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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thats not my name.

There is a pet peeve of mine that I'm in a bit of a conundrum as to how to handle it.  People do not get my name right....ever.  Since I have known my own name it has been mistaken for Nicole.  I thought it was because there was another Nicole in my grade school class, but she never got called Noelle.  So how do I handle this? Obviously I'm not doing it the right way because if I was there wouldn't be repeat offenses.  Usually if someone first meets me and calls me Nicole by mistake I correct them immediately. But what about someone you have known for years...like oh, I don't know, your mother in law? Or what about co-workers.  I don't like to interrupt someone but seriously, thats not my name.  Or the worst is at work when I'm in a meeting and someone refers to me as Nicole.  Last year my boss, who knows how much it irritates me stopped the meeting and corrected the offender.  Now that was embarrassing. I have to say the close second to the worst was when I overheard my now husband on the phone after we had been dating for at least two weeks say " Oh, I'm just sitting here with Nicole"  In his "defense" he claims that the last two girls he "dated" were both named Nicole. You can bet I haven't let him forget it.
Today however I received an email, that began "hi Nicole" after the person sent it to my email address, which btw has my name in it.  I responded to this by signing my name and put a P.S. my name is NOELLE. Guess what. He responded. It said. Thanks Nicole.
And this is why I have posted my new theme song below.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1c2OfAzDTI&feature=search

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Its Raining Men...

My life does not have a shortage of men.  In wondering how this came about I was lost in thought about my childhood. My very first best friends name was Noah in first grade.  He and I had chicken pox together.  He could run fast and liked to play with cars. I was obsessed with the Smurfs, which coincidently had only one female character.. I had a boy cabbage patch kid.   I was the only girl invited to all boy birthday parties. When I was in the sixth grade I met my first gay boyfriend, my parents would let him spend the night. My mom said that she felt good knowing I was hanging out with a boy in public, that way he would protect me. The truth is, I probably would have been the one doing the protecting. I have a big brother...but also a big sister.
Fast forward through high school and college and I always had a boyfriend. Our dog is a boy.  Now married, I have four sons. I work with all men and the other night when we had our close friends over for dinner,  I realized that I was again, the only girl.  Am I actively trying to avoid the female race? Is there something in my genetics that only produces the male gene?
I do have a handful of close girlfriends. In fact I just had one of my closest girlfriends visit and within 30 minutes of her entering the door I started my period. NO JOKE. I hadn't had an actual cycle since my last son was born.  I guess all I needed was a strait dose of estrogen.
I guess I have had a couple of problems with girls in the past.  I have been accused of flirting with girls companions or significant others and pretty soon the friendship fizzles. But perhaps what I'm doing is just communicating on their boy level nothing more and nothing less.

Perhaps my life is just a modern day Smurf episode. Just call me Smurfette.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Young Entrepreneurs

It's one of the hottest summer days we have had so far and the boys decided they wanted to sell something. Lemonade stands have been pretty popular around our neighborhood as of lately. So they wanted to be unique and they found the sno cone machine we have hidden in the basement hoping that someday they will forget about it.  It was a gift from my in-laws about 3 years ago and it is the biggest pain in the a** to operate, especially for a kid. It's Mickey mouse and you dump ice in his head to make crushed ice and then put syrup over it. This has been a problem because we never have sno cone syrup handy. Who does? Plus it's not the first thing on my mind when going to the grocery store. We have used anything from alcohol mixers to the syrup in a jar of cherries.  This time however, Don got the freeze pops that need to be frozen in their natural pre frozen state. It was actually perfect.
It was however,  a production to
a) make the stand
b) run electricity to the sidewalk
c) keep the ice..ice.
They managed to make the stand out of the box our sectional came in (once again, a reason to toot my own horn about the sectional being a wise choice) and a little paint and saw horses. The electricity was done with extension cords. I was at work when all of this took place so I was a bit surprised when I came home to find a stand that looked alot like Nancy's advice stand from Peanuts.
Parker and Fin were ecstatic and sweating like crazy. I had no idea the determination and drive that they had hidden deep inside of themselves. Parker worked with zealous to crush the ice while Finegan took orders and poured the syrup.  At the end of the day they made $21.91. Not sure how that is possible considering they were 25 cents each.  And that they were only "working" for an hour.

It's funny what will bring neighbors outside.  I think we all have had ( if we were lucky) been able to experience our first lemonade or kool-aid stand as kids. Seeing one as an adult just brings us back to our childhood in some way.   Our customers were very generous, one guy even gave the boys "5 whole dollars" and didn't even take a sno cone because he said, they just looked like they were working hard.

The highlight of my day however is when a neighbor who has a dog named Ralph stopped by.  Parker is slightly dog obsessed and makes his way around the block to visit neighbors dogs..( 5 total) regularly.  He recently had his glasses bitten and crushed by a puppy, but that is an entirely different story in which the details keep changing. Anyway, She expressed that our sons, were little gentleman and just very kind hearted. They were always polite and pleasant to be around.  At first I wondered if she had me confused with another mom, my boys? The ones who fight because they "saw" someone fart?

Indeed she was and before breaking down in tears in front of the abandoned sno cone stand, I just politely said thank you and went inside.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bike pooling

Ahh summer. It is time for the boys to play outside, after being forced and threatened, and its a time for me to ride my bike to work. I find it quite exhilarating to ditch a car for three months and have the freedom to peddle my way to the office.  I like to imagine myself as a classy dame in the 1940's as I ride my new version of an old classic bike in Tiffany blue.  The morning commute allows me to actually notice things that I may not have otherwise, like neighbors.  To get a verbal good morning and a tip of a hat from walkers on the sidewalk or an actual hello from a fellow bicycler is like riding through the set of pleasantville.
I wouldn't dream of talking on my cell phone, or texting anyone or listening to my ipod on my commute. Its just a seven minute ride of tranquility.  I notice so much more and I can tell you I think of nothing but riding my bike and avoiding cars.
Figuring out how to carry my coffee was a challenge.  But now I take a stainless steel thermos in my tote, which is in the baby seat, which I sometimes pretend isn't there... ( it does look kind of dorky) The temptation to drive through Starbucks doesn't exist and I save on gas and coffee.
I have to admit, I'm spoiled because I have sidewalks the entire distance from my house to my office which I use. I'm not going to dare riding on the street, I tried that once and it was horrible. Cars got too close and I had flashes of ambulances and news crews to report a 30 something female fell off her bike.
Unless I can figure out how to pile 4 kids on my bike I will be saying au revoir  to the bike-pooling, and in just a couple weeks I will be back to my tired old mini-van taking the boys to school and childcare.  Pulling up to pre-school next to the 40 other 2007-2010 model minivans in colors ranging from gold to beige.  Waiting in line at Starbucks to order a skinny latte right behind the mom on her cell phone ordering the same thing all while listening to the Backyardigans soundtrack.
But for right now, just for my seven minutes, I will be that french dame riding past a vineyard with a fresh baguette I picked up from the baker down the cobblestone street with plans to meet her lover for a picnic overlooking a field of wild flowers.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The great lengths I will go to for a sectional.

I have been on the search for the perfect sectional for the past year. No joke.  A YEAR.  I have had money saved up to actually purchase it with cash, but have spent that money twice on other things.  I believed my search was going to continue until I stubbled upon ikea's sectional. It was perfect. The problem is, that  its over 2 hours away, and renting a uhaul was a tumultuous task, given that I had not seen the piece in person. I however, was willing to take the journey.  Then I happened to be in Sam's Club buying diapers with my oldest son when this Broyhill sectional caught my eye.  It was chocolate brown, stain resistant and smaller then your average sectional. It was love at first sit. Now I had to get it home. This proved to be just as difficult.  Sam's club does not deliver. Something that I have a great respect for now. After tracking down someone to help me I asked them to direct me to the isle with the boxes in it.  They were huge! Bigger then I thought, but it was destiny and by God I was going to bring that home.  Given strict instructions and bribed with a large blue icee, Parker, (7) even agreed to keep our find on the down low. 
Yes, I did not mention this to my husband. I know that sounds a bit sneaky, but he has a way of not approving of such things as furniture as a wise spending choice when we have a perfectly great sofa at home.  So I knew that a special operation, I'll call "operation sectional" was going to be needed in order to execute my plan.  This was a bit more stressful than I had thought.
First, I needed to take a day off of work.  
Second, I needed to rent a trailer
Third, get a babysitter
Fourth, get the older sofa out of the way.
Fifth, tell Don
The first and third tasks were actually the easiest part. The trailer rental was a new territory for me.  I rented it from a place called Hub Cap Annie's.  Walking into this place was like walking into a world I didn't know existed.  Hub caps and signs are everywhere. Signs like, $10 charge for reading this sign..you get the idea. The two men at the desk were just looking at me, with what appeared to be sympathy as I crossed a threshold of manliness.   Thankfully I convinced my dad to come with me, who knew their language.  
Next thing I knew, I was backing the Expedition up to a trailer and they were hooking it up.  My dad said, are you ready to drive?  
*A note about my dad- he taught me how to drive and has great pride in my vehicular aptitude. 
After it was hooked up we were on our way.  My husband was reluctantly along for the ride, but had no idea what he was in for.  Driving with a trailer is very strange. I have a new appreciation for semi truck drivers who have to make right turns and little cars try to pass or get frustrated. Never again! I couldn't believe that people had the audacity to pass me. Did they not understand that I was driving 25 mph for a reason and second that I was a trailer virgin? 
Arriving at Sam's we backed up to the dock and it was quite easy. They loaded it on to the trailer and we were on our way. Getting in the house wasn't that difficult either, however 2 hours had already elapsed.
We simply just needed to get the existing couch to the basement.   Let me just tell you, that this is where we...ok (I) fell short in preparation. 
I had purchased this couch at Z Gallery in Santa Monica in 2000 while in college.  I actually made payments on it because at the time I was working as a waitress next door. I would take my tips and make small payments over a 6 month period.  By the time I had finally paid it off and had it custom ordered I had moved to a different apartment on a second floor. They had to hoist the couch on top of the moving truck and use ropes pull it over the balcony and into my apartment. But somehow I forgot about this.
This couch has major sentimental value and I was not going to let it go anywhere.  A large overstuffed couch and a 1931 Bungalow really don't get a long and here is why. 

Doorways. People were smaller then and didn't need big door ways, or big couches for that matter. 

With a little creativity and minor surgery involving a saw, and leg amputation we were able to stuff our couch into the basement and there it will forever rest. 

And as I placed the final cushions on the new section I discovered that its manufacturing date was indeed my birthday. Yes. it was destiny after-all.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Mommy Supremacy

This weekend I realized I have an infinite amount of power over the developing minds of my boys. Several conversations came up and questions arose that I found myself with two options, answer correctly, or make something up.  Admitting that I did not know the answer was just not possible.
The topic was poop. The question was
Does a grouper fish poop?
In the water?
Is it the same water we drink?
 Well. kind of, yes.
Ew. So we drink poop water?
Does everything poop?
 Yes, everything that is living, poops.
So plants poop?
But you said....
 I  know.
 Without warning the topic transcended to robbers.  They asked
Why do robbers steal things and why they don't they just go to work?
 Well, I said, they think its easier to steal. 
Like, when they guy stole your purse?
 Yes, there are just some bad people out there.  
If God made everything then why did he make robbers?
 Yes, God did make everyone but he also gave everyone freewill and people just make evil choices.
Evil? Why do Evil people have red eyes?

Another smooth transition

Is there another baby in your tummy? Because it looks like it.,
This is when I snapped a bit and asked him to stop asking me that, I have had 4 babies and the last one was 4 months ago, what do you expect kid?
Well how do you know?
  I just do. 
Well, if there is I hope this one is dark skinned.
 It won't be. 
This went into a genetics discussion about how 2 light skinned persons do not have a dark skinned baby. But our neighbor has 2 light skinned parents and she is dark skinned, yes, but she is from Haiti and she grew in a different woman but her mommy is still her mommy.
Was I in a different ladies tummy before yours?
Then one said to his brother " yes you were"

Seriously, this took place in a 7 min. car ride to Target.  These are tough questions.  And they warn you about texting and driving. What about interrogating and driving?  One slip of the tongue, and you can taint the outlook of your kid forever.

When I was a little girl, I asked my mom why the headstones in this one particular cemetery were flat. And she said because it was night time and they put them in the ground. Somewhere there was a communication breakdown. Because up until I was 13 I believed that the headstones had some remote feature that would put the headstones in the ground.  Of course, she denies any recollection of this conversation.  Hey...maybe that is the answer.


My brother told his first daughter that cantaloupe was pronounced cant-a-loop-ay.  Perfect example of how the gift of parenthood, if given to the power hungry individual can have magnificent consequences.  She is 15 now, and I'm sure she knows that he was just joking.....maybe, and a cruel joke at that.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

the dishwasher will still need to be run

I had the fortunate opportunity to hang out with girlfriends tonight. This is kind of a big deal for me because not only do I have a husband, four boys and a male dog, I also work with all men.  Granted two of the men are gay, they are still men.  So to be with the girls was nice. What is hard about going out as a mom is that things are never done. I can be sitting there enjoying a glass of wine with friends, but when I get home the dishwasher will still need to be run. Gone and almost forgotten are the carefree days of actually not worrying about anything...especially a stupid dishwasher.  Being able to go out (and I mean past 12) on any particular night and have absolutely no responsibility the next day is completely foreign to my 30 something self.
As I sit here and write this, a little buzzed, I must admit, I'm anticipating that  in just 3 short hours my 4 month old will need to be fed. Just 2 hours from that the 3 year old will be awake ( and loud) and just 1 short hour from that the 5 and 7 year olds will be awake and ready for breakfast. And just a short 24 hours from that I will be sitting at my desk working.
Today there was no time to nap before I went out, and no time to actually put effort into getting ready . I was able to take a shower, but was interrupted. Actually, I don't even know if its called an interruption if it happens regularly.  I was able to put on make up but my hair was left to air dry while I made dinner for the masses.  My outfit was mainly chosen because its ability to cover, not to flaunt and my underwear was chosen not because of the color, but the coverage.   Maybe this is what getting old feels like. 
What did feel good is to be in the company of girls.
A breath of fresh estrogen is highly underated. And to prove its actual effectiveness, I kid you not, I actually started my period.  Normal for the average female, but since I had the baby it has been over 2 months and I was starting to feel less and less like a women. All my body and psyche needed was a dose of female hormones and it wound my clock to start a tick'n. Now its time to go to sleep, or at least take a nap until my little man will need me.