May 23, 2010

Sweetest Sibs

I love these babies. And these babies love each other.
Most of the time.


James is definitely the big brother: No, sissy, you no touch that. Get away, Stella Rae.


And Stella plays the role of the annoying baby sister to perfection by stealing James' cup when he's not looking, and hiding it.


What a joy it is to have such sweet babies, so close in age. It's been a long two and a half years, but I can with honesty say (holding my breath)...it's getting easier.

May 22, 2010

The Mother Bear II

Husband out of town. Me and the kids. To the Mall of Georgia. Thinking I had recovered from our last big outing where I was flying solo, I strap them into the carseats, and off we go. (Yes, I am playing Madagascar 2 in the car. Yes, I am a hypocrite).

My first sign was the fact I could not remember how to unlock the double stroller. Usually it doesn't lock itself. Sometimes it does, and usually Jason is there to figure it out. I call him. He doesn't remember. The kids are in the car crying for five minutes before I figure it out. Finally. And we're off.



James, Stella and I head to the indoor play area near Nordstrom, and I've got both kids in my sight, standing by the entrance - well, more like guarding the entrance to pen in my little runaway Bond, James Bond. Everything is peachy. Someone from the Nordstrom cafe brings by smoothie samples. Awesome. So now, I'm sipping a smoothie, watching the monkeys have a grand time.



Stella makes a friend.



A little boy (let's call him Diablo for reasons you will later understand). So, Diablo looks about one year old, and he's quite cute. Plaid shorts, polo shirt, sandals. Little Abercrombie kid. The two munchkins are sitting in the airplane together, jabbering and picking at each other. Diablo puts his arms around Stella and gives her a hug. Stella squeals with delight, and I smile. 


I see Diablo's mother (let's call her Lucifera), standing nearby, sipping her Starbucks with her fresh-from-the-beach tan and cutsy minidress. She and I exchange that fake regonition nod, our kids like each other how cute, and we go back to watching the kids.


Next thing I know, Stella is turning red. That little bastard Diablo has both of his demon hands around her neck. As usual, things start to move in slow-mo, and I hear Lucifera quietly saying, "gentle, gentle, gentle" and Diablo is squeezing harder.



In the span of about a millisecond, I determine that this mother and son crackhead team are actually from Hades, and I leap the four steps over to Stella and Diablo. All while Lucifera continues to chant gentle gentle gentle. I put my hands on Diablo and wrench him from Stella, and literally toss him sideways onto the playroom floor. Stella is recovering and breathing, and I turn around seething.


"What the hell?" I scream to Lucifera.


She looks at me, blinks, and says, "Why did you lay your hands on my child?"

I stand up straight. "Excuse me?"

And as if she really thought I did not hear her, she repeats, "Why did you lay your hands on my child?"

I step closer to her, and I feel the blood in my face. "Lady, you are lucky I'm not about to lay my hands on you."

In that moment, the Mother Bear was unleashed, and I knew that I would claw her across the face if she said another word to me. Maybe my nostrils were flaring, or my insta-claws had actually been unveiled, because Lucifera turned and trotted off with Diablo to the other side of the play area.

The kids and I went on to have a fabulous day: real train ride, carousel ride (complete with horsey sticker), lunch and cookies.




There was one final moment, however. 


On the train ride, I saw Lucifera and Diablo leaving the play area. For a split second, I considered hijacking the mini-train and running them down, while ringing the bell and screaming choo choo choo choo, to the tune of her gentle gentle gentle. Eventually, I calmed down and as I said, the day was great.





Still. I swear...how do these people find me?



May 15, 2010

Piece of Meat

The look on my co-workers' faces as I dove into a mushroom swiss burger at lunch on Thursday said all I needed to hear. They are all meat-eaters, but I have not been, for a while... and then I just started eating crap again. I was an excellent vegan for four months, and then I let a few eggs in... then cheese. Next thing I know, I'm jonesing for Krystals and making cheesecake. So the coworkers were not being judgy-wudgy, as they are omnivores themselves. They were just trying to figure me out and what in the world I'm up to now. Well, if only I could figure me out... then I could hit the road on a million dollar self-help tour, and can this whole legal thing.

People are blown away when you mention a vegan lifestyle. For me, it was not about the animals, the environment, the kindess of a vegan diet (although these are all desireable side-effects). I just felt so darn good not eating things with fur and dairy and overall indigestible logs of food.

So why am I eating trash and not treating my body, my mind and my jiggly thighs with respect? I decided I would spend time this weekend figuring out the answer to that question.

My excuses:
1) I have kids
2) I have a demanding job with a commute from the seventh circle of hell
3) My husband is a workaholic who travels all the time

Ok. These are ridiculous excuses. It's not like I have an ailing parent to tend to, a pending bankruptcy, a husband stationed overseas. I have a great life, it's simply busier than I would have imagined for myself. So I have got to get a grip. And getting a grip, I will. And ninety pounds of animals will thank me.

May 12, 2010

My Mother, My Stalker

Ring ring.
"Hello?"
"Meredith, it's Dad. Sorry to bother you at work. I am at the Verizon store. I was going to buy your mom one of those fancy phones, you know, the kind so she can check her email and Facebook. What kind should I get her?"


I take a deep breath and try not to scream no no no no no noooooooo, in general.

I try to talk him into the Blackberry, in the goodness of my heart, because I think its easier to use than my Android.

And frankly, the Android is just such a powerful ....stalking ....tool.

On the way home, I call Dad.

"So, what did you buy for Mom?"
"Oh, I got her the Droid."

I hear the death march from Star Wars in my head.

Four hours later, my Droid is going ding ding ding. And the horror hits. My mother is officially mobile.

I call her.

We chitchat over the funniness of her now being a Droider and I can barely hear over the squeals: do you know this thing can hear what you are thinking? She is tickled pink. But do not let the pink fool you: she is fierce, and now I know she is my most vicious stalker. And she's talking fast, like she's on crack: "How do I get your channel on YouTube? Look at all these what-are-they-called-applications? Ooooh, look at this picture of the babies! [loud squeal] Now, I can check Facebook at the carwash!"

So I have been warned.

I am now going to be watched constantly, more than ever before. It's like I have a nanny-cam. For myself. The desire for minute-by-minute pictures of the babies will increase. The hunger cannot be quenched. For my mother, my stalker is on the loose!

(How quickly did this post pop up on your Droid, Mom?!?) :)

Fishy Decor

Just when I think life cannot get fishier...
I walk into the living room to find this.

A solitary, suspended jeering Goldfish hanging out like Cheech on my couch. So I left the fish there for almost an hour.

Each time I walked past, I could hear it mocking me: hey woman, look at what you've got on your furniture now!

Finally, bless Stella. She found the fish. And devoured him whole. Take that, fishy.

Although I suspect Stella was the one who artfully placed said fish on said couch for my said enjoyment.

May 9, 2010

The Mother of All Days

My third Mother's Day, and it was about as nuts as the last two. I was vomited upon (twice), and hence I declared, It wouldn't be Mother's Day without a little puke. Then, I woke James from his nap, only to discover he had craftily painted a small poop painting in my honor. Awesome, what a gift! Oh and the Avon lady (my husband) is back on the road to San Diego.


But what was great about today? Well, I got hand-crayoned cards from the kids, and I slept until 10:00, which is a small miracle. Although James will not actually relinquish the card he made to me, I can see from afar that it is quite lovely. Oh, and James stuck a Chiquita banana sticker on my nose and said, "Mommy, whatchoo doing now" about a hundred times, which always makes me laugh. Stella gave me two fantasic germ-spreading kisses right on the lips, and a slap to the eyeball, which was a little painful, but impressive and endearing. And the best part of the whole day: understanding that I have been immeasurably blessed with these two great monkeys who make me laugh, keep me on my toes (or knocked flat on my butt), and keep me very humble (and yes, a little teetering on the edge of crazy too....but who doesn't love a little crazy now and then?).


Today, I am thinking about the long line of moms in the world - what an amazing sisterhood, and I am in awe. All of us who have given birth or raised children have an understanding and comraderie that stretches beyond words and across time. While some days I think I might trade motherhood for a hot shower and a clean pair of pants...on days like today, I couldn't even trade the poopy diaper smell wafting in from the garage. Well, that's a downright lie. But you get my drift.

Happy Mother's Day. Thank you to all the wonderful moms in my life.... I love you all.

May 7, 2010

Take Your Free Time and Shove It...

I really do not know how to deal with my recent bitter ball about an issue. Maybe some of my dear readers can assist. Strike that. Attention to my only fan and reader, Jamie B from Wisconsin (peace sister), I need your help.

How in the world do some people actually have too much free time? And (this is my burning angry question), how in the hell do those people have the bloody nerve to ask others for assistance with their free time projects?

And someone is undoubtedly reading this and thinking, but oh, you have a blog and you paint, so YOU must have free time. Newflash pooky: when one paints from the bathtub or blogs standing in a kitchen, typing one-handed while brushing a toddler's teeth, this is not "free" time. This is efficient use of the pea-sized time one has. And frankly, because I have not developed a single photograph of my children in over a year and a half, I'm thinking this blog may actually save time, preserve memories and also save me from the later question: "Mommy why don't we have scrapbooks or photo albums like our friend, Jane?" To which I will try not to respond: "Well, sweet babies, Jane's mother is meth-addicted stay-at-home mommy who spent all of her husband's money on scrapbooking and dope, and thus had all the energy in the world to complete said scrapbooks due to lack of employment and crazy energy from the cocaine. She has free time."

You, my sweet babies, have a blog for everyone to read. See? Isn't that just so special? I hope it's enough. I try. Sigh. I better get my scrapbooking scissors out... yikes.

It's bad enough that people are now asking me for actual chunks of my precious forty-five minutes a day of free time, while my kids get crap when I am in charge of snacktime at school. The other mothers may make homemade sugar-free little Bites of Heaven. Well, on our rotation, James and Stella (like clockwork) proudly bring in a box of Goldfish and raisins. Hey, the Goldfish are "flavor blasted." Take that, you blasted Bites of Heaven.

Now, here's the deal to all you free time mongers trying to drag me into your frivolous projects: If my dear children do not get freshly baked snacks, then you do not get my freshly baked assistance with your lazy day sunshine issues. Once you see my babies slipping into a state of snacktime nirvana (homemade granola, cupcake or snickerdoodles with organic ingredients), then and only then may you approach me about help with your lemonade stand, knitting kiosk, or paperclip masterpiece. Until then... :)

May 2, 2010

Strawberry Fields Forever

Forget Myers-Briggs or any other typical personality tests out there. In order to detect the personalities of your children... all you need is a bucket and a field of strawberries.

Stella:
Her sole mission was to eat the most strawberries possible, straight off the vine, with no intention of taking any home. She aimed to make as big of a mess as possible on her hands, her face, her clothes. She dug in the dirt and rolled around like a puppy in the grass. Another goal was to run through the fields, free as a bird, while claiming as much strawberry booty as possible. The strawberries, one by one, would have a bite or two removed, and then would be gingerly placed in the bucket. Pick, bite, bucket - on to the next one. There was round after round of gleeful laughter and excitement at being outdoors.
Personality interpretation: fun-loving, child of nature, goes with the flow, a bit of a mess externally and may need nudging to dress appropriately or bathe regularly in the future, overly considerate and dependable, athletic; will succeed well in a healthcare, agricultural or holistic career down the road.

James:
His sole mission was to get away from the fields and to leave with an empty bucket, not from eating the strawberries like his sister, but because a bucket with anything inside of said bucket irritated him to no end. The tractor in the corner of the field was considered awesome, as well as the flags to mark the picking. The strawberries, however, were stupid and he preferred to be stalking the tractor. He was excited to see his sister at work ("awww, sissy, you got berries!"), but could have cared less about finding any for himself. However, once back in the car, he goes to great lengths to brag about all the strawberries he had picked. Jason and I looked at each other and cracked up when he said, over and over, "I pick strawberries." Little fibber.
Personality interpretation: independent, fiercely strong-willed, smart as a whip, methodical and regimented with great attention to important details; will succeed well in the future and in business by inventing novel technologies that will probably make him filthy rich, but may have issues with taking credit for things others have done (e.g., "I pick strawberries")

We had a great day. Love to you all, from our field to yours.