Sunday, August 31, 2008

In the Weeds

BFF Rachel and I got a good deal on a nice hotel room downtown and went out for her belated birthday celebration last night. A good time was had by all, but the most glorious part of the escapade was waking up this morning at 7 a.m. (both of us - no alarm) and sitting in bed watching nearly all of season one of Weeds.  

I had never seen the show before, so I must now thank Rachel for giving me yet another TV obsession. 

So here I am, looking out at a week during which school will start, swimming lessons will start, dance class will start, my babies will become kindergartners, the teenager will turn the big 1-7, and my husband will be out of town for all of it...and all I want to do is live vicariously through a hot suburban mom who is able to afford a live-in housekeeper and a cute wardrobe all by selling pot to rich suburbanites. 

It's like just by being about pot, the show has turned me into a slacker who just wants to sit on the couch watching TV and eating Cheetos all day. 

Friday, August 29, 2008

Reality Recap - Tardy Edition

I'm a day late on my Wonderful Wednesday recap...I have to admit that I fell asleep during Shear Genius on Wednesday night and it didn't seem right to omit the show from my recap this week seeing as it was the season finale and all. 

But first, Project Runway. I was very, very skeptical of the Saturn-sponsored challenge (lame!), but it actually turned out to be pretty cool. I'm kind of amazed at what they were able to do with a bunch of car upholstery and seatbelts. 
Leanne won! Do I know anyone who would actually want to wear those things on their hips? No. But, I was still happy for her, even though I was rooting for Korto...
Her seatbelt coat was awesome. 

As happy as I was for Leanne, I was way happier to see Keith go home. 

I mean, good job not doing fringe for once, dude, but your model looks like she stepped out of a Gap ad circa 1981 (Do you like it when I pretend I have any idea what decade a look is from?). It's like she put on a terry cloth tank top with her work skirt and then sat for 4 hours. Not exactly glamorous. But even if his design hadn't been the worst, Keith would have had to go home for treating his model like such shit. And to think he was originally positioned as the modest Mormon.

Alright, onto Shear Genius. Charlie didn't win! I wish he'd been more literal with the final challenge and not just used it as an excuse to do period hair ("She's a movie star and it's the way she would have worn it in the movie, which was set in the 40's" - right). I mean, he does it well, but that just wasn't the challenge. So Dee won it...even though one of her models looked like this:

Alright, I guess that's fine. I was surprised, at least, even if I wasn't really excited about it. And so it was sort of a ho-hum end to an overall ho-hum season. 

Btw, is anyone else watching "I Want to Work for Diddy" on VH-1? OMG, I am in love with that show for no other reason than that his ego is so ridiculously humungous and the contestants are so obviously desperate to be near him. It's like The Apprentice except rather than becoming an executive who probably has little contact with the megalomaniac, you'll be groveling at his feet on a daily basis. What a prize. 

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Card Can Only Say So Much

I had to go birthday card shopping for the was painful, but I needed to put his concert tickets in something. The stupid Card Superstore got my hopes up with a section that claimed to be for "Teen Birthday." However, this section turned out to include a lot of "ur awesome" and "you rock!" Which is totally what every teenager wants to hear from his parents.

I needed a card that said something along the lines of: 
Even though the only thing you are committed to is screwing up your life...even though you lack ambition and integrity...even though you make our lives hell on a regular basis...
We still love you and we'll be here to pick up the pieces.
Happy birthday!

Or, at least something like:
Hooray, you're 17! 
Only one more year until you can do the fun stuff. 

Hang on, I think I hear Hallmark calling... 

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

You've Got Your Big G's...

So imagine that you climb into your minivan and are looking for your sunglasses (hoping you didn't just sit on them), and you look down and see...a pipe sticking out from under your seat. You know, the kind Weezer sings about. It seems it must have fallen out of a certain someone's pocket and has been riding around with you and your kids for who-knows-how-long. 

I share this story only because if you take away the exhausting reality of having to be the parent of said someone, it's kind of funny...I mean, soccer mom meth abuse aside, shouldn't drug paraphernalia spontaneously combust upon contact with minivans? It's probably been riding around in there for a week or more, making trips with me to the bank, the grocery store...hell, maybe it was even in there when we got pulled over for going 32 in a 25 on a Wisconsin country rode a few weeks back...oh wait, we're entering into not so funny territory again. 

Fu@#ing teenagers.

Monday, August 25, 2008

La La Land

I am back from the Golden State and operating on roughly 3 hours of sleep. Here's a tip on how to make flying the red-eye back from LA even less enjoyable: sunburn your back. Like, really fry it, so the skin actually seems to be attempting to jump off your body, trying to disassociate itself with you and your stupidity.

Yes, well anyway, given my surly, blurry, swirly state-of-mind, perhaps I should keep this short. LA was sunny. I watched an embarrassing amount of television, but at least a large percentage of it was the Olympics...that's my patriotic duty, right? I spent the whole trip hanging out with one of my oldest and dearest friends, who was nice enough to let me crash on her couch for three nights. (Incidentally, I am now declaring myself too old to crash on anyone's couch for more than one night.) 

We went to a beautiful beach, where we had the misfortune to witness a girl break her nose on her surfboard, stagger back to the shore and then throw herself at the mercy of the barely-trained lifeguard team...seriously, the poor girl could have dragged herself up the cliff and walked to the hospital in less time than it took the EMTs to arrive. I blame this lengthy distraction for my sunburn. 

I also ate cupcakes...6 of them in all. I fell in love with Big Sugar Bakeshop.
Their icebox cupcake should actually be called the Closest You're Gonna Get to Heaven cupcake. There's filling, you see, and that filling is like eating happiness. 

BFF + sunshine + cupcakes = good trip. But next time there will be no red-eye. 

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Reality Wrap-Up and Bon Voyage (to me)

Another Wednesday night has come and gone and our lives have again been enriched by Bravo. 

The Project Runway challenge was to design an outfit for a drag queen...something theatrical, that expresses the queen's persona. And the winner is...

NOT Terri's "geisha on acid." Even though it was by far the most theatrical and dramatic of the bunch. No, the winner was Joe with this bubblegum sailor number:

I like Joe. I think he did a great job. I just don't think he should have won. Terri got robbed and, judging by the daggers being shot from her eyes, she knew it. 

Then there's Keith, who was understandably distraught at learning that he didn't get eliminated since he has clearly exhausted his design repertoire after just six episodes -- that is, if you can call making fringe a repertoire.

I can't really argue that Daniel (Mr. "impeccable taste") didn't deserve to go home, but I just think Keith deserved it more this week. Yes, the flamenco cocktail dress was ugly and missed the entire theatrical aspect of the challenge, but at least it looked like clothing.

Btw, I'm starting to think Korto and Joe might emerge as frontrunners this season, but it's too soon to tell. 

Which brings us to Shear Genius...I thought the twin challenge was pretty fun, but Nicole's ultra obvious decision to make one of the blondes a brunette was lame and the fact that they rewarded it by giving her a place in the final three was really lame. 

As for the elimination challenge...I didn't think anyone did anything very interesting, but I definitely thought Dee deserved to be eliminated based on how much everyone (especially the photographer) hated her model's hair. But we all knew she'd make it to the end, so I wasn't surprised. Still, Charlie is totally gonna take this thing. 

We'll miss you, Daniel. If I'm ever in Dallas and decide to try out the big hair look, you are my man. 

Side note: Mama is taking a vacation! I leave for LA late, late tonight and come back early, early Monday morning. That's what happens when you use a "free" plane ticket. I don't expect to do much (or any) blogging while I'm gone, so I will rejoin you all next week. 

Happy birthday weekends to BFF Rachel and sister-in-law Toni!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Not a Moment Too Soon

We are officially entering the school countdown. Two weeks from today, my little boys will have their first day of kindergarten! 

Even though I just started falling in love with having nowhere to be in the morning, I suspect the start of school is really for the best. We've become a little bit too fond of the Game Show Network. Today my kids watched Match Game 74 (for the first time, I swear) and actually recognized Richard Dawson as the host of "old Family Feud." 

Later, Aidan observed that "it must have taken him many, many years to be the host of Family Feud" because he was so much older in the episode we were watching. 

Don't judge, I'm raising trivia wizards.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Today began with an ultrasound of my gall bladder. After telling the technician that the only other time I'd had an ultrasound was when I was pregnant, she said, "It will be just like that...only not fun." (I think she might have missed her calling in marketing.)

How did we get here? Well, it seems that upper abdominal pain + deep middle back pain + right shoulder pain = gall bladder trouble. I was actually thrilled to learn that all three pains might actually be coming from the same, it's an organ that I don't really need anyway. 

Ok, but backing up, I should note here that my doctor visit yesterday turned out not to be a physical because apparently a woman's annual visit to the OB/GYN is considered a "physical" and therefore another physical -- one with a family practice doctor -- is not covered under insurance. Guess I should have thought to ask my OB/GYN about my shoulder...can't imagine why I didn't. 

Back to the I said, I'm encouraged by the prospect of locating the source of this pain and maybe actually making it stop for good, so I was in pretty good spirits as I entered the radiology department. However, once I was laying on the exam table with jelly on my gut, it occurred to me that whenever they look inside you, there's always a chance they might find something unexpected. Something worse than a faulty gall bladder. 

As these thoughts filled my mind, I tried to read the technician's face...Why is she squinting? Why is she staring so long at that particular gray blob? Does she always make people turn on their side or is my ailment stretching unusually far down the side of my torso?

It would appear, however, that they either train the ultrasound technicians to give nothing away or they stop just short of teaching them to actually interpret the images so they can't actually tell what's going on. Either way, I am left without any information for another few days.

Here's hoping it's just my useless old gall bladder. 

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Let's Get Physical

Nothing makes me hungrier than being told not to eat...beginning in 8 minutes, I have to fast for 12 hours so they can check my cholesterol and blood sugar at my physical tomorrow. 

That's right, I finally scheduled a physical. I love health insurance! I am bringing my laundry list of maladies. I plan to throw it all at the unsuspecting doctor and see what sticks...but I'm hoping none of it requires any additional prescriptions because honestly, I am at my limit with remembering to take pills. In addition to the pill (you know the one), I am now forced to take antibiotics THREE TIMES A DAY for THREE WEEKS to see if I can clear up my sinuses without needing additional surgery, plus my allergy medicine, plus nasal spray...I think I might have turned 80 without realizing it. 

So think of me tomorrow while you're enjoying your morning latte and eggs (or whatever). I will be crabby and hungry and probably being told, "I'll have to order some further tests." 

Wait, why am I doing this again?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Girl Popsicles

"Can we get a girl popsicle? I want a girl popsicle!" Owen exclaimed at the zoo today. I thought it was so funny that I let them both get one. But is that not the freakiest looking popsicle you've ever seen? (Bonus: It turned their lips a becoming shade of black for the rest of the day.)

Peace and Progress

I've been asked quite often lately for updates on the teenager, so I figured maybe it was time for a post on the subject. 

The angsty young man has been back under our roof for 20 days and we have had precisely zero arguments. Zero. I hesitate to call it a miracle (although that's what it feels like)'s actually the product of a conscious shift in perspective and approach on our part. The teenager, I think, is still reeling from the contrast...unsure whether it will last but not wanting to question it. 

That is to say that things are good at home. Peaceful, even. Three months ago, I really didn't think this was possible. I had resigned myself to suffering through his last two years of high school focused solely on survival...waiting for it to be over. A horrible way to spend a day, let alone two years. 

Has the teenager become a model citizen who awakes each morning ready to go out and do his part in the world? No. Is that what anyone was expecting? I don't think so. But he's doing better. 

The more we've let go without giving in, the more we've seen him step up in small ways. The less we do for him, the more he has to do for himself and, for once, he isn't resentful of that. It's progress...and for that, I am grateful.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Half the Wrap-Up

I know you guys eagerly anticipate my Thursday recaps of Project Runway and Shear Genius every week (I'm quite sure that "breathless" best describes your anticipation), so I am sorry to disappoint today by excluding Shear Genius from my recap. 

I seem to be unable to stay awake past 10 p.m. this week (perhaps it's the 450 mg of antibiotics my doctor is making me take for my sinuses?) and last night I started nodding off at the end of Project Runway, requiring me to stop and rewind just to make sure I saw who won and lost. Tragic. 

I thought it was a decent challenge although the team thing is so obviously just done to produce drama. I didn't really understand the Lipstick Jungle tie-in...Brooke Shields seems lovely, but wouldn't it be more fun if they designed clothes for people on other Bravo shows? Like, maybe they could redesign Zoila's (Flipping Out) maid uniform or make Jeff Lewis a suit. 

So anyway, Keith and Kenley won with this:
It was cute, but I thought Jerell and Stella's creation had more of Brooke Shields/Lipstick Jungle vibe: 

However, I think most of us would agree that Kelli and Daniel were the clear losers (you gotta see it without the jacket). 
I'm not saying I could do better, but you don't see me trying out for Project Runway, either. The only outfit close to as bad as that one was Blayne and Leanne (the oddest couple ever), who somehow thought they could make Bermuda shorts look like both work attire and club attire...even though they are never either of those things. 

I have to say, I think I'm over the celebrity guest appearance thing on this show...I mean, unless they were designing for Courtney Love (I know, it's always Courtney) or Marilyn Manson (or BOTH!), I feel like most celebrities just want to wear what's in fashion and I think the regular judges have a handle on what's in and what's out...

Do any of you have favorite designers so far? I'm finally starting to be able to remember who is who, but I haven't found myself rooting for anyone in particular yet. Although I think it would be awesome if himbo Blayne suddenly busted out some fabulously innovative creation that blew everyone away...something that wasn't neon.  We shall see. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Key to the Merry-Go-Round is the Merry

I know what you’re thinking: At which gourmet bakery did you purchase that stunning piece of pastry perfection? Well, more on that in a moment, first a trip down memory lane…

Growing up, we had this restaurant called the Lincoln Dell. It was a Jewish deli/family diner/lounge. They had the best Matzo ball soup (and scary paintings of clowns hanging in the dining area). But they also made cakes. They had fake cakes on display behind the deli counter, which I longingly admired on every visit.

I coveted one in particular: the carousel cake. It was really just a standard round cake, sure, but on top was an entire plastic merry-go-round! In my preschool mind, it was heaven. Oh, how I wanted that cake. Finally, when I was maybe 5, my mom let me get it for my birthday. I’m sure it tasted…like cake. Although I’m pretty sure my mom had those plastic animals rolling around in the kitchen drawers for years to follow…maybe she thought she’d fine another use for them.

So yesterday – in a fit of boredom-inspired genius – I handed the boys two kid-friendly cookbooks and told them to each pick out a recipe. Aidan picked a simple “rainbow float” that consisted of sherbet, fruit punch and Sprite. Easy enough. But imagine my delight when Owen chose the Merry-Go-Round Cake!

This morning, after gathering our ingredients (he chose lemon cake with lemon frosting), we donned our aprons and set out to make dreams come true. The boys worked very hard decorating those animal crackers with icing. (A step I would recommend skipping - apparently this cookbook came before frosted animal crackers were available at the store.) And as you can see, I worked very hard on that canopy. Whew! Considering all we had to work from was a sketch, I think we did an excellent job.

But please, hold your cake orders. I don’t think I’ll be repeating this feat of cake genius anytime soon. I’m still trying to get the frosting out of my hair.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What I'd Do

If you ever look at my Blog List (to the left there), you might have checked out the site 37 Days. (wonderful site - especially if you like to be inspired and cry a lot) The author, Patti Digh, has challenged her readers to send her essays or art pieces that answer the question "What would I be doing today if I only had 37 days to live?" 

True to my anxious, overthinking self, I have seriously been agonizing over this question for weeks now. At first I just thought it would be nice to write a little essay and submit it in the spirit of doing some personal writing. But now it's gotten to that really deep level of actually wondering what I would do and which of those things I could do now, while I think I still have a lot more than 37 days. I can't seem to put anything down on paper. Maybe the hardest part of answering is that none of it feels very original...

I'd cry, of course.
I'd eat a lot of dessert (more than usual).
I'd hold my kids until they couldn't stand it anymore. 
I'd write down everything I could ever want to say to them (this includes the teenager, who would get his very own notebook of thoughts).
I'd kiss my husband more. 
I'd take my family to Ireland because I want to experience it with them.
I'd fly to Hawaii because I want to go before I die.
I'd stop doing things I don't want to do.
I'd buy a fancy, poofy dress and wear it around with crazy, impractical shoes.
I'd spend time with all of my friends - as much as I could - and I'd tell each of them what they mean to me. (even though it would push the limits of my emotionally-closed being)

These things seem obvious to me. But I guess the point of the exercise isn't to come up with that perfectly eloquent, inspirational nugget...the point is to start doing the things on the list before you really do only have 37 days. 

Guess that means it's time to plan that fancy ice cream party...and I better get writing...oh, and if you happen to be one of my close friends and I seem unusually emotional the next time we meet, just bear with me...sometimes all that stuff that goes without saying needs to be said.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Cut Up the Cards

So I already hate credit cards, but today I'm directing my disdain specifically toward Citibank. 

Almost two weeks ago, we made a big (embarrassingly big) payment to Citibank, with the intention of just about paying off the balance (woohoo!). For various reasons that I won't get into, we had to mail the payment rather than using the standard online payment method. So I mailed it, I waited a week (because somehow everything takes at least a week)...nothing. 

So rather than risk getting a late fee and whatever crazy APR increase they would throw at me, I went ahead and paid the minimum due online when the due date came. The day after the due date, I checked the account and found that Citibank had just been sitting on my payment for 4 days. So rather than post the payment to my account when they received it, they waited until the end of the day on my due date and then post-dated it. So that second payment - the one that was supposed to pay for our groceries - was unnecessary. Awesome. But hey, at least the card was paid off, right?

Well, that was all last week. This Saturday, we needed to buy concert tickets. Turns out one of the teenager's favorite bands happens to be coming to town on his birthday. (How much easier does gift giving get?) Tickets went on sale at 10 a.m. The boys have T-ball from 9-10ish a.m. on Saturdays. Good thing the husband just got his fancy iPhone. The future is NOW! He can buy tickets while sitting at the T-ball field!

Alright, so mobile interfaces tend not to be great and pretty much everything with Ticketmaster tends to completely suck, but we were still in good shape because I have an account with Ticketmaster, which includes saved mailing and payment info. Yes, it was the recently paid off credit card, but I figured we could just send them the money for the tickets. So the husband gets on the site, he gets floor seats to this stadium show, he zips through the checkout screens using all my stored account info and then BAM - "The credit card you entered is not valid." WTF?! Despite attempting to enter his check card info as quickly as possible, we missed our time window and Ticketmaster gave our floor seats to some other lucky soul. The good news is, the seats we ended up getting are still good, but not floor good. 

I called Citibank and was informed that because I made an "unusually large payment" AND made two payments in the same week, there was a temporary hold on my account. The payments were posted last is Monday. Okay, I said, I guess maybe I can understand if you want to hold the big payment (although I know it already cleared), but I also made the minimum payment through the online payment system. It's cleared. The account is in good standing regardless of whether the mega-payment has cleared. 

"Ma'am, I'm sorry for the inconvenience. It's standard procedure. It could take 7-10 business days for the hold to be removed." I was not aware that paying off my card was considered "high risk" activity.

Yes, I pointed out the way they punish their customers for paying off their balances. Yes, I even told her that they cost us our floor seats. And yes, I knew it was all a waste of breath, but I had to say something. Even more aggravating is that I know I came off as a crazy woman desperate to use her credit card, when in fact I don't even want to use the credit card now...I wanted to use it Saturday. And I'm willing to bet that if I hadn't made any payments, they would have been happy to let me keep using it, to incur late fees and over the limit fees and anything else they can think of. 

So, Citibank, I officially hate you. I will find another option for emergencies and be free from your oppression. I realize I'm just a drop in your greedy bucket, but I'm one less drop than you had before.

And you owe me two floor seats for Rage Against the Machine. 

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Reality Wrap-Up

I didn't want to distract from my Blizzard plea earlier today by blathering on about reality TV, but Thursday wouldn't really be complete without some kind of Wonderful Wednesday wrap-up, right?

Project Runway...what's up with the athletic-themed challenges? Yes, the Olympics are far superior to designing a wrestling outfit (as they did last season), but unless you are one of the two viewers that enjoy the nuances of lycra, it's really not that entertaining. 

Jennifer deserved to go home. I'd like to give her the benefit of the doubt and just assume she didn't understand the challenge, but I don't think that outfit would have been cute for any occasion...well, maybe her parents' 50th anniversary brunch...maybe.

Jerrell appeared to be designing for some sort of postcard drawing of cruise ship passengers during the 40's (was it 40's style? I have no idea.) Sort of cute in a totally inappropriate-for-the-challenge way. 

Ok, so Korto won with this: 

But if we're being honest, Joe totally should have won. His was the only outfit that actually looked like something an Olympic athlete would wear to the opening ceremonies. But again, it was obviously too wearable to win. 

Which brings us to Shear Genius. Bad challenges all around. Perhaps having the naturalist guy who uses honey and flour and caramel in people's hair would have been awesome if he'd been allowed to give a short tutorial on how he uses these natural items as substitutes for manmade beauty products. Perhaps we all could have learned some natural alternatives and helped the environment a little...instead, we learned that when used incorrectly, they make your hair look like shit. Great job, Bravo!

What can I say about the dog thing...Stupid? Pointless? Didn't even make good TV? Have they actually run out of challenges that involve skills that hair stylists should possess? Do they have any actual hair experts on the staff of the show? Whatever. I'm just glad Nekisa finally got sent home. Thank you, Waffles. 

Eat Ice Cream for Kids

Today is DQ Miracle Treat Day! It's an excuse to eat a Blizzard and feel good about it.

My boys would not be here without the fantastic doctors and nurses at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis*. That's not flowery sentiment, that's reality. And even with everything we went through, I am still thankful that our boys were just small

There are children battling cancer and other life-threatening illnesses right now. They are lying in hospital beds when they should be out enjoying summer vacation. Children's hospitals not only help these kids get better, they make the whole process seem a lot less scary (for both kids and parents). They really do perform miracles. 

So go out and buy a Blizzard today (yes, it has to be a Blizzard) in support of the Children's Miracle Network and children's hospitals around the country. Bring friends. Have one with lunch and dinner. It's fun and it can be your good deed for the day. 

*Please note that our beloved Children's Hospital in Minneapolis is not part of the Miracle Network. However, the other children's hospitals deserve your support, too. Feel free to support Minneapolis Children's Hospital with your own donations.  

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Bon-Bons Aren't So Sweet

Moms who stay home while their kids are in school all day and still manage to lead happy, productive lives should really be commended.

Today was my third day of camp-induced freedom and I seriously didn't know what to do with myself. I mean, when you clear out the Tivo by 10 a.m., you know you're in for a long day. I'm not complaining, mind you. It was a special treat to actually be able to do nothing if I wanted, but I guess I just didn't want...

I also didn't want to clean or do laundry or do any other household chore. I read a book. (I've gotten a lot of reading done this week.) I read blogs and obsessively checked my email. I even went grocery shopping. 

Then I realized that what I should be doing is, the fun kind of writing, the kind that eventually turns into that book you've been meaning to write. But I didn't really want to do that, either, which made me feel guilty, which led me to the freezer, where I tried yet another flavor of Archer Farms fancy ice cream: Honey Cashew Crunch. The honey ice cream by itself is an acquired taste, but when you combine it with the cashews - yum. 

So then I started fantasizing about hosting an ice cream and wine party in which I would get like 8 crazy flavors of ice cream and then ask a smart wine person (like the one who works at my local wine shop) to pair wine with each one...I could just see me serving pretty little trays with tiny scoops of ice cream (I'd use my melon baller, natch) and then cute little samplings of matching wines. It’d be like the fanciest party I’ve ever thrown…in fact, I think the guests should come in formal attire.

So you see, this is what happens when left to my own devices. Although I should tell you that once I finished the ice cream I dusted the bookshelf for good measure. I am totally going to have to get another actual leave-the-house jobby job when my boys start first grade. Damn.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Chop, Chop



Change is good. Go ahead and make some.

Big Kids

We all survived the first day of camp. The school bus pulled up and on they big 5-year-olds. (sniff, sniff) 

I suppose I can rest easy knowing I've now survived the equivalent of our first day of kindergarten moment -- only my kids actually won't be riding the bus to kindergarten, so if I'm going to get teary-eyed it will have to be when I wave goodbye to them in their little classroom. 

It's funny because I never would have thought I'd get weepy about these things...then again, I used to be able to watch ER without sobbing. Stupid hormones. But it's not that I'm sad that they are going off and doing things independently, it's like I'm so amazed and simultaneously freaked out by it that it makes me emotional. 

I know all of you with older kids can relate, but it's just so weird to think that my tiny babies are off doing things without me all day. Before I had kids, a 5 year old would have seemed so it feels like 5 is so grown college is right around the corner. 

I hate to say it, but I kind of sympathize with those helicopter parents - it's hard to let your kids not need you. But don't get me wrong, if any of you see me turning into one of them, I fully expect you to smack me upside the head. That's an order.

**Unrelated note: I am saying goodbye to my long, long hair today. Chop, chop , chop. More on that later...maybe.**

Sunday, August 3, 2008


My tiny boys are going to camp tomorrow...on a bus. And they are staying for the whole day. 

A chipper camp counselor called this evening and asked to speak to Owen. "You want to talk to him?" I asked in disbelief. "Yep!" she persisted. "Um, okay."

So I put him on the phone and he actually held a conversation for approximately 30 seconds before saying, "Okay! Bye!" and handing the phone back to me. Aidan wondered why she didn't ask to speak to him...turns out they got put in separate camp groups. I am nervous. 

I have to pack them lunches. And bug spray. And sunscreen. And swimsuits. I keep wondering if there's been a mix-up...if these crazy camp people think my tiny boys are actually big boys...big boys who know how to put on bug spray and sunscreen and swimsuits all by themselves. I am nervous. 

I am resisting the urge to write my cell phone number down their arms in permanent marker. They have gone to plenty of half day classes. They have always been fine. I have always been fine. But now they are going away on a bus, with big kids, with strangers, from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m., like it's their job or something. And I am nervous. 

I'm the one that signed them up for this. I want them to go and have fun. I want them to love camp. When they are bigger, I want to send them to camp for a week. But tonight, I am nervous. Because it's big and new and out of my control. I'm being irrational, yes. But love isn't always fact, usually it seems like it's not. 

Friday, August 1, 2008

I'm Not an Addict

It's happening again...I can't get it off my mind...I keep finding myself trying to work out ways to afford more of it...

Yes, friends, my Vegas fever is officially back.

You'd think two trips in one year (within two months of each other, no less) would have quenched my thirst for sin and least until winter, right? After my last trip I went so far as to swear off Vegas until 2010. Not because I don't love it, just because it seemed like the responsible thing to do...

Screw responsibility. I'm (at least mostly) responsible in all the other parts of life...let me have my Vegas obsession. 

The Food Network is to blame. I was doing fine until they brought the contestants on The Next Food Network Star to Sin City. As soon as I saw the Planet Hollywood casino floor, my obsession (which had been sleeping peacefully since May) was awoken.

Next thing I knew I was visiting the travel sites, checking airfare rates and generally daydreaming about living a life in which I could jet off to Vegas at a moment's notice. Incidentally, the last week of August appears to be an especially cheap time to visit Vegas.

But there is hope. As proof that the universe wants me to be happy, it turns out my husband is scheduled to be in Vegas for work in October! If I tag along, that's only one airfare to worry about -- plus the requisite food and gambling budget, of course. That means I've only got 2+ months to go...I think I'll make it.