Chaos in the House of Chaos

Costumes and goodies and birthdays, OH MY!

I had poor planning skills early on in this motherhood thing. I had my darling firstborn on the afternoon of October 30th. I should have  known it was always going to make things a bit crazy when I couldn’t even get a freaking Motrin the morning after she was born. My cute little nurse in her bunny costume was too busy shaking her tail at hottie doctors to be bothered by new moms in pain.

It’s been chaos ever since but honestly, I kind of like it. I think I thrive on the craziness of last-minute costumes, school treats and a birthday all thrown together. I mostly love that this year we get a weekend to work it all out. Not sure I should admit that D1 made her own cookies to take to school today though. It’s Science Guy’s mom’s family recipe and I’ve cleverly managed to avoid ever making them. D1 has them perfected and she has a friend who shares her birthday and requested them. More power to her! My baby is 14 tomorrow – wow, just wow!

And because I still haven’t developed any sort of advance planning skills, I didn’t remember until Wednesday night that the younger 2 needed their costumes TODAY for school parties – not just for trick-or-treating on Sunday. I think I’d buried it in the dark corners of my mind. By the way, did you know you have to spend over 2 hours shopping just to find ONE sheet for a ghost costume? Just sayin’. If you have done it yet – forget it, you’re screwed!

SG is coming along to the 2 school parties so he can blow up pumpkins and check the students’ hair for werewolf DNA. He sort of rocks that way! He can also help keep my medicated brain on track. Right now I’m hooked up to an IV of caffeine and eating a Toaster Strudel because I also need to finish birthday shopping this morning. It would be helpful if I could develop some organizational skills. I should also stop rambling and shower. I should definitely shower.

Wish me luck!


It Never Really Stays in Vegas

I’ve thought about the best way to write this post and for some reason it’s not coming together in my head as well as it could so let’s make this sort of a multiple choice type etiquette question thingy – for lack of a better term.

The situation: (Not the one on Jersey Shore – though there were some similarities)

You are an undergrad presenting a poster at a state conference. You are surrounded by other undergrads, grad students, senior faculty and researchers, as well as a few industry professionals. All of whom would be amazing sources for networking since that’s really the idea of the weekend. It’s a tough field for those already looking for a job. Also, because you’re presenting a poster, your room is paid for by the state chapter of this particular professional organization.

Given that, you:

A) Stay by your poster as requested to discuss your research, impress your future references and build connections. You might get a glass of wine or beer since it IS a social after all but you keep it in moderation. At least until after the poster session. Nobody can expect you to be a saint when they’re all drinking as well. Dinner is in a couple of hours and by then the pressure will be off.

B) Begin drinking immediately and do not stop. Ever. Continue until you’re bordering on “knee walkin’ drunk” by 3:00pm. Yell to others across the room and ask where they’re from. When they tell you they’re from a small technical school nearby, yell “Where???” as loudly as you can. When they tell you it’s about 15 minutes east of where you currently are, laugh loudly, give them a look like they’re losers and turn to talk to someone more interesting. If you come across a handsome foreign exchange student, grab him by the arm, fawn over him and drag him over to stand by your poster with you. Do not let him leave no matter how bad it looks like he wants to get away. Try to spill as much wine as possible during this time.

*Once the poster session is over and it’s time for dinner, you are free of your responsibilities but are still in a room of only 30-40 people. Again you are still among people who future employers will call for references.

You then:

A) Enjoy a nice dinner and get to know the faculty at your table on a more personal level. Your spouse is with you so this would also be a good time for you both to build those connections. You also have 2 children who are classmates and semi- friends of children of some of the faculty. They know several of the same people and teachers that you know. There will be a talk following dinner by a regional person in a fantastic research facility – doing similar research as the poster you presented earlier. Pay attention and get to know this guy!! There is never a better time to make a good impression. It’s a great evening. Whew, you made it! You can move to the bar and hot springs and cut loose.

B) Continue to drink as much as possible. Make comments to the person next to you about breastfeeding. Mention that you still enjoy breastfeeding your husband whenever possible so that the entire table can hear. Pound the table and laugh because boy are you funny!! If there is a lull in the conversation while people are eating, now would be a good time to start groping your spouse – he’s easy to entice since he’s kept up with you drink for drink. Put your hand in his lap and work it while he puts his hand in your shirt and works on getting those buttons undone. Get him to yell “Release the boobies!!” People will love that! Continue to drink all through the talk. Try to trip over yourself a few times while getting another. When the night is over and you’re leaving, make one more lasting impression – drop a beer by the only exit making sure it explodes all over everything and creates a big scene. Get ushered quietly from the room but plan on staying in the hot springs and drinking until early morning. Make sure they won’t soon forget you!

This would be a good time to mention I am NOT the undergrad presenting the poster. 

Science guy is taking the “what happens at the meetings stays at the meeting” approach when other faculty members tell him they’ve heard stories and ask him about the weekend. I prefer to share it with you!

People Annoy Me

I had a flu shot yesterday – well technically the flu/H1N1 vaccine combo – and I think it made me cranky. Can they do that?

Or could it be from spending two days listening to D2 cough. Continually. Over and over and over and over and over, day and freaking night until it started to feel like a punch to the back of my head. Every. Single. Time.  

No, I’m a loving mother who would never get annoyed at her children for being sick, so it must have been the shot.

Anyway, I had to go help sort chocolates after school yesterday. It was for D1’s band fundraiser. Yet another fundraiser, which really is a post all it’s own. 

As I’m walking into the band building I was stopped by a mom whose daughter plays the same instrument as D2. She’s horribly competitive and wants to make sure we all know how wonderful her daughter is at this particular instrument. (I’d like to add here, that MY daughter is 1st chair – just a little aside that is completely irrelevant to the story).

It went something like this:

“Excuse me Annie, what school does the All City Wind Ensemble practice at?”

“C.S.P ”

“That’s too far for me. I had to take H. to All State Band at B.S High School last year and that’s over there too.”

“It’s really only about a mile from here.”

“No, that’s too far. So practice is tonight at 6:30 or 7:00-something right?”

“No, it’s 6:15 and they start right on time.

“And is tonight the first one or is it next week?”

“It started last week and there was a mandatory parent meeting afterwards to pay fees and go over rules and the concert schedule.”

“Oh, well they really want G. to do it but I think her piano is more important. This is so inconvenient for me and doesn’t fit in my schedule at all but they really want her.”

“Uh huh”

“It just isn’t a good night for us but they really want her to play? I’m going to have to think this over because, did I mention they really want her to be a part of the ensemble? No, I don’t think this works for me at all. I don’t know why we have to have one more thing to do. My children are all so overbooked. We absolutely do not have room for even one more thing. This is really complicating things for me. I just don’t need this.”

“Ok, well good luck.”

Fast forward to my conversation with D1 later.

“So I talked to G’s mom afterschool about All City and she told me that they’re really begging G. to be part of wind ensemble.”

“No, not at all. They’re fine with it. They replaced her last week. The other girl already started and she’s great.”

“I thought we knew the practice night, time and place before auditions. Didn’t she know she wouldn’t be able to make it when she tried out?”

“Oh yeah, she knew she had piano on Tuesdays at the same time.”

“So she tried out anyway and took the spot the other kids wanted?”

“Yup, pretty much!”

“Why did she waste their time?”

“She didn’t want to. Her mom made her.”

* Tomorrow I’ll tell you about the mom who couldn’t count chocolates or follow directions. Hopefully it’ll be more interesting than this piece of crap I just wrote. Or maybe we’ll go with the story of the drunk lady at the weekend conference and her drunk husband who tried to get her to “release the boobies” at the dinner table. Preference? I think I’m leaning towards the boobies myself.

Day 2

Ok, day two of having my sick kiddo home with me. The novelty has worn off. I spoiled her so much yesterday that she just asked for the electric recliner we saw at a furniture store over the weekend. Yes, your highness, I’ll get right on that.

What’s funny, in an annoying sort of way, is D3 and Science Guy seemed to have a running commentary on how best to take care of her today.

“Mom, you should go get her a Junga Juice today. I bet she’d like that and it would feel good on her throat.” (in anticipation of being sick herself and the requests she’ll make.)

“Hey babe, there’s still most of that roast chicken in the fridge if you want to make her chicken noodle soup today.” (You mean you don’t want me to order you a pizza tonight?)

D3 is now starting to sneeze and has a runny nose as well….the cough is just around the corner.  I’m afraid I’ll get one back to school and the next one will take her place.  Updates here in Chaosville might be sporadic.

On the upside, I’m getting a flu shot today. Woohoo!! The fun is overwhelming!! Bet you want to come over and visit don’t you??

Nowhere I’d Rather Be

The grass is always greener on the other side right? Except when it’s not.

Last week I was being whiney about being stuck at home while all my mom friends went back to work. Yes, I realize that’s it’s not in my control and that’s it’s completely due to my health issues but still, I wanted to be out making some money and talking to real live people. Instead I was home, wanting to be anywhere else.

But then my girls had Thursday and Friday off for a state educators conference and I didn’t have to worry at all about finding day care. We slept in both days and went shopping and to lunch on Thursday. Friday we hung out and made cupcakes for an evening birthday party. I finally had company and I enjoyed them all.

And today? D2 rolled out of bed with a fever and a deep “maybe I should be a seal for Halloween” type cough and I was able to tell her to go back to bed while I called the attendance hot line at school. No concerns about making her go to school because I had to be at work. No morning stress wondering how to reschedule the day, and a little reminder that I am ridiculously lucky.

I’m lucky to be here now when she needs to be home. I’m lucky I had the luxury of being here even before I got sick. Lucky that if my time with them is short, we’ve had so many quality years together up to this point. I will never get to the end of all this and think “wow, I wish I’d been able to stay home with them.” I had the time, I had all the “firsts” and they had me. For that I’m grateful.

My plan is to continue to be here when they need me and I think today is a good start. I’m told Mario Kart is on the agenda and there’s nothing I’d rather do and no place that could possibly be better than right here!

Oh No – Snow!

Snow scene at Shipka Pass

Image via Wikipedia

I have a confession. I’ve become a bit of a weather wuss!

We’ve had this unbelievably gorgeous fall and I’ve gotten spoiled. Now tonight I watched the weather and the forecast started with “big changes in store…..” and that’s never a good sign.

I grew up in a mountain town at just under 5000 ft elevation. It snowed – a lot! Now I’m at just a little over 3000 ft and I’ve gone soft. I get spring a bit earlier and a longer fall and suddenly I cringe at a couple of inches in late October? Growing up it wasn’t really Halloween unless we had lots of warm clothes under out costumes. And snow boots. Always snow boots.

I remember one year when I was in 1st or 2nd grade and made the mistake of taking a paper treat bag. Probably that’s what we always had – unless we had especially high hopes and took a pillow case. Now that was a haul. Anyway, we were in snow up to our knees and as we were making it across the yard to come home, after God knows how long, and my wet bag had finally had enough and the bottom broke out. Obviously it scarred me for life since I’m bringing it up here. Moral of the story, paper treat bags + deep snow = bad idea!

Anyway, I grew up with winter from October to May. I skied, ice skated, went sledding, built forts. All those things you do when you’re outside in the winter. I loved it! Winter was all about blue sky, sunshine and snow!! If anyone wanted to find me, the first place they checked was the ski hill.

Then I moved away and found out that’s not how it is everywhere. Not everybody has enough snow to build tunnels through the snowbanks in the front yard. Some places, they even name their winter storms and cancel school. I’d never heard of such a thing! Really? You don’t have to go to school because it snows or it might snow? I had no idea! I remember an early out in Jr. High because they didn’t think the buses would be able to get through the drifts but that was only an hour or two. Once.

And then I came back, sort of, and I’m cold. Or maybe just old. I get those two confused.

Suddenly I have a bit more understanding for the “snowbirds” who winter in places like Arizona. Before, I could never imagine why anyone would want to leave the winter wonderland! Now, we have 2 to 3 inches on track for Tuesday morning and I’m thinking I might check the flights.

My name is Annie and even though I still love a good storm, I’ve clearly become a candy ass!

I’d Like Some Panties Without an Ass Please.

Victoria's Secret Black Friday at Westfield Sa...

Image by Steve Rhodes via Flickr

Because I’m not always real consistent, and I have a bad case of over-medicated brain, I went to Victoria’s Secret yesterday.

Yes, on the day that I proclaimed my distaste for all things “pink”, I went to the pinkest store on the planet. And in case you don’t notice just how pink it is, the actual word “PINK” is printed on the ass of half the merchandise.

There is also a large percentage of their items that don’t actually come with a backside. Those are what I went to buy. I have a night away ALONE with Science Guy this weekend and he seems to be on some sort of thong kick. The cancer diet has helped decrease the size of my butt a little so I decided to indulge him. I bought two. Still had to wonder though – is floss up your crack really a good look?

I considered buying a matching bra but I couldn’t find the section for my size. I was looking for something along the lines of “bras for the woman who used to be an impressive 36D but then she had 3 kids and now she’s  just happy to keep them out of her soup” – without extra padding.

I couldn’t find that and I didn’t want to ask the sales clerks. They were busy helping a currently impressive 36D and I didn’t want to have to yell “spoiler alert” before giving her a peek into her future. At least I hope this is how she’ll end up. It would make the jealous catty part of me very happy.