Friday, May 30, 2008

What? No Pregnant Discount?

Yesterday was a long day. Fun, but long. This pregnant woman was really feeling it around mid-day and I wasn't done having fun yet!

First thing in the morning, I took my van to the tire shop to repair a slow leak. It was so annoying. In the last month, I learned how to check my tire pressure and fill my tire up with air. In fact, I'm so freaking amazing, I got really good at it! Maybe cuz of all the practice. Stupid tire started to leak faster and faster. I decided, that's enough, I'm getting it repaired or a new tire or something. So, off we went to the tire place before hitting the road.

Got the tire repaired. It had a nail in it. We all piled in and headed to Knott's Berry Farm for a day of fun, sun, and roller coasters! Woooo Hoooo!

But, at the ticket booth, what's this? No Pregnant Woman Who Can't Go on the Roller Coasters discount? But... I won't be taking up a seat on the best rides! I promise! I'm just a walking coatrack for my family! I will just be following them around, holding all their sodas, cameras, hats, etc while they get their thrills. Dang it. What is wrong with the world these days? Fine, here's my plastic, lemme in so I can at least pee in every ladie's room and use up $30 worth of toilet paper.

By the way, kudos to the Ladies Room Maintenance Crew at Knotts! Best restrooms in any amusement park I've ever been to! Dollywood in Tennessee was really good too, but Knotts Potty Facilities really kick ass! Plenty of them, stocked, and most importantly, clean! I inspected all of them, so I think I'm qualified to judge.

We had a fabulous day. I forgot that when I'm busy baking a bun in the oven, my skin sunburns so much more easily. Ooops! Ouch! The kids had a great time on the coasters, the place wasn't very full of people so lines were minimal. Miss Gracie loved the performances, especially in Camp Snoopy!

Lexie won a bear doing one of those carnival games that they have. First try and she walked away with the biggest bear they had. Crazy girl!

After seven hours of wandering around the amusement park, I think I walked a hundred miles or so. The park finally closed. The kids said "Awwwww" And we began our 5 mile hike to the van in the parking lot.

Got to the mini-van, and guess what. FLAT TIRE!!! Oh yeah, same one I had fixed before we left so that we wouldn't get a flat.

Luckily, my brother-in-law was with us, visiting while on vacation... he sure came in handy! Nothing like using your vactioning BIL. He changed the tire and put on the spare and we headed home. He told me I was restricted to driving no more than 55. Um.... are you kidding me? This is California! I do 55 in town! Fine, I did 55 on the freeway. Old people and semi trucks passed me. I didn't look at the people driving cuz I didn't want to see how many of them were flipping me off. I'm sure I would have lost count half way home. But, we made it!

And Knotts ended up being a really fun day. Even though we had to cart home a bear bigger than life and drive home on the spare tire. We wore out the kids, ahhhh, sweet silence all night long!

So, if you ever go to Knotts Berry Farm, don't bother asking for the Pregnant Woman Discount. They don't have one. And bring an extra tire. And sunscreen.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Move over, Cesar Milan

Lookout Cesar Milan, Gracie is only 2 and she just trained our dog!

Gracie used to always feed the dog part of her meal. Fling a bite to the dog, eat a bite. They always shared. Always! Here they are sharing before the new rule took place: (yes, the sharing was mutual and Gracie enjoyed her fair share of dog food)

But lately, she hasn't been sharing her food with the dog at all. Not one bite. She looks at Sandy and screams at her. Ok, so she's not a dog whisperer, she's a dog screamer. Still, it works. She screams and wags her finger and says "No NO!" or MINE or just pushes the dog's face away.

The weirdest thing has happened. The dog quit begging. Sandy just waits now. She waits from a distance too. If Gracie has food and Sandy looks at her that dog is in trouble. Gracie hollars at her!

The other day, I gave Gracie a little dish of cut up chicken breast. Gracie left it on the couch right next to the dog. The dog knew it was there, her nose was twitching like mad, but she didn't dare even look at it. And she certainly didn't touch it. Right now, there is a dish of scrambled egg scraps within the dog's reach. Sandy is steering clear of it and isn't even going for the piece of egg of the floor under Gracie's chair. Gracie is in the other room watching Curious George and wouldn't know it if the dog licked it up.

We couldn't have food within the dog's reach and think it would be safe. We've had Sandy for 7 yrs and this is the FIRST time she's not begged or gone after neglected food within her reach. This is absolutely amazing!

Gracie is dominant over the dog and the dog is totally submissive to her. I'm so shocked at how Gracie trained the dog. I don't know how she did it with such power. And how she enforces the rule without even looking at the dog. I'm totally amazed. Totally. I'm absolutely in awe.

Sandy and Gracie are best buddies. Even when I was pregnant with Gracie, Sandy would snuggle up to my belly and hover around me. As soon as she was born, they had an immediate bond.

Gracie can also go right up to the dog and lift up her lips and look and touch her teeth. Gracie can take her food or her rawhide away. Gracie can pull her ears. Gracie can sit on her and bounce. Gracie can grab her tail. Gracie can do anything and still get kisses and tail wags. Sandy never growls or attempts to do any harm to Gracie. It's totally amazing. They just play together like peas in a pod!

Thought I'd finally share my amazement with you all. Now that the dog is still not eating the egg on the floor!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Just Call me Pregzilla!

I am Pregzilla! Don't get on my bad side. My hormones are chanting, trying to get me to do bad things. "Throw it, throw it, throw it!" and "Punch her, punch her, punch her!" and worse... "kill, kill, kill!". Yes, I know, that is just wrong and asking for a prison sentence. How would my family survive if I went to prison for some R&R? They can't put new toilet paper on the roll. I better behave and stay home where I am needed. I'm the only one who knows where we keep the spaghettios.

I got the worst haircut on the face of the earth on Wednesday. When I left the salon, Frictastic Sams, my hair was wet and the stylist "scrunched"it to make it cute. Little did I realize she was hiding her bad work.

I know, it was my mistake to go to one of those quick and cheap places. Lexie calls them the fast food of hair salons. She's right.

So, my horrible haircut dried and the "scrunching" lost its effect after a few hours. It does take my hair a few hours to dry on its own because my hair is really really thick. Really thick! The more it dried the worse it got. It looked like this:

So, I screamed and ranted and raved and threw fits. That didn't help at all. Still looked horrible. So, I cried. Again, that had no effect.

My daughter used her flatiron on it to straighten it and take out the "Poof". Now it was worse! And I looked like this: (Not that there's anything wrong with that - typed with a Jerry Seinfeld voice)

My daughter said, "Oh, mom. I don't want to tell you this, but... it's bad. It's really bad." It was uneven, choppy, chunky, and just hacked up in the worst way. I told the stylist that I didn't want any layers above my jawline. Um.... there are chunks cut above the tops of my ears! So I cried around for another day, wondering how on earth I was ever going to go out in public again.

My husband was scared to pieces to say anything. So, he pretended not to notice. I got 6 inches cut off and was now sporting the Emo look. How can he not notice? So, I mopped my floor. Didn't help my hair at all! But, the floor looks nice.

Today I woke up wishing I was a man so I could shave my head and still be cool. Since I was still having serious pregzilla feelings about my hair, I decided to go back to Fricktastic Sams and just let them know how upset I am and that I was well.... upset! Not that that'll fix anything either, but at least they should know. Not that they'd care.

So I did. First time in my life I have ever gone back to a hair salon with a complaint. I took the stylist's card, my receipt and just to top it off, I took the products that I bought for my daughters back too. I'll spend my money elsewhere. So, I took Princess Gracie and off we went.

Pregzilla enters the salon. I went in and the lady said "Can I help you?" And I said, "No, not really" So I told her that I was in the other day and got the worst haircut I've ever had in my life. I'm upset and I want to bring back the products that I bought and never opened because I'm way too mad at them to use their products too. She says "Just a minute". Another stylist comes over. I re-explain. Pregzilla hormones begin chanting. The stylist, er, she-devil who did my hair wasn't there. I begin to cry. Again! Geez. I am sick to death of crying my eyes out uncontrollably!

The stylists agree, it's bad. Very bad. One of them calls the manager and says please come in. The manager shows up, she was at home enjoying her morning off. Me, Pregzilla, ruins her day too. I'm on a roll. She says "oh, this is bad." The manager talks me back into the salon chair promising to smooth out the layers and even it up. She says it won't be fixed, but it'll be even and not as choppy. Ok. So she does her magic while I sit there really tense and nervous. I keep telling her DONT make it worse!

I sat in the chair and got the bib wrapped around me. With the stylists behind me, I could see their expressions when they got a really good look at my hair. They had only seen it from behind the counter. Now that they were getting an up close good look at it, their faces said it all. They looked at each other with that "Oh.My.Gawd!" look. I feel my hormones rage.

The manager had told one of the stylists to call the owner. He comes in. Fresh from his day off too. Pregzilla strikes another one down. He comes and says "Wow. Where did you get this cut? It really is as horrible as they told me it was". Pregzilla wants to kill.


He wasn't pleased to hear that! The three stylists work on my hair for 2 hours. They blend and trim and style. It finally looks like I won't scare people if I go out in public. They really did a fantastic job of salvaging something out of that nightmare. They gave me products to use. They said I could come in for 5 free haircuts from the manager until my hair looked normal again. She said it'll take several months, but they'll keep it looking tame. I also got a full refund on the products I bought, my haircut and Princess Katie's haircut too. She was with me when I got the hack job.

So, they made up for what the one stylist did. And I'm wondering if the stylist who cut my hair into an Emo mess will still have a job by the end of the day. I saw the expressions on the faces of the stylists today and the owner. They were being kind when they said it was really bad. They said I wasn't over reacting.

I am Pregzilla. Hear me ROAR!!! And don't come near me with scissors!!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Ice Cream with Olives

Doesn't that sound delicious!!! I must be really full of pregnant hormones. Holy cow. My head says, no, no, no, Mary, no. But I am really wanting ice cream with olives. I'm trying hard to talk myself out of this crazy combination. I don't know how much longer I can resist the urge.

I'm also experiencing a Dr. Jekyl/Ms. Hyde personality lately. Again, I'm blaming the baby. I'm all rainbows and flowers one minute and Momzilla the next, repeat. I can barely stand to be around myself! My poor family.

I did indulge in a Greek salad again yesterday. So far that has been my biggest craving. YUM!!! I might even go get another one today. Yesterday I tried out a new little Greek cafe. It was so cute! The salad was great, but no beets. The prices were the same as Pat & Oscars, so I'll either have to buy some beets for home to add to my salad or drive over to get a Pat & Oscars greek salad. I think this baby is greek. Princess Gracie was nourished on Mexican food during my pregnancy with her. Now she will sit and eat salsa with a spoon, no problemo! Not this child, she is Greek.

I got the worst haircut of my life yesterday. Guess what a really horrible haircut does to a pregnant woman who has way too many hormones? Guess what it does to an overly hormonal pregnant woman who has a family reunion to attend in a month? Are you afraid to guess? I don't blame you. Really, don't guess. I made Satan look like he was all rainbows and flowers. I'm actually thinking I should skip the whole family event, but I'm sure I can't get away with that. There will only be a million photos taken, blown up, framed, hung on walls. I'll be the round one with the nightmare on her head.

The end of September can not come soon enough!!!!

Monday, May 19, 2008

She's turning into a GIRL!!!

My little tom-boy is turning into a girl! Finally! She's been all dirt and snails until just recently. I am so excited that she is finally turning into a girl!

We've gone from this:

To This:

Do you think she looks like her big sister at all?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

You Know Its Too Hot When....

You know its just too hot when....

A tank top and shorts feels like a snowsuit.

Your toddler has a nosebleed during her nap.

Your dog refuses to give up her spot in front of the fan.

It cools down in the evening and you are super happy to see double digits instead of triple digits.

You can't go anywhere cuz it means stepping out into the heat.

It's too hot to go swimming.

You find your teenager with her head in the freezer and she says she's "Just Chillin' "

You have ice cream for dinner.

You turn on the A/C to cool your house back down to under 85.

You're sweating just sitting still.

You are really really really hoping, praying and wishing for another day, maybe it will cool off!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Freedom! My Classes are Done!!!

I finished my college semester! Yay! Freedom sure feels GREAT! I slept like a rock last night and woke up happy and stress free! Whoopppppeeeeeee!

This semester I took Medieval Literature Theory and Criticism, Studies in Shakespeare, British Literature II, and United States Literature II. I wrote at least a hundred pages of papers (I'm not exaggerating, this week alone I wrote over 40 pages). Between these 4 classes, I had 24 books and I read them all! Plus a pile of poetry.

I'm not taking any summer classes, although I do have a long list hoops to jump through for the university's three ring circus they call "administration".

While I was busy studying for final exams, reading that last novel and writing my final research papers, my family kept me busy too.

My husband had to work a little harder. Some kids at his school got caught doing stupid things, which always ties him up and makes his workdays a little longer. Nothing like red tape! So he was either working or exhausted from working. He works at a middle school teaching, and he's the computer tech support guy on campus too. Of course, there were technology issues this past week too. He also is a university professor a couple evenings a week, and he has two large classes this go-round so he had to modify his instruction. Yeah, that means more prep time and more time to grade essays and such. We haven't seen much of him lately.

My oldest princess just got a new job in a Bridal Shop. A princess selling dresses! Who could imagine! She is in heaven with this job and she's doing quite well; they love her! But, her manager was teaching her how to do something on the cash register and Princess Katie had one of her spells. She fainted, came to without a seizure, but fainted again. During her moments of unconsciousness, the manager called 911 and the paramedics arrived. They took her blood pressure, which was Zero/Zero. Dead people are more active! So they loaded her in the ambulance and off to the ER she went. They got a reading of 85/0 in the ER. Gave her a bag of IV fluid, and EKG test, did some bloodwork and checked her sugar level too. Guess what, after hours of fun in the ER, they decided nothing was wrong with her and she needs further evaluation with a cardiologist. So, I spent 5 hours of Mother's Day in the ER standing next to my daughter's gurney wishing someone would offer a chair to a pregnant woman. Didn't happen. Finally I decided to walk around and peek in all the curtains and find a stupid chair. I did. Hey, it was better than claiming the gurney next to her, which really was tempting.

Middle Princess also gave me a run in the great Mom-a-thon that I call life. She got hit right in the eye with a card. Yeah, right, who still plays cards? Bored kids in algebra class, that's who. What's wrong with kids these days, they can't shuffle a deck of cards? So, Lexie takes one right in the eye. Her eye was totally bloodshot, looked like it had a purplish bruise on the white part and maybe has a little cut in the cornea. Great. But I decided to see how it looked in the morning before rushing her off to urgent care or anything. Hey, I had papers to write! Next day at school, with her bloodshot eye, she gets caught walking to the far corner of the school campus to meet her friend for their lunchbreak. The picnic table she was headed for is near one of the gates and the security guard took one look at her and thought he caught a kid trying to ditch to go smoke pot. Obviously, she's going to her car to smoke pot cuz she's got that look of a drug-crazed teenager. So, to the office she goes. They searched her purse and she was found guilty of being in possession of DRUGS! Oh yeah, she had Advil and Claritin in her possession! Dang teenagers, carrying around over the counter medications! They did a pretty thorough search, cleaned out her entire purse while asking her where she hides her pot. They sniffed everything and checked all her makeup and things. They found all kinds of suspicious things to sniff and examine, such as the Advil, Claritin, a hot sauce packet, some tampons, eye liner, and pencil shavings. They searched her binder looking for who knows what, made her empty her pockets and then decided to hand down the sentencing. After the hour long interrogation, and their success in finding a kid with OTC drugs, she was deemed unworthy of attending school for 3 days. Suspended!

By the way, her eye is much better now. And yes, I had her with me in the ER and totally forgot to ask them to look at her eye. Thanks, Preggo-brain. Oh well, she didn't say anything so I'm blaming that oversight on her.

Little princess, not to be left out of vying for mommy's attention even though I declared that I will be neglecting everyone (they never listen), she has been pooping like a goose. Talk about STINK! This kid has had the nastiest diapers! I've started to use a mask over my nose and mouth to change her diapers. She thinks it's pretty cool, so she wears one too now. We're quite a pair! My husband had some disposable breathing masks in the garage for when he was cutting tile, they work great for nasty diapers! Her butt is fire-engine red and I cannot for the life of me figure out what the problem is on that end of the toddler. I figured it was all the junk food and crap I stocked up on so my family could just graze and I wouldn't have to cook. Or maybe its all the apples she's been eating. I bought a bunch of convenience foods for grazing cuz I had finals and whatnot, I wasn't gonna be cooking anything! I ended up making a meal or two, but I didn't do the dishes.

Oh, my laptop died too. Yup, in the middle of all my studying and writing papers on it, and all that jazz. I was depending on it too! Got a new one on Monday. I ordered a Dell Inspiron 1525, Blossom Pink. The experts at Dell sent me a purple one. Barney Purple. They say it's Blossom Pink. What do I know? The laptop itself is very very nice! Aside from being a far cry from Pink.

In order to finish up my semester, I neglected the house, the kids, the husband, the dog, I tried my best to neglect everything and everyone. I moved Mother's Day to this coming Sunday since Cal State decided to ruin it for me by scheduling finals right around it. Friggin idiots. Oh well, I'm the mom and I can move holidays - the power of being the mommy is pretty great like that!

It's been such a busy couple of weeks lately, that left me with no time to spare. Today is my first day of FREEDOM! No more school till .... well... till I feel like tackling that summer list of things to do.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I Hate Cats.

Hello Mary's blog fans... This is her husband. I've hijacked her blog to post a story from our early days when Mary tried to turn me into a cat lover. This was before we had kids and here is the story that cinched up my true feelings about cats:

Cats SUCK!

Way back in the olden days, My wife and I had a cat that was part siamese. A true little bastard, we named him Sh**ty kitty. Well, Sh**ty Kitty had a psychotic hatred of buttons. In particular, it would attack the buttons on this ugly vinyl-upholstered headboard in this little apartment we were in. One by one, the buttons would be brutally attacked and ripped right out of the headboard. To see this was actually shocking. The power and viciousness was really amazing. Those buttons didn't stand a chance.

One morning, as it was getting light in the room, I was laying there in bed flat on my back and I felt the cat jump up on the foot of the bed--not unusual as it often liked to lay on my wife's hair. I wasn't really awake--just mildly aware of the cat stepping up slowly towards the middle of the bed. Then I felt it give that little wiggle--you know--the wiggle in it's rear end it gives just prior to it pouncing on something. Of course, I knew that another button was about to get brutally attacked and ripped from the headboard.

I felt the cat leap from near my knees. It pounced on a new sort of button I guess. That dirty little bastard attacked my NIPPLE! Teeth and front claws, all deeply embedded into my man-nipple, while rear claws scratched and kicked for leverage to remove the "button" from my chest.

I had been sleeping peacefully, but this pain brought me to a new level of immediate alertness I had not experienced before. A deep, guttural and primal man-scream came from my mouth. I was shocked by the ferocity and volume of these sounds from deep inside me, as my hands came alive and went straight for the throat of Sh**ty Kitty.

As my hands wrapped around the throat of that cat, the feline teeth came out of my flesh, the claws disembarked from my areola, rear legs and back claws shifted focus and now prepared to target my arms.

Perhaps you have seen cats fly. I know I have. One cat named Sh**ty Kitty flew 15 feet that morning. It hit the wall about 6 feet up, landed on it's feet, then turned and looked back at me as if to say "What the hell is wrong with you?--I nearly had it!"

It took some time, but my left nipple did recover. What has never been restored is an ounce of faith in anything feline. I hate cats.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Happy 100th Birthday, Great Gramma Gracie!

Today is the day! My grandmother, Gracie, was born May 9, 1908. (yes that photo of the baby is actually her!) She is celebrating all month with little dinner and pinochle parties with her friends and local family.

The big party is in mid-June. That will be a three day event with about 400 people in attendance. It should be noted that the population of the town is just over 200! We are going to double the population that weekend!

Gramma said today, "Live it up now cuz when you hit one hundred, it starts to go downhill". I guess she tires more easily now. Not that going downhill will stop her any, it might just slow her down a bit. Maybe the rest of us will be able to keep up with her if she slows down!

Happy Birthday!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Naming the Baby... We need Help!

Hmmmmmm...? Hmmm.... What should we name our half-baked baby #4? We were calling her Cletus the Fetus, but now we've changed her in utero name to Claudina Wilhelmina. If we don't come up with a good name, that one just might start sounding good and stick. We are taking name suggestions. We have to hurry, there are only 20 weeks left!

Here are the name rules:

1. The name has to be timeless, so that it fits her as a baby and as an old lady and every stage in between.
2. The name has to be able to have a nickname that has an -ie or -y ending like Katie & Lexie & Gracie. (But those aren't their Real names).
3. It would be nice to have a three-syllable name, but we could work around that by choosing just the right middle name.
4. It has to sound good with Schumacher - so it can't end in an s, sh, or th.
5. The name has to be a girl name - not neutral.
6. The name cannot end with "-Lene". so, there goes: Earline, Arlene, Pauline, Charlene, Claudine, Kylene, Faylene, Marlene, Maureen, Roline, Sabrine, Julien, Norine, ..... You get the idea
7. Can't sound like a stripper name. This means we are ruling out: Victoria, Candy, Jezebel, Elvira, Trixie .....
8. No scandalous political or celebrity names. So, not naming her: Hilary, Monica, Chelsea, Tipper, Reagan, Jenna or Barbara, Brittany, Miley or Lindsey.
9. Nothing that she will have to explain how to spell or pronounce every day of her life. Goodbye to: Cassiopeia, Baako, Xanthe (or anything that starts with an X), Raina, Adwen, Branwen, Kourtney, Uziah, Jordyn, MacKenzie, Makenzie, McKenzie .... etc.
10. Can't be the same or too similar to her big sister's names or her cousins names. This baby will have 3 big sisters, 16 first cousins and many more second cousins. Crossing off the list: Kaylie, Kylie, Carrie, Kyrie (sounds like Katie), Allie or Alex (Lexie owns all forms of Allie even though she doesn't use any of them), Erica or Erika (cousin named Eric), Lauren, Lori, Laurel (cousin named Lauren), Cassandra (dog named Sandy), Ann, Annie, Anna (we have an Anna), Jordanna (cousin named Jordan). Chelsea, Rylie, Taylor, Jennifer, Savannah, Michelle, Mercedes (cousins)...
11. Even if a name fits all the rules, we still have to Love it! (hardest rule!)

I know, it seems complicated. But the child has to use this name every day of her whole life, so we have to get it right!