Thursday, January 31, 2008

But I'm feeling MUCH better now

Date night was fun! Ryan pulled into the driveway right in time to pack up the kids for grandma's house and head out to the show. The drive downtown wasn't the greatest. I was getting over being sick and hadn't eaten much that day. I will admit, I was hoping for a nice dinner beforehand, but knew we were cutting it too close. Weird phenomenon - my body became queasy at the mention of fast food. It didn't even want a healthy sub shop.

So there we were, driving to our first Broadway show since our fateful, love-sparking show we saw nearly four years ago, and I am stuck in a bitter mood.

I literally went from a mature thirty-one year old, married with four kids woman, into a jilted, spoiled, Disney princess brat in two seconds flat. I huffed and whimpered as I drove. I hate driving on date night. It's the boy's job. Of course Ryan had offered to drive, but we were pressed for time and he drives like a little old lady. I wasn't handing over the keys to that slow poke.

He tried asking me what was wrong. I kept saying a woman standard, "Nothing, I am just starving." Ryan came up with some great food suggestions, but it wasn't about food anymore. I couldn't have my dinner out, and I was refusing to accept less. However, I did stick to woman etiquette. I lied about what was bugging me. I told him thanks but my stomach wouldn't let me eat. Half true I suppose. He didn't need to know I was in the middle of a stubborn fit. If he was any sort of REAL man, he would KNOW how to fix me without having to ASK me! Duh.

Then he kept making it worse, "We will find you something. You will be fine." I didn't WANT to be fine. Men, sheesh.

At one point I literally said, "I don't know where your new positive take on life is coming from, but it is starting to seriously piss me off!" Wow, yeah, I am glad I was driving and didn't have to see his face. He was probably holding back a chuckle. He always laughs at me when I get pouty. I am sure you can guess how much laughing helps my mood.

Once we got downtown everything took a turn for the better. We found a spot on the street right in front of the theater. We saved eight bucks in parking! Ryan bought me a three dollar cookie and a five dollar vodka/cranberry drink. It lightened me up quite a bit. Thank goodness he has enough man skills to ignore me at times. Date night could have gone horribly wrong.

The show was amazing and I had a great time.

Well, except for the scene where Christine sings to her dead father. Yeah, no one warned me. I became a mess, but I snapped out of it by the next scene. I called my sister and yelled at her for not giving me the heads up since she is a Phantom fanatic.

"You didn't KNOW!"
"You used to listen to the CDs with me all the TIME! How could you not know?!?"

"I dunno"
"You really don't pay attention do you?"
"um, yeah, not so much."

Oh well, it was still amazing. Next show on my list: Les Miserables. I have seen it, but Ryan hasn't. It is my second favorite. Maybe next time I can be a grown up for the whole night!


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Mommy's Okay, Mostly

I hate being sick. I get whiny. I loathe being sick when Ryan is out of town. There is no one to listen to my whining. I guess I can whine here . . .

My glands are swollen, my temp won't go lower than 100.4, my body aches every time I cough, and it is really hard to stick to my diet when my throat is killing me. I keep eating those calories, however, because I know if i don't I am just going to pay for it later.

The two year old is my entertainment. She lines up her toys and talks to them dramatically. Yesterday was a performance of "where'd the crabby patty go?" It was very suspenseful.

The baby is my cuddle monkey. He plays nicely for a while, then climbs into my lap to make sure I am still alive. He pokes at my nose and eyes and says, "k? k?" I answer, "Yes, mommy's okay," and he promptly gets down to play again.

My oldest has been my savior! She cooked diner for me last night. She carefully read the directions on the frozen diners and nuked four of them. Then she handed them out to each kid, warned them they were hot and even got sippies for the two little ones. She got big cuddles from me later. She begged me to let her cook noodles or scrambled eggs, but I told her no stove by herself until she is eight. "Mom, I turn eight next week!" Crap. I told her I meant ten :)

My other child, he has become the disappearing boy. I went looking for him last night after getting that weird mommy vibe since he was gone a long time and very quiet. He was up in his room playing nicely with some toys and books. I guess being sick has thrown off the mommy-dar.

I am surviving, but it sucks arse! Ryan comes home tonight. We have tickets to see a show, but I have to admit I would much rather curl up with a good book, my mp3 player and seven pillows. I'll let you know who wins.


Monday, January 28, 2008

I can stop freaking out about weight!

I have been dying to get below the ex-husband weight. Today I am officially there! Four pounds gone forever and only 49 to go! This week I can stop calling myself Jolly Sara.

Now the task becomes losing baby#4 weight. I am hoping to accomplish this in two weeks, but I know it is healthier to hit the mark in three. What I want to know, is why, if it is only healthy to lose two pounds a week, do the contestants on biggest loser go for double digits? Is it because they have doctors on staff? Maybe I should get my own team. The interview process might be fun . . .


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Thanks Babe! I Love You Too!

Husbands drive me nuts when they are trying to be helpful. I was sick on Saturday. He was very thoughtful and sent me to take a four hour nap. That part was wonderful. In the meantime, my mother called to have my older son come spend the night. I wake up to find him gone. No problem yet.

The next morning, however, I meet up with her at church. My son is wearing extremely worn jeans and a t-shirt two sizes too big. Turns out my lovely husband let him pack his own bag for the overnight. Thank goodness he brought a toothbrush! I had to listen to my mother mention, "I think it is great that you are going to the gym every other day now, but don't you think you should make laundry a priority? He said he couldn't find any clean clothes."

Mortified. That boy had clean clothes. Sheesh!

Oh, and while I am on a husband rant. He needs to stop telling people I am going back to work for goofy reasons. He told one set of people I got a job so I can get a new minivan that has seats which turn to face the rear. Yes, I would love one of those, but I am happy with my current paid off van thank you very much.

He told another set of people that I am getting a job because I am turning into my mother. Which to him means I want gobs of money for shopping. LMAO!!! While it is true I would LOVE to have extra money so I don't have to say, "honey . . ." everytime there is a craft sale, in reality I spend less money on shopping than any other woman I know. What is he talking about?

Tonight I mentioned to my mother-in-law that my younger daughter is signed up for the 2008-2009 school year for half day preschool. Ryan made an off the cuff comment about, "Well, this is assuming she keeps her job and can afford it." UGH!!! Don't make it sound like I need to work. Preschool was in the budget before I talked about this job.

Men - weirdos. I assume it is his way of making conversation with people while keeping our personal stuff private. I should start piping up with some nonsense of my own -

"I have to build up my Just-In-Case-I-Decide-To-Leave-Ryan fund."

"The deal is I work for a year, then I get to conceive twins."

"Ryan is making me pay for my own boob job."

"I'm not really getting a job. It's my cover for the affair."


Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Results are in . . .

I have the results of the polling! No, I am not talking about Hilary and Barack. I mean the baby question! The question I asked the blog readers was "Should Sara have another baby?" This was your response:

Yes absolutely, she should have a few more - 35%
Sure, she has four, what is one more - 35%
No, four is a good even number - 21%
ABSOLUTELY NOT! She has too many already - 7%

I wasn't going to show Ryan the poll, but unfortunately he caught a glimpse of it a few days ago when he was walking past my computer.

"Do your readers HATE me or something?" He wasn't impressed.

BUT I WAS!!!! I was extremely excited to see that over 2/3rds voted on my side! More babies! Thanks so much to those of you who voted. I will have to put another poll up soon. It was fun!

- Sara

oh, and PS - to the person who voted the fourth option . . . I know who you are, I know where you live, and don't worry, when I have another kid I will still watch yours too :)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Watch Out, Sara's in a Mood

I don't remember PMS being this horrible before the second set of kids. Ryan might remember differently, but this time around I am snapping at everyone in the house!

I probably would not have even noticed it, but I caught myself yelling at the baby. My older two shot each other a look that seemed to say, "we better get outta here, she is even yelling at her favorite kid!" and they took off.

Lately I have been watching my cycle like a hawk . . . refer to ChitChatMoms episode #34. Anyone else out there with a long cycle? I am sitting at 31-32 days. While I don't mind waiting an extra few days for the mood swings, the bloating, the having to mess with strange contraptions, etc, it does feel like hormones are simply BURSTING by the time we get to it.

Last night I went from happy to angry to sad to enraged to indifferent to adoring to bitchy to giggly to exhausted in roughly 45 minutes. Maybe I should head back to the gym today and work off some hormones.

- Sara

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Why we love SingleBFF

Just a typical night watching Project Runway

SingleBFF - Why am I SO RETARDED!?!?!
MomBFF - Ooooo! Oooooo! (raising her hand)
Me - We ask ourselves that EVERYDAY
SingleBFF - I hate my life, shut up
MomBFF - that's why it is a bad idea when cousins marry
SingleBFF - what?
MomBFF - forget it
Me - she said, "that's why it is a bad idea when cousins marry"
SingleBFF - who are cousins?
Single - my parents? are cous . . . no they aren't

By now we were laughing hysterically
SingleBFF - I don't understand
Me - What are you doing that makes you retarded?
SingleBFF - I can't figure out Oregon Trail
Hysterical laughter starts up
MomBFF - what's more retarded, that you are trying to play Oregon Trail, or that you can't figure it out?

While MomBFF and I tried to figure this out, SingleBFF answered for us:
"Geezuz, why isn't this working?"

And we still don't understand why she was playing Oregon Trail.


Monday, January 21, 2008

No School Today, Yay . . .

These sentences literally came out of my mouth today, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, while eight kids roamed my house.

"Get that block of cheese out of your mouth! We slice it first!" - spoken to the 16 month old

"Who taught the baby how to open the fridge???"

"We have 47 weebles, are you really going to freak out because you can't find the yellow knight?" - spoken to the first and second graders

Through a door - "You will have to wait. I can't get the mp3 player away from the baby until I am done in the potty."

"In this house we don't draw initials into our peanut buttered toast. Sorry, it is just one of my rules."

"Absolutely no moon sand while babies are awake!"

"Nap time . . . . alright alright alright . . . bust out the moon sand"

"Yeah, you are right, not enough moon sand for four people, go grab the play doh too" - they were in heaven

"What do you mean your underwear got sucked down the toilet" - my poor niece had a meltdown, I promised her we would get her new ones (she was changing clothes in the bathroom).

- Sara

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Ignorance is Bliss

WOW, I am HUGE!!! I knew I wasn't skinny anymore. Skinny ended LONG ago, which is why I joined a fitness center. At the gym yesterday I decided I might as well step on the scale and get a good starting reference. I think my eyeballs nearly popped out of the socket! No wonder my son calls me big mama! Great, now I have to break up with SingleBFF. I can't be seen with that skinny bitch anymore. Sheesh. Why didn't anyone TELL me I was growing at an enormous rate?

I suppose my mother has tried. She slips it in from time to time. Not outright, no, she is sneaky. She says things like, "I bought these pants for you, I THINK they will fit" or "Look at this picture of you in junior high, man you looked good." Unfortunately I never listen to my mom about size or weight. She is 4' 11" and 110 lbs soaking wet. She enjoys my junior high looks because that is the last time I was her size. Guess how much she weighed on the day she delivered me. 120! I only know because when I went to the doctor my junior year of high school and stepped on the scale I heard her say, "WOW, I wasn't even that big when I was nine months pregnant with you!" Thanks Mom!

I grew up not caring about my weight. I knew I was active, taught dance and although I am a sucker for sweets and fast food, I generally ate healthy. In my early twenties I was a full time dance teacher, and while not smoking hot skinny, I was adorable. Marriage added ten lovely pounds. When I got pregnant with baby #1 I didn't care how much weight I gained as long as I didn't hit my husband's weight, forty more. Thankfully I didn't, and six weeks after delivery I was back down to pre-pregnancy size. Teaching dance 20 hours a week helped. I wasn't so lucky after baby #2. He added ten pounds. Baby #3, ten pounds. Baby #4, you guessed it, another ten.

I was still okay, ten pounds under my worst fear. Then I stepped on that scale yesterday. I am THIRTEEN pounds heavier than I thought. Three pounds over the dreaded ex-husband weight.

For those who aren't number geeks - I have 53 pounds to lose to attain a healthy fit body. Sigh. That is how much my oldest weighs. I'll keep you posted.

- Jolly Sara

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Newly Amended House Rules

For those of you with young children under the age of three, here are some rules you can look forward to possibly implementing!

1. The previous rule "If someone says 'please stop,' the person has to stop" is now amended to the following - If it involves your body, ex: hitting, tickling, poking your nose, splashing you, etc., you may tell them in a nice voice to please stop and they have to stop. If someone's words or singing or other goofiness is bothering you, you are allowed to ASK them to please stop. If they don't, please ignore them or move to another room. It is unacceptable to yell, "please stop, Please Stop, PLEASE STOP!" or "please stop telling me to please stop."

2. The previous rule "Respond to the parents with either yes sir or yes ma'am" is now amended to the following - You must respond with yes ma'am/sir when given a direction. This phrase needs to be spoken clearly and at a level audible to human beings. This phrase will be followed by actually completing the direction and coming back to confirm the task was completed. It is unacceptable to yell, "I SAAAID yes MA'AM!!!" or, "Yes ma'am, BUT . . ."

3. If you don't flush the toilet, you owe mommy a quarter.

4. If you leave the front door open, you own daddy a quarter.

5. The previous rule "Change your underwear every morning" is now amended to - Change into CLEAN underwear every morning and after showers.

6. The previous rule "Put your seat belt on when you first get into the car" is now amended to - Get in the car, shut the door, sit with your buns against the back of the seat, buckle your seat belt, leave the shoulder belt on your shoulder, stay facing forward with your back against the seat, do not play with the headrest in front of you.

And most importantly -

7. All booger picking and playing with your privates must be done in your bedroom. No one wants to see it!!!!

- Sara

Friday, January 18, 2008

Ho Hum, Fitness Fun

So I walk into a fitness center with my sister, a facility my brother highly recommended. She wants to get more flexible. I want to get my energy levels back to keep up with the kids. Okay, I'll be honest. Sex was WAY more fun when I had my dance teacher energy. The baby is out of the bedroom. It is time to recapture the moments like drunken pacman night. But anyway - My sister and I figured it would be an uneventful trip to find out details on the membership plans. We were wrong.

My stereotyped vision of fitness centers is a building full of overly upbeat individuals ready to sign you up for the world as well as pushy trainers who hound you to get personal circuit routines. "We want to pump (clap) you up!" That is not what we encountered.

We walked in and were practically ignored. Me, ignored!?! After a few minutes of us hanging back trying to figure out if we were suppose to approach the woman behind the desk, who was already talking to a young couple, or head to the young lean man behind the counter trying desperately to find something to make him look busy, he finally made eye contact with us. No greeting, no can I help you, just a look on his face that told me he was half hoping we weren't expecting him to talk to us.

My sister and I exchanged looks and walked over to the counter as he finally uttered with a forced friendliness, "Do you need something?" We clearly looked like we had never entered this building before, "We were hoping someone could show us around."

Now he showed even less interest in us. He explained he was only the personal trainer, but the woman at the desk would be able to help us soon. We figured we would help him be helpful, "Tell us about the personal training." His response - "I do it." We gave up on him.

When the desk lady was done a few moments later, she approached us and began her exciting tour. She stayed about two steps ahead of us, which made hearing her above the hum of machines next to impossible as she pointed out areas along the way. It consisted of, here are these, here are those, over here is the stretch area. Thanks lady, we would have NEVER figured that one out with a big sign that said, "stretch area."

Although she did turn around and face us as she mentioned the tanning bed. Yes darling, we can tell this is where you spend your time. You look like you have cow hide underneath that inch layer of makeup. "oh, but that is a separate charge." Lady, do I look like I am going tanning anytime soon? I am neon white with enough love handles to render the tanning bed incapable of an even tan. Really, just keep walking.

"Do you have kids?" ROFLMAO. Do I have kids? Do you see this post-pregnancy belly that I haven't gotten rid of in 16 months? Of course you don't see it, you don't make much eye contact. You probably don't know what a post pregnancy belly looks like. I forgave her.

"Yes, lots of them." It was the first time she cracked a smile. It was the first time I had to look serious so she could understand I was being literal.

As we sat down at the desk she pulled out a price sheet, but she only covered the month to month rate. She went on to discuss hours of operation and offered us a free trial week. When my sister mentioned she was leaving town for a week, the lady said she would have to talk to her manager about delaying her week until she got back. "oh, is he here?" her response - "no, he doesn't come in until noon. He makes me work the 4am - 12pm shift, it definitely isn't the one I wanted, but what are you going to do. I needed the job." Was this girl for real?

We didn't have many questions at this point but as we were getting ready to leave she said, "I know you probably don't want to pay this, but my boss says I have to mention this other option . . . " and she went into a quick spiel about the year up front rate. HELLO, this is your idea of customer service? Do we look broke or something? We are the perfect people to talk to about this option. We pay for our car insurance a year at a time to knock a hundred bucks off the policy. We crunch our budgets to pay off our cars within the first two years to avoid interest, and that is only if we didn't have the cash to pay up front. We exchanged glances again, shook her hand, and exited the building.

After we laughed our way to the car we realized this is exactly why our brother joined this gym. They obviously don't bother you, don't up sell you, and leave you to work out in peace.

. . . We are going back next week to sign up :)

- Sara

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Dads Do it Differently

I can't blog long because I have to get to the store while the baby is napping (don't worry, Ryan is home), but I wanted to drop a line about my frustrations with my oldest daughter.

She has been struggling to get school works done on time. It is irritating for me since these works can't be completed at home as they use Montessori materials to do them. Every week I talk to her about work ethic, learning to work through distractions, how to be less OCD, etc. Yeah, no big changes.

Then RYAN opens the work plan (comes home for parent signatures and keeps track of such items) and says, "unacceptable, get caught up, or you are grounded, stay caught up or no skiing on our Colorado trip," and now she is a working fool.

Not fair!

. . . and why didn't I have him do that six months ago . . .

- Sara

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Surpise, It Works

My furnace went out yesterday. 28 degrees was the high and my furnace goes out. Great.

In the morning I noticed it was slightly colder in the house, but I figured Ryan turned it down. At noon I put the baby down for a nap, and when he woke up an hour earlier than usual, I started to suspect something was up. The poor baby was freezing. I picked him up and went to check the thermostat.

Even though it was set at 68, it was showing the house at 65. I am guessing the boys room was down into the 50s. We immediately called a heater repair person, but we would have to wait until 5:30.

After I picked up the big kids from school, it was getting frigid. I forced two layers on all seven kids and asked Ryan to attempt a fire in the family room fireplace. We have been in this house for nearly two years and have yet to light anything in either fireplace. Our excuse? Bats.

Our first spring we heard the strangest screeches coming from the fireplace. We thought for sure we would have to call someone out to remove a nest before we tried it out. We decided to risk it and lit a few logs since we didn't hear anything last spring. Ta Da! It worked. I love a good fire. Too bad we didn't have marshmallows.

I guess it was a blessing in disguise. Fixed the furnace for under $200 and found out our fireplace works just fine!

- Sara

Monday, January 14, 2008

Socks Suck!

I am so tired of socks. I have a friend who swears by a sock crate. She doesn't sort them. Instead she has the family members rummage through them on their own each morning for matches. As wonderful as that sounds, with six of us, I am imagining socks strewn everywhere and daily arguments over whose turn it is to find socks. I have enough of that problem during teeth brushing time.

Socks and towels used to be my favorite part of laundry. Mindless folding of towels and matching socks brought me peace. That was when there was just three of us in the family. It was easy: big ones - mine, pink toes - daughter, green toes - son.

But now, ugh! Green stripe on toe, yellow stripe on toe, grey bottoms, grey toe and heel, all white, all white with yellow stripe on inside of ankle, pink brand name on toe, blue brand name on toe, green brand name on toe, purple brand name on toe, ankle length, crew length, no-show length. Now that my oldest has hit the stage where she and I can share socks, you think it would get easier, but no. Now I have every size known to man hiding in this house - newborn through mens.

I am almost ready to throw them all out and buy up one brand, two bags of every size.

Then again, it is only four months until sandals and flip flops come back. This family doesn't wear socks from May through September. I suppose I should wait until the end of sock season to toss them out.

I will keep you updated.

- Sara

Sunday, January 13, 2008

I'm not weird, right?

Grocery shopping is like a mini vacation. With Ryan in town for nearly a month straight, I have been able to go all by myself. Ahhhhh, those trips have been wonderful.

After Christmas shopping is a true addiction. Anyone need any extension cords? I bought out a local craft store and Ryan laughed at me. Hey, they were thirty cents a piece! With all the gadgets in this house I figured they would come in handy.

I sleep with my mp3 player in my ears. I need something to help turn my brain off. Ryan is upset I won't stick it in the docking station to listen to it at night. It isn't the same. Right?

I use pencil cases as my wipes containers. Those flimsy flip top containers they come in are always falling apart. When they aren't falling apart, they are being ripped apart by two year olds. They attract toddlers! But the pencil cases I bought for fourteen cents a piece on clearance, now THOSE are awesome. Takes the babies longer to get into them, they are way more durable, and since they are bright neon colors, I can spot them across the room.

I save egg cartons. They make the BEST acrylic paint holders. Cut them in half, squirt a bit of each color into them. TA DA, you have a color pallet!

Oh, and my newest addiction, mis-tinted paint. I have gotten some fabulous colors of top of the line paint for five bucks a gallon. Now if I could just get Ryan to pull out the tape . . . (I hate taping)


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Gingerbread Fun

YUMMY! My kids had a blast. We will definitely have to do this again sometime.

We took grahm crackers, frosting, sprinkles, and some candy we had lying in the house and made gingerbread houses.

The first one was my 7 year olds house. The roof is rotated a bit because she kept knocking the whole thing over. Next time I will have to "glue" the house together with frosting a few hours before we start so it will be a little more durable.

the second one was my 6 year olds house. My favorite part of his house is the tootsie roll chimney.

When we were done we let the kids take pictures and start snacking. Not the healthiest snack, but we had super fun.

- Sara

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Shhh!!!! It's a secret!!

I might as well confess here first.

Here it is -

I can't believe I am going down this road.

But . . .

I applied for a job. No really, I did. I had my second interview this morning at 8:30 AM.

If I get the job and tell my friends and family, they are going to be shocked. It has been my goal to become a stay at home mom for as long as I can remember. However, the circumstances seem right to reenter the work force. The stars are lined up and pointing me in that direction.

The decision was made mostly because it won't be a huge change for the household. Believe it or not I found a job where I can work a 24 hour work week and still be with my kids nearly as much as I am currently with them.

It is a graveyard shift Thursday through Saturday nights. It means I can't sleep with my babies anymore, but the time was right to move on to the bedroom stage. Last Sunday we moved the baby into his brother's room. The transition went so smoothly I cried when he didn't put up more of a fuss for me. Next I had to worry about how and when to get my sleep. Since MomBFF already watches the babies one school day while I volunteer, she has agreed to switch to watching them on Fridays so I can sleep during the school day. This does mean I will either have to give up the volunteering or add another morning away from my babies. I wouldn't be starting work until the end of February, so I have a while to decide. The other con is finding time to sleep during the weekend, but with Ryan home during those times, I don't mind sleeping in or taking a cat nap while he gets more dad time.

I am super excited. I have been tossing around the idea of this particular job since summer, but didn't see it as a possibility until now. As weird as it may sound, the motivation isn't even the money. I am not crazy - the extra money is going to be wonderful. I plan on throwing half my paycheck at the mortgage and using the other half towards kid activities and my shopping habit. My motivation is getting out of a rut.

Even though I have considered myself a stay at home mom for over three years, technically, I have always worked a few hours a week. I was teaching dance a few hours a week during the last two pregnancies. After I hung up the dance shoes, I began babysitting two days a week for mad money. I am considering this my new "non-mommy" adventure. I hope it works out.


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Push Through

When life seems to be too much, like today, I like to view this picture of my daughter. It Reminds me to push through! I wish I would have been able to grab the camera faster. She was pushing it all by herself. Inch by inch, she made it to the elevator. We were cracking up the entire time as she grunted and took each step. Thanks Darling for giving me inspiration.

- Sara

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Sarcasm Backfired Badly . . . Twice

I haven't talked much about my father's death on the blog. With the first anniversary around the corner I am guessing it is going to start popping up in many of my daily vents. It was the single most shocking moment of my life.

There are many moments of sadness, but I love my friends and my family so much for attaching the hysterical memories throughout the experience. Here was the first one that STILL makes me laugh every time it comes into conversation. I will never live it down.

Let me set the stage.

It was an extremely cold morning in February. My father's plane had gone down a mere twelve hours earlier. Ryan was suppose to be leaving for Germany in a few days, but thankfully the trip was put off for another two weeks. He would be leaving the beginning of March instead. After only an hour and a half of sleep, I was sitting on the couch watching news casts I had recorded. All of them talking about the small plane that had crashed. The victims names hadn't been released yet. Exhausted, but wide awake, I decided to log onto the computer like I did every Saturday morning and talk to the BFFs. I had to tell them soon so they didn't find out second hand. I had tried calling MomBFF at 2AM right after I heard the news, but she hadn't answered.

The MomBFF works weekends, so I knew I could talk to her for sure. This was our conversation word for word:

Sara: are you there?
JM: you ok?
JM: you called me three times last night and I saw it this morning and it freaked me out
JM: no ones dead are they?

Now, had I been thinking straight, I would have realized that she was being her sarcastic self like usual. Howevah . . . I wasn't. When I read the line "I saw it this morning" I figured she was referring to the news casts about the crash. She was always glued to her internet news. Surely she was putting two and two together about the crash and my phone calls in the middle of the night. So I took her question literal and I answered with the information I had . . .

Sara: plane exploded on impact
JM: what
Sara: he's gone
JM: Stop it

On my end, I really thought I was doing a good job of breaking it to her. I was just glad she knew a bit about it before talking to me. I was horribly wrong. From her end, she had a heart attack. Her first impulse was to think I was talking about Ryan. But then she remembered he wasn't on a plane yet, he wasn't leaving for another two weeks. Then she decided I was kidding.

This is where it gets weird. I kept sending her messages. I started venting about no one from the airport calling my MomL to let her know Dad's plane never arrived. It was the protocol my father always assured us would happen if his plane ever went down. But for some reason, she didn't get any of those messages. She was left thinking I was messing with her, and now ignoring her.

She told a coworker that I was a brat for responding with "plane exploded on impact." The coworker was the one who gave her the news that a plane had indeed gone down over night. That is when her second heart attack hit.

She tried to get me to message her again by IMing "Sara!" which I got in the middle of my rant, but she still wasn't getting my long winded responses. Her coworker agreed to cover for her while she ran to my house to check on me.

On my end of things, I was still venting. A few minutes passed and I was beginning to feel bad that she wasn't responding to me.

Sara: say something please, you are starting to make me feel bad cause i know you are over there not knowing what to say
Sara: hello?

Sara: I will bbiaf

As I got off the couch, devastated my friend wasn't talking to me anymore, I noticed her face in my front window. A huge smile spread across my face. I was so relieved she came to talk to me. She bounced through the door, and immediately said, "Oh thank GOD, I thought you were serious!"

Still smiling, I answered, "I was. It was my dad's plane."

Immediately she burst into tears and I had to comfort her. I hugged her and told her it was okay. I later found out it was a gesture and saying I would have to perform over and over in the coming week.

It wasn't that funny at the time, but now, we laugh all the time. "Plane exploded on impact" is quoted heavily around here, mostly poking fun at me. I have to defend myself - I WASN'T THINKING STRAIGHT I AM SORRY!!!

Of course it wasn't as bad as what I pulled on the SingleBFF. I broke it to her way more gently, but gave her a heart attack the next day.

My daughter had her last cheerleading competition the Sunday following my dad's death. I didn't want to break the news to her until afterward. I asked SingleBFF to come with me for support. We woke up at 6 AM to get everything ready and make the 45 minute drive to the competition in Lincoln. We couldn't find her hair bows and SingleBFF reminded me we were going to be late if we didn't hurry.

I was exhausted. I hadn't slept more than five hours in three days. I didn't really CARE if we were late. So I yelled out a phrase that will forever be dear to my heart -

"My dad crashed and BURNED!!! I am allowed to be late!"

BFF was stunned. She just stood there with her mouth hanging open, not knowing what to say or do. After a few seconds of uncomfortable silence, I said softly, "um, that was suppose to be funny."

"OMG!! Don't DO that to me!" she said, finally breathing again. We both laughed hard. It was the first good laugh I got in three days. Normally I am laughing all day long. I was able to use that as my excuse for a long time with the BFFs. I forgot to call you back? Well my dad crashed and burned, I'm allowed. I was rude because I didn't invite you over? Well C and B.

Finally MomBFF said, "Darling, that was five months ago, you can't USE that excuse anymore."

Oh well, It worked for awhile ;)

- Sara

Monday, January 7, 2008

Sara's 2007 Year in Review

January set the tone. My brother got pulled over for a DUI on the military base here in town. Moron. He has no idea why he was in that area of town much less why he was trying to get on base.

February was a dismal month. Not only did my daughter lose her privilege of a friend oriented birthday party, my husband had to be halfway around the world from us, and we had two separate ER visits, but the incident I very affectionately termed "crash and burn" happened.

March is a blur. Cheerleading was winding down, karate was picking up, and the post funeral era hit.

April took a turn for the better. Consignment sale season hit as well as the opening of our pool! So what if the water was still 50 degrees and we couldn't put a toe in longer than two seconds, it was nice to look at blue water instead of a nasty green tarp.

May the excitement mounted. School was almost out. My birthday and talks of a Vegas wedding began. I joined karate which sparked my competitive nature again.

The summer was a blast. Days filled with bike rides and weeks filled with BFFs in my pool. We even took a trip to Chicago with Ryan. I hit a milestone with my niece. We potty trained! YAY! But most importantly, I joined the very fun and exciting Chit Chat Moms. :) :)

August was a fun fight as well. I love a good challenge. My brother put me in charge of getting his daughter enrolled in the Montessori program which my kids attend. It was a roller coaster ride, but just days before school was to start, she got the call! She was in!!!!

September brought after school sales and more consigning! I had my first experience with volunteering for a sale and found the deals were more unbelievable when you shop very FIRST. I will never go back to public day again! Oh, did I forget to mention I got married too?

October was a sewing race of costumes.

November was a crocheting race.

December was a blur.

And here we are at 2008.

Last thoughts on 2007?

The Good
My brother sobered up
My sister moved back to Omaha for a spell
My other sister passed math for the last time ever!
I got married
I got an ipod
I got a new craft room
I attained purple belt status

The Bad
Crash and Burn
Mom flipped out
Brother's ended a business partnership
The mall incident
Daughters stitches
Ryan's toe catastrophe
(wow, I should post some blogs about these, I forgot about them until now)

The Ugly
The IM conversations with BFFs telling them about my Dad
My spills down the stairs
My ex-husband's most wanted moment
My drinking night
(yeah, blogs to come about those!)

- Sara

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Silent Tears on Belated Christmas

Sometimes it is the small stuff that restores my faith to full force.

I could go into great detail about the first Christmas without my father. We all know I am excellent at the long winded blogs. However, it was mostly story free. Christmas Eve was spent with his extended family like usual. In the past ten years we only got him every other year at this function, so it wasn't too painful to not see him at Aunt B's. Christmas Day is always spent with Mom. Easy again to think of Dad as not there this year.

Early or Belated Christmas with Dad was special because we would have it anywhere between December 15th and January 5th. I thought I made it through the holiday season without a freak out moment, but it was a false hope. My Mom-L (a term we coined because Step-Mom just doesn't sound nice) tried to have us over last weekend, but she was ill and rain-checked until today.

Still I had it under control. We hung out for a few hours at the house. No gifts this year. We were to eat hot wings and watch the kids do crafts.

Then she pulled out unwrapped "gifts." We were mad at her until we figured out they weren't gifts at all, they were three bags of Dad's stuff. He was a pack rat. The bags were filled with random items that she drug out of a closet. I almost lost it, but I still held it together. I even fought back the tears as I came to a photo album filled with pictures of my dad with my kids at various ages. I had to fight the tears harder when I reached the spiral notebook filled with his college aviation notes. His handwriting was amazing. Left-handed block print so small it looked perfect.

But what got me was the song on the radio driving home - one of our songs. Four kids in the car, Ryan at home sick, and I was bawling in the front. The type of crying that has no noise. My face wasn't even horribly pinched, just an overwhelming amount of tears sliding down my cheeks faster than I could discreetly wipe them away.

I pulled into the gas station near Dad's house and did my best to look put together before walking into the store. This is the moment I will remember forever.

A very nice looking guy (for those who remember the 90s, think Color Me Badd's Bryan Adams, yes I am a sucker for a guy with a goatee) behind the counter rung up my soda and even though I thought I was masking my dismay fairly well, he said, "Oh darling, don't cry, it will get better."

I lost it. Again, no noise, no scrunched face, just tears streaming down. As he took my debit card he did a good job of trying to ignore the tears since he noticed I was trying my best to keep them at bay. He read my last name aloud and said it was familiar. Since he pronounced it correctly, unlike most, I knew he must know one of us. My tears stopped as he mentioned my aunt's name and I confirmed I was related to her. As I signed my debit card receipt, he told me again things will look up. At that point I felt I should say something about my sorrow. I didn't want him thinking I was a battered woman or victim of some crime. In a near whisper I said, "It's the first year without my dad."

Immediately his face changed and said, "Oh honey, I am in the same boat. My brother died last February." What is it with February? His brother died on the 18th; my father died on the 16th. He was so sweet. He didn't have to talk to the crazy crying lady, but he did. It was enough to make me feel a little less alone and I only cried half as hard the rest of the way home.

It sort of makes me wonder why I didn't just grab an extra Dr. Pepper out of the fridge at Dad's house. Or why I didn't go the short way home past the other gas station. Or why turned on the music radio station instead of my usual talk radio or mp3 of Harry Potter. I guess somethings happen for a reason.


Saturday, January 5, 2008

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree!

Here it is. My lovely tree as it stood on Christmas day at 3:00 AM. When we first put the tree up it had beautiful gold bows all lined up in a corner about three feet off the ground care of my oldest. There were also dozens of mismatched ornaments scattered by kid hands. Those lasted about three days. A Monday hit and a group of two year olds had fun pulling them off and sorting them into buckets. When our angel was placed at the top, she stood up straight and proud. About two weeks later while I was plating lunch, the "triplets" tried to use the top of the toy box as a sled. They propped it up against the tree and tried to climb aboard. It didn't work so well. Ryan wanted to fix her, but I asked him not to touch her. Although slightly crooked, she seemed to be looking down on the kids as they played.

Notice that small red bag near the top? Yeah, I didn't either. It wasn't until I told the kids I saw something in the tree (referring to their MP3 players I hid in it) that my oldest spotted the red bag for Mommy. Sometimes that man of mine tears me up!

This beautiful tree was sent to us by our loyal listener Shawn. The gate cracks me up! The last time I used a gate was to keep three 11 months old in my family room. It wasn't long before the triplets figured out they could use their combined weight pry it from its spot. Next I tried using furniture to help reinforce the gate. It wasn't long before they were scaling it! That was the end of our gate phase.

I have to mention Shawn, I am super jealous of your gorgeous fireplace and red wall! I really do need to pull out some paint around here and have fun. Oh, and I dig the blue tree skirt. I love blue :)

And on to my FAVORITE tree this year! Andrea from Minnesota sends us this picture, and I have to admit, at first it confused me. It was one of those days where I was only half paying attention to the screen, but then it hit me - it's her tree! I will let her tell the story herself as she is the self proclaimed reigning champ of pathetic Christmas trees:

"I came to know my first pathetic Christmas tree when I was 19 years old. I had finally taken the plunge into true adulthood by leaving home and becoming roommates with my very best friend who was renting a 1 bedroom apartment. My friend and had both just been laid off from our jobs and had absolutely no money for Christmas that year. In an effort to be creative and different my friend and I took a tall house plant that I had gotten as a house warming gift when I first moved in, and attempted to decorate it. Unfortunately the only thing we could use as decorations was tinsel. When we tried to put anything heavier than that on our "Christmas Plant" The poor thing would tip over spilling dirt on the table it was placed on.

My next encounter with the pathetic tree happened in 2002. I had been in my own place with my daughter for a little over a year. I had just met and began dating my husband that fall, and this was our first Christmas together. We were given a tree by uncle. He had gotten the tree as a hand me down from one of his neighbors. We knew the tree was fairly old but nothing prepared us for what happened when got it set up and ready to decorate. The some of the plastic pine needles would fall off every time we place and ornament on it. Pine needles falling off is something I would expect from a live Christmas tree not from a fake tree. My uncle was not kidding when he said the tree was old. This tree was ancient. To add to the "antique" charm of this tree were the hand me down ornaments that were without hooks to hang them with. My husband, the creative man that he is, ran out and bought a couple boxes of paper clips and we used those as hooks for the ornaments.

Now we come to the lovely tree that you see in the photos. Once again we were given a hand me down tree. This time our tree came complete with missing parts for the tree stand. My mom tried to rectify the situation by purchasing a tree stand from a local thrift store. Unfortunately the stand she purchased was intended for the wide trunk of a live tree. No matter how hard we tried we could not get the skinny trunk or our imitation tree to fit. My daughter was totally heartbroken and had fears that without a tree Santa would not be stopping at our home on Christmas Eve night. The mom in shot straight into action. While my kids were in my daughter's room watching a movie and my husband was out getting more tape to wrap gifts, I got out all the construction paper we owned and got to work. When my husband came home and saw what I was doing and how hard I was working at it. He hugged me, called me creative and proclaimed my paper tree the best Christmas tree he has ever had.

I call all my unique Christmas trees pathetic purely for the humor factor. In all honestly there is something beautiful about each pathetic tree that I have had. The first symbolized my independence as an adult on her own. The second is a symbol of the first and many more Christmases to come with my husband. The last tree shows that a mother will do just about anything to ensure that their child/children have the happiest holiday possible."

I LOVE it! Thanks to the listeners for sharing their tree pictures!

- Sara