Thursday, February 11, 2010

Capes of Grumpiness

Hello there old friends,

I realize it's been nearly six months since my last email, but in my defense, my children are getting harder and harder to ignore.

I'll try to sum up, but there's a good chance this will be a long email, so please prepare snacks and toilet breaks accordingly.

I know many of you only read my emails for the Bubbles update, but sadly Bubbles is gone. I realize this news may lose my some readers (you fickle cat fans you), but I couldn't go on pretending any longer.

We like to believe she found a better home (really not hard to believe considering the number of times she ran away, and the many families she tried to adopt), but we don't really know for sure.

The day after Thanksgiving, we went for a walk, Bubbles went with us, and she forgot to come back.

We already know that Bubbles' sense of direction, and her ability to find home is lacking, so it is possible that she got legitimately lost.

But as Jeff prefers to say, "we took her for a long walk off a short pier."

Although I am of mixed emotion about our cats disappearance, it solved the dilemma of what to do with her while we went to Oregon.

But since I am not completely cold hearted, I did jot down some kitty notes before Bubbles moved on:

While away on a short trip, Bubbles ran away again (surprise, surprise), but showed up a few days after our return (she was waiting at the door when Jeff came back from his run).

According to the Neighborhood Bubbles Network, she had tried to adopt a new family in a different part of the neighborhood, but to no avail. After many thwarted efforts to get into their house and garage, she jumped into their car. Thinking quickly, the Dad got in too, and drove her back to our house - and dropped her off at the end of our driveway, under the cover of darkness no less.

Since trying to physically catch a new family (reference jumping out of bushes at joggers), didn't work, Bubbles came up with a new plan - she would hop on the hood of cars that slowed down, and stay there until she got to their house.

Sounds a little far fetched, but I watched her do it at least twice. At first she was a little concerned when the car picked up speed, but then I swear she put her face to the wind, braced herself, and enjoyed the ride . . . all the way down the street and into the new family's garage.

Admittedly, it makes me a little sad that I won't be writing about Bubbles any more. But at least my children will be safe from running cat tackles.

Let's see, we've had Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas since my last writing. And as always, we went a little crazy (okay, Jeff mostly) decorating for Halloween. We dug graves, made stuffed babies and tested every noise and motion sensor in the yard. Jeff even added a chainsaw-wielding maniac this year (i.e. Jeff).

Jeff said it was all worth it when a kid started crying even before he got through the graveyard.

Christmas of course was another opportunity to decorate, and naturally, we had to keep up with traditions. There's something about giant ornaments hanging 20 ft. in the air that really bring out the Christmas spirit.

And the litmus for the success of the decorations, was when people driving by would stop and marvel at the wondrous Christmas miracle, that was our front yard.

Sometime during all of this, I continued to make tutus, and added capes to my list of accomplishments (boy oh boy, when the time comes for me to go back to work, think of the additions I'll have to my resume!). If a Tutu of Happiness can't make your day, we bring out the big guns - the Capes of Grumpiness.

In an effort to make new friends, I made the grumpiest person I know a beautiful shiny purple cape with sequined letters on it (SG for Super Grump), and I thought surely this would do the trick.

But strangely, she did not appreciate my efforts, nor does she engage me in conversation any longer . . . I can't imagine why.

Jeff got a new riding lawn mower recently, and has developed some neurosis about it.

Since Jeff is so busy doing laundry on the weekends, I thought I'd help out by mowing the lawn. But apparently I had broken some sort of Man Rule.

Jeff flagged me down, and with a crest-fallen look on his face asked, "What are you doing? I was looking forward to mowing all week."

Who knew?

There I was, just trying to help, and admittedly, get a little alone time (it's a sad state of affairs when you have to get on a loud machine to get some alone time), and getting no appreciation for my efforts.

Admittedly, I stayed on the mower another 20 minutes out of principal, but that still counts as helping, right?

I'm fairly certain that living with a preschool-aged child is equivalent to living with a crazy person, and when I found myself responding to something Addie said with, "No Addie, I don't think juice boxes get car sick." I knew I'd moved into a place I could never fully return from.

I started playing indoor soccer again, but have been surprised to find that four years, two kids and many pounds later, I am not nearly as light on my feet as I once was.


Okay, so I may never have been light on my feet, but my body and mind were at least on the same page. Now, I'm lucky if my brain can tell my feet to kick at the ball (not necessarily make contact mind you, but make some sort of kicking motion), before I fall down.

Not to mention that no one told me my bladder would refuse to play. Fortunately for me, I wasn't the only one, a gal with a six month old confided that she'd, "totally wet her pants" on that last move . . . I tell you, they're going about the teen sex ed. classes all wrong.

Since I have so much spare time, I decided that the preschool ought to have a silent auction during the Father Daughter Dance, because I'd be damned if I was going to sell or buy any more cookie dough.

I mean, it's a great way to make money for the school . . .

That's me - always thinking of others.

Anyway, since I opened my big mouth, I got to organize it. And as it turns out, I'm a bit of a control freak (okay, so we may have known that already, but the preschool people didn't), so I thought surely I could do the whole thing myself.

Martha wouldn't ask for help.

To make a long story short, I got a lot of donations, and we made a fair amount of money. And Jeff and Addie are so very glad it's finally over.

Jeff is doing a Leukemia & Lymphoma Fund-raising Race in May, and has to raise $500.

If it were me, I'd start making some phone calls, or set up a stand, but no one ever accused Jeff of taking the easy way out.

He has decided to wage a one man bake sale in an effort to raise the money. That's right - A One Man Bake Sale.

Every couple of days Jeff bakes cookies. This week it's monster cookies, last week it was sugar cookies.

He takes his cookies, his little sign and his tip jar to work, and sets it up in the break room.

He's apparently going to raise the $500 one dollar at a time - literally.

I'm fairly certain that the different ways we approach our fundraisers pretty much sums up the difference between he and I.

We flew back to Oregon at Christmas, and then again in January (for Jeff's grandpa's funeral, sadly). It's a long flight every way you look at it, and the kids did great each time - and we didn't even have to sedate them.

The last trip out west I felt like we were the control group in how contagious infections spread. When we landed in Portland, Lorelei had a raging case of pink eye, and Addie was doing her best to catch it too.

A long ride on the MAX into downtown helped spread the germy love even more. Meanwhile dodging questions from passengers about what exactly was wrong with our baby and had we taken her to the doctor.

Nothing like traveling cross-country with a crusty-eyed infant to really feel like a great parent.

Now that we've acclimated to living here in South Carolina, certain things are no longer as shocking as they once were.

Case in point, the tuxedos and corsages at the preschool Father Daughter Dance barely fazed me.

Discussions about going out and "killing me some terrorists" and hearing "them foreigners are always trying to cut in line" at the grocery store, just don't have the same impact they once did.

But I still haven't gotten used to reading about the pros and cons of the Confederate flag in the editorial section each week. Nor reading, "you must be from up north" as an insult rather than an observation.

Surely I'm forgetting some titillating and insightful tidbits, but for the life of me, I can't remember them.

Take care,

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