Thursday, October 30, 2014

Getting my mind out of the gutter


This is a scene from my living room, naked Barbies, bodies as well as clothing askew, looking as if they had a exceptionally good time last night. My four year old asks me, "Well, Mama, do you know HOW to play Barbies?" "What about little dolls? Do you know how to play little dolls?"

"Of course I know how to play Barbies!" I said. "This 1975 Dreamhouse with the awesome yellow elevator used to be mine when I was a little girl!" I squatted down and found a dazzling blue dress to shove Cinderella's skinny thigh down into.

"Here, Mama," Senia Mae says as she hands me this tiny beige part.


"What is that?" I ask her, my mind immediately blaming those Barbie sluts. "Where did you find that?" Certainly Mattel and Disney did not attach any protruding parts...I glanced over at Kristoff. He was completely flat in the front and the only one fully clothed, winter boots and everything.

"I don't know what it is...I just found it on the floor," Senia Mae said.

"You really have NO idea where this came from?" I asked one more time, trying not to become completely aghast that my innocent four year old picked a phallic symbol off of a Barbie.

"Oh, wait...I remember, that is the piece of the paddle that broke off Prince Eric's boat," she says as she plucks the piece out of my hand and walks into the other room.

Of course...it was Eric's paddle not a peter. Mama, get your mind out of the gutter!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I Just Want To Be With My Family...

Aunt Jenny has been in town visiting from Illinois. Since her arrival Senia Mae has spent a significant amount of time with her: going to and from school, playing dollhouse, and hanging out at Sonic eating cheese toasties. Aunt Jenny is just the type of gal Senia Mae likes to keep in her right hand pocket because she's enthusiastic, fun loving, and most importantly, available. The two have practically been inseparable over the last few weeks.

Last night after dinner Aunt Jenny and Savannah said goodnight and were heading back to Grandma's house for the evening when someone said to Senia Mae, "Unless you want to come with us and have a sleepover..." We have had some issues with sleepovers in the past and have tried to not pressure her into something she is not emotionally ready for, but suddenly she was enthralled with the idea. Her eyes lit up with excitement as she and Savannah ran back to her room to grab the essentials: bunny, her favorite book The Paper Bag Princess, pajamas, and of course, clothes for school tomorrow.

Nervously I looked at Kim and asked, "You think we should just go with it, even though it's a school night?" We were both thrilled that she was taking it into consideration.

"Maybe having Aunt Jenny there will be what makes her feel comfortable enough to want to stay." Kim said. "My mom will so excited. Lets just see how it goes." And it was agreed, she would have the sleepover and they would take her to school the next day. Kim and I crossed our fingers and waited.

We were just settling into an episode of Orange is the New Black when we got the first text that said the bath was successful and everything was looking good, with the thumbs up sign. "That's really good," I said to Kim as I snuggled up to her under the blanket on the couch. Maybe this time it was really going to happen. I looked at my watch, it was nine o'clock.

In a few minutes the next text came. It said she was just going to call and say goodnight. Ok. I wondered if talking to her wouldn't shift the momentum.

"Mommies?" Senia Mae asked as as if we really weren't on the other line. I put her on speakerphone.

"Hi, Baby!" Kim said enthusiastically. "Are you ready for bed?"

"Me and Aunt Jenny are in bed," Senia Mae said as her voice cracked just a little.

In the background I heard Jenny say, "We are just fine. We're having a great time," as she tried to convince Senia Mae.

"That is so great. You are such a big girl!" I said. There was silence. Then shuffling, followed by a loud swallow. I could tell she was fighting back tears.

"Will you come over for breakfast?" she asked, in a soft, innocent voice that sounded so pitiful I wanted to reach through the phone and wrap her up in my arms.

"Of, course," Kim and I said in unison. You can do it, Senia Mae, I thought silently, hoping she could muster up some courage.

"We will come over and have waffles then we will all bring you to school." Kim said. There was more silence. Then a whimper and some muted tears.

"Senia Mae, you are going to have so much fun at your sleepover," I said trying to change the tone as I started to feel that motherly pull in my heart.

"Mommy, I don't want to sleepover. I want to come home," Senia Mae said as she broke out crying.

"Are you sure?" Kim asked. "We'll be there as soon as you wake up?"

"No, I want to sleep at home," she said. "I just want to be with my family." I wrapped my arms around my own chest and smiled. What parent wouldn't melt with those words?

"It's OK, Senia Mae," Aunt Jenny said. "I will take you home right now."

Hearing those words made my heart stop for a second as I felt the slight tingle and squeeze in my chest. Even though I want her to flourish and be independent, that little part of me, the part that remembers her being so close in my belly for nine months, so close I could feel her fingers tickling my insides...that part of me was celebrating. I held my fist high above my head and pulled it quickly towards my face with a triumphant cheerleader's thrust. Yes, she still needs us. I breathed a sigh of relief.

In thirty minutes I was carrying her to bed. I tucked her in and gave her a kiss goodnight.

"Mommy, I love you so much," Senia Mae said as I pulled my lips away from her forehead.

"I love you too, kiddo. We'll see you in the morning," and I turned off the light.


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Flies Like Us

Several days ago our happy home was taken over by a swarm of fruit flies. Being the tenderhearted, creature loving person that I am, instead of instantly bombing the house with chemicals, I decided to rid them with logic. My first idea was simple: If there are fruit flies then check the fruit bowl. There was a ripe, softening pear that had been picked at the apple orchards three weeks before. I stepped on the lid of the trashcan and tossed the fruit away, wiping my hands and thinking the problem was solved. Certainly the two or three remaining flies would just die off.

Several hours later as I walked into the bathroom, I saw several fruit flies resting on the mirrored cabinet and two on my toothbrush. Disgusted, I grabbed my toothbrush and ran it under hot water, not understanding why fruit flies would be in the bathroom. I checked the trashcan to see if there was anything sticky or unusual hiding in the shadows. There was nothing except a few pieces of crumpled up tissue paper. I then took the wastebasket and kitchen trash and put them outside just in case they were the source of the problem. When I left for work I opened all of the windows hoping that fresh air would help cleanse the house.

I came back home to a peculiar smell in the kitchen, it wasn't foul or rancid, just unusual and noticeable. There were several more fruit flies resting on the breadbox, two on the microwave door, and a couple hanging out on the paper towel roll. "Why are there more?" I thought to myself as I frantically scanned the kitchen. I had already stuck the rest of the apples and bananas in the refrigerator, made sure there was no sugar on the counter from my morning coffee, and wiped down all of the appliances with a wet rag. I went over to my iPad and looked up how to get rid of fruit flies on Wiki:how. The website showed several ways to make at home fruit fly traps made from plastic bottles, filled with sugary vinegar syrup. It also suggested rinsing out all of the drains in the house. The remainder of the afternoon I spent pouring hot water down the drains and crafting two home made fly traps filled with apple cider vinegar. I left one on the stove top and one on the back of the toilet but had to lure myself out of the house so I wouldn't sit and wait for the flies to be trapped. I was starting to feel obsessed, like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. When I returned home I had caught nine flies. I went to bed feeling satisfied, like I had conquered the fruit fly problem.

When I woke up the next morning, I walked to the bathroom a felt a fruit fly brush past my mouth. I blew it out of the way and went to check my bathroom trap. I had caught several more flies overnight but there were at least twenty or thirty still spread throughout the bathroom. I was starting to get mad. Even though I am by no means the homemaker of the year, our house is clean and I couldn't figure out why there were more flies.

Kim let me know that at lunchtime she was going to do a thorough overhaul of the house. This included sweeping, mopping, De-cluttering, and trying to come to the bottom of the fruit fly issue. "Check and make sure nothing is dead up in the chimney," I said, thinking the secret smell may be lurking up there. When I got home later on that night, the number of flies in my traps had doubled, but the same amount seemed to be flying around the house. Kim had done a great job with the house; even though it smelled and looked clean and fresh, our fruit fly problem remained.

When picking up the remainder of Senia Mae's toys, I heard Kim yell out, "OOOOH," as she ran outside quickly. "I found the cause of the fruit flies," she said. "Guess what was hiding in one of Senia Mae's purses?"

"What?" I asked.

"A banana! It was so black and so decomposed that the only way I could tell it was a banana was the shape! I have no idea how long it had been in there , but it was stinky and covered with flies."

"That is so disgusting," I said. "No wonder we couldn't trap them all. Does Senia Mae know about it?"

"Hey, Senia Mae," Kim said. "Did you know you left a banana in your pocketbook?"

"No," she said, looking up from her game pad.

"You can't hide fruit in your toys, ok?" Kim asked.

"Oh, OK." Senia Mae said, without a second thought. We had been running around all week like mad women trying to fix the fly problem, yet the creator of the fly problem let it pass like yesterday's news.

The moral of the story is: you can have the cleanest house with the best fruit fly traps, but if the source of the flies is hidden in a toy box you are wasting your time chasing flies.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Genetic RE-disposition

Since having this "family" photo shot two days ago, every person who has looked at it has said..."she looks nothing like you!" as they walk away laughing. I realize that the Paceley/Kelly genes are strong, beautiful, and obviously dominant. When I had gestational diabetes the nurse did tell me my DNA was somewhat antiquated...but in a good way...??? Hahaha. There must be some of me in her. The picture on the bottom is Aunt Betty, me(in the red ribbons), and my new sister in 1979.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Make-out Mayhem

I can see the look of heartbreak in Senia Mae's eyes when I say, "You can't wear a pink dress with your new sparkling red pumps... it doesn't go together." With utter devastation she pivots around, frowning with her hands on her hips, plodding back to her room as she wallows in her unimaginable misfortune. "How about a red dress? Or a black dress? Or even a white dress?" I suggest with empathy as I try not to let her see me giggling. Yes, we are raising a Diva, a Diva that watches and mimics our every move. Sometimes it is so overwhelmingly hilarious that I have to stop and write about it.

Lately our little one has been very affectionate and amorous, unexpectedly walking up to Kim or I and laying a long, wet smooch directly on our lips. At home we wriggle away while laughing, trying without words to get her to act a little more "appropriate". I definitely don't want to stifle her passion or break her spirit, but it can get embarrassing when she does this in public. The other day she was sitting on my lap in the waiting room at the car dealership. Out of nowhere she turned around, grabbed the back of my head and pulled me in for a long one.

"Senia Mae!" My words come out muffled because I was laughing hysterically AND she was holding my head in place with her other hand. My eyes dart back and forth in the waiting room, hoping that no one else was giving me a funny look, thinking I was some kind of pervert. After a few thwarted attempts she was puckered out, her mind wandering onto something else. Later on that night she laid a big one on Momma Kim.

"Are you kissing us because you've seen us kiss like that?" Kim and I both asked hesitantly. Senia Mae looks up at us as if she can't believe we are asking such a ridiculous question.

"No," she said, "I am kissing you like Prince Eric kisses Ariel..." and she turned around and walked off.

"All right then," I said to Kim sarcastically. How dare we assume that she's gathering all of her good and bad habits from us!


This morning Senia Mae let herself into the bathroom as I was taking my shower. "Mommy, I'm right here," she says as she slaps her hand into the shower curtain, laughing as it sticks to my leg. "Do you want to take a shower with Emma?" Emma is her waterproof baby doll that spends a lot of time in our hot tub.

"No, that's o.k," I say, "she really likes taking a bath with you." Thinking that this was the end of our conversation I turned back around and began lathering my body with soap. I felt the curtain pull back and heard a slight thud; Emma had been dropped on my soapy feet. "I thought she was going to take a bath with you?" I said to Senia Mae as she stood on the other side of the steamy curtain.

"Mommy, you've hardly spent any time with her," she said as she walked out and shut the door. I couldn't argue...she was right. I hadn't spent any time with Emma in days...but those words sounded like they should have come out of my mouth!