Sunday, November 29, 2009

I am so full. Ugh. The thought of taking a bite of food right now makes me shudder. I swear, I have been doing nothing but eating for 4 days. Maybe even four and a half.

Pizza, chips and salsa, turkey, pumpkin cheesecake, crab stuffed fillet, cookies, gravy, smoked salmon, lemon pie, leftovers, egg nog chai lattes, egg nog pancakes, bacon, wine...

Stuffed. Me. I think I will just eat celery for a few days. I mean, tomorrow. When I can think about food again without wanting to curl up in the fetal position.

Gobble gobble.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I can’t figure out how to put this next post together. My day Thursday was like one of those movies that flashes from scene to scene, and chronology doesn’t really matter until it all comes together at the end.

I’ll start at the bus stop. I’m standing on the corner watching Sweet Pea and her friend run up the sidewalk after school. They are shouting to me, “She won!” and “Mama! I won this at school today.” She has a little brown piece of paper in her hand. But I was at her school for all but 15 minutes of her day. What is she talking about?

When they get to me Sweet Pea hands me an envelope from Hastings Book store. It has, “Manners Quiz - $15” written on it. She says, “Mom, I won the Manners Quiz!”

Oh, right. I remember walking the halls that morning and seeing all the older kids dressed in button up shirts and ties, or sparkly dresses (presumably from last Christmas.) Today was the manners lunch.

“You did! That’s great!!” I am so happy for her. Just a few days before we had filled out a multiple choice manners quiz, and I had been so proud of her! Not just because she got all but one answer right on the first try, and without help from me. But because she had – also without assistance – remembered which letter the correct answer was, and circled A, B, C, or D without having to ask which letter was which. And then, she had found about half the words in the word search puzzle on her own too. Man, we have come so far in 3 months!

“What did you win honey?”

“I’m the winner Mom! The little card fell out of this envelope. But I WON. And I got a high five from the principal.”

“Wait. What? The little card…Oh…”

“And Mom, I got to have my picture taken with 3 other kids for the school newsletter.”

“Honey, the little card is the money part. That’s the prize. Do you know where you lost it?”

“I showed it to Willie on the wall, and then when I got on the bus the card was out. Mom, I’m the winner!!”

“So maybe it’s in the grass outside your school? Let’s get in the car and go look.”

“Ok Mom!”

Did I do a good job conveying that she did not give a rip that she lost her prize? Because I have yet to mention the crushing disappointment I felt over her losing it. I am thinking of all the books she would have loved to buy with the $15. She is looking at an empty envelope like it’s the World Cup. I am wondering if I should secretly replace the gift card. She is wondering if she can have the envelope framed and displayed proudly in the living room.

So we got in the car and went to her school to look in the grass. No luck. We left a note in the office. Asked a bus driver to put an APB out to the bus company. Checked her cubby. Checked her backpack one more time. Nada. I was so sad.

She did not care even a little tiny bit.

On the way home I remembered something she said. “Uh, wait…did you say you got your picture taken for the school newsletter?”

Mental flashback. 11:15 AM. We are late and I am trying to get the kids out the door so we can drop Will off at Grandma’s in time to make it to her school so that I can set up for my Art Mom lesson. Sweet Pea comes down the stairs sporting her signature style…Bag Lady Chic. Tan pants, black turtleneck, pink floral print tunic, and the 5-year-old Disney Princessified version of Sorrel snow boots. The effect is very Napoleon Dynamite. It’s questionable whether or not she has combed her hair at any time in recent history.

On another morning I would have marched her back up stairs for at LEAST some tangle spray and different shoes. But today we do not have the luxury of being cute. Today is Art Mom day. (And I look cute. So, you know, whatever.)

Sooo…All the kids at Sweet Pea’s school were sporting “grade school formal”, while Sweet Pea looked like she might be an escaped mental patient. Of COURSE she got her picture taken for the school newsletter! And sandwiched between the kids who won the best dressed prize no doubt. Also, an adult gave my 5 year old $15, but didn’t make her put it in her backpack until she got home. Brilliant. And she is smiling like a starlet at the Oscars who just keeps saying, “I’m just so happy to be nominated!”

That’s it. I want to be 5.

Good news. The secretary at her school called to let me know that someone found her gift card and turned it into the office. And I picked out her clothes today. All’s well that ends well.


Friday, November 20, 2009

If you are one of those people who thinks paranormal/metaphysical/spiritual stuff is really fruity, then you should just go up to the corner of your browser and click the little red button now. It’s about to get all kinds of Del Monte up in here.

Sweet William has a cold. A cold that by day has been no big deal. No fever. No unusual crankiness. He doesn’t even have green crusty nose. (Thank you Jesus!) But at night it morphs into this horrendous bronchial nightmare that results in a hacking cough, crying, moaning, sleeplessness…Its awful! The night before last I found myself by his bed at two o’clock in the morning tearfully praying that he would be able to get some rest. (And, ok, let’s be honest…me too.)

Thankfully, he did fall asleep. I didn’t hear him cough again until 4:15. He was kind of rustling around, so I lay in bed and waited for him to come into my room for the now standard “snuggle in mom and dad’s bed” before I took him back to his room and the overworked vaporizer. But then it was quiet again. So I sleepily weighed the pros and cons of getting up to check on him. After all, I didn’t want to wake him up. And it was so warm and cozy in my nice big bed…

But then it wasn’t. All of a sudden the air around my face, shoulders, and down one arm got really cold. Really, really, cold. It felt like the French doors in my bedroom had blown open to the night air. Except, that it wasn’t like a gust of air. It was like a heavy blanket of air. And on my face and arm were icy cold hands.

So. As I am want to do in situations like this, I started to pray out loud. The Our Father is kind of my go-to prayer for visits from the spirit world. You never know if you’re going to need that “deliver us from evil” part. And it can’t hurt to offer up a little “hallowed be thy name” either. Then I started to sing this old youth group song I know about stomping on Satan. What can I say? I’m a pessimist.

But then I heard Will coughing again, and he sounded so far away. I totally forgot about being freaked out and jumped out of bed so fast I even surprised my sleepy self. Once I stepped out into the hallway I could hear and see that he was downstairs in our living room with every light in the house on. He was playing with his trains and getting really irritated that his TV shows weren’t on.

So I just said, “Thanks Grandma, I’ve got it from here.” And I did.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pssst. Go check out my friend J's newish blog called The Gridiron Girl's Guide to the Good Life. It's fantastic!

While you're doing that I am going to go sit on the couch and recover from a day of teaching art to kindergarteners.


Monday, November 02, 2009

Ok. I used to be pretty good at this blogging thing. Now, I am so behind in my posting I haven't even told the world about my girl's weekend in Vegas. (Gee, how does the planet continue to move 'round the sun?)

We had a fantastic time. It was probably tame by Vegas standards. But on our mommy radar, it pretty much rocked.

We stayed at the MGM and upgraded to a small suite, which was perfect for the 4 of us. We upgraded by joining their Prima program, which was totally worth it. The way it works is that you prepay $500 in room charges, and then you charge against that while you are there. But the perks that come with doing that saved us a bunch of money, and made it so we didn't have to stand in lines for anything at the MGM. We had full concierge service, and even a free limo transfer. So, if you are planning a Vegas trip check out the Prima program! We had no problem spending the $500 by the way...

We ate two great dinners at the MGM. The first night was sushi and yummy saki at Shibuya. The second night was mouth watering Italian at Fiamma. The third night we decided to really tourist it up and had the buffet at Treasure Island, and honestly it was really good and super inexpensive. (Which is kinda what you're looking for on your last night in Vegas...)

Nightlife was a blast. The first night we were in town my friend Becky's husband hooked us up with VIP at all the clubs in the Palms. So we started at Ghostbar where we threw down $11 for a drink and then stood on the clear platform that looks 55 stories down to the street below. I was the only one brave enough to stand in the middle of it! (So I had to jump up and down just to freak my girls out a little...) After Ghostbar we headed over to the Playboy club and watched girls sling drinks in The Bunny Suit, and people with more money than us give it right back to the Casino. And I thought $11 for a drink was expensive!

From Playboy we went to Moon. It was there that we made a startling discovery. First, we are still super cute. That was the good part of the startling discovery. Because the rest of that thought goes, "FOR OUR AGE." Oh man. We are totally in the Cougar category. All our hopes of having suave Vegas mens buy us drinks went out the window when we kept getting hit on by 20 year olds who clearly thought that WE were going to buy THEIR drinks. Damn.

After getting rid of the entourage of Puppies that somehow latched onto us (Picture me pointing my puppy toward a girl in a skanky red dress and saying, "Go talk to her.") we headed down to Rain. That was another lesson in Cougardom. There was a group of guys on the dancefloor wearing giant blonde afro wigs. So we naturally decided we needed to see what that was all about. Turns out they were from New Zealand, and in town for a bachelor party. (Yeah. They spent $1200 and flew 14 hours for a bachelor party. Strippers must not exist in New Zealand?) After about 3 minutes of conversation I found myself giving one of the guys advice about his girlfriend back home. In a very school guidance counselor or you know...MOMish kind of way. Oy.

So much for 40 being the new 30.

But, I suppose that's better than a bunch of drunks thinking they can grope you because they paid for your $11 drink.

The second night we hooked up with my brother and his darling girlfriend at Pure. (Well, half of us did. Two of the girls had tickets to the Justin Timberlake concert. Which they said was fabulous. Natch.) We met at like 11:00. Which is really late when you are a Cougar...err, I mean a Mommy. I thought we were going to fade before our stilettos* gave us our first blister. But something about my brother waltzing in and steering us past the line of 300 people to the double-secret-extra-VIP line gave us a second wind.

*I should just mention here, that we looked really good. I mean, REALLY good. The whole weekend. We vamped it up reaaal nice. I wish I would have taken some pictures of the Vegas Fashion we paraded down the strip. But you know the rules. Although, I guess I am totally breaking the rules by posting a play by play on my blog. Hmmm. Damn. Should have taken pictures of the outfits.

We were in the elevator in Pure when some girl says, "Did you guys know that Sean Kingston is here tonight?" Everyone nodded excitedly. Including me, even though I was totally faking it. Then my brother Alex says, "That's cool. Did you know Alex Golightly is here tonight?" And again, there were nods of excitement. Dork.

As it turns out I do know who Sean Kingston is. Or, at least, when he started singing I recognized the song from my ipod. I'm cool like that. However, he was not the only famous person in Pure that night. We discovered this when an entourage of about 7-8 very, VERY well dressed men walked past us by the bar. I was thinking that you really CAN tell when a guy is wearing a 10K suit, and noticing them noticing me (heh) when my friend Katina said excitedly, "That's Oprah's boyfriend!! That's Oprah's boyfriend!!" Well hello Steadman! Apparently he is appreciative of blondes in catsuits. I'm just sayin...

That night was so much fun. Hanging out with my brother and his friends was sick. (That's good in I-learned-how-to-talk-like-my-younger-brother-who-has-double-secret-extra-VIP-status-all-over-Vegas speak.) We laughed and danced and oops! Drank a lot of Vodka tonics. I should send a fruit basked to his friend Tim who let us crash his table service. THANKS TIM!! And then somewhere around 3:30 we headed home. Yay! We stayed up late and partied like rock stars! Viva Las Vegas!!

The next morning was a little rocky for me. But, HELLO, that's what you get for waking up in Vegas. I rallied. And then I realized that I lost my cell phone. Which was a bummer. But I did find a bunch of random sequins on the floor by my bed while I was looking for it. And that seemed sort of fitting. So I got some McDonalds hashbrowns and powered through.

That day we shopped, and then I napped. WOOO to the HOO for the vacation nap, by the way. Naps are so fabulous. Really. Why do 2 year olds hate naps?? I would love it if someone told me to take a nap every day. Apres nap I was feeling right as rain, so we strapped on our FMP's one last time and headed to Treasure Island for
Mystere. Katina's father in law got us free tickets. We were so excited to go we didn't even care if they were in the nosebleed section. And, bonus, my brother and his lovely lady friend were joining us. So imagine how excited we were when we picked the tix up at will call and realized they were FRONT ROW.

I know, right? This trip was so FUN!!!

It goes without saying the Cirque de Soleil is absolutely incredible. (That's why they get to have 5 different shows around Vegas.) My expectations were exceeded to the Nth power. AMAZING. And, you know, even cooler when the performers are close enough to touch you. I think we all sat slackjawed for the entire performance. I can't wait to take Sweet Pea someday!

It was sad to say goodbye to my brother and Sarah at the end of that night. The next day was all taxis, airport lines, and security screens.

But then I got home to those sweet babies of mine and I remembered why it's nice to get away but even better to come home.

Shaking the glitter off...