Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"I'm doing it! I'm doing it! I'm doing it!"

The irony of tonight's bike lesson was not lost on me. I can't ride a bike, yet I was teaching my almost five year-old how to ride one. I like to compare our lessons to the Berenstain Bears book, "The Bike Lesson," where Papa Bear wants to demonstrate all of the how-to's to Brother Bear before he lets him ride the bike. The problem is, Papa Bear is dangerous on a bike and ends up showing his son everything you shouldn't do.

I'm not that bad--yet--but maybe that's because I'm not stupid enough to think I could demonstrate anything. I can, however, hunch over, hold the back of her bike seat, and run along side her. The best part of tonight's lesson were her chants to herself, "I'm doing it! I'm doing it! I'm doing it!"

Bless her heart. Maybe she'll let me ride in her side car once she ditches the training wheels.

sticky situation

I couldn't get comfortable in the movie theater seat. I crossed and uncrossed my legs. I sat with one leg tucked under me. I even dared to almost cuddle with my friend sitting next to me.

The movie ended and as I stood up, I made a gross discovery: the rock-like thing in my cute metallic sandals was a piece of gum. Someone else's gum. From a long time ago. It was grey.

Worse yet, it was smeared along the entire side of my shoe, as well as the bottom of it so that as I walked, one foot stuck to the floor. I tell my friends about it in the lobby...they try not to gag, but they laugh because they're thankful it's happening to me and not them.

It gets worse.

I'm driving home and realize I'm sticking to my car's seat. During the "tuck the leg under me" during the movie, I'd worked the grey gum into the right butt cheek of my jeans...and now I was transferring it to my car.

I used a plastic butter knife this morning to scrape off the gum. Audrey watched, of course, and made me feel like an ass.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Grace was holding "summer camp" upstairs this morning. Campers Audrey & Nina had sign in sheets and a busy day of activities ahead. About half an hour into it, as Grace was leading the campers to the backyard (clipboard in hand) for soccer drills, Nina stopped to chat with me.

"I've been facing the corner of the room," she said with a pouty lip. "I don't even know what that means."

She walked away, leaving me confused.

Later, Audrey walks in and says loudly, "We've been at camp and Nina had to be reee-focused this morning" (a nice way of saying she was in trouble and put in the corner).

Thursday, June 24, 2010

first "communick"

I returned from the grocery store to a very excited Audrey. She said happily, "We have a First Communick for you." To some of you, this will be a surprise. But to those who know Audrey, it is not.

Allow me to rewind a couple of months.

My niece, Anya, had her First Communion a couple of months ago. Audrey, our 'lil bible thumper, was fascinated by the service and had many questions afterward. She was also vehemently opposed to eating the bread when she had to do First Communion someday. "Don't worry about it now," I'd tell her.

So here we are the backyard. Two lawn chairs are set up on one end of the yard--these are our seats. There's a clear aisle, marked by rocks on the lawn (much to Michael's chagrin). At the end of the aisle, a nice blanket where Grace will begin the service by playing the triangle. In the background, a Norah Jones song about "...the way you touch me."

After the triangle playing, Audrey precedes down the aisle, dropping bits of paper (Michael groaned again). Obviously not something done during a First Communion, but this is Audrey's version and given her affinity for flowergirl duties, the "petal" dropping is added.

Then comes Nina, an apple in one hand (she takes bites every few seconds), performing a dance. Imagine extreme lunging, arms outstreched...and a somersault after she sits the apple on the concrete.

As the dancing continues, Grace presents a certificate of First Communion to Audrey, and then Audrey returns the gesture. Nina is still dancing.

Audrey announces, "Now it's time for the bread and milk." Grace appears with a plastic cup of water and some crackers and the audience (Michael and I) are invited to participate in Communick, as Audrey calls it.

The end.

Oh, and there were programs. Cross drawn on the front, names of the recipients on the back. Very nice.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

funny story

Michael and I took a much-needed one-night getaway to Portland. On the way, he says, "Did I tell you about the teachers at Grace's school yelling 'NO POLE DANCING?"

Me: "Um, no."
Michael: "Yeah, some of the girls were using the tetherball pole as a dancing prop and the teachers would yell at them."
Me: "Nice."

Did I mention this is happening at a grade school? DOH!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

just another weekend morning at the Turners

The setup:  Michael's mowing the lawn--girls not allowed outside. I'm ready to get in the shower, so I give the usual "don't do anything for the next 15 minutes, girls" warning. I undress in our bedroom...and hear the front door open and close. And I know it wasn't Michael.

So I run out of the room, doing a terrible job of covering my top and bottom parts with my hands and arms. I get to the front door and realize I can't just open the door when I'm stark naked. So I grab a nearby jacket of Michael's. It's black and waist length. You get the picture. Since the bottom half of me is stille exposed, I decide to crouch to the left of the door as I open it.

Now, imagine you're standing outside, witnessing this scene. You see a woman huddled by her door, wearing only a black jacket, crazy-ass bed head hair, yelling for her kids.

After three good shouts over the noise of the mower, I look up and Michael's staring at me from the porch -- giving me the "OMG, Andrea, what are you doing?" look. I weakly say, "I'm getting the girls."

He rolls his eyes, the girls come inside, and I hang up the jacket before going back to the shower. Just another morning at the Turners.

Friday, June 18, 2010

"You want chicken & fries?"

Nina and I were at Walgreens' pharmacy. There's plexi-glass dividers, of sorts, where you're supposed to form a line. Much to Nina's delight, there was space between the bars and glass, so she could stick her head through and ask for someone's "order."

I'm at the counter paying when I hear her ask someone, "You want chicken & fries?" I hope that person has or had children so they can use their imagination and figure out what she was role playing.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

my baby got a library card!

or about a year, Audrey's been dying to get her library card.

First time we tried, we had two strikes against us. 1) We don't live in Richland, so we'd have to pay $30 or I'd have to bring them a copy of my business license (proving I have a license in Richland, thereby qualifying us). 2) Audrey has to be able to write her entire name.

She worked so hard at preschool this year...I've procrastinated for several today became the BIG day. She proudly got her library card.

The cutest part was when they had to take her picture. The lady said, "Well, I don't think we've had to aim the camera down this far before." Audrey just stood there smacking her gum, waiting patiently for the brief photoshoot to begin.

So what did Auddie checkout her first official visit? Two DVDs and a book that does not look like something she'd ever be interested in.

Yeah for Auddie!

don't laugh at the bumps

Today included an adventure to the doctor's office. Nina needed shots before preschool and Audrey needed little bumps checked out. Audrey, of course, wanted to be assured she wasn't getting any shots. But she also had to address a concern with the nurse. When the nurse asked Auddie to pull down her pants a bit so she could see the bumps on her thighs, Audrey replied, "Ok, but you're not gonna laugh, right? 'Cause you've seen this on lots of people, right?" Nurse: "No, I definitely won't laugh." Audrey: "Because that'd be inappropriate, right?" Nurse (stifling laughter): "Yes, yes it would."

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

look before you cat (or dog) call

This was one of those times that I wasn't paying attention to my surroundings before I opened my mouth. Sadly, it happens often.

I was walking home from a friend's house tonight, saw that our neighbors' boxer was out front. He's beautiful. I heart him. But I don't know his owners.

So as he stands there regally, I call out, "Hey pretty boy...(kissy noises, kissy noises, kissy noises)." And too late I realized that his owner wasn't far from him, weeding. Of course he looked up and I gave my best, "What? Think I was talking to you?" look. Hope it worked. Probably won't be getting cookies from his wife any time soon. And Michael just gave the usual shake of his head when I told him the story.

a new nemesis

Nina can hear them from 5 miles away. They tease her ears...and she announces to everyone that they're approaching.

Yesterday's said nemesis pulled a new low. As Nina and I played in the park--her consolation prize for not getting to attend vacation bible school with her big sisters--she again heard it from afar and then spotted it approaching in the parking lot. That music.

For a mom, it's worse than nails on a chalkboard. It means digging in the bottom of your purse for change, sticky fingers, fighting kids to eat at lunch...and then hours of manic play. It's like crack for kids. It's the ice cream truck.

And yesterday's Howard Amon truck added a new temptation for the kiddos--a dog. Yes, Nina's two most favorite things in the whole world--puppies and ice cream--were now staring at her from the parking lot as annoying music played over and over. I glared at the driver from afar. The driver threw her head back and laughed.

You may have won yesterday, ice cream truck driver, but you won't win, you won't win today.

Monday, June 14, 2010

are you there, tone-ups? it's me, out-of-shape Andrea

I've been looking at the Skechers Shape-Ups, but couldn't bring myself to pay $100 for sneakers. After all, I rarely wear them. The one pair I have doesn't even have real laces...they're slip-ons. Very sad.

But the reality is that in my heart of hearts, I'm one of those people who would love to exercise if it could be done without me knowing it was happening. So today I bought Tone-Ups. They're half the price of Shape-Ups and they're footwear I wear every day--flip flops! I wore them for eight hours today and my calves are tired. So are my toes. Not sure what that means.

I'm just hoping for a toning miracle.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

the book light

The whole fam went to Smoovies' free movie in the park. Movie started around 9:00 (after really, really bad karaoke and even worse interpretive dancing), Nina was out by 10, Grace down by 10:15...Auddie was like the Energizer Bunny. After all, she had candy to eat.

Toward the end of the movie, she tiptoed to Michael and whispered, "Dad, can I use your book light?" (Michael, in his infinite wisdom, brought along a book in case Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs wasn't captivating enough for him.) He hands it to her, she trots back to her seat, and she begins to hold her Starburst under it so she knows which color of candy she's eating.  Gotta love her.

staining the bench...and butts

Today Michael re-stained the kids' bench he put in front of our house. Audrey & Nina sat on it, not realizing it wasn't dry. Michael said, "Guess I should have put a sign on it." I replied, "Neither of them can read."

Friday, June 11, 2010

adding a big cat to the circus

Today we added a kitty to our circus. Michael agreed to it on the conditions that it be a boy (because he's tired of being the only male) and that he got to name it. I thought for sure it'd be Jimi (Hendrix) or JB (James Brown). Instead, it's in Fredo Corleone, a brother on The Godfather.

Grace is his main keeper, Audrey attempts to hold him, but prefers that he doesn't put his claws on her dresses, and Nina cuddles him, but for only 30 seconds. And so far I think Michael is Fredo's fave.

stick a fork in it

Here's a random occurrence that happened today. Michael came into the house halfway through his lawn mowing expedition. He growled, "Someone was nice enough to leave me a fork stuck into the ground. A real fork."

Didn't even bother to ask the girls "who done it."

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

tears and the offer of a pretend sandwich

Being down in the dumps is tough, but it's even worse when your kids see you cry and ask if you'd like a pretend sandwich to make it all better. "No, I don't want a sandwich. If we're just pretending, gimme a big dessert, please," I said. Then I hear Nina ask, "Why's mom crying?" Audrey answered, "I think she misses her coffee."

Yep, I miss my coffee on the way to work. I miss the best girlfriends in the world at work. But I also feel guilty as hell that I miss anything...because I have the opportunity to stay home with my kids.

As one of those rockstar girlfriends said, "I think every mom feels like you some point or another..." It just doesn't make it any easier to figure out what that right combination of me, kids, family and home is.

So three good cries, one set of revised talking points, a box of rice a roni and a diet pepsi later...I feel better.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

as easy as riding a bike

The irony of today's bike lesson was not lost on me. I can't ride a bike...very well. Stopping is a big issue for me--fortunately there's no photographic evidence of my run-ins with garage doors, other bicyclists, and the ground (ahem, thanks to Mom and Larry for organizing that fun downhill biking adventure at Sunriver years ago).

So, there I was, in front of our house, holding on to Audrey's bike seat (thanks, Becky, for the no-training wheels loaner). She's not ready to take off on her own. Even as I held the seat and perspired, she asked if she could "please hold the fruit snacks." Obviously she needed to re-focus.

After five grueling minutes of me struggling to keep her upright, she dismounted the bike, took off her pink helmet and said, "I think I wanna take a little break so I can watch the pretty birdies."

End of Lesson I.

Friday, June 4, 2010

lunch with Auddie...and God

Nina was asleep. Auddie and I sat down together to a nice lunch. NPR was playing in the background, a gospel song came on...and so it began...

Auddie: "Hey, this is the song we heard at Anya's first communion!" (My think bubble - any church song will do for Audrey)

She continued, "Will you cry when I die?"
Me: "Of course. But I'll die before you do because I'm older."
Auddie: "I don't want to be without you."
Me: "You won't be. And we'll be together again in heaven some day."
Auddie: "But why do we have to be small to go to heaven."
Me: (confused face) "What do you mean?"
Auddie: "Dad said a piece of us (and she cups her hands and raises them up) leaves the room and goes to heaven." (now I want to call Dad and demand he join us for this relaxing, insightful lunch)
Me: "I think Dad was referring to our spirits. Our physical bodies don't go to heaven."
Auddie: "Why will God cut my body?"
Me: "Um, no, that doesn't happen." (refer to part about spirit. again send text to Dad, reminding him he owes me for this one. his reply, "oops, I knew that one would haunt me." correction - haunt ME, Mom)
Auddie: (tuning in to song again as she stabs another piece of watermelon) "Do we sing so we make God tear up?"
Me: "Do you mean 'make him cry?'
Auddie: "Yeah."
Me: "Yeah, I think God probably does cry when we sing for him because he's just so darn happy."
Me: "You done with your lunch? Want a treat?"


Thursday, June 3, 2010

do I lie?

Tomorrow night is another cover shoot for MOM Magazine. The cover story is about a woman transitioning from her office career to being a SAHM. I can't relate at all.

I'm stoked about the shoot--should be fun. The cover mom knows I just made the leap, too, so I'm anticipating the question I get nearly every day, which is, "So do you love being at home?!??!?!?!?"

I honestly want to shout YES, but it isn't that simple. Feels like it should be, but it isn't. Some days are awesome, others not-so-much. I've found that having a routine certainly helps. I truly am grateful for the opportunity to stay home with my girls and I try to make the most of each day.

That said, do I tell her it's much tougher than a professional career...or do I lie and tell her it's a piece of cake?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

taming the beast

Audrey and I were having a peaceful morning on the couch. Nina, the morning beast, was still slumbering. Then we heard the shrill "MOM!" Audrey grabbed a granola bar and rushed upstairs saying, "I'll get her, Mom." And just as quickly as she ran up, Audrey ran back down...holding her red cheek. She said matter-of-factly, "Nina kicked me in the face. You can get her. I think I'll stay down here."

growing out of your undies

Audrey came to me and said, "Mom, I've already grown out of my new panties!" I asked what she was talking about. She lifted her dress, turned around and showed me that one of her butt cheeks was peeking out of one side of her undies. I tried not to laugh. If only she understood that that is just a wedgie...and she'll have a million of them until her dad lets her wear thongs when she's 30. On the other hand, if that exposed cheek does mean she's grown out of them, then I, too, have outgrown all of mine--every day.