will leave next Sunday. Wow.

His students are coming over this weekend for a farewell party, since many of them are leaving for break or clinic abroad and he will be looong gone by the time they get back in July. He is planning some quality "family time" between now and then. But he will be gone before I know it and I am wondering how I am going to say goodbye. When and what is our farewell party?

I remember when we were separated during the period when I was still in school and he began practicing in Wisconsin. Each goodbye, although we saw each other at least every three or four weeks, seemed so painful and heartbreaking. Over time we became accustomed to our long distance status and I no longer cried with every goodbye, but still, the fierceness of my misery without him comes back to me now.

I keep talking about how tough it is going to be taking care of three kids under the age of five as a *single parent* and how I will go crazy with parenting alone, but really, deep down, I just feel so sad for me. Because I will be lonely and uncertain and without my touchstone of sanity and strength, him. I'm just gonna miss his himness so much.

I know we will talk on the phone multiple times every day, just like we do now. I know he will fly here or we will visit there every three or four weeks at the very least. I know this seperation will be short-lived and we will likely be reunited before the summer is over. I know that it will all be okay. But just for now, I am going to let myself feel very sad (well, probably a few more times but I promise I won't dwell on it).

Monday, June 13, 2005

The Weekend in Photos (Again)

How Kids Get Subluxated (even while wearing superhero capes) Posted by Hello

Tristan Tummy and presents! Posted by Hello

Gabe spends the weekend "Killing Monsters" with Grandpa Tom Posted by Hello

A Peaceful Moment for Jerome and Mielle Posted by Hello

Miss Peeves meets Alex  Posted by Hello

The Peapod and The Chickie Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The day in photos

While I Am On The Computer Gabe Makes His Own Breakfast. Posted by Hello

Feet detail Posted by Hello

Pibhres crashed out on the couch on Sunday afternoon. Is she Brian's child or what? Posted by Hello

Princess Peapod and The Peony Posted by Hello

Monday, June 06, 2005

Why I MUST blog

We had to turn on the AC this weekend. Iowa summer has begun. While the actual temperature was typically in the 80's over the course of the weekend, it rained off and on and the general atmosphere was closer to that of a turkish bath. It smelled like one too. Quin has been pooping multiple times each afternoon while at Michelle's house, and we were treated to her new diaper experiments and extravaganzas. Seriously, she pooped like 8 times in two days. And a lot each time. Shouldn't she be dehydrated or the size of a chihuahua or something?

Brian was a manly man and worked on my "honey do" list. He went to town and bought stuff at Lowe's. He replaced the screens that Gabe had "speared" in his daily quest for something to kill or maim. Then he and Gabe had a long talk about putting sticks and other pointy objects through screens (it's not okay, for those of you thinking of visiting).

We caulked the bathroom to finish up the great wallpaper removal project. It still needs a little touchup paint but...DONE AT LAST!!!! I'm gonna celebrate anyway. And may I add: curses on all who put wallpaper up! I don't care how *great* it looks today. Someone (else) will have to remove it one day. (At least faux painting, although cheesy, is easily erased!) I just had to get that off my chest.

Brian also pulled up the carpeting in the guest room to reveal the perfectly nice hardwood floors beneath. I tried to help pulling out staples and such...but I pretty much sucked. I guess I'm better at plumbing.

After all this, Brian felt he had earned slacker time for the rest of the weekend (Sunday afternoon and evening). I whirled around the house doing the more routine cleaning (laundry, child disasters and so on), sorting out the disaster left in the wake of our home improvement projects and making dinner two nights in a row, while he *worked* on the computer and watched TV. I tried to get him to hold Pibhres for me but he said that he was too hot and he prefered not to hold a "lump of lava." That is totally going to be the name of my next blog. Either that or "What I Can Do With 18 Kids Hanging Off Me," because really, that what my life feels like typically.

This morning would be entitled: "How To Fight With Idiotic Insurance People So You Can Get Approval To Fix Your Crashed Minivan While 18 Kids Hang Off You." As I wrote this post I got up three times to answer the phone (which has no good signal in this room), nursed Pibhres back to sleep, searched for her sucky but couldn't find it, nursed her back to sleep again, pulled Quin off my leg and then made her breakfast, pulled Gabe off my shoulders and found his Scooby Doo game, enduring a running commentary as he captured each bad guy, culminating in "Mom, I got the Black Knight. I destroyed him with electric *zzzzt*", and I changed another poopy diaper from Quin. They say I should get my minivan fixed on Thursday. How is it possible I can do all this in one morning with three kids (or is it 18?) attached to my hip and it will take over a week before they can even BEGIN to repair my Toyota. Argh. Gotta go...Pibhres is awake again and I think the phone is ringing.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Hooray for Peevers (Pibhres)

Pretty soon here Peevers will actually exist! How is this? Because her mother is finally sending in her birth registration to the state! I had all the paperwork filled out shortly after she was born except for the part for the "birth attendant". Let me note that the attendant section contained all the most important and detailed questions about her and her birth.

For the parents, they simply wanted: name, DOB, SS number, state of birth, race, level of education (?) and occupation/employer (!!??!). Like that is somehow pertinant to who is *qualified* or something to be parents? I'm sure they are using this information to build a monstrous data base that they will use eventually to justify how more highly educated and gainfully employed parents have healthier babies or some other ridiculous socio-economic conclusion. Cuz education has sooo much to do with intelligence (snort). And good parenting. And the ability to think beyond the instructions in "What To Expect When You Are Expecting". Education and gainful employment. Right. Bah! All the more likely to be sheeple in my book. (Except me and all my friends: we are both brilliant and revolutionary, socio-economic status be damned!)

The birth information section (to be filled out by "attendant" mind you) requested: Mother's history of births excluding this one, apgars, birth weight, date of last menstrual period AND clinical estimate of gestation in complete weeks. (Why do they need both?! To try to prove that you can't count or have a wierd ovulatory cycle or something? Oh my God, I last menstruated in 1999, does that mean this baby isn't mine!?)

They also asked for the month of pregnancy in which prenatal care began (I put "first") and then total prenatal visits (I put "na/self care").

After asking about plurality and tranferring to another facility, they then asked if I was employed during pregnancy (huh? What about the being a mom to two other kids? I don't get paid. But I don't really get paid yet for my other self employed job either. I put yes, because damn it, I worked my ass off and I want it counted! By whomever it is, for whatever reason. I'm totally messing up their numbers now! Heh. And I'm just getting started. (Insert evil cackle here).

Medical Conditions (check all that apply): medical risk factors for pregnancy (including herpes, vaginal bleeding and oligohydramnios) and to which I chose: none, weight gained during pregnancy (I refused to respond), obstetric procedures (amniocentesis? EFM? induction? ultrasound? tocolyis?). Again: none! Events of labor/delivery (febrile? meconium? premature ROM? excessive bleeding? (!) placenta stuff? dysfunctional labor? (!!) precipitous labor? (less than three hours = bad folks!) prolonged labor? (if you can't get that baby out within 20 hours, you are broken! Bad uterus!) blah blah blah! What a list! Guess what I answered? (None. Boring. We need mopre drama here.)

Method of delivery: vaginal.

Then the truly monstrous list: Abnormal Condition of the Newborn (check all that apply). This section is as long as all that preceded it. Suffice it to say that it included every possible scary or seemingly scary thing a parent could dream of. Oh, and this paperwork was sent to me by the state registrar with the "heel prick" testing kit to send away to the state lab. That's some pretty good marketing there. I "lost" that kit though, drat it! Answer: none.

I had filled all this claptrap out but I was still stumped by the attendant page. So I called the state registrar directly:

Me: I am filling out the registration papers for my baby who was born at home and I don't know what to do with the attendant worksheet since we had no attendant.

Her: Oh, your midwife couldn't make it in time?

Me: No, I didn't have a midwife. My husband was there. We didn't hire a midwife.

Her: Well, did you bring the baby to a midwife or doctor afterward?

Me: No. The baby is very healthy. We don't see any need for that.

Her: Are you going to get the baby vaccinated?

Me: I have no plans to do so at this time. (I'm hedging my bets here. I don't want to just announce that there is no way in hell I will ever ever ever do such a thing. I'm already feeling a bit vulnerable in this conversation. What if she decides to "red flag" me somehow.)

Her: Ummm...well we *prefer* (said in a prissy tone) to have someone outside the parents evaluate and register the child but I guess....(long pause. I think she is waiting for me to suggest some alternative person to verify this poor neglected child.) and your husband can write a statement verifying that what you just told me.

Me: Okay, that sounds great! You just want me to attest to her live birth to me specifically and that there was no other attendant by choice, right? (I have done a bit of homework here).

Her: I guess that will work.

Me: Thanks for all your help!

So then I write this letter:

To whom it may concern: My child, Ribh Wallis F....., was born to me on this date, time, place. I am writing to attest to her live birth in my home. We did not hire a medical doctor or midwife. Because there were no complications with the pregnancy or birth we did not seek any outside care for the labor or delivery.

I, Mar F....., delivered my child Ribh Wallis F.... (signature) <you're DAMN right!>

I Brian F...., was present at the birth of my daughter, Ribh Wallis F..... (signature)

And I sent it all out with the check for $30, which brings the total cost of this birth to about $57.26.

Bottle of Gatorade: $.99
New shoelace: $1.27
Herbs for yoni and twatsicles: $15
Pads: $10
Registration of child: $30

Oh, and we have decided that we should spell "Peevers" more like how we spell Ribh (pronounced "Reeve" for those not in the know) be congruent, you know. So, henceforth she shall be known as "Pibhres" (the poor dear). If only there was a place for that on her birth registration.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Beware of Silver Toyota Minivans

I got in a car accident last night after I left the office.

The minivan in front of me had to stop abruptly in fast and heavy traffic. I stopped just short of hitting it. And the guy behind me plowed his minivan into me. Then I hit the van in front of me. So I had two impacts. Nice.

It sucked. It was really really violent. That may seem like a stupid statement (really? your car accident seemed violent? duh!) But it was such a horrific noise and jolt and impact. And judging from how sore my body is this morning...umm....yeah. It was pretty violent.

The irony is that my minivan barely looks a little crumpled. The rear bumper has shifted out of place and has a big gouge in it, but everything still works fine. My front bumper has a crumpled licence plate and I don't know if there is more damage under that. The Toyota dealer will find more problems I'm sure.

I haven't really been in a car accident as an adult. It just feels different from this perspective, maybe because I'm a mom now?. I am glad the big kids weren't in the car with me. Peevers was in her rear facing infant seat. She was asleep when we got hit and she started crying like hell. The first thing I did was check her. I gave her her sucky (pacifier) and she went right back to sleep. I was shaking like a leaf and that point. I knew that she was okay on a deep innate level but you just can't help but be shaken up by the potential that someone could have hurt your child.

I was talking to Brian on the phone as I was hit. I wish I had a recording. I said: "wow! (or maybe it was an expletive) I am about to get in an accident. Oh it's okay, I stopped...NO I AM GOING TO GET HIT" or something like that. Then there would be a noise (Brian said it didn't sound loud on the phone but I remember it as really loud) followed by Peevers crying. Then I told Brian I had to get off the phone but I was all right. And I didn't call him back for ten minutes. Poor guy.

It took over an hour for the police to fill out all the paperwork. I got a "ticket" for not having my current insurance info in the vehicle and will have to go to the courthouse to show my proof of insurance or pay a $600 something fine. Gah. Just what I need: another errand on top off fixing the van, buying new car seats (!? Is this really necessary?!) and numerous Chiropractic appointments. And I am stiff as an old lady today: top of neck, bottom of neck, midback and lowback...geez! Whiplash is no joke people.

As I was driving home I ran over a rabbit. I drive a deathmobile.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

A little too quiet

Today Quin woke up from her nap crabby! She woke up just about five minutes before we needed to leave to get into town on time so I was trying to hurry her. Post nap turpitude and hurrying do not mesh well, so I decided to give her a few minutes to chill out and left her sitting at the bathroom sink playing with hair clips while I quick nursed Peevers. I then realized I had been gone a while (over five minutes) and she hadn't made a sound. Either she had fallen back asleep (in the sink) or god knows what! So I ran in to behold: she had discovered an old tube of lipstick in the vanity.

And used it.

A lot.

She was covered in bright red lipstick around her mouth, covering both hands, one knee (I later discovered it went all the way up that leg and into her diaper! how'd she do that!?) and up one arm to the armpit. The lipstick was all gone! She said "pretty." Oh man, how do you yell at that. I was the one who left her there. Too cute.

And the worst part: It didn't occur to me to take a photo until after the bath. damn.