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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I’m so very sorry to make you wait. I know you’ve all been anticipating with bated breath the conclusion of Cute Bag Saga ’08. Well, at long last, you can release your breath because here ‘tis:

After checking on the progress of my bag for days on end and multiple times a day, I finally rejoiced when, on Monday, the UPS package tracker announced unto the world that Cute Bag was “In Transit.” Oh rejoice! To make my agony all the more painful, there were not one but two solicitors that chose to harass the Martin household (despite the “No Solicitors” sign that is basically built into the door – not our doing, it came with the house and I thought it quite rude and standoffish but it doesn’t seem to be an issue as they completely disregard it’s unfriendly message and try to sell magazines or Mormonism to me anyway). Alas, every time the doorbell rang, I flew down the stairs, flung open the door, hoping to find the UPS person that survived the ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS, and with arms spread in greeting for Cute Bag, quickly realized (in utter disappointment) that it was just some Solicitor. Finally, at long last, I heard a quiet knock on the door and the low rumble of none other than the UPS truck high-tailing it out of here. Poor UPS man was probably like, “Good riddance! I’m so glad to finally have that damn, EMERGENCY CONDITIONS-causing bag out of my hands!”

After a brief tug-of-war with Matthew, who insisted it was his package, a present for him, and therefore, I was not to touch it, I managed to pry the box from his sweaty little hands. (Don’t actually know if his hands were sweaty but the box did come fairly easily as if sliding through a slippery slope. I’m all about the clich├ęs tonight, can you tell? Can ya dig it?).

I opened the box and with bated breath (there’s that darn breath being bated again!), I pulled Cute Bag from her protective wrappings. She seemed unscathed despite her turbulent arrival into my life. I examined her thoroughly on the outside, reveling in the silver claspy-things that made her all the more attractive. And then I unzipped the main compartment only to discover that – well, well! Cute Bag, you’ve outdone yourself this time. Hiding behind her sophisticated, yet fun exterior of dark pin-stripe there lurked a naughty little secret. The inside lining was this wild, funky, I’m all business on the outside, party on the inside bright pink paisley pattern. Forget Cute Bag. No, she’s Dream Bag.

I carried Dream Bag over to the dining room table where, unfortunately, my laptop is pretty much in permanent residence. (I’m still waiting for Mike to build that addition off the back of the house that includes a sun room and my writer’s studio. I’m also waiting for an additional roof downspout-gutter situation to happen too. I wonder which will happen first).
I put Dream Bag down, lift Kara (laptop) up and begin to place her into the loving folds of her new (fun, stylish and funky) home. She doesn’t fit. It doesn’t fit. My laptop freakin’ doesn’t fit. What kind of cruel, inhumane, unjust world is this that my laptop – a standard size, not super large laptop – does not fit into Dream laptop Bag?! I’ll tell you what kind of world. This is the kind of world that makes gorgeous total-tease laptop bags with way-too-small-not-big-enough-for-the-world’s-smallest-laptop-bag sized openings. I tried. And I tried. I pushed. I grunted. I broke out into a sweat. Well, maybe to get it through the opening, I have to put it in the long way. Yes, OK, that works. Stay calm. Breathe. Now, once Kara has made contact with the bottom of Dream Bag, I just turn her…just turn…turn…IT WON’T FIT!!! What kind of piece-a--- bag is this?!!!!

I’m devastated. I’m heart-broken. But more than anything I feel betrayed. My hopes were so high for this bag. I really felt like we had something. This was a laptop-bag-and-laptop-bag-user-relationship made in heaven. Wrong. Totally, totally wrong.
I’ve already requested my return label. Now, I just have to take MY time to print the label, package Dream Bag back into her cozy (back-stabbing) packaging and MAIL her back to the people who find it funny to create gorgeous laptop bags that don’t fit laptops. That’s hilarious. Oh, haha, I might wet myself with the glee of it all.
And so, the hunt for the REAL Dream Laptop Bag begins anew…

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I ordered a new, super-cute laptop bag as part of my I’m-going-to-treat-myself-since-I-landed-this-great-music-class-gig-AND-I-need-a-way-cuter-one-as-Mike’s-freebie-from-some-Nerd-Convention-just-will-not-do-no,no,no-as-I-continue-on-my-quest-to-becoming-a-real(and much cuter)-grown-up-writer…Mission (that’s the name of the Mission…that whole long part and then Mission. Got it?). So, I’ve been eagerly awaiting my new bag. Hmm, would you like to see a picture of it? Let’s see if I’m savvy enough to provide visual aid.




Anyway, I’m so excited about the arrival of Cute Bag that I’ve been eagerly watching the “Tracking Info” provided by UPS. Cute Bag was moving along swimmingly across the great USofA and it was due to arrive this afternoon. So, I click on the status this morning and it tells me in loud all-caps anger: LOCATION: SEATTLE, WA [woohoo! It’s in the same state and only a 15 minute drive away!]. TIME: 1:00AM [how nice of them to work through the night so I can be united with Cute Bag]. STATUS: EMERGENCY CONDITIONS BEYOND UPS’ CONTROL. [WHAT?! Has a terrorist taken hold of Cute Bag?! What kind of emergency? Help! Help! Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! ]. TIME: 2:00AM. STATUS: ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS. [and again…] TIME: 2:00AM. STATUS: ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS.

Is there some sort of freak weather system hanging over Seattle UPS headquarters?! Because as far as I know UPS is pretty down with the lame weather travel and we’ve had nothing but sun and last chance summer here for the last week. OK, a few clouds rolled in yesterday morning so that it only reached the upper 70’s as opposed to 80’s. But is that really “ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS?” And must you yell it at me like I’m in big, big trouble?

There is this thing about Seattle, I’ve noticed. We are a slow people when it comes to adjusting to a new weather system. When the first day of summer dawns hot and clear, all of us pasty-peeps come creeping out of our homes, shielding our eyes against the bright glare of that mysterious glowing orb in the sky. Then, when it rains – even though we’re Seattleites and rain is no weird thing – we still have a hard time driving in it for a while. Don’t even get me started on snow. Seattleites have NO good working relationship with snow. With rain, we have an awkward relationship with this returning, but very common, aspect of our life. It’s like a coworker that you don’t like and you got so used to them being on vacation and you were like WOOHOO! Party! Rain is out of town for two weeks! But then Rain walks back into the office and you’re like, oh, you, Rain. You’re back, eh? And you half-pretend to be nice(ish) but then you totally talk badly about Rain with the other employees at the water cooler.

Hmmm, where was I going with this? Right. UPS.

So, what the heck? If Cute Bag is in some sort of danger I feel like I should saddle my horse and ride into the sunset…er, sunrise to save her. (It’s totally a girl). And I can do things like saddle a horse and come to someone’s (or in this case, some bag’s) rescue BECAUSE I’m like a pioneer with all my vegetable-growing action on the Martin plantation/homestead this summer. I should totally have a horse. I need to rock the horse thing. And, really, I was made to wear a cowboy hat. I look amazing in them. Maybe I need to work the cowboy thing, and storm UPS all cowboy(ish) with my six shooters (I don’t know what those are, I think they’re guns), and be all saddles blazing (don’t really know what that means either), and be all, “Give me Cute Bag or else…partner.” But they may think I’m just another disgruntled postal worker and not take my threat seriously…or maybe I should just pray that the ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS plaguing UPS in Seattle, WA clear up so that Cute Bag and I can be reunited at long last. Stay tuned in the case of missing Cute Bag Saga ‘08…

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Every once in a while, we are those people. Yesterday morning, we were those people. The boys and I walked down with Andrea and her daughters (the most mellow little children EVER) to the new chocolate/espresso place. It’s a magical place full of the smells of…what else? Chocolate and coffee. It could very possibly become my favorite place in the world which is why I don’t go there often. I was buying treats for Andrea (and her girls) to thank her for taking care of our lawn and mail the couple of weeks we were gone in August. So anyway, we get our goodies and head outside to sit in the sun to consume our first-thing-in-the-morning sugar overload.

Matthew was being…a boy. When we are with The Most Mellow Girls in the World, my boys’ boyishness stands out more than ever. Now, we have good boys. Really good boys. Some would even say that our boys could be considered fairly mellow (some of the time, anyway). But put our boys next to The Most Mellow Girls in the World, and they are little crazy rascal-people. When the boys do something ‘boyish’ The Most Mellow Girls in the World look at me like these little mature mini-adults wondering, ‘Um, what is wrong with your children?!’ I feel like I have to be on my best behavior with The Most Mellow Girls in the World.

The boys had finished their chocolatey goodness and were a chocolatey sticky, gooey mess. I was a slacker mom and had opted for a cute purse instead of my mom purse. Thus, I was unprepared – no diapers, no wipes, no face/hand wet ones-wipes. I attempted to clean their faces with the sandpaper napkins provided by the Chocolate Palace (that’s not the actual name, but a good one, me thinks). All the napkins did was get stuck to their faces and leave little bits of sandpaper residue on the perma-stick caking their faces. I gave up on getting my children clean. We weren’t far from home (it’s right down the big hill) and wouldn’t be out for too long.
So, we’re outside, and Matthew is ripping all over the place and being a little over-the-top wild and kinda obnoxious, not listening to a lick of what I’m saying. (Hmm, can you say “sugar first thing in the morning” anyone?!) Zachary is Matthew’s little – more wild and creative – shadow. He takes whatever Matthew does and puts his own goofy-clown spin on it. I had just finished saying, “Matthew, come back up here, you’re too close to the parking lot and too far away.” Zach was acting like a nut and goofing off while watching Andrea’s reaction. All of a sudden, Andrea – nearly as mellow as her Most Mellow Girls in the World – starts yelling, “Zach! Stop. Zach! Look out!” Yeah, Zach didn’t stop. Zach didn’t look out. And he took a major nose-dive for the pavement. Um, there was a curb there. He face plants, pops back up and says, “I’m OK. I’m OK.” And carries on his way. I shake my head in wonder. If that had been our sensitive Matthew, he would’ve cried the whole way home. (I would have too, for the record).

Half a minute later, the delayed reaction sets in. Zach’s lip starts to tremble and in a shaky voice with eyes starting to well up, he says, “Mommy….Mom-my…” I run over to him and pick him up, murmuring mommy things, “It’s OK, Baby.” I start to examine the damage – some pretty impressively scraped up knees. Zach’s cries turn angrier and he yells, “No, Mommy! I’M POOPY!!!!!!” The Most Mellow Girls in the World giggle awkwardly. How inappropriate! Matthew comes running over and says, “I have to poo too!” Seriously? Seriously. What’s with the badly timed bowel movements?! How dare they!

“Look, Zach, I don’t have a diaper or wipes, so we just need to get home. Matthew, can you hold it? You’re going to hold it. Let’s just get home. For the love of Pete, let’s just get home!” Poor Zach is arching his back and kicking and screaming about being forced into the stroller to sit in his poopy mess, but we’ve got a MAJOR big hill to walk up and I just can’t do it (in a fairly rushed manner) with two walking kids (who complain the whole way), a big stroller and hot coffee. (Save the coffee!)

We start the trek up Mount Newcastlest. I mumble something to Andrea and The Most Mellow Girls in the World about how you can’t take us anywhere. We’re a total train wreck. Andrea looks back at us. What a sight. I’m sloshing coffee everywhere, there’s probably poo every and…Andrea says, “So, is that chocolate on Zach’s face or a big booger?” Yeah. We are those people. “Um, let’s pretend it’s caramel,” I say. “As long as you don’t eat it,” Andrea replies. “Yeah, I’m not actually a fan of this kind of caramel,” I say as I scrape the biggest booger known to mankind off of Zach’s sticky cheeks (leaving more chunks of sandpaper napkin behind). This booger could be written up in the Guiness Book of World Records.

As I summit the hill with my poopy, sticky, boogery children we come upon the John Deere digger that’s been doing work at the end of our street. This, of course, has provided my very pro-John Deere offspring with all sorts of glee. One of the “worker men” (as Matthew still prefers to call them), says to my kids, “Hey guys, we could use an extra hand here. Grab a hard hat.” Matthew stops dead in his tracks; all thoughts of the call of nature vanish. It’s his dream finally come to fruition. “Cool,” I say. “Matthew, come home for your lunch break.” I keep walking. “Wait, Mom!” Matthew says, “I have to POO!” Yes, we are those people. I know the worker men enjoyed us at least even if The Most Mellow Girls in the World didn’t.



Thursday, September 11, 2008



It’s true. I’ve been a blogger for over 2 ½ years (thanks to my hospital bed rest stay with Zach), I’m married to a computer/techie/nerdy guy, I spend way too much time puttsing around on the internet, and yet, I’ve got the most aesthetically unappealing blog out there. It’s boring. It’s blah. It’s BLAHG.


I have to say that Facebook has changed my life as of late. I’ve connected with so many friends and faces from the days of yore and yesteryear, and it has been so very, very cool. So, I must thank, my stupendous friend Jessica Salerno-new married-last-name [people went got married and changed their names!! What the heck?!], for subtely hinting at what many of you have known for some time: this BLOG needs a serious make-over. Look, I’m not making any promises because you know how long it takes us to get pictures put up on our family website (or maybe you don’t…it takes a while), BUT I will try. And dude! Helloooo! It’s so easy. There’s a little picture button that I never even noticed before! I fear I may become obsessed with picture-bloggage.


So, now I’ll pick a random photo to incorporate into this new entry! (it's a picture of me at Mo's wedding after a few peach bellini's -- I didn't even know what those were! They're quite delicious!)

I think Mike may be questioning my abilities to parent. He arrived home from work the other day to a fascinating scene: the boys had dumped EVERY SINGLE toy box on to the floor in the living, were booty-stark naked and were “swimming” in the “toys swimming pool” while I sat at the dining room table, finishing my dinner, checking email and wearing an overturned toy box on my head (placed there by Zachary). I think I calmly looked at him and said something to the effect of, “Welcome home. Welcome to my world.”

2 ½ year old Zachary has been a chatterbox for quite some time. He did the whole mostly skip first words and just jump into sentences thing. He does, however, have a little bit of a problem with S’s and D’s. Instead of messing with those troublesome letters he just trades them in for G’s. One day, I figured that I should step up my momminess (see example of lame momage in previous paragraph), and work on this with him. He had said something about a stick (gick). “Sssstick. Zachary. Can you say sssssssssstick?” Zach looks at me like whattup, Mama? “Gick.” “No, sssssssssstick,” I say again. “G-ick!” “SSSsssssssstick.” “GICK!!” Now, he’s looking at me like, um, what’s your damage, lady? Are ya slow or something? Why don’t you understand me? He’s annunciating GICK just as much as I’m annunciating STICK. “Ssssssssssssssssssstick.” “GGGIIICCCKKK!” He yells figuring that I just can’t hear him. We move on to dark (gark). “D-ark. Dark,” I say. “G-ark,” he responds. “De, de, daaaaaaaaaark.” “Gark.” “DARK.” “GGGAAARRRKKK.” You’re right. Gark. Totally gark. We’ll work on it another time. Maybe I’d be more convincing with a blue toy box over my head.



The boys were downstairs this morning, when I saw a dog run through our backyard. I watched as it went below the deck towards the sliding door. I ran downstairs to tell the boys to look at our canine visitor. Zach was already on to him and started screeching excitedly, “Gog! Gog! Goggie in our yard!” Matthew jumped up and said, “Thanks, Mom! I always wanted a dog!” Unfortunately all this screaming and movement frightened the dog away.
Zach ran up to the door, and in a scene somewhat like but very unlike Juliet’s “Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo?” He smooshed his nose against the glass and shaking his head slowly back and forth, quietly said, “Oh, goggie. Where you go, goggie?” It was a sad, sad sight. I was determined to immediately remedy the situation, but I have no idea how one goes about buying a goggie.
[By the by, to save you the time, because I know you were all about to google “gog” and “goggie” to help in my search, let me tell you what’s out there: Two VERY different things. www.gog.com and www.gog.org could provide people with quite the surprise depending on which they were looking for. The .com version is “the home of Good Old Games;” as in, COMPUTER good old games. Whereas the gog.org version says: “Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) is a non-profit organization with the purpose of promoting excellence in the quality and integrity of clinical and basic scientific research in the field of Gynecologic malignancies.” Both are very good causes but not the kind of gogs for which I looked. And don’t even get me started on all the different gog references provided by Wikipedia. Though, Zach would say that they are all VERY inaccurate to the real meaning of gog.]

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Matthew heads back to preschool this morning. I’m pretty pumped about it. Not only will he have the opportunity to learn five mornings a week, but I’ll have the opportunity to have him learning five mornings a week. (If ya know what I mean). I’m also looking forward to another year of navigating the preschool parent cliques. Actually, as you know, I try to not even compete or get too caught up in the mix, but the drama always makes for good blogging material.
Just as children do (make for good blogging material)…After a weekend jam-packed with parties and presents, Matthew looked at all of his gifts (primarily LEGO’s – the boy cleaned up). I said something about how lucky he was to have such great friends. He replied, “I love my friends. Isn’t that so nice of me, mom?!” I just hope his love isn’t too closely connected to the pile of loot he was admiring at the time.

Monday, September 08, 2008

September 8, 2008
My music class situation has exploded in the last week. (Exploded in a good way). So, I’d been scheduled to teach classes at the Boys & Girls’ Club starting Sept. 19th. Unfortunately, I could go to on and on and on on the many ways in which they dropped the ball, but it’s easiest just to sum it up and say that things just weren’t working out well for me there. I sound like a very high maintenance contracted business owner when I say, they just weren’t treating me well enough…but it’s true. So, I was starting to get frustrated with the whole thing when, out of the blue, I received a phone call from one of the moms who used to take my class (with her son).
She said, “Jenny! I’ve been waiting two years to make this phone call. The music teacher that used to come to Jack’s Montessori School just quit. You could come and teach your classes here.” (As in, they would provide me with three full classes of full-paying clientele). Let me think about that. Um, yeah. So, I met the preschool directors, figured out my childcare situation (oh yeah, this little guy named Zach…and Matthew needing to be picked-up from preschool…right. Minor detail.), and within two days they had registration forms and fees being turned back in! Karina, one of the directors said, “You know, we have a great relationship with some of the other Montessori schools in the area, I would love to tell them about you and pass along your brochures.” I went, practically overnight, from no business to plenty of business.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

I’ve been officially relieved of my duties. Matthew informed me yesterday, on his 5th birthday, that I am no longer necessary. He said, “Mom, since I’m 5 years old, I can take care of myself. I make the rules now.” Sweet! One down and one to go!
On Thursday night before bed, I said, “Matthew, this is the last time you’ll go to bed as a four-year-old! You’ll wake up so much older.” He was a little concerned about all the growth that would occur. “Hmmm,” he said, “my pajamas will be too short for me! Zach will wear them now. I’ll be so much older than him!” We called my dad to say goodnight (one last time as a four-year-old), in a forced deep voice (complete with furrowed brow and very serious face), Matthew said, “Goodnight, D-Dad.” It was his new ‘deep, five-year-old voice.’ I didn’t know puberty happened this early!
So, my newly independent five-year-old had a marvelous day yesterday. He actually said, “Thanks, Mom! This is the best birthday ever!” (I’m glad we set the bar low with lame birthdays the first four years. My plan worked!). We went to Mom & Dad’s where the birthday boy got to make pigs-in-a-blanket for lunch. This was very thrilling. He opened one seriously major award present – a grandma-made John Deere fleece robe and cozy ‘I (heart) John Deere’ pajamas. When we got home he immediately put the robe on over his jeans and t-shirt. The poor kid was practically sweating and literally sitting right in front of the fan. He asked if he could wear the robe for the birthday BBQ last night, but I had to say no to that one. (It would’ve been great to find a cravate to wear with it – a nice smoking jacket look. Very mature. He is five-years-old, after all).
We had a fantastic birthday BBQ that I feel was, in my slacker Mom way, thrown together, pretty much at the last moment. I mean literally thrown together. About 20 minutes before guests were to arrive I was just throwing random goodies in the backyard along the fence. Each kiddo decorated a goody bag and then we had a goody hunt. They all got one small box of LEGO’s, some suckers and little baggies of cookies. Sugar ‘em up and send ‘em home. That’s my motto. (Or at least it was yesterday’s motto).
The party was so wonderful and Matthew had such a great time that in all the chaos of fun and opening presents, I didn’t even realize until I was tucking him in, that we’d totally forgotten to give him OUR presents. The LEGO’s from us and Zach were still wrapped and hidden in the closet downstairs! So, this morning Round Two of the birthday started off with a bang. And there are more festivities to come (and thankfully, we’re not in charge of any of them). Today is Newcastle Days down at the park – pony rides, bouncy houses, music shows, booths, food. So, we’ll do that this afternoon. Tonight my runny-buddy/neighbor/friend Andrea is having a Bday BBQ for her two girls. Then tonight there will be fireworks for Newcastle Days (which Mike and I can watch from the living room couch)! Then tomorrow, we will drag our two very tired, cranky, sugar-crashed children to church and THEN to the church picnic where there will be more food (and sugar), face-painting, prizes, etc. Holy Smokes it’s a big party weekend!