July 30, 2010

Sissy love

Honestly, we don't know how Chicken Little fell asleep like this-with her
feet on the ground, practically standing on the floor, wrapped up like a
mummy and using Little Sissy as a Nugget-sized pillow. The question
remains, what will we find in the morning when we wake up?

Are you smarter than my 5 year old?

Apparently, neither I, nor my husband with his advanced degrees, or our extremely smart best friends, the B and the D, are smarter than Chicken Little. Last night, we all exit their house to head out for a night of Mexican food (because we are not going to get any Hispanic styled food next month, all month, in Colombia). B asks her husband D if he has the keys before we leave the kitchen - I heard her, but of course I am choosing not to take sides here. But apparently D did not hear B, and after he shut the door, they exchanged panicked stares and a few laughs as they realized that, yes, both of their keys were now locked inside their house. After a few hair-brained suggestions about climbing on porch roofs, and breaking in windows, AMP showed up with the big brain power to suggest that we hoist Chicken Little up through a window to open the door. We all four gave her explicit instructions about turning the locking mechanisms from the inside of the kitchen door to let us in. She wisely and silently nodded her head, and up she went through the window. 4 voices raised in unison to coach her through the unlocking process. Two seconds later, we saw this:

Smart girl - obviously, she should have just handed the two sets of keys out the window to us. I knew that.

July 27, 2010


Up at 4:15 to reattempt that trip I missed a few weeks ago. I tried flying out of Logan this time, and after successfully throwing on my new traveling outfit, (called a ballet class outfit by one of my more outspoken coworkers, but I will take that to mean athletic-looking, definite compliment) and accessorizing my wet hair with sunglasses (such a fashionista I am), I headed out and Blissful Travel ensued. First there was Radio Bliss. It was one of those perfect moments where every time I hit scan on the radio, I would happen upon yet a another fabulous song. From The Killers, to The BeeGees, to Chicago, to Colbie Caillet, to Highway to Hell as I pulled into Central Parking, and a resounding finale by the Smashing Pumpkins, it was bliss through and through. Additionally, I do know that several people this morning where able to blissfully laugh their way to work as they caught me car dancing as I flew by, particularly during the BeeGees bit.
Travel Bliss continued as I strolled into the airport, through the security line and to my gate with 50 minutes to spare. I continued at a leisurely pace over Starbucks to get the requisite dirty chai and got a treat receipt. Apparently they are stamping coupons on the bottom of the receipts in the morning to entice people back that same afternoon for an iced coffee. I am a sucker, so you know that I took full advantage of this. My only questions is this. Is that stamp really worth 1/20th of a cent? Say I turn in 20 of the receipts that afternoon - will she be obligated to give me a penny?
Smooth sailing down! Honestly, smooth as can be, except for one thing. I am still staring at this mornings on board snack - a very healthy looking packet of trail mix. Looks amazingly yummy, but is entirely impossible to open. You know the kind of package where you try six different ways from Sunday and you left with numb fingers and sore teeth. One hour later, I was no closer to opening this package of trail mix than I ever was. Obnoxiously enough, the woman in the seat across the aisle had no issue at all getting the bag open -she just happily munched away the whole flight down, very loudly I might add. But still, as far as issues go, thats not to bad, right?
The trip tried to also end on a very blissful note, with express pedicure in massage chairs in the airport terminal. All is well until they call our flight, and I have NO paint on the tootsies. She ended slapping on some pink, and we had to hobble our way to the gate and down the jetway in the disposable flip flops and complete toe wraps. I leave you with that beautiful mental image.
Last day of travel - done. Maternity leave is imminent, and I couldn't be more excited!

July 23, 2010

There is no such thing as too much happiness!

And here is the perfect example. At the end of her sweet little rope after a week of 10 pm bedtimes, a daily double dose of VBS, and an absurd amount of sugar and cheese doodle snacks, Chicken Nugget resorted to double-fisting security.

July 22, 2010

Oh, how we fool ourselves.

You know those moments, when you realize that how you see yourself currently, might not be exactly how others see you? Well, today, my vision of myself has been altered. You see, I see myself as an extremely young looking mother of two, but who doesn't dress like a mom, or act mom-ish. I am fun, and am lucky enough to have an interesting job that lets me travel and go and do really cool stuff. This is me in my mind- I feel so hip!

In reality, I now realize that truly, I am the 30 year old mom to 3 children, who carries a not so pretty mom bag, drives a 4 year old minivan, and has no idea what The Hills is all about, and is very put off Jersey Shore (both of which are probably so LY, but again, I am not cool enough to know this for sure). I am that woman who showed up at church tonight to help with vacation bible school (one clue that I am probably not a hip, young thing anymore all by itself) with extremely fuzzy hair in a prairie braid. I then enhanced this fabulous look with an oversized white vbs t-shirt and a green polka dot plastic apron.

So how did I reach this image altering realization? Three things happened. First, my oldest daughter lost her first tooth, and I of course cried, and now I am hiding a really gross baby tooth in my jewelry box. Who does this, and how old am I to have a kid who lost a tooth? And seriously, who cries? Second, a nice little boy at VBS called me "The Lettuce Lady"! This was not, however, a completely random statement: I was working in the snack area and gave him flack two days ago for not wanting lettuce on his burning bush snack. Lastly, a little later in the evening, a different sweet young child popped his head in the room and said directly to me "Thanks, Cafeteria Lady." I just might not be a cool as I hoped I was - I am somebody's old mom! But look how cute somebody is!

July 19, 2010

Open Foot insert Mouth...

That seems to be the theme of my friendship with Lisa. This weekend we both succeeded in (more than a thousand miles between us) completely and utterly humiliating ourselves beyond our wildest imaginations, without any assistance from anyone else at all.

Lisa was eating at the Japaneses Steakhouse again on Sunday afternoon. Her husband got up and took one of their boys to the restroom to change his diaper. As he left the table, Lisa THOUGHT that the chef asked about her twin boys and if twins ran in her family. That is why she proceeded to tell him, the details of her in vitro process, with all the shots and gross stuff included. Well, don't you know that just about then her phone rang, and it was her husband....from the restroom. It seems he was calling her just to let her know that the chef had not asked about her twins, he had asked if she was on the carb diet and if he could be her nutritionist. Open foot.....

I, as briefly mentioned in the post below, gave a simple bag of coffee to my pastor and his wife last night at a friend's barbecue. It was just a little something I picked up in the airport in Vietnam because I like to buy little souvenirs for my friends when I travel. I bought a couple different flavors of ground coffee in the convenience store at the airport. There were six flavors to choose from, and who can read Vietnamese, so I picked based on color. I bought the purple bag and gave it to my friend Jamie, who loves coffee. The yellow bag, was a premium flavor, and was labeled...Culi, which means the following in Vietnamese:
Culi is the Vietnamese word for a phenomenon where, inside each coffee cherry there are two beans, but in about 5% of the crop there is only one. This single bean is called Culi, and they are highly prized for their intensity of flavor.
It does not mean the same thing in the Spanish culture - not the same thing at all - let's just say it's a rather dirty word for one's bum. (Please don't google it) And my pastor's family is Puerto Rican. ....And Insert Mouth.

July 18, 2010

Is that stink my child?

  • Perfect 94 degree weather - or massive amounts of sweating - Check!
  • Pool with 7 Children and 8 adults doing the "whirlpool" - Check!
  • Profuse amounts of hotdogs and hamburgers and corrected spinach dip and cheesecake and watermelon and strawberry and juice boxes and soda and and pasta salad and bags and bags and bags of chips and BS (Becky's Super) salsa -Check!
  • Precise execution of the best rock/paper/scissors strategy in order to avoid diaper duty - yes, that stink was my child - Check!
  • People that had me in stitches - I am still nearly doubled over laughing at the inappropriate Vietnamese coffee that should have never been given as a gift to my pastor - Check!
  • Perfectly well behaved children, or should I say everyone else's perfectly behaved children and my highly threatened children "If you don't stop right now, I will throw away every gummy Princess in the pantry and take you home right now!" -Check!
  • Pretty much the best summer day ever, minus the smell that lingered around Chicken Nugget long into the night - Check!

July 16, 2010

Crying in Public Places

I remember the moment when I realized that Chicken Little was really going to be ours. We had waited 6 days and 7 long nights for the adoption agency to decide who got the chance to be the parents to the little girl who had just gone up on the waiting list. We had emailed late on a Thursday night requesting her information, and they told us on Friday to hang tight, because 3 other families had emailed that same night. I remember the night before they called us, as the longest night of my life! AMP was at a basketball game down at the U, and it was Valentine's night of 2007. I sat by myself in the relative darkness of my house for hours, ate a carton of Ben & Jerry's and sobbed because the social worker had told us that day that she was going home to sleep on it (???) and would let us know in the morning which family she had picked. That next morning, I drove the hour into work and decided to stop by the Starbucks, and pick up a coffee for myself and my coworkers. I got in line and placed my order for the 4 different coffees and I was waiting in line to pay semi-patiently, when my phone rang. I picked it up and heard AMP say "Are you sitting down? She's ours, and I am looking at her picture right now - and she is beautiful." Seven people on either side of me in line turned to stare as I began sobbing violently out loud. The woman at the cash register looked at me in confusion and said "What did you order?" I paused for a moment and through my tears said, "I have no idea!" I shoved my credit card at her, paid for god-knows what, grabbed my coffees and some napkins, and fled the scene.

I never thought that Chicken Nugget would ever make her appearance and join our family. She seemed quite comfortable in there, and despite almost 3 weeks of "fake" labor (which felt uncomfortably real to me), I found myself on my due date at Friendly's. I tried to drown the sorrow of being just sent home from the hospital for the 2nd time in a plate brownies and icecream - this to be exact.

Sorrow was drowning swimmingly and the tears of hospital rejection were beginning to dry, when the waitress asked "When are you due?"
"Today and it is never going to happen."
"Well, I was in labor in the hospital for 5 Days and after ......(courtesy edit for the male audience), my child was finally born by ceasarean."
What are the words that you never say to a women on the due date of her first pregnancy? 5 Days of Labor. If AMP thought I was hysterical mess before Friendly's....

So, after 8 months of filling out paperwork and after refiling the immigration forms because 3 teeny, tiny words were missing from one teeny, tiny sentence in our homestudy (insert additional $380 fee here) and after waiting 3 more weeks for the same FBI office in WV to re-verify our fingerprints, not one month after they had done it the first time, and after AMP made a poor woman in one of our nation's governmental offices cry, we received a piece of paper today in the mail. I had made a rather uneventful flight home this afternoon, and was checking our email on my phone while I waited for my carry on. You know how quiet is while you stand on the jetway and wait for your bags? Well, imagine one fuzzy haired blonde woman gasping out loud and then, of course, she starts sobbing hysterically and clutching her phone. Yes, I made yet another scene. But that awesome email said that a nice woman in a government office in Missouri (a different woman to be exact) had sent us a form in the mail today, that said, Pollo is approved to enter the country. Moral of the story, Big Public Scene # 3, but my little boy gets to meet his crazy family in about 2 weeks from now. Big Hugs to a woman in Missouri, and we are almost on our way to Colombia!

My Lovely Baby Bump

We hope to go to Colombia in three or four weeks to get little Pollo and bring him home. So this means I am actually 9 months "pregnant", but unfortunately it doesn't show. This can make for some truly awkward moments for anyone who doesn't know me that well. For anyone who knew me pregnant or before, when I announce, "I am getting another one", this usually prompts a "You're crazy," (3 children in 3 calendar years is certifiable - I completely agree) "but congrats!" But for the poor fools who didn't see me happily adopting or miserably pregnant before, the "imminent maternity leave" statement can be confusing. This always prompts some sharp looks and roundabout tummy stares before I clarify the situation. After a week working at a trade show, where I went from booth to booth, talking to a new person literally every five minutes, I have decided that the adoption process should come with a faux baby bump. But apparently not all of Chicken Nugget's baby bump has gone away - two months ago I was telling a man that I was getting a baby this summer, and he stated quite happily as he stared at my stomach, "I noticed!"

July 13, 2010

And the issues just keep on coming

3:28am wake up on both alarms - bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (this is a
Southern expression I believe, that makes me slightly uncomfortable when I
read it now)
3:35 finish packing with clothes from dryer
3:40 shower and debate internally, tennis shoes or no tennis shoes in the
suitcase. One guess as to what won? Waistline won't be shrinking this week
as I enter the land of Chic-fil-a and pecan pie
3:48 just a teeny tiny amount of facebook time while gathering ipod from
4:01 decide the outfit I have on is perfectly unacceptable
4:04 ironing second outfit
4:10 put first unacceptable outfit back on
4:14 zip suitcase -requires sitting on, but successfully packed in a
CARRYON for 4 days with paperwork (probably the best packing job of my
whole buying career-or at least I think so now at the beginning of the
4:16 waking sleeping giant to move the cars around
4:19 kiss the girls goodbye
4:40 pull into airport-prime parking spot right in front of me
4:47 flash that platinum card again (see post below-Mechanical Issues) to
the same older man-he is even more stunned and surprised this time-and my
hair is almost dry-what gives? It must be that 1st outfit
4:48 bypass everyone in line and whip through security like a pro.
5:04 join the crazy line at starbucks for dirty chai and yogurt parfait
5:26 stroll onto the plane and take my window seat. Mentally congratulate
myself on the resolution of my issues with traveling-smooth sailing from
5:55 take the fruit and yogurt parfait, try to take the lid off, at which
point the whole thing explodes, sending the lid shooting somewhere, never
to be seen again, and showering both myself and my seat mate with granola
and yogurt. Again, I said my yogurt exploded, not my soda?
6:41 wake up to find myself not only laying on the nice woman's shoulder,
but also playing some kind of footsie with her-she doesn't speak English,
but the words she is saying with her eyes should not be repeated in any
language. Settle myself firmly against the window.
8:17 wake up as we land, discover that I have window hair(never pretty),
and stagger off the plane, wiping the sleep from my eyes, and look around
for the restroom to pull myself back together
8:19 bingo-bathroom right next to Chic-fil-a
8:20 confidently stride into the restroom, smile at the little boy staring
at me, start to head around the wall to find a stall, and come face to back
with a man....at a urinal-quick survey of the room confirms that, yes, I am
in the men's room
Off to work-Just another morning in the glamorous life of a buyer.

July 11, 2010

Chicken Nugget Poo

Two weeks ago today, the girls and I had a little adventure. It was called, "Let's get ready to go to Church and do nursery - In 15 minutes". AMP was away in Germany, and I was single parenting, which I must say seems very easy for my fabulous drill sergeant husband and horribly overwhelming for me. I did get them both fed by 8:30 (service starts at 9) and got Chicken Little talked into wearing my favorite dress of hers, despite the fact that the giant bow on it needed to be pinned on one side, which I promised to do at some point before we left the house. Anyway, I hopped in the shower, and typical mom fashion, started calling out instructions to Chicken Little to undress Chicken Nugget and bring her to me in the bathroom. The following is a transcript of the next five minutes.
Sharp screaming
"What's wrong?"
"She took off her diaper! Mom, there is poo on the floor....Mom, she is touching, Oh no, Mom, she touched it." More hysterical screaming.
"Do not let her eat it!! Take her away, Keep her away...Bring her here! Now!"
Pitter Patter of tiny poo-covered feet.
Naked Baby joins me in shower and after cleaning both of us up, I venture out of the bathroom to survey the damage. A trail of pooprints wind down the hallway, into the girls' room and straight back to that offending diaper with it's slightly smashed load. I wrap a towel around my hair and dash to the back porch for cleaning supplies, all the while Chicken Nugget is chasing me and pointing, saying "Naket Mamma, Naket Mamma!" Of course curtains are open throughout the house, but I do not let this stop me - I briefly considered an army crawl, but who could really actually do that? - and figure a fast dash will suffice. I turn around in the kitchen, with the Resolve in one hand, the paper towels in the other hand, and there stands Chicken Little blocking my path. "Mamma, can you pin my dress now?"
"Well, I am naked, there is poo on the floor in your room, and we are supposed to be at church in 5 minutes? Do you think the pin is going to happen right now?"
Hysterical laughing ensues from both us.
We actually made it to church, dressed, pinned and poo free by 9:09.

July 10, 2010

Saturday mornings at the Chicken Coop

Chicken Little - Dressed up in a sweater dress and practicing her tap dance/clog moves that she learned at Fake Pioneer Hillbilly Town.
Chicken Nugget - "Stinky Monster" (AMP and I are arguing on whose responsibility this is) and she is insisting that I am the "Stinky Mawster"
Chicken - Desperately mainlining coffee. I had to peel myself out of bed at 8:45 this morning.
AMP - Making eggs and biscuits (no gravy) and currently dancing to his favorite song "All Summer Long" while playing a Hannah Montana guitar.
Can't wait for Pollo to join the chaos!

July 9, 2010

Why Chicken

The nickname started 7 years ago in NYC, when my loving husband began to get slightly frustrated with my persistence in waiting for the light to change in order to cross the road. Ever patient, he would dash wildly across the street in front of oncoming Mack trucks (you should see him drive) and then would tap his foot gently, while he pointed and laughed on the other side of the street. Thus, I became the Chicken that wouldn't cross the road.
My father had always called me Turkey, so I guess I was always destined to have a poultry nickname. The children's nicknames were obvious, Chicken Little for the biggest one, and she named the baby Chicken Nugget while she was still in the oven. Pollo, who has yet to reach the coop, was a no-brainer, given that he currently speaks only Spanish. The Chicken nicknames have not, however, been continued on with my husband, for obvious reasons.

July 8, 2010

You know you are in the South when....

Simple Question to the McDonald's drive-thru lady: "You don't have biscuits and gravy do you? My friend from Rhode Island wants some, but I don't see them on the menu."

Answer: "You tell your Yankee friend...." and after that we learned that not only does McDonald's carry biscuits and gravy, but that it is red bean gravy, and that she was sorry that it came from a can, and that the South invented biscuits and gravy, and that she had a roommate in college that was from New Hampshire, and.... "Please pull forward."

July 6, 2010

Waiting is Broken

A couple of Definitions for you before you read:

*Lisa Math - to grossly over or underestimate time or money.
*Lisa Plan - to use Lisa Math/Lisa Reasoning to make a plan.
*Silver Dollar City - Fake Pioneer Hillbilly town where they steal your money and splash a little water on you.

Yesterday was a classic example of what we call a Lisa Plan gone slightly awry. Lisa, my very best friend in the world, is a truly fabulous person in every way. In fact, right now, in the room above my head, my oldest daughter is desperately trying to avoid going to sleep by sobbing continuously "I miss Aunt Lisa" - never mind that the youngest, who isn't even two yet was making fun of her - "Sissy - wawaah - I miss Aunt Wisa" followed by hysterical giggling. I digress.

Lisa is fabulous in every way, except for her estimation abilities. So, in perfect Lisa fashion, we made a plan to take our four children to Silver Dollar City on Monday, the hottest day of the summer and a holiday to boot. Oh, and we were going to be there first thing in the morning and be home by 3pm. Of course all of the children would frolic in their respective age appropriate activities, Lisa and I would take an Old Time Picture in a saloon together, and everyone would laugh all the way home.

We left the house at 10 am. 4pm rolls around, and it can all be summed up by the following story. Lisa's youngest son, who is obsessed with trains, has been asking to ride the Red Thomas Train for the last 4 hours. We decided to swing by the train depot to check out the the train ride situation, and Lisa with a quick glance sees a line a mile long. She returns to announce that "Thomas is broken", and AMP and I make a quick about face with the strollers. We all hear a quiet, but defiant "Waiting is Broken".

Moral of the Story:
3 Adults, 4 children under the age of 6, 2 large strollers, and 5 million rednecks in the hot, hot sun.....
Total Lisa Plan

July 4, 2010

4th of July at the Japanese Steakhouse

We went to a Japanese Steakhouse after church this morning. The following conversation occurred between my husband's grandparents and the Vietnamese chef:
AMP's Grandma to the Chef: "I can't have the rice or the noodles - I am diabetic. Only the vegetables."
Vietnamese Chef to AMP's Grandma: "Vegetables are sexy" with a wink at AMP's Grandpa.
AMP's Grandfather to the Vietnamese Chef: "Got any more vegetables?"
Happy 4th!

July 3, 2010

So it's official

Issue level has been upgraded to Serious Problem. Husband, who shall from
this point on be called Absentminded Professor or AMP, was going to fly
home yesterday from Germany, catch a quick snooze, and then fly here to
meet us for the festivities. Different spouse, same week, same problem.
He sat there in the Hannover airport, and patiently watched as they called
his plane, boarded his plane and took off....without him. His excuse -
"They paged me in German.". My problem - I can't even make fun of him (see post below - Mechanical Issues)

July 2, 2010

Maybe it's a personal issue...

So, same airport, next day-I am starting to sense a pattern. I left the
house at 4:15 Amanda time for a 5:40 pm flight. The clock in that mini van
claimed it was 4:39. Hmmmmm. Well, traffic was fortunately was with us, and
I successfully managed to load and reload onto the parking shuttle a
slightly oversized suitcase, a carseat, a stroller, a hiking backpack, a
small carryon, Yellow Baby, and two hyper children. I am congratulating
myself on a job well done, all by myself you know, with no husband/beast of
burden, when I notice that the clock over shuttle bus drivers head
say-4:58. Hmmmm... So I inform Chicken Little that she is now Big Sissy in
Charge of Fast Running, and we ran. I ran through the doors and the empty
que line for US Air reassured me that all was going to be fine. I make the
obvious decision to tuck under the que lines instead of waiting. Near
decapitation ensues. Big Sissy in Charge of Fast Running screams. Little
Sissy in Charge of Fast Following drops her pacifer and stares. Don't
worry, everyone is staring as the stroller falls off the suitcase, the
suitcase takes out the pole, and the stretchy cord gets tangled in my hair.
Everyone is staring at the crazy women who took out half the que line,
nearly threw a suitcase into an old couple, and was desperately trying
untangle her hair, all while shouting at two small children 20 feet away.
The most important part of the story is that we actually weren't flying US
After that little snafu, all was smooth sailing. Straight through security, they were already boarding the plane of course, and it was smooth sailing from there. Except for in Chicago, when Big Sissy in Charge of Fast Running decided to come to a complete halt in the middle of the walkway to stare aimlessly at a water fountain, thereby causing a 65 year old man to literal fall on the ground. Other than that, we are now at our favorite Aunt's house, ready to party kid style.