Friday, September 29, 2006

Vicious, my new moniker

It goes without saying that most women will defend their children and try to protect them from harm even above their own well being. It also goes without saying (if you know me) that I will not tolerate even the slightest threat to my children, and that if you can not discipline your own children, please do not be surprised when I do it for you.

I've been bristling about this for a couple of days now, and just haven't been able to let it go, so perhaps with a little written retell of it I can get it out of my system.

A few days ago I had my girls at a local amusement park that has a sunken maze. One of the entrances to this sunken maze is a covered area about 4 feet square with a slide that takes you down to the maze. When Sam walked up to it there were two boys there who told her she couldn't come in because it was their pirate fort. She continued in and they tried to block her way at which time I told them the park was for everyone and they could not prevent her from using it. There was a woman standing nearby, but she didn't say anything, so I assumed she was one the mother of one of the other children playing in the maze. As Sam was standing at the top of the slide the older boy said, "Let's push her" and he put his hand on her back. At this point I was very afraid that she was going to get pushed down the slide head over heals and I knew I couldn't get to her in time to stop it, so with a very firm voice I told the boy to take his hands off of her, and that no, he could not push her down the slide. He looked at me and didn't move, so I told him again (a bit more firmly) to take his hands off my daughter. He looked at me, took his hands off, but then started arguing with me that he was just going to push her down the slide. I told him she did not need help, and that he should not be touching other children. At this point, the nearby woman walks over and tells me that he was just trying to help her down the slide, that he wasn't going to hurt her. I calmly explained that I did not know this boy, nor did I know his intentions, and so I had to stop the activity. She then told me, "You didn't have to be so vicious!"

There was a bit more of a discussion which ended with me saying, "I have every right to protect my child" and her doing a lot of muttering under her breath, and taking her two boys away "until that family is gone".

So that's me, vicious. I might have a shirt printed up with "Just call me Vicious" for wearing whenever I take my kids out. It ought to put an end to any "friendly" altercations in the future.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Church = Freedom

Many people find a certain peace when attending church, a lifting of
their spirit, a lightening of their load. Riley apparently feels
freedom. The freedom to shed everyday burdens such as clothing and be
at one with herself. Yep, you guessed it, another church strip tease.

This week my goal was to find non-removable clothing. I thought about
overalls, but they make the potty issue a little too difficult, t-shirts
slip over the head too easily, pants and shorts slide off too easily.
The choice? Another dress, but this one had buttons up the back to keep
it secured. I was feeling pretty triumphant in my decision until once
again we neared the end of mass, clothing still intact. It was at this
point that she lifted her dress over her head and headed down the aisle
proudly showing off her underwear.

Next week this sermon will be brought to you courtesy of St. Duct Tape.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

My Keens stink

I'm currently attending a hospital retreat and noticed that my Keens
stink. I hope nobody else noticed.

Whew, got some baby powder at the break.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Church and the two year old

Church is often something people avoid because they feel it's boring, don't believe in the organization, are simply too busy to think about it, or they have small children that act like monkeys. The last describes the typical two year old when attending church. Try taking two two year olds and you have quite an event on your hands. That was my fate this morning as I headed off with Riley and Samantha in tow.

All in all the service went well, but it was baptism Sunday so it was a little longer than the usual. The girls mostly sat or stood next to me, though they were in constant transition between the two states. However, they were mostly quiet, and I didn't see any angry looks around us, mostly quiet smiles while stealing peeks at the kids.

Then came communion. Riley held Sam's hand, and Sam held mine, and all was well. We approached the priest who mesmerized Riley, and briefly held Sam's attention as well. We headed back to our seats where I knelt to pray. The next thing I know, I'm looking down at what looks like Riley's dress on the floor, and wondering what it is. Sure enough, it's Riley's dress. I quickly grab it, and try to put it back on the now naked child who begins screaming. Yes screaming in church. I pop the dress over her head, grab them, their water bottles, and books, and try to head out of church as "quietly" as possible. Riley will have none of it. She does her best Berkeley protest move and falls like limp spaghetti to the ground. I try to lift her with no luck. Finally I get her in such a position that I can get an arm around her waist and carry her out of church. Thank goodness Sam walked along.

As I am heading out of church, with Riley screaming the whole way, I hear the priest say, "It sounds like that little one is ready to party already" referring to the church social that afternoon. I don't think my cheeks could have been any more red than that.

To top off the whole event, an older gentleman came out behind us and said, "Thanks, that reminded me of when my kids were little" and another woman offered to carry our things so I could better manage Riley, and someone else offered to give them a free pair of shoes.

Hopefully next Sunday is better.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Another milestone crossed.

Yep, the girls are growing up. Last night they slept in big girl beds for the first time. Interestingly enough, I was not sad. It was exciting and fun. We went to the store, picked them up, brought them home, and then I assembled them. The girls participated in the whole process, even down to helping me screw the slats in. I am not mourning the loss of cribs as I did the loss of my beloved co-sleeper. I know, it's inexpicable.

As for the girls, they thought they were great. The only hitch was when Riley wanted to sleep with Sam, and Sam firmly put her foot down on that idea. "MY BED" was the response.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Clean Table

Most nights after dinner the girls head off to the bath. Tonight was no different, but as I was in the bathroom with Sam, Riley was still finishing up dinner. Soon she came running in to the bathroom insistent that I come see something. I thought she wanted help with finishing something on her plate. So, I left Bill with Sam and went to check it out. What she so proudly showed me was that she had cleared her dishes, as far as she could. We have a kiddie gate (which was closed) going into the kitchen. Since she couldn't get to the sink or dishwasher, she had carefully balanced her plate and cup on the top edge of the gate. So creative that one.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Growing up too fast?

Every parent knows those moments when they think to themselves, "Wow, look what my baby/child/kid/teenager can do now" which is quite often followed up with, "No, I'm not ready for that, slow down, you're growing up to fast."

I had one of those moments yesterday. We were leaving the bathroom and I said, "Let Mommy get the light." as I always do. Riley then said, "no, my turn." at which point she turned around, reached up (on her tippy tippy toes), and turned off the light.

I was stunned and amazed. Just last week she was having to push chairs over to get light switches, and this week she can do it by herself. Another happy/sad milestone crossed.

And as if that wasn't enough, Sam had to show me that she could do it too. It now explains why lights had been mysteriously going on and off in my house.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


After all my wishing upon a star we made it to Disneyland, and the trip was great.

We drove down Sunday morning after I got off work which was probably a mistake. Since it was daytime the girls were awake for much of the trip which means I was awake for much of the trip, and poor Bill had to drive the whole trip. Upon arrival we went straight to the park, had some dinner, and rode a couple of rides as well as taking a few minutes to watch the fireworks. We also met up with the Doughty Tan crew who joined in some of our antics. Even though I didn't think we would, we (and that we includes the girls) closed down the park every night. That made for a couple of tired mornings, but not too bad (unless you count Liz not being sure she was wearing pants to breakfast as bad.) ;)

If you ask the girls the highlight of their trip I'm sure they would say Dumbo although Sam has fallen in love with Minnie Mouse (Min Mow). Riley seems torn between Tinker Bell (Teabell) and Goofy (Gooey). They were real troopers through everything despite some late or missed naps along the way. Oh yeah, they even loved the "scarey" rides like Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Carribean and went on them several times by their choice. Riley can even sing, "Yo Ho, Yo Ho, piwates life me." Trust me, it's cute.

Stacey said the highlight of her trip was just being there with the family and being able to share the girls first Disney experience with them. I thought that was really nice (it even made me a little teary.)

As for Bill, you'll have to ask him yourself. After getting through the first few days of no sleep and lots of driving he seemed to really have a good time with the girls, and he even got to ride some rides he'd never been on. He also made sure the girls had Minnie Ears with authentic hand stitching. It seems only two places in the park do that anymore (all the rest are machine embroidered) and even those two will be gone by next year. So sad, the end of another era.

For me the highlight of the trip was being there with my family taking a long overdue vacation. It was also great to see people we love while down there, and I can't wait till Val is bigger and can go on the rides with the girls. They were so excited to see her everytime, and it seemed like even in the midst of a bustling Disneyland Val still knew who they were and watched them incessantly.

Other highlights:
* I have to agree with Liz that Sam's re-enactment of finding the pacifier was hilarious.
* Riley singing, "Yo Ho, Yo Ho ..."
* Stacey joining us for the trip so it was a total family experience
* Sam braving her fears of giant rodents, dogs, etc. to finally go up and hold Minnie Mouse's hand because she was her favorite.
* Riley standing right in front of the jazz musician and raptly watching him for at least 10 minutes. There was soon a crowd watching her watch him. It was magical.
*Riley and Sam's huge, round eyes as they watched the parade, and their excitement as it came to an end and they could see Minnie and Mickey (who they actually thought was two Minnies).
* Sam with at least 6 buttons on her shirt from our character dinner at Ariels Grotto (and the later tearing of shirt to get the buttons off.) Thanks to Andrea for the photo.
* Their new love for Fey Gawmothers (Fairy Godmothers). We all need a little magic in our lives.
* The girls in all their Disneyland gear.
* Having a suite so the girls could nap/sleep while we could still be up in the other room.
* Getting to ride Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Tower of Terror, and other "adult" rides with Liz, Andrea, and Stacey while Bill watched the girls (and Liz and Andrea swapped back and forth with Val.)
* Sharing Liz and Andrea's anniversary with them (even if we were all a little too exhausted to enjoy it fully.) Happy Anniversary to you both. I think the Disneyland plan for future celebrations is a great one.
* Bill getting me cotton candy just because he knows I like it.
* The huge freshly made, and might I add delicious corndogs that first night.
* I'm sure there are more that I will think of later, but right now I'm just contentedly smiling.

Sadly, at the very end of the trip (last few hours and on the way home) I got pretty sick. Apparently I picked up some sort of bug down there ( I won't gross you out with the symptoms), but luckily (knocking on wood here) no one else got it. I slept for 20 hours straight when we got home, got up, tried to eat a little but it was no good, went back to sleep for another 7 to 8 hours, up for 4, out for another 7 to 8, up for 3 , out for 6, and am now feeling much better. Whew!

The girls are still talking about the characters, the rides, etc. and they want to hear, read, and see Disney stuff here. I can't wait to take them back. I'm sure it will get better and better as they get bigger and bigger. I know it does with me. ;)

Saturday, September 09, 2006

How I got to Disneyland

Some of you may be wondering how I convinced Bill to go to Disneyland
before the girls were 5, 7, or even 10 years old. It was really quite
simple and it went something like this:

Me: I want to take the girls to Disneyland.
Bill: I think they're too young.
Me: I don't. There's a ton of stuff for toddlers to do there, and
they'd have so much fun.
Bill: they're too young to really understand and have that look of total
anticipation and wonder in their eyes.

Repeat this conversation adnauseum in various formats over a matter of
months and it was beginning to look hopeless. I was pretty stuck.

Suddenly, out of the blue, Bill asks me what I'd be willing to bargain
to go.
I sputter, "I don't know" because I'm so shocked.
He says, "How about a threesome with Jessica Rabbit?"
I say, "The real Jessica Rabbit (as in the cartoon character)?"
And he says, "Yes."

And so the deal was struck.

Monday, September 04, 2006

The Happiest Place on Earth

So lately I've been a little out of sorts. We figured we can't quite afford to go to Germany right now, so we have to postpone the trip while we save a little more money. So, no vacation. I can't play hockey cuz of my stupid *%*&$%#@#*$# shoulder. And I could rant (complain, whine) about a myriad of other things, but in reality my life is really not that bad. I just needed a plan.

While I was trying to figure out my plan Liz and Andrea were busy planning a vacation to Disneyland. As I pondered my options, Disney was sounding better and better, so finally a few days ago I checked with them to see if we could glom onto their vacation, and what do you know, they said, "Yes."

So, now I had a plan, and NOW I am at the happiest place on earth, Disneyland. Will post updates as time permits. Until then, enjoy the photos.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

And the hits just keep coming...

Today I went to have my EMG done and for the most part it wasn't too bad, until he broke out the cattle prod. It's kind of like that electrical feeling you get when you hit your funny bone, but multiply it by 10 at least. After the cattle prod he brought out a needle to stick directly in my muscle, move around, shock, move some more all the while telling me to relax. Ha!

Anyway, the long and short of it is that I have nerve damage. This meant the EMG took much longer than planned, the doc was late getting out on a Friday, and I didn't get all the stuff done for work that I was suppose to before leaving. As for the nerve damage, it's to my brachioplexis which is basically nerve central for innervation between your spine and upper shoulder, deltoid, arm, etc. The very, very, very, very, very, very, very sad part of all this? He says I can't play hockey until it heals as I could find myself with permanent nerve damage if I were to get hit in the same area again. Right now it's slowly healing. I had just registered for the winter season in NCWHL again too. I guess I'll just have to go root for my buddies. Waaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!