Thursday, January 31, 2008

She is Stupid!

The first words out of Jill's mouth when she walked in the door from school were, "Can Faith come over?" Faith is already standing in our house.

"No. You have to leave for gymnastics in ten minutes."

Jill dissolves into tears. Faith leaves. Jill screams that she hates gymnastics. Liar. She loves gymnastics. Asks everyday to go. I don't fall for it.

"Jill just put your leotard on, and grab a snack."

She stands there defiant. Then, a smile expands across her face.

"Oh yeah," she says. "I have something in my backpack that once I show you, you won't let me go to gymnastics." She happily skips over to her backpack...

and pulls out a letter from her teacher.

Apparently, my child, got sent to "time away" (Not "time out", folks, that would be mean. Time away.) for talking. All was well, until she mouthed off to her teacher. I believe it went something like this.

"You are stupid and I am not going to time away." She is on the verge of loosing their Art Party. Whatever the hell that is.

I stare her down. "What did you say to your teacher? Did you really call her stupid." I supress a smile, 'cause I kind of agree with her. The teacher is a bit stupid. And? After she told me she can handle her own class when I made some suggestions about Jill's talking, I sort of quit giving a shit what Jill's behavior was like in class. I manage to hold the giggles in. I keep staring at Jill. Giving her the evil eye.

She looks at the ground, realizing that maybe, just maybe, the note home from the teacher was not the best plan of action for missing gymnastics and having a friend over.

Quietly she puts on her leotard. She gets a snack. She gets into the car. She doesn't mention having a friend over again.

I smirk. I win.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

How much did the cards cost?

Lately, Jill has been doing her homework on her own. The other day, I noticed that she was writing one word answers on the portion where she was supposed to write a paragraph. Deeming this unacceptable, I started checking her homework every night.

Exhibit A: Math problem number two on the worksheet.

Well, obviously.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Oh Come On

I have already explained that my taste in TV shows rivals that of a sixteen-year-old girl. So tonight I settled in to watch One Tree Hill (with my Sweetheart Shake...shut up, Tiff. Just shut up. I caved okay?!). All was good. I was happily enjoying the flashback to three years ago. You know, right up until Lucas busts out his iPhone in the middle of the airport. Ummm hello. Did nobody catch that? Flashback? Three years ago? iPhone? They should let me edit these shows.

And to top it off, they had on of those Above the Influence commercials on. I think it is supposed to convince teenagers not to use drugs. But this one? It was so funny that I almost wanted to buy weed (oh don't lecture, I am joking). I mean, seriously, the teenage guy wraps himself up in a cocoon of weed. Then he emerges old, fat and bald! Hahahahaha. I laughed so hard. Maybe they should rethink their commercials. Cause that just moved up in the ranks near the rewards one where they guy pretends to ride his bike. Or maybe all the sugar from that Sweetheart Shake went to my head. Whatever.

Which makes me want to sing, "Sugar Higggghhhhhhh," while dancing on the rooftop.

Two Hours and Counting

It is five a.m. I have been up for two hours, so far. I used to sleep well, you know, before I had kids. This time it is Emmi's fault. Well, not really. But I am up because of her.

She is congested again. Congestion and Emmi do not mix well. Beyond the usual discomfort, congestion causes Emmi to choke and throw up. It is a combination of the malformation of the soft palate and her low tone. She still isn't stung enough to really cough. So she never clears any of the drainage from her throat. She ends up choking and throwing up, and sometimes she doesn't wake up. There have been times that I hear a strange sound over the monitor, and I go up to find her choking. So needless to say, I am a bit paranoid when she gets congested. She started coughing at about two this morning. I checked on her three times in thirty minutes. I gave her more medicine. She went back to sleep. But I didn't.

Then I started thinking about everything I had to do today. I have work and classes to take. I want to go to the gym. Emmi has therapy and needs new tap shoes. Jill has a hair appointment this afternoon. And with all of that running through my head, there was no way I could get back to sleep. So here I am, at five a.m., working. Good news is I will now have time to go to the gym, take Emmi to therapy, get tap shoes, and go to Jill's hair appointment without having to work until ten o'clock tonight!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Trickery. Just plain trickery.

Dear Gossip Girls Maker Man,

You should not call a mishmash of old episodes, "New." It is not nice. It gets one's heart racing, then sends it crashing to the ground.

Tricked. I mean, Trish.

The Little Red Light

I just walked into the living to plop in front of the TV. And. There. On the DVR. Was the magic red light. That little red light, that low and behold, means one of my favorite shows is being recorded. I didn't know anything I wanted to watch was on. So I checked the guide, and....

a new GOSSIP GIRLS. Oh hell yes. Where is my glass of wine? Show time!

PS I might be a bit obsessed with this show. Kenny? Not so much. He is grumbling. Boo. Boo on Kenny. Who incidentally is yelling, "Boo" at his computer for timing out while he was posting a Craiglist add (he is a Craigslist junkie).

Barbie and Creepy Cat Toy

Emmi spent Christmas with her dad this year. She came home with the creepiest fucking toys I have ever seen. I mean, seriously? The life size Barbie doll and the motion sensor cat could have stayed at his house. The damn Barbie is taller than she is. And the cat.

Lord, the cat. It looked real. It kind of felt real. You know, if you can get over the fact that underneath all of the fur is a hunk of metal and plastic. Its eyes are motion sensors, so when you walk past it, the damn the meows. And swishes it's creepy little tail. If you pet it, it purrs. And it watches you. Creepy. So creepy that everyone in the house referred to it as "Creepy Cat Toy." And nobody played with it. It just sat on a shelf, meowing every once in a while, and driving the dogs nuts.

Sometimes late at night, when the kids are in bed, and Kenny, the dogs, and I are curled up on the couch watching TV, that damn cat will start meowing. And purring. Then you hear the motor from its tail swishing. With no one around it. That is when I started to suspect something.

First, I thought maybe we had little children sneaking out of bed to play in the game room. But that would mean someone was, *gasp*, actually playing in the game room and not in the living room, standing directly in front of the TV I am watching. I knew it wasn't either dog, as generally they are both fighting us for spots on the couch. But something. Something up there was making that Creepy Cat Toy purr. Sometimes, I would run up the stairs after it started meowing to see if I could catch the culprit that set the motion sensors off. Nothing. That cat started to creep me out more. The dog took to sitting in front of the shelf whining at it for hours. I contemplated throwing it out, but I have seen Pet Cemetery. I know what will happen if I do.

Barbie? She wasn't much better. At least she didn't randomly meow in the middle of the night. But still. For awhile, no one played with her either. Then, Jill decided they would be friends. Her and the Barbie. She named her. Probably some combination of Starthet and Blond Toe (Ha! That's right, Sister, I said it. I made fun of your doll names.). She dressed her in her pajamas and tucked her into the lower bunk bed in her room. I had to say goodnight to Barbie and Jill that night. Tuck both in. Kiss both goodnight. Jill was happy, she had been wanting a sleep over for the longest time. She feel right off to sleep.

All was good. Creepy Cat Toy was quiet for awhile that night. Jill and Barbie were tucked into bed. Emmi had long ago fallen asleep. Then. I heard it. A scream. Coming from Jill's room. I ran up the stairs two at a time. Jill was sitting up in bed, eyes wide.

"MOMMY! MOMMY!" She sobbed. I tried to calm her. Between sobs, she explains that she woke up and the Barbie was moving around her room. It turned and looked at her. When it saw that she was watching, it jumped back in the bed and froze. She was terrified. She wanted Barbie out of her room. I took Barbie into the game room. Creepy Cat Toy meowed as I walked past. I tucked Jill back into bed, reassuring her that it was just a nightmare.

A few hours pass. Creepy Cat Toy, who had been silent for awhile, starts meowing. I run up the stairs, again trying to catch the culprit in the act. Nothing. Nothing but Creepy Cat Toy and Barbie. Barbie? And then it dawns on me. That damn Barbie. It was her. It was her petting Creepy Cat Toy when no one was looking. A shiver runs down my spine. I threw Barbie in the corner with her nose to the wall. That'll show her. Back downstairs, I hear Creepy Cat Toy meow.

A few nights later, Kenny hears Sadie, our younger boxer, chewing on a toy upstairs. He runs up the stairs to catch her in the act. He yells, "SA-D....." The word trails off. It is replaced by laughter. Kenny comes down the stairs, with Creepy Cat Toy in his hand. And the face? Is gone. Sadie ate the face off of Creepy Cat Toy. It let out one last sad meow, before Kenny tossed it in the trash.

I noticed Barbie looked a little sad the other day. I think she misses her pet cat. And sleepovers in Jill's room. I worry about Barbie. I am waiting for the sadness to overwhelm her. I am scared she might snap. I just know I am going to wake up one night and find that damn Barbie standing over Sadie with a knife, ready to avenge Creepy Cat Toy's tragic death.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

No more fairy wings.

Tonight during bath time, Jill finally said it. I knew it would happen. I knew the bubble would burst one day. I think she has known for awhile. But finally, she said it. As I rinsed the shampoo from her hair, she dropped the bomb. No, not the f-bomb. That was last week.

She. Said. Shedidn'tbelieveinthetoothfairy. Oh my God. I couldn't believe.

"Where did you hear that? Who told you that? What gave you that idea?" I questioned her. I needed to know just how much she knew.

"No one told me. I just figured it out. It is the mommies. The mommies are the toothy fairy."

I demanded to know what made her think that. She listed her reasons.
A. Fairies are not real.
B. There is no way for one fairy to get to every kid with a lost tooth on the same night. (Ummm hello, Santa does it. Why can't the tooth fairy?)
C. Why would the tooth fairy give each person different things?

I had no good answers. She was on to me. I had a choice. Outright lie and tell her that her deductive reasoning sucks and she is oh so wrong. Or I could fess up.

So? I told her. I told her it was the mommies. And sometimes Kenny, when you know, he accidentally knocks her loose tooth out while I am out of town for the weekend.

I asked her if it made her sad. She did not seem sad at all. More like proud. Happy with herself for figuring out what the truth was.

Then a curious look crossed her face. "What did you do with all of my teeth?"

I paused midway through combing her hair. "Uhhh. Ummm. I. Kept them."

"You what?!" She screamed.

"I didn't know what to do with them, and I felt bad throwing out your teeth." I shrugged.

She? Laughed. Hysterically.

"Where did you keep them?" She gasps out between laughs.

"In my drawer."

She laughs harder.

"Oh shut up." She keeps laughing at me. Then she wants to see them. So, I oblige. And she turns on me. She brings it to Kenny. Laughing the whole way.

"Mom keeps my gross teeth in her drawer!" She is still laughing. I scowl.

I am sooo not telling her that every time I played tooth fairy, I put on fairy wings, a tutu, and skipped around with a wand. She'd really laugh at me then.

Friday, January 25, 2008

You want me to play what?

Jill has a friend that she loves. And fights with constantly. But she loves her. There is this bond between them that I am pretty sure will not go away. It was her first friend she made in kindergarten. Even after we moved and she stopped wanting to spend time with all of the other kids, she still insisted on seeing her. Which is fine with me. Cause her mom? She rocks. She makes me giggle. And she does funny shit. You know, like knowing damn well they tore down the McD's near our house, but telling her children they can have ice cream from there. Then pulling in the parking lot just to see the look on their faces. Oh shut up, it was funny. And? They got ice cream still. Just not from there. But I digress. Last weekend, Jill really wanted her to come over.

Jill spent the night out, so she was tired by the time Friend came over. She and Friend were having fun, though. They played and played for hours. Jill tries to boss her around, but Friend doesn't put up with it.

"Jill we have been playing your games for a long time. It is my turn to pick. I want to play Veterinarian."

I hear Jill dissolve into whines. I think perhaps she has hit her limit. Normally, I let them work out their own problems, but knowing Jill was so tired I went to intervene. I pulled Jill into her room.

"Sweetie. I know you are tired, but you guys only have about fifteen minutes left to play. Why don't you just play Veterinarian with her."

She looks at me. Tired. Circles under her eyes. It is not her usual whining. She quietly pleads with me. "Mom. I don't know what a Veterinarian is. How can I play Veterinarian when I don't even know what a fucking Veterinarian is?" As soon as it is out of her mouth, she startles. Tears pour out of her eyes. She is sobbing. "Mommy. I didn't mean to say that." Her whole body shakes.

Mine too. Except. Me? I am laughing. Hysterically.

Meme. Meme. Memeee! Yep, I am singing it, too!

I got tagged by Trouble Maker today for a meme. I would pretend that I am being forced to do this, but in reality, I like it. Oh yeah.

Here are the rules:
-Link to the person who tagged you.
-Leave a comment on their blog so that their readers can visit yours.
-Post the rules on your blog.
-Share the seven (7) most famous or infamous people you have met. Or go with the original 7 weird things about yourself.
-Tag 7 random people at the end of your post.
-Include links to their blogs.
-Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

So because I know no one either famous or infamous, I'll go with 7 weird things about me. Cause let's face it folks, I could write a book on weird things I do. I am an oddling. I am okay with that.

1. I set my alarm clock to an odd time. Not even. Odd. And it can't be mulitples of five either. Seriously. I wake up at 6:27. I cannot hit the snooze ever, because then it goes off again at 6:35. This started in high school. Although then it was 5:27 cause my hair had to look pretty, y'all. I have no idea what triggered this. I just go with it.

2. I eat the same thing for many meals in a row before I switch to something else. And I don't mean two or three meals. I mean, like, four months in a row. For instance, I have oatmeal every day for lunch. EVERY day. Unless, for some reason I go out to lunch. But back to the oatmeal. Same flavor, every day. Going on three months and two weeks now. Before that? A salad. Spinach Spring Mix, feta cheese, mozarella cheese, cesear vinegrette dressing, cherry tomatoes. That lasted about six months. I would do it for dinner, but the rest of the family doesn't really dig oatmeal for every meal.

3. I hate being cold. I would do anything to avoid being cold. I think I don't respond to cold like other people. Others are like, "damn, it's cold." Me? I am like, "Is anyone else in pain?" I feel actual pain. I don't think this is normal. And I am always cold. My normal body temperature is 97.9, unlike everyone's 98.6. Doctors don't believe me at first. But it is true. 97.9 . No higher. 98.6 means I am sick and running fever. Also, my toes (which, by the way, are insanely long) are like icecubes. Seriously. Kenny is constantly telling me to put socks on. Which leads to number four.

4. I hate seams in clothing. Especially socks. I hardly ever wear socks, because the seams drive me crazy. Long sleeves are also a problem. It is the fabric touching the inside of my elbow (whatever is that part of the body called?) that I can't stand. My oldest daughter has inherited this issue. It makes getting dressed a huge ordeal. Jillian and I fight about it constantly.

5. I think it is funny when kids are naughty. Not in the screaming-on-the-floor-tantrum kind of way. In the sneaky-look-what-I-got-away-with-while-you-weren't-looking kind of way. Take for example, the time my nephew cut all of his sister's hair off. Not so funny for his sister, but dude, Nephew, I give you mad props (sorry, I had to use that because it will be in a later blog...remember that for later. Mad props. I have a story about it.) for getting your sister to sit still for long enough to cut all of her hair off and not get caught while you were doing it. Or you know, like how every day Emmi comes home with her pockets loaded down with toys she stole from school. And when I told her teacher to check her pockets, she started stuffing things in her socks. Brilliant!

6. I watch Disney channel shows even when the kids aren't in the room anymore. London Tipton and I are, like, BFFs.

7. I never really listen when people talk for long periods of time (like more than five sentences). I try to. But I can't. The words jumble together. And suddenly I can't figure out where one word starts and another begins. So I just tune people out. It was a big problem when I was younger. I used to get in trouble in school a lot for not pay attention (although that had a little to do with my LOUD voice and constant talking). But seriously, I never listened to my teachers. It got easier to fake as I got older and we used textbooks more in school. I could just follow along in the book. I missed homework assingments if they were presented orally. I honestly didn't even realize I had a problem until pretty recently. I should have known it was not normal. But I always had decent grades, okay actually, pretty good grades, so it wasn't like people saw a problem. Teachers just thought I was being rude. And I guess, it is a little strange, because well, I talk ALL THE TIME. Really. Constantly. See...I am still talking.

Okay. I did it. I have more, but it only called for seven. And so now, I tag....
Not Your Typical Granny

Okay, I think that does it...

I know it said random, but like really, what was I supposed to do? Put everyone's name in a hat and draw?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Potty Mouth

You get used to certain things. Like Emmi not understanding us. For a year, she physically couldn't hear us. Then on top of that the sound was pretty much unintelligible to her. Also, with her shortened soft palate, it is very hard to understand what she says. So we got used to thinking she was not listening to us. Jill? We are careful around (sort of...the Veterinarian story will be told tomorrow). Emmi? We say anything and everything. Or we used to.

It was raining again this morning. And cold. And I am a weeny. So we took the car to the bus stop. Normally, Emmi is still asleep, but she woke up about five minutes before we we going to the bus. Even though Kenny was here, she wanted to go with us. I bundled her up and got her some milk for the car. She was content.

Jill and I like to sing and dance in the car. Jill picked out some Dixie Chicks, and turned the radio up. The car was shaking from her dancing. Emmi set her milk on the console and joined in. One spinning leap later, and the sippy cup was knocked over.

And Emmi? She yells, "OH SHIT!" Clear as day. In fact, the first time she has every made the "sh" sound and the best "t" sound at the end of a word. Therapy has definitely paid off. Her therapist will be oh so proud.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Gone Baby Gone.

No not the movie. My hair. I chopped it all off this morning. It looked dead and lifeless. So I told my hairdresser to chop it off. It looks good really. Much better with my face shape. is such a shock. I cut off eight inches. And my hair grows so slowly. When I look in the mirror I admit it looks good, but I want to cry over the loss of three years of hair growth. Sigh. I guess I will get used to it. I certainly feel sheek and smart, but no longer playful and sexy.

I know there are more important things in life, but right now my hair is all I care about! Kidding. Sort of.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Please hold.

Yesterday, I finally got around to switching phone plans. Both home and cell. At home? We have unlimited nationwide calling. Caller ID. Call waiting. The works. But we have NO PHONE. None. We just use our cell phones. The home phone basically serves no purpose other than our DSL line. The home phone broke, and by broke I mean flew across the room when I was pissed off, over six months ago. Sure we get a fax or two here and there, but we certainly didn't need the top of the line plan. Also, I had domain hosting that needed to go. I called AT&T.

"Thank you for calling AT&T, we may be monitoring this call for training purposes...blah, blah, blah. My name is Joshua, I speak with a heavy Indian accent and the phone line is crackling from the distance from America to India. But I truly swear my name is Joshua. How may I assist you today?"

Already, I distrust the man. Come on now. I know someone did some study and decided that we would be happier with outsourcing if we made these poor underpaid people pretend they have American names. Seriously? How on Earth can I trust you when the first thing you do is lie to me? Next time, when they ask me to state my name, I will first state my name, then tell them I would prefer to be called Padmashri. See if they don't feel mocked when the tables are turned on them. But I digress.

"Well, Joshua, I need to make some changes to my service. I need to drop my phone line to the basic plan. I want to get rid of all of the features on the phone. All of them. All I want is a plain 'ole phone line."

"Great. Have you heard about our wonderful packages? We can bundle your phone, Internet, and cable TV....."

I cut him off. I didn't want a package. I wanted to get rid of features, not add them. I said it as clearly as possible.

He launches into another ten minute explanation of the benefits of the packages.

"Seriously, I JUST WANT TO REMOVE THE FEATURES FROM THE PHONE! Do not keep trying to sell me something. I don't want your TV service. I don't want to change my Internet service. I don't want nationwide calling on my phone line. I want you to remove the features from my phone line. All of them."

Joshua sighs, "Alright then ma'am. I can see you are not interested in saving money. You just let me know when you are ready to save money," he says in a snide tone.

I snap. "Are you fucking INSANE? You are not saving me money by trying to make me buy more features when I told you I wanted to get rid of features. I am trying to save me money. You are trying to make me buy more things. JUST REMOVE THE DAMN FEATURES NOW!"

Joshua shuts his trap. I hear keys clicking in the background. Joshua asks me to 'please hold.' I am on hold for fifteen minutes. I am quite sure this is payback for calling him insane. Finally Joshua returns to the line.

"Okay ma'am, I have removed the features from your phone. Is there anything more I can help you with?"

I tell him about the web hosting I would like to remove.

"I will transfer you to the correct department." Fucking fantastic. "But before I transfer you, can I ask you to rate your service from 1 to 5?" Is zero an option?

Joshua transfers me. I get transferred three more times. I am on hold a total of 27 minutes. And then....

"Oh ma'am I am sorry but you must call another number for web hosting." I hear the smile in her voice. This is all Joshua's fault. I am sure he has put them up to this. That damn Joshua. Fuck.

Still. One day later. I have not managed to get the web hosting removed. I hate the phone company. They are the devil.

Cold hineys.

It is thirty degrees outside. My children are in bathing suits. Staring longingly out the window at the pool. I told them under no circumstances are we getting in the pool. They asked me to heat the hot tub. I told them that was still not an option. Jill wanted to know why they couldn't get in the hot tub. I explained that it was too cold outside even with the hot tub heated. I draw the line at sixty degrees.

Jill sighed. She looked at Emmi. "No Emmi, Mommy says we can't swim cause we'll get cold hineys."

Friday, January 18, 2008


Jill has multiple Webkinz. She just got into playing them recently, although I bought them last year. But lately, it is all she wants to do. Maybe because she is finally old enough for the games. So every evening, she starts playing and eventually either Kenny or I rotate in and play a game or two. Kenny and I? We are competitive. And we don't like kiddie games beating us.

So last night after Jill and Emmi were tucked away in bed? What did we do? We logged onto her Webkinz site, and played games. For hours. The word one. Where you have to make words for points out of the given letters. I have three notebook pages full of scribbles of partial words. For almost three hours we were beating that game. Finally, at 11:33 we lost. It was tragic. We were dejected.

Damn Webkinz. I knew I hated those things.

Now excuse me. I have some Webkinz Solitaire to play.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


I got this in an email. But I felt like doing it her. Just because. Mostly I am trying to stay awake until Emmi's bus gets here.

Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Gymnastics coach
2. Director of a Montessori school
3. Leasing Agent for a management company.
4. The one I have now. It has no title. Data something or another.

Four movies I have watched more than once:
1. Monsters, Inc. Technically it is Emmi watching it. But I am subjected to it.
2. High School Musical. This one is Jill's fault.
3. High School Musical II. Also Jill's fault.
4. And I have nothing else. I don't hardly ever watch movies once, let alone over and over.

Four places I have lived:
1. PA, TX
2. Longview, TX
3. Austin, TX
4. Houston, TX

Four TV Shows That I Watch:
1. The Hills
2. Gossip Girls
3. Grey's Anatomy
4. Samantha Who?

Places I have been:
1. Spain
2. Playa del Carmen
3. Puerta Vallarta
4. New York
to name my favorites.

Four of my favorite foods:
1. Chocolate
2. Mexican. Crispy tacos. Currently.
3. Italian. Pretty much anything Italian.
4. French. Which is why I should go to France soon.

Four people who email me regularly:
1. Susan
2. My mom.
3. My aunt Susan.
4. World Market. They send me coupons.

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. Someplace warm.
2. A beach.
3. Mexico.
4. In bed, asleep.

Four things I am looking forward to this year:
1. Hmmmm. Maybe a RING.
2. Spring break with the kids and my family.
3. Mexico trip with Susan and Cody!!
4. I have nothing else major.

Sleep, Child, Sleep.

By 7pm last night, I was yawning. Exhausted. I once told Kenny the greatest present he could ever give me would be to get the girls up and ready for school while I slept. After the ninth yawn, Kenny offered to let me sleep in. It requires a little planning, as lunches have to be packed a certain way, clothes have to be ironed. You know, things that according to Jill only I can do right. It was going to be perfect. Especially since Thursday is our long day. A few extra hours of sleep? Amazing. I was already dreaming about it.

2 am, I am shaken awake. "Mommy I can't sleep."

"Mummmummmmlaymmmummumbbledown." I motion for Jill to lay down on the floor. Her usual spot when she gets scared and crawls into our room.


Two hours. For two hours she continues to "WHISPER" to me about how she can't sleep. By 4am, I give up. I now can't sleep after being woken up so many times.

So much for being allowed to sleep in this morning. It is 5:30, I have taken two certification courses for work, watched an hour of Hairspray, and cleaned the kitchen. And I was supposed to sleep in. Damn.

Monday, January 14, 2008

She said "poo."

Emmi's little life has been filled with a lot of struggle, set backs, and of course HUGE accomplishments. At eighteen months old, we learned that Emmi was now profoundly deaf. Sometime in the previous six months, Emmi had gone from normal hearing to deaf. Shortly after her second birthday, Emmi received her first implant. She said her first word in record time. Of course, it was "NO." After that she didn't really progress. She babbled. Lots. But something wasn't right. Her therapists and I discussed soft palate issues. Something I long ago thought of and had Emmi tested for. The tests kept coming back negative, but I was never convinced. Finally, after years of pressing the issue, we discovered Emmi's soft palate was too short. Basically, she physically could not make many of the sounds. With the help of therapy, she is making approximations of the sounds. Which means, little by little, we are able to understand Emmi. After the second implant in September, Emmi's receptive and expressive language exploded. Two days ago she told me a story for the first time. A whole story. That I understood every bit of. Lots of words. Lots of sentences. It made me cry so hard. I was so happy. And the story, well it goes a little something like this.

Emmi was constipated. All morning. I left to go to the store, and when I came home she was on the floor crying. And stinking up the place. I took her to the bathroom. And finally, she pooed. A few minutes later, she came up to me, and this is what she said.

"My butt owie. It owie. Emmi owie. Emmi potty. Emmi POO POO potty. Butt sorry. Emmi happy."

That's right. I cried over a story about poo.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Pink Balloon

On Friday we went out to dinner. Nothing ever goes as planned. Ever. We were going to eat with some friends of ours. But an hour before we were supposed to meet them, the girls were whining for food already. So we decided to head out, just the four of us. We told Jill to pick where she wanted to eat.

My child? She chooses a Japanese restaurant. Not Chuck E. Cheese. Not the Mexican restaurant with the massive playground in the middle. Japanese. She has good taste.

We didn't anticipate over an hour wait. There is never a wait there. We left. In the same parking lot was a Friday's. I have been craving Friday's. Why you ask? Because of that damn commercial that comes on every night with that peanut butter pie. Mmmmmm. Pie. I got excited. But.... another hour long wait.

Next door was Luby's. We walked over. The line was long, but like hell we were leaving. We wait. And wait. The kids were decently behaved. Then we get to the front of the line.

"Jill what do you want?"

"Chicken and jello."

"And for your side."

"Nothing. Just chicken. Just jello."

Her meal comes with a side. I explain this many times. Kenny decides to order what he would like, and save some money. All is well. Then Jill sees Emmi's macaroni.

"WHY DID SHE GET MACARONI? YOU LOVE HER MORE THAN ME. I WANT MACARONI." She drops to the ground screaming. Emmi uses the distraction to begin eating her jello right off of the tray in line. I try to drag Jill out of the way balancing a tray. She kicks at me. One of the waitresses offers to bring us macaroni. I threaten to kill her if she gives my screaming child her way. The manager carries my tray to a table. I drag Jill along behind me. I leave a trail of jello cubes for Emmi to follow.

I use a calm voice. I threaten. I refuse to give her food until she settles down. We end up eating as fast as we can so we can get out. Jill screams the whole time.

The ride home? Not much better. Jill instigates a balloon war. That's right. My kid who threw a fit, still got a balloon on the way out. Why? Cause I was hoping for some peace and quiet. But the balloon war starts.

"Jill. Stop. That. NOW. No more balloon war." She pauses. Then....

"One, two, three, four. I start a BALLOON WAR!"

The car slams to a stop. Kenny jumps out, throws open her car door, and jerks the balloon out of her hand. Then he gets back in the car and continues driving. Jill screams. Kenny dangles the balloon out the window as a warning. As we turn into our neighborhood, he rolls the window up on the balloon's string. A pink balloon now flaps along beside us as we drive tethered to the car by the window. Jill stares in horror at the injustice that has been served to her balloon. He giggles as quietly as possible. Me? I cry.

A whole dinner out of the house ruined. Filled with screaming and fighting. I hate six. Six is my least favorite phase. Twos I can handle. Stubborn threes, no problem. Six-year-olds, I am ill-equipped for those. In my head I count down the days until her seventh birthday and pray to the gods of good behaving children that this phase will end in the very least by her seventh birthday.

I sleep badly. I wonder where I went wrong. I dream. In the morning, I still feel overwhelmed. It was time for some "me time." Kenny tells me to go to the bookstore which is nothing short of heaven for me. And a dangerous place to turn me loose with a credit card. I dress as quickly as possible, and run out the door. And there. Bobbing in the breeze. Still rolled up in the car window. Is the pink balloon. And I started laughing. So hard, tears filled my eyes.

Friday, January 11, 2008

County Tax Offices are FUN!

This morning, I needed to go to the county tax offices to get some information for work. The office is not far from my house by Houston standards, but depending on traffic could take up to an hour. Without traffic, fifteen minutes. Good 'ole Houston traffic. So I waited until after the traffic cleared, which left me two and a half hours to get there and back before Emmi got out of school. No problem. Ha.

As I walked into the main lobby, one of the many women behind the main desk called out to me. "Can I help you, ma'am?" I smiled. Thank goodness. No line. I was going to be out of here in five minutes. Piece of cake.

"I need Appraisal Cards for these four accounts." I flashed a paper with the account numbers.

"You need what?" She balked, smacking her gum. "Hey, Lavonda, you know what an Appraisal Card is?"

"A WHAT?" Lavonda didn't even bother turning around in her chair to look at me. "Honey, you can try the third floor desk. Maybe they knows what you be talkin' 'bout." She motions to the elevators.

Three floors later, the elevator door opens to a lobby with another desk. Above the desk is a sign, indicating that I should take a number. Before, grabbing a number, I approach the desk. I want to make sure I am in the right place before I sit in this line.

"Can I help you?" The girl behind the desk practically barks at me. I put on my sweetest smile.

"I just would like to know if I am in the right spot."

"Do you have a question? Because if you do, you are in the right spot. This is Customer Service." Oh well. Self explanatory. How stupid am I? I mean customer service, I should have known. Because customer service is the be all and end all. I try to maintain a smile, though I now want to smack the bitch.

"Well, you see, I need Appraisal Cards or they may be known as Appraisal Roll Cards. Downstairs no one knew what it was, so they were not sure if this is where I should go."

"I have no idea what you are talking about. You just need to take a number, and wait your turn." She turns away from me, calling out "SIXTY-NINE."

Oh. Okay. That makes perfect sense. I should wait in line, so you can again tell me that you have no idea what I am looking for. That sounds peachy. Especially after waiting behind the twenty plus people in this line. I grab my number, and stomp off to wait.

"Number SEVENTY!" Another clerk has become available. I glance at my number. Seventy-Seven. Oh thank goodness! Only seven more people. And five clerks. This should go quickly.

The clerk on the end finishes up. I wait for the sweet sound of "seventy-one," but instead she stands up. "I'm going to take a break," she says to the woman next to her. She heads out the door.

A few minutes pass. Another clerk finishes, and she too stands up. Don't panic there are still three of them. One by one, they all finish helping the person they are currently with, and head out the door. Noooooo. There is one clerk left. I hear the person in front her thank her for her time. I cross my fingers and pray that she does not head out the door, also. Instead she calls seventy-one. Seventy-one has a huge stack of papers. And two women who can't seem to understand for the ninth time that the tax office has nothing to do with your deed. They need to go to another office. But they keep trying to explain what they need like it's suddenly going make her say, "Shit, I forgot. We do change deeds." They proceed for ten more minutes. The room becomes more crowded.

A woman comes in, with I kid you not, her FIVE children all under the age of four. None of them twins. The two oldest have jelly sandwiches. They sit next to me. Two minutes pass before kid number two smears jelly on me. Oh come on. I am wearing REAL pants. Not even jeans. Actual slacks. Work clothes. The stuff that never sees the outside of my closet because I work from home. These pants have been clean for THREE years, and it takes you two minutes to get jelly on me?! I scoot over three seats. Child number two likes me, though. She scoots down with me. I give the mother a look. A look that I hopes says, "Please get your sticky child away from me." I try paying no attention to the kid. She climbs in my lap. I gently put her down. She climbs back in my lap. Her mother smiles. "She likes you." Yes, lady, I can see that. Now remove her from me. RIGHTTHISFUCKINGMINUTE.

Forty-five minutes passes with child number two still climbing all over m. Slowly the numbers tick by. "SEVENTY-SEVEN." I feel like cheering. I practically skip to the desk.

"Good morning, ma'am. I need Appraisal Cards for four accounts. Here are the account numbers." She stares at me.

"I don't know what an Appraisal Card is."

I was prepared. In my forty-five minute wait, I called the office to see if perhaps they could give a detailed description of the Appraisal Card, so that I could do these people's job for them. I launch into my explanation. She still looks perplexed. She calls to a supervisor. The supervisor is also confused. They tell me they do not have anything like that. I explained that yes they did. They were required to maintain that information. They stare at each other some more. Finally, they decide to give me a print out of the detail screen from their website. Thanks, Schmucks. I could have done that from home.

I made it home with three minutes to spare before Emmi's bus. Two hours, twenty eight minutes, four papers I don't need, and a jelly stain on my pants. Yippee.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Nothin' but her shoes on.

Normally Kenny leaves the house after Jill gets on the bus. He pretends he does this to help me, but really he likes to sleep in. However, I do appreciate it, because it means I don't have to wake Emmi up and dress her until after Jill is off to school. Much easier on me. But on days when he needs to leave before I take Jill, it requires quite a bit of planning. Generally, I end up taking the car to the bus stop. Don't laugh. The damn stop isn't even on our street, because we live on a cul-de-sac off of another cul-de-sac that the bus can't get down. So this morning when Kenny had to leave well before bus time, I had to get Emmi up early.

Emmi grumped. Emmi struggled. Emmi kicked. And finally Emmi was dressed. And now we are two minutes late, putting us in serious jeopardy of missing the bus. In a flurry of coats and shoes and Emmi's pancake she is desperately trying to bring, I hustled the girls into the car. Score. We made it on time. The bus pulls up, Jill gets her coat on, and reaches for her backpack...... which we did not bring!

"Mommmmmmyyyy. NOOOOOOO! I forgot my backpack." She looks panicked. Tears are welling up in her eyes.

"Jill sit back down. I'll just take you to school. Let's go get your backpack."

We turn around, and head back home. A quit mental calculation of time, and I realize that by taking Jill to school Emmi will miss her bus. Taking Emmi is a chore. I have to cancel transportation, request an assistant to walk her into class, or sign in and walk her in myself. All said and done, I would be waiting in drop-off lines and bringing kids to school for ONE HOUR. No way. With two kids at two different elementaries that start at two different times, it was out of the question. At least if I want to stay sane. Sane is good.

"Jill, honey, you are going to have to be late for school. I'll take you after Emmi's bus."

"Yes!" She cheers. And the run off to play for the twenty minutes until Emmi's bus arrives.

At 8:20, I pack up Emmi's lunch. I have no idea where she threw her coat after we got out of the car, so I hunt for it. I notice Emmi has taken off her shoes, and they are by the door.

"Jillbug, can you help Emmi get her shoes on," I yell up the stairs.

No repsonse.



"Uhhhh Mommy, Emmi is naked."

No! The bus is pulling up, and EMMI IS NAKED. STRIPPED. NO CLOTHES. Attempting to wiggle into a leotard. No. No. No. Now she is going to miss her bus!

Jill grins. Jill giggles. "Mommy. Still want me to put her shoes on her?" She collapses in giggles. "She'll have nothin' but her shoes on." And she laughs some more.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

My far. Lord help me.

I went to the grocery store this morning for cherry tomatoes. I like them on sandwiches. And in salads. And I was out. I went through the pantry and fridge, and made a list of the few items we needed more of. You know, since I was going to be there getting the tomatoes anyway. Five items later, I wheel my basket into the produce section. AND THEY ARE OUT OF CHERRY TOMATOES. The one thing I went to get. I didn't even need the other things yet. Fucking hell.

At least I made in home before the rain started. Groceries, minus my tomatoes, neatly tucked away in the pantry, and rain pouring down. Rain. Dogs. Outside. In the.....oh good God. THE DOGS.

I grab the only umbrella I can find, which happens to be Jill's. Pink trim, leopard print, and covers one square inch. But the dog run is across the yard, and I just did my hair. My normally curly hair. I sprint across the yard, fight with the gate before it unlatches....... and then I see them. The dogs, who apparently have been quite happily playing in the rain. Or more accurately, the mud. Macy's white muzzle is brown. Sadie has a clump of mud on her ear. And they dash past me into the house, not even slowing as I yell for them to stop.

I scramble through the house looking for leashes, dog shampoo, and towels, then corral the dogs out to the front. Balancing the umbrella between my chin and shoulder and holding the dogs leashes under my foot, I pull the water hose out from the side of the house. They fight me. They pull hard on their leashes. The two fucking brats, who minutes earlier were skipping through the rain, now suddenly possess a violent aversion to water.


I look up. My neighbor is walking out the door to his car. Laughing.

"Nice umbrella."

I pause. Dripping wet from the water hose and wet-dog-shake water, covered in soap bubbles, I realize I am still holding the umbrella. And it is no longer raining.

Oh fuck. I give up. Lord thank the person who made up Mimosas, and made drinking before lunch classy.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Juno. My new favorite movie.

Over the break, I finally saw Juno. I say "finally" because if it had been up to me I would have been standing in line for tickets on the first day ten hours early. I really wanted to see it. And I am so glad I did. I loved it. Every bit of it. I have never had a favorite movie, so to speak. Nothing really stood out. The problem has been that I hadn't hit upon a good mix of my favorite genres. I needed comedy with depth, a clear story line, identifiable characters, a little romance, and a little drama. But Juno. Juno is my favorite. I laughed. The whole movie. So hard that Kenny gave me funny looks. But I also really liked the characters. There was depth. And I identified with Juno.

I guess I always felt like the oddball when I was pregnant. I was young. Not Juno young. But none of my friends were pregnant or anywhere considering near considering having children. I felt like a whale. I felt like everyone was staring at me, everywhere I went. Obviously, there were some differences between myself and Juno's character. You know, like the whole adoption thing....although some mornings after Jill has screamed about her clothing AGAIN, I seriously think I should reconsider my options. And it wasn't just the pregnancy thing. The refusal to admit her feelings. I do that. Until I explode. When she got mad about prom, oh my. That could have been me. Although, I would like to think I fit in a little better than she did.

Aside from the characters, I love the tone, the filming (I know there is a technical term for this, but I can't remember it and am too lazy to look it up.), the music. I want to see it again. Today. And I can't wait until it comes out on DVD.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Oh yeah. It's back.

My tastes in TV shows probably rivals a 16-year-old girls. Quite frankly, I am a little jealous that they all still have study hall in which they can discuss ever gory detail of the previous nights shows. But at least I have Tiffany. Oh yes. She too is like a 16-year-old girl when it comes to TV shows. Girl, don't lie. You know you are stoked cause ONE TREE HILL IS BACK!!! Hells yeah.
PS Please do not call me Tuesday between 7-9. I will be glued to my television. I might even be keeping my children up late tonight, so they will be extra sleepy tomorrow know, so I can put them to bed thirty minutes early.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

That's mine.

Emmi has started talking. Really talking.

But all she says is, "It's Emmi's. That's MINE!"

To everything.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Oh Britney.

Britney, Britney, Britney. Sweetie. See, I could understand when you trolled around town without your panties. You were saying, "Hey everyone, check out my goods. I am still hot. And sexy." Although, perhaps someone should have explained to you that, really, no one wanted to see your goods. But I do have to thank you for adding a new phrase to my repertoire. I really enjoy saying things like, "I have to go to the doctor to get my Britney checked out." Or, "I need to get my Britney waxed, I have to wear a bikini this weekend." So at least, on that end you did some good. Then when you hooked up with the slimy college guy who spread your story all over the mags, I could see why you did that. I mean, really, you are FUN and still SEXY, right? And hooking up with random guys who use the story to get five minutes of fame will definitely prove how you are still the IT thing. I can also see how you think you are above the law. I mean, money is VERY influential. So not showing up for court dates, claiming you are sick then being spotted out that night, not showing up for drugs tests that can all be bought away, right? But then last night. Oh Britney. I can see no good from getting drunk in front of your two children, arguing with the bodyguard, refusing to hand over the kids, and then getting hauled off by the police. Okay, actually, I lie. I do see some good. Cause I am REALLY looking forward to the next Us Weekly and OK magazines! Thanks Brit. It has been a bad week. I could use some good entertainment.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


My friend, who is in part responsible for Kenny and I meeting, committed suicide last night. I have rotated between shock, sadness, and anger. Anger at myself for losing touch with him over a petty argument. Not that I could have changed the outcome, but it makes me sad that I barely talked to him the last few years. As a parent, I am also angry at him for leaving his baby. A baby who deserved to have a dad. Mostly, I am just sad.

My favorite memory of Matt is when we first met in 1998. I perhaps had met him in passing before, as we went to high school together. But the first time I spoke to him was after graduation. I was out with a group of friends, and we met up with another group, a group of people that I did not know well. I tend to get shy around people I don't know well, but this always comes off as standoffish. I have been told this often. Matt, however, called me out. He said, "You know what I like about you?" And in my standoffish, eye-rolling way I said, "Oh do please tell me." He laughed and said, "You act cocky, but you really aren't." Then he threw his arm around my shoulder, and led me off to introduce me to the people I didn't know. He was honest and perhaps the one person who figured me out in less than three seconds. He was that way with everyone. He had a way of actually seeing people, and caring for them immediately. He wore his heart on his sleeve and was a good person. And although we lost touch a few years ago, I will still miss him.

You always think you have enough time to repair broken friendships. To see someone one more time. Or when you still have their invitation to your Christmas party sitting on the desk because you didn't make the effort to get his address, you think you will do it next time. Unfortunately there isn't always next time.

You will be missed, Matt. By many, many people.