Sunday, August 31, 2008

At the Weight Watchers

You guys, I go to Weight Watchers. I join between each of my babies, and always miss my goal by a few pounds when I get pregnant again and get kicked out. It's one of the drawbacks of rabbit-style procreation.

Anyway, my friend Claire (who rocks her acerbic Scottish humor something fierce) wrote a post about her meetings (because apparently Weight Watchers is the one thing that can bridge the Atlantic Ocean), and whoa, her meetings are different than mine.

Hers are all like, "I ate this, and I ate this, and I ate this and I gained three pounds and loved every pound!" My people are all like, "I'm the BEST WEIGHT WATCHER EVER! I starved myself for five of the seven days this week and I lost twelve pounds!"

I always try to keep it real, but I get a lot of negative vibes for it. For example, my leader will be all, "You know, you can eat just one Oreo."

And I'll raise my hand (because I know how a classroom setting works) and say, "Uh, you know actually I can't. I can eat THE WHOLE BAG in one sitting. But just one? Not so much."

The other people around me always act horrified/shocked/disturbed by my ability to binge. For the record, I don't purge. That's what got me to WW in the first place.

But seriously? I look around and these same horrified/shocked/disturbed people are like 40 pounds heavier than I am. What, they got fat the "healthy" way? Their overweight condition was caused by an extreme love for apples and oranges? Please.

Let's all admit it. We can eat a whole package of Oreos in one sitting. Other things we can eat in one sitting? A dozen donuts. A whole tray of homemade chocolate chip cookies. A half bag of Doritos. And any size bag of any candy (except Mounds or Almond Joy--EW!).

Seriously, if you're at Weight Watchers, I just want some honesty. You binge. I binge. Let's not pretend we've got the self-control of Vicky Beckham. We're not eating edamame, right?

Now that's off my chest. And I'm off to eat some chocolate chips with peanut butter. Straight out of the peanut butter jar.

Friday, August 29, 2008

And This Is What We're Dealing With . . .

Spe: Momma, I don't really like your boobs.

Me: Really? Why not? (Because I'm thinking he probably hasn't noticed that gravity has not been a friend to me, as he is only three.)

Spe: (Sadly) Because I can't touch them.

Me: (Firmly) That's right. You can't.

I'm guessing when he grows up, he'll really love women with . . . long legs (people, people!). Or just women who let him touch their boobs. Either way . . .

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hey, how about that one lady . . .

Spe's Teacher: Hey, who should we have for room mother?

Assistant Teacher: Uhm, good question.

Teacher: I was thinking about that one lady, who has that really cute girl. You know, Olivia's mom.

Assistant: Yeah, she'd be great!

Teacher: Well, unfortunately she turned me down because apparently Olivia is prepping for the Miss Cinderella pageant and she's got a whole dance routine to learn.

Assistant: Bummer. Well, what about Cole's mom?

Teacher: Yeah, she turned me down too. Apparently she's working on her doctorate degree in early childhood education, and so she's really dedicating herself to her family and her education.

Assistant: So who's left?

Teacher: Uh, I think I'm going to have to ask Spe's mom.

Assistant Teacher: Oh, I don't remember her. What field trips did she go on last year?

Teacher: Uh, she didn't really ever volunteer to go on a field trip.

Assistant: Wait, is she the one that's always late to drop off and pick up?

Teacher: Yeah, she's the one in her pajamas.

Assistant: I don't know. She actually seems to be hanging on to sanity by a thread. Are you sure that you want her to be in charge of parties and stuff?

Teacher: What other choice do we have?

Assistant Teacher: Right. Spe's mom it is, then. I don't even think that kid is potty trained. Heaven help us all.

And that is how room mothers are chosen at the preschool where Spe attends.

Heaven help us all, indeed.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Minivan and You

The Minivan. Gosh, is that the iconic symbol of stay-at-home-mommying or what? Every mom who's any mom has one. They make life easier and some of them even have self-opening doors! Wow! And built in DVD players, because American kids are totally not watching enough TV! Some of them have like twenty cup holders, and some of them have swivelly seats so that your kids can play card games while you drive them around town (and I'm not going to confess that I jealously lusted after those when I first saw them, because hello! SO LAME to lust after anything on a minivan.)!

I guess I have a lot of free time on my hands, because I've made up a personality test that gauges your relationship with your minivan. Because let's be honest, there is a relationship there. Whether it's love, hate, convenience, or pragmatism that's keeping the two of you together, you are together for a reason. Even if it's just for the sake of the children.

1) Did you purchase your minivan after your:
a) first child
b) second child
c) third child
d) none of the above because a minivan is SO LAME!

2) Would you say:
a) I can't get enough of my minivan! You guys, it totally rocks having one! It's made life so much easier! I LOVE changing diapers in it! I LOVE how I can keep like seventeen sippy cups in there! Awesome!
b) You guys, I didn't want a minivan at first, but then I saw that everyone at my church had one, and I started realizing that maybe I could still be popular whilst driving a minivan.
c) I always hated minivans, but then when I popped out three kids in four years (no bitterness, though! Love the little tykes EVERY DAY!) it kind of made my likes and dislikes a moot point. Also a moot point? My love for sleeping in.
d) This is possibly the lamest post Heidi has ever done because, seriously, minivans?

3) Your minivan is:
a) Always clean! Because really, I love it THAT much!
b) Lived in. It's not filthy, because ew, gross! but you might find a French fry under the seat if you're really hungry. Seriously, just eat it, because French fries have like ten-year long preservatives. It will still be good in 2018.
c) Gross. Because why take care of crap?
d) Do we have to talk about minivans?

4) When you see someone you know while you are driving your minivan, you:
a) Smile and wave! And then you point to your DVD player to point out that your baby is watching Baby Mozart while you drive and isn't he going to be smarter than their kids?! And shouldn't they know?
b) Wave. You're not even thinking about the minivan. You're thinking about how you are five minutes late to pick up your kid from preschool.
c) Duck or pretend like you don't see them. The shame and the horror of driving the mini is a little too much for you. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. It's like Ozymandias all over.
d) Do whatever I feel like, because I'm not driving a minivan. I'm driving a Honda Accord with a sunroof.

5) When you go to put your kids in the minivan, it takes you:
a) All of one minute! I just hit the remote door opener, and my kids hop in and buckle themselves in. Because that's our routine, and the minivan is so awesome my kids are happy to get in!
b) A serious round of negotiation, wherein you resort to bribery (candy/gum) and the promise that if they'll just buckle themselves in you'll take them swimming (which you were planning on doing anyway).
c) A serious wrestling match. Because why do these kids always want to play with all the knobs on the minivan? And why is it so easy for them to get up front? There's a reason for a barrier of seats between the front and the back, people.
d) Seriously. Let's be done. I'm losing my desire to procreate by reading this stupid post.

Hey! That was fun! Wasn't it? Okay, tally it up!

Give yourself ONE point for every A you answered.

Give yourself TWO points for every B you answered.

Give yourself THREE points for every C you answered.

And give yourself FOUR points for every D you answered. (And seriously, how about an attitude adjustment, okay, Grumpy Pants?)

5-8 POINTS: Hey, how about you take mothering a little less seriously, okay? Because seriously, you are headed for a life of room mothering and competitive pageants for infants.

But don't be mad if you scored in this range, because we have a lot in common (except for a grasp on reality)! See, I'm the room mother for my preschooler and WOW! I'm SO LUCKY! THANKS FOR ASKING ME!

9-13 POINTS: You're grounded as a mom. You realize that you're not perfect and you're not going to pretend you are. However, you try to do your best by your kids, even if that means driving a sweet minivan.

14-17 POINTS: Are you sure you should have children? I'm just saying. Not as a harsh judgment, just like a friend who's judging you. Probably behind your back, too. But you're obviously over caring.

18-20 POINTS: Right, I get it. I suck. Minivans suck. The whole world sucks. And now, since you're so much fun to be around, maybe you should put in an application at DisneyWorld? Because you'd add a lot to the Happiest Place on Earth.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Pessimist In Me

I've always thought of myself as neither a pessimist or an optimist, instead I go with the trite but accurate, "I'm actually just a realist." Because some people really don't see the glass as half full or half empty, we just drink it until it's gone. If I had to peg myself though, I probably would lean to defining myself as an optimist. You know, because being a pessimist is just such a downer.

But lately, I've started to think maybe I'm really a pessimist in denial.

For example, the Olympics. I know they are like the greatest celebration of sport, athleticism, world peace, and good feelings, but I got to admit: every time someone gets a gold medal I can't help but mentally indict them for doping. That's just the way I feel, so don't bother arguing with me. Maybe it's just the pessimist in me, but I just can't have good faith in clean sporting. Don't get me started on the Chinese gymnasts being babies.

Also, men buying flowers for women at the grocery store. What do you think when you see that? Because I'm not going to lie, I always think they're trying to say sorry for beating their wife the night before. Is that pessimistic? Or just realistic? So hard to say, but that's what I think every time I see a man in the checkout line with flowers in hand.

The English teacher in me is clamoring for a third example, but the mother in me is being called away by a three-year old who should be in bed but is instead marauding through the house shooting an imaginary laser beam from his wrist.

But I also told Rhett years ago that I thought Russia was going bad again. That turned out to just be realism, but I think he thought I was just being pessimistic.

And you? How do you know you are a pessimist? Or how do you know you are an optimist?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Wow, can you just not get enough of my kids? Yeah, me either.

Well, except I can get enough and so thank heavens bedtime is 8:00 sharp here, even when the sun is shining like a lighthouse beacon through the window. Which it is, of course, and of course the kids stay up babbling to themselves, but I don't care because hey! they're not babbling at me! Hallelujah!

Anyway, my point here is Wristy. Just as an FYI, I'm not going to call him that anymore, because he's kind of stopped doing the whole wristy thing (you know, now that he's almost one a half, and doing much more sophisticated tricks like singing "We will, we will ROCK YOU!" And no, I'm not calling him Queen, either). So I'm just calling him Jakers now, so don't get all confused.

Or do get all confused, but let it be for a valid reason like where you put your car keys or why honey causes botulism in infants but not toddlers.

And to bring it home, here's Jakers (for Grandma Sue!):

Monday, August 18, 2008

Can We Agree?

So--let's agree from now on, when I go on vacation, everyone stops writing in their blog.

Because I just barely, finally, eventually finished reading through the 400 blog reader entries that were waiting for me when I got home.

And granted, I still have two bags that are not yet fully unpacked, but give me another week, okay? Rhett always unpacks the very night we get home from anywhere, even if it's 2:00 in the morning, but I always take my time. Ease out of living out of a suitcase, as it were.

But seriously, why did your lives continue on without me? Why is your life not linked inextricably to mine? Why do I feel like the world revolves around me only to discover that no one else but me thinks so?

Don't bother apologizing. Rhett made the same mistake (assuming that the world can go on without me) when we first got married, but he gets it now, and I'm sure you'll come along as well.

And now, some gratuitous pictures of my kids for those who care (Grandma Sue, HI!):

Rhett took Spe and Veevs to a Dallas Rangers baseball game. Spe's now claimed the team for his own, which means he'll probably spend the rest of his life disappointed. Whatever.

She's faking. She's not really smelling the flower.

Sorry, it's Blogger that hates Wristy, not me. It refuses to upload his picture.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Off the Deep End

When I was in Vegas, we (me and the kids) went swimming in my parents' pool. My dad looked on with an expression of beneficence from his lounge chair, poolside. If you know me, you know that I don't really do deep ends of pools, for a myriad of reasons. Okay, actually just one reason and it's called my alligator/crocodile phobia, which is both completely unreasonable and absolutely terrifying.

But with my dad looking on, I kind of felt obliged to prove that, you know, I'm like a normal mom, like a mom who doesn't freak out over imaginary crocodiles, and one of those moms who pushes the kids around on floaties all over the pool, not just in the first four feet of water, and a mom who isn't going to pass on her freakish phobias to her kids.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered I can't even pretend to be that mom, not even for ten seconds:

"Hey, Veevs!" I say, striving for a nonchalant tone, "Do you want to go over to the diving board and I'll catch you when you jump off?"

She looks at me uncertainly. This is not her forte. Her forte involves underwater somersaults and mother-daughter synchronized swimming set to the tune of "I Will Survive"--NOT catapulting off the diving board.

"Uh. Okay." She gamely steps out of the water, and walks slowly to the deep end. I swim down there, doing my best to look unconcerned, while also keeping an eye on the drain for a rogue crocodile, which could explode out of the drain at any moment and grab me with its crazy-sharp teeth and start a death roll, snapping my spinal cord in two in mere seconds. My only hope is to poke its eye, so I try to keep my arms free. I smile reassuringly at Veevs, because you know, nothing's wrong! I'm just treading water over here!

I get to my position in front of the board. The drain is directly beneath me, and I. swear. I. am. having. a. panic. attack. Breathe. Breathe. Stifle a whimper. All I'm aware of is how my legs are dangling there, flailing around, practically begging for a crocodile to eat them. I last about 2.4 seconds.

I shriek. I book it back to the shallow end, and then say sheepishly, "Uh. Sorry, Veevs. I couldn't do it. Crocodiles, you know."

Veevs looks at me compassionately, "It's okay, mom. I was scared about jumping off the diving board, too." Because if there's one thing that girl knows for sure now, it is that I hate crocodiles MORE than I love her. I'm so glad I've just proven it to her.

My dad laughs at me and shakes his head. He knew I wasn't that kind of mom, anyway. And then, just to make me feel better, he proceeds to give me a play-by-play of a crocodile horror film that he watched--different from the one that scarred me for life, but one involving a crocodile launching itself into a helicopter to get revenge. And don't worry, that didn't cement my belief in the crocodile as a supernatural force of evil or anything.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Problem with Drama

You know, most of the time, I really like being a "dramatic" person. Sure, I get a little bit of flak for it, but it's pretty sweet that I can use jazz hands (ironically! Not for real!) in conversation and no one thinks twice about it. I mean, sure, they laugh at me, but then they just move on because everyone knows I'm a "little dramatic". It's just part of who I am.

But as with every personality trait, there's a downside. And no, the downside isn't that I think my life is one big giant stage for the Heidi Variety Show. That's one of the perks. The downside is that when you are known for being a "little dramatic" you can't get any real respect.

I was listening the other day to KNPR and they (I say "they" because I can't remember the interviewer's name. But it wasn't Carl Castle, I know that. Nor was it MeShelle Norris.) were interviewing a journalist who got fired because of his crack cocaine addiction and then pulled his life together and is now out stumping his book about his crack cocaine addiction and recovery. You might think this story doesn't have a point, but just you wait. I didn't invoke the journalistic integrity of NPR lightly. Anyway.

The journalist was saying that when he left rehab he went back to all of his old employers and basically begged for his job back. It was tough, because he said there was no new rhetoric to express that he was really dedicated to recovery. He'd said it all before when he actually wasn't on the road to recovery. He would tell them that he was attending meetings and doing really well, but they had heard that before from him, with really bad results. He would tell them that he was getting his life together, that things would be different, that he was really serious this time, but he'd already used all those lines, and it was hard for them to respect him.

And not that I'm a crack cocaine addict, but man, did I feel his pain.

You guys, no one takes me seriously, either. If I tell Rhett that I'm feeling depressed, I get no sympathy (and no Prozac, either) because he's already heard me express the same emotion about the end of the Bachelor season (seriously, you guys, I love it! It's like a tragicomedy!) and the inability of my dishwasher to clean dishes that haven't been pre-scrubbed (Isn't that why I have a dishwasher?).

If I say I'm really excited at something, I'm pretty sure people assume that I'm only slightly above catatonic about it, because I've already expressed serious, major enthusiasm about peppermint ice cream (Couldn't you eat like seven gallons in one sitting? I think I could!), Kenny Rogers' latest facelift (oh, I'm joking, of course, because really, I don't even think Kenny could be excited about that) and kitschy teen romance novels circa 1980.

I'm like the boy who cried "Wolf!", except at least I did it with jazz hands to emphasize my point.

Seriously, I'm a little depressed about it.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Wherein I Realize It's Genetic . . .

So, twenty hours in a car with my kids. That was awesome. Fortunately, on the return trip I had corralled my husband into flying into Vegas and then driving home with me, because really, what else was he going to do with his weekend? I mean, it's not like he mows the lawn. (I can now tell you this little detail: we pay a neighbor boy to come and mow our lawn because Rhett is "busy" with school. I have previously been prevented from sharing this mundane detail of our lives only because Rhett was afraid his father would disown him forever when he found out. But I outed Rhett during this vacation anyway, and so now you know! What other secrets am I keeping from you? You'll never know! At least, not until I'm authorized to share them.)

Anyway, this trip opened my eyes to a few things. I realized that Rhett is the worst backseat driver ever. He was always like, "Hey, Heids, don't accelerate so fast on the on-ramp. You're killing our gas mileage," and all, "Hey, watch out for that semi!" because semis are apparently hard to miss.

My children do not appreciate Dairy Queen. The people who frequent Dairy Queen do not appreciate my children. Enough said.

Spencer is all of a sudden a little boy instead of a toddler. How do I know? Potty talk, that's how. We're cruising along watching the Backyardigans and the Backyardigans sing, "Now it's time to have a snack!" while Spencer gleefully sings, "Now it's time to pee in the toilet!" He then proceeds to laugh at his own little joke.

Rhett and I exchange mystified (but still amused) looks, like, "Where did this come from?"

A short time later, the Backyardigans sing, "The corniest station in the nation!" while Rhett sings "The horniest station in the nation!" He then proceeds to laugh at his own little joke.

I don't exchange mystified looks with anyone this time. I'm suddenly very clear on where this came from.

Thanks, Rhett.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Home Again, Home Again

I am home.

I am exhausted.

I am planning on writing a REAL post shortly.

Any questions?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Another Stab?

You know, I'm kind of feeling lazy. So please, please, please, enjoy this reprinted patriotic post in honor of our newest presidential inauguration. I don't want to brag, but I'm pretty sure people have cried from the beauty of my patriotic past. I'm just saying.

It's come to my attention that my last post on patriotism (sort of) caused no feelings of inspiration whatsoever. I can't imagine why. What could be more patriotic than "Freedom's Pitter-Patter"? (And yes, I'll work on getting a clip of it for you. It will change your life.)

To right this travesty against patriotic people everywhere, I'll pull another inspiring story from my own life that is related to Our Country's Great Heritage. What could be more representative of Our Great Heritage than the monument that spans an entire mountain? You know, the one that singlehandedly brings more people to South Dakota each year than the number of people who actually live in South Dakota.

Yes, I'm talking about Mt. Rushmore. I have always loved this monument for several reasons:

1) It's so American to have a monument that is made out of a mountain. I love the hubris of the whole deal.

2) Who doesn't love a monument that is dedicated to George Washington (the father of our nation), Thomas Jefferson (the primary author of the Declaration of Independence), Abraham Lincoln (who freed the slaves and kept the Union together), and Teddy Roosevelt (who is primarily famous for taking a staid name like Theodore and making it cute by shortening it to 'Teddy'. Oh, and the teddy bear is named after him. Why is he on the monument, anyway?)? What's not to love?

3) Until I was in the EIGHTH GRADE, I believed the sculptor of this monument was GOD.

I really believed God loved these presidents (and yes, even then I was confused as to why he loved Teddy, but whatever. Some things you just have to take on faith.), and made the wind sculpt their faces on to the mountains.

Imagine my deep disappointment when I took US History in the eighth grade and stumbled across a picture like the following in my textbook:

The sculpting of Mt. Rushmore involved blasting dynamite, followed by the process of honeycombing.
(Yeah, I don't know what that means, either.)

WHA? That certainly wasn't how I pictured God. Did this mean God didn't love those Presidents? Did this mean God didn't care how the teddy bear got its name? Did this mean he loved the people in Holland as much as he loved the people in America? How could that be? Did this mean God didn't love me enough to let the Holy Spirit whisper in my ear (before I made a fool of myself in JUNIOR HIGH) that maybe, just maybe, there had been some other force (like dynamite, for example) at work here beside divine providence?

Shattered that day: Faith. Patriotism. Self-esteem. (Because, really, only an idiot wouldn't have figured that out on their own.)

But don't worry. I rebounded quickly.

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Sweetest Summer EVER!!!

I told Heidi that I would take over her blog writing duties whilst she was away with the children. She was worried that as her husband, I would drive her blog traffic into the ground. I told her that the only thing that would drive her blog traffic down was her being gone for 3 months…….wait, I mean 3 weeks (it just feels like 3 months).

At first I was excited to be sans wife and children because this meant that I’d be enjoying the following:

1. Partaking of energy drinks whenever I want to
2. Taking naps after work or whenever I want to
3. Watching reruns of The Fresh Price of Bel-air until 1 am or whenever I want to
4. Growing the sweetest red facial hair that anyone on the face of the earth has ever seen

I didn’t care that Heidi was headed to the “land of milk and honey” and to “Sin City” all in one go round. I didn’t care that she bought a sweet new dual-screen DVD player so that the little ones could enjoy epic Disney films and whimsical Frontyardigan hijinx all whilst relaxing in the air-conditioned comfort of a sweet Dodge Grand Caravan—yes, it even has alloy wheels. And I don’t care that while I’m flogging my guts out at work that she and the kids are splashing poolside and drinking bottled Kirkland water…… least I’m not bitter.

I’ve come to realize that like clockwork, every summer Heidi gets an itch that requires her to head home for rest, relaxation, and regeneration. It doesn’t matter that girl’s retreat was 2 months ago (or at least this is the standard answer that I get when I beg Heidi not to leave me high & dry). I believe that this sort of behavior stems from and is closely linked to Heidi’s genesis as a school teacher. Having the summer off of work must be pretty nice! Having the summer off of work AND spending it in vacation hotspots must be even nicer.

During these long unaccompanied, lonely and isolated summers, it’s nice to have others who feel my pain………thanks 1980s; thanks $1.48/gal gasoline; thanks chick overalls; thanks penny loafers; thanks bad bleach job; thanks Mack truck driver; thanks Bananarama; etc., etc., etc… below: