Eventually I had to face up to my destiny as a loser magnet

Yeah, so my date was a bust.

I gave him the benefit of the doubt when he suggested meeting for subs at Thundercloud, and still went when he said "I'll be the one in the long shorts with the motorcycle helmet"; even though I wanted to reply "I'll be the one dressed like a grown-up".

None of that would have been awful if he'd impressed me as being strong, humorous, cute ...

I'm really *not* uppity; hell, one of my anniversary dinners I asked to go to Salsa Fresh because all I really wanted was a good bean and cheese burrito and good conversation. But it's hard to take people seriously when they don't take themselves seriously.

My boss accuses me of overthinking things, because I tend to take such a long view - if we're doing a new web site, I'm thinking of the ways in which instructions, descriptions etc can be misconstrued by some percentage of people, or how doing something one way could have x consequence down the road. I can't help it - it's just the way my brain works: I see things through to their logical conclusions.

So when I was having lunch with this guy, there was just no way I could picture doing anything 'serious' with him, including - and especially - introducing him to my kids or having him interact with my kids. Which put the kibosh on things pretty quick. The date limped along, and toward the end he was like "Do you want to know anything about me?" and I answered "Not really". I did it with a smile, but that was it.

This internet dating thing ... folks sound good on paper, and there's a picture so you know it's not Quasimodo, but still ...


I've got one leg back in the land of the living; my parents took the girls for the day on Saturday when I was at my worst, and Sunday I took it as easy as is possible with two rambunctious kiddos wreaking havoc on my home and tapping every last energy reserve.

But I survived, and we actually had a decent morning Sunday. We screwed around for awhile at home, since there's really nowhere to go and nothing to do at the wonderful hour of 6 a.m., then around 8 we headed out for donuts and kolaches. Both girls loved their donuts, so I braved Target for some toy department destruction and very basic grocery shopping. It wasn't flawless, but we all survived. I was, however, exhausted and hurting by the end of the trip. At some point this weekend, between coughing and the sucky contortions I end up in as both girls press against me from opposite sides, my back got wrenched and it just *aches*.

The plan was just to drive home, but O fell asleep and Bean asked to drive around. So we did. There's a neighborhood about a mile or two east of ours where the lots are big and well-treed, and you can usually spot a deer or two. We saw a ton - including a little fawn. Bean was beside herself. She informed me that deer, horses, cats and cows had the cutest faces. She then proceeded to rattle of every other animal she knew as being cute, too. She's non-discrimanatory about her love :)

But the icing on the cake was on the way out of the 'hood - I found a pasture with three horses. Three horses that, in turn, all let Bean pet them.

Nothing, shot of there being a foal too, could have made her happier. It was awesome.

I don't know what it is about little girls and horses; I've loved them since I was around her age too.

One of my good friends is moving to New Hampshire on Friday :( It sucks, but I'm thrilled for her, her hubby and their son and wish them the very best. Plus, they're only an hour from Boston, which is one of the first 2-3 places I want to take the girls when I start flying with them. I visited Boston when I was pregnant with Bean, and fell in love with the aquarium and the kid's museum. I actually think we spent more time at those places than anywhere else .. I've been dying to take Bean there ever since.

I'll leave you with this tidbit: I have a lunch *date* Wednesday :)


A week of sick kids, high stress and no sleep has left me feeling like poop on a stick, but I wanted to share a linky to a news story on what I've been up to.

More later, when I'm feeling better.

I didn't say you were stupid! So…stop being an idiot and let me fix this!

It's been an emotional roller-coaster of a weekend.

The good: Bean's birthday party today was awesome. I used Wanna Play Playcare, which is a drop-in, hourly daycare facility; they're closed on Sundays and have two-hour slots for private parties that day. It was a really great experience - the kids had a ton of stuff to do, the parents could be a bit less vigilant because there was a locked door and no strangers (as well as two staff members) and they had a great food serving/eating area as well. My house just isn't big enough to host a party, so I'm always looking for an off-site location - I won't be looking anymore. As long as they're around, I'll be doing all kid parties at Wanna Play.

Bean had a great time, loved playing with her friends and even got to take in bits and pieces of a My Little Pony movie when she slowed down. She barely touched her cake, tho. (Actually, none of the kids really ate their cake. I think next time it'll be cookies and/or brownies, because I'm not a cake fan anyways.) Since almost all the 4-ish year olds have a 1-1.5-year-old younger sibling, it was a great time for the littles, as well.

Work is going well, but my stress level has been slowly ratcheting up as the Pink Slip Festival approaches. Dan has pointed out that I over think things, but in the case of this festival, I don't think I can over think many aspects. It's Austin, so at least half of the key players are these mellow "it'll work fine" people who aren't really following up on details or dotting all the i's. Maybe it will be fine, but my brain doesn't work that way: I see things play out to their logical/ likely conclusions in my head, so I'm starting to get a bit twitchy about everything that could go wrong.

We actually had a 'planning' day at work on Friday, where we spent the first half of the day planning stuff and the second half suffering through "Transformers 2" at the Alamo. That movie *sucked*. Good god, it was awful. The special effects were nifty, but the crappy acting and lame-ass dialog just killed me. I want to meet the person who thinks there was anything redeeming about this movie. There wasn't.

Friday night, Shirley came over for wine and conversation; Saturday night it was Julia and Cindy's turn. It was really great to spend some time with all of them, sans kiddos, since I never make playgroups or weekday outings anymore.

Saturday morning I had coffee with Dave's parents. It's the first time I've seen his dad since the divorce; I saw his mom once, right after the divorce, but the last time they were in town, She Who Shall Not Be Named was calling the shots (indirectly) and kiboshed anyone thinking anything nice about me. Since they're his folks, they went with the flow. Now that Voldemort's gone, we're all free to talk to each other again.

It was actually really nice seeing his folks, and the conversation was pleasant and flowed well. But the whole thing just made me sad. Sad for everything that I've lost, sad for the life I used to have, sad that it's gone ... I think I still mourn it, and while I know I need to move on - and have moved on in many ways, there's still this tiny little shred of denial/ hope/ stupidity that trips me up and keeps me from really, totally, for sure closing the door.

I'm not loving seeing that admission in black and white as I type this. I'm fighting myself, trying to decide if I leave it or delete it. I don't want to be stupid; and I certainly don't want to admit to the world that I feel that way ... but I feel like I have to maintain the open kimono I've always shown ya, fess up even when I'd prefer to shove this tiny bubble down somewhere and pretend (to y'all and to myself) it doesn't exist.

Eh, screw it. It stays. Don't beat me up too hard for being a dumbass, 'kay?

I don't play well with others.

Thank god it's Thursday.

I am so tired of the way my kids have been acting lately; the fact that they're both tired and extra crappy this a.m. is just icing on the cake. If it wasn't Thursday, I'd be contemplating a Swirly of Doom for someone ...

They're obnoxious. Professionally.

Been keeping busy at work: we wrapped up the Career Fair Friday; the Pink Slip Festival is a week and a couple days out, and there's still a ton of details to handle for that; the day after the Fest I have another two classes to coordinate ... I'm looking forward to August - when Dan will be on vacation for a week and I'll be sitting around with my thumb up my butt. Comparatively speaking, at least - there will still be tons of copy writing, web site maintenance, Tweeting and status updating on his behalf, brand-building ... the things I do and have learned to do on this job are so awesome for my resume and future employability. Assuming I ever leave this job :)

I had a dinner meeting Thursday (I am starting to gain weight from all the dinners and drinks lately ... lunches weren't that bad for me, since I could make good choices - but dinner and beer ... ugh.) to start the ball rolling on the next event Dan's thinking about - a golf tournament. More on this later, because I really can't take all of that in until I wrap up the Pink Slip dealie. But yeah, a golf tournament. Thankfully I know rules, etiquette and terminology since I've dated a lot of golfers. I even understand *how* to play; I just wouldn't subject anyone to playing with me.

Bean's b-day party is Sunday the 19th at a drop-in daycare place, Wanna Play Playcare. They do private parties on Sundays so that should be a nice change from the flashing lights, loud noise and frantic chasing around at places like Chuck E Cheese - I'm anticipating this being a lot more laid back and less stressful because the kids will be locked in a couple thousand square feet and the parents won't need to watch their every move.

Although I won't be running my usual zone coverage on the girls - Dave and his parents will be there, as will my folks. With that kind of support watching the girls, I could hold the party at the beach in heavy surf and feel a bit more relaxed than I do when I'm on zone defense. I just usually never get to talk to anyone because I'm tracking Bean and O; it'll be nice to have them both confined and to have extra eyes on them.

And speaking of Bean, who sent her and O the Sherlock McBiscuit book? Too, too cute!

Bean's behavior the past two nights has been horrible. It's like she can make good choices and be well-behaved until like 6:00, and then it all shuts off. She won't listen or do what I ask, she runs away laughing, she ignores me ... it's enough to make my tiny little brain *snap*. So there's hollering, screaming, threatening and, sadly, sometimes a spanking - that she laughs about and then ratchets my blood pressure up like a bazillion. And then right when it's time to lay down, tearful apologies and promises to make better choices so she can have her stories back that she lost, get to change out of the pajamas I put her in when she wouldn't listen, etc ... like that makes it all okay and that gets her everything back. She can't act like a sh*t for an hour and then say "sorry, I'll make good choices" and *poof* get everything back. I actually took her new Ponies away and 'threw one in the garbage' last night. Seriously. Well, 'seriously' in that she thinks it's in the garbage, but I really went that far in an attempt to get her to listen and behave. It worked for 3.5 seconds.

And then when it's all over she wants me to hold her and apologize to her. And then tells me I'm bad when I won't apologize. Good times.

I've got a tired, crying toddler to deal with (up at 4:45. Joy.) so I'm just going to wrap this up so I can post something ... I've been working on this since the 9th!

Happy Birthday Bean!!

My Big Girl turns four today! She went to school dressed in her newest (and poofiest. and pinkest.) princess dress, de-frickin'-lighted that today was her day. When one of the boys from her old class saw me, he asked "Where's Bean?" I called her over and he said "you look pretty". Awww. This was one of the other kids that the delightful Miss A picked on, so I have a soft spot for him anyways :)

Dave brought a fruit tray to school for her to celebrate with her friends this afternoon, and he owes me pictures - as soon as I get one, I'll share it, but in the meanwhile, here's my big girl at the fireworks on Saturday.

Happy Birthday, Bean. Mommy simply adores you for all you are and for everything you say and do.

I'm like that kid in the story, the boy that stuck his finger in the duck.

What a great way to wrap up a fun weekend - an email from Julia (and C) asking us to join them at the pool. An hour or so at a great pool, followed by BBQ and play at her place was a fab ending to a weekend of fun for the girls and I.

I was off on Friday, and the girls' school was open, so I took advantage of a slacktastic day and had lunch with Shirley before picking the girls up. Saturday was an early day (ugh), so we stayed in jammies and hung around the house to ensure they got naps. Would have loved one myself, but by the time I got Miss O to sleep, Bean was waking up.

My parents came over later in the afternoon and we headed out to the girls school - they offered free parking and hot dogs/burgers for families that had kids there, and since the school is right across the street from the big fireworks park, it was a no-brainer. We walked over and checked out the vendors and stuff to do in the park, and the girls played on the playground for awhile. We went back to the school to hang out and play there, on the well-shaded playground, since it was, after all, *July in Texas*.

Grabbed some dinner and then my folks took Miss O home and Shirley and her older daughter met Bean and I to stay for the firworks. It was my first fireworks experience with Bean, and she loved it. I was grinning from ear to ear watching and hearing her reactions.

She was a little Mayor McCheese, too, hanging out with all her school friends and hamming it up for whoever would listen. She's such a social little thing, and she makes me more social by default ... especially when I'm removing her from a picnic blanket and stopping her from sharing some random kid's lunch!

It was close to 11:00 by the time she got to sleep, and she was up this morning at 7:00, so I mandated a nap again today if she wanted to do anything this afternoon. We had breakfast at the bagel place, did a Target run and then O fell asleep in the car, as I drove her around, I got the email from Julia, so once both girls had a short nap, we hit the pool. Neither of my girls swim, so the pool in J's neihborhood is fab, with a great beach-type entry and splash area. One of my neighborhood pools has the zero-entry thing, too, but best I recall, it's just the way into the pool, not an area for plating, per se. Julia's neighborhood actually has a whole shallow 'pool' area that the beach entry leads to, where the water stays pretty shallow. Bean and O loved it.

I managed to hit the 7:00 bedtime I was striving for tonight, and after the hour-long struggle to get O to sleep, actually got the house cleaned up a bit, too. I've got a stressful week coming up at work, so I really need to get to bed myself. Send me good thoughts that I don't butt heads too hard with the boss or the officemate :)

Happy July 4th

It's been a day rife with Beanisms, so in addition to extending my wishes for a very happy July 4th to all, I'll spread the love and the smiles with some jems from my 4-year-old.

"I pooped in my panties at daddy's. I won't do that here because I care about you mommy."

"I like horses more than you could ever imagine."

"Thank you Earth from protecting us from dinosaurs. Thank you for bringing big rocks down and killing Tyrannosaurus."

"Look at how big (the corral) is and how many people are in it. We fitted in a lot of people. So everybody give yourself a hand."

Bean: "My favorite body parts are the heart and the tummy."
Mommy: "Why are those your favorite parts?"
Bean: "Because my heart cares about you and tummies grow babies. That's why I like them so much."
Simple as that.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Fourth!

Well, I sorta test well.

What a difference a teacher makes; Bean has been doing just amazing since the switch back to the Clownfish class. The almost compulsive nose-picking she had been doing has stopped, her behavior has improved and Miss Stephanie reports that if you just take a second to talk to her when she's upset, she's easy to reason with. Huh. What a novel idea - talk to the kid instead of belittling and humiliating her. Who'd have thought *that* was the solution?

(An aside: when Bean was doing her yoga at school the other day, she was in the gym with one other teacher and a bunch of kids. The evil bitca teacher showed up to assist - I watched as Bean's face shifted from joyous and smiling to this unsmiling, tense look. It. was. awful. Thankfully she looked up and saw me and I was smiling and waving and blowing kisses, so she recovered quickly. She might have recovered quickly even if I hadn't been there - she's a tough kid. But that instant shift from happy to sad was really hard to see.)

Yesterday when I dropped the girls off, Bean's teacher was all excited to tell me something, so I went and dropped O in her room and went back. Apparently during bean's nap refusal yesterday, Stephanie took her with her to go give another teacher a break. That teacher is new, so she had administered a Kindergarten 'here's what I know' type test to the kiddos in her class, just so she knew where the majority were, learning-wise. For shiggles, Stephanie gave Bean the test.

She totally nailed it, and then some.

Stephanie said "she blew me away!" Only thing she didn't nail was her address and phone number, but in her defense we've never told her that and she has two addresses and phone numbers. She had Dave's city and my subdivision, though :)

She can count to 99, identify numbers and letters, write her name, knows her left from right (which Stephanie was really wowed by, but seems kinda mundane to me), knows her colors, etc. The coolest part to me was the color part. There were like, what, 10 or so color names written in boxes, and the test goes something like: the teacher says the color and the kid selects the right color and puts a check in the box indicated. Stephanie had to get up before the last three were done, and she came back to find that Bean had put an orange check in the "orange" box. Here's how the subsequent conersation went:

Stephanie: did you put that check in the orange box?
Bean: Yes.
S: Why did you do that?
B: Because that box says orange.
S: How do you know?
B: Because orange starts with o and that word starts with o.
S: (pausing) and what about the other two (unchecked) boxes?
B: Well, (pointing to the pink box), that one says 'pink' and there's no pink marker. And that one (pointing to the white box) says white, and it's already white.
S: ... ... ...
It's already white. I *love* that. The deductive reasoning on the pink and orange boxes was awesome, but the comment on the white box is what blows me away.

Based on her testing, and the nice new teacher in the Blue Tang room, they'll be moving Bean up before the official August move-up the rest of the kids will be doing. She'll be going to the 4-4.5 year old room Monday, I believe, to see if that's a good fit for her. Honestly, though, her being with a good teacher is far more important to me than her being in an age-appropriate room, if that makes sense? The raving bitca that was in Manta Ray would never have thought that Bean was smart and perhaps acting out because she was bored (Miss Stephanie's theory), so Bean being with her peers wasn't all that helpful to her in that case.

I'll now be spending my free time smartening up so that I can keep up with my big girl :)

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