Sunday, December 30, 2007

It's Ele-Fuck-Em!

Okay, the game is called Elefanten. But my kids call it Fluff a Lump. And based on how crappy it's made, I call it Ele-Fuck-Em.

I know this is vulgar. My New Year's resolution is not to curse. I have a BS in English, for fxx's sake. But I'm also fed up with the BS of these toys that charge us out the wazoo and don't work.

Lucky for me, not even the toy industry can get me down. Why? Because here's my 2008 attitude: Be happy for what I have, not what I don't.

And so, while I don't have a husband who buys me diamond earrings for Christmas, he's the master of toy building and all things electronic. Who got to go to church - alone - this morning while Star Trek Captain Rex ruled the savage alien toddlers? Me.
And then, just to be a comlete geek and hero, he saves the day again. Check out the photo: the fan in the Fuck-E-Lump didn't blow the cheap pieces of ca-ca butterflies out the shoot fast enough for the ADD video game move move it move it faster faaaaster FAAAAAAAASTER generation known as our children. So what does he do? Take it to the garage, open it up, re-wire a few parts, add a charger that plugs into the wall (as opposed to batteries that die) and Voila! What we have, my friends, is one ninja-fighting-butterfly-blowing-windtunnel of an elephant.

If only I could find the positive side to my triple layer mama belly. Winter warmth? I'm still working on that one....
More of my writing can be found on I write under the name Andrea Frazer and can be found in the Momformation Section.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Having a Ball

The other day Stink was getting dressed. He was in such a hurry, he forgot his underware.

Me: "Are you going to put on your underpants, or are you going to free ball it?"

Him: (Pause) "Freeballing? Is that going naked in Spanish?"

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Grandma Got Run Over by a Fruitcake

Okay, not really. But my mom really loves fruitcake. Personally, I'd rather be run over by a reindeer than eat one, but to each her own.

Did you all have a nice holiday? I did. I really really did. From Xmas eve at our house with Rex's family to dinner at my moms the next day, it was awesome. A lot of work, but awesome. Rex and I discovered that we really like cooking together. Translation: I buy the stuff and he hovers over the stove like a chicken over her eggs while I crack jokes and follow directions, but it works.

A quick nod to my mom. What I love about her place on the holidays is how comfortable it is. It doesn't matter if you're wearing your pajamas (Stink), a pink heart tee shirt with faded pants (outfit a la Papa - he tried), or Jesus shoes paired with jeans and a beer sweat shirt (that would be my fashion nightmare hubster again.)

Everyone brings food, everyone cleans up, and everyone eats too much, tells too many dumb jokes, drinks too much and makes a lot of noise. There's the inevitable talk of religion, politics and who died that year. There's the inevitable talk of movies, family drama and who was born that year. Old friends are staples, new friends are welcomed, and the family dog is always ready for a hand out. (Though not so much this year, for in addition to new friends came a new dog, courtesy of my cousin. This black purse-sized lap puppy runs a close race with my kids for being my mother's favorite, so I'm keeping a watchful eye.)

One of the highlites of the evening was clearing off the kids' table, only to have it replaced with a Dora the Explorer themed Candy Land. It was like watching old gangsters bet for dough - the competition was thick. There were tears of loss, shouts of joy, attempts at cheating and toddler cursing. "Oh, maaaaaan!" (Moms of Swiper the Fox fans will get that quote. People who don't, count your blessings.)

My family is far from perfect, but I always feel love when I'm there. I'll miss the house when it sells, but the memories and traditions for my own home will always remain. It's there, in that rambling ranch, that I learned about the importance of community, being together, being myself, story telling and food. Above all, the food.

What are some of the things or places you enjoyed this year?

* Photo of Pip, Stink and their two cousins who live a mile from us. They range in age from 3, 4, 5 and 6. Let's just say that it gets a bit wild when the sugar sets in, but it's worth it. I hope they have great memories of Christmas Day gaming, hiding under the adult table, and the time the toilet overflowed in the back hallway bathroom. (If you didn't know about that, Mom, you do now. Wooops.)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Oh Christmas Three, Oh Christmas Three...

It's true what they say. It comes in threes, such as:

1. Death. Bless the Soul of my Aunt Joan, my cousin's Aunt Edie, and Dan Folkelberg. I'm not saying they all have to be related to us, just saying it happens. And seriously, this is selfish, because all of them mean something to someone, but Aunt Joan is the one I miss. Another post is warranted for sure on this great lady who never failed to send me a birthday card with five dollars, a hand painted portrait or a just a funny story about the time she peed like a race horse on the highway during her trip across country. She was 80 at the time. My cousins took photos of the damage on the desert sand. We're all real classy that way.

2. Wisemen. I have to say, though, if I'd have just given birth in a barn, and three men came in with with more jewlery on than me, I'd be pretty darn mad. And how much you want to make a bet that if that happened today, Joseph would drag at least one of the men into the home office to check out the new DSL cable?

3. Days before Christmas. THREE DAYS.

How are you all doing on that? I was doing pretty well until today, 'round 11:15. My father-in-law came by unnannounced with a gift for my husband. And I'm glad he did. He's welcome anytime. But let's just say there were pots in the living room where Rex and I were figuring out our traditional Italian Christmas soup, laundry on the stairs, cars all over the tv room and dishes in, on and around the sink. I started to scurry to tidy the magazines while he used the bathroom (which I can't promise fared much better than the kitchen) and my husband just looked at me, with two words, "Why bother?" He was right. I sat back in defeat and alternated between sipping cold coffee, reading Clifford the Firetruck Dog to Stink, and watching Pip "Stop! Drop! & Roll!" like a drunk on a bender.

Then I had to get the back lawn toys up for my husband to mow. Because it's Saturday. And he mows. Every Saturday. And I have to do my part to keep our lawns looking like Dublin Ireland. It's a nice fake-out for when people come into the house and it looks like the inside of a tent city.

After FIL left, I did the laundry and decided that the load of ironing that was supposed to be done for Christmas Eve would last a few days more. Matching plaid pajamas instead for the kids? It's not their finest fare, but it's pretty darn cute, so be it!

In trying to get out the door to pick up my Christmas cards at Costco, Stink insisted on walking right into the sprinklers. So now I'm facing a potentially sick kid AND late Christmas cards. Joy to the World!

The only thing Rex wanted was the ingredients for his soup. While dragging two children around traffic more crazy than the media about Jamie Lynn Spear's pregancy (Poor girl - leave her alone!) I did the dry clean run, the warehouse shopping, the card pick-up and the groceries for the rest of the week. The ingredients for the soup? Not so much.

I was going to get Scooby wrapping paper for Stink and Strawberry Shortcake for Pip. I had grand visions of wrapping them with vintage ribbons in front of my fire, glass of wine in my hand, dog at my feet. I don't have a dog, but it didn't stop me from dreaming. Instead, I wrapped their gifts while the kids bathed a few feet away. I used the Same. Paper. I. Use. Every. Year. Snowflakes for Pip, the reverse side of a winter wonderland for Stink. (I'm hoping most of you readers know that Santa doesn't exist. If not, I give you Reality for 500! My gift to you this year!)

It's 7:15. I'm off to the store now for soup base. Am I stressed? Not really. I've had a super holiday this year. I wish I'd done a bit more baking. I wish I had my family photos up, or a family video done. I really wish I understood my husband's love for this game he's playing beside me, "Command & Conquer." But... I have food on my table, people in my home in lieu of new photos, a husband that's cooking the Christmas Eve feast and a life's motto of Comand and Conquer, so it's not so shabby.

We are lucky to have so much. As always, thanks for the gift of you, lovely readers!

* Taken a few days ago. Why am I the only one ecstatic to be with my kids? If this is how they feel now, what's it going to be like when they're teenagers? Scowls of death? Hooded masks? Rotten kids.
PSS: I'm hoping next year to replace the 1980's coffee stained mini-blinds with those tissue style folded doo-hickeys that look like roman shades. You know what I'm talking about? Good. Otherwise, I'll be the one scowling next year.
More of my writing can be found on I write under the name Andrea Frazer and can be found in the Momformation Section.

Friday, December 21, 2007

You Don't Bring Me Flour....

Lest you all think I walk around all day in a perfectly clean home smelling of cinnamon (see prior post), let me let you in on a little reality: In order to spend 15 minutes alone - that's 8 minutes snapping photos and 7 uploading them to my server (less time than it took to conceive these little stinkers) my children turned my kitchen into a made for cable tv movie, When Sugar Cookies Attack.

Under normal circumstances, I'd make them clean it up themselves.

In this case, the destruction was so vast, and so spread out, I knew that their "help" would only spread the calamity further. Like the Plague, or Paris Hilton's jail sentence, isolation was truly the best option.

And so, as much as I'd love cutesy wootsy little flour footprints all over my newly scrubbed wood floors, I opted to have them wash their hands and plop down on the couch.

My husband's only comment when he walked into the kitchen? "Making cookies?"

Oh, yeah. He's a smart one, that Rex.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mama P, On Tour in Your Town

Hello all -
Susie Q of Rabbit Run Cottage has the absolute loveliest post in the universe where she opens up her home to us for a virtual cup of Christmas cheer. It's from December 16 and can be found here, along with a fabulous soundtrack of vintage and modern tunes to warm the heart.

Gretchen of Good Enough for Now does a fabulous job here. In it you can find a link to BooMama's site who inspired the craze. I haven't read Boo myself, but I hear she is incredibly talented.
And so, with very little sarcasm (that will come tomorrow, I'm certain) I give you my home.

The new additions?
The little cork board squares I found at Office Depot. I put them on my front door as reminders for busy weeks. What life savers they are.

The Advent box in the dining room courtesy of Costco.

The hint of welcome mat at the front door. It's shiny and welcoming. The other one was more wrinkled than Robert Redford.
The plants behind the log pile. Rex planted those in spring. I thought they'd be nasty, as I pictured a cape cod type look with an anchor and rope fence. But I shut my mouth and am glad I did. (Just as he took my word on the chocolate brown bathroom paint and red door - he likes it now. He's the outdoors man, I'm in the inside gal.)
The pinecone on the front hall table decorated by Pip. Stink has one somewhere around here also.
The computerized frame from Rex from Mother's Day. I LOOOOVE it. Have you all seen those?
The old?
My mom's Spode on loan for Christmas Eve (The bitch wants it back. Wink wink.)
The tree is from Stella's friend in her community replete with vintage ornaments.

The Grinch comes via my mother from a few years back where I almost got kicked out of a play area for a mommy brawl.
The rocking horse on the table is right out of my childhood. His head comes off all the time, but I love him so much.
The wreath is from my childhood also.

The tablecloth is from my childhood. (Are you sensing a theme here? Um... I'll have to get a few new items this year with Cecelia. But I do love me some vintage, so I don't care.)

The wood is from my husband. (The wood pile, you pervs!) He keeps us warm in winter. He keeps himself warm by hogging that green chair from my apartment days. Wow, that was a big purchase from Macy's back in the day. The pillow courtesy of Salvation Army. Note to self: Get the chair steam cleaned! Good God, what is that stain from? (Oh, no, it's not that.)

The bathroom I painted myself (thank you very much.) Rex did the woodwork and painted it. The medicine cabinet is from Target. I might have flirted with the cashier at Salvation Army and scored the rose handmade needle print picture (notice the double mat and real wood frame) along with ten shirts and a little gift for a friend, for under 20 bucks. Merry Christmas to me!

One year, I'll have a present under the tree for each of you. Until then, Happy Holidays from the bottom of my heart.
PS: Sorry about the wonky spacing. For some reason Blogger is going nuts. No matter how much I put in spaces, it sucks everything into one big paragraph. Ah, well. Like Santa, you'll just have to believe...I tried.

More of my writing can be found on I write under the name Andrea Frazer and can be found in the Momformation Section.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Weaving the Infusiloom

My daughter has this curly hair that knots and ties more than a Boy Scout on a fishing trip. I try to be gentle, but before the brush even hits her head, she screams like Tom Cruise at a Scientology convention.

My husband, on the other hand, has this brilliant ability to take the "Papa brush" and smoothe out the ringlets. She smiles and coos and winks at herself in the mirror like the little narcissist that she is.

I'd like to give Rex props - that he's just an amazing father who has that special touch with his little firecracker. But unfortunately, the sad truth is that, after so many years of watching Star Trek, the Borg has finally entered his I.T. spine. While touching my little howler, he is somehow transferring his alien voo-doo, rendering my traditional hell-cat into a helpless little kitten. Poor Rex might be off duty a few months as he's forced into the decontamination chamber for a virus update.

I'll keep you posted.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Who Laid the Yule Log?

Sorry, Mom, but that's a funny title.

This might be the season of love, etc., but there's a lot of craziness in the air. Holidays bring out the best, but also the worst, in people. I might have sent out a few crazed vibes myself this week so it's time to take a chill. I'm not sure what that means, but it better involve my butt in a pair of sweats and some tennis shoes. I'm thinking this coffee and sugar deal, combined with hours in front of my computer, with dishes in the sink and no plans for the day kind of equals disaster.

And so, I present to you my goals for this weekend to get my act into tip top shape.





I got nothing.

* Photo taken of Pipsqueak this afternoon. It's sugar Friday, which means we eat a few items we don't normally indulge in. Today it was chips. Given my bugger fell asleep with her hand lodged in the package, I'm thinking it was a success.
Note to self: vacuum car.
Note to self again: forgive yourself for not doing it because, come on, you know you won't.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Red red whine....

So yesterday wasn't the greatest day on the planet, but I survived. And in celebration, I'm taking the kids out of school today. We're going to Disneyland! Yep, sippy cups with organic milk for them, sippy cups with red wine for my best friend and me. Ooooh, the magic of the season.

Hey, if you need some good writing and some dance-a-licious tunes, I present to you, the fabulous: Valerie

And now, I'm off to wear mouse ears and act silly. "And what makes this different from any other day?" Oh, just shut up.

And Mom, thanks for everything. Much much better today.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Snark The Herald, Angels Bling Bling...

I've read alot in the past few days about holiday guilt. Seems like a lot of women feel like they're doing it wrong every year. They are not good with cooking, or they don't have their decorations up yet, or they don't have the energy to go to a party, and on and on and on...

I wonder why we're like this? Is it all the ads that come in our mailbox? Most of us are the first to say "I know that's just a fantasy life," but has the media industry still warped us into thinking that anything less than perfection is a failure?

I ask you all this: Who said we had to do anything? I, for one, LOVE this season. I have my decorations up now. But I didn't do it to prove a point or compete with what anyone else is or is not doing. I did it for me. Until this year, I'd always wait until Dec. 20ish to get it together. For once, I wanted it up for a month so I could enjoy it. And the kids had a blast downloading the tree. (Is downloading the correct term for clusters of ornaments at the bottom rather than the top? Too much time with my comp hubby, I think.)

I wonder if neighbors, peering into my window on their nightly walks, will regard me as "one of those women". You know, the kind who care too much about the lights, or the presentation. The kind that lives for cooking the Christmas Eve turkey and hand wrapping the gifts for guests that I'm naive enough to think wouldn't want to be anywhere else but with me.

I question this, because I've been on the other side of my window, not just at Christmas, but many times in life. Um... many, many times. I've peered into others' existences and wondered how they "got it together". I mean, I wasn't exactly the kid at school being voted for prom queen. Hell, I was lucky I even went to prom. But I remember looking at the prom queen, thinking how lucky she was to be selected to be princess for a day. Slow dancing with some handsome jock, I marveled at her fortune to have it so together. But, did she really? Or, like my decorations, was it just a fancy light show? Did she, like the rest of us, have broken ornaments on the inside that needed repair?

I've made a commitment to myself on two levels:

1. Be the best person I care to be (not can be, but care to be) and not for a second defend my life to anyone anymore. If I have a cute husband and a nice home and a kick ass job, yeah for me! I deserve it. And everyone else deserves their fortune also. (Lord knows I'll be honest about the downside of all the good - one bitch fest blog post soon coming to an in-box near you!)

2. I will no longer give anyone else the power to make me feel like I'm somehow not doing enough. Because just being me is enough. In whatever capacity that is. And no one is making me feel anything. It's me making me feel what I think someone else feels. (Did I really say that?)

And 3... Yes, there's a 3... I always write too much... I want to help those along the way in any way I can. But if someone makes me feel bad about my choices, well, they can help themselves. I'm not interested. And that's okay, too. I'm Christian, but I can't please the world.

Wow... all that and my egg nog wasn't even spiked.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

And A Happy New Sneer...

So those Xmas photos? Um, yeah... we're still working on 'em.