Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Go! Diego Go!

Tomorrow Robby moves into the "big boy class" at his preschool. This monumental occasion is a result of Robby going poop in the potty. It represents a lot of diapers, wipes, destroyed clothing, hours of unproductive bathroom reading and $100 extra dollars a month in tuition that are now all a thing of the past.

I know he will have more accidents, of course he will. Hell, sometimes I still do if I am surprised or drunk enough. But this will be the only "official" recognition of Robby being toilet accomplished (that sounds more dignified than "potty-trained") and I couldn't let the moment pass unrecognized. I know that the challenges he will face from now on will only continue to grow and to challenge me as a mother and a sane human being. They will make pooping in the potty seem not so monumental.

An old classmate from last year started attending his school again and Robby will be in the same class with him. This little boy is the nightmare of every other kid's parent in his class. He teaches the other kids things that we think our little three year old angels are not ready for. Things like hitting. Words like snot, shit and stupid. Oh, the joy. Why couldn't this kid have shown up in the 3rd grade? Every boy was like this when I was in the third grade.

Tonight, it's off to find a Diego lunch box, as they don't have a refrigerator in the "big boy class". I can use some the $100 in tuition savings and get him a really nice one! Woo-Hoo!

UPDATE! We could not find a Diego lunch box, so we made one! It is red color, although it looks pink in the pictures for some reason. What do you think?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Some Things are Meant to Be

Wedding Day! It was a beautiful sunny day in Las Vegas, although you couldn't really see the sun inside the chapel at the Treasure Island Casino. I arrived at the chapel with "the ladies" in tow just in time. It was much easier corralling drunks the night before than getting these four to the chapel on time! The grandma looked absolutely beautiful, especially for someone 6 weeks post quadruple bypass surgery. We found where the glowing bride to be was hiding in a room with squealing women primping her every part. We kissed her and wished her well and then were off to find the groom.

He was standing there all decked out in his suit and looked not only like a million bucks, but a grown man. Seeing mom give him a hug and whisper in his ear was the first time I would cry that day. We were all seated in the chapel. Auntie LJ and Lori took the back pew, so as not to distract with their camera clicking and giggling. The Grandma, Nanny and I were joined in the front pew with Uncle Mike's Dad, Jim, and his wife, Nancy.

When the bride made her entrance into the chapel, every single person could see not only how amazingly beautiful she looked, but how much joy and love was filling her heart. I looked up at my brother standing there waiting for her and watching her. That was the happiest I have ever seen him look.

Elvis sang us a song. The preacher then stepped up and performed the most elegant yet real wedding ceremony that there ever was. Elvis sang again. When the preacher pronounced them husband and wife, Aunt Jeannette said, "We're married!" and everyone laughed through their tears. As they walked out of the chapel, Elvis sang Viva Las Vegas and the song fit the mood of celebration.

After everyone had filed out of the chapel and the happy couple were whisked away for pictures, I stopped to thank Elvis for doing such a great job. He said, "Thank you, thank you very much." and leaned in and kissed me. When Elvis slipped me the tongue, I knew my Vegas vacation had reached its peak. There would be no topping this.

Out in the lobby of the chapel, I noticed a cricket up near the ceiling in the corner. I was always told that a cricket in the house is lucky. Seeing this good omen on my brother's wedding day made me smile, but in my heart I knew that he and his wife needed none of this luck. Some people are just born to find each other and love one another all the remaining days of their lives. I thank God that they did, and they will.

You can see more photos here.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Rest in Peace Paul Newman

I am personally saddened by the loss of Paul Newman yesterday. The world has lost a champion actor, racer and humanitarian. I have lost a hero.

Please continue to support Newman's Own. Go out today and help keep his good work alive. In a time when everyone is talking about community organizing and 1,000 points of light, I think looking at the life of Paul Newman would be the best road map for our journey.

Tonight, for me, it's a Newman's Own products meal of spaghetti and salad with a glass of Newman's Own wine in front of the TV watching Nobody's Fool. With hundreds of products and hundreds of movies, Paul Newman Night might just become a tradition for me.

Maybe that will make the loss more bearable.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Instant Gratification

In June, I flew to sunny Las Vegas, Nevada for a whopping 4 days of no almost 3 year-old, no work and no responsibility. It was the best 4 days I have had in a LONG time!

My little brother, Uncle Mike was finally going to marry his sweetheart of more years than I can remember. My new little sister's name is Aunt Jeannette. I'm so glad the Aunt part is official now. Robby loves her so much and literally lights up when he sees her. When we drive by the exit to their house on the freeway, he refers to it as how to get to Aunt Jeannette's house.

I flew out on a Wednesday night flight with Mike, Jeannette and their friend KEN! KEN! works with Mike and has lived in Las Vegas before, so I was looking forward to having an official tour guide of Sin City. I'm a desert girl, born and raised but every time I land in the desert I cannot help but remember why I decided to relocate to the green and cool pacific northwest. The moment they opened the door on the airplane I could feel all the moisture being sucked out of my body. But hey, this is VEGAS BABY and I didn't care if it was hot enough to fry eggs on the tarmac at 10pm!

We got in a rental car and headed straight for an In N Out Burger. If you've never been to one, you need to put it on your list of things to do before you die. I had a Double Double and an Animal Style Double Double. Animal style has mustard and pickles. That's right, 4 patties and 4 pieces of cheese in one sitting. I felt it was appropriate to start the "days of instant gratification" off with a bang. We then found the house they had rented for their stay. It was a great 2 story house with a pool and a hot tub. The plan was to have the wedding party stay in the house in the extra bedrooms and then they would have the house to themselves a few days after everyone left for their honeymoon. Aunt Mitch's mom has a time share at the Wyndham Grand Desert Resort and had graciously arranged two suites for me to use while I was in Vegas. I couldn't check in until the following afternoon, so I stayed in the house the first night. We put our suitcases away, checked the house out and went swimming! I love to swim at night. It has many advantages, like the darkness to disguise how my body looks in a swimsuit and no scorching sun to burn my extremely white body.

While we were all in the pool, I asked if we were going to the casino next. It was around midnight and I was really only joking. Everyone was excited to go, so I thought if I could stay up this late already why not a little longer. I cannot believe how much my life has changed since Robby. Staying up to midnight was never an oddity in my previous life! So, our beloved tour guide KEN! suggested we hit Sunset Station in nearby Henderson.

Now, I had managed to scrape together $200 whole dollars for my 4 day trip to Las Vegas. This had to cover food, taxis, libations and gambling. Yet, the very first night, I plopped $20 into a quarter slot machine. I played a few pulls and won some, lost some. I cashed out. I really miss the sound of the money dropping out of a slot machine. Now the machines just spit out a voucher with the amount of your winnings. I took my $10 voucher and started walking the casino. I put my $10 voucher in a $1 slot machine. A few pulls later I had three of the loveliest sevens I'd ever seen! $300! I cashed out and ran like a goat. That $300 saved my trip! I guess there is something to a good run of bad luck.

Uncle Mike and KEN! introduced us to the "gaudy" bar at sunset station. If you sit at the bar and play the quarter video poker machines they bring you free booze. A lot of free booze. If you're a slow gambler and a fast drinker, it's the best deal in Vegas you are going to find.

We made it back to the house just in time to sit outside by the pool and watch the sunrise over the desert. Sunrises are something I actually miss about the desert. I went to bed around 6 am and slept until 10am. The bedroom I had for the night had a mechanical metal shade for the window that made the room pitch dark. I'm putting one of those on my Christmas list this year. I had to put my sunglasses on to walk out of the bedroom and go hunt for some coffee in the kitchen.

Thursday we found the place to drop off Jeannette's wedding gown to be steamed for the wedding on Saturday. We checked me into the Wyndham that afternoon. I was pleased to see that the Hard Rock Hotel was walking distance from the Resort. The Wyndham chain has amazing properties! My honeymoon was saved by Wyndham and for that, they will always have my loyalty. After another day of instant gratification, I turned the air conditioner down to 40 and went to bed.

Friday afternoon, The Grandma and Nanny arrived with Auntie LJ and Aunt Lori. Auntie LJ and Aunt Lori flew into Phoenix and they drove The Grandma and Nanny over. The Grandma was 6 weeks post quadruple bypass surgery and not able to drive yet. Nanny and I would share a suite and Grandma, LJ and Lori would share the other.

I was at the New York New York casino with Best Man Diddy and his gal Manda when I got the call they were almost in Vegas. Directing them through town on my cell phone and screaming, "Do you see the statue of liberty? The Lion? The Big GOLD lion? I'm across the street from that!" was a challenge with the traffic whizzing by. They eventually found me and we headed off to the Wyndham. I managed to get food for everyone before I stole their car and picked Jeanette up to go get her dress for the wedding the next day.

On a side note, why do bridal shop people have to create such stress for brides? My Lord! The dress has been here 48 hours. Yes, we need it today. No, we cannot pick it up 20 minutes before the wedding. Do I have to get my handgun out of the car? Oh? It's ready?!?! Imagine that.

After delivering the dress safely to the house, I loaded up Jeannette and 3 of her bridal peeps into the car. We were off to join the guys, who had already begun the last night of single debauchery at a bar I couldn't remember the name of. I just called it Hand-job Joe's all night.
I spent the night playing designated driver and picking up people from the airport and other parts of Vegas to get them to Hand-job Joe's for the party. Mike had brought a GPS system with him on the trip. If I had not had this little box, I never would have made it through the night. Wrangling 8 or so drunks was fun although challenging at times. Mike and Jeannette have some amazing friends so that helped out a lot. I eventually herded everyone home safe to get some sleep before the big day.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Catching Up

Hi there. Yeah, I took a few months off and threw a surprise blog at you that had absolutely zero personal content whatsoever. Forgive me?

A lot has changed in my life since June. In no particular order:
  • Robby started pooping in the potty! It only took 3 years 1 month and 12 days for it to click with him that the toilet was the best place to put his crap.
  • My little brother, Uncle Mike, got married in Las Vegas. I made a 5 day trip there to help celebrate and had the best time I can remember having since last October.
  • The Papa and I decided to reconcile and give the whole couple thing another shot. This is by far the biggest news and most important to me. It's also probably why there have been no posts for so long. Writing my thoughts on this subject was something I wasn't comfortable with on this blog. Maybe I needed a cave for that.
  • My grandmother, The Nanny, visited and spent 5 days of her time here in the hospital. She has since gone home to Arizona and spent another week or so in the hospital there. Along with her heart problems, it appears some dementia has developed.
  • Robby turned 3!

I'm sure there are many others, but these are the highlights of what you've missed. I plan on writing about each event over the next week. So, fasten those seat belts and hang on for details on the wild ride that is my life. I can tell you now that my life feels whole. I am happy for the first time in a very long time!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Dear Sarah Palin,

Your daughter's body and what she decides for it are her business. You're right, you daughter's pregnancy is a private, family matter. It will not impact your ability to be a Vice President at all.
The media should drop this matter and leave you and your family alone with these personal matters.

The Mama

PS Could you give every other woman in America the same consideration? Thanks.