Saturday, September 29, 2007

The logical thoughts of children....

So today we decided at the last minute that we would head out to the fruit loop for an Apple Fest that one of the farms was having. By "we" I mean the girls, the baby, myself, and my mother-in-law Dixie. We left the patient at home in a Valium induced haze, loaded up Dixie's big silver truck, and hit the road.

The apple fest was a blast. I'll blog more about that tomorrow if I have time. It's kind of not the point of this particular blog and I'm tired so I'm going to skip straight to the part where we decide to go back to Alice's Orchards for some more Jonagold apples because Skippy is having a strange juicy sweet love affair with them and I *still* haven't made the kiddo's baby food yet. Twenty four pounds of apples later, we're checking out in the farm stand. Lo and behold, there in the big plastic jug at the cash register is every Mom's worst enemy.

Laffy Taffy. The bright green sour apple flavor. Five cents each.


Twenty four pounds of apples and two laffy taffys later, we are getting back into Grammy's big silver truck, both girls working their little jaws for all they are worth, slowly but surely dissolving their taffy into soft sticky bright green bits of childhood goodness in their little mouths (side benefit, this also gave us five minutes free of incessant chatter that goes something like, "that was fun! Wasn't that fun? I like apples! Hey a dog! What's his name? Where does he live? I like do-HEY! A cloud!" and so on and so forth.)

Five minutes later the girls are taking turns showing each other their bright green tongues and laughing hysterically. There is something about turning your tongue into an unnatural color that is funny to little kids. It's like the word stinkybutt. It's just always funny. All of a sudden I hear K pipe up loud and clear, "MOO-OOOOM! Banana just licked the baby!"

I immediately turn around and give Bree the stink eye. "Did you lick the baby?"

Banana looks abashed. "Um..........yessssss....."

I'm flabbergasted. "BANANA!!! WHY ON EARTH would you LICK the baby?"

Deadpan: "I wanted to see if he would turn green."

Now how in the hell am I supposed to respond to that?

Good times.


Oh it's a happy happy day in the Skippy household. The Chicago Cubbies are division champs - back in the post season scramble for the first time in four years!

*happy dance*

Although I will say that we're starting to wonder exactly what the hell is going on - I mean we move 2000 miles away from the Windy City and suddenly the Bears make the Superbowl and the Cubs soar through the playoffs.

Are we bad luck?

Anyway, it's Cubby fever big time baby!

Not too much going on this weekend - my Mother-in-law is on her way here. As in she is almost here from Medford, which is like, seven hours away. Granted she still has two to go and she left at five this morning but still. Doesn't she realize I need more house scouring time? LOL That is one grandma who loves road trips in her big silver truck. LOL I think she's coming mostly to see the kids and to check on her own baby boy, but I think she may feel like I'm about to lose it. Which may or may not be true, depending on the day. Or the moment. We have soccer tomorrow and then a busy week starting up come Monday.

Skippy is doing okay. He had his stitches taken out yesterday and that's a very good thing because they were itching the bejesus out of him. We can now add Ambien to the list of happy drugs he is on because he can't sleep due to all the OTHER crap he's on. And yet when I got up at five a.m. this morning to go pee (because we all know I have a bladder the size of a peanut), there he was, still awake.


So I'm off. Off to give the house a cursory once-over and say screw it to the rest.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Two weeks.....

As of yesterday, Skippy is on mandatory two weeks' short term disability. They sent him home from work yesterday with very strict orders not to come back until he is better.

I know he needs the time to heal - I really do.

But god help me, he's going to make me crazy.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I hurt my foot. Went down like a sack of potatoes in the front yard yesterday. I'm going to the doctor tomorrow, so send some good foot juju my way. My husband is laid up and my sister comes to visit in three weeks. A hurt foot is NOT AN OPTION.

Dang it.

Open house at B's school tonight. It feels like it wasn't all that long ago that I was going to open house with my parents. How weird to be in the other role, watching my beautiful child show off her seat, and where she hangs her backpack, and where they keep the milk, and here's where we have music Mom, and here's the gym, and there's the apple picture I painted.

I love it. Sometimes I feel like I've just been surviving the baby and toddler years just to get to this part. She's learning, and she's loving that she's learning.

They make me so proud every day.

In other related news, I somehow go roped into being PTA president. Say a prayer or light a candle or something okay? Let's hope I can ride that pony down and not kill myself in the process.

Everyone else is okay. Baby, Middle Child, and Husband are all sleeping. Oldest child is going now. The Boston Legal premiere starts in eight minutes. Business as usual.

Foot update tomorrow.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Just my luck

So today is the start of another exciting week. I got up at seven to get B out of bed for school. Their room is clean (the result of yesterday's all-day effort, which resulted in stepping on more legos than I care to remember), and B even picked out her outfit for today last night before bed. Her backpack is packed, homework calendar is checked, reading time is filled in, and she's ready to go.

We're out the door lickety-split and head up the hill to the drop off circle (does anyone else ever feel like a herd of cattle in those things?) and she's actually excited to go. No hint of tears. No quivering chin. No "mama, I'm going to miss you." My little kindergartener is rearing to go. I breathe an internal sigh of relief, thinking that just maybe my days of having "the crier" are over.

Hugs. Kisses. Yes mommy promises to wait until you get up the ramp before I go. Off she runs.


Kid + cement = skinned hands and a scraped chin.

Damn it.

Poor B. Of course I go running over to her and get her upright and then together we make the slow walk up the ramp and into school, where NOW she has to get a tardy slip (it's no big deal really, but she was mortified). We get her washed up in the bathroom and finally, I drop her off. And of course this time, there are tears.


Sunday, September 23, 2007


It's almost nine o'clock on Sunday morning and Skippy (our resident patient) and Kbear (our resident crabby butt) are still asleep. Banana, Colin, and I have all already had breakfast and been to Safeway and now we're cleaning the laundry room.

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh for the love of God, let them sleeeeeeep.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Fire Warnings, School pictures, and TGIF

What a week. I'm zonked.

I think I last updated after Skippy's surgery on Tuesday night. Wednesday passed uneventfully, if not quickly. We drove back into Portland to visit our favorite patient, managed to not get lost driving out of the city, and made it back home in time for a decent bedtime for a change, even after stopping at the evil Walmart for pre-school snack supplies.

Thursday. Busy day. Got the girls up and got them each to school. Came home and napped with the baby for an hour. Trust me, I needed it. Ran to the store. Grabbed the kiddos from school and came home and made lunch, blah blah blah.

Finally jumped in the shower around one o'clock on Thursday for the 2:30 PTA Organizational meeting. I just slip further and further into stereotypical suburban mommydom, I tell you. First soccer, now PTA. But anyway, I figured that it wouldn't really do to go to the meeting sans bra with my hair looking like it had been styled by the Teletubbies. Shuffled all three of them up to school for the meeting, where we ran into our next door neighbor who teaches fifth grade. God bless you Mr Kevin, for volunteering to watch the girls while I went to the meeting. They had way more fun playing with the class pet and with his little girl than they ever would have had with me, and I actually got to pay attention and be a productive participant. Double bonus.

Got a call from Skippy in the middle of the PTA meeting saying he was being discharged. Wheeeeeee. Three round trip drives to Portland in one week. Told him that I was busy being PTA Mom and that I'd put on my taxi hat as soon as the meeting was over. Got roped into various activities throughout the school year, god help me.

After the meeting, I proceeded to thank my lucky stars for my dear friend Charlotte who took the girls for me while I drove to Portland to pick up Skippy. Charlotte rocks. Thank you thank you thank you, when you read this, I don't know what I would have done without you. Well actually, I know exactly what I would have done. I would have put all three of them in the car at dinner time during traffic for the third day in a row and proceeded to have a nervous breakdown somewhere between Hood River and Cascade Locks. Definitely. So thank you.

While driving into Portland, I experienced my first "fire warning" which is exactly what it sounds like for all you Midwest people - it's a warning issued when there is a forest fire/brush fire/fire anywhere in the area. This one was just getting going about twenty miles from our house, across the river from Hood River. I've never seen anything like it - smoke blowing over the water and helicopters flying overhead dumping big loads of was neat and fascinating and kind of sad and scary all at the same time. You can actually read an article about it here:

Got Skippy. That was an adventure in and of itself, best saved for another blog. Suffice it to say that Colin and I got him home and picked up the girls without any major misadventures.

And finally, it's Friday. School pictures today. Pre-school pictures today. That was kind of fun. I forgot how exciting school picture day is to a little kid. It was way cute.

Nothing on the agenda for the weekend. I have to finish getting through the 30 pounds of apples we picked last weekend, and other than that I think we're just laying low and taking care of Skippy. He is feeling pretty good all things considered. A little tired, and very sore. The power of modern day pharmaceuticals is a wonderful thing. We'll keep y'all posted but for now, have a great weekend.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Skippy's successful surgery....

I'll post more tomorrow, but I just wanted to put a short update online:

Skippy had his back surgery today. All is well. It's been a very very long day with the kids we are finally home and everyone is in bed. Skippy should be able to come home by the weekend. I talked to him shortly after ten p.m. and he was still pretty loopy, but otherwise hungry, tired, and okay.

Thank you so much for keeping us in your thoughts. That big teddy bear means the world to me, and I'm so glad he's okay.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Sticky hands and dirt in my hair....

What a day. Today I left the baby boy with Skippy and the girls and I went into Hood River to go apple picking with two girlfriends, another Amy and our fellow Google friend, Ame (pronounced Ah-me). I can't wait to get the pictures that Amy took online, but here's a rundown of our morning and afternoon...

10:00 a.m.
I am outside, having realized that the car needs to be cleaned out before we leave. Basically what this means I'm ass over teakettle, half on and half off the sidewalk, leaning into the vehicle of despair and cleaning out everything from wayward french fries and half empty water bottles, to baby onesies and at the very bottom, Jimmy Hoffa. It's a mess. After I finally get that all cleaned up, I need to move the car seats, because the baby isn't going and somehow, we have to fit three adults and two kids into the car for this little day in God's country. Once again, I lament my lack of a minivan. I take the baby's seat out easily enough, but when I lift K's I discover that unbeknown st me us, she has apparently been sneaking off in the middle of the night to one of those dinosaur bone excavation sites, because somehow, the remnants of a small quarry are under her chair.


I finally get everything all cleaned up and the seats buckled back in, and then we get dressed, put the baby down for a nap (lucky daddy), kiss Skippy goodbye, and head up the hill to pick up Amy and Ame for our day of fruit filled fun. After a quick stop in town for provisions, we hop onto Interstate 84 and head towards Hood River, about 20 miles away.

Par for the course, it's an absolutely breathtaking day. The sun is shining and the blue blue blue sky is interrupted only by a few white wispy clouds and some thicker puffies over the mountains. We've got the radio on, the girls are behaving, and the drive passes quickly as we turn off of the Interstate and enter what is affectionately known as "The Fruit Loop" - a collection of orchards, wineries, alpaca farms, fruit stands and country stores spanning about thirty five miles between Mt Hood and Hood River.

Our first stop is Alice's Orchard and Fruit Stand. ( Apples are on the agenda. The breeze ruffles the leaves on literally HUNDREDS of apple trees and the friendly workers hand over a couple of boxes and point us in the direction of our first quarry, Jonagolds. About fifteen minutes and fifteen pounds later, we trudge back up the field and take a gator ride out to the gala trees for another fifteen pound box. Finally, after a stop in the store to fork over our cold hard cash, we pile back into the car and hit the loop for some more fun, dirty, dusty, and 30 pounds in apples heavier. At thirty five cents a pound, that's ten bucks well spent.

Our next stop brings us to Lavender Valley Lavender Farms. ( This place was completely fascinating for me. Aside from the purple painted flowery porta-potty (that Amy insisted we take pictures of), the SMELL of the farm was something to experience. Lavender is known to help you relax and relieve stress. Five minutes out of the car and I was ready for a nap. It is definitely a unique way to make a living, I'll say that much. To see fields of Lavender of all things waving in the breeze.....well, maybe you just have to be there. Basically, they plant and cultivate rows upon rows of lavender plants and after two years, they can harvest the blooms for their oil, which is used to infuse everything from bath bubbles to soap to lotion. The girls were bored silly after ten minutes, so we took our pictures, Amy bought some oil, and we headed back out to the car.

Apple Valley Country Store and BBQ was next on our list. ( this was a haven of pepper jellies (which Amy bought), fresh fruit milkshakes using things like huckleberries (which Ame bought) and knitted goods (which I purchased, picking up two of the funniest looking hats you've ever seen for my girls.) We wandered, we sampled, we tasted, and then we wandered and sampled and tasted some more. We sat on the old porch swing, we nibbled on some of our newly purchased treats, and then it was time to curve around for the last stop on our list, Packer Bakery and Orchards. (

Skippy and I have been taking the kids to Packers since we started exploring the fruit loop earlier this summer. Aside from having a beautiful view of Mt Adams, the orchards are stunning and the cookies are fantastic. They are approximately the size of a small dinner plate and for a buck apiece, that's a cheap meal. Not to mention the ice cream, smoothies, pies, tarts, and fresh fruit that the offer.

At this point, the girls had "hit the wall" as my mother-in-law likes to say. They were fruited out, cookied out, appled out and fruit looped out, no doubt about it. So for the last time, we piled back into the car and headed out of the loop and back into Hood River where we had a quick lunch before coming home with many new treasures and a ton of new memories.

Then we took naps. Can you blame us?

Other than that, it was a wonderfully uneventful night. We had Chinese with Matt and Amy (where we ordered way too much food and ate it all), and then went back to their house to hang out. Tomorrow we have the second soccer game, and after that I think we are going to simply come home and sit on our butts. And eat apples. And make applesauce.

Lazy summer days, slipping away.....I'm ready for fall.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

And finally, the week in review, part three

Last but not least, we kicked off this weekend with K's first dance lesson. Original blog date, Monday, September 10.

Behold, the next dancing great!!!!! Winner of So You Think You Can Dance 2015 and future pro partner on Dancing with the Stars, probably paired up with some kid who's currently on the Disney Channel, who will unfortunately never get a real career after the Mickey Mouse ears came off. Because life is hard when you're an artist man. It's blood, sweat, and tears.

Or maybe it's just a pink leotard that will.not.stay.out.of.your.butt. Yeah. Nothing says have fun like a dance wedgie!!!

Kendall started dance today. Technically, she started dance/tap/tumbling today, but for every one's sake let's just call it dance. Because the Internet world doesn't need another abbreviation and having to type DTT will really get on my nerves in a hurry. Plus it sounds some weird disease.

There's about 15 kids in the class. The teacher is seven months pregnant and I have to hate her just a little tiny bit out of principle. I mean, she's SEVEN MONTHS PREGNANT people. And she's coordinating fifteen little three and four year olds and teaching them how to dance. Or tumble or tap or DTT or whatever. And she like, can do the splits. SEVEN MONTHS PREGNANT. When I was seven months pregnant with Colin this time around the only splits I was doing involved bananas, copious amounts of whipped cream, and moosetracks ice cream.

But anyway, she's sweet as hell and the kids just adore her. They are all attentive and adorable and do fairly good imitations of the stretches that the teacher shows them during warm up.

Then it's somersaults, jumps, twirls, and hops, topped off every time by a "ta daaaaa!" at the end of the mat. The parents all get to watch from outside the studio through these big over sized windows. It's kind of like being at the zoo during the dolphin show, except it's your kid. So it's not really like being at the zoo, but anyway.......

Then it's time to tap.


It's LOUD. Cute, but loud. And totally adorable. They are all so proud of their shiny little black tap shoes. Did I mention that it's LOUD?

So yeah, she loved dance. The baby slept and Bree played well after a full morning of

Kindergarten so *I* loved dance too. The only bad part was the fact that I couldn't stop wandering over to the racks of shirts, tutus, shoes, dance bags, and tights for sale. I mean, Skippy told me not to spend a million bucks on dance stuff until we know if she likes it, but it's all so CUTE. And frilly. And it's a good balance with the tap shoes, which I think I mentioned, are LOUD.

So anyway, I'll let ya'll know when Juilliard calls.

The week in review, part two....

Our busy week didn't end with the first day of school - that weekend, we also had our first soccer game! Original blog date, Sunday, September 9.

You know, people pay an obscene amount of money for entertainment in this country. They go to expensive Broadway shows, attend prime sporting events, and do other crazy things such as jump out of perfectly good airplanes and leap off of bridges with nothing standing between them and certain death than an overused over sized rubber band. This makes them feel alive. It gives them a rush. It amuses them.


We put our five year old in soccer.

Oh my lord.

Let me set the stage. We're driving down tenth street, in a hurry as usual, because we all know that I cannot STAND being late and of course, we're cutting it close. We really don't know what to expect - it's our first foray into organized children's sports and although we've been told it's a soccer town, nothing really prepares us for what we see when the fields come into view.

Big nylon flags displaying soccer balls flap in the steady breeze all up and down the fields. Our Grand Prix looks slightly out of place among it's minivan, SUV, and station wagon counterparts while we try to find a spot. It's an absolutely beautiful late summer day. There's not a cloud in the sky, which is the perfect shade of endless blue and the grass is lush and green and just long enough that you feel like your bum is damp when you stand up after sitting on it, even though you know it's not. Everywhere you look, kids are running, parents are clapping and yelling and coaches are waving and well, coaching. There's enough shin guards present to fill a football stadium.

Bree is nervous. I can tell. She had a "tummy ache" this morning, despite wolfing down a huge breakfast. She shifts her weight from one foot to the other while focusing on what her coach is telling them - to try to chase down the ball to score a goal, and to keep the other team from scoring, and to NOT USE YOUR HANDS. She's got it. Takes a swig from her water bottle (which is roughly the size of her arm), checks her shin guards (which I hope aren't cutting off circulation in her legs), and runs out to the field for the first round of five year old three-on-three soccer.

Let's put it this way. Forget spending twenty bucks at the movie theater. Just go watch a five year old's soccer game. It's high comedy. They played their little hearts out. They scored, we scored. We scored on the wrong side. They picked up the ball and ran instead of throwing it in. Bree was more interested in waving every time she ran by rather than playing. These little girly girls played like a bunch of mini-linebackers and not one of them cried or wanted to quit - they just owned the field. In twenty four minutes (six, four minute quarters) it was all over.
It rocked. I'm so proud of my little athlete.

Tomorrow it's back to kindergarten for Bree, and then to dance lessons for Kendall. Stay tuned for the next chapter, "I Want to be Ginger When I Grow Up" and I'll report back once we've got our first tap session under our collective belt.

Not too much else to report. Two birthday parties this weekend, and some vegging out. Tonight was the first night we left an event early ever "because tomorrow is a school day." That was weird.

Life is good. And soccer? Soccer is great.

The week in review, part one

Now if you're not on Myspace, you haven't been able to read my blog until now. Here's a sample from the last week or so.

My life changed drastically just a week ago when my girls started school. Original blog date, Thursday, September 6th

I know, I know, I've only been blogging my angst about it for weeks now. Today the first official day of school arrived.

I got up at seven and took a quick shower and then gave each of the girls a nudge. "C'mon kiddos, time for school."

Bree sat up, bleary eyed and smiled. "Come on K, we have to go to school." It was adorable.

We get dressed, brush hair, say good-bye to Daddy, and take pictures. All is good. We drive to the elementary school. Bree is pretty much bouncing around the backseat within the confines of her booster seat chanting "I'm going to schoo-oool" over and over.

We park the car, unload, and in we go.

We get to the playground.

There's about 400 kids running around.

Suddenly my brave kindergartner is stuck to my leg like glue.

"Mama, I don't want you to go."


Suffice it to say that we got it all together with minimal tears and lots of hugs. To my credit, I didn't cry. I knew that if *I* cried, I'd never get her to go. So I sucked it up.

Then it was K's turn. Back down to the car, load up, drive across town, and drop her off for pre-school. Taking her cue from her sister, this is promptly met with K: "Mama I"m going to miss you."

Me: I know sweetie, but I'll be back in just a little while."

Teacher Mary: Kendall we're going to paint today! Can you help me set up?


*snort* That was easy.

So now I have two hours with just my little prince. What a strange feeling. And for the record, I didn't cry until I got home.

Wheeee, here we go.....

So for the past couple of months, I've been exploring the world of blogging. It's new to me - that funny mix of the anonymity of the Internet and the choice to put your deepest feelings online. I mean you don't really have anything to lose right? Only your dignity. LOL

I started out on myspace, blogging as a means to stay in touch with the family and friends that we left behind in the Midwest. Along the way I added a bunch of new friends from out here in the great Pacific Northwest, but I realized that my blog wasn't reaching a lot of people who want to read it, mostly because they can't, or won't, use myspace.

So I've moved it over here to in order to share it with those that I love. Here's the thing - if you're looking for one of those highly inspirational, pee your pants funny, every day is an adventure kind of're probably in the wrong place. My life isn't all that exciting. I spend my days chasing my kids around, getting everyone where they need to be and coordinating dance class, soccer, and home cooked meals that don't involve Hamburger Helper. My family is the light of my life. I have a fabulous husband who works for one of the greatest companies in the country - THE GOOGLE (cue flashy lights and musical fanfare) and overall, I think that things are pretty darn okay.

If you read my blog on myspace, don't fret - I'm still going to post it in both places, or at the very least, I'll link this blog over there. Please keep reading and keep commenting - I love to hear from everyone! To bring you up to speed if you're not on myspace, I'll copy some of my more recent entries over here and then we'll be off and running!

Thanks for reading!