Christmas 2005

My scream had a lot of explicative phrases not appropriate for a Christmas Letter.

So on or about April 28th, I was sharing with a friend on the telephone that I had this parenting thing under control (not really, but I was trying to sound convincing even with Jack home sick from school that day). Then, I heard the sound of rushing water. It was loud, and I’m partially deaf. I was sitting outside on the back porch.

Long story short, Jack was re-enacting the scene from Home Alone where the “water bandits” flood people’s homes by leaving the water running. He did this in my bathroom sink. Water pooled into my cabinets, then rushed all over the hardwood floors upstairs, and then found its way into the pocket doors and then came with all of the fury of a fire hose downstairs through all of my recessed lights in the ceiling. The sound I heard was 300 gallons of water plummeting onto my downstairs floors where it continued to reap havoc and destruction like only we know how to endure.

My scream had a lot of explicatives not appropriate for Christmas, but also left me speechless and numb. Jack knew he was in big trouble. Home Alone’s DVD went immediately in the trash and Jack hid under his covers. After the dry out, we spent the summer at the beach while the repairs were completed. We are not favorites of insurance companies.

This story still isn’t over though, seems there was still moisture in the walls when they replaced the floors, so warping continues, the movers will arrive mid-January, empty the house again, and we’ll be relocated for a week to Disney while floor repair continues….What doesn’t kill us makes for one hell of a hangover.….

Mignonne is 19 months old and is doing her best to keep up with Jack and Ashton. I have a feeling that she’s not going to be a ballerina, but that’s okay, neither was I. I happily encourage her becoming a track star, as John has dreams of her being a beach volleyball player. Currently, she’s no swimsuit model, but what do you expect when her father is 6’7” tall. Mignonne is becoming more beautiful every day and has a lot to say, even if I have no clue what it is. She likes eating markers, crayons, sand and dog food, which I am certain are all high in carbohydrate.

Ashton and Baby Dog enrolled at St. Paul’s pre-school (for 3 year olds). I personally think they would both prefer to be enrolled in Dog Obedience school, but that is only because Baby Dog remains his best friend and is now our fourth child and is right there with the American Express Card and Diapers on the not leaving home without it list. Ashton continues to bark when he gets in trouble. He’s my mischievous child. It’s hard not to laugh, and he knows it, so then he adds a growl for good measure. Diet wise, he’s existing on gushers, raisins, and Cheetoes. Our Doctor ensures me that he won’t die if he goes to bed hungry from not eating his dinner that I’ve cooked, but the guilt that I feel when Ashton does the “bad mommy”, oh, that heads me right for the wine, which I’ve developed quite a taste for the good stuff though my motherhood experience.

Jack graduated from the beige diet this summer and started Independent Day School’s Kindergarten Class in the fall and is in love with school and claims Emma Bernstein is his sweet baboo and blushes at the mere thought of her. He quizzes me daily for a quick response to math problems, and believes that I am the smartest person in the world because I can add, subtract, and count by any multiple requested. Jack has picked up reading, and coloring within the lines, although his report card stated that he was lacking in scissor usage. Oh, the deficiencies of a 5 year old with siblings that use school supplies as food or weapons. I hope one day Jack will forgive me if this is the cause for him not getting the full ride at Harvard, but with three little one’s five and under, it’s a major accomplishment to get them dressed and fed in the morning along with a coat, if needed.

Let’s be honest, my scissor skills are lacking too, but that’s because my own parents refused to let me near sharp objects.

Lille the dog continues to enjoy the benefits of scrap foods, and swiped peanut butter sandwiches, but her personal favorite continues to be Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Her hobbies include a daily “run off” only to be returned by a neighbor. She doesn’t come when I call her, so I’ve stopped, and graciously thank my neighbors for her return and God that we had her spayed. She’s the teenager of the family. We’ve tried the electric fence method, but after a short gone wrong in her collar, Lille was getting shocked in her cage while in the house (locked up with nowhere to run might I add) and ended of peeing all over the house from the mere stress of it all as my punishment for cruelty. Run Lille Run!

Every year I say, “John is still at The Firm”, and this year is no exception. He loves what he does, and it’s his home. His year has been very busy. We went to New York, Las Vegas, and North Carolina, all which were work-related much needed breaks from our brood. John has also had two hernia surgeries as well this year, probably from picking up our three kids at the same time. In between work and his endless list of honey-dos, he’s gotten time to play golf regularly.

As for me, I’ve gotten back into playing tennis after a 12 year hiatus and have a secret game of racing neighbors on the school drop off route. It’s a great way to spend the 5 minute drive, and the boys really cheer me on.

Mini-van vs. the Rolls-Royce is the favorite! My house arrest continues for the fifth year (Martha had it easy!), but hopefully by next Christmas, my freedom will have begun. The light at the end of the dark tunnel is getting brighter; Mignonne hopefully will enroll in pre-school for the fall for a few mornings a week…

The Hurricane Season spared Tampa this year, and we were fortunate enough to be able to help our family and friends affected by the storm from New Orleans. John’s sister, Nicole, remains living with us, and our best friends, The H’s and The C’s relocated to Florida so the unfortunate brought the fortune of good friends and family to us that we left in New Orleans.

Survival While Vacationing with A Rat

My nanny has gone MIA.  I’m a smart girl.  I know she quit.

Our vacations now, and for the next three years consist of including a big eared rat and his girlfriend. We’ve got our annual passes, and it’s the only place we can take the kids that doesn’t involve screaming. There is a new show out in the states, called “Desperate Housewives”. It’s the new Sex and the City, but this time the women are married. They will eventually get it to London I’m sure, and when you finally get to see it, I’m the chick with all the kids…Oi veh. My freaking nanny has gone MIA, and I know she isn’t in Asia, since she worked for me on New Year’s, but she’s gone missing, and she’s not returning my phone calls. I’m a smart girl, she quit. I have a hair appointment tomorrow, and unless my mother gets back from New Orleans and agrees to watch three of them, my roots are going to show until I can sucker someone else into watching them. Having beautiful hair is very expensive, especially when you have the pay someone $50 just so you can get your hair dyed.

So, we’re gearing up to send Jack to Kindergarten next fall, we’ve decided against sending him to “public” school (free), and so now are going to send him to a private school (where Willy Wonka meets education) and it’s going to be a mere 8K! For Kindergarten!!!!! Fuck, So, I guess the nanny quitting covers this ridiculous expense and I can keep the maid. I want to fire her too, but her son has all of these medical issues. It would shatter her, so she comes every week, even though I’m neurotic and my house is already clean and sanitized by the time she gets here. I think she just moves things around on my dresser, she’s upstairs for 4 hours, and I swear my house looks like a model home by the time she enters the building.

Laundry is another story, it’s coming out my eyeballs, but she doesn’t do the laundry because she ruins things (I prefer to ruin my things myself), so there you go. I don’t know what she’s doing…

There is a light at the end of my tunnel this month, and I’m in a more optimistic mood. Mignonne is nearly 11 months old and I’m getting it under control now.

I fired the maid, and gave the nanny more hours! It’s quite an accomplishment, especially with the three kids out of my hair and playing outside I can get a lot done around the house.

We’ve had quite a busy first part of 2005, Jack is having playdates with friends that I don’t have to chaperone, Ashton is self sufficient in the bathroom, and Mignonne knows how to crawl, although due to her size, she’s more like a seal in her movements.

We’ve been to DISNEY A LOT! My annual passes guarantee that we have a day where EVERYONE is happy. It’s an hour and fifteen minutes door to door, so going for a weekend isn’t out of the question. Jack and Ashton both recite the play by play of what rides we’ll go on and parks we’ll visit in order, and then it’s mandatory that we stick to the schedule. We’ve discovered that they serve BEER at MGM, so R and I immediately head to the beer stand and then gladly sit in a playground area while the boys knock their socks off. It sounds stressful, but with three kids 4 and under, it turns out to be an enjoyable day/weekend. We’ve been going once a month over the weekend.We’re having excellent weather, so the kids spend the better part of the day playing in the yard, or on the driveway riding their bikes. Mignonne keeps right up with them, and is probably going to be a great social butterfly by the time this phase is over.

Jack has taken a keen interest in Tennis (thank goodness), and I’ve bought both of the boys racquets and we practice in the driveway. I feed them balls and they swing! We’ve hit the dog, the car, the house, and “almost” cars going by…I have great hopes and thanks that the soccer career is OVER. Once we have basic form, we’ll progress to the courts, but for now, it’s manageable, and I don’t want to produce “burnout”.

That’s it for Suburban Martyr’s update. The minivan is leaking oil, and I swear I will never buy another Chrysler again. I’m counting the months until I can donate the bugger to the Salvation Army! It’s a 3 year old WORTHLESS hunk of crap with 24K miles. I’m hoping once it’s paid off we can bring it to one of those places that GUARANTEES 6K in your trade, no matter the condition. Maybe someone will steal it, but we don’t live in that type of neighborhood.

Tantric Sex with Sting

It’s 9:34 and John is WAY to tired to keep his eyes open…

In real coherent life, I fear my children walking in on me having an orgasm.

“Mommy, are you there?”


“I had a bad dream”

“Oh honey….”

“Can I come sleep with you”

“I’m C.O.M.I.N.G….”

Enjoyment of sex just doesn’t work when my one good ear is listening for a four year old visitor to arrive at the foot of the bed. Having John just start the evening bedtime routine with making our couch in our room for the arrival of nighttime visitors, really puts a damper on the “when I get that feeling” type of mood. John can pretty much forget it. Clap his hands and turn me off.

One thing for me that is a complete “you’ve got to be kidding me” is the unusual treat when I am finally done with my daily activities and I am sprawled out on the sofa enjoying watching a show on television. The kids are finally quiet and assured to be in deep sleep. By 9:34 John is announcing that he’s WAY too tired to keep his eyes open, and just can’t hang on any longer so he’s going to go on up and go to bed, and can I let out the dog? So I lay there knowing what is to come, it ALWAYS does. Frustrated with the farce that is John’s exhaustion, I remain watching my program. On time, and really reliable, at my 10:00 bedtime, I let out Lille, go back inside to do one last straighten up a bit downstairs, and go back outside to call the damn dog that is now half-way up the street before heading to bed myself. I’m certain my neighbors use my calling as their own bedtime alarm, but I’m too embarrassed to care.

The lights are off upstairs and it’s completely dark in our bedroom, phew. I go into the bathroom, brush my teeth, wash my face and then blindly guide myself to my side of the bed, slip off my ballet slippers and tuck myself into the covers. BOOM…showtime. “What? Are you freaking kidding me?” Then my favorite line of all time, “it will help me sleep.” Hey, here’s one for you, John How about staying up an extra hour?

What happened to my sex kitten within? Since becoming a mother, I had stopped seeing myself as a sexual being. That’s probably because I typically had someone feeding off of me about 6 hours a day. Or, could it be that I see myself wiping ass and genitialia all day long, the last thing I want to see is my husband’s. Dr. Phil would say there was something deeper, but the truth is…I am lost.

Who was I? I remember how I was in my 20s. Since turning thirty and having three children, I can no longer keep track of how old I am. The only things that I had to let me know that several years have passed were the crows feet multiplying around my eyes and the triple set of stretch marks achieved with each child at key locations around my ass and mid-section. Gravity pulled the fat from my boobs to my stomach and regardless of the amount of starvation that I put my body through, skin and scar tissue had just taken up residence around my c-section scar and built a golf course community. Besides a tummy tuck and major skin grafting, there doesn’t appear to be much hope with ever getting it back to a Playboy potential.

Sex on, Lights off.

Beating Down vs. Putting Out

Lille peed on the floor and took a dump in the corner for spite.

It’s not that I didn’t once enjoy sex. In fact, back in the day b.k. (before kids) , if my memory serves me correctly, I looked forward to it. If I remove the numbness that is my libido, I remember that I couldn’t get home from work or a trip fast enough to land safely in the arms of my husband. Now, I was so tired, it was the last thing on my mind. It’s not that I don’t find my husband attractive, it’s just that with the three kids and six ears listening for any peep out of me, I feel repressed. I felt as if my entire sex drive left my soul as my placenta was being delivered.

I used to have sexy lingerie that I actually would wear to bed. Now, it was the men’s pajama bottoms and a tank top with a shelf bra built in. I woke up each morning wet from my boobs leaking desperately trying to grab another shirt to cover myself before my daughter woke up. Each morning, I smelled of a sippy cup fermenting in the back of the minivan well hidden under a seat and a map of the zoo. How could I not offend my husband? It was a wet t-shirt contest every morning, but I was always a loser. The boobs were no longer impressive and they always hurt like hell.

I would slowly brush my teeth and splash some water on my face, wiping off whatever leakage may have seeped onto my pillow and then onto my face over the course of my night. Holding the railing for strength and comfort, my sons ecstatically greet me as I descend the staircase, “Good MORNING mommy, did you well sleep dreams?”. I think what they are trying to say is “Did you sleep well with sweet dreams?”, but it doesn’t come out that way.

Lille peed on the floor and took a dump in the corner for spite, I put on a happy face before I look for my cup of coffee and say in my Stepford wife voice that I have perfected to my own self admiration, “Oh yes, Mommy slept really well and I had wonderful dreams.” When in fact, my husband woke me by hitting my feet with a morning “swat” of “Get up” and I feel a twinge of pain from the superficial wound he gave me from one of his ultra-long toenails swiping my shin at some point during the slumber. What John doesn’t care to know is that I had been laying there for the past ten minutes trying to have the courage to get out of bed on my own and take a shower, brush my teeth, and reveal myself to the world on my own. I never have the strength. It would make it easier, that is, bathing before he abandons me for the day, but I love the comfort of my bed and the security of my world that is hidden under my pillow and in my splendiferous evening love affair with “don’t lose my faith in you”, Sting. Only with my eyes shut is motherhood and sex a wonderful thing.


What Qualifies as a Bad Week Part Two

I’m going to cash in my miles, sit next to you on the next flight to Mumbai.

They CALLED!!!! The boys must have had a management meeting. Speakerphone. 10:41 a.m. Tuesday, May 10, 2005. Victory Suburban Martyr. I think I may have earned some miles due to distress too.

Here’s How it started:…..

Original Message Follows:



Name : Ms Surburban Martyr

Email Address : Protected

SkyMiles Number: Very Important


Email about Past/Future travel: Not Travel Related

Nature of Comment: Complaint Concern

Email Pertaining to: SkyMiles

Email about Other topic:


I’m absolutely in tears. I was a committed Delta Airlines flyer for my

ENTIRE CAREER, when I last flew in 2001 and made the decision to stay at home in Tampa with my children. I stopped flying weekly and stopped

WORKING, had three babies (2000, 2002, and 2004). Finally, my youngest

is old enough to stay with Grandma, and I can get away with my husband,

finally using my hard earned SKYMILES.

I went online today to book my ticket using my SKYMILES and 165,000 of my HARD EARNED MILES of cross country travel, red-eye travel, and connections throughout the US were GONE! In January of 2005, Delta removed these from my account. It’s not the poopy diapers, the career aspirations, or the accomplishments of my potty training that kept me looking forward to tomorrow all of these FOUR YEARS of house arrest/motherhood. It was that trip to Europe this summer, that week in Vegas with my husband next week, the trip to Boston this fall with my

mother that I looked forward to. It was going to be because I was a committed Delta flyer MY ENTIRE 7 YEAR career! Now, it’s gone. I didn’t receive a statement, a notice, a letter. Nothing to tell me that this was happening. I can’t believe it. I’m absolutely shattered.

I’ve made so many sacrifices as a mother, I guess this is a slap in the face of motherhood, compliments of Delta. I’m in tears.

Would you like a reply to your e-mail? : yes

—–Original Message—–

From: Customer Care []

Sent: Saturday, April 30, 2005 12:29 PM

To: Suburban Martyr

Subject: Re: SkyMiles – Not Travel Related (KMM8723361V77997L0KM)

Dear Suburban Martyr,

Thank you for contacting us through the Delta Web site. We apologize for the delay in responding to your message.

We are sorry to learn that you have not had the opportunity to use your SkyMiles account or take advantage of one of our many partner offers. As stated in the SkyMiles Membership Guide, all SkyMiles are subject to an expiration date. SkyMiles will not expire as long as there is participation in one of the following activities at least once every three years:

. Travel on a qualifying Delta, Delta Connection, Song or Delta Shuttle flight . Participate in the SkyMiles program with one of the SkyMiles program partners . Redeem your miles for a SkyMiles Award

. Receiving miles from the new Mileage Transfer Program currently being offered for a limited time – Please visit our Web site at for details

Please note the following types of account activity do not extend the SkyMiles expiration date:

. Mileage redeposit

. Posting of bonus miles alone

. Mileage transfer to a designated beneficiary due to death or incapacitation

Your account reflects no qualifying partner activity was posted within the 36 months prior to your expiration date. If you feel this information is in error, please resubmit copies of supporting documentation (tickets, receipts, etc.) for review. As a reminder, mileage discrepancies need to be submitted within six months of travel. For your convenience, you may return the documentation via fax at 404-773-1945 or mail to:

Delta SkyMiles Service Center

P.O. Box 20532

Atlanta, GA 30320-2532

We value the relationship you have with Delta Air Lines and would be delighted to have another chance to restore your trust and confidence in our service.


Sky Miles Employee

Online Customer Support Desk

So, I was fired up….

Original Message Follows:


You’re kidding right? Trust and confidence in your service? Try 8 years of full time flying on your airline. I’ve had THREE CHILDREN, within 2000-2004. Travelling has been out of the question. Now, however, I’m able to get away, to use my 8 years of accrued miles. You could hardly think that I would abandon them? I’ve been pregnant for 30 months, breastfeeding for 36, and wiping my children’s butts for 24 months. That, I would abandon.

Please, I’m begging you. I was a loyal Delta flyer. I went out of my

way to fly on Delta. I paid more than I should have to fly on Delta. Give me 12 months to use my miles, and I’ll use 100% of them.

I never received a statement, a notice, a warning that I was going to lose my miles. Had I known, I would have given them as presents to family that hasn’t been able to afford to come to visit their grandchildren. Instead, I selfishly dreamed of using them to get away with my husband! To get away to sleep in a bed without some kicking kid next to me peeing in a diaper!

I can’t believe it. I’m shocked and awed.

Suburban Martyr

Dear Suburban Martyr,

Thank you for your reply.

We were sorry to hear that you were disappointed with our e-mail. Please let me assure you that the goodwill of our customers is very important to us. We try to be responsive to all passenger inquiries and offer all SkyMiles members the same opportunities. It is our goal to offer the finest service available while maintaining the integrity of our program.

Travel statements are sent reflecting travel activity for the previous month’s reporting period, approximately two weeks after each month’s end. A statement will not be sent if there was no activity in an account during that time period. The last statements which would have been sent to you in 2001 indicated an expiration date of December 31, 2004 for your SkyMiles balance. The expiration date is also listed online when viewing your account activity for the previous six months.

Additionally, there are opportunities other than travel to accrue or redeem SkyMiles in order to prevent expiration of your SkyMiles.

In fairness to all our customers, we must respectfully decline your request. We value your business and hope you will understand our position.

We appreciate your interest in Delta Air Lines.


Another Powerless Employee

Online Customer Support Desk

So, I wasn’t done….

Dear Powerless Employee,

Integrity of your program? 168,000 miles of loyalty and 4 years of motherhood. I’m supposed to know that 168,000 miles are going to expire by Checking online? Yeah, sure, I sit and watch my airline miles like I watch Elmo. I have my Delta account on “favorites” and monitor it. Not. Give me a break. Your policy is crooked and your frequent flier program is a farce. Opportunities to accrue miles? Sure, I’ll transfer my 400K American Express Miles that I’ve also accrued over my life right to Delta…I’ll get right on that. I have never used those miles, and they are still there, year after year.

No, that’s it. You’ve lost me as a customer. I’ll be earning miles on my American Express based on buying tickets on other airlines from now on. I’ll earn frequent flier miles elsewhere, thank you very much. I will never fly on Delta again, in fairness to all of the other female customers and mothers you’ve obviously lost for the same reason. They didn’t die! They didn’t abandon hundreds of millions of miles! What man with over 165,000 miles in his Delta account takes a “four year” hiatus on traveling without DEATH? I’m sure if you look at the sex features of your top frequent fliers, they will share a key body feature. It was my experience when I was a 100+/segment a year flier (platinum) on your airline THAT I WAS THE ONLY WOMAN FLYING IN FIRST CLASS. Unfortunately women bear the brunt of raising your future frequent fliers and your frequent flier program caters and benefits the male population. My children won’t fly on your airline, my parents won’t fly on your airline. My husband won’t fly on your airline.

In my research, I have discovered that Delta is in distress. I am sure your revenues are down partly because your “expired miles” Mothers are flying on other airlines with their kids. This mother will be buying 5 tickets somewhere else. Funny how losing a smart mom as a customer can reflect multiples on your bottom line in the future…Southwest flies to Disney too. Profitable airline…hmmmmm….

Good luck, I’ll be donating the rest of my miles to Charity.

Suburban Martyr

So, then I wrote the CEO, COO, CTO, CMO, CFO, …..

—–Original Message—–

From: Suburban Martry

Sent: Thursday, May 05, 2005 2:59 PM

To: ‘’‘’‘’‘’

Subject: Losing Customers to Other Airlines

Dear Gentlemen,

I hope this email gets to you. I’ve read all of your bios, and I know that you are all highly educated men. You’ll have to read past my humor at being a now stay at home mom who once was a top frequent flier on your airline, perhaps you have wives at home, and perhaps you should bring this email to them to read, and ask their opinion about my complaint. I’m sure your wives also gave up their own ambition for the sake of your career or your lovely offspring. Perhaps some of you have Grandchildren and daughters that are living my life of bliss and “Groundhog Day”.

I know you all value your positions and the role that you play at Delta, and your desire for the airline to continue to survive.

As for me, last I checked, I am a 34 year old mother of 3, a Sweet Briar College and St. Andrews University graduate with a major in Economics. My resume would reflect an executive level management consulting career with both Arthur Andersen, Deloitte and Touche, and IMRglobal. My clients were large and small, from directing multi-million dollar engagements with John Hancock Insurance in Boston and Blockbuster in Dallas, and San Francisco, to Frederick’s of Hollywood in Los Angeles. My expertise was in operations improvement, revenue enhancement, and finally in Web operations and development/integration.

I lived on Delta throughout my career, until I was too pregnant to fly and was grounded, along with my 195,000 frequent flier miles. My husband helps companies raise capital and refinance debt and does a lot of travel. I stopped working, stopped traveling, and kept getting pregnant and now have 3 children. 4, 3, and 11 months old.

I am also the daughter of a retired TWA international pilot, who flew his last American Airlines flight during the Sept. 11, 2001 nightmare. My father was the board representative for the pilots union and we have had many opposing debates regarding running an airline and being part of a Union. Some kids would fly on their father’s company, but I chose to fly on Delta. I knew the problems going on with TWA and didn’t was to risk building up loyalty in an airline that was being broken apart by corporate raiders and thieves. I knew that one day I was going to want to cash in my miles, and TWA wasn’t going to be there. So in 1993, when I graduated from college, I signed up to be a Delta Frequent flier.

To synopsize my complaint. I had 168,000 frequent flier miles, and have not flown since 2001. Last week, I went to check my miles and see if I could redeem them to purchase a one way ticket from Las Vegas to Tampa as I was flying out on a private jet with my husband and finally had a willing party to watch my children for three days. I had to return early to attend my 4 year old’s Mother’s Day program at his preschool and needed to fly commercial to get home in time. When I looked online, my miles had been EXPIRED on January 12, 2005. I never received notice that this was happening, or was going to happen. Your policy is now to expire the miles after inactivity on the account, but this is done without warning, or an annual statement of the account to inform the flyer that this is going to happen. If I had cashed in my miles, I would have had 1 year to use the ticket/coupon. My last statement was received in 2001, when I was flying.

You’ve lost me now as a customer, based on your policy of “fairness to the other passengers” that you have done this too as well. I donated what you didn’t expire (2100 miles…and I don’t know why) to Make a Wish foundation so that some mother can take her child to Disney and I’ll drive there.

When you sit around your weekly meeting or this Sunday with the women in your lives, please think about how much your wife, mother and daughters have given up so that you can be where you are sitting today, and how Delta’s frequent flyer program penalizes women.

Think about how Delta could market towards women traveling in multiples and continue to cater to them once they have been loyal. Maybe I will fly on Delta, I’ll transfer enough AMEX miles to fly non-stop cross country and then on to Mumbai and sit in First Class with my three kids and some of your loyal frequent traveling boys, drinking their wine, reading the paper, and flirting with the stewardesses, while their wives are at home with their kids…

When is YOUR next LONG trip on Delta? Maybe we can meet…

Yeah, you’ve got a tough job…

Very truly yours,

Suburban Martyr

Ff #The Number

So today, at precisely 10:41, I get a call from DELTA AIRLINES. THEY ARE ON SPEAKERPHONE. Miles reinstated.

Got the first quote back from the floor company yesterday. $9549….Yeah, we’ll be cancelled.

Today, is a much better day. I’ve now got 200,000 Miles in my account and places to go!!!! To Hell with the Floors.

Pajama Day

Me getting dressed is an afterthought.

It’s all I can do to bathe the kids, let alone myself. I had my mother over for 15 minutes this morning so that I could make airline reservations and not have to excuse myself for screaming kids in the background. I was giving her grief the other morning for still having her PJs on at 11:30 when I came tromping through her door with my three and a carload of supplies (stroller, baby chair, Mickey Mouse, Minni Mouse, “baby dog” (that thing that Ashton carries with him everywhere), diapers, change of clothes, swimsuits etc) and complained that I had been trying to get there (a mere 1.5 miles away) since 8:30 and it was the best I could do. So today I got grief when she sees that it’s noon and all of my kids are still in their mis-matched PJs, I have on a coffee stained leaking breast stained mis-matched PJ ensemble and my hair strangely piled on top of my head. I’ve been trying to take the kids swimming all morning but hadn’t gotten past the “waking up stage” and am still trying to feed Ashton oatmeal which I guess now will be lunch…it’s all a blur by day end. Her pj wearing is a luxury, me getting dressed is an afterthought.

What Qualifies as a Bad Week, Part 1

Day started off great.  Jack was sent home from school after hitting two kids and calling his teacher a disease.

Let me start with Tuesday.

Jack was sent home from school. He hit two kids and called his teacher a disease. Spent the day of reckoning in his room. Won’t go into the details, but don’t think he’ll ever get in trouble at school EVER AGAIN.

Wednesday, the day before yesterday…John has a business trip in Vegas that I have been planning on going with him for two months. The trip was extended, and I have a “Mother’s Day” program at Jack’s school that I would be permanently excommunicated from pre-school social graces if I missed on Thursday of next week. So, I need to get myself home on Wednesday instead of flying on his company plane. So, the crafty “ex-consultant” that I was once thought that I would just use 20K of the 168K of the frequent flier miles I had accrued over my brilliant career on Delta to get home. I logged on to Delta, and my account only had 2100 miles in it! They had EXPIRED my miles. All eight years of them! Reason: I hadn’t flown on Delta since 2001 when my girlfriend Sarah was married and my account was “inactive”. Inactive? My ass. I was pregnant, breastfeeding, and wiping butts. When in the hell was I going to fly on Delta? I called, I pleaded, and they told me “too bad”….Too bad? Oh the benefits of MOTHERHOOD!!!! I can’t escape.

I woke up to a pot of coffee with a sweet note from my husband. “I hope you have a better day today”. Jack woke up with a raging fever. Refusing to get out of bed, he remained in my room (yes, he slinks in nightly) moaning. Mignonne was crying because her top tooth is coming in and she was being “high” maintenance. Ashton kept reminding me that it was doughnut day and he was being a good boy. God bless him.

Things were going as good as could be expected under the circumstances. I was treating Jack with Tylenol and fluid. Ashton was wearing the Buzz Lightyear costume (with nothing underneath) in the sand box. Mignonne was destroying the playroom. Jack then decided that he was feeling a little better and joined his brother in the sandbox. Ashton then announced that it was time to watch “the Incredibles” and he wanted to wear his Incredible Costume. I started the movie upstairs in my bedroom. It was now 10:30 a.m. My father was in our backyard fixing our lanai screened enclosure to get the lizards and frogs out of my life.

The phone rang at 10:47. Jack decided that he didn’t feel great anymore and was going to go back to bed. Upstairs he headed to join Ashton. On his way, he decided that he needed to brush his teeth in my bathroom…in my sink…using my TOOTHBRUSH…

At 11:04 as I was sitting on my lanai on the phone I heard a “waterfall effect” of running water coming from somewhere. I stood up, walked inside and saw what I would describe as a fire hose of water coming out of my recessed light directly below my bathroom. Then I watched it “move” across my ceiling, and started coming out of the recessed light fixture closest to my lanai (we’re talking 20 feet!). My brain calculated that something was seriously going wrong upstairs and I dropped the phone and ran upstairs, calling for my father to come quick.

I slipped on my floors in my bedroom (REAL HARDWOOD). I ran into the bathroom. WATER WAS EVERYWHERE. It was coming from my sink, Niagara Falls was emptying water onto the floors. I turned off the water in my sink and pulled the drain which had been plugged. Jack was in my bed with his head on the pillow. Ashton was jumping on my couch. Mr. Incredible was saving the universe. I reached for the towels under my sink, WATER GUSHED OUT from the cabinet onto the floor. The towels were soaked. I ran to the boys bathroom, grabbed all of their towels and threw myself onto the bedroom floor trying to stop the water from spreading. I pushed my body and the river of water back to the bathroom. Waves started to form.

By then my father reached upstairs. All of my drawers were filled with water. All of my makeup, all of my jewelry, my hairdryer. Sunk. Frank took over in the bathroom as I tried to interrogate the suspects. Jack said “Ashton did it”. Ashton said, “what?” Both were sent to their room. I ran downstairs. Water was still gushing out of my light fixtures from the ceiling with the SAME INTENSITY. My chair was absorbing the water closest to the lanai. My rug was absorbing the Main drain. I threw all of my cleaning supplies out of their buckets and started getting buckets situated to collect the water. I emptied one of the buckets (a five gallon buddy) three times before I threw screaming Mignonne in her bed, and called my husband at work. He wasn’t answering his phone. I had the receptionist find him to say that there had been an emergency at home and he needed to come home right away.

Ashton said, “can I watch Mr. Incredible?” I knew he was innocent. Jack was in his bed, covers over his head. GUILTY.

So all of the drywall tape in the downstairs has been pulled. Fans are blowing My insurance company has been called so that we can get cancelled again. The hardwood floors in our bedroom and closet are RIPPLED and ready to be torn out. (About 300 sq. feet worth) My area rug is outside on the lanai drying out. I’m going to take some valium and open a bottle of wine for lunch, might eat some chicken with it.


Poop Happens

I’m still waiting for an invitation from Martha, but it hasn’t arrived.  Maybe we could be on house arrest together…

S Happens, That’s my theme. I know how not a day passes that you mutter to yourself, where is The Suburban Martyr! Well, like Martha is about to experience I’m on house arrest. I’m waiting for an invite from her, but the phone doesn’t ring. As I’ve said before, she’s going to be done and much richer than me after her stint is over. Mine’s not nearly as luxurious, Martha has a staff and cook, and although I’m the cook, and I’ve got the housekeeper and regular sitter, the light at the end of my tunnel is a freight train. I could stay with Martha, and we could do crafts Speaking of crafts, I’ve learned to knit, and it’s another craft I’ve gotten involved with that after hours spent…STILL LOOKS LIKE CRAP. Let’s pull my mind out of the fogged haze of “where the hell am I” and try to remember what has been going on….Pictures help jog my memory, as it’s hard to remember the day of the week.

Jack is playing soccer and will retire in March at 4 ½ . Such a sensitive soul, he can’t understand why after all these years of me insisting that he “share” that I would want him to be interested in a game where someone kicks him and makes him cry in order to steal his ball that he got for Christmas. He spends a lot of the weekly games crying, and snuggling with his coach and when he’s not doing that he’s usually on the playing field showing his opponent how to do “starfish” on the grass. Then, “whack”, some punk athlete of a kid (whose father has undoubtedly practiced with his son) kicks the ball in his direction, it hits him in the head, and the tears start. What have I gotten myself into? I haven’t mastered breastfeeding and playing soccer. Only 3 more games and NO MORE, Never again, not until he can drive himself. Only 3 more months and NO MORE, this well is DRY!!!! Life will be GOOD! We’ll try T ball next, or Swimming. Ashton, turns 3 in March, was potty trained “1 & 2” in less than 10 days…I’ll probably be shunned from the mommy’s group, but I’m not scared to shout…time outs don’t work. They especially don’t work in the area of poop and public places where company might sit. Severe threats and follow through, well, let’s just say if you need help call me. He’s my angel boy now!

It’s amazing what kids will do for a freaking marble. “Do this, get a marble, Do that, wait for the wrath on the step, please while I clean this up and compose myself”. It all started the day after his nap where he crapped in his diaper, took the diaper OFF, wiped his hand in the poop and then proceeded to paint on my walls, chase Jack with the poopy hand, SIT ON MY COUCH. It was everywhere, walls, furniture, dog, baby, baby dog, TV, bike, staircase, bed. Let’s just say it was a SHITTY day. MY technique changed, and viola, the kid now poops and pees in the potty and gets a marble. Mignonne is now allowed to sit up. She has been forcibly delayed in development due to my inability to deal with all three of them at the same time. Now that Ashton can poop and pee without supervision, her world is a lot better. So, she now cruises throughout the house chasing the boys in her scooter walker as they zoom down the hall on their bikes….Then, when she’s done she happily sits on the floor and eats toys. 24 lbs at 9 months old, she’s no petite thing and what are left of my breasts prove it. She’s bigger than some of Jack’s classmates! She’s got such a nice sweet personality and is pretty much laid back and our “easiest one” to date. She crawled/scooted on her elbows (if you want to call it crawl, fine) on Super Bowl Sunday and is discovering that our house has other places to visit besides my right hip.

Lille is neglected (as usual). We’ve spent the month reacquainting with neighbors bringing her home as the yard guy cut the wire for the invisible fence for the 100th time, she escaped and came home with a body of fleas and ticks. I kept asking neighbors if they wanted her, but she’s sleeping on my sofa in the Living Room as I type.

Speaking of S, Yesterday during pick-up from pre-school, I thought it would be a treat to take the dog. Until she SH*T in the car. I thought it was bad with the kids screaming or Ashton’s poop, until I had to deal with the screaming, and the smell of SMOOSHED dog feces. I thought, “Just Kill Me Now…”

Hope you put a shout out to the man upstairs to get me through this.

Kaballah Kindergarten

He asked me if I knew of a Kabbalah Kindergarten, and I said they’d probably choke themselves with the red string.

I’m truly getting by a day at a time. Wine helps. I guess everyone with three “forgot” to tell me that it’s freaking hard, I just meet them when their kids are out of the house and then it’s “wonderful” with a big family.

John and I had the big discussion about kindergarten and pre-school for multiple kids and how I was not really interested in making three round trips a day 15 miles each way so that they could go to Catholic kindergarten and pre-school…as well as trying to juggle a 15 month old’s nap schedule (Mignonne by next fall when the real show begins). I think I’ve started to sway his opinion (which is STRICTLY CATHOLIC EDUCATION (a New Orleans boy no doubt). He did ask me though if I knew of a Kabbalah kindergarten, and I chuckled as I said, they’d probably choke themselves with the red string…

Church and the Sabbatical

My affirmations are more realistic like, “I will drink three beers at lunch today.”

Part of my new years resolution every year since having children was that John wasn’t getting to heaven without me. Come hell or Tsunami, I was going to Church on Sunday’s and John wasn’t going without me. Foolish girl. Just like Father Leo said that one “kick off” Sunday, half of us make resolutions, the other half just know that they will fail. I’d been on a religious sabbatical since Jack was born. I’d try to attend for Christmas Mass, but would resolve that it was another year away after I spent three quarters of the service trying to block Jack or Mignonne from a much desired exit. Each time I would attend, John would stand there, or even better kneel, in some sort of peaceful trance, like his life was just perfect, his relationship with God was solid, and he had his lo-carb eating wife by his side with his beautiful kids. Dandy.

Sometimes I would sit there trying to read his mind and be certain that he was doing some positive self affirmations recommended by his bosses wife one night over dinner, like “I can remain married to my wife”….”She WILL be skinny”…..”She WILL be a good cook”….”She WILL take care of me” Meanwhile, I would try to indiscreetly pop another valium to make me not care that I couldn’t hear what the priest was saying over the loud speaker because I was wrestling with an alligator on my hip. Frankly, I was rather annoyed at the entire picture of happiness that John was painting.

My affirmations were more realistic, like, “I WILL drink three beers at lunch today”…

“I will get to take a shit and read that article about Jennifer Anniston when I get home”….”

“I WILL not abandon this for a Caribbean island and a fancy umbrella drink”.

“I WILL not kill myself”.

Early in this leave of absence, I justified myself by saying that I could Tivo the Pope and get him in between diaper changes and sippy cups during the week. Then the guy finishes his term, so to speak, and we get another guy that I couldn’t pick out in a celebrity line-up. I was falling from the church and falling hard. I felt so alienated from my religion, but I wasn’t crazy about any of the other rules of the other sects, either women had to be submissive, alcohol was looked unfavorably upon, or the religion was on pay per view. I had pretty much decided I was an a la carte Catholic. I could sleep at night with that decision.

Anyway, we missed the first week of the year as John had a consummation contest of Cosmopolitans the night before with a neighbor during a friendly Poker game with the wives, so I was really geared up to attend that day. Usually mass is an exorcism affair with Ashton, so when Jack came to me that morning and announced that he wanted to call his Nana (Ashton in tow), I dialed my mother and put the four year old scam artist on the phone. A couple of grunts and yeah yeah’s later, Ashton handed me the phone. My mom asked when I wanted to bring them over, and I replied, “After Mass”. Puzzled, she asked me if I just wanted to save myself some grief and drop Thing 1 and Thing 2 off on the way, and I didn’t hesitate replying that we’d slow down on our way and that they should look out their door say 10:30 for their heirs.

So there I was, partially showered, and in my delirium I had put on a lavender sweater to match the one that Mignonne was wearing. I looked like one of those mothers that mean to dress alike with their eight month old to be cute. It wasn’t until we were pulling away from my parent’s house that my wonderful husband snickered, “Did you MEAN to dress like Mignonne?” It was at that point that I wanted to just have him drop me off at home, and he could take the princess to Church and I could go back to bed. But, I mustered up the courage and on we went to Mass. I looked ridiculous, in a breast feeding nothing fits, but I might have to whip it out in an instant sort of way.

As we were exiting the mini-van that I drive like a medal of honor, I noticed that Mignonne was without her right patent leather shoe. WE FORGOT TO TAKE THE OTHER ONE OUT OF THE SHOE BASKET…Curses flew, but I gracefully took the shoe we HAD managed to put on her off, and on we went into the church.

As soon as we sat down, John announced that he had to go to the bathroom. I should have seen it as a premonition.

It was blissful, going to Mass without Jack and Ashton to contend with. I was feeding Mignonne Cheerios, she was happy, and then Mass began….Stand, sing a song, sit, stand, sing, sit. Little lamb of God in a lavender dress.

Each time the priest talked about Jesus and the Lamb of God (a lot during the homily) Little Miss Mignonne started GRUNTING. LOUDLY. So loudly that people were snickering. I would have thought they were snickering about my lavender “matching” outfit. But no, Miss Mignonne was GRUNTING like she was “Working some stuff out” and having a hard time doing it.

Grunt Lamb of God, Grunt Lamb of God, Grunt Sheppard, Grunt Grunt Grunt…Lamb of God.

Then, the scent of God, and it wasn’t incense.

R took the opportunity to change his daughter’s daughter outside of the church. He knew I needed some time with God. His comment when she returned clean and happy was, “I know why she was making so much noise…It was a ball of poo.”

Then my little lamb decided that she was ready to take a nap and she wanted the congregation to know about it as she cried herself to sleep.

We accepted communion with my baby passed out on my chest, I had to squat down to receive communion from the five foot lady handing it out…Instead of going back to the pew, I skirted over to the confession area to wait for mass to end so that I wouldn’t have to disturb the sleeping princess. I thought I just wanted to take about 30 milligrams of valium and call it a life. Why did it have to be so hard? Why was I struggling with it, when all of the other mothers in the church seemed so happy with their lives. I felt so lost, so helpless, so fucking tired.

John grabbed the stroller and then joined me. Then I saw him “slip” some money into the candle box. I said, “What are you doing?” To which he replied, “I always light a candle for those not attending mass”. Great. Why the hell did I even come?

I popped a valium and headed out the door, Mignonne in transit.