Friday, July 31, 2009

On the Prowl

My son has an obsession, like most typical boys, with things like dinosaurs, cars, trains, trucks, and motorcycles. To say he likes these things is an understatement. He goes nuts over them, insisting that I follow them. The most recent interest is with trash trucks and motorcycles. Anytime we see one, which is surprisingly quite a bit, he insists I follow until we can get close enough for him to get a good look. I'm becoming very friendly with our neighborhood garbage man. I would not be surprised if he takes out a restraining order.

Recently, we have had the good fortune of ending up at many stop lights right next to motorcycles. The odds of this happening with such frequency would seemingly be against us. Each time I find myself rolling down my son's back window so he can get a closer look. I then feel compelled to roll down either my window or the passenger window and yell at the top of my lungs so I can be heard over the engine, "My son likes your bike" at which point each biker revs his engine, much to my son's delight.

I think I might be getting a reputation around town though as the lady who uses her kids to try to pick up bikers. "Suuuuuure, your son likes my bike lady."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


My son has found a new way to deal with his frustrations and unfortunately that has manifested itself in him acting like he's a shark and attacking his poor sister and biting the crap out of her arms, legs, toes, essentially anything he can sink his teeth into.

It is always after she has been teasing or picking on him, so it is not like it is completely out of the blue. However, regardless of the situation I'd rather not encourage or at all give him the impression that trying to rip his sister's flesh off is okay.

In the past couple of days he has bit her three times. Once on her toe and twice on her arm. These pictures don't really do it justice. One of the bites was so hard that I literally had to pry his jaw open to pull him off her. He would not let go and as a result he broke skin and left a pretty nasty bruise.

So, any suggestions on how to curb and hopefully eliminate the biting? I'm thinking about getting a punching bag for him to let out some of this aggression.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Within this past year I came back into contact with a friend of mine from college via Facebook. Over the course of the past few months he and his wife lost their child in the 9th month of the pregnancy. The uterus burst and the baby's umbilical cord was sucked out, pinching off oxygen to their baby boy. The devastation and pain suffered is unimaginable to me and still brings me great sadness to simply contemplate their loss. My friend blogged very openly about their experience and to say I was amazed by his perspective is an understatement.

Long story short, they began to toss around the idea of adoption. Things happened very quickly and within this past week they met a birth mother, got her approval, and found out she was schedule for a c-section today. During that time they needed to raise 27k for the adoption fees, legal fees, hospital fees, and travel fees. Amazingly in five days over 27k was donated to them from friends, family, members of their church, and people they didn't even know. This was nothing short of incredible.

Today they became parents for the second time. Only this time they will get to rejoice in the birth and look forward to taking this precious gift home with them to love, nurture, and raise. I can't imagine the range of emotions they must be experiencing from joy to sadness to redemption and any and all in between. Today was a good day. Better than good actually. An amazing day. I'm sure the birth of their second son will never take away the pain associated with the loss of their first, but hopefully he will be a beacon of joy and a source of comfort for them. He will be to them what our children our to us: the best of us.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

One More Spill and It's To the Moon

What's the saying? No use crying over spilled milk? I have to tell you that if my son spills one more thing in the course of a 24 hour period to add to the 134 other times during that same time period in which he spilled I am going TO LOSE MY EVER LOVING MIND!

I normally have the patience of a saint when it comes to picking up and cleaning up after my kids. If they spill I really don't care. It happens. They are young. In this house it happens a lot. But my son, for the love of sweet baby Jesus, simply does not pay attention. If he weren't merely two I'd be convinced he was ADD. Being that he is two I will chalk it up to his age and gender. In a matter of minutes today he dropped his glass of juice. Literally as I was cleaning that up he knocked his bowl of cereal off the table which sent milk and cheerios flying everywhere. As I was cleaning that up, he managed to kick over my cup of water which I had set down on the floor by the couch when I got up to clean his first mess. This doesn't even count the handful of things he dropped, dumped, threw during the rest of the day. And it's not like today was the exception. It was pretty much the rule. This is what goes on every single gosh darn day. What is it? I really can hardly take it anymore. I spent my entire day mopping. I'm tempted to freeze dry everything that kid eats and drinks in order to simply save my sanity. Is that possible?

My husband thought there was something wrong with the poor kid. (He works a lot and isn't usually home to witness the catastrophe that is my life). He was ready to lose it after the series of three spills. I'm thinking, "Babe you have been witness to three spills. Multiply that by a million and there's a snapshot of my week."

So, seriously. Freeze dried. Gotta be possible, astronauts use them.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Safety First

My husband had a business retreat today at a popular getaway location in town that also has a horse trail (horseback riding is big here). The afternoon activity was, you guessed it, horseback riding. This concerned me for a couple of reasons. My husband is the guy who would fall off the horse while mounting and suffer paralysis. It is not that he is clumsy, but it just seems that a disproportionate amount of bad luck has been placed upon him in his extra curricular pursuits. The second reason of concern was that he just had a minor surgery a few days ago....ON HIS HEAD. He was told to basically do nothing other than to sit at his desk at work. Just doing some things around the house has caused his head to start bleeding where the stitches are. Massive amounts of blood. Head wounds bleed like none other.

So, since it was almost impossible for him to opt out I asked that he look into wearing a helmet. As I explained to him, he is worthless to me in a vegetative income and no life insurance money (of course I said it a bit more delicately...although in all truth, not much more delicately than I just phrased it here). I didn't really expect that he'd wear a helmet but I did want to convey my concern for his well-being.

He asked for, received, and wore the helmet. Needless to say he was the victim of some good natured ribbing. Honestly, I would have probably peed my pants laughing so hard had I seen him. I guess a few others wore helmets in a moment of solidarity.

So, yet another reason why I love this man. He's willing to risk personal embarrassment to put his wife at ease.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Slaving Away in the Kitchen

I love to cook. I consider myself a bit of a low-rent foodie and love to try new recipes or combinations of food. My husband likes to boost my self-esteem by telling me how he is the envy of all his co-workers because of the leftovers he brings in for lunch (while I deflect the praise, it is nice to hear). The bad part is that some of these recipes take a bit of time and since I am usually preparing dinner while my husband is still at work it is oftentimes difficult with the two little ones running around like something out of Lord of the Flies.

While I cook from scratch 5 to 6 nights a week there are always one or two nights where I make sandwiches or cheese crisps or order take out. I'm cheap and hate spending money to eat out, so I have decided that this weekend I am going to make two to three weeks worth of meals and freeze them and then that way on nights when cooking from scratch isn't an option I can take those out of the freezer, pop them in the oven, and be ready to go. I used to do this quite a bit when I was working since I usually got home too late to cook. If this goes well I may start making this a part of my regular rotation just to have a few meals on hand on nights when time is of concern.

So, I plan to freeze lasagna, spaghetti sauce, taco meat, a homemade mac and cheese, vegetarian chili, and sour cream enchiladas. Anyone else have any recipes that freeze well?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Heartbreaking Moment of the Night

My son took a toy of my daughter's (that she wasn't playing with) and began playing with it. When my daughter realized he had it she flipped out and demanded it back. I made her share it with him since she wasn't even playing with it. A major tantrum of epic proportions ensued. I sent her to her room where she then began wailing an awful cry saying, "Daddy, please come home. Please please my daddy come home" over and over again for thirty five minutes.

It was so incredibly sad to listen to. My son relented and gave back the toy but the wailing for her daddy continued. As I type this she is still in her room crying for her daddy. I have a feeling that once she can dial his number he will be receiving many hysterical phone calls from her.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Random Outtakes from a 4 year old

Our four year old told us tonight that she'd like to have a baby sister. She then asked me if I could just put it in her stomach this time.

Then when my husband said the name he'd want if the future child is a boy my daughter said, "No, I only want a sister and I do not like that name at all."

She then said she wants to name her new baby sister "Zona" (don't ask where she came up with that), I don't know other than to say we live in Arizona.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


We took the kids bowling for the first time. I am not a big fan of bowling, but I wanted to see if the kids like it My son was in love. He wanted to bowl every frame even when it wasn't his turn. My daughter bowled five frames and then said she was done. When I asked her if she liked bowling she said, "I liked it but not a lot."
Watching the ball creep ever so slowly down the lane.

My son getting into perfect position.

Waiting to observe his handi-work.

Backyard Project

This used to be a built up fire pit with three concret benches surrounding. My husband tore it down.
Preparing the land for grass. Our daughter has been begging for grass so she can have a picnic outside.

Grass seed and fertilizer distributed. Hubby evening it out.

Topped with soil. Now we sit and wait for the grass to grow and pray that our dog stays out of it.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

And This is Why People Stop Having Kids

My husband had to work a few hours Saturday morning and I needed to get some errands taken care of. Against my better judgment I decided to not wait until he got home and just take the kids to the mall myself. I wanted to look in three stores for a couple of dresses for my daughter. It should not have been a very long trip.

Now, I don't mean to bag on my son. He's really a wonderful kid. But he's two and he's a boy and all he wants to do is run around, hide, and be loud. Shopping with him is something I dread, but considering my husband works ALL THE TIME I end up shopping with him 99.9 percent of the time. If I waited to shop until my husband was home I would never go shopping.

I gave up long ago on a stroller because my son would Houdini himself out or else throw himself violently from side to side until the stroller tipped. It became more hassle than if I just carried him or let him walk next to me. So, as I am looking through the racks today he starts wandering off. I try to hold him and he dives out of my arms, flailing. Then he starts hiding in the racks which, in a crowded mall, makes me a little panicked. He was just non-stop. He then takes clothes off the racks, even managed to rip a few tags off the clothes, and was just into everything. I was about to come unglued.

The thing is, to everyone else, things probably looked fine. He wasn't being loud or running wildly throughout the store. He wasn't being a nuisance to anyone else but me. Still I was frustrated and really couldn't look through the racks I needed to look through. After about 30 minutes (probably even less) I just gave up and took them to the play area.

When my husband came home I left the kids with him and returned alone to finish what I had started earlier. It was then that two kids, left pretty unattended by their mother, were SPRINTING throughout the store, yelling at the top of their lungs, hiding in the clothes and pulling them down on top of themselves as they lay on the floor. Just out of control wild. And they were around seven, eight, or nine years of age. Way too old to act like that. As much work as my two year old was this morning, his behavior paled in comparison.

It was at that point I realized things were not as bad as they seemed. I also realized that I am a much better parent than I oftentimes give myself credit for.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Excuse Me, but Where is Your "Not a Ho" Section?

I was at Target today to get the kids some new pajamas. My four year old daughter wears a size 5/6 (long legs, long torso) which means we have to shop in the "Girls" section versus the "Children's" section. That also means some of the clothing is a bit "older" or in my mind inappropriate. I was just looking for a nightgown for her yet it seemed like every single nightgown had teeny bopper sex symbols. The guys from High School Musical, the Jonas Brothers.

It rubbed me wrong. I just think there is something a bit wrong about putting your young daughter (even if she was 7 or 8) in this type of clothing. Apparently, it is just me because there were plenty of mothers loading up their carts with this junk. I had to sift through all the sale racks to finally find two nightgowns that simply had flowers on them.

I don't know why I was so bothered by this. It's not as if these sex symbols were in graphic sexual positions or anything like that or like they were hitting the bong or something. But I think it goes to something deeper. This permeation in our culture of indoctrinating our children at such a young age to concepts that really may not be all that appropriate. I guess the last thing I want is my daughter then going to bed with these guys' faces on her pajamas.

What do you think? Am I overreacting or am I maybe on to something?

This Must Be What Hell is Like.....Only Hotter

I love Tucson, I really do. There are so many more positives than negatives. While we are constantly getting bigger we still have very much a small town feel. Everyone knows everyone or at least knows someone who does. We have a great outdoors life: biking, hiking, camping. The list of positives is possibly endless.

Despite all the great things about Tucson the summer weather is brutal. It is so unbelievably hot that at times it is simply shocking. I was out running errands and came home looking like I'd been sitting in a sauna. In many ways, I guess I was. Despite being a native I just cannot handle this heat and in my old age I realize I just don't WANT to anymore.

In all seriousness I have begun encouraging my husband to pursue any out of state job opportunities, particularly in Washington, Oregon, or Colorado. He works for a company that has locations throughout the country so he could potentially be transferred anywhere. I never really thought we'd leave Tucson and we possibly never may but it has never been more of an option than it has been this summer. I have a feeling it is only going to get hotter.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Past Her Prime

I read today that the world's oldest woman at the time she gave birth (at 65 years of age) died today at age 68. She leaves behind twin toddlers. I could write an entire post about what I feel is the obligation and responsibility of these fertility doctors or whether or not women should be able to give birth past a certain age.

I will simply say two things: 1) just because you CAN do something doesn't always necessarily mean you SHOULD and 2) maybe more people should consider what would be in the best interest of their children verses what is in their best interest.

While I am sure this woman may have expected to live longer the fact remains that she could reasonably assume that she would die fairly soon and leave behind young children. I personally just find that selfish. There are two children now who will most likely end up in foster care, or best case scenario with other family members if they exist, because there was no father.

It bothers me because I think so many do what they want, what they think is best for them, with little consideration as to how that will affect others. I wonder how much this woman really thought about all the ramifications of being so old and giving birth. She obviously knew there were risks involved as she lied to the fertility doctor about her age, telling him she was ten years younger. (And shame on the doctor for a)not checking and b) helping her get pregnant).

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

This Is The Post In Which I Toot My Own Horn

I deserve some type of medal. Maybe something shiny? Even a paper certificate would be okay. We went to see my grandmother today and an ice cream man always cruises through her neighborhood when we seem to be there. The kids asked about the ice cream truck and I told them I'd get them something if he came by. Famous last words.

I never heard the music, but apparently my son did because he started screaming, "Truck, truck." I thought he was just talking about a random truck since he is obsessed with trucks in general so I ignored him until my grandma tells me that it was indeed the ice cream truck. So, I run outside only to discover he is leaving the neighborhood and I haven't even made it to my car to get my wallet out.

So, I did what any good mother would do. I chased the darn truck down. Let's just say that in 105 degree heat that it is not easy. Plus this ice cream man has a lead foot. I finally caught him two streets and one cul-de-sac over. I was panting, dripping sweat. I go to the gym daily but I have never felt my heart beat so fast or feel like my lungs were so close to exploding. I was tempted to ask the ice cream man to call 911. However, I got the suckers and gum that they like and then realized I was pretty far from my grandma's house and I didn't want to walk forever.

So I ran. I ran fast. I made it to the doorstep looking like a crazed woman. Good thing I had come from the gym and still had my sports bra on...or else my heroic efforts would not have been possible without risking severe injury to myself and others.

What do you think? Do I deserve a medal?

Condiment Central

Growing up, when I'd have friends over, we would inevitably end up in the fridge looking for food. I used to get made fun of because my friends would say, "Your house is the only house with a completely full fridge with only condiments and no food." And for the most part they were right. There was always turkey and cheese and fruit, but our fridge would be stocked with mustard, mayo, salad dressings, pickles, hot sauce, steak sauce, random concoctions my dad had mixed up, and every other possible condiment.

When my husband and I were dating he stopped by my apartment one day to visit. He makes fun of me to this day because according to him all that was in the fridge was ketchup, pickles, mustard, A1, and hummus and in my freezer simply a bottle of tanqueray vodka. He refers to my family as the Kings of Condiments.

So, when we got married he put a ban on excessive amounts of condiments in the fridge. Admittedly this was hard for me at first but I have managed to get by with mustard, mayo, ketchup, one bottle of hot sauce, A1, and only one thing of salad dressing at a time (made easier by the fact that I make our own salad dressing). This is quite the feat as my parents fridge still is condiment headquarters.

While my daughter doesn't like any condiment outside of mayo and even that is pushing it, my son seems to follow in his mother's footsteps and loves all condiments. So much in fact that he'll eat them food necessary. Needless to say, this is a stake in my husband's heart. And his mommy couldn't be more proud.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Only She Can Pick on Him, No one else Can

I witnessed pure awesome-ness today. We were entering the gym and my son likes to push the button on the automatic door. At the same time we were entering another family was exiting and their four or five year old son ran and pushed the button first, followed by my son. Apparently, the other boy didn't take to kindly to the "help" and started complaining to his dad about how my son was a bad boy. Before I could even register what was happening my four year old daughter whips around, hands on hips, nose scrunched up and SCREAMS at him, "My brother is not bad. That is not nice of you to say. You cannot say that to my brother." Then stood there glaring at him.

If you have never witnessed a stare down between two preschoolers you are truly missing out. Neither one moved. My son, who was having his honor defended, just stood there by his sister I don't think realizing what all the commotion was about. I found the whole thing humorous and was definitely proud of my daughter for defending her brother when she felt he was under attack. Finally, the other father and myself shrugged, smiled, and took our kids to their separate corners.

However, like I said. Pure AWESOME-NESS!

Art Walk

My children woke up early this morning. In combination with me staying up late last night to watch a movie with my husband I was beat when they came walking in. So, I turned on some cartoons in my room and dozed on and off for about an hour. I woke up to my son saying, "Carpet, carpet" and holding a crayon in his hand. I got out of bed and there on the floor was a picture drawn in blue and purple crayon. Then he goes over to the wall by the window to show me the artwork there as well. Oh, my! All over the wall, on the ledge of the window sill, up the sides of the window. Just everywhere. Repainting is going to be the only option.

We continue his little art walk tour by seeing the design he drew on the entertainment center, the TV, and the wall by the bathroom. He was apparently quite busy during that hour that I tried to steal a couple extra winks.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Keep on Truckin'

It is easy sometimes to take for granted the things we have been blessed with. I know that I am often guilty of this. It saddens me to think how many hours a week my husband has to work and how much he misses out on with our kids, yet because he works that much we can afford to pay our bills. While he works close to eighty hours a week there are others (and some in our immediate circle) who don't have jobs at all. When I think about their uncertain future it makes me so much more grateful that my husband is employed. I oftentimes think it would be easier if we had more disposable income (who doesn't?) to blow on luxuries and non-necessities and then I think about those who can't afford food to feed their families or those who are losing their homes. It is hard to not see my husband as often as I would like and I wish he and I had time to go out alone and spend more time together, yet then I think about a couple of friends of mine who are currently going through divorces and will be starting their lives over as single women. It makes me thankful for the time, however little it may be, that I do have with him.

Times seems to be rough for a lot of people right now. The economic struggles seem to permeate into the personal lives of those battling hardship. How can it not? As tough as things sometimes get I always try to remind myself to be thankful for what we have. We have food, clothing, and shelter. We have our health and our love for one another. Nobody is putting his/her life on the line fighting a war as many of our American men and women are doing on a daily basis. For all of those things I am thankful.

When I look around and see friends or people I know losing their homes, the lives they knew, their marriages, and their self-esteem it is disheartening and discouraging. However, it makes me that much more intent on making what I have and what my family has work. Everything is cyclical and what goes down must come up and while things are far from ideal we keep plugging away, holding on, working together. And that has to count for something.

You Better Be First

I've never understood why people find it necessary to wait directly in front of the door waiting for a store to open and then bum rush it when it finally does. It's not like you aren't going to be let in. Plus, we are talking about Costco here. It's not going anywhere. Is stampeding the entrance going to make that much of a difference? We waited, let the crazies in, still managed to get our shopping done just fine, and didn't even have to wait in line to pay. So, I guess I'll just leave the crowding of the door and knocking old ladies down to others. As for me and my family, we'll just wait in the back.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Negotiation 101

My daughter had her four year check up today. Everything went fine and she did great. Watching her interact with the doctor is always so entertaining for me because our doctor has a great relationship with us and gets a kick out of my kids. Today they asked my daughter to take off her clothes except for her underwear. She turns and looks at the nurse and says, "I'm going to need a robe, please." How she even knew that was an option is beyond me, but they gave her one of those paper gowns. Then the doctor comes in and starts asking her questions about always riding in a car seat, always wearing a bicycle helmet, and a variety of other safety questions. Then she says, "Now, when you go swimming who do you want to make sure is always with you?" My daughter replies "Emily**". The doctor looks at me and says, "Is that an adult?" Nope, her three year old cousin. We then started talking about preschool a little and the doctor was trying to encourage my daughter to give it a try. Sure as can be she stood her ground and insisted she did not want to go, did not want to try it, would not like it, and didn't think it was a good idea to "try it out." Watching an educated professional (who we adore) try to negotiate with my four year old was worth the $15 copay.

The only "bad" part of the visit was that three shots were required, a tetanus being one of them so by tonight her arms was really swollen and sore. The plus side to that is a little Tylenol and TLC and she went right to bed.

** name changed for privacy

Averting Disaster

Six years ago when my husband and I moved to Tucson we purchased a new construction home. The on-site realtor was a relatively new realtor, but good. He was personable, professional, and got things done. We felt like we were in very good hands. Not only that, but he was a nice guy. He helped us move in and subsequently came over to our house for drinks on many occasions when he was still located in our subdivision trying to sell off the rest of the lots. A year after we bought from him he left the company to start his own real estate firm. He was very successful and sold a lot of real estate. In 2007, we put our house up for sale; the same home he sold us. We used him as our realtor.

Right off the bat, things were a little strange. He seemed to avoid us, always sending over another realtor who worked for him. He, himself, had limited involvement in our transactions. As our house was on the market we began looking for other houses with plans to use this firm to also purchase a new house. My husband had recently changed jobs and we expressed concern to this realtor that we may not qualify since most banks want proof of income for two years at the same job. Her response was, "Oh, don't worry Andrew has a great relationship with a mortgage company we use all the time and he won't have any problem getting you qualified." We got a similar response when we expressed concern about coming up with a hefty down payment.

After a few months with little interest in our fact our house was barely shown... we called Andrew who again sent over the other realtor we had been primarily dealing with. She suggested that we consider renting out our home with a purchase option attached (rent-to-own). She said Andrew's friend owned such a company to "manage" the rental agreement and transactions. My husband and I had very little interest in renting out our home so this discussion did not go very far. However, Andrew did call my husband after to discuss this possible rent option in more detail. My husband was a realtor for 2 years and just had a funny feeling about the arrangement and also a couple of other "suggestions" this particular firm offered. They seemed too good to be true and we were both a little skeptical. However, homes were selling, loans were getting funded and so we just really weren't sure. We never really suspected he was being dishonest or unethical, we just felt like some of his suggestions were a little risky and depended on a host of variables that could change at any time. After six months of basically feeling like we were being blown off, though, we changed realtors. Our new realtor made a bit of a prophetic statement by saying something to the effect that our previous realtor (Andrew) was involved in some "shady dealings."

Three days ago I was looking at a house that is for sale and it is listed by the female agent in Andrew's office who we had previously primarily dealt with. She was now working for a different company. I thought that was a little odd since she seemed to really enjoy working with him. When I got home I tried to find Andrew, only to discover that he was no longer licensed nor were any of the other agents in his office (outside of this one particular woman we had dealt with). My husband and I were discussing how odd this was since he was a good agent and thought maybe he too had been hit hard by the housing market tanking and that maybe he just got out of the business.

Last night, this announcement was made. I was shocked. The indictment alleges that Andrew in conjunction with his rent to own property management buddy set out to defraud hundreds of home buyers and investors to the tune of 2 to 10 million dollars. The lawsuit also alleges that the particular mortgage company we were instructed to use was involved by getting people funded who shouldn't have qualified using fraudulent means. You can read the actual complaint that was filed in court as it outlines the scheme and how each person connects to the other, allegedly. (I wish more the reporters here in town....would actually read the complaint because half of what is circulating about what they are accused of isn't even a part of the actual lawsuit).

I won't get into the merits of the case, because I really have no idea. I am not a lawyer. All I have is my personal experience with the accused ring-leader of this scheme. I am, however, a firm believer in the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. While the evidence against my former realtor and his rent to own buddy seems pretty damning they still deserve their day in court. There also may be some involved who are collateral damage as a result of ignorance, incompetence, turning a blind eye, or simply association and the company one keeps. Who knows. If these allegations are true and the level of involvement each party had can be proven then they should be penalized to the full extent of the law, but I do wish more people would reserve judgment until more is known.

That being said, I cannot tell you the relief my husband and I felt last night. When we were trying to sell our home with them we prayed every day that the house would sell so that we could then buy a new one. It was frustrating when things didn't work out as planned. When I think now about the huge mess we could be embroiled in, simply in terms of being in a home we may not have been able to afford, or given shady loan terms or any other variety of possibilities relief doesn't even begin to describe it. So much seems to make sense now. I wonder if he was distant and didn't try very hard to sell our house because we were friendly and he didn't want to screw us but he also couldn't tell us he couldn't represent us without seeming suspicious. Or I wonder if the opportunity presented itself would he have screwed us too? (Ironically, the one realtor from his firm who we dealt with is the only one who has been able to keep her license and is not named in the was she ignorant to the entire operation or was there just not sufficient evidence to include her? Who knows?)

The part that is lost on so many in our community right now (who would like to line these men up and stone them) is that many of the accused have families: wives, children, parents. Andrew has a child close in age to my kids. Many of the others also have young children. If these men are guilty I really don't feel badly for them, however regardless of their guilt or innocence I do feel badly for their families and all the families they allegedly screwed out of homes and money. Children really do pay for the sins of their fathers (and in many cases mothers too).

It will be interesting to see how this plays out and how much of the allegations can actually be proven. While I like to believe that our legal system works and that they get it right all of the time, we all know full well that mistakes are made, innocent people go to prison, and over eager prosecutors sometimes make examples out of the wrong people.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Sometime last year our then three year old daughter started telling us she wanted to go to preschool. It was too late to start here then so we planned/plan to send her this August since she just turned 4. She talked about "her" preschool for six months or more. I signed her up for only two days a week at a preschool affiliated with a church right down the street from our house. It seemed ideal. Then about a month ago she started telling us that she didn't want to go anymore. We didn't make a big deal about it and decided we'd just wait it out and see if that changed. It hasn't.

For weeks now, almost on a daily basis, she tells us that she changed her mind and just wants to stay home and do her dance class. Here's where I am torn. My husband and I don't care if she goes or not. We thought it was something she wanted, which is why she was enrolled. Personally, I figure since I am home with the kids it doesn't really affect me one way or the other. If she wants to go, great; if not, I am okay with that too. However, part of me thinks I should at least have her try it as more than likely she'll end up enjoying it. The other part of me doesn't want to force this. (I had an incredibly traumatic preschool experience as a child and to this day my mom claims that making me "tough it out" for a few months was one of the biggest mistakes she made).

I'm feeling pressure because we have a parent meeting coming up in about a week and a half and then orientation a week after that. I need to let the director know one way or the other and probably pretty soon. She is adamant though that she does not want to go, but would rather I continue to "teach" her at home.

What would you do?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Because I am Too Tired and/or Too Lazy.....

I started writing a couple different posts this week and for whatever reason just couldn't finish them. I'd lose my point mid-way through or just couldn't wrap it up in a way that seemed fluid. Furthermore, nothing of real excitement or interest is going on right now for me to share. So, in lieu of an actual post I will share with you some "gems" from my children this week.

** My daughter asks very loudly in the doctor's office this morning if the woman entering is a man or a woman. When I shush her and tell her quietly that the person in question is indeed a woman my daughter says just as loudly, "Well, she doesn't really look like a woman. Are you sure?"

** My daughter also informs us this week (actually she has been telling us for a month) that she no longer wants to go to preschool. Today she finally tells us the reason and that reason is apparently, "Because there are nasty germs at that school." Don't ask me where she got that from. I really don't know.

** After asking my daughter to please stop talking for two seconds so I could hear myself think she says, "No, mom I can't. I talk. That's just what I do."

** We were stopped at a red light with a car in front of us. The light turned green and apparently the car in front didn't move fast enough for my daughter because next thing I know she yells, "Green means go. Man, some drivers are just idiots." Yes, that phrase she did hear from me!

** My son has taken to pointing out the type of genitalia each person in the store or restaurant or park or any other public place has. He does this by pointing and shouting, "Penis" or "Gina". So, far he's 100 percent.

** Each day when we leave the gym my son repeats over and over again, telling everyone on our way out, "My mama stinks." Lovely.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Super Bug that's Super Freaky

Almost a year ago my son developed really chapped lips along half of his bottom lip. The lip cracked in multiple places and then crusted over and spread down toward his chin. It looked awful and painful. We took him to the doctor where they started treating it just with aquafor, which did nothing. They then suspected impetigo and treated him for that, then a yeast infection, and after months of different treatment options we were referred to a dermatologist who put him on a steroid cream for two weeks. It cleared up the symptoms for the most part, yet returned within three days of stopping the cream. She put him back on the cream, which this time did nothing.

So, we go back to the doctor tomorrow as they are now suspicious that he may have MRSA (a bacterial super bug). They'll take a culture and we'll know for sure. At this point I just want to know what the heck it is and what treatment options will actually correct and fix the problem and not merely mask the symptoms. There has been talk of putting him on antibiotics for 40 days if it is in fact MRSA, which makes me nervous. He's been on antibiotics twice for pneumonia and both times it tore his stomach up. I try to avoid antibiotics at all cost so they don't build up an immunity (like declining it for ear infections that can clear on their own), but I know at this point he needs something and while I appreciate the doctors erring on the side of caution in his treatment, it seems like after 11 months of dealing with this they'd give him whatever it took to kill whatever he has.

I am tempted to just say, "I know you don't know what it is so just treat him for EVERYTHING you think it COULD be and hopefully one of your guesses will be right."

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Dirty Facts of Life

As kids growing up all my parents ever bought were Springer Spaniel dogs. Through the course of my childhood there was Luke, Sherlock, and Watson. After I moved away for college (my younger siblings were still at home) my parents bought their first pound puppy they named Kelly, followed by another pure bread Spaniel who they never spayed as they intended to breed her. As with a lot of things, they never got around to doing that. Molly, the dog, is now eleven years old.

When my parents moved to DC in January they left the dog with my grandmother. My kids love Molly and would spend hours making her a bed, getting her food, and playing with her over the years. About two months ago, my grandmother's neighbor's pit bull broke down the neighbors fence and molested poor Molly, not once but twice.

The past few weeks she's been miserable, constantly licking her stomach, lactating, and showing all the typical signs of pregnancy. My parents were in town for my daughter's birthday and took her to the vet. The worst was confirmed: she's pregnant, however in all likelihood giving birth to the puppies would kill her and more likely than not the pups would not survive either, due to a variety of factors and conditions with Molly, her age and size being two of them.

Anyway, this has been very upsetting to all involved, my parents especially as my mom and brother have to take her in for surgery tomorrow. It is a possibility that Molly will not survive the surgery. While certainly sad, I worry about having to tell my daughter. Kelly, my parents other dog, died not long ago and our daughter was very upset about that. Her fish just died and she recently started asking a lot of questions about Michael Jackson* dying. She obviously pays much closer attention to the conversations my husband and I have than I ever imagined. While I am honest with her, I also don't want her worrying or thinking that everyone who gets old or sick dies.

What is your experience with explaining death to young children?

*On a funnier note, my daughter asked me today if Michael Jackson was both a girl and a boy. I asked her why she thought that and she said, "Because he sings like a girl. Like this...yee, hee and he also kinda looks like one" and then mimicked his high pitched squeal (for lack of a better word).

Tennis Balls in a Sock **

When we started having children we made the decision that I would breastfeed. There were a variety of reasons, but I'll just leave it at that is the decision I made. Furthermore, I decided that I wouldn't necessarily wean them but allow them to self-wean as to not make it a traumatic or stressful situation.

When my daughter was 14 months old, and still nursing, I got pregnant with my son. There were some problems and my doctor suggested I try to wean her. I tried for a few weeks, it was awful and horrible and all the things I thought trying to wean a child who wasn't ready would be, so I continued to allow her to nurse. She eventually weaned herself at 19 months. I had three glorious months of wearing normal bras and no one was pawing at my boobs uninvited. When she was 22 months I gave birth to our son.

He is now 25 months old and shows no signs of being ready to wean, even though I'd like to be done nursing him. I know I could wean him, I really do and I know everyone has an opinion on this issue, but I am pretty against the idea of weaning him solely for the sake of my convenience. A few months ago, my ob/gyn switched my birth control, but warned me that it would more than likely decrease my milk supply. I said I wouldn't mind that and then secretly prayed my milk supply went away. No luck, still going strong.

So, I say all of that to say that last night I was nursing my son and thinking about the fact that out of the past 48 months (4 years) I have been nursing a child 45 of those months. Oh, how I long for the day that my boobs are once again mine.

** A reference to how I feel my boobs are going to look when the milk supply is gone.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Birthday to My Daughter....Oh, Yeah and America Too

My daughter turns four today. It's almost impossible to believe that it has been four years since she entered our life. In so many ways it seems like just yesterday. To look at her and see this person is sometimes otherworldly. It's even more difficult to think about a time when she wasn't a part of our lives. I couldn't imagine my life without her, nor could I have asked for a better daughter.

She's funny and smart and makes me laugh daily. Deep, guttural roaring laughter. But more importantly she makes me proud to be her mom. When others look at her admiringly or compliment me on her vocabulary or her compassion while I graciously say thank you, inside I am bursting with pride for the blessing I have been given.

It has been so exciting to see her grow from this tiny baby into this walking, talking, joke making, pre-schooler. I cannot wait to see what the next four years bring. I have no doubt that the years will be interesting and definitely keep me on my toes.

As I have been cooking and cleaning and decorating for her birthday party I just keep looking over at her in amazement, still picturing her as a baby even though she is anything but. So, to my sweet, beautiful, incredibly bright daughter on her special day I wish her a happy birthday and a lifetime of happiness.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Throw it in the Oven

Between my two kids we have had five birthdays so far. This Saturday will mark the sixth. For four out of those five birthdays I have made the cake, a couple times out of the box and a couple from scratch. Last year for my daughter's third birthday we ordered a Princess Cake from the store, which I planned to do again this year.

However, my son's birthday was a month ago, and I made a cake and frosting from scratch that ended up being really good. This Saturday I am cooking for the party and my husband and I have a lot of household projects to get done over the next three days, so I wanted to make things easy on myself and just buy a cake from the store. However, after going to the store and looking through the book of cakes my daughter tells me that she wants me to make her a cake like I made her brother and that she doesn't want a cake from the store.

Of course, if that is what she wants, that is what she will get because in the realm of things it is not that much work. So, while part of me was hoping for the easy way out another part of me is secretly thrilled that she'd prefer her mommy make her a cake instead of getting a Princess Cake from the store. (For the record, I will be decorating the cake with a Disney Princess theme).

How about you? Do you usually make your own birthday cakes or order them from a store?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My Kind of Shopping

Yesterday, I took my daughter to Toys r Us to pick out her birthday present. I had envisioned spending forever there going up and down every aisle, debating between toys. I was prepared for it. However, we got there, started going up and down the aisles pretty quickly as she seemed pretty sure about what she didn't want. We made it to the Princess section and right away she picked out the Princess Polly pocket dolls, a Princess nail polish and lipstick kit, and a Beauty and the Beast tea set. My plan was to let her pick out whatever she thought she might want and at the end make her pick a couple of things and put the rest back.

I wanted her to finish looking up and down the aisles, which we did, but it was futile. She was done; she had what she wanted. We walked through the art supply section on the way out where she spotted a Princess drawing set and some markers, which also made it into the cart. At the end the tea set went back since she already had a few different tea sets and I am trying to limit the amount of toys that make their way into our house these days..

It was totally easy shopping trip and more importantly I got out of there for under $50.