Monday, August 31, 2009

Week Two, people...

You can tell it’s the second week of school.

Last week, the kids got up without any fuss. They were excited. They were energized. They got dressed, made their beds, ate their breakfast, brushed their teeth, and zipped out the door on their little scooters to get to school on time, if not just a little bit early. ‘Cause that’s just how we roll, my friends.

Well, that’s how we roll the first week. This morning? Different story.

I heard yelling upstairs this morning when I walked in the door from my walk (yes, I’m walking now at 5:30 a.m. I’m either very dedicated or a couple bricks shy of a full load.)

Josie & Davis were both already up, half-dressed, still looking pretty groggy (so long, bright eyes and bushy tails of week 1), and were already arguing. *sigh

“Mommy! Davis threw toothpaste in my hair!”

Um… really?

Sure enough, there was a big glob of toothpaste right smack on the side of Josie’s head. Blue, gooey, and minty.

At this point, Davis is yelling… ‘it was an accident I didn’t mean to Mommy there was water in the cap of my toothpaste and I had to get the water out of the cap so I was shaking the toothpaste and it was an accident and some of it flew out and some of it got in her hair and it was an accident I didn’t mean to!!!’

Did he mention that it was an accident? So not only is there toothpaste in Josie’s hair, but there is also liquefied toothpaste on the counter and floor. Gross.

Thank God I’d already been up for my walk, and had my early morning ‘therapy session’ with a friend. Because if they’d woken me up with the yelling, not to mention the toothpaste in the hair, I’m just not sure I could have handled it with sweetness and light.

As it was, I wiped the toothpaste out of her hair with a wet rag, handed one of those ‘I love them so very much… best invention ever’ Clorox wipes to Davis to clean up the mess, and realized that it definitely is NOT the first week of school anymore.

As they were rounding the corner on their scooters to get to school, I realized that I wasn’t entirely sure if they ever got around to actually brushing their teeth.

But at least I can say that they both smelled minty fresh.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

What's a motto with you?

Last night, we were watching 'Madacasgar 2' for our usual Fridy night 'Pizza & Movie Night'.

Yet again.

The kids love that movie. Even more than the first 'Madagascar'. It is quite the favorite for pizza and movie night, and to take on long drives to watch in the van.

And I have to say, I love King Julian, the lemur (voiced by the hilarious Sascha Baron Cohen)... "Put your arms in the air, Maurice! It's more fun that way!!" Which, by the way, is our new 'bestest' Linson phrase that we shout to each other while on rides at Six Flags. ;)

If you haven't seen it, you should watch it. And if you haven't seen it, you won't really know what the heck I'm blathering on about.

But at one point in the movie, the penguins recruit a bunch of chimpanzees to help them fix the airplane (which has crashed in Africa. So, just to be clear, 'Madacasgar 2' doesn't even take place in Madagascar. Just thought I'd point that out).

Anyway last night, while watching this particular part, Davis mutters under his breath... "I just don't trust monkeys."

Pretty funny. But also a very sound motto for life, I should think.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Today's the day!

So today was the day. The day. THE DAY! Can I get a ‘hallelujah’, my friends?!!

Today a heavenly chorus sang when the doors to my children’s school opened after 11 weeks (not that I’m counting or anything), and my children walked into their lovely school (not that I’m biased or anything), followed by their very happy mommy (not that I’m dancing or anything), and went in to their classrooms to be greeted by their new teachers and friends (not that I’m drinking or anything… oops. Did I say drinking?)

Well, truth be told, a celebratory drink was definitely in order because we were ALL excited to be back at school. We (and I mean ‘me’) are a schedule lovin’ bunch, and all those uninterrupted hours of being stuck in the house because it’s too hot to be outside, only to be interrupted by all those hours of being in an over chlorinated neighborhood pool, only to dry off enough to head to one of those free movies that we already have on DVD, but watching them in a cool, darkened overcrowded theater with a $17 bucket of popcorn is just too good to pass up.

But, it was a fun summer. It was a busy summer. It was a hotter than Hades summer, to be perfectly honest, and I am eternally grateful for central air conditioning and the magic of a little thing called a DVR.

Other things I was grateful for this summer included:
1. SPF 50 sunscreen,
2. sleeping in a little
3. the library
4. good friends who were always willing to swap kids for playdates
5. friends with fabulous new swimming pools ;)
6. no homework
7. day trips
8. day camps
9. anything I could make for dinner that didn’t require turning on the oven
10. fireworks
11. a certain little boy learning to do a flip off of the diving board (he’s so proud!)
12. throwing away the swim floaties b/c my 4 year old can SWIM now! (totally yay!)
13. occasional periods where all 3 kids played nicely together without bickering
14. red wine… (let’s not get all Kumbayah, people!)

So… summer. Been there, done that. Got the tan lines. And now it’s time to get back into the swing of things. They’re ready. I’m ready. Some of those summer days seemed to just crawl by, but today, walking out of the school, I commented that I couldn’t believe how fast the time went.

And I felt just the teensiest bit wistful. (Not that I’m crying or anything... sniff, sniff*)

**p.s. Those apples in the picture are actually apple cupcakes. I like to channel Martha Stewart in my spare time, and when it comes right down to it... would YOU rather have an apple or a cupcake?! Um, no brainer! ;)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Mrs. GoodBody, I presume?

We all do it… we all have at least one part of our body that we obsess over, that we hate, that we wish we could change with our handy-dandy magic wand. Our ‘flaws’… whether they are real or perceived.

You know how it is. We look in the mirror with that horribly critical eye, and we think that everyone else on the planet notices that little wrinkle between our eyes, or our jiggly upper arms, or the cottage cheese on our butts. (Daaamn. Turns out I have at least three body obsessions. I will cease listing things while I only have three.)

But I had to laugh today when I saw an article on CNN’s health website that was all about “cankles”. According to the article… "cankles" is slang for the part of the leg where the ankle meets the calf when there is no definition or indentation. In most cases, cankles are just large ankles -- what used to be called "big bones."

C’mon…you know a cankle when you see one. And I’m sure if you have cankles, it’s about as much a laughing matter as my turkey neck is to me. (Damn. Damn! That’s four.) Much like the infamous ‘Man Hands’ from the Seinfeld episode, there’s not a lot you can do about cankles, I guess. I just didn't realize it warranted an entire article on CNN.

The article mentions that diet and exercise really don’t make a dent in cankles (oh, snap! Pun intended.) And that one of the doctors has even seen patients try to alter their ankles with… wait for it…

Ankle liposuction.

And one more time:

Ankle liposuction. Which the article says can cost somewhere between $4000 and $8000, depending on how extensive the ‘ankle shaping need is’.

So what exactly constitutes a cankle? Glad you asked… and I quote: “According to podiatrists, the average ankle size is about 10 to 11 inches around; men's ankles may be a little larger.”

Go ahead… measure your ankle. I did it, too. I’ll wait.


Done? Mmmmkay.

And while I don’t actually have cankles, I say if you do … embrace ‘em. And keep in mind that those crunchy 80’s socks just might make a comeback. Love those cankles. Just like I have learned to love my little muffin top.

Aw crap. That’s five.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

If a dream is a wish your heart makes...

...then I’m in trouble.

Because I have some weird dreams. I’m not just talking dreams that are a little bit odd. I’ve had dreams so strange that sometimes after I’ve told Phil about one, he has said to me, ‘Don’t feel like you have to tell anyone else about that dream.’

I dream about people that I’ve met once. I dream about people that I haven’t seen for 30 years. I dream that I’m back in high school, but I’m the age I am now, AND I’m pregnant, AND I’m trying to fit back into my cheerleading uniform, AND I’m desperately trying to follow along with the halftime dance routine. (Okay, that one may actually be one of my more normal dreams.)

A few years ago I had a dream about a kid I knew from junior high, that I haven't seen or even thought of in years. Well, in this dream, guess who brought me a dead skunk on a shovel, and asked me to bury it in my backyard? Yep. Freud would have a field day, right?

And my dreams do not stop and start. They flow into each other like molten lava, with people and places suddenly shifting… ‘So, we’re at Mount Rushmore, and I’m flying a kite with my best friend from grade school, and then suddenly, we’re on a boat, and I’m using an antique letter opener to try to catch an octopus. Well, it made sense in my dream.’

Last night’s dream was pretty tame.
1. It was not some strange place I’d never been.
2. It did not include that guy that I saw at the corner whose cardboard sign read, “Just need a little help until the Mother Ship comes back for me…”.
3. And in this dream, my teeth were not falling out (I ALWAYS have dreams where my teeth are falling out. I’m pretty sure it’s because I grind my teeth at night, but it’s very disconcerting, to say the least.)

So, in my dream last night, I was driving in the van down Great Oaks, heading toward home, and Josie yells up to me from the backseat, “Mom! Smokey’s on your tail!” ('cause that's just how we talk around here... ;)

And sure enough, in this dream, I get pulled over, and the cop tells me that I was speeding… yadda, yadda… I get a ticket (which is actually a book of Mad Libs in the dream… but I KNEW it was a ticket! Trust me, it made sense.)

So why am I telling you this? (Why do I tell you anything, my dear readers?!!) Well, because in my dream, I didn’t care about the ticket/ Mad Lib which, incidentally, was going to cost me $211 and some change.

In my dream, all I cared about was getting home so that I could BLOG about it.

That’s right, my friends. I’m now dreaming about my blog. And blogging about my dream.

I think I’ve come full circle in the crazy train.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A hearty hello!

This afternoon was a little weird for me.

First off, I was walking on a treadmill. Nothing all *that* unusual about that. (No, really… okay, maybe mildly odd. Especially the part about how I was still wearing my jewelry and was completely sweating off my makeup.)

The unusual part was that while I was walking (on a serious incline, I might add), there was a dude standing next to me who was touching my left boob, and muttering, ‘Beautiful. Everything seems perfect.’

Granted, I was on the treadmill for a stress test.

AND the dude just happened to be a cardiologist.

Okay, okay... AND it was a stethoscope touching my boob, while said cardiology 'dude' was monitoring my heartrate.

Which brings me to why I’ve not blogged in about a week. Without boring you too much, just know that I have not been ‘myself’. I’ve been worried and cranky and basically just not feeling up to writing anything besides letters to my kids’ teachers for next year thanking them in advance for their patience and dedication (and how they should NOT believe my children when they say they did nothing this summer except watch TV and eat popsicles. It’s not true, I tell you!)

Without boring you too much, I’ll suffice it to say that I was having chest discomfort off and on for the last week, and my anxiety about it has been through the roof.

So please forgive me for not calling. Please forgive me for not following through on those tentative plans we’d made. Please forgive me for missing your emails and for basically being a headcase and for possibly totally unloading on you my woes and my worries and my anxiety when we met at the pool for that playdate. ;)

Without boring you too much, I’ll suffice it to say that the doctor told me I was fine, my heart sounds like that of a youngster (skipping a beat when shown a picture of the Jonas Brothers, I guess), and that despite a family history of heart disease, an EKG says that I’m extraordinarily healthy.

And evidently, that my left boob is totally awesome. ;)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I can't make this stuff up.

Today in the car, Josie was playing a word game with Libby where she gives her a word, and Lib tries to figure out the first letter of the word.

Libby's new favorite thing is ‘sounding out’ words, and she walks around all the time now, saying things like, “Huh, huh, huh… ‘H’. House starts with an ‘H’.”

So, we were out on a sock-buying errand (Seriously. Not sure how it happened, but we woke up this morning, and Davis doesn’t have a sock to his name.) We had made our sock purchase (suh, suh... sock starts with an 'S'), and were headed back out to the van.

Libby: Learn me some more letters. (admittedly very hick, but pretty adorable in her little 4 year old voice)

Josie: Okay, Libby, what does ‘Terrific’ start with?

Tuh, tuh… ‘T’!

Good job! What does ‘Pig’ start with?

Puh, puh… ‘P’!

Exactly right! What does ‘Kick’ start with?

Kuh, kuh… ‘F’! (She doesn’t always hit the nail on the head the first time ;)

Nooooo…. I said ‘Kick’. It’s not fuh… it’s kuh. Not fuh…kuh.

Libby (getting a little confused): Fuh, kuh? Fuh, kuh?

No! I said… NOT fuh…KUH!

At this point, I decide an intervention is necessary, and I quickly point to the pretty bird (grackle) out in the parking lot at Wal*Mart in an effort to distract them. ‘Oh, wow! Look at that awesome bird!! Isn’t it awesome? It’s a buh, buh, bird!!’

Honestly, though, I’m pretty sure it’s not the first time somebody’s shouted ‘Fuh…kuh!’ in the Wal*Mart parking lot.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Take me out to the ballgame...

Last night, I finally made it to my first Round Rock Express baseball game. I was very shocked at how much I liked it.

As in… ‘I’m not really ready for the game to be over, but it probably should end quickly because if one of you kids stands up in front of me one more time while I’m trying to watch the game, I will gladly sell you for two wooden nickels and a SnoCone’.

I remember going to a Rockies game at Coors Field, and not really enjoying it as much. Of course, I could possibly have had a hangover.

It was back in that first year of living in Denver, right after we’d gotten married. I think we seriously felt it was our duty to drink our way through LoDo and learn all the finer points of living in our new city. (For example… the sun shines most of the time in Denver. And it’s really bright. Especially when you have a hangover.)

Anyway, this was my first experience at a Minor League baseball game, and after I recovered from the shock of the cost of our ‘ballpark dinner’: 3 hot dogs + 2 corn dogs + 4 bottles of water + a diet soda = $46.00. (Choking a little just thinking about it…)

The Express won the game, the kids got to run the bases after the game, we took lots of pictures, we briefly lost a child (*but no worries… we found her*), we saw ‘Spike’ the mascot, and all three kids got a free backpack since it was ‘Kids Night’ at the ballpark. Pretty cool.

On the way home, the kids were totally hyped up about baseball. They had big plans. They were going to go out first thing this morning to play ball.

They assigned positions. They decided on a batting order. They realized that we didn’t have enough baseball gloves for everyone, but Josie said it didn’t make a difference. “Mittens will work just fine!” (I wish I were kidding, people.)

Last order of business? Coming up with a mascot for their team. They tossed around a lot of different names.
And bears, oh my? (*sorry)

Nope. None of those seemed to work for them. I guess they just didn’t have that certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ (yes, I had to Google that. Shut up.) They finally decided on the perfect name for their little rag-tag, mitten- wearing, three player, backyard baseball team.

And I just have to tell you that I can’t wait to put on my jersey in support of the ‘Saber-Toothed Squirrels’.

Go Squirrels!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

And now... for tonight's 'Top Ten List':

The top ten reasons why I blog…

10. Because the voices in my head tell me to.

9. Because it’s significantly cheaper than therapy.

8. Because I hope to be a constant source of embarrassment to my children as they get older. (I think I’ve gotten an admirable start…)

7. Because I don’t have a job. (good thing? bad thing? Depends on the day, I guess)

6. Because I can vent about completely random crap, and know that someone, somewhere ‘gets’ me.

5. Because I can’t figure out that damn Twitter business.

4. Because my husband has been listening to me for the last 19 years, and is tired of hearing my stories. (Shocking, I know! Both that we’ve been together for almost 2 decades AND that he could possibly be weary of the softly lilting sound of my voice ;)

3. Because it helps me avoid cleaning the bathrooms. (Toilet brush or keyboard? Hmmm, that’s a tough one…)

2. Because when I’m old & senile, I can only hope that Phil will read my old blogs to me in the nursing home, just like in ‘The Notebook’. (*sob)

1. Because I’m much better looking (and skinnier!) on ‘Planet Linson’ (there’s that whole gravitational thing.)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Some Enchanted Afternoon

Today we hiked to the top of Enchanted Rock.

Okay, truth be told, we didn’t get to the top. We only got about ¾ of the way up.

Things I learned today about hiking to the top of Enchanted Rock:

1. Don’t do it in August.

2. Don’t start at 12:30 in the afternoon.

3. Don’t go immediately after eating a big lunch.

4. Especially if your lunch was German food (delicious, but not exactly ‘lite’).

…Especially if you drank waaay too much iced tea.

…Especially if you didn’t pee before heading to the summit.

5. Take plenty of water. Unless you have to pee. Because then it just reminds you. That you have to pee.

6. Don’t even think about peeing in the grassy areas off of the trail. Just the thought of a rattlesnake sinking its fangs into my butt cheeks lessened my need to go to the bathroom just a little bit. (Besides… the Native Americans believed that Enchanted Rock was sacred, and unless I want some creepy, blank-eyed Indian ghost haunting me for the rest of my life, I think I’ll just hold it, thank you very much.)

We had a great time, though, and we plan to go back. When it’s no longer 102 degrees, and so hot that I shouldn’t have even worried about snakes. Even the snakes are smart enough to stay the hell out of the sun on a giant pink granite dome in the middle of one of the hottest Texas summers on record.

Davis kept picking up small pieces of the pink granite. “Look at this cool rock! I want to keep it!” I explained that we weren’t allowed to take rocks home, and pointed out the nifty reminder sign that said: “PLEASE DO NOT DEFACE OR REMOVE ROCKS”. So very handy. I’m considering hanging signs around our house: “PLEASE PICK UP YOUR LAUNDRY AND PUT IT IN THE HAMPER.” Or “NEGLECTING TO FLUSH TOILET IS A PUNISHABLE OFFENSE.” Seems very official.

Phil told him, “Anyway, this rock is supposed to be sacred. You should never take a souvenir from some place that is sacred… just ask Bobby Brady.”

Ooohhh, snap.

Which brings me to the last thing you should do when you hike Enchanted Rock:

Always bring someone who can reference your favorite television show from the seventies.

No WONDER I love that guy so much. :)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Keepin' it real... cranky.

This morning was practice.

Sucky, awful, horrendous practice… but practice, nonetheless.

In an effort to be the first in line at the dealership to get the oil changed in my van, I was up at 5:45 this morning to shower, get dressed, blow-dry my hair, and slap on a little makeup (hey, some of those service guys are really nice, and I didn’t want to scare the crap out of them with my puffy eyes and ‘right out of bed’ hair. They deserve better.)

After I was dressed, I managed to get all three kids out of bed with minimal trouble because, of course, the crumb-crushers have to go with me to get the oil changed. Much as I’d like to leave them at home whilst I run errands… well, the state of Texas (specifically, Child Protective Services) frowns on that particular practice.

So, it was with much fanfare, turning on of lights and music, and pulling back bed covers that I greeted my children this morning. They weren’t appreciative of my enthusiasm. Then I discovered that the words, ‘fresh banana bread’ took a little of the sting out of the early morning wake-up call.

Miracle of all summertime miracles: 6:30 a.m. found us downstairs… dressed, hair combed, shoes on, and munching on the bread that I made yesterday with the two brown bananas that had lived the good life on my kitchen counter. Granted, the kids’ eyes were only half open, everyone was pretty cranky, and it’s a good bet that nobody brushed their teeth… but baby steps, people.

It was practice. Practice for a certain Tuesday that is only three weeks away. A day that I am, on the one hand, looking forward to in eager anticipation… and on the other, am dreading for it’s early morning, chaos-infused, adrenaline-hyped arrival. The first day of school.

And now that we had the chance to all be up waaaay too early this morning in a little 'back to school preview', I think I’m going to really appreciate the last few weeks of summer.

Just a few more weeks of sleeping in a little, having lazy mornings with too much ‘Suite Life of Zack & Cody’, and letting the kids eat a ‘whatever you can find in the pantry because Mommy is still in bed’ breakfast (fruit snacks? Sure. Potato chips? Of course. A Twinkie? The breakfast of champions, my friends.)

So, admittedly, it wasn’t too daunting a task to get all three kids up and out the door this morning, but I had that banana bread to fall back on. If I’m going to make it through the first month of school, I better have a plan in place. A plan of attack. A plan of organization.

A winning plan.

Um… save me those bananas, would’ya?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sometimes I worry...

Putting Libby to bed tonight, she and I were looking at a book that had a little mirror in the back of it.

Libby (peering into the mirror): "Oh, I am so cute!"

Me (thinking that we've had this conversation before...): "Yes, you are very cute. But what is even better than being cute?" (Give me 'smart', 'funny', 'nice', 'caring'...)

Libby: "Being expensive..."

Oh dear.