This, That and the Other

We had a huge storm roll through last night and lost power from about 6-9 pm. At least we had a chance to get leftovers heated up before we lost power.

It was really scary outside. Erik thought we were having a hurricane and I thought we were having another derecho. I don’t know if the weather people would call it anything special, but it certainly tore up the trees around town.

In a way it was kind of good to have enforced non-screen time with the whole family. It was difficult, yes, but not impossible. Erik was also in a super good mood, and that helped immensely. He was trying to please me (I have no idea why) and “made dinner” himself (pulled leftovers out of the fridge and put some cornbread on everyone’s plate) and kept talking about the nice evening. I love nights like that.

Elsa and I did some water color painting. I spent more time painting a silly Dora coloring book picture than is really proper to admit. Erik is calling it my masterpiece. Somehow I don’t think I’ll be getting it framed.

After playing games and talking, he finally retired to the couch with a book. He is totally into this series about young Olympians called Heros in Training. Too bad he just finished it. I need to find more books for him. He’s so particular it makes it difficult.

We had a contractor come in yesterday and he’s going to write up an estimate to knock down our half wall and re-face our powder room vanity. Whoo-hoo! I can’t wait! Once the wall is knocked down, we have a floor company set to come out and put laminate all over our main level. It is going to make a huge, huge difference.

Funny story time:

The other day I kept stepping in sticky stuff on the floor. I was dreading steaming the floors, but knew it had to be done. Except, I didn’t do it. Instead, I spot steamed the really bad spots and made an appointment for Luna Floors to come out.

Then I promptly forgot about Luna and made an appointment for the contractor to come out.

So it was a big surprise when the guy from Luna showed up Saturday!

We ended up deciding to go with Luna because it seemed to make the most sense to have people who do floors all day long do our floors. Plus, they have a lifetime warranty on the installation, move all the furniture around themselves, and can do it at our convenience. Oh, and they have a 110% price match guarantee.

Now I just need the contractor to get out here and take down the wall so we can schedule the floors!

I’m feeling motivated to finish my painting project. I wonder if the paint is still any good. Really, the whole part that I painted last year could use a new coat. Gotta love kids and their grubby little hands. Maybe I can just have Elsa paint it. She likes art projects.

Still having major internet troubles. My domain name is secure, however the host and the registrar disagree with who’s problem it is. The registrar is HORRIBLE and it is pretty clearly their fault (I can’t log in properly so it must be them, right?). I am trying to get them to give me an authorization code so I can transfer the domain and they are completely ignoring me. I’d like to leap through my computer and knock some heads.

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Wild Weekend

*I am so pissed at my the company I have one of my domains registered with. They are not propagating my website’s domain properly and their account says the domain is no longer with them (not even an option to renew). I have a receipt saying I am paid up until Sept 2016 so this should not be happening. I am mainly pissed because I’ve been trying to contact them since Friday and am getting NOTHING back from them. At first I was working with my webhost and they were getting back to me within hours. This is ridiculous and I am terrified that someone else is going to scoop my name (fantasy football leagues have been trying to get it for years). Every time I check whois I am still listed as the owner and it is listed as taken. I do not need this kind of stress!

*We’re having a bbq every day this weekend. Our neighbors hosted an impromptu BBQ last night, so we went over and shared neighborhood gossip. Our neighborhood is going down the tubes, which makes me sick. At one point our host’s 12 year old daughter ran in to tell us there was a fight outside. We all ran out thinking it was some kids fighting and found out it was an 18 year old kid encouraging his friends to give his autistic younger brother a beat down. Another neighbor broke it up, but not before acting completely crazy himself. Police came and am ambulance had to take the poor special needs boy to the hospital, they had beaten him so badly. WTF is wrong with people? The whole neighborhood was out in the street. I didn’t get too close to where the fight was, but apparently there was a lot of blood.

*Today we went to a BBQ hosted by one of Mike’s colleagues. It was interesting. The couple had no children, so no toys to play with though there were about 7 kids in attendance. It took the kids awhile to warm up, but they finally all started playing together. There were a lot of dog toys in the yard, so they made good kid toys (if you can a big line tied between two trees a good kid toy. I was glad no one got strangled). Side note: We were one of the oldest couples there. Are we really at the stage of our lives when we are the old people? I’m not ready for this.

*Elsa is refusing to go to sleep tonight, which is going to suuuuuck in the morning. We have to be up early to go walk in the Rockville Memorial Day parade. The kids are really excited. Mike and I are not so excited, but I agreed to do it with my MOMS Club because I think it will be an experience the kids will remember.

*We’re getting new flooring on our main level! Whoo-hoo! Laminate all the way, baby! And I think we are going to get our stupid, random half-wall knocked down and possibly a new vanity for our bathroom. This will all really improve the look of our house.

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Long Time, No Post

It’s been a long few weeks. My mom has been here, which is nice but also crazy. She loves the kids and they love her, but we have such different lifestyles that it is hard to meld them together. She hangs out with alcoholics and drug addicts so has no clue what I consider to be normal and socially acceptable.

You know what really bugs me? The way she goes on and on and on about my dad. She talks about him quite a bit, always in a very positive light. It’s like she’s trying to make him out to be some great hero, yet when he was alive she hated him and was always plotting to kill him or wishing he would die. I can’t reconcile this and it drives me crazy. I’m the type of person who doesn’t waffle on anything. If I say something I mean it. When I make a decision, it is made. So all of a sudden all this talk to the kids about how great my dad was is out of left field and makes me very uncomfortable.

We had our school’s Cultural Showcase last week. It was a great event and I’m glad we were able to participate. We did a Swedish table, of course. We were the only European country represented, which I thought was kind of sad. However, it was wonderful to see so many other countries represented (a total of 17 families participated, which is HUGE for our school). Though we are a minority majority school, our PTA is predominately born-in-the-USA-whitey-white-white so it was fun to see different families I’ve never met come out and show off their home countries.

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I made a ton of Swedish cinnamon rolls to hand out. I need to quit being an overachiever because it’s killing me. I made about 100 of these rolls that I had to twist by hand. I am so tired. I don’t know when I’ve really had a good day of rest recently. Tomorrow is going to be the first day in forever where I have a free day. Free day meaning I only have to go to the gym and a doctor’s appointment. I like being busy and I don’t dislike any of the things I sign up to do, but things seem to get more and more hectic by the week.

I’ve started cracking down on the screen time and it has helped our family life immensely. With the never ending winter (and 10 snow days!), I became way too reliant on allowing the kids to sit in front of the TV or a computer and they became very entitled about it. I haven’t really noticed anything negative impact on Elsa (she will not watch TV all that long; she prefers to do art projects or play in her kitchen), but sitting too long makes Erik into Mr. McGrumpyPants. His mood has improved tremendously with the new limits I’ve set (no screen time from after breakfast till after dinner). Yesterday he even led Elsa in a new “game” called Clean the Living Room. They even vacuumed while I was upstairs cleaning the bathrooms, all as a surprise for me. It was a fairly transparent ploy to get screen time before dinner, but it was done with smiles so I’m not going to complain. After all the trouble that boy put me through in his early days, he has turned out to be one very fine young man–sweet, kind, eager to please.

Elsa is out of her Threes and very much a wonderful little Four year old! She can sit for hours and color or write words (if I spell them for her). She even colors inside the lines, which I find amazing (ummmm. . . because I know a certain 8 year old who has never even tried to color inside the lines). I can basically get her to do anything if I call her Fluffy and offer her the trifecta of imaginary cat food: chicken, fish, and milk. I’m loving this fun phase and I’m trying to enjoy every second (except for the shrill little girl screams. I’m not enjoying those at all and am trying to nip that habit in the bud.). I’ve noticed she is starting to look like Erik, which is so strange because she used to look like me. Who knows what she’ll end up looking like.

Unfortunately, she is very sad some days and it breaks my heart when she cries “I just want to be eight! I just want to know everything an eight year old knows! I just want to be smart like an eight year old!” It must be hard being the little sibling.
My poor baby girl. There’s not a whole lot I can do to solve that problem.

When Erik was 4, I accidentally ordered a huge framed picture of him (I couldn’t really understand the lady who was selling me the portraits). My plan has always been to get a huge matching picture of Elsa when she turned four. I wanted to have the pics done on her fourth birthday, or very close to it. But guess who went and cut her bangs the weekend of her fourth birthday? I don’t know when it’s going to grow out well enough to not look awkward in a bigger than life picture. Maybe I’ll take her in to get a haircut and see what they can do with it.

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Four Years

I can’t believe Elsa turned four today! My last baby! And she’s no longer a baby. I looked through pictures and I miss that little baby girl. There are definite advantages of having a big girl, but babies are just so cute and squishy.

We had a great party at MyGym. This is the first nice weekend we’ve had so I was regretting not doing a park party, but then I remembered that every single time I plan a big outdoor event it rains. All of you in the DC area can thank me for not planning a party this weekend (sorry about next Tuesday!). It is so much less stressful to let the college students take care of the party. They have it down to a science. I had some prep work, but not much. I decided I am done running myself ragged. These parties are for the children and should not be a Pintrest mom competition. Fruit bowl, birthday cake, simple goody bag, BOOM. Done.

Elsa was vibrating with happiness the whole time, so I think that was a win! She got some really great presents–a homemade purple princess dress, lots of art supplies, a bubble machine, a scooter and some other cute little girl toys.

Erik picked out his own gifts for her this year. He is finally getting the whole present thing. He got her a Sophia the First movie, bunny ears and a purple tutu. He’s such a sweet big brother. I’ve really lucked out with siblings that love each other. They make each other better people, which is something I never imagined could happen. When we were hoping for a second baby I was so worried that we were ruining Erik’s life. It turned out, giving him a sibling was the best thing we could have done for him. He had to realize he was not the center of the universe. Not that they never fight, but I say they get along more than they fight (this month. . . who knows what will happen next month).

Here’s to my sweet, ferocious, beautiful, happy little girl! She brings us all so much joy!

Sweet baby

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One

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Two

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Three

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Four!

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Exhausted!

It has been a crazy few days around here. Never have a baby around a holiday. That’s my advice. Except, of course, if you really want a baby you want it whenever it feels like arriving. I was certainly not one of those magical people who could plan the month of my delivery (I have a friend who planned all three of hers and her plan worked. It boggles my mind.)

Life would be so much simpler if Elsa’s birthday was not on top of Easter and spring break. Trying to fit in all the Easter egg hunts, school spring parties, Easter bunny baskets and a birthday party is running me ragged. It didn’t help that I was the only one willing to sign up as the egg hider for Elsa’s class, so that cut short my very limited free time today. I needed to buy supplies for the birthday party and supplies for Easter baskets. I wanted to buy pre-made Easter baskets this year, but the only decent ones I’ve seen were at Costco back in early March. Elsa was with me or I would have bought them then. At this point I don’t have time to make the trip to Costco and they might already be sold out. So off to the store for a shit load of candy and crap. This year I tried to put the bare minimum of candy in and stick with some fun toys I think the kids will enjoy (play-doh, pokemon cards, etc).

I also had to put together a plan for the b-day goody bags. As most of you know, I am a major hater of goody bags. They are a waste of money and resources and I H-A-T-E them. However, everyone expects them and they are the new way to signal the end of the party. This year I hit on an idea I actually really loved for Erik’s party (make your own trail mix bar) and wanted to do something similiar for Elsa’s party. Problem? Most of the kids will be even younger than her, it is actually really expensive to get a ton of ingredients and we don’t have a whole lot of time to deal with the kids trying to scoop ingredients.

We’re doing a Frozen theme, so I decided to make reindeer chow. I got blue and white candy melts, little tiny square pretzels and Cracklin’ Oats cereal and mixed it all together into a big blob of crunchy, sweet goodness. I packaged it in clear plastic bags and hope the kids aren’t too disappointed. I need to go find some kind of ribbon to tie on them, and maybe make some kind of tag that says “Sven’s Chow” or something else that is super creative. Help me be super creative, people! I need you!

My mom is coming Saturday afternoon, so that day is pretty much shot. We’ll get up, go to lunch, go to Erik’s soccer game, pick my mom up from the airport, have dinner, go to bed. Then the next day is Elsa’s party! I am trying to make it easy on myself this year. Bakery cake, these simple party bags, store bought veggie tray, delivered pizza and maybe a bowl of fruit. We’re doing it at MyGym so the entertainment is taken care of. I’m going to see if they can play Let It Go and we’ll try to get the kids to sing it (shouldn’t be that hard since we do it a million times a day. Today at soccer a mom I know told her 7 year old daughter to ask me my daughter’s name. I told her I’d give her a hint and started singing “Snow glows white on the mountain tonight” and she guessed it. Everyone knows the song.)

Oh, that’s the other thing. Elsa’s soccer class. Ugh. I wasn’t going to sign her up for spring soccer, but my friend’s daughter really wanted to do it but was too shy to do it alone. We signed them up for Wednesday at 2, which was perfect. It would have given us something to do in the afternoon, but I’d be home in time to get Erik off the bus. Then that class was cancelled because there were only three enrollments. So now my kids have swimming on Wed at 5:30, Elsa has soccer Thurs at 5 and Erik has soccer Friday at 6. Only three more weeks of the swimming, then we’ll be switching to Mondays at 4, which is much easier on my dinner schedule. No wonder families find themselves eating drive-thru dinners in the car every night. This is nuts! I try not to over schedule my kids, but swimming is a life skill and they both really enjoy soccer. What’s a mom to do? They both need the structured exercise. Hell, I should be out there running for an hour with them. I need to start homeschooling just so we can have a more flexible schedule.

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Four Things

1) I’ve been doing more reading lately, mainly due to more time at the gym. Gotta have something to keep my mind busy, right? I discovered Flora Segunada awhile ago and am really enjoying this little series. It’s a YA fantasy. Tag line says if you like HP you’ll like it. I’m not exactly sure they are related, but it is a down on her luck teen protagonist who somehow has the fortitude to save the world (or her own skin) despite not really having a clue. I especially like it because it’s not set in a random psuedo-European city. It’s set in alternate history (or maybe far future?) California. Lots of magic, Spanish, and adventure. I also read the Veronica Mars mystery and enjoyed it. I would have loved it better with the cast acting it out on the screen, but it was still fun. I think there is supposed to be another one coming out soon.

2) Poor Elsa had a fever today. I knew she must be sick when she was cuddling up with Mike all morning. Sure enough, fever of 102. She said she had a headache, so I was frantically searching the internet for meningitis symptoms and ready to take her to the ER. Then she said she it hurt to swallow so I stopped worrying so much. A three hour nap and a hit of Advil helped a lot. I’m just glad it happened this weekend and not next weekend (her birthday party is next week).

3) The time has come to talk to Erik about changing bodies. Luckily it seems that this is going to be a small step by small step kind of a talk. He hasn’t sprouted any hairs or developed BO, but I’ve noticed his skin has been really oily lately and he’s had some clogged pores. We had a talk about bodies changing as you grow and how bacteria likes to eat oil and how that will lead to pimples later on. I bought him some soap and some moisturizer and taught him how to use it tonight. At this point he thinks it is cool that he’s getting older. I really hope I don’t screw this up and give him a complex. My mom was not good at talks and basically didn’t tell me anything except that pimples were caused by a dirty face (after I was already super pimply–no prevention before it got out of hand) and that I was disgusting (maybe that’s not what she said, but that’s what I took away).

I’ve learned a lot about zits in my many years of fighting acne and the approach taken when I was a teen is so, so harmful (horrible scrubbing pads that took the skin off combined with super drying chemicals). Gentle is the answer for me, so I hope that is the answer for my kids. I would never want them to suffer through the kind of acne I had as a teen. My goal is to teach them not to touch their faces. That would make such a huge difference. Easier said than done, but maybe if I start them young I can drill it in to them. I would obsessively pick at my skin up until I found a skin care tool (two years ago) that pulls out blackheads and pops whiteheads very simply and easily without messing up your face.

4) Elsa keeps saying that the Easter Bunny is going to bring her a purple stuffed bunny. I hadn’t really given it much thought until I was at Target today. I started looking at the stuffed Easter animals and quickly realized there were no purple bunnies. I finally found one shoved in the very bottom of the bin. I brought it home and left it in the grocery bag (the kids don’t look in grocery bags so it was safe there). I was planning on hiding it after the kids were in bed, but BOOM. Mike comes in with it, sits it on the table between me and Erik and asks “What’s this?”

If looks could kill, poor Mikey would be a fried corpse right now. He didn’t know the plan, so it’s not really his fault, but now I can’t use that bunny since Erik is still a believer (I think). I told Mike he can spend his Sunday tracking down another purple bunny.

Honestly, I am not really on board with the Easter Bunny. Elsa is so excited about it but I don’t really know how to answer her questions. Where does the Easter bunny live? How does he travel? Why does he bring Easter baskets? I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know! I have no idea what the mythology is. The Easter bunny freaked me out when I was a kid and I still don’t really like the idea. I think I saw a person dressed in a human-like bunny costume and it scared the shit out of me. I want my kids to have a great childhood and I go all out for Santa. I just can’t get with the EB program.

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Up and Down and All Around

*The never ending winter finally sort of ended and soccer season has begun. The first practice was cancelled because the fields were too muddy, but they finally opened them up (but they are still a mud pit) and Erik met his new team tonight. We’ll see how it goes, but Mike was not too impressed with the first look at the kids. It’s supposed to be for fun, so who cares. First game tomorrow after a mere one hour of practice.

Last season he was on a mediocre team. The first few losses were tough, but he survived them and came out a better person. We can actually play games with him now and he is more philosophical about losing. No temper tantrums, crying, or any of that non-sense. Learning disappointment is good for a kid. Who knew?

*Elsa’s class went on a little field trip yesterday. I still don’t understand where we were. I guess we were at someone’s house? It was a guy and his wife and a log cabin and big, giant yard way out in the country. They had some little chicks that the kids could look at (Elsa was terrified), the guy cut a bunch of wood with a chain saw (kids in general loved it, Elsa was terrified), then the kids went on a nature walk through the woods and found a bunch of deer bones. It was fine. I just. . . don’t understand who this guy was? Just a random lumberjack?

*The Frozen obsession rages on across the nation. There was a little girl in full Elsa regalia and a blonde side braid at the gym daycare the other day. She was PISSED at Elsa since Elsa can legit be called Elsa. The baker thought I was being ridiculous when I asked them to write “Happy Birthday Elsa” on the Frozen themed cake that Elsa picked out, people think Elsa is making up her name all the time and it upsets her. On the day she was born I wanted to change her name but everyone laughed at me. I guess I have the last laugh. Shoulda changed it.

*I can’t quit watching Frozen youtube song videos. Someone make me stop. I don’t even understand why there are a bunch of people lipsyncing songs while driving and making videos of it. And why am I watching this non-sense?

*Nor do I understand why people make youtube videos of playing with Barbies and Play-Doh. Elsa stumbled upon this delightful phenomenon today. When Erik got home he was puzzled “So. . . she’s watching a video of someone playing Barbie? Why doesn’t she just play Barbie?”

I DON’T KNOW! And I don’t know why he only watches videos of people playing Minecraft instead of actually playing Minecraft. I do not understand the year 2014. Someone sent me back to 1984 (only as an adult, not a child. And let me take my smartphone with me, and provide some kind of secret wifi from the future).

*Speaking of. . . I got a new phone! It is soooooo much better than my old one. My old one was half screen, half keyboard. I thought I would like having actual buttons, but it made the screen way too tiny. This one is a lot more screen and I love it! I have no idea what kind it is. I’d have to find the box. It’s from Verizon and that’s all I know.

*I’m finally getting back into the habit of daily gym time. I feel so much better, except I hate my new routine. I tried to go back to the elliptical but it killed my back and knee. I’m doing the exercise bike, which just seems so ineffective. I’ve finally figured out where to set the seat so it doesn’t kill my butt, so that’s a plus. I have also figured out how to set it to work up a sweat, so that’s good. I was setting it to Fat Burn, but I never broke a sweat so it felt pointless. I guess it doesn’t really matter as long as I am getting some exercise in, right? I’m still doing BodyPump twice a week and am finally starting to feel my muscles harden up (except my abs. Those will never get under control).

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The Real Party!

I was quite content with the lack of a party for my birthday. I figured it was just par for the course. I’m old, I’m crotchety, I don’t like being the center of attention. No big 40th blow out for me. I would not have wanted a big party with black balloons and over-the-hill jokes. In fact, such a party would have infuriated me. I’m not a very good sport.

Though I admit the birthday was lacking a certain spark this year.

We planned to have dinner with friends this weekend to celebrate and I planned on bringing an Olive Garden copy-cat black tie mousse cake. I love chocolate, and it’s a chocolate bomb. I worked my ass off on this cake for two days!

Anyway, we go over to our friend’s house and around 3:30 Mike suggested we cut the cake and have it with our coffee. I found this extremely odd since we usually have dessert after dinner, but I was eager to cut into it. Mike is not the type to ever ask for sweets, but whatever. I don’t say no to chocolate.

Then just when it’s time to start cooking dinner, everyone starts laughing and telling me that we are not having dinner at home. Linds was taking me to an undisclosed location and the dads were going to stay home with the kids.

I had no idea where we were going or if I was appropriately dressed. I thought maybe we would go to a local restaurant or maybe even a play or show. We ended up taking the metro into DC in the pouring down rain (better to metro in than drive in the monster storm!) and I still had no idea where we were going.

We ended up at Co Co Sala, a chocolate lounge and boutique. So yummy! And so fancy! I told Mike about this place two years ago, but we never went. Somehow he remembered and arranged for my friend to take me down there as a girls’ night out–with him footing the bill!

When we got there someone called Linds and said she was running late, but I had no idea who it was. I told Linds that I could only think of three people that I’d like to walk in the door and she laughed and said “those were the three people on the guest list!” Only one of the other three could make it, so there were only three of us. It was still really fun and delicious.

I’ve never eaten a gourmet meal before, so I felt like I was on an episode of a cooking show. The foods were strange, but delicious. The portions were super tiny, but we didn’t want a huge meal since we were going to gorge on chocolate after the main course.

I got an artichoke tart and then finished off with super yummy chocolate stuff that I can’t even describe. I also got a cocktail called a Fetish–strawberries and chocolate infused vodka. It was really sweet and I’d have liked to have another, but I didn’t want to get drunk down in DC. In fact, can someone make me a Fetish right now? Man, that thing was good.

After dinner, we walked our friend to her car and got to see all kind of city things that we never see up here in the ‘burbs. Lots of young’uns lined up outside clubs, limos dropping parties off, hotel doormen blowing whistles at cabs. . . just the vibe of the city. Though there were lots of drunk people out, it didn’t feel particularly unsafe. I guess we must have been in a good area. It was mostly fancier looking people that were out and about.

We rode the metro home and were safely tucked into bed by midnight (which sounds lame I guess, but I was very happy with that. I like sleep.).

The whole evening was such a surprise! I had no idea Mike was planning something like that or that he even remembered me mentioning that restaurant. It was very nice to celebrate with friends and chocolate and something very outside the realm of my ordinary life. It turned out to be a good birthday after all! This was so unexpected, especially since Mike had already gotten me a very nice birthday gift.

Oh, speaking of unexpected gifts, here’s a little story that is not exactly funny but I must tell.

We got a thick Amazon packet on Friday. I couldn’t recall ordering anything so decided I better not open it in case it was a late birthday gift. When Mike got home I showed it to him and he couldn’t remember ordering anything either. We had a little skirmish about who got to open it. Once we saw the book we basically threw it at each other and tried not to touch it. It was a big, thick booked called Outsmarting Your Cancer. We both just stared at it and kind of freaked, until Mike realized his dad probably had it mailed to us. I guess his dad had prostate cancer and used some of the ideas in this book and now he is cured. Or something? I don’t really understand the details.

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Friday Night

Life keeps going at such a fast pace that I never have a second to sit down here with my thoughts, so I turn to the devil that is Facebook instead of here. Though I have really been censoring myself a lot on there lately because I am annoyed by so many of the mommy posts that I never want to come across as “that mommy.” Except? We all know my kids are the bomb diggity, right? So I guess I am “that mommy.”

I was asked what Erik did for a science project. He used his Squishy Circuits* to test different kitchen items and see if they will conduct electricity. Surprisingly, cheese was the best conductor.

Our science fair is non-competitive and not a requirement. We only had about 20 participants (out of 517 students) so it is very low-key. Our school just can’t seem to get parent involvement and it drives me crazy. And let’s face it, a science project is not going to happen without parent support (even if it is just driving the kid to the store and paying for some supplies), thus the low turn out.

I had my big birthday on Wednesday, which is a really awful day for a birthday. But birthdays are really awful when you are turning fucking-40 so I guess that makes sense. I had too much going on to really celebrate. It was just a bad day all around. I didn’t realize I was PMSing, but I totally was. Elsa woke up at 6:30 and kept coming in my room every five minutes trying to get me out of bed. I am not a morning person so this was not making me happy. When the alarm finally went off, she came in my room and held a bright red light in my eye so I screamed at her to get it out of my face and then she cried and cried and cried because I hurt her feelings, so I felt like mom of the year. All day long she was cranky and tantruming (probably because she got up so early) and being extremely defiant. I hate defiance.

It may have been my birthday, but when you have little kids your birthday is no longer about you. The kids were over-the-moon excited to present their gifts to me and I had to act over-the-moon excited to receive two Frozen magnets, a purple pillow pet and a stuffed fish.

Obviously I was over the moon that they were over the moon about being gift givers. Erik is an extremely generous, sweet young man who is working very hard at giving thoughtful gifts. Elsa. . .well. . . she’s three. She has claimed my stuffed fish as hers and is not happy with me when I suggest that maybe I want to keep my own gift (and I really do not want to keep it!).

My friend came over after lunch and brought flowers and a cake, which was so thoughtful of her! It’s good to have friends.

Then I had to take the kids to swim lessons and by the time they were done we didn’t really want to go anywhere too far away so ended up at Outback so I splurged on a Bloomin’ Onion and lived to regret it. I can’t eat onions, so I was sick all night long. I really would love to go to an adult restaurant, but Wednesday night is not an easy night to find a sitter. We’ll go out when my mom is here in April.

Mike bought me exactly what I requested–a Silhouette cutting machine! I can’t wait to play around with it! He also got me Orphan Black Season 1, so we’ll be able to review before season 2 starts. I love that show.

Then, of course, I had to talk to my mom on my birthday. I really love talking about all the various ways my sister has screwed up her life and is neglecting her children. Such an uplifting topic. My dear sister has lost her HUD house (not actually her fault because the house had a secret basement that was forbidden by HUD standards) so she and her boyfriend are flopping on her husband’s couch. Yes, that statement made my brain hurt. She found a place, but the landlords did a background check on her boyfriend. He had over 50 charges ranging from DUIs to assualt to burglary, so they refused her and my mom was mad at the landlord. Why would any landlord ever rent to that mess?

I know without a shadow of a doubt that my sister is going to try to move into my mom’s house while she is here (she arrives April 12). I know my mom is going to spend her whole trip on the fucking phone, either yelling at her or kvetching with her 3 friends. I know she will speed out of here early, after promising my children that she will stay the whole time. I know that she only has two topics of conversation and I am SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SICK of both them 1) How to lose weight and be thin! And 2) Your sister is a meth-head whore so I better throw more money at her so I can end up in the poor house while she does meth!

I have flat out told her I don’t want to hear it and she’ll stop for a little while, but she has a boring life and those are the only two topics that interest her. I am dreading this visit. I have a feeling I am going to snap and it is not going to be pretty.

But now I really have to get to bed. Hopefully I’ll have a relaxing day tomorrow and can write some more! We are going over to our friend’s house for a birthday dinner and I’m taking the cake I’ve been working on for the past several hours (why do I do this to myself?). Erik is going to spend the night there, so I should get a nice break (I put Erik to bed, Mike puts Elsa to bed).

*Way cooler than Snap Circuits, or at least the children we’ve introduced them to think so. It uses playdough instead of wires to conduct electricity. You can make all kinds of thing, especially if you make the non-conducive sugar dough to keep things divided when you are creating sculptures. I kind of understood electricity from the snap circuits, but playing with the Squishy Circuits was much more education for me personally.

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Little of This, Little of That

I can’t believe how little I post here these days. I am super busy, but there is a sameness to the days that precludes posting every little detail. I wish I was still a naive young blogger who believed no one in real life would ever find my little corner of the internet. That ship has sailed and I know better. Now I can’t tell you all about my crazy acquaintances because I am pretty sure I’d be caught. Plus, I have a much better quality of friends these days so I wouldn’t want to write crazy stuff about them anyway. I know some crazy people, but I am exhausted by them and they aren’t worth the drama.

How about some quick bullet points?

*I was promoted to Assistant Regional Coordinator for MOMS Club a couple of weeks ago. I love it! However, it means a lot of computery e-mail time. I have several coordinators working under me and I’m the person they come to for answers (though I have people above me that I go to for answers). Right now I am supervising all of Maryland and a few chapters in Virginia. My supervisor and I work together really well. She was my trainer when I first started out and we think a lot alike. We’ve only met in person a couple of times since she lives in Kentucky.

*Today I knew my winter doldrums were finally gone for good when I took the vacuum upstairs and attacked my room and did a piles and piles of laundry. I do piles and piles of laundry every week, but this time I did some blankets as well. It felt good to get things in order.

I also emptied out Erik’s trash can in his room. I don’t do that very often because he doesn’t have much trash, so I was shocked and disgusted when I found very old URINE in the bottom of his trash can! It looked like someone had moved the trash bag and peed under it because the pee was all in the bottom of the can and not in the bag. DISGUSTING.

Erik swears he didn’t do it. It is possible his little friend did it, which kind of sounds like something that kid would do. I don’t know. His room has been stinky for awhile, but I couldn’t figure out why. I guess that problem is solved. He was just very lucky he was at school when I discovered the problem or who knows what I would have done to him. I am still in shock that someone would do that!

*I got a long over due hair cut today and am really pleased with it. I just wish I knew how to do the magic that a stylist can do. Guess we’ll see if I am pleased with it tomorrow when I have to do it myself.

I’ve needed a haircut for at least two months, but I am d-o-n-e with my regular stylist. She was always pushing color on me, and I don’t need color. The last three or four haircuts she gave me were awful and she also refused to consider a different style for my hair. Ummmmmmm. . . what? Sure, it was a cut that worked for me, but I do like to try new things. Hell, I had a great style in 1995, but that doesn’t mean I want a Rachel for the rest of my life. I would just agree with her because I didn’t have time to fight, but the last cut definitely pushed me over the edge. Finding a new stylist is really daunting, which is why I kept going back.

I tried someone totally new at a new salon and I loved her! She was a teacher of cosmetology and decided she was tired of the commute into DC, so got a job up here. Maybe this stylist break-up will be a lot less painful than I thought it would be.

*I’ve had three people in the past week tell me they are planning on naming their future (as yet to be conceived) daughters “Elsa.” Aaaaaaaannnnnnnddddd. . . . there goes her uncommon name, which I knew was going to happen as soon as I saw the movie. I know I just need to let it go.

Who knew I was going to end up with a Disney prince and queen? (I forgot the prince in Little Mermaid is named Eric).

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