You Know You're Tired When

It has been nearly 6 weeks of 7 days/week duty. The soldiers are tired, the natives restless, and Chief Bread Winner is cranky, as is his overworked, suddenly snippy partner, Long in the Face & Chest.
I don't know how, or if, I ever mentally prepared myself for the life John proposed when he began this weekend business in addition to his 5 days/week career. But, having survived the past 6 weeks (barely), I can quite honestly call to mind happier, more carefree days exactly 6 weeks ago. We certainly did not relish in our weekend family time enough.
The past two days have been particularly taxing on us girls. We've ridden the Disneyland wave, lassoed the Bottle Fairy into submission and now we are standing on the brink of anticipation, searching the distant horizon for the next entertaining phenomenon to wash over us. Am I sinking? Did I position the mountainous climax of our summer too soon in this journey? We're slip sliding downhill fast with the heaviest work season soon approaching. It's sure to get terribly worse before things improve. Momma needs to pull a rabbit out of her hat, or a battery powered Pink Barbie Corvette out of her car. Whateva!
Returning home from a jam packed, 5 hour playdate at the park and the beach, we returned home for snack and then mommy needed mommy time. I plugged in my children to the Barbie Rapunzel DVD, set up paints for Shelby and pulled down a basket of entertainment for Ana. The moment their eyes showed the slightest signs of glazing over, I slipped out the back door to play the piano (something else you may not know about me). Auughh, silence is golden. Not five minutes passed before I was joined by Shelby pounding out her duet on the upper register. THIS-IS-MOMMY-TIME. Ana crawled into the room, under, the piano and managed to lift herself into a standing position before realizing she couldn't actually stand up beneath the piano. So she gripped the bench with both hands, stiffened her tiny body into plank position and pressed her head forcefully against the underbelly of my piano while simultaneously shrieking her best prehistoric pterodactyl scream. Augh, glorious mommy time. ..
I closed my eyes and searched inside my pounding head for a happy place in which to fling my withered self but nothing came to mind.
"Alright already!" I said, dislodging my shrieking baby from beneath the piano and giving Shelby the most serious glare I could muster.
"Mommy, can I have some milk, please?"
"If it will buy me three more minutes of peace and quiet, then yes," I muttered, stomping off toward the kitchen with Ana clamped around my middle.
Awkward as it was, I leaned down to reach a cup from the "kids' drawer" while shifting Ana toward my back to maintain balance with my other arm. Spinning around, I slung open the fridge and caught the door with my foot. Ana was pulling my hair and pressing her fingernails (those need to be clipped) into my lip. I could hear Shelby yelling, "Mommmmyyyyy! Milk pleeeeeaasseeee!!" at the top of her lungs.
When the glass was half full (exhibit: my last strand of optimism=The Glass Is Half Full), I screwed the cap back on the milk, again one-handed, and turned to face the still open fridge. I then dislodged Ana from my hip and moved toward the refrigerator to deposit my infant onto the bottom shelf (next to the orange juice, beneath the eggs) and sling the milk carton onto my hip. WHOAH!!!!
What is happening to me? Where's the Calgon (or the Men in White Coats)? Take me away!!!


Cruel Cruel Child

John came home early last night (Amazing!) and was anxious to continue digging a trench in our backyard for a future plumbing project. Knowing that supervision in our living room was helpful to me as I made dinner, he grabbed a change of clothes and quickly returned to the living room to change. Pulling off his dress shirt and turning to grab his grubby T-Shirt, Shelby cam bouncing by and patted his stomach.
"Daddy, are you having a baby?"

GeriAtric & The Directions

I spent last Friday driving the back roads of the Sequoia National Forest only to realize I was lost. Really lost. When the road narrowed to a lightly paved one lane and the yellow lines disappeared I knew I wasn't in Kansas anymore, Toto. Damn! No cel phone service! I passed disheveled falling down trailer compound followed by welcome junkyard arranged in front of rotting old trailer, until finally I saw a single, old man emerge from an old trailer (with a small, rusty junkyard garden). BINGO! How creepy could Geri Atric be?
"Hi!" I yelled as I pulled my car into his driveway. He's not wielding an axe and he's smiling, so far so good. "Am I anywhere near Huntington Lake?"
Okay, he's not answering but he keeps shuffling closer to my car. Car is still running.
"You're a long way from there, babe," he cackled as he rested BOTH hands on my open window. "Now, where'd you come from?"
I wasn't listening at this point because I was too focused on his rotting smile, a gap of black where his two front teeth used to be, and the fact that I should have left my car in reverse in case I needed to make a break for it. His Whiskey breath told me to be on guard.
I smiled my best, I'll-run-you-over-if-you-try-anything-old-man-smile, and said, "Visalia."
The sun glistened on his spotted, bare scalp and he leaned a little closer before starting in with, "Ya know, honey, I graduated from The College of the Sequoias in Visalia. Let's see...it was 1957. And then," I couldn't believe how much my hands were shaking as he launched into a whole life story of what he did with his Jr. College Degree and the last 50 years.
"And then, I ended up right here in my little piece of heaven," he gestured like a bald, decomposed version of Vanna White's grandmother.
I cannot believe my luck.
In an attempt to bring him back to the dire topic at hand without yelling, "I'M LOST, GERI! JUST TELL ME HOW TO GET OUT OF THIS HELL HOLE!" I instead, chose the following response, "So, um, which way do I go to Huntington Lake?"
He leaned in even closer (this put half of the old man inside my car) and patted my thigh. OMG!!! Stomp on the gas-no, remain calm-he's verbally complimenting my smile while, (eewwww) visually assaulting my chest. Gotta go, Geri, NOW!
Turns out, I was another hour from my destination. Later, I realized I had driven within miles of Huntington Lake when my Mapquest directions suggested I veer a slight right onto Road 200. That's when I took the Trailer Home Tour, circling around several mountain ranges near Yosemite.
With no cel service AND no map in my car I arrived at two solid conclusions: This isn't the first time Mapquest has wronged me, so, #1 "Mapquest, YOU'RE FIRED!" And #2, I need a good old fashioned road map for my future travels.
And if this F$#*&ing Princess CD plays one more time in my car I'm going to snap my tiara in half!!!! A-a-a-a-aaauuuugghhhh (high pitched Snow White Singing). iPod, take me away!


Disney Do's & Don'ts

Disneyland Hotels: I really enjoyed the convenience of the Paradise Pier Hotel with a 3 year old and a 10 month old. The less than 10 minute trip from park to our hotel room made everyone more relaxed and less like marooned crazy people on Tom Sawyer's Island. The Monorail itself is considered an attraction and the turnaround time is pretty quick. The longest we waited to get on the train was 10 minutes and the trip itself is a fast 5 minutes of park scenery. The walk from the station to the Paradise Pier is about a quarter of a mile (5 minutes with kids) and it is well lit and no traffic. The hotel room itself was overpriced for the outdated interior (we paid $270/nt) but the staff is amazing and the breakfast with Lilo & Stitch (and other characters) in the hotel restaurant was well worth the price (not included in hotel room)-Highly Recommend! We walked through Disney's Grand California and the lobby is unbelievable (at $400/nt in July, this was NOT happening for our fam) and the location for proximity to California Adventure cannot be beat. You literally walk out the back door of the lobby and into the theme park! WOW! When the girls are a few years older, this will definitely be on the To Do list. All this being said, we are already planning a return trip for one day at Disneyland and I intend to bypass the Disney hotels to save a buck. I've had the experience and loved it, but this next time I'll save a few bucks.
Fantasmic: An absolute Do for any child who enjoys theater, fireworks, water shows, and all things Disney. The first show is at 9 and we settled into a spot on a trashcan overlooking the stage where Shelby could sit on top of it with an unobstructed view. The area fills up about 10 minutes before the show so grab your spot at least 15 minutes prior to show time. Once there, I left the fam and headed to the French Market (directly behind us) for a To Go dinner of BBQ Chicken and masked potatoes. The food was better than decent but you have to ask for To Go boxes and then steal their silverware b/c they don't have plastic. We ate dinner while watching the show. Rumor has it that to the left of French Market(looking at it from outside) is a secret restaurant (unlisted on maps or internet) called the Orleans (I think) with blue and white striped awnings. You must call ahead for Preferred Seating and the patio seating is primo for Fantasmic; the food is rumored to be awesome, as well! If your little ones are sensitive, rent, borrow and watch the movie "A Day At Disneyland". Humorously outdated and a good way to build prior knowledge for first timers (also shows the scary dragon in Fantasmic so they know what to expect).
Early Entry: Another reason to book a Disney Hotel. Hotel guests are given a free early entry pass-7 a.m., a full hour before the park even opens to the public! This is really cool if you didn't try to drag your kiddos to 9 pm Fantasmic and the 9:25 Fireworks show the night before. Even if you get there at 8 (which we did), the park is completely empty for the first three hours of every morning.
I'm positive I have not yet exhausted this topic, but I have exhausted myself so I will come back to this blog entry another day. Goodnight.