Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I rock. I admit it.

Yesterday my daughter got an e-mail from one of her best friends back on the bayou.

This friend was a really nice and polite girl. She was also very smart and athletic. She was the daughter of two of my best friends and she played on the softball team I coached.

Part of her e-mail read (and I quote), "We’re thinking about softball. Your mom was the best coach. I can’t believe you moved. No one was better than your mom."


I have to admit that made me smile. My week so far has had a theme and it is...

I rock!

My husband's been teasing that I'm going to hang the e-mail on the fridge. Heck, I just might. We all need an ego boost every now and then.

And frankly, not enough people realize how much I rock.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It's not evil if I'm good at it.

Last night, right after I finished writing about how much I hate the Wii, I decided to give it a try.

And I kicked ass.

Apparently I am better than the rest of my family at all of these games.

It's funny because I don't think that real life skills really translate into video games, but I did best at sports games that I actually excelled at way back when. I'm good at bowling and baseball.

I'm good at making balls do what I want.

After 25 minutes of dominating these games, I am done. I am content in the knowledge that I rule and I feel no need to prove it over and over again. (Besides, my arms hurt too much to lift them.)

Ah, superiority fees so good.

Monday, December 29, 2008

All I Got for Cristmas...

...was a Coach bag and a new cell phone and new cell service. Oh, and TiVo, oh my!

We had a nice Christmas. I know it kills my mother, but I much prefer spending our holidays in our own home, just the four of us.

Years ago, we had agreed to go "home" for Christmas every other year. But I have zero desire to travel to Boston for the holidays and we've just stopped going back since, oh, about 2004 (I think). I know that's hard for my parents to understand, especially when my husband is deployed. But I'm 35-years-old. My kids are seven and nine. We have our own traditions now.

Besides, we see them for at least a couple of weeks every summer. (Of course I have no desire to do that this summer, but shhhhhh. Don't tell anyone.)

So, Santa brought the Little Tuna Girl an iPod, against mom's better judgement. She's busy filling it up with classical music so what can I say.

Santa brought the Little Tuna Boy a whole mess of Legos. We now have Lego stations all over the house. I definitely need to clean and organize the kids' toys to fit all the new ones in.

Santa *ahem* also brought the kids *ahem* a Wii also very much against mom's better judgment. I seem to remember an agreement with Santa *ahem* years ago that we wouldn't have video games in the house. I guess Santa just couldn't resist bringing it for the kids *ahem*. Yeah. For the kids.

I already hate that damn thing. It's turned me into the bad guy who has to say, "Enough with the Wii. It's time for a bath (or bed or dinner or whatever)." I hate video games. Go read a book. Or play outside. Blah.

I think the Wii might go away in a drawer once the kids go back to school.

It's funny. After just a few days the kids were sick of being off. They miss school. They miss all the stuff they do. They're bored.

I'm counting down the days until school starts again. Seven to go. Then I'll take a couple of days to be blessedly alone.

Maybe I'll play a game of Wii baseball

Saturday, December 27, 2008

All Powerful Tuna Girl

Awww. How sweet is this post from Marc?

You should be aware...I have powers you know not of. I even have the power to make things appear on Christmas.

Better watch yourself.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas. Thumpa Thumpa.

I love this fabulous house. It may be the gayest house ever. I'd marry a man who could decorate my house like that.

Sorry, Tuna Man. You could start working on next year's decorations now.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Little Christmas Cheer

It's amazing how quickly a mood can be turned around. Especially when you're as lucky as I am and your life is filled with such wonderful people.

I walked out of my front door yesterday and found this little bit of Christmas cheer...I mean, deer waiting for me.

He was anonymously left as a gift by one of our neighbors.

I'm almost positive it is the work of the retired Navy man who lives on our cul-de-sac and loves woodworking. He's such a sweet guy.

I love my little deer. These kinds of small acts of generosity touch me more than I can ever say.

Today I got all of my Christmas chores done. The kids and I baked cookies all day. This was the first year where their "help" actually helped me. We had fun and I got twenty dozen cookies baked and packaged to send to our friends and family.

I hope that people accept our cookies as a sweet gift from our hearts. But what our cookies really say is, "We can't afford real presents this year so please accept these cookies which my kids may or may not have coughed all over."

(Just kidding. I was on serious germ patrol.)

We also spent a couple of hours cleaning the house and finally hanging our stockings by the chimney with care, in hopes that St Nicholas would soon be schlepping his or her fat ass back and forth to the gift hiding place to drag out and wrap presents until he or she can barely see straight.

At least this year Santa will have help and she won't have to wrap it all up all alone.

And that makes me the happiest of all.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Could be...

I am in a horrendous mood today.

It could be because our credit card was stolen this weekend and used at Wal-Mart and K-Mart. (My two least favorite marts)

It could be because my kids got their brand new indoor helicopter toy stuck on our roof.

It could be because my house is a mess and I'm a mess and my kids are a mess and I can't get caught up no matter how hard I try.

It could be because I don't want to try anyway.

It could be because my son got caught in a lie by his speech therapist and got in trouble.

It could be because my son has started wetting his bed again after months of being dry.

It could be because my aunt just died and I have to go up North for her funeral and see all of my family.

Or it could just be because I'm a miserable, moody fuck.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Birthday, Little Tuna Boy

Yesterday was the Little Tuna Boy's 7th birthday. That is so, so hard to believe.

Saying my kids are 7 and 9 makes me sound like an old mom. Or at least a mom who should know more and handle things better.

Instead of a party this year, we took the kids to Great Wolf Lodge. For the childless among you, it is a hotel with an indoor water park. It was a huge hit with the kids and we had a great time.

One thing I love about my kids is how much they appreciate the little things. They were thrilled to play miniature golf in the winter and they loved the lame ass trolley ride around the property. When I looked around the water park and saw hundreds of kids pouting and crying, I have to say that I was extremely thankful for my little family.

My son was happy with three gifts and a cupcake in our hotel room for his birthday.

My youngest is seven-years-old now and I am excited about it. I have no regrets about the first nine and a half years of my parenting life (except for choosing their current school) and I am looking forward to the next few years before the teens set in.

Besides, the Little Tuna Boy is just such a great kid. He's uber polite and very happy. He chooses good friends and smiles through life. He's so smart that it would be easy for him to be serious and alone, but he's always reaching out to people.

People always say that he's just like me and that is about the best compliment someone can give me.

Happy, happy birthday, baby boy! You are so loved.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Leave 'Em Crying

I've only made one friend here and she happens to be the kids' violin teacher. But I like her a lot. Except for her doctor husband and her musical talent and her rockin' bod and her beautiful house in a hip neighborhood and her free pre-kids lifestyle, we're just alike.

She should have a name here on the blog, I suppose. "The kids' violin teacher" gets laborious. I think I'll go with VG.

A few weeks ago, VG asked me an innocent question about how I enjoyed a violin workshop and I shocked myself by breaking down and crying for a good twenty minutes. It was mortifying!

She was great. She hugged me and agreed with me. And she has even taking care of my problem, since it was within her power and she's like that. But I'm still embarrassed.

So last night when we gave her a Christmas gift and she started to cry, I laughed at her.

"Ha! It's your turn to cry!" I said with a smile. And she started to laugh.

But I have to say, vindication aside, I was touched that she was so touched.

Since she loves to cook and has a brand new kitchen, we decided to decorate an apron for her. My son made thumbprint bugs and my daughter made flowers with thumbprint centers. We paired it with a cookbook by her husband's favorite hotty.

There is no better feeling in the world than giving someone a gift that is a hit. At least not for me.

For helping us to grow...

...with happy hearts.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Life Under Rocks

I found two cupcakes on top of my refrigerator.

Jackpot! Right?

But I didn't know if my husband had hid them up there for us or if he was saving them for the kids. So I was going to text him.

"I can haz cupcake?"

But I knew he wouldn't get it and I'd get a big WTF back.

Why wouldn't he get it? Because he lives under a freaking rock.

I've always known this about him. I put up with it. But sometimes it's flabbergasting.

Just the other day I was telling him a creepy story I heard about Tom Cruise buying an engagement ring for Katie Holmes after their first date.

And my husband responded, "So, what? Tom Cruise is married now?"

What the hell? Seriously? Seriously? How could he not know about TomKat? Katie even lived in our freaking town while filming Mad Money and took little Suri to our Target, much to the delight of the local entertainment media.

My husband says that he has no reason to pay attention to anything not related to war or hockey. But how could you have ears and eyes and not know about Tom Cruise.

I wonder if he's warm and cozy living under his rock. Or is he cold and alone being the only damn person in the world to be buried that deep.

Monday, December 15, 2008

New York in Three Days and Six Taxis

My trip to New York went by way too quickly but I had a blast seeing my friends.

Thursday's MAK Attack

At the last minute I found a cheap airfare to NYC so I didn't have to drive all that way to the city in my husband's stinky-but-economic car. I arrived at Patrick's apartment pretty early and we were able to grab breakfast together at Jackson Hole before he had to run to work.

I took a little nap at his place (I've been zonked for a month) and woke up raring to go. So, I jumped on the subway and made my way out to MAK's place in Queens. I had the best time hanging out with Matt, just the two of us, which is something we've never really done. I love that boy. I don't think we're all that much alike (except that we're both absolutely fabulous...*ahem*) but I still feel like we're two peas in a pod.

There are a few people in my life who I fervently wished lived closer, and Matt is one of them.

We laughed too much, gossiped too much, ate too much, and drank too much very expensive red wine. Matt put on my own personal, little cooking show. I sat like a princess in his kitchen while he slaved over his grandmother's recipe for risotto with sausage and pork. It was unbelievably good. When his man got home we each had an individual chocolate cake with raspberry filling. It was decadent.

We stayed up talking way too late so I crashed in the guys' guestroom.

Friday's Walk of Shame, Now with Cheese!

I slept in my clothes and rolled out of bed in the morning just before the guys were ready to leave for work. We took the subway together, each getting off at our own stop. And I kept my arms down and my mouth shut so as not to offend any of my fellow passengers.

It was when I was walking through the 42nd street station that I realized I was on a non-sex walk of shame!

I practically ravished my own toothbrush once I made it into Patrick's apartment. I have never brushed my teeth for so long.

After I changed out of my stiff clothes, and I forced Patrick to let me eat, we headed out to run some errands. And I can now tell you that the Target in the Bronx is exactly like the Target in my neighborhood, except for the signs in Spanish and the line in the restroom.

Patrick had the wonderful idea of having a long, leisurely lunch of wine and cheese at Artisanal on Park Avenue. We tried six kinds of cheese and all their accompaniments and I can say that I'd rate them from awesome to horrendous. My favorite was a little bit of heaven and my least favorite tasted like feet. But it was very nice to just sit and nibble and sip and talk about everything and nothing.

We waited in a short line at the TKTS booth in Times Square to get tickets for a show then headed a little uptown for a drink. On the way we ran into a Famous Author who I should have wished a belated happy birthday. (No way that man looks fifty!)

After just one nursed cosmo at Therapy, and one devoured blondie from a bakery I don't remember, we went to see Spring Awakening.

I loved the show. It wasn't at all what I expected. I have since heard that the male lead was...iffy, but we had an understudy (Matt Doyle) who rocked. It was a thoroughly enjoyable time.

Since the next day was all about meeting Patrick's new beau and Byrne's big 40th birthday, we headed right home to bed.

Saturday's Rides in Taxis

I slept in a bit on Saturday. But then rushed to put on a bra when Patrick got the call that his boyfriend (who I will now forever refer to as "The Doctor") was stopping by on his way to a conference to drop off his stuff. Gotta make a good first impression.

After I was fully dressed, Patrick and I went and did a little shopping on the Upper West Side. We had lunch at a little French Bistro where I had the best ham and cheese sandwich ever made. But while walking up to Broadway, I tripped in a crack and hurt my ankle. In order to get back to his apartment in time to meet The Doctor, Patrick let me do something he never does.

He let me take a cab!

We beat The Doctor back by just a few minutes and gathered up our stuff for Byrne's birthday party. The Doctor actually drove us down to SoHo (I think) and dropped Patrick off to set up. Then he drove me back uptown so we could get changed.

We had plans to meet Byrne for happy hour, so after he parked his car, I started talking to The Doctor about which subway stop the bar was nearest. He looked at me like the word "subway" was incomprehensible.

So we took a taxi to The Ritz in Hell's Kitchen.

It was great to see Byrne. And let it be known that I only nursed one delicious vodka and cranberry provided to me by The Doctor. It was fun to talk to an old friend and a new one. And I could totally see why Patrick and The Doctor are a couple. Those guys just match up.

We took another taxi down to Byrne's birthday party (that makes three in one day and counting, a record for me).

Patrick has a friend who is an amazing caterer and the party was held at her amazing apartment. When we walked in the door I was amazed at how Patrick had transformed her apartment for a dinner party. (Wow. I'm getting caught up with the word amazing here...but it was.)

I got to see some of my favorite people in the world. Let's Jase and his boyfriend (one of the best guys I know), our friend Charles, Jess and Marc...I think that's it. I also got to meet some of Byrne's other friends, including her, which was very cool.

The hugs were going around like crazy.

So was the food and wine. I think we had seven courses, each better than the last. It was past midnight before anyone even thought to leave. I seriously think that was the best birthday party, maybe even the best party, I've ever been to.

(Happy Birthday, Byrne!)

Some of us stumbled, some of us walked out to 6th Avenue to catch a taxi home (make that four!). Apparently, The Doctor was drunk (I seriously didn't even realize, not knowing him that well) and he was asleep before I even made it back from brushing my teeth.

Sunday's Home Again, Home Again

Patrick woke me up way early to get to the airport, so I never did get to say goodbye to his boyfriend.

(It was nice to meet you!)

I barely slept the entire time I was in New York, so by the time I got my husband's stinky car home, I was wiped out. My husband and kids were out at a birthday party when I got home, but when I walked in the door I had to exclaim, "Oh. My. God!"

He had cleaned a ton. And unpacked even more.

Does it get any better than that?

I came home from New York with a bunch of fun memories, a Requiem score, some new friends, some seriously dirty laundry, an ankle the size of a grapefruit and (most importantly) even closer relationships with some very special people. And I never got drunk or had a hangover.

You can't beat that.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What's Up With Me

Very early tomorrow morning I am flying out to spend the weekend in New York City. I'm going up for my friend's fortieth birthday party (eek, my friends are getting old). I'm really looking forward to having some fun.

But as always, there is another side to it. I am freaking out trying to get ready to leave. Why is it so hard to get ready to spend three days out of town? It's only three days!

Oh, yeah. That's right. It's because I have two kids with busy schedules. Who need proper outfits to go with those schedules. And who need to practice violin for a duet for a Christmas concert next week. And who have mounds of homework every night.

It's weird. Although he hasn't been deployed and his job is supposed to be "easier" I feel like my husband is actually around so much less since we moved here. I suppose a lot of it is because his daily commute is so much longer. It used to take him two minutes to pop home and help out with something. Now we don't see him until dinner time every night.

But he's also been going TDY every couple of weeks. It seems counterintuitive that being apart for a week or two every month would be harder than being apart for six months at a time, but in a lot of ways, it is.

My husband just isn't up on what we're doing all the time. He's not as involved.

In all honesty, he has been driving me crazy just a little bit. It's funny because I feel closer to him than ever and our marriage is stronger than ever, but on this one point I want to throttle him.

He's had this attitude lately like he "can't" handle the kids' stuff. He says the boy's math is beyond him. He says the girl's language arts are beyond him. He says he struggles too much to help my son with his speech practice. So he sits in the recliner and watches hockey while I struggle with them.

And I want to kill him.

I know, I know. I should be happy he's here to bug me. He could have been killed by rocket attacks in Baghdad or he could be in Afghanistan right now.

I know, I know, I know.

So it is really awesome that he's forcing me to go to New York this weekend. I wasn't going to. I feel too guilty for leaving my family while they're so busy. But my dear husband insisted I go have some fun and celebrate the fortieth birthday of someone we both really like.

And maybe three days alone with the kids will show him again that he can do anything with them that I can do. And he can do some things better. He is so much better at giving praise than me. He isn't such a perfectionist.

I will also be perfectly happy to walk away from the other shit going on in my life. You would not believe the crap that is going on with the room mothers from my daughter's class. We could star in a reality television series and have enough drama to stay on the air for years. It is ridiculous that grown women would act this way. I am done. With that. With this school. With women, frankly. With everything.

In the last year I have developed an amazing ability to just not care.

I can read nasty blog posts by people attacking everything I stand for, and just shrug it off. Whatever. They're the unhappy ones.

I can listen to people rant and rave and just not care. Whatever.

Just yesterday I told my daughter a story from the bible. I know. You can expect the four horsemen of the Apocalypse any time now. I told her about Jesus saying let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

I couldn't believe it was a lesson she needed to learn because that is so unlike her. It is astonishing sometimes, the sheer amount of things you must teach your children.

That first stone thing is something we could all probably stand to learn (she says sanctimoniously from her soapbox having never called anyone a dumb bitch.)

And so I'm off. To Sin City. No wait, that's Vegas, right? I'm off to the Big Apple to see people who used to be "bloggers" but are now just friends and I am going to turn off my guilt and leave it all behind. For three whole days.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

How Boys Drool and Girls Get Famous

My daughter absolutely hates that 9-year-old kid with the dating book. Basically, he beat her to her dream of being a kid writer and he "used girls" to do it. (Her words, not mine.)

She's determined to write a better book and get a better deal, all before she turns ten in July.

When she hears the kid got a movie deal, she's going to flip her freaking lid.

Monday, December 08, 2008

My Dog Has Fleas

Buffy the Wonder Puppy has fleas. And now I can't stop itching. Everywhere.

God, make it stop!

I am seriously more creeped out by little fleas crawling on my dog than just about anything else I can imagine. I'd rather have lizards in the house again. Or cockroaches. Or mice. Oh my.


Luckily the man is on top of the problem. I'm not going near that little ball of fur with a ten foot poll.

I bet you're itching now too. Hands out of your pants, guys.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Stuffed Too Deep

This morning I am baking, oh, about a thousand more cookies. This time for the my husband's division.

So I was preheating the oven just a bit ago and it started to smell like Thanksgiving all up in my place. I figured some turkey juices had dripped on the bottom of the oven, so I opened the door to check.


Not turkey juices.

There was a whole casserole dish full of uncooked stuffing in the oven!

Sure we had the stuffing that actually fit in the bird, but I could have sworn we were missing the rest of it. But I was sick on Thanksgiving day and my mother and husband insisted that we were not, so I went with it.

I was denied a whole week's worth of stuffing leftovers!

Stuffing makes me happier than just about anything in the world! Someone is going to pay!

Do you think I'd get salmonella if I cooked it up and ate it now?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

My Future Civil Engineer

I spent my afternoon in my son's first grade classroom helping him make his own personal little gingerbread estate. Although truth be told, I did very little helping. My boy is one independent kid.

I had fun. It is a really sweet little tradition. Seeing what the different kids came up with was amazing.

Before he took a little tour around the class and saw what his classmates had done, my son's house was pristine. Every little bit had a story like there is a bear family watching for Santa and a sled to carry presents.

But the other kids' were basically huge mounds of candy with arches and steeples. In a last ditch "Oh, I could have done that!" moment he dumped a bunch of candy on his plate.

The whole thing didn't even make it home before he was asking if he could eat it.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Tankless, Baby

Well, so much for that. Nothing much special seemed to happen today. At least not that I know of. Maybe ten years from now I'll look back at this date and be amazed at my foresight for recognizing a life changing moment.

Or not.

It was a weird day though. It was one of those days when I felt like I couldn't get my head out of the clouds.

My husband and I did have a meeting at what we hope will be the kids' new school come next fall. I was so nervous my stomach was in knots. We are in love with that school. I'd sell my soul on eBay to get them in there. But we found out that the first grade is currently full. So unless someone moves...

Fingers crossed.

Why are all the first grades full? What the hell were all those parents getting into seven years ago?

So this Thanksgiving I realized that my daughter is just like my mother. How could I not have realized that before? It all makes sense now.

Other than that my life has been very...uneventful lately. The biggest news I have right now is that we're getting a new water heater tomorrow.

It's tankless.

Woo hoo!