Thursday, August 27, 2009


My two-year-olds to each other: Rock, Paper, nuh, nuh, GO! (with rochambeau hand movements)


My six-year-old, during a gourmet sloppy joe dinner last night: I have a sesame seed bun.
My seven-year-old: I have a delicious and nutritious whole wheat bun.

My six-year-old: If I plant these seeds, will it grow bread?


My two-year-old at his very first movie last week (very loudly, as the prehistoric squirrel in the Ice Age movies appeared on the screen to start the film): OHMYGOD! WHAT IS THAT?


And, I'll leave you with this. What my six-year-old does to her brother when left unattended.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Omaha Trip Recap

I won't re-tell the Omaha story here. I posted pics and words over at KCKidsFun - click here to read Weekend Family Getaway from Kansas City: Omaha.

And we'll be headed back next summer for sure. I've only been asked about it every day since we got back. A big hit.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

It Just Got Personal

You that pesky health care reform debate going on right now? The one I successfully managed to avoid reading about, hearing about or even thinking about. Until today. Yeah. That one.

And today it got personal, bitches. Mama's pissed off.

My husband changed jobs this summer. Our old health insurance was pretty good. Provided through mega-national-corporation. Our portion of the premium was reasonable. Coverage was good.

The insurance available at the new place is, well, less than optimum. With pricey premiums. And we'll just leave it at that.

So, I decided to investigate individual coverage plans. I applied for coverage for the family through our existing insurance company because I knew that we could still see all of our same doctors and because I figured they could see (via their history with us) that we don't cost them a whole lot of money - even though there are six of us.

I spent about three hours completing their application which forced me to try to recall five years worth of doctors' appointments and prescriptions for SIX people. Apparently I was supposed to save all of those records or something? Jesus.

And I took the follow-up phone interview in which I explained a few things in detail. And my husband took a follow-up phone interview to clear up something about a partially torn ligament in his hand that healed on its own.

Anyway, we got declined. Not "hey, we need to adjust that estimated premium", not "oh, you don't qualify for that coverage but you could do this one instead". Nope. De-clined.

Because one member of my family takes an anti-anxiety med. A generic anti-anxiety script that is available for $4 a month at most pharmacies. And went (past tense) to a counselor for all of six months to help work on the anxiety.

Mother. Fuckers. (And, members of my family who live in Pennsylvania? Hello there!. This is most definitely directed at your employer.)

To recap, I now have one week to accept the shitty coverage available through work, to continue COBRA at exorbitant rates or to procure coverage some other way (though now with the added ding on my record of having been previously declined for coverage). So awesome. (I guess I should be grateful that I have options?)

I'm pissed. And I'm panicked. I guess I need to go read up on whatever's going on in Washington...

If Swearing Offends You, Please Don't Watch This

If, on the other hand, you really like swearing, then by all means...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Snap Back to Reality started this morning. I think I may have been the only asshole who didn't walk her kids in. Dude. It was raining. I had two toddlers in pajamas.

Here they are in all of their grown-up glory. Remember what they looked like last year? The year before? Me neither.

All I know is that my daughter, who is really not a tomboy, totally looks like one in the outfit she chose for today. The t-shirt does have rhinestones. If you're Beadazzled, you're kinda girly, right?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The List

Okay, so I'm really procrastinating from doing work but I'm curious. Do you have a "List"?

Do you remember the episode of Friends in which everyone talks about their freebie list? The internets tell me that the episode was called "The One with Frank Jr." and Chandler's explanation went like this:

Chandler: Well, we have a deal where we each get to pick five different celebrities that we can sleep with, and the other one can't get mad.
Ross: Ah, the heart of every healthy relationship: Honesty, respect, and sex with celebrities.
Monica: So, Chandler... who's on your list?
Chandler: Uh, Kim Basinger, Cindy Crawford, Halle Berry, Yasmine Bleeth, and, ah, Jessica Rabbit.
Because I know you're dying to know, I think my list is - Paul Rudd, Jon Hamm, Dana White, Stellan Skarsgard, and...I'm not totally sure on the last one.

I'd also probably equally enjoy just hanging out with any of them. Okay, "equally" might be a ridiculous overstatement but it would be pretty cool. Not sure that I would be content to just hang out with Jon Hamm. Holy crap. Hot. (New season of Mad Men starts this weekend! Yum!)

My notes:
  • Paul Rudd is a dangerous inclusion on the List because he's from right here and, I believe, still has family here. What if I actually run into him?! My husband should be very nervous...
  • I am less likely to actually bump into Jon Hamm. But I would like to.
  • Dana White is the president of the UFC. Don't judge. I like the UFC. And I like this guy. It's a personality thing more than anything else. And I actually had breakfast at the Venetian in Las Vegas about three tables over from him a few years ago. I think my husband was there too. Didn't pay much attention to the husband for that hour of my life. Did almost have a fucking panic attack over my omelet.
  • Stellan Skarsgard is difficult to explain. And I'd have to condition his inclusion on the Good Will Hunting version. And not the Mamma Mia version. 1997 Stellan Skarsgard was hotter than 2008 Stellan Skarsgard. Not exactly sure how I'll accomplish the time travel.
Who's on your list? Spill. It can't be much weirder than mine.

Mah Boyz

Those faces. I could eat them with a spoon.

So awesome. I love them.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mah Girlz

I've had this book sitting on my desk all summer. My daughter wrote it in her kindergarten class just before school ended. I found it in her backpack along with a huge pile of other papers in mid-June. It made me laugh so hard (and still does) that I had to share it.

It's titled "Me and My Girls".

Girls are awsum.
(Girls are awesome.)

Girls are not trubl makrs.
(Girls are not troublemakers.)

Girls are roolrs of the wold.
(Girls are rulers of the world.)

Girls owes war dress.
(Girls always wear dresses.)

Girls are one of the best hamins in the wold.
(Girls are one of the best humans in the world.)

And my personal favorite double-page spread -

Girls have honisty.
(Girls have honesty.)

Girls can camitucat.
(Girls can communicate.)

Seriously? Girls can communicate?! I'm assuming that the unspoken message here is that boys are lying, thieving bastards who can't communicate to save their lives. How did she learn this universal truth already???

So good.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Lost History

As you may remember, I took the kids to Omaha last week for a short adventure. That adventure included SEVEN hours at the zoo, one hour at the hotel pool, three hours at the children's museum, $30 in in-room kids' movies at the hotel, two breakfast buffets and one panic stricken moment in which my youngest child disappeared and was discovered a few minutes later in a glass elevator on the fourth floor. More on that later though.

The only thing that was on my own, personal agenda for the Omaha trip was some genealogy scouting. I may have mentioned before that I have had periodic genealogy obsessions over the last ten years or so. Actually, my obsession began much earlier with the "family tree" assignment we received in sixth grade but the internet made things much easier. So, our first non-dial-up internet connection in 1998 spawned my current genealogy addiction.

Anyway. Omaha. My paternal grandfather's grandparents immigrated to America from Ireland at some point in the 1870's. They ended up in Omaha, which was a big railroad town. They had a few kids before they left Ireland. And they had several more after they arrived. One of those American-born kids was my great grandfather.

The entire family is listed in the 1880 census as living at 920 Davenport in Omaha. Sometime in about 1890, as far as I can tell, my great-great grandfather died. My great-great grandmother then lived with her children, according to subsequent city directories, at 1109 Chicago and 422 N. 11th St.

I was interested to see the streets where these ancestors walked - at least, what was left of them. I knew that portions of Omaha including the Old Market area, still had many restored old buildings.

Ultimately, I was disappointed to find that the entire neighborhood where my family lived was now the Qwest Center Arena and Omaha Convention Center. Nothing left of the neighborhood, not even a nearby block intact from which to launch my imagination. My roots are now in the parking lot of the arena and on the entrance ramp to the highway.

It made me a little sad.

My great-great grandmother died in 1894. She is buried in Omaha. We drove the small cemetery for about 20 minutes but didn't spot her gravestone. If the kids were older, I might have gotten out to walk but the children's museum was calling.

My great grandfather moved to Kansas City after his mother died. He and his siblings lived with an older sister until they married and moved out on their own. And now, 100 years later, here we are. I think I might start some local address spotting - hopefully, my local ancestral addresses haven't been replaced by the Sprint Center...

View Omaha Genealogy Map in a larger map

Thursday, August 6, 2009

In Case You Thought I Was Kidding About That 5 Bag Thing

Here are the five bags my daughter packed for a two-night trip to Omaha. These were lined up by the garage door when I got out of bed on Wednesday morning.

These bags contained two completely random outfits (one of which included the shorts to a pajama set), two nightgowns, two pair of underpants, a bathing suit and goggles, four lip glosses, a hairbrush, six beanie babies, four My Little Ponies, an amusement park prize stuffed animal, her security Lambie (head poking out in far right of photo), a second stuffed lamb, one pair of Crocs, two compact mirrors, seven Dr. Suess books and a set of Crayola Color Wonder markers with Glitter Princess paper.

I told her that five bags wasn't happening. She assessed the situation and informed me that she really needed everything she packed.

Unfortunately for her, I then had to handle it.

We got that down to one bag with two different outfits, one nightgown, two pair of underpants, bathing suit, goggles, one lip gloss, hairbrush, Lambie, sneakers, two pair of socks and the Color Wonder shit.

Thankfully, we haven't yet had an emergency need for My Little Ponies.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Crazy Mom Takes Four Kids to Omaha for "Getaway"

Yes. I am insane. Or I have balls of titanium, as my husband believes.

Today after lunch, I loaded up my four and hit the open road. Three hours north to Omaha for a two-and-a-half day sortie. Our plan is to hit the zoo and the children's museum and enjoy hotel living. Basically, just getting the hell out of our house for a while.

And my husband started a new job this week - so it's just me and the kids.

The drive was fine. The two little ones napped for a while. They all watched some DVDs. And we got here without incident.

At one point during the drive, my daughter asked me how many hours we had been on the road. It had been 15 minutes. (Also? She packed FIVE bags for the trip. I whittled it down to one.)

But, so far, so good. We checked into the hotel. I sprung for a suite so that the little kids could be put to bed in a bedroom behind a closed door while the older ones watched a movie on the sofa bed.

And now, the big kids are watching the movie and the little ones are STILL awake on the other side of that door. In and out of the pack 'n plays, playing, talking, singing, driving me slowly crazy. Any bets on what time they actually pass out? (I've already had to unplug the phone in there because they unintentionally called the front desk within about seven minutes of checking in.)

So, tomorrow the zoo. Hopefully, some pictures. Gotta go crack some heads in the bedroom.

To be continued...

Sunday, August 2, 2009

This Is What I'm Up Against...

Sorry for the poor video quality - it's J's cameraphone.

This is classic C. Turn up your volume and enjoy.