Sunday, February 27, 2011

Blackout 2011 Edition

One week ago, we walked the girls down to the lake as another wave of wet snow was coming in. Just a short visit to get us out of the house on a Sunday afternoon to shake off the remains of Mommy's hangover.

As we walked back, the wet snow was starting to turn to sleet. Little did we know...

Monday morning I groggily register that Scott is getting ready to go to the gym at some god awful 5am-ish pre-butt crack of dawn. Potter groans a few times, rubs his face on the carpet and settles back in to snoring. I vaguely notice wind pounding against our "vintage" windows.

All I know is that it is President's Day, so Morgan has no school and rush hour traffic should be lighter. Might as well not even dream of getting up before 6:45.

I hear Scott go outside to start the car and open the gates. I hear Scott come back inside. I hear...nothing. All the white noise we take for granted has vanished. No faint lights from the alarm clock, cable box, or Morgan's four night lights.

Power is gone.

I'm informed that everything is covered in a couple inches of ice. Hmm...sounds like "work from home". Make that not dream of getting up before 7:30.

But that would mean Zoe had suddenly stopped being a "morning" person. So I was actually up in plenty of time to see that butt crack.

Cut to two hours later...

In some cosmic twist of events, the sitter's power never went out. Despite the fact that their own tree shed a quarter of its weight into the "mean" neighbor's yard and took out a power line or two. So the girls are shuffled off and I head to find free wi-fi.

Panera...hmm...looks like everyone had the same idea. Barnes and Noble...much better idea. Except my employer firewalls and wireless settings make it a virtual Fort Knox of a signal. After a couple personal tech support texts that offered no support, I finally figure it out on my own and I'm off and running.

Responding to e-mails and instant messages...grabbing documents I need off my server...drinking my expensive Starbucks hot cocoa. It only stands to reason that 15 minutes later the power goes out.

Yes. It does. I wait.

Nope, not coming back on. Well, maybe if it is out here, it came back on at home. I know that my in-laws got it back already, so it's not a crazy idea.

Nope, not back on. But I can see the mess we left behind in the morning and the house hasn't lost much heat yet, so I decide to stick around and take some time to tidy up. And also pack some overnight bags...just in case.

Head to the library...I can get Internet, but if I try to get into my Lotus Notes the damn thing kicks me off my network, so it's pretty slow going for me and I'm regretting my decision to stay close to home and girls. When the lights start flickering at the library, I give in to taking a sick day. It's around 2:30.

I let my mother-in-law know that I'm going to grab the girls swim bag from home and have some lunch and then we'll be by for a visit. Decide I might as well grab the overnight bag, too...just in case.

We pull in Nana Turtle's driveway at 4 and are told that she just lost her power again. No joke. But who needs power? The girls draw pictures, we get Morgan's homework ready for the next day, Zoe sets up her infant daycare...then we head to the gym.

One of the perks of Five Seasons' former life as a "country club" is that they still kept their bar area. So after swim lessons and showers, we eat dinner and watch TV (which had mysteriously landed on Nickelodeon, so I'm pretty sure I was not the only parent with this idea).

Scott and I took turns working out, and got our showers in, too.

Coming home, I couldn't help but notice all the houses with lights on. Some of those bastards had even turned their Christmas lights back on in an effort to flaunt their consumption of electricity.

"Look, that store has power...and that store has power...these all have power!" exclaimed Morgan as we drove past the Walgreens plaza. But Mommy could see the darkness to the north. No traffic light at the lake meant no beacon of hope illuminating our doorstep.

As we prepared to hunker down in front of the gas fire that incidentally exists in our coldest and smallest room of the house, we get a text from Nana that they just got their power back. So the girls and I leave Daddy and Potter to the hunkering and we head off for heat, beds and television!

Although, my heart is heavy, knowing that my DVR is missing Pretty Little Liars and Greek.

Things aren't very much better in the light of the next day, and we head off to school, daycare and work with little hope, knowing that we could very well not have power until the next day. The entire mile walk from garage to work was filled with hateful thoughts that just dared anyone to try to talk to me before I got my laptop booted up.

But all's well that ends well. We returned home to power and I can just imagine the people that were still in the dark driving by our house that night, cursing at us. As I let Potter back inside for the last time, I began turning lights out. Every light out. Because we had subconsciously turned and left on Inside and out. Top to bottom.

Don't worry. Karma came and bit me in the ass, because on Thursday I left my car lights on all day, too. Guess what happens when you leave your car lights on the entire time you are at work?

I'm pretty sure that it took all my co-worker's will power not to make fun of my damsel in distress moment, so I thank him for that and his jumper cables and his ability to use said jumper cables and for never mentioning that he had to drive halfway across the city to help me, because I decided to splurge and park close to work that day. (Obviously a shout out to Joe, who won't read this anyway.)

Winding down with another snow storm on Friday seemed to top everything off perfectly...we have a mini-half pipe out of snow in backyard that the girls used their saucer sleds on it for a good hour. A family of snowmen in the front yard. Snowmom and Snowdad letting Snowbaby get shockingly close to the street.

And so ends another saga.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Days of Wine and...More Wine

Friday night was PTA Book Club, and I think we had a new record in that all of us in attendance had read at least a portion of the book! Of course, only six of us were there…oh well.

More importantly, we didn’t run out of wine this time.

And then we confirmed once again that we all do the things that we feel guilty about doing so there is no reason to feel guilty about doing said things. And our kids are not freaks and we should stop questioning our parenting skills to much. And spring recreational soccer is rigged.

Saturday night was PTA Adult Outing and if you are getting here via Facebook you may already realize that there was a lot more wine consumed. I guess that’s what happens when you first stop is The Wine Room.

Then we went next door and learned the basic steps for Salsa and Swing dancing. Jen and I are in agreement that Phil was the best dance partner (so what the hell was he so worried about?). None of the husbands commented on us though, which is probably for the best.

I, for one, am just happy there weren’t any mirrors.

It seemed to be over really fast and we didn’t have any casualties; so really, people…get some balls and come out with us next time. What good is an adult outing if you can’t look like an ass in front of the people whose kids your kids are going to eventually date?

After only two mis-sent text messages, I got myself into bed. Of course, even though the girls were at my mom’s I still had trouble sleeping in due to headache and dehydration. Totally worth it.

What wasn’t worth it was going to Yoga.

Bejan was not there and his substitute did not get the memo that I don’t like to flow quite so quickly through my poses; and by the way, I’m a beginner, so you are lucky I can even come close to Downward Dog and Pigeon. Don’t be throwing all these random balance poses at me that I haven’t even heard of, let alone attempted. Jeesh.

He is apparently going to be out next week, too. So I will get the opportunity to find out if I really I am this bad, or my equilibrium was just way off from the night before.

After I managed to forget to put an entire stock pot of excellent corn chowder (I’m talking award winning) in the refrigerator and thus ruining it, I fell asleep at around 9 PM. Yes, I am old. Bring on the March beer tasting!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Loves Me...Loves Me Not

I awoke from sweet, gentle repose this early morning to the heaving and retching of Potter throwing up the pieces of rug he has eaten...loves me not.

Scott volunteered to go downstairs and clean it up...loves me.

No Cherry Coke Zero in the vending machine...loves me not.

Yvonne brought in donuts to celebrate her long awaited return from the Far East...loves me.

Three control testing validation meetings on my calendar for today...loves me not.

One rescheduled, which meant I could leave work early...loves me.

One ran 30 minutes longer, which meant I couldn't leave as early as I would have liked...loves me not.

Despite only having an alleged 5 miles worth of gasoline remaining in my car and for some reason not bringing my purse to the gym, manage to get home and to the gas station without having to coast...LOVES ME.


I like Valentine's Day, because I can compare how well Morgan writes her name to other kids in her class. (Nice mom, huh?) She's getting better, but I am no longer hovering, so there was many an "a" and "n" that appeared backwards on her own cards. I figured that is my present to the other moms out there. "See, that girl can't even write her name properly."


Technically, Scott and I are planning a long weekend trip as our Valentine's gift, but that did not stop me from getting him something I knew he cherish with every fiber of his body...a soup ladle. We didn't own a soup ladle. I don't know how that is possible, because we (and by we, I mean Scott) make soup all the time. Now we won't have to use our measuring cup to scoop it out. Best. Present. Ever.


Getting out from the shower I suddenly couldn't remember where I took my glasses off. Since I'm almost blind and my upstairs looks like Potter ate all our clothes and then threw them up again all over every inch of space, I spent at least 10 minutes looking for them. Have now made a commitment to wake up when Scott does tomorrow in an effort to regain control of my laundry situation. Worst. Present. Ever.

Friday, February 11, 2011

5, 4, 3, 2, 1

5 Things That Gross Me Out (Dirty Cup Edition)

Large clumps of lipstick left on coffee cups. Blot, people...blot.

When Scott spits gum out into a cup in his car and then a week later brings said cup into the sink to be washed and it is stuck to the bottom. (Yes, I realize I have never told you this.)

When I forget to wash my work mug before I leave for the weekend, particularly if I didn't quite finish the hot chocolate I made in it.

The cup holders in my car that have an unidentified stickiness to them that can only be found in "mom" cars.

A sippy cup found under the couch a month later. Multiply it 100 times if it has any remnants of milk in it.

4 Things That Made Me Want to Cry This Week

The reading of the Declaration of Independence before the Superbowl...because our country is sadly far from what they intended.

Former Early Childhood PTA presidents that attended Founders Day and talked about looking at the same kids they knew in preschool getting their high school diplomas...because I am not ready to think about that.

Morgan's book that she dictated to Thea about whales and then illustrated...because I don't want her to ever stop loving whales they way she does now.

Fabio kicked off of Top Chef...because he is my favorite. "This is Top Chef, not Top Scallop!"

3 Things That Made Me Laugh This Week

"Hide" and seek with the girls...because their idea of hiding is very different than mine.

Sue Sylvester trying to shoot Britney out of a cannon.

A stick drawing I saw of how much Southerners enjoy snow, which might be vaguely similar to how Northerners enjoy it. (I think you can click to enlarge.)

2 Things Potter Ate This Week That He Shouldn't Have

1/4 of the throw rug that is in his "cave" in the back hall.

The rest of Zoe's Lunchable, including packaging, that was left out by mistake on the coffee table.

1 Awesome Movie Quote Made by My Boss Today

"1 point 21 jigawatts!?!?"

Which I can't decide is more or less funny when you know that what we were talking about was materiality thresholds on financial statements.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Dirty Cups

"100 packets of ketchup!" (Big Daddy)

Morgan's class will be celebrating their 100th day at school on Friday. They were asked to bring in a collection of 100 things for the special day. Sound easy, huh?

Mommy: Why don't we count out 100 pieces of sea glass from your jars and put it in a nice new jar? (A collection she actually has and a damn fine idea, in my opinion.)
Morgan: Or maybe I can bring 100 barbies?
Mommy: You don't have 100 barbies.
Morgan: How about 100 books?
Mommy: How are you going to carry 100 books all by yourself? Let's think a little smaller.

Problem with this assignment: Morgan wants to bring in something cool, not paperclips, as the homework suggests.

We compromise and take pictures, 10 at a time, of her stuffed toys to glue to a poster board ("just like Megan [soon to be step-cousin and most recent idol] used for her project"). And I'm sorry to say, we have over 100 stuffed toys in our house.

10 pooh bears (not counting Pooh Bear Blanket)
20 penguins
10 sea mammals (not counting Beluga)
10 zoo animals
10 cats and dogs
10 bedtime friends (counting Pooh Bear Blanket and Beluga)
10 Disney characters not already categorized
10 animals found on a farm
10 story characters not already classified

Morgan took all the pictures herself. I managed to crop Zoe out of at least 3 of them.

"Crimey, we're jimmy-jacked!" (Night at the Museum: Battle at the Smithsonians)

We do not have kids that memorized the state capitals and presidents in alphabetical order by age 2, so it's always a little surprising when one of them comes up with a nugget of info that I never outright told them.

Last fall I bought a chalkboard for our dining room, because I saw it looked really cool in a magazine.

It doesn't look quite as cool in my house. (I'm working on it.) Morgan would prefer that I just let her do all the decorating, but I stubbornly refuse to let her use my toy.

This weekend I changed the quote for the upcoming President's Day and, as usual, Morgan stood over me salivating. To distract her I asked her if she knew any names of presidents.

Morgan: Ummm....
Mommy: Remember when we went to Washington for Daddy's race and saw all the monuments.
Morgan: Oh yeah, I can picture one...I just can't remember his name...he was big and white...he was your favorite...and he starred in Night at the Museum.
Mommy: Aaaabbbbeeee
Morgan: Abraham Lincoln!

Moral of this story: Kids listen.
2nd Moral of this story: Kids listen better when you put it in a movie.

"God wouldn't have given you maracas if he didn't want you to shake them!" (Dirty Dancing)

Just a small update from the world of fitness.

Most hated words in yoga: Now we move to challenge pose.
Bejan (after adjusting me in some tortuous way): You feel the difference?
Me: Of course I feel the difference, this way hurts more!

In an effort to lose Heffelump status in ballet, I wore a black (slimming) tank top that was less form fitting. In order to do this I had to raid my maternity clothes! Not sad...not sad at all.