Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tuesday Tutorial- Do It Tapper Style

Dear Click and Clack,
Take notes. This is how we deal with car trouble Tapper-style.

Short of life and death health problems and those super sticky family dramas is there anything more stressful than a car that breaks down?
Because it never picks that one day a month when my hair is shiny and my skin is clear and my skinny (that's a relative term) jeans fit.

No. Cars are alive.

Alive enough to sense when we are nearing a mental overload and they save their real whoppers for the moments when we are teetering on the edge.
Days when our children act like this in a store when all we needed to do was buy safety pins.
I know it looks like the Dancer just got done dancing. What really happened was I lost the you-can't-wear-your-tutu-to-the-store fight.
Days when it is melt-your-skin-off hot outside and the little ones just have to get to a party because there is a face painter coming.

That's when you get into your fancy hybrid car (please tell me that you know I'm not serious about my car being fancy) with it's fancy hybrid system screen and you see everything lit up like a fancy Christmas tree.
I mean, this car did everything short of announcing that it would blow up momentarily.
This is how I, as a woman, interpret this screen.

P.S. Your main engine is about to explode!

Kaboom! So do you put the crazy children in the exploding car to get them to the face painter?
Or, do you sit in the 97 degree parking lot and cry?

Well, if you do it Tapper style you strap them in, mutter a plea for mercy in case any traffic angels are within earshot and go see the face painter.

Who says women are the weaker sex?

Monday, August 29, 2011


So, I don't like mosquitoes.
Or spiders.

Or bedbugs.
Or ticks.

So I have a love hate relationship with the great outdoors.
I love the great outdoors!
I hate the stuff in the great outdoors.
So once I see one too many creepy crawlies I retreat back inside my home that is sprayed for all bugs every three months.

I feel safe here.
But Saturday I opened a window to let in some gorgeous fall air and there was an explosion of
buzzing and flapping wings. I apparently scared this big boy. And he in turn scared me.

And delighted the Cowgirl. Once the initial scare was over, and I knew it wasn't a rabid bird, we caught him and took some good looks before we set him free. Don't ask me how he got in the house. I am perplexed.
But glad.
Some unpleasant surprises are really lovely.

Friday, August 26, 2011

They wear helmets!

Before we even get started, here is a freebie just to make you smile.

You're welcome.
Just remember as you read the post- helmets.

Now, let's get down to business.
Due to the dust and debris filling my home for most of the last two months I have either been too tired and busy to blog, or just couldn't find my computer. Or an outlet to plug it in. Serious sorries. So I have to play catch up now.
On the last Saturday of summer we decided to celebrate by throwing the Cowgirl up a tree.
What could be more fitting for our nature loving, half monkey child? She took a climbing class where she learned to get herself thirty feet up in a tree without assistance.

And then hang upside down.
ummm, yeah, no comment.

My sis-in-law, the Crafter, thinks I have a death wish for my little girl. Between letting her jump fences on a horse and ride with the Artist on the motorcycle and dangle from little ropes... she makes an argument. But I promise there is nothing nefarious going on.
A helmet.

All's well.

Anyway, I consider this on the job training. Someday when she is sitting in a tree for three weeks to get a four second shot of a Mongolian lemur, or riding a moped through Nigeria, or taking a camel across Egypt on assignment for National Geographic, she is going laugh to herself and say, "I am all over this."

Cheers to all the incredible adventures of youth!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Never Stop Learning

I am amazed at how many opportunities life gives us to learn something new.

Three quickies that I got to add to my vast stores of knowledge this week:

1. There is a spot by my eye that can get a zit only when doing home improvement projects. When I manage to ignore all other stress signals, my body will come up with a real zinger to get my attention.

2. My daughter thought it was called the cholesterol kingdom. You have to be a Mormon to know how funny that is, but trust me- it's brilliant. Apparently when we die we all get to pig out on bacon and that gives the afterlife a whole new appeal to the Artist.

3. My children think being proactive means complaining about not being able to find something before they. even. start. looking.

And that's all folks!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I'm doing the alone dance!

I have a whole other post about the Dancer's first day of preschool and my hilarious ability to botch almost anything, but the pictures aren't loaded yet, so let me just fill in briefly.

I am alone.
Can you understand exactly what I am saying? (if you are a mother, you get it)
Alone. In my own house.

The Dancer is at preschool.
The Cowgirl is in third grade.
And I have graduated to being a mother with three hours in the morning.

Which will be a lot more fun next week when I can reclaim my house.

Oh, what's that, my friend? You want to know what happened to my house.
Let's go back to the beginning. Thirteen years ago I fell in love with an artist. And two artistically minded people joined in a common cause to overcome ugliness- let's just say it's not always pretty.
We just keep doing it! We keep deciding that we can just make one little improvement.
And before we know it- well, see for yourself:

A few precious days ago this place was still recognizable as a home.
And I had a sink.
And a refrigerator.
It was a special time.
I just couldn't leave well enough alone.

But speaking of alone- I am!
I took a victory run this morning (I'm sure my panting didn't look too victorious, but trust me, I felt it on the inside) and when these three golden hours of aloneness are over, I'm looking forward to some golden hours of togetherness.
Balance is a beautiful thing.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Best Seat on the Street

We went to Omaha two weeks ago with our best friends to support one of our favorite girls in a church musical. While there we discovered a little gem in the middle of downtown. They have a beautiful river walk running past the old market district.
and the city shows their support for modern, quirky art by having every bench in the entire downtown completely unique from all the others. every twenty yards we had to stop and try out a new one.

You may have noticed that we somehow collected an extra daughter along our walk. :)
She is such a good friend I just tell people I'm her aunt.
And though I'm not quite old enough to have a teenager yet, when someone complimented our family as we were sitting on this bench I didn't even flinch. I just wish I could claim her for real!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Cavemom Speak

I am noticing that my children cause serious regression in my language skills.

Quick illustration: (Setting, my messy car. Speaker, Tapper. Patience, running low.)

Please do not hit your sister. We are just going to pick up a pizza and if you hit you may not have a slice.

smack smack from the back seat.

No! No hitting your sister. You will not get pizza.


No! If you hit, no pizza.

smack smack.

Hit No Pizza.
Hit No Pizza!

No, No, No Pizza!

Way to go, Cavemom.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

History, laundry and sick kids

So I still have two little sickies.
Five straight days of fever and (there is no good word for puke) other symptoms.
I have been washing the sheets on every bed every day. (when you're sick fresh sheets feel so good!)
I've washed the towels every day.
I wash the pillows and the blankets and anything else that isn't permanently adhered to the walls or floor.
And today the girls each hung out in their sleeping bags watching movies.
And I was looking at those sleeping bags and the bad little voice on my shoulder said, "just roll them up and put them away. No one threw up on them. You won't use them again for months."
And I was tempted because I am practically doing laundry in my sleep.
And if you think I'm kidding- I dreamed about laundry last night.
It's a new personal low.
But then my college history professor showed on my other shoulder and I could hear him teaching about sending blankets infected with smallpox to decimate native populations.
Audible Sigh.
So if you stay at my house and I offer you sleeping bag, don't worry.
What's two more loads?
Maybe tonight I'll dream of dryer sheets that smell like a meadow full of flowers.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

coloring books

Yesterday the Dancer came up behind me with a blanket thrown over her shoulders and said three little words that made my skin crawl.

Mommy, I'm cold.

blink. blink. crickets.

It is a 106 degrees outside. At night we get down to a refreshing 95 degrees.

With dread I reached out and touched her head and found just what I thought I would find-

a fever.

Unwilling to be left out, the Cowgirl conjured up a fever several hours later and we had a puke party all night.

Bring your own bucket.

So today I am filling bottles with sprite, bringing them long sleeves.
Then short sleeves. Then that silky nightgown. Until we puke on the silky nightgown and go back to long sleeves.
I was sitting at the table, trying to figure out what to do since I already washed every sheet and towel in my home and both girls were napping, when I realized that I was coloring ladybugs in my daughter's coloring book.
Sixteen of them.
Eight purple ladybugs.
Eight blue ladybugs. (those were the only markers sitting on the table)
So why do you have to know about my ladybug coloring?
Because now you are as bored as I am.
And I feel better knowing that.