Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A Request

If, tomorrow, you should per chance find yourself traveling your nation's airways, and you happen upon a mother traveling alone with three small children, please, I beg of you, think only the kindest of thoughts.

You'll know her when you see her. She'll be the one with stringy unkempt hair, grimly clinched jaw, and khaki cargo pants stained at both knees with what must be apple juice. She's sure to have a dazed, hallowness about her eyes as if she's spent the night watching air crash documentaries; reckoning and re-reckoning her own limbs divided by the total number, mass, and area of offspring, and imagining the worst.

Her children will shuffle limply in a tight arc around her. Wilted with fatigue, yet jittery with the bustle of modern jet propulsion, they'll communicate in a series of low, churning grunts and whines that will manage to be indecipherable yet lyrically eloquant at the same time. Their mother will be doing her best to ignore them entirely. You should do the same.

Yes. If you should happen upon this poor, haggard woman and her strange, keening brood, please spare them your impatience, your exasperation, and your churlish discontent. Rather, smile benignly and let them pass. They mean you no harm.

And alas, weary traveller, if you've been forsaken by the beneficence of St. Christopher, and you find yourself seated in front of this little family----

Hey look buddy, they're going to kick the seats. She's 6. She's 2. He's 4. And I'm holding it together with silly puddy right now, so that's just the way it's gonna be. Now I suggest you turn your evil-eye towards terrorism because I have nothing more to say to your sorry ass. Good day, Sir!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Kill Me Now

I just finished what was left of the birthday cake.

I do not deserve to live.

Also, I have a headache. And I have to drag 3 children across an ocean and two continents on Thursday. Alone.

It's not to be bourne, I tell you. It's simply not to be bourne.....

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Two Years Ago Today

Right at this very moment.....

I was in labor with Missy the Younger. Early stages of it, mind you. Mostly hot and nauseous and panicking as my body started to remember the pain of real contractions, but things were on their way to happening and I remember it being a bit of a tussle to get any of the midwives to pay me any heed when I told them, "Yes, I know I've laid utterly stalled in this curs├ęd bed all day long, but I'm telling you I'm in labor now, goddammit, and when my body decides to go into labor it does not fuck around. I will be pushing now, thank you very much."

We had her party this afternoon. And a very merry party it was.

Chaos reigned supreme upstairs and the kids--all 13 of them--tore the place all to hell. The carpet in Elder Miss's room will never be the same thanks to a rather unfortunate gift of something called Window Crayons. Three rolls of toilet paper were ultimately sacrificed to the cause of fun. And puddles of punch have been sopped up from every nook and cranny imaginable.

Clearly there was a conspicuous lack of adult supervision, but happily there were no fatalities. Clever children.

Personally, I had a great time. And I'd like to say, without getting too sappy and sentimental, that I'm very grateful for the friends I have found this past year. They helped make what might have been a very dull, obiligatory event into a truly fun and joyful memory.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Lift Me

Living in a country with a state religion definitely has its advantages. Turns out you get actual bank holidays for such obscure biblical events as Ascension and Pentacost. Yesterday was Ascension Day.

Every year Mister and I have this absorbing debate as to whether it's the ascension of Christ or Mary we're celebrating. Every year we quickly conclude it must be Christ, as who but Dan Brown and his ilk really give a damn about Mary anyway. And every year Mister ends the conversation by asking, "Now was this before or after He went to Mexico?"

After, surely....?

Coming up on our annual weekend o' birthday parties, so it's going to be a busy one for us. Wish I could say I'm looking forward to it.

Everyone wish my lovely ladies a happy, happy birthday. Elder Miss wants Bratz Genie Magic lipstick, and Missy the Younger fervently wishes her diaper rash away. Now close your eyes and blow.......

Monday, May 22, 2006

Phase I

As any half-way decent carpenter worth his salt will tell you, the first part of any remodeling project is demolition. Actually no--I tell a lie. Surely a good carpenter would, at this point, clear his throat and gently remind me that before the demolition the site must be cleared. But we are not in the habit of employing good carpenters, are we? This is Mister and his father we're talking about, and these are fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants kinds of builders. Fuck protocal. Let's get the job DONE! We're talking about the man who carved a hole in the ceiling directly over the computer without bothering to move the thing or even cover it with a sheet, just because, well, the roof was on and by Christ he needed to get upstairs!. Whatever. It's really not the point. The point is, I got to do a little demolition yesterday. And it was fun.

While I was strickly forbidden from slamming any holes in the walls just yet, it was nonetheless very absorbing and empowering work. I even got to use my swank, girly tools with the pink handles that my mother sent me for my birthday. How cool am I?

Actually--ahem--not very. All I managed was to disassemble three cheapy, free-standing, IKEA-esque wardrobes that were standing in the way of the real work. And while Michelle has laid claim to the smaller of the three, in the interest of full disclosure, I feel I should point out that the bottom of the middle drawer is warped and dogdey from wet raingear having been stuffed in it at some point in its life, the doors are misaligned and slighty askew cuz' it's so damn cheap, and the rod was held in place by duct tape and electrical wire (I forget why). So there. Can't say I didn't warn you. Not my fault you only occasionally take the time to read me......

Rain has been forecast for the entire week, so it seems that I will be hostessing a birthday party in the midst of our demolition. We were hoping we'd get a nice day for Missy's birthday so we could have a picnic at the lake--roast some hotdogs and marshmallows, maybe a little scavanger hunt for the kids--such a nice idea once again foiled by shitty weather. Not to worry. The kids really don't give a damn about the mess, and the parents have been warned to disregard the worst of the clutter; simply step over the more trifling bits. It'll be fine. Fun maybe. And this new plan comes with the added advantage of extra hands to move the piano out of the construction zone.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Northern Lights

We're getting to the part in the Nordic program where the light is really starting to adversely affect my sleep. It's just after 6 a.m. and the bloody sun is way the hell up and all like "Hey look at me! Sunny day! Sunny day! Woo hoo!"

Sun or no sun (as is often the case) it's been full on daylight for hours and hours now. The birds start in around quarter to 4. And basically I'm tired enough to kill something right now. But no-oooooo, it's spring and everything's lovely and green, and a front porch full of bird corpses so early in the morning would probably disturb the children. 'Course, I could blame it on the cat.....

Elder Miss climbed in bed with me yesterday morning, put her arms around me, and said, "You're getting nice again," After a big kiss on the cheek, she added, "I love you when you're nice."
Pfft--so much for unconditional love!

Turns out I have to be nice to get the cuddles?!!! Goddam fickle chidren!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Historical Footnote

So I've been hemming and hawing over the past few days, wondering what to write about next.
In the meantime, I've been poking around other folks' spaces doing some reading, some mocking, some what-the-fucking.....as you do.

Now, I know I'm not the hippest, trendiest skirt in the closet. Two years ago this time I wouldn't have had a clue what a blog was or where to find one if asked. I became sort of vaguelly aware of their existence during the 2004 election cycle, but it was months and months before I realized a blog could be anything more than a political bashing ground. I entered the wider world of mommy and infertility blogs maybe 6 months ago by following links from the various discussion boards I hang out on.

Anyway, my general assumption has been that this whole blog thing is a relatively new phenomenon, and yet a lot of these blogs I've been visiting through MSN have archives that go back 3, 4, even 5 years! And now I realize it's all been said, and done, and covered about a thousand times before.
So, once again, I find myself in the position of unoriginal hack, plodding down the well trod path of younger, hipper hacks who had the good sense to jump on the bandwagon long before I ever knew it existed. This depresses me. I wanted to have something interesting and fresh to add to the discussion.

Before I go continue my sulk, I'd like to offer this little history lesson for...well, ahem, anyone who might be interested...coughJillycoughcough...

Norway never declared its independence from Denmark. Denmark lost its sovereignty over Norway as result of the Napoleonic wars. 17. Mai marks the day in 1814 that a constitution was signed establishing an independent union with Sweden. The union was later dissolved in 1905 when Norway finally achieved full independence.


Also, Elder Miss wants to know why mirrors have to copy us.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Spawn

Day four of The Great Spider Hatch 2006.

Tuesday morning (day one) I woke up to find the ceiling in the basement covered with hundreds of tiny baby spiders. Spiders, spiders, everywhere spiders.

It's okay. It's fine. It's happened before.

I gaped, slack-jawed at their prodigious numbers. I marvelled briefly at the evolutionary triumph of such large scale breeding. Then I vacuumed the little bastards up and went about my day with the itchy, heebie-jeebies crawling up my back.

Woke up Wednesday morning to the same sight. Again Thursday. And yet again today, albeit in significanly smaller numbers--hardly even a hundred to hoover this morning.

I must admit, it's beginning to feel a little like an arachno-conspiracy is unfolding in my basement. I'm having visions of digitally animated spider generals marshalling their infant troops for yet another doomed onslaught. "Once more into the breech dear spidies...."

Boy cries and whines when he sees one hanging in his path.

Missy nonchalantly pinches them between her fingers, holds them out for inspection, and says, "Ew, ick."

Then she goes looking for another one.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Immigration

So I went to the police station today to get my visa stamped in my new passport (something that should have been done two years ago when I actually got my new passport...but whatever...not really the point).

When we (Michelle and I) arrived, the queue stood at number 86. Ours was number 130. Clearly we were looking at a long wait. And wait we did. And we waited. And then we waited some more. All tolled we stood around probably 90 minutes, maybe more. When we finally got our turn at the window, we explained what we needed, the woman said, "Fine," shoved our pictures and passports in a little Ziploc, and said, "Come back Friday to pick them up."

Over and done with in all of 30 seconds.

The efficiency is rather astounding, no?

90 minutes of foreplay. 30 seconds of wham-bam-thank you Ma'am.

Inexplicable, inscrutable, absurd.

For those of you who know the chorus, sing it with me.....FUCKING SOCIALISTS!!!!

Though I suppose I shouldn't complain too much. As Mister oh so reasonably points out to me-- bureaucracy is bureaucracy all over the world. You can't beat it so why bitch about it. Which is his way of saying, "I tire of your story, now pass the Parmesan."

Monday, May 08, 2006

Random

Dull day. Sunny. Hot.

Lovely, but dull.

Drawings for the new kitchen have been tweaked to within an inch of perfection. Tomorrow I'm picking up Mister after I drop the kids off at school so we can order the tile. I've reserved the monkey jungle for EM's the birthday party. Called and requested a new code card for my internet bank to replace the one Missy turned into confetti. I've also managed to contact a human at the police station to see what I have to do to get a visa stamp in my new passport--turns out to be a surprisingly uncomplicated process and will be taken care of Wednesday.

Busy little bee, ain't I?

I leave you with this gem of a question from Elder Miss while I was tucking her in tonight: "Why is my voice white and your voice yellow?"


Sunday, May 07, 2006

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggedy Jig

The children pined for me. The house is in ruins. I spent more than I should have. And I'm still vaguely queasy from the remains of a vodka hang-over.

By all accounts, a splendid weekend. Give or take a few travel delays and an afternoon of pissing rain.

In the ever appropriate words of Jane Austin....."Much was said. Much was ate. And all went well." I'm sure I'm guilty of over-using that quote, but I'm lazy you see, and it so perfectly sums up so many occasions. I simply can't be arsed (thank you Jill) to come up with anything more original.


So much for that brief interlude. Now it's back to work. The new kitchen is ordered, but not signed for. I'm only about a third through the process of packing up the old kitchen and living room. The tiles absolutely must be ordered early this week. Also must remember to reserve the monkey gym for Elder Miss's birthday party.

I'm sure there's more. But it makes my palms sweat to think about it too hard right now. So we'll concentrate on the above todo list first.

Friday, May 05, 2006

See Ya', Wouldn't Wanna Be 'Ya

Leaving for Newcastle this evening for a girlie weekend away with Michelle and Jilly. Looking forward to it. Mister has decided to stay home with the kids rather than run home to his sainted mother for the weekend. I'm feeling inexplicably smug and happy about this fact. It will mark the first time he's been fully alone with the three darlings for more than an evening.  Thus his first real glimpse into the endless stream of whining and triviality that is my life. I rather doubt the lesson will make much of an impression on him--he's hopelessly dense to such nuance--but I have my fingers crossed for a tantrum or four, scrapped knees, lost lovies, and maybe a wee bout of diarrhea...all at once...just to give him a bit of a challenge.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Cover With Champagne. Marinate For 48 Hours

Turns out, I was utterly underwhelmed by Paris. And it wasn't just because of the weather which, for the record, was cold, wet, and windy. It wasn't because of the waiters either, who were, one and all, rude to the point of parody. Perhaps it was the fact that I'd been there before, several times in fact.

Ho hum, ho hum, my how the Eiffel Tower sparkles at night.

Hordes of tourists--check. Vile smells on the Metro--check. Seen it, done it, tasted it all before. But did it really cost 12€ last time?

Whatever the reason, I was perfectly happy to climb a bus and head to Reims and the Champagne district on Sunday afternoon. Everything about this part of the trip thrilled me. Sunday night, we had a tour of the Pommery cellars followed by, hands down, one of the best meals I've ever eaten (the waiters wore white gloves...need I say more?) Monday we toured Reims cathedral; then a bus tour of the city, the surrounding vinyards, and the Hamm Champagen house. All of it accompanied by magnum after magnum of lovely, crisp champagne...which, according to the locals, is appropriate for any and every occasion and/or non-occasion (as the case may be).

We sloshed home late last night. Lo and behold it's cold, gray, and windy here too.

....Back to life. Back to reality....