Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Goodbye, House...

Today is the day that we close on the house that we have called home for over nine years. I’ve never lived anywhere longer and the process of moving out and moving on has been as painful as a divorce. I am absolutely devastated when I sit still long enough to think about it.

I spent much of Friday and Saturday cleaning her up for her new people. I’d hate to have them move in and be frustrated by a mess left behind. I went so far as to scrub the corner of a kitchen window with a toothbrush… I cleaned the oven and washed and dusted every surface. Aside from a few disaster areas (behind the fridge and stove) the house was in pretty good shape to start with. As it happens when you move, things are left behind so there were little piles that ended up equaling multiple carloads by the time all was said and done.

While I scrubbed and cleaned, I cried. Every place I looked held a memory… I was here when I told EN once, twice, three times that we would be parents again. I was here when I lost the first one, then the second… It was here that Sugar tumbled down the stairs, and here that we brought Spice home after she was born. It was here that both Sugar and Spice woke up on their respective first days of kindergarten and waited anxiously for a new adventure to begin.

We’ve celebrated many holidays, finally being the only people in our families with a house big enough to hold us all. We’ve decorated for Christmas, Halloween, even Easter and Thanksgiving on occasion. We planted flowers, bushes and trees and put up a pool.

We bought this home as a family of three. Two parents in their early 30’s with a daughter that was barely a year old. Through the years as our family changed, so did our house. We added color and Sugar’s bedroom moved across the hall, then we lost the office and created a bedroom for a second baby. We moved in with our dogs and cats, and now only have one of the original four left. We left our beloved Tammy buried in the backyard, but Brigette and Dusty were carefully transported to the new house in their urns.

This was a house that we built. We carefully chose every carpet, cabinet, countertop and paint color. Our home was a reflection of who we were. We lived there, and laughed and cried there. We hung our girls’ portraits and artwork on the walls, and carefully removed all the bits and piece of our lives when it was time to go.

I cleaned and scrubbed and tried to remove all evidence that our family had ever been there. But there are some things that we couldn’t take: the bits of chewed up wall trim that the puppies we brought home inflicted on the woodwork, the gouge in the wall left when Spice careened through the kitchen in her walker, the stain in the bathroom cabinet left behind by me leaving the water running for the cat.

As I write this blog, I realize there was one thing I forgot to go back and do. While I was cleaning the upstairs hallway, I noticed handprints going up the wall next to the stairs. I meant to go back and wash the wall, but I’m secretly glad I didn’t. Those little girl handprints were what we left behind to prove that we were there once and we loved being there. 

Ice Princess

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Big Move

It’s been more than a week since I’ve blogged and life has gone from busy to flat-out fucking insane. I look back at the last post and laugh about how tired I was then. That tired ain’t got nothin’ on this tired. Holy hell.

Last weekend was Moving Weekend. I thought I had a great handle on things, with all my packing and moving things over in the evening. I was so neat and organized about everything. I should have known it would all fly out the window. Things began to fall apart when I looked in Sugar’s room and came to the realization that she hadn’t packed a damn thing. I spent much of Friday night and Saturday morning getting her room together.

On Friday night, Tiny Mike came over and we made the second trip to the new house together. I gave him a tour of the house and he actually dared to lie down on the red carpeted bench. I told him he must disinfect immediately. As per usual when we hang out, we had a blast. We were smart enough this time to go to bed at a reasonable hour.

We woke up early and got right to work. EN was sick as a dog, but there really wasn’t time to stop and take a moment to relax. People were due to come help us move at 10 am. By 10:30 only Killjoy had joined us and EN was giving me grief about where all my volunteers were. I returned the favor and asked where the hell his people were. People started showing up shortly thereafter. The boys were tearing down the furniture and Skinny Bitch and Snorting Girl joined me in packing up the rest of our stuff. I’m embarrassed at the amount of crap we own.

While I was amazed at the number of people that showed up, I was even more shocked at the good time everyone seemed to be having. Yes, it sucked dragging out dryers and refrigerators and all our “real” furniture (Killjoy told me that from now on I am only to buy press board furniture from Walmart and Target!)… But everyone got along so well and laughed and joked through the day. We really were blessed with the good people who showed up to help, expecting nothing more than beer and pizza in return.

By 2:30, everything in the house (besides small stuff) was loaded into the truck and ready to go to the new house. The girls stayed back to load up the vehicles we were driving and took care of ordering lunch dinner. More on that in a bit. We arrived at the new house and the truck was half empty already.

As Skinny had already seen the house, I quickly gave Snorting Girl a tour and she was so delighted to meet Peg that she took pictures of her. Then she rested her beer on Peg and just had to take more pictures of “Peg holding a beer.” It’s good to have friends that can make you laugh in the face of insanity.This is Peg, for those of you that have forgotten: 

Furniture was placed in the correct rooms and the refrigerator was already plugged in and running. Everyone was slowing down and I assured them that we had pizza coming. I started to look around the new house and just lost it… nothing looked right, nothing felt right. The furniture that looked so good in the old house looked dumb here and didn’t fit right, despite my drawings and careful planning… Even my new bed didn’t seem right.

All the furniture was moved into the house, yet there was still no pizza. I called for an ETA and was told it would be there shortly. More time passed, still no pizza… EN made the second call and was told they were enroute. Two hours after ordering, the ten pizzas he told me to order had arrived. I should have used my own math and catering experience to place the order. We had about four pizzas too many.

It started to get cold and dark. What would you expect a group of tired, hungry, beer drinking people to do? Build a bonfire, of course. There were tables in the driveway and furniture on the front porch, but we all migrated to the backyard and hung around the fire. We tried to figure out what time it was, thinking it must be close to midnight and shocked to learn it was 6:30. Everyone continued to get their drink on outdo each other with story after story.

The last guest left and we came into the disaster zone that is now our home. Tiny Mike started moving furniture around and commenting on colors and arrangement. I left them to arrange more rooms and set up the shower curtain and dumped a mess of toiletries into the shower. We bedded down and woke up the next day for another round of moving small shit and laughing our heads off. As we woke, we found that the girls kitchen playset was still on the front porch. I said, “Boy, I bet the neighbors are impressed with the trash that moved into the ‘hood! The appliances we leave on the porch aren’t even real!”

For the most part, the move went smoothly. A few tables have scratches and the dryer has a great battle scar. My only piece of “fake” furniture lost a door… Snorting Girl carried a basket of clothes from a car to the basement and proceeded to drop a bra in the driveway for all to see. A proud moment for me. Did I mention that I snapped EVERY SINGLE underwire in every bra I own packing and moving? Life doesn’t get any better than that.

And now, we attempt to adjust. We live in a great big house where we have multiple bathrooms yet each has something wrong with it… We shower in one, use the toilets in others… some sinks are not usable and in none of them is there enough space to store what we have. In fact the teensy linen closet in the girls bathroom is so small that every time I put something in there, I have to pry my boob out of the closet when I’m done. Skinny Bitch, I have a job for you!!

The rooms are set up generally, but we are surrounded by boxes. In this much bigger house, there is no closet space anywhere, except in the girls bedrooms.  The wall oven sits on the floor and is not usable. If there is too much on the kitchen counter, the plywood bends and the drawers underneath won’t open. EN keeps telling me this house will be beautiful someday but the only thought running through my head is, “What the fuck have we done?”

Ice Princess

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tatas and Dingles

Ice Princess is bone tired. In fact, her bones are jello and muscles shriek at the mere suggestion of bending or squatting. I had to sit on a foot stool last night to pack up part of the kitchen. As always, when I’m this kind of tired, completely inappropriate things make me howl with delight. Prepared to be horrified.

I know I’ve mentioned toilet talk at the table on several occasions. Despite the fact that I can remain on my fat ass while looking, I’m too tired to search the blog. Again, where are those fancy tags all the other bloggers use… sigh… Back on topic, certain behaviors are ok at our table when we are in the privacy of our own home. The girls are taught to behave with company or out somewhere, but we can let fly when it’s just us.

Normally it’s just the girls for dinner so we talk about all kinds of crazy things. One night last week, EN happened to be home with us and for some crazy reason the term “bodacious tatas” popped out of my mouth. Sugar and Spice were delighted with this gem. It has a nice ring to it, yes? So we discussed bodacious tatas while EN quickly left the table with a full plate of food, which he hurriedly shoveled into his mouth before escaping to the basement. Before long, I’d say “bodacious” and the girls would say “tatas” in sing-songy voices, without rehearsal!

A few days later, tensions are high and we all need to be a thousand places at once. Everyone was fighting with everyone else and it wasn’t pretty. We were driving warp speed down a dirt road to get to Home Depot and I said, “This road is so crazy my bodacious tata’s are bouncing all over.” As you might guess, the tension was broken and we all laughed hysterically. Then it was time for another round of me saying “bodacious” and the girls singing “tatas.” We’re totally trying out for American Idol this year.

On Sunday, the girls and I headed off to my parents’ house in the invisible Jeep and I got cut off. Again. Because I’m such a good mother and conscious of my potty mouth, I called the other driver a “dingle dork.” Another gem apparently. The rest of the ride was filled with the girls calling each other the name and then it seemed to be forgotten.

Last night I was putting the girls to bed when Spice made some weird wavy movement with her hand in the area of her crotch.

Spice: Hey Mama, see my dingle?
Me: Your what?
Spice: I’m a boy and I have a dingle. See it?
Sweet Jesus.
Me: They aren’t called dingles. They’re called penises, remember?
Spice: Oh yeah.

I thought that conversation was over and moved onto Sugar’s room after tucking my sweet angel in. I was with Sugar for only a moment before Spice came racing in doing her Penis Dingle paso doble. She was anxious to show her sister her “dingle dance.” I reminded her again that there’s a proper name, just like girl parts have a proper name.

Spice: Yeah it’s called “your privates.”
Me: No, it’s called a vagina.
The dance screeched to a stop.
Sugar: Yeah, it’s a vagina and it’s gonna start bleeding and not stop until you’re really old. Like 50.

My little dancer bolted back to her room like her fake dingle was on fire. I shushed Sugar and told her to stop scaring her sister.

And there you have it. Toilet talk at the table and at bedtime. Only at my house.

Ice Princess 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The New Normal

Months ago I predicted there were crazy times ahead and now I find myself in the throes of said times. Can you tell by my lack of blogging? The Big Move is this weekend. We have friends coming out to help us move all our furniture and a few appliances (washer, dryer and refrigerator). In the meantime, we are doing our best to empty the house of stuff.

Of course this process began quite a while ago when I packed up the absolutely non-essential stuff. I’m proud to say that I’ve packed up most everything already. In the kitchen, I’m getting down to the nitty gritty: pots, pans, bake ware and food. I’m terrified of packing up something I’ll suddenly need. To combat that, I’ve simply stopped cooking. It’s not like we’ve got time to enjoy a meal anyway. The dining room is empty but for furniture… as is the family room. The master bedroom is looking bare and two downstairs closets are empty.

Every night this week I load up the back of my car with stuff so I’m fully loaded for the next day. After work I pick Sugar up from Skinny Bitch’s, we stop at the new house and drop off the stuff in my car. We get Spice, we go home and eat a nutritious dinner of ravioli or peanut butter sandwiches (tonight we might get fancy and stop at the market for a rotisserie chicken). Then we run through the house and gather up stuff to move that doesn’t really need to be packed up to go across town: contents of closets, large toys, etc.

We’ve become masters at packing up the car. We gather everything up first and then load the trunk. We’ve figured out that there’s room between the two girls, why not fill that space too? And the empty passenger seat? Bring on more stuff. It’s almost become a challenge to see how much we can stuff into that car.

Then we drive back to the new house and unload the car again. Thus far, we’ve been able to do this in an organized and mannerly fashion. We unload stuff and put it in the proper closet or room. Each room has a neat pile of boxes in it. And all these boxes are carefully labeled (some with crayon) so I should be able to tell exactly what is in each box. Remind me of this later when we’re looking for stuff. I’ll never be able to send EN on a “seeking” mission in the near future. The box labeled “Top Shelf-Kitchen” will leave him confused and he’ll try to move the “Spice Cabinet-Kitchen” box to the bedroom.  

I’ve got to say, the girls have been amazing this week. They’ve run up and down stairs, packed boxes, gathered up their prized possessions and done what I’ve asked of them. We don’t have time to goof off, dinner is on the run and snack is eaten with one hand while teeth are being brushed with the other.  They have been wonderful about helping and not complaining. I’m guessing they’re really excited about this move. I can’t even remember the last time they took time out to fight.

All the while I still attempt to keep up with homework and spelling quizzes… For the record, I don’t think Spice will ever need to spell desperadoes or armadillos, but I’m not the one who decides these things. I managed last night to wash the new bedding and the stuff for the futon as Tiny Mike will be sleeping over on Saturday.

I know you’re all dying to ask, “Where’s EN in all this?” My helpful little man has been so busy moving the contents of the basement and garage from one house to another that before today, he didn’t have a spare moment to pack a single item in the house. My hairy eyeballs got his ass out of bed this morning and he claims that the office is entirely packed.

And now you’re dying to find out, “What does EN have in the basement and garage that would take three weekends with a U-Haul or trailers to move?” Tools, y’all. And motorcycles. And Important Things That He Cannot Live Without. He said he went through stuff, at least he spent oodles of time in the basement and I did see him once throw away a department-store bag full of empty envelopes. Progress.

Someone, call that hoarders show. Stat. 

Ice Princess

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mad Shop for Bedding

EN and I have slept in the same crappy bed for nine years. I don’t remember it being crappy when we bought it. In fact, I thought it was pretty comfortable. Fast forward to now and every morning we wake up in agony. If I make the mistake of sleeping on my stomach, I nearly cry when I try to move. Thankfully no one else is awake to watch that show. I simply thought we were getting old.

Last December when I visited Shannon she and I slept in her king-sized bed and I woke up every morning feeling fabulous. Perhaps EN was right and we do need another mattress. We also considered upgrading from queen-sized to king, but our bedroom was really too narrow to accommodate it.

Now that we’re moving, it seems like the perfect time to buy a bed. After comparing prices, I figured out that prices are pretty much the same from place to place. I bought it at the shop offering great financing. They even let me pick out my own delivery date and time. No more being at the mercy of the store. I liked that. We also have a 21-day warranty, so if EN decides this bed isn’t right for him, they’ll come back and take it away. Perhaps I’ll just have him taken away instead. We’ll see.

This means I have to shop for new bedding now too, because nothing will fit. Since I am OCD and hate change, it’s been years since I bought bedding even. I have one favorite set of sheets, blanket and quilt. I wash them regularly and put them back on the bed. I believe we bought all of that three or so years ago. Yes, it’s looking a little shabby.

I thought this would be a simple procedure: enter store, make selection, pay for selection. I figured I’d go right to the store that I shopped at three years ago and have similar luck. Unfortunately, they had nothing plus I had a husband and children with me so that added to the stress level. It’s only proper to mention here that when buying bedding, EN turns back into Feminine JJ and likes to be in on the decision. Therefore, I let him come along to feel whether the stuff is soft enough for his royalness.

I really didn’t think I was too picky. I wanted something that was soft but not silky (don’t want to fall out of bed). I wanted something pretty, but not too printy. It could be light, but not too white. It couldn’t be too green and it couldn’t be ugly. Somehow I managed to make it through six stores and a gazillion websites and only found a down thingie, which needs a cover, and a mattress pad. Go me.

So today I’m in a terrible mood about stuff that is a blog post in itself. I’m also feeling that last minute fire. We are moving to the new house this weekend, bed being delivered Friday. If I don’t get sheets soon, I won’t have time to wash them first and my German mother says you have to wash sheets before using them. And the former owners stole the dryer plug and laundry pump from the basement, so I won’t be able to do laundry at the new house for a while. Do y’all see why I’m crazy now?

I ran out during lunch today to the last store I could think of that would have a decent selection. They had loads and loads of bedding, and still nothing. I found a few comforter sets that I could have bought, but then would have to return the down thing… who needs another errand?

Finally, I find a set of sheets that is a nice blue color. I stomped back over to the section that had all the duvet covers (if these damn things go over a down thingie, why don’t they just call the down thingies “duvets”?) to see if I could find something that matched. I came across a set that I hadn’t noticed in the store before but had seen online. I scooped up the duvet cover and a set of sheets and tried to open them to make sure they would pass EN’s “feel test.” This should have been my first clue that something was amiss. Why would they lock up bedding? Because that’s the good shit, that’s why.

Twilight Duvet Cover Set
Pretty, soft, not to printy or too plain.

Still not paying attention, I brought my goods to the Customer Service Desk and asked for the pretty packages to be unlocked and felt up the sheets and the duvet cover. Heavenly…. I’ll take them! The girl rang them up, I swiped my card and I was out of there… without looking at prices of anything.

It wasn’t until I emailed Fly Girl a picture of the bedding that I realized what I had done. Scratch that, Fly Girl said, “Oh, the price of those sheets made my stomach hurt a little.” Huh? Oh holy SHIT! This is what I get for shopping at the last minute and shopping while pissed. After all that work, I’m NOT bringing that stuff back, I don’t care how much it cost.

At least I remembered to use the fucking coupon. 

Ice Princess

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Fifth Grade Sweet Talk

I can think back over Sugar’s school career and tie every year to a boy she’s had a mad crush on. Of course she’s still little so the crush was more like, “I think Cameron is super cute.” Sometimes the crush would be reciprocated and I would see funny interactions, like phone calls to the house so they could link up on some game website and play together via computer. Another time we were at a school event and the previously mentioned Cameron came up to Sugar, called her Miss Giggles, pushed her and ran away. His horrified father chased after him yelling at him to not push girls. Miss Giggles and I just stood there… giggling.

In second grade, a new boy started in Sugar’s class and she was instantly smitten. She always talked about how nice Curtis was. This cute little crush went bad when another girl got involved and wanted him for her very own. There was a big Dancing with the Stars competition and Anna asked Curtis to be her partner. I guess Curtis wasn’t overly interested, because he asked Sugar to be his partner and she said yes. Fast forward to the Brownie meeting when Anna finds out that Sugar will be dancing with Curtis and it all goes to hell in a hand basket. This would be the first (yes, there have been more) Brownie meeting where I’ve arrived to pick her up and found her in tears. Apparently, Anna was ready to fight to see who would dance with Curtis. Curtis however, had decided he wanted to dance with Sugar and that was that.

I haven’t heard much about Curtis over the last few years, but he has suddenly resurfaced. Our conversation went something like this:

Sugar: I think Curtis likes me.
Me: Curtis M?!?! From second grade?
Sugar: Yeah, him. He’s in my class this year.
Me: Well maybe he remembers that you liked him in second grade.
Sugar: What took him so long?
Me: Some boys are slow to catch up.

We laughed and I asked her exactly what happened at school. She told me that he talks to her all the time and said, “Can you tell me when you go skating next? I would love to come see you.” Also last week he told her that he heard she was moving and was really glad she’d still be in the same school because he’d miss her if she wasn’t.

My cold mean heart melted just a teensy bit over these comments. I am teary-eyed at the innocence and sweetness of their exchanges. I asked her yesterday if he had talked to her this week and she said, “No but he still likes me.” I asked how she knew and she said that he looks at her when they’re in class. I wanted to say, “Well you must be looking at him then too” but every once in a while I know when to shut up.

We talked a little about boyfriends and girlfriends and whether boys and girls ever even talk to each other in school. I asked mostly because every time I ask who she has lunch with, she lists off a bunch of girls’ names. I asked if girls ever sat with boys and she said, “When they’re boyfriend/girlfriend.” I am not sure what exactly happens to make that Official.

Believe me, I’m not in any rush to see my baby girl “have a steady boyfriend.” I simply think it’s cute that they notice each other and now instead of pushing and name calling, actually do things like compliment the person they like.

I’m also glad that this is happening now, while my girl still speaks to me. I’m positive that in about a year and a half, she’ll wake up one morning believing I’m the stupidest person she’s ever met… and will continue to believe that for the next ten years. 

Ice Princess

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My Kid Bought a Timeshare

I know I blogged about this last year, but I can’t find the post to remember exactly what I had to say. I really should start using some of those fancy tags other bloggers use. That would help me remember shit in my old age. If I repeat myself, forgive me.

This time of the school year is an utter delight. The kids are just getting comfortable in their classes, getting into the groove of their new schools, making friends… the newness of the school year has faded quite a bit. What better time to lasso the kids in and get them drinkin’ the kool aid and buying the time shares. Anyone who has had kids in school for longer than one school year already knows what I am referring to: The Annual Fundraiser.

In all honesty, this “annual” can be filed along with any other annual you can think of. They all suck: the physical, mammogram, the furnace cleaning, the Pap smear… Don’t all those activities sound delightful? Wouldn’t it be great to do them all in one day? I digress…

Yesterday Sugar shook with excitement when she pulled a great big envelope out of her back pack and announced that she’s selling magazines because IF SHE SELLS ENOUGH SHE GETS A REALLY COOL PRIZE LIKE A WHOOPIE CUSHION. I asked her if she knew we were moving and she said yes. I asked if she thought we’d have time to hit up every person we know with a pulse to push her goods… she said no. Given that we were at the new house waiting for the flooring guy, I got out of dealing with pouty face by saying I’d look things over when we got home. {God grant me serenity and give me a freakin’ backbone!} We get home and she starts back in on the fundraiser information. She REALLY WANTS TO SELL SOME MAGAZINES SO SHE CAN WIN SOME PRIZES.

Everyone is aware, I’m sure, of my love for the Mommy Mafia and the PTA Bitches. These women band together and swarm across a crowd of innocent mommys and try to con them into joining forces and embracing the life of supporting our children in their schools. It’s hard enough for me to keep sane when they come after me to Be One With Them, but to sic these bitches on a school full of innocent children? I’m not exactly sure what they told our sweet babies yesterday, but it was obvious that had they been selling time shares, every child in attendance would have a 40 year mortgage on a second home they’d visit one week a year.

Where do these women train? They give the best commission-paid salespeople I know a run for their  money. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that David Koresh, Jim Jones and door knocking Jehovah’s Witnesses all trained under these women. I don’t know what their hook was exactly… ‘free’ cheap crap? If that’s what they’re after, I’ll throw the girls each $5 and let them loose in the Dollar Store. I just don’t understand what tempts these kids to sell crap to their loved ones only to earn other cheap crap.

I can understand fund raising, truly I can. There’s never enough money to go around. However, when I think about the standard fundraisers and how much time I invest, it makes more sense for me to donate goods, services or cold hard cash to the school on a regular basis. By doing that, I give what I want, when I want… and I never have to play collections agent either.  

Ice Princess

Monday, November 7, 2011

Brief Interruption

Biggest news first, the structural engineer came last week and deemed that all was well with the foundation. In retrospect, it's all my fault that it was questioned. For the last nine years, I've been saying that someday the house was going to slide right down the hill. Not only was I wrong, but I was glad to be wrong.

What's that? Yes, Ice Princess was WRONG and it's right here in black and white for you all to see, even refer back to it when you talk about "That one time Ice Princess was wrong..." Whatever you do, don't tell EN I was ever wrong.

Meanwhile, I look back over the blog and see that it's been a week since I uttered a peep. I guess time has gotten away from me a bit. It will probably continue to be that way until we're fully out of one house and into another. My apologies if my posts become sporadic for a bit... be warned, it's better than reading my rant about having to take everything out of drawers just to go across town. Hrmph.

Ice Princess