Jul 26, 2005

She nose what she's doing...

Apparently, Claire has gotten tired of being pushed around by her big sister. Claire's tired of being poked with Barbie legs, getting hit in the head with toys, and slammed into the floor like a weak wrestler. Claire, has taken up BITING. Claire bites everything. Much like the baby of "Lemony Snicket" fame, everything goes into Clairey's mouth--food, toys, an arm, a NOSE...

While at our friends' home the other evening, a terrible shriek (followed by a great wail) arose from the back bedroom. Scott ran in there, just in time to see Claire attached to Jenna's face--her teeth set in Jenna's nose.

Piranha comes to mind, but then again, so does Hannibal Lecter.

Jenna was never a biter, so we're not exactly sure what to do with Claire. Yelling, "NO BITE!" doesn't seem to be working, as she just looks at you while sinking her teeth into her latest victim--usually, and unfortunately, Jenna. I know biting is wrong, and I certainly don't want Clairey to do it, but it's really hard to look at Jenna without saying, "WELL! What did you expect? You just hit her in the head with a plastic cow!"

View the carnage yourself:

Weapon:


Victim:

Jul 25, 2005

Back!

Okay, I'm back (and have been for the last week). I apologize for not posting...I've been dealing with tons of work, leaking roofs at fine dining establishments, Hannibal Lecter, and scaring impressionable young women with the spawn of Satan. More on that, later.

Jul 19, 2005

My Exciting Adventures in the Non-Smoking State

I've been in California for 2 days, and I'll be damned if I'm not still on "Texas time." It's only 9:06 pm, but I'm tired as all hell. And, although I'm dead tired, I can't help but want to tell you all about My Exciting Adventures in the Non-Smoking State.

My plane was supposed to leave Houston at 530 on Sunday evening. I got to the airport at 4. Then my flight got pushed to 540. Then to 600. Then to 630. Then to 645. Then to 700. We left sometime around 830. Oh, the fun of hanging out at the airport--I had forgotten the gloriousness of it all! I actually paid $10 to have wireless internet access so I wouldn't kill the man behind me for not wearing deoderant. Nothing like chatting on IM to take your mind off of some random man's smelly pits.

We finally boarded, wherein I realized that my shameless flirting and giggling did NOT result in a first-class seat. Bastard flight attendant. I ended up in a MIDDLE seat. I'm not sure there's anything much worse. And I have to add, who the hell fits in those seats comfortably? I mean, come on. I'm not considered a "large" person, by most standards, and I can't even get comfy in those things. I have short legs, and I can barely cross them without kneeing the person in front of me in the back, and knocking down tray tables. But I digress...

That's a long damn flight. When did California move so far away from Texas? Three & a half hours on a plane, in a too-small seat, and to top it all off, we had some kind of unidentifiable-meat sandwich. Life really kicked me in the ass THAT day.

We arrived, I got off the plane, waited in an enormous line to take a bus to the rental car, and then found out I got a Grand Am. Sometimes, I'm quite sure I'm in hell. This car, which has the acceleration of a slug, is just a piece of el-shitto. The entire day had totally sucked rocks, but "at least," I thought, "I have my lovely hotel." Enter "Your day still sucks" scenario 5.

The hotel, which looks lovely on the internet, turns out to be a four-star homeless shelter. Forget the amenities it lists on the website! Here's a newly-revised list for them. I'll put it in order of what you see as you arrive, just so guests feel like they're getting a real tour:

*Lovely, faded facade. We've been here for decades, and we look like it!
*Concierge-girls who dress like amateur hookers!
*Hotel employees, changing shirts behind the counter.
*Mediocre pool--with rusted fountain. Just consider the floating rust to be litle sparkles of heaven!
*Filthy, beat-up door. Someone tried to kick it down, but we don't do drug deals anymore!
*Musty, nursing-home smell.
*Stained, "guess" carpet. "Guess" what color it is underneath all the stains!
*Nasty, grime-covered light switch. Be sure to get all your shots before arriving.
*Hair in the bed (both head, and pubic), to make you feel right at home.
*Dried shower gel on the shower wall--it's soap--how can it be dirty?
*Zip-tied mini-bar. If the zip-tie's broken, we know you were in it.

I couldn't sleep, because I was quite sure there were roaches somewhere in there.
Needless to say, I checked my happy ass outta there the next day. I checked myself into a Marriott, and now Maurice, the Marriott concierge, is my newest friend.

I'm leaving to come home tomorrow afternoon. I can't wait.

Jul 15, 2005

Jumpin' on the train

But everyone else is doing it!

10 years ago: I was in my last year of undergrad, taking 22hrs, and working part-time at Zales Jewelers, and stuffing weights down my shorts so I could get diet pills from the doctor.

5 years ago: I had been married for 4 years, and had been trying, unsuccessfully, to get pregnant for about 2 years. I was also living in Atlanta, while Scott lived in Houston, and drinking myself into a stupor most every night and ate a lot of chocolate.

1 year ago: I sat back, and looked at how our family had grown from just the two of us, to the four of us. We also developed a fantastic friendship with another couple whom we love to hang out with now. I ate chocolate.

Yesterday: Woke up in Jenna's twin-sized bed, with Jenna curled up beside me, with my little one pulling my hair, screaming, "Mo'nin' Mommy!" Got them ready for the sitter's, checked the lump on Scott's head, and sent them off. Went to work, picked up the girls, then dinner/ate chocolate/bath/bed. Then Scott and I watched "Hitch," while Jenna, who was supposed to be in bed, sat in the big chair and fell asleep.

Today: At the office, because the ridiculous IT guy still hasn't fixed my remote access! Spending time with my girls tonight, as it's Scott's "poker night" with the guys. Eat chocolate.

Tomorrow: Grocery shopping (buy chocolate), helping my dad, then probably cleaning house/laundry. I *think* we're visiting with friends tomorrow night. Not sure.

5 snacks I enjoy: mini-carrots, trail mix, popcorn, granola bars, and chocolate.

5 bands that I know the lyrics of MOST of their songs: Chicago, BeeGees, Aerosmith, Madonna, Garth Brooks

5 things I would do with $100,000,000: Pay for my mom's retirement, College accounts for my kids, a bunch of land for Scott (with a hunting cabin on it), a new house with an awesome playset in the backyard, invest in chocolate.

5 locations I'd like to run away to: Mexico, Germany, Austria, Italy, my childhood.

5 bad habits I have: Worry constantly, eat too much chocolate, brush my teeth too hard, grind my teeth, leave my shoes all over the place

5 things I like doing: Loving my chicks, cleaning, taking pictures, reading, eating chocolate.

5 things I would never wear: biker shorts, a thong bikini (too much chocolate, maternity overalls, an "I'm with stupid" shirt, red high-heels

5 TV shows I like: Dr. Phil, Good Eats, Unwrapped, Iron Chef, and...hmmmm...I don't watch a lot of tv.

5 movies I like: The Princess Bride, Mona Lisa Smile, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Like Water for Chocolate, Dead Poet's Society

5 famous people I'd like to meet: Laura Bush, Jennifer Aniston, Eaven Boland, Seamus Heaney, J.K. Rowling

5 biggest joys at the moment: The chicks, Scott (and the fact that he's not hurt by the BIG BALL THAT HIT HIS HEAD), my family, my friends, chocolate

5 favorite toys: Umm...no comment.

Jul 14, 2005

Texas story

My sister was here the 4th of July week. On Friday the 8th, the whole family gathered at my brother's to have dinner. Kind of like the "last supper," but instead of Jesus, there was Shannon, and instead of going to heaven, she went to Brooklyn. I said "KIND OF LIKE," not JUST like. Anyways, when you get the entire family together, there's just tons of uproarious laughter, and lots of "remember when..."
SO, on the eve of my sister's departure to Brooklyn, we sat in my brother's dining room, leaned back in our chairs, and laughed our asses off.

We were all there: me, Scott, Shawn, my sister-in-law, mom, and dad. Topic 'o the night: The move to Texas.

We moved to the great state of Texas (from Michigan)in fall of '81. I was in third grade. I don't remember much about anything directly prior to the move, except that my dad had been gone a long time, and right there at the end, my mom and brother left, too. Me and my sister lived with my grandparents. I have no recollection of how long they were gone, but in my childs mind, it seemed like forever. I don't remember them arriving back at my grandparents' house, but I DO remember, quite vividly, not wanting to sit next to my brother, because his legs were covered in ant bites. Apparently, he hadn't heeded my dad's warning that the ants in Texas bite, and he had stood in an ant mound. Well, those ants chomped his little legs up good. He had nasty, pus-sacks (now, isn't that a disgusting description??) from his toes, all the way up his legs and onto his butt. I will say that I never wondered about him, in later years, when he would sit outside and try to light anthills on fire, while chanting, "Die, bastards! Die!" kidding. just kidding. Anyways, a few days later, we packed up the U-HAUL with the few belongings we had, the 5 of us piled into the bench seat, and we were off for Texas.

We were in a small truck--the kind with just a bench seat in the front--seats three, I think. Well, there were five of us. Dad driving, Shawn next to dad, me next to Shawn, Mom, and Shannon on mom's lap. Obviously, this was when people didn't think that kids needed to be strapped into carseats and the like. Hell, you didn't even have to wear a seatbelt. The sleeping arrangements were...interesting. My mom and Shannon slept on the bench, while my dad drove, and me and my brother slept on the floorboard. That just kills me. I freak out when Claire's carseat-strap is loose, and I traveled cross-country, sleeping on the floor of a U-Haul. Crazy.

I remember very little from the trip--most likely because I was near a state of complete asphyxiation from breathing some kind of fumes leaking in through the firewall. In some random state, we crossed a bridge. I had never seen a bridge like it before--it was over a bayou, and was made of steel beams, stretching to form a canopy over the cars. Dad said it was a "wish bridge," and when we went under it, we should close our eyes and make a wish. 20+ years later, I still make wishes everytime I cross one of those bridges--thanks for that, dad. We arrived in Kingwood, Texas in the early, early hours of morning. I remember, as I stumbled into our new home, thinking that it was hard to breathe (the humidity).

And here I am, oh-so-many years later, still in Texas. I don't think that I'll ever move out of this state. Besides, my blood's so thin now, that I freeze in 65-degree weather, so I'm kinda stuck here.

After waking the next morning, I opened the front door, and walked into the oven that is Texas is September. A few first impressions/questions:
-It's HOT
-There are no sidewalks
-What are those tall, skinny trees?
-Where are all the horses?
-Cowboys? Where are they?
-Not a cactus in sight.

I also found it hugely disappointing that it was NOTHING like "Little House on the Prarie." I was totally expecting indians and covered wagons, and riding horses to school.

Jul 13, 2005

I hope he takes up pillow-fighting

Scott plays softball every Tuesday night, and has for the last, oh, I don't know, 10 years? Let's just say he's been playing forever. Yes, "forever" should cover it. Tuesday nights are his. Depending on what time his first game is, he will leave the house by 530, or be around until 730--if he has late games. He's home no later than midnight, most Tuesdays. Even if his last game is at 830 (which means he would be home at 10), I know not to expect him until midnight. After his games, he looks for other teams that need an extra guy. Scott's always the "extra guy." Any team that picks him up is lucky. His position of choice is outfield, and if he plays out there, it's like a puzzle finding it's missing piece. Everything is perfect. He just loves the game.

He's the coach of his team, and he loves it. Softball is one of the little things in his life that keeps him going, and it's one of those things that I complain about, but I'm glad that he does it. Everytime I see his beat-up softball bag, his muddied cleats, or his scribbled-on score pad, I have to smile, because it's such a huge part of him.

Last night, he got hit in the head with a ball.

He was in the box, and the guy at bat sent a ball straight over to Scott. Thank God he was paying attention, or the result would've been a softball straight to the face. Thankfully, Scott saw, and in the split second that was allotted to him, he turned and ducked a bit--the softball nailed him on the right side of his head, about 2 inches back from his temple, and above the ear.

I wasn't at the game, but I just knew something had happened. I knew something was wrong. I couldn't sleep. I thought I heard my cell phone ring, and, of course, my mind just starts sailing off into all kinds of not-so-pleasant thoughts. I just knew I was going to get a call that something had happened, and he was in the hospital. I hate it when my mind does this, but I love it when I'm wrong.

Scott walked into our bedroom right around midnight. He stood by the bed, and I immediately asked, "What's wrong?"
"I got hit in the head with a ball," he said.
As he stepped back into the light, I could see the huge swelling. Call me crazy, but head trauma freaks me out. My God, your BRAIN is in there!! He did a fine job of calming me down, because he's such a calm guy himself. I was scared that we'd have to take him to the hospital, because, good Lord, he had a frickin BALL HIT HIM ON THE SIDE OF THE HEAD. However, he kept telling me he was fine. The entire time he was in the shower, I sat in bed, nervous as all get-out, just imagining what would happen if he blacked-out in the shower. I laid there, counting my breaths, and listening to the shower spray, and the sounds of him washing and rinsing off. After he got out, I got him a bag of ice to put on his head.

He stayed up for an additional hour after getting into bed, and then fell asleep, in a inclined position. I don't know how many times I woke him last night--poking him in the ribs, whispering, "Are you okay?" I'm still worried about him today.

*Maybe it knocked some sense into him.*

Ba da bum! Thank you folks, I'll be here all week!

Jul 12, 2005

What kind of mom...

Earlier today, I was leaving comments on Robin's blog, and it got me thinking...What kind of mom am I?

Let's see here, I'm the kind of mom who:
-Let's her kids switch seats in the booth by ducking under the table
-Routinely says, "Suck it up," when her kids are whining about nothing
-Laughs often, when trying to discipline. Really, if you can't beat them, then you should definitely laugh.
-Gives her kids a few chances to be "wrong" before she shows them what is "right"
-Believes that if another child hits/pinches/bites my kid, mine has all the right in the world to fight back
-Tattle-taling is something that kids should be punished for. Unless the end result could be death, you better figure it out yourself.
-Whining is just as offensive as being a tattle-tale
-Will still hold my kids on my lap when they're 30-years old--they will always be my babies
-Spoils these kids rotten with my love.

They're not all bad, right?

Conversations with Jenna

Background: The fly-eating guy works on a rig in Thailand, so he's gone for a month, then home for a month.

Jenna: Mom, Lynsie's dad isn't home?
Me: Nope. He's still gone.
Jenna: His truck is there.
Me: I know, but he's not there.
Jenna: Oh. Is he still in 'Playland'?
Me: Playland?
Jenna: Yeah, in 'Playland,' where he works?
Me: Yep, he's still in Playland.
Jenna: I think it's probably fun there.

Hope you're having fun in 'Playland.'

Open letter to the instructors at Cypress Academy

To Sam, Becky, and Brandy,

Thank you, oh, thank you, for not beating my child. Thank you for acting like it's completely normal when a child tears away from the rest of the class, and throws herself into the foam pit, citing, "I just want to jump for a minute." Thank you for acting impressed when my child tries to do a cartwheel on the balance beam, instead of freaking out because she's supposed to just be standing there on her toes. Thank you for not threatening her with death when she runs away like a little sprite, and heaves herself up onto the parellel bars and tries to stand. But most of all, thank you for acting like it's just another day, when I leave, Jenna flailing from my hip, legs kicking, screaming at the top of her lungs that she'll "be good next time!" Next time....next time, I'll be sure to bring the holy water. The priest sounded convincing when he told me to sprinkle it upon her head.

p.s. Miss Sam, Jenna adores you, and pretends she's you all the time.

Thanks again,
Stephanie

Jul 8, 2005

Banana clips and blue hair

Scott and I went to the Astros game last night. Our tickets were in a suite, with free food, and free drinks. It should have been a fun night, but it wasn't. The people in the suite were all boring, and there was a woman there, about my age, with long, bleach-blonde hair, and obviously fake boobies. All made up, with the makeup and the hair, and the tight jeans, and the heels. Was I jealous? NO. But I always want to walk up to those girls and ask, "Why? WHY?! You're at a BASEBALL GAME, for Pete's sake!!" I'm just a firm believer in never having to dress up--especially at a baseball game. How are you supposed to scream and jump and yell and drink beer and eat peanuts if you're wearing tight jeans and high-heels? EXACTLY. You can't. Have some FUN, for God's sake. Moving on....

I did see something fun though, that made me have a fond memory--a banana clip. Can you believe? I saw a woman wearing a banana clip. Well, you have to take in my surroundings. I forgot to mention that although I was in a suite, it was a suite filled with oil & drilling company people and their wives. I think the median age of oil-field persons is 50. Regardless, there was an older woman wearing a banana clip. The banana clip--what an ingenious invention--much like the "Topsy-tail." Seeing this woman's banana clip made me think of 5th grade, when banana clips were actually cool. Let's see....that would have to be around 1985-ish.

I was a good kid. No, for real. I was REALLY good. Straight As, teacher's pet, friendly to everyone, and totally innocent by 5th-grade standards--I had just recently found out what "French" kissing was, and was appalled. **News flash: Even when I was 13 and had my first french kiss, it was still appalling. I want to Listerine my mouth every time I think about it. Ew.** Okay, back to 5th grade...There was a lady who lived on our street, who owned a salon. I thought she was pretty cool for an old lady, but come to think about it, she was probably in her mid-20s. When you're 10, everybody's old. It was the era of the reign of Cyndi Lauper and Madonna (when she was "Like a Virgin"); which led to black bracelets up your arms ala Madonna, and brightly-colored hair ala Cyndi Lauper. The 80s were so fun. Jane, the salon lady, had short, spiky, PURPLE hair. To me, she was the epitome of cool. I was hanging at her house one day, and she was re-dying her hair. I SO wanted purple hair. I told Jane. She said she was out of purple dye. But she had blue. I ran down the street to ask my mom if Jane could dye my hair blue. During the 5-house run, I thought about lying and just telling Jane that my mom said 'yes.' I didn't. I went home and actually asked (told you I was good), and my mom said 'YES.' She wouldn't let me dye my entire head blue, but I could dye a 1"-wide strand on each side, behind my ear, so when we went to church the priest wouldn't pass out. She said she let me do this because I was a good kid.

Let me tell you--the next day at school, I was the shit. I had my hair pulled back in a ponytail, and on each side, had an electric-blue stripe of hair going up into the elastic and then erupting in waves in the ponytail. I felt so cool--not just because of my totally kick-ass, 5th-grade, blue hair, but because everyone was going on about how awesome my mom was.

So really, mom, thanks. That was one of the best days of my entire life. I loved my blue hair*. You ARE awesome.

*I went through blue, purple, and aqua after that.

Jul 7, 2005

With compliments, from God

I received, perhaps the best compliment ever, from a very close friend of mine the other day. She has been reading through my past entries, and was commenting on my writing style from "non-medicated-and-hopelessly-lost-in-a-world-of-shit" to "I-am-finally-back-to-being-me-and-so-happy-to-feel-like-this." We were just chatting, and smiling over the glories of prescription medication (that's right, Mr. Cruise, PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION), when she said, "I always feel bad when I read your posts about your kids, because I don't feel like I love mine like that." She went on to say that she doesn't ever look at her child and want to cry because she loves her so much. Certainly, that doesn't make her a bad mother. I know she loves her little one just as much as I love mine. So what's the difference? I think it all depends on what kind of emotional person you are.
Some people can simply say, "I love you," and with those three words, convey all the feeling and emotion they have. I'm not one of those people. With the chicks, it would be rather silly to try to explain it to them by saying something such as, "I love you. I love everything about you, from your toes to the curls on your head. I love your spirit, I love the way you smell, I love the way your eyes dance." They'd never get it. When Jenna was about one and a half, I SO wanted to express to her how much love I actually had for her (without producing a thesaurus), and at a lack for words, I looked at her and said, with my entire heart, "I just love you." That, that one extra word in a popular 3-word phrase, made it mine--made it ours.
There are so few moments in life when the feeling of love is so overwhelming that it threatens to burst from your face in a radiant smile, or escape from your eyes in happy tears. So few moments. I have to say, however, that since I've been blessed with the chicks, those moments happen often. Maybe it's just me, maybe it's just because these kids have me by the heartstrings. I'm not a super-religious person, but I do believe in the power of God. I've always been a Christian, but having kids renewed my faith. I see my children loving each other, beating the crap out of each other (hey, they're sisters!), and caring about each other I think, "How can there NOT be a God?" To me, it's just so evident. It's most evident when I get big hugs around the neck, a kiss, and a little voice whispering, "Mommy, I just love you."

Jul 6, 2005

Lost and found

Here I am *waving*!

Haven't been on in a while--between the holiday and trying to get my laptop set up in an office, i've been doing nothing but putting out one fire after another.

We had an awesome holiday weekend. Jenna FINALLY likes fireworks! SUCCESS! Of course, I spent the first 10 minutes of our fireworks extravaganza saying, "It's okay, it's okay...I won't let it hurt you. It's just loud/bright..." She finally got into it--although she kept her ears covered the ENTIRE time. Oh well. She had fun. She said, "Fireworks are like Shrek and monsters--they're not scary." There's some 3-year-old logic for ya.

In other news, my future brother-in-law left early this morning for San Diego. He re-enlisted in the Marine Corps.

Jul 1, 2005

911

My sister's still in New York.

My best friend is MIA.

And I just went and tried on bathing suits.

THE HORROR. HELP.

An open letter to the man at the gym...

"Al,"
Thanks for turning the spa back on for me. I could've done it myself, and would have, if only I would have known that it would have prevented having a conversation with you. Notice that there are two spas, Al. Spa #1 had 3 men soaking, Spa #2 had ME. Just ME. And that was just the way I liked it. I'm not selfish--I have no problem sharing, but generally, when you see a person lying back, relaxing, with thier eyes closed, it means they don't want to carry on a conversation. When you asked if I'd like for you to turn on the spa again, I said 'yes,' only because you were already up, turning on the other spa. I thought that my "Yes, thank you" would be sufficient conversation, then you would scurry back into the self-dubbed "man-spa," but I was so wrong. Next thing I know, you're practically sidled up next to me on the bench. Al, the spa is HUGE. It's gotta be at least 10x15. WHY, o' WHY did you have to sit right next to me?! So close to me, in fact, that I had to move my hand in fear that it would accidentally touch your leg?! That, Al, is just wrong. And then, THEN, to top it all off, you start to launch compliments at me. Thanks, but no thanks. I don't need to hear from you that I:

-Look like a movie star--who was it? Ah, yes, Bridget Bardot.
-Should be a model.
-Am just as pretty as Cindy Crawford.
-Must have a beautiful mother, because I'm so beautiful.

And you know what? I mentioned, SEVERAL times that I was married, and you still chose to compliment me in icky fashion. Then you referred to my husband as the "old man." I won't even comment on that, except to say that I could have called you "dad" and no one would have even thought anything of it. In closing, since you told me your life story, I can see why your first wife left you. You better keep an eye on this one.

Next time I see you, I'm running the other way,
Stephanie