Wednesday, December 31, 2008

That Call

The pit in my stomach came after I ate dinner last night. It was time to make the phone call. After some small talk, it came down to the point of my phone call.

"Yeah, you're child is rotten to the core, and I'll be unable to care for him any longer."

No, that's what I thought. Here's what I said.

"After much thought, and two weeks of calm and harmony, I've decided to take steps to make my life a little less stressful. And your child is causing some of the stress." Yes, I said that.

And I went on a little further. About how busy and crazy my life was about to become, and how her part-time child was not benefiting from all the full-time discipline that I'm jonesing to administer to him.

The mother sat on the other line and did not utter a word, or a sound.

So I continued, as I had a captive audience. For five minutes I waxed on about how 5 months of unemployment and misbehaving children such as hers had took me to the edge.

Still nothing.

I stopped talking.

" Really?" she asked. "Effective when?"

" I'll be here for you for another couple of weeks till you can find a replacement, I said.

" I see," she said. " Yes, you need to do what's best for your family."


More silence.

And this is where the stages of grief took hold. From denial and bargaining we were starting to morph into pain, and depression.

"Shirley, I said. "Shirley, are you there?"


"Boooo hooooooo hooooo hooooo."

She was crying, hysterically.

"Shirley, are you crying?" I asked.

Yes, she was crying.

"Shirley, why are you crying?"

"I am scared, " she said.

At this point I asked her if she was scared of finding daycare, scared of the future, scared of what? Personally, I would be scared for the grave vocational error her master's degree toting husband had made teaching at a low-paying private school. She told me that she was scared because she has to work financially, albeit it's only 2 hours a day.

I felt for her. I really did. But I didn't make the choice to do God's work and live on the edge of financial solvency (she once explained her and her husband teaching at the Lutheran school as a sacrifice to God.)

It was then the anger stage took hold.

"Fine. I'll be in touch. Good night," Shirley chirped.


I have no regrets. No guilt. Just peaceful, blissful acceptance.

Big Brother

Did you happen to notice the ads on the side of my blog? Did you happen to notice how today they are ads for "peanut butter cookies" and "karate"? I am being watched. By a computer server. Who latched on to certain words. OOOOOOOHHHH. Spooky.

Monday, December 29, 2008

That Phone Call

The last couple of weeks have been ecstatically peaceful and joyful and it's not only because of the holidays. It's also because the 18-month old isn't here.

I need to fire a client. The time has come. And I'm dreading it. Because I'm a people pleaser, and it pains me to be flat-out honest and tell someone their kid is the anti-Christ who makes my head spin.

In short, he's a terror. The little guy comes to my house four days a week, for two hours at a time. The last time he was here, he felled the tabletop Christmas tree and hit someone on the head with a plastic hammer. Diaper changing is bloodsport, and we can't take a walk while said child is here because he doesn't listen and walks in the street.

I've told the mother that this child has issues. I've put up with this for five months. Her passivity and "Jesus rescues, Heals and Cooks Dinner" attitude aren't going to be enough to save the child. He needs a serious time-out on his ass.

Next week, Scot starts an insane schedule. He's working, plus picking up two electives in addition to his usual course load of two classes. He needs to do that to graduate in May, without paying more moola. I will soon become Mr. and Mrs. Mom. I cannot and will not handle anyone that is not marching in a straight line during this stressful time. Hence why I need to get rid of this charge.

The tricky part is this: the mother and father of anti-Christ teach at the school Nora attends. That would be the school that reduced our tuition earlier this year because we were down-and-out-of-work-poor. But the money I receive for watching this child is meager. And I'm thinking my mental health is more important (Scot definitely thinks so.) So, I'm gonna be an ass at the religious school. No matter what excuse I come up with to get rid of the child. I'm going to be an ass.

Tomorrow I'll get off my tuckus and be an adult. I'll make the uncomfortable phone call. The first time I take Nora back to school I'll expect a nasty look or two. But, in a couple of weeks, I'll be happy and my life will be more peaceful.

Wrap it Up!

I cleaned up the Christmas stuff today. It was time. Once the big day is done, I feel tremendous sadness and deal with it best by packing up the boxes and putting them away till next November. The house looks spacious once again. I left the lights over the mantle in the family room. They'll look good, no matter the time of year.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

President Scrumptious


A little early Christmas present for all of you ladies. I don't care how you voted, you can't tell me that 47-year-old man doesn't look good. I will enjoy watching this president.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Kung Fu Monkey

I am so proud of my Maggie. Today she was presented with her orange belt in karate. This comes two weeks after an extensive belt test with 40 other children, and judged by four black-belt karate instructors. She is so happy, vibrant and alive when she does karate. It is where she feels comfortable. And she smiled for the camera! Weep, weep.

Dirty Dog in Action

The little shit disturber was in rare form today. I just thought I would do some ab exercises on the floor. Sanchez started biting my fingers as if to say, "you're too old and flabby for that to work lady!" Fear for my life became a genuine concern as Patrick attempted to bite my ankles while I ran on the treadmill. Caesar, where are you? Poor Bernice. Her look says it all.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dirty Sanchez and the Peanut Blossoms

There is no time for homemade Christmas cookies this year. Shame, shame, shame. My Coconut Whisper Clouds, Chocolate Chili Buttercups, and Peanut Butter Blossoms will not pass these lips. But that doesn't mean someone else's won't. Betty Crocker's Peanut Butter Cookie in a tube called to me in the supermarket yesterday. They even had the picture of the Hershey's Kiss on top so you could manufacture your own Blossoms. Darn, I was sold.

In the midst of two babies, a spastic 18-month-old, two dogs, and my four year old, I decided to bake cookies. WTF? Yeah, well, it made sense at the time. I set up Nora on top of the kitchen counter with a one-teaspoon baller, a plate of sugar and the dough and told her to make me proud. I stood to the side, unwrapping Hershey's kisses, ready to plop them on the top fresh, hot cookies.

Midway through the first batch, I had to abandon my task to change a diaper. Maddie had done some serious damage in her pants, and the house was fruity beyond measure. I changed her and was shocked when her diaper was clean. Undaunted, I went back to my business. The bad smell lingered. I swung my head around, looking for the source of the stink. Josh had just been changed, and the infant was sleeping. Nora has been potty-trained for over 3 years, so I strongly doubted she had dealt the dung.

It was then I spied it. Three piles of light-brown poop, peanut butter in color. On the slate . Patrick-size. But I had a hard time believing it was poop. It looked just like the cookie dough. Besides, why would any smart dog crap on the floor? Before launching into a dog-berating tirade I had the common sense (fleeting it was) to make the connection of why there could be dog crap in the kitchen. It didn't take me long to figure it out. The child gate was up, permitting Patrick's access to the doggy door. And he had been standing by the back door for a while, unable to open it given his small stature , and because he's a dog.

I scurried around the kitchen to collect the dog and deposit him outside. I found him underneath Nora, on the floor, licking a mound of....... poop ? Or was it? Was this poop, or was this dough? The color was the same , the consistency the same as the piles on the other side of the kitchen. Could it be we had adopted a dog that Scot would consider keeping forever- one that ate its own waste?! Oh happy day!

Centering myself in the kitchen to have a vantage point of both piles, I realized it was logistically difficult for cookie dough to have ended up by the table, but the possibility of Patrick pooping at locations 10 feet apart was entirely feasible. Had Nora dropped some dough? Or was Patrick eating his own shit? There was only one way to tell.

I bent down and got on the floor. And I SMELLED the small pile. Yes, I took a deep breath. This blossom was peanut. Nora had dropped her own pile of work on the floor.

And Patrick is once again up for adoption.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Forget garage sales, I'm trashpicking!

A new
shelf to hold more junk, and a healthy house plant.

A bike trailer. A new seat for $30 and it's good as new! I cannot tell you how much fun it is to put the kids in this sucker and ride!

Every first week of the month in Scottsdale, the city picks up bulk trash. This is the time of month when you haul your big clippings to the curb, and dispose of the old carpet and broken chairs you have. Only I don't think it's all trash. That's just at my house. Sometimes it's good stuff. There's gotta be a market for some of this stuff on eBay. How about this; I quit my job, get a flatbed, and make the city rounds once a month. Then, I return home, fix it all up, and peddle my wares on Craigslist or eBay.

Or, ( and this scenario is more likely as I am too lazy) I could continue to fill my house with my new-found treasures and complain that I have too many chotchkies.

Please excuse my terrible cutting and pasting of pictures. Cannot get the darn thing down.

Monday, December 8, 2008

December 8th

December 8th. I vividly remember a December 8th from my youth. Every December 8th, I go back to that day.

A young teenager, I experienced a train of thought that although seemingly inconsequential and unimportant, formed one of the most vivid memories of my life.

I walked home from the bus stop on December 8th. I was 13 or 14. My long wool coat was flapping about my ankles in the brisk wind. I was on Salem Road in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. A boy named Matt liked me, and being half-sane from boy craziness, that gave me a particular spring in my step. Later that day, I had a dental appointment and was looking forward to driving through the picturesque town where the office was located. There were sure to be beautiful lights and decorations dotting the quaint streets. My coat was purple, the leaves were blowing around my feet, and it was 17 days till Christmas.

I'll never recall an iota from my Senior Prom, or conjure up a visual of my grandmother's face, but I'll remember with precise detail where I was on a dreary December day 20 years ago. Perhaps the simple beauty of winter, a girl's crush returned , and the joy of Christmas were enough to meld and mold a date and a memory in my mind.

And so, every December 8th, I remember that day so long ago, and look at where I am now. At 9:15 a.m today, I became aware of the date. With Scot being out of town, I had gotten both kids dressed, and taken Maggie to school in the bike trailer. At 8:30 a.m. two of my daycare charges rolled through the door. I realized two hand fulls too late that the 18-month- old had been eating play dough. His brother had been reprimanded earlier for pulling the garland off the tree. Nora was crying from a lack of sleep and Daddyitis. And as I went to take a sip of my coffee, I found a fuchsia star ornament bobbing at the top.


Darn, those kids. They really do say the craziest stuff. Three of these gems were uttered today.

"What did you get me for Christmas? I won't tell myself."
- Nora, getting my attention today, while I was online shopping.

"Mommy, you're always mean to me. The only time you are nice to me is when I am sick."
- Maggie, after I implored her to put on her shoes.

"Is Spongebob Jewish?"
- Maggie, during a discussion on Hanukkah and the Jewish faith.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Negative Panic

I had just straightened out my body. It was 5 a.m. and my leg had been folded under my body like swan origami. How did I possibly achieve that crazy, flexible position at night when during the day I can't touch my toes? I thought to myself. Just drifting off to sleep again, I heard the noise.

"Fluuuu fluuuu fluuuu fluuu." "Ruffffffff, rufffff" "fluuuuuuwwwww fluuwwwww." "Arrrr Arrr!!! Fluu fluuu fluuwwwwwww."


But what I thought I heard along with the dogs barking were gunshots, falling furniture, a terrorist attack. I hadn't heard the alarm go off, so I nixed the idea of an armed gunman. Unless Scot had had it with me stealing the covers? And then I heard a shrill voice screaming.

"Scot, what is it?"
"What's going on?"
"Is it an earthquake?"
"Why are the dogs barking?"
"Scot, make it stop!"

The frantic, insane woman screaming was me, my voice muffled by the pillow. Out of fear, I had thrown myself under the blankets and covered my head with the pillow. I glanced out long enough to see that Scot had turned on the lights. He was perched on our bed, removing a Mylar balloon from the ceiling fan. Every "fluuuu fluuu" was the balloon whipping between the blades. The accompanying barking had been the dogs valiant attempt at protecting their family from a dangerous Spongebob balloon.

I emerged from the covers, shaking and crying.
I had been petrified. And I had done nothing. I had hid, expecting my man to take care of me.

Scot and I spent the next twenty minutes looking for the dogs. Bernice had skirted out the doggy door and was standing outside, shivering in fear. Patrick had run into Nora's room and was camped out under her bed. We gathered the dogs, and headed back to our bedroom. By the door I saw a wet spot, and two Tootsie Roll piles.

Patrick had experienced his own negative panic. He literally lost control of his functions as he fled the insanity of the bedroom. It looks as if Patrick and I should not go into law enforcement together. Nothing like a cop who hides from the perp and a K9 who craps at the crime scene.

Paging Weight Watchers

Back in March, I went to Weight Watchers. I loaded up on all the reading materials and returned for a mere 2 weigh-ins. The seeds of weight Watchers wisdom were sown, and it went something like this: don't eat like a pig. Essentially, just when stuff starts tasting really good, call it quits. I started eating correct portions, and by July I had lost 10 pounds.

Here we are in December, and I'm still down by 8 pounds. I have moments of dementia when I suddenly recall that 3 beers do not constitute a dinner, but for the most part I measure/weigh everything I eat. Scot cannot believe this. "Can't you just step back from the plate when you've had enough?" he asks. (Scot weighs 145 pounds and has never been chubby.) No. I cannot. Food is love. Food is happiness. Give me more, give me more.

Last night, I committed a huge indiscretion. We went out for dinner with family and I had a Chicken Caesar Salad, 3 beers, 15 steak fries, and 5 hot wings. Stuffed, sad and sick, I left the restaurant and considered vomiting in a bush. But I would never do that. I had to live with the crappy choices I made.

Today, I ran. I'm training for the 1/2 marathon, so I ran 7 miles. I had a salad with chicken for lunch. And nixed plans to go out for fattening date night. Darn it, I will try to fly straight for a while.

My name is Toni, and I'm a Foodaholic.