Monday, March 26, 2012

The Queen is Cool

While that line could totally refer to me.  Especially since my little daughter is also known as "The Beautiful Princess Samantha," which would of course, by default make me The Queen. 

The Queen in Question here, is my gal, Queen Elizabeth II.  QE I I'm not such a fan of.  She was kinda a stick in the mud, but QE II...well.

So first off, during WWII she was a mechanic.  Yup, that's right.  A mechanic, as in with tools and grease.  And she was a bonafide princess at the time.  Hanging out with the likes of Winston Churchill.  But she was a mechanic.  A princess mechanic.  Talk about taking one for the team. 

I watched this documentary about her several years ago.  This was back before Eugenie and Beatrice wore tacky attention grabbing fascinators (hats) to weddings.  They were little girls.  And their grandmother, the queen, was taking them and their cousins William and Harry for a pony ride at Balmoral Castle.  (you know, just like a regular grandma.  Pony rides at the Castle)  Nevertheless, she's explaining to the littlest one why she can't ride a pony yet.  She's doing this while she's walking alongside the children on their ponies, and while she's holding the hand of the little one, who's still too small to ride.  Then you hear the Her Royal Majesty the Queen of England say, "ouch, that's my foot you're standing on." 

Now there are all sorts of rules and pomp and circumstance about how one is to address Her Majesty, and how one is to behave in her presence.  Yet, once, many many years ago when she visited the United States, she went to the home of a single mom in a housing project. And the very excited and exuberant woman she visited was overcome and she full on HUGGED the Queen.  This is not done.  NO NO NO NO.  You do NOT HUG the Queen.  (It's actually for safety and health reasons these days.  I looked it up.  If you give a Queen a cold, she might not be able to go to her scheduled appearances, which would of course disappoint a whole bunch of people.)

But my favorite Queen of all time accepted the hug with a smile on her face.  She is classy that one.  Which I believe is an excellent quality to have in a Monarch. Ahem, Charles.

And today, when I went to check the news on line...cause that's what you do when you wake up at 5:00 AM - are you kidding me - and can't get back to sleep...there was another story about my Queen.  She's touring the Kingdom these days, celebrating her 60th year as the Queen.  A couple in Manchester heard the Queen was coming to town on their wedding day. So they sent an invite to their wedding over to the Queen.  And guess what?  She came.  She and Prince Phillip, her hubby, went to the wedding.  Her Majesty in a lovely pink queen frock and hat. 

So you can have your Dianas and Kates.  As for me, I'll take Elizabeth.  ( and the Queen Mum too, she was a spunky little spitfire, that one)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Radio Silence

My humblest of apologies for not being here last week to provide wit and wisdom for you.  I'm doing our taxes.  Seems you have to e-file before March 23 on Turbo Tax to get the reduced e-file price.  It goes up by 20 bucks after the 23rd.  Far too cheap to do that. 

Seems unfair, this e-file fee.  Sure, it's really the price of purchasing the software.  I get it.  But phrasing it as e-file fee, makes me feel like I'm paying a poll tax. 

And yes, the cost of e-filing is far less than the cost of having an accountant do it.  (which I did the year we decided to get out of the slumlord business, and sell our rental house.  That one cost me $400 bucks)

As a recovering accountant, I'm perfectly capable of handling our middle class return.  It is a hassle though...hunting up receipts and verifying the this's and the thats's. 

Thank Heavens I'm almost done.  I'll be back in full form next week.  I might even sneak in a post here and there this week, but no promises.  I'll try.

I haven't even read the other blogs I follow.  That's how busy I am.  Stupid taxes.  Stupid, stupid, stupid taxes. It doesn't help I'm trying to do it on a netbook.  Oh Yes, you're right, a netbook would be a tiny screened fully underpowered and completely slow on the Internet device.  Thoroughly unsuitable to the tax task at hand. 

It works great for word processing, which is mostly what I use it for.  But I've been trying to train a puppy at the same time I'm doing the taxes, which requires mobility.  Unfortunately, I never learned my numbers when I took typing in high school.  (that's how old I am.  We took typing...on a typewriter.  Only the geeks took computer science.  Hi Honey, I love you)  Which leaves me hunting and pecking.  Sad, when you consider the numbers are in NUMERICAL order across the top of the keyboard.  But hey, that's how I roll.

And so I bid you adieu.  Or as they say in Romania, "Buna Ceara". 

My new guilty pleasure "Smash" is coming on soon, and I totally have earned watching it this week !!  Gotta go.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Ding ding ding boop boop TILT

Today I'm feeling a bit like a pinball.  Bouncing around from one task to another.  All the while thinking of more things that I could be doing...more projects I could be starting, some fun, some not so fun.

I'm officially headed back to Romania this summer to lead a women's conference and help plant a MOPs group.  I'm officially leading the trip, so let the planning commence !!  I'm so jazzed.  Bing, ding.

I discovered this morning I haven't cleaned the toilet in the kids bathroom in about, well hmmm, it's too gross to even think about.  (pinball down the hole)

I went out to run some errands this morning, in between appointments, and wallet.  ding bing bing bing, pinball down the hole.

Martha Stewart just said it was almost time to start planting cold weather vegetables.  Lettuces and the like.  I have spring fever, so this is indeed good news.  ('cept for the wabbits)  ding, ding ding, bing bing, bumper save, bing ding.

aww man, I still have to figure out what's for dinner.  (there goes that pinball down the hole again.)

ohhh, I have to go clean up the dog doings from the backyard.  ding ding......TILT. 

Well, if everything were easy and rosy, I wouldn't know when I was having fun, would I?  All fun all the time just might end up being no fun at all. 

Oh, look at that, I have a high enough score, I've just earned a free game.  Fantastic !

Friday, March 9, 2012

The conversation went something like this…

Brian:  7 years ago today you went into labor with Samantha.

Samantha:  What’s labor?

Mommy:  ummmm….

Seven years ago today, Samantha made her entrance into the world.  At 4:35 am.  After 13 hours of labor.  All 6 lbs 5 oz. of her.

On March 8, at about 2:30 in the afternoon, I had done all my chores for the day.  The older kids were already home from school and doing their older kid things.  I hadn’t been sleeping much at night, because the baby was practicing gymnastics each evening.  I have to say, it did feel like she was nailing her dismount though.  So that’s good.

At any rate, it was in short, a perfect nap storm.  I settled down on the futon I had put in the nursery.  Hmm, I’m surprisingly comfortable.  Weird.  I close my eyes.

“pop”  An actual audible pop.  My brain is confused.  My brain figures it out though when the fluid starts to flow.  Thank heavens I was wearing what turned out to be very absorbent corduroy maternity overalls.  And that’s all I’m going to say about that.  The rest I’ll leave to the imagination. 

No nap for me.  Much as I'm ready to have this pregnancy end, I'm a little bummed about missing my nap. Our older daughter, who was 14 at the time called her dad at work.  I went to change my clothes.  (when I came downstairs about 30 minutes later, the kids were cleaning the already perfectly cleaned kitchen…maybe I should have had them boil some water)

I hadn't felt any labor pains yet, but with all my amniotic fluid gone, the doc wanted me at the hospital asap.  Contractions started in the car (at rush hour mind you in Seattle area traffic) on the way to the hospital. 

We get to the hospital, and my husband wants to get all the stuff out of the car.  I want to get in a bed.  I give him the stink eye, and start walking with determination to the hospital. He decides he can get the bag later, and follows me in. 

Let me just add, when we went to childbirth class, we were all asked to describe what we wanted our birth experience to be like.  I’m afraid I didn’t win any points with the instructor when I announced I was there to learn about managing my pain until I was dilated enough for an epidural.

For some reason, the nurses were determined I should sit and bounce on the "Labor Ball" to relieve my “discomfort.”  I can't see how this will help, and I figured, “I’m in labor in the hospital…I should be in bed.” 

I won. 

Finally, around 9:00 pm I get my epidural.  And I also get my nap.  Around midnight, I start feeling pain.  It’s mild, so I don’t worry about it, but by 1:00 am, it’s crazy bad.  I'm in transitional labor. Seems my epidural shifted, and they are going to have to re-do it.
At around 2:00 am, it’s replaced, but I’m experiencing what they call “a window” of pain.  There’s one little spot where the epidural isn’t working.  So they blast me with more epidural medicine.  Ahhhh.

The nurse says, “let’s see if you can push.”  I push, and she’s happy.  I think she’s going to go away, and let me rest, but noooo.  She makes me keep pushing. She was really nice too.  When I would whine about needing a break, she’d let me skip a contraction.

But after two hours of pushing and taking breaks, there was still no baby.  The nice nurse went to call the doctor, and tell him it’s going to be awhile, but that we may need to consider using the vacuum extractor.

While she’s gone, Nurse Kratchet comes in.  She’s having none of my whining, and tells me I can and will push and push and push. And in two contractions, Samantha is crowned.

Now all of a sudden, they don’t want me to push; the doctors not even in the hospital yet.  So I stopped (epidural lets you do that – cause I’m not feeling a thing.)  My body has another plan.  With each contraction, she scootches out a little more, then a little more.  When her head is almost out, the nurses decide they need to go for it. 

The doctor arrives just in time to deliver the placenta.  All I can say, is he must have needed his moment in the sun, because he hoisted the thing up by the umbilical cord and SHOWED IT TO ME!!  He TOLD me, “this is a great looking placenta.”  I’m not kidding.   Now I didn’t go through all this to spend any time admiring what appeared to me to be a “liver on a rope.” I hope I didn't hurt his feelings.

And then…this moment happened…

Happy Birthday Samantha.  xoxox

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I need a nap…or a drink

Or maybe I need a cup of coffee.  Hmmm, why stop there, I need a cup of coffee in France.  I need servants….who can pick up my house while I either drink coffee in France or while I take a nap. 

I need sunshine !! 

I need the rabbits to leave my yard alone…go get ‘em Frankie.  Oh yes, widding my yard of wascally wabbits is high on my priority list.  They ate my crocus bulbs.  Dug them up, and ATE them.  Left just little bits of roots behind.  I thought about putting little bits of dog poop in the garden, to terrify and trick said rabbits into thinking a rabid terrier is lurking, waiting to pounce and EAT them.  But, I’m afraid it would only encourage the dog to poop in the garden.

I need ice blue metallic Jimmy Choo stiletto sandals. 

Oops, once again I seem to blurring the line between want and need. 

I need rest, food, and shelter.  I want all those other things.  Some of them I want really bad !!  I mean really really bad.  (particularly the nap, because I can’t shake this cough, and I haven’t had a decent nights sleep in about a week.  Which makes me kind of whiny and shall we say, discontented.)

Wait a minute, didn’t I say rest was something I needed?  I did.  And isn’t a nap “rest?”  Why yes it is.  It is rest.  Well then ladies and gentleman (not gentlemen, cause I think my husband is the only male who’s ever read any of my posts) a nap it shall be !!!!  See you tomorr zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Delusions of Grandeur

Lately I’ve become obsessed with designer shoes.  Maybe it’s because it’s award show season and all the fabulous fashions are being featured everywhere you look.  But if that were the case, you’d think I’d be obsessed with Harry Winston Jewels, or Chanel Gowns. 

Yesterday, I was at Nordstrom’s shopping for shoes, and before I headed over to “my department” to purchase my annual $43 pair of Tom’s canvas shoes, I wandered through the Salon Shoe department….pretending like I belonged.  I browsed the Louboutin’s with their lovely red soles, I pondered the Jimmy Choo pumps, as though I thought $595 was a reasonable price for a pair of classic black ones. 

I’ve yet to be bold enough to ask to try a pair on.  I’m afraid the salesman would chase me away with a stick.  Or worse yet, I’d somehow manage to justify the expense and find myself heading home to my mom life with a pair of metallic stiletto sandals on my feet.  (ok, that wouldn’t really happen…I’m pretty sure I would fall over dead if I tried to pay that much for a pair of shoes)  That is, if I didn't fall over and suffer a serious head injury while trying to walk in stilettos.

I've even begun stalking designer shoes on eBay.  In fact I even put in a bid on a pair of Prada’s.  (my $49 bid was not enough, alas)

One time I found a Kate Spade handbag in pristine condition in a thrift store for $10.  Yes, I bought it.  And it was very cute and just my style.  After I had it though, I found myself coveting it.  Watching it like a hawk, for fear it would be soiled or stolen.  It turned out to be too small for my needs, but I carried it for over a year, because it was a Kate Spade.  Once I realized I was doing this, simply so I could be seen with an expensive handbag – even though I only paid $10 – I decided I had to put a stop to it. 

I could have put the bag on eBay or craigslist and probably sell it for $100.  Instead though, I thought about my sister-in- law.  She was about to graduate from law school.  She earned her degrees while being a working wife and mother.  I gave her the handbag for her graduation gift. 

You know what…it felt great.  I’m tickled pink whenever I see her carrying the bag. 

It truly is better to give than to receive.  And though I no longer believe in the words of Billy Crystal as “Fernando”, “it’s better to look good than to feel good,” I will continue to dream about designer stiletto sandals, while I walk the dog in my canvas Toms.  (and how the dog got into my canvas Tom's I have no idea:-)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Math Mom to the Rescue

Want to know how to get on the good side of your elementary school child’s teacher?  Volunteer to be the parent helper for math.  (or art)

 For some reason, we seem to be intimidated by those subjects. 
We really shouldn’t be.  Sure the “new math” we learned in school is now the “old and obsolete math” and confuses the kids when we try to draw on it for their homework.  But that shouldn’t stop us.  It’s a lot more fun to confuse a whole classroom of children than just the one or two we have at home.

And volunteering in the classroom has other perks as well.  For instance, when my daughter announced to me she wanted this boy in her first grade class to be her boyfriend…I knew the boy in question.  Which means I was able to see  my daughter was showing signs of being attracted to the “bad boy.”  Cause this boy likes to cause anarchy in the classroom by whispering the word “fart” to his neighbor while we’re doing our “new new math.”  Oh no, this will never do.  I can’t have my son-in-law whispering “fart” to his neighbor while we are offering up the prayer for our Thanksgiving meal.  Especially if the neighbor is my mother-in-law.  That would not be polite AT ALL.

I have selected a lovely boy in her class as a contender for future spouse.  My husband thinks we should let her choose her spouse….later.  I think though, that this girl needs to get down to business quickly, since I was nearly 40 when she was born.  If she wants help with the grandbabies, she’s going to need to catch me before I turn 80.  Otherwise, she may have an extra set of diapers to change.  (mine)

Besides, if I select her mate now, I have the opportunity to have a hand in raising the boy.  I can gently guide him, while teaching him the “new new math” to have a good work life balance so my daughter doesn’t have a spouse who’s never home in time for dinner with her and the kids.

Oh, and a lovely side effect of being math mom, is that I get to learn the “new new math” alongside my daughter, and hopefully progress at the same rate as her.  That’s right, Algebra…kiss my what?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Time for “the talk”

Today, I’m feeling all powerful and knowledgeable.  Well, not really, especially since I tripped over the dog earlier today and fell flat on my backside onto the hardwood floor.  With a large kersplat of the cup of greek yogurt I was eating.  And now I fully understand why it’s called “hardwood”  Ouch. 

Guess we’ll be finding out if Frankie is lactose intolerant.  Because of course, she licked it all up in the 15 seconds it took me to realize I wasn’t dead or hadn’t broken a hip.  On the plus side, I don’t have any mess to clean up….Of course, one has to wonder if it wasn’t all part of her cunning plan to get at my yogurt?

At any rate, I don’t recall how the subject came up, but this morning, our token bus stop dad asked me about having “the talk” with my older kids.  Seems his second grade son has “questions.” 

I told him not to worry about it, cause the kids on the bus can fill the boy in on the details. 

For some weird reason, he thought it was better if it came from him.  Modern parents, hrmmph.

He thought it was important to answer his son’s questions factually, using the real words.  And for the most part, I agree, but with young children, that’s really not the emphasis.  They aren’t looking for an anatomy lesson.  They don’t care about sperm, or ovulation.  They usually just want to know how the babies get into the mommy, and they want to know how they get out of the mommy.  And they want to know in 25 words or less.  Really that’s all. 

With my kids, I’ve just answered their questions in simplistic terms.  Believe me, if you aren’t imparting enough information, they will ask more questions.  My six year old’s focus right now is on how the babies get out.  So I did what all good modern parents do in this situation….I bought her a book. 

Yes I did.  I bought her a book with a cute cartoon bisection of a baby in the womb, and a cute cartoon depiction of the birth process.  This along with an explanation of the “special opening” mommies have in their private parts for the babies to come out was all she needed.  She was satisfied.  And now all her dolls are pregnant, with tiny stuffed animals under their shirts.  Every once in awhile, one of them will drop out, and voila, a new life enters the world. 

At the risk of raising the ire of feminists worldwide…not once did the words penis or vagina enter into the conversation.  Sure, she knows those words.  She knows the penis is a boys private part, and the vagina is a girls private part.  She hasn’t asked any more about it, so I’m not volunteering more.  (K.I.S.S.) – keep it simple, stupid.

When she wants to know more, I feel quite certain she’ll ask.  Children are very good at asking questions.  Oh yes they are !!