Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Babo vs. The Sharpie

About a week ago, I woke up to find that Harrison had obtained my black sharpie permanent marker. Immediately I took it away and figured whatever artwork he had created would surface quickly, so I didn't frantically search the house for the damage.

I was right. Before the morning was over, Harrison handed me his newly tattooed best friend, Babo. Appeared Harrison was applying for the latest episode of "Miami Ink" and I doubt Babo had much of a say in the location or size of his tats, which in my opinion, look like Babo now has a mustache and hairy chest. Get in a fight with a sharpie and it'll put hair on your chest. Harrharrharr.

"Babo dirty. Babo need bath." Harrison demanded. Hard to explain the permanence of what he had done considering every other time Babo was dirty, I could give him a washing machine spin and he'd be an acceptable sleeping companion again. Not this time. Jason even tried to wipe him with a baby wipe, which only succeeded in smearing the ink into a dark grey tint all around the original markings. He looks worse. Either Jason did not anticipate the wipe would do that or he was attempting to show Harrison that Babo could not be fixed this time. I'll assume it was the latter. Harrison has continued to declare Babo dirty, but has accepted him nonetheless into bed. His markings do disappear in the dark.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Harrison's Happy Place

Harrison has already lost interest in going "potty." Most of the time I catch him grunting before I grab him, legs dangling, to rush him to the bathroom, strip him of his drawers and sit him down. All the while he is yelling, "no, no, no go potty" and I am lecturing him about his (my?) need for him to use the toilet.

Since most of the time I am in the middle of something while we're going through this ritual, once he's seated, I leave him for a few minutes to attend to my existing work in progress. When I've come back to get Harrison, to check on him, here's what I've walked into the last three times:

Time 1: Harrison has unrolled an entire roll of toilet paper and it is now in a very large cloud like mound on the floor. I spend 5 minutes of my life (wasted) rerolling the toilet paper and yelling at Harrison.

Time 2: Harrison has taken only a couple of toilet paper squares (good boy - who says yelling doesn't help?) and has apparently hand dunked it in the toilet water and is now wiping his penis clean. "You just had a bath," I whine in frustration to him.

Time 3: Harrison is off the toilet, but has gotten a hold of my clorox cleaning wipes and is yanking them out of the container and dropping them in the toilet, one by one. I could only thank him for insisting on following through with his project so I had time to catch him BEFORE he attempted to flush them.

Yes, I've learned my lesson. He cannot be left alone on the potty. Who knew such an everyday task could be so entertaining?

The Teacher Knows Too Much About The Lawrence Family

Its 10:46 and I had to get my pictures from my camera to document Jake's first day as a Kindergartner at Cheri Cox Elementary School.

He had a great day! Made new friends. Reconnected with a couple of familiar faces from his days at Bearfoot Lodge. He got to see the biggest gym he ever saw and use his brand new lunch box, wear his new shoes and clothes and show off his brain skills to his new teacher, Mrs. Frame.

Mrs. Frame, it turns out, lives right behind us. I was pretty eager to share with her that we are closer than "just in the neighborhood", but didn't think about our affinity for late night/early morning pool parties that may have pissed her and her family off from time to time. Yikes! She was nice enough to only acknowledge seeing our tiki torches. Perhaps I should have cleared the slate by thanking her for not calling Sachse PD on us.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Jason's Quote of the Day

"Honey, I like you. You're a pain in the ass, but I kind of like that. You're not boring."

-The last thing Jason said to me before bed last night. I almost cried.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Retail Pet Peeve

I'm in marketing. I am fairly educated about layout, placement and retail tricks when it comes to selling merchandise. For the most part it all makes sense.

For example, grocery stores put the milk and eggs (staples) at the BACK of the store. Why? Because then you have to walk through the store to get to them and it makes you more inclined to make other impromptu purchases. Genius.

What doesn't make sense to me is this: at womens' clothing stores, shirts on mannequins are pinned at the back, making them appear to have a form fitting cut. Why? Women do not pin their shirts at the back when they wear them. You don't even need to try the shirt on to find out it doesn't fit on you the way it does on the mannequin. All you need to do is carefully (so as not to piss the employee off who is standing there glaring at you with her cart as she neatly re-folds the destroyed stacks of shirts) remove said shirt and hold it up to determine the mannequin is LYING!

Why? Why? Why do they do that? Does it really work to sell clothes? Doesn't work on me. It just pisses me off. If the retailer wants the shirt to fit that way, it should be designed and created that way, shouldn't it?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Is Daddy A Calvin Klein Model?

Sunday at 4:00, Laura and I braved the herd at the Allen Outlet Mall during the last three hours of the tax free weekend. Mostly shopping for ourselves, we quickly scanned the GAP, Banana Republic, Kenneth Cole, Nine West, Guess, a couple of kids' clothing stores and Calvin Klein.

Laura found some $50 jeans that she had to have after trying them on in front of what she called a "skinny mirror" in the fitting room. Since I verified they did, in fact, make her look skinny (she's not fat to begin with), she splurged on a purchase she said she hadn't made since Bailey was born five years ago.

I wasn't in the mood to splurge, but did find a 3 pack of tighty whities for Jason, packaged all nice and neat in a plastic package with a frontside (from the chin down) and backside (from the neck down) picture of a very muscular and tanned model, almost seeming to say, "if you buy these underwear, you will look like me." Its the same psychological crap that occurs when I'm looking through a Victoria's Secret catalog. If I buy these string bikinis, I will look just like her. It worked. I bought two of them and to my disappointment, I still look like me.

Anyway, that night as we were standing in the kitchen while the boys ate their yogurt at the bar, Jason pulled the underwear package out of the bag. He looks at it and then showing the backside picture of the model to the boys, he says, "Hey, guys, does this look like Daddy?" They swallow their yogurt and while looking at each other agree that sure, that looks like Daddy.

Then Jason flips the package over and in a repeat performance, says, "Ok, guys, does this look like Daddy?" This time they hesitate, look at each other and while Jake shakes his head "no", Harrison says, "It looks like Luke."

Jason's shoulder's dropped, he rolled his eyes and quickly stuffed the package back in the bag.

Side note: Luke is our single Marine neighbor who lives across the street and while we're certain he's in great shape from his Iraq training, he does not moonlight as an underwear model.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Victoria's Secret

Got a Victoria's Secret catalog in the mail the other day.

Side Note: Incidentally, I got one today, too. VS apparently hasn't caught onto the "green" movement of conserving trees, paper, recycling and all of that. But who can think about recycling when there are pages after pages of hot girls in their underwear? I suppose I need to put a deadline of about five years from now to stop ordering from their website and catalog or my sons will begin to intercept the mail and I'll find my catalogs ragged and dog eared while changing their sheets on Saturday mornings.

Ok, I've digressed. Back to the subject at hand. VS has their "pink" line. Most of you know what that is - sweats, cotton skivvies, t-shirts, that sort of thing. For the most part, I prefer the comfort of the cotton, so I dig this line. Like most men, Jason prefers whatever is most uncomfortable......which usually includes lace, mesh, strings and/or thongs. Yuck. Honestly, some of you may shudder to read this, but I don't dress "under there" for Jason. I dress for comfort and will even wear things I know he will hate just to get a disappointed rise out of him. Oh, the games we play. :)

While perusing the latest catalog, (before the one I got today), I found the perfect underwear......boy underwear! Woo-hoo! Boy/Men's underwear is soooooo comfortable. Its thick and roomy and almost feels like sweats for your buns. Yum. The best part is they are part of VS' pink line so they come in super cute colors and patterns AND they are low rise, so they'll fit perfectly under all of my low rise pants/jeans without peeking through the top everytime I sit down. I showed them to Jason and shockingly he did his crotch grab while bouncing up and down and whining "oh dear", so I knew he approved. (They won't be fun for my "torchure Jason with ugly underwear game" though.) When I told them they looked like little boy underwear, he composed himself and suddenly decided he didn't like them so much. Liking little boy underwear, even on a girl, he decided, made him sound like a perv. Woo-hoo - the game is back on!

Excited to make purchase at 5 for $25, I went the next day to the VS down the road only to find they had every stinking style of the pink line EXCEPT my "extreme low rise boy brief"! So sad. Now I have to order them and wait for super cottony softness on my bum for two more weeks.

Monday, August 13, 2007

To Work or Not To Work, That is The Question

When I left FFSS, I knew three things: (1) I was going to have the boys all day (which was terrifying, to say the least-would we survive?), (2) I was going to continue my involvement with the American Marketing Association (AMA) and (3) I was going to finish school.

What I didn't know was when I would consider going back to work.

When I'm home with the boys I am happy to play with them, do a few domestic chores and can wear jammies, sweats, shorts or whatever. I have no schedule. Don't particularly have anywhere to be and I enjoy being moderately lazy.....or as lazy as one CAN be with two small children.

Then I get invited to a lunch meeting or attend a networking event through the AMA and I am quickly drawn back into the corporate America mode that makes me crave stylish suits, strategy conversations and scheduled meetings.

You would think its the paycheck I miss most, but similar to my fanatical desire to go back to school, I actually miss working. I do not miss where I was. I miss the possibility of where I could go. New atmospheres, new people, new potential, new challenges and all with the hope that new = fun, motivational and inspiring. (Not to mention flexible with the whole work/life balance situation.)

The question still remains, "when will I be ready to go back to work", but I doubt it is so much a question of "when will I be ready" as it is a question of "when will the right job come along?"

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Is there a pill for this?

I need help. Its only been 8 hours, but I can see the signs. I didn't get out of my jammies until 1:30 this afternoon. No one has to ask where I am because they go straight to the computer. There are three empty glasses sitting on my desk with an abandoned toy and both of the telephone handsets.

My name is Cori and I am addicted to LinkedIn. Just by adding 17 of the right people to my first level network, I now have more than 40,000. Wow! Its going to take me a while to get through those people, send my personal "welcome" email and request recommendations. So, I can't stop. I'm just getting started.

Anyone else addicted? Want to create a support group? I'll add you to my network.

Linked In

I received an invitation to join someone's network today and decided to go ahead and not only accept the invitation, but also dig deep in my archived emails for the other invitations I received and ignored. Sorry.

So I'm caught up and even went in and updated my profile, gave my profile a snazzy URL address and attempted to put the button to my profile on my blog homepage. As you can see the button is there, but its not linking up properly to my profile.

So, I know you're biting your fingernails in anticipation, but I'm going to label it "under construction" for now until the Linked In people can straighten me out.

In the meantime, if you have gotten down to your nubs and just can't take it any longer, the following link should work to Cori's LinkedIn Profile.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Up Up and Away

The time 6pm. Jason just got home from work. I am in the back yard watching the boys while they swim. Occasionally they get out of the pool, grab their inflatable donut shaped tubes, pull them up around their waist and jump in together from the side. I love having the pool. Makes 104 degree heat indexes not worth complaining about.

Jason puts some weenies on the grill. Inside I've got mac and cheese and broccoli ready to join the hot dogs on a plate. We eat al fresco while Jason grumbles about the bills that arrived today. (Why couldn't he wait until later to do that?)

Harrison finishes his dinner first and says he wants to go swimming again. I get him out of his seat and grab his life vest. Jason gets up to pull the vacuum out of the pool. Harrison is in front of me by about 18 inches and close to the edge. He looks like he's going to jump, but surely he won't because he doesn't have his life vest on and he's just being naughty, but "splash", oh yes, he jumped. I fell to the ground to reach in after him in an attempt to grab him before he sunk too low. Jason, fully clothed from work including his shoes, jumped in after him and immediately pulled him out. Harrison didn't even cough, but the look on his face said he knew he did something he shouldn't have. Could have been that his daddy holding him was still wearing his jeans and shoes was an indicator that perhaps big H shouldn't have taken that leap.

Jason handed Harrison to me, I wrapped him in a towel, knelt down in front of him and calmly told him he scared me and that he should never jump in the pool without his life jacket on. With his big brown, sad puppy dog eyes he said, "ok" and gave me a hug. Then I kissed him and put his life jacket on.

What's Wrong With Boys?

I would say about twice a week now I run into someone who, in casual conversation, asks me if I'm going to try to have a girl.

Heaven help the next person who asks me that question.

I am perfectly happy, no, let me say, thrilled, with having two boys. Here's my list, as if I have to justify my feelings on the subject:

  1. I am not a girlie girl to begin with.
  2. I don't have to pretend to be a lady and set a good example for how my daughter should behave.
  3. I can burb and fart, even at the dinner table, and not get mad when the boys do.
  4. Boys are cheaper.
  5. Boys don't have to be dressed in shoes that match their shorts that match their hair bows that match their earrings, etc.
  6. Two boys can share toys and clothes.
  7. Boys aren't as emotional (usually).
  8. I'm a pretty hard disciplinarian. Don't know how a girl would handle that.
  9. Boys can share a room and the bath tub.
  10. I can only tolerate pink in very small quantities.
  11. I don't like to do my own hair, let alone a little girl's. Sometimes I don't brush the boys' hair for days and you'd never know.
  12. I would rather play cars, dinosaurs and rough house any day of the week than play ponies, barbies or house.
I'm sure I'll come up with more reasons later and maybe then I'll add to the list, but for now, I think this will do. I love having boys. They suit my personality better and they are great brothers. Wouldn't trade them or add to them for a thing.

My Hell Defined

I've been home with the boys for nearly 4 months now, and honestly, I'm still digging it. Especially to be home with them in the summer where we spend most of our time in the pool. I'm in better shape from my daily gym visits. Harrison's speech has improved greatly and although I wouldn't say the house has benefited much from my increased time at home, Jason doesn't gripe at me when things aren't perfect or he's run out of underwear. We're having fun and I'm looking forward to Jake's first day of school in less than three weeks.

What I have noticed the past 4 months is how everytime I take the boys somewhere where there are other kids playing, its obviously like a huge "Mommy and Me" hang out. Some moms alone watching their kids. Some moms in groups gossiping or comparing notes about who's kid did blah blah blah. Inevitably a mom will try to strike up conversation with me, which almost always starts out with, "which one is yours?" Ten minutes later I'm itching for a graceful exit, like, "oh, I think Harrison has shit his pants again, so I gotta run." I don't dig the mommy and me thing. I'm not there to build my mommy network and although I'm sure they are very very nice ladies and their kids perfect angels, I actually almost prefer to hang out with adults who don't have kids. Because, get this, I don't like to talk about my kids all day long. I love them and I think that's what I have my own Mother for. She's supposed to hear about the kids and act like she cares how many times Harrison pooped in the potty today. I have no interest boring my friends with that stuff and for the most part I don't want to pretend I care about a stranger's kids and their personality quirks or how old they are or trying to organize a play date.

Who came up with the term "play date?" Two completely fun words put together are now ruined with images of diapered toddlers with cracker crumbs on their face screaming for the toy they weren't playing with, but were looking at and someone else grabbed, while mommies are gabbing and mentally comparing how fantastic their own kid looks, smells, behaves, whatever next to all of the other kids in the group.

Mommy and Me. Play dates. That is my hell.

This staying home thing is a temporary pit stop on my way to the next stage in my career. At the latest when Harrison starts school, I will be suiting it back up and out the door with the other commuters, their coffee mugs and bluetooth conference calls at 8am.

I am lucky to have this option available to me, however temporary it might be.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Hey, what did you mean by that?

Laura and I had the kids at a public pool last weekend. We found two chaise lounges, side by side, got life jackets on the kids, unloaded toys and settled in with a magazine to peruse while the kids played.
The kids played great, each jumped off the side pretending it was a diving board, they played squirt guns. Well, Bailey and Jake played squirt guns while I calmed Harrison down assuring him he would get a turn since there were only two guns for three kids. Occasionally Laura or I would have to remind the kids not to run, but for the most part it was enjoyable.
After about 30 minutes a lady and her companion walked by us as she said, "we were just noticing how calm you both are." Immediately defensive, I said, "is that a good or a bad thing?" She continued to walk away as she said, "I just don't know how calm I would be with such little ones around the pool." I wanted to chase her, pin her down and while performing the chinese water torchure on her forehead, demand to know how she could dare call us "calm"! We are just as high strung as the next parent. Dammit. I can worry about my kids too. Hover over them and wipe their faces with a dry cloth every time they reemerged from the water. Hold their hands as they walk from one end of the pool to the other. Put five layers of towels all along the edge of the pool in case they banged their heads. She probably invented that vinyl padding you can buy for the edges of your coffee table to cushion "little headie weadies from getting hurtie wurtie."
Laura and I stewed over that comment all the way home, since she probably didn't mean it as a compliment, but we justified our "calmness" by knowing that our kids swim nearly every day and we're quite comfortable with their pool playing abilities.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

My house is a mess because this book is great!

As soon as I clicked the "submit for grade" button during my final exam last Saturday, I was itching to find a book to read that was just for fun. Preferably something light, easy to read and with some humor thrown in here and there for added brainless entertainment.

While perusing the paperback book section of my local Target Supercenter*, I found Possible Side Effects by Augusten Burroughs. Augusten Burroughs is the same author of the book and movie, Running With Scissors, which I thought was kind of a dark comedy, but still had comedy in it, so going for familiarity, I chose this latest novel, created from Augusten's memoirs. "Memoirs" sounds somewhat literatureish and less mindless, so I took an $11 risk and have loved the book. It is actually pretty laugh out loud funny and I have to wonder how he remembers these life events with such clarity and detail or does he draw a mental outline and use made up details as filler? Real or filler, I've enjoyed it and highly recommend it if you want to be entertained when you read without needing your brain to be turned on at all.

*I prefer Target 100% for book shopping to Barnes and Noble, Borders or Half Price Books because the selection is limiting and I can find something without spinning in circles, arguing with myself over the price and usually can avoid banging my head in frustration over all of the choices. I hate having too many choices for things. I prefer the "one size fits all" category. Easy. Mindless.