Friday, August 31, 2007

last hurrah

I shouldn't be sitting here typing. My house is a pit and I need to finish packing for our quick trip to the beach. The kids have been fighting or better put: Lexi is playing nazi and Zack is doing his best to whine and complain about it. (Can you hear me? 'Lexi leave him alone. And Zack stop yipping.' Repeat.) It's been a long couple of hours.

And my sweet girl has put down the IKEA catalogue and taken up an obsession with the wrongness that is her hair. This pains me. She has wavy, thick locks - good hair, hair that should be cherished. Yet IT IS BAD. She had it trimmed for school and I thought it looked great. But did I mention it is wrong? She doesn't want a sensible 4th grade bob; she was hoping for the posh-spice/Mrs. Beckham cut. Something funky. The Pob.

She curled up in my lap, sad little kitten, and wept about how crappy her hair is. I guess those tween years are descending upon us.

{Estrogen Powers ACTIVATE. Shape of 'perfect hair that doesn't exist'. Form of 'drugfree coping skills'.}

Now I must go. So much to do...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

proof positive that ammy and papa's house 'is the best ever'


High School Musical 3?

disney, eat your heart out

Looks like fun to me...thanks Mom for the great pictures. (I'll post more of them on Flickr tomorrow.)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

testing, testing

Click to view my Personality Profile page

My thanks to Daisy for posting this fun personality test on her site today. I took it in college and I had been wondering how I would 'score' now, 15 years later. (For the record, I was an ENFJ back then - although barely an 'E'. I've always needed a lot of face time balanced with a great deal of loner time.)

So, who are you?

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007


I went for a long walk yesterday. A few of the leaves are starting to turn red and the air was crisp. My favorite time of year is coming - so why the heck am I so emotional, sad summer is over? I mean, really? I like fall. I like school. The kids like school. And yet. I. am. being. that. Mom. The one I smugly denied I am. I am feeling a wee bit sad that in a week, both kids will be in school, forever.

Now, let's be clear: I'm not suggesting I must go procure another baby. (Breathe Greg.) This isn't baby lust. I like my babies from a distance these days. It just hit me yesterday that we are nearing the end of a chapter in our lives and I find this awesome freedom bittersweet.

So forgive me while I am weepy. I'm sure it will pass.

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

live local? love portland?

Imago Dei Community Church (our church in Portland, Oregon) is hosting an event on September 8th to benefit Portland Public Schools, the Hollywood Theatre and Dignity Village (a semi-permanent village founded by homeless people in the area). We will also be hosting a celebration/BBQ on September 9th at the church at both services (9 am and 11 am).

If you would like to lend a hand, please don't hesitate. Head over to Love Portland to get all the details.




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Thursday, August 23, 2007

All better and birthday wishes

I feel much better today - less pain, less moaning. I cancelled my morning plans and proclaimed it a sacred stay-at-home day. A laundry and cleaning closets day. A plan dinners day. A domestic day. And don't forget, a yoga day.

I haven't 'practiced' my yoga routine in several weeks and it shows. Forgive me while I go all west coast on you, but yoga really does calm me down and stretch me out. I am always in a better mood afterwards and I notice my shoulders aren't wrapped my ears. When I am wise, I do it often. (I did 20 minutes of yoga on Christmas last year - between opening presents and before heading out to my parents' house - and I felt terrific.)

I've got a lot to get done, so I am off. But before I go, I'd like to wish Ms. Bad Mom a happy birthday - stop by and give her some love. She deserves it!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The one where I stumble around in the middle of the night

After a relaxing evening with friends and a foot soak, I came home and took extra Neurontin, my drug of choice when my neuropathy flares up. It is notorious for making me... ZZZZZZ

What was I saying?

Oh yes, it makes me sleepy but I figured that was just fine because I would be hitting the hay soon.

Lexi has been having a tough time at night, sleepwalking over the past few weeks. She ran into my door, and then pleaded to sleep with me because there was some strange noise in her room. By then the meds had kicked in and nothing was making sense so I fell out of bed and marched her back into her room. And I heard the shrill, mysterious sound. Now it was 1 am and I am crawling around her room, through the clothes we are sorting, by day, and I am confused and miserable, unsure where the racket is coming from.

I finally spied the Tamagotchi, dying its slow battery death. I tried picking the screw out with a hair barrette, unsuccessfully, and then decided to shove it in a drawer in the bathroom so we could all sleep again. Like when Phoebe threw the smoke alarm down the chute on Friends, only with prescription drugs in the mix and no laugh track.

It all seemed logical at the time.


I 'woke' up unrefreshed and out-of-sorts this morning. Greg is out of town and brought up the possibility of relocating again when we spoke on the phone last night. We are in the last weeks of summer break, and I am feeling like I have come up short, that we just didn't get everything in yet I am exhausted. That I want to fit more in with my kids, but they are starting to really get on my nerves. (And they literally hurt anyway.) And feeling irritated, and restless, and groggy, Mother Guilt perches on my shoulder - the kind I rally against and find useless but feel anyway.

Soon Greg will be home and I always feel better when he is around. I will jot down my to do lists for PTA and the mom's community I am mentoring at church. I will label school supplies, and finish up my book. I'll shake this lousy mood.

Until then I will be gritting my teeth and saying a little prayer, waiting to close a day that has overstayed its welcome.

Monday, August 20, 2007


It's safe to say that I am not much of a shopper. I would like a better wardrobe, new things, but I know that buying clothes is hard and expensive and well, often depressing. I would like the Mary Poppins of fashion to descend upon me and give me some sugar and dress me up accordingly. I'm out of my league.

So, Lexi has been expressing some dissatisfaction with my mall neglect. I score well in many areas and she is still young enough to admit she likes to hang out with me, but she needed Aunt Lori to take her to the mall today to do what people do there - shop, hang out, _______. (Beats me.)

She followed me about this morning, looking like a cute little Nancy Drew, with the Ikea catalogue in one hand and an ad for some creepy collector's item baby doll. (It then was stuck on my fridge next to the ad for striped sheets at Macy's THAT MUST BE CONSIDERED.)

ikea infiltrates the milton household
I think this wanting things stage may send me over the edge.

{PS: She did have a swell time with Lori. Maybe that will scratch the itch.}

Friday, August 17, 2007


When my google reader reached 100+ unread posts, I panicked a bit and then went about my business feeling shaky and sweaty, but able to step away from my laptop. (The addiction isn't so cute anymore.)

jolly ranchers

I made some earrings. (They are not edible.)

I saw a concert with the most excellent people. (I can't speak to their edible/inedible status.)
I even found a book to devour.

I took kids numerous places (including a long stop at IHOP), had my car battery die on me, did numerous loads of laundry, had my car jump-started and drank copious amounts of tea, just because I could.
I'll be back, dear internet, and when I do, I'll try not to act like the fiend that I am.
{blogger knows I am trying to do this quickly and so, the formatting is being difficult - so sorry}

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Who am I kidding?

I lied. I didn't read much yesterday. I watched the kids swim and then sprung for public swim in the big outdoor pool because, hey, it was sunny and I have pushed this swimming thing all summer long. Big surprise: they love the water.

Lexi practiced diving (diving! pride!) and Zack showed me his somersault-under-water move. We splashed and played and nary a page was turned.

Zack even convinced me to play 'Simon Says' and I plunged my head under water. Still don't like it. (Zack said, "Hot diggetty!" He knows I hate it.)

So, I woke up grieving my lack of reading until it occurred to me that I read EVERYDAY. I read to the kids, and I read many, many blogs. I am addicted.

Then I discover new blogs. I need help...ack.

Monday, August 13, 2007


I'm napping. Or maybe reading my big pile of books. Last summer I met my 30 book quota; I think I am at 3 so far in 2007. It's pathetic.

I will be in and out (I say with an aura of authority, like I have a bazillion readers) while we make it through one more week of swimming lessons, marimba classes and lots of laying around at the park.

(Dude. I love to read.)

How are you spending the last weeks of summer?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Thanks bud

It just occurred to me why Zack has been nuzzling up to me, all snuggly this morning. It's not because he wants to cuddle with me as much as my kitten-soft wubby robe.

So, I called him on it. With a grin.

He came back with telling me how soft my skin is, my hair. And then he said something to start the day off right: "And your heart, Mommy, is really soft."

{Sometimes they know what to say.}

Friday, August 10, 2007

Field trip and celebrity sightings

in front of the Big House at Ft. Vancouver

Today instead of whining on the couch about my runny nose (I cannot live in denial any longer - I have a cold) or drippy frozen treats, my Mom and I packed ourselves some lunches and went to the Ft. Vancouver historical site. I have passed it perhaps 100 times since we moved here, and still not managed to mosey on over.

Zack wasn't exactly thrilled about the guided tour, but Lexi was amazed by the first 'Barbie' doll on display there. (She thinks I'm lying when I tell her Mattel wasn't around in the 1840s. She just looks at me like I am so uninformed.) The best part was watching the blacksmith forge a hook in the fire - and he let them take it home. The kids were tickled, and certain that when they grow up they want to be blacksmiths too.

(I'll re-post more pictures on flickr tomorrow.)

Also, I was so fired up over the blizzard stickiness yesterday that I forgot to mention that I saw Art Alexakis from Everclear at the theatre. Or at least I think I did. I looked down the sidewalk and thought 'that looks like the dude from...' and usually this is stupid in Portland because we are virtually celebrity-free. But then I thought, hey wait, he lives here - I saw him in the Oregon State fair ad or something. Soon I was extrapolating that the young woman with him was his daughter, and I was hoping they have a good relationship because divorce is hard on kids, just like his songs say. Sometime after I had wikied him, I started to think that maybe I was a tad too invested in this stranger's life.

I can say that if it was him, he seemed like a pretty normal dude which is to say in Portlandese, he wore a black tee and sported some serious tats.

And I thought how strange it must be to have people looking at you, rubber-necking. I told Lexi later that that guy was a rock star. When I explained why I didn't bug him, she made it clear to me that if Mr. Mullet's little girl (that's Hannah Montana, y'all) were there, she would talk to her fer sure. They'd be best friends and all.

We live in a funky world.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Why we need lids; a letter

Dear DQ drive-thru window operator,

According to the heavy TV ad campaign, today was the day to buy a blizzard - proceeds were dedicated to the Children's Miracle Network. After seeing a little one with a cleft lip, Alexis was horrified and sad and determined to help somehow. And if helping meant eating a frosty treat on a warm day (thank you), well, so be it.

(I had my own reservations about stopping by today seeing as they had a donut with friends in the morning and candy with their great Grandma at the theatre this afternoon, but hey, summer is short. Load 'em up on the kiddy cocaine and live on the edge.)

I wondered if I was applying my very best judgement when I drove away with a blizzard and no lid. But I was being carefree Mom today and I figured you knew what you were doing, being a ice cream purveyor and such. Who am I to question your methods? I bow to your blending expertise.

Alas. I was wrong. I should have reached through the window and shook you until you gave up the lid. The extra special, kid-healing blizzard began to drip. The drips came faster and faster, flying through the car as I shifted. With every left turn, cookie-dough flipped onto my son's blue sweatshirt, causing him to shriek. (Please note he screams very loud.)

We took two right turns into our neighborhood, flicking sticky goo down my vents and into my CD player and stereo. It was MY turn to freak out, DQ blizzard maker. I nearly swore.

So please, provide a lid for the many mothers coming to your charity drive. I know we can be annoying, but we are your bread and butter and I will tell your Mom if you back talk me, missy.

Thank you much,

Mama Milton

Cleaner of Stereos
Wrangler of Sugarfiends

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Those Milton genes, or why chlorine smells a little like a metaphor

I sat today at the pool, praying for sun. I know those suffering in record heat might find my prayer incredulous, but it has been cloudy and raining off and on. I was born and raised Oregonian, so I am aware there's some law against whining about gray skies, but it's August folks and my kids are learning to swim outdoors. Be kind to them, Lord. 'Cause it's August.

I watch them and my own swimming lessons come to mind. I remember laying poolside, practicing strokes, listening to the instructor. Waiting to dive. Swimming underwater. Treading water.

I am peculiar when it comes to water activities. There are only a handful of things I actually like to do and none of them include playing mermaid at the bottom of the pool. But I made it through all this before - I just didn't like it, and I wasn't a natural.

These are clearly Greg's kids.

They are always willing to swim, no matter the weather, no matter how tired they are. They don't beg to sit out. They love it.

I watched a retired man swim laps for a time. He made it look so easy, so effortless. It may be worth remembering that a lot of training goes into his fluid moves. It takes time to become that graceful.

That's something even a terrestrial woman like me can appreciate.


Tara posted some great pictures of the kids playing put-put golf today. Supercute!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Bad Mom was hoping to get the goods on me when she tagged me to share some secrets. She, being Her Royal Badness, had some clever answers. I do not. I am too (please check one): boring, settled and old to have much in the juicy secrets category. I sound like a 2 year-old, chattering NONONO to every question.


DxUnknown also tagged me to do the 8 things yada, yada on my other site. Because I get to make it up completely, I thought I'd give it a whirl.

{I'm behind this week - I was nursing a big bad headache last night. I must have been overstimulated from my maiden voyage to the new Portland IKEA yesterday. IKEA is so bright, and brilliant, and this is coming from a non-shopper kinda girl. Yowza.}

Ok. On to the meme portion of today's post:

  • *Though generally tolerant, I cringe and become violent when someone dear and too near crunches on ice or eats sunflower seeds next to me and my grumpy ear.
  • *I know this is wrong and not nice.
  • *Knowing I am being a jerk doesn't ease the rage.
  • *Speaking of angst and rage, I know every word to every Guns N' Roses song.
  • *I don't listen to their old CDs with my kids.
  • *I don't want to explain 'rubber maid' or 'Mr. Brownstone'.
  • *As it is, I have ruined my offspring with tales of vampires and slayers.
  • *Hopefully teaching 2 year-olds about Jesus on Sundays makes up for some of my flaws. (There's nothing better than hearing a toddler utter something about Jesus being their friend.)

Here's the deal. If you want to do this meme and have been waiting for some twit to tag you, please consider yourself tackled. (Please leave a comment if you do. I'd love to read it.)

(I don't like all the bossy meme rules and regulations. So if you don't have to comment if you don't wanna.)

Friday, August 03, 2007

24 hours; how will I manage and who will buy the TP?

I woke up this morning, raring to go. I managed to shuffle the youngins over to Sandy to see my parents yesterday, and pulled off my first day completely to myself in months. Boy, did I have plans - my to do list was long because I WANT TO DO IT ALL. See 'Knocked Up' (though it left the theatres around here today), go to Powell's, buy toilet paper, finish unfinished craft projects, start writing my novel, read my favorite blogs, aquabox, and maybe nap before date night with hubby.

I think I got to 'read blogs' in my swanky purple robe, and petered out.

It's disheartening, and so like me to have crazy expectations for one 24 hour period.

So, I am picking just a couple things and making a solemn pinky-swear promise to myself that I will make time for some fun, just for me, more often so I won't feel so desperate to fit it all in every six months.

Maybe we could have more date nights too. What a concept.

(Watch out world. I'm buying TP. Living large. Some things I just can't escape.)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Bitter Bessy

Move over sleepyhead, and get outta the way. Make room for the new girl in town - meet Bitter Bessy.

Bitter Bessy was looking forward to a few days all on her own while her kids frolicked at her folks' house, soaking up the Grandparent-y affection and love. And blueberry picking. Bitter hoped to work out a little (a feeble attempt at virtue) and then spend many many hours drinking coffee and losing herself at Powell's Books. And then Bitter was going to see if Mr. Doesn't Know He is Bitter Yet wanted to meet her for middle eastern food downtown. She was going to skip the hummus menu and sway him with the belly dancer portion of the evening.

Then Grandma Not Bitter But Could Be Swayed called to say that her dang Durango died. A good daughter would have said nice things to the one who brought her into the world, considering she was the one stuck on a scary rural road. But Bitter Bessy whined about rain on her parade. Because that's how she rolls.

Bitter slept on it and decided that the last useless swimming lesson could be sacrificed so she could make the trek to the marooned Grandma and fun would be had by all.

Bitter felt better and perhaps a little sweet.

(Sometimes a little time alone is all the mama needs. See also: getting up with the sun.)

Progress report

Hi. My name is Sleepy-bug Mommy. You may know me as Lisa or Mama, but don't be fooled. It is midafternoon on a hot August day and I want to take a nappy-poo. But then who will take the troops to swimming lessons?

I don't see any volunteers, so onward march I go.

I'm starting to question a few of my methods this summer. Like getting up a 6 am. Maybe I would be bright and cheery right this minute if I slept in like a respectable mama. But it is the only time I get to be alone. ALONE. And alone is cheaper than therapy, so the schedule stays.

Also, maybe I shouldn't make such a fuss over teaching the kids new tricks. I've got Lexi fetching the phone for me these days and occasionally, she will even pick it up. And bring it to me in the tub, so I can die talking to a telemarketer. Or saying, "my Mom left me all alone with my little brother..." like she's some neglected waif. Clearly she doesn't understand the fine arts of phone screening. It's crucial if she's going to grow up to be just like me.

And teaching Zack to read - was that really necessary? He loves to look at the calendar at 6:30 and dictate my day to me. There's no more 'gee, that show isn't on all day'. He knows. He suspects I used to lie; I see it in his eyes. Of course, literacy backfires. I'm not buying the whole 'this book is too hard for little ol' me' bit during the sanctioned quiet reading time, mid-afternoon. Whine and fuss if you like, little man, but if you are going to ask why Mommy needs V-A-L-I-U-M , you certainly can manage 'Little Bear'.

Clearly knowledge is power. (And maybe overrated said the fatigued one.) I think I need some coffee. Is it too early for a cocktail?