dancing machines. sort of. not really.

I've been a bad blogger. Bad, BAD. In my defense, we've had a lot going on. Also in my defense, I'm lazy.

This week I've been teaching dance to a pocketful of five- and six-year-old little girls at our church's Camp Creation, which is an arts-based vacation bible school type deal. It's very awesome and it's like a huge honor to be asked to teach but I don't think the kids got that memo because they look at me like I'm speaking Martian when I say things like Stop rolling around on the floor and let's line up so we can dance... girls? Girls! Let's line up and... let's make good choices! Those are not good choices! DO you guys even want to dance? No? Well then why the hell did you take a dance class? Except I don't say hell because they are little kids and it's church and I mostly just cuss in the written word.

Here's an artistic rendering of my class. You will probably have to click it to make it large enough to fully absorb the horror.

In reality, the girls are very sweet. I wasn't prepared for the difficulty I would encounter in getting them to listen and stay on task for an entire hour each day, and I really can't blame them for acting their ages. If I had been prepared, I would have thought to offer bribes.

Other things going on:

1. I'm meeting with a realtor next week to try and get our house sold already. Once that happens we'll have to make some decisions around where we want to live. 

2. We were going to cancel our annual beach trip on account of the possibility of Phil beginning treatment but decided that it's best we live our lives as though the myeloma isn't there, otherwise we'll always be putting the focus on the disease and/or putting off the things that are important to us. So we'll be heading to the NC coast in about seven weeks and I am resisting the temptation to begin packing.

3. My children are still kind of adorable. See?


bring the pain

I did something to my neck. Not something cool, so have no fear... I think a rabid chimpanzee ate one or two of my vertebrae. It happened long about last Sunday morning as I was- brace yourself, this is good- getting out of bed. Initially I thought it was a pulled muscle but upon further review I believe I may have slipped/ruptured/screwed up a disc. I know, I'm thinking the same thing you are: How freaking old are we who live in this household, anyway?

So after a trip to Urgent Care, thirty hundred phone calls to my PCP and buckets of Flexeril and ibuprofen I still cannot look up, down, left or right. I also cannot pick up a toddler or a sandwich unless I want to be bedridden for the remainder of the day. I am, however, having some very messed up dreams, so that's something.

The good news is I get to go to Little Rock, Arkansas tomorrow for a whole week. Did you hear that? A WHOLE WEEK. Can't wait.

Thank God for Flexeril.


oh, no doubt, you'll always have my heart.

The first time I saw No Doubt in concert I was probably 15 or 16 years old. My older brother and I drove to the best venue in Detroit-- St. Andrew's Hall-- for the Tragic Kingdom tour. The album had just dropped and they were still virtually unknown to the masses. Which was great for us.

We were packed in with a few hundred other third wave ska enthusiasts, standing room only, and we were in the front. The show was incredible. The band members were a cohesive unit, all moshing and jumping and playing a show. Gwen's abs were amazing. Tony sweat on us a little bit. At some point a fan threw a t-shirt onto the stage, which hit Gwen in the face mid-song and wrapped itself around her head. The music stopped. You could have heard a pin drop. She lowered the microphone and removed the t-shirt from her head. Everyone just kind of stood there for a minute... then, without a word, she put the t-shirt on!, the music started right where they left off and the crowd went nuts. And that's when I fell in love with No Doubt.

My sister called me on Wednesday night. "Dude. No Doubt and Paramore are coming to Detroit on Friday. Wanna go?" Besides the fact that it was No Doubt, which made my answer an automatic Hellz Yeah, I love me some Riot and All We Know Is Falling so, uh, yes please.

When I told Phil, and mentioned that the last time I saw No Doubt was probably nine or ten years ago, he kind of laughed and said, "What does that say about No Doubt?" That they're still relevant. That's what. My sister and I debated on floor seats but just weren't up for the moshing/rowdiness that I remembered from No Doubt concerts past. So after determining that you just can't put a price tag on the experience we purchased some awesome level two seats on Ebay and all systems were go. 

I forgot one thing.

No Doubt is no longer the No Doubt of the Beacon Street Collection era. They are Gwen Stefani and those other guys. They are, like, stars now. And they're almost 40 and I'm not 17 anymore and they were wearing costumes and ohmygoodnesswherethehellisthemoshpit? So it goes without saying (to everyone but me I guess) that I slightly overestimated the rambunctiousness quotient (zero) and slightly underestimated the number of attendees who hadn't even born yet when Gwen got hit in the face with that t-shirt so many years ago. Yes, everyone there last night either needed supervision or was there to supervise. We may have been the only people our age who were there to drink beer and rock out. And rock out we did.

As for the concert itself... it was pretty awesome. It made me want to be a rock star. It made me want to do lots of sit-ups. But mostly it took me back to my teenage years of seeing a band that I loved, leaving a concert voiceless and drenched in sweat, and being an honest-to-goodness fan of something great.

And I think that's why I love No Doubt so much. Their music is a big part of my memories and their fun punk/ska style got me through my teen-angsty phase relatively unscathed (well, if you don't count a few misguided years of bleached hair, over-plucked eyebrows and lots of red lipstick, that is).

Ska may be No Doubt's schtick now but they'll still rock your face off.

And Gwen's abs still look amazing.


it's difficult to argue with kid-logic.

On crying wolf--
Ocean: Owwww! My foot! OUCH!
Me: What happened?
Ocean: (laughing): Nothing! I was joking.
Me: [some long-winded explanation about how we should be honest so people believe us when we actually need help.] Does that make sense?
Ocean: Nope.
Me: [some rephrased, long-winded explanation about how we should be honest] ...so that when we really need help, someone will help us instead of thinking that we're just pretending. Does that make sense?
Ocean: (pause) No it doesn't. If you need help, if you get hurt, you GET help. See that?
Me: Good point.
Ocean: Ouch! My hand!
Me: I'm glad we had this talk.

On our visit to Grandma and Grandpa's house--
Me: Ocean, what was your favorite part of the weekend with Grandma and Grandpa?
Ocean: Five!
Me: Okay. Iris, what was your favorite part of the weekend?
Iris: Green!
Phil: Wow, guys. Worth the drive.

On when I used to be awesome--
Ocean: I have a cool motorcycle. (It's a Big Wheel.)
Me: It is cool.
Ocean: Do you ride a motorcycle?
Me: No. I used to ride a motorcycle a looooong time ago with my friend but not anymore.
Ocean: (gasp) That's awesome, Mom!

On being ice cream buddies--
Ocean and I were eating ice cream on the porch after dinner. I was lost in my thoughts and glanced over to see him gazing at me.
Me: What are you thinking about, bud?
Ocean: You, Mommy.
Me: What about me?
Ocean: You're my best girl. And... and... I just love you.

On planting and growing when mommy can't keep a plant alive but wants to risk it for a hydrangea bush--
Me: So first we have to dig a hole for the hydrangea, and then we have to put it in the hole. Then I need your help to fill the hole with dirt.
Ocean: And then we pray.