Monday, July 31, 2006

Goodbye House, We Hardly Knew Ye

I wish I could sleep, but I am completely alone in the house right now. Herr left Sunday morning with the dogs to go back to New Jersey. The movers called on Friday to say that are coming a day early--WTF?!?! I had mentally prepared myself to leave this house the minute the movers load the last box on Wednesday afternoon--not Tuesday afternoon! As a result, I had to take the girls today to my MIL's house a day early so that they won't be around when the movers are here. And while I know that one day really doesn't make much difference in terms of things I have to do, I feel like my throat is closing anxious.

So after the last box is loaded onto the semi on Tuesday afternoon, I will leave this house, get the girls and leave Cincinnati for good.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Tying Up Loose Ends

I've spent the entire summer feeding the family what was left of the food in our garage freezer. We now just have a few odd things left in our kitchen freezer. Progress!! I hate to waste things, but what's a girl to do when the moving truck is coming in four days, and there are still three Healthy Choice Meals, two tilapia fillets, a box of Garden Burgers, two packages of hot dog/hamburger buns, a half bag of chicken breasts, a bag of tortellini and 4 Pedialyte Popsicles? Why have a "Leftover Cookout" and invite your friends! We are cleaning out the fridge and freezer tomorrow and sharing our bounty with our friends. You're all invited. Everyone leaves with their choice of condiments from the refrigerator. We'll also try to finish up the liquor from our vow renewal SIX YEARS AGO that we have moved three times. I'm planning a drink contest. The most creative use of Pimm's, Harvey's Bristol Cream and Triple Sec wins! See you there!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2006 05:24:12 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Misfit Hausfrau"
Subject: RE: hughesnet

When I call to set up phone service today I am going to find out about dsl availability and get it hooked up for the brandie new Mac Laptop I am sure you are going to buy us in the next week or so for a housewarming present...


P.S. I ordered a new "gadget" for when you come home next weekend, and it isn't something I will wear...

I miss you.

Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2006 05:34:32 -0700 (PDT)
To: "Misfit Hausfrau"
Subject: RE: hughesnet

Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2006 05:49:19 -0700 (PDT)
To: "Herr Hausfrau"
Subject: RE: hughesnet

What--the laptop you are buying or the gadget?
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2006 05:52:45 -0700 (PDT)
To: "Misfit Hausfrau"
Subject: RE: hughesnet

Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2006 06:10:10 -0700 (PDT)
To: "Herr Hausfrau"
Subject: RE: hughesnet

Just so you know, I will wait until you get home to open up the package. I need to get some batteries for it though...
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2006 06:12:19 -0700 (PDT)
To: "Misfit Hausfrau"
Subject: RE: hughesnet

I think we should probably stop talking about this on my work email...
I am wondering if he will take back my brandie new laptop when he discovers Friday that I bought him this.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Life Without Herr

We are in week #2 of being Herr-less. He met up with us in Maine last weekend and we went our separate ways last Monday. While I am talking to him daily, I really miss him and can't wait until he comes home this weekend. I am a little jealous that this was my annual girlie weekend and couldn't go AND Herr visited one of our friends in Hoboken without me. For the most part, the girls have been fairly well-behaved. It helps that my mother-in-law took Peaches on Friday and then gave her back to me on Sunday and took Baby Girl. We will meet tomorrow afternoon, whereupon I will have both of them back together.

While Peaches was away, I took Baby Girl to a Fireman's Parade and Festival in Sharonville, OH. The website wasn't kidding when it said that the parade is the loudest in Southwest Ohio. Based on our ears splitting open and my daughter quivering in fear, I think it may be the loudest parade on earth. While I was able to comfort her during the noisy sirens of more than 50 emergency vehicles from around the tri-state area, she was on her own when the circus clowns and the Shriners came out. While I know that the Shriners can't really hurt me in their cars, I remember all too well a certain 4th of July parade when I was about 4 or 5 in which a Shriner put his sword to my neck as a joke. I promptly peed my pants. And clowns? Don't even get me started. As a result, I had my back turned during that portion of the parade. I am sure the friends I was with thought I was strange to have my back turned, but I was much too embarrassed to share my fears. After we saw the parade, we stayed at the festival for awhile and allowed our kids to ride old rickety rides. Baby Girl had a blast, as she does whenever we send her out in public to be with "her people."

On Saturday evening, I took Baby Girl to King's Island, specifically, the Nickelodeon Universe portion of the park. Despite a storm that blew through an hour before I got there, the place was PACKED. We spent 2 1/2 hours waiting in line to go on 5 rides. Waiting in line is worse than any punishment a 3 1/2 year old has to endure. If we ever get family passes to anywhere near our new home (like Hersey Park), I will wait until the girls are older. On the plus side, we ate Graeters. Ice cream makes everything better. Especially when there's jimmies on the ice cream.

After meeting up with my MIL to trade girls, Peaches decided to show me how much she had missed me by SCREAMING the entire way back to Cincinnati from Greensburg, Indiana. That's an hour, people. After that she was cool. Good thing I left the earplugs in the car from the ride back from New Jersey. We decided to check out Winton Woods today with my friend Leeann and her two girls. What a blast. Across the street from the main park is a petting zoo/play area called Parky's Farm. While Peaches was too young to actually touch the animals, she had fun growling at them. After that, we went to the water playground. Peaches and Abby had an insanely good time running around in the water, shrieking and laughing. It's good to be a kid, huh?!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Does Anyone Have The Time?

Baby Girl: Mommy, I really miss my daddy. When will he be home?

Hausfrau: Honey, he's working in New Jersey and he isn't coming home this weekend, we'll see him in two weeks.

Baby Girl: TODAY???? We'll see him TODAY???

Hausfrau: No Honey, in two weeks.

Baby Girl: Peaches--Daddy's coming home in two minutes!!!!!

Peaches: Spppppppppppppplt. Baba.

Hausfrau: No Honey. Daddy is coming home next Friday, which is really more like 10 days so it really won't be that long.

Baby Girl: (Looking at her watch) Mommy, it is 6-3-7. Are we going to see Gramma today?

Hausfrau: We are seeing her on Friday.

Baby Girl: And we're seeing Daddy on Friday!!

Hausfrau: Actually, we will see Daddy NEXT Friday. That's two Fridays from now.

Baby Girl: What day is today?

Hausfrau: It's Wednesday.

Baby Girl: Wednesday, Thursday, FRIDAY! He's coming home in TWO DAYS!

Hausfrau: No, no Honey. He's coming home NEXT Friday, not this Friday.

Baby Girl: But I really want him to come home today.

Hausfrau: I know, Sweetie, but we have a lot of fun stuff planned over the next few days. Miss Leann is coming over tomorrow morning with Abby and Baby Ellie so we can have a playdate!

Baby Girl: TODAY??? They're coming today?

Hausfaru: No Honey, TOMORROW.

Baby Girl: No. They are coming TODAY!

Hausfrau: Sweetie, listen to Mommy. Miss Leeann is coming tomorrow morning after breakfast.

Baby Girl: I want breakfast now. Are we having waffles? I really want waffles. And sausage.

Hausfrau: Honey, it's dinnertime. We are having pasta and carrots.

Baby Girl: But I want breakfast.

Hausfrau: You can have breakfast tomorrow morning.

Baby Girl: May I please have my breakfast now?

Hausfrau: No, but you may have your dinner now.

Peaches: MmmmmmmMamamamama. Baba.

Baby Girl: Mommy, is Daddy coming home today?

Hausfrau: Yes. Yes he is.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Hausfrau's Family Vacation

The girls and I came back yesterday afternoon after a marathon 10 hour drive from central New Jersey. Unlike the last trip that I made with the girls alone, it went much more smoothly. First of all, I didn't take long stops to eat meals and let them run around. We only stopped to get gas and go to the bathroom. That alone shaved two hours. Also, I brought tons of food items that I could throw in the back of the car, none of which was fruit. No poopin allowed when Hausfrau is driving 620 miles in one day. The best thing I brought for the trip was for me. Foam ear plugs. Seriously. While I could still hear Peaches screaming, it took the edge off. Buy them on your next roadtrip. You'll thank me for it.

At any rate, we had a fabulous time on vacation. Herr and I drove separately out to New Jersey last Saturday. He was starting his new job on Monday. When we drove out, we each had a girl in our respective vehicles. THAT is the best way to travel. No fights, Peaches doesn't cry, and Baby Girl quietly watches movies the entire time. However, it's not the most practical way to travel (and quite wasteful if you aren't being reimbursed for milege on one of the cars).

We spent the weekend in New Jersey at our friends' house. On the way out to their house, we decided to stop by the new house in Bethlehem, PA so that Baby Girl could see what "her" new house is going to look like. I haven't discussed the new house purchasing ordeal on my blog for several reasons. First of all, it is boring to everyone. Secondly, part of me is still pretending that I am not actually leaving Ohio because I dread what a pain in the ass it will be. Thirdly, I hate the house we bought. HATE IT. It is everything I didn't want in a house, yet we now somehow will own it on August 4th. And it is all my fault. Basically, I gave up my fight to buy another house. It is embarrassing for me to admit that I have apparently lost all the fight in me. The house we bought was one that we laughed at and made fun of when we saw it. We nicknamed it, "The Groovy House." And it is. So.Very.Groovy. And not in the Austin Powers kind of way. It is a house that we will have to completely update, which we didn't want since we have two circus freaks for children. At this point I need to just accept what has happened and move on.

At any rate, we drove past the house and stopped. And I looked at it. And I looked at it. And I took off my sunglasses and looked at it again. Apparently we originally saw the house when the trees were shading it just right and we had our sunglasses on. Otherwise, we would have noticed the FIRST TIME that the house we are in the process of purchasing is PINK. A muted pink, yes, but pink all the same. Of course I went ballistic with Herr and he tried to calm me down by saying that maybe the "siding is dirty." That was so not the right answer. So now we currently have a topic that is off limits for the two of us to discuss. However, Baby Girl is THRILLED. Especially in light of a previous conversation.

I left on Monday with the girls to go to Maine for the week. We have friends who live north of Portland on Casco Bay and we try to get up there whenever we can. Our friends have five children, so my girls have constant playmates, which is awesome. Joe was out of town, so Jen and I spent the week getting ready for a party they were throwing on Saturday. We also spent time shopping for shoes, getting pedicures, eating lunch at Gritty's, and watching a marathon session of Project Runway. When it wasn't all about us, we took all the kids to the beach near their house, which is private and secluded. The girls had so much fun.

Herr drove up to Maine Friday night and we ate a huge dinner from Montgomery Inn. Herr ordered a dinner for four to be shipped to us so that he could spread the word about his favorite barbeque place in the world. Saturday was spent preparing for the party, which ended up being a fantastic time. There were about 60 adults and probably the same number of children at the party. They had a band, which couldn't have made Baby Girl more happy. She is all about dancing. So she did. A few parents came up and commented that she probably would have been a Dead Head had she been born 30 years earlier. She was quite the hippie vision in her bare feet and batik sundress.

On Sunday, Herr and I drove separately again back to New Jersey. Herr will be staying with our friends for the next three weeks until I come out there August 3. I miss him horribly, but I am grateful that he is back with his old company, doing what he likes to do. I will be spending the next few weeks tying up loose ends here in Ohio. And calling painters for estimates to paint the siding on a certain pink house.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Who Needs All Of Those Toys in the Basement, Anyway?

The past few weeks have been tough on the girls since we put our house on the market. We took probably 75% of their toys and books and put them in the basement in a ridiculous attempt to pretend that no one lives here. We no longer do painting projects in the mornings, for fear that a huge mess will be made. I no longer do much cooking with Baby Girl because she is a messier cook than I. I spend my days vacuuming, dusting, cleaning windows and stainless steel appliances.

I had been feeling so guilty for taking the toys away for the sake of keeping the house clean until today:

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Weekend Recap

Family Hausfrau has returned from a quick trip to see Busia. This was the last time Herr was going to be able to see Busia before he starts his job in New Jersey a week from today. Busia has a special place in her heart for Herr. Herr was the only first normal boy I ever brought home during college. Herr was a studious scientist type with really good social skills, as opposed to the other boys I had brought home over the years. While I would like to think that the boys I brought home were well-bred, charming and intelligent, my mother thought they were all shitheads. And she would make her feelings crystal clear while they were in her home. Months later she would gloat as to how she had "known all along" that yet another boy was all wrong for me after a relationship would end.

When Herr came along, I think my mother was truly surprised that someone like him would even WANT to date me, as I was, well, not very scholarly. I was, how should I put it... more of a social butterfly--yeah, that's it. Then I think she put the wheels in motion to make sure that SHE didn't scare him off. Ever. My mother is very good at that--scaring people off. Ask anyone in my family. They'll tell you. She has spent the past 15 years pulling out all the stops when he is around, reading up on the latest drugs that are going to market so that they can "discuss" them (WTF?!) She'll plan crazy ornate dinners to feed Herr, despite the fact that she is now much too sick to preapre them. As always, Herr is the perfect son-in-law during these visits and never complains.

The past few years have been rough for my mom. After my father died, she became extremely ill with a lung fungus. She had 2/3 of her right lung removed two days before Baby Girl was born. She has never recovered from the surgery and is in chronic pain. Coupled with the strokes she has had, several arythmias, and the crippling depression, she is a mess. Did I mention that she is also a heavy smoker and an even heavier drinker? A couple of months ago, she started to cough up blood again, like she did when she was first diagnosed with the lung fungus. After numerous tests, the doctors are still unable to diagnose her problem, although they have ruled out lung cancer and the lung fungus she previously had. The recent memory loss she has started to experience is very scary for my sister and me. We hate that she is alone, but she refuses to move in with either of us. I'm too bossy and my sister is too loud. Because of her drinking and her memory issues, we always know that a trip home will always be nothing short of amazing.

Today's parent spends a lot of time tiptoeing through other people's homes, making sure they are childproof enough for their kids. Going to see Grandparents can be an especially dicey ordeal. Whenever we go to Herr's mother's house, we can expect a clean home. We can expect her "Quilting Room" to be closed so that little hands can't grab pincushions or worse. We can expect that she will put away anything that she doesn't want her darling grandchildren to get into while they are there. We know that her medications are put away in her master bathroom, away from curious hands.

To be fair, my MIL lives in a 3 bedroom condo with lots of room for her stuff. Busia's apartment is less than 600 sq. feet. And she is a packrat. We always know that Busia's apartment will be smoky. We know that it will be filthy. Part of it is the smoke, part of it is the heating/air conditioning unit that has never been cleaned. I usually spend the first couple of hours of every visit cleaning. She simply isn't capable in her condition. It also doesn't help that she won't let me hire someone. We always know that there will be "paperwork" on the floor. My mother has a desk, but has always preferred to do her paperwork on the floor. She usually has trays of paperclips, rubber bands, scissors, a stapler and piles and piles of glorious paper strewn about the living room. Imagine our surprise yesterday when we walked into her apartment and saw this:
Busia had actually done a great job of putting her paperwork away. She had also taken steps to "childproof" her important boxes of papers by running two pieces of twine from the coffee table to the television. Nothing tells a child to "STAY AWAY" better than a couple of pieces of twine. Instad of paperwork, she was in the process of replanting her chives. She told the girls that it was OK to play in the green bag of dirt if they wanted to. Of course, Peaches immediately took a shine to the little pink container next to the dirt. It's amazing how a cannister of fertilizer sounds just like a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese when shaken. Do you see the cane Baby Girl is using? She decided she wanted to "be like Busia" and play with her adjustable cane and wear some of Busia's shoes. She also held her fingers up like she was smoking a cigarette, but I didn't want a record of that.

A little later, I was in the bathroom and decided to take Peaches into the bathroom with me so that I could keep an eye on her. Herr went out to the car to get the pack and play. We both came out to the living room at the same time and saw Baby Girl out on the deck with Busia. Busia was smoking a cigarette and Baby Girl was trying to catch the smoke clouds. When we asked her what she was doing, she said, "I'm catching bubbles." Embarrassed, Busia threw out the cigarette and invited Peaches to come out to the deck too. She had a bucket of water for them to play with. Every night we let the girls play in their own buckets of water after dinner. It is something they love to do. Later, I dumped the water in the sink and noticed it had a funny smell. When I asked Busia what the smell was, she told me it was vinegar water that she had used to do clean some sticky stuff off the deck.

All in all, it was a successful trip. The girls didn't get into Busia's medications, which they usually do. They didn't put the remote control into her coffee cup, which they have previously done. The girls were pretty well behaved and gave Busia a lot of love. Busia got to see her beloved son-in-law. I got to pay her bills--two months worth. They hadn't been paid since the last time I was there and paid bills. Busia also showed me her new outfit that is laid out on her bed. I asked her why she bought something She said that she would like to wear it to her funeral. Her concern right now is that by the time they figure out what is wrong with her, it will be too late. I told her that it was a bit "Stevie Nicks" for her, but whatever she wants to wear is fine for me.

A trip home to see Busia always involves a lot of breaks AWAY from Busia. Her threshold for being around people is at the most, three hours. She just gets so exhausted. It is not unreasonable for us to see her for maybe a total of 4 hours on a Saturday and 2 hours on a SUnday before heading home. Fortunately, it works out well because our threshold for monitoring our children like hawks in a tiny apartment where HUGE SHARP scissors are found next to the television by 17 month olds is three hours. That said, we usually have a lot of spare time on our hands. We found out that friends of ours who live here in Cincinnati were spending the weekend in 30 minutes away from us because one of them is from the area. It turns out that they had plans to go to Warren Dunes , which is just a few minutes from where I grew up and they invited us to meet them out there. We ended up having a fantastic afternoon with them. Maddie and Baby Girl are best friends, so they were so excited to play together at the beach. Peaches really took to the water, which was a real bummer as I was not dressed for the beach and I had to chase her around.

And no trip home would be complete for us without going to our absolute FAVORITE hamburger joint in the world, Redamak's . If you are ever in New Buffalo, Michigan, DO NOT LEAVE until you have had one of Redamak's Cheeseburgers with everything, chili cheese fries and a glass of Old Style. No Joke.

On Sunday, we spent the morning with Busia, but I could tell she was feeling worse than usual. Fortunately, we were able to spend a couple of hours with my friends Lorrie and Scott and their two kids Emily and Adam. I met Lorrie the first day of kindergarden and we have been friends ever since. She is all too familiar with my mother's shenanigans. It has been wonderful to sometimes stay with her when we come to visit. Emily and Adam are so wonderful with the girls. Baby Girl and Peaches are absolutely smitten with them. We went back to Busia's for 20 minutes before we headed home last night.

The trip home was uneventful with the exception of Peaches screaming for nearly two hours of the four hours in the car. Her screams make us absolutely miserable. I am wondering how I am going to get through our trip to New Jersey on Saturday and Sunday, then my trip to Maine with the girls ALONE next Monday. Then, I will drive with the girls BY MYSELF back to Cincinnati over the span of two days the following week. I have purchased some ear plugs and some headphones for Baby Girl's dvd player. Not sure what else I can do to drown her out.