Thursday, January 22, 2009

Confessions of a Harried Housewife, Chapter III

So, I pretend like I have this thriving, ubiquitous blog readership that anxiously awaits each installment of my lil' pet, Harried Housewife chronicles. This dilusion actually brings me quite a large amount of joy. I told one of the 4 members of my blog fan club today that I was going to be posting a CHH (that's txt abbr for Confessions of a Harried Houeswife) like it's this fabulously awaited event and she's was like, "I'll totally be checking!". Wow. Thanks Liv for allowing me that brief moment of basking in my own spotlight. As always (always being the last two chapters)I will need to give you a little background into my previous life as a PTA mom. It will be a VERY brief history.

When we lived in the NW, I served on the PTA board for 2 years. For someone lacking the ability to say the word "no" to those in need (or pretending to be) this was a very unwise position to be in. I spent hours and hours of my time at the school and supporting the school that were absolutely spent on worth while projects and undoubtably benefited the school tremendously. One person can make a difference, people, I totally believe that. However, the problem I did not forsee was that the time I would spend helping out at the kid's school, would not be directly spent with my kids. Nobody in our household really benefitted from the time I donated. Try explaining volunteer work for "The Greater Good" to a Kindergartener. In the end, I decided that any PTA work I did in the future would be on the classroom level ONLY. I'd been on a ROLL with my "Room Mom Only" mantra for about 18 months. Feeling really good about it, too! Well, my poor neighbor is on the direct path to Room-Mom-Only-hood this year, my loyal readers. To protect her identity, we will call her Lisa and bless her soul, she is a right good person! She willingly agreed to chair our school's RenFest (no mere carnival for the Noble Knights of Blanton Elementary!) and it's a big job. Everything's big in Texas. Have I mentioned that in previous blogs? Well you've surely heard, whether from me or some other brilliant source. We aren't just talking cars, football, and hair. We are talking PTA, volunteer work, and school functions. So the Renfest is a huge undertaking that we are estimating will cost no less than 10K to do right (and big). Lisa is about the most upbeat, kind-hearted, smilin' all the time gal a woman could hope for as a neighbor. The drawback-it's pretty much impossible to say no to her for someone like me. Of course she needs help with this project because it's like putting on a huge festival for a town not just a school. In a weak moment, I agree to chair the Corporate Sponsorship sub committee. In lay-speak, this pretty much means The-Begging-Local- Businesses-for-Money committee. I know, it's so not me. It's so not the kind of job you want to give someone who will take no for an answer the first time. And yet, here I be. Lisa, if you're reading this (cuz it's uber popular now), I love you and you should take none of this personally.

It all began here....
Step one in my money-grubbing plan of attack: send out sponsorship letters to at least 400 local businesses asking quite politely for Renfest money in return for advertisement at Renfest. I start this task by web researching local businesses for my top 500 choices. I looked for businesses that do not offer a product because we will be soliciting those lucky folks for silent auction gift basket items! After I've compiled my list I began typing up all the address labels. This is time consuming, as you can imagine, and I spent quite a bit of time doing it. During one afternoon of mindless typing, the kids wanted to have neighbor friends over and I was fine with first.

It's a good idea to check on your four-year-old regularly when they are playing alone or with others. It's an especially good idea to check on your four-year-old when things get really quiet. I'm typing and listening and hearing nothing so I decide it's a good time to check. I walk the 30 feet to Avery's room and what do I find? Her and her friend (we'll call her Claire-who is 6 and Lisa's daughter) are sitting on Avery's bathroom counter with a full sink of water, emptying hair detangler, hand soap, and Method bathroom cleaner into the mix. Our conversation plays out as follows:

Me: "What are you doing!!!!!
Avery and Claire simulatneously: "We're making stew."
Me: "Stew! Are you kidding me! This is a really bad choice, you guys! You can't just mix random cleaners and soaps and hair products together! It might be toxic! It could produce deadly fumes! Argh!
Claire: "We're just trying to have fun"
Me: "Ok, fun. Well there are lots of fun things to do in Avery's room, in the playroom, OUTSIDE...if you need help finding something fun, please let me know. In the meantime you guys are forbidden to go into the bathroom for anything but toilet use."
Avery: "Sorry, mom."
Me: "Ok, me too, now go play."

typing, typing, typing, typing, typing, typing, typing, typing, typing, typing, typing, typing........
15 minutes of typing pass by......


Crap. I'm gonna totally kick some butt. Why is it when you need your kids to be anxiously engaged in a good cause the most, the exact opposite happens? I race in there with my meanest mad face on and bang on the door till Avery opens it.

Claire: "We're just making stew."
Avery: "Sorry, mom."
ME: "You are so busted, Avery, go to your room and I'll be back to deal with you in a second. Claire, get your shoes and socks on and head home. I'm totally calling your mom about this one."

Avery is sobbing and Claire is feeling embarassed and pretty much running for the door. Not only have they continued to spray Method bathroom cleaner into the "stew", but they were also spraying Windex, and adding a little Method toilet bowl cleaner as well. Sheeeesh! I was so angry. I couldn't believe that a) the two of them would deliberately disobey a direct order on such an important and potentially dangerous activity, that b) they found additional cleaning supplies in Avery's bathroom (usually they are only in Aidyn's and Addy's bathrooms but when Aidyn cleaned Avery's bathroom that week he left them under the sink) that c) this was happening a mere 15 MINUTES after the original incident!!! and that d) I hadn't checked her bathroom for cleaning supplies the first time around. Duh! My cool was beyond lost at this point. Avery get's a spanking for this one. She has maybe recieved 2 others in her lifetime but this situation definitely warranted a memorable paddle. After she has been punished, I close her door and lean up against it with a sigh. I hate making my kids cry. I walk down the stairs, call Lisa and inform her of the afternoon's activities. Claire went home and told her mom that she got in trouble for playing with water in Avery's bathroom. Not exactly. After our convo, I go back up to Avery's room and patiently talk to her about the bad choice she made and why it's dangerous blah blah blah. Here, she drops the bomb:

"Mom, will I be in more trouble if we tasted it?"

My eyes immediately bug out of my head and I feel a little bit whooosy. Isn't this every parents worst nightmare?


Ooops, I said that a little too loud, now she's crying again. I have to reassure her that, no, she won't be in trouble, but mommy REALLY NEEDS TO KNOW what she means by "tasted" and exactly how much she tasted. I carry her down to the kitchen, give her a glass of water, and start searching the phone book for Poison Control. While I'm doing this, Lisa calls and says that Claire has admitted to "tasting" the stew as well. She is apologizing over and over for her daughters behavior and I'm thinking..."Uhm, she's 6. It's totally my fault! I am the responsible adult! I let this happen under my roof!!! Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!!" So I start apologizing profusely and Avery is standing there, in the mean time, bawling,

"I don't want to die!".

My neighbor ends up calling poison control and to make this long story short, since there was very little cleaner and a lot of water, the girls should be fine. Evidently, "tasting" the stew meant dipping a little doll sized spoon in and then licking the spoon to see if the "flavor" was improving with each added element. Yummy. I really had to try to think like a 4 and 6 year-old to understand that thought process. A solid 10 days later, I am happy to report that both girls are fine and no one has died. Go me! So can YOUR kids come play tomorrow(:

Thursday, January 15, 2009

This is "butt"

Here's a little funny diddy to brighten your day. I just love the funny things kids say. I wish I would have done a better job of writing down all the cute words and comments my kids said through the years. Not too late for Avery, though! So picture sweet Avery playing with her new store front she got from Santa. It's this cute little mini market with a cash register and food baskets and of course, play food. One of the food items is an empanada. For those of you who don't know what an empanada is, I have conveniently cut and pasted the Wikipedia definition below:

An empanada (not to be confused with the Portuguese empada, which is a different dish) is essentially a stuffed pastry. The name comes from the Spanish verb empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread.

To further your knowledge, Avery is holding her lil' play empanada in the picture below:

She fancies herself quite the pretend play chef and likes to shop at her store then come home to fix meals with her ingredients. This particular evening, she felt like cooking dinner for Aidyn, who was paying absolutely no attention to her whatsoever while watching an all encompasing episode of "Drake and Josh". Here is Avery's completely one-sided conversation:

"Aidyn, what do you want me to make you for dinner....pie or butt?"

(brief pause for response from Aidyn.........................................)

"This is butt."

Here she holds up her lil' play empanada. Kind of looks like a butt, right?
Ok, it was so freakin' hilarious. I laughed for like 10 minutes. Are you feelin' it? Are you laughing histarically? Maybe you had to be here, but it was funny.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Top 10 Things I Learned and/or RElearned in 2008

10) Moving is hard. Moving twice within 1 year is painfully hard.
9) In the face of tragedy, strong faith and the support of those who love you are the balm that begin the healing process.
8) Women are, surprisingly, never too old to believe popularity matters.
7) Forgivness is not an action that requires two people.
6) Friends love you despite of who you are, not because of who you are.
5) Children can start to learn the value of hard work at the age of 3.
4) The most important item to consider when planning ahead is the end result of your actions.
3) My kids are amazing, resilient, examples that I learn from whenever I pay close attention.
2) No matter how hard one tries to do what's right, there will always be people who somehow see the wrong in their actions. (why! Why! WHY!!!) You just have to keep on, keepin' on.
1) Being loved by a man who is (almost) always right, is the biggest blessing in my life.

So, Happy New YEAR!!! Did you have a good holiday? We have had a very busy November and December. The jewelry business kicked into high gear the last 7 weeks and I have barely been able to keep my head above water. I finally ended up setting my Etsy shop to Vacation Mode because I was feeling overwhelmed and needed some time with my family. What a blessing it was to our family to have John home most of December!

On Christmas Eve we were invited to dinner at our friends, the Gibbons', home. We had a delicious meal, opened some traditional gifts and enjoyed an evening of game playing and good laughs. Starting over again in a new area for the second time in a year has been challenging for us all and we are so grateful to people like Becca and Randy who make an effort to reach out and pull us into this new ward family we have joined in Dallas. Christmas Day was actually very relaxing. After opening gifts, we stayed in our PJs for the day, did a little sleeping, had a yummy ham dinner, and spent quality family time together.

The last few days have been spent in Kansas City where we have been happily visiting friends and enjoying New Year festivities. The VanOrmans had a crazy fun party at their home last night where we were able to see many of our favorite friends. We played a little Rock Band, toasted 2008 babies born and conceived, healthy children, old friends, new friends, new jobs, loved ones, God, our country, and all good things, and just had an all around fabulous time.

We are thinking of all of our loved ones at this time and pray that God will bless you with good health, strong faith, and much prosperity this year. We love you!
Here's to your happiness!