Tuesday, July 28, 2009

kisses from dogs

In continuing the undoing of all my dog training, H has trained Tamayo to lick her all over her face when she says "I LOVE KISSES FROM DOGS!" H isn't so much a master dog trainer as Tamayo has been holding back kisses for 5 years, that and after all these years, I suspect he does speak English. Yet another thing I would never have guessed that gets screamed from my yard for the amusement of the neighbors: I LOVE KISSES FROM DOOOGS! I can't wait to tell her boyfriends that one.

H and S both try to train each other. "Good girl! good job!" They enthusiastically say to each other many times during the day. Just now in fact, as S put a clothes pin on the highest wire of the drying rack. (Clipping the clothes pin on the drying rack outside, or playing clips as its known around here, is the best game since Lefty told me about water paint- which is when you get a receptacle of water and some paint brushes. Thats it. Actually, water paint is much better, but it is wetter. Playing clips is pretty good.)

I just said another thing I didn't think I'd be saying to my kids: "Don't bark at the neighbors dog! Stop barking! I mean it!"
Meanwhile my dogs know better and are quiet.

Monday, July 27, 2009

A tiger on a monkey's toe/ Backpack, backpack

Eenie meenie miney mo
catch a tiger on a monkey's toe
if he hollers on his toe
let. him. GO!

H has been saying this, her version, for a really long time. And she eenies often. I haven't corrected her- for one because I think less of the racist origins of this rhyme and have a surreal image of a monkey catching a tiger on his toe- also because my questioning authority has gotten out of hand and I say- who am I to correct it? There is no right way (except sometimes, of course there is.) I have heard people tell H their version, try to say it with her to get the monkey out and off the tigers toe- but she seems to prefer it her way- as do I.


H and S are having a parade through the house right now, wearing conductor hats- one authentic that came with a train set, the other, mine, a target special, which looks better on H than it does on me (but she can't have it!) and also makes her look alarmingly like a teenager (and thats not the only reason why!) H is shrieking "CHOO CHOO! The Animal express! We are the best of the BEST!" S is going along, chiming in with the song here and there. S has a goose egg bruise on her forehead from running on a paved path downhill and falling. Both H and S have their faces painted. They were painted by me, and I don't have the good stuff, so there are smears of face makeup and glitter all over. It is quite a parade.

Why are their faces painted? Why is S bruised? Why am I beat?
Insert a scooby doo wavey sequence. It all started back at the mansion when...

Last night, H started making her case for going to the zoo today. She seems to know how I am on Mondays- plan-less and unorganized, and she takes advantage. I said ok to the zoo- even though we also had no food in the house and a gazillion things to do. There are always a gazillion things to do. It was hot, and its always at least 80 degrees hotter at the zoo, so I threw out a casual 'hey do you want to go the arboretum instead?' Imagine my shock and awe when that was met with YAY!!! ARBORETUM!!! I asked 5 times, are you SURE you'd rather go to the arboretum? Than the zoo? Repeat after me 'I would rather go to the arboretum than the zoo and I do solemnly swear I will not expect to go to the zoo after lunch.'

Before our plans changed, I had already laid out the zoo rules, including that we were not going to get our faces painted. We have not ever had our faces painted at this particular zoo, but if we don't cover the rules and expectations before we're out the door things get crazy. I said (why?) that I would paint their faces when we got home if they wanted. If they wanted? What was I born yesterday?

After the arboretum, the goose egg fall, the trip to the store to replenish our supply of food, I spontaneously stopped at the Gap. I never shop at the Gap, but it was there. There was a sign about backpacks, and I have become backpack obsessed. I was panicking that we didn't have backpacks yet even though its not even August and I was sure they would all backpacks will be sold out of everywhere as I hem and haw and look for the backpack of MY dreams even though I am not the one going to kindergarten. I need a stand in backpack for now, incase of emergency, while I continue my search. Once inside the belly of the Gap, I fell into their trap of buying the backpack's matching/attaching lunchbox, I fell into their additional trap of applying for a store credit card to save an additional 20% (which combined with their sale got me one of the backpack lunch box combos for free. So there. I don't care if it was a trap.)

S had a dirty diaper and was all but taking it off in the store. H was doing jumping jacks and cartwheels in the roped off section of the line. This is the schmancy Gap, in the high falutin area I can hardly stand to frequent. Where all the kids match the parents. And me, with my motley, sweaty, sticky crew with big bruised on their heads and dirty knees from falling all over the arboretum. Me with my dress that S had been using as a tissue all day. Then I changed S's diaper, tailgate style in the parking lot.

We got home, finally, ate the popsicles that were promised to get us through the food shopping, fit in some trying to figure out payroll, printing out more forms that need to be filled and faxed, and painted glitter butterfly faces on the girls faces that were already sticky from mango popsicles. (I had forgot about the face painting promise.) H sighed and said "Mom- you are the best artist EVER. I love that you made up your own design." (yes, she really said that.) Then she went on and on and ON about how beautiful she felt with this grease paint on her face. My continual assurances that she was already beautiful went ignored- I think so far she believes that, that she's beautiful. Which of course she is- but how to keep her seeing it that way? I wish her never to doubt it.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Camp School

This is the picture that accompanies this post about S's first day at school. Or camp, as they call it here when its school in the summer. I have stubbornly refused to call it camp, (because its NOT camp! There are no tents! There is no insect repelant! There are no camp fires! There are no marshmallow sticks!) but I may have to give in. I am tired of the constant response "Camp?" when ever I say "school." The people are trying to train me. Maybe I'll start calling it camp during the school year. the camp year. That'll show em.

H trying to force a smile.

Sweet Summer

I'm finally downloading the summer from my camera- and what I see a lot of are sticky faces.

Hunting monkeys and raised by wolves

Sometimes everyone looks a little lost in the woods. Right?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Your Highness

H: "Mommy? When we get married do boys call us 'your highness?'
Me: "No. But they should."

H is now running around with the dogs, yelling "Oh! I forgot about the royal highness! He's a bad royal highness!" I think she's referring to Tamayo.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


This blog isn't the only thing suffering from my manic distraction of late.

I am trying to do too much. Its gotten to the point where the things I am doing half assed are looking good. Because there are way too many things that are getting a 16th of my ass. And that just isn't enough.

Today I forgot to send underwear with H to school for her to change into after water play (she goes to school in her bathing suit.) Her teacher, the good cop teacher, luckily for me, informed me today when I picked her up that H was not wearing any underwear, as I didn't send any AND she doesn't have a change of clothes at school like she's supposed to that I haven't sent in despite many reminders from the good cop teacher and the bad cop teacher.

I feel I don't have shorts to spare! I don't want any cute clothes to languish away in a plastic bag for just incase use, and I don't want to spend money on any ugly clothes to keep at school, so I just keep putting it off like everything else. Maybe when they send her home in a barrel with suspenders, and no underwear beneath- maybe then I'll send a change of clothes. AND H brought underwear downstairs for me to put in her backpack this morning- I didn't even tell her too. And I still forgot. Bad bad distracted Mommy.

And get this one: I hurried and scurried and borrowed from Peter to pay John, Paul, George AND Ringo to make sure I got a payment in on time for the no interest or finance charge credit card we have. Today I saw on the caller ID that the credit card company had called. Thats strange, I thought. Upon further investigation I discovered I had made the payment to the wrong credit card.

I called the credit card company, heard an automated amount I now owe, due to my non payment, over the limit, back charges and general negligence. Managed to not pass out. Got a really nice guy named Ross on the phone. Initially, he had some attitude since I couldn't remember my password. "Its a pet's name" he groaned. "Do you know how many pets I have?!" I yelled at him. He was nice enough to help me reset my password "How about your mothers maiden name, he says.. that doesn't change" Yeah, fine Ross. Think you have it all figured out. I told him I paid the wrong credit card. He thinks they can fix this mess, but I have to call back tomorrow, after they post the payment I made.

And those are just the things I know I've screwed up. There are so many more waiting in the wings. Gotta love a surprise.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Extra senses

H spent the night at her grandparents house last night. After much debate we brought S home with us instead of having her stay the night too. Its been nice to spend some time with S alone- she rarely gets both J and I to herself- I know she misses H, but shes enjoying her time.

H couldn't wait for J and I to leave yesterday- eager to begin her independence from us. She wanted S to stay, but I think is equally happy to have some alone time with her grandparents.

I am not often away from H, and hardly ever speak to her on the phone, so when she called last night, I was slammed with emotion. She sounds so much older and more coherent that the last time I spoke to her on the phone, months ago.

This morning I asked S if she wanted to draw a picture for H- who is always drawing things for everyone and I'm sure has made something for the whole family already. Just as S sat down, the phone rang. H called, wanting to talk to S. They said Hi back and forth about 20 times, and then H said "I love you!" and asked to talk to me. S went back to the table, and took the cap off a purple marker. H said "I hear S drawing, what is she making?"

H has been saying repeatedly for some weeks now that she wants to be a dog so she can have 'a nose like a dog' - a heightened sense of smell. I find this odd- of all the super powers to wish for. Maybe her wish got crossed along the way and she's ended up with a dogs ears.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sneaky Crab

I may have been a sheep dog in a former life. Or maybe I was a sheep who refused to be herded and this is payback. Whatever the reason, I find myself shepherding, herding, wolf staring, pulling pushing pleading an awful lot. Tripping over dogs, kids, cat. Waving my arms like I'm trying to land a plane. Or conduct and orchestra. Or move a mountain

The herding has games attached to it, what, as an attempt at being functional. The bed time herding is called sneaky crab, where I, the sneaky crab, try to pinch the girls as they run (delightfully, quick like bunnies) up the stairs (where they will need more herding into their pjs, the toothbrush will need to be herded into their mouths, the dog herded off the bed so we can read stories, etc etc.) S has taken this sneaky crab game to new levels, every time she goes upstairs she calls out "Tin-kee Cwab! Tin-kee Cwab, Mommy!" (Does she thing the game is stinky crab? SNEAKY crab, S!) But she doesn't hustle, as she's calling me a tin-kee cwab and I pinch her- as much as I think I could pinch her little legs all day, it does grow old after a while, when dinner is burning and dogs want to be fed and the phone is ringing... I have to heard harder. Today as this was playing out, H sighed from downstairs, "S! Sneaky crab is all about being QUICK!" I smiled. H is getting so big. I love that she plays along even though she knows I am herding her up the stairs.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Where does it come from?

Getting ready for bed tonight, S pushed Maxi with her foot. (S pushes us all around. Don't feel badly for the cat) H yelled "S!" then, "its ok, Maxi. You can scratch her. You can even rip her heart out." What?! Where did this come from? Certainly not something I utter around the house. I utter plenty, its not that- just that this is not something I would say. Again- she is her own person, so why the shock that she'd say something differently that I would? I don't know the answer to that.

In the delay before bedtime- where H lies in bed and shoots me as many questions as she can think of to get me to stay in the doorway a little longer. I grind my teeth a little bit louder the longer the questioning goes on, but can't quite break from the questions as she's been making them fabulous in order to get me to stay there grinding my teeth. Today- "Mommy are how many different worlds are there? We're in this world, is Virginia in another world?" (I don't know why Virginia in particular seems other worldly to H.) Just one world I tell her. "How do we all fit? Are we at the top of the world? I don't want our house to slide off the world." I try to explain gravity. "Gravity? Who made that? Who made the world?" I have gone the religious route before- today I decided to go with Darwin. I mangled the evolutionary theory- cliff notes through grinding teeth. "The earth is made of rocks? Thats MAGIC" then "And then who painted it?" This lead into a conversation about paint and dye coming from things in nature. "Remember how red your fingers got after picking raspberries?" H asked how people could stop smelling raspberries if they used them for paint. And how would it dry anyway?"

I need to hit the books to be able to put H to bed.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Dented day and no room

I woke up this morning with a big dent in my forehead from sleeping on my bracelet. It is just now, 5 hours later beginning to go away.

Despite the fact that S has had a long week of new experiences and hasn't had a nap in days she woke up at 5 in the morning. J and I decided the morning was beyond improvement so we spent some early morning time figuring out the best way to install the updates needed on my computer to install the software so we can get our finances in order. We installed the update, tried to install the software- turned out we needed to update the update to install the software, the installer of which needed more room than I had available on the hard drive. And so on.

Apparently during the time it took to figure out computer finance stuff, the house exploded. While I was attempting to make room on the computer to pay bills, the girls kept telling me they wanted to eat eggs. I couldn't take it anymore and shifted gears to go make some eggs. No only was there no room on the computer, but no room in the kitchen, no room in the dining room. I folded laundry that was in the dining room (it got held up on its way upstairs. The bureaucracy in this house) to make room on the table to eat.

While folding the laundry so I could make the eggs so I could update my computer, I heard Maxi's full mouth caterwaul coming from the back of the house. Shit, I knew we had a live one. Even though I think all the pink fluffy cat toys are real mice when I hear the low muffled MmmmmmRRrrrrOOOOwwwww.... I just knew this mouse was not pink or fluffy. Maxi thought it was a toy. Maybe we need to feed her less- but she just wants to catch and release- unfortunately, she tends to release in the middle of the house. So the freed mouse made a dash behind the toy shelf in the dining room. I set up my paper bag traps- but Maxi got herself behind the shelf and re caught the mouse who she then brought out to the middle of the room and threw in the air. While this was going on, H was sitting on the back of the couch hugging her knees. Naked. (In the middle of getting dressed. Downstairs. Because the laundry was in the dining room, of course) S wouldn't get out of the way of the mouse-I was sure it was going to run up her leg.

Maxi finished throwing the mouse in the air, and had it back in her mouth. Ordinarily, I am trying to save the mouse at this point, but this time that didn't occur to me. I was trying to chase Maxi back out of the house, or into the paper bag I was trying to catch the mouse with, but Maxi was very slowly strutting and kept trying to turn back to me, her mouth full of mouse. She dropped the mouse for another game of mouse hacky sack, and the mouse almost ran into my bag, but instead darted under the door to the basement. I threw Maxi down after it, but she wouldn't stay. She was done with the mouse. There is no way I will be able to find the mouse in the basement. Its dark, there are nooks and crannies galore. I try, am still trying, to let it go. I am afraid Maxi will find it again and bring it up. Into my bed when I'm sleeping.

To get H off the back of the couch and dressed, I told her the mouse is outside, that he left through the basement. She is concerned if the mouse has found his mommy and daddy. I am a bit concerned about this too, but for different reasons.

J will not be able to relax knowing there is a mouse in the house. I don't want to tell him. I also don't want to tell the girls to keep anything from him. Maybe I'll let H tell him that the mouse went back outside to find his mommy.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Lost. One mind. Reward.

I have officially and completely lost my mind. It started, or rather the sanity ended, after I dropped S off at school today to her "I...WAAAANNNT....MOOOMMMEEEEEE.. " wails that continued through the building while I walked upstairs to drop H off at her class, and then continued still as I walked back down the stairs, thankfully out of view, and around the corner to the parking lot. I have been fighting the urge to call and ask if shes stopped crying, because if they tell me she hasn't I'm not sure what will happen but am pretty sure it will involve my stomach being flipped inside out.

I decided to go grocery shopping. I mentioned in an earlier post how this was against my new rules of how time should be spent while the girls are in school. I may have to edit the rules as I keep breaking this one. I have also mentioned in earlier posts how much I abhor grocery shopping with my children, S in particular. Like here. But today, I felt lost. I watched all the moms (and all the nannies) with their kids, shopping at Trader Joes- the girls were all in pretty dresses. They were all calm. Lovely. Helpful. I missed my girls, both of them, but especially the little one who I am not used to leaving, or doing anything with out. It is not until right now, as I'm writing this, that I realize that if S was with me, she would not be sitting pretty in her dress while we shopped. Well, she'd look cute as hell, but she'd be rampaging about something. Throwing herself out of the cart. On to the floor. Banging her pretty little head. The patrons would have tsked and given me those looks that I hardly notice anymore. I would have left unfinished and frazzled. But somehow, despite all this, I really wished she were there. And that is why I have lost my mind.