Thursday, April 28, 2011

Little Bunny Foo Foo

Little Bunny Foo Foo
Hopping through the forest
Scooping up the field mice and
Bopping them on the heads.
Down comes the good fairy who says:
Little Bunny Foo Foo, I don’t want to see you
Scooping up the field mice and bopping them on the head.
I’ll give you three more chances before I turn you into a ____ (insert anything here).

It’s rare that I see my sister interact with her kids in doing “motherly stuff” like games or nursery rhymes or anything. So I was surprised the other day when she grabbed Spice’s two bunnies and started singing “Little Bunny Foo Foo.” I shouldn’t  have been surprised to hear that particular song because she loved it as a kid. That and “Ten Little Bears in the Bed.” She would sing them over and over again until my dad would yell for her to stop.

Since she sang it the first time, Bunny Foo Foo has been on repeat. Spice follows her around with her stuffed bunnies, begging to hear it just one more time. My sister wised up pretty quickly and uses it as a bribery tool now. That song gets Spice dressed, it gets her in bed. It gets her to cooperate in general. She has become so enamored with the song that she renamed her little bunny Bunny Foo Foo. The big bunny may or may not be The Good Fairy. It depends on the outfit she is wearing.

It’s probably my own fault that the song started. Spice knew (by smell perhaps?) that there was a Build a Bear nearby. I took the girls there the other day and she bought a Tinkerbell outfit and wand for the big bunny. Since then, that wand has been waved a thousand times when the good fairy threatens Bunny Foo Foo for bopping the heads of the field mice. My girls and my nephew will all sing along and do the motions to the song. I think by this point, my sister is regretting the teaching of the song. At the very least, she knows the meaning of my dad’s pain all those years ago.

Spice learned all the words pretty quickly and doesn’t even really need my sister’s help to sing it any more. I know this because Spice insists on waking up super-early every day and sitting on my bed. I wake up and get her settled, then doze off. Yesterday, I apparently did more than doze off, I fell right back to sleep. When I woke up Spice said, “I was Bunny Foo Fooing all over you!”

It’s the last thing she wants to hear before sleeping and the first song going through her head when she wakes up. I may just kill my sister. 

Ice Princess

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Flip Flop Pain

Aside from a somewhat outrageous throwdown in the Newark Airport restroom, the travel down to South Carolina was somewhat uneventful. The girls shared the handicap stall while I held the door closed. I'm not sure what occurred behind the closed door, but there was some yelling, screaming and tussling. I snapped a bit of motherly advice, and the skirmish ended, but the rest of the ladies in the bathroom were quite amused. The girls emerged quietly from the stall, washed their hands and we beat feet out of there, leaving behind the laughing ladies.

We arrived in Myrtle Beach around the same time as my sister. We texted back and forth while I gathered our checked luggage and rental car. We walked out of the terminal and Sugar looked around and said, "They have palm trees here? I'm gonna love it here!" Since her initial comment, she's said about a thousand times that she would love to live here.

We met up with my sister and her kids and shared a late lunch at Denny's. The kids were all excited to see each other and were pretty loud in Denny's. Fortunately we were seated away from everyone else, so I don't think the other patrons were too bothered.

We got the key and went to the condo we rented. The outside of the building looked really nice, but my sister and I started to worry when we stepped into the elevator. It smelled bad. The building is near the beach and the elevator is carpeted, so I'm sure it's pretty hard to keep clean. It smells like yucky seashells and rotten seaweed. We got into our unit and we were all thrilled. It was exactly as advertised: four bedrooms, each with a private bath, nice living and dining area and the kitchen is nicer than mine at home.

After we unpacked, my sister took the kids to the pool while my niece and I went to the grocery store. We bought a few basics and enough to make an Easter dinner. We all met back at our unit and hit the beach. It's a super short walk and the beach was beautiful. It wasn't too crowded and the kids were thrilled to run all over the place. We let them expend their energy, then went back to the condo for dinner and sleep! My sister and I bedded down the kids, then stuffed and hid a bunch of eggs. The Easter Bunny HAD to make a delivery, no matter where we were.

Sugar and Spice were up at the butt-crack of dawn, despite going to bed much later than usual. My sister's kids sleep in a lot later, so it killed my girls to wait to search for eggs. The egg hunt went well. I was worried that Spice would be left in the cold since she's so much younger. Happily, she found as much as everyone else. She did tell my nephew that he was a "pain in the s." My sister looked a little confused and asked what an "s" was, then the light dawned and she went, "oooohh." Leave it to my girl to throw down the first swear of the week.

For Easter Sunday, we went to the souvenir shops and bought beach chairs, boogie boards and other assorted items, then we hit the beach. We were there for hours and the kids had to be threatened before they would leave. Everyone (including the adults) needed a nap. We all slept for a bit, then I got up to cook us all dinner. I think it was the best ham dinner I ever made.

After dinner we headed down to "regular" Myrtle Beach, not the north section where we are staying. That area was filled with souvenir shops, haunted houses, rides, food places. There was much people watching to be done, but we didn't stay long because everyone was still pretty shy on sleep. All of the kids took a turn having a meltdown about what we refused to buy them, the size of their ice cream cones, etc.

My sister and my niece discovered grenade whistles with great excitement and my sister bought one. I was completely clueless as to what these are, but they told me that this is something from Jersey Shore. My nephew was delighted with the whistle and blew it a thousand times. It made us all laugh. And today he spent quite a bit of time blowing it from our balcony, while someone from another balcony blew one back at him.

Today we hit Broadway at the Beach, mostly because I could not go to the beach. Despite using sunblock 50, I'm horribly sunburned on my legs, chest, nose and the back of my hands. Yikes. Broadway at the Beach  is as I remember it from years back, even many of the stores are the same. It's grown a lot and there are now rides, IMAX theater, aquarium, etc to see. I loved looking through the shops but the boys really weren't too into it and even Spice finally lost per patience with shopping. We came back to the condo and I took the kids seashell hunting on the beach.

Tonight I am in agonizing pain. My sunburn is radiating heat and shiny from the gallons of aloe I have slathered on myself. And my feet and legs hurt. I attribute this to all the walking I have done in flip flops for the past few days. Where I live, the weather changes so much that we get to ease into the wearing of flip flops. We may have a deliciously warm couple of hours and can sneak on a pair of flip flops for a bit before switching back to socks and heavier footwear. We break into the flip flops in baby bites.

I got off the plane and my toes begged for fresh air. With the exception of today's shopping trip, I've lived in my flip flops. My toes are begging now for nothing to separate them, and my calves are burning from using some different motion to walk so I hear the proper "flip flop" sound. Or maybe it's the barefoot beach walking that's killing me. Either way, I'm blogging while sitting on a king sized bed with the slider open to the balcony so I can hear the ocean and smell the seabreeze. Life is good.

Ice Princess

Friday, April 22, 2011

Vacation Eve

Here I sit, the night before I leave town for a week and I’m nearly packed and have all my shit straight. This is alarming for me, because I am always last minute. I should be up until midnight packing, then sleeping until the alarm goes off at 5 am tomorrow. Instead I will be in bed sleeping well before then. Bags will be packed and my kitchen will even be clean. I am half German and cannot leave a messy house or full laundry hampers. The last load was folded an hour ago.

I left work early and delivered one suitcase to my sister to drive down. I was home by 1:30 and logged in to work from here, just so no one can claim I went MIA before I was supposed to. I picked the girls up and started making chicken soup, thinking EN could have some leftovers while we are gone. The girls were outside playing with their friends. I changed into super-comfortable grungy clothes knowing that I wouldn’t be leaving the house again tonight. I threw on old white workout pants, not caring that my panties were black. Again, I thought I wouldn’t be leaving the house again tonight. Comfy white socks and a gnarly old sweatshirt completed my ensemble. Smoking hot doesn’t even begin to describe how fabulous I looked.

Suddenly Spice is home, flinging the door open. With that, Bella and Indy take off out the door and down the driveway. The only shoes I had nearby were my nasty old thick heeled flip flops that are trashed from the dogs chewing on them. I pull Spice into the house and she steps on the puppy, who yelps in pain and does a three-legged limp as fast as she can get away. Dear God, the child has broken the puppy and set the other two free. What the fuck!

I lumber down the driveway as fast as I can in my nasty old shoes and see the dogs visiting with the neighbors across the street. Lovely. With Sugar’s assistance, we round them up and drag their stupid asses home. Halfway up the driveway, I remember the black panties under the white pants and realize my fat ass is a beacon in my neighbors’ faces.  Again, I feel I need to mention my smoking hotness.

I get back into the house and find the puppy to be ok and shipped Spice off to put pajamas on and sit in her room to think about how many times I’ve told her not to let the dogs out. Thank God for Cindy Boo texting me to stay calm! When I called her for dinner, Sugar had to wake her up. The excitement of a trip is too much for the little devil to handle, it seems.

While I was gathering the dogs, I’m reminded of something that happened about five years ago. Spice was a baby and Sugar was nearly five. Indy was a puppy and broke free from his leash. I spent an hour chasing him around the neighborhood. Every time I bent over to grab the little shit, my breast feeding boobs leaked and he took off again, delighted with our game. I came home periodically to check on sleeping Spice and upset Sugar. I finally caught the dog after he had cornered a porcupine and ended up with a bunch of quills in his front leg. I dragged him home and came in the house to find Sugar on the phone. One of my friends had called while I was chasing the dog down and was kind enough to keep Sugar talking on the phone. I spoke with her and she asked if I was alright, told me to take a few breaths and hung up. Obviously a great friend as she didn’t lecture me about the children being left home while I pranced through the ‘hood. Suffice it to say, I was mad enough at that dog to pull the quills out of his paw with my bare hands.

So my night of getting shit done was not without drama. I’m still anxious about this trip, racing through airports alone with two little chicks and spending a week with my sister and her kids. It’s been over 20 years since we spent that kind of time together. Will we all come out alive? 

Ice Princess

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sweet Music

I woke up to a blue-skied, sunny day. I immediately felt better than I did yesterday. Despite my high anxiety level, everything worked out well this morning and we all made it to where we needed to be at the right time.

I know I’ve blogged about my love for music before, but I had such a good “listening” morning, that I can’t stop myself from blogging about the same thing again. My tastes in music are varied. I like everyone from Bruno Mars to Eminem to Kid Rock to the 80’s hair band genre. If I had to choose a favorite style of music today, I would definitely pick country. I love Trace Atkins, Tim McGraw, The Band Perry, Zac Brown Band…. I could go on and on.

Many times I get to where I’m going and I need to immediately get on a computer and look up lyrics to a song that I just heard. I used to keep a notebook in my car just so I could remember everything I wanted to look up or download to my iPod. I found that I did that more once I started listening to satellite radio. I would put on the 80’s station and hear stuff I hadn’t heard in years and didn’t remember until I heard the song again. Anyone else remember “Blame it on the Rain” by Oran Juice Jones or “Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand” by Primitive Radio Gods?  

Music evokes memories for me. I hear a little bit of a song and I’m transported back… Journey reminds me of listening to records with my mom when my dad was on TDY. “Cherish” by Kool and the Gang reminds me of my first kiss. “Boys of Fall” is a newer song, but it still sends me down memory lane to football games at Northwest High School. “Never Say Goodbye” by Bon Jovi reminds me of my high school boyfriend. Steve Miller Band and Bad Company remind me of being the new girl on the high school bus. The memories are vivid and I almost feel like I did back then. Music impacts me profoundly.

Ave Maria, Hallelujah and Amazing Grace can move me to tears in an instant. “All Summer Long” makes me want to get up and dance. Last week during the hockey game, I found that I still have the same reaction to the National Anthem. I cannot make eye contact with anyone because I am near tears. Does everyone have this reaction or am I overly sensitive?

Maybe this is why I so enjoy Dueling Pianos. Everyone requests songs and you are surprised by how many you know. You are invited, encouraged even, to sing along at the top of your lungs. You remember songs you never even realize you kept in your head. Even better, no matter who is in the crowd and how their tastes run, there are songs for everyone. You belt ‘em out loud and proud, no one cares how bad you sound. You are united in lyrics. You make eye contact with people you don’t even know and share a secret smile, embarrassed to admit that you too remember every word from “Elvira”… not that there are many words to know.

The seasons are changing and the girls and I have picked out our summer song for the year. It’s “Felt Good on My Lips” by Tim McGraw. If you haven’t heard it yet, give it a listen. I guarantee you’ll be moving in your seat. It’s a happy song that will make you smile.

Music has been an important part of my relationship with EN too. We’ve gone to many concerts and when we moved in together we found that we had many duplicate cassettes (we are SO old). It’s been pretty easy to figure out which ones we wanted on CD. Most of our wedding decisions were easy to make, except for music… we really wanted everyone to have fun and we wanted to choose songs that meant something to us. The DJ had to play the Pina Colada Song. We wanted to make our entrance to “Born to be Wild.” Our choices set the mood for the evening and our wedding rocked. The dance floor was full all night, especially when EN and his dad got up on speakers and did the Y.M.C.A. Oh yeah.

Years later we hear songs from our wedding and we laugh about different memories. We always laugh when we hear Molly Hatchet’s “Flirting with Disaster.” It wasn’t played at our wedding, but EN used to put that on his stereo and call it romance music. Seriously. And I’m the dork that stuck around. Fast forward to a song that I heard this morning, the latest from Brad Paisley. It's a great tune and Alabama makes a guest appearance. The line that struck me was:

 "Play some back home come on music that comes from the heart,
Play something with lots of feeling, ‘cause that’s where music has to start…"

Maybe EN really knows more than what I give him credit for.

What music moves you? Are my reactions to song abnormal? Tell me what you think… and if you are too shy to comment here, shoot me an email or post on my FB wall. I really am curious.

Ice Princess 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Under Pressure

I have been out of sorts all week and I’m not really sure why. I finished school in December and I expected this great weight to come off my shoulders and it hasn’t. I feel like I should have more time to get things done and I don’t.

My house is just as messy as it was while I was in school and I can’t figure out why. Every evening I spend time picking things up or shredding though the daily pile of junk mail. Yet the piles aren’t any smaller and there are little bits of things lying around everywhere. I can’t seem to get ahead.

I am disappointed at the way other things are running at the house. I am starting to feel like things get done only when I bark orders. I’m sick of being the head bitch in charge. I’m sick of letting one thread go only to see it fall by the wayside. I’m one gal and while I’m hefty enough, I can’t do it all. If I don’t fill in the form for the class party, no one else does and I’m stuck bringing in the crap that no one else volunteered for. If I don’t remind everyone that their annual project is due on Thursday, no one does it and they simply recycle last years.

I have tried to be diligent about going through the checkbook on a weekly basis and paying bills before they’re due. However, there’s still one or two that fall through the cracks and money doesn’t seem very plentiful these days. I almost take the checkbook and turn it upside down to shake it out to see where the money has gone. It’s easy to figure out that things cost more and gas costs more, but our paychecks are still the same. Given the conversations that I’ve had with various friends recently, I have no right to complain about finances. There are many that are struggling with the basics while I'm complaining about finding a way to pay for the extras we enjoy. I am fortunate and I shouldn’t complain. I just feel stressed when I look at the accounts and I hate feeling that way.

I am disappointed with the way my hunt for a new job is going. I thought that my resume would practically sparkle with the addition of the Bachelor’s degree. Instead, no one gives a shit. Employers can’t even be bothered to let you know they received your resume these days. I applied for three jobs today, one was for my own amusement. I don’t have the job experience that they were looking for, but I know I could do the job. I’ve been on the outside looking in at that job. Since I knew my resume wouldn’t sparkle, I added some oomph to the cover letter. The employer makes my favorite kind of candy so I added that I “unequivocally adore the product even though my favorite item was discontinued.” At least the person reading the resumes might get a giggle out of my buffoonery.

I’m anxious about our trip. I leave with the girls on Saturday for a week in Myrtle Beach with my sister and her kids. We parent very differently and I’m worried that we won’t get along. I’m worried that my girls’ bad streaks will continue. They’ve been out of their minds lately-not listening, not using manners, losing items needed for the trip. It’s difficult to stay on top of it all. I know what we need to bring, the girls have tried on summer clothes. We have new bathing suits and flip flops, we’re ready for a week in the sun. I hope to relax. For at least a minute.

I’m in a snit for no good reason really. I have my health, my family, my house and my job and I type this with a sweet puppy curled up in my lap. Perhaps the mood is weather related, I feel like we’re in the midst of 40 days of cold rain… the weather might be impacting the girl’s behavior as well. No one can get out and blow off steam in this dreariness.

Or I can blame it all on the bathing suit shopping I did today. Because I am unhappy with the way I look, I pulled out all the stops and shopped at Walmart. Nothing too good for this girl! I went for a black floaty number because those two qualities are guaranteed to make my fat ass look smaller. Yeah right.

Ice Princess 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Weekend Craziness

Last week I bitched that Sugar’s teacher never responded to a note that I sent in to her last Monday. Here we are a week later, still no response. Sue me for being Ms. Manners about this, but I think her behavior is rude. A response would have been appropriate. I’m glad the school year is nearly over.

Last week I bitched about the missed telephone interview. I never circled back to say that I emailed with the woman and we rescheduled. We had a really nice chat on Thursday morning and I was pretty excited about the opportunity: they promote working at home, there’s a bit of travel, the job sounded interesting, the title would look great on my resume. The only downer was that the salary was a little light. I thought that being able to work from home made up for that. I felt pretty good about the call and was told that I would be called on Friday or Monday to schedule an in-person interview. Today is Tuesday and I haven’t been called. I guess I wasn’t as charming as I thought I was.

The weekend was stacked with exciting plans: hockey game and Spice’s first sleepover on Friday night; hair appointment then shopping with my niece on Saturday; lunch with a good friend on Sunday. Sounds like a nice cushy weekend, right? I think if Friday night hadn’t been so drama-filled, the entire weekend may have had dream-like qualities. Instead most of the weekend is colored with bad thoughts about Friday night.

I’ve been a mom for a reasonable length of time and I should have known this without a doubt: after a full week of school it is not a good idea to take the girls out on Friday night without coming home first. I picked them up right from their schools and headed right over for pizza with Skinny Bitch and her family. I didn’t give my cherubs a chance to chill, so they turned into raving lunatics once we got home. That would have been fine, except we had Spice’s friend over for a sleepover. I do believe the screaming mama scared the hell out of that sweet girl and she started crying to go home. Because I had already committed a multitude of sins, I figured a pink sprinkle cookie at 11:30 pm would do no harm. Correct I was! She was smiley and happy and pranced off to bed as soon as she was done. Since I know her mother is reading this, I’ll also say I didn’t have her brush her teeth afterwards either. When my girls go to your house, you can do the same.

On Saturday I spent much time away from home and the children who had been so awful the day before. I needed my space and went home with a better attitude. Everyone at home was better too. Why wouldn’t they be? They all took 3+ hour naps.

On Sunday I had the opportunity to spend a few hours with a great friend that I rarely see. I believe the last time we connected was in January. Usually when we meet up, there’s a husband or two and/or a child or three joining us. This time it was blissfully “just us.” We talked our fool heads off and practically had to be pried out of our booth. It was obvious that we were both enjoying time to be just friends, not mommies or Mrs.’s.

I stopped quickly at my alma mater (makes me feel important to say that!) to pick up my cap and gown. Here’s annoying: we’ve all seen graduation garb before, have we not? They’re billowy black gowns, not form fitting or anything. So why the hell did the 12-year-old twit working the counter need to ask for my weight? Seriously?!

I came home and popped a whole chicken in the oven. After all, I had spent much time away from the family over the weekend and had lots of mommy guilt. And, sad but true, the chicken was huge and would need to cook for hours. Darn, I had time for a nap.

The weekend did end on a high note as the four of us enjoyed a great dinner together. The girls were very impressed with the meal, but it’s obvious that it’s been a long time since I’ve cooked a chicken or turkey. Spice was full of questions: where are the feathers, where’s her head, eyeballs, feet, and of course:


Ice Princess 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Small World

When we talked about our friends when we were younger, my dad would say, “I need a scorecard to keep all this straight.” This morning I’m starting to feel like that myself. I have never lived in a place long enough before where I start making connections with people that know each other.

Since the day I graduated from high school, I can think of only three or four instances when I have run into people I know from high school. My graduating class was over 800 students in a town whose population is now 87,000. It’s not that big, I work in the same town I attended high school at and I never see anyone I know. This is the life I am used to.

Earlier this week Skinny Bitch invited the girls and I to a hockey game as she had a bunch of free tickets to give away.  I told her yesterday that we would be able to attend. Even though I am not a sports fan, I know the girls love these games, plus we would be going with their friends. What could be better?

I picked Spice up at daycare last night. At first, she was quite charming and sweet, but that changed quickly. It appears that she and her BFF Payton planned a sleepover at our house for Friday night. I had to tell her we already had plans. Strike One. Then I opened a card that had been in her cubby. It was a birthday party invitation for April 23, the day we are scheduled to leave for vacation. She asked if she could go and I told her no. Strike Two. Then she told me to change the plans for vacation so she could attend the party. Again, I said no. Strike Three. Can you see my crown from where you sit? Yes, you guessed it, I was given the Meanest Mother in the World Award.

Throughout the evening I committed a multitude of other sins that further cemented my new title. However, I’m proud to say I am a meaner girl than she is because she forgets to wake up still pissed off, something that I always remember. All was sunshiny in her world today, and it got brighter when I told her we would be meeting Skinny Bitch and her girls at the game tonight.

I arrive at work this morning and find an email from Payton’s mom. It appears that she is also wearing a Mean Mama crown today. Payton was so pissed off at her for not going for the sleepover idea that she went to bed without saying good night or giving kisses. Payton has better hold-out power than Spice does though. While she woke up cheerful, she did ask, "Am I packing a bag for Spice's house or what?" Hee hee, where’d the mean five year olds come from?

As we went back and forth, we discovered that we are going to the same hockey game tonight. We will be seated one section away from them. I told her I would be with Skinny Bitch, whom she is dying to meet as she loves to blog-read about her. Then it occurred to me, they had already met at Spice’s birthday party. I’ve proven many times this week that I am not too swift.

Around the time I gave her the blog address, I found out that she works with HUGS, whom I have made fun of in the past. There isn’t much detail on the blog, but I knew she’d recognize her, so I had to beg her not to out me. If she ever tells, I’ll just sit on her because she’s a bit of a skinny bitch herself.

Today in our exchange, she told me that we have someone else in common. How small is this world?! It turns out that her mother works with one of the mean Girl Scout Cookie Moms… who happens to be the mother of C, Sugar’s favorite mean girl.

We’ve made all these weird connections in a few short conversations. For the bulk of the day, I have been feeling like I’m at Disney on the Small World ride with Spice. Because with her, there’s no doing things she loves only one time. We must have ridden that ride ten times in a row.  

It’s a small world after all,
It’s a small world after all,
It’s a small world after all,
It’s a small, small world…

Is the song going through your head now too? 

Ice Princess

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Stellar Day

I titled this post “A Stellar Day” and I’m pissed off about it. I’m pissed because no matter how hard I look within Microsoft Word, I cannot find the “Sarcasm Font” that I keep asking Microsoft to incorporate. I conclude that Microsoft is run by MEN and we all know that men don’t listen.

I’m not a fan of a rainy day, but I did start off feeling very light-hearted. Today was supposed to be a good day. I was supposed to have a telephone interview with someone. It was the last day of Mediation Training. Everything was supposed to be good.

I got to work this morning and fixed my coffee and settled in for a short day. What could be better? My boss walked in with attitude. I really have no idea what’s going on with him, but his sourness permeated the office and put a pall over everything. Not a word was spoken throughout the day, we all kept to ourselves. It was so bad that I emailed someone who wasn’t in and told him I was raiding his Girl Scout Cookies. I needed chocolate and if he wasn’t happy with my raid on his office, I’d happily fight him the next time he came in. He was scared and told me to finish off the box if I chose to. Two cookies were plenty.

I left work with plenty of time to make myself comfortable in the parking lot of the building where I would attend training. Because of the rain, I arrived at the very moment the interview call would come through. My phone never rang. I was disappointed and disgusted that the call never came in. Who would bother setting up a call and not make the call? I was pissed!

The final night of training went smoothly. I turned in my paperwork and got my certificate. I was excited that the role play days were over. What I didn’t anticipate was the sadness I would feel leaving my classmates. The training is intense and I had gotten to know the seven others in class pretty well. It was hard to say goodbye. I do hope to stay in touch with my classmates. The high note came when I said goodbye to the instructors. There were two and I really felt that one didn’t care so much for me. I didn’t overhear her conversations with the other students, so she may have offered the same to all of us, but she invited me to intern with her. She said she was worried about how uncomfortable I seemed, but complimented my listening skills. Who knew? I thought I was a bossy, loud mouthed bitch who talked over everyone all the time. She paid me a nice compliment and probably didn’t even realize it.

I came home to my parents and two girls that were still awake and still fighting over the puppy. My dad told me that the Afghanistan offer had been rescinded due to his Type 2 diabetes, total bummer. I know they were looking forward to that “last hurrah” of big money. I’m disappointed for them and worried about their future.

I listened to the messages on my home phone and found that the HR person had called my house instead of my cell phone. Further research showed that my email to her was in my “Drafts” folder. It never went out. I was the idiot. I am embarrassed beyond belief. I rarely screw up like that. She offered up another interview time in her message, so I sent her an email explaining the situation and accepting the 8:30 am  time slot. I hate to be the one that screwed everything up. Ugh.

Tomorrow can only be better. In anticipation, I’m having a second beer while I continue my search for that Sarcasm Font. Damn you Microsoft, help me out here!

Ice Princess

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


We all learn differently and some of us take a little longer to pick up on things than other people. That is not to say that anyone is a slow learner, they just need more practice. They need to work a little harder to “get it.” Sugar is like this with her school work. Therefore, I feel it’s my job as a parent to help her as much as I can. I don’t make up assignments for her or anything like that, but every night we do her homework together. You’ve all heard about these stellar matches before. It doesn’t always go smoothly!

Something else we work on nightly is her list of spelling words. Each Friday, she takes a test, the test is graded and she gets a new list of words for the upcoming Friday. If she has misspelled any words on her test, they are added to the list for the following week. We have an entire week to practice each list of words.

Nowadays in school, each child is encouraged to learn at their own pace, so the list within the class varies greatly. Therefore, the students pair up and test each other. I won’t comment on this process, but if the experts think this works, then I’m all for it.

At home we test like I remember being tested. I say the word, use it in a sentence (sometimes it’s something like, “I have no idea what the heck cacophony means.”), say the word again and move on. I check her work and make her write each misspelled word five times. On Thursday nights, she writes them each ten times. It’s dorky as hell, but we enjoy doing this because my use of her words can be quite comical. Make it fun and they will want to play!

This method works for us. I prove this by saying that she’s gotten 100% on her spelling tests all year! Until last Friday. I knew when I picked her up that something was wrong. As usual, the rant begins before the car door was closed.

Sugar: I missed a word on my test!
Me: You did?! Which one?
Sugar: Impossible.
Me: Impossible?! It’s impossible you missed that word! You knew how to spell it!
Sugar: Here’s the thing, I spelled it right, but she said it was wrong.

Long, silent pause… Do I sense some drama?? I ask her to see the test. She hands me the test and lo and behold, it is spelled correctly. I asked her if she showed her teacher and she said she did. I asked what the teacher said and Sugar told me that the teacher reiterated that the word was spelled incorrectly. To the best of my knowledge, there is only one way to spell impossible, right?

I asked her what she wanted me to do and she started to get all wound up. I suggested writing a note to her teacher and she leapt at the idea. I thought all weekend of a way to politely write this note.

I conjured something up Sunday night and sent it in Monday morning. When I went through her stuff last night I asked if there was anything from her teacher. She said that the teacher hadn’t gotten the note until the end of the day so she didn’t answer. She did comment that the word had an “n” in it when she looked on Friday and therefore, was wrong.

I held that test in my hand. I looked very closely at that test. There is NO WAY that was an “n” and changed. Plus, Sugar lacks the conniving gene she would have inherited from my mother-in-law to know to change the spelling.

Today, I go through Sugar’s binder after school and still no response. I don’t expect an apology or even a long note. A simple email acknowledging my note would have sufficed.

Now I’m pissed. I think it’s rude that she blatantly ignored my note. This goes against several rules that I try to teach my girls… First, if someone gives you something, acknowledge it. Second, if you’re wrong, admit it!

See? Kids don’t learn everything they need to know in school. It’s still our jobs to teach them to do right by others. Pause for a moment and remember the worst teacher you ever had. Would you want your kids to grow up and be like them? Teach your children well... 

Ice Princess 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sticky Situations

The band-aid is to a five-year-old as a piece of Tiffany jewelry is to me: a beautiful fashion accessory. How lovely it is that manufacturers now make bandages with all kinds of fun designs. My sister even found some animal-print bandages which were a huge hit in my house. In fact, the girls loved them so much that my sister bought them some for Christmas and they were thrilled. There is no place on a child that is too small or bendy for a good bandage. There is no injury too small for one either, even a red pen mark will send them running for cover. After spending my retirement savings on bandages, I instituted a ‘wet blood’ rule: if there is no wet blood, there is no bandage. Thankfully, they aren’t yet smart enough to learn that if you add spit to red marker a mama might be confused.

Stickers run a close second to bandages. They come in a much wider variety of themes, colors and shapes AND, oh my God, you don’t need an excuse (wet blood) to add stickers to an outfit. If you are blessed with a wonderful grandmother who buys tons and tons of stickers, you have piles from which to choose. They can match your outfit, or not. And they can be put anywhere, even on the tops of your feet when you wear flip flops.

Sugar and Spice recently saw their Grandpa Jones and he gave them great t-shirts that he picked up for them at the Grand Canyon. These shirts were super-special because they also glow in the dark. Since these fancy shirts glow in the dark, it’s best to wear them at night first. Sugar started wearing hers immediately on Saturday night, then Sunday. I drew the line when she asked if she could wear the shirt to school on Monday. One must have standards. Spice finally wore hers last night and she marched around proudly. Not only does it glow in the dark, but there’s a STICKER on the shirt that tells you so. This is the mother lode of all good things to Spice. Sugar walked over and casually ripped the sticker off, telling her sister that the sticker from the store needed to be removed.

Attention people: here begins WWIII. Holy shit was Spice pissed. She raged and raged at her sister that the sticker belonged ON THE SHIRT. She DID NOT want the sticker taken off and it would never be the same again. She cried, hissed and maybe even foamed at the mouth a little. All the while clutching that poor scared puppy. Even when she’s having a tantrum, if it’s her turn for Puppy Time, she’s not letting go. Sugar no longer cares what the dumb five-year-old has to say, so she just gave her the “Whatever” face. Spice finally dropped Lola so she could press that sticker back onto her shirt.

As I was getting dressed this morning I heard some commotion in the bedroom. I opened the door and there stands a snarling Spice, crying again with a devastating tale of woe.  It appears that while she was sleeping, the sticker fell off her shirt and now was a bit crumpled looking. EN was in bed looking like he just got hit by a truck, so I stepped in and told her not to worry. Tonight we will tape it to the inside of her bedroom door. Then she can see it every night, not just when she wears that shirt. I was feeling pretty brilliant with my quick thinking, when her head spun a 360 and she said, “I WANT YOU TO DO IT RIGHT NOW.” Seriously child, how can you not know that Mama is not to be messed with before coffee? At this point, EN decided it was a good time to gather his thoughts and help out. He conned Spice into getting dressed and I didn’t hear another word about the damn sticker.

I come into work today to find that the Engineering staff finally received their free jackets that they sent their sizes in for in December. I really didn’t need to deal with another fashion crisis today, but here we go. For those of you not in the know, I will tell you that there is nothing that a six-figure-earning-engineer likes more than FREE STUFF. It could be old crap they never even knew they needed, but it’s FREE so they will fight a Texas Death Cage Match to win. It’s truly ridiculous.

I sorted through the jackets and tagged them all with names, then started emailing people in small groups to come and pick them up. Well, the first batch has to prance through the hallways singing, “WE GOT FREE SHIT” and suddenly I’m bombarded. It didn’t take long before they started bitching. The jackets didn’t fit right. The zipper is on the wrong side, are they women’s jackets? Where’s mine, I didn’t get my free stuff. People, shut up and step away from my office. You all got what you ordered, if yours doesn’t right, call the girl that coordinated everything. I don’t give a crap!!

Next time they get free clothing I hope to have advance notice before distributing so I can bring Spice with me. I intend on having her put big fat L stickers on the back of every item. That L stands for LOSER for those of you not in the know. 

Ice Princess

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Adult Conversations

I’ve already mentioned that I keep secrets from my kids or lie to them. I guess there’s another thread to this behavior that I’ve failed to mention before. Or maybe I have and I’m just too lazy to go back and look. Sorry, friends, you’ll have to hear it again. However, the circumstances are different, so there is new news, even if I’m beating the same old drum.

I tend to not tell my kids when something bad happens to someone they know until it’s absolutely necessary. In some cases, I don’t say anything because I don’t know how true the statements are. For example, someone in our family has repeatedly said she’s dying of this or that, but that never turns out to be the case. On the other hand, it can be media attention to one of their favorite stars. Both girls love Miley Cyrus, Hannah Montana, her show, movies, toys and clothing. What they don’t know are the things we adults see in the press and honestly, there’s no need for them to hear it. They see a show and they like it, that’s their world. They don’t need to know that she’s dating someone much older in real life, or whatever it is that she did wrong. It has no place in their world, they love the girl in the TV show and that’s all there is to it. I don’t necessarily shield them from that information, but we don’t get any magazines or see anything on TV where that nonsense might be seen. They know only what they see. They are young enough that I have control over what they are exposed to.

In the past few weeks, there have been several things that have happened at Sugar’s school that I failed to mention to her. I didn’t mention these things for a couple of reasons. The first case involves a teacher that Sugar never had. She knows her by sight and thinks she’s “pretty and nice.” This teacher was arrested after a physical fight with her husband. I don’t know exactly what happened but I know the media reported that she attempted to strangle her husband. I read this story online while at work and I gave a lot of thought as to how I would address it with Sugar. When I picked her up, I asked if she knew the teacher and she said yes and that’s when she told me that she was pretty and nice. I tried fishing for further information, to see if there were any issues that needed to be talked about but Sugar didn’t seem aware of the situation.

The next day was a different story. “Hey Mama, that teacher you asked me about? She tried to KILL her husband and she’s going to JAIL for five years and she got FIRED.” I talked the situation over with Sugar and told her how these things work in the world. It’s amazing how mixed up kids get their stories.

The second situation involves Sugar’s second grade teacher. I like this woman a lot and have remained in touch with her via Facebook. Last week she put up a post that worried me, so I reached out to her. As it turned out, her contract has not been renewed so she will not be returning to teach at our school next year. I am devastated for this woman as I thought she was a phenomenal teacher. Sugar adored her, as did Spice. Every time we go to the school Spice talks about how she’s going to get that teacher when she’s in second grade. How my heart hurt that Spice’s dream wouldn’t come true. Again, I chose not to tell my girls what happened to this teacher. First, I wasn’t sure what to say and second, Sugar won’t be in school there next year so she wasn’t likely to be immediately aware that the teacher was gone. Third, Spice has a few years before second grade and I’m sure I could have come up with an explanation as to where the teacher had gone by then.

Sugar came home from school ranting about how the teacher had been fired and one friend’s mother had even voted to fire her. Again, we went through how things work in the real world and I pointed out that the friends mother had nothing to do with the firing, no matter what he said. Meanwhile Spice is devastated to lose the teacher she never got to have.

I guess I tell my kids things on a “need to know” basis. It’s my feeling that they didn’t really need to know either of these things. In regards to the first situation, the thought that a teacher “tried to kill” someone scared the shit out of Sugar. “What if she had tried to kill one of us?!” Somehow, I can’t see that Sugar or anyone else in her school would have been in that kind of danger. In the other situation, I feel badly for my friend that has to go to her job every day knowing that she won’t be back next year. Not only are her coworkers talking, but now the students are too. It’s bad enough that we, as adults, hear something and embellish facts to sensationalize a situation, but it’s even worse when kids get a hold of a nugget of information and put their own spin on it. At their ages, they have no idea how the world works and the twists they add really scare them.

Tonight I saw a slightly different angle on this. We attended a school concert so Sugar was on stage while Spice and I were in the audience. Some neighbors came and sat behind us. I attempted to have a conversation with the adults, but their 12-year-old daughter nattered on and on about the price of gas and how it’s Kadafi’s fault they can’t go on vacation this year. Then she started about funding of programs in our town and how some things will cost money now so they won’t be able to participate. Really? I was most annoyed that she dominated the conversation and shocked that her parents didn’t tell her to shut up. Further, she really doesn’t know exactly what she was talking about so she was talking out her ass. Endlessly annoying!

Which brings me back to my point: In my world, there are some conversations that can and should involve children and others that should not. I will continue to tell my kids things on a need to know basis. I will use my own judgment to share things with them or not. And if they hear rumors about situations, I will do my best to put out fires.

Ice Princess

Monday, April 4, 2011

Puppy Love

So everyone in the house is ridiculously in love with Lola. I mean ridiculously! That dog could probably get pre-chewed food spoon-fed to her if she wanted. God knows she doesn’t have to walk or even try to climb up on anything. There’s always a person around to help her out. I’d like to blame the girls, but EN and I are just as guilty of doing this.

We are going on our third week with her and the girls seem to love her even more every day. Every morning they rush into my room to see her and say “Good Morning.” Of course she sleeps in my room. In the middle of my bed, between my pillow and EN’s. Seriously. It’s pathetic how good this little pup has it. The older dogs are also benefiting from having the new girl at the house. They get much more attention from Sugar and Spice, there’s always someone willing to play. And if the girls won’t play, they con the little dog into playing tug-o-war and they swing her around the room until she’s dizzy.

Puppy love is contagious. Everyone that has met Lola loves her to pieces. She’s gone to school with Spice and made friends there. She went to Skinny Bitch’s house and even cranky ol’ Fabulous Hair gave her kisses when he thought no one was looking. My family adores her and a coworker is actually waiting for me to smuggle her into work one of these days. I don’t know about that though, the last time I smuggled a dog in, he peed on my boss’s carpet. It’s been almost five years and I still hear about it. Many friends looked at pictures of Lola and started thinking of adding on to their own animal kingdoms. One friend actually did… I haven’t heard from her in a few days and I’m a bit concerned that either her new puppy chewed her up, or she’s so mad at me for encouraging her to take this plunge. Hello?? Michelle?? Are you out there?!

The only one not totally in love with Lola is the cat. The cat doesn’t attack her or anything, but she looks at her like “WTF is that? Is it a guinea pig with long legs?!” Last night Lola made a nice attempt to show the cat how cute she is. She rolled around and pranced around the cat. The cat finally had enough and reached out with her paw and smacked Lola upside the head. If that little dog could have cried real tears she would have.
I’m not sure why, but she seemed to get mad at EN for this. She immediately moved to the far side of the bed so he couldn’t see her or reach her. I kept moving her back to the middle of the bed because I really don’t want a pet that behaves irrationally with someone that lives in the house. She finally settled down to sleep though it was obvious she still wanted to give EN the cold shoulder.   When he got up this morning though, she ran right over to him like she was wondering where he had been hiding.

Per a phone call with EN, all was well with her for most of the day. Then he accidentally shut her in the pantry and she reacted like he had chopped her tail off. He said she got irate and stayed mad for an hour. Personally, I love a puppy that’s smart enough to give a silent treatment and make it obvious.

More than loving that puppy though, I love the man who cares enough about the puppy that he tries to make amends with her. I asked him if she just got over her snit or if he did something to win her back. Apparently, she’ll do anything for a teensy piece of a doggy treat.

Lola wears the pants. No bones about it. 

Ice Princess

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool!

When most people tell me things I always assume they are telling me the truth. There are some exceptions to this rule of course. Some people are not capable of telling the truth EVER, so then I assume everything out of certain peoples’ mouths is nothing but lies. I don’t need to say who those people are.

This morning my cell phone wasn’t working, but then it suddenly blew up with texts from Skinny Bitch. She said she had big news that NO ONE knew yet, no one could know but she was dying to tell someone. I texted her back to find out what was going on and she shared that she had taken a pregnancy test and it was positive. Since I knew she isn’t against having another child I knew she would be happy about this, but her husband would be less than pleased. I immediately asked what Fabulous Hair had to say about it and she said she hadn’t told him yet. We went back and forth for a bit then she said, “Gotcha!! April Fool!” Oh holy shit, I forgot that was today! What impresses me the most about Skinny Bitch doing this is that she's so kind and genuine I never would have guessed there was a conniving broad hiding under that sweet smile. 

Later in the day, I get a text from my sister saying, “WTF! Tiny Mike just got arrested.” I texted back to find out exactly what had happened and she texted back, “Nonpayment on April Fool!” I was had once again.
Seriously?! I’m reasonably intelligent and these chicks are pulling jokes on me left and right and I am not bright enough to catch on? What is wrong with me?! I guess it goes back to what I said about always assuming things I hear are the truth. I’m such a sucker, but I appreciate that fault of mine so I laughed along with both my sister and Skinny Bitch about their goofy jokes. If you can’t laugh at yourself, you have no right laughing at anyone else. Good job, ladies.

I laugh along at their jokes and I don’t mind at all being the butt of those jokes. However, there is similar thing that people do that I hate. It’s the giving of a joke gift. I’m not talking about the silly crap you buy at Spencer Gifts, but hideous jewelry or clothing items that are bought and given just because they are outrageous. I know everyone has different tastes, so when I open a gift that is something I find repulsive, I say thank you and pretend I like it. I’m forever afraid of hurting someone’s feelings. I’ve gotten many gifts that were to be considered jokes and never quite caught on. The gift-giver tells me afterwards that I wasn’t supposed to like it, it was a joke!! On the other hand, I’ve gotten some truly hideous items that I opened and thought, “they can’t be serious” when in fact, the gift was genuine. If you’ve never heard my story about the used dickie I got for Christmas once, I’m happy to share the story the next time I see you.  

I don’t get why people would spend time and money looking for something stupid and give just for a reaction. For some reason, it just strikes me as mean. Why give me some God-awful piece of crap to see how I react? Do you want me to fake it and pretend I like it, or am I supposed to shout out, “This is hideous!!”  I never react properly.

I occasionally buy something goofy and wrap it up. When I give it to the person, I’ll say something like, “You are gonna die when you get a load of that mess!” I make it obvious that the gift is something that they will open and we’ll laugh together over it. I never want to put a friend in a position where they would feel uncomfortable.

So go ahead, play a joke on me and I’ll laugh hysterically about being had, I’m an easy target. Give me a joke gift and laugh at me for not realizing it’s a joke and I might throw it at you. 

Ice Princess