Monday, December 31, 2007

Create in 2008

In a few short hours, we will be headed to our New Year's party destination which is an Orlando hotel with room service, board games and a pool. No driving, cleaning or cooking; but plenty of reading, writing and playing. I can think of no better way to ring in 2008...

A year that I am looking forward to.

I have a good feeling about this one. I am excited about more than a few opportunities in the coming weeks, as well as those I make myself. Surrounded by a supportive family and wonderful friends, I am kind of excited for potential change or amazing sameness.

So I hope you all have a safe and happy New Year tonight, and I'll see you in 2008!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

I am typing this from my new desk, does it look more organized?

I actually started my New Year's Resolutions in November to avoid the holiday rush.

In that spirit, this should be relatively easy to keep the cookies out of my mouth, and my thighs on the treadmill. I should have no problem becoming an anal organized writer/mother in the next few days.

Ha! However, I have just finished emptying the contents from my card table/cardboard box makeshift desk, into my brand-spanking new Pottery Barn Bedford mahogany desk with hutch. It is such a dramatic change from my former chaotic work conditions, I felt the inspiration to write nearly two pages of novel this afternoon. I am hoping to keep up this pace and then some so as to complete said project by my birthday.

There. I said it out loud.

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And in contest news, I am giving away that last HP Photsmart Compact Photo printer in a drawing. So, If your New Year's Resolution list includes printing more of your digital photos, email me at Divamail@SuburbanDiva.com to be entered into a drawing to win.

But now, I am off to a football viewing party. On my way, I will be stopping by the office supply store for paper clips and pens to load up my new drawers with desk-like things.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

12/26/07

I kinda like December 26th...at least this one.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were wonderful. Beautiful days of joy, family and friends. Always a whirlwind of peppermint activity, but at the same time a pleasant quiet of soul.

So today was spent testing out new presents, clearing paths and installing batteries, but tonight I find myself with a singular hour of peace in which ice cream is being prepared in the new electric maker, a rack of lamb is roasting away, and the baby sleeps soundly from happy exhaustion. I read a few chapters of a great book on the treadmill, played board games with my Dad, husband, and kids, and even cajoled a solid page of my novel from hiding.

Not bad for the 26th of December. Not bad at all.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Santa's coming tonight

Happy Christmas, Yoko.

Happy Christmas, John.


And Happy Christmas to all of you.

Friday, December 21, 2007

TGIF I guess

I am waiting on those pictures from last night's festivities, but she was wonderful as Baby Jesus. Albeit a little big.

I got that column out today, as well as posted a new contest:

And just in time for all of those Christmas parties over the weekend, next week's winner will be that person who sends me a picture of the ugliest Christmas sweater.

Email me at Divamail@Suburbandiva.com by December 27. And again, my house--and my person--are ineligible.



So feel free to enter and make me laugh at the same time.

I have my last remaining babysitter hours before CHristmas later this afternoon before a party. I have my last couple of errands and then a decision: work out or pedicure? Or should I say thighs or toes?

Dang. Thighs.

I'll wear closed-toed shoes but cuter pants. :)

Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Jessica: Princess of Peace

The shipping department at Casa de la Diva is officially closed...I sent out the last card/present this morning.

I also gave Jessie a bath and laid her down for a long nap because in mere hours, she will be starring as Baby Jesus in the Christmas program.

We've been working on her lines all morning...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The 500th Non-Xmas Blog

In honor of the one week before Christmas mark and my 500th blog entry!, I have decided to spare us all any more "I'm busy with Christmas" postings because 1) I am, and 2) you are as well so you are probably not here to read any more about it. So, for the next week, you have my promise that we'll talk about something other than that. It is my gift to you.

So whattya wanna talk about? The only other thing of note besides the Thing That Shall Not be Named is a literary epiphany of sorts. That last little piece of inspiration/entire idea for a project I've been working on for, oh? my entire life.

Maybe 2008 is the year for it. I hope.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Unless you are an email confirmation on my recent order or a cashier at Toys R Us, I can't talk to you right now

Great parties this weekend, not so great cleanup today. Because this is crunch week, folks, and this is one gal who needs some serious crunch.

So don't expect much else than shopping, wrapping, shipping, cleaning, baking, cooking and more shopping this week from me. In dirty clothes and from unmade beds.

Friday, December 14, 2007

I'm too tired to title this

Dudes, this cat is beat.

I am sitting here writing a book review (due tomorrow of course) getting ready for a party I've been looking forward to, and coming off a huge week of Christmas prep while readying the house with food and drink for our annual holiday soiree on Sunday, and I am whipped. Last night's field trip to the ER sapped me hard. I really need to rally in the next few hours. There are nogs to egg and toes to mistle.

yuck

And what would our week be without a trip to the ER?

I can write about it now, but I was terrified for a bit last night, I tell you.

We were getting into bedtime gear, which in our house takes no less than 3 hours by the time everyone has eaten, bathed, homeworked, desserted, procrastinated, watched hockey or equivalent sporting event. So were in the middle of that exercise when Amy started choking on something. I couldn't figure out what, and did my best to extract whatever it was. Although nothing came up, she threw up and kept screaming, "mouth!" So I rushed her to the ER where they did an X-ray and couldn't find anything. They surmised it may have been soap or shampoo. I don't know.

She is okay now, but we are still shaking. These are the times that her speech difficulties are really a handicap.

More than just having me for a mother.

Monday, December 10, 2007

I wear my sunglasses at night

Sean added a few more pieces to the outdoor light display this on Saturday.

On Sunday, I suffered my first Grand mal seizure.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Have you entered yet?

We need some more entries on our weekly contest to win the HP Photosmart compact photo printer!

The question is: What is the oldest picture you have on your camera card right now?

Email me at Divamail@suburbandiva.com with the answer before midnight Monday for the big prize!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Friday

I'm a wee bit pleased with the yuletide progress o' the week. While I am not by any means done, many of my tougher recipients are taken care of, so that is a big relief. Wrote a column, organized the house, made it to the gym a few times and ordered the Christmas cards from Snapfish. (For that free shipping when you enter in "DIVAHOLIDAY") I might even get them out at a reasonable time this year...

And from the shipping department of Sub Diva, Inc, I have managed to send my first contest winner her prize, so that's good. You local winners should get some of your goodies this weekend. And to know what I'm talking about here, you have to sign up over at SuburbanDiva.com for free stuff.

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We got the tree last night, and the house smells wonderful. A gajillion pine needles everywhere, but it smells heavenly. Amy is particularly enamored with that tree. It is precious. There will not be a single unbroken ornament from her decorating efforts, but what are you going to do? It's Christmas.

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And finally, this is the only time of year when Jingle's name makes sense. Which ends up to be little consolation because having a 1 year old puppy eating ornaments, lights, toys, and my patience still makes no sense at all.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Clean the Halls with Boughs of Clorox

Before one can fully deck the halls, one must wash them. So, that's what I did today.

I cleaned those things that don't get my daily attention. Like the laundry room, for instance. I washed the washing machine in an ironic twist. The carpets got cleaned. I cleaned 1/2 of my closet. And then I went to the grocery store to stock back up on all of the crap I just threw away.

But all is not lost today. I got my column almost written and Amy is singing "the Snow Miser" song, and keeps repeating, "icicle," which is a beautiful sound in all of its 3-syllable glory.

We might have to take a Christmas light tour tonight to celebrate Wednesday...

Monday, December 03, 2007

Planning for tomorrow already

Even Jessie is having a weird hair day. She looks like Dr. Suess styled it this morning.

So if I don't get an appointment to cut my freakishly long hair tomorrow, I'm going to go to the fancy-schmancy Mall tomorrow on Diva Tuesday. Sean is traveling and there is no December meeting this month, so that means I can use this Tuesday to shop like the fool that I am.

Anyone wanna go? There is a Girl's Night Out planned for Wednesday I hear tell, but I can't afford babysitter time this month for mindless drinking--only mindless shopping.

I hate that.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

We need a little Christmas

It is time...

It is December now, it is time to get this whole Christmas frenzy appropriately frenzied.

So yesterday I shopped my fingers off. Meaning anything that could be bought online, was. I memorized my Amex #, and 3 hours and 17 order confirmation emails later, I found myself at the 50% mark done. With every copuon, free shipping offer and diva discount I could find.

50%!

That is a huge number for me on December 2.

Now I'm waiting for Sean to return from Target with the rest of the decorations and the lights. Yeah, you know because we buy a full set of lights every year because he takes them down like Tarzan.

Friday, November 30, 2007

An early gift

Did you sign up over on SuburbanDiva.com yet? Because you can't win all of this until you do! Here is my newsletter from this morning:

A column just in time to start (or finish if you unlike me) your holiday shopping.

But, do not fret! Our friends at HP are giving us a gift! For the next five weeks, Suburban Diva subscribers (that is you if you are reading this) are eligible for some awesome prizes!

To win this
HP Photosmart compact photo printer
that allows you to print photos directly from your digital photo card without a computer, email me the answer to this simple question:

How many unprinted digital photos do you have on your camera right now?

The subscriber that emails me with the highest (and true, please!) number by Monday, December 3rd wins the printer or a $100 gift card from Snapfish.com if you prefer to print your pictures online!

And don’t worry if you don’t win this week, the contest will run through the month of December!

But wait! There’s more!

You are also entitled to a special offer and free goodies from Snapfish just by being a Suburban Diva subscriber! New users to Snapfish will receive 25 free prints and 20 free holiday slimline cards when you register at www.Snapfish.com/diva. New and existing users can enter the coupon code "DIVAHOLIDAY" at checkout for free shipping on slimline cards through 1/30/08. Perfect timing!

So check those camera and email me at Divamail@SuburbanDiva.com soon! Tell your friends to sign up too! Finally, reading my insipid columns every week will pay off for you!


A gift to you.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Diva Debate Analysis

I preface this with the disclosure that I am not a Republican, but this post will not contain any bashing of the GOP. Much. Kidding. Sorta.

We entered the building under tight security. No cell phones or cameras, so you'll have to do with the written description or you can try to find my post-debate comments on YouTube, but I'm not directing you there. I was bummed about the camera--I wanted to get a shot of the protesters outside, and the amazing contrast of the CNN set inside. Because it dawned on me then, that that was the point of this. Democracy at its finest. Peaceful protest; grass roots cheers and jeers unfiltered by a television network.

So we climbed up to the balcony and sat next to a woman whose hair looked like it was styled by a cotton candy machine. She was dripping with mint julep praise of Mike Huckabee while I expressed my excitement over seeing Anderson Cooper and his new fancy shoes. Anyway, we were a little worried that we would be confined to our seats for the entire debate (3 hours) with no food, bathroom breaks, cell phones or drinks. Yeah, it was a dry debate. Ouch. To pass the time, we decided that we would do a shot in the future every time a candidate made a reference to Ronald Reagan. I think we knew that would be a lot more thirst-quenching than the one Bush mention.

I wondered at first how this YouTube questioning would work. Admittedly, the only things I've watched on YouTube were some kids making Mentos-Diet Coke rockets and some idiot who put a firecracker in his rear end. Really not what I would consider intelligent politics. But as the questions were asked in this format, I began to realize the magic of it all.

Setting aside some of the Internet theatrics, these were honest people asking honest questions. They asked the things you or I would have if we talking over dinner. These were things that were important to them, and they deserved to be addressed by the person that wants to become their president.

The candidates are politicians so the answers weren't much more than what you would expect, but for the first time in a very long time, I noticed a small shift in the political wind.

Not between red and blue states, donkeys or elephants; but a shift in our national consciousness. Real or imagined, the 20 questions asked may not have been the most important issues to everyone, but they were important someone, and seeing Joe from Philadelphia addressing John McCain or Frank from Brooklyn questioning Rudy Guiliani without a polished Made for TV Question was more powerful than I can describe.

YouTube didn't degenerate it as I had feared. I wouldn't go as far as to say it elevated political discourse, either. But in some small way, it righted it, and a small correction was made, if only for 3 hours.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Is my babysitter a tax deduction for tonight?

So, guess where I'm going tonight? Nope, not Target or Toys R Us like perhaps I should be given I have not purchased a single gift...

But no! I'm going to the CNN/YouTube Debate!

Ha! I can't believe I passed the security check, but I'm not in my seat yet so there is still time to be turned away at the door.

I know you are questioning my blue state self at a red state event, but I'm a political junkie (i.e. nerd) and I love this stuff.

So watch for me. I'll be the long-haired girl with the tape over her mouth surrounded by security.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Diva Holiday

I thought I'd give you a big hint at your present, reader.

I'm going to be hosting some MAJOR promotions in the coming weeks with lots and lots of fun giveaways. We're talking really great, real prizes, not just my stupid usual gift of gab. The only catch is, you must be a Suburban Diva subscriber.

It's free, but it's different from le blog, so get yourself over to official site to get on the list. It will be soooo worth it, I promise.

Here: at Suburbandiva.com.

Back at it

On our last episode of As The Diva Turns Crazy, she was doing her hair to go to the Hannah Montana concert before loading the four children up into the car for a 13 hour car ride solo up north...Let's see what happens next.

You know, I love Thanksgiving. I really do. I love spending it with family. Which is why I threw those little ones into the car last Tuesday and headed to South Carolina so they could have some cousin time. And aunt, uncle, grandparent and great-grandparent time. And these are the moments that I feel like I'm doing something right and good as a mother. I said in my column that it was a cynic's day off, and maybe I should take more of those vacation days. I am glad I did, but I have to admit that it will probably be my last solo road trip for a while. I just can't do it sanely by myself anymore. I seriously can't parent very well through the rear view mirror for 13 hour stretches.

But speaking of just plain ole nice things of the maternal variety, check out this Precious Moms website when you can. There is a lot of great ideas here, and it's nice to see a parenting site with this point of view.

And while I am enjoying this first and last day of complete domesticity, non-cynical me before embarking on the Yuletide season in earnest, I will go finish the laundry, make dinner, do homework, clean up after Jingle and enjoy every non-moving mile of it.

Stay tuned for our next episode when SubDiva uploads Hannah Montana concert pictures and we finally find out if she embarrassed her children as thoroughly as she could singing "Best of Both Worlds" out of tune with 21,000 9 year olds...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Do you have that in a size 42 long?

So, after backing out the expenses of the ad, signs and supplies...we made a net profit of -$15.12.

I will never do that again.

I guess perhaps I am not garage sale savvy enough to hold such an event, as I could not adequately answer this question from one customer:

Weird guy: Do you have any men's clothing?

Me: No, sorry.

W>G>: Will you have some later?

Huh? Am I supposed to expect shipments in from Milan? Or should my inventory be supplemented by raiding Sean's closet? Dude, it's a garage sale. Not a radio station. I don't take requests.

And more from the Never Say Never news files, I am attending the Hannah Montana concert tomorrow night. Yep, not taking my kids, but they are escorting me as I am "working" the show. More on that later, because I honestly don't know what that will entail except taking a whole lot of pictures and then blogging my fingers off. But hey, it'll be column/blog worthy for years...

We are packing up and heading out on Tuesday for Turkey celebrations in the north. Looking forward to it....

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Some hodge podge of thoughts this late Thursday evening

~I miss my dog.

~I have turned in all of my assignments this month--rather proud of each for a change, but am looking forward to the time off from thinking about it. I need perspective. Desperately.

~The temperature plummeted 20 degrees from my walk from the office supply store to Old Navy. I bought lots of long sleeves and pants. And I liked it.

~And I liked buying those long pants in a decent size after spending 4 days a week at the gym. 5 next week if I want to eat pumpkin pie. Not a piece, but a pie.

~This garage sale thing will either be a brilliant stroke of genius, or a miserable failure. When Mrs. Kravitz come down and haggles with me for a broken waffle iron for a quarter, I might hit her with it, creating a Eggo-like imprint across her face.

~I miss my dog.

~For the last month, I have been in various states of argument with the phone/Internet/Cable provider. I hate them. They have rendered me Amish for days on end, and if I get one more operator lying to me about when it's going to be fixed, I might hit them with the broken waffle iron. I don't live in a Brighthouse, I live in Mennonite house.

~I need sleep. Good night.

~I sure do miss that dog.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sad day

We're sad today. Just plain sad.

Cricket the Wonder Dog, 15 years old, has passed. If my heart wasn't broken enough, my kids' are shattered. We're going to miss that beast. She was the best dog ever.

Argh. I can't talk about it.

Anyway, I'm in the midst of shuffling various crapola to the garage for my garage sale on Saturday. Yes, you read that right. GARAGE SALE. I hate them. Hate having them, hate going to them. But I am to the point that even my creative genius that thrives in chaos, is struggling to find a pen in which to record such genius. So, I have devised this plan to sell and then purge whatever doesn't.

Knowing my personal disdain for this, Sean is less than impressed. In fact, he doubts that I will pull off such a thing--a first in our life--and is not willing to haggle with little old ladies over three-legged tables and missing paged books. His loss I say! If all goes well we'll make $9.76.

Just enough for that fourth leg...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Nothing

Today, I'm celebrating nothingness.

Well, actually alotofness, but this is the last day in which there is nothing I truly have to do. There are a lot of things I will do. Should do. Can do. But nothing that I have to, and that's kind of wonderful.

The big boys are out of town--my baby boy is on a special trip which makes me so proud and incredibly nervous at the same time. So it's just me and the little ones puttering, playing, lounging and hanging. Yesterday we saw a movie and went to dinner, and today we're watching football. It's pleasant.

Next week and beyond will not be such a lazy pace. There are a billion things on the calendar in addition to all of my daily unscheduled nonsense, but today I will rejoice in cleaning out the refrigerator and baking cookies.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Only one size of Pampers at the grocery store for me, thanks

Seriously. WTF?

Time to boast for a moment. A-Dog is potty trained. After flirting with the concept for months, The Diaper Fairy finally took all of the diapers away and left small gifts in their place for a week. It didn't even take that long, and NO PULL-UPS!

Mind you, I am only giving myself that small paragraph of pride because it didn't take long for me to be humbled in every other life aspect. Matty had strep throat. Jessie has some strange intestinal infection that required the absolute most disgusting collection procedures, and I am forcing Stevie to work through his impending illness since he will miss a week of school next week when he goes on his trip. But what are you going to do? Amy is out of diapers!!

After cleaning the house to expunge the germ, I'm going to the gym to expunge the birthday cake from my thighs.

Happy Thursday.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Make a wish

Today is one of those kinds of days when I am seriously regretting a recent decision not to forward a particularly insipid friendship chain letter that advised me to make a wish and forward to 800 people I must no doubt passive aggressively hate, or some doom would befall me. Instead of following those instructions in the FW: FWD: Re: fwd: fwd: (possibly spam) re: forward:, I deleted it and made a wish people would stop sending me these things.

Maybe I should have complied for a better day.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Happy Birthday Stevie!

Oh my gosh. My baby is 12. That's just crazy. Crazy scary.

Anyway, you'll just have to wait until after those birthday celebrations to get your pictures. I'm too scattered to upload the camera card because all my video creativity is being sunk into editing my HP internetfomercials and coming up with my next one. I am sitting here in my Hannah Montana wig waiting for inspiration.

No, I'm not kidding.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Boo!

Happy Halloween! Oh, you will so be getting photos of the kids in their costumes with a most impressive Underdog carved pumpkin courtesy of the baby sitter, a video blog too, if I can get it together by then. But right now I've got cookies in the oven and I'm picking up Jingle shrapnel because she went crazy last night and chewed up every flipping plastic thing in the house.

And if that's not scary enough, my divamail inbox is truly frightening. I think I've mentioned before that this particular email address seems to get some of the filthiest spam generated, and part of my morning routine is to delete unread messages from Russian mail order brides. Well, lately I've noticed that the subject lines have resorted to personal insults in addition to mispelled generic drug sales. Today one read, "Your penis is so thin, it can hide behind a pencil."

(pause)

I truly have no appropriate response to this.

None.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Sweeping up

If you've been playing the home version of the SubDiva game, you know that for the past few weeks, we've been doing 1 of three things: 1) Celebrating something, 2) Going to a doctor, 3)working on a school project. And not that this week will be any different with an eldest son's 12th birthday on Friday, follow-up appointments for the girls and all said projects due concluding with a certain reluctant second grade St. Francis parading grumpily on All Saints Day; but for this gloomy Monday, I will be chained to the clean-up that results from all of said month's activities. And somewhat glad about it, too. So if you need me, I'm in the laundry room or taking trash to the curb.

But before I switch loads, I will leave you with a few pictures.



Jessie, none too pleased with the temperature of her costume.



One of my new all-time favs, a really good big brother.



Stevie's first school dance. Sniff.



The inevitable party at Chuck E. Cheese....

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Mom

So I've been thinking about my Mom a lot lately--today especially. She's been gone 8 years now, and it never gets easier. I keep thinking she's just gone to the store, and she's going to be right back...

Matty found a baby's I.D. bracelet on the floor of his room. It is tarnished silver and it has her name on its tiny plate. I'm sure Amy pulled it from my jewelry box, but I told Matty that it is sort of like pennies from heaven--angels sometimes leave these signs to let you know they are watching over you. I made that up--mainly because I wanted it to be true. But wouldn't you know, we have found that bracelet in a dozen different places over the last week, even after I had put it away?

And then a couple of weeks ago, an old friend of ours stopped in for an impromptu visit. We used to work with him up in Michigan, and after we moved to St. Louis and returned to visit my parents, we'd stop in to see he and his wife from time to time. At work, he was the grumpiest guy you'd ever want to meet, but at home, he was a goofball who adored his children and grandchildren with abandon, and he'd play with Stevie while his wife fed me comfort food. I will never forget that they came to her funeral, attempting to help shoulder my grief for a day.

So as they sat in the living room bouncing Jess on his knee and making funny faces at Amy, he asked about my writing. I replied that is was silly, just a hobby, really. And he said, "You know your Mom would be so proud of you. What am I saying? She is proud."

And coming from him, I almost believed it.

And then there is my dear friend Colleen. She still lives up there in Michigan, and we have shared a lot during our 15 year friendship, including, unfortunately, losing our Moms way too soon. She calls me every year on this day, and I can't tell you what a comfort that is. Again, she tries to shoulder that grief for a minute, and it helps.

So Mom, if you are here reading this over my shoulder, please come home from the store. I miss you. We've got plenty of milk, and you could come to Amy's birthday party tomorrow.

I'll save you a piece of cake.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

We got through it




She is a little trooper...and we got through the day pretty messily...

I didn't feed her, and she wasn't too horrified to my surprise. She was very patient and very brave.

Until they did it.

The doctor came back to tell us that her Eustachian tube is not functioning the way it should, but the cause is unknown. The artificial tubes should help, and they should last longer than the last pair. We'll talk again in 2 weeks and get more details then. The child has never had an ear infection...He ended with, "She hates us now, you know."

I figured.

She woke up terrified. It was awful. She ripped off all of the leads and cuffs, and if she could speak fluently, she would have told the nurse to shove that apple juice up her stethoscope, because there was no way she was drinking it. We carried her out shaking, came home and she ate 2 bowls of macaroni and cheese, threw it up all over me, and slept like the dead all night.

So, more to come, as always. But at least this very significant step has been taken, and we can continue along this strange path.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Amy

This is a day you just get through. I don't think we'll get any points taken off for style either, if we can just return home tonight without assault charges on the admissions desk clerk at the hospital or the sadist that scheduled Amy's surgery for 1:30 in the afternoon but won't let her eat or drink after 6 a.m.

Thanks for that. We were up at 5:30 offering her birthday cake and ice cream.

Like I said, no points off for style today.

Be healed today, little one.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Happy Birthday, Amy!



The sweetest 4 year old ever.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Monday all damn day

Upon opening Matty's backpack and reading a note from the school nurse which begins, "There has been a case of head lice in your child's class..." I emit a blood-curdling scream of despair.

Matty: Don't worry Mom. They checked my head today. I don't have it.

Me: Well, that's a relief. Who does?

Matty: They don't tell us.

Me: Okay. Who was absent today?

Matty: B and P. They sit on either side of me.

Me: Repeat blood-curdling scream of despair.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Happy Birthday, Sean!

Actually, it was officially yesterday, but since he was out of town and we had parent teacher conferences, a baseball game, and an emergency pediatrician visit, we're celebrating today.

And what wouldn't be more of a perfect greeting than waking up to this in your front yard:



Or this:



The kids thought it was bewilderedly amusing:



I am going to make a spectacular birthday dinner in mere minutes and shower him with gifts hoping we won't be at the doctor's office all weekend.

Because the perfect baby is sick. The yucky kind of sick that has you watching every breath she takes and monitoring every gesture. She's off formula for a few days, and sucking on Pedialyte bottles to ward off dehydration, which I thought wasn't going to fly, but she really likes the stuff, so that's good. Again, even when she's sick, she's perfect.

But it turns out she can't be sick, because I lose focus on everything else. Today, the hospital called to pre-register Amy for her stuff next week, and I got half way through the call before I realized I had just registered Jessica...Doh. I had to stop and say, "Wait a minute, that's not the right middle name. That's my other daughter. I am an idiot."

I got no disagreement on the other end of the line.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Contest winners and Holly Golightly

Okay, I am ready to announce the winners of our HP Photo Book contest…drum roll please…

Tammy B (whom if you emailed me, please do so again so I can mail you your prize) won Amy, Jingle, and a tube of lipstick.

Mikki identified our sports legends correctly. Chris Dingman of the Lightning, and Bobby “The Chief” Taylor who does the color commentary for the games and who recently introduced me as “The Devil.” But I’m sure he meant it in a nice way. Right?

And I am torn on the bubble caption because they are all dead on. After much deliberation, I am going to have to award this to Bernadette because Amy loves Underdog with a curious and often unsettling passion. But if I get more (hint hint) then the rest of you get some, too!

Thanks for playing—hopefully we’ll have some more contests soon….


****

So last night's weekly power shop went, uh, well. I went to 17 stores for various Fall celebration paraphernalia, and was ragged by 8:00 and still had a $300 grocery trip to make. So instead of shoving a cheeseburger down my throat and erasing what Mr. Treadmill had just done for me, I decided to take a break and sit down and eat at a little Greek cafe by myself. Can I just tell you what a lovely experience that was? I sat munching delicately on a mojo pork sandwich while reading my book. And the book just happened to be "Breakfast at Tiffany's" which I never realized was a book. And a book by Truman Capote no less? Am I the only American not to know this? But I love it for passages such as this: Once a visiting relative took me to "21," and there, at a superior table, surrounded by four men, none of them Mr. Arbuck, yet all interchangeable with him, was Miss Golightly, idly, publicly combing her hair; her expression, an unrealized yawn, put, by example, a dampener on the excitement I felt over dining at so swanky a place.

I so want to have an expression of an unrealized yawn.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

8 Crazy Nights, and Days...

Instead of burning the candle at both ends, I've decided to save time and just torch the middle...

To that end, you are getting a one week recap and a false promise to tend to my blogging habits more attentively.

Monday: We leave at 9am Vegas time, but after an all-nighter at the tables, it is the red eye for us. But we are bumped to First Class, so I am happy for big seats in which to curl my aching body up in.

Tuesday: After unpacking, laundry catching up on emails, phone calls, and the latest alerts from the alarm company letting me know the temperature dipped below 70 degrees and I may want to check the pilot light monitor, I went to my meeting. This is why we didn’t need to go to a show in Vegas, because all the entertainment is right here at home. And while I swear they all deserve the daytime Emmy nomination, I sure wish they didn’t feel the need to give their long acceptance speeches every month. I then had to write 1800 words spinning their drama.

Wednesday: Sucked.

Thursday: One of my favorite events of the year. Combining hockey, gambling, an open bar and good friends. I see no down side.



Friday/Saturday: Visit from sister Diva. Very nice.

Sunday: A family outing to Oktoberfest. Cheesy midway games, precarious rides to make you sick, and a beer tent. We were all happy. A mad dash to a baseball game for some, homework for the rest. Like me who read the last 400 pages (translate, the whole book) in one sitting to make deadline.

Monday (refrain): Caught up on every domestic chore I had neglected as a result of the previous week.

Which brings us full circle to today, and here I sit contemplating Halloween costume requests and birthday party menus. My Tuesday date night is with Mr. Treadmill.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I'll just have a water with a chaser of reality

I will post about Vegas tomorrow, but right now it seems so far away.

Part of your official duty dear Blog, is to act as my cyber-bartender. In the cyber-proverbial sense, of course. There are some moments that I need to write out in order to sort out, and therefore I need you not to act as a shrink, or priest or counsel of any sort; but rather just a casually interested observer who inserts an occasional wise, Hmmmm, while mopping the bar or drying a shot glass while I spin a tale of woe or wax poetic. I'm sorry if this didn't fir your job description, but you should have read the fine print of your contract.

And today's tale is of Amy. Please don't tell me all of the things I already know like, "She's going to be fine," or "It could be worse." Because my mind isn't suffering, it's my heart that's breaking and you will have no words for that.

We went to the doctor again today to discuss the latest hearing tests. It was good, in that I laid out all of my concerns from the onset so as to save time and circumvent the doctor-speak. I frankly tire of it easily these days. So we ended up having an actual discussion, which was both helpful and refreshing.

We discussed the steady decline in those tymps--the test that shows the movement of her eardrum. They were completely flat before surgery, and wide open immediately after so we knew there was improvement. And her speech improved, too. Over the last year she has made amazing progress, truly. But over the last couple of months those tymps have steadily declined again. Today they were absolutely flat. This affects her hearing. On paper, it says she hears the beeps in the headphones, but her doctor thinks the world must sound like everyone is Charlie Brown's teacher. He looked through her chart and declared, "She's never heard any differently. It's like you're starting from scratch."

I've said that same thing a million times, yet to hear him say it, confirm it..it was like a knife to the chest. She will be four in 2 weeks, and I mourn this childhood that I don't think she's ever had. She tries so hard, and yet she can't seem to catch a break. And I watch her try with a maternal ferocity that I would have never thought a human capable of, and I want to keep her tucked under my wing protected forever because I don't want to offer a medical dossier every time a stranger asks her some rhetorical question and fails to get a response. I am tired of talking about it because every word of explanation is a reminder that I have failed her. And not that I am ethnocentric enough to believe that I could have transformed into a pediatric ENT over the last 2 years, but failing her because it is days like this when conversations occur about her in front of her, and that her milestones are measured by a nod, or a repetition of sound, that I am going to lose her to whatever this is--a disease? A condition? A something? A something that robs a little curly-headed girl who wants to sing and play. A thing that commands all of the attention so that no one notices Amy--only that she repeated something or startled at a loud noise. A thief of the things that other four year old girls do. And I hate that thing. And I hate that I hate it because I don't want to be distracted by it, because who will fight for her if my back is turned?

She gets the tubes placed back in two weeks. We think this will help as it did before. It won't be as bad as a year ago, and we know what to expect. And tomorrow I will have reconciled this and prepare with efficiency and strength, and I will resume my position as her greatest fan and cheerleader.

But tonight I just feel like missing that little girl who I can't ask what color she wants her birthday cake to be or where she wants her party.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Diva Attempt at Acting: Take 37

I honestly didn't have too high of hopes for the day when she began to spray paint my make-up on.

Make-up application shouldn't require a plug. I didn't know if I was being prepared for camera or having my bumper detailed.

But after that little scare, things started to unfold for the better. It turns out airbrushing your face on is somewhat attractive. And then 4 Mac tattooed faces turned out a pretty impressive couple of hours of film. Seriously. We stuck to script, we ad libbed, we focused and adapted. We laughed. Our pretending came pretty close to acting, and we stage directed ourselves. We drank our bottled water through straws, and nibbled on our self-catered lunch in between takes. We used words like, "take." And "cut!" and "Don't act too retarded."

It was as close to perfect as it could get. And my friends were stunning. On and off camera.

And now this exhausted wannabe with a freshly scrubbed face (after hours of filming and the Lightning home opener last night, I had beige foundation tinting my mandible) is packing up to join the over 21 crowd in Sin City. Wish me luck--both in my gambling efforts and for being without my babies...

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Make yourself comfortable, this might take a minute

Have you ever had one of those great shopping experiences in which everything that you touched was adorable, your size and on sale?

Yeah, me neither. And certainly not tonight.

I think it's just the universe colluding to make this week the most complicated in every possible way so I completely lose what little mind remains in this head of mine.

And because I only have a minute in which to explain, you will get the whole convoluted week in one long ass post. Go get a drink. I'll wait.

*whistling the tune to "Umbrella."*

Okay, Monday Amy tests were...um..completed. I have no other real result. She passed her hearing test, which I knew she would, but how she hears remains a mystery. Like I know she hears the beep in the headphone, but can she tell the difference between "schoolbus" and "Cuba?" This I have no answer for. Yet. So it goes on.

Goes on to our latest filming adventure. And while I'm still not sure if a webcam and blog necessarily an Oscar-winning actress make, we're trying our hand again at some camera time. Here. With me pulling a Clint Eastwood and writing, directing, and starring in said film. Maybe I'll buy a town in California and employ a wicked sneer. Challenging, but in a good way.

And this weekend we are off to Las Vegas to celebrate a milestone birthday. Not mine, so save your ecards. We will be gone about 52 hours, but you'd think we were backpacking across Europe or something. I just spent $300 in electronic bribes before we leave because Matty is already flexing his guilt muscle. He asked why we had to go away without him, to which I replied that sometimes it's good when Moms and Dads go away a little while together. This was met by those big brown doe eyes filling with tears and me at Target buying a new video game. If Jingle hadn't just eaten yet another shoe, he would've got a new puppy, too.

But we should go, right? I mean, it's okay to have a weekend apart from your kids every 15 years or so....right? 1 weekend to eat meals without paper placemats and crayons, adult swim, sleeping late, staying up later, stroller-less, bottle-less, diaper-less, reading trashy magazines, light gambling, packing lighter, no Disney channel, sure-I'll-Have-A-Mimosa-With-My-Crepes-breakfast, walking the strip, table for 2 with no high chair...I really will miss them terribly, but sometimes it's good when moms and dads go away a little while together. Right????

So that's why it feels as if someone opened a big bag of nerves and spilled them all over the floor.

Clean up in aisle 5.


P.S. The Photo Book contest runs until Friday--so keep it coming below!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Contest

For the past few days, I’ve been going through old photos. Not old, so much as neglected. You know the ones, the hundreds of digital photos that are stored on your hard drive that you email out once (if ever) to the grandparents, and then forget about? Yeah, those.

So anyway, I used this HP Photo Book where you simply drop your digital pictures in a program, select a design, and then the little scrapbook fairies that live in the computer (they’ve got paisley wings and their wands are pinking shears) arrange them into amazing memory books. I added text, and Voila! Jessica’s baby book was complete! While she is still a baby!

This coming from a woman who has never printed a digital photo in her life.

So Matty came in and obviously impressed with my unprecedented creativity asked, “Where’s mine?”

Since he’s only seven, his baby book still isn’t complete. So then I made a Matty book. And so all things are equal, Stevie and Amy books, too. I took photos from photographers, other family members, my phone…What I didn’t have stored on a computer, I scanned. I put them all in these seamless pages that looked as though we’ve been followed by particularly creative paparazzi our whole lives.

And it only took me 4 minutes.

No, it probably took a little longer, but not much since you know I don’t have much time these days.

So I thought I’d offer up a contest of sorts.

The first person to identify these people in this photo wins a Photo Book (a blank one for you to fill, not of my children of course!)



A winner for who can tell me what happened to the dog in this picture:



And still yet another winner for the cleverest caption for this:


Post your comments here and we’ll judge shortly. I’ll even throw in a copy of my book, so start getting creative!

(P.S. The kind folks at HP have offered a 20% off coupon for the Photo Book which will be available starting next week!)

Some Interesting things I've learned this week:

1. The mere suggestion of a clean shirt and matching shirt to a seven year old means that I'm "trying to be the worst mom in the world again."

2. Pine nuts are aphrodisiacs. (No, not personal research but an informative waitress last night.)

3. I need a hair cut. No, a real one. I passed a mirror yesterday and thought, Who let that basset hound in the house? I need serious length taken off, and I'm considering going short.

4. Some of my best ideas come on the treadmill at the gym. There's a happy little bonus. And my clothes fit better, too.

5. We eat really well at restaurants when we don't have the kids with us. But spend 8 times as much.

6. I am really nervous for Amy's hearing appointment on Monday. And I don't know why.

7. Every once in a while, some of the things in my scattered world actually come together into a happy circumstance.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Research

I don't normally do must research when I write column except for some basic spell checks, but since I am smack dab in a dry spell of suburban wisdom, I decided to put a call out to my diva posse.

I should have done this years ago, because you crazy ho's are cracking me up with your replies. Thank you--your comments are being compiled into the cistern of my brain.

This shouldn't be surprising coming from the crew that chose these colors at the pedicureallooza on Saturday: Katharine the Great, Midnight in Moscow, and An Affair in Red Square.

Slavic whores.

*My apologies for the hapless soul who just Googled slavic+whore and found an aging, overwhelmed mom talking about nail polish.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Yabba Dabba Do!

Oh, in a couple of hours I am going to slide down a brontosaurus' back, punch my card in that dodo bird's beak, and end this week of the nebulous work that I do. Pucker up, Wilma, I'm hoomee!!

It's a party tonight, Matty's first baseball game in the morning. Pedicure/beer with the girls, Lightning game, then a Buc's vs. Rams game on Sunday.

And an $18k babysitting tab Sunday night.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Brain iPod

You know how everyday you've got some sort of life soundtrack playing in your head? Today mine was skipping on an annoying Scritti Politti chorus.

Not that it was a bad day, but it was just one filled with B-tracks and long live versions of self-ingratiating guitar riffs.

So I'm ending it now with a good book hoping that tomorrow will be a little bit more in tune...

G'night.

We're outta milk

Well, I didn't make it to Publix last night. Now the kids are going to have to put orange juice or heavy cream in the cereal for another day.

No, instead after the obligatory Target run for posterboard for a school project, I criss-crossed two counties in order to find some bar in which to meet my husband and some old friends. And instead of spreading out construction paper shapes across the table and gluing them to recently-purchased posterboard to help me in my quest to catch my breath, we littered the table with huge burgers and copious bottles of Miller Lite while watching amateur boxing.

Yeah, amateur boxing. Not really on my agenda for the next 40 years, but what can you do? And, I will deny this later so don't bring it up, but it was a good time.

However, now I can fit a wallet in those hot pants with nary a seam.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Still on the inhale

I am stretched so thin right now that I should fit into a size .5 pair of hot pants.

Please join me in my daily afternoon rain dance so we don't have to lug them all to batting practice. I need my Tuesday night.

And not even to do anything selfishly fun--just to run to Publix for milk.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Hapy Birthday to...lot of folks

We celebrated some birthdays last week amongst the Diva posse..



Unbeknownst to me, it is possible to celebrate birthdays at restaurants without ball pits.



So in between reading the remaining 800 pages for the book review that was due two days ago, we had a little fun.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Pep talk to myself

Take a deep breath and focus. If you are smart enough to figure out that Amy has been yelling "Underdog is here!" rather than "What the hell?" then you can figure this little puzzle out.

Friday Minutiae only fit for conversations in my head, and my blog

It's Friday? How did that happen?

It's been a busy week. But the kind of busy that's pleasing. As I've been exercising my thighs on a regular basis, I've also had all of these little happy projects that have exercised my mind as well. So it's all good.

On this Friday, I will wrap up the gajillion things I didn't complete before. I only have 300 pages to read for the review that's due tomorrow...but before that, I will report on the idiocy of the title:

1) Why do they call it an open house if it not a house, nor particularly open?

2) I don't know if it was a freak occurance or the cosmos colliding, but Rod Stewart was on 6 channels simultaneously on Sirius radio yesterday at 3:14 p.m.

3) I need a new desk.

4) At this month's meeting of the absurd, I found myself embroiled in the controversy of their own making. I formed opinions that I had to keep in check. I followed up long after I turned the story in. I actually cared about the election, and was genuinely shocked at the results. I am an idiot.

5) With a few rogue exceptions, I hate most of my neighbors. But this week we got a Halloween invitation from one, and another one (practical strangers) knocked on my door yesterday to check on me because I had left the back of the car open with groceries in there. (I took out all of the perishables and then either got busy with something else or knew perfectly well there was more out there but too lazy to retrieve it.) I was shocked at the random act of kindness and concern. But touched.

6) If I do nothing else this weened, I will find the correct smoke detector with the low battery and then shove the phone up the ass of the operator at ADT that calls at 2 a.m. to tell me all about it. As if the constant beeping wasn't enough of an alert.

7)At the gym, the crunch machine on the right is considerably more difficult than the one on the left despite no weight on either. I will be the unplanned blonde on the left if you need me today.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Jumble

I am currently trying to escape the wing fluttering of the biggest dragonfly I have ever seen caught in my bedroom. It's like a pterodactyl, and it's giving me the heebie jeebies. This will probably take me two hours to write since I have to keep running for cover...

And now life can begin again because it's football season, and if you know me at all, you know I loves me the football. And when football season starts, that only means that hockey is right behind, and if you know me at all, you know I love hockey even more than I love football. And speaking of hockey, we went to a nice banquet on Saturday featuring some stars of the sport which we were only going to stay for 10 minutes, and ended up there for 7 hours. I'm not kidding. It was so late when we left that all of the lights were out the tablecloths stripped. Nothing was open for dinner and I was STARVING, so we ended up spending all kinds of cash at The Palm when really, after 6 pitchers of beer, A Grand Slam breakfast at Denny's for $4.99 would have worked out just fine. But that's really not us.

This morning I took Amy to the ear doctor. Sigh. She really is doing so well, but she has to work so hard. So now we have to go through another big hearing evaluation at a different hospital in a couple of weeks. I hope they can give her the push she needs to just get over this last plateau. Last night, for the first time EVER she said, "Love you, Ma. Love you, Da," and I swear, nothing could have sounded more beautiful in the entire world.

Friday, September 07, 2007

On screen rather than in front of one




Lately I've been running in some pretty funny circles.


Which would probably be more like squiggly ellipses than actual circles, but I digress....

My usual interviews take place over a paper cup of Starbuck's latte with an ordinary member of the community, and somehow I have to twist and turn 900 words to make a compelling story. Readers usually give up on word 4, and flip to the veterinarian's ad with a coupon for deworming.

Well, not last night, my friends.

Last night, over a smoky neon glow and a few bottles of Miller Lite at a cramped little table at a Tampa comedy club, I got a fabulous treat and a challenge. A treat to meet 3 Blonde Moms, and a challenge to hold the cold nachos down, and to interview these hilarious women on camera.

That whole "on camera" thing is new.

But fun! I think I held my own pretty well, and I had great hair so my measures of success have bravely been met.




Check them out some time if you get the opportunity, or watch for the interview on Newbaby soon!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Wanna see our acting debut?

I am so going to get an Emmy nod for this.



Weekend Update with SubDiva

It was a weekend of withs and withouts...

Without hair dryer and straightener. I decided my hair needed to rough it, too.

With electricity, plumbing and a coffee maker. If you are going to camp, do it at Disney in a 32' R.V.

Without bugs. I think Disney banned them.

With
transportation. Part of the time, anyway. We were one of the families benefiting from Disney's new promotion of granting a million dreams or something. They randomly select people to receive something cool. Ours was a hummer golf cart on the busiest weekend of the year in which every wheeled vehicle was long sold out. We drove around like rock stars for a day, and then got entered into a drawing for a million bucks. If we win, we might be able to buy one of those golf cart for ourselves...

Without T.V. For 5 days. And none of us missed it. The iPhone even ran out of juice and I didn't care that I couldn't recharge it. No Internet. No email. Heaven.

With sore muscles. I carried those girls for 5 days straight and I am feeling every step today. I have bruises and a sunburn, but I still worked out last night. (I'm pretty proud of this, so you're going to hear about it a lot.)

Without pictures. Temporarily, that is. I can't get the memory card in or you'd be seeing Amy with Mickey Mouse and the boys making s'mores.

With friends. Got to sit around a campfire and a pool with some of them. Nice.

Without
much patience for many of my fellow humans who seem to choose amusement parks as their stage for bad manners.

With an almost potty-trained toddler!

With a smile on my face because if doctors ordered those types of things anymore, then this weekend would have been one of them.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Labor Day weekend

You: So, what are you doing this long Labor Day weekend, Trace?

Me: Oh, nothing, probably some chores around the house and swimming. You know, basically taking it easy.

Me:We rented a huge RV at the last minute and are parking it at Disney's Fort Wilderness for a little "camping."

Another mini-vacation courtesy of National Lampoon.

It'll be fun. So today on my morning out, in addition to the workout (yay for me!) I'll be stocking up on supplies since the beast comes home tonight so we can pack it up for le weekend. Apparently, it has little in the way of ameninities, so we'll be packing large this weekend.

But what else is new?

Have a nice weekend, all.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Self-Aggrandizing Post

You may choose one of the many reasons below to praise me copiously this mid week:

1) I worked out last night. As part of my new and improved fall schedule, the wonerful babysitter has resumed Tuesday nights AND added Thursday mornings, so I have time to actually complete other tasks than Target and eyebrow waxes.

2)The house has stayed reasonably organized since I last posted on those efforts. Wow.

3)I got the girls photographed! Jessie was easy since she has had previous professional modeling experience, but Amy hasn't smiled for a photo in 3 years. That's why I don't care that her hair looks like this.





4)I started a new writing project that I am most excited about. Yay!


5) I didn't laugh out loud when the bug guy said this: "Sorry it took so long, I was playing with the light switch in the bathroom. It's cool how you just touch it and the light goes off and on. Off and On." Nor did I respond in any other way except to make sure I didn't inhale any of the poison fumes too.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Well-wrapped pine nuts

Last year, you were all kind enough to contribute to the Pine Nut fund--my privileged childrens' fundraiser for their private school needs. What those could be, I can only guess since I have receipts for $827,000 worth of uniforms, paper towels and pencils that tuition doesn't apparently include. My best guess was so that these children could have pine nuts on the elementary school salad bar.

Well, thanks to your generous donations, that delicacy has been added, and this year we search for a new cause. A cause worthy enough to ask my friends, relatives, neighbors, strangers, and blog readers to purchase over-priced wrapping paper and stationary products in its name. Google stock? No, their personal financial consultants suggested T-bonds instead. Our Rodeo Drive field trip? No, we do an Easter fundraiser for that. New Pottery Barn desks? (No, that's me....)Hmmmm...

Well, since I do not know the official cause, let's have a contest to come up with it. Everyone write your best guesses in the comment section and the winner gets a pine nut.


Good luck!

Friday, August 24, 2007

When does the fun start?

What a week...

I keep hearing this whisper from store clerks, childless neighbors and barren strangers: What are you going to do with all of your extra time now that the kids are school?

Um...What? I didn't know those words could be arranged to form a sentence.

It sort of sounded like there should be some time during one's day not spent in car line. Or running to the store for yet another freaking pencil. Or baseball practice. Or packing backpacks. Or unpacking them.

And this cat is tired. I've still got an infant and toddler at home all day, there is no break from that. So, when I hear of this "free time" (and I actually form the exaggerated air quotes, thank you) I am supposed to have, I want to spit.

So in that vein, I have not been willing or able to comprise a new schedule. I was giving myself a pass for the first week, but for week 2 I've got to figure it out. It's contributing to my general melancholy I think. That, and the fact that I'm having one of those private girly meltdowns which happens to women every 35 minutes or so. I want all of my hair cut off. I never want to hear the tail end of this sentence, You look great, for just having a baby. WTF? Can't I just look good without the qualifier. It's like I'm Mama Cass without the talent. I'm going out and eat worms. I want costly surgical procedures and a new wardrobe. In a size 2.

Okay, one thing at a time. In a few minutes I'm going to a spaghetti dinner at church.

Stop laughing.

I'm going to eat dinner at lunch time from a buffet of listeria because the theme of the evening is, "New beginnings." It's supposed to be an effort to start the new school year off right.

I so need the marinara sauce of birth, the linguine of growth and the garlic bread of forgiveness for that freaking school supply list.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Press Release

Suburban Diva is partnering with Supernanny.com to search America for families to be featured in their own episode of ABC’s SUPERNANNY, premiering its fourth season later this year. (B-List Weblebrities like me are scheduled for season five, so I have a little time to get my act together.)

Casting producers are searching the country to find families from a variety of backgrounds to offer Supernanny Jo Frost the challenge of her career. Interested families who are in need of help with their out of control kids may apply from anywhere via www.supernanny.com, or moms and dads can call 877/NANNY-TIME (1-877-626-6984). Please be sure to mention Suburban Diva when you apply.

The show is looking for all kinds of families, but currently there’s special interest in: parents with mean girls or bullying boys, teens and pre-teens; families who rely on a nanny or a babysitter who needs help from America’s #1 nanny; parents who are raising their kids on a farm or vineyard; spoiled kids; families with adopted kids; families with multiples such as quadruplets; divorced families where split custody offers particular challenges; and families with obese or overweight kids who would like to establish healthy habits.

So spread the word! Because let’s face it, Supernanny’s parenting advice is probably a lot more practical than mine which can only lead to reform school or some sort of 12-step program.

Monday, August 20, 2007

My new dependents

The painters have been here so long I can claim them on my taxes this year.

I really don't know what's taking so long. After our morning coffee together and after they've gotten the kids dressed and fed, they paint a little. I think. Then we eat lunch together--something Alphonso has prepared--a little recipe from his mother--and then they paint a little more. I think. It's really hot here, so sometimes they do other projects inside where it's cool like changing the air filters or rearranging furniture after we've watched HGTV.

Remember Murphy Brown when she had that painter that never finished? Eldon? I think he was on for like 11 seasons...

Yeah. 11 seasons. This is the longest paint job ever.

And probably the most expensive.

More staples at Staples

Okay, I just spent $43 more this morning on school supplies. That brings the grand total to $18,743.

Those kids better come home every single day with marker stained sleeves and their fingers glued together.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Day the Diva got organized

Or should I say day(s)?

Because for the last three, this cat has made serious progress in home organization.

Admittedly, this isn't my strength. Or maybe it would be if the other members of my household had any inclination toward this goal, but since they do not, it's like pushing a string.

But since the painters have moved everything anyway, I cleaned those things. I put them back in different places. I threw away even more. I started in the family room and worked my way through the boys' rooms. I found $2,000 worth of lost electronics equipment.

And I didn't stop there. Oh no, I figured that since I need no help falling behind, I would start off this school year on the right foot. All of the supplies are purchased. Uniforms are laundered. New shoes, socks and underwear outfit freshly hair-cut boys. I loaded my own nightstand with a dozen new novels, and made every blessed appointment for doctors, dentists, hair stylists and any other professional with a phone.

It's the new me. For the next 24 hours anyway.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

FYI

I interrupt this nostalgic blog hiatus to say that I must have been smoking crack yesterday.

Right now, there are 6 boys over for a sleepover. The living room drapes have collapsed with wrestling. Amy is on a holy terror and she and Jingle are biting much to my horror. The painters moved inside, so the family room is unusable. We're on death watch for the old dog. Jessie is dangling from my hip as I apply Band-Aids and Benadryl. There are snacks to be made, drinks to pour and I am never going to sleep tonight.

Perhaps I'll start smoking that crack again.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

An Open Letter to my Blog

Dear Blog;

No, you are not imagining things. I have been ignoring you. But it's not you, it's me.

Oh, I don't know. Sure, it's been busy; crazier than crazy, and I obviously can't talk about a lot, but I can talk about a lot else, yet I just didn't. Why? Maybe I'm just selfish.

First off, the Intern left. We're all a little sad. We gave him a big sendoff party--Interns on the Mediterranean was the theme--because I feel the need to theme every occasion in something irrelevant and stupid--I guess I wanted an excuse to serve lamb and hummus--and all of my friends gave him gifts. It was like a freakin' wedding of one. But it was very nice.

Next, the boys are getting ready to return to school. I hate this. Hatehateithateithateit. Stevie is entering sixth grade. Middle school. And I cannot wrap my head around this. I took him for his physical and weighs nearly as much as I do, and only 3 inches separate us now. He could beat me arm wrestling. I had to buy all adult uniforms and his shoe size is a freakin' 9. And don't even get me started on the cell phone.

Matty is starting second grade. First Communion year. He is such a little goofball, yet he has this serious side that will blow you away. And he has no teeth. 3 of the front 4 are now missing; all due to wrestling injuries. He wants so badly to be a grown up, but he still is soothed by a kiss on a scrape. I love that.

And then there's the little A-Dog. She is talking up a storm. Really amazing progress this summer. Even flirting with potty training. We may have some more surgery this Fall, and maybe hearing aids, but you know, it is really all good. She is just on the verge of exploding, and when she does, she'll be unstoppable.

And amidst all of this, is my perfect baby. Jess turned 4 months this week, and I feel like I am holding on to her infancy for dear life. I am loving every minute of it. She is so good, and so sweet, and no matter how chaotic a day gets, she just flows effortlessly along with it, smiling, drooling, squealing....it's heaven. She smiles with her whole little body, and when she falls asleep, it's usually in this warm snoring ball on my shoulder that can't remember what it felt like empty.

The house is in a state of remodel--roofers, painters, new floors in half of the house, and my career is turning into an actual career with bizarre, yet intriguing opportunities every day and I miss my husband--but amidst all of this crazy; this noisy, messy whirl of bottles and toys and unknowns, I feel completely at peace.

And so that's where I've been, Blog. Relishing this last week with them with perhaps a little more over-protection than usual, but unapologetic for it. Happily cooking, cleaning, shopping and begging for more. Falling asleep with the lights on, but dreaming in Technicolor.

So, I'm threading the next few days together with adventure and nostalgia. After I cry a lot and write poetry, I'll send postcards and be back soon.

Sincerely,
Me.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Oy

I honestly don't know what this means for us. But I guess we'll spend the next few weeks figuring out the answer.

I'm not worried, I bought $400 worth of school uniforms today.

I just didn't buy anything in long sleeve.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Prologue

Well, life begins it's new chapter this week. It's actually not a new chapter yet, but a prologue to Chapter 1: Back to School.

And while I dread this particular event, I cannot deny it any longer with vacations, ice cream and sleepovers. I must face the hard truth that school supply shopping is in my future this week.

Along with the requisite lists that seem to grow every year in size and scope, a trip to the uniform store is on the agenda this week. And haircuts. And backpacks and lunchboxes. And shoes--something we haven't worn since May. The next two weeks are littered with shopping, doctor's appointments and room cleaning. Yuck, yuck, and yuckier.

It is also the last full week of the Intern. Another event I dread. He's been here since Jess was 2 weeks old, and since I can't remember life without her, I can't remember life without him. Honestly, by August 20, this house is going to be sooooo quiet. Adding to it, my voice will bounce off the walls there will be so much extra space. I don't know what I'll do with the extra hours on Mondays when not doing the extra loads of laundry.

Speaking of which, he's not gone yet, so I should hop to it.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Why are you yelling at me????

Have you ever had one of those eDays when you felt like every piece of non-verbal communication you received was yelling at you? Like there were implied emoticons of anger or indifference in every email you read? And since you recognized that it was across the board, you recognize with self-awareness that you were probably being a little eSensitive, but still really would appreciate a little LOL or smiley face just to pick you up? Or a forwarded joke? A chain letter would even be appreciated at the moment.

eSniff.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

iAm a Star

Because I know you are dying to know, yes, the little project for HP went smashingly. I will be vlogging about it shortly, and we taped the taping so you can see every blessed detail, but I do want to report this repeating phrase that I heard more than 3 times on the set yesterday, "Oh, Suburban Diva! I've heard of you." That was pure music.

Music that iWill be playing on my iPhone. Because iHave an iPhone now. My wonderful husband surprised me with a token of my future fame gift, and iMust say, iLove my iPhone. iAm the coolest diva on the block now. Pretty soon you'll all get email (or maybe iMail?) that says "Sent from my iPhone." In the iMail there will be maps and videos from YouTube because iCan do that now.

iKnow iAm an iDiot, but an iDiot who can watch movies in the grocery store.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Jessica and I are making our acting debut in a little project for HP

I'm getting ready for my first business trip. That's right, it's Sub Diva on the road...Jessica and I are making our acting debut in a little project for HP. I think Jess has more of a speaking part than I do, but I really don't care because the one line I do get to say is, Jessica and I are making our acting debut in a little project for HP...

I truly cannot get over the amount of work it takes to leave this house for 30 hours. And I do realize I am making more of a project out of this than need be, but, again, Jessica and I are making our acting debut in a little project for HP, and I don't really know how to properly prepare for this. Packing is a nightmare when you're a head case who second guesses her postpartum posterior in front of a camera no less, so I have selected 1 outfit for every hour I'm there just to be safe.

Anyway, would I be a total geek if I admitted than I was more than a little excited? It's just a little thing, but I think it's a pretty cool little thing. If even just to be able to blog about the fact that Jessica and I are making our acting debut in a little project for HP.

Friday, July 27, 2007

The case of the missing grass post

Regular readers of the SubD blog may notice a missing post in recent days.

Well, I post-censored myself. I got myself all in a twitter today because I thought that perhaps Zoysia grass Boy might recognize myself, and then turn on the Diva and I would never be able to have my lawn aerated again.

Turns out that's not who was reading my blog.

And before I screw things up AGAIN by blogging too much and revealing the producer of said network television show, suffice it to say that a column--nay--perhaps an entire career will most definitely be forthcoming that I swear will have you weeping in laughter and pity for moi.

Yep, it's that good.

Take that, Zoysia grass Boy.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Jessica Marie

You know me pretty well by now. You know that I tend to be a bit sarcastic at times. Somewhat a cynic even. But although that's true, I consider it to be more that I simply tend to keep my more sappier moments more private.

But I'll share this one.

Sunday was Jessica's Christening day. And while the religious significance is obvious, there is a bit more to it than that for me. I absolutely love this formal welcome into the world. I love the ceremony, the pictures, the celebration. I love the scent of the oil on her breastbone. I love the feel of the 50 year-old dress that so many in her family have worn before her. I love fixing a big feast and then toasting her all night long with my family who travels so far to share these moments.

So although I have no time to write (it pains me to say those words) here is a visual recreation of the day.



Aunt Kathy dressing her. (She also made her a beautiful sweater, hat, booties and blanket.)




A rare family portrait.




The intern, his sister and her beautiful baby.




This one includes Jessie's new Godparents, Joey and Katie.




And whom I am so thankful for on this special day.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Beautiful words

Here's a sentence I really liked saying today:

"There's leftover homemade Tiramisu in the fridge."

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Parlimentary procedure is so hot

My meeting tonight had 3 agenda items, and it took 3 1/2 hours. Why? Why? Why? The only bright spot to those evenings is a delightful woman who sits next to me and chats. She tells me jokes and drops the f-bomb as often as I do. She thinks we should set up a bar in the corner of the room to attract more participation. I love her.

Tomorrow morning we will beseiged by roofers. Yippee. I love spending that kind of money on something so totally utilitarian. Does anyone care what the shingle color I've chosen? Are you going to marvel at it and say, "My it keeps the rain from leaking into your home so nicely." I didn't think so.

Anyhoo, many exciting projects on the horizon for your little SD. Can't reveal details, but I have a little hum in my gut as I fantasize over the possibilities. With or without an agent.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Choices, choices

Yesterday, I began the task of chossing new flooring and a literary agent.

One to walk on, and one to walk on me.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

"I'm going to control+alt+delete myself"

After so many days on the road, today was all about domesticity.

I stayed up late last night finishing a book, "Water for Elephants," by Sara Gruen--excellent read for those of you interested, and so this morning Jessie let me sleep in because she is a perfect baby. And then we spent the morning piddling around the house changing sheets and lightbulbs, baking brownies and otherwise catching up on those little things I usually put off. It was kind of nice even though it sounds so incredibly mundane. And now you think to yourself, oh my God, she's blogging about changing lightbulbs. God help her. (And me for reading about it.)

And that is a perfect segue to this, courtesy of my friend Zen:


Breaking News: All Online Data Lost After Internet Crash

Friday, July 13, 2007

Sarcasm Begets Sarcasm

One of the best quotes from the entire trip came from 7 year old Matty who has absolute perfect timing and dead pan humor.

We were sort of watching Canadian public television as we were getting ready one morning in Toronto. Some puppets with accents were singing about the environment.

Me: Those crazy Canadians--they love their clean air and water.

Matty: Jerks.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Misc.

So, I'm beginning to upload the vacation clips as you'll see on the handy-dandy widget to my right, and I am struck by many miscellaneous items that have occurred over the past two weeks, which I am forced to discuss, because that is what I do.

So, in no particular order, here are some random vacation thoughts:

*There needs to be way more equitable distribution of driving time. I spent the majority of the 3900 miles in the back seat watching "Everyone's Hero," and looking for "q's" on billboards.

*McDonald's should sell Similac. They would make gagillions. More. Like an infant Happy Meal with a Pampers as a toy.

*I am inexplicably moved by the turn-down service at a hotel.

*It is nice to meet your blog friends in real life. :)

*The intern remembered to feed the dogs, but I think we forgot to feed the intern.

*I love weddings, but I love a post-wedding dish the next day with the hosts and a bottle of wine or 7.

*Kellogg's really needs to reinstitute their factory tours. If even just to prevent crazy people like us sneaking in for a glimpse at Tony the Tiger. (Details to follow in a column, I promise.)

*Sangria is the official cocktail of summer of 2007. With the Sanritini in Toronto and a lovely frozen version in St. Charles, it won the title fair and square.


Not every mile was easy, but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Home

Aaaaahhhh.....Home.

3900 miles, 15 states, 1 Canadian province, 10 days, countless thousands of dollars, 2 lost teeth, 4 fun kids and 2 whipped parents.

It was fun. It was nostalgic. It was goofy and silly and so unexpected. And it was too short.

Except for that last 200 miles or so when I thought I would die if I didn't get out of that car.

Many stories after laundry and some Jingle lovin'.

Monday, July 09, 2007

My fingers are going through blog withdraws...

Sitting here in this St. Louis hotel--which is awful, btw--as the family sleeps in. We've had such a great week, such a fabulous weekend, and now I'm all nostalgic and wistful now that I have had a taste of home these last few days.

The wedding and reception were absolutely beautiful, and it was great to see so many old friends. Yesterday, the boys spent the day at the game, and I went back to the old neighborhood for post-wedding dish with our hosts and to critique my old front lawn. That bitch killed my beautiful hydrangea, btw.

We're slated to leave today, but obviously that remains to be seen as no one seems to be in all of that much of a hurry to leave town. Leave this hotel perhaps, but not this town. But I guess it's time.

More later.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

So. Many. Stories.

In St. Louis, in between the wedding and reception, and watching the boys play poker. The stakes are whoever wins gets to say anything they want to anyone tonight.

I'm doing that anyway.

(We're having a blast, and I will be posting every delicious morsel soon, dear peeps.)

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Outta Here

Well, we did it. As I write my last post for a couple of days, the freshly bathed babes lay sleeping, the laundry is laundered, the suitcases are stowed, the car gassed and full of gear for 6 for two weeks. The Intern is going to keep tabs on the everything around here--a little scary--and we are off.

In a few short hours, we will be making our first day the toughest and getting as many miles as we can toward Toronto. Then Detroit. Then St. Louis. Then some crazy plans I'll be nixing after that.

I think I did a pretty good job at packing for a change, too. Despite feeling like absolute horseshit. Besides the thing--yesterday I pretty much ensured a permanent disability. I was feeding Jessie on the couch. I looked up at a spot on the ceiling and thought I spied a leak. Which really made me groan even though we're getting a new roof in a couple of weeks. Anyway, the spot looked like a leak, until I noticed there was a similar looking spot on the adjacent wall. Couldn't be a leak in the middle of the wall, right? So I put Jessie down and grabbed a broom so I could poke at the spot with the handle. I hear that's a good thing to with leaks. Anyway, it was at the top of the apex of a 14-foot cathedral ceiling, so I had to stand on a chair. And when that wasn't tall enough, I had to stand on the back of the chair on my tiptoes.

The precarious broom handle poking yielded not a soft wet spot, but a slimy one. I thought, What the hell? and quickly yelled for Matty and the Kravitz children who of course were here, and most probably responsible.

"What is this?" I ask.

"Nothing," The spawn of Kravitz answers.

"Oh, really? I think this white slime is something, and I also don't think it got up on the ceiling by spore reproduction, so would like to tell me what this is?"

"Oh, that. (Not to be confused with the blue slime on the floor.) It's from a toy. We might have flicked it up there."

And with that explanation, I fell. A slow motion fall in which I was completely devoid of all grace and posture, and hit every single body part on the way down to the floor. In took 20 minutes. It was an old person fall. I think I broke a hip. In front of the Intern. And my kids. And the Kravitz'. So I can't even lie about all of the bruises and say that I was getting my freak on in a mosh pit or something.

So I sat there all night long groaning and watching my skin turn purple while we watched, "Vacation," and drank beer.

I'm glad to be getting into that car shortly. Glad to be heading toward a little break. And away from doctors. And toward old friends. And away from cleaning. And toward corny fun. And away from slimy things on the ceiling. And toward bruises from bumping into the room service cart instead.

And away from home. And toward home.


P.S. I'll be sending blogstcards from the road...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Elevator music should be my theme song

Waiting for a return call from the doctor.

Why? Because it is the end of the week before we go on vacation, so that's when it all falls apart again, duh.

And just when I was starting to get organized, too. I swear if I spent $60 on a roof rack we're not going to use, I'll be seriously pissed.

And I know I must be off my game as a result of this stupid thing, because Mrs. Kravitz' kid just out-smarted me...grrrr....

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

P.S.

Even though Elizabeth Edwards didn't exactly open a can of whoop ass on Ann Coulter--more like shook a soda of firm annoyance--I appreciated the gesture.

I hope she had to wash her stringy hair twice to get rid of it all.

Not much progress

Let's check in with how the trip preparations are coming along, shall we?

"Holiday Road," by Linsey Buckingham ("Vacation" theme song in case your pop culture memory fails you) downloaded on iPod. Check.

New shoes sans Jingle teeth marks for wedding outfit purchased. Check.

Pedicure to go with new shoes sans Jingle teeth marks. Check.

And that's basically it. I've got a lot of work to do before Sunday. But I keep getting distracted with other stuff that's way more fun than packing diapers. Like, decorating my blog like a junior high school locker. Look at the cool side bar...And arguing online with people. Someone actually said this, "I don't want to put words in Tracey's mouth..." No one has ever put words in my mouth because there is not enough room with my own in there. And then I wasted about 45 minutes this morning looking for the Intern's traffic ticket receipt. Through the trash. Turns out it was with the pizza menus. In the pizza menu drawer. And then I spent a long time contemplating why I have a whole drawer dedicated to pizza menus.

But in between all of that nonsense, I managed to get the baby's check up, write a column, pay bills and pick up Jingle shrapnel. I'll do better tomorrow. I swear.

Monday, June 25, 2007

I live

This thing is kicking my ass.

On a week I cannot afford an ass-kicking.

Despite an amazing domestic takeover by the spouse extraordinaire this weekend so I could "rest," I am still fighting this thing. (That's how I refer to it now, as the "thing," because it has taken on a life of its own--my life--and has applied for residency and a social security number.) But I have to beat it this week because the Griswolds begin our Magical Mystery Tour 2007 this weekend. The tour which only contains the mystery of what the hell are we thinking by doing this. The itinerary is so bizarre and non-sensical, the timetable impossible, and we are as unprepared as we usually are for such excursions. But yet we continue year after year just adding kids.

And can you believe I am really looking forward to it?

Because despite the crazy which we pack plenty of, we do have a great time. And I'm going to see a whole lot of people that I love and miss a lot.

And you wanna know the best part? Is that the whole thing will be filmed and posted here so that you, too, can experience it with us. You'll be able to smell the gasoline at $3.50 a gallon, the rest stop bathrooms with a potty-training toddler, and all of the Cracker Barrel toys you can shake a 6.99 rain stick at. It'll almost be like you're right there in the passenger seat eating licorice and yelling at your husband on the Crackberry while driving.

I hope the thing stays home and watches the dogs and picks up the mail.

Friday, June 22, 2007

D Day

Would I be a complete baby if I admitted to being just a teensy-weensy bit nervous today? It doesn't help that I cannot have a cup of coffee or put my contacts in, either.

So, focusing on the bright side besides the obvious. I'll get an hour of solid sleep under anesthetic. I'll get some reading done in the waiting room. I don't have to cook tonight.

Here's to a fresh start next week...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Poetry

Ode to the carpet cleaners. In Haiku.

Oh wielder of steam
Cleanse my domestic failures
Saving puppy's' lives.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Return to the land

Armed with an 11th hour doctor pass, a pharmacy of drug cocktails and a bottle of vanilla vodka; we made it to our beach vacation after all. I figured if I was going to die, it might as well be on the beach where I want my ashes scattered anyway, so it would save my family a trip.


I am going to refrain from further comment on my physical condition because it depresses me. Surgery is scheduled for Friday, and I have never been so happy for something so awful in my entire life. Nothing could be worse than this. Truly. Let's hope this is the cure, because, really--I need new material.


But back to happier subjects: vacation. We all had a great time. I have determined that there is nothing more beautiful than the Gulf of Mexico. I love living near it. I love vacationing on it. And every time I get in front of a camera or cover some retarded meeting, I do so knowing it is getting me one step closer to our beach house there.


Anyway, I wrote a column with the humorous specifics which I hope to publish before Friday along with a hundred other things, but the weather was gorgeous; the water divine. My kids are officially beach babies--even Jessie in her sun dome castle. We played from early morning to late at night, but rarely did we leave the water. I got my sunburn and hangover, but both feel pretty damned good.


Here are a few pictures until I figure out my technical issue with the others I took.