Friday, June 29, 2007

Single Mothers…. I Salute You.

Wednesday night… about 11:30…. Hot Stuff got a phone call. No, it wasn’t his girlfriend. It was his boss.

So. After a load of laundry, some rummaging to find his gear bag and travel toothpaste, a little good-lovin’ and a pot of coffee he left at 5:30 am to attend to his work order…. An off-area assignment to West Yellowstone.

And I begin my odyssey as a single parent for 14 days.

I was left with two directives….. make sure the kids survive and don’t forget to water the lawn. We’ll see how that goes.

Usually off-area dispatches are met with a mixture of sadness and glee. We will miss each other but Hot Stuff loves to fight fires and I love doing projects he wouldn’t approve of. So it works. But the kids are adding a new dynamic.

Sweet Boy is sad, sad, sad. He misses his daddy. It doesn’t help that the day before he left Hot Stuff gave him a “summer haircut” and he truly looks like a sad, sad, sad cancer survivor.

Being the Earnest Mommy that I am…. We’ve got lots of things Planned! ! ! Already I’ve resorted to the McD’s bribe and using Diego to buy me leg-shaving time. It doesn’t help when my normally charming daughter is doing… something. Teething? Illness? Sadness? She’s a cling-on.

To make SB happy…. I promise popcorn and fort-building behind the couch. The swimming pool/water slide and the new sand box. I will take you to places you are forbidden to go alone… the creek and the big rock pile behind the barn. Oreos on the porch and running through the sprinklers. Building a blanket-tent with the clothesline and playing “broken arm” with a REAL splint. Finger painting with pudding and chalk drawing in the shop. Pizza from Costco and movies from the library. Running around the yard with an old vacuum cleaner wand and a wrapping paper tube being “bad guys.” Picking daisies to put in old glass jars. Playing fire guys… even when you make me use the little chainsaw all the time. Sunscreen & bug repellent. Big beach towels and naps in the shade. All the summer fun you can imagine.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Best Summer Dinner....

Last night was one of those quality nights when everything just seems to go right, ya know?

You saw how I spent the afternoon....

I called Elle while driving to get the kids.... as usual she made me laugh until I almost drove off the road.... something about growing tomato plants and major league baseball.... you had to be there.

Picked up my shining, happy children. They were glad to see me and Sweet Boy has finally (ok, it took 2 days) adjusted to ME picking him up instead of daddy. (Hot Stuff went to a 9-6 ten-days-on schedule on Monday.) We drove home and talked about swimming lessons and water colors.

Did the usual get home routine... let the dog out, get the clothes off the line, take the diaper & work bags in the house and unload, nurse the babe, admire SB's coloring.

Then I poured myself a Blackfoot brew (did I mention I got CARDED at Blackfoot?) and lit the bbq.

NOW. PAY ATTENTION. THIS IS THE IMPORTANT PART OF THE POST.

I made hobo dinners. What? Never tried this? Big piece of tinfoil. Baby carrots. Thin-sliced potatoes and/or sweet potatoes (Sweet potatoes cook faster). Some sliced sweet onion. A hamburger patty. Salt & pepper. A slice of tomato on the burger (keeps it moist). Wrap up in the foil and toss on the grill. Turn once in a while. Ignore. Timing? Oh, I dunno. To get the potatoes truly cooked it takes about 40 minutes I think..... You can also do this in a camp fire or in the oven.

Tear it open, douse appropriately with ketchup and enjoy with your favorite Blackfoot brew.

Clean up.... throw away the tin foil and remember to turn off the bbq.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Baby Update.....



It walks.

It waves.

It does "so big."

It plays peekaboo.

It climbs... everything.

It has 6.5 teeth.

It grins.

It is shy around strangers.

It babbles... constantly.

It is 11 months old.

My afternoon.

Left work a bit early and took advantage of the lovely weather to walk down to Blackfoot Brewery and get a growler.

Then next door for a baguette at Park Ave Bakery and across the way to drop off a library book.

Wearing my Smith sunglasses and capri pants, I bopped over to the parking commission to talk my way out of a parking ticket.

Then I stopped by the Post Office to mail away my lead-painted Thomas the Train toys.

Back to the parking lot to get in my Subaru -blaring NPR with the sunroof open- and go get the kids.

Stopping on the way home to sign Sweet Boy up for a swimming lesson session at The Broadwater.

Am I a yuppie or what?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Not Bad News.....

To bring you up to date.... My friend's daughter, Nadine, has had two battles with cancer. After a very long summer last year she was declared CANCER FREE this winter.... but her spring check showed two dots on her lungs. She's at her lifetime max for treatments so this was very bad news. She had another appointment today... this is from her mom....

Dear friends:

Dr. Weiner said that he has "not bad news!" The cat scan showed that Nadine's "dots" are still in her lungs, but there are not more dots, and the two she has have not grown.... in fact they appear to have gotten smaller! The doctor cannot go so far as to say what the dots are -- or are not... but overall we feel that this is not bad news.

So we are celebrating.... and waiting again for another month. We will go back on July 5th for another scan. Your prayers are working!!!!! Thank you so much for keeping the good energy going.

Love,

Friday, June 01, 2007

Wanted

Wanted: 20,30,40-something moms and mom-types for fun times. some kid play involved. some adult conversation and entire blocks of time NOT spent discussing children. (you remember... things like books, movies, politics, crazy in-laws, silly spouses, favorite underpants, art, fashion, science, what color to paint the bathroom.... whatever.) must not be perfect. must appreciate budgeting, organization, simplicity, the eternal quest to figure out what is for dinner and keeping romance alive. must be funny, smart and sometimes crude. obnoxious laughter in inappropriate settings, spelling out swear words and always having a fingernail file a plus. must be willing to jump on a trampoline, have an occasional drink and be proud about having ice cream for dinner.

Please apply soon. I really miss my friend.

Putting the "vacate" in VACATION.

COLORADO.

Can't believe how the Springs have grown.

Elle's house is lovely, as always.

Things she has I want: barista machine from Starbucks, iJoy chair, roomba, cool suspended garage storage, sexy new laptop, bamboo plant, trampoline.... um, what am I forgetting?

Did so many kid-friendly fun activities... so tired, can't even use pronouns any longer.

Noodles & Co. Yum.

Pottery Barn store.... surprisingly disappointing.

Kirkland's Home. Clever new find.

Thinking thoughtful thoughts: Lots of new ideas. Came home with lots of new ideas and plans for my space and my life and my family. Joy.

Pedicures. The girls gave the mom's pedicures. I look good in neon hot pink.

Pedicures. The boys got "Captain America" pedicures. The first thing Hot Stuff did was get out the nail polish remover.... He did concede (after sniffles and a pouty bird-perch lip) that little gold stars on toes were ok but no polish... so now I have to find some nail decals.

Grandma is permanently shaped like a pretzel from the "turn in the seat to hold Darling Girl's hand" but it kept her from screaming.

Learned Hot Stuff had the best deal on the CA trip.... just drive. Gave the shitty job... entertain the kids... to Grandma for the CO trip.

Not nearly enough time talking. We only got through family stuff... we didn't get on to chick stuff..... we need to live closer together.

Can't gather any more cohesive thoughts.... must do laundry and prepare for celebration weekend.....

Whew.

Fuck me runnin' it has been a BUSY couple-o-weeks.

In the last 16 days my kids have logged more than 56 hours of road time..... 6 states and 156 "ew, don't touch that" rest stops.

Nicest potty stop: Idaho. (I really like the tile and clean family bathroom) The nastiest? Near Hardin, Montana.

Stayed in an adorable motel in Cederville, CA and spent way too much to have a swimming pool (oh, worth every penny) in Mountain Home, ID.

Ate my own weight in Wheat Thins.

Went to "Mr Bigg's" and "Pump It Up" in Colorado Springs.

Favorite meal? Besides the latte's from Elle's new latte machine? Noodles & Co.

Discoved the baby will play for over 90 minutes if you just sprinkle cheerios all over the back seat.

We saw and discussed every piece of construction equipment, fire truck, train, school bus and airplane in a multi-state region.

Saw the Thunderbirds practicing.

Saw camels in Wyoming.

The "vacation" portion was officially wonderful. But, as Elle says, "You are the only person I know who thinks folding some other woman's husband's underwear is a vacation."

We got one buried and one graduated and, well, the circle of life continues....