Thursday, December 10, 2009

While Mom's Tucked Away...

Yesterday was a snow day. Yay. (Note the sarcasm.) I knew I was days away from finishing my novel and I planned a week long sprint to the finish. A snow day threw a serious wrench in the process. But I was a good mommy-- I bundled children up to go out into arctic temperatures to play in the inch of snow we were covered with. I made pancakes and hot chocolate for breakfast and turkey paninis for lunch. And promptly at 1:00 I checked out of the mommy shift and went to work at my author job while Julia and Jenna were cleaning their room and the two little ones took naps.

But somewhere in the day, my powder room was invaded by squirrels.

Or small children. I discovered this "nest" when I used the powder room this morning. These kids are making me work for it but the joke's on them. If all goes well (meaning hours of writing) I will finish my book TODAY. Oh, yeah.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Dance Party

Hello, I'm Denise and I'm pretty much musically illiterate. I've spent the last 20 years listening to music sung by rodents, puppets and dancing vegetables. I can sing every Yo Gabba Gabba song ever written. But real music? Not so much.

Between writing and working out at the gym, I've found that music is indispensable but honestly, who wants to challenge themselves on an elliptical machine to There's A Party In My Tummy? Seriously. That's when I became acquainted with the iPod portion of my iPhone, the very same phone that I got with the world's most expensive cup of coffee. I used to have an iPod but Ross broke his and "borrowed" mine: aka he never returned it. But truthfully, I didn't miss it. I hardly had any music on it. So when I started writing and working out I needed music and who better to turn to? My boys. They hooked me up and before I knew it, I was listening to music on my head phones all the time.

But sometimes you want to share your music, especially when you find yourself listening to the same CD all day long, you just gotta share the love, you know? So I bought myself an iPod/iPhone docking station with a speaker for Christmas and now we listen to music all the time. Okay, so my kids are positively sick of listening to Watchout! There's Ghosts ***, I'm the mom. Go somewhere else. Or stay and dance. Yes, with all this music floating in the air spontaneous dance parties are bursting out at all times.

Dancing is great for many reasons. It makes the kids get their energy out. I get to burn some energy off after sitting in a chair all day and we have fun dancing together. Oh, and I also usually look like a fool, but what's new? Tonight we made a video one of our dance parties. Yes, there is a video with me dancing to Black Eyed Peas Boom Boom Pow. No, it will not be posted to this blog. But here are the girls dancing minus Ryan, who decided he just wanted to watch. Oh, and this is pretty tame stuff. We're usually wilder than this.

Yeah, I taught them all their moves.

*** If you decide to click the link on Watchout! There's Ghosts bear throught the first 20 seconds or so of "screaming" it gets so much better!!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Garden Hose

I'm sitting at my desk looking at a black garden hose laying in my back yard. It's been there for over a week. It was against the house until the kids went out there one day and decided to drag it around the yard. And there it sits, where they deserted it, waiting to be moved.

My car needs an oil change and when the weather gets cold the tires always need air. When our cold snap hit yesterday, the tire light came on my dashboard, along with the low fuel light. I thought of trying to see how many check engine lights I could get lit up but decided against it. So yesterday morning, I stopped at the gas station and filled up my tank and drove my car over to the air and filled my tires. Because no one else is going to do it.

When Darrell died, I became a single mother to four children. I did not choose that. But when I adopted 2 more children and became a single mother to six, I did choose that. I chose this life, this crazy, chaotic mess of a life. You'll not hear me complain. Freely choosing this life strips me of all complaining rights. Most of the time I just accept it, revel in it even, 95% of the time I love my life.

But sometimes being a single mother sucks.

The dogs have been out of food since Friday. Not to worry, they've dined like little queens. They've had deli turkey and scrambled eggs I cooked specifically for them. I should have gone to the grocery store but between hauling kids to parties and putting up Christmas trees, and God forbid even trying to write, the thought of loading the small children in their puffy coats into and out of the car seats put me in overwhelm. So I didn't go. Until this morning, because too many eggs for a dog is bad news and Julia has a choir concert and her new pair of show choir shoes hurt her feet. Three days ago I promised I'd get her inserts for her shoes and I hadn't gotten them yet. At 8:30 this morning, I left my small children who had been up since before 6:00 in Julia's care and went to the store to get food, inserts, Christmas ornament hooks and a Starbucks Mocha, because some days I just deserve one. (Some days I don't but I get it anyway.) I came home with everything except the ornament hooks.

Sometimes when the little kids are up before the sun, I wish I could roll over and tell someone else. "It's your turn." Or if I don't feel like making dinner, I wish I had someone else to make it instead of resorting to chicken nuggets or fast food. I wish I had someone to take my car to get its oil changed and the brakes fixed. I wish when I try to hide in my room to write a post I swore I'd never write, that my children wouldn't stream in one by one with their complaints and their cries. I wish someone else would break up their fights, play referee, deal with their crankiness. But I won't complain; I have no right to complain. I chose this.

I'm still sitting at my desk looking out into the yard as I write this and that damn garden hose is still there. I should just get up from this chair and go down and drag in around to the front of the house into the garage. But I think I'll leave it for now. That's something I can complain about.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Laughter Really Is the Best Medicine

When I was on my 4 day, child free, woman only getaway last month, we went to a very popular restaurant for a late breakfast. Imagine 13 boisterous women at a very long table in a small room. To say it was loud is an understatement. We laughed and talked and had such a great time that we ran off an older couple sitting at a table nearby. They literally asked to be moved because we were so loud. When we were finished eating, I went to the bathroom and passed a table with seven women in the main dining room. They were prim and proper and very sedate and as I walked by I thought to myself "Thank God I'm not at that table."

Yesterday, I went and got my hair done, part of the continuation of "It's all about me" phase. (More accurately it should be "more about me"  but I like the sound of "all about me" so I'm sticking to it.) It had been awhile since I'd been and I had some wicked roots going on.  The salon I go to is the one that did my makeover last year, so they know me there and know my "past," which is always a bonus.  It was a last minute appointment so I ended up with my cut first and highlights second, not the usual order of things.  The owner of the salon cuts my hair and he's an awesome guy, but I have so much more fun with the stylist who colors my hair, Allen.

Allen is a hot mess. He's gay and not afraid to let the world know it, so consequently, he's entertaining.  I sat in his chair and as he played with my hair, he asked what color we were going with that day for the highlights.  I told him the same, unless he had other ideas, which I was open to.  We agreed to go with the same but then Allen suggested I go with his color, which is completely dark and unhighlighted.  Without missing a beat, I told him I thought that was a great idea because then I could be come his stalker.  It all went down hill from there.  By the time he was done putting foil in my hair, we were laughing so much that the entire salon was trying to figure out what was going on with us and the stylist and her client next to us.  Our conversation covered many topics from my book and my second project which we determined will be a book about Allen.  The first sentence will be: "Once upon a time there was a diva stylist and he was a hot mess."  It went onto how I could stalk him at the karaoke clubs he goes to on Wednesday and Sunday nights. and his love for Lady Gaga and how he's learning the dance to Bad Romance, which I offered to learn and dance with him at my next appointment.  When I left I had some really great hair but also half my makeup smeared off from laughing so much I cried.

Today I went to Starbucks to write.  Ryan changed preschools so its more difficult to hook up with my SIL Janne' but we determined that I would go write and she would drop in and see me.    Soon after she arrived my friend Heather, who calls herself my stalker, showed up because she was driving by and recognized our vans. (See, she really is a stalker.) We spent the hour or more talking (which included a litany of the many ways multiple pets have met their tragic end in our household) and laughing so much people were straining to look at us tucked in my little writers nook. (I usually sit in a corner behind the counter where no one can see me- explanation below.)  When they  left, they apologized for staying so long and interrupting my writing and I realized how truly lucky I am.  How many people have so many friends that make them laugh on such a consistent basis?  And how is it that it took me so many years to find them?

* I hide when I write because when I first started going away to write last year, my boys would make fun of me. They told me that people only went to Starbucks with their laptops so they could look cool.  They then proceeded to show me which included them banging their fingers on a table top, turning their heads right and left, occasionaly picking up an imaginary coffee cup with one hand while "typing" with the other and saying "Look at me!  I'm working!  I'm writing!  Look at me!"  Consequently, I was forever scarred and became a hideaway writer.  Look for me in the corner of your nearest Starbucks.