Saturday, December 20, 2008
"Oh, Genna. Guess what? "Feliz Navidad" is the song that Japanese people sing to wish each other Merry Christmas!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Yesterday, Ella came up to me and said in a very proud sing-songy voice, "I made something for you."
I looked at what she handed me. It was pink and purple, with a little bit of blue.
"Aww, you made me a key. How cute. Is it a key to your heart?"
My daughter looked at me like I lost my mind.
"NO, MOMMY, it's a GUN!"
"Wha---WHAT?!? Um, why did you make me a gun?"
Ella rolled her eyes and said, "Mommy! So you can shoot it!"
"Ummm, what does it shoot?"
Ella pondered that for a minute. "Ohhhh, fireballs."
"Oh, ok. Would I hurt someone if I shot them with this gun?"
"Welllll. I guess you wouldn't if they ran fast."
And there you have it.
Monday, December 08, 2008
Fast forward, October, 2008. Corey kept bugging me until I ordered the Elf on the Shelf--all $34.95 of it. It is a flimsy little doll that weighs about 2 ounces and comes with a book and a keepsake box.
November 30, 2008--We announced to the children that we had an elf coming to visit us during the holiday season, and explained the whole
The first day was magical. All I had to do was look in the general direction of where the elf was sitting and say, "The elf..." and the girls would get all bug-eyed and straighten up. That day, there were no time-outs, no tantrums.
Day Two was a little more difficult. The elf is so lightweight and flimsy that he wouldn't stay seated in an upright position on our living room bookshelf. Every time someone walked past the bookshelf, he would fall over. The girls accused him of sleeping. We told the girls that he was really tired from flying to the North Pole and that he was new at this job. We would put him back in an upright position. Ella finally came up to me and told me that ,"Santa sent us a lazy elf." I couldn't agree more. There were also some tantrums and shenanigans that day. Reminding them that the elf was around would get them to stop briefly.
It has been a week since the elf started to grace the girls with his presence. While the first thing they do when they get up is look for him, the rest of the day he is ignored. They don't seem to care if the elf sees them fight, sass back, whine or tell me, "NO!" I have decided that the next time one of them is fresh with me, I will make sure he doesn't come back the next day, but there will be a note written in tiny elf-like handwriting, telling them that they are beasts. That should fix them.
I am waiting patiently for Christmas Eve to be over so that I can lock the elf back into his cute little keepsake box. I am creeped out by him and consider him to be a not-so-distant cousin of garden gnomes and clowns. They all frighten me. I am also tired of keeping track of all of the lies I am telling my children. I have a bad feeling that the Elf on a Shelf is going to be a painful memory that will be thrown back in my face during one of their many future therapy sessions.
Monday, December 01, 2008
Our view from the hot tub:
Genna's got Jazz Hands.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
With all of Ella's schoolwork, dance classes, dress-up play and tv watching, it is amazing that she has found the time to take part in another venture. Ella is teaming up with Hallmark to create a new line of personalized birthday cards. Here is her first one that is going out today to her friend Jordan:
Ella's talent for personalizing the card really comes through. It just doesn't get any more personal than confessing that you like your friend's hair. For the record, Jordan's hair IS to die for.
Speaking of birthdays, I am in the middle of birthday party angst over here. Our girls' birthday parties have always been casual get togethers with OUR friends and family. The girls' friends were the friends we made for them. Since we are new here and Ella is now starting to make friends on her own, I thought that maybe the party should be different now and maybe invite some of her new school friends. Ella doesn't know it yet, but we are having a birthday party for her on Saturday, December 6. I thought it would be fun if she had a tea party. I agonized over the invite list because she only talks about a couple of girls at school. I decided to invite all of the girls in her class (8) and then invite her friend from down the street and her little sister. I figured that only a couple of girls would show up since she doesn't appear to be friends with many of them. So far, all but one has RSVP'd yes.
Here's where I need help with birthday party etiquette: do kids open presents at parties when they are held at home? I have been to parties at Chuckie Cheese where presents were opened if it was a small party, not opened if it was a large party. I have been to parties at home, but I don't remember if the presents were opened or not. I could sure use some guidance in this arena.
Well, I am off to the dentist to pick up my retainer. That's right, you heard me. A retainer. Some people turn 40 and buy corvettes. Me? I get a freaking retainer because my teeth are shifting to the right side of my face.
Monday, November 10, 2008
"Mommy, how do you spell, 'Santa Claus?'"
I told her. A few minutes later, Ella asked, "Mommy, how do you spell, 'microphone?'"
I told her.
"What are you doing over there? I asked.
"Oh, I 'm making my list for Santa. How do you spell 'Barbie and the Diamond Castle Doll?'"
I told her. A few minutes after that, Ella asked, "Mommy, how do you spell, 'my own couch and tv in my room?'"
While I didn't spell that, "N-E-V-E-R," I did tell her that she would not be getting a couch and television in her bedroom.
"But Mommy, I have plenty of room, and it would be so nice to have a couch in my room. And a tv. So that I could watch whatever I want, when I want."
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
"Mommy, we got to vote for the 'lection today. I voted for John McCain."
"Did you hear that?" I asked Jennifer in a panic.
"Oh, yes I did. I think you need to take care of that." said Jennifer.
"I'll talk to you later." I said.
I asked Ella why she voted for John McCain. Of course, she had no idea. She's 5. I asked her what the teachers had said about the candidates. Ella replied that John McCain is the leader of our country. God help us if that happens today.
While I was momentarily devastated that my 5 year old didn't vote for Obama, I quickly remembered that she really shouldn't be worrying about this stuff anyway. I am not sure why the Tennessee schools thought it would be fun to hold mock elections, but I am thinking that the young kids probably didn't need to be a part of it.
I do hope my daughter, at some point, becomes interested in politics. Corey and I have vowed to encourage her to vote for the issues, not the party. Even though I am a registered Democrat, I tend to vote more conservatively when it comes to local government. Truth be told, had McCain gotten the nomination 8 years ago, I probably would have voted for him. I liked what he had to say then. It's a different world now.
Friday, October 31, 2008
At any rate, Genna is quite pleased with herself that she is learning, "big kid stuff" at school and frequently comes home and sings what she has learned. Occasionally, she combines songs and gets a little confused. This morning when she first woke up and climbed into bed us she sang the following to the combined tunes of BINGO, The Farmer in the Dell, and another song they sing to spell colors.
There was a farmer who had a pig, E-I-E-I-O
And the pig snorted
And he ate some mud
U-B-O spells PIG
Hi Ho the Dairy-o
And then the piggy pooped
It should be noted that at the end of nearly every song she sings, it ends in the main character pooping.
Happy Halloween Everyone!
Friday, October 24, 2008
Here is the news story. My neighbor Debbie is in the piece as well. She is an aide at the school who works with the little girl.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Next time I see him, I will wear a Depends, in addition to my heart on my sleeve.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
I'll nap later. For now, I will just enjoy being alive and basking in Terry Tateness.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Corey went away the following weekend for his annual golf weekend with his friends from home. The golf competition went to a whole new level this year with a trophy (found in the depths of the middle school where one of them works as a principal) and a blazer of questionable fabric from the Goodwill down the road. I went for the tackiest thing I could find because I never thought the jacket would ever make its way back into our home.
Monday, October 06, 2008
After creating a particularly challenging design, she asked me to cut it out for her since scissors are still awkward for her when it comes to a lot of turns. As I cut out her latest creation, she said," Mommy, you are SO excellent at cutting."
"Why thank you, Ella."
"You're welcome, Mommy. You have had a lot and a lot and a lot of practice. Do you know how I know?"
"How do you know?"
"Well, because you are really, really, really, really, really, really (she's now counting on her fingers) really, really, really, really OLD!"
Monday, September 29, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Have I told you lately how much I love you? How much I appreciate all that you do? Have I thanked you for not so much as raising an eyebrow when I told you of my plans to go off to some sort of tropical locale with my girlfriends in February? Did I even tell you that I am going away in February?
I think you are one of the smartest people I know. You are an amazing scientist who is part of something really big! I just know that you are going to help invent a drug to help people who suffer from Parkinson's Disease! The only person I know who is smarter than you is our friend Joe. He knows something about practically everything, so he beats you by a hair. I am hopeful that your smarty-pants genes were able to overcome my so-so genes when we reproduced so that our kids will have a fighting chance to be smart and get into good colleges.
I do have a question. Help me understand why you chose to clean up Ella's vomit with my shark this morning.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
At any rate, we had planned to come home for Labor Day weekend to see my mom since we are now a seven or eight hour drive as opposed to a 12+ hour journey. My mother was so excited because she hadn't seen her "babies" in 14 months and really want to hug on them. We left Friday evening, spent the night in Bloomington with my MIL, and then headed the remaining three hours to LaPorte the next morning. I called my mother once we were about 45 minutes from LaPorte to let her know we were close and that we would be coming by. I do this every time we come home so that I can ensure that she is awake and has time to clean up, get dressed and put her teeth in. When I got her on the phone and told her we would be there soon, this was her response:
"I'm sorry. I'm really not up to having visitors today. I took some pain medication a few days ago and now I am too sick to visit."
I counted to 100, and told Corey to head to our friends' house instead. I was fuming that she didn't tell me earlier in the week that she had taken pain medication. She reacts horribly to any and all pain medications when she takes them and it takes days for her to recover. Had I know that she had taken pain meds, we would not have come home. It just isn't worth it to drive 16 hours round trip for the girls to see her for two hours. That's another thing--when the girls are able to see Busia, they can only spend a couple of hours at a time with her because it tires her out. In addition, the girls are stressed out because we have to coach them before we get to her apartment:
No loud talking
Don't touch anything
Busia is sick
Don't hug her too hard
Don't step on her feet
Be careful when you climb up on the couch to sit next to her
Don't sit on her lap
Keep away from the sharp things in her apartment
Busia is sick
Busia is sick
Busia is sick
Genna is usually the first one to pipe up that she is ready to go home within minutes of getting to Busia's. It also doesn't help that after the hugs and kisses are over, my mother ignores them the rest of the time they are there. While I understand she can't get down on the floor with them to play, she could certainly color with them. But she doesn't.
So, we drove a total of 16 hours and the girls saw Busia on Sunday for two hours. The whole thing sucked. This trip is not unlike a previous trip we took a few years ago.
So now, I am going back. My mother is having an angioplasty next Wednesday. She was supposed to have it today but, surprise surprise, she is sick and they won't do it. I had planned on coming home for the weekend to help take care of her. Unfortunately, I can't come home next weekend, so I have decided to come home this weekend anyway to get her apartment cleaned and run her errands so she doesn't have to worry about that stuff when she returns home. I am hoping my sister can come home the following weekend to help, but I don't know if she can.
There are two reasons why this trip will be better.
#1 I am coming unannounced. It is always much more fun when I come home and don't tell my mother that I am coming. It always pisses her off, but her insults don't bother me.
#2 More importantly, one of my best friends is coming with me. I am picking up Lori in Kentucky and we will road trip together. We are staying at her sister's house, which will involve a lot of laughing, which is something I always need after a few hours with my mother. Lori doesn't know this yet, but I will take her over to see my mom, as she is one of the only friends I have that she adores. She's always nice to Lori.
It's gonna be fun...
Saturday, September 20, 2008
I waited for an hour, prayed I wouldn't run out before I got to the pump, got my gas, and went about my day. I told Corey about it later and was met with a look of disbelief.
This morning, we turned on the news and saw this. We drove to the farmers' market and saw that Costo was the only place that had gas. There were HUNDREDS of cars waiting for gas. According to the news reports we saw this morning, people all over Nashville had gotten up at 2:00AM thinking they could get some gas. They were met with enormous lines also.
Apparently this nonsense on Friday started with a rumor--a rumor that Nashville was going to run out of gas. People started to panic. Reactionary crazy people who didn't actually NEED gas created massive lines in order to top off their cars, causing undue inconvenience and suffering for those who actually need it. I am defining that any one who has less than a quarter of a tank needs gas. Many of the people in my neighborhood are on "E."
Unfortunately for Corey, he is nearly out of gas, so he is going to drive my car to work this week until things calm down. We're not going to drive to Paducah tomorrow so that we can save our gas. It stinks, but it is what it is. According to the news, everything should be back to normal by Tuesday or so.
Based on the reactions of the people around here, I pray that this never becomes a way of life. We will be in huge trouble if it does. We as a nation are clearly unprepared and unwilling to change our lives.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
I fucking hate you.
These are words that rarely pass my lips. It is a rare day that I ever say that I actually HATE someone. But I hate you.
I usually park behind you in the car lane at 3:05 and wait 20 minutes to pick up my daughter. Every day I sit behind you, and every day, I see you take your 10-ish month-old child out of his car seat and have him sit on your lap in the driver's seat. While you are smoking. For 20 or so minutes, I see you smoke 2-3 cigarettes while your child is on your lap, trying to grab the cigarette out of your hand that is lazily flicking ash (littering on school grounds) out the window. I thought there was a smoking ban in front of buildings?
The first time I saw you do this, I was certain that my eyes were playing tricks on me. There was no possible way that a mother would be blowing cigarette smoke on her child. I thought that maybe I had gone back in time and was back in 1972 when all of the dangers of smoking hadn't come out of the woodwork yet. Perhaps? No. I was here in 2008, watching you puff away and exhale on the back of your kid's head.
Why don't you just club your child and be done with it? Better yet, why don't you leave him on the side of the road like an unwanted pet? What's the difference? You are killing your child. Right Now. KILLING HIM. If you are so free and comfortable to do this in public, one can only imagine what you are doing to your kids in your home.
I realize that smoking is enjoyable to some, an addiction to others. Hell, you have no idea how much I enjoyed smoking. I loved it. Loved, loved LOVED it. But you know what? Even if I still smoked, I would never smoke in front of my kids. Not ever. Do you know why? BECAUSE IT HARMS THEM. I can't imagine playing any part in harming any child, much less my own.
Please know that you are not the first lady I have seen smoke in a car with her kids. Hardly. You are, however, the first asshole I have ever seen blowing smoke in the front seat of a car with a baby on her lap. I am pretty sure you are breaking some sort of law by smoking on school grounds. Don't you worry, I will be looking into that.
I truly hate you,
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Ella's typical lunch packed by me is either a cheese sandwich, a hummus sandwich or PB&J. She also gets baby carrots, a piece of fruit and a crunchy thing like pretzels or something sweeter. Unfortunately, Ella is, according to her, the ONLY kid in her class who brings her lunch. She wants to buy her lunch like everyone else because she is tired of cheese sandwiches and PB&J. As a compromise, I have been allowing her to buy her lunch one day a week, on a day she chooses. Last week, she chose Friday's lunch choice of cheeseburger on a whole wheat roll. She was practically bouncing off the walls Friday morning because she was so excited to be eating like everyone else. She also felt compelled to run down the street and tell our neighbors that she was getting to eat school lunch. The neighbors are getting used to her happy but odd outbursts and find them cute. I am sure they will no longer think they are so cute when she is 10.
When I picked Ella up from school on Friday afternoon, I asked her how her lunch was today. She said that lunch was "awesome." When I told her that I was glad she liked her cheeseburger, she said,
"Welllllllllllllllllllllllll, I ended up not having the cheeseburger. I gotted a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and itwassoyummybecausewedon'thavewhitebreadathomeandthis
White bread. You are the devil.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Hey--here's a picture of me at the Graduation party, just a few beers away from complete and utter humiliation. That's me on the far left. My friend, Tiana (the guest of honor) is right next to me.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
I had no idea that kindergarten orientation would be such an incredible opportunity to people watch. I walked in with a few minutes to spare before the teacher began her presentation. As I scoped out the room to find a seat (they were hard to find as they are chairs that are about 6 inches off the ground. I noticed the clique in the right hand corner or mothers and fathers who all knew each other. I was one of the few people who was without a spouse there. I found a chair, sat down and started to fill out the questionnaire the teacher had provided.
A minute into my paperwork, the door opened and a well-dressed woman came in with her Louis Vuitton bag. With a dog in it. As if she had forgotten that dogs weren't actually allowed in the classroom, she left the bag and the dog in the hallway for her children to play with. Because it MUST be OK to have a dog in the hallway of a school. To be played with. I was wondering if this was the same dog who showed up at Ella's dance class the night before. I.am.not.kidding.
Five minutes into the teacher's presentation, the door opened, and in walked a very harried woman. I am assuming she was harried because there was a lot of sighing and exhaling and such as she breezed in. She rushed around the room to find a seat, where she proceeded to sit down and start eating. Did I mention that she brought in a bowl of cereal? At 6:00 at night? The ceramic kind of bowl found in any kitchen in America? At a fucking KINDERGARTEN ORIENTATION?! Judging from the clanging of her spoon, and the crunching, the cereal was something special and just couldn't wait to be eaten.
And then there was THAT MOTHER. You know the kind. THAT MOTHER is the mother who has to always interrupt a speaker and inject their opinions, life stories or overall bullshit. All the teacher wanted to do was to give her presentation, say hi to the parents and get the hell home. But no, THAT MOTHER hijacked the presentation by peppering comments in places that didn't need peppering. She asked stupid questions, even though the teacher said there weren't any stupid questions. She lied--there were stupid questions, and THAT MOTHER asked them. She was also the person who literally jumped over the chairs and table to get to the teacher first after the presentation was over so that she could discuss how smart and special her child is.
Looking around the room and watching Mrs. Vuitton, the Cereal Eater, THAT MOTHER and the two women on opposite sides of the room having a duel to see who could snap their gum the most/fastest/loudest, I pretty much figured out that I will be searching elsewhere for new friends.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
"What's that Ella?"
"The girl baby's name is going to be Sparkle. The boy baby's name is going to be Handsome. Handsome Prince Hausfrau."
Friday, August 22, 2008
When I picked up Ella that afternoon, she was bursting with news and telling me everything that had happened in class that day. I thought then, that we would be alright.
Today is her second 1/2 day of kindergarten. Starting next week she will go everyday all day. My neighbor and I decided that we would have our kids ride the bus together. While Ella had already voiced some hesitancy to ride the bus, she immediately became excited when she found out that Aiden would sit with her.
Then the bus pulled up.
Aiden barely waited for the bus to come to a complete stop and open the door before he was on and in his seat. Ella started to immediately cry and say that she didn't want to ride the bus and that she was scared. Sure it was scary! It is big and yellow and LOUD! Nevertheless, I firmly pushed her up the stairs and she sat in the front seat next to Aiden with all of the moms cheering Ella on. She sat next to Aiden and stopped crying. The bus driver winked at me and mouthed, "It's OK." God knows he has seen this before. The bus pulled away and all of us mothers waved and blew kisses as they left. The other moms told me that it was OK to cry and that they had done so when their children rode the bus for the first time. I told them I was fine and walked back to the house.
And then I cried.
It wasn't the fact that I didn't want to let my baby go. I am perfectly fine having my children experience milestones in their lives. I cried because of the look of fear on Ella's face as the bus pulled away. I realized that this was one time that I couldn't comfort her and make it better FOR HER. I couldn't eliminate her fear. For the first time in her life, on bus #145, Ella was going to have to solve her own problem and figure it out on her own. That realization hit me like a ton of bricks. Ella is a big kid. She needs to start embracing that role and owning it.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
I found a site that takes your name and turns it into a name for a piece of IKEA furniture. It gave me minutes of amusement.
Consider this my gift to you. I'm a giver, what can I say? There is no need to thank me. By the way, my Swedish Furniture name is DAUNNANVIK and I am a three drawer chest. Let me know what your name is and what kind of furniture you are.
Saturday, August 09, 2008
The moving truck came on Sunday. We were disappointed that we had several items break. We've always had at least one minor thing break in a move--one has to expect that. However, it is clear that the driver was lazy and threw a lot of our stuff in the truck. As a result, our box springs, Genna's mattress, glass from our sliding door bookshelves, picture frames and several other smaller items will need to be replaced. We are looking at filing a claim for about $1000. The moving company will most assuredly fight us on it. Good times.
We spent the next three days unpacking boxes and trying to find a place for everything. The girls came back on Sunday evening, so they enjoyed the boxes for about an hour. Then they were over it and wanted us to entertain them. This move has been rough on them. Ella has been crying daily because she misses her friends Katie, Jade and Matthew. Genna cries right along with her. They get upset if I am in another room and they can't hear me. As a result, they are following me everywhere like a couple of lost dogs. They really dislike the fact that their bedrooms are on the second floor and ours is on the first. Genna kept sneaking into Ella's room and sleeping with her in the middle of the night, so we moved her bed into Ella's room. I'm pretty pleased with that since I thought they should be sharing a room anyway. It will be good when Genna starts daycare on Monday and Ella starts school next week.
I've only cried once this week, which I think is pretty good. I usually have one meltdown when we move. It always involves my getting lost on the way home from somewhere. This time, my GPS wasn't working, so I couldn't retrace my steps. I called Corey who was rattling off the directions at 90 mph when he knew damned well that I was DRIVING and couldn't possibly remember them. Then my phone died. Did I mention that we live in the boonies where the roads are windy, hilly, wooded and really narrow? Did I tell you that it was 100 degrees outside and that I noticed that the arrow on my temperature gauge was on the "H"? I had to turn off the air conditioning, roll down the windows and try to find my way home. As I cried, I yelled at Corey, blaming him for everything. It was HIS fault that he moved me, yet again, to someplace new. It was HIS fault that I was lost because my GPS didn't work. It was TOTALLY his fault that I didn't charge my phone and didn't have my car charger handy. It was also his fault that I couldn't use my air conditioning. By the time I got home over an hour later (the trip should have been 12 miles round-trip) I was exhausted. And really sweaty.
The neighbors are proving to be very friendly. Our house is one of about 25 homes in a new development. Eventually there will be about 100 homes, but for now, it is a nice-sized neighborhood. We are connected to another community that has more than 300 homes, so we are able to use their amenities, but we have the benefit of virtually no traffic. All of the roads are built, but only a couple of homes are being built at a time, so the roads will be perfect for teaching the kids to ride their bikes. There are a ton of kids the girls' ages, so that is definitely a good thing. Ella has already decided that she is in love with Aiden, the red-haired boy next door. Since she has a red-haired boyfriend in PA named Matthew, I fear she is going to get a reputation. She is following in her father's footsteps in that he only dated redheads.
I am glad to be going back to work on Monday from home. It will be good to go back to some routine. Corey doesn't start work at Vanderbilt until the 18th so he will have a huge list of things to do next week.
That's really all I have for an update. I will spend the afternoon watching Ocean's Eleven to honor Bernie Mac.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Turkish Cousin and Grandpa are machines. They don't stop for anything. I think Grandpa used to be the owner of the Company, but now he is old and Driver is taking over. It is unclear what role Driver's Girlfriend is playing. These movers aren't NEARLY as interesting as the white trash movers we had when we moved here. Driver and Turkish Cousin are constantly going at it and Grandpa keeps telling Driver to watch his language. I just know that Turkish Cousin is really a surgeon back home, but he has to work for Driver in this country. Turkish Cousin is doing what he wants--no one is going to tell HIM what to do. Fuck yeah.
I have spent the day swatting flies, waiting to vacuum rooms that are empty and surfing the internet no-stop. I have never surfed the net for a solid 8 hours. I think I actually found the end of the internet. It ain't pretty. You'll want to keep the sound low if you are at work.
We are hoping the movers will be done around 7PM. We are going to head out tonight and hopefully get to the other side of Pennsylvania.