Dec 27, 2010

And more...

Claireyisms, that is...

On the way home from visiting family in Kilgore--out of the blue, she asks:

"Do we go to a 'Bapatize' church?"


Me: "What? A Baptist church? No, we go to a Lutheran church."

Clairey: "A Lutherick church? Gamma goes to a 'Katherine' church."

Me: "Yep, Gamma goes to a Catholic church."

Clairey: "I have a friend at school named Katherine. Hmmmm....I wonder if she owns the place."

Dec 10, 2010

Claireyisms

There's this white chihuahua in our neighborhood that is constantly roaming the streets. I don't know how many times i've nearly run over that little shit, but it's been a lot. I actually had to get out of my car, and physically remove his lazy butt from the middle of the road before. He was annoying, but tolerable, until i found him pooping in my backyard. Then it was on. If he should accidentally meet the front end of my car, there will be no tears shed. The girls cheer me on.

This morning, as we were waiting for the bus, here comes Mr. Chihuahua, pitter-pattering down the street, looking for someones garbage to sample, i'm sure. I looked out the window, holding my cup of coffee, and grumbled, "Ugh...there's that chihuahua..." Clairey immediately sighed, and said, shaking her head in disgust, "...that little bastard."

Can't. Stop. Laughing.

Nov 1, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Oh, what a lovely Halloween weekend it was!

Friday night: Halloween party at Clairey's gym. All the girls teams were there, dressed up, and learning the dance to "Thriller." FUN! And free pizza, since one of their level 4 girls won districts.

Saturday morning: Met up with the ex and his wife at the pumpkin patch. It's always fun having all the kids together! My girls, my stepsons, and my bonus babies (the girls' two half-brothers). Such a great time! After the patch, we all went to Buffalo Wild Wings for some lunch.

My girls and bonus babies



The girls and their stepbrothers

How lucky are we to have such an amazing family?!

Sunday: Church, church festival, and trick-or-treating! Gamma stopped by to take the girls, and SMM and I sat on the porch with beverages and handed out candy. Great night!

 Clairey, the mean pirate!


Behold Jenna--the Ninja Cat!

Today: Two little girls who did NOT want to wake up this morning! And TONS of candy!!

Oct 12, 2010

Jenna's birthday present

A little over a month ago, I contacted Fossil Rim Wildlife Park out in good 'ol Glen Rose, Texas. I noticed, from perusing their site, that you could purchase "private" tours of their facility. Their private tour consists of your family, a tour guide, and your own Jeep (driven by said tour guide)--and they give you a one-on-one tour of the land. Sounded good, but I wanted to know if there was anything...well, CHEETAH-specific.

I spoke to a really nice lady who explained to me that no, they don't have anything like that--that just centers around the cheetahs, but why do I ask? So, I told her all about Jenna. How, since she was two, she's wanted to be a zooligist. How her love for the Four Big Cats--centered around cheetahs--has evolved into a lifeplan for her. How she knows not only what she's going to "be" when she grows up, but what she's going to study for her bachelors, masters, and PhD. About how she's worried about her standardized testing this year because she fears, if she doesn't do well, she won't get an internship at the Cheetah Conservation Fund when she's an undergrad. We chatted about Jen, and the lady again apologized, and we hung up.

About 15 minutes later, she called back. She stated that, in the midst of our previous conversation, the cheetah keeper had come into the office. He has listened the one side of our converstaion with peaked interest. After hanging up with me, he had asked the secretary what/whom we were talking about. When she relayed to him that it was a soon-to-be 9-year-old girl, he was floored. He offered to take us on a private tour of the cheetah facility. To go back and meet the breeding cheetahs; to see the new cubs; to see them close up, and (if they cooperate), to TOUCH A CHEETAH. Of course, I agreed.

We kept this secret from Jenna for over a month. :)

We arrived in Glen Rose on Friday evening--she still had no idea. Of course, as we got into our hotel room, she walked right to the desk and saw a flyer for the wildlife park. We feigned stupidity. I told her, "Oh, Jen!! Well, at least we know it's here, now. Now we can plan to visit!" Amazingly enough, she didn't beg.

The next morning, we got up bright and early, had breakfast, and set out. Our plan was to pass the entrance (so we knew where it was), then backtrack and point out the sign to Jenna (so we could tape her response). We're so crafty. We passed it, turned around, and headed back. The sign was large, and as I got the video camera ready, Chris said, "Hey, Jen...what's that? Isn't that the place you want to go?" She looked and said, "Yes," and was quiet. So he said, "So...do you want to go?" She just looked at us, and smiled really big--then said, "Yes!" We said, "Happy Birthday!" and headed in....

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The park was amazing, and the people there went BEYOND our expectations. When I checked in, the lady at the desk said, "Oh!! Is this the little cheetah girl?! We've been so excited to have her!" At this point, Jenna had NO IDEA that we had arranged anything special. The tour guide pulled up in a vehicle that they use for group tours; they had reserved it for us, because it was named "Cheetah." :) So, we had a huge tour vehicle all to ourselves (rather than a standard-sized Jeep or SUV). We climbed in and began our tour.

The facility is amazing. Absolutely amazing. We were there before the park opens for regular car touring, so it was quiet and serene. The animals were walking right up to the vehicle, and we fed most of them from our hands. Because we paid for the private tour, we were able to veer off the tour path and go venture off to places where regular guests can't go--right up to fences to see the animals up close. It was amazing. During this time, the tour guide kept talking on his CB--asking "when will you be ready?" I knew he was talking to the cheetah keeper!

Eventually, we got to the cheetah area (there are 2--one where the non-breeding cheetahs run, and one where the breeders and new cheetahs are kept). We pulled up, and got out--As soon as we saw the cheetahs, Jenna's smile just lit up the world. There was one cheetah, in particular, that kept circling the run, then would stalk and charge the fence. It was pretty amazing. Jenna was just thrilled, and i have to say, we were, too---they are absolutely incredible animals. We stayed there for a while, and then got back in the vehicle to continue the tour. If we would have left then, Jenna would have been happy as can be, but there was more!

We looked at more animals, then veered off a path marked, "Staff Only." As we pulled back into the trees, there was a small office surrounded by.....CHEETAH PENS!! The guide asked Jenna, "How would you like to meet our cheetah keeper?" :) We met Jason, the keeper, and saw in his office, which is called the "cheetah kitchen." He had waited until we arrived so we could watch him give the cheetahs their snacks. Jenna was able to meet all the breeding cheetahs, see the newly-arrived cheetahs, and the new cubs. The best part: She actually got to pet a cheetah. Moose and Bruce were both raised by hand, and are as gentle as can be. They sat there, purring, meowing, and rubbing against the fence. The girls had their hands through the fence petting them. It was an awesome experience for all of us!!

Sep 30, 2010

Nine. We have celebrated your birthday NINE times...

I can't say the word "nine" without being reminded of Ferris Bueller:
"He's been absent NINE times..."
"Nine times?"
"NINE times."

--sigh-- Today is Jenna's 9th birthday. --sigh--
I don't know what else to say.
THE END

Guess i'll give it a shot....

Today is the day i became a mommy for the very first time. Today is the day that i held a precious baby in my arms that sprang from MY loins and thought, "HOLY SHIT. HOW THE HECK DID I DO THIS?" At the same time, I was looking at this little baby and feeling such an amazing love, that I didn't think it was possible. For nine years, I have been a mommy. A fixer of boo-boos, a healer with hugs, a butt smacker with wooden kitchen spoons a teacher of "right" and "wrong," and so much more. I remember how much I adored my mom when i was little (and how much i still do)--how I would hold on to her neck and wish that I could stay there forever--I am amazed that I have been in that same position for nine years now. All thanks to this sweet baby girl that started it all...
SO...

My sweet Jenna-girl,
I owe you so much more than inducting me into the role of "mommy." I owe you my life and my heart. When you were born, I realized why God put me here--and I saw God, for the first time with clear eyes, when I saw you. You were born a faith builder...a tiny savior of my heart. Nine years later, I could use a tiny savior of my sanity, but that loss has been a combined effort of you and your sister both. But I digress...

Watching you grow has been such an awesome experience. Your mind works like no one I know. Sometimes, you're a total goofball; and sometimes, you say things that are so astute for your age that I sit there in stunned silence. And then I change the subject to...flavors of yogurt or something...because I'm comfortable with that.

You are a grown woman in a child's body, which is often quite confusing. You will quite gladly sit and lecture us on the possibility of cheetahs becoming extinct and/or eradicated in Africa by the farmers, but will have a meltdown when I tell you to clean the cat litter. You will discuss, in great detail (and i mean GREAT DETAIL), every aspect of the science experiment you led in class that day--down to the type of goggles you wore and how you developed your hypothesis--but will pout and whine when I tell you to go brush your teeth. It's like you have a switch somewhere that we can't find. One setting is "adult" the other is "run-of-the-mill 9-year-old." I do my best to only pop you on the butt with the wooden spoon when you're in "kid" mode; spanking another adult would just be weird. Well, there ARE exceptions, but....eh, we'll wait on that conversation.


Still today, seeing the world through your eyes, continues to be amazing. I absolutely love how you can find beauty or interest in ANYTHING. Do you know how many "special" rocks you have gifted me with? I'm sitting at my desk, and I can see two--I know of at least another in my drawer, and one in my car, and another in the kitchen....you get the picture. And all these rocks, although just "rocks" to some, are treasures to you. You'll say, "Mom! Look at this rock! Look how it has lines through it! See how they sparkle?!" or "Mom! Look how this rock is greenish! I've never seen a green rock! It must be lucky!" I love these treasures, Jen. I love how you give them to me. I'll die an old woman, surrounded by special rocks.

Right now, you and your sister enjoy irritating the hell out of each other, and beating the holy crap out of each other when you're not irritating each other. I know you guys are really close in age, but jeez almighty, just knock one another out, will ya? Where was I going with this? Oh yes...you and your sister bicker constantly...then at night, you'll sneak into her room and kiss her and tell her you love her. I've been the big sister--i know it's hard. But, despite the constant arguing, you are a good sister. You are setting a great example for Clairey, and I am so proud of you. I-AM-SO-PROUD-OF-YOU.


I love you, Jenna-J. More than you will ever, ever know--at least until you have a baby of your own (or a cheetah). You are my heart, and you will always, always be my sweet girl.

xoxoxo,
Mommy


Sep 12, 2010

Ah, stop!!

What the hell? She turns seven and starts falling apart?! Clairey lost her first tooth last night at approximately 11:30 pm. There was a lot of crying on her part. The kid was scared. Jeesh. She stopped wiggling it, put her hands together in front of her face, and prayed, "Dear Jesus, please let my tooth fall out without hurting. Please help me to not be scared. Amen." Presh.

Here's my sweet little munch. One tooth less:

Sep 10, 2010

7. No, really...SEVEN.

Today, The Munch turns 7. Did you get that? Here, allow me to spell it out for you: S-E-V-E-N. I'm sitting here typing this, and I'm pretty sure i'm having some sort of cardiac arrest. There is no freakin' way my baby can be seven. THIS is Clairey:
Not this:



THIS:

THIS, not so much:

Seriously, what the crap happened? When did THIS happen? And so, the letter begins:

Munch/Little Bit/Presh,
WHEN did you grow up? When did i close my eyes for so long, that you went from a tiny little baby, to a...well...a tiny little 7-year old? I really feel like I set you in your crib yesterday, and today, I woke you with kisses on your 7th birthday. Jenna didn't turn seven this fast. You must be really advanced. You fast-grower-upper you.

Have I told you how amazing you are? How I tell everyone in the world how I want to eat your sweet little face? Yes, they all look at me like i'm weird, but hello, if they had the opportunity, they'd want to snack on you, too. There's something about those freckles, those deep hazel eyes, and those shiny little teeth that are just so snackable. But those things aren't what make you so amazing...

You have the uncanny ability to draw people to you like moths to a flame. People adore you, Clairey. You have this beautiful gift of infectious happiness, that just spreads and sweeps over the masses. Your face, your smile, your charm are all overpowering. You are a gift.

You are so outgoing, and such a character. Your sarcasm is developed well beyond your years--you never fail to amuse me. I could seriously charge people to just listen to you talk--you're freakin' hilarious. And your dance moves--oh my gosh--brilliant. You love to put on "shows" and dance and sing--either with your sister, or without. You did your first theatre production this year. You had to audition with a 1-minute monologue and a song of your choice. You chose your own monologue, a chapter from a "Junie B. Jones" novel; and wanted to sing Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" as your song. I had to draw the line there. Although, it WAS beyond hilarious... You ended up going with "Popular" from the musical, "Wicked." Good choice. Everyone loved you. The owner of the theatre dubbed you "Shirley Temple." That won't be your last production at that theatre, I'm sure of it.

You're still in gymnastics, and doing brilliantly. On the way to gym on Thursday, you told me, "Mommy, I love Jesus and gymnastics." :) Sweet baby. And you said that you've been praying to move to the next level. I hope Jesus answers your prayers--you deserve it.

Clairey, there's nothing else to say--I just simply adore you. Every time I think I couldn't possibly love you more, my heart opens that much more, and I do. I still sneak into your room at night, brush your crazy hair out of your face, and cover your cheeks in kisses. I still put your sleepy little hands in mine, and kiss your palms. You will never in your life, be able to understand how very much I love you. My heart is so full of love for you, and it will never run out. You will always be my baby, my munch, my little bit, my presh.

Happy Birthday to my precious girl,
Mommy xoxox

Aug 31, 2010

What's a 'Cheese Mick'?

An Irish mouse. Just kidding.

On Sunday, Clairey was standing in the pool sans bathing suit top, singing a song to me and SMM. It was a rap. About a naked mole rat. And Cheese Micks (Cheese Nips).  It was a fine little diddy--went something like this;

"When I say 'Mole Rat', you say 'Cheese Micks'! 'Mole Rat'! 'Cheese Micks'! 'Mole Rat'! 'Cheese Micks'!
If you put a mole rat trap down your pants, and you add a piece of cheese, you might catch a mole rat in your pants!"

I'm not sure how the rest went. I was crying, because i was laughing so hard. There were motions to go along with this, too.

This kid is too much.

Aug 27, 2010

Locust Watch 2010

SMM was home this morning when the girls got up for school. He's heading out to Austin for a "boys weekend" with some longtime friends. The girls were excited--because he's usually long-gone by the time they wake up.

Everyone up, ready for school, my boy makes the coffee--always a nice turn of events. I love it because he asks (since i have new eating habits): "if i make coffee, will you drink it?" Why, yes, of course I will. I'm crazy, but i still have one cup of coffee a day.

While he prepared the morning brew, i stood there and made the girls' lunches while Clairey ate breakfast and Jenna cleaned the kitty litter. Do you know how hard it is to make lunches while your neck is stiff? It's tough. SMM asked if he could help. "No," i said, "I can do it."
"You're stubborn," he said. Then he looked at the girls, "Some people call that 'persistence', but your mom is just stubborn." They looked at him.

Eventually, lunches were made, breakfast was eaten, and SMM was on the road.

I grabbed my cup of coffee and moved to the formal dining room, where i sat to watch for the bus. The girls stood at the front door, inspecting some kind of large bug that lay on the front porch, upside down, in a fierce fight for it's life.
"Go turn it over with a stick," I said.
"Ewwww!" Jenna's such a wuss.
Clairey spoke up: "I'll do it!" Of COURSE she will.

Clairey walked outside and flipped it over with a stick. It was a locust. Couldn't walk, it's wings were dirty, it started lumbering along. Slowly. I went back to my chair and my cup of coffee, listening to the chicks chatter in the background.
"It's limping," said Clairey.
"It's going to fall off the sidewalk! Go save it, Clairey!" yelled Jenna.
So, again, Clairey goes outside to save the locust from certain death...you know...from falling off the walkway. I remained in my chair, with my coffee.

Clairey comes in--the Locust Saver--and the girls continue Locust Watch 2010. The poor thing is limping down the walkway. Jenna sighs a deep sigh, then says (quite forlornly), "It's going to die." So, of course, I immediately belt out, "It's the ciiiiiiiiirrrrrrrcle of LIFE!!!!! And it moves us alllllllll....." I mean, seriously, what else was there to do?

Then the whole family joins in. Let me paint a mental picture:
Me, sitting in the rocking chair, by the window (much like Norman Bates' dead mother) with my coffee cup, singing "The Circle of Life"; Tito, hops up on the piano and starts walking around on the keys (providing musical backdrop); Clairey doing an interpretive dance; and Jenna, at the door, waving to the dying locust.

Yep, normal morning in our house.

Aug 23, 2010

School's in session--2010-2011

Ah yes...did you hear me this morning? The scream, that is...

I have been waiting, quite patiently, mind you, for this day for weeks. The day that the girls go back to school. The day where I don't have to worry about a babysitter for meetings, run them to and fro to various camps, or tune out their harried Barbie battles. And, just for the record, Barbies fight, they can be thrown out of the dreamhouse, and they can be eaten by cheetahs. In case you were wondering.

I woke up the kids at 635am--the bus was to arrive at the stop at 729 am--to get them ready for school with plenty of time to spare. They were ready and down the stairs by 645. I kid you not. This is the fastest Jenna has ever done ANYTHING. It usually takes her 10 minutes to just THINK about going pee. But I digress. Anyways, the chicks sit down to a leisurely breakfast of Eggo Waffles, which we NEVER have (thanks, Amy), so they were absolutely delighted in every way. Breakfast plates were cleared, kitchen cleaned, lunchboxes fetched (I even packed them the evening before! What planning!), and we piled out to the front porch to wait for the aforementioned Bus 'o Freedom. Note: The bus's "freedom" i'm speaking of is actually MY freedom. Note 2: Although "Bus 'o Freedom" sounds Irish, alas, it is not. Irish it was though. Bwahahaha! Did you see that? "I RISH" it was?? I'm so, so funny.

Back to the story: So 729 am comes and goes.

The chicks are getting restless. They start throwing acorns into the street to see if any cars will run over them. I go in to check the time---739. "Hmmmm..." I think, "last year, the bus didn't arrive until 740 each morning...so we're okay."

Clairey's bored. She's making up a song about a squirrel who drinks coffee. I believe his name was "Jacque." He's French. Duh.

I check the time again--754. Seriously? My party was supposed to begin no later than 740. You know, the party wherein I walk into the middle of my house and listen to the silence. Then dance. Because it's quiet.

HEY! There's the bus--right there at the corner! Is it ours? Yes, it's the right bus number! Hurrah! We run to the end of our walkway and wait with bated breath--the girls eager to get on the bus, me eager to SEE them get on the bus. Everyone's so excited!

The bus doesn't turn on our street. It goes straight and forgets that the proper route goes by our house. Right now, I have an internal hatred for all bus drivers and their next of kin.

We have no choice but to drive to the school. It is crowded. I have to park a block away. And walk. With a large package of school supplies. And a wee child with limbs the size of mini-pretzel sticks. Do you know how fast mini-pretzel-stick-legs can move? Not fast. Giraffe-limb child is way ahead of us. She can smell the scent of manilla paper and is practically floating across campus to find the fresh sheets and a sharpened pencil.

I'm sweaty. I'm carrying a lot. I'm irritated. And I'm trying to talk myself into being positive. Are you freakin' kidding me? They didn't MOW the playground? Irritated. That has nothing to do with the story. But it WAS irritating. I pay high school taxes; the playground should be mowed. Moving on...

The school looks like Chipotle on "free burrito" day. It is packed. There are kids and parents everywhere. All the parents are irritated, sweaty, and probably mad that the playground is not mowed. What? They probably are. I'm just saying.

I take Clairey to class. Her teacher is 12. She has really blonde hair and long eyelashes. I decide she must be 15 at least. A 12-year old can't have eyelashes like that. She hugs Clairey, so I like her. Clairey looks tiny in the classroom. I contemplate just sticking her in my pocket and leaving, but then realize my car keys are in my pocket and Clairey won't fit. So i leave her at school.

I take Jenna to her room. Her teacher is proper teacher age. I'm not sure what age that is, but she looks old enough to buy alcohol without getting carded. Success. Jenna sees no one from her previous GT classes and commences freak out. I tell her it's okay. She whispers, "But I made straight As all last year! Did they take me out of GT?!" Wait! There's another GT kid. Jenna calms down a bit, but still has a deathgrip on both me, and her cheetah messenger bag. Look! Another friend! All is well.

I dodge parents whom are fully clothed because they work in a real office, and think how lucky I am that i'm wearing running shorts, a sports bra, and a t-shirt from Mexico. On second thought, I probably look homeless. Oh well.

I get out of the school, and RUN to my car. For real. I RUN. And again, curse the fact that the playground isn't mowed. And once again, i ask, "WHY?" Yet, i feel quite nimble as I dodge knee-high grass patches, large tree limbs, and misplaced mulch. I am so lithe. Much like a gazelle. Not really.

I finally make it home to work in the lovely peace and quiet. Before i know it, it's 330--the girls should be home soon. And...335.  Then 345... Oh, look! It's 4pm. And 415. I'm getting irritated. They bus arrives at 445. I guess i should be happy that it dropped them off instead of just going straight.

They get off the bus and proclaim their undying love for school. Because they are my children. And they love school. I'm so lucky.

That damn bus better stop tomorrow.

Clairey--1st; Jenna--3rd

Jul 24, 2010

You know how you get chicken pox, right?

I searched my blog, and I couldn't find where i blogged about this. Is one of you knows my blog better than I, please point me in the right direction. Anyhoo.....

Several months ago, the topic of chicken pox came up. Jenna was asking me and SMM how you get them. We love to lie to our kids, so SMM told them that you get chicken pox when a chicken bites you. And then went into this elaborate story about how he used to have to use chicken repellant because he grew up out in the country, and there were chickens all over the place. Of course, Jenna totally believed him and sat there and listened in wide-eyed wonder. I believe I was shoving food into my mouth in order to supress the laughter.

Now, many months later, this is still the belief amongst our children. You contract the chicken pox through the bite of a chicken.

A few weeks ago, Jen had random spots. I wasn't sure what they were, so I ran her up to the doctor's. As she's sitting on the table, with the doctor looking at her belly, the doctor says, "Well, I don't think they're chicken pox..." and Jenna says, with GREAT concern in her voice, "They CAN'T be! I haven't been bitten by any chickens!"

Let me just tell you--i have totally mastered the art of keeping a straight face. The doctor looked at me, I looked at him, and said, "This is true. She has not been bitten by any chickens." The doctor rolled his eyes, and went back to inspecting the spots. He knows how i work.

P.S.: Turns out the spots were caused from her immune system overreacting to a bug bite.

P.S.S.: NO chicken repellant was needed.

Jul 22, 2010

On another note...

I need new boobs.

Helllllllo, my lovelies

Why, hello everyone! Miss me? Probably not. Miss the antics of my children? Of COURSE you do. You love them, and you know it.

So, what's going on, you ask? Let's see...still working (thank you, God) and loving my job. I get paid to Tweet. How awesome is that??? It's very awesome. In my spare time, I'm a Beachbody coach (www.beachbodycoach.com/FitWisdom) and will have my personal training certificate in about 4 weeks. 5 weeks if I don't hurry up and get my shit together.

Here's my BeachBody spiel (scroll down if you don't want to read it):
I started with P90X in 10/09. I did it for the requisite 90 days and lost 24 lbs. I did it for an additional 30 days and then started another Beachbody program--Insanity. That is, my friends, INSANE. They got the naming right. I did that for the requisite 60 days, and lost another 10 lbs. YEP--down THIRTY pounds. You may all cheer and clap victoriously. I'm waiting. Okay, thanks. I HIGHLY recommend Beachbody products. They work, which is what's important. I LOVE them, which is why i now tell people to buy them. Email me at FitWisdom@beachbodycoach.com for more info. You can see my profile pic, and you will want to buy P90X. You will. I have ABS, people. VISIBLE abdominal muscles. I look like a bad ass. You should look like one, too. No excuses.

Okay, back to my children.
They are delicious and i want to eat them all up, and just spit out the sassy parts (their mouths). They have more sass than....whatever has sass. Namely, ME. They are sassier than I ever was. Truthfully, you can ask my mom.

Jenna is tall, and gorgeous, and sassy. Clairey is tiny, and precious, and sassy. See the similarities?
Jenna is taking off the summer--she's doing nothing. She went to "pony camp" for a week where she, apparently, made 50 new "BFFs" and hasn't spoken to any of them since--yet they still remain her "BFFs." I just let it go. No piano for her until September, and no dance, either.

Clairey starts HER camp this monday. She's going to theatre camp. "Clairey, in theatre camp?" You ask. "Surely, you jest--that child is neither funny nor dramatic." Oh yes, i agree (rolling my eyes). I'm going to send her to camp with a warning letter pinned to her shirt. Get this: they have auditions for the leading role of "Hansel and Gretel" that first day. Clairey wants to audition, so she's been preparing a monologue and a song. She's so freakin' funny. If they cast her as a tree, i'll have to go beat up a lot of asses.

So, that's my summer in a nutshell.

Jul 7, 2010

Who's that lady?

Clairey, thanks to the recent Swiffer commercial, has been going around the house singing, "Who's that lady?? Sexxxxxxy lady...." Thanks, Swiffer. That's just what I need. A 6-year old singing about a sexy lady. Jeesh.

And, speaking of sexy ladies...look at this picture of my mommy. Isn't she gorgeous?


Jul 2, 2010

Happy Birthday to Danny!

Does anyone remember Danny? Apparently, it's young Danny's birthday. The girls are upstairs, having a tea party, singing "Happy Birthday" to Danny.

Clairey just walked down here and asked, "Since today is Danny's birthday, can we go out to dinner?" Um, no small one. No. We don't celebrate lambs. We eat them.

Mmmmm....lamb chops. Maybe we SHOULD go out to dinner.

May 28, 2010

Claireyisms

Last night, i actually MADE dinner--like a decent, sit-down dinner (we skipped swimteam, so i actually had some time before we left for gym). I had heated up some of that "Uncle Ben's" rice that comes in a bag. You know the kind? You throw the bag in the microwave for 90 seconds and you have rice. It's magically delicious.

Clairey's standing at the counter, waiting for...i don't know...food, and she looks at SMM and asks, "Why's there a picture of the president on there?"
"On where?" asks SMM.
"Right there," pointing the the bag of rice.

At this point, i'm out of the conversation, because i'm laughing so hard, i have chicken coming out my nose.

"That's NOT the president."
Clairey looks at him. "Then who is it?"
"It's 'Uncle Ben'."
"HE'S your UNCLE?!!"

We laugh waaaayyyyy too much.

May 25, 2010

Lunch money

Every once in a while, I hop on to the school district's site to check how much money the chicks have in their lunch accounts, and to spy on what they've been purchasing in the school cafeteria. I just checked Clairey's and see that in this month, she has bought ice cream and/or a cookie four times. The rule in this house is, you can get a dessert on Friday. ONLY ON FRIDAY. She knows this rule. Of course, her sister broke the rules, too (but last year). I can't believe i didn't tell you about it.

So, last year, i was checking Jen's account, and i saw that she was buying snacks and cookies at least 2x a week. So, SMM and i confronted her about it. She blamed it on the lunch lady. We said, "Seriously. You're telling us that the lunch lady is using your account to buy cookies?" and she looked at us, and said with great conviction, "YES." So, we went on with the questioning, and each time, Jenna would say, "The lunch lady did it."

We changed our strategy. We moved to reverse psychology. We said, "Well, then i guess we'll have to call the school and tell on the lunch lady. That's too bad. She'll probably get fired. She won't be able to feed her family, and they'll end up homeless--living under a bridge. Her babies are going to have to sell their toys, and they'll have to sleep in the cold." We looked at her with sad eyes and loud sighs.

Jenna looked at us and said, "Well, I guess she'll just have to get another job."

My kid. Tender hearted to the extreme. Jeesh.

She finally did admit that she did it, as we knew she had all along.

Anyways, now Clairey's doing the same thing. I think i'm going to tell her that i got a letter from the school telling me that some bad kids have been buying dessert and they aren't supposed to. I'll look at her, give her a big hug, and say, "I'm SO glad you're not one of those bad kids!" She'll fess up immediately. She's a sucker.

May 20, 2010

Working on being awesome

I recently (today---now THAT'S recent) stumbled upon this blog post--30 Habits that Will Change your Life--and i like what this list has to say. Since last October, i've been working really hard on improving myself. However, the past few weeks, i've been inundated with crazines (work, kids' schedules, etc.), and I find myself in a pretty-much constant pissy mood, that I don't like.

So, i'm now, starting today, going to make a point to bring myself up to a whole new level of awesome. I'm a very positive person, but like the rest of us, sometimes i just get caught up in an array of crap. But you know what? Somewhere, someone has way more crap to deal with than I. So i'm letting it go.

May 4, 2010

Oh, it has begun...

Although school is still in session, summer has already begun here in good 'ol Houston, Texas. Swimteam started last week, so we not only have school every day, gymnastics on Tuesdays/Thursdays, dance on Tuesdays, and piano on Thursdays, we also have swimteam every.damn.day.

And it starts at 430. You know, because THAT makes sense. Nevermind that most people have to work. Thank goodness (or not) for smart phones. I can check/answer my email from amidst the chlorinated smell and screaming of 50 kids. It's pure joy, people. PURE JOY. I only wish i could share it with you.

Once school is out--June 2nd--Clairey's gym times move to 12-130pm. Again...HOW does this make sense?? The coaches said, "Oh, it's okay...we have free wi-fi and a room you can use for concalls." Thanks. Are you also going to have an endless supply of coffee, my spaceheater, and a warm cat for my lap? Maybe THEN it would be a good deal. However, i'm not seeing it. If Clairey could see over the dashboard, i'd teach her to drive.

Jenna's going to an "away" camp for a week. All by herself. Frightening. I have a feeling we're going to get there and she's going to freak out. She's supposed to learn how to ride horses, and take care of them. I've conveniently left out the part about how she's going to have to clean up after them, too. I'll let her find that out herself.

If i get to September and i'm still sane, i'm going to throw a party.

Apr 16, 2010

Electric babies

Clairey has, since the age of 2, expressed interest in becoming a "baby doctor" aka obstetrician. I encourage that wholeheartedly. If i would've had the science smarts, i would have been either an OB or a vet.

So, with Clairey's step-mom being pregnant, there are a lot of baby questions floating around. Clairey has an all-about-babies book, that's pretty detailed, without showing an actual ween or discussing the act of sex. It DOES show egg and sperm and uses proper terms like, "uterus," rather than "stupid thing that i have no use for since i've already baked children." She's learning well, my friends.

At the moment, she's interested in the umbilical cord. We had a lengthy discussion on how "no, the baby doesn't taste the food the mommy eats through it," and how "no, the baby's 'waste' that goes through the cord is not a big chunk of poop," and other such gems. It mentions in the book how you should not immerse the baby's belly in water while the cord is still intact. I simply read that part, then kept reading.

Later the next day, on the way home from gymnastics, Clairey asked, "Mom, are umblilical [yes, that's how she says it] cords electrical?"

me: "Um...electrical? No. Why?"

Clairey: "Because you can't get them wet."

Keeps me laughing...

Apr 1, 2010

No, it's not about the Easter bunny

Every year, the girls and I talk about the REAL meaning of Easter (what it means for us)--casting Peeps, chocolate bunnies, and creepy people in bunny suits aside, that is.

On the way home from gymnastics, on Tuesday, we were discussing Easter. I was explaining that when the mourners got to the tomb, the rock had been rolled away, as Jesus had risen from the dead. Jenna, who (strangely enough) seems to have a better grasp on the inate power of God, just nodded--she's heard this every year and has always accepted it. Clairey, on the other hand--this kid just surprises me every year. THIS year, her question was: "So, if Jesus rose from the dead, was he a zombie?"
"No, no, he was not a zombie."
"But people that come back from the dead are zombies."
"God made sure that Jesus wasn't a zombie."
"Did Jesus break out of his coffin?"
"No, Jesus wasn't in a coffin. He was in a cave, with a big rock in front of it."
"So in case he turned into a zombie, he couldn't get out?"
"No, so people couldn't go in and steal his body."
"If he wasn't a zombie, how did he come back to life?"
"God brought him back."
"Did he have wings?"
"No."
"He wasn't a zombie?"
"NO."

Silence.

"How did he get to heaven?"
"God raised him up into heaven."
"He didn't fly with his wings?"
"No."
"So, what? Did he have a magic carpet or something?"
"No. God just raised him up, and he went up into heaven."
"Was there a 'green screen' like on tv?"
"Jeez! NO. God. just. raised. him. up. God can do this stuff, you know."

More silence.

"So, Jesus wasn't a zombie?"

Then Jenna chimes in, "Jeez, Claire. Do you really think God would make Jesus a zombie? That's his kid! [rolling eyes]."

I am always entertained, my friends. ALWAYS.

Mar 30, 2010

More Clairey...

The other night, she looks at SMM and asks, "Do you want 'hello' or 'goodbye'?" Wherein, "Hello" and "Goodbye" are her fists. Nice. She followed that with an emphatic, "Ohhhh, yeeeaaaahhhhh!"

Mar 24, 2010

I can't win. But either can you.

I'm having one of those weeks where I just feel overwhelemed. Working full time, mommying full time, taking care of everything. I'm sure every mom has these days/weeks--where all you do finally catches up to you, then you get all pissy because you feel like you do everything. Then you realize that even if someone were to offer help, you wouldn't want them to because this is YOUR job. And, for instance, even though cleaning the cat litter is YOUR job, you still get pissy when you come home and it smells like pee because no one else cleaned it. Although, if someone else DID clean it, you'd be even more pissy because then you'd feel like they were secretly saying, "CRIPES. Can't she even clean the cat litter??!!" See? You just can't win.

And--i forgot to take the garbage out this morning. Which, technically, isn't my job, but I still do it. And get angry with myself when I forget to do it.

And then i look at the budget and cringe. Where does all the money go? Bills, bills, and more bills. After all is said and done, i have $900 a month left. Out of that money, has to come groceries, gas, savings money, and any and all incidentals. I spend, at the very least, $400 a month on groceries, and $80 on gas. That leaves me the HUGE sum of $420 for incidentals like, oh...school pictures, medical/dental expenses, anything we need for the house...you get the picture. I just spent $45 on a haircut (which i haven't done in MONTHS) and feel purely evil. Ay yi yi...sometimes, you just need to bitch. And I do, and I will. Because in bitching, comes truth. After I read this, I will realize that i need to suck it up and get over it. I am not, and will never be, the only one in this situation. I have a JOB. I have a roof over my head. I have food on the table. I have two little ones that I adore more than life. I have a husband that hasn't killed me. Yet.

Mar 8, 2010

Where's your pocket protector?

I've noticed that there is a huge double standard going on with kids. Why is it that, if you have a child who does well in school/makes good grades/likes to learn, read, etc. that they are labeled a "nerd?" Why do people think it's acceptable to make fun of these kids? Of course, people will say, "Oh, I'm just kidding..." but WHY is it okay?

Let's say there are two children at a table. One does well in school, learns easily, and likes to learn new things. The other child has a more difficult time at school, is in remedial classes, and school just doesn't come so easily to them. Why is it "acceptable" for a person to look at the "scholastic" child, and "kid around" with them by saying, "Nerd!" "You're so nerdy!" "Hey, where's your pocket protector?" What makes THAT kind of chiding acceptable? Wouldn't it be horribly ugly and rude to look at the child that has trouble in school and say, "Stupid!" "You're so dumb!" "Hey, where's your dunce cap?"

My question is, why is there such a double standard? Just because it's a smart kid doesn't mean that the kid's feelings won't be hurt. Why start labeling them at such a young age? Be PROUD that your child does well in school, that they love learning, that they love to read and engage in scholastic activities. I'm having a hard time understanding why people think it's okay to make fun of these kids. Who the hell came up with that? I mean what, exactly, is the thinking behind this? "Oh, that kid's smart! She/he does great in school! Rather than watch tv or play video games, she/he would rather read/play a board game/write a story! Let's make fun of him/her." I mean, really. WTF. How awful is that???

What are we setting our kids up for? If you work hard in school and make great grades, people are going to make fun of you? Set the bar lower because people won't expect much of you and will leave you alone? Seriously? THIS is how people want to raise kids? This is how people want to parent?

Feb 23, 2010

Why Mondays should not happen

950 am: Dentist appt. No big deal. BUT, i burned the roof of my mouth last Thursday and it still hurts and is swollen. The dental tech, however, is convinced that i have something stuck in my gums, so she proceeds to poke and scrape away at the inflamed area for 10 minutes. Then she wraps up with: "Oh, I guess it IS just swollen because of the burn." Thanks lady.

11am: Arrive home. Throw the keys on the counter, kick off my shoes and walk into my office. Am confronted with THE BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH. I reboot. Yep, it's still there. I look up the error code on Clairey's netbook. My worst fears are confirmed. It basically says that my laptop is fubar and to burn it now. I call IT and he tells me the same thing. I F11 and have to go back to factory settings. Apparently, this laptop didn't come with Office, because now i have no Word, no Excel, etc. Not to mention that now my Adobe Professional and Photoshop are gone, too.

12-5pm: Stumble through three meetings wherein i'm supposed to be discussing some of my jobs. Little bit hard, now that they are no longer available on my computer. I'm pretty sure i sound like a complete, bumbling fool. Not to mention that in the last meeting--the most important meeting--the meeting in which my children are home from school and i have to ask them to not beat the piss out of each other for at least THIRTY minutes, goes awry because not only do they NOT listen, they REALLY don't listen, and our call is interrupted with the piercing screams of children.

530pm: Jenna, practicing piano in the front room, looks at the ceiling and says, "What's that?" Oh, it's a leak. A BIG. FREAKING. LEAK.

This Monday rivals all others.

Feb 19, 2010

Think beyond the label

It's about damn time that a company was innovative and creative enough to come up with marketing that not only encourages companies to hire people with disabilities, but was able to do so in a funny, yet non-demeaning way.

Think beyond the label commerical

I encourage EVERYONE to visit this site and THINK BEYOND THE LABEL. While you're there, send an e-card--they're freakin' fabulous.

Amazing company? Wirestone.

p.s. This was not a paid advertisement.

Okay...kind of. They DO send me a paycheck every 2 weeks....

Feb 18, 2010

Special kisses

The girls and I each have special kisses that we do when they go to bed. They both start out the same way: with two kisses. Then they divert from each other.

Jenna: *kiss* *kiss* "woo! woo!" --then make claws with your hands and growl.

Yes, I know. The kid STILL loves "the four big cats."

Clairey's, however, has always just been *kis* *kiss* "woo! woo!" That was always enough for her. Not, apparently, anymore. Last night, I was informed of a change in the system.

Me and Clairey: *kiss* *kiss* "woo! woo!"

Clairey: "Mom, I have a new kiss."

Me: "No, you can't change up the kiss. This is how we've always done it."

Clairey: "No, it goes like this now: *kiss* *kiss* 'woo! woo! jazz hands! [making jazz hands]."

Me: "Um...jazz hands?"

Clairey: [looking at me like i'm a moron] "Yes. Jazz hands."

Me: "Okaaaaaaay."

Me and Clairey: *kiss* *kiss* "woo! woo! Jazz hands!" [except, I don't actually SAY 'jazz hands'--i just make them.]

Clairey: "NO. You have to SAY 'jazz hands.' But don't say it loud--kind of whisper it."

So, for all of you that are wondering, the proper kiss is now: *kiss* *kiss* "woo! woo! jazz handssssss!" [make jazz hands and whisper it theatrically.]

Feb 5, 2010

A book is in the works

I've come to the conclusion that i'm going to, eventually, force myself to publish the "Entire Works of Clairey"--if not for the general population, then at least for my amusement. I could flip through the tome each night, having a hearty chuckle at her expense, whilst enjoying a fine cup of chammomile. A new addition to "Chapter 12: The Part Where Clairey Informs Me That I Don't Have a REAL Job," would be thus:

[driving to Jenna's piano lesson]

Clairey: Mom, I wish Ms. Dot was still a babysitter.
[note: Ms. Dot watched each of the girls from the age of 8 weeks until they started school, respectively]
Mom: Well, even if she did, you wouldn't be going there, since you go to school.
Clairey: Wellll, if you'd GET A JOB, I COULD go there.
Mom: I DO have a job.
Clairey: No, a REAL job--where you have to go to an OFFICE.


So, note to all of you who work from home: You don't count, and neither does your job. So Clairey spits on you--ptew! Ptew!!

She'll be appreciate one day, when she realizes that my non-job supplies her shoe habit.

Jan 5, 2010

No sleep 'til Brooklyn

Just got back from a trip to NY to visit my lovely sister and her entertaining husband. We were there for a week and probably did more in that week than most visitors do in a month. Seriously. It was crazy. The girls walked longer distances than they've ever walked and were so good--hardly any complaining. And, to make it all perfect, it snowed while we were there! It doesn't get any better than that!

Dropped the 'ol life savings on entertainment for the urchins, and their favorite part? Clairey's was the subway and Jenna's was the public library. Go figure. I should've just given Claire a MetroPass and let her ride the trains all week and locked Jenna in the library. You could get lost for a week in that place. Of course, I would've given her a bag of Goldfish for sustenance--there's a water fountain--she would've been fine.

My favorite part? Just seeing my sister. I hate not being near her. Totally sucks goat balls. SMM's favorite part? I'd venture to say it was eating at the restaurant in Little Italy. "Cafe Napoli"--i highly recommend it. The eggplant parmesan is delicious enough to make me resign my Irish heritage and pretend to be Italian. Yeah, it's THAT good. Also, the little cafe in Bay Ridge--Rustica--needs to be enshrined. DELICIOUS. Every desert I had while there was to die for. And, amazingly enough, I only gained a pound. HOORAY!

However, we never did get a good pie while we were there. SMM and Johnny went out to grab one on New Year's Day, but apparently, pizzerias are closed to celebrate...um...beginning the new year?? Who knows. They brought one back, but it was only okay--next time we'll dine at Pepino's...next time.

And i plan to gain at least 5 pounds.

2009 wrap up

Let's see--2009:
  1. Lost my job 2nd week in February.
  2. SMM and i celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary, March 17th.
  3. Spent the summer trying to entertain the chicks on a very small budget--actually worked out well.
  4. Spent a week in Costa Rica, thanks to my 401k that we had to cash out in order to pay for our house. Yeah, we'll get screwed in April, but we still have our house!
  5. Got my job back August 1st. WOO HOO!!! Best company in the world.
  6. September--Jenna started piano lessons, and I kid you not--the girl's a freakin' musical genius. But yes, i'm her mother, so i think she's great at everything.
  7. Clairey got moved to the girl's gymnastics team in October. Yay my little gymnast! I also started the P90X workout. I nearly died that first week.
  8. My sister came to visit from NYC in November. :) I hate it when she goes back. Nice Thanksgiving with friends.
  9. December was awesome. Lost 18lbs doing P90. Spent a week in NYC with my babies and SMM visiting my sister and brother-in-law. Too much fun. Hated coming back.
And, that's pretty much it. All in all, it was a great year. Six months without a job, but stronger for it. :) Got to spend more time with the chicks than ever.

Looking forward to 2010!!