Wednesday, December 31, 2008

And we're back

8:20 on new years eve, and I'm ready for bed just about. Its become a new years thing for us to have a dinner of appetizers on fancy plates with candles. It used to be fondue, but that just got too stressful, what with the open flame and hot molten cheese. Now we have our cheese in solid form and our flames out of reach. This new years we had some friends over which was just so nice. Far too often I embark on creating this bizzaro spread that is too much for us to eat, and I want it to look nice even though I am the only one in this house that cares (H is a quick study, however, I think next year she will be right there with my crazy new year invite only exclusive appetizer party. Watch out, Diddy) But the food has been eaten, left overs put away- friends left and girls in bed. I'm done. Tomorrow we'll go to my mothers house for her new traditional new years day dinner of hoppin' John. She says its good luck to eat black eyes peas on new years day, and who am I to disagree?

Picked up the girls from my moms house around noon- S was making high pitched guinea pig shrieks she was so happy to see me, which was very nice, if strange. H, so quickly to suggest I not let the door hit me in the ass on the way out yesterday, buried her head in me and said 'I just want to go home." Ha! So there universe. And absence does make the heart SO fonder. We pretty much picked up where we left off- we stopped at the grocery store on the way home to get more stuff for our new years party, and this was before we knew anyone would be coming. I wanted to get shrimp, and H said "and celery! We need celery!" I am not a big fan of the celery, but I'm all about requesting a vegetable. Once in the store, S grabbed a bag of grapes upside down and they rolled all over the produce department. 3 very nice men helped us collect the grapes. One said to H, 'kinda like an easter egg hunt' Odd thing to say, right? I liked it though. Frazzled from the grape escapade, I asked H to just grab some celery. At the check out I see she got organic celery that was brown. And 4 dollars. But she did eat a lot of it. And I'm sure as hell not going to.

Pie and plain shirts

The house is so quiet- I am waiting for the coffee to brew (so I can have a cup and turn on my brain) so I can call my mom and see how the girls did last night.
Since they've been away I've gone shopping, walked the dogs, went out to dinner, (that I was actually able to get ready for- makeup AND hair brushing with out disturbance), slept until 8:30 and then read in bed, am sitting at the table almost drinking coffee and am about to have pie for breakfast. I feel like I'm walking underwater, everything slows down with out the girls here to need all the things they need- while it is very nice for a morning, I am very happy they'll be home in a few hours.
So do I call and disrupt my peaceful underwater feeling? Then feel guilty if the sleep over was really an awake over?
Mom said that aside from when S woke up in the middle of the night and my mother lay awake for a long time thinking "wow, someones cat is really getting wounded"- that it went really well. After apologizing to S for letting her lay there yowling, S went back to bed, and the two little stinkers slept until 7:30. I spoke to both girls on the phone, which is always a bit weird, they sound so different on the phone. S was putting the phone on both of her kitties, so I said good morning to them as well. While I was talking to my mom, H decided to get dressed, and I heard the horror of her discovering I had packed a PLAIN shirt for her to wear. Under her rainbow striped sweater- I'm not a total idiot. I heard her say "But what if I take my sweater OFF?" My mom says to me "Mommy! What were you thinking!" and then "What a serious lapse!" I told her to put a sticker on it, then I said goodbye, I'm going to go eat pie now.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A break

The girls are sleeping over at my moms house tonight. J and I went out to dinner with some friends, which was a luxury. My feet hurt, because I wore real shoes that have heels. I have been wearing my slippers way too much, and way too out of the house. I do think they shouldn't cross the threshold to the outside, except maybe to get the paper, so I went and got some shoes that are just like my slippers. Except I call them shoes.
H couldn't get rid of me fast enough today, was so ready for her sleep over. This actually doesn't bother me, maybe because I was so ready for her sleep over too. I was driving away from my moms house after dropping the girls off, I felt so light- stopping where ever I wanted, running into a store for one thing! I even parked half way between two stores and went to both of them! I walked into a store, hey, look at me, I'm shopping solo, look out. Then I saw a mother with her daughter about H's age, and I was sad. A little. I missed the girls, it had only been 20 minutes. The girl proceeded to be a pain in the ass in the store, as is the nature of 4 yr old girls clothes shopping with their mothers and I missed them a smidgen less.

Trying not loose it

I just stopped S from feeding her cereal piece by piece to Ruby. She was screaming that I stopped her fun, and Ruby wasn't too happy about it either. Becasue I haven't finished my first cup of coffee- and really my whole day hinges on this cup- I say fine. Theres not that much left. Whatever. Knock yourselves out. And that is why I have sort of time to write this. So next time I say I don't know WHY Ruby is so overweight. I've cut back her food- it just doesn't make sense! I will try to frying pan myself upside the head and remember this moment.

I had a dream last night that I had lost my backpack, which was full of very important things I needed. It was a dream so the bag was holding more that it could in reality, but all that I remember being in there was my passport, $800 dollars, monkey and H's teddy. I found it and breathed a huge sigh of relief, but then left it in the dark in the middle of the sidewalk to go into a grocery store. (How was I going to pay? Why would I have left it after i just found it? Where was this grocery store with the sidewalk? Why was I there at night?Perhaps most importantly- I have to go to the grocery store too often in real life, why would I go there in my dream? Couldn't I have lost my backpack at the beach?) So coming out of the dream store, of course I found my bag missing, with some belongings scattered around. I ran to the grocery stores dumpster where I found monkey and teddy. Woke up feeling "you suck! who looses what they've just found?" So.. here I go, trying to figure out what I've found and trying not to loose it.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Why does a cat need a red lei?

This morning, when I woke up, and I use the term loosely, after a night in bed with 1 other adult, 2 children, (2 stuffed kitties, a monkey blanket and a teddy bear) 2 dogs AND a cat (on my head, thanks Maxi) I wandered bleary eyed into the hallway and saw all these piles. I assumed the worst, but even in my half awake state thought that was a lot of poop and puke. (What? You have different piles?) No- it seems Maxi had gone collecting. I'm not sure when as it seems to me she had been on my head all night. Maxi spends a lot of nights combing the house for the small and fuzzy. Socks, mittens, small stuffed animals- she brings them all up to the hallway. Yowling with her mouth full that always makes us think she's caught a mouse. This morning a red plastic lei and a teddy bear. And a mitten.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

shopping at bedtime

There is something wrong with me. How can I want and need to go shopping and still wander aimlessly and exhausted around for 2 hours? My dear friend Lefty who knows me as well as the inside of my head gave me a gift card for Christmas. This may seem like a cop out, she wrote in the card- but we both know its exactly what I needed. I left, very eventually, with a hybrid shirt/dress thing that I like and am not quite sure how I'll wear, that was 80% off and a cool sweater that's bright peacock. Is that a color? Green peacock, not blue peacock. It was half off and satisfies my need for something I own to not be a shade of black.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the girls are exhausted. They woke up twice each while I was out. Getting them to bed was like pulling teeth tonight. H ended up going to sleep wearing a baseball hat, her purple earmuffs, sleeping with a fairly large ceramic ladybug and her teddy bear. Just when you think you have it all figured out it reverses. Case in point: H was going BALLISTIC tonight, not because she had to go to bed and couldn't stay up, but because she had wanted to go to bed early, and it wasn't early enough, she wanted it to be light out. It was 5:30! And it was dark, we raced up to her room to see if we could see the sunset- there were colors in the sky, I breathed a sigh of relief, but.. too early. There was no actual sun to be seen. Major breakdown ensued. Then S came to the rescue, she grabbed the wipe I was about to use to change her diaper, and went over and started wiping H's tears away. The saccharine sweetness, too much! All was well- until we put on H's new flannel snowman sheets. The sobbing started up again I....don't...WANT....them!! No problem, I say, flipping the blankets around and using the top snowman sheet as a comforter. The sobbing settled. She got in bed. The sobbing started to escalate I'm...NOT COMFY no problem, I say, flipping the sheets and blankets back to where they just were. And I didn't even say I told you so.

maniacle marker rant with dog whining sound track

I am trying still to make sense of the Christmas haul, taking all the stuff out of its stuff wrapper and attempting to recycle whats recyclable. I just freed some toddler markers, they came with instructions that I scoffed at and thought 'I refuse to read instructions on how to use markers' but 2 seconds later there I was riffling through the recycling bag to retrieve the instructions. The markers don't have caps- but sponge tips and although it really is self explanatory, I wondered what the instructions said. But there weren't any instructions, unless you count the 'marvel at their scribbles' Why does this raise my hackles? Don't tell ME what to marvel at, I'm ALREADY marveling mother fucker! Hmm. maybe I need some more coffee. Or some less coffee.

Ruby has been whining all morning because we're out of dog food. The dog food store doesn't open for another hour. I keep telling her shes not that hungry and that she doesn't eat breakfast even when we have dog food and that she should live off the fat of her body- but shes not listening. Shes making sure I listen, though, and its making me crazy.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Shoes and art

I am starting to feel insane. I am shoe obsessed and trolling the internet for the shoe in my minds eye which I'm thinking doesn't exist. The most awesomist of shoes I just saw is only in toddler sizes. Dark brown suede with bright red faux fur trim.

This reminds me of something I was thinking about tonight while the girls were in the bath with some bath crayons they got for Christmas. I was watching these naturally born muralists, (and trying not to freak out about the grout because the bath crayons DO stain the grout "Don't color on the lines! Only in the squares!") What I was wondering is this: is everyone born an artist? That is painting things with a very broad brush- but a lot of kids are artistic, they all have art supplies. When does it stop? This is a bite off more than I can chew question, that I will have to revisit.

My kids are so artistic it freaks me out. H is going to need her own studio soon, and has already taken up one of my flat file drawers, and that after serious guilt ridden editing. I know that doesn't sound like a lot, a drawer, but they are very big drawers. I am admittedly stingy with them. S is right there with the 1,000 masterpieces a day- I can't give up 2 drawers. I won't!

J said, on the way home from my mom's house on Christmas, after we had loaded up the car with a giant tool box full of craft supplies- "Why isn't anyone giving them medical books?"

Just walked into the living room, where S is sitting on the couch with her monkey, her 2 kitties AND the 'hard' kitty with the tiara. It was cute at first, this collecting. At what point is it hording? Should I be worried?

Post xmas part 2

Oh wait theres more. For Christmas I learned I am a descendant of Daniel Boone. My aunt did some genealogy as a Christmas gift to all of us (presented in a cool binder with photos). I mean, if you go back far enough everyones related to everyone, right? But still. How pioneer-y.

Also, S has added another kitty to her entourage. Whats one more? Yes. I'll tell you what 2 more is. A pain in the kitty. The new kitty was a gift from H, so I'm glad she likes it, but now I really need to grow some more arms to keep this posse in line. Whenever anyone asked what H got S for Christmas she said" a hard kitty and a soft kitty." I wasn't sure what that meant, as the hard kitty H picked out herself shopping at school (you send in money and their teachers help them pick out gifts for whoever you've assigned to get gifts. She picked out a lenox ornament for me in the shape of a pallet 'because you're an artist' and a desk organizer for J in the shape of a basketball because... uh.. he needs organizing?) so the hard kitty is just that. A little plastic ginger cat with a tiara. And S loves that too. But the soft Kitty H had in mind for S and requested we drive to Ikea to get it. She searched through the pile of identical (to my eyes) kitties and picked out the right one, and was SO excited to give it to her. So I'm glad S likes it.

And how can I have forgotten to mention the purple fluffy earmuffs H asked for and received from my mother. My mother should be a professional shopper. The earmuffs look like psychedelic roadkill, but H loves them and has worn them since she got them. To bed even.

Friday, December 26, 2008

post xmas

How can it have only been 2 days? I am in a time warp- feel like I've been gone forever and am still gone.

H's Christmas play was lovely. She was an angel, and she looked so beautiful in the polyester toga and Christmas trim halo costume they had her in. She was the first kid to walk to the stage, down the aisle of staring, doting paparazzi parents. She wasn't supposed to be first, but the girl who was freaked out at the last minute and her teachers said, "H! Go!" I held my breath, I wouldn't have gone! She gave me the H look, I don't know if there are words to describe it, but it is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life. It makes my eyes well up and my heart stretch. I wanted to take a picture, but I was frozen. The look involves a slight upturn of the head and a slight knowing smile/smirk. It brims of confidence mixed with a shimmer of doubt and a go ahead anyway push. And she walked. Slowly, confidently- she had the room silenced, and so many people came up to me and told me how gorgeous she looked. It was true. It was something else.

As for the Christmas run around. It always seems like it wasn't that bad once its over. A few days ago, though, it seemed that bad. S, for Christmas, got a fever. She was a trooper, but wanted to be velcroed to me. Christmas eve, I kept her with me and took her to bed with me, which I never do. I'm pretty hard core about bed time in ones own bed. But, H came in too, and the dogs, the girls and I slept (sorta) in a tangled fevery mess while J escaped to the bed H had left, where there was more room. Around 3 am I woke up and smiled- when I was a kid my sisters and I always slept in the same bed on Christmas eve (with a tangle of dogs)- I kind of liked the fact that H and S were together. I liked that I was there too, and was glad I can still crash the sisterhood.

Earlier that night, getting H to bed she said she couldn't sleep. I figured it was because it was Christmas eve and she was excited, and I was preparing my answer, but she said she couldn't sleep because she was wishing. "What are you wishing?" I asked "That S will be happy always."

H liked her guitar- its pink and J and I had fun customizing it with stickers. H's favorite part is that her name is on it. S liked her rocking horse- although her enthusiasm was dialed down by her fever. H smiled and said "I was wishing for S to get one of these" and again I almost cried. I was a little worried that H would be jealous that S's gift was physically bigger- but none of that.

In yet another Christmas flashback for me, I forgot to put H's Christmas stocking up all the way out of the way when we left the house, and there must have been a piece of chocolate left in it. The dogs chewed some decorations off, (unlike the dogs of my youth who would have eaten the whole stocking) but its hardly noticeable. I reached my hand inside the stocking to make sure it was empty before putting it away (ok, fine, I didn't put it away yet. But its out of dog reach) and there are all these bumpy things inside... googly eyes. I had put self adhesive googly eyes in H's stocking, and the dogs chewing to get the chocolate stuck them all to the inside of the stocking. So there I sat prying off eyes from the inside of the stocking, wondering if this is how "he sees you when your sleeping, he knows when your awake..."

Exchange I just had with J:
"So do you have any interest in reading my blog or what?"
"Your WHAT?! You have a BLOG?! You're a BLOGGER?!"
"No, I'm not a blogger, I just have a blog"
"I feel like you just told me you were gay or something"
Hi, honey, if you've decided to read.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


So tired. So so so tired. Was up late wrapping presents- even when I think I've taken it easy and been feeling bad that Santas load is a little light this year- it turns out its not so light. Well actually Santas load is a teensy bit light (its all relative. My mom held the Santa bar pretty high. In fact she still holds it pretty high.) Its the family gifts, I have tried to make everyones gift this year, and decided it would be a good idea for H to do so as well, which resulted in a whole holy heck of a lot of wrapping. A note for those of you who got their gifts in the mail- sorry- Hs workshop hadn't officially opened by the time I had to get to the post office. (Although she and S were VERY helpful in the post office line. Not.)
Next year will be different. No really, I mean it. Its ok to stay up late on christmas eve wrapping presents- thats what you're supposed to do, but when you make christmas eve the 22nd, and then you still have to get up and take your kid to school and then go to a christmas play at said school and then drive 2 hours to the grandparents house where you will begin christmas early on the 24th so you can then pile kids dogs and gifts back in the car to drive home on actual Christmas day and see what Santa (my mom. See? I believe) has left under our tree, so that we can get to Santa's I mean my moms house for dinner and open MORE gifts... Oh yes. Next year will be different.

H is awake and foraging. Very excited about her Christmas play, as am I.

Monday, December 22, 2008


There is no right way
There is no right way
There is no right way
There is no right way
There is no right way
There is no way.


Well it seems my attempt to popularize Kitty while Monkey was in the wash the other night has gelled. I shouldn't take credit, Kitty was already becoming popular- but now Kitty has arrived. Kitty was there in the middle of the night, had to come down to breakfast, and I believe was missed today in the car during the endless errands. Oh Monkey is still here and will not be overthrown, don't you worry about that. Welcome, Kitty! Whats one more?

It is IGNORANT cold out

Thats what I overheard a Walmart employee say today, and it made me laugh. I am of a thousand minds about the Walmart, and usually avoid it as to not blow a fuse trying to figure it all out- Walmart is evil, I love Walmart. I was at Walmart this morning kind of by accident. Which is also why I was wearing my slippers. Yes at Walmart. I know. Its a new era. Upon confessing to my sister, she said "Jesus! Were you wearing curlers too?!" Not yet.

I hadn't intended to go anywhere but to drop H at school, but then decided to 'just' go to get ribbon for these bird seed wreaths I've been obsessing about (that crumble in the rain, I've come to find out) but the closer store I was meaning to 'just' get ribbon at would not let me or anyone in the door as their computers were down indefinitely. 3 days before Christmas. There were a bunch of us out there in the parking lot in the ignorant cold most of us holding cell phones. Such a proud moment for me, sitting there, locked out of the ribbon store holding my phone so I could report the injustice of not being able to purchase ribbon at my convenience. Like lemmings we sat in out cars, windows up gesturing in disbelief. I KNOW! I had called J- who said angrily, "You know what you do? You go in, get your ribbon, give them a couple bucks and leave! Its f-ing Christmas! thats what I'd do!" Good Lord.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

How fast can I wash the monkey?

Things I learned tonight:

1) One should not let a 1.5 yr old spin around madly after consuming spicy chorizo chili (and a few gingerbread cookies, and a raisin bagel.)
2) Vomit is vile. Well, I knew that already. It is especially vile when it contains a lot of chunks and is projectiled down the front of your shirt.
3) A small person can create an unusually large volume of upchuck.
4) I have very good friends who don't flinch at children vomiting down the shirts of their guests and provide changes of clothes in all sizes and even offer to launder nasty pukey clothes.
5) Kitty is not Monkey.
6) We really better not EVER loose monkey.
7) Monkey can be washed quickly, but its never quickly enough.

Jackson Pollock

I never thought Jackson Pollock would be a household name. The Jackson Pollock we refer to around here multiple times a day is H's beloved rocking horse. She named him that when she was 2, after learning about Jackson Pollock at school. (I know, how cool is that? I was at LEAST in high school before I learned about Jackson Pollock in school) One night we were reading Olivia, and we got to the page where Olivia sees the painting she just doesn't get (which I always rephrase when reading, as I don't want to encourage not understanding art that isn't figurative) H says "I know who did that painting! Jackson Pollock!" I nearly fell down. This led to H asking for Jackson Pollock stories at bedtime, and saying things like "Lets go up to your studio and do Jackson Pollock" So, not just a household name, but a verb as well. Jackson Pollock (the horse) is always adorned, often seasonally. Right now he has silver glittery snowflakes on his ears.

From June 15, 2007

Something I never thought I’d hear, especially from a 3 yr old:

Do you want to see Jackson Pollocks wedding gown?

H's rocking horse is named Jackson Pollock. Evidently, he’s busy getting married. Its also his first birthday, and all his farm friends came. Including a rhino and a platypus.

A baby doll made the gown. I’m not sure what they’re serving at the reception.
Years later, I haven't tired of the Jackson Pollock phrases.
One of my favorites: "Jackson Pollock! You are SO unfancy today!"

This year for Christmas S will be getting her own rocking horse, like Jackson Pollock but hers is a paint. Which is kind of ironic, now that I think about it. Brown and white. I wonder what his name will be.


This picture makes me think of my sisters. Of how great sisters are. All the endless ups and down a lifetime of sisterhood brings. H and S love each other so much it astounds me- they are protective of each other, inspired by each other and most definitely in cahoots. I am enjoying this little moment until the hair pulling resumes. Its not lost on me that part of the beauty and peace comes from one of them being very deeply asleep. But I'll take it.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Calling it as she sees it

This is the getup H wore to meeting last week.
The fact that the shirt is too small is the least of it, but its what I thought was my strongest argument to get her to change "But H! This shirt is size 3! You are 4, much much older than 3. Maybe you'd like to wear this size 4 shirt that makes you look so tall" Nope- she'd have none of it. The whole outfit was built around the shirt, I should have known not to choose the shirt as my ensemble changing strategy. I pick my battles, and I don't care what H wears, for the most part- and yes there is a large part of my non-conformist self that swells with pride at her fashion sense. But to go to meeting, I argued with her. Until, that is, she looked me square in the eye and said "Mom. I'm beautiful." We got in the car.

Come into the darkness

H just drew a picture of a rainbow with a yellow sun in the middle. At first I didn't see the sun, you know, the yellow crayon thing- After she pointed it out to me, I said "Oh! Its hard to see in this light." Without missing a beat, H leads me to our dark staircase- "well come into the dark so I can show you" I couldn't see the drawing at all, just Hs face looking at me expectantly.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Dogs and kids

This is why I love dogs. Because when I jump up and yell in excitement that the first bird seed wreath I intend to give those even mildly interested in birds for Christmas actually came out of its mold, the dogs jump up and down with me and seem genuinely excited. My four year old daughter says "mom this is boring, I want to watch a movie." Already with this shit?! And THEN she didn't want to get her HANDS dirty! Who is this kid?

Oh yes I did just compare my kids to my dogs.

As time goes on I care less and less about a) what people think and b) what it means that I often treat my children like puppies. Before I had kids, I really did worry whether I would love them as much as the dogs. I even worried if I'd think my babies were as cute as puppies! (Needless to say, I do and did)

I read somewhere that an adult dog has the understanding and behavior of a 2 year old child. I'm not sure I buy that- now that I'm on my second 2 year old, I think the kids are smarter than the dogs. I do know my kids are kids and my dogs are dogs- the kids don't wear leashes, the dogs don't eat at the table- I can't say the kids don't eat out of the dog bowls, but I can say that's not where their dinner is served.

That said, there is some overlapping

1) I whistle for my kids (and my husband) in a crowd the same way I do the dogs. It works.
2) "reward the behavior you want" the dogs don't get the treat until they sit, neither do the kids.
3) I have often wished I had one of those treat cubes for the kids. These are recommended for dogs with separation anxiety, a treat is put inside a maze cube, and the dog pushes it around and works to get it out, and is therefore distracted from whatever its upset about. I have thought about getting one for them, but it kind of crosses the imaginary 'whats ok in my mind' line. This goes back to the kids smarter than dogs thing, too.
4) When H was a baby, I managed to silence the room in our mothers group get together by suggesting one of the moms shop at a pet store to find more of the squeaky toy her daughter was happily gnawing on.
5) Yes, I've played fetch with the kids.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Curious George on art

Curious George is on this morning, my indicator that i have 15 minutes to get out the door.
this morning, on CG a man wanted to by some art- when asked what kind of art he liked he says "look at me, look at my lobby! I'm unique! I like art thats unique like everything else!" brilliant. And now I have 12 minutes or so to make lunch and the rest.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My guitar gently weeps

I wish I were more musical. Or musical in the least. In middle school, I signed up for band, wanting badly to play the flute. I was told my teeth were too crooked and my mouth was wrong for some reason, and so was assigned the clarinet. I played the clarinet poorly and briefly. I wanted to play more, but all I had the music for was King Williams March. I sought out cool clarinet music, but didn't find any. (was there any "cool flute music?) I'm sure its out there, but Metallica didn't have any clarinets, nor did Def Leppard. Or Duran Duran or B52s for that matter. (I had quite the varied musical taste.) It was the 80s, I should have played sax. Anyway, eventually I tired of King Williams March, and so I quit band. I am not really sure why we only played one song. this could be an instance where a different instructor may have changed my clarinet destiny.

A few years later, my mother started taking classes in flamenco guitar playing. (This wanting to be a musician thing must be hereditary- my mother continues to not play an instrument, to my knowledge) The guy who taught her class told her about a man he knew in a small town in Mexico who made really good guitars (except for when he was on a bender, which would delay production.) She bought one for herself, and had one made for me as well. I was very excited, even though I wanted an electric guitar. I started taking lessons after school, was hungry to learn to play anything I recognized. Apparently the guitar teacher was of the same one song mind as the band teacher so I learned Edelweiss. I even played it at some school event. I begged the teacher to teach me anything else. Black Sabbath! Led Zepelin! He gave me the music for a Neil Diamond song I'd never heard of.

I recently go that guitar back from my mom. She has been dragging this guitar around with her for the last 18 years (ouch, I just did the math) It has moved around Mexico, Texas, drove across country, been in storage. The case is falling apart, the guitar slightly cracked, and endearingly crooked in its assembly.

I've been thinking of my non-musical-ity because we are getting a guitar for H for Christmas. There was much back and forth, and I'm still not sure its right. J plays guitar, bass, and has built one of each. He has the musical ear I so covet. Hopefully the girls got those genes. We took her to a guitar store to gauge her reaction, and she was pretty excited. She also confirmed my suspicions that no plain boring wood colored guitar would (wood, ha!) do. Must be either fuchsia or purple.

Do I want H to play guitar because I don't? Because I plan to teach myself while teaching her? Maybe. Is that so bad?

Monday, December 8, 2008

I dressed myself today

This morning, H came down to breakfast her usual disheveled just woken up self. She got a sly look on her face, and said "I have to go upstairs for a couple bit. Don't come up." I think, shit. This means shes going to get dressed by herself, and I know the clothes I deem suitable for school are in the bottom of a laundry basket in my room. I go upstairs under the guise of changing S's diaper, and am met with huffing, puffing, arms tightly folded and an irritated grumpy face. "Mom! You RUINED your surprise! Go Down STAIRS!!!" I casually put out the red snowman shirt on her bed and walk away. She comes down PROUD as can be in the red snowman shirt, and pale pink pants with spring time flowers on them. NOW. Let me tell you how I feel about this particular combination of pink and red. I hate it. I beyond hate it. Its nails on the chalkboard for me- my friends in high school knew this, most people I know knows this about me. That's how insane I am to go around talking about how much I hate the combo of bright red and pale pink. I grit my teeth and tell her she looks beautiful. But oh man is it hard. She has the trademark mismatched socks (socks mismatched since 2005) "... today's sock colors ARE.... "she announced while riffling through her sock drawer"... PURPLE AND TURQUOISE!") Then she found a pink ribbon and asked me to braid it into her hair. A friend of mine told me about friends of hers, and I wish I could give credit where credit is due, who made up buttons for their kids that say "I dressed myself today" I need to go about getting some of those.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

How deep does my disorganization run?

This is not really a question, I know the answer is as deep as there is.
Today I am even more of a whirling dervish than usual- whirling to nowhere scattering half accomplished projects along the way.

It used to be that nothing would or could happen until I poured myself a cup of coffee in the morning. Today, before I made it to the coffee pot, which is set automatically to brew at 6:30, I showered, got myself dressed (albeit in the dark in a lot of what i wore yesterday) got girls dressed, brushed hair and teeth, found teddy, found monkey, fielded questions such as "how did God make my skin?" (Uh.. with cells. Not bad for pre-coffee) got a 'balala' for S, put waffles in the toaster, poured cereal into bowls for the girls, making sure everyone has the requisite color bowl, and matching or not matching utensil. Moved towards the coffee pot.. bark! Ruby needs to go out. Come back from letting Ruby out, H has finished her cereal and wants her waffle. We're out of syrup so have been using honey on the waffles but its so... slow.... coming.. out.. of... the... bottle.... COFFEE!!! Ahh! Ruby needs to come back in! The cat is yowling at her dish! Now Mayo needs to go out. The FISH are staring at me! I finally pour a cup of coffee, have one sip and sit down, as soon as my butt hits the chair the girls are up, needing help getting down from the table, wanting to watch tv. Then I hear mayo clawing the door to come in. And yes, banana, cereal and waffles for breakfast, and the little one is STILL clamoring for more. I make Hs lunch for school, S wants the bread, the cheese, the yogurt. I give her some yogurt of her own. I clean out the fridge since its trash day and it smells like something died in there. Get the trash and the recycling out. Make sure bag is fully loaded with snacks, water, and monkey because am planning a quick trip to get xmas shopping done after dropping H off at school. The road to the store is closed, requiring crazy detour with crazy traffic. The store 10 minutes away takes an hour to get to. S is crying because shes sick of being in the car. We get to the store, which feels like an accomplishment in itself- S refused to sit in the cart, and I realize this shopping trip is not gong to go as planned. I buy myself some underwear. Hey, thats not xmas shopping! I can't find the christmas lights and am determined to decorate. I decide to buy some new ones. Money is flying out my ass. (which will at least be adorned by some new underwear!) It takes me WAY too long to decide which xmas lights to buy. I call J to ask him him input, although I know this is stupid. He says he doesn't care, but prefers white. Warm white, he says. Then, "hey, while you're there can you pick me up a space heater? And then you can bring it by the studio!" Wow! Great idea! Ugh. While at the xmas light aisle, I notice I'm not the only one standing there is a daze. There are 5 other woman staring transfixed at the lights, trying to make up their minds. This all of a sudden struck me as hilarious, but they all just swiveled their glazed looks in my direction as I laughed. I'm sure they thought I was nuts trying to make this important decision with a 18moth old who didn't want to be there.

So, I make my way to the space heaters, I've given up on this shopping trip already. I call J, he asks me for product #s! HAHAHA! Pick the one that looks best after explaining theres no way in hell I can find the product numbers while wrangling S and keeping my sanity all at the same time.

After dropping the heater off at Js studio (which is on the way home, after all, not such a major inconvenience) S cries the whole way home. I don't know whats going on with her- well, 4 teeth coming in at once. That'll do it. But incredible, she seems hungry. Its only been and hour and a 1/2 since she has the banana, cereal, waffle and yogurt. We come in, with out taking my jacket off I scramble 4 eggs- 2 for her and 2 for me. She inhales those suckers! Before I'm done with mine, and I'm scarfing em down too.

We rush to go pick up H at school, she's going to a friends house today, drive her over there. Get S down for a nap, which she resists for about 1/2 an hour. Then go to hang up the lights. This requires pruning of bushes and a quick tidying up of the "yard" (its tiny, but over grown) I go the lights up! Yay! I ended up hanging them all with out using a ladder- wondering how many of me neighbors were taking bets on whether I'd fall (they lost, i didn't). Now I need to wake S up so I can go pick H up.

I'm beat! And have ended up dedicating my day to xmas lights. Theres so much I need to get done. But this is what happens- I get side tracked, a thousand times a day. How do I stay focused? How do I get focused?

AND upon returning from picking H up at her friends house, I walk in to find the dogs have unzipped her school bag and shredded her lunch box. I picked up the backpack on the way rushing out the door, as 2 other lunch boxes have met this fate- but put the bag back down and forgot it. I remembered before we opened the door, at least, and was able to say to H "theres a very good possibility the dogs have destroyed your lunch box" Yes. Mom knows everything. I called J to see if he could do an emergency lunch box run, as i have already wasted too much time at the store today. He has saved the day. Turns out he could have gotten his own space heater. Ugh. I'm contagious. I am the super hero of time wasting. I will not rest until everyone has squandered their allotted hours.

Friday, November 14, 2008

dogs and trash

The trash. Everyday the trash. Does anyone else out there have to prep the garbage can before leaving their house? Find keys, sunglasses, make sure I have wallet, diapers, monkey (S's blanket) snacks (because my girls make every ones lives hell if there are no snacks. If I don't bring snacks, they'll steal yours. I give up) water (to wash down the snacks) lock the door, make sure the cat is in, then the dog prep. Make sure theres nothing edible with in reach, no glasses on the counter because they'll get broken in the counter surf that they would never dream of doing when I'm home, and prep the trash. Tuck the bag inside the lid, and turn the can so the hinge is facing out. I also have to check that the baby gate is closed and the dogs can't get upstairs because they've been known to bust open the diaper genie. You have not seen raging lunatic until you see me go into S's room to find a pile of shredded dirty diapers all over the floor. It smells like shit! Ha! But really really bad rancid shit. The diaper pail has teeth marks all around the lid. Anyway- that is the worst, yes the diapers- but the kitchen trash, while less repulsive is still a major pain in the ass. They're so good in so many ways- but the trash.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Like a balloon, my mind in terms of art. Start out deflated, get inspired slowing filling up with air. Full of air, productive, satisfied, complete. Then either get too full and pop, or too stagnant and deflate.
Have recently discovered this blog: my love for you is a stampede of horses. Incredible, inspirational. I'm filling with air.
Now I have to get to work.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A new day

S and I voted yesterday. I was afraid to watch the news or turn on the radio all day, but got the girls to bed and sleep at a record 6:30 so I could glue myself to CNN. Incredible. Hope! I believe! And I am one jaded cynical mess.

As I went about my routine today I thought people seemed a little happier. Maybe, quite possibly, its just me.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

can't wait to vote

When to vote? I am having voting worry which is silly because I WILL vote, doesn't really matter when. I wanted us to go as a family to vote for Obama, but J has already voted. S is napping, at 9:30 am, unheard of. H is at school where she'll be voting weather she likes chocolate chip cookies or oreos better. So the family is scattered, and I am chomping at the bit to pull that Obama lever.

Also on my list today, the consideration of the yearly homemade Christmas gift I attempt. With varying degrees of success. Hat year went well, knitted scarf year, not so much. There are so many giftees though, that my good intentions turn me scrooge-like quickly. But hey, look at me, its just barely November and I'm thinking about it. This is familiar... just wait. Much like the Halloween scramble of earlier post. Check in around Dec 23rd for more of the same.

And oh! thanks to a cranky, eye rolling, heavy sighing fish store employee who tolerated my lack of fish know how, my fish are much better. As soon as I changed the water the way you're supposed to (which is obvious, but I don't know what I'm going) they started swimming around doing fish stuff instead of gasping for air on the bottom of the tank. Yay cranky fish store guy. Yay me for holding my ground while being shamed by the cranky fish store guy.

Monday, November 3, 2008

One fish Two fish

Today I need to get to the bottom of whatever it is that's killing our goldfish. First there were 2, Hannah and Hansom Creasom, they lived outside all summer in a flower pot I called a pond, with plants, no filter, no pump. They survived, thrived, even, it seems. Then I brought them in, to an aquarium in the kitchen so they wouldn't freeze. Then I got cocky and added 2 more goldfish. The white one who didn't even live long enough to be named was the first to go. I came down one morning and found it stuck to the filter, it was before I had coffee and it had been a rough night of no sleeping, so I ignored the tiny voice in my head that was blathering on about life lessons and saying goodbye, and threw the fish in the trash can. Did I think H wouldn't notice? Worse, she asked once where the fish was and then I saw her make a mental note not to ask again. Later I said to her:
"you know that white fish? It died. "
Silence. "Can I see it?"
"I already buried it"(what the hell is wrong with me?)
"What if its hungry?"
"You don't eat when you're dead. But the fish is in a good place now with its friends. Its soul is rested..."
Oh oh oh. Downward spiral. Sinking feet weighted with concrete. So not what I wanted to say. Failing miserably. Shocked by how horribly I'm handling this. I at least stop before I say "next time I'll let you bury the fish with me"
And now, dead fish number 2. Again I throw the fish in the trash. This time, the voice in my head takes control of my subconscious and I put it in a bag inside and empty container of ricotta. (Yes, I should have recycled it. I suck.) Anyway. Later I'm on the phone with my mother who scolds me for throwing away the second fish. She blast my denial by reminding me "Someday one of your big pets in going to die and that's going to be REALLY hard". So, I went out to go through the trash. Found the fish, and put it in the freezer. H has already asked about Aria- once. I have been trying to find the right time to break the news. I am such a wuss. Aria died on Day of the Dead. You would think having grown up in Mexico City I would not be as squeamish about dead as I apparently am. I am going to make an offering for Aria. We will bury the fish, with enough food. And some marigolds.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Wings and a prayer

Sent H off to school with her giant wings. Had some last minute alterations using a sash from a black robe I never wear anymore. The wings are too big, she'll be knocking everything over, but she looks great! S is a caterpillar, at H's request, I'm feeling bad as her "costume" consists of striped pants, a green shirt some antenna and a big leaf with holes punched in it. Not the ultra glam giant sparkle wings of her older sister. And, for the record, the costume is cool enough, glittery enough and butterfly-y enough. According to the chaperon, the wings did not make it for the walk to the womens home. Just as well.

I am sore muscled and stiff from hanging the show last night. I haven't hung my own work in a long time- I can't decide if that makes me sound successful or like a prima dona. The truth is neither one, it just so happens that most shows of late have have someone besides me hanging them. Which is great as I hate hanging shows, almost as much as I hate taking slides of my work. Anyway- as hangings go, this wasn't so bad, there was help and an agreement to eyeball instead of measure. I did much grumbling that i must work smaller after straining myself and everyone helping out with my work that is so big. Must look into this apparent obsession I have with the huge lately. As they say, if you can't make it good make it big.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Scary madness

Its like this every day before Halloween. I don't prescribe to the store bought costume, probably because my mother didn't and shes passed down this gem along with the many others. What ends up happening, though is that the pieces I purchased in advance, complete with quiet smugness of being prepared early before the rush, while there are still things like butterfly wings available to purchase, while there's still time to order online and not pay double the cost of the item to have it shipped, all of a sudden, those things aren't good enough. Sparkly enough. Fancy enough. I panic at the idea of my daughter in the costume all the parents think is cool, but the kids are like huh? Whats that? while H tells me she likes it, secretly wishing i had just gone to the store like all the other moms and picked something off the rack. Just like I did when I was her age. Sure mom, I'm thrilled to wear these old curtains that kind of make me look like fish and walk in front of my little sister dressed as a farmer with a fishing pole attached to my head in the kiddie parade.

So today- first to one store to see if I can find a skirt that looks like something a butterfly might wear. No. So off to another store, where I found a black ballet skirt that will need jazzing up. Next back to the Halloween store where I got the way too big butterfly wings ages ago. I stood there deliberating for way too long- big wings? small wings? I went with the big wings- bigger is better, right? Not when your 4 yr old is walking with her class to a womens home to sing halloween songs in tight quarters. But now, or course, since tomorrow is Halloween there are no more wings, big or small. Its doubtful that H would have gone for the smaller wings anyway- she was flying around in the big ones last night (because of course I don't really try out the costume I've assembled so much in advance until a few days before its debut.. just to keep things interesting) yelling "butterfly toooo the rescuuuuue!!!" This is part of the reason I volunteered J to be a chaperon- so he can be on wing detail. He doesn't know this yet.

In addition to the Halloween scramble, I'm supposed to hang a show tonight. Do I know what I'm going to hang yet? Not really. Do I think I'll be able to think about it before I'm supposed to be down there ready to go? Not really. I have a literal laundry list to do between now and then which includes washing the peed on bed sheets for the 4th day in a row. Them are some clean sheets.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

is there room on this band wagon?

Well, thats what finally did it. The phrase "a couple bit." Its one of H's favorites, and it would be so sad if I forgot about it once it goes the way of the cute kid things.
"Mom, I need a couple bit more glitter"
in response to being told its bed time, "I'll just stay up a couple bit longer"
After hearing no seconds for ice cream. "Just a couple bit!"