Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Mr. & Mrs. Disaster

When I finally do get around to changing my name officially to my husband's, Moeckli, I think maybe both my husband and I should consider changing our moniker to something more appropriate, like the above title.

Here's why.

Over the past 7 years, my husband and I have seemed to be in some pretty sticky, pretty lame situations. Here are some of the highlights:

* His 68 Volkswagon Beetle stalled at the Benecia Bridge Toll Plaza and needed to be rammed and pushed to 30 miles an hour by a tow truck to get out
* I bought a cat and the next day woke up with a flea in my ear (ICK)
* We went camping and Justin hacked into his knee with an axe and we had to go to a rural hospital (cue Deliverance music)
* As he was leaving for work, he put the laptop on the car roof, got in the car, and drove off (buh-bye Mac book)
* I left the key in my car door and it was stolen...from my apartment lot

And our most recent experience of disaster-ridden lameness happened yesterday. My husband took our Geo to the DMV to get some issues with our registration dealt with. As he was driving in the parking lot, a big-a cadillac back right up into the car. And since the caddie's bumper is made out of titanium, it hooked on to our bumper and RIPPED it off. The lame-a who rammed into our car was at least kind enough to lend my husband some tape to jerry-rig our bumper. And then he took off. Lame.

My husband got all the insurance information. And we are waiting to hear about what to do next. Hopefully, things will work out. And luckily, Justin is fine and no one was hurt. But still, not fun. Ah, well, it's just one more disaster in a long line of similar events. May we have many more. :)

At least I don't have to be Miss Disaster by myself.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Ah, Blessed Quiet!

I don't like to be alone and I don't like to be quiet. Actually, it goes beyond dislike: my husband, family, and pretty much anyone who's spent more than five minutes with me would argue that it's physically impossible for me to be quiet. In fact, my mom used to call me media girl because I'd be at home alone with the t.v. on, the radio on, and I'd be on the phone. (Quiet must die!)

Well, this weekend my quiet side roused itself out of dormancy and presented itself quiet politely. All I want is blissful, wonderful quiet.

This weekend would have pushed any extrovert to the edge. It all started on Saturday. Em and I had had two quiet girl days, and we got up on Saturday morning and after a cleaning blitz, headed to the store. When we got back, camping gear was all over the place and the washer and showers were going full blast. Justin and Jerome were back.

I whipped up two fruit cobblers as the boys de-grunged from camping. Then, we hear a knock on the door: my sister and brother-in-law are here, with my adorable niece in tow. (I like them just fine, but she's the main attraction.)

After a somewhat successful napping session (Em yes, Izzy no), we all pile into two cars and head for the Sac Zoo's Ice Cream Safari, which is an INSANE idea. It's waaaaay too hot and there are a ton of dazed people wandering sugar-high and dehydrated around the zoo. Not good. And I am putting everyone on notice: IT IS NOT OKAY TO LET YOUR CHILD CUT IN LINE. THIS IS NOT CUTE. AND IF YOU DO IT IN FRONT OF ME, I WILL SHARE MY FEELINGS.

We head home for a BBQ and much needed dip in the inflated pool. That's an image, by the way--five adults fighting for room in a kiddie pool. The girls thought it was hilarious.

Saturday evening turned out to be a blast. We ate, hung out, and talked about our college dating pasts. Yikes.

Sunday was bonkers. We made breakfast for our guests, plus a couple friends from Sac. I doubled the pancake batter, which is so not necessary, so I basically spent all morning flipping pancakes, with both a frenchman and a Canadian hovering over me. Notice: IF SOMEONE IS MAKING YOU FOOD, IT IS NOT OKAY TO TELL HER HOW TO DO IT. NOT OKAY. NOT EVER.

We had a nice breakfast, and eventually everyone left, including Jerome. Normally, this is something that would leave me feeling sad. Not this time. Don't get me wrong; I will miss Jerome terribly. But I was very happy to be back with my small family.

We read quietly, watched Lord of the Rings, and had pizza. I was in bed by 10:30. It was lovely.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Fourth of July

Yes, this post is a bit late, but here are some pictures from our 4th of July celebration with my sister and her husband.

Visit to Grandma and Papa's!

For Justin's mom's birthday, we visited Northern California. Here are some pictures of that fun, but warm and smoky weekend.

Jerome's visit, July 2008

Here are some pictures from our dear friend Jerome's visit here from France.

Friday, July 25, 2008

How Sweet It Is...

Today is a lovely day. There are many reasons for this.

Firstly, today was my last, blessed, day of summer school. For the past six weeks, I have dragged my sorry butt out of bed and taught the same 30 kids for six hours each day. It has actually been very pleasant. The kids were mostly (there were a couple sugar boogers out there) good. And I met some kids I will remember for a long time.

Also, today I got some special mommy/daughter time with my girl. Justin and Jerome, his friend from France, left to go camping for a couple days. I have some fun things planned for just the two of us. We're meeting some friends tomorrow for coffee in the morning. Later in the day, I'd like to do some crafts with Em, but I'm open to whatever the day offers us. The freedom is intoxicating.

Luckily, I have two weeks off before I need to really think about the upcoming (yikes) school year and starting grad school (double yikes.) I really don't want to do much. I'd like to just run, hang out in my new home, and take some day trips with my family. And heck, maybe a nap or two!

The end of August will be here sooner than I'd like, but I'm really excited to have some time at home. I could use some quiet and some time away from "Ms Harrell! Ms Harrell!"

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I have Two Husbands

I do not mean this literally, of course. That would be icky. And time consuming. I'm not a multi-tasker.

I am referring to the fact that my husband's best friend, Jerome, is visiting from France this week. I have delayed posting on this because he defies description. I have been searching for the right words to describe him.

Imagine a six-foot, leanly strong, dirty-blond French man with piercing blue eyes. Then, imagine an even more piercing voice, a louder than life French accent. A French accent that tells you how to do EVERYTHING. And you have Jerome.

Don't get me wrong. I love Jerome as a brother. He would do anything for Justin, me, and my daughter. Miraclously, he was able to attend our wedding in Tahoe. Officially, he was Justin's best man, but he helped me, five months pregnant, navigate through the snow drifts while I was wearing three-inch heals. He even carried my train.

However, the past couple days it has been intense. I seriously have two husbands. Now, instead of just Justin wanting to spend hours playing video games, I have two boys who want to play into the wee hours of the night. Justin I can handle; alone he is no match against my whining. But with two husbands, I lose out. Everytime.

And then there's the complaining. I can typically ignore my husband's repeated comments about my less-than stellar housekeeping. But now I have two husbands and I get twice the comments. If Justin doesn't notice that I spilled coffee all over myself, then I get a "Good job, Hill," from Jerome.

The thing I need to remember is that if I have two husbands, then Justin also has two wives. Two backseat drivers. Two people waiting for dinner. Two people making a mess. Poor guy.

Tomorrow Justin and Jerome will be going on a short camping trip, so Em and I will have the house to ourselves for a couple days. We will enjoy the quiet. I hope the boys also have a good time. They truly are brothers.

While the three of us may drive each other crazy occasionally, we are family. I cannot imagine a person who is kinder to our daughter. And he is the best friend I can imagine for my husband. I will be sad to see him go.

But I could still use less of the editorial comments...

Monday, July 21, 2008

I'm a Donny Girl!

I sat down today after my morning run with a cup of coffee and a couple extra minutes before my shower. I turned on the t.v. to VH1 to watch a couple videos, and was incredibly shocked to discover The New Kids on The Block on my stinking television!

Oh, it brought back memories, oh-e-o, it did! Instantly, I was in fifth grade again playfully arguing with my BFF Amanda about who was cuter. She was definitely a Jordan girl, but I wanted to be different. I wanted the bad bad boy, the one who swore...Donny. Oh, he was dreamy. (Still is by the way...)

Now my family didn't have much extra money, so I didn't have any of the tapes or posters or dolls. But I lived vicariously through Amanda. Eventually, TNKOTB fell out of favor during the sixth grade, so we secretly enjoyed them together at sleep overs, never letting classmates know our true feelings.

Seventh grade tragedy struck. We started middle school and Amanda and I were separated. She moved to Reno and I moved on to alternative music. I found actual bad boys, who did more than swear, and we listened to Nirvana, Peal Jam, and Alice in Chains and felt oh so alienated. New Kids on the Block was a thing of the past.

Until today.

Now, their new song is BAD. And they actually brought back the Hangin' Tough dance at the end of video. Not good. It's one thing to do that dance in your early 20's when you don't know any better. It's an entirely different thing 15 years later. You just look like a spaz. And the years have not been kind to all of the "kids", Danny and Jon especially. But Donny still has my vote. He is fine! (To quote my 12-year-old self.)

So anty up. What kinda girl are you? Jordan (typical), Joey (if ya like 'em squeaky), Donny (rebel), or Jon or Danny (yikes.) I know I'm not the only one, so spill the beans!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

You never really lose a true friend

When I was in high school, I had ISSUES. Most of these issues surrounded my desire to resist all authority figures and the persistence of the authority figures in my life to not give up on me. The one constant in my teenage experience, in addition to always being in trouble, was my love of journalism and writing. In fact, I attribute this love to why I avoided teenage pregnancy, permanent residence in a half-way house, and a starring role in my local jail house.

In high school, I was the editor of my school's newspaper. And I had the pleasure of meeting my friend, Sarah. On the surface, Sarah and I are very different people. She was always the girl who knew the right answer, did the right thing, and I was always the screw up, the one who barely scraped by. And when things got really bad, when I ran away from home and pretty much defied all rules, Sarah was still there, my constant friend.

Luckily, I can still count Sarah as my friend. She moved to Texas for college and ended up settling there when she met her husband. In Texas, she has created a happy home with two lovely children.

Over the past ten years since high school graduation, Sarah and I have kept in sporadic contact through email. We let each other know when the big things happened: marriage, babies, etc.

Recently, we have kept in closer contact through our blogs. In fact, she inspired me to start my own book review blog: I was very honored when she asked me to join in on her blog: http://princessbride42book....

This experience has reminded me that it takes time to know who your true friends will be, who will stand by your side, who will always want to listen to your story.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Is it Friday yet?!?

Seriously this has felt like the looooooongest week! I am not quite sure exactly what is making it so painful, but I think of a couple possible culprits.

Firstly, this is the second week of the second term of summer school. I have taught summer school six times and I'm used to the pattern. The first couple weeks are fun, or at least fun-ish. I get to try things I don't do during the normal school year. I get to focus on 30 students instead of 150 and I get to stay organized, a major accomplishment for me, a known single-tasker.

However, by this time in the summer school schedule, the newness has worn off. I know the kids too well and I am ready to spend some quiet time at home. It's especially bad now that I have a daughter. She's cute and I want to be with her, not with teenagers who keep whining about the air conditioning.

Secondly, I had dental work done on Monday and am still not feeling "normal." My mouth still aches and the tylenol with codiene is giving me funky dreams. In fact, my husband claims I slept walked the other night, made a sandwich, got a glass of water, and dumped it all over the bed. I remember none of this.

Thirdly, I have plans to hang out with girl friends this week and the anticipation is killing me. Yes, I am an 8 year old. I hate waiting. For anything.

I have seriously considered taking off work tomorrow, but coming up with six hours of lesson plans is daunting. I don't want a day off that bad. Besides, we need the money.

Finally, this upcoming week is very appealing to me. We get to stay home (yay!). The air seems like it will be good and it shouldn't be too hot...hopefully. Also, our dear friend, Jerome, is visiting from France and I can't wait to see him. He was my husband's best man and I swear the two of them were brothers separated at birth. He is very excited to see Em because he hasn't seen her since last fall.

It should be a good weekend...if it'll ever get here...

Monday, July 14, 2008

I'd rather...

I have oft heard (and even said myself) the following: I would rather have a root canal than...fill in the blank--do my taxes, mow the lawn, clean my room, etc.

Well, that is just not the truth. I'd rather do my taxes, fifty times over in one year, than get a root canal. I now know this as a fact because today I experienced my first, and last thank you very much, root canal.

I find all of this very embarrassing, so of course, I'm telling everyone in the world. Whatever. But the reason for this particular procedure is two-fold: 1) I am a VERY bad girl, and 2) I have VERY bad dental genetics. Well, that's not entirely true; my teeth are straight, just weak as all get out.

So last week, I dragged my sorry butt to the dentist to discover that it is possible to spend all your dental insurance allowance in one visit. (Side note: if you can get a job with EGUSD and keep it, the insurance is FANTASTIC, no joke.)

Today I paid the proverbial piper and went to my two-hour appointment. I came to the following conclusions:

1. Marvin Gaye is a very strange musical choice for a dental office, especially when you are getting your teeth drilled (Yes, I do want to get it on!)
2. Being a dental assistant and keeping a straight face while patients make all sorts of funky faces must be really difficult; I wonder if they have classes in it.
3. Novocaine is a fantastic product, but not as good as codeine.
4. I will forever carry floss in my purse...and actually use it.

I am really glad today is over and I am pretty sure I will pause the next time I get the urge to say, "I'd rather..."

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Day 3

Of my new self-flagellation tour: running in the morning. Before work. At 6 am.

I came to this decision grudgingly. It's unbelievably hot. The air is awful. And I need to exercise desperately.

So Monday I started with a half hour run down the path right outside my new home. Seriously, you couldn't ask for better. Here's how it went:

Alarm goes off. I react with uncharacteristic irritation. Hit snooze.

I get out of bed.

I head out the door (yes, it took me ten minutes to get out of bed...shush.) I head out to the path. It's not exactly chilling but I don't smell any smoke, so that's good. I pick the left side and head out. I am feeling pretty good about myself.

I'm still feeling proud, but I am surprised at how fast I'm not going. Guess I had a different image in my head.

I'm no longer feeling good about myself. I am an idiot. I have looked at my watch (bad idea) and realize I have 20 minutes left.

I am a b-word.

I get to turn back now! Things are looking up!

Now that I am less concerned about dying, I have noticed that there is some pretty dang impressive nature around at this time of morning. I see a mother duck and her babies (I'm assuming they are hers, but who knows), some tall skinny bird thing (I am not going to even pretend I know what it was, but it was pretty), and a snail migration. Pretty sure some of those suckers were going faster than me.

I finish my run. Not a great finish. Just more of a sputtering out. But it's least until the next day.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

A funny time of year

July is one of the best months, especially when you are a teacher. The whole summer is ahead of you, and it's freedom as far as the eye can see. Even if you teach summer school, it's a very different feeling. There's walks to the park, family parties, and every imaginable type of BBQ. And of course, summery drinks.

My sister and brother-in-law just spend the 4th of July weekend with us. They came over on Friday, and we BBQ'ed pork and had margaritas (yum and ouch, by the way.) Then, yesterday we had a really relaxing day. We got frozen yogurt and our Comcast was finally set up (yay, no more pirates!) We again had a tasty BBQ dinner and ended the night playing Wii Bowling (the girls kicked booty.)

Today they left and Em went down, somewhat peacefully, for her nap. I have been putzing around my new home, folding laundry, etc. I am very happy to be here, but an undeniable funk has settled on me. I think it has to do with more than the muggy weather.

Three years ago, my parents announced that they were splitting up, just days before the 4th of July and my dad's huge family reunion. We had family here from Nebraska and Colorado and we traveled all over the Bay Area, the entire time the five of us pretending everything was okay. It was horrible.

This year it is also my dad's family reunion, but this time it is in Grand Junction, Colorado. Justin and I couldn't afford to go, either by plane or automobile, so we opted out. So did my sister, for the same reasons.

My father still went and took his girlfriend and her two sons. In fact, he couldn't help move us last weekend because they were starting their trip earlier.

If my dad had offered to lend us money or even pay for our tickets, I most likely would have said no. But I'm still surprised that he didn't offer. It's not like him. Or, at least, it wasn't like him.

I know I'm being childish, but I can't help but feel replaced. I have deep anger about the fact that some woman is spending time with my family. I understand this is an immature response, but I just wish she would go away. I want my family back and I'm tired of sharing.

I feel better now that I got that off my chest. Now, back to being an almost thirty year old. :)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Em's Yes and No's

I'm a big fan of lists, especially when you get to put a check by something you've accomplished. So here's a couple of lists: my daughter's yes and no lists. Things she really likes and things she could do without.

Let's start with the No's.

Em's "No" List

1. Peas, except for squishing
2. Black olives (bugs, mama!)
3. Sprinklers
4. Big, new dogs
5. Bedtime (though that is getting better)
6. Leaving parks
7. Leaving Grandpa
8. Walking on grass
9. Walking anywhere without shoes
10. More than a day without Daddy

Em's "Yes" List

1. Everything strawberry
2. Everything cheesy (it's all called pizza, by the way)
3. Uncle Craig
4. All little boys
5. Cleaning (seriously)
6. Cuddling before bedtime
7. Dora (yes, we bought into the hype)
8. Elmo (he's just too dang cute!)
9. Dancing
10. Walking with Mommy and Daddy

These are just beginning lists, of course. But it's so fun to see how she is becoming her own little self. Only two years old and she really has her way of seeing the world.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Argh, I'm a Pirate!

It's been awhile since I posted, so I thought I'd check in.

I've been a little cut off because we still do not have Internet at our new house. Comcast is the devil and cannot set us up until the 8th. I'm okay without t.v. (though I will miss So You Think You Can Dance), but not having any Internet is a pain. We have been able to pirate some wireless cable from our new neighborhood (the modern equivelant to asking butter...or stealing butter.)

Yesterday was a fun reminder of why we should be connected, or at least have a landline. I looked at my phone during break and saw that I had no service. So I did the mental inventory: paid the bill? Check. Dropped the phone? Nope. I got a little panicky cause we still have 408 numbers and I can't reach my husband from school. So I called AT & T and they said I needed a new SIM card. Urgh.

On a whim, I went home before going to AT&T. This was a good thing. I guess Em had found Justin's phone and dropped it in the toilet. Eww. He tried to bake it to save it, but it smelled funny and still didn't work. So, he went to AT&T and got a new phone (his fifth since Em's birth.) They accidently updated my SIM, hence my no service, and by the time he figured it out, it was too late. My phone didn't work.

Long story short: we need a land line. I swear sometimes I am amazed that my husband and I function at all. :)