Thursday, September 30, 2010

15 already?

Happy Birthday Kylie! (A day late)

Gosh 15 already. I'm almost not sure where to start because there is so much to say. And at the same time almost nothing to say. Some days I just want to stare at you because I can not believe you're already 15.

When I was 15 I thought I was so much older and more grown up than I was. I was certain that I was ready to take on the world. So certain in fact that I got pregnant and had you. Of course I was 16 by the time you were born. So it is such a startling thing to look at you and think "She's my age when I got pregnant with her" and realize that in no way, shape or form was I ready or e even capable of conquering the world. At least not right at that moment.

You actually seem much more aware of your surroundings and while you are convinced you can conquer the world, you seem content to start with the high school and move forward.

When you were small I was convinced that you were switched at the hospital because of your light hair and love of vegetables. Some days I'm still not entirely convinced but then you'll come to me and complain about school mates who don't take dance seriously or how frustrated you get at sharing your friends (despite they having to share you) and I suspect you probably are mine after all.

Sorry about that short temper thing. I'd like to blame your dad but I'm pretty sure you got it from me. I'm working on it. It sucks. Hopefully I'm setting a good example for you.

As one of your many parents I have been talking to you often about getting a job. You seem sold on the idea of money but no so sure about actually having to work for it. While I can relate I hope that at some point you embrace the idea that you are probably going to do work that doesn't inspire you, at least for a little while.

It's also time for us to start thinking about you + driving permit. Actually no. I'm not going to think about that JUST yet. And apparently neither are you. When mentioned on Tuesday night you seemed pretty ambivalent about the whole thing. Which I suppose is a good thing. At least for my heart.

You tend to be a glass half empty child and are certainly self absorbed but no more so than the average teenager which actually gives me great joy. While we don't always see eye to eye you and I certainly don't fight like we did even a year ago. My vocal chords really do appreciate it.

Boys are flocking to you now and I can tell you're enjoying the attention although you have a crush on someone who does not return your affections. It's these types of things that teach us how to live and how to be and so I know you're frustrated but I can assure you that right now there is a boy with a crush on you that you have no interest in. So this is how the world goes around. I can still remember your devastation when a boy in elementary school called you ugly. Now that same boy wishes you would even notice him. You don't of course because you have already learned that there are more fish in the sea.

People's opinions of you still matter, of course, but although the negative ones irritate you they don't seem to break you anymore. I hope that you learn to let things roll off and don't let others opinions blow away in the wind. You seem to be doing just that but I can only hope that what I see and what are happening are the same thing.

I realized as I was writing this post that I don't really have any pictures of you this year on my iPhone. I think it's because you don't really like to pose or be in pictures anymore and in terms of photo-worthy there aren't really a lot of "firsts" left for you.

In closing I'll share this video though. We went to Outback last night for your birthday dinner. You insisted that you didn't want to be sung to. I, of course, corned the waitress and begged her to bring you a dessert and sing to you. She told me they don't normally do that but for a 15 year old they would see that they could do.

It's awkward and you can tell it's not their normal but I think the video says a lot about you. You're dying on the inside (and outside) but still manage to blow out the candle at the end. See video HERE.

Happy Birthday Cuckoo
Love Mama

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I read a ridiculous number of blogs that I don't share with everyone because frankly, it's embarrassing. One of those blogs is Pacing the Panic Room. The Author, Ryan is funny and he does some really impressive photography series that if you have time and are inclined you should check out. The Walk to 40 Weeks was my favorite.

Ryan and his wife Cole found out in 2009 that their son had a condition known as Smith Magenis Syndrome. Since the diagnosis they have spent a lot of time and energy working towards fundraising so that groups that research and support this condition and families with loved ones affected by it can be served.

Ryan has gathered an amazing group of independent musical artists and they created a kids album that adults wont hate. It's called Do Fun Stuff and the proceeds of sales of the album on iTunes goes to the charity arm of PRISMS. 100%. You can buy it Here if you have iTunes and are into that sort of thing.

Personally, I like the songs. I try to buy children's music that doesn't drive me crazy but that is catchy and everyone can sing along to. Too many times I hear Lizzie singing a song from the radio that I'm less than pleased with and so having music to listen to or distract while in the car is pleasant. Some days I feel like if I have to listen to one more "She'll be comin' 'round the mountain" I'll loose my mind. Just sayin'.

Rumor has it that Do Fun Stuff will be sold on ETSY too in time for the holiday's if you want to buy them for nieces or nephews for stocking stuffers or whatever but it isn't officially up yet.

Not a bad way to spend $10 if you ask me.

Also, the art Monster, known as Embie (phonetic spelling of MB for Monsterist Buddy) is pretty cute too.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Lizzie Lou

Dear Lizzie,

Yesterday you turned 6 and I'm not sure who was more excited about it, me or you.

For you 6 was all about presents and cake and parties. Lucky you with two houses, you managed to have two birthday parties which meant double the cake and ice cream, if not double the presents.

I'm excited because 6 is still full of magic for you. At 6 you still believe in Fairies and Santa Claus and that magical things can happen. You still believe in the perfection of parents and you trust the world around you. The world is full of possibilities and you want to grab each and every one of them.

You want to be a Dentist when you grow up. No wait, a Mommy. No wait, a Nurse. No wait, a Dancer. You want to be all of it. I believe you probably will be all of it.

You are always my glass is half full child and lately you have been joyous about life. I love to see your enthusiasm for everything around you although perhaps a little less around 7am on the weekends would be nice.

You seem to like your teacher, you love your teacher still from last year and you talk about your day with ease. You share without prompting anymore and try to make friends with everyone.

Alternatively when one of your friends hurts your feelings you are crushed but quick to forgive. I love that you don't hold a grudge and would rather play than fight. Life is so much simpler when this is your nature.

You are my big helper and often want to spend time with just me doing my mundane chores and tasks. You love to help with laundry, quick to stir the spaghetti sauce and adore mopping the floor. As long as you're with me you seem to relish whatever task we're doing. You are also good at enteraining your little brother.

You tell me often when you grow up you want 5 babies. Their genders change all the time and you have no names for them except maybe William for one of the boys but your love of children and babies knows no end. You talk with and play with your little brother and often he finds himself the Prince in your games. Too bad he tends to try and eat whatever item you have given him to play with.

I love that you read to me every day and you are so excited to learn. You and I play a game where I ask you to spell something and then act shocked that you can spell it. You adore this game and work very hard trying to get every word correct so I can be increasingly shocked at your genius. You also love playing school with me where we practice your spelling words. To surprise me a week ago you wrote all your spelling words 5 times while I was putting your little brother to bed. I love that you love that gift.

You always want the simple items and find joy in the smallest of gifts. For you a scooter holds just as much joy as a Dolphin pillow. You don't truly want much and what you do have you seem to really appreciate.

If I were to sum up this year for you I would say that it was a pink and purple year with silver stars and glitter thrown in. Being with you makes me believe in magic and makes me feel joy. Thank you my little angel bright.

Happy Birthday Lizzie Lou Who
Mama Loves You

Friday, September 24, 2010

I need a new pharmacy

This week has been the week of the Pharmacy. Better living through Chemistry as my mother used to say. I'm sure she meant her thyroid meds.


The baby needed two new medications for his asthma reactive airway disease. One is for everyday preventative use, the other is for emergencies. The emergency one works great, FYI.

Micah also needed something as he'd had a sore throat for 2 weeks and was over it. His Dr. prescribed what is affectionately known as KBX. It's basically a mix of Kaopectate, Lidocain and something else. I stopped listening.

Micah picked up his prescription on Tuesday and used it. It looked and behaved like a cough syrup only you swish and spit, you don't swallow it.

Wednesday it had turned to jello. Or a jello like substance. It was not able to exit the bottle and when you moved the bottle the blob just jiggled and plopped all over. What I'm telling you is that it wasn't consumable.

Because Micah has a sore throat and hates to return stuff I ventured out on Wednesday night to return it to the pharmacy.

I'm going to stop and tell you I've already had problems with this Wal-greens before. They shorted us on medication for William just a couple of weeks ago and it took me fighting with the pharmacy tech to get the "extra". So I'm predisposed to be grumpy but I decided I would kill them with kindness. And smile a lot. That seems to help.

Now imagine this. It's 8:30pm. I'm wearing a too loose halter top (it's what I sleep in) and black corduroy pants. I left the holy pajama pants at home. My hair is greasy looking after a full day of work and I'm 30 seconds away from "that time of the month". I'm bloated, broken out and missing the comfort of my couch. Oh, and I'm not wearing a bra because that is the highlight of my day, when I come home I get to take that thing off.

I show the pharmacy tech my bottle of jello. She agrees that it probably shouldn't look like that. She asked the Pharmacist who barely looks up from her filling of bottles (you can see them) and says to shake it. The tech tells me to shake the bottle and it will return to a liquid state.

To demonstrate she shakes it a little for me.

I take it from her, look at her and look at the Pharmacist. She hates me. I know it.

I tell them I will hang out in the corner and shake it for a little bit myself because I frankly do not believe it will return to it's liquid state.

And I shake it. And shake it. And shake some more.

And remember what I told you only a few paragraphs ago about my bralessness and my tank top?


So the pharmacy tech comes out and tries to shoo me out of the Wal-greens because OMG do you see what was happening there?!

I walk out to my car, call Micah, get my courage back, all the while SHAKING THE BOTTLE and then return to the pharmacy. I hand it to a new pharmacy tech and point out that I have been shaking the bottle for 20 minutes and my arm is tired. The inside of the bottle is coated with the stuff but the main portion of the medication is STILL a jello like blob.

To prove it I open the bottle and turn it upside down. The tech jumps back only to see that NOTHING comes out of the bottle.

I hear a loud sigh and the actual Pharmacist comes over. She closes the bottle. She shakes it. She opens it. She walks to the back of the Pharmacy and looks at a book ALL THE WHILE SHAKING THE BOTTLE.

She opens it again. She looks at it. She walks up to me.

Now at this point I assume it has magically turned into a liquid and I'm about to look like an ass. As if I was shaking the bottle wrong.

Instead she shows me the top of the bottle which is now completely jammed with what looks like yogurt but won't actually pour out of the bottle. She TELLS me it's kinda like yogurt.

"Yeah but he needs to swish it and spit it out. That's not swishable. It wont even exit the bottle."

At that point she concedes defeat and tells me that formulation is wrong. It's an old formula and should be MXB with has Mylox instead of Kaopectate. Whatever.

They told me they would have it ready the next day for pick up.

And they did.

I would like to believe it's the bralessness that did it.

I have no shame.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Flowers for Kylie

I think it's offically time to start feeling slightly past your prime when your teenage daughter is getting flowers delivered to the house.

Last Thursday I was sitting in the living room watching TV and playing with Will while Lizzie climbed all over me for attention. I had worked hard all day and was in ratty pajama pants that have made it through 2 pregnancies, barely, and a halter top. I was not, shall we say, presentable.

At just about 8pm there was a knock on the door. I got up and set the baby down thinking "It better not be the Jehova's Witness this late". I turned on the porch light and fought both Tasha and Molly to open the front door without them jumping or biting whoever lay on the other side.

Yes, I was one step away from crazy white trash woman is what I'm saying.

I opened the door and saw a tall, skinny kid with blond hair that's too long but all the style for disinfranchised youth today standing at my door with a large bouquet of flowers.

An aside here, Micah and I had had a "marital disagreement" earlier that week.

So when I saw the flowers I instantly thought Micah had sent me flowers. I smiled and looked over at Micah on the couch as he stared at me blankly waiting, I'm sure, for me to tell him who was at the door.

Then the long haired hippy boy asked for Kylie.

I paused and then recovered and asked if he was Justin, her latest boyfriend (she and Tyler broke up the day after I wrote the blog about him. Jinx thy name is Blog.).

"No. I'm Ty."

Hi foot, my name is mouth, nice to meet you.

At this point I said hang on, shut the door slightly to the two dogs begging to check out the new person at the door and went to Kylie's room to announce that she had flowers and a boy waiting for her at the door.

She went and spoke to him wearing Hello Kitty fuzzy pajama pants and a Bride of Frankstein t-shirt which I'm pretty sure sealed our Crazy Family status. They stood on the porch and talked which meant I was forced to try and listen through the door and peek through the window.

Crazy. I know.

Anyway - turns out this new boy Ty (not to be confused with old boyfriend Tyler) asked her to the homecoming dance. Despite her having a boyfriend already. And a date.

He said his mom MADE him ask and is MAKING him go to homecoming. Anyone else buying that story?

So yeah, no flowers for me. But my kid is getting expensive bouquets.

Something feels very not right about this whole situation and I don't think it's my tattered pajama bottoms.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Bullet Points

I've been crazy busy this week/weekend so I'll post bullet points on how the week has gone and I'll follow up later with stories. Sound okay with you? Good.

  • Will has been to the hospital twice since Sept. 7th. He's going to live. ER Doctors might not.
  • I made a giant leap forward in co-parenting with my ex-spouse and his wife. I believe that qualifies me for sainthood. Will research and get back to you.
  • Threw Lizzie's 6th birthday on Sunday and spent more than we would have if we would have just had the party at Chuck E. Cheese. I blame Micah.
  • My in-laws threw a massive September birthday party for the 6 people in their family who have September birthdays. The haves outnumbered the have nots 6 to 5.
  • It's been a year since I have spoken to my father. I remember because he picked a fight with me over the President Obama speech to school children last year about this time. It's been a surprisingly pleasant year. I expect to care about him again about the time he dies. Whether or not I attend the funeral remains to be seen.
  • A boy showed up at our house last week with a bouquet of flowers. I thought they were from Micah and got all mushy. Turns out they were for Kylie and the boy was asking her to the Homecoming Dance. Mom - 0, Kylie - 1
  • I know I've had him for 10 months and all but changing a diaper with a baby erection still startles me. I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to mention that on the Internet.
  • Will's entire vocabulary consists of Da-da. The tone and frequency vary but the word Da remains the same.
  • I have not yet won the lottery and it's starting to bother me. This whole "working" thing is so over rated.

There's my recap. I promise, when I'm feeling creative enough to write the stories I'll tell you all about them.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Garden Goodies

So it looks like my first foray into gardening has been a success.

I had cucumbers, although not many. Those are done now though.

My onions continue to grow although they are not going to be massive. I think that's the result of growing in a container with other items. Next year I'll put them in the ground in their own row.

My jalepeno peppers have FINALLY decided to come out and I've picked and used one so far in my peach salasa and have at least 4 or 5 on the plant still maturing.

My cherry tomato plant is ridiculus. I'm pulling ziplock baggies of red tomatoes off that thing twice a week. Sadly, I dont like cherry tomatoes so I've been giving them away after my children eat their fill.

My roma tomatoes have produced 1-2 smallish red fruits per week. Not enough to make sauce which makes me sad.

Mater's and Peno's.

This weekend we finally pulled a carrot from the garden. My helper ate it after we rinsed it off and its' short and stubby. Again, the result of it's container home I think.

Blueberries did not do anything this year (I didn't think they would) and my strawberries are now going crazy with runners but they aren't blooming. That's okay,we had a couple this spring.

Sure, we wont be living off the land this winter with massive food stores but overall it was pretty great watching things grow.

Friday, September 10, 2010

9 years later, what have we learned?

The last 30 days or so have been kind of not real for me. I mean, obviously they are real and I'm in them and experiencing them and feeling them.

But it seems like daily, as the 9 year anniversary of September 11th approaches, there has been more hate, more ignorance, more fear throw around. It makes me sad to think that 9 years after that sorrowful and fateful day we have learned nothing about loving and embracing. Those of us who turned to our faith have apparently forgotten the message that our faith provides.

I am of course talking about how America, or at least the media in America, seems to be focusing on Muslims, the Muslim faith and apparently controversy involving Muslims where ever they can find it.

I started noticing it when I heard "Ground Zero Mosque". The title suggested to me that someone wanted to build a mosque at Ground Zero in New York. I thought that was odd and, well, possibly not a good idea.

So I did some reading and research. Turns out no one wants to build a mosque at Ground Zero. But a religious group wants to build a Muslim Community Center several blocks away from Ground Zero in an abandoned building that was formerly a Burlington Coat Factory store.

Somehow though Ex-Burlington Coat Factory Community Center just doesn't sound the same though. Well, not if you want to enrage and incense people and get them up in arms about something.

It's not at Ground Zero. It's not a mosque.

Sure, it will have a prayer area in it. It will also have a basketball court. And a swimming pool. I'm pretty sure we won't be calling it a stadium or water park though. I have delivered 2 of my 3 children in Catholic Hospitals but I don't tell anyone they were born in a church even though they DID have chapels in them. So it's not a mosque.

Immediately in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 lots of people asked why. Including myself. I could not fathom the WHY and I generally like to know the WHY of things.

Lots of people seemed to think the terrorists hated out freedom. They hated our way of life. Hated our FREEDOM. Especially that whole Freedom of Religion thing. And yet here we are, 9 years later, saying, essentially "screw your freedom of religion". Well, not all of us. But some of us. A large majority of us, if you believe the polls you read online.

Apparently we are willing to loudly scream about freedom of religion (even though it's not really a mosque) but we mean only for us. Us. Not Them. Christians. Jews. Anyone but Muslims. We are willing to say "Yes of course you can have freedom of religion but, you know, can you do it somewhere else? Somewhere not here." Which isn't really freedom at all.

Following the Ground Zero Mosque controversy comes a Pastor from Dove World Outreach Center in Florida decides that September 11th should be burn a Qur'an day. Let me say that again, a Christian Pastor thinks we should declare a specific day to burn the holy books of another religion. The irony of calling his church a World Outreach does not escape me.

The Quran mentions Jesus specifically by name 25 times. Did you know that? Did you know that the Quran teaches that Jesus was born to Mary from virginal conception and that his purpose was to guide the people of Israel? Did you know that Islam teaches that Jesus was raised up to Heaven and will return to Earth on the Day of Judgment to defeat the false messiah?

There are differences between Islam and Christianity to be sure. But are we really saying it's okay to burn a holy book which proclaims that Jesus is the Son of God?

When we say Muslim do we realize we are talking about American's? That we are telling American's they can't have a community center that celebrates their religion as well as basketball and swimming and a library? Because they share a religion with people who flew planes into buildings that killed thousands of people.

Except they don't really share the same religion anymore than Pastor Terry Jones and I share the same religion. Sure, we can both say we are Christian. But I can promise you that the Christianity I practice and the Christianity he practices are apparently VASTLY different.

To note, I believe in the Freedom of Religion along with our other freedoms and embrace them. I do not, however, believe that Terry Jones burning the Qur'an is an expression of his religion anymore than Catholic Priests who molested children were expressing theirs.

So it is with terrorists who are Muslim and American Muslims.

American Muslims had a loss that day on September 11th, 2001 as well. People that shared their faith, and I don't mean those flying the planes into buildings and fields, died that day. They lost loves ones. They saw their cities destroyed. They saw their country on the verge. They asked "Why?".

I truly don't know the answer to Why, even now, 9 years later.

I'm pretty sure it isn't because they hate our freedom.

But just in case, let's really show them. Let's love our neighbors, all of them, including the Muslim ones SO much that we encourage them to reveal and enjoy their community centers and places of worship and holy books without fear or concern or doubt.

Let's show them that when we talk about Freedom in America, we really, truly, mean it for everyone.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Flowers for Mommy

I think there is possibly no greater way a child can show their mother that they love them than to bring them a bouquet of wild flowers. I myself can recall the excitement of finding yellow dandelions all over the lawn and picking them, even if they were only nubs, to present to my mother.

"Here Mommy!" I would say as I presented what adults called weeds to her.

Normally she put them in a cup of water for as long as my attention span remembered the flowers and then she would dispose of them later.

Last week Lizzie brought me a bouquet that I tried REALLY hard not to bring into the house. Nor only was it weeds, it didn't even sort of resemble flowers.

At least not to me.

Because as an adult I have lost my wonder and excitement at things that grow and sprout. I no longer think of anything with a head or bulb and leaves as a flower but children certainly do.

Initially we left the "bouquet" outside, to get rid of the bugs I told her. The next morning she found it where I had left it, outside and brought it into the house for me.

The next morning I could appreciate the arrangement better and could see that it was important to her that I accept them. That I fawn over them. That I recognize them as a gift.

When I left them outside, I was telling her I didn't like her gift. When I put them in water, I showed her that her effort and gift was important.

I wish I always thought that way but I don't. I'll try to be better about it in the future.

For the record, these "flowers" have lasted a LOT longer than anything I've ever paid for.

Thank you Lizzie, for your flowers. They are beautiful.

Monday, September 6, 2010

State Fair

I'm not sure if the Alaska State Fair is vastly different than the Colorado State Fair or if it's just that age and memory put those places into a different context for me that makes it SEEM as if they are different.

My memories seem almost magical as my friends and I wandered around the fair for hours exploring every exhibit and booth until finally caving into our base desires and surrendering to the lure of the carnival rides and games.

Perhaps it's as a parent of small children where that magic dissipates some what.

Saturday on a spur of the moment we decided to go to the Colorado State Fair. Kylie was with Brian that day so it was just Lizzie and Will.

Best money spent ever was $25 for the ride wristband.

I wish I could tell you that we looked at the exhibits and booths, which is a huge part of what I remember from my state fair experiences, but we really didn't. We looked at some rabbits and chickens and then a 4H exhibit and after that spent the majority of the day with Lizzie (and occasionally myself) riding the rides.

Will spent the majority of his day in his stroller but was still wiped out.

And I'm not sure if I've just gotten used to the heat (unlikely) or if the temperature was just perfect for and afternoon/evening at the state fair.

What you don't see here is the EPIC struggle Will and I participated in over that cut of Strawberry Lemonade. He won but just barely.

It took two rides on this particular ride before she could let go enough and put her arms up in the air but once she did the joy she felt was amazing.

Will was exhausted after the cup wrestling earlier.

This was far and away Lizzie's favorite ride and of course it was the ride I had to go on with her because she's so tiny. When first seated she can barely see over the safety cage. After the twirling of the ride she definitely can't see over it.

We rode this three times she loved it so much.

The first time it started moving she looked at me and said "I'm scared." I told her I had her, it was okay and asked if she could feel the butterflies in her stomach. I reached over and held on to her legs for the rest of the ride so she didn't fly all over the seat during the ride and she had a blast.

By the third time on the ride she demanded I not hold on to her and also was the first person in our car, nay, the whole ride, to throw her arms up in the air and scream for joy.

Perhaps the State Fair isn't magical to me anymore. But it certainly was magical to my children.

And that's pretty magical to me.