Thursday, January 31, 2008

outta sorts

Do you ever feel just a little out of sorts? Like nothing is terribly wrong or right, but you're walking down the center on a wobbly tightrope and could fall off on either side? And while you are not broken, you do feel like in a stiff wind, pieces of you would fly off in opposite directions while you ran around collecting yourself under cars and in the bushes?

Yeah, me too today.

I think the only cure for the out of sorts--or the mad reds as Holly Golightly would say--is a mud mask and a good book in your p.j.'s.

So I think that's what I'll do.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

All Star Weekend

OMG, we're home. We were only gone for 4 days to Atlanta, but I feel like it was a year abroad.

Maybe because in addition to being a boatload of fun at the NHL All-Star weekend, there was just enough brushes with weirdness to create the perfect blog entry.

Allow me to list those.

1.) After the big party Saturday night in which the Intern was kind enough to kid-sit so we could enjoy, we ended up in the lobby bar with a bunch of Sean's co-workers. And about 15 unmasked mascots. What a weird bunch of folks those cats are. So then the next day at the game, all of these crazy animals on LSD kept coming to our seats messing with kids as mascots do, but then giving us the weird non-talking but let's share this private joke look from their screened eyes. Frankly, it kind of gave me the heebie-jeebies.

2.) Matty is funny in a city. While most people look down or straight ahead when some cult member stands outside a sporting event bullying us toward salvation with a handmade sign, Matty stares them down. It's incredible. So I guess I shouldn't have been surprised to see him trash talking all of the fans in Western Conference jerseys on the way out. Straight-faced with hand extended, "Good game, man."

3.) We went to a pre-party at the Georgia Aquarium before the game on Sunday. It was great--the kids loved it, and I thought the food was fantastic. 2 bits of weirdness here: what does hockey have to do with fish and they didn't serve any at the banquet.

4.) At the game, I went to purchase a hot pretzel for Amy. Of course I didn't have cash on me--never do--so I politely asked if I could use a debit card. The man behind the counter asked if it was for "that pretty little girl, and if she could just tell him her name, he'd give her the pretzel at no charge." Well, yeah. Okay....He gave it to her anyway.

5.) Sean and I gave up fried foods. I don't think this will be a particular sacrifice for me since I gave up french fries long ago, and haven't eaten fried chicken since the early eighties after a bad KFC incident. Again, don't know what this has to do with hockey, but it is significant.

6.) We realized after getting jolted with each step in the hotel and Amy saying, "Ow," for no apparent reason every other word, that we don't have static electricity here in Tampa.

6.) We returned home late last night and had a slow time getting up this morning, luckily, it was wacky dress day, and mismatched socks were all that were clean anyway.

Well, that's a fairly accurate summary. I'm off to my Tuesday night date night with myself and Publix. I had to give Amy Spanish olives for lunch.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Here's Victoria's Secret--It's expensive!

Last night's Tuesday Date Night with Myself was more like a lesson in economics than a shopping spree. Only it must have been taught in pig Latin, because how else do you explain why I paid $16 for a pure cashmere sweater but $43 for a bra?

But at least I have collected the missing wardrobe pieces for our All-Star weekend. I must admit, I am a little psyched. I love this stuff. And to top it off, I found this nifty little black, lacy, baby-doll dress that is absolutely adorable to wear to the big party on Saturday that the Intern has most kindly agreed to watch my children so that I can go to a fancy party wearing a nifty little, black, lacy, baby-doll, dress.

And now off to the gym so that I can fit into said dress.

Monday, January 21, 2008

How Happy Am I That... is a no school day?

...that the short week is even shorter because we get to go to the NHL All-Star game in Atlanta this weekend?

....that the Giants are going to the Super Bowl? (My husband has a little extra spring in his step today.)

...that Jessie only has a couple of days of antibiotics left?

...that I found my voice in Chapter 3 and I get time to work on it today?

...That it is just cool enough to make chili and roast chicken without it being ridiculous.

...Did I mention that it's a no school day?

Friday, January 18, 2008

16 Years Ago Today

I do believe the traditional gift for the sixteenth anniversary is hockey equipment. So that is what I am giving Sean tonight for our special day over cold concession stand pizza and a shooter of amoxicillian.

Enjoy, darling, and Happy Anniversary.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

It's the little things that get me through

I mark this week with only small victories.

Like that I found a dress to wear to the auction. In a decent size. On sale. And when the saleswoman zipped me up which was no small task, she said, "Something must be in the way of the zipper." She didn't say that the obstruction was back fat. Bless her.

And the happiest email of the day was from Pottery Barn telling me the top of my new desk that has been back ordered for a month has been shipped...Yes, I've been using my new new desk without a top in a curious physical and lingual challenge.

I made all of my deadlines, however the time I set aside for novel writing didn't get used as such.

That I made a perfect Bearnaise sauce for our anniversary dinner.

And tomorrow is Friday and I made it with only 4 trips to the pediatrician's office.

So yippee! with a lower-case y.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Hockey, Puke and Football

So the boys started hockey on Friday...

I say that the boys started hockey, but what I really meant was that I started to cold and rapid descent into an expensive and bulky hell. Could we have found a sport with more equipment requirements? Seriously. Times 2.

I was almost in tears as I tried to lace up Matty's skates while holding the baby and rocking Amy in the stroller back and forth in 28 degree temperatures. And when I say stroller, I mean the double stroller which is my outward sign that I am miserable. But I couldn't even fit both girls in with all of the pads, socks, helmets, skates, cups and other various and sundry protective gear that they have to wear. So it was like pushing a Volkswagen with a hockey stick in your eye. So. Not. Fun.

But the boys enjoyed it, so again, macaroni art and frostbite because I love my kids.

But I will blame the rink for the sickness of the girls. It is only fair. Jessie has actually been sick for a week, but nothing bothers her so I didn't take her to the doctor until this morning when her nose fell off. But Amy started with a fever on Friday and deteriorated rapidly to 2 all-nighters and a puke session this morning. I knew she was pretty bad off when she actually gave me her blanket to wash. Usually I have to sneak it from her arms while she sleeps and even then she mourns its absence in her dreams.

So the doctor said that Amy is sick, but no infection--i.e. no relief--and Jessie has a double ear infection. Of course she does.

So we were lethargic this weekend. We watched football and putzed around and I wrote a little, but read more. I am reading, "Eat, Pray, Love," by Liz Gilbert, and I must tell you, it's amazing. I will finish it tonight but don't really want it to end. I highly recommend this one.

Okay, off to wash something.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Van Gogh Away from me

Yesterday, I took Amy to her first art class.

In her curriculum that I have made for her based on instinct and prayer, I feel this is what's next and best for her at this moment.

So we attended the first class yesterday, and it has all of the elements that make me feel so uncomfortable as a mother. Young perky moms with poorly behaved children eating paste and then making lame excuses like "Paste eating is actually an expression of giftedness." Other women who don't even know my name yet feel it their right to ask about my fertility. "So you have 4 kids? And 12 years between the first and last? What made you decide to do that?" And a new-age teacher who told me that she will not say that Amy's glue/glitter/cotton ball masterpiece "'beautiful,' because that is a judgement."

Omylord. Throw in some condemnation of bottle feeding and ask me to wear my swimsuit in public, and my maternal mortification is complete.

So just when I begin to go to that dark place in my mind to fantasize about telling them all that my kids have eaten a french fry before and I think Spongebob Squarepants is funny, Amy looks up from her work of sticky art and says, "Tank you, Ma."

Who needs some macaroni art on their refrigerator over the next 11 weeks?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Turn back time for a minute

Turn back the blog clocks to circa the end of November. Filter past posts of New Year's, Christmas, writing epiphanies and contests. Even before long, tortuous car ride, before turkey and pumpkin pie. It is November 19 in Tampa at the St. Pete Times Forum, and the Diva family is attending the Hannah Montana concert.

So my achy-breaky heart was breakin' because here I was at Billy Ray Cyrus' daughter's concert. Hello?? How old am I that I worked HIS show back in '89 when he was the hottest mullet-wearing guy in music? But now his kid has that title (sans mullet but blonde wig) so we took our kids to the hottest ticket in the world right now.

And can I just tell you how impressed I was?

Well, I will anyway. We went to the Meet and Greet before the show. Amazing opportunity. Everyone was so gracious and that 14 year old girl is about as poised and kind as could be. She signs autographs and poses for pictures before she goes out and performs a marathon of singing and dancing and about 117 costume changes before a sold out show. I don't think I've changed my outfit that many times in the last 6 months, let alone 1 1/2 hours...

But back to Miley Cyrus. My kids were pretty darn impressed, too.

And maybe I'm not that old...

But then again, maybe I am.

So there are 4 of the 78 pictures I took that night. So now I am going to arrange them all in this MyConcert Memory Book so they can have photographic proof that they were part of the hottest show ever. Ever.

(And you should check out this site, too. You can create your own book for your kids, and there are other activities that they can print out and have fun with, too.)

Chapter 1--Apples

In the midst of all this life going on, I managed to complete Chapter One of Novel Incomplete.

*dramatically wipes brow*

I'm not saying it is perfect or won't go through many complete overhauls in its lifetime, but I feel like I've polished a slightly bruised apple and asked for you to eat around the over ripe parts until I can properly cut them out and make a pie.

I feel like the first chapter is the hardest because besides the idea, plot, characters, dialogue and a million details that you never stopped to consider, tone is so vitally important to establish immediately. Both for the reader and the writer. And since I only have one of those at the moment, it was really gratifying to pen those initial pages.

I hope Chapter 2 is as inspiring, and thinking that it really could be.

Friday, January 04, 2008

A few of my favorite Christmas gifts in photos

The first was an early gift from Santa himself who brought us a load of the white stuff in our Florida yard. It was only about 80 degrees that December day. (It always brings out the neighbor kids, too.)

And how could I not give the obvious caption to this precursor picture, "All I want for Christmas is my..."

Seeing Amy dressed in her Christmas dress including tights and shoes! was a huge gift as well. Although for her, not so much.

Although I didn't get any clothes this year, my children got some adorable outfits, and I love that. Here's big Jessie in this little Land's End number. Not pictured is her cute backside with ruffled tights. Again, the pink suede shoes that were actually worn by a child of mine--huge bonus.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Baby it's cold outside

It feels like we've been gone a month, but it was really only a couple of days. But maybe because we passed through another New Year, the temperature dropped 30 degrees in one day and all of the Christmas decorations came down in about 2.6 minutes, is why it feels so much longer.

But it was a great few days, my friends. As a documented New Year's Eve hater, this one was near perfect. We were together with good friends in a beautiful (and HUGE!) hotel suite, playing board games, eating great food with the kids while watching the numerous fireworks displays from our balcony. Perfect.

The rest of our stay was cold, but tons 'o teeth-chattering fun. My kids do not appreciate cold weather. They must wear much more clothing they are not used to, includingshoes, a particularly despised accessory. But ehy had fun, and I even got treated to a spa evening, and really, what better way to dance into 2008 with pedicured toes?

And now that the worst job of the entire season is over--even beating out a trip to the post office or Fresh Market on Christmas Eve--the undecking of the halls; we can enjoy these last few days of freedom and depressurizing the cabin before new routines begin on Monday. I am uncharacteristically excited and inspired.