Thursday, November 30, 2006

My Husband the Magician

Sometimes my husband surprises me. Not with lavish parties, gifts, or romantic gestures, but with his hidden skills.

While I was unpacking from our New York trip I noticed that my top secret nightstand drawer was ajar. I tried to close it, but something was stuck. So I eased it open to find a note taped to my much-beloved Magic Wand.

"I fixed your vibrator. You owe me..."

Yeah, you know. I don't think I'm going to tell you what I owe him.

If you'll remember, my magic wand had died a tragic death back in February. But I found that if I held the cord in a very specific position, I could still get it to work. Vibrators ain't cheap, people. Lately, though, it was getting harder and more frustrating to coax it to do it's job.

My first thought was that he had bought me a new one and only claimed to fix it. When he assured me that he had, "...opened it up and fixed it," I started to laugh. I don't know why. I just think that his performing electrical surgery on my Magic Wand is fucking hysterical. If only I had known he possessed such skills before.

"I can do things, you know," he told me, somewhat affronted by my laughter.

"Sure, you can fix my vibrator, but you claimed you couldn't install the ceiling fan."

Busted. "I could install the ceiling fan. I just didn't want to. What a pain in the ass." Now he was starting to laugh too.

As I marveled over the wand, he said, "You want to plug it in, don't you? You don't trust me."

I have to admit, as far as I'm concerned, fixing an electrical cord on a small appliance is akin to voodoo magic. I did want to see if it really worked. But I was laughing too hard and I didn't want to insult him any more, so I said that I trusted him and I'd try it out later.

It wasn't until the next morning that I had time to test his workmanship. I plugged that sucker in and got comfy in bed. I flicked the switch and...nothing.

But it had only come unplugged. So I leaned over the side of the bed and plugged it in again. But when I rolled back over in bed, it came unplugged. Over and over again, I rolled my naked ass around in that bed trying to get it to stay plugged in.

Suddenly it hit me. The cord was shorter.

Sure, he fixed my vibrator. And in the process made the cord too short to use it in the comfort of my bed.

I guess the last laugh is on me.

And he owes me one extension cord.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Do horses sleep standing up?

Today, I came home from dropping the kids off at school and did a few chores. By 8:15 a.m., I was sitting in front of the computer. I opened the Blogger dashboard and sat for a while, mesmerized by the names of the recently updated blogs. Man, there's a lot of shit out there. I briefly considered writing a post about just that but decided that even in my most creatively dry times, that was just too pathetic.

And the next thing I knew, I was waking up almost two hours later.

How freaking exhausted do you have to be to fall asleep sitting upright in a kitchen chair?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Our Time in New York

Fifteen minutes ago, I dropped the kids off at school. And thirty seconds ago, I got out of my van, stood on my front lawn, threw my arms to the sky and stretched!

"Ahhhh!" I am child-free.

Our trip to New York was great. Sadly, my husband wasn't able to join us because of work, but we were so busy there, and he was so busy here, that we barely had time to miss each other. But shepherding two kids around the Big Apple can be a daunting task. Thank goodness for Uncle Patrick.

Sunday -- Day 1

Before the race

Sunday was all about the Race to Deliver. My son was a little nervous while we were waiting to start. He kept telling me he was scared. But when the race organizers walked us out to the start point and I pointed back to the finish line, he exclaimed, "Oh! That's easy!" and his nerves were gone. Though he was confused by all the adults at the start, once he started, he loved it. He ran with a big smile on his face. He got his ribbon at the finish line, and I've never seen him so proud.

My daughter had the exact opposite experience. Uncle Patrick took her to her start line. He told me that she was really excited and into it. And she started with a smile on her face. By the time she crested the hill before the finish line, she was behind the pack. We don't have hills here on the bayou. She was getting that distressed look on her face that I know so well, but she wasn't stopping. But that face made some woman jump out of the crowd to run with her. Which embarrassed her. And she started to cry. But she didn't stop. She just cried all the way into the finish line.

Between me, Patrick, and Jase we convinced her that by not stopping and finishing the race, she did awesome. I also had to assure her that she was the youngest in her division and probably the only first-time racer. Once she got her gift bag she was back in good spirits and ready to run more races here at home. Everyone has to start somewhere. Oh! But I'm in trouble for not starting her racing when she was three-years-old. Only my kid.

The important thing is that the kids helped Patrick raise $535 for God's Love We Deliver. Thank you so much to everyone who supported us. Patrick and Jase's team raised $1978.99 and the kids learned a valuable lesson about charity. Extra special thanks go to Marc and Jess for their very generous contribution.

After the race we had a huge brunch at Fred's then headed back to the park. We explored Belvedere Castle and let the kids play at Heckscher Playground. We saw the statue of Balto, rode the carousel, and skated at Wollman Rink. We stopped off at Artie's deli on the way home and crashed for the night.

Monday -- Day 2

At Serendipity

Monday was work day for Uncle Patrick. So I turned on PBS and slept in a little while the kids vegged out. Then we met up with Patrick for lunch and dessert at Serendipity. The kids had read about the famous Frozen Hot Chocolate, but decided they'd rather have sundaes instead.

But there was no way we were going anywhere else before my son got a chance to ride on the Roosevelt Island Tramway. Patrick headed back to work and we headed toward Roosevelt Island. It didn't occur to me to take pictures there.

Then we headed toward Fifth Avenue. First we headed upward to the Top of the Rock where the kids were more impressed by the elevator ride than the view. They were much more impressed with Build-a-Bear workshop. And because I and my wallet are gluttons for punishment, we braved the crowds in Times Square and went to Toys R Us. After riding the Ferris wheel and letting them pick out $20 worth of toys each, I practically ran out of there and down the steps to the first subway station I could find. Dinner that night was bananas and popcorn, because I am Mother of the Year.

Tuesday -- Day 3

In Central Park

My daughter kept reminding me how much she likes science, so after violin practice on Tuesday we visited the Museum of Natural History. They comp the suggested donation if you show a military ID. Yellow school busses circled the entire block and I have never been so overwhelmed by other people's children. It was a good thing Uncle Patrick was working. We blew through there faster than the kids realized. After a quick lunch, we headed back to Central Park.

It is the simple things that kids often enjoy the most. I sat on a bench in the Diana Ross playground and watched my children play on a tire swing for almost an hour. Then we enjoyed a leisurely walk south over Bow Bridge and past Bethesda Fountain. We found Balto again then enjoyed the Central Park Zoo and Tisch Children's Zoo until they closed. The zoo in central park is tiny but it was perfect for two little one's who are just waiting for Uncle Patrick to get off work.

While we were waiting for Patrick to walk across the park we found a perfect little playground near the zoo. It had the coolest slide built right into a hill. I have a feeling that when they think about their trip to New York years from now, their fondest memory will be of playing on that slide until dark.

Because Uncle Patrick is the coolest uncle ever, he took us to FAO Schwarz where the kids got to play on the giant keyboard. After my daughter drooled over the costumes, and my son drooled over the Thomas trains we headed to Union Square for dinner at the Chat 'n' Chew. We took a cab home, because the kids had been dying to take a real New York taxi ride.

Wednesday -- Day 4

Balloon Inflation

On Wednesday morning, Uncle Patrick was my savior. He took the kids out for breakfast and let me sleep for an hour more. Ah, sweet, sweet rest. Then, because I figured it was time to send Uncle Patrick out of the frying pan and into the flame, we visited the Children's Museum of Manhattan. Good sport that he is, he accompanied my daughter to a basket making class where she spent most of her time. I just followed my little boy around and watched him try to make friends.

Then we headed to Times Square again, (What were we thinking?) where we were the very lucky recipients of a backstage tour of Spamalot. I'm trying not to think about what payment Uncle Patrick has to make to his friend for that favor. The kids were more impressed than I thought they would be. My daughter started to dance and my son started to sing. But they don't quite get the significance of standing on a Broadway stage. As my daughter said, "I perform on stage all the time, Mom. What's the big deal?" I think someday she'll appreciate it.

We had dinner that night at Dave & Buster's where the kids had a blast in the arcade. And Patrick beat me at air hockey. But my high score at Skee Ball was 240 which I think beats him. So it's okay.

On the way home, we walked by the balloon inflation area for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. That was very interesting. Especially when we saw that the balloons all look like they are assuming the position. By then it was starting to rain and we were very happy to get home to Patrick's apartment.

Thursday -- Day 5

Asleep at MAK and K's

We woke up to pouring rain on Thursday. We had planned to get up early and stake out a good spot on the parade route. But our late night and the cold rain changed our plans. We stopped for hot coffee and made our way down to 75th Street. We were more than a dozen deep in the crowd, but after Uncle Patrick's shoulders got tired from holding the boy, the lady in front of us offered to let the kids stand on her step ladder. Who says New Yorkers aren't nice?

When it started to really pour, it was pretty easy to talk the kids into heading home to Patrick's warm apartment and watching the parade on TV. By the time we got home, the parade was just reaching Macy's and we watched the whole thing warm and dry in our pajamas.

We all went a little stir crazy on Thanksgiving Day and we were so thankful to head out to Queens for dinner at MAK and K's with a bunch of their friends. We had a wonderful dinner and a great time. The kids loved MAK and K and especially loved snuggling in their bed and watching the Little Mermaid. We had a hard time dragging my sleepy kids home, but that night was the highlight of my week. I always love seeing MAK and seeing him hold my sleeping son just affirms that he is indeed the most adorable person on the face of the Earth. It's amazing how family can be made through this silly blogging thing.

Friday -- Day 6

On the ferry

By Friday we had checked-off every item on the kids' New York To Do lists but one: a boat ride. So we headed to the Village for lunch at Peanut Butter and Company and then to the Staten Island Ferry. The kids were momentarily impressed by the Statue of Liberty (something I had been waiting 33 years to see) but then were distracted looking in the water. "Oh, look! A piece of wood! Hey! There's a cup! Wow! Medical waste!"

We then headed toward Chinatown for my daughter's favorite moment of the whole trip: seeing the tiny turtles for sale. She did everything she could to convince Uncle Patrick that we needed a tiny turtle. To no avail. But those kinds of crowds and a three and a half foot tall Tuna Boy don't mix, so before Mommy blew a gasket we found a subway station. We headed to Grand Central Station, mostly to use the restrooms, then to Times Square (again!) for dinner at Carmines.

Since we had to get up in the middle of the night for our 5:30 a.m. flight (Hey! I saved almost $1,000.) we put the kids right to bed and packed. Then Patrick and I cracked open a bottle of champagne (which I never spell correctly so I should just call it sparkling wine!), toasted a wonderful week and spent the evening talking. 3:15 a.m. came too damn soon.


In the car on the way to the airport, I asked the kids what their favorite part of the trip had been. My daughter's favorite was Chinatown. And my son's favorite was riding the subway. He could have happily ridden the trains all day long. And by the end of the week, he could probably navigate them better than me.

For me, my favorite part was having Thanksgiving dinner with friends. But I also loved that Patrick and I got to spend our evenings quietly talking and enjoying each other. It was nice to have that time together. Having a best friend who lives so far away is hard. But having this time together makes it easier.


Patrick's pictures are here.

More of my pictures are here.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Biggest Prick

My man is home. And all is right in my world again.

As independent as I am (and I'm just a little, tiny bit) there are some things even I can't do for myself. Some things require my man's doing.

Which is how I found myself flung over the arm of the couch last night, trying in vain to muffle my cries so the neighbors wouldn't hear us. But I found myself helpless to stop the flow of exclamations.

I gasped and cried, "Ah, ah, ah." "Oh. My. Lord. God," I exhaled. And we got the giggles.

"You can't make me laugh. I can't do this right when I'm laughing," my husband told me. Then, "Ah. There's the place."

But it seemed to go on forever and soon enough among my moans were a few hastily muffled "Ow!"s.

There's this place where a little pain can actually start to feel good. It makes your body warm, even hot, and there is something freeing in giving over to the sensations.

"It's deep," he remarked.

Just when I thought I couldn't take it anymore he started to talk again. "Oh, I think...yes...there...right there...that's it! I'm done."

"You're done?" I asked. "You're sure? I need proof."

So he held out his hand to show it to me. The splinter he had dug out of my heel.

I'm sure my cry of, "But it is so small!" really impressed the neighbors.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


When we moved into our on-base house, I was so excited. My daughter was 17-months-old and my son was yet to be a twinkle in my eye. I was going to finally have a separate playroom for all those Fisher-Price toys, a private office, and a finished attic.

I was also excited because there was a playground right behind our house in the alley/field separating officer housing from enlisted housing. I pictured spending many happy hours playing with my little girl in the sand-filled park. A military base is the safest neighborhood in the world.

I have never been quite so wrong before or since.

That thrice-damned playground has become the bane of my existence. Not only do hordes of unsupervised children scream their heads off out there well past ten o'clock most summer nights (and some school nights too), but I've had to see some things going on out there that no mother ever wants to see.

And so I kept my kids away.

We bought a huge playset (that my neighbors called the apartment complex) and later a huge trampoline so my kids and their invited friends could get exercise in the safety of our fenced in yard. I had to turn into the neighborhood ogre to keep the hordes of brats out of our yard, but it worked.

For a while.

That damn litter box of a playground became the Garden of Eden to my kids. They would beg me to let them go out and play there. For a couple of years, I was able to satisfy them by sitting on the (usually vandalized) bench and keeping an eagle eye on them as they played. But then my daughter turned seven.

Seven-years-old is when they really start to make their own friends, regardless of your opinions of suitability. And I knew I had to start letting go. My daughter is far from independent. I knew that it was important for her development to take a step outside of my comfort zone and make her own friends. Even in our neighborhood.

So rules were established. She has to tell me when she leaves the yard. She must never be out of eyesight of my kitchen window. She can never ever go in anyone else's house. Our family rules must be abided by at all times. She has to keep an eagle eye on her little brother. And she must immediately come inside if things get out of control.

As they play out there, maybe 100 feet from my kitchen, I do housework and check on them every few minutes. I leave my back door open, regardless of weather so I can hear every word they say.

Last week I yelled at brats for tearing lumber off the benches and using it to chase each other. The military police came out the next day to document that destruction. Four days ago, I yelled at two boys who were chasing my son with sticks. As much as that bothers me, I know that they are just playing. In their very-unsupervised way, they don't consider consequences. I know that's just kids being kids.

But the other day while they were outside, I wasn't feeling well. And I wasn't as vigilant as usual. So of course, bad things happened.

My daughter came in and told me that some boy was chasing them with a stick, so she told her brother they had to come inside.

"Okay, honey. Thank you for looking out for him. That was a good decision." I figured it was just another incident like the other day, so I looked out to see if anyone was about to hurt anyone else. But the playground was deserted, and I didn't give it too much thought.

Until later.

As I was putting them to bed, my daughter told me, "Mom, I didn't like what that boy was doing at all. I was worried about my brother."

So I asked her what happened and she told me the whole story.

"That boy was calling my brother something like haggot. Or haggard. Or maybe it was fomo. I don't remember. And I told him to stop. But he wouldn't. And he started to chase my brother and then he caught him and hit him."

"What did your brother do?" I asked.

He sort of put up his arms like this." She put her crossed arms up by her head. "But I stepped between them like this and told him to, 'Stop now!'" She demonstrated her moves to me.

She continued, "But he wouldn't stop and he tried to hit my brother again, so I told him to stop like this." She stomped her foot, made her meanest face, crossed her arms and yelled, "Stop!"

"He pushed me and put his fist up at me."

I had to stop her there. "He put his fist up at you?"

"Yeah, like this." She stood in a fighter's stance with her fist right in my face. "And he told me, 'I'm not afraid to hit a girl.' So I told my brother we had to go inside right then. And we came inside and told you."

I swear, maybe I was over-reacting, but I could have happily killed someone in that moment. I tried to stay somewhat calm for my kids' sake. And I asked a whole lot of question.

I found out that he always wears the same shirt--a teal soccer uniform shirt. I've noticed a kid out there occasionally in just that shirt. I also found out that he doesn't live here. He's only comes on base to visit his grandmother. So basically, when his grandmother signs him on base, she takes full responsibility for his actions.

"Do you see him out there right now, honey?" I asked her.

"No, Mom. It's too dark."

I was so enraged that I stalked outside. The playground was empty but I swear I was ready to start knocking on doors.

When I came back in, my daughter was clearly impressed that I was ready to kick butt. "Nobody treats my children that way," I told her. "Nobody."

As mad as I was about the fist, I was even angrier when I was telling this story to Patrick and suddenly realized that the "haggot" and "fomo" were most likely "faggot" and "homo". Whether my daughter transposed the consonants or he did doesn't really matter to me.

So the next time she sees him out there, she is immediately going to identify him to me. Oh, have I mentioned that the rule on base is that no child under ten can be unsupervised, ever? We'll be having a discussion with his grandmother. And then her commander. That's a given. And then any time I see him without parents within a hundred yards or so, I'm calling the police.

That means my days of watching my kids out my kitchen window while I do the dishes are over. But that's fine. The days of the hordes of unsupervised children thinking they can do whatever they like are over too.

Oh, and when I finally got my husband on the phone to tell him this story, he didn't really react much. I'm the reactionary one in this family. It wasn't until I implored him, "But what are you going to do?" that he finally told me.

He calmly answered that he'd be tracking down the family and the squadron. "My daughter should not have to deal with that. Ever." I hadn't realized it at the time, but he was actually in a van full of his friends while we were talking. It turns out his squadron-mates are all enraged too. Especially his commander. Who is going to bring it up to those that matter.

You just expect better than that on base.

I know I have high expectations and I'm over-protective. But these are my children. Nobody gets to hurt them or intimidate them. Nobody.

And through all of my anger, I realize that I am mostly angry at myself. I should have been sitting on that vandalized bench.

Can you imagine how I am going to be when they are pre-teens? We might not make it through.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

When the cat is away...

...the mice will play. And the dog will sleep on the bed.

I hope my husband isn't reading my blog on his TDY because if he finds out that I let Buffy sleep on the bed, he's going to kick my butt. But I feel like she deserves to be pampered a little after her life was threatened.


On Friday night, I gave my daughter a copy of Where Did I Come From. (Thanks for the recommendation, Pete.) She's been asking for it for a couple of months.

She's fascinated. She's taken the book to bed with her every night since and even included it in her school reading log for Monday.

But it's not the sex part she's fascinated with. No, all of her questions are based on the childbirth part. She wants to know why it doesn't hurt when the umbilical cord is cut and how the baby can even fit in the mom's tummy. I think she's making life plans and is really trying to decide if she wants to go through the pain of childbirth or not.

I fervently hope she finds a very special man to marry.

Since we had the big gay talk before the big sex talk and I know how her mind works, I think the next question I need to be prepared to answer is, "But how do gay people make love? And how do they get babies?" This is especially true since Where Did I Come From refers to sex as making love.

Who knew parenting would be so complicated.?


I have a story to tell about a boy who called my son a faggot and then threatened my daughter when she told him to stop. But I'm too angry to tell it just yet. And it still doesn't have a satisfactory ending. It might never. If I write about it now, I'm afraid of what I might say.


When I started blogging, it was to share things that I couldn't or wouldn't tell anyone else. Now I find that I have friends who hear these stories and problems before I ever even consider sitting down and writing about them. It has changed my blog and the way I write for the worse. But it has changed my life for the better.

I set out to make friends. And I have. Thank goodness.


We're leaving for New York on Saturday and I haven't even begun to pack. I haven't even done laundry. In fact, I haven't even unpacked from my last trip. The little rubber duckies* Aaron gave me are still sitting in my suitcase on my bedroom floor.

*side note: when I first wrote this I typed "little rubber suckies" which sounds intriguing but would make this an entirely different kind of blog.


Thank you, thank you, thank you to Betty, David, Lee and Simon for sponsoring my brood in the Race to Deliver. In fact thank you to everyone for your support. I really appreciate it.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Do it for the Kids!

First go read this.

Soon after I made the resolution to run the Race for the Cure next fall, I talked with my husband about strategy.

"You know, hon, the only way I'm going to make running a daily part of my life is if I get the kids involved. I know myself well enough to know that I'm more likely to stick with it, if I feel like I'm doing it for them."

And so began our afternoon walks. Except they don't walk. They run. After a quarter mile or so, they become nothing more than distant pink and blue blobs bopping to and fro and stopping at corners to look both ways.

They leave me in the dust.

Which got me and Uncle Patrick to thinking.

Patrick had signed up to run a race this Sunday when we'll be visiting New York City. It turns out that they have kids' races too. So we signed my little guppies up.

But this isn't just any race. It is the Race to Deliver, which benefits God's Love We Deliver. God's Love We Deliver provides nutritious meals, free of charge, to people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other serious illnesses throughout New York City and nearby Hudson County, New Jersey.

Patrick and Jase are part of a team raising money through sponsorship. Rather than have the kids form their own team, we decided to have them run for Uncle Patrick.

If you haven't already, go here to read Patrick's blog post (with pictures).

Or go directly to his sponsorship page here.

The kids have been training for weeks and they are very excited to run. But they are even more excited to help raise money for a good cause. Will you help? Every little bit ads up. (You can select In Support Of and type in "Tuna Kids" on Patrick's sponsor form.)

And I'll do my part by holding coats and cheering. Because like I said, they leave me in the dust.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Adventures in Fairydom

On Saturday morning, my son sat on my daughter's head and knocked out her loose tooth. Or so I was told, at least. Personally, I think this tooth finally decided to fall out because I had scheduled portraits for that afternoon. It all falls under the "it figures" rule of my life.

The last time she lost a tooth, the tooth fairy (or at least the male component of our tooth fairy team) forgot to show up. The female component had to make a swift excuse and exchange in the morning. "See, honey. It was still dark out. The tooth fairy must have been really busy last night." My excuse held up in court when a classmate told everyone that morning that the tooth fairy didn't make it to her house because of the fog.

This tooth found its way into a baggy on the kitchen counter. I left it right where it was so that I wouldn't forget to fulfill my fairy duties.

Just before bedtime, I suddenly realized that the fairy was not properly funded. A quick peek in her purse told me that she only had one $20 bill. My kids might be spoiled, but they're not that spoiled.

So it was time for treats at the Shoppette. Who wants a pre-bed sugar high?

With singles in hand, this fairy figured she was all set to fulfill her duties. And after much discussion about the best place to leave a lost tooth, my daughter went happily off to bed.

But this fairy didn't flutter off to dreamland so easily. In fact she fell asleep watching television. Only to be drawn out of a fitful sleep by a voice.

"Be sure to leave your foreskin under your pillow for the foreskin fairy."

Huh? What? What the fuck?


The fairy shot up in bed. "Damn it! I almost forgot."

In her half-asleep, foreskin-drawn confusion she made quite the racket entering my daughter's room. After coaxing her back to sleep, the exchange was made and all was well.

And this fairy has to thank the fucked up writer's of Freak Show for reminding her of her duties. It would be awful hard to blame the male component of the fairy team when he's already flown so far away.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Answers and Questions

Here are some things you might not know about me. Since I'm sharing (and I'm boring), I think you can answer some questions too. Use the comments.

1) I am extremely competitive. When I play sports I work myself into a vile hatred of the members of the opposing team. If I'm running a race, I want my competitors to trip, fall, knock themselves unconscious and maybe even pee themselves in the process.

This competitive nature bleeds over into every aspect of my life. In the past I've done things--major things--only because someone said I couldn't. Have you ever wondered why I don't have any really big name bloggers over there in my sidebar? Because I hate them.

But when it comes right down to it, I don't think most people can tell just how competitive I am.

Question: What is your worst personality quirk? The one you're most ashamed of, but maybe secretly proud of at the same time.

2) I've become hooked on Postsecret lately. I get a voyeuristic thrill out of reading other people's secrets. Though I wonder how many of them are fabricated for dramatic effect.

Every week when I check out the site, I start composing my own postcards in my head. But I don't have any secrets. So I fantasize about revealing other people's secrets. For some reason, people trust me with their most private thoughts.

Maybe they trust me because I am trustworthy. The writer in me may be composing in my head, but the person in me would never reveal a thing.

Question: Have you ever sent a postcard to post secret? Would you? Have you ever told someone else's secret?

3) When I was in my mid-twenties and it was looking like we might not ever get pregnant, I seriously considered joining the military. I was already living the lifestyle, living and working on base. Why not make it official and become a dual-military couple?

Two things held me back. One, if I did get pregnant, I knew I'd be stuck working. And two, I was afraid of what job I'd be assigned. Logically, it would make sense for the military to keep me in the same career field--marketing or public relations. But the military is rarely logical.

At the time, they were so short on pilots that if you were qualified, they'd send you to pilot training no matter what. And that would have been me. With my husband as a navigator and me as a pilot, the chance of us being stationed at the same base was slim.

I think I would have been a good pilot and officer. But I knew it would break my husband's heart. He swore he would support me. He swore he'd be proud of me. But can you imagine having to watch you wife live your dream? When she didn't even care about it that much in the first place.

Besides, I was terrified to go through water survival, wilderness survival, and POW training.

So many of my friends are struggling with fertility. It is heartbreaking. I am incredibly thankful that we were able to conceive with relative ease.

Question: Have you ever chosen a path out of sheer desperation? Have you come close? Do you regret it?

Your turn. Go.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Poor, Poor Tuna Man

I wanted so badly to write something after the kids went to bed last night. But my poor husband was just miserable, so I spent my time comforting him.

He left this morning on a TDY (business trip). It's supposed to be a cushy one. They're going to put on an Air Show display in Vegas. I'm picturing mornings on the tarmac signing autographs for starry eyed kids and night's on the strip drinking JD and tipping starry eyed strippers.

But with one thing and another, this trip is turning out to be tortuous for him. He has been DE-pressed.

His comforting started out with a trip to the grocery store. And now I'm left with half a box of Krispy Kreme's, the better part of a half gallon of mint chocolate chip ice cream, a quarter bag of tortilla chips and an empty house.

It's the PMS special on crack.

Luckily his comforting finished out with some really great see-you-next-Thursday sex, or I'd be diving head first into that ice cream right about now.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Tuna Mom

I did something today that I hardly ever do. I deleted a post.

Just know that I was crying while I wrote. I've been blaming my husband's DNA for my daughter's overly-sensitive nature. But maybe it is just me.

All you need to know is that it ended like this:

But today I decided to throw in the towel. I am just a mom. My kids are my life. And when my daughter put her arms around me, kissed my shoulder and told me, "I know you've been having a hard time lately, Mom. It's okay. We love you," it made every agonizing second of parenthood all okay.

I can be an adult tomorrow.

Monday, November 06, 2006


My daughter just completed her seventh season of soccer. She started playing four years ago, when she was barely four-years-old.

This weekend she scored her first goal ever. (In my mind, this one doesn't count.)

We're having a lot of fun with soccer this year. Both kids are playing on teams with their classmates. I've made very good friends with the other parents from my daughter's team. After every game we ask the kids two questions. "Did you have fun?" "Did you get good exercise!" We've never worried about goals.

But in the back of my mind, I was always thinking about how happy she'd be to finally score a goal.

I didn't even realize it, but their record was 10 wins and 1 loss. For their last game, they were playing the one undefeated team. Some of the kids (and the parents) really get into it. The story on the other team was that they started the season with no coach. When a local college player tore her ACL she volunteered to coach and the league assigned her to this team.

She was obnoxious. She was coaching a bunch of seven-year-olds like they were in college. I wanted to scratch her eyes out. Those poor little girls.

There was absolutely no score after the first quarter. Our kids were playing nothing but defense. I thought the other team's coach was going to pop a vein in her head.

Then our girls started scoring and scoring and scoring. Our parents were way more into it then usual. An obnoxious coach can cause that.

In the last quarter, I think the score was 10-1. My daughter (who loves to play defense because she doesn't have to run as much) was finally playing up. And I did something I never do.

When the kids were walking back to the middle after another goal, I yelled out my daughter's name. When she looked, I said, "Come on, Honey. You can do it." She smiled at me.

Moments later our girls had a throw in. My daughter quietly faded back toward the goal. Her teammate hurled the ball over the defenders' heads. My daughter controlled the ball, turned, and shot past two defenders into the net.

The crowd went wild.

My whole family jumped up screaming. So did all of the other families. These parents have known (and loved, if I do say so myself) my daughter since she was a tiny preschooler. They knew she'd never scored. They were more happy for her than they were for their own kids to win the game.

I'll admit it. I cried.

She barely reacted. Her friends hugged her. One head-butted her. And they ran back for the next face-off.

On the very next possession, she had an assist.

And on the next possession her friend passed it to her right in front of the goal and she scored again.

Four years of nothing, and within two minutes she scores twice? That is so typical of her.

After the two teams shook hands, all of the parents went out on the field and hugged and congratulated my kid (and us too). It was sweet. She's just the kind of kid who is so sweet, polite and happy that other people love to see her succeed. I was unspeakable happy for her.

We let her choose a restaurant for dinner that night. She called my parents and told them all about it.

When we were alone later, I asked her if she had just decided to score. I was wondering what was so different for her this game. It was like she had found the Eye of the Tiger.

"My coach told me to score," was her answer.

Oh, okay. Is that all it takes?

My husband laughed and said, "We tell you to score all the time. Why would you listen to your coach and not us?"

"That's not true," she told him. "You tell me to have fun and get good exercise."

Damn new age, feel-good parenting.

Maybe we should have bribed her for goals four years ago.

Friday, November 03, 2006


I just sent my son to his room. Sometimes being a mother sucks the great, big, crusty one.

He's tired. I'm tired. Add in a brand, new $350 violin and it is not a good combination.

He was pouting because now that he's graduated from his foam violin to a real one, the chin rest isn't as comfortable. Usually I'd say, "Pout all you want. We're still practicing." But pouting while balancing a violin on your shoulder results in a violin (did I mention it costs $350) smashed on my parquet floor.

Sometimes I just want to be rescued. I know he doesn't need to play the violin. Or do any other activity, for that matter. But he usually loves it. And I usually have patience.

Okay, that's a lie. I never have patience. I suck.

I rarely, if ever, dream about life BC (before children). I love my life and appreciate it beyond measure. But just now, while my son is throwing things and screaming in his room I mourn for my twenty-six inch waist, restful nights, carefree weekends, and sanity.

I need a break.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

It Figures

You know how some things just figure. Like when you forget your umbrella and it starts to pour. Or you wear your granny panties and wind up in an accident. Or you don't shave your *ahem* and end up getting naked with a hotty.

Well, lately I have been sleeping. A lot. I'm doing what I need to do to make sure the kids are getting what they need, and then I'm going back to bed. I'm exhausted.

Just yesterday I dropped the kids off at school and then came home for a three hour nap. I set my alarm for eleven so I could get up and take a shower before I had to be seen at pre-school car pool. But I pressed the snooze button for 11:10. And 11:20. And 11:30.

At that point I rolled out of bed, grabbed my purse and my keys and headed out the door.

Just as I was rolling into the school parking lot, I checked the voicemail on my phone. One of them was from school. Great. It figures. Which kid is throwing up? I looked toward the windows in the front office and there is my daughter with her teary eyes and snotty nose pressed up against the glass waiting for me.

I quickly took stock of myself. Bare feet in sandals. Track pants, an overly huge t-shirt, uncombed hair. And, of course, no bra.

Now I don't know about the rest of you, but for me going without a bra is not an option.

But well, how many people could really see me as I did a little speed walk (keeping my upper body as still as possible) from the car to the office?

When I opened the door my daughter threw herself into my arms. And I felt...wet. Huh? Wet? Please, tell me she didn't have an accident.

She had an accident alright. She spilled chocolate milk all over herself. And now I had a chocolate milk child imprint on my smokin' hot outfit.

She was crying because she didn't want to miss recess. So being the understanding mother that I am, I walked her back to class, asked the teacher if she could stay, and then ran to Target to buy her a new outfit.

And, of course, just as I pulled into the Target parking lot, because I had left my umbrella at home, it started to rain. And you know that t-shirt I was wearing? It was white.

I thought I could cross my arms over my chest and perform another speed walk. But, oh no. My son had to hold my hand. And he had to run.

It figures.

I had to go back to school like that and drop off my daughter's clothes. All the while I was swearing to myself that I wouldn't ever sleep late and let that happen again.

Until today. When I got to school and all of my friends were there waiting to ask me out for lunch.

The housewife life has never looked so glamorous as it did out for Mexican today. With me wearing the exact same outfit. And carrying a Louis Vuitton purse. Because I am all about class.