Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Things I've learned...

…now that I’m a “parent”.

Turns out, dinosaurs aren’t actually extinct. They’ve simply been reincarnated in the form of children. For example, the shrieks of a four-year-old being woken up at 6:30 a.m. sound JUST LIKE what I believe a very angry pterodactyl sounded like. And I’ve had plenty of opportunities to witness this. Probably TOO many.

If you’re in the middle of say, Act I of “The Little Mermaid” and aforementioned four-year-old has to go to the bathroom, don’t panic. Don’t think about all of the OTHER shows you’ve been to and the inevitable loooong lines you’ve stood in during the intermission potty break. Reason that maybe some nice women would let you take the small child to the front of the line, but then remember that you’re at “The Little Mermaid” – you’re probably not the only one with an impending pee emergency. Simply check to see what the last song is before the lights go up for intermission, and begin channeling your inner linebacker. When the lights go up, shoot up from your seat, hustle the child to the end of the row and walk as quickly as possible to the nearest restroom. Turns out, if you’re good (like I totally am) you’ll not only get there first, but be able to use the handicapped stall, where it is much easier to supervise AND go to the bathroom yourself, after asking the child to please not open the door until your pants are buttoned. Not that that has happened before. Repeatedly.

I used to be that person who would hear a child screaming in Target and think to myself “If that were me, I would just leave”. Turns out, I wouldn’t. What I WOULD do is sort of bribe the kid to be quiet because gah, we just got here and I haven’t gotten anything on my list and I just don’t want to turn right back around and go home.

As soon as children get into the grocery store, it’s as if they are a starving, malnourished child from a 3rd world country who must have absolutely everything they see. Man, do I ever get tired of saying no. But simply not answering…I can get on board with that.

You might as well never vow to yourself “I will NOT be like my mother” because it is going to happen whether you want it to or not. As we get older it happens, and with kids, it balloons out of control. I’ve heard.

The Fair Police is the most annoying phenomenon EVER. If I have to hear “well she got more than me” or “she didn’t have to do as much as me” or what is quite possibly ONE KAJILLION other incarnations of that same sort of thing, I will scream. See: angry pterodactyl.

Sometimes taking away t.v. is more punishment for the parents than the kids. But you have to stick to your guns, even though what you’d rather do is shoot yourself for taking away t.v. in the first place – not that it’s a babysitter, per se, but sometimes it’s nice to have a break from the bickering or the stuff you told them not to do because it’s dangerous and they do it anyway and then there’s a lot of crying. Plus, I like to watch “Drake and Josh”.

Kids are like snowflakes – no two are alike. They could be related, they could be sweet, they could be many things. But they will most certainly react completely differently to every situation. Turns out, some kids laugh when you call them Poutyface Whinypants and others turn into Tantrum McScreamy because you’ve hurt their feelings, by god.

There’s more. Trying to teach kids manners and behavior is HARD. But in the grand scheme of it all, that pain in the ass stuff often falls by the wayside. Because there’s the time – like today - when they’re in Portland with Chris and Riley calls because she misses me. Or when it’s just Abby and I, and she of the never wanting to go to bed gets into bed with me, snuggles up to me and goes right to sleep. I remember those moments a lot more because I know that there’s going to be a day when they don’t want to snuggle or talk to us or tell us every miniscule detail about everything. So I guess I can endure the occasional pterodactyl/starving orphan/selectively deaf moments. But not the Fair Police. I draw the line there.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Of illness and Marilyn Manson

I never thought I'd say the words "I watched a Marilyn Manson concert in it's entirety" but guess what? I watched a Marilyn Manson concert in it's entirety.

Chris and I were with some friends from work on Saturday night, and because we're all very dedicated to our jobs (or something) at the request of a client, we had to go check on the security situation at a jobsite near the concert. Those crazy-ass whippersnappers were climbing places that they shouldn't in order to get a gander at Mr. Manson - for free - and so we had to go make sure none of those idiots broke their necks on our jobsite. The six of us piled into a Tahoe to head out there and make sure our hired security guns were doing their jobs. As it turned out, they were, although the security guys were maybe 12. But they seemed to have things under control. We went up to the 13th floor of the building to make sure that the alleged sightings of teenagers climbing around where there aren't any actual WALLS yet were not in fact accurate, which they weren't. While we were there though, I realized that I have developed a sort of wicked fear of heights. Although I think I can attribute that to the fact that standing that high above the ground and looking down without the comfort of walls or windows might make anyone a little scared of heights. I'm just sayin'.

Anyway, we ended up going to the roof of a parking garage and watching the concert from there. Let me just say that I enjoy a concert just as much as the next person, maybe more, but boy was I glad not to actually be inside the venue. It was LOUD and also Marilyn Manson screams a lot. I am baffled that he still has a voice at all -- we were speculating that he HAS to have some sort of polyps on his vocal cords by now. Also we were amazed that the graphics he shows on the screen behind him were even allowed, especially all the drug-promoting ones during "The Dope Show". We then discussed our gout and how the impending change in season will most definitely have an adverse effect on our arthritis. Ha -- no we didn't, but seriously, when I was recounting the conversation I felt like we were elderly and whatnot. Those damn kids and their devil music.
After the concert, we headed out, while loudly ridiculing the outfits of the kids coming out of the concert - with the windows of the truck rolled down - because they were all so oblivious to us anyway. Especially the ones laying passed out in the grass -- they totally couldn't hear us.

On the way back to our friends' house, we stopped at a wine bar and proceeded to hang out until closing. Late enough? Of course not. One of the guys decided that 2:30 a.m. is a GREAT time to play poker, even though half of us had never played. Finally, Chris and I left and drove home -- a loooong way - and got to bed around 3:30 a.m. Seriously, I am STILL tired. Why why why am I so old that one night of staying up almost all night affects me for like a week? Sigh. Oh well -- it was worth it. We had a blast.

As far as illness, well, I realized last night that I think I actually have a genuine sickness. I believe the official name is latin or something, but translated, it means I have a difficult time leaving the little girls department of any store without buying one meeeellion dollars worth of clothes for the girls. I was shopping for outfits for the ladies for this weekend -- we're going to go see "The Little Mermaid" Broadway show on Saturday -- and I had to keep putting stuff back because let's be realistic here. I have to pay my mortgage and I think the bank frowns on excuses involving my inability to pass up adorable toddler clothing. I'm a sad, sad girl.

In other EVEN MORE trivial news, I realized today that I use song titles or lines from songs as post titles kind of a lot. 14% of the time, in fact. Yes, go ahead and say it -- nerd terror alert has been upgraded to a lovely shade of yellowy-orange. Like a delicious summer nectarine.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Totally sap-tastic

Ok, so another one of my youth group kids has graduated and is leaving for college in Minnesota tomorrow. I mean, every year a few of them graduate, but each year it seems that there is one really special one. This year it's Margo -- one of THE coolest girls I've ever met. She's beautiful and fun and athletic and smart, and one of those girls who is up for anything. She doesn't worry about her hair or whether she'll look perfect -- if it sounds fun, she'll do it. She's totally loyal and a great friend -- she's thoughtful and remembers things about people she cares about. For instance, every year she visits family in Pelican Bay, and she always brings me something pelican-related back from there. Because as everone who knows me knows, I like pelicans.

Anyway, I decided I'd get pictures together from the last 4 years of trips together and make her a collage frame. I was at the craft store in the scrapbooking aisle finding cool stuff to put on the frame -- quotes about friends and things like that -- and I found myself getting all teary. A lot. I'd be like "oh, THAT will look SO COOL on the frame *sniffle*. I think she'll really like this *SNIFFLE*. COME ON. HOLD IT TOGETHER." So I managed to get all my supplies and I finished the frame last night. It is SO. AWESOME. Behold:

Now all I have to do is not totally lose it when I see her tonight to give her the frame and say goodbye. I know me, and I know that my odds? Are not good. I'll miss my girl.
In other news, I keep noticing that Abby and Riley are getting bigger. Last night I took Abby to get a present because she slept in her own bedroom for the first time EVER on Sunday night. I was so proud of her. So we're walking around Target, and the kid keeps READING things. I mean, it wasn't the cover of US Weekly (thank God -- can you imagine a 4 year old saying "What does 'My Twisted Night With Britney' mean?") but it was a word here and there nonetheless. She was sitting on my lap last night and I noticed how long her legs were, and then I saw her writing up a storm -- she used to only be able to write her own name, but now she can write mine and her sister's. *SNIFFLE*. My little monkey baby is growing up. As for Riley, well, she put on a pair of pants today and I was like "Um, you realize that those are waaaaaaay too short for you, right?" She did, but she just rolled them up into capris. Obviously they've been growing all along, but it seems to have snuck up on me. So ends the "mom" portion of this post.
Let's see, what else. We watched "Disturbia" the other night, and it was not stupid like I assumed it would be. Because I always assume all of the horror movies coming out are going to be stupid. It was similar to "Rear Window" which is my favorite Hitchcock movie, so I liked it. I wasn't as a big of a fan in the middle of the night when I had a bad dream (surprise, surprise) and developed a fear of the dark. I soldiered through it though.
Speaking of dreams, last night I dreamt that I had a meth problem.
Ok, since this entry is pretty boring, I'm going to take a page from Sundry and ask you: tell me your favorite or best story about a celebrity you saw or chatted with. I love stories like that.
Do it -- don't make me come after you!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Dream On

I need to keep a dream analyst on retainer. Here are just a sampling of the elements of my dreams from this weekend:

-- I was looking for a vase – the perfect vase – at Wal-Mart, while simultaneously trying to avoid a creepy guy following me. He chased me to my mom’s and she protected me from him. My brother was there, only he was a little boy again. And I never did find that vase.

-- I saw a mirror fall off the wall in my mom’s room and crack in a bunch of places.

-- It was night and I was with someone (I don’t know who) trying to steal a key and break into a safe in an elementary school temporary building, but realized that we had turned on the lights and Snape would be able to see that from his room and come and catch us. We were running out of the temp when I realized that we left the key in the door of the safe, so we went back to return it to the desk drawer where we found it and were caught by my 7th grade science teacher. He was disappointed in me.

-- Remember that flying thing that Atreyu and Bastian ride in “The Neverending Story”? Falcor? I was riding him in one of my dreams – underwater. Only apparently he was a water buffalo.

-- The place that I was riding Falcor was cool – I was there with a bunch of the youth group kids and we were all in this HUGE, really deep lake. It was in this canyon, and we were surrounded on all sides by high rocky cliffs. The water was black, until Falcor swam underwater, and then it was clear.

-- People who appeared in my dream: P.I.C.; about four people from high school that I never even liked; the son of one of my dad’s high school friends; many of the youth group kids; and a bunch of random people, some I knew and some I didn’t.

-- I was at camp, at church, at Wal-Mart, at a lake, at my mom’s, at a school temp building, at a weird place that was a mix between the balcony of a theater and a school, Walgreens, my parents’ garage and also it was snowing in August

-- There was betrayal and judgment and failure and loyalty and fear. Like what might constitute a pretty good book, only so jumbled up that it would only sell to crazy people.

-- I was at some event and I wanted a roast beef sandwich, but all that was left was lamb and some other pretty gross looking sandwiches. I hate when that happens.

-- Chris told me that he wasn’t coming over to my house because we only got along 63% of the time when we were alone. I made him feel pretty bad about that when I woke up this morning.

So yes. This is what happens when I sleep. Friday night I woke up from the stalker dream and I was laying on my back with my teeth and my fists clenched. Ahhh, restful sleep. No wonder I’m always tired. Stupid brain.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

An entry that pretty much makes no sense

I was eating a sandwich today, and I had a total flashback to the summer after my freshman year of college. Weird, right? Allow me to 'splain.

The summer after my freshman and sophomore years in college, I worked at a flower nursery -- I was the watering girl. All this required was that I walk around a humongous nursery for 8 hours a day toting a hose, listening to my walkman (yes, walkman -- it was 1995) and getting a tan. This was a great job because, well, did you just read my description? Cake. Except for when I came to work after a slight incident involving lots of champagne and thought I might die right there in the bonsai greenhouse. Hangover + Heat + Humidity = Barfing. Ahem. Rainy days meant no work, and bonuses included getting honked at by pervs driving by when I was out front and flirting with the landscape guys. I also learned the names of many flowers and whether or not they were perennials or annuals and if they were sun or shade plants. Another bonus was this little bunny that followed me around the nursery -- he was pigeon-toed because the stupid landscape guys would throw rocks at them to cripple them so the foxes would get them. Because the bunnies ate the bark off of trees. But this bunny didn't get eaten by a fox and followed me around for two years. It was pretty cute.

ANYWAY, my point is that every day for the first summer I was there, I took my lunch. It consisted of pretzels, Chips Ahoy, and a sandwich -- made with turkey, pickle and lettuce. And I was eating that exact same sandwich today and it made me think of those days. You know, when my biggest concern was what I was doing with my friends that night and maybe hey, what's mom going to make for dinner? I was also a little concerned about getting my wisdom teeth taken out, but that turned out pretty ok. My mom rented me every movie starring my crush, Chris O'Donnell (again, it was 1995) and kept me fed with pudding and refried beans. And I had tylenol with codeine. Good times.

This stream of consciousness entry brought to you by the letter P -- as in Politics, Office. And the letter S - as in Stupid (see Politics, Office) and Stress (also see Politics, Office). Sheesh.