Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Excusing myself of any naively high expectations and assuming that my children will end up on a therapist's couch one day, my bets are on this child. Oh my Londy girl, I can just see it now.

And then my Mom was so rude to me and I was like Mom why are you being so rude to me and she was like so rude to me and then I was crying and she kept being so rude to me....

In fact, just yesterday I believe the above was a verbatim ramble she was sob-muttering as she was forced to pick up her (gasp! oh no! how awful!) barbies. Last week, the girls were supposed to clean  their playroom. Lily dutifully began cleaning, while London sat - ignoring every plea/command/threat/bribe I could come up with - sipping tea with her baby doll. Once Lily and I had cleaned every last speck of the room I looked around and praised Lily's efforts,

"Lily, I think you get a sticker for working so hard. Thank you!"

London immediately perked up, standing at attention,

"What about me Mom!?! What about me!? Do I getta sschtica?"

"No! No way. You ignored clean up time and instead chose to play ponies."

Oh no.

Here it comes....

watch out....

Eyes widen....

lower lip begins quivering....

Tears fill eyes....

Shock turns to rage turns to hysteria...

"YOU'RE MEAN!!!!!"

Sobbing, shrieking pandemonium


"London, I'm not being mean. You made a bad choice."

"NO!!! NOOOO!"




{And have you checked out the new Mom samples at Costco? To die for, next to the eggrolls.}

She runs, crying into the other room.

If I ever write a children's book, this girl would be my character. In fact, I'm sure she jumped out of the pages from somewhere. She's fantastically entertaining, melt-your-knees darling, and pure and simple d.r.a.m.a. It could be a best-seller for sure....which will help pay for all that future therapy.

Monday, August 29, 2011

A tough goodbye.

We had the best summer.

Seriously, like a heavenly summer.

So grateful for it. It seems that we caught a glimpse, a little reward in this pocket of time. After seven long years of full-time work, full-time schooling, and full-time parenting, it was the first time we found ourselves basking a bit in the break. As of this summer, Tyler is an officially licensed Professional Engineer and holds a M.B.A. He's passed all tests! Met all requirements! Has written the last paper! No more school! 

Not to mention, he has three of the most stinkerlicious girls to add to those credentials. 

Not bad, not bad at all. 

Evenings are now spent with us, going out for ice cream cones.

And me? What do I have to show for it?

A tired uterus...?

We always agreed we would take turns going to school due to funding options. Such choices must be made. Tyler went first (what a man's world!), and as soon as I began having babies I sporadically took a class here and there. I wouldn't take it back for anything. I knew I wanted to be a young mom.
Soon, I must return to complete my degree.
But not quite yet. For now, I shall sit poolside and watch my children play and wish this summer a bit of a tearful goodbye.

It made me sad, I read an article the other day on gender equality. And in the entire article discussing the quest to improve the female condition, it made no mention of motherhood. None, zero, zip...nada. Apparently if it isn't quantified in terms of salary level, the female holds no ascertainable value - or at least nothing this supposedly feminist touting journalist found worthy to discuss. I guess my contribution to society can only be measured after this phase of my life, when I hold a degree and make some 'real money'. Interesting.

Oh no, there I go getting all political again. Better head back to the pool.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Cable binge.

I've had it, I can't take it anymore! I just need one good hearty overdose of brain-fart. I'm going to order a better cable package for the month so that I stop spending my evenings reading the likes of Ayn Rand (subject: capitalism), Alister McGrath (subject: religion), and Christiane Northrup (subject: the intuitive workings of a woman's body. Hello chakras!).

Too much information. Too much.

Can a girl get some Real Housewives (subject: dumb and middle aged with money.) and Kim Kardashian (subject: dumb and young with money.) up in here? Just for thirty days, and then I'm sure I'll fill my internal quota for fashion tips, re-lose all hope for humanity and renew my cable boycott full throttle.

Actually, the true reason for a justified stint at cable is that I just learned that  Pioneer Woman is getting her own cooking show on Food Network (click here!)!! I am aching with joy and envy when I watch the previews. One of the first big meals I ever cooked my family (when I was 13 and home-schooled) was Chicken Fried Steak. If you watch the pilot episode, you'll see it's the first meal Pioneer Woman cooks her family for the show.

Dear Ree, chicken fried steak, home-school, attractive husbands?..... we're soul sisters.

My mother, noticing my new found interest in Taste of Home magazine and wishing to foster every geeky bend in my personality, suggested she pay me to cook meals three nights a week for the family. Cha-ching. I immediately browsed the issues to come up with my first weekly menu. As I perused the pages I glanced at a photo of a woman sitting with her four adult daughters around a red and white checkered picnic table. They sat under a big oak tree on a glowy summer evening in the middle of a lush green field, each of the five holding up a different baked good with a dazzling smile. Think triple chocolate layer cakes and strawberry pies flanked by 1980's Aqua Net feathered hair goddesses with fuchsia lips and shoulder pads. Wow....I stared wide-eyed and thought, this...this, is happiness.

Watching Ree prepare a meal for her hardworking family in the countryside brings all those feelings back. I think I could be happy forever with such a vocation. Marinated tomato salads with herbs from the garden, horses on the horizon, my children expending enough energy to justify feeding them a pound of butter daily. Sigh. It's why I'll continue to browse foreclosed properties on the outskirts of town and beg Tyler to move. I can just see us now in a dilapidated old building, surrounding by acres of dry dusty sage and a few token chickens as we google "how to start a cattle ranch". Sounds dreamy, doesn't it?

No, you say? You sound just like my husband.

Until then, I'll settle for television.


Post edit: The cost of today's blogging time.

I let Ellie play with a handful of washable markers with the lids on. It's my ingenious way of teaching colors. Here Ellie belly boo, your sisters just finished coloring so knock yourself out and let me know when you can pronounce the word yellow. However, lost in the daze of my above mentioned reoccurring fantasies involving mashed potatoes and gravy,
I failed to notice....

She now

knows how

to remove

the lids.


Friday, August 26, 2011

The Comments are back! The Comments are back!

Rule #1. Don't be mean. (this advice applies to me as well)

Do you remember that minor, itty bitty little spat I had with the Mormon Child Bride?!

Well, funny thing: it's amazing what lessons can be learned.

We're e-FRIENDS now, can  you believe it?

Through a few (private) conversations and lots of explanations/forgiveness I am pleased to report that the spat has long been over and I am grateful for the perspective and insight I've gained in the process.

So hooray for that!

I turned my comments off during that time period in order to halt the conversation. Since that is no longer needed, I miss my three loyal commentators!

And I appreciate the emails in the mean time, you can still email me too.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Husband was watching an old clip via the laptop of a particular game season highlight. One of his favorite teams had won, and as he loaded the dishwasher he reminisced on the day,

Husband (with glazed look of euphoria as he recounts):

"I remember I was working a second job for your Dad the summer we got married. It was late into the evening/night, and I was at the shop. It had been a hot day, but the evening had cooled down a little and I listened on the radio. I was wearing my SD t-shirt and those old black
Nikes. I had just eaten a Carl's Jr. burger and still had an extra large rootbeer. I practically threw it with joy I was so excited."

Wife {mild sarcasm}: "Wow, what a sweet, special story."

{why did he marry her?}

"Now, tell me, could you please recall the details 
of the birth of our second child in such vivid, emotional detail?"

Momentary silence. Slight look of panic. Searching, combing the recesses of husband brain....

"You called me at 7am, told me you had just spoken to the doctor and that a bed had opened up and they were ready to induce you....I rushed right over...we went in....."

Good save. Good save.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Sweet Life Presents:

Clean-up Time.

"Girls, it's time to put your toys away in the basket..."

I meant

your non-living


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Seven Years.

I used to tease that after being married for five years I was now amply qualified to give marital advice.

Scratch that...five years is so amateur....make it SEVEN years.

The dreaded seventh year, the one where we're suddenly supposed to find ourselves yawning between the sheets and "itching" at the boredom of waking up to the same morning breath day after day after day. The monotony of even the best cut of steak when eaten constantly is supposed to become a real grind. The old ball and chain is weightier. The clothing left on the bathroom floor is now easily grounds for divorce. It's understandable to accept that we've just grown apart at this point. We're different people now. We have different needs.

What is my response to this? How was the seventh year?

Well.....My husband is one hellava piece of meat, that's for sure, and yes, his clothing left on the bathroom floor has always been reasonable grounds for termination but until I start yawning between the sheets, I like the weight of his ball and chain.

Is this sounding dirty? Sorry.

I think what I'm trying to say is that what I've learned so far is simply that I married the most amazing man. And yes, we've grown and changed a lot, but thank goodness for that. The boy I dated and the person I'm married to today are practically two different people, except that they are both products of some inexplicably innate, unchanging, decent, humble, compatible character - one that I fell in love with at 16. How could this be boring? I never married a boring person.

I love my man so dearly. So much so that it is daunting to try to articulate it, so instead I find myself speaking in simplistic terms and referring to sexual innuendo rather than really paying tribute to this sacred aspect of my being. I cannot do it justice in words. I am not ashamed to say that I am not whole without him. My sweet love, my perfectly imperfect union. So grateful for it.

For all this talk of a seven year itch, 
Tyler Ross knows just how to scratch it.

{husband = very sexy man}
{And look! No back hair! 
This is the untold, single most important factor in marital bliss.
You heard it here first, and you're welcome.}
{Does that one mole look a little misshapen to you?}
{Tyler, come here, let me pick at your back.}
{Tyler! Come here! I promise I will only look for a minute this time.}
{I'm going to make an appointment at the dermatologist.}
{You cannot cancel this time.}
{Don't you roll your eyes at me.}
{I'm not your mother, I just pick your back and make your appointments.}
{Happy Seven Years.}

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A nice follow up to an angry rant.

Family video! My brother just sent this to me after our little family photo session. He filmed bits and pieces as we ate at our favorite all American entirely organic vegan raw food health stop.

 It made me smile.

Thanks for capturing our personalities Cub!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Do you ever feel like this?

A {mini} manifesto.

I will no longer take advice from idiots. Morons masquerading as experts in fields in which the only expertise they actually hail comes from miserably missing the mark. Tolerance for sheer stupidity is merely an extension of stupidity. And who can be tolerant of that? Who should be tolerant of that? 
I will no longer eat the big fat turd sandwich served to me simply because it is piled between two slices of temptingly delicious bread. Corrupt ideas and bankrupt values should never be acceptable, even if made to look pretty. Or popular.
Selfish people annoy me. 
I am tired of losers.
I want to hear from the winners. 
But it seems the losers are so. much. louder.

{hmm, looks like someone is in an irritable mood.}

Monday, August 15, 2011

Album time: ingredients for an awesome vacation.

The Fam:

The setting:

The SwEeT Pad:

The {AMAZING} food:

The Fun:

Thank you so much for the great memories, Papa Don and Nonna.
As always
you spoil us

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Evolution of Elliotte Jane.

In this house, we don't reach developmental milestones:
we create them.

Talk about efficiency....


Much better than two tiny fingers clasping one measly puff at a time.

She is fluent in baby sign as well. 
For example, photo below translation:

"Pincer grasp?... my a$%."

{Elliotte Jane! I'm going to wash your mouth out with soap!}

{sorry Mom}

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Pardon the Interruption

Can I indulge myself in unabashedly, pathetically, nauseatingly sappy sentiment for just a moment?

I have recently been under a strong {and I believe divine} impression that I need to turn my focus inward. Simplify a few things and slow the whole process down, this life of mine. Allow myself the time to wallow around - taking pause to notice little things - and really, truly savor the enormous blessings I'm surrounded with. And when I say "allow myself the time", I really mean "fight, fight desperately for the time". Because one thing I've noticed, three children deep and well within the chaos of reality, is that the LEAST simple thing of all is to simplify. Time is not easily 'allowed' but rather fiercely grabbed, pocketed, and protected at gunpoint if necessary.

I worry too often that I give the impression that I'm extremely sociable and then freakishly cave-like. At gatherings I too quickly suggest "we should do lunch!", or "let's get the kids together" or "I plan on taking that class too!" or "I'll meet you at the gym"...etc. etc. etc. I say it with the fullest and most genuine of intentions but too often simply end up outed in my flakiness, the person who never actually meets you at the gym, or if there is any lunch at all it is six months later. I am frequently consumed with guilt. Between the phone calls, voicemails, emails, and texts: someone is always left hanging. Does this sound like a passive aggressive attempt at making myself sound popular?- good gracious I'm not. Most of the above conversations occur between family members who out of pure obligation must associate with me. So I guess I shouldn't feel too bad...

Shifting gears, I love being a mother, relish being a mother, adore till my toes tingle being. a. mother. I feel the same about wife-hood. Praise the heavens I married the most ravishingly handsome and funny companion, and I'm thoroughly intoxicated to this day. The combination of these two roles, motherhood and wife-hood, leave me feeling extremely wealthy and full of the best emotions in life. I make no apologies. Just typing that has my subconscious chiming in, "Rachel! Rachel! Alert! Alert! There are many women out there who struggle with their children, have miserable marriages, or are single and completely happy. There are successful world leaders and admirable CEO's, working mothers racked with guilt and stay-at-home mothers bored out of their minds...." and consequently I begin trying to frame my utter and complete infatuation with these roles in a more politically correct and socially-aware-all-encompassing format that will allow the karmic forces of the universe to leave me safely unnoticed in my one-dimensional, and yes, possibly ignorant perspective.

 But not today. 
Today, nobody - and I mean nobody - has it better than me.

{Check back tomorrow...I'm sure stories about feces and 
emotional outbursts will quickly resurface }

I've been listening more to that inner voice, the one telling me to stop apologizing and guilt-tripping over every little thing and instead congratulate myself on the small victories that preserve and protect that which is most important in life. If that means a voicemail isn't returned for five days simply because I was keeping up on reading lessons with the girls, or because I enjoyed cooking a meal for my family while blasting Pink Martini...if I cancelled the gym because Tyler and I were able to sneak off and get ice cream together... if I miss book club because I was too lazy and sat around nursing Ellie or napping with the girls...if I turn down another piano student even though it will mean more dinero to the monthly income..: hoo ya boo ya friggin awesome. I did it. I grabbed the time this world and life cycle doesn't seem to permit and shoved it in my little selfish pocket. Today was so blissful. While Lily was away at morning kindergarten, I folded laundry and Ellie napped. I listened as London dressed her babydoll while singing (new favorite song she sings: "Yook for da... Bare MeSesames, Bare MeSesames...Yook for the Bare MeSesames a' life!"  Bare Necessities/Disney's Jungle Book.)

And in that moment I felt so....content.

I don't always feel that way, so when these moments come...heck, I should really blog about em.

If the vast majority of my days are spent picking up toys and making beds, meal planning, date-nighting, park visiting, and ignoring any (if not all) forms of socializing, media, news, etc...I am learning to be okay. I am winning the fight, the good fight.