Thursday, October 30, 2008

Mom and Dad,

I'm assuming you are in Amsterdam. I turned on MSNBC this morning and didn't see them covering any burning BA wreck, so I figured you arrived safe and sound. Thank God for 24-hour cable TV. It's definitely helped my anxiety issues.

Halloween is tomorrow and we got the kids cards you sent. They loved them, and were appropriate for each child. Maggie dug the bear, and Nora was the princess. Tonight we went to Fry's to complete Nora's costume. She's going as a fairy, but told me she must have a crown to complete the look. Poor thing is a tad confused on accessories of a fairy/princess , but always the "ho" she needed to spice it up a bit. Maggie will be a monkey again. I've gotten so much mileage out of that thing. She even wore it last Christmas on the Polar Express.

Scot is taking his exam as I write this. Poor thing. It was hard material, and he didn't feel prepared. But he always says that, and ends up doing fine. He made it through Round #1 with the local contracting position, and will be interviewed on Nov. 10th. It's down to him and one other applicant. Keep it all crossed for this one. He really wants it.

I had asthmatic Satan baby again today. Sweet Cherries, that kid can cry. He cried the ENTIRE day. Scot kept coming into the kitchen, asking if I was okay. Hell, I was fine. What was wrong with the baby? I have never in all my life been so happy to hand a kid over to a parent. Something is wrong though; he isn't coming tomorrow because they were asked to come in and look at the baby's chest X-rays. I feel so sorry for those parents. Not so sorry to tell them I'll put up with that crying forever though. I told the father that he's on probation and if the crying continues, he's not going to fit in at my house. I hate to get all anti-feminist, but that baby needs to be at home with his mom. What the heck is the point in having a kid if you're going to stick him in daycare when he's 6-weeks-old ?

Hope you're having a wonderful time. I'm so jealous. But you're retired from exams and shitty diapers. You deserve it.

Love you much, and don't do anything stupid,


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Spare Time Be Gone

Once I thought I was busy, but I really had spare time. How else do I explain being able to blog all the time.
Two babies are kicking my arse. How do people with twins do it? You can't hold 2. Someone's always being held and the other one is giving you the evil eye, crying.

Today, spelled out for you in absurdly boring detail.

7:40- Maggie leaves with Scot for school
7:45- Scot arrives home, telling me he will be studying for MBA finals at home today, not the library
7:45- baby Madi comes
8:30- baby Josh arrives
9:00- load up babies in stroller, Nora on bike
9:30-11:00- listen to cries, whines, Dora, Spongebob, my brain cells whooshing out of my head
11:00- lunch for Scot, Nora, Madi and me. Mac-n-cheese, sweet potatoes, crackers, stage 3 lasagna, leftover chicken parm
11:30- Josh goes home.
12:00- Madi naps
12:15- lie in my bed with Nora. I set her up with Barbie's Swan Lake, milk, no excuse to talk. She talks.
12:45 - baby Korben arrives. Today is only a half-day, but four days a week will be 7-4.
12:45-2:15- baby Korben cries like he's being prodded with a sharp stick in the butt. His asthma is terrible and I want to lose my bowels I feel so sorry for the baby. I alternate feeding, burping, walking, sitting in bouncy, calling parents, wondering if $1000 a month is worth the agony and stress.
2:15- Korben sleeps. Everyone's been warned- You wake him, you pay.
2:20- Maggie gets home from school.
2:45- Madi wakes up.
3:00- help Maggie with her homework.
4:00- start dinner so Scot can leave for exam early.
4:20- Korben's dad arrives. Praise JesusAllahBuddah this is not my kid. Poor parents. I am lucky. Very lucky.
4:50- Madi leaves.
5:00- eat.
5:30- Scot leaves.
5:45- clean kitchen
6:00- zone in front of the computer for 10 minutes, and then realize that the sooner I take the kids for ice cream, the sooner I can put them to bed.
6:15- go for ice cream.
6:45- kids' baths
7:20 - kids' meds, stories, threats that if they wake me up in the middle of the night, I'll be cranky tomorrow.
7:50- kids' bed.
8:10- come on to the computer.
8:40- have Maggie come in here (3 minutes ago) and tell me she can't sleep.

Scot should be home at 10. I have a beer mug icing for him. I hope he did well. I hope he comes home happy. I hope I can ask him how his night went, roll over, and go to sleep. Because it all starts again soon. Very soon. :) Nite nite.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I was leafing through the Williams-Sonoma catalogue today. Last year I returned some Christmas gifts from the purveyor (I love that word) and I was looking at what my return gift card could get me. It seemed sensible and frugal to do some Christmas gift shopping with my in-store credit.

Have you taken a gander at Williams-Sonoma lately? I was thinking I was entering the world of Pier 1 or Crate And Barrel. Nice, quality items that don't break the bank. Uh uh. It occurred to me rather quickly that I don't want or need anything from this store, nor can I justify blowing my $200 credit on a Maple Cakelette Pan or $30 dish soap. Gift or not. Has this store heard we are in an ass-biting economy? I am a cook, and I understand the need for good pans and fine linens, but hasn't the whole Martha Stewart Perfection shit gone by the wayside?

My slight crankiness crumbled when I left out a laugh so loud it scared me. If you would turn your attention to the machine above. That's the Miele Rotary Iron, and for only $2199.00 you too can press your own tablecloths and sheets. Personally, I would look into employing some young illegals to do the task. And the really neat thing is that it does fold up and roll away on the 364 days of the year you are not using it. If I had the money to purchase this machine, I can almost bet you I would own a string of dry cleaners, therefore making this purchase silly. But no matter. Everyone has their little OCD sickness.

In the end, I settled on some Peppermint Bark for all my loved ones. Act now and get two tins for $45. No, it's not caviar. It just comes in tins and is priced like caviar. My best friend gets it for me every year, and I can tell you it is worth it. I stash the tin in Mommy's Little Hiding Spot and devour it over the course of 3 days.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Dirty Sanchez (action shot)

I apologize if this picture offends , but welcome to my World. I have to live with this disgusting mutt. Captain Buttmunch no sooner had a snack, and then jumped up to give Nora a goodnight hug. And Scot's worried about the dog aggravating Nora's asthma.

It's funny, but with this dog, I don't really worry about the gate being open or coyotes on the prowl. What will be, will be.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Happy Birthday Maggie Monkey

Maggie turned 7 today.

Seven years ago last night, I interrupted Scot's National League Playoff game between the Braves and.... , well, it doesn't matter, to announce that my water broke. To which Scot replied "are you sure?" Same damn answer I got when I told him I was pregnant. Anywho, my worry-free life ended on that couch that evening. For that matter , none of the furniture, precious heirlooms or antiques have ever been the same.

Maggie arrived 30 days early. She was 5"15 and as bald as Mr. Clean. Her premature entry was the first sign that the kid would have major control issues. She still does things her way, when she wants to do them. She also made it known that she would eat enough to sustain life, but not enough to make
me feel like she had a cushion against the rough ills life would throw at her. As an infant she wouldn't nurse. The hard-sucking payoff wasn't enough. These days we still goad her to eat, her ribs visible beneath her thin t-shirt. It's funny how that early personality tends to stick.

My little Monkey has morphed into a trooper. She's my good sleeper, my great student, and my devil with a heart. She was the one that broke me out of my selfish existence, and continues to be the child that challenges me every waking moment. Tonight after I wished her a final "happy birthday" and closed her door, she yelled for me. I opened her door and asked what she wanted. I expected to hear "Tell daddy I love him" or "Can I sleep with Bernice?". But tonight she wanted me. "Mommy, give me another kiss." Another kiss. Of course my love. The best present you could ever give this mother on your birthday.

I love you, Maggie.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Flu Shot Eve

Here we are, the night before the annual family flu shots. And the children are nestled are snug in their beds with not an inkling of what kind of shitty-ass pissy morning they are going to have tomorrow. Maybe it would behoove me to start an annual tradition of leaving Motrin on their breakfast plates the evening before (pain reliever is always administered beforehand). That way, they would know their fate when they swing open their bedroom doors on a random Saturday every October. "Goddamn it Nora, look who swung by last night- the flu shot fairy."

We never let the kids in on their fate until we pull into the immunization locale. We did it once and realized the children have inherited my anxiety issues. To tell them ahead of time causes excessive worry, and it is cruel. For years we went to the local ma and pa pharmacy down the street. It was sick fun and trauma because even months after the shot, that strip mall elicited the same response from them. I would swing in to mail a letter and I'd hear a scream from the back seat. " Mommy, are we getting flu shots today????!!!!" Depending on what kind of schizoid Mommy Dearest mood I was in dictated my answer. It was either "Yes, wouldn't that be fun to do on this beautiful May day?" OR, "No, I was thinking we'd drive by the Spank Factory and try out the Spank 2010." Last year we really messed them up because we drove to a clinic 20 miles away. I'll admit, the line and amount of third-world citizens freaked me out a bit, too. We rewarded the children with new panties from Kohl's afterwards.

This year's festivities will be held in downtown Scottsdale. I'm not sure what the pay-off will be, but there is a friend's birthday party to attend tomorrow afternoon. Maybe that will take the edge off. Scot and I have Map quested the place, have a departure time and are mentally set. We go to bed tonight feeling a bit sheepish, a bit protective, and a whole lotta Scrooge.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

News on the Job Front....

Scot has a phone interview tomorrow for a position with the company where the girl is testifying before congress and her top falls off. If he gets it, I promised I will be the perfect corporate wife and wear a tank top to to the company Christmas party and let the girls slip out for a breath of fresh air. I think you can figure out the company.

VERY VERY good news! Scot has an interview next Friday at a major big company he doesn't want me to name. This job interview is 4 weeks late coming. He was pre-vetted by a recruiter last month, and assumed the job dried up when the stock market started heading south.

I have an interview of my own tomorrow for a new day care charge. He's six months old and has severe asthma. I would work Fridays and the baby would show up at my doorstep every day at 7:15. Scot asked me if I was sure I wanted to take on such a young baby that demands an aggressive time-commitment. I asked him if he would like to keep living in this house. Do any of us have the luxury of being spoiled and having an opinion in this crappy economy? Work is work. He then said when I work a lot (M-Fri 7-5 ) I get a bit cranky. Naw....

It's all good. The phone is ringing and appointments are on the books. The best news in weeks.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Scot and his black lung

The whole family Muma went to the doctor today. Except Maggie. The one that's been sick the longest and who I sent to school today (bad momma! bad momma!). But really, short of the plague, how many days can I keep this kid home ? Long story short, we are on day 17 of sickness. A week of fevers has morphed into nasty nose, coughing, wheezing, and a general look of a sick-looking homeless family.

Any bets on who got the candy, ahem, medicine? Scot. The damn dude played it up, by crying foul when the good doctor tapped on his sinusus. Scot's throat was red (ooh alarm bells! ) , whereas mine was just white and pleghmy. Scot slept like a baby while I hacked for 2 hours last night. So, as usual, us chicks suck it up while scot has already asked for the humidifier to be put by his bed for an afternoon nap. The sick children must march on, and I the mother, will pull-up my bootsraps and lead the way. :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

There are dogs that are indifferent (they should have been cats!) , dogs that are affectionate, and dogs that are flat-out pervs. Our new dog is a pervert. Patrick was misnamed. Scot and I realized today that we should have named him "Sanchez". As in the joke referring to the act called the "dirty sanchez". Go ahead and Gooogle it, and don't say I didn't warn you. It's nothing humans would seriously consider (would they?) but my dog is all over it. Sniffing crotches is rudimentary for this mutt and he constantly asserts his 13 pound frame on Bernice's 60 pound body. I catch the dog rubbing his body on my dirty shoes and he loves to stick his nose in stinky socks. The ultimate nastiness was when he rolled in some fish food flakes that were on the floor. We're lobbying the kids to let us call him "Sanchez" but they're not up for it. How darn cute would a logo of a chihuahua with a handlebar mustache be?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

My parents, My saviors

I usually see my parents at least once a week. That is, when they are home and not traveling. They live an easy 8 mile drive from us, and it's pretty typical for me to pack up the girls on a Friday and head to their house for the day. My mom makes the best wasabi chicken salad sandwiches and my dad lets the kids abuse the hell out of his color copier. All us girls paint our nails and my dad and I discuss politics for hours. It's so nice to be in the embrace of both a loving family, and like-minded voters. :)

When the chips are down, my parents have always been there for Scot and I. Recently, I got the offer of the master bedroom in their house in case Scot and I should be forced to leave our own. I'm hoping it doesn't come to that, but the sincere propostion was appreciated. On Friday night my parents took us out for dinner. They said it was as payment for watching their dog, Annie, while they are away. But I was already paid with the gorgeous bedspread I recently acquired. I realize the dinner out was a morale boost for us. We hadn't been anywhere since Scot lost his job 7 weeks ago. It was nice to be out for the evening with good conversation and no dishes to worry about. That dinner was such a small gesture with huge uplift. I think I even put on lipstick that night!

When my parents got married 38 years ago, they were a unique couple. My dad had left the priesthood for my mother, and my mother had just ended a marriage that produced 2 children. My parents fled Michigan (where they were scorned) and settled in New Jersey. They bought a house, and things looked great till my dad lost his job in 1970. At that time, our country was in a recession and my dad could not find work. For several months, my parents scraped by on food stamps and welfare. It was all they could do to pay the mortgage. For Christmas that year, they gave my sister a Barbie knock-off they found at the Berlin Farmer's Market, and my brother got a silver dollar in a jewelry box. They couldn't afford the movies, or even the bridge toll to Philadelphia. My dad spent days going to the unemployment office looking for work, and would return empty handed to my mother. Then the two of them would play cards till it was time to pick up Tim and Julie at school.

Eventually, my dad found a job as a probation officer. This was the line of work he ended his career with, 30 years later. When he retired he was Chief of Probation for Phoenix, Arizona. What a tremendous rise from his humble start in New Jersey. I'm so proud of everything my parents achieved in spite of what they had to overcome ( part of the reason I'm a Democrat today is due to the fact that my parents used federal programs to help them get out of a tough spot.)

My parents have always been passionate about traveling, and it was their dream to retire and see the world. In 2000, they did just that. They now spend about half the year away from Arizona. On days I whine about the stress of unemployment, or worry about the money to buy Maggie's birthday presents, I know that my mom and dad "get" it. Hell, I am rich compared to what they had. But what an example they have set for me. With love and determination I know you can attain so much. They did. That's why when they are here, I see them as much much as I can. They have so much to give. And so much to teach.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Dear Kid Rock,

Dear Kid, or Rock, or Robert (that's your birth name, right?)

Your hit, "All Summer Long", is catchy enough and all. My kids dig it when it comes on the radio. It's got a great beat, and it makes you feel good. So, I get the appeal. But I can't listen to it. This is where I get bitter and fuddy duddy and hop on my soapbox of talent vs. no talent. Steady yourself.

Can I get frank with you Kid ? It's a rip-off dude. Not unlike Vanilla Ice copying Bowie's "Under Pressure." In this case, you took two stellar songs, "Werewolves of London" and "Sweet Home Alabama" and mixed it all up with some goofy lyrics. It troubles me that you use the word "things" at the end of two lines. That does not constitute a rhyming couplet (' and we were trying different things, we were smoking different things'.) To spread the blame here, I did note that you and 7 other people collaborated on the lyrics. Maybe you were all smoking too many funny things to have one of you figure out that "hot wings" would have worked at the end of one of those lines.

At any rate, I cannot listen to someone with questionable talent, and accept the fact that you reap in millions of dollars. Sure I'm pissed that I didn't think of it first, but that's not the point. I have added you to my list. That's my list of People Who Make More Than Teachers and Police Officers and Should Therefore Spend Their Next Lives As Poor Peasant Paupers. I'm sure you are deeply offended at my outrage. As you read this you're probably gutting your catfish on a sheet of $20's down by the river. But, I just had to let you know anyway.


Toni T. Muma

Weekly Update

Dear Readers,

Oh how I've neglected you. I'm afraid that sometimes I sensor what I say, feeling I'll drive all 3 of you away with my extreme negativity.

Like the stock market, it's been a volatile ride at my house this week. Also like the stock market, the ride has been all gut-wrenching drops, not many trips up to the top of the hill. And that's no fun, is it?

In short, I got rid of the DVR yesterday. That speaks volumes on the week I had. You mess with my TV, you better watch your back! Necessity dictated I dump it. When we cut back on cable, Internet speed, and DVR box, we chopped our bill from $140, to $60. You can't argue with that. Probably the funniest/saddest/most pathetic event of the week was explaining to the kids that we couldn't pause their programming while they piddled during Spongebob. You would have thought I took away their beloved blankets. Seeing their reaction proved to me I was doing the right thing. We have many Mormon nights of family board game playing ahead of us.

Today I looked into renting the house. If worse comes to worse, we will do this. I'd rather have the ducks in a row and know where we stand now, then have my hand forced later. So I have someone coming out to the house on Monday.

Scot got some encouraging news today. He spoke with one of his recruiter friends, and a position that had been put on hold will be interviewed for shortly. Hopefully he will be one of the 347 candidates who get an appointment for that (have you seen 'Dick and Jane?') The one job he interviewed for has still not been filled and the hiring manager is on vacation for a week (obviously he has never been out of work. The interview occurred 5 weeks ago.) Every day is an eternity.

Scot and I played "Sergio" and "Maria" today, and cleaned the house in 2 hours. Record time! Not sure everything is spic-n-span, but it sure smells dandy.

We are going out for dinner with my parents this evening. Our first meal out in 6 weeks. With that, and our weekend daytime temps in the 70's, there is hope on the horizon.

Thanks for all the continued support and love.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Feeding Frenzy

Another week begins with a quiet inbox. Sigh.....
And not that the stellar world market is helping.
So, let's forget our troubles and eat!

So it was during lunch that I fully understood the term "unconscious eating." After having an exofuckulent tuna melt (Scot and I watched 'The Savidges' last night and it gave me the idea) I dug into the kids cold mac-n-cheese. I doused the pan in Penzeys spicy seasoned salt and downed the remainder with a wooden spoon. I'm feeding the pain.

Last time I went through a depressed period in my life, I wasted away. But that was clinical depression. Currently I'm just an angry motha, and my my appetite has not been affected. Honestly, planning and eating dinner is the best part of my day. Today I wrote Scot's 4 choices (sweet-n-sour chicken, chicken Paprikas, pizza, or Thai noodles) on a piece of paper for his perusal. He gave me his choice and I got to work getting the ingredients ready for prep. The spices are on the counter, and the pan is on the stove. The remainder of the day will be spent preparing the meal, and anticipating the appropriate beer match for the dish. I'm always a bit obsessed about planning meals, but lately I've ratcheted it up because it's the one pleasant thing I can control in my day.

Sometimes I like to pretend all the ingredients work for me. I wonder if the chicken feels neglected that I threw him in the sink so harshly, or if the Japanese beer fears I will choose the Chinese beer over him tonight. Where it gets really interesting though is when I decide how many beers I will hire for the evening.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

One big, lovely mess

Another day, another dollar. Actually $45 dollars. I had one charge today, Maddy, my baby I watch. I kept Maggie home from school again, because of fever.

This morning Scot and I took the kids (including Maddy) for a walk. We brought Bernice, our grand dame doggy, and walked in the early morning to avoid the heat. On our way, Bernice stopped every two minutes to void some extreme diarrhea. The poor dog is probably scared shit less her standing in the house has changed with the arrival of Patrick. She needn't worry. She's the first, and the best.

When we returned home from the stroll, I took Maggie to the doctor while Scot sat with Maggie and Maddy. My fear today was that the e-Coli Maggie had in the spring was rearing its ugly head. Although we treated with antibiotics in June, I lazily blew off retesting her when we returned from vacation this summer. She tested negative for strep today, but had a fever. The doctor asked for another urine sample to test for e-Coli, which is like asking water from a stone. Maggie cooperated with 2 drops. The initial in-house test proved positive for protein, infection, and blood. Naturally Mags did not provide enough to be sent out for culture. Is anything easy? After a promise of a new Curious George doll, I got my sample later this afternoon and drove it to the doctor's. We will know in a week what the results are.

No news on the job front. Sigh... The good news is that this evening it seems Bernice's diarrhea has ceased, and Maggie's fever is gone. Scot is home this evening, and I am thankful to have him.

The whole family (along with Maddy) visited Barnes and Noble this afternoon to make do on my promise of the new George toy. When we walked to the entrance, I noticed a dapper old man standing on the curb by the front door. He appeared to be about 80 and was wearing perfectly pressed khakis and a blue shirt and had a wonderful head of silver hair. He watched my family walk in the front door. When we exited the store a half-hour later, the man was still standing in the very same spot. Again, he watched us intently. I imagined all the dramas, heartaches, and joys this man has probably seen in his life. He took us in as someone would study a famous painting. A dreamy, nostalgic look glazed his face. I wondered where his ride was, and why he had been left waiting so long. Did he have a wife, and who was still around to love him? I hoped at the very least he had children nearby who checked up on him to make sure he was eating. I looked at my family and realized that although life is hard as the dickens right now, we are together in this lovely big mess. And I can get through anything with that much love.