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Friday, November 30, 2007

I’m still without my Kara – my laptop, my love – and I’m devastated about it. Still. Mike has had no time to take it somewhere to see about getting the hard drive (with hello! 30 pages of my book and all of my blog) and whole dealy fixed. (It’s a good thing he’ll be the one to take care of it since I don’t exactly speak the Computer Nerd Lingo…known as Nerdese).

We’ve had some interesting and fun festivities lately. Here goes:

Thanksgiving was great though, as always, the Martins got sick. Matthew greeted his Aunt Jamie (Mike’s big sis) and Uncle Dan with a fever. Welcome to the Martin Sick House! So, our neighbors who were also to join us for Turkey Dinner decided to stay far, far away. They told us to just keep our “flu food” to ourselves. Zachary came down with the fever on Friday, but even when he was feeling well, he still wasn’t overly pleasant to his Aunt Jamie. He adored Dan, but poor Jamie, was lucky to get a half-smile from him.

We spent the weekend after their visit, decorating and turning the Martin Home into the Christmas Mania Abode it now is. It’s great! We’re all decked out and have the Christmas music blaring 24-7! (Yes, I even have a Christmas-themed drop cloth for under Zach’s highchair).

On Monday night, we had my parents, brother Chris and priest friend, Father Steve over for dinner. Nothing like attempting to make dinner and set a nice table when your children are going absolutely bananas and driving you up the wall. At least dinner was like two-for-one: food and confession. “So, Father Steve, I sometimes want to seriously injure my children. Is that a sin?” I was telling the fam and Padre about my upcoming Saturday fun. I get to be Larissa’s date to her office party. And we’re talking MICROSOFT Christmas shin-dig. Yeah! We’re going to a $70/plate Italian restaurant in downtown Seattle, followed by a ride in the Party Bus to the Key Arena to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert. I’m SO excited that Larissa (sorry, sweetie) didn’t find anyone better to take than me as her date! Father Steve said, “So, it pays to be bi-sexual these days!” We pretty much had to pick my parents’ jaws up off the floor. I reassured everyone, “Father Steve, she’s Mormon! So, she’s not even my type!”

My best friend from high school – who currently lives in London – is in town this week to find and buy a wedding dress. So, I’ve gotten to go on some really fun dress-hunting expeditions. She’s the perfect bride to dress – tall, thin, redhead, gorgeous…it’s like dressing up Barbie!

When Mo was here hanging out on Tuesday afternoon, she called to me from the stairs, “Uh, Jenny? So, does Zach usually stick his head through the stair railing like this? ‘Cuz he can’t seem to get it out.” Crap. Mo immediately launched into Super Woman – or attempted Super Woman. Her first thought was to attempt to pry apart the railing – the IRON railing. I watched her fail miserably and said, “Yeah, I’ll get the butter.”

We managed to butter him up and Mo wiggled his big ‘ol cranium out to safety. Thankfully we didn’t have to call the fire department – though Matthew would have LOVED to see the fire truck in our driveway. When Zachary was in the tub, I finally realized what Mo had tried to do. “Did you seriously try to pull apart the IRON railing?!” She said, “Hey! I could’ve done it if it was my own kid!” (You know that whole lift a car off of someone adrenaline that kicks in during an emergency). I agreed I owed her one and would someday save the life of her child.

Wednesday night was very possibly the most magical night of my existence. With three girlfriends, I fought through traffic to go to the Everett Events Center for the So You Think You Can Dance Tour show. I’m fairly certain that Molly and Erin were completely humiliated to be sitting with me and Larissa. As soon as those dancers walked (well, danced) on to the stage, Larissa and immediately turned into screaming twelve-year-old girls. At least neither of us fainted or wept with joy. We just may have squealed a lot. It was SO fun! And I was surprised that we weren’t the oldest there by about 10 years. There were plenty of teeny-boppers, sure, (and no, I don’t mean us), but there were lots of older people, and families and couples as well. My favorite though was seeing the dad who was there with his probably nine-year-old daughter. He was wearing a home-made SYTYCD t-shirt – puffy-painted and all. Now that’s a dad!

Too bad we hadn’t thought of puffy-painting shirts beforehand! Bummer. Well, I suppose Larissa and I could always make some for tomorrow night –for the Trans-Siberian Orchestra show, though I don’t know that that would go so well with my little black dress. And I don’t know that that’s quite the look Larissa would want her date in.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving! I'm VERY thankful for the many blessings that we've been...blessed with, but I must admit that today, my mind is stuck on something very sad and devastating. Kara the Computer – my laptop de reves – seems to have finally succumbed to the coffee bath that Zachary gave her some months ago. All of a sudden, yesterday, she just up would not start. Nothing. Nada.

This would not be quite so upsetting if the program that Mike had set up had worked properly. The program was supposed to sync up the documents I worked on with Kara with our home computer (on which I’m typing now). So, my Blog should have been automatically updated with changes, AND the middle-grade chapter book that I now have SIXTY pages of would have been updated as well. Yeah, you guessed it – Mr. Computer Program DID NOT do its job. I may have lost about 30 pages of my book. (A similar incident happened to my writer friend Kristyn a few months ago – she lost 40 pages of a piece of work, and I could not truly empathize. Kristyn – I now sincerely apologize for your loss; I truly understand and totally and completely am in mourning with you and for you).

Mike thinks that Kara’s hard-drive should still be OK and carefully holding on to all my documents. This is marvelous and wonderful news, but until I can see my book in its in entirety and all of my other masterpieces, I will not be at peace. Mike was, of course, a genius and got a warranty of sorts with my laptop. So, we’ll need to do some research to see if “Death by Coffee” is covered. In the meantime, all major banks in your area are accepting donations to the SAVE KARA fund or you can simply send your monetary funds to me, and I’ll be happy to see they get spent in a good and therapeutic-shopping sort of way.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

So, apparently I’m in Kindergarten. Kindergartners are the only people I know who take a pair of scissors and begin randomly lopping off chunks of their own hair. This is what I did yesterday. It really wasn’t my intention to end the day with short hair – it just kind of turned out that way.

On Friday night we went over to Kristyn and Nathan’s house. Their son Nolan is in my music class, he and Matthew are buds, and Kristyn cuts hair – so we trade hair cuts for music classes. It’s a great deal especially since Kristyn – along with her entire family – has very curly hair, so she knows how to cut it. It’s rare to find someone who knows how to cut curly hair. Some history: I once had a woman cut my hair all the same length – totally not acceptable for my hair, it needs layers to thin it out and give it shape – she finished up and said, “See! It’s a straight haircut; it will make your hair straight.” She was very proud of herself. Another of my MANY traumatic haircutting experiences was in high school when I’d grown out my hair – it was long, thick, unruly, I had yet to figure out what kind of style worked and didn’t know that good hair product was a must. So, I unleashed the beast (i.e. took my hair out of a pony tail) and watched as the stylist inhaled deeply – nearly gasped, really – and said, “And WHAT do you expect me to do with all this junk?” No joke. She called my hair junk. NEVER AGAIN will I have to put up with that now that kind of abuse now that I have Kristyn!

Our Friday haircut date went great. Zachary and Matthew went first and both of them sat like champs. (Well, OK, Zach was a wiggly champ and the trim didn’t last long, but there really wasn’t all that much to trim). Matthew was super brave and didn’t even need his protective ear-covering cups this time! He just trusted Kristyn that she would fold those ears nicely out of the way. Mike followed the little boys and Kristyn called me down to check for approval. Then it was my turn. I basically wanted the same haircut that I’ve had for a few months now and have loved. I’ve never received so many compliments on my hair before – even from strangers! The style has my hair shorter in the back, cut in layers and angled down towards my chin, but the very bottom layer is all the same length (the top layer is the angled one). Confusing, I know; but cute, I promise. Kristyn cut my hair, I was pleased and we called it a night.

Saturday morning – yesterday, I went for a run with Andrea and then showered off. After styling my hair (with my marvelous product that, by the way, I couldn’t find at any stores anymore and was devastated and just yesterday found at Fred Meyers so I bought FOUR tubs ‘o magic hair goo), I realized that yes, I really liked it….but…It just wasn’t quite as drastically angled as I’d wanted – especially the top most layer which is what really gives the haircut its style and saves me from walking around like a big ‘ol curly poof-head. So, I convinced Mike (fairly easily, I might add) that he could really easily just trim it up a bit more for me. I decided that I wanted it all angled just a lot more – bottom layer and top layer. After commencing on the daunting task, Mike started to second guess our decision, plus, he said, my hair was too wet so he really couldn’t tell what he was doing. Hmmm, not so reassuring. I towel-dried my hair and inspected the damage. Not bad. REALLY not bad. Actually pretty good. I cleaned up a few places that were uneven and proclaimed that it was exactly what I wanted.

Except apparently it wasn’t.

For the rest of the day every time I went into the bathroom, I’d check out my hair and see another spot and –oop, there’s one more – that needed to be trimmed up. The trimming continued. And didn’t stop. All day. The pinnacle moment was when I accidentally took too much off of the front (which was the longest part), so I therefore had to trim the other side to even things up. It was then that I realized, Oh crap. I’ve got short hair again!

Must interrupt this edge-of-your-seat, nail-biting hair drama to report that we’ve just surpassed a major Blogging milestone here. My Blog is now over 100,000 words! It’s 155 pages, 100,478 words, no wait, 100,482 words long. Well, now it’s 100,488. But you get the point. Dang! I’ve got a lot to say on the topics of mothering, wiping snot, cleaning up vomit, surviving Post Partum Depression (though barely), the geniusness of my children, the wonderfulness of my friends and family, how much I love coffee and red wine and books and running and the gym and losing weight and reality TV and girls’ nights and book club, how I don’t love putting up with snobby moms and the ones who think that their children sport all kinds of geniusness (see the beginning of my list here), and whatever other mundane details of my life I choose to ramble about and share with who-knows how many people out in Cyberland.

Back to the important details of my hair – I now must face the fact that, just in time for the holidays, I have short – though cute and spunky, and I can totally pull it off – hair. And it is no one’s fault but my own. Bad Jenny. No more playing with scissors for you!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Matthew now calls himself (and I quote): “A puke expert.” I didn’t even know that he knew that word. Expert, that is; I knew that he was well aware of puke. Mike and I were on an Engaged Encounter retreat this week – there were two of us presenting teams, 35 engaged couples and one awesome priest. (Seriously one of the coolest priests I’ve ever met). The weekend went great – as they pretty much always do. However, by the end of Sunday afternoon, Mike was really not feeling well. We arrived home at 5:30 and he went straight to bed – coat still on. He had a fever and chills. Matthew spent the weekend with our friends Jason and Rebecca and was on his way home. Jason called to say that Rebecca had called to say that Matthew had just thrown up all over himself in their car. Now, vomit is bad, but someone else’s kid’s vomit? Even worse. I felt awful. Then my mom and dad called to say that despite not having napped, they were going to risk taking Zach to church with them and it would be past his bedtime by the time he got home. Oh, and by this point Zachary had little green snot rockets shooting out his nose (my words – taken from my friend Megan, not my parents’).

I managed to get Matthew cleaned up and bathed before Zach got home. Matthew wanted to see Daddy, so I told him that we could just quietly go in and say hi but that Daddy wasn’t feeling very well either. Matthew climbed up on the bed and put his hand on Mike’s arm and in a quiet sing-songy voice said, “Michael? Miiiicccchhhhaaaaeeellll. Mike. Michael, are you not well?”

Matthew and I had some quality Lego and John Deere playtime before Zachary arrived. Mom and Dad used the Drop and Run technique – their preferred method by the end of the weekend. The first thing that Matthew said was, “No, Grandma! May you please take Zachy back?” But somehow, absence did make the heart grow fonder and for the first time EVER Matthew shared his John Deeres and Legos with his little brother! It was a miracle and very touching. And it hasn’t happened since.

I got the boys all tucked in, I talked Mike into getting up and at least taking off his coat and taking his contacts out, and then I collapsed into bed…only to wake up an hour later to the sounds of Matthew yelling – he was vomiting all over himself, the bed, the floor. I did laundry and disinfected the house and washed my hands nonstop until about midnight when I collapsed into bed again…only to wake up an hour later to the sounds of Zachary yelling – he was shooting snot rockets out of his nostrils and needed assistance. I think that after that I did sleep until about 5am when Zach had me up again for snot-wiping duty. Mike slept through the night – undisturbed by any of our broo-ha-ha – and was much improved the next morning. The fever and chills had passed and all that remained was that flu ache-y, muscle soreness. With Thanksgiving next week, I’ve already been practicing my thankfulness – I’m thankful that I haven’t gotten sick (and it appears that each of the three Martin boys had a different nasty Bug), and I’m so thankful that I’m not a single mother – that was a LONG night.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Halloween was a hoot. Matthew has never gotten ready to get out the door so quickly. Once he realized that it was Trick-or-Treating time, the boy moved super speedy fast. Matthew was decked out in this fire fighter gear and Zachary was a darling Dalmatian – complete with leash (the toddler-don’t-run-into-the-street-and –get-hit-by-a-car kind). Matthew was a T-or-T superstar and Zach loved it – ran the whole time up and down our. Zachary didn’t really get the concept. Every time a door opened, he tried to enter the house, but we didn’t let him – he’s not house-trained and might piddle on the floor.

We came home with a ton’o booty (just from the few houses we went to). As always, I sacrificed myself for the well-being of my family. I consumed most of the Halloween candy, so that they wouldn’t have to. Look, I just do what’s best for them. That’s the kind of mother that I am.

I’m also the kind of mother who likes to occasionally entertain my children with some choice musical numbers. Today, while I was preparing lunch for two apparently starving and famished little people, I was singing one of my favorite songs from music class. It’s about a worm who eats your garbage and turns it into compost. Seriously. My students graduate from Little Ditties Music Academy not only musical prodigies but environmental advocates as well. So, anyway, I’m singing and hear Zach say his first ever phrase, “All doh, Mama. All doh.” My child was telling me all done. As in stop singing, Mom. Stop singing. My talent is so underappreciated in this household.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

So, back to my night ‘o fun with my friend Brian. First of all, you must meet the cast of characters. The main players would be, well, let’s face it, the evening revolved around me…oh, no, wait, I mean Brian and his partner Michael. Maxine is Michael’s best girl friend who was at one time, his GIRLfriend. I was introduced by Brian that night as, “this is Jenny, my Maxine” or “this is my The One.” So, I was Brian’s – The One (the one girlfriend, that is). And Rebecca was, “Oh! You’re Joe’s Jenny?” or “This is Rebecca, Joe’s Maxine.” Rebecca was Joe’s Last One. Rebecca was a little nervous about seeing Joe – and all of his friends again – since the last time she saw all of them he and she were dating, but it was weird as he was in the figuring-things-out process. (I was told that Brian had figured things out, so to speak,while sitting at a table at an outdoor cafĂ© in Northern France. What a place to hear, “So, you know how we kind of all used to joke that Brian was gay….yeah…well, there’s something you should know…Oh, and he’s also with a man named Michael now.” I will always wonder what those poor French people thought of my reaction: “NO WAY! ARE YOU KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW?! NO WAY!!!! But yeah, I can sort of see that, but still NO WAY!).

When we got to the brewery, we sat down at one end of a long table, at the other end was Joe who was totally ignoring us – but wait! On closer inspection, I realized quite quickly that it wasn’t Joe –this man just looked EXACTLY like him. Rebecca – not having seen Joe in a while – thought it was Joe and was wondering why the heck he was ignoring her; he was being rude and making an already awkward situation even worse. When Michael came to sit with us, I said, “Who is that guy? Imitation Joe?” Michael said, “Yeah, don’t they look exactly alike?! That’s Joel – Jewish Joe.”

Soon, the “real” Joe arrived and we had a fantastic and awkward-free reunion. We asked Joe about Joel. Joe told us about his first time meeting Imitation Him – the Jewish version, a few weeks previous. Joe had gone to dinner with Brian and Michael and knew that their friend Joel would be there as well. Joe couldn’t believe his eyes when he sat down at the table across from Joel. He said that he literally sat there staring at Joel, slowly moving his arm, itching his nose, scratching his head, etc. to see if Joel would move like a reflection in a mirror. Apparently Jewish Joe wasn’t so quick on the uptake and didn’t figure out what Joe was doing for a while. Seriously though, Joel could be Joe’s stunt double; Joe loved that idea.

Moving on to Sheila – who Brian describes as his “Karen Walker” (a character from the TV show Will and Grace). Sheila is Brian’s great, great super-fun friend who I knew back in high school (when they were first starting college). I later met Kelly – described as Michael’s Jewish Sheila/Karen Walker. Maxine (Michael’s Me – if you’ll recall) ended up marrying Brian’s good friend Dave. And the two worlds collided. We were all joking that if we could just take our show on tour, then we’d really have something. Throw in a few dysfunctional family-type holiday dinner gatherings and we could go on Oprah!

After a bit, it was determined that some dancing was in order. I was 100% game for dancing as it’s been way too long since I shook my thang out on the dance floor. And let’s face it: this thang needs to be a-shakin’ as I’m quite the shaker of my thang. Mike thought it was hilarious that I was going to go out dancing on a “school night” (every night is a school night for me – I’m studying the art of being a mommy and have yet to pass with flying colors. And every day has an early start). When I called to tell him that the party was regrouping and relocating for further partying, it was already 11pm. (On a normal night, I would’ve have been tucked in by 10:30, ideally). I estimated that I’d like to be home by 1. Crazy talk!

When we all arrived at the club, it was evident that some of our extreme dancing skills were in order to get the crowd going. Brian and I, especially, really ripped up the dance floor. Although, it must be said, that Brian’s friend Anthony did a phenomenal performance of Michael Jackson’s Thriller. My hat’s off to him (as well as my white glove). It turns out that my dance moves can last about 2.5 hours before I start running low on creativity. I had a GREAT time. Rebecca did as well, though she took one for Team Beauty – her shoes were hurting her so badly after dancing, that she walked barefoot back to my car. I made it home at 1 on the dot. Phew! Just made curfew. I managed to get up at 7 the next morning to get ready for my Halloween music classes. A different kind of celebration than the night previous, but fun too!