Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It's All About Me ~ In Pictures Part Deux

Do you have any idea how hard it is to stare directly into the sun?

Today is the last day of my 31 Days of Self Portraits, or "It's All About me ~ Part Deux." I can not tell you how happy I am to see it come to an end. Just like last year, I'm glad I did it but giving myself that much thought this month was a tall order. Hideous storms, earthquakes and a friggen hurricane filled my month more so than I would have liked. As it is, my son still hasn't returned to school because the hurricane knocked the power out and his school is one of 15 or so that are still without power. No complaints though. We'll just find something fun to do. It's not like we live in Haiti where that storm would have caused a school to collapse. I just wonder what this will mean at the end of the year? Do they add those days on? I guess we'll find out.

Because Owen was out of school I told him we'd do something fun today. He immediately said "Train museum?" I have no idea how this kid can still love the train museum as much as we've been this summer. I can't even express how over that place I am. I mean it's great but 15 times in one summer? Nothing is that great. But every time we go, he acts like it's the first time. He runs in and cranks that stupid penny squishing machine like it is his life's vocation. I don't get it but then again, why would I? I'm not 4.

Luckily, today we had some friends come with us. That made it more bearable for me.

I tried to fill their day with fun and we even played in the yard when we got back. That's one of their favorite things to do these days. Of course I tried to keep everything as tame as possible because today was the last days sans health insurance. I had visions of River falling off of the horse on the round a bout and cracking all of her teeth out. I actually found myself questioning if that was the kind of injury that could wait until midnight. No health insurance for 30 days with two kids is daunting. It must suck to have a whole family who can't afford it. I can't even imagine.

We took photos in the backyard and Owen took a few of me. I like that he enjoys playing with my cameras. Well, let me rephrase that. I like that my son is interested in taking photos. Saying that I like him playing with my cameras is a stretch.

Here are a few others we took today:

This is my son standing over our monster mushroom:

Seriously, does this thing not look like it could guide plans home?

In my photos, I spend a lot of time looking into the sun. I think the moment a pupil dilates, but you can still keep your eyes open to catch the sun is a beautiful thing. I try to trick my kids into doing it and when it works, it's stunning. I did some of it today on myself and I liked the results. Although when I took these photos the sun was really bright and it felt like it was burning my eyes. It bothered me so that I actually got a photo of myself with my hand over my eyes. I like to position my face, hold my hand over my eyes to make sure it's unprepared for the sun and then move my hand as I click so I get it at the second my pupils dilate. The sun was rough today so I missed my own cue. That's why I have my hands over my eyes. My trick works though. You should try it if you ever feel like tempting fate with the whole "burn off your retinas" thing.

The answer to the question, "Do you have any idea how hard it is to stare directly into the sun?" is yes, it's difficult but not as difficult as it is to go 30 days without health insurance for my family, live through terrible storms, the earth moving under our feet and a hurricane that while it didn't seem as bad as I would have thought, has kept my kid out of school all week. You gotta keep it in perspective.

This is me today, hoping I still have vision tomorrow. Good times. Yay me!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It's All About Me ~ In Pictures Part Deux

In an endless effort to both gut my house of useless shit and organize the shit I can't part with, I bought an organizations thingie today from Target. I went to Ikea first because I have some friends who have a shelf unit I like but it wouldn't fit in the place I need it to go in. I had seen something similar at Target so I took the kids and we scoped it out. It fits perfectly. Now I just have to go spend my life savings on baskets/storage containers for it. On the way out of the worst Walmart on the planet, checking for containers, I let the kids ride this odd jet ski ride.

We dropped some things off at a friends house and then came home to pour bleach over our bodies after the trip to the armpit of all Walmarts. Our friend has a light rail near her so there are train tracks we have to cross over to get to her house. Owen loves this but we've never seen a train there, until today. Usually we cross over the tracks and that's enough for him, always looking for a train. We actually saw one and then looped back around, waited on the side of the road and saw another, which I recorded with my Droid.

At home we played in the yard for a while. My husband turned their playhouse on it's side for the hurricane and it got water inside so I couldn't not lift it for them. I tried and Owen refused to listen when I told him to stay put of the house that's filled with nasty rain water. As you can see, he didn't listen.

The I let the kids run around the yard in their underpants and PJs. What the hell?!

Anyhoo, this is me today hanging out in the yard with my babies, diggin' my trees.

Monday, August 29, 2011

It's All About Me ~ In Pictures Part Deux

Have you ever seen the underside of a mushroom?

I don't mean the kind you add to your salads or stir fry, but the big ass mushrooms that grow outside? Today I went outside for the first time since the hurricane passed and came across the biggest wild mushroom I'd ever seen. This is my 4 year old son standing just behind it. He's a really big 4 year old and this thing still looks HUGE next to him.

Where the mushroom grew is where the runoff went during the hurricane so it was really wet there and is still damp. While I've seen small mushrooms there before, I've never seen anything near this size so I think the storm has something to do with it.

Another reason I'm so glad I have the Droid X. As much as I love my Nikons, I could never get this photo under a mushroom with those cameras. I like being able to take photos that matter with my phone. So glad I didn't cave and get the iPhone. 8 MP baby!

The underside of a mushroom is pretty cool, if you've ever bothered to look. Very delicate and kind of beautiful which I didn't expect. Something sexual about it as well. I totally blame Georgia O' Keeffe for that.

I looked around for Alice but she wasn't there. Lots of ants though.

Look at the size of that thing next to my D90! HUGE!

While I was "shooting the 'shroom" and taking my daily photo of myself, Owen joined me for a few minutes with his Thomas the Tank Engine and gave up the lovin. Such a good kid!

We didn't do much today except run by the gym to get a refund on the rescheduled movie night. Who wants to hang out in the pool with your kids at 7:00 at night at the end of September? No thanks. Just cancel the damn thing. Not to mention that's my anniversary and the thought of spending my anniversary hanging out in that pee bucket doesn't sound the least bit appealing.

We also swung by the Verizon store to have them look at my phone. It shut off during the storm and I couldn't get it to come back on. It just needed to be reset. Quick fix.

After that, we set off for the park. One was closed so we went to the next, also closed. Bummer. We finally found one that was open and of course every single person in the world was there, yes, the annoying ones too. Does it make sense to let your THREE kinds ride their scooters ON the playground equipment? Really? Ugggggg, some people got no reason.

Anyhoo, we did those things and then came back to the house for lunch. After River ate her weight in peanut butter sandwiches and crackers I put her down for her nap. When I woke her up, two hours later, this is what I found:

She strips her dolls naked, all of them and takes their clothes, pacifier attached and chews on them. I totally clipped my daughter's nails after I looked at this photo as well. She looks like she's been planting tomatoes!

On a total side note, this i s my daughter's favorite doll. I made her throw these clothes on it when we went to get Owen from school because I don't like her carrying a naked doll around, anatomically correct or not. Usually it's just a bald baby in his it's birthday suit. I think she thinks this one is a boy because she calls him Nathan. This is only funny if you're Nathan's mother.

So, here I am today, hanging our post-hurricane in my swamp of a backyard hoping it's drier tomorrow.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

It's All About Me ~ In Pictures Part Deux

I'm tired. I thought the worst part of a hurricane was the wind and rain. I thought that until we went through one and my husband and I decided that it was best to get the kids together and all of us sleep together in the basement. While I understand the likelihood of a tree falling on my house is low, I don't give a shit. I refuse to let my child sleep under a large branch coming from a large tree that has bothered me for weeks. That would just be poor parenting. So, we piled the kids onto a shitty air mattress in the basement before the worst part of the hurricane had even gotten here and attempted to sleep. It was not to be.

Let me say that I love my children more than anything in the world and I feel privileged to be able to be a stay at home mom and spend so much time with them. That being said, last night was a fucking nightmare. I WILL NEVER sleep in the same room with my children again unless someone is covered in their own vomit.

We let the kids fall asleep in their own rooms and then moved them later while they slept thinking that was a better way to do it. Owen was out when Chris carried him down and fell back to sleep almost immediately. We should have known that trouble was afoot when we went to get River as the wind was whipping around the corner of the house. We pulled the cover back from her and she was wide awake and giggling. Chris carried her downstairs, we took this photo and then she ran around screaming and yelling for the next 4 or 5 hours.

Every time the wind blew, River sat bolt upright and said, "Momma, what was that?" I must have told her 100 times, "It's OK River, it's just the wind." Truth be told, inside I was screaming "What do you think it is? Were in the middle of a fucking hurricane!"

I let it go, because she's two, but she raked my nerves for 2 solid hours before I ran away screaming, got a drink and my laptop. I needed out of that basement so bad that I chose to sit bu the huge windows in the sunroom just to get away from my kids because at this point River had woken Owen up and they were insufferable. To top it off, Chris was snoring. I swear, that fucker can sleep in the middle of a car bomb, or at least a hurricane. It's so annoying.

Probably the best part of the night was when River sat up and said, "Momma, are you awake?" and then proceeded to jab me with her little angel fingers in my fucking eye socket! That felt good. I think I screamed at her so loud that Chris actually stirred from his slumber. Oh yeah, at one point I heard her say "Momma, what's this?" right before she cracked my skull with Cranky the Crane. WTF? It's a big heavy wooden crane from Owen's train table. What would posses her?

Don't even get me started on that shitty fucking air mattress! After 30 minutes laying on it, I was basically sleeping in a V. My ass was on the ground while my legs and back were in the air. Fucking ridiculous! Add 2 kids running around yelling at it being 2 AM to that and that's a recipe for disaster.

Anyhoo, this is me with zero sleep and just waiting for Monday to come. We survived the hurricane with power and Internet intact. I lost a tomato plant. Fuck it.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

It's All About Me ~ In Pictures Part Deux

I am so fucking tired of shitty weather. It would be nice to do something this weekend with the kids. Something that doesn't involve organizing in pairs and/or swimming to check my mail.

We spent the better part of the morning loading the remnants of that tree that fell across our fence into a friends truck and a borrowed trailer so they could take it to the dump. The last thing we needed as a hurricane approached was that shit flying through the neighbors windows. We also loaded as much of our deck furniture into the shed and then bungee corded the rest of it in place. I've never seen our deck so empty. I kinda wish it could stay like that. I'm sure I'd feel that way until I wanted to sit down or pick some herbs, but you know, it's a neat thought.

The worst of the storm hasn't gotten here yet but the electricity has been flickering, the Direct TV is useless and my Internet is spotty. I'm hoping by the time it gets here that it will be downgraded to a tropical storm and be nothing more than bothersome. It would be great to sleep well tonight, wake up in the morning and the biggest annoyance be having to unload all of that shit back out of the shed.

As it is now, we moved my daughter's toddler bed away from the window (which she was none to happy about), my son is blissfully unaware and will be fine as long as there is an endless supply of milk and Super Why? in the AM. We are playing it by ear. It it gets bad in the night we have discussed getting the kids and sleeping together in the basement. There is a tree outside River's window that worries me. It's the same one that was damaged in the storm and while all of that part is gone, there's a big branch we can't get to that hangs over River's room. I'm sure it's fine but I'd like it gone just so I'll feel better, but there's nothing I can do about it tonight.

I took photos of the house, fence, cars and all of the trees around our property. It's good to have stuff like that in case something does happen. Fingers crossed I can just delete them all tomorrow without a second thought. That is until next week's natural disaster comes rolling into town.

The wind is freaking me out a little. I must be the only one though because as I sit here in my sun room surrounded by windows I can hear my neighbors kid running around in the rain yelling. It takes all kinds I guess.

Anyhoo, this is me today, on my empty deck while my kids shove their toys into the water that has filled the umbrella stand. I love finding new babysitters.

Friday, August 26, 2011

It's All About Me ~ In Pictures Part Deux

Today was Owen's first day of pre-school. He was in school last year but now he's in a 5 day a week program and he seems pretty excited about it! He's kinda had 3 or 4 first days of school. He started Ms. Jean's class in February, then he went to summer school with Ms. Michele. When the new school year started he had Ms. Laura and Ms. Connie. All four of those teachers were awesome but at the beginning of each new adventure, he didn't want me to leave him. I remember walking away when I dropped him off for Ms. Jean's class and he was screaming and clawing to get to me. It was heart wrenching. I walked away because I knew it was best for him. I'm not saying it was Sophie's Choice, his happiness or learning, but it wasn't easy to leave him there like that. He cried and fought when being left for all of those classes, but there were no tears today. At least not from him.

I got a little teary as I left my smiling baby boy in line to go into the school. It was moving to see how far he's come. I love that he's excited! When I picked him up, he was so excited to tell me about the things they'd done.! It was so sweet.

While Owen was at school, River and I did some emergency shopping for the hurricane. God people are annoying! I think some of these fuckers have reverted to cannibalism as a way to prepare for the storm. Yeah, it could be bad but we don't live on the beach, we're inland so I'm hoping we won't get hammered. They're calling for up to 100 mph winds and that just won't do. I know for sure that there is a run on bottled water and D batteries. Thankfully we have plenty of both.

A friend is coming over in the morning to help Chris get rid of the tree debris that is still in our yard. The last thing we need is to have that shit become projectiles and fly through the neighbors windows. That would be a fucking nightmare. I made sure we have extra food for the week after I saw the Governor of Maryland say that we should be prepared to be on our own for 72 hours because they can't get to everyone.

Chris actually asked me if I wanted to take the kids and go further inland. Ummm, no. A/ I don't have any place to go. I'm sure finding a hotel room farther away would not be easy. B/ I want to kill looters.

This is me today with my baby, waiting for Owen to get out of school. We missed him today. Having him gone 5 days a week will take some getting used to. River asked me to go pick him up like 10 times. It was kinda sad. I love my babies!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

It's All About Me ~ In Pictures Part Deux

Storms and earthquakes and hurricanes, oh my! I'm over this shitty weather. I can handle it here and there but less than two weeks and all this shit has happened? I just got TV back tonight from the first of Mother Nature's evil deeds. We get a new microwave tomorrow as well. I am crossing my fingers that the new satellite dish holds up through this hurricane that looks to hit sometime very early on Sunday. I hope that isn't true but the whole area is in the shit zone...not cool. I've still got half a tree broken up in my side yard. That will make for nice projectiles in those 80-100 mph winds. Here's hoping that bitch turns and goes out to sea. I'm not in the mood to be heroic again. Did I not just grab my children and run screaming from the house? Isn't that enough??

Anyhoo, we had appointments for most of the day today. We went to turn in the paperwork to register River for ballet classes. I think she's more excited than I am. She keeps walking around saying, "I'm a princess! I'm a princess!" Ugggghhh, whatever makes her happy. I really think she'll like the class. I know she likes the gear.

After that we had an appointment to get the kids photos taken. We do it every three months by the same guy. He also did the playgroup photos last week but those are total shit so I went back and had their photos taken alone. Such a great idea! We got one of the best photos of Owen ever taken. I love when you can see sweetness in a photo.

Somebody is raging......

After photos, which were pretty uneventful, we had to rush home and wait for Direct TV, again. This time, they showed up! It took them a while but at least they came. Of course as soon as he walked through the house and onto the deck, it started pouring rain. Figures. I was afraid he's tell me he had to leave because they can't get on the roof in the rain. I would have expected that but I've been watching the same 5 episodes of Kipper and Super Why so if I had to get up there my fucking self and adjust that thing, I was prepared to do that.

Thankfully he sat in the van til the rain slowed and then hung out under the overhang when it drizzled again but he got it done. I heard birds sing when I checked all of the TVs to make sure they worked. It was kismet too because Remember Me was coming on as the guy pulled out of my driveway. River was down for her nap and Owen said, "Momma, can I watch Kipper."

How do you tell your son that you would rather melon ball your eyes out than watch that whinny fucking dog for one more second? I just flat out refused and told him that I needed some adult time with the TV. I needed adult voices. I had no plans to watch the end of the Remember Me as it always leaves me unsettled but I watched enough. Bow chika, bow bow.....Robert Pattinson is a piece of ass and I don't care who knows it. But I digress...

I also made some decisions today regarding friendships. I'm ending a few. It's time. I love my friends but I'm leaving "acquaintances" by the curb. I've never been one to be surrounded by girlfriends and now I know why. Uggghh, sometimes I think I should have been born with a penis. Bitches is crazy.

On a side note, if you want to make a comment to me about how I don't do anything for anyone else....FUCK YOU! I don't do anything for you because I don't like you. I do plenty for people whose company I enjoy.

This is me today, checking on my new dish in the rain. Looking forward to the end of this self reflection and wishing others would give it a try.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

It's All About Me ~ In Pictures Part Deux

I'm crushing on my baby today. It's our last free day before he starts school on Friday. After Friday, except for the summer, he's in school 5 days a week...forever!

I thought about going to the zoo with a friend or meeting some friends for playgroup but I asked Owen what he wanted to do and he said he wanted to go to the park. So, the park is where we went.

The park is kind of a free day. At the zoo, you kinda have to go from animal to animal so there's a pattern. At playgroup, you have to listen to me because you're in someone else's house. I think he just wanted to run around screaming. It's OK. I can totally relate.

I needed to stop by a local dance school to get info on registering River for ballet. I did that first thing and then we went to the park and the kids played on the playgroud for what seemed like an eternity. I just let them go because after Friday, this won't come so easy.

After they played forever, we went to Target to get Owen's school supply list taken care of. Since we were out and about, I got the kids lunch at the Target deli place. I love taking my kids there. I don't know what it is about that place but my kids are never more well behaved or kind to each other when we're there. They share their food, well. They say please and thank you, to each other and they're just kind. It's like the politeness Twilight Zone. It's creepy.

We only needed a few things and he seems OK with using his backpack from last year so it was an easy trip. I also bought River some things for her ballet class. I have never seen a leotard and tutu worked with such grace. I mean, dayyyuummm!!!

I don't know what it is about the Droid but when there is poor light, everything turns to shit. So these photos suck, but you can still see rockstar. I've just got to learn how to put that spun gold up into a bun.

I put the first outfit on her and told her to look in the mirror. She looked up at herself and said, "I'm a princess Momma!" As sweet as it was, I found myself thinking. WTF? How does that even happen? We've never watched that shit in my house and she isn't in school. Where do little girls get that shit? Does someone sneak in her room at night and whisper in her ear, "You are a are a princess." If that's the case, I'm setting up a stake out and I'm gonna gut that bitch. I want my daughter to be fierce, not a princess. I want her to lead an army, not have birds land on her fucking finger when she sings....although that would be kind nice, I guess. She'll need at least one ugly stepsister so I need to get divorced and remarry. That's just too much work.

After Target we went back to the park because that's what Owen wanted to do. This time after they played on the playgroud for a bit, we walked down to the water.

I'm still in awe at how kind Owen can be to his sister.

Can you feel the attitude? He acts like he can't look right at me for one photo. I like how his eyeballs barrel through me to drive the point home.

River was holding onto her bow for dear life yelling "Momma, hairbow, hairbow!" She thought it was going to blow into the bay.

Anyhoo, this is me today with my angels at the park on Owen's last day of freedom! I'm crushin' on my baby!