Monday, May 31, 2010


That's not a typo - that's a D&G reference. They know who they are.

My parents recently got all new appliances for their kitchen. I requested to get the old fridge. We are Costco people - and the four cartons of orange juice, economy package of Gogurt and vat of pickles take up valuable real estate.

And of course since my parents old fridge is newer than our old fridge, I suggest we move the newer old one into the kitchen and the older old one to the garage. That's logic! And you can't go wrong with logic.

I have a sneaky suspicion I subconsciously knew I would get good blog material out of the endeavor.

We made a deal with my little brother that if he brought the fridge over and helped us switch them out, he could bring his daughter to play with Morgan and Zoe. Then he could stay and watch all three of them while Scott and I went and had a grown up dinner. That's also logic!

Now, we had originally thought it would be easiest to bring the fridge through the front door so we wouldn't have to make such a sharp turn. But before John got there I mentioned that I didn't think it would fit between the counter and the stove, unless we moved the stove out, too.

So we did some measurements in the back hallway and decided, even though it would be tight, the backdoor would work. We were going to have to take the refrigerator doors off either way.

Of course taking the doors off required a socket wrench doohickey in the one size that could not be found in our pristine workshop. So there was naturally a trip to the hardware store, but that was the only one, which I consider a small miracle.

Of course we wedged the refrigerator in the door frame while trying to make the sharp turn around the counter, but all I had to do was mention that we could always pry the door trim off that it was caught on, and it miraculously freed itself.

Of course we had to move the stove anyway to get the older old refrigerator out the front door. And that's right, we brought the new one in before taking the old one out. How else were we going to keep our vat of pickles cold?

Time it took to get the newer old refrigerator in: 2 hours and 38 minutes.

Time it took to get the older old refrigerator out: 29 minutes.

I just made those up, but that is a rough estimate.

Naturally, I had a few cocktails at our grown up dinner to celebrate our appliance upgrade. This could be why I found myself waking up Scott at 5 AM, while I was trying to find my glasses. "I think the neighbors drove their car into our back yard!"

See, I had gotten up to use the bathroom and take some Advil, and I heard what sounded like the low hum of an idling engine (turns out it was most likely a locust of some sort). I wedge myself between the toilet, radiator and shower wall to look out the high window, where I distinctly see a large white truck parked where only my yard should be.

Once returning with my glasses, and Scott on my heels, I wedge myself again (instead of walking downstairs and looking out a normal window, of course) and can still see the truck...until I focus enough to realize I'm not looking through the window.

It's one of those older windows that crank outwards from the house. And it is at the perfect angle to create a reflection of our driveway and Scott's white Ford Edge parked where it always is.

I take my Advil and fall back into blissful sleep.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Strong in Face of Tragedy

I must have had a premonition.

Last week I decided to have mini marathons of the "Lost" episodes that had piled up. Sudden urge to be able to watch the finale at the same time as everyone else. I made it with a couple hours to spare on Sunday and felt as productive as one can when the productivity involves watching TV.

(A special thank you to Scott for letting me watch the two and a half hour finale on the regular TV while he watched upstairs in the bedroom.)

I have a tendency to horde TV episodes. I see all these great shows that I really want to watch, but I inevitable fall behind.

Example 1: "Flash Forward. I was hooked at the first episode. Unfortunately, that was the only one I ever actually watched, but I kept recording, thinking it would be good summer viewing while all the network shows were on hiatus. Last count I believe was 14 unwatched episodes.

Example 2: I did much better on "The Vampire Diaries" Got through the first half of the season, before it took some time off, but didn't get back to it when it returned. Last count, 8 episodes.

I also horde movies. Because I pretty much think it's pointless to buy DVDs or blue rays, when I can already see that downloading to computers is the next hot thing. So if there is a movie on one of the five million premium channels we pay for that I know I'll want to watch again, I record it.

Examples: "The Hangover" "Sense and Sensibility" "Role Models" "The Holiday" You see the pattern. Offensive comedies and cheesy romance. That's what I live for. Throw in
"The Transformers" and I'm good to go.

So last night, while in the middle of watching "Glee," our cable box froze. Then it started rebooting...again...and again...and again. I tried everything. But I knew I was going to have to face the inevitable call to AT&T.

At 8:00 AM this morning I made the call. First, trying their automated system trouble shoot, but that of course didn't work, because that NEVER works. I'm not even sure why it is an option.

At 8:15 AM (yes, it took me 15 minutes to do something I knew wouldn't work) I was placed in the queue for tech support.

At 8:48 AM (yes, that is 33 minutes later) a "tech support" person answered the phone. I told her the system kept rebooting and wouldn't let me turn it off. She asked the obligatory dumb ass question (there has to be one) "You mean your TV or your cable box?" Now why in the hell would my TV be rebooting? And even if it did, why would I call my cable company about it?

"Well, let me try to run a system diagnostic from here and reboot it."

"Yes, please do, because even though it's been rebooting for the last 12 hours without success, you pressing the button will make all the difference."

5 minutes later she is back on the line. "I'm sorry, I can't do it. I can either try getting you back to your factory settings, or you can schedule a technician to come look at all the lines. Do you have anything on your DVR?"

DO I HAVE ANYTHING ON MY DVR!? Last count: 95 recordings.

"Please send the technician."

"Okay I can give you the noon to 4 appointment." (Again, not an "appointment" ma'am, window of time.)


4:05 PM. Technician arrives and presses button on cable box. (after I move toys in his path)
4:06 PM. Technician goes to modem and disconnects/reconnects main line. (after I move toys in his path)
4:07 PM. Technician goes to basement to see where line comes into house. (after I move shoes in his path)
4:08 PM. Technician comes back upstairs, disconnects box, and on his way to the truck says, "I have to issue you a new box from the truck. Be right back."

AHHHHHHHH! He just stole my 95 recordings! Without me getting to say goodbye. I mean, I had prepared myself for this, but how prepared can you have it ripped from you so suddenly.

4:15 PM. New box installed.

I had to break the news to Morgan. "No more "Race to Witch Mountain" or "Princess Protection Program" or "Wizard of Oz" (yes, I had a commercial-free recording of "The Wizard of Oz")."

"But, Mommy, those are movies. We can just buy them." girl.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Lake Erie today. Can't tell the lake from the sky. I wish the goofus hanging over the dock hadn't been in the picture, but I never even noticed him.

Today I have been married twelve years, which by my calculation means I was eleven on our first day of wedded bliss. Because I kind of like the whole list making blog from the derby, I am setting out again.

Those 12 years included, but were not limited to (I get this line from writing job descriptions):
4 cities, 3 apartments, and 2 homes

1 law degree and passed bar exam

7 employers, 1 downsizing

1 St. Bernard with IBS

12 vacations: including 1 honeymoon in Yellowstone, where we shared a bathroom with all the guests of Old Faithful Lodge; 1 camping trip in Maine that resulted in sleeping in the back of the borrowed Blazer; 1 trip to Florida during Hurricane Francis; and 1 trip to Delaware without cable TV which equaled a marathon viewing of the entire first season of The OC.

246 great inventions by Scott, which other people stole

7 vehicles: including 1 blue bird Escort AKA "WT" that lost part of its muffler in the final stages before death, and 1 red Jetta that made it through the Hookahville swamp of 2000 unassisted when all other autos had to be dislodged by hundreds of rain soaked hippies

1 hour and 15 minutes of active labor (1 hour for Morgan, 15 minutes for Zoe)

2 beautiful offspring

Scott and I are not good about the whole anniversary thing. The year Morgan was born, we completely forgot. I like to think it is because our life is so full with the above, it seems silly to remember one day.

Today Scott got up for a long bike ride, to get back in triathlon mode after the marathon. The girls and I "slept in" together, which in Zoe's terms is 7 o'clock. We bought plants for attempt at a vegetable garden, we had a picnic at the beach, I took the girls to the playground, and Scott got his car washed. Pretty much a perfect day!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Road to Kindergarten - Episode 2

Morgan graduated from preschool last night, during which she won the prestigious "perfect attendance" award with one other little girl. Gift certificate to a local ice cream shop. She couldn't have been more proud.

Nana Turtle pointed out that has a lot to do with her thin medical file! Score another one for me.

Papa Turtle looked to the future and saw multiple college scholarships coming her way. I'm all for that. Although first we have to get past that pesky letter and number recognition. I'm fairly confident.

She also shushed a fellow classmate as they were arranging themselves to sing a song, so I foresee tackling the "Teacher's Pet" conundrum. Ugh!

They all wore handmade mortar boards, and I noted that there was a shocking lack of quality control in the assembly, as Morgan's was way too big for her head and kept falling off. She blamed Rory for knocking it, but kept replacing it with determination and a little help from another Butterfly named Ava, who is the spitting image of a young Lindsey Lohan if you remember The Parent Trap re-make.

I can't believe the school year went by so quickly and we are on to summer "vacation" which will include Safety Town, more swim lessons, an attempt at ballet lessons, Daisy Scouts and all the other things that make the word "vacation" inappropriate.

P.S. Happy birthday to our dear little Zoe, who turned 2 today. In typical 2nd child fashion, she got two candles in a Little Debbie snack cake. Relax, her real party is this weekend. I'm a little worried what the "terrible twos" have in store for us.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

From the Department of Health and Safety

We have a family membership to a gym. It's a nice place, but monthly rates are reasonable. Lately my visits have been limited to taking the girls to their swim lesson, but that's another story. This story starts after this Monday's lesson.

I usually take the girls to one of the private "family" locker rooms to rinse them off and wash the chlorine out of their hair. It's easier than trying to deal with the women's room and the multiple shower stalls. The family rooms are like a big personal bathroom.

Morgan likes one better than the other, because it is wheelchair accessible and has a seat that can be pulled down in the shower. You know her delicate condition. God forbid she have to stand up to take a shower. So we make our way there and I turn on the light.

I notice something on the ground near the toilet and on closer inspection see that it is human feces. Yes, that is right. Then I look at the toilet itself and it is covered in it and toilet paper. (Sorry, no pictures.) I quickly removed the girls to the other family room. This room didn't have any towels left, so I had to run back to the women's room.

Since one of the housekeeping ladies was there I informed her of the situation. She slowly shook her head and asked, "Who does that?"

I had no answer for her at the time, but here are several possibilities I've come up with.

1. Someone disgruntled with the club. But this is ridiculous. That doesn't hurt the club? The only person that hurts is the poor woman who has to clean it up. And what the hell do you have to be disgruntled about in a health club? Did they give your tennis court time to someone else? If so, why don't you go take a dump on the tennis court? If you're going to do it right!

2. Juvenile delinquents being funny. I'm not sure who started the rumor that spreading disease through your excrement is a way to stick it the man, but somehow this has caught on. I find this one hard to believe as well, because they only people besides us that seemed to be in club that night were there for some sort of tennis clinic. A bunch of young ladies in short white skirts starting at the pro with puppy-dog eyes. There was no way they could make that mess without endangering the pristine-ness of their outfits.

3. Spawn of Satan children. But Zoe's disqualified because she was with me the whole time and is on her best behavior during swim lessons, because Miss Mary might dunk her if she doesn't. And even if it had been Zoe on a rampage or just uncontrollable diarrhea, this mom would have cleaned it up herself, no matter how many times I had to puke in the process.

So I am out of ideas. Feel free to take of few of your own guesses.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Cleveland Marathon

Just got back from the Cleveland Marathon, or as I like to call it, a bunch of crazy people running down the city streets. It was a beautiful day, actually. Cold in the shade, but warm enough in the sun.

Girls stayed with Nana and Papa, so it felt a little weird to not be hurrying to just miss him at the finish line. A new vantage point for me.

I got to Lakewood in time to see the first runner make the westside turn. 1. Those front runners are wiry little bastards. 2. Half of the non-front runners already looked miserable. Granted, some of those people were only half-marathoners, so they were halfway done, and perhaps halfway to an aid station. I will never understand enjoying something that brings you so much pain. (Except how much I love boybands even though I know they always break up.)

My co-worker Gregg ran by with the 3:10 pace group, smile on his face and waving at me before I even realized it was him. Same guy who told me that after he finished the year before, all his muscles seized up and he was paralyzed for a few minutes. Yeah, sign me up.
Scott ran by with the 3:20 pace group, so after that I was off to Burger King for a Diet Coke and a sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich. Yummy.
Downtown, was not quite so mellow. By the time I got down there, parked and walked the couple blocks, those half-ers were finishing so the crowd was pretty thick. I read a book for a little while and watched the winner of the full marathon come in around 2 hours and 20 minutes.

Other things I could do in 2 hours and 20 minutes.
1. Watch a movie.
2. Read Jen Lancaster's new book...if I had it in my possession...which I do is cruel.
3. ...

I can't even think of anything else I would like to do for 2 hours and 20 minutes except nap.

Along the way, I saw this guy

This is a dad I can get behind. Willing to paint his daughters toenails, while watching a marathon.

But I also saw this guy.

He still had his 10K bib pinned to his shorts, and I caught him doing hacky-sac for a while before the runners started coming in (what is it 1995?). He is obviously too cool for school and is hopefully not breeding.
Scott came in at the blistering 3:20 pace! And I'm not being sarcastic. That's actually really good. Especially for a first time. Now, if could get him to sit still and relax for that long. That would be INSANE.

Gregg came in about 15 minutes later, but then made the fatal flaw of introducing me to his parents as "my boss" which made me feel really old and therefore he is on my shit-list, so I'm not posting his picture.
I now have about 5 hours before my parents start calling and wondering when I'm going to pick up my children. So I can either run a couple marathons....

Friday, May 7, 2010

Mother of the Year

I just want to note that as I'm writing this, there is literally golf ball-size hail coming down outside.

Sometimes my kids sleep in their clothes.

I've been known to let them eat spaghetti o's with meatballs five nights in a week (Meat, vegetable, carb plus a glass of milk for dairy - all four food groups covered) Sidebar: I am convinced that fruits and vegetables used to be in the same food group. But I cannot find any proof of this.

They watch WAY more than 1 hour of television a day.

Zoe has eaten Oreos for breakfast.

I told my kids to "eat on the floor because I haven't cleaned it yet"! No joke.

In case you haven't noticed, I am not the most anal person when it comes to cleanliness. Organized - yes, clean - no. I'm sure most people would prefer the other way around, but as long as my bookshelf is free from clutter, the inch-layer of dust does not bother me.

And because I tend to read housekeeping manuals like they are novels, I often feel a little guilty about how unconcerned I am in this department. I want to mop my kitchen floor after every meal and suck up the Potter hair a couple times a week. I do.

But I also want to read my kids stories, and watch my DVR recordings, and maybe go to the gym. So until I can get by on 4 hours of sleep, like Scott, it's not going to happen.

I have recently been feeling less guilty. You may have heard me say that I think kids should eat a cup of dirt a day to build up an immune system. And I have now been vindicated. (Is that the right word?)

Upon Morgan's five-year-check up, Nurse Carrie was thumbing through her file.

Nurse: This file is so thin. I think something is missing.
Mommy: Really?
Nurse: No, its all here. She's just really healthy. Most kids' files her age are twice as thick because we've seen them other than well-visits.

HA! Take that you germ-aphobic - anti-bacterial scrubbing - anal retentive psychos!

Disclaimer: This could also be because I do not take my children to the doctor every time they have a stuffy nose or cough, so I will allow for some skewing of the statistics.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Kentucky Derby Party Recap

6 yards of mulch delivered on April 28

3 days to spread mulch by 1 adult and 2 "little helpers"

1 "vacation" day used

28 pounds of pork shoulder

12 hours to cook pork shoulder

1 tent raised

432 trips upstairs

526 trips to the basement

12 wooden yard sticks purchased, to the amusement of Home Depot

1 dress ordered from J Crew that did not arrive on time

2 Daily Racing Forms, none actually read

100 pounds of tortilla chips (50 pounds eaten)

0 prep races seen by the hosts (uncalled for)

18 miles run by Scott on the first Saturday in May

1 soccer goal made by Morgan!

5 1/2 hours between soccer game and party

6 1/2 hours of preparation to get done between soccer game and party

40 guests and 1 guitar

20 minutes before hosts said hello to their guests, because they just had to do "one more thing"

2 band aids applied

2 minutes of race

1 lucky bastard at Churchill Downs that won $900,000

1 prescription called in to pharmacy

4 containers of leftover pulled pork

1/2 quart of buffalo chick dip eaten on Sunday

2 half eaten cakes taken to work on Monday

39 guests and 1 guitar that were disappointed Chad didn't bring chocolate covered bacon