Sunday, June 15, 2008

Going Up on Father's Day

Happy Father's Day! I would put a picture of my padre on the blog but he is terrified of attracting stalkers with his excessive good looks.

Business First: I made a quick little change to one of my links. My good friend has an outstanding business that provides a wonderful service by offering a wide variety of cloth diapers, soft-soled baby shoes, and various baby carriers. The business is called Go Baby Go. I happily put her link on my site, only when I clicked on it I discovered a website for a dating service (at least I hope that's all it was!). Yikes! This is a family show! I now have the CORRECT link on the right.
Now back to our regularly scheduled program : ). When I asked Jeff what he wanted to do for Father's day he said he wanted to grill something and watch basketball. But I think Father's Day should be somehow distinguishable from every other Sunday so we didn't do that : ). Actually, we ended up heading to Houston for a very enjoyable overnight stay. Ellie was asked to participate in a panel discussion on Performance Anxiety at a Music Teachers' (TMTA) Convention. So our entire family went. We stayed at the Doubletree Hotel in the Galleria district. It was a really nice hotel and the pool was awesome. We didn't attract too much attention even though Jasper's suit was held up with a diaper pin (see photo below) and Camille's suit (from last year) was worn "wrestler style" with both nipples showing. Oh well. I can only stay on top of so much.

We were on the 22nd floor, which was thrilling for the little guys. Elevators are pretty cool even if they only go up 1 or 2 floors....these went way high! Our elevator experiences went pretty much like this:

Little Kids: "Elevators! Elevators! I want to push the button! I'm gonna push the button! Let me push the button! Get out of my way so I can push the button!" They yelled these words while running full-speed ahead, elbows out in the offensive position necessary to ward off siblings who were also trying to get to the button. When they got to the elevators they collapsed in a heap of knees and elbows, rising every now and then in an attempt to reach the button, only to be pulled under again. If a stranger didn't walk up at this point and casually push a button, one of the teens did it with a smirk. This caused total mayhem for the little ones but only until the elevator arrived, at which point they screamed, "Let me on, I'm gonna push the button!" and elbowed and pushed their way onto the elevator without a clue as to which button to push while I desperately tried to prevent them from pushing them all. The before-mentioned heap often happened at the foot of the button panel, at which point a stranger or teen casually pushed the button, smirking. That's ok because then the elevator started to move and this was exciting enough to cause the little ones to scream,"We're moving! We're moving! Yay! Hooray! We're stopping! We're stopping! Let me off! Let me off! I want to use the key card! Get out of my way! I'm going to use the key card!" At which point Jeff and I yelled, "Don't get off don't get off don't get off don't get off don't get off!" while Jasper got off and Jeff jumped out and grabbed him and got back on again. Did I mention we were on the 22nd floor? So we did this like 21 times.

Our room experience went like this:

Little kids: "Let me use the key let me use the key let me use the key! I can't use the key I can't use the key I can't use the key! I'm not giving up the key I'm not giving up the key I'm not giving up the key!!" until Jeff wrenched away the key and unlocked the door at which point they all ran in and started screaming, "A bed! I get a bed! A TV! Turn on the TV! Open the fridge! I want to pee! I want to take a bath! Look! Bottles of water! I want water! This is my water....." and Jeff said, "Nooooooooo.....ooooooooooo........ooooooohhhhhhhh" and then we heard "psssss" as the seal on the free bottle of water was popped, instead of the $4.50 Fiji, which Jeff then put way up high.

The sleeping arrangements left only half of the kids happy. Both teens were begging to sleep on the floor but Ellie had to sleep with Camille who was very very very very very excited and unable to sleep : ). The beds (but not the fold-out couch according to Ellie) were very comfortable. All the kids received free backpacks full of goodies when we checked out.

The panel discussion went very well and all 4 of the teens participating did a great job answering questions. AJ Thompson, of the Musical Arts Center of San Antonio, was the facilitator of this session and it was well-attended by convention participants. After it was over I really wanted to stay and watch the next event in that room, which was a workshop on music and special needs kids that included piano performances by several excited students. But by then Jeff and the other 4 had found us. Jasper screamed, "I rode THAT ride two times!" And guess what he pointed to? A glass elevator. They did that just for fun while they were waiting for our session to end. They had also been to a park and had walked around downtown and were hot and tired. We headed to a pizzeria and then out for ice cream. The trip home was, as is often the case, rougher than the trip up. Camille had called shotgun for a captain's seat, which left the 3 bigger kids in the backseat together. This would have been okay except for the fact that Camille kept turning around and taunting the 10-year-old who had missed out on yelling shotgun. Eventually, this was remedied by putting her in the back and the 10-year-old in the captain's seat. This would have been okay except for the fact that the 10-year-old then turned around and taunted his sister. There was way too much taunting going on.

This pic is Jules suffering taunting at the hands of his little sister in the seat in front of him. She NEVER beats the boys at yelling shotgun and she was literally beside herself. This was her downfall and what ultimately booted her out of the captain's seat. Jules' other sister looks to be somewhat enjoying it. But really she is just doing her "isn't this fun?" look.
Jeff finally lost it and threatened punishment. Camille's answer to that was, "We don't BELIEVE in punishments!" to which her father replied, "No, your mother doesn't believe in punishments and it is Father's Day." He said this in the way Jack Nicholson says, "Here's Johnny" in The Shining. Everyone settled down at this point but then Jasper said he needed to throw up. I gave him a box that the chips that had made him nauseated had come in and he spent the rest of the ride home spitting in the box and being disappointed in his inability to put the cherry on the sundae with some well-timed vomit.

All in all - it was a very pleasant Father's Day. I am totally serious. This is the stuff life is made of.

We have arrived home to the continuing tomato invasion, some excited puppies, and a letter from the Texas Writer's League Conference stating that I have an appointment with my 1st choice agent! This was surprising to me because I did not register early. I get 10 whole minutes with her and this is going to be difficult for me. She is from San Antonio but now lives in San Diego. She has a marketing background. I'm going to have to resist my natural urge to find out where she grew up, where she went to school, if I have any friends who are friends with her mother.....(she is probably half my age).....if she is she married, if she has any pets.....blah blah blah. But I can't waste a minute! I've got to "pitch" myself and my book. The reason I picked her is because she is interested in taking on parenting topics and issues relating to women. My book is not "market ready" - but I'm hoping for a "get it together and send me something...." I understand that is the best outcome at these types of events - nobody actually gets signed. She is also interested in writers' blogs so hopefully over the next week I will get a zillion hits on my blog and can say, "see? people will read what I write...." That means either the tomatoes or the kids need to do something pretty exciting this week. I need an editor and a branding plan.....

Blah. How much weight can I lose in a week?

Sardine Mama
PS It has just been brought to my attention that Jeff looks a little like Jack Nicholson in the pool photo (minus the ax)
PPS...Hey -Spunky Mama - LOVE THE DREDS! Gotta see 'em up close!


  1. I will be happy to take some more tomatoes off your hands :) and, I have some canned salsa I can trade you for them (yes, my canner still works! being as to how I used to be organized, I had actually stored all the supplies, including the instructions, inside the canner! very exciting :) Oh, and I have lived the elevator adventures one time to many myself. Sadly, in my house, it is often the 12 year old fighting the 4 year old to push the button. Well, maybe that is not completely true--it was the 11 year old and the 3 year old. Twelve seems to be a magic age (thank goodness! I remember five being a magic age, too. Only one month to go before I have a five year old and will be DONE with four!)

  2. glad to hear that everything went well in houston. sounds like you all had fun.

    ellie, you look like you have some sinister << (haha)thoughts going through your head. just looked funny.

    see you guys on thursday i guess.