What We Did This Weekend – Yikes Edition

31 07 2006

Friday afternoon, after coming home from work in the Vanpool, I discovered the the Honda wouldn’t start. It would try, but couldn’t quite turn over. I had to drive the van home, and all the while I said to myself, “See? You were right! Good thing you didn’t get rid of the Minty Squirrel!”

The next morning, I took the van back. I was armed with a wire brush for scraping the corrosion off the battery terminals. It was a bit of a shame though. That blue granular stuff is so pretty! My favorite color actually.

I also brought a gas can, because, well…I drove the car to the Vanpool meeting site on “E”. Hey, it was payday, and the gas station is really close, and I could easily fill up the car after work.

It was out of gas.


And although feminist around the world (including me) will cringe when I say it – I am such a girl sometimes.

Saturday was spent with the girls. My last day before they went to Montana. I tend to panic a bit, worrying about if I am doing enough things to properly say goodbye. I make them their favorite food, I kiss them incredibly often, I even took them for a carriage ride at the Farmer’s Market – and we waved to the backed up traffic as if we were princesses. It was a great day.

It may be a bit morbid, but I always feel like we need to have an extra-special time before they go. I know the odds are against it….but what if something did happen to their plane? Or something happens when they are over there and this is the last time I get to ever see, touch or kiss them?

Ugh. I am normally not a worrier.

Sunday morning rolled around after I spend the majority of the night waking up worrying that I wouldn’t wake up.

I stuffed some money in my purse, thinking that I would have enough money to get them a special coloring book when we got there. However, when checking in I realized that I had to pay $30 for the escort to get them safely on and off the plane.

I had $32.

Parking was going to be at least $6.

I actually started sweating right there at the ticket counter thinking about being trapped forever in the airport. How the hell was I going to get out of the parking garage? My first thought was that I would bother telling the girls about the predicament and just get them on the plane before I worried about calling someone. Then I realized that they expected those coloring books.

I sat them down and explained what had happened and coloring books were not in the cards right now. They weren’t even worried about that, they were worried about me getting out of the airport.

“Call Kristy! Hurry Mom!”

So I did. It was $1 per call and when I called her voice mail picked up….

“Um….Hi Kristy? It’s Shari. I’m at the airport and all I have is $1 and I can’t get out of parking…..it’s a long story. Anyway….if you get this, could I maybe borrow $10? I will be outside baggage claim at the Alaska Airlines sign…..if you get this…..at about 10 o’clock….”

It was horrible. Where was she? Would she check her voice mail?

No matter. It was time for the girls to start boarding.

The planes that fly to Montana are not your typical jets. They are larger prop planes, and you actually have to walk out onto the Tarmac to board them. The man came to escort the girls, an old lady in a wheel chair and a girl with a broken ankle to their plane. (At this point I started to wonder exactly why did I have to pay $30 dollars when my girls were with a bunch of other people…I should have only had to pay $10! Then I would have had enough money to pay for parking and coloring books!)

The escorted passengers walked on to the elevator. The old woman waved to her two 50-ish year old daughters standing beside me, “Goodbye girls! I love you!”

They yelled and waved back, “Bye Mom!!”

At the same time my girls were standing next to the old woman, jumping up and down, yelling “Bye Mom!!”

As I was tearing up, waving and yelling, “Goodbye girls! I love you!”

It was my present and my future -right there.

Then, I felt sorry for the poor girl with the broken ankle who no one was waving or yelling to, so I yelled, “Bye broken ankle girl!” and ruined the whole moment.

And I didn’t out-and-out cry, but I did have to wipe some tears as they headed toward their plane. The motley crew of passengers that needed a little help. They were so adorable.

When the plane took off, I reached in my purse for my last dollar. My last chance at not becoming Tom Hanks in “The Terminal”. I couldn’t decide if I should try Kristy again, or somebody new. I finally settled on Kristy, and dialed with shaking hands….

And her daughter answered the phone. She was laughing and yelling, “Hey Aunt Shari! We’re here! We’re parked right by your car! My Mom brought you a latte!!”

How the hell she found my car in the humongous parking garage with 6 levels, and the fact that I chose hourly parking and not general – I will never, ever know. Kristy just insists she knows how I think.

So, I walk to my car – that is full of gas – getting hugs, and elbows in the ribs, and a $10 bill, and a coffee for the drive home.

I guess I’m not alone after all.


I Am Losing My Muse

28 07 2006

The girls are leaving on Sunday to go on their annual summer vacation to Grandma’s house. They will board a plane here and fly off without me. It’s the third year that they have done this, but it is difficult every year.

I actually enjoy my kids, and when people say that it should be “so much fun” or a “much needed break” I feel like I want to strangle them.

I also realize that I do need to work on not needing them so much. But, you know what? I’m sure that will all happen on it’s own when they hit their teenage years. I’m in no hurry.

And there will be less Barbie/Ken photographic opportunities.

Damn. And I was just getting in the swing of things.

Ken (II) was sadly run down by an innocent looking barbeque.
But Prince Eric dances on, unperturbed by the grisly accident only feet away.
I feel that I must point out that all Barbie/Ken photos are unposed and taken in their natural “found” state.

This was taken last summer, and is by far my favorite picture of all time. A horrible scene, isn’t it? *shudder*


27 07 2006
I am unsure whether my negativity towards men has had any effect on my children.

*This Ken doll was not harmed in the making of this post. This is a work of fiction. It is a product of the author’s imagination and is fictitious and should not be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.


24 07 2006

It’s always interesting when you answer the phone and the voice on the other end says, “Hi Shari! Here’s a voice from your past…”

It was Rena.

In high school I didn’t really fit into any clique – I was “popular” but didn’t’ hang with those kids, I participated in tons of sports but I wasn’t a jock, I smoked WAY too much weed but I wasn’t a stoner.

I hung out with Jim. We were our own clique. We did everything together – bouncing between other groups like a ball on a pin ball table.

Rena was the outcast, the untouchable. Every class has one or two, you know the ones. She was hyper and inappropriate and over-friendly. And people were incredibly mean to her.

When I was in fifth grade I came to school with my book bag full of little presents to give my friends. Rena rode my bus and that day I felt this overwhelming need to make her happy, to include her in the Christmas goodwill. I gave her one of the presents.

And she was so happy.

Throughout the rest of our school years she always gravitated toward me. I wasn’t mean to her, really, but I wasn’t nice either.

She was on same basketball team in high school that I was. We would do a drill where there was one person in the center with the ball and four or five other girls around them would do everything they could to get the ball from that center person.

When Rena was the center person everyone changed from basketball player to torturer. People would elbow her – really hard. They would slap and pinch when they thought the coach couldn’t see. I didn’t participate in that – but I said nothing to stop it. And sixteen years later I still think about that and am ashamed of my lack of integrity.

Rena called to ask about Jim. I had to tell her about his suicide. It was very hard to do. But the hardest thing came at the end of the conversation.

I apologized for my lack of compassion. Doing nothing can be a very shameful thing.

And you know what? She said she didn’t remember it that way. She said that all she can remember is that I was the only one that was ever nice to her.

And that, I think, is the saddest thing of all.

Maya and Sophie’s Blogs Have Been Updated

19 07 2006

And Sophie had blessed us all with an audio blog.

Oh yes she has.

I’m Sooooo Bored

19 07 2006

Maya’s pre-teen angst has been building of late.

The sighs. The flopping. The whining….

“I’m bored…..”

She says this in the middle of concerts at the park where there is enough stimuli to put someone with ADHD in a fetal position just to get away from it all.

She says it at home. No computer, television, shelf of books, room full of toys or sister’s room full of toys can persuade her that there is something to do.

It makes me crazy.

We had a long talk while the chicken was barbecuing tonight about attitude and boredom. She is grounded through the weekend for acting like a bored and pouty brat to her nanny and I am already feeling the repercussions of the I-am-grounded-and-pitiful boredom

And, oh, let me tell you…..I will not take it lying down.

I pointed out to her in a 15 minute lecture that the two things in the world that you can have total control over is your attitude and your level of boredom. It is entirely in her 9-year-old power to find something to engage her and maybe, just maybe, make her happy at the same time.

She was tearing up and angrily wiped tears from her cheeks during my tirade. But she was not going to vocally cry. She was forcefully holding it back.

I asked her if she could think of anything that might change her mood and put her in a better one. She, suprisingly, couldn’t think of anything.

So, helpfully, I suggested (in a terribly goofy voice), “Fuzzy wittle bunnies? Pink poooodles?”

And finally, FINALLY, she smiled.

It actually turned her around I think. The rest of this evening has been full of both girls playing happily. No flopping dramatically on the couch, no tears, no sighs…..it’s great.

But the best part was, when we were bringing the chicken in from the BBQ I said, “Since you are so bored, you can set the table!”

She looked a me for just a moment, her eyes sparked a bit, and she said, “Hmmmm…I chose not to be bored anymore.”



17 07 2006

Yesterday Blogger decided not to let me post any more pictures, so I made do with what I had. But, these two I just couldn’t get away with not posting anyway….

This is taken from Packwood. To see Mt. Rainier from this angle is surprising. You don’t expect it to be visible – but there it is – almost playing with you.

This one you really should click on to see in a larger image. I love it. It is taken on the drive home. Maya and Sophie are passed out, heads lolling toward each other in the back seat. AND, we are being followed by a pack of 20+ motorcycles. I think that they were a bit irritated by my slow cornering on the mountain highway, but any faster would have called for much head clunking.

Plus you can’t drive fast when taking a picture like this, you know.