Saturday, June 28, 2008

Burn, Baby, Burn

I always bring a book with me wherever we go. It never fails, even when Kenny says, "No, we are just going to go there and straight back," we end up stopping by a client's house. I made him promise no work today. My reunion is tonight. The girls are out of town. NO WORK. But his crew is working. And they needed a ladder. And, well, they were working at his stepdad's house. I rode with him, so I could score some Starbucks and see Craig. I forgot my book.

But don't worry. When he got a call that required him to go "just to one place" I was entertained. Cause the fire department out here? They are idiots.

Apparently some trash caught on fire. Well, not on fire so much, as smoking. Ever so slightly. At the car wash. With plenty of water readily available. But, the employees at the carwash did what any smart person would do. Call the fire department, wait five minutes for them to show up, and stare and the smoldering bag, while doing absolutely nothing.

No less than five firemen jump out of the engine with sirens still blaring. They circle the bag. The tallest one nudges the bag with the toe of his boot. They look from one to the other. There is only one way to handle this situation. Obviously. A high powered stream of water.

Hose aimed, three men pump water onto the small bag, ripping the plastic to shreds, sending trash in all directions and into the grass. As any professional fireman would do, they all begin giggling. That is until one of them notices that what was once a well-contained, small, smoldering fire, is now a grass fire, spreading quickly. They pull a second hose from the engine, and come at the grass fire from two ends. It is out quickly, but the damage is done. The landscaping is toast. Yet, there is still smoke coming from somewhere. They turn circles. The bend down looking around the vacuums. They check the grass again. Hey. They are firemen. Not detectives. Finally one of them looks up. The awning is on fire. Actual fire. Within seconds it is out, but not before a gaping hole is left. Water drips from the awning. Puddles form in the parking lot. But the fire is out.

You know. The fire that the fire department caused playing with their hose. And seriously? Who thought that giving a bunch of men a big truck, an ax, and a hose to play with and calling it a job was a good idea?

Friday, June 27, 2008

But Mr. Officer....

About two months ago I stuck my new registration sticker for my Honda in my center console, and forgot about it. I mean, I had it. Good enough, right? I still had a month to put the thing on the windshield.

It wasn't until I saw the flashing lights behind me that I thought to check the date on it. Fuck. That I was not worried about. It is in the car. No officer is going to give me a ticket. But I can't remember the last time I put an insurance card in that car. And my driver's license? Well, it has the wrong last name, wrong address (moved FOUR times since then), and it expired in March. Fucking great.

"Ma'am, you realize your registration is expired?" The officer drawls as he walks up to the window.

"Well, you see sir, I actually have it right here. Silly me, I thought both the inspection and registration expired in the same month, so I hadn't changed it yet." I smile my sweetest smile and hope that he will just let me go without checking for my insurance card or driver's license.

"No problem, ma'am. Now, can I just see insurance and ID."

Crap. The glove compartment is packed full of old insurance cards, kiddie drawings, napkins, extra straws, stickers, and random toys. I flip through, pulling out insurance card after insurance card. Expired. Expired. Expired. "I am sure it is in here somewhere." I smile, and keep looking. In the back seat, the kids start singing. Loudly.

The officer shifts from one foot to the other. "How about you just give me one of those. Is it the same insurance still?" I nod. Oh thank you Gods of the Messy Glove Compartment. "Now your driver's license."

There is no getting out of this one. I am just going to have to tell him the truth. The whole truth. I lean as far out the window as I can and lower my voice. "Sir, my license is expired. See I went to renew it, but I needed my name changed." I mouth the word, "DIVORCE." "But I had a file copy, not a certified copy. I had to order the correct copy and it took several months to get in." The officer gives me a knowing smile. The singing in the back gets louder. French fries fly across the car. Normally, I would kill my kids for acting this way. But today? I grin as I say, "And I just can't imagine having to go to the DMV with these two."

The officer writes a warning and runs as quickly as he can from the car, narrowly avoiding a french fry in the side of the head. I wave as he drives off. And I wonder if maybe, oops, I left out the part where I got divorced six years ago.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Day in Pictures....and Some Words.

Emmi used to carry around a toy dino. She lost it about six months ago. She moved on to another toy. Thanks to a certain bed wetting incident, we moved Jill's bed. There was Dino! But I forgot just how naughty Dino was. I caught Dino swimming in my cup right after breakfast. Emmi did put Dino in timeout. Then I found Dino jumping off the staircase. Again, timeout. Later, Dino was tormenting Veda the Beta. Naughty Dino. Leave the damn fish alone.
The girls stayed up late to play with Mimi/Nana (Kenny's mom. They each call her a different name!) while we shopped for new furniture for Jill's room. Emmi was exhausted when we got home, but Jill was craving a little Kenny time. He had barely been home ten minutes before we left to shop. They read some books together.
And played Barbies,
before we tucked her in for the night.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

You can't get mad at me now.

The reunion is this weekend. I have out of town guests coming to my house. I decided to do a little cleaning, which lead to a lot of cleaning, then repainting Jill's room, and so on.... So while I am being boring, here is a little high school story for you!

I think once you have moved out of your parents' home, and no longer own said vehicle in question that you can't get in trouble for let's say driving it into a hole. Even when three years afterwards someone lets the story slip. One of my high school boyfriends, Jonathan, remained close to my family and stopped by whenever I was in town from school. As we sat in the living room laughing about some of the things we had gotten ourselves into, he said "Mr. P, what did you do to Tricia after Nathan drove her Jeep into that hole? It took like nine hours to get that thing out." A look of confusion passed over my parents' faces. They had no idea what he was talking about. Because? I had gotten away with it. Until then.

When we weren't in Conroe for the weekend, Nathan would come to Houston. On a Friday night, not unlike every other, Nathan and his friend came to Houston to meet up with Holly and I. After playing hide and seek in Walmart until we got bored, we decided to head out to The Plateau. If you grew up out here, you what The Plateau is. If not. Well, it used to be a pile of dirt in a field that everyone drove out to, to ummm, eat cookies and drink milk while playing ring around the rosy. The Plateau had long since been abandoned as the milk and cookie spot, cause the cops took bulldozers and dug big holes to keep cars from being able to make it along the road down the bayou. It made it an excellent playground for every offroad vehicle. It hadn't rained in a while, but driving up and down the holes was fun. Hey. We live in Texas. Mudding is fun, y'all.

Up and down we went. Holly and I in the back laughing hysterically. Nathan pulled up to a big hole. "Think I can make that one?" We all agreed it wasn't a good idea. Too steep. Too narrow at the bottom. Nathan backed up. Then, next thing we know, normally level-headed, logical, Nathan heads right for it, grinning. "NATHAN!!" It was too late. We hit the bottom of the hole, head first. We looked at each other stunned. "I think we are stuck." Nathan looks around, "Uh ya think, Captain Obvious." Slowly we all climb out the back of the Jeep. From ground level, not one part of the car is visible. Shit. This is bad. I start to shake. I am in soooo much trouble.

"Trish. Where is your cell phone? We need it." I look at them. My cell phone was at home. On my desk. We start walking. After about a mile, we come to the neighborhood pool. Without hesitation we all jump the fence. I know who to call. Jonathan. Already in college and holding down a job, he was a bit wiser and smarter than me. And? He never hesitated to get me out of my big screwed up messes. Plus, Nathan and Jonathan were good friends. Hell Nathan had introduced me to Jonathan. In less time that it should have taken Jonathan to get from his house to the parking lot that we were waiting it, he arrived.

We still had three hours until curfew. I thought we were golden. Until hours later, the car hadn't budged. At all. The panic set in. I yelled at Nathan. I yelled at Jonathan. I got pissed. I started walking. Cause that is how you solve problems. I walked for an hour, before making to my street. Through the night, I heard cheering. Softly. In the distance. No way? It couldn't be. I sat down on the curb. Within minutes, several sets of headlights came around the corner. In the lead, was Jonathan.

"Get your ASS in the truck! They have your Jeep at the car wash now. Let's go meet them, and then get you guys home!"

I started crying. "How bad is the damage?"

Jonathan grinned. "Not a scratch on it, baby!"

We managed to drive my car into a hole, take hours to get it out, and pull it out without a scratch. Unbelievable. But? We still weren't in the clear. Somehow, Holly and I had to get back into my house without waking my mom. And? She is the worlds' lightest sleeper.

We came up with a plan. First, Nathan would move his car around the corner. Then, the guys would drive the car into the garage while Holly and I ran in the house slipping out of our shoes and jeans and running into the kitchen like we had come down for a snack. The guys would shut the garage after them. But Holly and I would be tucked safely in the house. Pretending to have been there all night.

It was near 5am when Holly and I were sitting on the kitchen countertops with cookies and half-full glasses of milk (the real kind) when my mom came down and opened the garage door. "Mom," I called out. "Did we wake you? I'm sorry we were trying to be quite but we starting laughing and got loud." My mom came into the kitchen. "Have you two been up all night?" We nodded. She shook her head and laughed. "I thought I heard the garage door, but I guess not." Holly and I shrugged and each took a bite of our cookies, looking at her like she was crazy. My mom went back upstairs, and Holly and I dissolved into giggles amazed that we had gotten away with it all.

And for years, we did get away with it. Until Jonathan opened his big mouth. Stupid Jonathan.

Monday, June 23, 2008

And another thing....

Hey Neighbor,

You know, I think other people might have handled the ruined bed thing differently. I sucked it up, and bit my tongue. I am the one paying the price. I said nothing, so as not to embarrass you or your child. I even lied to my kid as to why I threw away her bed, and she is sleeping on the couch. Yeah. Most people wouldn't do the same. But I am nice to kids like that. Don't think it has anything to do with you. Cause you? Are my number one enemy right now. Especially after today.

Jill was bored. She wanted your kid to come over. Honestly, I didn't want her to. I am still pissed. No pun intended. And? I wanted to wait until we had the new bed in place. Cause when your kid comes over and sees a missing bed, SHE will know that I know that she wet the bed. And like I said, I am not in the business of hurting little kid's feelings. You, apparently are, though. Cause Jill went down to your house, and you told her your kids could not play today. So she walked back home, and asked me if she could get the other neighbor to play. Fine by me. She made it all the way to the door of the other neighbor's house before you stopped her, and told her that your kids were inviting that child over and she could not. Even though, she was there first. But common courtesy has obviously alluded you.

So now here is the deal. I am no longer your babysitter. There will be no more nap time. I don't care how bored my kid gets. I don't care if I have to stay up working until three every morning, because I have to entertain Jill every minute and break up fights constantly. I have finally had it. You can push me around. You can make your snide comments to me. You can take advantage of me. But don't you dare fucking mess with my kid. Especially after I went out of my way to protect yours.

And by the way. Your kid is a crybaby. I'm just sayin'.

Your Pissed Off Neighbor Who is No Longer Putting Up With Your Shit

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Dear Neighbor,

This summer has been lovely. Really it has. I love how you suggested that we trade off watching each other's children, which really meant me watching four kids every single day of the summer while you napped. I kind of get it. It is hot. We have a pool. But I like naps, too. I have put up with it, because my kids act so much better with friends over. So I have said nothing day after day. Sure. I have been irritated, but I continue to bite my tongue. And then? You seemed to notice how unbalanced it was. Victory at last, I thought. You made plans to get my kids for the day. Then? NEVER SHOWED UP. That's fine. I got over it. I even arranged a sleep over for your oldest child.

And you know, when you dropped your kid off and I said, "Is there anything I should know before she spends the night?" that would have been the appropriate time to let me know she wets the bed. I am a parent. My kids don't wet the bed, but they have their own issues. Jill still doesn't sleep through the night. Issues. I get it. And? I own mattress protectors. I can be discreet. I could have removed the dryclean only, almost brand new, satin, practically $200 bedspread off of the bed. The one that matches the other twin bed. And the custom paint on the walls. The one that is no longer sold in stores, so I can't replace it. Yeah. That one. I could have switched it with the old ones, the Strawberry Shortcakes ones that are machine washable. I could have claimed the other was dirty. I would have been nice about it. And? I wouldn't be throwing out a mattress today. Or paying out the ass for a comforter to be drycleaned. I'm just sayin'.

But Jill did want to thank you. She has been asking for a full size bed for a long time. She is over the whole bunk bed thing.

Love you to pieces,

PS If you are not too busy napping, can you watch my kids while I go mattress shopping tomorrow?

Friday, June 20, 2008

It was LUCKY, I tell you.

I picked Friday morning to "sleep in." Like, to 7:15, or something. Whatever. It is later than the 6:00 or 6:30 I normally get up. I announced on Tuesday that Friday would be my sleep in day. I told Kenny. I told Jill she was on her own until after 7:30, the designated weekend wake-up time. It was planned it advance. Kenny would tell me goodbye, but nothing more, so that I could slip back into sleep.

"Hey. I am leaving. Oh and I broke your alarm clock." He stands to leave.

I bolt up.

"You. Mean. My. LUCKY. Alarm. Clock?!" My look could kill. Accident my ass. That man better start running.

He looks at me like I am crazy. "I'll get you a new one. That thing is like thirty years old, anyway."

Precisely. And LUCKY, Asshat. And broken. Permanently stuck on 18 o'clock. Whatever, the hell time that is. I continue glaring at him. He knows it is wise to leave.

I cry for a bit after he leaves, still refusing to unplug it. Poor, sad alarm clock. When the housekeeper and her daughter arrive, I am still pouting.

"Hola, Tricia. Como estas?" I don't answer. I just continue stomping about the house. "What's wrong?"

I show her my alarm clock. "No! You have had it forever. And before, it was your parents! I remember it from their house. It is older than you. It must be at least 35 years old!"

Even. The. Housekeeper. Gets. It. Okay, okay. Probably not fair. She has known me since I was nine. But still. My lucky alarm. And you make light of it?! Just buy me a new one, like you can replace my LUCKY alarm clock?

Oh Kenny, it will cost you. Oh yes. Remember that ring I said I liked? I just added a carat. Perhaps then, I will forgive you for killing my alarm clock.

He is psychic. It's a gift.

One time Emmi couldn't be picked up because her dad's brother, I guess that would be her uncle, was in a car accident. Apparently it was bad, because later that day "he was going to go into a coma," according to Emmi's dad. You know, he needed to be available to his mom and family for the moment when he brother went into said coma. I never did inquire about how that "going into a coma" went, but later that day his brother was posting on myspace. So I am guessing, he didn't decide to go into a coma afterall.

Also, his grandpa died, like, four times. And? Once while I was in the hospital with Emmi, my mom by my side (since my parents had even come into town to be with Emmi), her dad called to tell me he couldn't be there cause that same grandpa was in the hospital. I didn't even try to explain that his DAUGHTER was in the hospital at that very moment, a fact he was very much aware of. Cause, let's face it, I didn't really feel like dealing with him being there anyway. It's not that he is rude or anything, I just get irrational irritated with his mundane questions. Questions he should know the answers to if he bothered to pay attention or show up for things, like, surgeries. Anyway, his grandpa was dying AGAIN. Which must have been really hard on his grandpa. Having to die so many times.

So when my phone rang yesterday, I wasn't entirely surprised to hear that Emmi's dad had hurt his shoulder. You know the same exact shoulder that he called to tell me last week he hurt in the same exact way. I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps he was still referring to last week's injury. Which didn't seem so injured when I refused to give in and let him skip his visitation.

"When did you fall, and break your shoulder?"


I pause. Maybe he meant last Tuesday. Although, last week, he told me it happened on Friday, and had gone straight to the doctor. "So to clarify, you fell off of the trailer, breaking your shoulder THIS Tuesday, as in two days ago."

"That's right." He launches into the whole story again about kicking blocks and losing his balance. I let him go for awhile. I am grinning. Now I am outright laughing. People are looking at me, I am laughing so hard.

"Should I stop you now, or keep letting you look like a dumbass?" He pauses when I say this. "Cause you called me on FRIDAY, four days before Tuesday, and told me this whole story already."

Silence. He is trying to figure a way out of this. I can almost hear him thinking.

But, there is no use trying to explain. I already have it figured out. He must be psychic. It is a gift. And really, I should stop being so mean to him.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Jesus in Their Hearts

We have to leave the house everyday. Or the kids drive me crazy. They fight. They bicker. And they run like crazy women through the house. I try to avoid the usual, like fast-food restaurant playlands, but sometimes they are a necessary evil. And with the lure of friends waiting for us there, it is even more tempting.

The morning started off with Emmi letting the pest control guys in while I was changing clothes. I found two strange men in my house after Jill came running in to tell me Emmi answered the door. While they were there, Jill pelted Emmi with quarters over a piggy bank altercation, leaving welts on her chest. I couldn't get out of the house fast enough. Once settled into booths with food and friends, the girls morphed into their alter-egos, The Perfect Children Who Make You Look Like A Liar When You Talk About The Crazy Quarter Throwing Fight We Just Had.

We, at least, are smart about the whole fast food playland thing. We get there right after they stop serving breakfast. Way before the crowds. The kids eat, then pretty much have the playland to themselves for a good hour before the lunch rush comes. Within fifteen minutes, the kids were fed, and it was just us moms left to gossip at the table while the kids played. It was like heaven. Until forty-five minutes quickly passed, and the Vacation Bible School at the church next door let out. The place filled up quickly. Jill and her friend recognized several kids from school, which actually became a plus for a few minutes.

The first altercation happened when a little curly haired girl asked to play with them. The child we were with politely said, "Oh I am sorry, I am already here with someone else. Thank you, though." Polite, right? Curly's mama didn't think so. She pulled all of our children aside, started wagging her finger in their faces, telling them "if you go to a public play place, then you have to play with everyone." Excuse me? First. Back the fuck up out of my kid's face. Second. Lower your damn voice, cause only I get the privilege of screaming at my kid. And third, bitch. Get over it. This is the real fucking world. Not everyone gets included in everything. Our kids were polite, and had she let me handle the situation, I would have made them play with her daughter. Cause that is how I am. But not now. Hell no. Instead? I explain loudly, that other mommies are strangers, too. And we don't talk to strangers, and if "that mommy tries to talk to you again, run, screaming 'STRANGER DANGER!' Cause that's what we do when strangers won't leave us alone."

All went smoothly for a little while longer. Jill, Emmi and the friends are all playing very politely. I am quite proud of them. I just point this out, when a child starts complaining loudly to her mother that "those children in there are mean." Not one child in general. Just all of them. The mother pats her child on the hand. I am waiting for the typical response of, "Honey, I am sure they are not all mean." Or perhaps, "Has one child done something to upset you? Have could you resolve that?" Cause, trust me, every five to seven year old girl insists that every other girl is being mean to them, if, like, they sneeze funny. But what does mama say? "Sweety, those children probably don't have Jesus in their hearts like we do."

I almost choked on my chicken. I mean, I love Jesus as much as the next guy. But, really?

Before I can even begin to make fun of that, Emmi starts climbing the outside of the play structure. I sign for her to get down or she will get time out. Jesus Child, sees me.

"You know sign language!" She is amazed.

"Yes. I sure do. My daughter is deaf." I don't go into the whole thing about CI's and how I took it off on the playland so it wouldn't break because of all of the children. I just leave it at that.

Jesus Child still looks amazed. She looks from me to Emmi to her mom. "Well," she says. "That explains why she is so weird."

Her mom does nothing. Says nothing. Just keeps shoving chicken in her face. So I smile, look at the mom, and say, "I am not mad, but calling someone with a disability 'weird' might be something Jesus would have a problem with."

As I walk off, I hear the mother say, "She doesn't have Jesus in her heart either."

And? My friend? She says loudly, "Oh yeah. You know where you can shove your Jesus?!"

We both started giggling violently. I am pretty sure we are both going to hell.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Some Artists Really Suck

Is there something confusing about the words, "Just a little mayo?" No? Yeah, I didn't think so either.

Which is why when I said, "Just a little mayo," and Homeboy Sandwich Artist From the Upper Middle Class Ghetto proceeded to squirt no less than sixteen bands of mayo on my sandwich, I got a little pissed. And then. When I said, "Yeah. I said 'a little mayo' and that is a lot," he responded with, "oh." Not "Oh I am sorry, let me fix that for you." Just "oh." I looked at Kenny. I looked back at Homeboy Sandwich Artist. For reals? Let me break it down for you so can understand it.

Ahem. "I sed I be wantin' just a 'lil ma-yo." He removes one band of mayo. Progress. But, um? Really? I stare at him. He stares back, bored. After a few minutes of me saying nothing, he wraps up my sandwich. No, vegetables. No oil and vinegar. No salt and pepper. Nothing. He asks me nothing. He offers nothing. Just a club sandwich covered in mayo.

Fucking Sandwich Artist my ass. I knew there was a reason I only went to Quiznos.

Friday, June 13, 2008

A little flashing will go a long way.

My high school reunion is two weeks from tomorrow. I can't believe how long it has been since I graduated high school. Really. It doesn't feel like that long ago. Aside from the college, marriage, divorce, two kids, relationship with Kenny, and all that other stuff I squeezed in during those years. Basically, it kind of just feels like yesterday.

I was one of those people who loved high school. I have fond memories of it. I was happy with my place in that world. There are moments that are still talked about to this day. Like for instance, being pulled over while changing clothes in my car. Or my friend driving my jeep off a small cliff and the hilarity that ensued afterward. Or the cat nip incident. Or perhaps some of our junior/senior war antics. And without further ado....

Excuse me ma'am, license, registration, and oh my God are those your boobs?

In my Senior year of high school, I talked my dad into buying me a brand new Jeep. Mostly cause he wanted one of his own. It was Gunmetal Blue. I immediately set to work adding a lift and tires and a kickass sound system. My friends and I drove that Jeep everywhere.

Especially back and forth to Conroe, where our friend, Nathan, had moved. His family lived on the golf course, backing up to Walden Country Club. We spent countless weekends "fishing for golfers," a game his father, of all people, invented by attaching a golf ball to a fishing pole. We'd sit on their deck, hidden by the thick trees, with the golf ball strategically placed on the green. As the golfers would mistakenly reach for the ball, we would reel it in, giggling hysterically. Sometimes, we ran for our lives as our joke was not always received well. When the game lost it's appeal, we would hang out at the country club or ride the wave runners on the lake, always heading home at precisely 11:15 to make the forty-five minute drive in time.

Often Nathan would follow us, not comfortable with two girls driving those roads alone on the back country roads, until we hit the main road. The temperature was always so much colder at night on those roads. We generally brought jackets along with us for the ride home. Instead, one night I had a change of clothes. But, we were late leaving the restaurant, and I hadn't had time to change. As soon as the headlights disappeared behind us, I ripped my shirt off, preparing to change into my warmer shirt. Before I could get the other shirt over my head, the headlights reappeared behind us. We dissolved into giggles. "Shit! What the hell. I thought he turned around already!" My friend laughed and suggested I speed up. "Lose him." I down shifted, increasing my speed up to almost 60 miles per hour on the 40 mile per hour country road. Almost instantly, red and blue lights filled the darkness.

It wasn't Nathan behind us.

I didn't know what to do. It was very dark on the road. I didn't want the officer to see my movements, and think I threatening him in anyway. I had just sped up incredibly with him right behind me. But? I still had no shirt on. My friend was no help. She couldn't even catch her breath she was laughing so hard. I was panicking. Crap, crap, crap.

The officer approached the car with his head down. "License and insurance, please ma'am."

I slowly reached over, and retrieved my ID and my insurance card, handing them over to the officer. Topless. He takes them looking up for the first time. I smiled. From the passenger seat, laughter and snorting broke the silence.

Some people insist that flirting with an officer will get you out of ticket. So apparently will flashing him.

I did manage to put my shirt on before I drove off with my warning.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hair, Hair, Hair!!!

I got into the bad habit of dying my hair. Shades of brown. Light brown. Dark drown. Reddish brown. Every three to four weeks a different color. I loved it. My hair? Not so much. So when it started to resemble Pamela Anderson's dried out locks, I chopped it off. To my chin. I cried. I missed my hair. But oh how nice it was to be able to comb through my hair without tangles again. The bob haircut lasted about a minute before I wanted to grow it out. I went back to my hairdresser for a cut. Something that would grow out well from a bob. He butchered it. It was this half bob blob. Part suburban housewife. Part. Well, I don't even know what. I kept thinking it would grow out and look okay. I let it go for months. But my reunion is looming nearer. And I couldn't go to it looking like I did before.

I was scared. But I mustered the courage. Or actually, I was walking right past Visible Changes and the thought popped into my head, and I figured I should go for it before I changed my mind again. I warned them I was terrified to get me hair cut. I teared up. Then I closed my eyes and prayed. And......


And? I am sitting in my backyard working right now. Yeah. Here is my office.

Also, with my reunion right around the corner, I thought it would be nice to share some of my favorite high school memories. I am working on those. Get ready........ teeheee.

I work remotely from home. I have my own computer at the office in Austin. I log into it via a program online. Every once in awhile something happens, and it gets accidentally turned off or unplugged or some such.

The girls are at my parents' house. Last night I couldn't sleep well. Instead of sleeping in, I got up early to work. And? When I logged on, my computer wasn't online. So now I have to wait until someone shows up at the office to turn it on for me.

I could have slept two more hours......

Monday, June 9, 2008

Life's a beach...or not.

The trip to the beach on Sunday was planned. For weeks. The spontaneous addition of Saturday came about an hour before we left. The person who was renting the condo cancelled. It was vacant for the weekend. I just had to wait for the clothes to dry. It was very relaxing. We ate good food. We shopped. Okay, mostly I window shopped because of my lack of funds, but Kenny did buy me the dress I had my eye on. And? The girls? Yeah, the cleaned up. New flip-flops and dolls and necklaces and carriage rides. Spoiled little things. But mostly, they just wanted to play on the beach. I read, they splashed in the water and collected seashells, and Kenny alternated between sitting in a chair and boogie boarding. Fun.

But all good things must end. I noticed the sound when we walked in the door.

"Fridge is out again." I know this sound well. We have killed the fridge five times in the short span on a year-and-a-half that we have lived here. Kenny refused to believe it. "No way," he said. I gave him the look. I knew it would go out. Especially because I am having a slight money panic. I have a lot coming up. A baby shower to throw, my reunion. Last month was Jill's birthday, and I just bought new shoes and such for the lessons the girls are taking this summer. When we went to bed last night, it was still making the sound, but working just fine. Maybe I was wrong.

Emmi got up this morning. She demanded her usual. "PANCAKE!" I opened the freezer. Warm. Not even cool. Everything ruined. Hundreds of dollars of groceries. The fridge itself is under warranty, but I am feed up with the company we bought it through that refuses to give us a new one. Just keeps "fixing" the one we have, only to have it break a few months later. They are bringing out a loaner fridge in an hour. For what?! I have NO GROCERIES LEFT! Nothing to store in this loaner fridge. Thanks a fucking lot. Your loaner fridge really helps me out.

Fuck this. I want to go back to the beach.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Later Hookers!

Since we got the pool, we hardly ever go to the beach. In fact we haven't been since last year. So we decided to go this weekend. Normally we just go for the day. But no one was at the condo, so we are going for the whole weekend. Which means we get to go out to eat and shop too. So later, Hookers! I am going to the beach!

Friday, June 6, 2008


I forgot that earlier in the week, I sort of made plans with one of my friends. I more or less invited her to tag along for something I was already needing to do. Except, as the week went on, I had too much to do, and I was going to put off that errand until next week. But I felt bad. I am constantly putting my friends off for work or the kids, so I decided to rearrange my schedule so I could do it.

I woke up early this morning, squeezing in two hours of work before taking Jill to get her passport. Then I dropped Jill at her friends, and quickly grabbed lunch for Emmi and I. I figured at best, I had another thirty minutes to work before we would leave again. I really had other things I needed to do while Jill was gone. I am hosting a baby shower in a few weeks, and I need to get started on some of the small projects for that. But, no. I wasn't going to cancel. As I sat working, I remembered that I needed to get something for my reunion. Damn. I could be doing that this afternoon. No. No. No. I will not cancel. I just kept thinking about how easy it would be to get some of these things checked off my to-do list while Jill is at the movies with her friend. Shopping with one kid is so much easier than two. But. I couldn't cancel.

Except. She was supposed to be here an hour ago, and she isn't even answering my calls. And now Jill will be home soon. I could have squeezed in one or two of my other, more pressing errands. Instead. I got NOTHING done. Not even this less important trip. Because I sat here fucking waiting. And? This is not the first time she has done this. This happens every time. And you know what? I am not even mad at her. I am mad at myself for being stupid enough to rearrange my schedule.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

And on that note....

Kenny's clients, whose daughter went to high school with us (and I was never incredibly nice to), referred Kenny's company to their neighbors (whose daughter I knew as well). Before they could finalize the landscaping, they wanted to get a pool put in. Kenny mentioned our pool builder. Then he invited them all to come check out our pool. And consequently our landscaping.

They would have to come through the house, since the side of our yard with the gate is in the dog run. Clients. Dog poo. Not the best impression. I spent all day Tuesday cleaning the downstairs in preparation. I straightened up the backyard. Scrubbed bird poo off the rocks. Swept the patio. Set out the pillows and cute little lanterns. They cancelled. Wednesday, I recleaned the downstairs, as it is impossible to keep the house clean for even one day. Two whole days spent cleaning. It was perfect when they arrived.

We let the kids get in the pool while they were over. It would keep them out of hair the most. And keep me from chasing Emmi around the backyard. The clients were impressed. Everything was going great. And then...

Emmi stared choking. And. Threw. Up. All. Over. The. Patio. Right at their feet.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Apple doesn't fall far.

I am pretty sure, even though I have taught my child how to behave at other people's houses, that she still does things like say, "I sure hope your pool is salt water and not chlorine, because ours is salt water and it is so much better for you than chlorine." But for the most part she knows that she should say thank you, and please. I get reports from other parents that she offers to clean up toys, and she is polite. So I know the lessons I have taught her have sunk in somewhat, even if she refuses to follow those rules at home. I am shocked sometimes at other children's behavior. But then, I talk to the parents and I completely understand.

I know I set myself up for some of it. I have come to expect that children will show up over here to swim without floaties or towels or even bathing suits (and in some cases, um gross!). So I generally keep extras on hand. I could repeat myself until I was blue in the face, lecturing parents to bring floaties and towels and such. But they still wouldn't bring them, and I either have to tell the kids they can't swim and deal with disappointed children or I have to actually get in with them. However, we are down to one good pair of floaties, and I have not had time to get more in the last few days.

The neighbor called and asked if she could drop her child off for a little bit while she ran errands. Her child who is notorious for her rude, demanding behavior. Geez. Just the kid I want to come over. Sure. Cause I am not working over here or anything. I explained that we would be swimming, and that she needed to bring a towel, floaties, a bathing suit, and a change of clothes. "Oh we left our floaties at a friends house, can we borrow some of yours?" I told her how I was down to one pair. "Well, Emmi can swim, so she can go without." I sat there for a minute. Really? Yeah. I know Emmi can swim. But Emmi also has low tone, and gets tired very easily. She can swim the length of the pool, and then barely drag herself out. So she prefers to keep the floaties on and save her energy. And? If I tell you to bring some fucking floaties while I am doing you a favor and watching your child during my work day while you go shopping with your girlfriends, then don't you dare talk back to me. Finally I responded, "We will be swimming. If you can't be bring floaties, I will make Child sit in a chair and watch my children swim. If that is going to be the case, please bring something to entertain Child while we sit outside." And with that I got off the phone.

I was hoping she would reconsider bringing her kid over after that conversation. But no. The doorbell rang right on time. Child walks in, floaties in hand, wearing one of Jill's swimsuits that I have been looking for. "Um. I think that is ours." Neighbor barely looks down at her kid. "Yeah, we can't find ours." I am fuming. I remember letting another child borrow it. Apparently it has been passed around. And? This child weighs a good thirty pounds more than Jill, and is about the same height as Jill. There is no way that suit is ever fitting Jill again. "Did you bring a towel or a change of clothes?" Neighbor looks around as if it will appear out of thin air. "Oh, oops. No." I stare at her. You have got to be kidding me. "Look," I say, "the towel we can do without, but I need you to go get a change of clothes." She checks her watch and sighs. "Can she borrow something of Jill's?" I don't want to point out the the obvious. That Jill wears, at best, a size 6, and this child, well doesn't. And besides? Even if we had something that would fit, I not in the business of loaning out my kids' clothes. I shake my head in response. Neighbor looks at her watch again. "Sorry. She needs a change of clothes." Neighbor is obviously irritated. "You know, this REALLY puts me out," she says before stomping off to get clothing so I can watch her child while she hangs out all afternoon. Umm, and oh yeah. YOUR WELCOME.

On the other hand, Other Neighbor's two kids came over to swim yesterday armed with their own snack of strawberries, because "My mom said we have been over here a lot and eating your snacks a lot." Then after swimming at our house Other Neighbor asked both of my kids over to play AND set up a play date for today at her house, since her kids had been to our house several times in the past few days. Mostly 'cause we have the pool, and it is freakin' hot out there. And her kids? Are two of the most polite kids you will ever meet.