Tuesday, September 30, 2008

so they say it's your birthday...

Solomon Grundy.. born on a Monday...

No, wait..

Joella Colleen.. born on a Sunday.

On September 29, 2007 we went to our home school soccer group that the oldest two boys were participating in, just as we had for that whole month. I was a little more relaxed.. having stayed pregnant through both J's birthday (that would have been a bit too early, thank you) and my mother in law's birthday. I was ready. But I admit, I was hoping to wait just another day or two until October. Oh well.

Around 6pm, my contractions started. They stayed about 5 minutes apart through my entire labor AND birth. Wow. That's weird. Anyway.. long story short, we welcomed our second daughter into our family just before 5am on September 30, 2007.

Her first year, in pictures...




November (again)











Happy birthday.. my chubby little cupcake.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Guess I'm just a bad apple after all..

Lately? I feel like Lord of the Flies. Lady? No, Lord sounds cooler.

Seriously, our house has been inundated with flies for MONTHS. It is utterly ridiculous. I'm about to lose my ever loving mind. I can NOT figure out where these stupid flies are reproducing. Yes, reproducing. The most annoying part of it, right now, is that there are little bitty baby flies EVERYWHERE.

Don't flies start out as maggots? I don't see any maggots...

Is it the litter box? Is it the cloth diaper 'dirty pail'? Is it that mountain (that seems to grow as fast as I can knock it down) of dirty dishes in the sink? Is there rotten food hiding in there? Is it because of Wizmo's potty training issues? Is there some dead thing hiding somewhere in my house that I don't know about? Wouldn't that cause a smell too? Is it the kids? The mounds of laundry that make my floors look more like rolling hills? Is it my husband? Me? My toothbrush? Did someone just fart? Am I up to 20 questions yet? No? Now? No? Should I ask a few more? Are you even reading anymore? No? Dang.

Well, since no one is even reading anymore..

I swear I'm not that bad of a housekeeper.. Am I? Sure, I go through what I like to call 'phases' of being more dirty than usual.. but not to the point that my home should become an insect love nest. I suppose the fact that I'm afraid to do ALL the dishes because I just don't know what might be lurking in the bottom of the 'dirty side' of my sink should have me concerned.. The 'clean side' isn't so bad.. I mean, I wash the diapers at least once a week (usually more like every 2-3 days).. Perhaps my kids are just leaving random bits of fruit around to rot and thus attracting these nasty bugs that way.. Hell, I don't know.. I just don't get it.

We've put up the sticky paper and there's LOTS of dead flies on it.. and still, they reproduce. These things are worse than rabbits. The one effective method I've found for killing the babies? (One just flew by my head..)Leave out some booze (doesn't matter what kind.. beer, wine, liquor.. I find dark beer or red wine work very well), just a little in the bottom of the bottle, can, or glass and they will flock to it and drink themselves to death. Still not good enough though.

I don't even want to think about how many we might be eating in our sleep..

I'm starting to think I must smell like a ginormous walking cow pie or something because I feel like I live in a swarm of 'fruit flies'. Does that make me more like a piece of rotten fruit?


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Big whistling boobies...

So I sat down to rest this afternoon after cleaning up the living room. This generally entails me sweeping all the crap that's accumulated on the floor into one big pile and then the kids and I go at it.. putting away what needs putting away and throwing away what's left.

In celebration of the floor being clean, Princess launched into a lovely, narrated interpretive dance. She grabbed my studded belt and wrapped it across her chest like a beauty pageant sash and announced..

"Mine song is in my boobies!"

She danced and twirled around the room, screaming that phrase over and over as we watched and giggled. Then she came back to me and said..

"My boobies is singing yahoo!"

More dancing around the room while screaming 'Yahoo' over and over..

"So your boobies are singing 'yahoo'?"
"Yep.. My booboos are big, see?" flashes me
"Oh, I see. They're very nice."
"My na-nas are yissowing."
"They're what?"

And she then launches herself into another flight across the floor, prancing and twirling and screaming..

"My yissow! My yissow" only it sounded more like 'My asshole.'

We all cracked UP.

Then it was her butt.

"My butt is stan up."
"Your butt is going to stand up?"


"My butt is going jump."
"Jumping butt?"

On and on she goes.. when she'll stop nobody knows... I love two year olds. Endless entertainment, and head aches, and giggles, and heart aches...

But dear, you're too little to be talking about your 'big boobies'.


Monday, September 22, 2008

The Rocket Summer - Do You Feel

I'm so glad they did a video for this song.. it's one of my favorites.

Plus, they have both Matt Thiesen and Mike Herrerra in there.. that's like a 1000 bonus points right there.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I really wanted to be nice today.. but I suck.. and apparently I like naked dancers.

It didn't seem so hard when I woke up this morning. I did pretty good yesterday, not swearing in front of my kids and just being a little nicer (which is no small feat when I have to drag 5 kids around town). My 2yo woke me up this morning.

"G'mowneen Mommy."
"Good morning Princess." my sleepy, tangly haired little doll.

She heard the commotion going on in the boys' room. They had found the Capital Lights cd in my purse and taken it to their room for an early morning jam session. It got progressively louder and louder.. She decided to go dance with the boys, allowing me to roll out of bed and stumble my way to the shower before my little Cupcake woke up. AND I got to shower alone since she was busy in the boys' room. SCORE.

Upon getting out of the shower, I realized that the boys had turned their little cheap-o cd player all the way UP. and were in there with the door shut. Hm. A little early morning hearing damage? Nice. Jo was yelling for me from her crib, doubtlessly woken by the insanely loud music from across the hall.

I collected my screaming baby from her cage and took her to my room to nurse, grumbling about having to feed the baby before even getting dressed (which often requires collecting clothing items from various corners of the house). It wasn't long before I heard the boys' door open and I silently wished the music were quieter so they could hear me tell them to turn it down...

As I pondered how ridiculous my pre-coffee thoughts were Monkey came into my room to alert me of my darling Princess's misbehavior..


"Ellie's in the bathroom, playing with soap."
"Oh.. goody... ELLIE!!!"

Yep. Can't hear me.

"Please go get your dad.. I can't do anything about it when nursing the baby."

J, being interrupted from his pre-work work came downstairs intervention style to stop said toddler from turning herself into a soap propelled rocket girl. He removed the soap from her possession and freed her from her now rather fragrant pajamas.. He stopped by the bedroom to see what my excuse was for not being able to attend to the incident and informed the nursing infant that she needed to 'Hurry up.'


She 'finished' her meal upon his request (she let go of me to give Daddy a morning greeting, just long enough for me to hide from her), and I sat her on the bed (much to her shrill dismay) with her brother there to watch over her. I then (still wrapped in a towel, mind you) went to the bathroom to tend to the other female child who was yelling at me to find her sitting in the tub in her pull-up. I removed the pull-up and turned on the water for her bath, and went back to my room to dress, sending Monkey downstairs to find my shirt.

We yelled back and forth as I gathered the rest of my attire from various laundry bags and baskets and let the bath tub fill. He finally found the 'black shirt with the bird on it' and brought it up to me just in time for me to go rinse the soap off my 2yo and wash off last night's Crayola marker tattoos.

"Look mom, I drew a happy face on her forehead."

Hooray, my children were ready to go out in public!


Babies were dressed, shoes were slipped on and we all headed for the van as J announced he better get his tardy ass to work before he got in trouble.

Picked up coffee and pumpkin bread at Caribou (yay for pay day), dropped the dad at the office and were soon on our way to Target.

I get Princess out of the car and she says to me, "Say hew mommy, I be wight back.." and heads for the cart return to get me a shopping cart. So helpful. I try to put her in it and she screams at me. Apparently she wanted to scale Mt Shopping Cart herself and get in on her own. Um.. right.

Meanwhile, Monkey is getting the stroller out for the already unbuckled Cupcake who is trying to sky dive out of her car seat without a chute. I give Princess a boost sufficient enough to help her without doing it for her and then hold the baby back with one hand while steadying the stroller with the other so he can set it up. Phew. Into Target we ventured.. as we walk in the front door? I realize my coffee is still in the car. FAIL.

We shop. We spend more money than we should (cause seriously, we should be spending NONE), and I cry a little while we walk to the car. I load up the bags and the baby and the stroller and then sit for 5min arguing with Princess about her getting buckled into her seat. Ugh. I chug some coffee, hoping to chase off the dull headache that has already started to sneak up on me.

Buckled. Family Force 5 lifts our mood as we blast it all the way home. And I quietly hope that all those people who came into contact with me and surely noticed my nasty exasperated attitude were forgiving due to the fact that I had 5 small children in tow.. while wishing they could have been impressed and think "Wow.. she handles all those kids so well."



So I hop online to chill out for a bit after popping a frozen pizza in the oven for lunch. A friend and I talk back and forth on Twitter in bad Spanish because I've recently been chatting with a stranger from Ecuador and using this site to do so as I really don't know Spanish (I just pretend to).

Crap the pizza is burning.

She makes fun of me for saying "¿usted disfruta de fotografía?" which apparently can mean 'you like photography?' and 'you like shooting?'.. makes sense if you think about it.

We go back and forth a bit and I say.. "
Acabo de llegar a casa después de hacer compras con mis niños. era costoso. oh.. and Yo no hablo español." which apparently included 'he's expensive' (was saying I just got back from shopping with the kids, it was expensive).. and she then accuses me of liking naked dancers.

So I accidentally (note: have not finished coffee yet) click to reply to a Christian co-worker of J's and say "
Sí, me encanta el desnudo bailarines." Um. Oops. I quickly deleted it and informed him that 'if he saw it' I had intended it for someone else.. Cause I really want J's co-workers to know about my love for nude dancers.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Passing it on..

I had intended to write a whole post for this.. but my life has kind of stolen the best of me lately.. so here is a video instead.

I join along with the other outraged women in support for Catherine. Being discriminated against is crappy - no matter how 'polite' they are about it. Honestly, when someone does it politely and nicely in an easily defended manner, it really screws with a person's head. It makes it hard to stand up and say 'Hey, you can't treat me that way! It's wrong!'

Had the flight attendant simply offered to get her a blanket in a manner such as 'If you're more comfortable, we do have blankets available. However, if you prefer to go without, that's fine too.' it would not have spurned such an uprising. But that is not what she did. She did not simply offer, or even politely offer for that matter. That catapults the incident into the category of discrimination.

I know what it's like to be quietly humiliated in such a way at a vulnerable moment. To have someone so openly express disdain for your actions. Actions that are necessary, natural, and to be expected. Not actions that are disgusting, inappropriate, or should be hidden. It's wrong. It needs to stop.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Flatfoot 56 - Loaded Gun

welcome to the mid-west - culture shock!

We moved to Iowa in January of 2007. My husband was born in So CA and moved to Sacramento Valley when he was around 8 or 9, I think. I was born in MN, moved to the Bay Area when I was 4, then to the Sacramento Valley when I was 13.

We'd known for a couple years that we wanted OUT of California. It was way too expensive for our growing family and we knew that we'd never be able to afford to buy a home as long as we stayed there. Our credit was taking a swim in the toilet as it was, and it wasn't coming up for air any time soon. So, we began looking for an opportunity to leave, and prayed. A lot.

J was doing work with people in the Nashville area and there was talk of hiring full-time and relocating us to Tennessee. It gradually fell apart, the job disappeared and our home nearly did with it. All this in the weeks following Princess's birth. Praise God for kind-hearted and flexible mid-wives who were more concerned with helping me have the birth I wanted than with getting paid in a timely fashion.

J took a job (on contract) with the much avoided and dreaded Intel. We felt it was kind of inevitable for such a talented web developer/programmer who happened to live down the street from one of their largest offices. Sure, they pay well.. but they expect to OWN you. Not something we were interested in. It was a blessedly brief stint, and he managed to find other work to take him away from the dreaded blue jungle.

We continued to pray and scour the opportunities that came through Monster and that other site that I can't remember the name of.. Interview after interview in and out of California, opportunities faded away and doors were shut. My parents put their house on the market, planning on moving back to my father's home town in SE Iowa. And then J received an email from a company in Iowa. A well known publishing company that was looking for someone just his type. It seemed a long shot to us.. Iowa? I'm 'mid-western by birth' as are my parents (my father having lived in Iowa until joining the Navy at 18).. so it didn't seem too far fetched to me.. but Iowa? Still, I'd never felt like a 'Californian' and looked forward to going somewhere, anywhere, that might feel more like 'home'.

Everyone, on both ends, said the same thing when we'd announce our destination. "Iowa? Wow. That will be a culture shock!" For me, all I could imagine was a rather welcome culture shock of friendly people and actually knowing the people who live next door, perhaps a slower pace of life.. in which we might have time to stop and catch our breath now and then. Sure, I realized that 'our type' might not be the most prevalent in such a region, but I wasn't too worried about it.

After some negotiating on the contract details.. and much more prayer.. J took the job. Just over a month later, we packed up and headed east with our four children and 2 cats.. in the middle of January.

We had to take the long route, heading south (which gave us a chance to visit some of J's family in So CA before leaving the state) and then turning east through New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, and then north through Kansas and Missouri into Iowa. It was a long trip, with lots of snow and ice to see along the way. The cats did surprisingly well (despite my fear that my senior feline might die from the stress).

And we arrived, on Friday the 19. The first 'good snow' of the season had just come the week before and the landscape was a dazzling wintry white. The ice storm that had knocked out power for days in MO and KS had left sparkling icicles dangling from tree branches and a good 5" of fresh snow blanketed the ground. It was quite a sight for our Californian eyes. We couldn't wait to buy some gear and dig into it!

So after checking out our house (that's another post in itself.. ugh), we headed to WalMart (bleh) to purchase our winter gear. Um..not so easy to find supplies for winter in January. Really, you need to buy such things in like October and November. By January, pickin's is slim. We started loading up a cart.. I think we may have had two.. and as we finished collecting hats, gloves, shovels, and boots, J remembered that he would need to buy something to wear to work on Monday as our belongings (moving van) would not be here by then. He selected some pants and a shirt and headed to the fitting room.

There I was at about 10:30pm with my four children and two shopping carts, waiting for my husband to try on some clothes. Princess was getting fussy and wanted to nurse. I unbuckled her from the cart and sat down on the bench in front of the fitting room counter, inviting my boys to take a seat beside me, and proceeded to 'whip it out' and comfort my tired cranky daughter. As she settled into my lap and quieted down, and older lady employee came up to me..

"You need to go in a fitting room if you're going to do that."
"I'm fine here, thank you," I replied.
"No. Some people could be offended."
"She's fine where she is," interjected the woman attending the counter.

That lady was lucky her fellow employee came to my rescue.. Still, I so wish that we had not been so busily consumed by our arrival that I may have had a chance to contact the manager of the store and speak with them about the incident. I was not being disruptive, most people didn't even know what I was doing.. she just happened to glance my way as I was hiking up one of my shirts (after all, I had a nursing tank under my t-shirt for both warmth and added discretion).

In all my years of motherhood in CA, I had never had anything but pats on the back when nursing in public. At most I may get the comment "If you're more comfortable, we have a room over there that you're welcome to nurse in.. but you're fine here too if you'd rather not move." I lived a sheltered life when it came to public nursing.. Giving me confidence and allowing me to take for granted my freedom.

Sure, there were differences we noticed upon relocating from California to Iowa. But there are people of all types, all walks of life, in both places. They're still just people. Yes, there is less paranoia here when it comes to daily living, less suspicion toward your average fellow man. And if you're walking down the street in Iowa, and say 'Hello' to someone who crosses your path, they might actually say something back.. with a smile. (Rather than look at you like you have worms crawling out of your nose.)

The homeschool group that the kids played soccer with didn't even care that our kids came wearing Punisher t-shirts or that they had weird colored hair, or that my 5yo had a mohawk. They don't care what we have pierced, or how many tattoos we have, or how we dress ("I love your free spirit!").. but heaven forbid I dare to bare my breast to feed my child in *gasp* public.

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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Be gentle.. it's my first time!

Here's my first meme.. I was tagged by Jennifer at Blissfully Caffeinated. So here's the deal...

The rules for this Meme are:

1. Link the person who tagged you.
2. Mention the rules on your blog.
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.
4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them.
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged bloggers letting them know they’ve been tagged.

Mkay.. let's get started...

1. I almost never drive more than 5mph over the speed limit. I often don't speed at all. Part of why I do this is because I still don't have my Iowa driver's license. I only drive once or twice a week (though will be more now that the kids are 'doing stuff') so it just wasn't a big concern. Oops. So I really don't want to get pulled over.. Besides, I like not breaking the law.. much.

2. I always go pee before I step on the scale in the morning. Yeah, I know.. I'm not peeing that much, but still...

3. I have a much harder time not swearing now that I'm a parent. I've never had a problem with language.. just never felt the need to use it. Now? I feel the need.. oh.. every 20min or so.. Poor kids. I guess the bigger problem for me is that once I get into the habit, it's a hard one for me to break.

4. After spending my childhood and much of my teens singing and acting at church and school, I now annoy my children constantly by singing really loud and talking with weird accents. They hate it.. which makes it that much more fun.

5. I was a band geek, and wish I still could be. I played 4 instruments. I started when I was.. I don't remember.. a kid. I took 2 years of piano lessons. Then joined band in 6th grade and learned clarinet. My Junior year, I took up oboe - my favorite. Then, my Senior year, for the good of the marching band, I learned trombone.. we were short on boners. I totally want to go to my parents' house and steal my brother's trombone so I can bring it home and play it.. or fix my clarinet (it sounds like CRAP and really just needs to be replaced).. or get an oboe.. heck, I don't care. I just miss it.

6. I LOVE being pregnant. I don't really want more kids.. but I'd be willing just so I could be pregnant again and give birth. I love it all. I've thought about being a surrogate.. but just don't know that I could part that easily with the baby at the end. Why do I love being pregnant? I look WAY better pregnant. I'm one HOT pregnant lady.


So there it is. A small peek at who I am. Now, on to the tagging...
Amie at Boy Story... and Beyond, J (my darling hubby.. cause I know he'll appreciate it) at Foot in Mouth Disease, Anita at Crafty Wright's, 'that girl' at Hey You! Remember Me?! (because she's so mysterious.. hee hee), Teri at Cold Lemonade, and PunkRockHillbilly. Ok then.. get to it!! Chop chop!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Slick Shoes - Now is the Time

My kids love this song.. they've been singing it A LOT lately..
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