Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Inspiration in the Mail

Even with the best of intentions, sometimes a girl falls off the wagon. I have extended time off from work and I just finished school. I had all these dreams about what I would get accomplished while I had some “down time.” I was going to join a gym for weight training (new Planet Fitness opening in town). I was going to start riding the exercise bike DAILY. I was going to go through and actually clean this house that hasn’t really been cleaned in years.

I know what you are all thinking, the toilets haven’t been scrubbed, the furniture hasn’t been dusted. That’s not the case at all. We aren’t THAT bad. We have a cleaning service every other week that does basic stuff. But they don’t do stuff like clean my closet of clothes too small for my fat ass. Or toss toys from the girl’s bedrooms. They are filled to the brim with CRAP that needs to be gotten rid of.

I also have “problem areas” in my house that were slightly cluttered before I started school. Now those areas look like total ass, no telling what kind of treasures are buried under piles of things no one felt like putting away. With the exception of the office that was renovated last year and has yet to be fully set back up, most of these clutter spots are in private areas of our house. The top of the washer and dryer are piled with items that aren’t supposed to go in the dryer. It’s pretty spectacular that there are doors that can be closed to hide the disaster. A cedar chest in my bedroom has assorted clothing and household items piled on top of it. No one has really gone through either of the girls clothing and purged items that don’t fit or are worn out.

So I took a month off with all these lofty plans. The first week was dedicated to getting ready for Christmas and submitting my final. This week started off with Christmas recovery as the holiday hangover seemed to take extra long to leave. Then we had a massive snowstorm that just begged people to stay home and sort through their crap. I was too busy playing with my new iPad from Santa and refereeing Sugar and Spice.

I left the house yesterday for the first time since last Thursday (I didn’t go all that time without showering though!). The girls and I went to a movie with our good friends. It’s great when you find a couple whom both of you like. Then when they have kids that are practically mirror images of your own, it’s like a super-duper bonus. We had a blast of a good time, then I came home, dropped the girls off with EN and headed to the library. I was twitching like a junkie in need of a fix.

Oh oh OH… see what’s happened to this post? The point was supposed to be all the things I was going to do and how I was going to get them all done, now I’m rambling on about what it is I’m really doing. Do you see why I never get anything done?

Today EN carried up the mail and what was in the pile but a little advertisement of inspiration. A donation van will be on our street on January 7th and they are willing to take almost everything. That little card gave me the swift kick I needed. The girls and I started today by taking down the Christmas tree and going through the trunk of movies and DVDs. We have a pretty significant pile to get rid of. Santa brought Sugar a new bedding set, so her old set will be washed and added to the donation pile. The girls return to school on Monday and I will have days during which I can go through their rooms. This charity is even willing to take stuffed animals! BONUS! I’m hoping to have boxes full of stuff for them to pick up. Included in that pile will be all the clothes I can’t wear any more. If When I am skinny again, I’m celebrating with a whole new wardrobe.

This is my story and I’m sticking to it. If you don’t hear from me, assume I’ve suffocated under a pile of junk and call the authorities.

xoxo
Ice Princess 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Our Traditions

Our Christmas traditions have evolved since we had kids. The holidays used to be a mad rushing from place to place to ensure that we saw everyone on both sides of the family. Now we take a more laid-back approach that focuses on the girls and making sure they enjoy the holidays to the best of our ability.

On Christmas Eve, we invite everyone over for a get together. Everyone brings hors d’oeuvres to share and we all hang out and enjoy each others company. Years ago, it was just my family and we did this at my mother’s house. Once there were grandchildren involved it made sense to move this to our house because we have more space. We also started to invite EN’s family as well. This year they chose not to attend, a story for another day.

Before the night is over, we exchange our gifts and the family room is lost in a sea of wrapping paper. My parents and aunt just give all the grown ups cash now, so we mostly watch the kids tear into their stuff. There are always screams of delight. This year the hot gifts were Nerf guns that my mother bought for my sister’s boys. Sugar and Spice were jealous that they didn’t get any and begged their cousins to share their guns. Sugar got a fabulous pair of silver sequin UGG-style boots from her favorite store and Spice got a cute pink pair. You better believe they put them on right away. The boots nicely accessorized their pretty Christmas dresses. 

The party is over by 10:00 pm and the girls set out snacks for Santa and his reindeer and are put in bed. By then, they are so tired from the excitement that they generally fall asleep quickly. Either that or they’ve learned how to fake it really well.

In years past, EN and I have stayed up until all hours, sorting, wrapping and piling Santa’s gifts around the tree. Of course Christmas morning always comes way too early and the girls are DYING to go downstairs to see what Santa brought, usually before the sun rises. This year, Spice had already put her new pink boots on before coming into our room.

The mad dash downstairs and opening frenzy doesn’t take nearly as long as it did to prepare… even when they pause to actually look at every item they open. Spice had asked Santa for “the nicest coyote ever”, wearing a pink tutu. Santa worked double-time to create this item at Build-a-Bear. He may have fibbed a little, as the store didn’t have coyotes, but did have a gray wolf. Spice did not notice the difference and was thrilled when she saw it, as indicated by the fist pumps and screams of “WOO HOOO!” Sugar had a bunch of items on her list including a comforter for her bed and some items she HAD TO HAVE from Justice. Santa seemed to come through for both of them.

We have coffee cake for breakfast and the rest of the day is relaxed. We hang around the house and nibble on leftovers from the night before. Typically, no one gets dressed on Christmas Day, we lounge around in our pajamas all day. This year the girls got a few gifts that they couldn’t wait to wear and put together some pretty ridiculous outfits. EN and I stuck with tradition and were slobs all day.

After rushing around to prepare for the holidays, Christmas Day’s mellowness is needed and treasured. The girls even forgot to fight for most of the day.

I hope that each of you had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed time spent with those you hold dear. I hope the laughs were plentiful and the drama was kept down to a dull roar. We’ll get our dose of drama later this week when we see EN’s mother and sister. I just can’t wait! 

xoxo
Ice Princess

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Terrible Threes

Bad things happen in threes, right? If that’s true, my run of bad luck should be over. It all started on Thanksgiving when I logged into my email account on Comcast. They were loaded with shopping specials for Black Friday and UGGs were featured. Since my niece asked me for a pair, I checked out the deals.

I was pleasantly surprised to see some advertised for $109.99. Since the links were from my ISP, I didn’t even think to question the authenticity of the stores. I made the purchase and have now been waiting for weeks for the boots to show up. I started to panic earlier this week and sent the store a couple of emails. Only then did I decide to research the site and found nothing but bad reviews. The merchandise being sent out to some was not authentic. Others never received their boots, nor did they get a refund. My emails went unanswered and they haven’t credited back my account yet either.

I did the next best thing and contacted my credit union. They were extremely helpful and canceled my debit card and are issuing a new one immediately. They will credit my account and fight with the merchant for their money. Consumer protection rocks.

Yesterday I woke up feeling really dehydrated. I figured it was the pepperoni pizza from the night before and slammed a huge glass of water. I could feel the water hit my stomach and my belly instantly rebelled. Ok, really, not today. I have a house to clean, a few more gifts to wrap and company coming this evening for the Christmas Eve Extravaganza. EN went out to the grocery store, I wrapped all the gifts, the girls placed them under the tree, then I cleaned about half the house. I was running to the bathroom every 30 seconds it seemed. I texted EN and told him I did the best I could but I had to lie down. I wrote him a list and went to bed. I waited awake until he came home, then I crashed… for hours. I woke up still feeling awful, but went ahead and did the cooking for the party while he continued on with his list. Between the two of us, everything was done by the time company arrived.

If you are asking why we didn’t cancel the get together, you’ve obviously never met my mom or aunt (nor have you read earlier posts, but that’s beside the point). You have to be dead to cancel, and if you happen to die before you are supposed to entertain them, they will be forever bitter.

The get together went well. I tried to keep my germs to myself, but there are some people that get up in your business no matter what. Doesn’t help that the biddy brigade got into EN’s Christmas beer… If anyone experiences the same symptoms in the next twelve months, it will be because they were near me on Christmas Eve.

Everyone finally left and I resumed my stalking of the gradebook, a little pissed that my final grade still hadn’t shown up. The grade from the final had gone from “pending” to a 0. What little solid food that was left in my belly turned into water. The final had been turned in for days, nearly twelve hours before it was due. What the hell happened?

At this point, I decide to check my school email. I rarely check it because I never get email there. It was only then that I discovered my professor had attempted to reach me Thursday around 8:30 pm to let me know that she could “see” my final, but could not access it. She gave me until 10:00 pm that night to resend it. Now I was 24 hours late. I immediately plugged in the laptop, sent the professor a thousand emails and sent her the files. Twice.

I stumbled around getting everything together for Santa’s appearance but now was feeling awful physically and emotionally. I had a solid A in that class, but the final was worth so much, my grade would go down to a C. I checked email 47 times before going to bed, but finally headed off to a night of very little sleep.

I was up at 6 am, checked my email again… nothing. The little chicks were up early and anxious to see what Santa brought them… Santa did right by them again this year. A happy Christmas post will be forthcoming.

I was feverishly stalking both the gradebook and my email and got something from the professor around 8:30. She told me to stop panicking and she’ll correct the assignment and change the grade. Thank. God.

Cross your fingers that my bad run is near over. My heart can’t take any more. 

xoxo
Ice Princess

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Beating the Clock Feels Good!

To all of you that doubted my methods, I say “HA!!!” It has been a very productive few days and we are slightly ahead of schedule at this point. EN and I have been married long enough to tag team our way through busy times. 

I finished my final yesterday afternoon and turned it in before Sugar came home on the school bus. I am now anxiously stalking the gradebook, waiting to see how I did. I’ll be on there every ten minutes until the grade posts.

This morning, EN and I drove the girls to their respective schools and delivered gifts to their teachers-Barnes and Noble gift cards, of course. Is there a teacher on this earth that doesn’t love a good book? And if the teachers don’t feel right accepting gifts, they can use them towards classroom supplies. Even though a bit of extra running around was required, Sugar was also armed with the fruit tray for her class party. Perhaps next year I’ll have the time to cut the fruit myself and make a homemade dip. Or not.

We stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts to map out our strategy, have a quick breakfast and we were off. We bought all the gift cards we needed, then Toys R Us, Barnes and Noble and Target. We were home by noon to have lunch and a beer, which we felt we deserved.

We piled the girls gifts up and noticed that yes, it seemed Sugar got a lot more than Spice. EN jumped back into the car while I stayed home and wrapped. My idea to nap was vetoed (sometimes he really is no fun at all). More than half their gifts are wrapped in appropriate Santa paper: Sugar’s in Hannah Montana, Spice’s in Mickey… no gift tags required, and that paper is ONLY used by Santa. They are now safely stored in the basement… And I sit here and write and wait for Sugar to come home on the bus. A very productive day indeed.

I think we will finish wrapping tonight, so for the first time in years, we will not be up until all hours on Christmas Eve wrapping Santa gifts. I may even bribe EN to run to the grocery store tonight while I wrap, that way no one has to go out tomorrow. Surely he’d rather tap dance through the aisles of the market than wrap?

xoxo
Ice Princess 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Still Not Feeling the Fire!

My brain works funny and I’m the first to admit it. Everything goes into neat little categories, kind of like all the things I have going on are written on graph paper. Any To Do’s even have a little check box afterwards that I mentally check off when I accomplish something. I rarely write a list, because it’s all upstairs in my crazy head.

I learn in a similar fashion. I tried to explain this to EN once and he looked at me like I was crazy. I’ve recently been through over two years of school., trying to earn my BS in Business. I’ve taken courses that were “word based” like Strategic Management, English, World Literature, Organizational Leadership, etc. I find writing classes to be fairly easy, I can baffle almost anyone with my bullshit. Then there are the math classes: Managerial and Financial Accounting, Finite Math, Statistics and Finance. These classes scared the hell out of me and for many of them, I was lost for the first several weeks. The graph paper in my head was all crumpled, but then suddenly I could almost hear a *click* and everything smoothed out and fell into place. The lowest grade I got in any of those classes was an A-. So yeah, I guess I figured them out.

Things that I am doing currently are listed in chronological order and I can’t ever skip ahead. Recently, I’ve had a shipment to soldiers that I coordinated, a trip to the Midwest, a party, a final, and Christmas is fast approaching. Many of these items are obviously already ticked off. I’m down to finishing the final, Christmas shopping and planning my Christmas Eve get together.

And to those friendly souls that chirp “Are you ready for Christmas?” I answer “No, why should I be? It’s not next on my list.” Do not look at me with your pitying, holier than thou attitude. I can see you thinking, “That’s one disorganized chick.” Not true at all. I just haven’t gotten to it yet, but I will. I will feel the fire and it will all come together and it will be good and everyone will be happy.

Aside from the other To Do’s in my way, I have other reasons for not starting Christmas shopping in June with the rest of you. If I start then, I buy too much. Sugar and Spice end up with a room full of unnecessary stuff. I started well in advance the year I had Sugar and she ended up with piles of gifts, all neatly wrapped in Classic Pooh paper to match her nursery. Yes really. That’s the kind of obsessive-compulsive behavior I display when I put forth the effort.

Tonight I hit the mall and started shopping. By tomorrow, the flames will start licking my feet. I will complete the final, which is due by midnight. If I have time, I will hit a store or two and get more gifts. Thursday is completely dedicated to shopping and wrapping. One day truly is enough to shop for the ~16 or so people on my list. On Friday, EN can go to the grocery store while I clean this house that may or may not still have a few beer dribbles on the floor from Saturday. Then, as the witching hour approaches, and my German mother and her sister are on their way here with the rest of the family, there may be a tantrum or two.

But in the end, we will have lots of snacks to nibble on, wrapped gifts to tear into and a clean house as the backdrop. It will be done and to everyone that plans in advance: I only dedicate a few days to this madness while you people are running around for weeks, if not months. HA!

This post was not written to offend any of my organized friends that plan in advance. Maybe by next year I can retrain my brain to shop sensibly in advance and the day before Christmas Eve, we’ll all have time to meet up for margaritas and manicures.

xoxo
Ice Princess 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Spice Girl is Five

At 12:09 pm, five years ago, our Spice came screaming into this world. She was a month early, so we were not really prepared for her arrival and definitely weren’t expecting her before Christmas.

I had a prenatal appointment at 7:20 that morning and planned on going directly to work afterwards. I remember having on a super-cute outfit (as cute as maternity clothes can get), high heels, hair and face done. I specifically remember feeling good that morning, because I never feel good when I’m pregnant. They checked my weight, then took my blood pressure. The nurse told me to lie down and went running from the room. The doctor came in, double checked my blood pressure, sat down on his little wheelie stool and put his head in his hands. Apparently my blood pressure what a smidge high, and they thought it would be best to send me right to the hospital for further tests and monitoring.

Since I drove myself to the doctor’s office, I thought nothing of driving to the hospital. I even stopped for my coffee (I took the one cup/day rule seriously). I’m sure the nurses were rolling their eyes as I walked past in my lipstick and high heels. They must have decided they liked me though, because they offered me breakfast. That sweet nurse threw a bagel in the toaster for me.

During all this I’m calling EN on the cell phone. He has dropped Sugar off at preschool and is at Target doing some Christmas shopping. I tell him I’m at the hospital for testing and will go to work afterwards. He keeps on with the shopping.

Amazingly, the same doctor that delivered Sugar was on duty and came in to look at the test results. In his professional opinion, I should have this baby today. Bed rest for high blood pressure had no impact when I was pregnant with Sugar, I have a child at home, the holidays are coming, let’s just have the c-section and get home for Christmas. He’s saying this as that sweet nurse is walking into the room with my bagel, which she snatches back when she hears that I am having a c-section within hours. Bitch. I could SMELL that bagel!!

I called EN with this change of plans and told him to buy me white socks, no way was I having a baby while wearing black trouser socks. EN finally shows up hours later, no socks, no camera. Figures. At least that bitch of a nurse that tossed my bagel found some socks for me.

Too soon I was being wheeled to the operating room and I decide that I really don’t want to have this baby today. Apparently there is no mind changing allowed. At 12:09, she entered this world with attitude. EN and I both looked at her and went, “Uh oh.” I’m pretty sure she didn’t want to be born that day and was ticked off when they yanked her out. She still gets the same expression on her face when she’s mad. Amazingly, she weighed the same as her sister when she was born.

We made all the necessary phone calls to family and friends to alert them that our bundle of pissed-offness had arrived. Sugar was delighted that her baby sister arrived in time for Christmas. The rest of the hospital stay was fairly uneventful and we were released to go home on the 23rd. We had no idea at the time that we’d be back at the hospital the next day because she lost too much weight after birth. She would end up spending her first Christmas in the hospital after all.

Spice was an unexpected baby, my sixth pregnancy. We had miscarriages and tubal pregnancies between the two girls, so we are lucky to have had Spice. She’s brought so much to our lives. She makes us laugh every day with her antics. She hugs with her entire body and her attitude is legendary. I like to joke that EN and Sophie are “kindered spirits” and he sasses back that Spice and I are “pissed off spirits.”

Today she is a happy girl. She’s off to preschool, rocking a serious tutu and armed with cupcakes. She’s received a pile of gifts, all is right in her world. She is loved and she is princess for the day. Who am I kidding? She’s going to stretch out her special day to last the entire week.

Happy Birthday Spice!

xoxo
Ice Princess

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Keg Cups!!

Every once in a while, you just have to throw caution to the wind and have a whoop-it-up party just for the hell of it. Times have been stressful, this week should be the last of it, so it was nice to have a houseful of friends over to play. Everyone in attendance was 35+, we are a little old to partake in a “kegger,” but that’s exactly what we did last night.

I kept the party preparations fairly simple: mostly store-bought food, paper plates, a keg of beer and my beloved keg cups. I jokingly told one of my friends that I got carded when buying the cups and they told me I was too old. The plastic flatware was a huge hit. The only thing left at BJ's was a set of SILVER flatware. The crowd oohed and aahed over how nice they were. Are you getting a hint yet as to how classy we all are?! 

I also changed up the guest list, something that stresses me endlessly as I don’t like to mix my people. I have work friends, family and friend friends. I decided to mix them all up last night, and everyone seemed to get along fairly well. Everyone had their game on and played nicely with others.

However, in every crowd, there always has to be a sourpuss, someone who intentionally says or does things that are just downright shitty. The Belle of the Ball award goes out to a friend that we’ve had for 15 years or so. She’s generally bitchy, but occasionally fun. Her husband is a doll, so we deal with her to see him. She claimed to be sick and I wanted to tell her that it really would have been just fine if her husband came alone, but I was wearing my polite hostess face, so I murmured sympathetically in her general direction.

She proceeded to horrify my sister and a friend by complaining about the food and all sorts of other stuff. She claimed the cherry tomatoes were rancid, the beef in the crock pot was greasy, etc, etc. All this from a woman who thinks popping frozen chicken nuggets in the microwave is gourmet cooking. We were happy to send her off and she had one final tantrum as she walked out the door. Yikes. Her poor husband had a helluva long ride home.

The second runner up was a gal that I met at my sister’s. She’s nice enough, but has the class of an ox. I walked into our office and found her using our computer. I assumed that she had asked EN and he said ok… and he assumed that she had asked me. Is that normal behavior? I’ve never seen anyone do that before. She also asked for a toothpick to get some of that greasy (HA!) beef out of her teeth and left it on the counter in the bathroom. We debated about who was going to pick it up and throw it away. I finally sucked it up and did it. *GAG* It should be obvious to all that neither of those chicks are aware of this blog and didn’t read my Miss Manners post about proper party etiquette. Yes, some decorum is expected, even at a kegger.

I do believe everyone had a good time. We laughed uproariously for most of the night. Of course, beer helps that happen, but we know some funny people. My friend from school snorted about 37 times, my work friend laughed so hard she wiped tears from her eyes several times. I think the crowd mix worked, despite the sourpuss saying, “quite the mix of people, some way up here, some way down there.” Yes, you mean bitch, I just demoted you to the bottom of the heap.

Several guests stayed over and left this morning. I don’t think any one of us was feeling that great but we did take a moment of silence to remember the good time had by all. And my darling brother-in-law (he’s in on the blog secret, I better say something nice about that guy!!) even got up early and cleaned up the party mess for me. Thanks Tiny Mike. ;o)

And here I sit in the afternoon, surrounded by keg cups and yummy leftovers (a few rancid tomatoes left, but that greasy beef was a HUGE hit!). I wonder what time is too early to go to bed tonight. 

xoxo
Ice Princess

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I See Rude People!

I’m not Ms. Manners, but there are some behaviors that just bug the heck out of me. We’re all in this world together, it should go without saying that we should make it a pleasant place for us all to be. I don’t know if it’s just the busyness of the holiday season, but I’ve recently come across way too many rude people. Here are a few rules that we should all follow:

If someone says “RSVP,” let the hostess know your intentions. RSVP means ‘r├ępondez s'il vous plait.” That’s French for “respond please.” Seems simple enough to me. If someone invites you to their party, tell them if you are coming. It doesn’t take more than three seconds to call, send an email or a quick text. Capisce? It’s an easy rule. Don’t leave everyone wondering, let us plan for your presence.

Next, if you tell someone you are going to do something, do it… or let them know you cannot. I dealt with several instances of this recently. The first had to do with the shipment I put together for Afghanistan. I had four or five people that responded to me, saying they were interested in contributing, but then when it came down to the last days, they couldn’t be bothered to respond to my emails. It’s a busy time of year and we all have things that are more important, so if you need to back out it’s ok. Really, it is. Let someone know that you are no longer able to take part in such an activity. Again, it takes only a few seconds and it alleviates the coordinator (me, in this case) from wondering and worrying that she will have to run around at the last minute to collect donations from you so you can participate.

The second instance had to do with my friend’s party in the Midwest. We are still mutually friends with another gal from elementary school, so I talked to Shannon’s mom about inviting her. Colleen was excited about the idea, so I sent the information to our friend. She responded immediately and said she’d be there. As the party approached, I sent her a reminder and never heard anything back until I got a lame email three days after the party. Seriously? That’s being a passive aggressive bitch, next time don’t leave us hanging. We didn’t miss you anyway and it’s left us with a sour taste in our mouths. You will not be invited to the next party.

If someone invites you to attend a function, show up and show up on time. My mother-in-law is the queen of breaking this rule. I have a big Christmas Eve get together with my family and I started including EN’s family so we could all be together. His mother usually shows up an hour late at minimum. One year, she didn’t bother to show up at all and I was the woman watching her husband and children staring out the window wondering where that broad was. Sugar was really young at the time and kept crying about Grandma not being there. Thanks for adding drama to a night that should have been dramaless. Her excuse? She’s southern and southern people are very laid back about party times and attendance. We should all just wait with breathless anticipation to see if the Queen can be bothered to honor us with her presence. It’s rude and I don’t like dealing with disappointed people.

If you attend a function, rest assured that the hostess has provided food and drink to meet the tastes and needs of her guests. If it’s a less formal party, the hostess has probably let everyone know what will be served and invited guests to bring their own party fare if their tastes are different. Do not walk into the house and bitch that you don’t like what is being served. It’s FREE, eat it or wear it.

If you are a guest in someone’s home, you should, without a doubt, treat other guests with respect. Do not insult them, do not tell them to remove their hats because they are indoors. This is my house and I make the rules. If you don’t like them, you can leave.

Ahhh, thank you. That’s off my chest and I feel better. Now I can get working on party preparations for this evening… Rude people need not attend.

xoxo
Ice Princess

Friday, December 17, 2010

Twilight Zone

I should be doing something productive right now, but I have a feeling a friend or two will start trashing me if I don’t get something new up here. You know who you are… ;o)

This week was great. Really great. The best part: I worked today for the last time for an entire month. I have unused sabbatical time and holidays to lump together and really take some down time. And I don’t even have to give birth to some dreadful baby to get that kind of time off. Bonus! Even better, I FINISH SCHOOL next week. I mean finish-finish, like I will be the proud owner of a BS in Business Studies after next week. This is what I’ve worked so hard for, right?

All week at work, I have felt like I was in the “Twilight Zone.” My three pals were acting like everything was back to normal for the most part. We laughed, we joked and we tormented the shit out of each other. There are days when it is obvious there are no HR people in our office. We are evil, vicious and we think we are hysterical. It felt so good to have that back that I wanted to cry.

What’s strangest of all, is that I went into work on Tuesday morning and had a card waiting on my desk from the guy that was the meanest to me all year long. Inside the card was a very nice-sized gift card. WTF? A gift card the day after I ranted at EN and said those sons of bitches were gettin’ nuttin for Christmas?

Another pal and I even made the time yesterday to take our annual trip to a local store that we call The Tree. Skippy has always been pretty nice, even through the worst times this year. He is a gem to shop with, almost like shopping with your best girlfriend. We were the only two shoppers at The Tree that weren’t old enough to collect Social Security. We yuk it up through the aisles and have a good time for ourselves. Some older woman tried to push him out of her way and he said, “Hey! She’s just showing me her bargains.” The woman turned around and said, “Is that all she’s showing you?” Gasp!

We had lunch together several times and there were many laughs, delightful. Today was much more of the same and I received many more Christmas gifts-enough to pay half for the iPad I really want. I’m practically speechless. My boss was a gem today and kept hugging me. There was a warm, happy feeling in the office that hasn’t been there for so long. I left today happy to have a month off, but sad because there’s a part of me that will miss my dudes.

The only downer was that my nemesis did feel the need to give me some grief about taking so much time off, who was going to fill my shoes, blah blah blah. It’s weird how he goes from one extreme to another.

I’m interested to see what mood will greet me when I return to the office. In the meantime, I have shopping to do, a final to write, homework, party planning… The first week off will be harder than going to work every day.

xoxo
Ice Princess 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Memory Lane

It’s always great to go back to a place where you spent a lot of time as a child. Being an Air Force brat, I don’t often have the chance to do that since I moved to this area at 15. All my memories of this place are teenage-hood and beyond. I had the opportunity this past weekend to spend some time with a very dear friend and her family in the town that I lived in for about five years.

Since my friend’s surprise birthday party was ruined by her husband (do ALL men have big mouths?!), I worked with her mother and flew in to surprise her. I spent much of last week sending Shannon whiny emails about how sad I was to miss her party. I flew out on Friday and her mom picked me up from the airport. I’m still so tempted to call her Mrs. C when I see her. It’s work to remember to call her by her first name. We ran a few party errands, then she drove me by my old house. It doesn’t look warm and inviting like it used to… it looks old and unloved, so that was disappointing. But going back to Shannon’s parents house is always fun for me. I look around at all the changes they’ve made, the orange countertops are gone, the multi-colored shag carpet is gone, the little gold tree with dangly leaves is gone from the top of the piano. The house looks fabulous, up-to-date, but it still felt like the same place I remember from decades ago. I complemented her profusely on her beautiful home, but couldn’t stop myself from asking where that little gold tree had gone. Colleen put her hands on her hips, cocked her eyebrow and said, “I think I sold that thing at a yard sale!” Of course I have no use for a gold tree with dangly leaves, but if I ever saw one, I would buy it and put it in my house just because it’s a great childhood memory. I can remember looking at that tree thinking, “They’re rich!! They have a tree made of GOLD!!!”  

The party was in a private room of a local bar. The room looked fantastic and there wasn’t much to do but wait. I had a blast with Shannon’s parents and the waitstaff, talking about my connection to the party, etc. We talked about how Shannon’s parents used to both smoke unfiltered Lucky Strikes, so I told them, “You can rest assured we never stole your cigarettes.” Her dad looked at me real close and said, “How about the liquor cabinet?” Oh shit, um… did your Peach Schnapps ever taste watered down!?

Shannon arrived at the party and seemed truly stunned to see me. I am glad she didn’t cry, I would have been in trouble all night for ruining her make-up. I knew many of the other guests, so I had a great night catching up with people that I really enjoy. The party turned into a “Dueling Piano” show and everyone had a blast. The crowd requests songs and everyone sings along. Much fun to be had, much alcohol consumed (ouch!).

I got to spend the rest of the weekend getting to know Shannon’s kids. I hadn’t seen her son since he was seven. He’s now 14 and about 6’2, what a nice guy he’s grown up to be. She also has two daughters, one of whom is my goddaughter. I love her girls madly and it was great to see that ALL sisters fight the same way Sugar and Spice do. I hope to see those little girls again soon, before they’re too cool to hang with their mother’s old friend.

We spent a little time shopping. We got to eat Godfather’s Pizza, which was just as good as I remember it and we even had a six-pack of Coke in glass bottles. It was all the things I remember about hanging with my old pal. Except we didn’t set up elaborate Barbie houses, or read teen romance novels until 3 am… It was a wonderful weekend and I’m so glad I worked double time last week to be able to take time off from work and school to have this weekend with Shannon. I only lived near her for five years and I moved away well over 20 years ago. It’s amazing that we’ve kept in touch all these years and I still consider her one of the greatest people I know.

xoxo
Ice Princess 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Spice's Current FASScination

This summer EN was driving down the road with the girls in the car and they were singing along to one of their favorite Kid Rock songs, “Lowlife.” It was the time of year when many were out working in their yards and they happened by an older gentleman bent over with droopy drawers. EN made the mistake of singing out “I’m a buttcrack” rather than lowlife, and Spice’s love for the word “buttcrack” was born. It has been well over six months now and we still hear the word on a daily basis.

Her use of the word is imaginative and should be applauded in some instances. When we drive by the neighbors chickens, she flaps her wings and shouts out, “Brock brock BUTTCRACK.” She and Sugar have had endless debates as to whether animals have buttcracks. The conclusion on dogs is this: those with short hair definitely do not have buttcracks, but the fluffier dogs may be hiding buttcracks under their fur.

Buttcrack can be used in a variety of ways. She has asked for chicken buttcracks for breakfast and uses the word in place of others when she’s singing along to other songs. For example, she recently sang, “On the first day of Buttcrack my buttcrack gave to me…” I’m impressed that she always fills in a two syllable word with this new favorite. Not bad for a four year old.

In keeping with the buttcrack theme, this past weekend I introduced the girls to “Baby got Back” from the 1980’s. Their favorite line, of course, is “I like big butts and I cannot lie.” A proud mothering moment for me.

We know this is inappropriate behavior and language, but in the privacy of our own home, must we be proper all the time? The director of Spice’s preschool is aware of her love for the word and will occasionally taunt her with a “brock brock…” waiting for Spice to shout out “BUTTCRACK!!” As of today, my little cherub has not yet taken the bait and just looks at the director like she’s crazy.

After another night of homework hell with Sugar last night, she did something totally out of character for her. She is the proper, good girl, almost all the time. I was sitting on my bed with Spice, reading a story when Sugar came into the room, dropped her pants, bent over and shouted “BUTTCRACK!” We sat in stunned silence for a millisecond, then we shouted with laughter. It was totally unexpected, out of character, and just plain funny. We laughed together for a long time.

This morning as I was getting ready for work, Spice came into our bedroom, turned on the light and said, “Daddy, I have something to show you.” As he often pretends to look at whatever it is being shown, she persisted and waited until he had both eyes open and was looking at her. She dropped her pants, bent over and hollered “BUTTCRACK” loud enough for the universe to hear her.

EN rolled over, pulled the covers over his head and said, “Please don’t do that at school.”

xoxo
Ice Princess 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Terrible Tuesday

This post is a whiny one. I have had a shitty day. There may be an F Bomb, or three, in this post and I have no desire to clean up the language today. So if you have a delicate constitution, move along. I’m not in the mood to wipe any more ass.

I think I have said this before, I am not a morning person. I need my space. I need to shower and dress and have a minute or two to myself. I realize that it has been a whopping ten hours or so since anyone has had their head buried in my ass, but really people, give me space. There’s nothing you need in this bathroom, there are two others in this house. It annoys me endlessly when any one of the people that live here stand with their ear pressed to the door, and start knocking incessantly the moment they hear the shower turn off and the shower curtain open. There is another parent lying not ten feet from the bathroom door, he can take care of your needs until I am ready to face you, my adoring fans. The knocking began immediately and didn’t stop until I opened the door. This just starts the day on a bad note.

On the ride into work I pass two gas stations within a mile of my house. The first one looked busy, so I traveled on to the second one. Wouldn’t you know it, that stupid bitch I have to follow every single day pulls in too and she takes the pump on the other side of mine. Great. Then I discover that my pump isn’t working and all the others are full. I get back into the car and text EN to ask if there’s a convenient gas station in the town that he works in. He answered my multiple, shrieking texts two hours later. Thanks for the help buddy.

At work I decide today is the day I will put up the Christmas tree. One entire strand of lights is out, so I toss it. I don’t have the time or patience to fix shit. One of my buddies came along to string the lights, not a girls job after all. He did a fabulous job and the tree is nicely decorated. During the decorating, I receive emails from an employee in another office. I share that I’m putting up the tree and she sends a horrified, “we decorate NONDENOMONATIONALLY in this office.” Yeah? Well we do too. If you are Jewish, the fucking tree is a Hanukkah bush. If you practice Kwanzaa, it’s a Kwanzaa shrub. Shove your political correctness.

My mood is now lifted slightly, my three buddies are all in the office and all seem to be in a good mood. We laugh a little and a couple of us reminisce about the time I asked one if his wife knew he was wearing her blouse. Or the time he told me my shirt was too printy. We laugh uproariously and both admit to never wearing those articles of clothing again. Until late afternoon came around and I said something that would have been met with hysterical laughter even a few months ago. I got a curt “all right then” response. Those three words had the same impact that dropping the blade of the paper cutter onto my fingers would have had. There goes that. I stayed shut up until I left the building.

My sweet cherubs started fighting before they even got into the car. Now that Sugar no longer needs a booster seat, and Spice is legal to sit in one, they BOTH want to sit in it. Let the games begin. Thankfully, they played some good shit on our Christmas station and everyone forgot they were pissed off.

Homework was a delight tonight. If I ever meet the fucker that came up with the Everyday Math concept, I will rip his face off. That shit makes no sense and what makes even less sense is that they stop using it in middle school. So Sugar and I scream, yell and cry, but we get her math assignment done. During the process, I have ruined the child and her Everyday Math skills. I showed her how to multiply MY way, the way that makes sense. I used the same methods I use in college that have earned me an A in both Statistics and Finance. What the hell was I supposed to do? She “forgot” how to multiply and the lattice method of multiplication is like trying to read from right to left, it just isn’t right. Her teacher can have at it tomorrow and they can work together on relearning the dumb way of doing things.

Tomorrow can only get better. Right?

xoxo
Ice Princess

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Very Busy Weekend!

All of my Facebook friends started changing their profile pictures to reflect a favorite cartoon character from their childhood. I held out until this morning when I finally settled on Wonder Woman. After this insanely crazy weekend, I really feel like I channeled Wonder Woman to get it all done.

The shipment to Afghanistan is ready to go. I’m blogging tonight because I am trying to stay awake until EN gets home so we can add the letter and packing list to each of the twelve boxes, then tape and address them all. We were great planners and boxed all like items together as only two obsessive-compulsive people could… but we are low on ink in the home printer, so EN had to make copies of everything at work tonight. If he forgets everything and I have to write it all out twelve times, I may come unglued. We’ll see then how well my Wonder Woman bracelets work!

The weekend started off with a trip to Walmart to buy a few items that needed to be included in the shipment. I had enough money from my company’s donation (I hope-we’ll see how much shipping all this will cost tomorrow morning!) to buy a stack of iTunes cards for our soldier to hand out to her nearest and dearest. Then we came home, had dinner, baked one batch of cookies, a bit of homework.

Saturday was another rushed day. Another batch of cookies. A week’s worth of laundry. More homework. Coordinating with various friends as to drop off times and locations. Starting the packing process. Trying to keep the house from looking like something exploded in here. I realized today that I only had time to sit down and eat once yesterday, a hamburger that EN grilled for me. I really should be skinny!

Today, more craziness… Two batches of white chocolate peppermint bark, more laundry, more packing of boxes. And I took a whole hour to myself to run to Macy’s to buy a few needed items. Then of course, dinner at my parents. We even left early because I was scared to sit down for even a minute. I’m sure I would have fallen right to sleep. We didn’t get home until late, so then it was a mad rush to bathe and bed down the girls, finish an essay… and now here I sit.

Through it all, I remember that I live with some good peeps. EN goes along with my crazy plans to get donations and send everything out. The girls were in awe over the volume of the donations and behaved well, knowing that there was a lot going on. Sugar tried extra hard to get along with her little sister and keep her occupied. And Spice did her best to entertain, to keep things light. She walked around this morning in a winter hat, nightgown, too-small shoes from the summer, with a handful of dog kibble near her bum. She’d drop a few pieces every now and then and exclaim, “look at those tiny poops!”

Of all the things I accomplished this weekend, there wasn’t anything I HAD to do. All the things I did, I did because I wanted to. I don’t want to be thanked, praised or complimented. I do things like this because it makes my heart smile a little. It feels good to be Wonder Woman! 

xoxo
Ice Princess

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Taste of Home

Someone once told me that I should use my powers for good, not evil. I wasn’t aware that I had such powers, but maybe it’s true. I’ve been working for the last month on our annual (ok, so it’s only the second year) shipment to the soldiers. Our third adoptee through adoptaussoldier.org is currently stationed at a hospital in Afghanistan. Their needs are a little different than the soldier we shipped to last year. Since we are able to donate to patients and staff alike, we opened up the contributions from only home baked goods to include store bought items as well. I am completely stunned by the generosity of my friends.

I don’t do much on this, really. I send out a few emails, people tell me they want to participate and start bringing stuff that they want to ship. As you can see, my dining room table is piled with a variety of items… food and snacks, games, activity books, socks and gloves, sample sized toiletries. It is a breathtaking pile of loot. And there’s still more to come. Several people have contacted me to say they will be dropping off homemade items today and tomorrow morning… I am so lucky to know such great people.

What is especially great about these people is that they are everyday people with average incomes. None of us are wealthy, we all work for a living. Most of us don’t take an annual fabulous vacation and we live on a budget. That’s what makes these donations so great. People have worked hard for their money and made a donation out of the goodness and kindness of their hearts. And best of all, they are excited to be a part of this madness and actually thank ME for letting them contribute.

I never served in our armed forces, but I have lots of family members who have. I only imagine what it’s like for these young soldiers today to be so far away from home during the holidays. I hope that the little bit we are sending along shows them that their service is appreciated by a bunch of average people back home. And I hope they enjoy a little taste of home this Christmas.

xoxo
Ice Princess

Friday, December 3, 2010

Frivolity

Frivolity is a real word. I know this because I looked it up on dictionary.com. It means “the quality or state of being frivolous.” I am generally not a frivolous person: my clothes are old, I wear what I can squeeze my fat ass into. I use inexpensive make-up and I haven’t even bought many shoes since I had the girls. My weakness is Coach. I love my Coach bags and will buy myself one or two a year, always from the outlet and always with a coupon. I usually carry a big bag and my argument for this is that a large handbag diminishes the appearance of a fat ass.

When I buy gifts for others, I’m typically not frivolous then either. I’m practical. I buy EN clothes, tools and other ridiculous crap that he thinks he needs. I buy the same boring gifts (ok, gift cards) for everyone else on my list. It’s what they want, it’s what they need. I go a little crazy with the girls though, you just can’t buy only “practical” gifts for kids. Can you imagine them going back to school and talking about what they got for Christmas? “I got 37 pairs of underwear and 25 pairs of socks.” That borders on child abuse if you ask me. ;o)

I have, however, been frivolous for the past two Christmases. I’m not sure why I did this last year, I don’t know what prompted me… but I did it, so I felt I HAD to do it again this year.

In addition to hitting up my friends and family for donations to send to Iraq for Megan’s unit last year, the girls and I put together a littler “personal” package for Megan. We included standard, practical items… but I also bought her a hot pink Coach wristlet. I know, what’s a girl in Iraq going to do with a wristlet? And hot pink doesn’t exactly match Army camouflage, does it? I know I could have taken the money I spend on that little bag and put it towards more useful items, but I didn’t want to. I wanted her to have something pretty and girly. I wanted her to remember that she might be seeing much ugliness in the year of her deployment, but there’s still some “pretty” that a girl can appreciate. Most of all, I hoped that this would be an item that she would keep for a long time. Something that she might look at someday, when she’s financially secure, maybe with a family of her own… maybe that silly little bag would encourage her to do something nice, something frivolous for someone she doesn’t know.

Sugar and I hit the local Coach outlet store the day before Thanksgiving. We looked long and hard, and didn’t even consider anything that wasn’t hot pink. We bought Melissa, our third adopted soldier, a cute little bag and shipped it out earlier this week.

I guess sending hot pink Coach bags is my way of “paying it forward.” 

xoxo
Ice Princess

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Nothing Gold Can Stay

I was blessed for so many years to work with a group of people that I loved, and that loved me. There were three, sometimes four of us that would go to lunch frequently, chat daily, email funny stuff back and forth, pick on each other… nothing was ever politically correct and I’ve never laughed harder or loved a bunch of coworkers as I did those three guys.

Besides working at the same place, the only thing we have in common is that we each have two daughters, all different ages, but none of us have boys, and none have more than two children. The basis for our friendship was probably nothing more than being coworkers, but we each have a great sense of humor and we can all dish it out as well as we can take it. There is a specific quality, quirk or habit that each of us gets grief for. Alliances are created and redrawn on a regular basis. I never knew what was going to happen next. But I always knew that sooner or later, we’d laugh our fool heads off over something ridiculous, whether it was Skippy wearing a shirt that we swore was his wife's (we even called it a blouse), or making fun of Fancypants for being such a snob... 

I’m trying to figure out when things changed, when we went from the laughing group of coworkers, to the four people that each sit in their own offices, not speaking, but the mood and the vibe is not good. Somedays it feels downright surly and the office has become a place that I don’t want to be.

I could think for days about when the change occurred, or why it happened. There are a few things that might have been the cause but figuring that out won’t make a damn bit of difference. There’s a smell of bitterness in the air, and an aura of indifference. I sit at my desk, alone, watching the others go off without me, wondering if they laugh that I’m left out, or if they miss my presence.

For a brief, shining moment, I got to be one of the cool kids.  Having that status taken away without knowing why hurts as bad today as I thought I would in high school. Only then no one ever let me be a cool kid.

xoxo
Ice Princess

Sunday, November 28, 2010

She said "Penis"

The girls sat down at the table to wait for EN to return with dinner last night, when Spice suddenly grabbed a stick that had been attached to a balloon, stood on her chair, waved the stick around and said, “Bippity, boppity, boo, I’m going to turn you into a penis.” Of course the self-righteous Sugar was appalled at her sister’s potty mouth. She glared at me, clearly waiting for me to address the bad behavior of her devilish little sister. Spice, on the other hand, was delighted to have gotten a reaction and twirled on her chair (still standing) while waving the magic wand.

I was at a loss as to how to handle this one, so I asked, “Where did you learn that word?” Still twirling, she chirped, “Nicholas told it to me.” I told her that in the future, she should not make any attempts to turn her sister into a penis.

This is an area of mothering where the rules aren’t clear. Of course it’s not nice to try to turn your sister into a penis, or a frog, or a bug… no one wants to be turned into something with a negative connotation. So we have a rule: you can only “bippity boppity boo” your sister into something pleasant.

It’s the use of the P word that concerns me at this point. She obviously knows what it is. I know this because she shared her new-found knowledge with me in great detail. Is there supposed to be a ban on proper terminology? I could list off 1,000 other words that mean the same thing and certainly, those words are not appropriate. I wouldn’t let her use them EVER. I just don’t know how to address the vocabulary that Spice obviously uses for shock value alone. That mothering handbook isn’t helping me out here… How do you handle it?

The word has not been used again. This morning though, she bent her arm, pointed her elbow in my direction and said, “Doesn’t my elbow look like a boobie?”

Sigh.

xoxo
Ice Princess 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Messing Around

Instead of doing what I was supposed to do (homework) while EN took the girls ice skating today, I messed around with this blog. I changed all sorts of things and had many a temper tantrum while doing so. It wasn't pretty... Some of you fell victims to my rants via text. I thank you for texting back and telling me to JUST WALK AWAY. Instead of doing that, I picked up the damn laptop and shook it like an Etch-A-Sketch. That seemed to work.

So... tell me what you think of the new background, colors, etc. I've heard from some of you that the comments section isn't working properly. Please try again-click "Comment" and post as Anonymous. If that doesn't work, text me and I'll shake this computer again. ;o)

Now I'm off to do something productive. Like stalk the innocent via Facebook. I mean HOMEWORK!

xoxo
Ice Princess

A New Leaf

Sometimes it sucks to be right about something. Normally when I’m proven right, I gloat a little. I might let a “tee hee” slip out, or even a happy dance. Sometimes I feel bad for being right, only because I occasionally say something really mean-spirited and don’t want it to be right, but…

EN told me earlier this week that Thanksgiving dinner at his mom’s would be at 1:00. I was a snide bitch and said, “Sure. We won’t eat until 3:00. We’ll go there early and be held captive in the house with your sister and her husband.” Sure enough, dinner was served around 3:30. I was a polite and pleasant guest, I said nothing untoward to anyone, not even to my brother-in-law, who drives me batshit crazy almost the instant I lay eyes on him.

This is all in effort of turning over a new leaf. I am opinionated and will sometimes let my opinions bubble to the surface and the innocent know what I am thinking. Not any more. I am doing my best to keep my mouth shut. For example, yesterday when my sister-in-law wasn’t paying attention and her baby’s head hit the table, I said nothing. When she told a story about her husband dropping the baby off at daycare with poop going up his back (he didn’t know diapers could leak?!), I said nothing.

I’ve taken this stance with my own family as well. When my mother rants about the argument she’s had with her sister, I murmur sympathetically. When my sister’s son behaves rudely and is still up at 1 am, I say nothing.

Nor will my friends get an earful from me when they say or do something I disagree with. When they treat their spouse in a way that I don’t like, then come back to the marital home expecting sunshine and roses, I smile and nod. The next time a friend sleeps with another friends husband, I will say nothing… until that friend starts working over my husband, then the gloves are off!

You get the point.

This doesn’t mean, however, that my opinions aren’t rumbling around in my head, ready to spew forth. That’s why I have EN. He is aware of my opinions, thoughts, rants. He’s the only one that REALLY knows how I’m feeling about things. And if there ever comes a time that my friends stop hearing from me altogether, all the polite, thoughtful, fluttery niceties that I vow to say, it’s because EN has stopped listening and I’ve spontaneously combusted.

Or maybe I'll just keep blogging.

xoxo
Ice Princess 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Not Home for the Holiday

With the exception of two Thanksgivings, I have never hosted or cooked the entire dinner. The first time was the year that I met EN. I cooked dinner for the two of us and we ate and watched movies all day. What’s memorable about that day is that I made EN wash out the turkey, which he did, then proceeded to dance it around my kitchen. A floor show for my two dogs. I swear they sat there and laughed. The following year, we hosted Thanksgiving for all of our friends that had no place else to go. That year goes down in history as The Year that EN Locked the Turkey in the Oven. It’s a very funny story now, but I wasn’t so amused when he did it. To this day, I think long and hard before asking for his help in the kitchen.

Since then, we’ve had some great Thanksgivings, and some that left much to be desired. The year I was pregnant with Sugar, we went to Alabama to spend the day with EN’s dad, stepmother and half sisters. The holiday wasn’t terrible as I really enjoy his dad and sisters. The worst part was that I was pregnant and really craving my mother’s cooking and yummy desserts. Every dessert his stepmother served had pumpkin in it. Of course in this fancy house, one does not decline dessert entirely. I mashed up that pumpkin cheesecake until it looked like I had eaten some of it.

Two years ago, we went to Disney for Thanksgiving. We spent nearly ten days there with ENs dad and family. EN Senior had gotten remarried a year or two before and there was a new stepmother on the scene. We love this woman madly so the vacation was fun for everyone. We planned on going to Perkins for Thanksgiving but one of EN’s sisters balked at the plan. My new mother-in-law (given that we are very close in age, she LOVES when I call her that!) stepped up and made us all a fabulous dinner. AND we got to have cake for dessert, no crappy pumpkinish substances that year!

It should be noted here that we alternate Thanksgiving every year between my family and ENs. It should be further noted that ENs mother was pissed that we dare spend “her” year with evil EN Senior and his Evil Family. Holidays had never mattered to this woman before. As a matter of fact, many of ENs friends’ wives were shocked to learn at our wedding that he actually had a mother in the local area. He had always been the orphan that they brought along on their own family holidays. Suddenly, she’s decided that she is the Queen Mother and needs to be treated as such.

This year, we get to go to the Queen Mother’s house for dinner. I am less than thrilled with the idea, but fair is fair. I will prepare my contributions and we will go. We will eat, drink and be merry. And when all is said and done we will beat feet out of there and have dessert with my family. Maybe some leftovers too, because no matter where we spend the holiday, it’s just not Thanksgiving unless I get to have some of my mother’s stuffing.

xoxo
Ice Princess

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Soccer Moms

Soccer Moms: a bullshit statement. Work with me here folks, I’m channeling Marisa Tormei’s line in My Cousin Vinnie… “that’s a bullshit question!” And yes, when I typed that, I said it out loud in my head, New York accent and all. Now back to the Soccer Moms…

As I’ve mentioned before, Sugar has been involved in many team and individual sports. The only rule is that she has to stick with the sport for the time period we sign up for. Within every single one of those sports, I have seen the dreaded “Soccer Mom” behavior. The adult that complains loudly to everyone near them that the cherub they’ve come to see isn’t being played enough, not given enough chances, other kids are less talented and being played more, the list goes on… Again, this is every sport, not just soccer.

And it’s not just the moms, there are soccer dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents, nosey folk who stop to watch the game in progress. Kids see that level of competitiveness and I’m sure they feel it.

On Saturday, Sugar skated in her first solo skating competition. As far as I am concerned, she did fabulously and she placed in third, out of three. A disappointing finish, I whispered to myself in my head, but I’m not going to get in a frenzy over it. I didn’t see the other skaters she was up against. I was too busy congratulating Sugar for competing, remembering her routine, smiling and not peeing on the ice, crying or falling.

However, Soccer Dad, Soccer Auntie and Soccer Grandparents, had a few words to say. Nothing was said in front of Sugar, of course, but everyone was upset. Even her coach pulled EN aside and complained about the judges. I am forever thankful that the adults that came to watch Sugar behaved themselves in front of her and cheered on her 3rd place finish like she had just beat out Nancy Kerrigan and Michelle Kwan. 

Sugar attended the awards ceremony and she and her mother smiled happily at her bronze medals. I glanced around at the other people watching their own children and couldn’t help but notice one mother in particular. Her daughter came in third in her group and the mother had a frosty “not good enough” smile pasted to her face. This was the same mother that tortured her daughter in the locker room, fluffing her hair, redoing her makeup, not letting her eat or play with the other skaters… When did we stop having fun? Isn’t that really the point here? In my jaded view, it’s all about letting the child perform to the best of their ability and celebrating their success in making it through. We have years to go before we worry about Qualifying At Important Events, or whatever it is that comes next. For now, lets choose a fun song, practice a routine that makes us smile and skate like no one’s watching. 

xoxo
Ice Princess

Friday, November 19, 2010

Secret Addiction

I find it endlessly annoying that retailers are now putting up Christmas items BEFORE Halloween even. Can’t we buy our vampire blood without some plastic Baby Jesus looking over our shoulders?

Over the last week we have also been inundated with “Super Duper Early Black Friday Specials.” C’mon folks, Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. If you want to have a sale, have one, but leave Black Friday for next week. Please.

While I hate that the shopping madness is creeping into our lives earlier and earlier, I must confess that I love Christmas music and could listen to it all year long. It was very exciting then, when I heard on my Sirius station that they have two channels of Christmas music. I tuned right in.

I’m particular about my Christmas music. I don’t like songs about donkeys named Dominic or grandmothers getting run over by reindeer, but I’ll laugh hysterically at Adam Sandler or Jeff Foxworthy.

I like modern versions of songs and will only rarely listen to Bing Crosbyish music. I don’t think there’s a single version of “Little Drummer Boy” that I don’t like and “Mary’s Boy Child” by Boney M is one of my favorites. Two years ago I was lucky enough to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and they are now a favorite too. And Jon Bon Jovi is welcome to beg me to come home this Christmas any old time, but he better answer the damn door the next time I do.

Sugar and Spice are also huge fans of Christmas music. Sugar will even play one of her Christmas CDs through the year. “Santa Baby” in July… why not?

I don’t know what it is about Christmas music, it’s not that I’m wishing for all the busy-ness that comes with the holidays, getting gifts, anything like that. I won’t be trite and say that it’s “the message” from the music. I think it’s just the mood… it’s calming and peaceful. It just puts me in a good place.

Christmas music… heroin for my soul.

xoxo
Ice Princess 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Public Flogging

I’m the first to admit that I fly off the handle quickly, but do not always stick with the punishment that I set. I’m terrible at “punishing.” Mostly because I don’t like it. I don’t like to spank and I usually freak out enough that further punishment is not necessary. What I hate more than anything though, is the use of public humiliation as a form of punishment. Without even giving much thought, I can think of three instances in my life where I was publicly humiliated for doing something wrong:

  1. In 8th grade, I yawned in the face of my teacher without covering my mouth. It was rude, I was a polite kid, I don’t know why I did it. She screamed bloody murder at me. To this day, I’m a very polite yawner.
  2. I worked at a supermarket for a short time and made the grave mistake of giving an elderly woman two grocery bags, so she could be balanced. The owner of the supermarket screamed at me in the front end of the supermarket. I walked out that day and never went back.
  3. Another boss one time screamed down the hallway at me, “What are you, STUPID?”
These are very vivid memories, still painful after all these years. There’s a right way and wrong way to take someone to task. Those three examples are just WRONG.

Today I picked Sugar up from school and she tells me a long, rambling story about how she got in trouble at school and her teacher ripped up her homework, and the homework of eight others, in front of the entire class. At first, with Sugar’s constantly changing story, I was pissed at her for lying to me. Her story did not make any sense, especially because I had checked the homework the night before and it looked fine to me.

There was an event at school tonight and another parent approached me about the incident. Her child’s homework was also ripped up, but she was friendly with another mother whose child is in the class but not one of the nine that got into trouble. She called this other parent and found out that the teachers behavior bothered the entire class.  

Now that I had a bit more information, I got the straight story out of Sugar. Turns out, she misunderstood the second part of the assignment. She *thought* she did it right, but was wrong. The attempt was there, at the very least.

So now I’m pissed. This teacher humiliated my child (and others) in front of the entire class. Kids went home and cried about the incident. On so many levels, that just isn’t right. Of course, homework should be done completely and accurately, but is this really a way to teach a fourth grade class that they really need to get it right the first time?

Do I send in a note? Do I talk to the teacher? Do I chalk it up to the teacher just having a bad day? I’m at a loss.

Excuse me while I peruse the Mother’s Handbook that was given to me when my children were born. I’m sure there’s an answer in there somewhere.

xoxo
Ice Princess

Sunday, November 14, 2010

It's All Good

It truly was a beautiful weekend. The weather was gorgeous and many things happened that just made my heart feel really good. The fact that we had wonderful company definitely had an impact on my mood.

I started adopting soldiers through adoptaussoldier.org about a year ago. Our first adoptee was a match made in heaven. We have been in touch for a year now, even though she’s been back from Iraq for most of that time. We’ve had the pleasure of spending time with her over multiple visits. This weekend was bittersweet, as she will be leaving our local (ha! six hour drive) area to another base… in Hawaii, poor thing. It may be the last time we see her for a very long time.

She came to have a last visit with her adopted sisters and also to see me present a speech that I originally gave in May as part of my Public Speaking class. I asked her to attend on a whim, never dreaming that she’d say yes. And on Friday, she asked me if I wanted her to wear her uniform for the presentation. I don’t know why, but the question overwhelmed me emotionally and made me cry. I wanted to ask her to wear it, but I didn’t want to seem pushy, she must have read my mind.

I gave the speech today and she attended along with a friend that had come along for the drive, and Sugar. As Sugar is due to skate in her first solo competition next weekend, I thought it would be good for her to see her mom do something that makes many people (including me!) very nervous. Of course I feel like the speech didn’t go very well: every “um” echoed through my head and I know I fidgeted a lot. The audience, however, seemed quite taken by the story I shared. Sugar and Soldier Girl both crabbed that I almost made them cry.

If their presence wasn’t enough to make me smile, I smiled even broader that one of my classmates from my Public Speaking class came along to hear the speech again. She’s a wonderful person for giving up part of her Sunday to attend. I am blessed to have friends that go out of their way for me.

What is simply astounding is the very generous donation she and her husband made to my “Christmas for the Soldiers” shipment. They handed over two large boxes filled with a variety of items AND a cash donation to help cover shipping charges. If my heart wasn’t full already, it’s overflowing now. It’s not often that a girl can reach out to friends with a crazy dream of sending a “taste of home” halfway around the world, and have them all pitch in like it’s something they want to do.

I am surrounded by some very good peeps. I hope they all know how much they mean to me.

xoxo
Ice Princess

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Justice is Served


They say she felt every single one of the 32 stab wounds to her body.

They say that she attempted to use her body to shield her child from the attack.

They say the man that did this was euphoric after he left the scene of the crime.

This case eats away at me. Things like this just don’t happen where I live. And this happened oh, so close to home. I never met the victims but their story is agonizing to me as a mother.  

Because this case scared me as much as it did, I tried not to follow it too closely. I remember pictures of the victim and thinking how beautiful she was. I remember hearing that the child who was present during the attacks was hospitalized for a very long time afterwards. I remember wondering then, and I still wonder today, will that child ever be the girl she was before she saw her mother attacked? Before she herself was attacked by these teenaged boys?

This crime took place a while ago, but the trial didn’t wrap up until today. Again, I still didn’t follow the case much, mostly because I was too scared to want to know what happened in that house. If there could be a “rose-colored glasses” version of a murder, it was that this victim never woke up through the attack and that her daughter never witnessed it.

I have started reading bits and pieces of the testimony and found that  this was not the case at all. That woman fought for her life and the life of her child. She died in agony, trying to save herself and her daughter. Of all the ways in the world one could die, is there anything more painful than being scared for the life of your child? I can’t even breathe when I think of what that must have been like for the mother, or for the child who saw it all.

And the child, she will be forever scarred both physically and emotionally from what these boys did. She won’t have her mother with her when she finishes high school, gets married, has her own child. Those boys robbed that little girl of her childhood and her mother. They made her scared to be alive. No child should ever feel that. My heart aches for her.

It is with great delight then, that I read today that the ringleader was convicted after 90 minutes of jury deliberations. Now it’s my turn to feel euphoric. I’m saddened that this monster will live the rest of his life in a facility bought and paid for by taxpayers like myself. I’d rather see him rot in hell. He does not deserve to take another breath.

I hope that beautiful lady is up there somewhere, smiling down today, knowing that the teenaged boy will never be free again. If there is a good God, as we are taught, I have faith that somehow she’ll still be able to be a part of her daughters life… be it a ray of sunshine when she’s feeling down, or a gentle wind guiding her daughter in the right direction.  

Rest in peace, beautiful lady. 

xoxo
Ice Princess

Friday, November 5, 2010

Haunted


This house is in my town and it’s been for sale for over a year. We pass by it frequently and somehow the girls started calling it “Mama’s House.” I guess I must have said that I loved it one too many times.

I’m a girl who likes new stuff-house, car, clothes, furniture. My love of this house is unexplainable. It’s old. It’s huge. It needs a ton of work. It is all the things I don’t like. The exterior trim is painted the color that I hate the most, but that doesn’t stop me from dreaming about this place.

I go to realtor.com on a regular basis and look at the pictures of this house. They have mostly exterior shots and none of the kitchen, which leads me to believe that it’s awful and would need to be redone.

This house is over 5000 square feet. A family of four doesn’t need something that large. A house of that size practically begs for a monster-in-law to move in. There are seven bedrooms and five bathrooms. Who would want to clean that? Who wants the heating bill? It even has an elevator for God’s sake!

But still… I drive by the house and dream about what I would do to it. I will be the woman that decorates the porch for every holiday and changes the wreath hanging on the front door seasonally. Granted I don’t do that now, but with a porch like that, how could I not? I see the interior, not as it’s shown in the photos, all the walls done in hideous wallpaper, but freshly painted in light, bright colors. The rooms are filled with comfortable furniture, perhaps even an overstuffed chair next to the fireplace. A chair that begs to be curled up in with a good book on a cold day.

The sellers are offering financing at a rate that’s practically non-existant and the price dropped quite a bit over the last few weeks. The numbers are starting to look affordable and my daydreams of owning this mansion are becoming more frequent.

Today I drove by the house and the For Sale sign is gone. My heart broke just a little. I rushed on to work and immediately checked for it online. The dream still lives.

I am haunted by this foolishness.

xoxo
Ice Princess

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Turn on the Charm

I got pulled over today on my way home from work. It occurred to me when I shared the story with a friend that I have had some funny interactions when it comes to being pulled over… and I rarely get a ticket, which infuriates EN. He could sneeze in the direction of a cop and get a whopping fine… which I find amusing. I’ve never cried or offered sexual favors in return for a warning instead of an actual citation. It must just be my good looks and charm that keep me from paying a hefty fine. I hope you are all rolling your eyes and making gagging noises at that last sentence. I know I am.

I was first pulled over right after graduating from high school. I was in the car with Kate and Shannon. We were on our way to a pool party. I got an expensive ticket and my dad said, “Why didn’t you cry?” I had to explain to him that I was pulled over by a gigantic, manly-looking female cop. I don’t think she would have appreciated my tears.

The next time, I was about 25 and going through the difficult time that I referred to in my last post. Kate, my sister and Kate’s two kids were in the car with me. I was crying even before I got pulled over and kept my sunglasses on through the entire exchange with the officer. Another huge fine.

Shortly after that, I was driving to work one morning and was barely speeding. The officer informed me that I was SPEEDING, going 60 in a 50 mph zone. While tapping my freshly manicured nails on the steering wheel, I told him that I didn’t realize it was a 50 mph zone in that direction. He said, “Nice nails” and sent me on my way. My luck with the boys in blue was starting to turn.

There were a few more incidents after that… once I yelled at the cop that I was late for work and it was my husbands fault. I think he might have peed a little and didn’t even check my license, just handed everything back to me and said “try to have a better day.” A year later, again on my way to work, I was pulled over by a prison transport vehicle (how humiliating!) and got a very stern lecture from the sheriff. I can only imagine what the prisoners in the back of the van were saying to each other.

Today’s incident really surprised me, I saw the blue lights and had no idea what I had done. There’s a road closure on the route that I don’t normally take home, so I followed instructions from EN, or so I thought. I needed to take a left across a very busy two-lane road. I barely paused to look around, decided I had time to go before the swarm of oncoming cars would cross my path. I booted it. Too bad I didn’t notice the No Left Turn sign, or the cop that was leading the pack of oncoming traffic.

The officer starts our conversation with the usual “do you know why I’m pulling you over?” question and I told him that I had no idea. He informed me that left turns are not allowed there, then asked how my driving record was. I told him that I couldn’t remember the last time I got a ticket. I may have giggled a little, maybe batted an eyelash (there could have been something in my eye). He told me that if I was being honest, I would only receive a warning. He came back to the car after about five minutes and waved the warning in a flirty little way and said, “Now isn’t this better than a $100 fine?” HELL YEAH!!!

I guess my advice is this: be honest with the boys in blue. They look kindly upon that. If you aren’t convinced that will work, bat the eyelashes. If things still aren’t going your way, shake what your mama gave ya… isn’t that what they are there for? ;o)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Cool Change

Fourteen years ago today I met EN. I was out at the skankiest bar in the town that I lived in. My sister talked me into going out to drown my sorrows, it was the third bar we hit that night.

I was minding my own business, drinking a beer when this guy came up and asked me if I would go over and have a drink with his friend because it was his birthday. I said, and this line has been repeated many times over the years, “he’s not my type, but you’re kinda cute.” That was it. EN spent the rest of the evening at our table while his friends glared at us from across the room. One by one, they joined us at our table and a delightful night was had by all. EN bought me a shot of tequila and we danced to “Cool Change” by the Little River Band. What a charmer he was! ;o)

He was a Harley dude, completely not my type at all. It didn’t occur to me to be impressed when he told me that he worked at the local Harley dealership as a mechanic. Motorcycles weren’t my thing. Then he asked if I had ever been on a Harley. When I said that I hadn’t, he said “maybe it’s time you put your ass on some class.” Again, what a charmer.

I was going through a difficult time and wasn’t looking for a romance but I will swear to the day that I die, the moment I saw him walking towards me I thought, “that’s the man I’m going to marry.” Everyone warned me that he was the “rebound guy” and this relationship would be a passing thing. For some reason, we stuck together and made it work.

In the beginning, things weren’t easy. His friend (also his coworker) was mad that I had chosen EN over him and told everyone they worked with what had occurred. EN had months of torture at work, but still we stayed together.

I like to say that since we met, EN has done laundry once. The one time he washed a load of jeans, he shrunk them. When I mentioned that my jeans were tight, he said, “well, baby, perhaps you’ve gained a little weight.” Aren’t you all impressed that he lived to take another breath? When he tried to put on his own jeans, he realized that he had in fact shrunk the entire load of laundry. Hello Fatass!!!

A year after meeting, we bought our first home together. A year after that, we got married and we just celebrated our 12th anniversary. Yes, all the friends that were with him the night we met attended the wedding.

Life’s not all sunshine and roses. While EN is certainly the nicest man I’ve ever met, he also knows just how to drive me crazy. Of course, he’s still not trusted to do laundry. He rarely cooks, never handles the finances and doesn’t clean because he just never notices what needs to be done. He’s exasperating and ditzy and quite the daydreamer. But he’s the love of my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

xoxo
Ice Princess