Sunday, March 30, 2008

Snowday Snowman and a New Haircut

Here is a picture of the second day in a row we had of snow. Growing up in Montana and playing high school tennis for four years, every one of our first tennis matches were snowed out. But that was Montana. This is Washington. This is high school baseball season, and I am married to the HEAD BASEBALL COACH. Imagine my chagrin whenever I wake up and it's RAINING SHIH-TZUS or better yet, SNOWING. I better explain the Shih-tzu comment. When Alex was little, 4-ish, and we still had two shih-tzus, she and I were driving in the rain one day. We were stuck in traffic under an overpass. As soon as we got out, I realized how hard it was raining and I said, "Man, it's raining sheets of rain." A few minutes later she said, "Yeah, it's raining Shih-tzu rain." How's that for cute?

Decaying Mouse Bodies in the Real World

In one episode of one of our favorite T.V. shows, Reba (I know, but Barbara Jean and Van SLAY me), a mouse crawls up into the engine of Reba's car and dies there, resulting in the whole car stinking to high heaven, outside and especially inside. Well, when I saw that episode, I distinctly remember thinking "No way could a little mouse make a car smell THAT bad." Then I talked to my sister-in-law in Colorado the other day and she related to me the saga of the mouse that died up behind her oven RIGHT before Christmas. She said they had to keep all the windows in the house open and wear winter jackets for three days. Seriously? Anyway, so now, thanks to Adam from the pest control place that came to my house and put three traps behind my kitchen sink, I now enter my kitchen every day and take a huge deep breath, not unlike a certain 6-year-old who enters public restrooms, stops, takes a huge deep breath, and, upon smelling anything remotely bad, starts gagging. Or sometimes she just comments on how it stinks in here. But mostly she gags. I usually catch her doing it and have to remind her to STOP SNIFFING THE RESTROOM OR SHE WILL GAG HERSELF. Anyway, Praise Gods, I haven't smelled any frakking dead mouse yet. Hopefully he'll wait to die while we are in Montana for Spring Break next week, and then Eric can deal with it.

But back to Samantha's awesome gag reflex -- about 19 months ago, I had to take her to see Dr. Dan to figure out why she made herself vomit every time she had to do something unpleasant. He said there was a slight blockage in her intestine, which must not have been that bad because he didn't suggest emergency surgery STAT. But he did have me give her Milk of Magnesia every night. I think it has mostly been a psychological thing for her, but it's a lot like Tums. Samantha is seriously growing up thinking that Tums cures almost all ills. She was at a slumber party yesterday four houses down from ours. I was totally expecting a call at 9:05 after they tried to get her to actually sleep there. Instead, I got a call around 6:15 saying that I forgot to give her her M of M. I didn't even argue, I just grabbed the bottle and a spoon and marched down the street. I knocked on the door, poured the M of M and when she came to the door, poured it down her throat. The birthday girl's mom just laughed. Her daughter is way more of a basketcase than mine about a lot of things, so she totally understood.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

On Horror Movie Acting, Snow Days and MICE

So today the recess across the street sounds more like there are a few kids rehearsing to audition for a horror movie than a carnival ride. My throat hurts just listening to them. I remember when I was younger, maybe about 4th grade or so, my friends and I developed a game where we would burn around the neighborhood on our bikes, maybe a three block radius, and SCREAM whenever we would turn down a street or alley and see one of our friends. We would then turn around and take off the other way. This was one of the funnest games ever until my mom pointed out that with all the screaming, someone might get the impression someone was hurt. Somehow the game just wasn't the same yelling "Hello" instead.

I had to run Alex to the school at 7:00 this morning for volleyball practice, and it was SNOWING, as in near white-out almost blizzard conditions. It was seriously sort of hard to drive in because you could barely see. But the snow was gone by 10:00 or so, so it was nothing serious. Samantha did ask if her teacher had called yet to tell her it was a snow day.

When I got home from dropping Samantha off, I could tell something was up with the cats because they sat in the kitchen for the next two hours and stared at the stove and the area underneath the stove. Last summer I had signed up for this pest control service which got rid of all of our beehives and the wasp nest on our house. I recently checked to see when my contract was up (May), then immediately discovered mouse turds in the garage. So the guy came and put up some traps. I had to call this morning because of the alert cat incident. They are coming Friday. I may not cancel that service after all. I even let the cats into the little crawl space under the sink. That's what we pay them for, after all! But then I thought, Ugh, if they actually caught something, would I ever want to kiss them again? Alex said we'd have to wash them up. They actually kill flies all the time. I don't think we've used our electric tennis racket/fly swatter once since we got the cats. They have too much fun stalking and toying with the flies to take that away.

Oh, I also had some cute pictures I wanted to post, but I hit DELETE instead of MOVE. Then I went and restored them from my recycle bin (I hope those were the pictures), and now I can't find them.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter chitchat

Yesterday, at the in-laws for Easter, Grandma and Grandpa gave each of the grandkids some money for their college accounts ($600). They did this last year as well, and it's so nice. Anyway, they also give the kids money in their eggs instead of candy because one of the grandkids has diabetes. So each grandkid got $25. Samantha has got this thing lately of wanting to have "cash" in her purse. She was waving the $25 around (three fives and 10 ones) the rest of the afternoon. Then after she opened the check for college, she handed it to me and said, "Here, put this in my REGULAR account." Not bloody likely, small fry. That thing goes straight into your college account. But I thought it was cute that she tried or that she thought she had an option. Then I told her I would keep the $25 in my purse until we got home, and she said, "Yeah, I bet this is enough money for shoes that I WANT that I can pay for myself." Do you think this might turn into some sort of problem for me? What six year old gets $25 for a gift and wants to buy shoes?

Starting Your Week Out Right !!!

I had the girls off to a reasonably good start this morning, not a lot of bickering, no major incidents at breakfast. Granted, everyone had to change their plans as to what they were going to wear after I checked the online weather that said it wouldn't get to 50 today, even as the sun is BLAZING in the window and practically burning my retinas. The web site says chance of mixed rain and snow, so they both had to CHANGE from the capris I told them to wear. Anyway, I finally sat down with my coffee to check my email. Last week I had written a pretty big check to the chick I work with for commissions, and I told her to deposit it RIGHT AWAY. I kept wondering why she hadn't, and I was getting ready to yell at her. This morning she told me the check had bounced and had cost her $75 in fees. OH YEAH, my account doesn't have checks, so the check I wrote was from the joint account, which would have required me to TRANSFER money so it wouldn't bounce. This just makes me want to go back to bed.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


I realize that none of the incidents I've been through this week are as stress-inducing as, say, finding out your van needs a new ENGINE, but it's still stressful all the same.

We are finally done with soccer tryouts, which was a major stressor for me. On the one hand, I didn't want her to play for the same team as last year, but on the other hand, I was kind of curious as to whether they'd choose her again. Beyond that, she had decided to try out for a select team, as opposed to premier which is what last year's team was, but didn't want to lose all her options. So the plan was to make the other premier team and then put them on hold while trying out for the select team, a decision I felt HORRIBLE about, but I was assured that other people were going to do the same thing. Anyway, long story short, she's playing for the second premier team, and they were thrilled to have her. They even called in some people to call us and try to get her to play for them, which was kind of a cool feeling. I feel really good about the decision. It's funny because the assistant coach called us and was trying to talk me into getting her to commit to this team and the things he was assuring me of just weren't important after last year's experience. He said he knew this team last year didn't win any games. The team she was on last year won games, but she played soccer with some of those girls for 10 months and there's no way some of them would say Hello to her if they bumped right into her in the grocery store. And it's not only her, and I don't fully blame the girls. I just think no one on that team has a clue how much better it probably could be if they cared about each other and had taken the time to BOND. Anyway, that's all I'm going to say. I think the new team will be a much better experience for her, considering I want more for her playing a team sport than just winning.

Moving on, I remember, many times while growing up, getting a bad haircut. It sucks, certainly. But it's not on the same level as, say, terrorism or war or world hunger. I've had bangs that I can honestly say I had one bang trim that I actually liked in ten years. I know in a week or two, it will probably be a non-issue, but this morning was a little much.

I also understand being of an age where you might want to do things for yourself, with no help from mom. But when the thing you are trying to do ends up not working, I'd respect you as a person more if you simply asked me to help or even yelled at me to help instead of sitting upstairs moaning and cursing to yourself in some weird six-year-old language. This is the M.O. and has been for a year now, but get over it. I'd rather she just yelled for me than have to hear weird noises and think someone's choking to death. Although at this point, I always know it's her and never think she's choking.

I'm not going to mention one other HUGE stressor earlier this week, because that's been resolved. Let's just say a little reasonable DISCUSSION would go a long way in the future. I'm trying.

Money will continue to be an issue. I'm probably going to start working more outside the home, which I absolutely would rather not do. The transcription work just isn't enough, although I would love more of it. I've decided probably not to order new sunglasses that I could get for 70% off because I'd rather spend the money getting the bushes taken out of my front yard. I would probably end up losing sunglasses, while the bushes are a major headache and would totally be out of control this year.

On a positive note, I am totally looking forward to Alex's volleyball. She is really good, and I think she will really shine. I know it's going to suck when she's in ninth grade because then she'll have to choose between volleyball and soccer (in school). Obviously, my heart is all for the volleyball, but we'll have to see.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Living Next to a Carnival

There is an elementary school probably 100 yards from my front door, and during recess, three times a day, it feels like I live next door to a carnival. I'm not kidding, a carnival with a BIG rollercoaster. Which, I've been to the school and I know there is no such ride. There isn't even a ride which I think should cause someone to scream "AAAAAAHHHHHHHHH" like they are traveling 35 miles an hour on a twisty, tilting track, but they do. It sure breaks the day up, hearing the exuberant voices of today's youth enjoying the rainy day.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Alex's Dress

This is the dress we bought Alex for the birthday party she is going to. She'll also wear it for our cousin's wedding and any other event that comes along this summer. It is DARLING on her. And surprisingly, it was the second dress she tried on. We had a really nice time at the mall, had a nice lunch afterwards. I was shocked it went so smoothly. I will eventually post a picture of her IN THE DRESS, but baby steps, my friends, baby steps.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Samantha makes me sigh over and over

My sister mentioned to me that she read my last post and that Samantha makes her laugh. Right when I got her text, I had been thinking about the Green Team awards the night before. About half the team wore their t-shirts (we came directly from Federal Way and Bellevue all day and didn't have time to go home and change). I didn't think she'd need hers. It wasn't a game, just the awards. Well, one little boy brought some sharpies and had kids sign his shirt. Soon, even some of the kids without their shirts were having the team sign their shirts. Samantha was wearing a hand-me-down of Alex's that she LOVES. One boy started to sign that shirt, and I thought she was going to have a nervous breakdown right there. She tried not to cry. I told her for sure I could get it out (I can't, so far, after soaking all night in Oxyclean). Anyway, she was also upset that she didn't have her shirt. I told her she could wear it to school the next day and have kids sign it there, since more than half her team is in her class. On the way home, we were discussing the logistics. It seems that they "aren't allowed" to have sharpies. I told her she could take one of my small, hanging sharpies that hang from my rear-view mirror and keep it hanging around her neck and only use it for signing the shirt. She seriously started to freak that I would even suggest she take a sharpie to school. They are NOT. ALLOWED. I told her I would write Ms. B. a note and that surely she would let the basketball kids sign her shirt. At this point her voice is about two octaves higher, so I can barely understand what she's saying, but it had to do with this "NOT. ALLOWED. TO. BRING. SHARPIES. TO SCHOOL." and how "NOBODY. WOULD. LET. HER. NOT. EVEN. THE. RECESS. LADY." I finally gave up. Luckily we were home and the broken green glass distracted her.

Random Thursday

~ Man, I blinked and it's Thursday. This week has seriously flown. I'm reminded why we never plan on Eric going to Montana for Spring Break. Today is likely his second rain-out game this week. He usually only plans on games Monday and Tuesday for Spring Break, but then often has to play make-up games the rest of the week.

~ I took a "two-hour" job in Bellevue yesterday which went from 10:00 to 4:00, sans LUNCH, also. Being in Bellevue meant I left my house at 8:15, so it stands to reason I ate around 7:30. My attorney wanted to just "push through and get done", so we all sat there in that dizzy, starving HAZE. At one point, around 3:00, he asked me to read a question back. I read, "Where did you make the appointment for them?" My attorney said, "Hm, I think that's supposed to be 'Why'," at which point the other attorney agreed and they both had a chuckle at my expense. So I pretended to be typing and said, "Here I'm noting that I've had NO FOOD". He laughed some more and said that was fair. But it is appearing to me that since my machine was recently cleaned, that some of the letters aren't showing up like they should, which means I may have to have it checked AGAIN...

~ This morning when we left the house, Samantha noticed the remnants of the broken beer bottle that Eric dropped last night while he was taking the garbage out. Even though she SAW him cleaning it up last night when we got home, that fact has apparently vanished from her sharp little repetitive question-asking brain. So she says, "Oh, look at that green glass. Where did that come from?" I think I instinctively knew what was coming, since this has been somewhat of a new trend lately. So I said, "Oh, that's glass from a bottle dad broke." Then I realized I had left some pertinent information out, so I quickly added, "It was a beer bottle he broke while he was taking out the garbage last night when it was dark out. That's why he couldn't get it all cleaned up, because it was dark. I'm going to have to finish cleaning it up today." I thought that would do it, but leave it to Sam, "Why did he break it?" Oh, Sweetie, you're killing me.

~ I had hoped last night, since I had a spare hour and a half before the Green Team awards ceremony, that I would get a chance to check out the new Trader Joe's in Federal Way and also check out Macy's for a spring dress for Alex. Instead, I thought I'd better check in at Discount Tire to see why my low pressure light keeps going on. An hour and a half later, my tire is fixed. For free, of course, but wahoo. No TJ's this week. Also, the dress thing for Alex? She hasn't worn a dress since kindergarten. For her best friend's birthday, they are taking the girls to Seattle to the Spaghetti Factory, and the girls are dressing up. That in itself is frightening because the last time I bought her a dress, she was 5. She's 13 now. Help.

~ Also, Samantha and I went to McDonald's for breakfast. On the way to school, I said, "Well, it looks like Eric's baseball game is going to be rained out again." It's like that thing where every once in a while, while talking to your children, you accidentally call their dad by his name instead of dad and it really must throw them. Also, she has an Uncle Eric, but he's in Iraq and, to my knowledge, has not played baseball since the Cenex t-ball team went undefeated and we got to eat at Arctic Circle twice a week the whole season for victory celebrations. Anyway, this being Samantha in her weird question mode, she says, "Eric who? Uncle Eric?" I mean, come on. Her dad comes home EVERY NIGHT in his baseball gear. She and Emma M. made signs last weekend that say, "Go Hornets. We love the coaches." I took a deep breath. I seem to be doing that a lot lately.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Spike from that band Kiss

It took Samantha two or three tries before she learned it was "Slash" and not "Spike". Alex was the one at Applebee's on Saturday who said, "Oh, look, there's Kiss!" pointing to the picture of Kiss on the wall. "So?" I said. Then after seeing the look on her face, I knew what she was thinking. "Isn't Slash in that band?" "You are an absolute embarrassment to me." "Well, what band is it? I can't remember." "I just may have to pretend you are a stranger that accidentally sat at my table. Guns N Roses." " I knew that." But see, it's not like she was born and then didn't know, 13 years later, what band Slash was in. She plays medium level (I think) Guitar Hero. Hello. They've also had a couple of arguments over the correct guitar placement. Samantha prefers the rocker stance, while I think Alex must be thinking country crooner.

Also, this morning I mentioned again to Alex that she was an absolute embarrassment to me and that I was also embarrassed FOR HER, but I'm not allowed to post on my blog why. Let's just say it has to do with this and the correct way to wear them!

Friday, March 7, 2008

I Still Love Her, Even Though She's Driving Me NUTS

Lately, it seems like my Mantha has been devoting every other day to (you guessed it) driving her mom nuts. She'll start out giggling and telling what she thinks are jokes, but it soon escalates to such behavior as repeating the same line over and over (usually something like, "I farted on your couch) and laughing hysterically the whole time. I know that's one of her major tired signals, but this has been going on at 5:00 in the afternoon. I think her little body has already adjusted to daylight savings time, because she's been going to bed earlier and earlier, and last night she wanted to go to bed at 7:30. However, this also means she's getting up earlier and earlier. I think I speak for the majority of moms who don't get enough sleep, that it really pisses me off when she could be in bed for a whole hour longer, but she's choosing to get up and come downstairs.

Anyway, she's been invited to RIDE THE BUS home with her friend, Emma T. after school today. BUS 17. You don't even know how exciting this is. To enjoy this phenomenon and finally join the ranks of the uber-cool "EARLY BUSSERS", I had to write her a note with my permission:

"3/7/08 Samantha Fiedler has my permission to ride the bus home today with Emma T. - Thanks, Robyn Fiedler"

Well, who was I to think I was going to get off this easily? This is my child who will redo ANYTHING she writes if there is one little mistake on it. So she grabs the sheet and tries to add in "17" over the word bus. It ends up messy, so I tell her I'll redo it.

"3/7/08 Samantha Fiedler has my permission to ride bus 17 home today with Emma T. - Thanks, Robyn Fiedler"

There you go. NOT! PSYCH! You thought I was done. Well, you've got another thing coming, dude. See, the note doesn't say where she's getting off the bus. If I don't say that she's got my express written permission to EXIT the bus with EMMA T. at EMMA T.'s bus stop, they won't let her off. Even though I said "home with Emma T." and she doesn't live with Emma T., therefore the assumption is made that it's Emma T.'s home she's going to... Why do I bother? Soon the tears are starting to form, so I quickly add a P.S. to the note.

"3/7/08 Samantha Fiedler has my permission to ride bus 17 home today with Emma T. - Thanks, Robyn Fiedler P.S. She will also be getting off the bus with Emma T. at Emma T.'s stop."

So that was okay. LAST NIGHT. This morning she has lost the note. I duplicate the note in as much detail as I can remember, even using the same green sharpie. When we are safely ensconced in the car and on our way to school, she starts panicking about who should receive the note.

"Just give it to your teacher. She'll know what to do with it."

"No, I think I need to take it to the office."

"Ms. B. will probably mark in her book that you are riding the bus today and then send the note to the office."

"But Ms. C. is the one who usually walks the bussers to the bus. I think I better just take the note straight to the office."

At this point, in the future, I hope I will tell myself, "STOP. Just give in now. Tell her to do whatever she wants." But NOOOO. I have to make her see the light.

"But Ms. B. is in charge of you. She's your teacher and she's responsible for you. She needs to know what you are doing after school, as well as the office and Ms. C. I really think you should just give her the note so she knows."

"But what if she's gone and never gave my note to the office?"

"Oh my god. Even a "guest" teacher (this is what they call subs in kindergarten) would know to make a note of your arrangements and send the note to the office."

"Waaahhh, you're mad at me. You're yelling at me."

"Okay. Listen. You are going to be 20 minutes early, since you got up over an hour early today. Why don't you take the note to Ms. B. and then if you also need to take it to the office, you have PLENTY of time to do that, also. You can even ask her if that's what you need to do."

"Well, I know that when Jace walked home with Lauren, she took her note to the office."


"Why are you mad at me?" Sniff, sniff.

"Listen, SWEETIE. You are going to be PLENTY early to stop by the office on your way to your class and see if they need the note first. Then, if you need to take it to Ms. B., you can do that, also." Hell, you could run it across to the middle school and then the high school if you want, you have THAT. MUCH. TIME. "Are you okay? Don't be nervous. It will all work out. Bye. See you. Have a nice day. I love you." HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY. Try and make her happy so the crossing guards don't see her crying when she gets out of the car and think I'm a monster. Now I need a nap. Help.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Catzilla - Kitty Wants Candy

Here is Samantha's latest published book (they each publish once a week or so). She included a Jim Gaffigan reference, if you're familiar with him!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

U6 Co-ed basketball - The Green Machine

Well, Samantha's last game was tonight. They actually did great. They played a game yesterday, also, after a three-week break. Samantha's kindergarten teacher came to watch, and they all really stepped it up for her! It was like standing there talking to a rock star. Kids were leaving the floor to run over and hug her. But even kids who had never shot a single shot before were heaving that sucker at the basket. So tonight they pretty much did the same thing. It was really fun to watch, and Samantha scored her first basket ever. When she dribbles, she sticks her tongue to the side in her mouth, which is EXACTLY the way Eric plays Guitar Hero. If you mention his tongue, he actually has to quit playing because he can't concentrate. One of the really funny things about pee-wee basketball is that if you are watching the game and you yell for a kid, like, "Good job, Jace", nine times out of ten, that kid will stop and look at you. I also didn't realize some people are so comfortable coming to their kid's basketball game smelling like alcohol, but that's another story. Anyway, it was a fun season, and we discovered that Baskin Robbins has $1.00 scoop Tuesdays!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Soccer in February and March

I know I've mentioned this before, but hello. Today I was working in my office and all of a sudden I heard the wind start to howl and what must have been HUGE raindrops hitting my window. I knew right then it was 2:30 and that soccer practice had just started. I'm not sure why Alex wants to keep doing it, especially when most of her school soccer season has been EXACTLY like today. She says she likes the shape it keeps her in, which is great, I agree. I know after this year and making the varsity team, she also likes the fact that she is one of the better players at her school. The U12 premiere team she was on, whose season just ended, like them or not, everyone around here knows who they are, and she was a part of that. But then she actually played in the goal for a bit today, and when I picked her up, she had grass and mud stuck to the side of her face. GRASS and MUD stuck to her FACE.

So Inappropriate...

So last Thursday I was taking the girls home, the girls being Alex, her friend Jillian, and Samantha. As we passed the high school boys soccer team, Jillian said something like, Ew, that guy needs to put his shirt back on. I looked over and said, Well, the sort of tan guy certainly doesn't. While Alex and Jillian were shrieking, I thought I heard Samantha say something. I said, What did you say, Mantha? Alex said, Oh, she said something about pennies. I asked her again what she said. She finally told me she had said, "That's inappropriate." I had a good laugh. One day they'll realize just how inappropriate it is.