Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Song lyrics that are kind of creepy when you read them

I Drove All Night
by Celine Dion

I drove all night to get to you
Is that all right?
I drove all night
Crept in your room
Woke you from your sleep
To make love to you
Is that all right?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Home again, home again

Elle and I are back from our trip.  I'll have a recap of it later (complete with pictures even though I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I should have although I guess there's something to be said for putting the camera down and living in the moment) but here's one picture that I posted on the facebook.  I think it sums our trip up nicely.

There's Elle smiling and looking happy as can be as she shows off her new corn on bacob* doll.  She's wearing a reproduction pioneer coat that an employee of the Laura Ingalls homestead site let her her wear because she was crying and the employee didn't know that Elle sort of cries a lot.  Also, shortly after this picture was taken Elle ripped a button off the jacket.  On accident but it just added to the streak of breaking something at every single spot we visited.

*This is what she calls corn on the cob and it's my favorite thing ever and I'm always talking to her about corn so that I can try to get her to say it.

Three years ago today I babysat.
Four years ago today my tiny baby girl got a haircut.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Little House and the Big Garage Sale

On Friday Elle and I are going to leave for a short road trip to Walnut Grove, Minnesota and DeSmet, South Dakota.  We'll be visiting some points of historical Laura Ingalls Wilder spots.  We recently (last night) finished reading the books and we're very excited to see some of the places the books talked about.  Well, I'm excited to see them.  Elle is excited because I told her we could pack a cooler of food and that I would make cheese sandwiches.  She has not stopped talking about those cheese sandwiches for days.

One thing we needed to do to get ready for the trip (other than the buying of the cheese, oh my god the cheese) was to have a garage sale.  We've been needing to have one for a long time and since we needed the extra cash for our road trip I decided to bite the bullet and just do it.

Maybe I should have bitten an actual, literal bullet because garage sales are the freaking worst.

It would be far easier to just walk into Walmart and announce over the loud speaker "Will all the weirdest, stinkiest people please come over to my house and root through my personal possessions?  And then can you turn your nose up at them or find insulting things to say about them?"  Then I could have saved myself the trouble of pricing, moving and organizing everything.

I hit upon what I thought was a pretty brilliant idea though.  I advertised the sale as "almost everything for a quarter" and then I put a big sign up front that said "EVERYTHING IS A QUARTER (unless otherwise marked)" and I really did have most stuff unmarked and ready to be sold for a quarter.  Sometimes it pained me a little because I knew that stuff was worth a lot more but I really just wanted it all gone.

Of course the fact that people were getting nearly new kid's clothes for a quarter didn't stop them from trying to talk me down on the price. "Will you take $1 for these 17 things?" or "This one shirt has a stain on it, can I have it and this electric heater and these wind chimes and these shot glasses and that bike and this scrap book and this pair of cleats for fifty cents?  Because this shirt has a stain."  One guy gave me a hard time because the perfectly functioning bread maker that I had IN THE FREE BOX no longer had the instruction book with it.  When he told him he could look the instructions up online he responded as though I had suggested he engage in sexual relations with the bread maker.  "I don't do THAT!"  At last he agreed to take the bread maker but as he left he said in a threatening tone "If this doesn't work I'm going to throw it away!"

In the end even though we sold most things for just a quarter we made $195.65 (plus $241.75 selling stuff for other people because I'm that big of a sucker).  That was enough to cover our trip hotel costs PLUS our cheese sandwich budget!  Or at least it was until we discovered on Saturday afternoon that all four tires on my car needed to be replaced.

So now we're back where we started from only less so and there's a good chance an angry guy with soggy bread is going to throw a small appliance through my window some night.  I can deal with it though.  Instead of staying at the historic bread and breakfast located in a building that used to be a bank where Ma and Pa did their banking we'll be staying at Bob's Discount Hotel and Taxidermy Shop where kids eat free on Thursdays.  I hope they have cheese sandwiches.

(And because I've been asked for an update on the surrogacy situation let me just say this: AAAAAAAAAAUUUUGH!  I'm at a loss for how to describe how things going without going into too much personal detail or swearing or speaking in tongues but oh my lord, it is a test of patience and perseverance and uterine fortitude.  Let's just leave it at that.)

One year ago today I introduced my dad.
Two years ago today it was twin time.
Four years ago today someone tried to hurt me.
Six years ago today Joseph "liked" sports.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

There are weird people all over the place and some of them become parents

When we left off Elle was playing in the backyard with a neighbor boy after I had shooed H out of our yard.  They played for a few minutes but then the little boy's sister (stick with me, it gets confusing here) came into our yard and said that H's mother (who is not related to the little boy) said he could not stay in our yard any more.  When I questioned what was going on the girl told me H's mom wanted to talk to me and that she didn't want the neighborhood kids playing in my yard.  I assured the little boy that I had talked to his dad and that it was ok that he stayed in my yard.  Then I told the little boy's sister that if H's mother wanted to talk to me she should come on over.

Now if you're like me you're thinking "What the hell?  She sent an eight year old over as her messenger?  And she's trying to dictate what the other neighborhood kids are doing?"  Because that's what I thought.  Because I'm not a crazy person.

Jesse and I went into the garage to do some work for a garage sale.  We had the door open and I kept an eye out for for H's mother but nothing happened for a while.  I started to think the whole thing would just be dropped.

And then I saw her stomping across the street.  Now something to keep in mind here is that I was not even certain what her name was at this point.  In the three years we have lived in this house I have never spoken to this neighbor.  Before she was banned from our house her kid spent hours and hours over here yet she never once thought to come over and introduce herself or to see the home that her kid was playing in or to say "Hey, thanks for watching my kid all day while I had no idea where she was!"  She only decided to talk to me after I said her child wasn't allowed in my yard any more.  Ponder that for a second.

I put my hand up to Jesse and said "I will handle this." just as H's mother reached the end of my driveway and yelped "I think we have an issue we might need to discuss!"

Internal monologue.  "I don't even know your name.  You've never spoken to me before or even bothered to return my friendly waves when we pass each other on the road.  In the interest in neighborly goodwill I have kept my mouth shut when your daughter broke the handle of our screen door.  I never said anything to you when she was rude to me or mean to my daughter.  I even kept it to myself when she tried to steal from Elle because I didn't want my first interaction with you to be one where you felt attacked.  But now you have the nerve to come over to my home and yelp at me because your daughter's feelings were hurt by the fact that there's one yard she can't rule the roost in?  Oh honey.  There is some shit up with which I will not put."

I met her at the at the end of the driveway and she flared her nostrils at me and said 'Why are you being mean to H?"

It kind of got worse from there.  She talked fast, I talked faster.  She got loud, I managed to stay pretty quiet.  She flared her nostrils bigger and bigger and I looked at Jesse like "This bitch is crazy right?"  She kept making the same points over and over.  "H is a good girl!  She's a good girl!  I think she's a good girl!" I shot them down. "No she's not.  Really, is that why she stole from my house?  Is that why every other neighbor around us has complained to me about her?" (All right, that last one was a low blow.)

She tried to blame Elle for starting the fight.  I let her know that's ridiculous because Elle is 5 and H is 9.  She countered that it couldn't be H's fault because (and I am not making this up) H has had fights with every other kid in the neighborhood and that's just what kids do.  I suggested she take a look at the pattern H had dealing with other kids.  She said I couldn't know for sure that the fights weren't Elle's fault because I had not seen them first hand.  I responded that I DID know because if my kids are outside I know where they're going and who they're with.  A lot of the time I can even see them out my front window because I keep an eye on them even when they're outside.  I pointed out that she didn't know H was causing the fights because before that day she didn't even know that there were fights being had.

It became obvious pretty quickly that H's mother had not come over to deal with anything.  She came over to bully me and make me feel bad for kicking H out of my yard.  Once she saw that it wasn't working she got flustered and all but resorted to "I know you are but what am I?"

The strangest part of the argument was when she tried to tell me that H was allowed to decide if Elle was allowed to play in the neighbor's yard or not if she was there first.  I actually laughed in her face.  Back in the garage Jesse was snickering as well.  I let her know that sooner or later H was going to have to learn that she wasn't in charge of everything.  And maybe I stuck my finger in her face a little bit and said "And you need to learn it too because if it happens again I'm going to put a stop to it."

This was the point where I think she realized she wasn't getting what she wanted she so pulled out what she thought would be the big guns.  "Well then" she said with a self-satisfied smile.  "I guess H won't be allowed to play at your house any more."  I paused, confused.  "Um, H hasn't been allowed in my house for at least two years now."

She blinked.  Blinked again.  Then she looked smug.  "Then Elle's not allowed to play in our yard either."

I laughed again.  "Elle hasn't been in your yard for years because of how H behaves.  Do you just not know at all what is going on with your kids?"

There was a bit more back and forth but at this point it was all just a blur and I was wondering if she was ever going to leave my yard.  All I knew was that I wasn't walking away first.  This woman wanted to bully me and try and say it was ok for her kid to bully my kid.  She wanted me to back down and agree that Elle was somehow to blame for what happened.  I wasn't worried about being the bigger person or the mature adult.  I didn't even care how stupid I looked standing at the end of my driveway arguing with a lunatic.

At last H's mother threw up her hands and said "Fine!  Fine!  It's all settled then!  Elle's not allowed to play in our yard and H won't come over any more!  Fine!"

"That's fine with me!" I called back.  "I have to say though that after talking to you I'm not real surprised H acts the way she does."

H's mother stopped in her tracks.  Her whole body got stiff and she opened and shut her mouth a few times.  She looked exactly like H had when I made her leave our yard.  I felt a brief little jolt of something... victory? and I smiled to myself as H's mother stormed across the street.  (Interesting side note, she then went across the street and proceeded to yell at H and some of the neighbor girls demanding their side of the story.  That might have been a good idea to do BEFORE you came over and made an ass of yourself in my yard but WHATEVER.)

So now all is quiet on the western front.  Every day since this has happened Elle has played with neighbor kids without incident.  Joseph reported that a few times he saw H sitting in her driveway and pouting.  I feel a little sorry for her because she obviously got screwed in the parenting department.  She's a bully because she's being raised by a bully.  But I'm not sure I'm a nice enough person to feel as sorry for her as I should have.  I'm glad that (for a couple of days anyway) she's the one feeling left out.

Of course we still have to live across the street from these people.  I don't think for one second this is the end of H being mean or causing issues.  My hope though is that she and Elle will just go their separate ways and that I don't have to have anything else to do with her or her mother.  Or that they move to Antarctica.  I guess I kind of hope that too.

Three years ago today Joseph made up a game.
Four years ago today I had kids.
Six years ago today I was hungry.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The one where I make the neighbors hate me

Yesterday was ... weird.

Ever since we moved into this house three years ago we've had issues with a certain neighborhood kid.  It started out as just kind of annoying.  She was around all the time.  ALL the time.  She wold knock at the door a dozen times a day asking for the kids to come out and play.  If I said no she would be back 10 minutes later ringing tho doorbell.  We would be sitting in the dining room eating dinner and look over to see she was standing on our porch and staring in our big front window.  She would ring the doorbell at 10 at night, wearing her pajamas and wanting to play. One day she was at out house for five hours when I happened to overhear her mother outside yelling to another neighbor "Do you know where H is?"

Some of that might make you feel a little sorry for her.  It made me feel a little sorry for her too.  That's why I kept letting her in the house even though she wasn't a very nice little girl.

Elle was three when we moved here and she was very eager to please her new playmate.  When H would come over and say "I get to use all your toys and you just play with this one car ok?" Elle would hesitate but agree.  When H would say "Ask your mom for snacks and then give them all to me!" Elle would go along with the plan.  When H would say "Tell you mom you want to give me all your Barbie clothes" Elle would cry but then say yes.  Of course I always kept an eye (and ear) on what was going on on in the room and I would step in to settle things.  "Tell your mom you want your door shut and for her not to listen to us!" and then when she left "Don't play with any of your toys or touch anything till I come back to play again!"

All that was annoying but when she started trying to take Barbie clothes from Elle I had to put my foot down.  It was ridiculous that I had to ask a six year old to empty her pockets before she left the house.  At last we decided she just wasn't allowed to play in our house any more.

Time passed and as Elle got a little older she was allowed to cross the street to play with the neighbor kids in their backyards.  The general rule was to not play in H's yard since her parents never supervised what was going on.  It was a good rule in theory but the problem was that no matter what house Elle went to H was always there.  And she was always so mean.  It seemed to make her happy to leave Elle out of games and to tease her and make her cry.  I have lost count of the times Elle has come home crying because H was being mean to her.

H's newest tactic is to tell Elle she's not allowed to play in other people's yards.  Elle can be playing with at the house across the street and H will come over and tell Elle she has to leave.  Or she will instruct the other little kids to ignore Elle and be mean to her. Little kids are like packs of wild dogs and this pack has found it's leader in H.  If she's not around they will play nicely and happily with Elle but if H is comes around they will follow her lead and be mean to Elle.

I am sad to say that Elle is pretty much the perfect victim for them.  She's the youngest kid in the neighborhood.  She's five and she still thinks of even slightly older kids as an authority figure.  She's very sensitive and cries easily.  She's still at that wonderful stage where everyone she knows is a friend and she's eager to please her friends.

Things kind of came to a head a couple of days ago when Elle came home from another neighbor's house crying because H had led the group in kicking her out yet again.  I was just sick of it.  I told Elle "You don't have to me nice to H.  If she tells you to go home you yell right at her 'Maybe you should go home!' or just ignore her."

Then yesterday as Elle was walking to to another house to ask if the little boy who lives there could play she passed by H's yard where H was sitting out with two other neighborhood kids.  They stopped Elle and an argument started.  I didn't hear anything that was said other than Elle yelling "Maybe YOU should go home!"  Jesse hurried over to step in and finish walking Elle to the next house.

The little boy on the corner (who's actually a nice little boy and not really part of the group of mean girls) came over to our house and he and Elle played on the swingset in the backyard.  They were there not five minutes when H and her two cronies came walking into our backyard.  Why were they there?  To make the little boy leave?  To harass Elle?  To be pretend to be nice to her for five minutes so that they could use her playground?  I wasn't in the mood to find out.  I stepped outside and in the most matter-of-fact voice I could manage I said "H, you are not allowed to play in our yard.  You other kids can stay if you like but H is not allowed to be over here."

H was shocked.  She stood and stared at me for a minute and then slowly turned and stormed out of the yard.  One of the other little girls quickly followed but the youngest hesitated and took a few steps closer to the playground.  H yelled "COME WITH ME RIGHT NOW!" and both the little girls quickly scampered after her.

This, my friends, is when things started to get weird.  And this is when I made sure there won't be any friendly neighborhood get togethers any time real soon.  But now I'm getting angry and shaky thinking about what happened so I'm going to continue this tomorrow.

Three years ago I was lumpy.
Six years ago I was pregnant and not loving it.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Wow, it's been a while since I posted.  That was not my intention.

This is a busy time for me.  I have a lot going on but none of it is interesting.  Perhaps the only thing I can think of to share is that later this month Elle and I will be taking a little road trip to visit some places of interest in Laura Ingalls Wilder history.  Elle tells me every day that he's so excited for the cheese sandwiches I promised to pack in the cooler when we go.  Joseph is excited to.  A few days ago he told me "I can't wait for your trip because then you'll be away from me for a few days!"  I guess he's ready for school to start soon too.

The only other news I have is that Joseph got a new hat.  When he wears it I sort of want to smoosh his face because he's so cute.

See?  Smooshable!

One year ago today we went to the splash pad.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

I can make it one more month

The kids go back to school in one month.  I have mixed feelings about this.  On one hand, Elle will be in all day kindergarten and I will have no children at all in the house for six hours a day and that makes me a little sad and lonely.
On the other hand I would pay a billion, trillion dollars for school to have started yesterday.

I am attempting to sort and edit pictures from the three (yes, three!) photo shoots I did this past weekend and my work conditions are less than ideal.  My computer is located in our office/Lego room.  Every well equipped home should have a Lego room.  To my right Elle is playing Fresh Beat Band videos on the computer we have set up for her and Joseph.  I've asked her several times to turn the music down but I think The Fresh Beat Band has taken over the computer and they're turning up the volume from the inside.

Behind me Joseph is digging, digging, digging in a huge pile of Legos for the one single Lego that will complete his current Lego masterpiece.  How loud can one little boy digging through Legos really be?  That's like asking how bright the sun is.  It is SO LOUD OH MY GOD YOU CAN'T BELIEVE HOW LOUD IT IS.  On top of this he's yelling out "BARF!" at random intervals and nothing I say will make him stop.

Tthe kids make sure to let me know they're still around by asking me something every 4.6 seconds.  They need a snack.  They need a drink.  They need me to tell the other child to make less noise. They need me to help them reach a Lego off a high shelf.  They need me to give my opinion on the latest Phineas and Ferb episode.  "BARF!"

I've been working for an hour and my head is throbbing.  My back aches and my shoulders are tight.  My right eye lid has developed a twitch.  I've finished three pictures.

I'm calling it a day.  I'll get some work done in a month.

One year ago today I shared a video.
Two years ago today Joseph humiliated me.
Six years ago today Joseph was cute.