Friday, December 29, 2006
So I decided today, at exactly 11:34 a.m., that I was ready to begin making over the kids' bedroom into the magical medieval theme I had contemplated in July.
Just like that?
Yup. Just like that.
I've been thinking about it again for the past few days and I suddenly got the itch to paint and Baby was sleeping and...well...it just happened.
And here is what I did.
Next I will slap some gray paint on the walls and paint a lovely stone border around this to make it into a window.
The idea is to get as much done as possible before I start school on January 9th.
Of course we all remember how great I am at finishing painting projects. It only took me eight years to completely paint my living room. At that rate, sister will be thirteen and Brother will be sixteen. Think he'll still appreciate a castle bunk bed then?
By the way, I'd like to thank my friend, The Pink Commander, for making her kids' rooms so incredibly beautiful that I became a covetous wretch that can't rest until my own children have dwellings equally as lovely.
You're a true friend.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can Ro-Tel diced tomatoes and chilis
1 can chicken broth
leftover turkey or chicken, skinless, shredded
minced garlic (I usually use a heaping teaspoon, probably about 2 cloves)
Monterey Jack cheese
Simmer all the ingredients (except for cheese) together for about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in a handful of shredded cheese. Serve over crushed tortilla chips and top with more cheese.
Warning: Highly Addictive
Friday, December 22, 2006
Only they're not.
My initial reaction was denial. I cleaned the countertop with bleach and pretended it was some kind of weird, supernatural phenomena. Coincidence. A one-time freak incident. And I went along my merry way.
But the sprinkles returned. And then a hole was chewed in the bread on top of the fridge.
I couldn't deny it any longer.
We have a mouse.
But even then I didn't come to full terms with it. Is there such a thing as "a mouse"? Or is it more like "a mouse infestation"?
I told Hubby, who said he would set some traps, and returned to my nice, happy place of Ignore-It-And-It-Will-Go-Away.
One evening while Hubby was working and the kids were in bed, I mosied into the kitchen on my way to retrieve a load of laundry from the dryer. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted movement on the countertop.
Unless the coffeepot sprouted feet, that should not be happening.
I quietly sneak over to inspect the situation further, with a bit of fear and trepidation, I might add.
And what should I see but a pair of beety little black eyes peeking out from behind one of my yellow apple canisters.
He just sits there, frozen, waiting for my next move. I wad up a paper towel and throw it his direction.
He doesn't even flinch.
Now a mouse in plain sight is bad enough, but a brave mouse sitting there staring you down in your very own kitchen is just downright creepy.
I went from freaked out to mad. How dare that brazen little rodent challenge me?!
So I charge him, knowing full well I won't catch him. But, by golly, I'm gonna give him a good scare.
He bolts, of course. But to where I don't know. He disappeared behind the vegetable steamer and then vanished into thin air.
How do they do that???!!!
And where's the cat during all of this? Asleep on my bed.
That's it. No more food for Cookie. I'm cuttin' her off.
I rummaged around in my box of miscellaneous junk and found a package of EZ set traps. You know, the kind you don't even have to bait because that big, yellow piece of plastic with holes in it is supposed to trick the mice into believing it's real cheese.
They are also easier to set, which saves you a trip to the ER to have your finger reattached.
I set it and put it behind my apple canisters. I even take some little pieces of chocolate cake and sprinkle them around the trap, thinking my plan is quite diabolical. That little mouse is going to be so taken with my homemade chocolate cake he won't even notice he's walking right into a yellow plastic EZ death trap.
Heh, heh, heh.
Next morning I tiptoed gleefully to the kitchen, fully expecting to see my plan had worked.
What did I find?
That evening Hubby and I put the kids to bed and watched "The DaVinci Code" while I played with....uh, I mean, wrapped the kids Christmas presents.
All of a sudden we hear a loud SNAP!
And then it screams.
Dear God...the screams.
My Knight In Shining Armour heads to the kitchen to resolve the situation while I cower in the living room.
He then proceeds to tell me all the gory details.
"It's a little one! Cute, too."
Now I'm feeling bad. Sure, I wanted them obliterated and smashed into a million, zillion little pieces, but I didn't actually want to hurt them.
I retreat to the playroom while Hubby disposes of our tiny victim outside. I don't want to see it. I don't want to know. I just want to find my happy place and camp there a while.
But while he is performing the dirty deed, I hear him talking to someone.
Very curious, indeed.
When it's all over I come out of my hiding place and ask who he was talking to.
"The mouse," he says, rather matter-of-factly.
"And what did you say?"
"Well, I told him if he happened to survive the night, to tell all his friends that the Death Angel is coming for them, too."
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Go to this link and sign up to receive these old radio shows...for free! You can download stories and play them from your computer. This particular one is called The Cinnamon Bear and comes with a coloring book you can print from Adobe. My kids have really been enjoying it. The other day they spent an hour listening to several of the chapters and coloring!!
An hour of quiet? Who wouldn't want that?!
Sunday, December 17, 2006
And I have managed to get three A's and one B.
I could give you a million excuses for that B, but I think instead I will just be very, very happy.
Hey, ya'll! LOOK WHAT I DID!!!!!!!!!
I'm kinda proud.
Friday, December 15, 2006
No. Not those kinds of toys.
These are real toys. You know, the kind my kids like.
This toy store is small and privately owned. You will never find Spider-Man, Barbie or Elmo in this store. No video games. No DVDs. No obnoxious battery-operated toys designed to suck your child's brain dry of any imagination.
These are quality, inspiring toys. The kind that make you want to be a kid again.
So, when I come up emtpy handed on Christmas gift ideas for Baby, I head over there to see if any of their very helpful, very knowledgable staff can help me out.
The minute we hit the door the kids scatter, each going to their favorite section. Brother heading to the pirates and knights while Sister skips off to the fluffy, pink side of the store. I follow Baby to see what tickles her fancy.
She zeros in on an electronic keyboard, complete with tiny little seat and microphone stand. She's played with it before, but I'll be honest. It's not my favorite toy in the store. It doesn't even look like it belongs. It looks as if a stiff 2-mile-an-hour wind could smash it to a million little red and blue plastic pieces. I've never given it a second thought.
But the Christmas spirit is upon me and I glance at the price tag. I mean, can you put price on a little girl's happiness?
Apparently you can. To the tune of $68.95.
Seventy dollars for that????!!!
I try to steer Baby toward the cute jungle bongos or jingle bell shakers. She is momentarily distracted when I hear a snooty voice in a British accent say, "Where have you gone? Let's play mue-sick!"
It's the keyboard. Of course, for seventy bucks you get the built in babysitter feature. Perhaps it reaches out and drags your child back if they don't respond within a certain amount of time.
We don't stand around and wait to find out.
An employee catches up with us around the adorable out-of-my-price-range kitchen and offers help.
I pounce on her.
"What am I going to give her for Christmas?!" I ask, shoving my wiggling, ornery little critter at her for emphasis.
"How old is she?"
"She just turned two."
"How about a baby doll?"
"My parents already got her one along with all the cute accessories."
"What about a chalkboard easle?"
"We have one."
She thinks for a moment and then shows me to the arts and crafts department. She then hands me a tissue paper craft kit. This kit comes with many different colors of tissue, which are to be crumpled into little balls and then glued to little shapes of pre-cut cardboard.
Two year olds, tissue paper and glue. Hmmmmmm...
"Well, what does she like to do?" the saleslady asks.
"Uh, let's see. Draw on the walls, remove all the credit cards from my wallet, watch endless amounts of Dora the Explorer, pull her sister's hair, pound the computer keyboard and run with scissors. Hey! Got any scissors?"
I think I exasperated the nice saleslady, because she disappeared.
And I am still no closer to a gift.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
You may recall, from my previous post, Sister's fascination with certain potty words. This lovely work of art further illustrates my point.
Look closely and you will see the figure with two large, round eyes, who is really a baby. This baby is holding in each of his hands a polka dot blanket and a polka dot pillow.
Upon closer observation you may notice the large, round, purple object between the stick legs of said baby.
In the words of the artist, that is "a big, giant POOP!"
So, would you consider this abstract or realism?
Update: Now she is singing "We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Poopy New Year!" There must be medication for this.
Monday, December 04, 2006
It never fails to depress me.
I know, I know. Something must be wrong. Why in the world would shopping depress me? Is it a hormone imbalance? A female glandular problem?
It's the size of my rear. And the gray hair. And the little lines I'm starting to see on my face. And my bloodshot, sleep-deprived eyeballs. And the mirrors...for the love of all that is holy, why do we have to have so many GODFORSAKEN MIRRORS in the JCPenny's dressing room???!!!
And I wish the gorgeous, twenty-something model on the Photoshopped perfume poster would stop staring at me.
I want a stylist.
I want someone to pick clothes off the rack for me that make me look fabulous and I will never have to look in the mirror again.
Oh, yeah. Make them seriously on clearance, too.
I mean it, folks. I need help.
So my two good pairs of jeans have holes in the knees and the rear end. In the eighties, I would have been super hip. Pair that with some sky-high Aqua Net hair and a Spuds McKenzie T-shirt and I would be a veridable fashion maven.
But on a thirty-three-year-old mommy, it just looks like I'm trying too hard.
Today I actually had time and funds to go do some shopping. So I head to the mall, mustering up what little optimism I have left from the last shopping trip.
I begin in Macy's and, once again, have the same, sinking feeling I have every time I go shopping:
Is it just me, or is everything made for teenagers and grandmothers?
I mean, I can either have a shirt that is skin tight and navel-baring or I can have a zip-up, Christmas cardigan, embellished with sequin teddy bears and snowflakes.
WHERE'S THE IN BETWEEN?????!!!!
I don't want a pink, cable-knit sweater set, but I don't want the see-through, Paris Hilton-esque, camisole, either.
So, how am I supposed to vear from my old standby of jeans and V-neck black knit shirt? How do I find a style that says "Yes, I am a mom, but I'm not looking at condos in Florida?" or "Me-ow, do you like what you see?"
So, what did I buy?
And jeans and a V-neck knit shirt.
But it's blue.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Yesterday my sweet, darling, teeny, tiny, little Baby turned two.
(Are you sensing some denial here?)
Two is still a baby, right? I mean, never mind how big she looks in the picture, she's still a baby. She's not really big, is she? Even though she's talking, putting on her own shoes and eating with a spoon instead of her hands, I can still call her a baby. She still wears a diaper...babies wear diapers, right?
It was a fun evening, even if we were celebrating her getting bigger. Hubby, who would normally be working, took the night off to be with us.
That alone is cause for celebration.
Brother, Sister and I colored Dora pictures and hung all over the kitchen. We hung balloons and streamers and baked her a Dora cake.
Hey, get a load of that cake.
We had fun, party-like finger foods for dinner and watched Baby go crazy in her little slice of heaven surrounded by Dora. Though she didn't fully understand what was going on, she was definitely enjoying being the center of attention.
Like she isn't anyway.
It was all very wonderful...even if she is two. Even if she is growing up on me. Even if she is my last baby who will break my heart and leave me one day.
But I'm okay.
And if that cake doesn't make me a shoe-in for Mother of the Year, then I give up.
Friday, December 01, 2006
I had just washed my hot pink Banana Republic cardigan and laid it over the back of a chair at the kitchen table to dry. Baby was sitting at the table, coloring. I then turned back to the stove where I was making lunch.
A word of advice:
Never turn your back on a 1-year-and-364-day-old toddler alone with markers.
When I turned around again she was coloring the wooden slats on the back of the chair with a purple marker and my beautiful sweater had purple scribbles all over the back and shoulders.
I quickly grabbed the sweater and doused the scribbles in Spray n Wash, sending up a silent plea. I let it set a few minutes and finished lunch for the kids. When I came back, the purple had disappeared from the sweater and I breathed a huge sigh of relief.
Baby could live to see her second birthday.
Normally, I would wash my sweater with dark colors, but light colors were next in the washer, so I tossed it right in with my husband's favorite white T-shirt with his favorite football team on the front.
And you know what happened next.
But Hubby, pink is the in color this year. Especially for football T-shirts. Really.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Only here can it be 70 degrees one morning and 24 with snow and ice the next.
I had the best laid plans to be productive today. We were going to carry on just like any other day. Business as usual. The kids were asking to go out and play and like a real Grinch, I was being firm. "No. School and chores first."
Then those public school kids had to go and mess it all up.
We had just barely made the beds and hadn't even sat down to do our lessons when the knock came at the door.
(Actually, due to the Christmas music we had blaring, it was more of a very loud, obnoxious pounding.)
Since the schools were out for the weather, the little neighbor boy down the street wanted Brother to come out and play in the snow.
What's a mom to do? I mean, it's one thing for your own kids to know how mean and hateful you can be. But it's clearly another for all the neighbor kids to know.
So I caved. And we declared it a Snow Day.
I bundled up the kids, which was an adventure in itself since I have yet to buy a winter coat and mittens for Sister. We layered jeans and a sweater over pajamas. We borrowed Brother's superhero knit cap and put socks on her hands. She didn't mind a bit.
The rest of the day was spent alternating inside and out. Playing in the snow a bit. Coming inside to warm up and dry off. Then back out to play. At one point we baked gingerbread cookies and had a tea party with Sister's ceramic tea set. Another time we snuggled under blankets on the couch and watched a video (while Mom caught a little cat nap).
No school. No chores.
Yet hardly unproductive.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
However, Sister has recently developed a rather interesting little quirk.
She loves the word "poop".
Now, instead of trying to find ways to work her new favorite word into conversations using the correct context, she just inserts it randomly wherever she sees fit. For instance, when I ask her if she would like turkey or ham on her sandwich, she replies, "Poop and cheese, please," and then dissolves into adorable belly laughs, obviously very proud of her clever take on words.
At first, I reprimanded her, as any mother afraid of being embarrassed in public would do. "Sister, that isn't polite." But my obvious horror and disgust only served to spur her on.
While watching Dora the Explorer, she decided to invent her own dialect of Spanish, changing the words ever so slightly:
"Encada. That means POOP!"
Then she changed the lyrics to one of Dora's songs:
"Eisa turn the poop, turn the poop, Eisa."
So I tried a new strategy. When she used her fun little word, I simply ignored it. I didn't react in the least. And then I had a conversation with her about what we can say when it's just us at home and what we can say in public.
Did it work?
Well, she hasn't screamed it in Wal-Mart yet. But she still likes to throw it around now and then. Last night I tucked her in and turned to leave the room when I heard a soft, sweet voice in the semi, night-light-infused, darkness.
"I love you poopy Mommy." (snicker, snicker)
Well, you have to admit. That was pretty darn cute.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
But this time of year brings out the Martha in me.
So when Mom asked me to bring green bean casserole and a dessert to Thanksgiving dinner, my inner Martha stepped in and took charge. Her list looked like this:
Green Bean Casserole
Pumpkin Pound Cake w/Walnut Sauce
Homestyle Macaroni and Cheese
So much for casserole and a dessert.
I jumped in with both feet this afternoon, spending about eight hours in the kitchen, peeling, mixing and chopping. Brother played football with the boys down the street. Sister was beside me in the kitchen, learning to knead and making a little concotion of her own, and Baby...well, Baby was doing what she does best. Finding trouble.
So, how did it all turn out? Well, I forgot two key ingredients for the Spinach Dip, so it never materialized. The Apple Crisp had to be crossed off. My bread didn't rise...at all. And the edges of my pies got a little dark. Far from perfect.
But what fun.
Tonight it feels good to sit and rest my weary feet. The house smells of warm butter, yeast and sticky, sweet cinnamon. And it's all wonderfully satisfying. Tomorrow we will gather around the table with family, who is also far from perfect, and feast.
Imperfection is good. It means we have reason to keep trying. And trying means another chance to enjoy the process.
Enjoy the process this holiday.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
About six years ago, when Brother was a baby, I had been talking to Hubby about installing a dishwasher in our kitchen. It was an old house, and didn't come with one. We had done some research and had decided we could get one for about $100 and install it ourselves. We waited for Christmas, when we knew we would probably get money from our parents.
About two weeks before Christmas, I went to check the mail and found an envelope addressed to us and from us, though I knew I didn't send it. With trembling fingers I opened it to find $200 in American Express gift checks and a note attached:
"To buy appliances"
No signature. No clue as to who sent it.
And I still get misty when I think of it. I think of them every time I wash dishes in my beautiful dishwasher. I hope in some way they know how very much it means.
I still don't know who sent it, but whoever it was, touched our lives in a very powerful way. Too often we give with expectation. Christmas is literally steeped in this tradition. But what happens when we give without reciprocation...without recognition?
Let this inspire you...
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
After having a record-breaking nearly eight hours of sleep last night, I am feeling a little silly for allowing myself to get so worked up at my classmate.
Can I blame sleep deprivation?
In retrospect, I don't believe he was trying to be mean or petty. I think he was only trying to joke and have a little fun with me. I may, in fact, have to issue an apology to him. I think he probably felt bad, too.
The reality is, I love school. I don't see it as a drudgery, although sometimes I really hate having to roll out of bed so early to study. It may honestly be easier for me. Not because I'm so great and wonderful or super intelligent, but because I enjoy it. He is probably not in the same place.
I really don't want to whine about it, because this is a great time in my life. If I had to drop out of school tomorrow, I would be devastated.
Funny how coffee suddenly makes everything crystal clear.
And stains your teeth. But I still drink it.
Monday, November 13, 2006
I call it Music Therapy.
Tonight, after getting all riled up at Mr. Whiney Government Man, I was in the mood for Angry Girl Music.
I flipped through all the stations, thinking surely something could help me purge the Angry Girl.
I love all this on a normal day. On a normal day it would make for a great therapy session. But tonight it wasn't scratching the itch.
I keep flipping.
I land upon a lovely musical selection played with a dulcimar.
This only fuels Angry Girl.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, IT'S A DULCIMAR!!!!!!!!!
For Christmas I would like a CD player for my car so I can listen to Kelly whenever my Angry Girl so desires.
So, feeling angry? Join me in some music therapy. Bang your head and scream the lyrics. If you do it right, you will feel better. If not, kick the cat.
Well, there was that incident in second grade where I bloodied Randy C.'s nose, but that wasn't really my fault. I mean, I told him to leave me alone.
However, tonight I came as close as I ever have been to clocking Mr. Whiney Government Man.
As I entered the classroom tonight, these were his completely ignorant, devoid of thought or common sense comments to me:
"Hey, I've got my grocery list with me! If you've got time to make a 94 on a test, you've got time to run to the store for me!" (insert insipid chortling here)
I'm a nice person.
I can take teasing.
But this...this made my blood boil.
On the outside, one would observe a quiet demeanor and a coy smile as I calmly took my seat, never raising my eyes to look at him because in actuality they might shoot real honest-to-God flames and incinerate his juvenile, condescending ass.*
Inside I was screaming and throwing desks. I was grabbing him by the throat. I was...well, it wasn't pretty.
"BOW WHEN YOU SPEAK TO ME, SWINE!!!!! I AM SUPERMOM, RULER OF ALL THINGS GOOD AND DOMESTIC! I HAVE TAMED TODDLERS AND TAUGHT THEM TO POTTY! DO NOT MOCK ME!!!!!"
I manage to take a deep breath, unclench my fists and repress the twitch I feet in my left eye. This man needs a lesson in decorum and couth. I use this opportunity to tell him, in no uncertain terms, exactly with whom he is dealing.
"Well," I sigh, and say with a smile, "let me just give you the low down. I have three children. I homeschool. I own my own business. And I am taking 12 freaking hours. I don't have the time. I MAKE the time." And I give my desk a whack, just for emphasis.
Hmph. No response.
I sit through the rest of the class, trying desperately to focus on what the instructor is saying, but I'm livid. I am even more embarrassed when the instructor asks me a question and I have no reply because though my eyes have been on him, I didn't hear a word of what he said.
I feel my ears turn red.
When class is dismissed, I walk by Whiney Man's desk, not about to look his direction.
"See you next week!" he says cheerfully.
I keep walking.
"Good job, girl. I'm proud of you."
That's all I needed. I am validated. Whiney Man gets to live another week.
Lucky for him.
*Those of you who know me personally may be surprised, perhaps even offended, by my use of profanity. It is not something you are likely to ever hear from my lips. And you have never seen me write it here. However, I do sometimes curse in my head and this situation was absolutely curse-worthy. I figure if I think it, it must be okay to write it. So either I am growing up or spiraling downward into a dark, sinister black hole of evil. Maybe both.
Friday, November 10, 2006
Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of life, this seems so commonplace. So normal. But I am here to tell you, there is absolutely nothing commonplace about it. Babies are nothing short of miraculous.
I stopped by the hospital on my way home from class Wednesday morning. As I was entering from the third floor of the parking garage, two women came out. One of them looked up at me with tears running down her face and then looked back down at the ground while the other put her arm about her shoulders and whispered something in her ear. Once inside the doors, a larger group of people, perhaps somehow related to the two women, were crying and comforting each other.
They had obviously received some bad news.
And I walked past, unaffected by their suffering. It struck me for a moment how close I was to their pain. How I could almost reach out and touch it, but my life would not be altered by it. And it seemed odd that I could be happy and excited while they were grieving...odd and not quite fair.
I looked around a bit and found a volunteer working at a desk and asked her where the maternity ward was. She directed me to the sixth floor. I loaded the elevator and pressed 6. A surgeon walked in behind me, wearing a very glum and not at all friendly expression. Then we were joined by a lady on a gurney and her attendant. This young man looked very young. Like barely-out-of-high-school young. And he kept looking over at me, which made me somewhat uneasy.
We arrived at the sixth floor and everyone filed out, including me. The young man asked me, "Can I help you find something?" He has a slight accent. Australian, maybe?
"Yes, I'm looking for Maternity," I answered, wondering if I had the correct term. I've only had three babies. I should know this information.
His quizzical expression fades to a knowing smile. "Oh, you're on the wrong sixth floor." There's more than one? "This is surgery." No wonder he kept looking at me funny. "Go back down to five, then cross the bridge to the north wing. Then go back up to six."
Back to the elevator.
I follow his instructions and find, what I believe to be the elevators in the north wing. It dings and I go on alone up to six. It's a short ride. The doors open and I am quite surprised to find the floor completely demolished. Power tools are whining and men in hard hats are all over. I step off, not quite sure if I should or not. One of the hard hats comes to my rescue and immediately sends me back down to five. Apparently the north wing is a little further north.
Back to five, heading northward.
This time, I think I've got it.
A young mother arrives at the same time I do, pushing her toddler girl in a stroller. She turns to reveal a very pregnant tummy. The little girl is adorable. And I fight the urge to hand her a business card and tell her how sweet her girl would look in a bow. Instead I smile at her and ask how old the toddler is. Turns out she is turning two just a couple of weeks after my Baby. The mommy is having her new baby the following week and is there to tour the facility.
I feel a pang of envy. Just a little one.
I love babies.
So, I must be heading the right direction, given the pregnant mommy is going the same way...right?
After arriving, again, on the sixth floor, a nurse directs me to the ninth floor.
All I want to do is visit my friend and her new baby. Does ANYONE know where they keep the babies in this friggin' place?! I mean, they do still have them here, don't they?
After meandering around the hospital for about half an hour, I finally make it to the right place.
I'd better get to hold that baby.
The new dad greets me looking tired but very happy. I find my friend with the lactation consultant, learning to feed her precious baby boy.
And I tear up.
I just can't help it. Newborns make me cry.
He is so incredibly small. And so breathtakingly beautiful. And I can't believe mine were ever that tiny. If they were, it was only for about two seconds. It must have been.
When I finally get to hold him, I feel that pang again. You know, that envy thing. I am absolutely happy for my friend. Ecstatic. But sometimes I'd like to go back and relive that magical moment when you meet your baby for the first time. To go to that sacred place when a new life makes its entrance into the world. To stay in those sweet, tender, brand new moments for a little while longer.
He's exquisite. I cradle his tiny head in my hands and nuzzle his downy hair. He is perfectly still in my arms and seems to be completely aware of everything going on around him.
My maternal instinct is in hyperdrive. Seriously. My friend should consider herself lucky I didn't take the baby and run.
Instead I give him back to his rightful mommy, who is already hopelessly in love with him, and make my way home to my own babies, who are sure to get some extra snuggling when I get there.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
I realize you have been through a very difficult time. Losing your wife to cancer had to be devastating. For this, my heart goes out to you. If ever you want to talk about this, I am all ears. You have my complete sympathy.
However, should you ever comment about my grades again, I may have to, in all reality, take you down and slug the living daylights out of you.
It is quite possible your job keeps you so busy you can't find the time to study. I am sure taking 6 credit hours is draining for a single man whose children are grown. There are probably many extenuating circumstances of which I am unaware that prevent you from doing what is required.
But, please, please do not make comments that make it sound as though I am a lady of leisure who can pull off an "A" with the flick of my wrist. Do not make it seem as though you could do better if you had "the time" I do. I will pretend your attitude does not insinuate that because I do not have a "job" I have an abundance of free time to dedicate to my studies. For you are, in fact, ignorant of my schedule and know nothing of my life. It is that, and only that, that keeps me from tearing your arm from your body and beating your balding head with it.
I will not mention that I often get up at 5:30 a.m. to have quiet time to study. I will not tell you I did 10 loads of laundry on Saturday. Nor will I bore you with the details of the three and a half hours I did find between watching soaps and eating bon-bons to study for the test of which you speak.
I got a 94. And I worked for every friggin' point. Do NOT make light of that.
Next time you feel so inclined to comment on my grade, a simple "Good Job" will suffice. If you know what's good for you, you should probably include a superficial compliment or ask me if I've lost weight. Until then, I must seriously consider moving to a desk across the room from you and away from your whiney attitude.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Mmmmmm...lots of good stuff.
To all my neighbors out there who opted for chocolate this Halloween instead of the old standbys of Skittles, Dum-Dums and Starlight Mints, especially Ms. Cindy across the street who gave us full sized Hershey bars, I thank you.
From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Sister has always been easily distracted. As a temperamental toddler, I could always divert her attention whenever I sensed a meltdown coming on.
And sometimes, it still works.
Last night I promised the kids I would make them hot chocolate for breakfast this morning. Sister did not forget.
"Hey, Mom! Let's have hot chocolate this morning!" she says, her voice getting that squeaky-like quality it gets when she becomes excited.
"Great idea!" I say, mimicking her excitement.
We head to the kitchen to get started and she has a brilliant plan. "Let's have snacks with our hot chocolate!!"
"Like what?" I ask.
"Cookies!" comes the reply, increasing in excitement and pitch.
Cookies for breakfast. That is a brilliant plan.
"No!" I answer, still matching her giddiness.
"How about Candy??!!" she says, acting as though she has just stumbled upon a miracle cure for cancer.
See what I mean? Genius.
"No!" is my jubilant answer. "How about CHEERIOS?!" I ask with zeal and fervor, clapping my hands for affect.
"YEAH!" she shouts, jumping up and down like I've just handed her the keys to Toys R Us.
Sometimes it's just too easy.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
I will admit, I often wonder what good it does me to pray. I often wonder how in the world what I say could possibly sway a sovereign God. So many times, in situations like this, the outcome is not what I want, and my disillusionment grows.
But my heart breaks. And I don't know what else to do.
So join me, and pray for this baby girl and her family. Spread the word.
Thank you, Sarah, for posting about this.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
This just makes me mad...
CNN did a piece on this and interviewed a professional model who claimed that everyone knows the photos on the cover of Cosmo are altered. Nobody is that "naive", and it is "harmless".
I didn't know.
Last week, while waiting in line at the supermarket checkout, I saw a magazine cover with a picture of a young, Hollywood actress.
Blonde. Tan. Thin. Gorgeous.
Her quote on the cover was, "I'll never be perfect again."
Evidently she had plastic surgery that had gone awry.
There are so many things wrong with her statement I can't even begin to list them.
Ladies, today do something nice for someone else. Hug your children. Smile at a stranger. Don't give a second glance to the magazine covers and embrace your beauty...
Your REAL beauty.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Be very afraid.
This is what my sweet, precious Baby did to my beautiful cake, all smooth and golden brown on top.
Out of her reach? No. NOTHING is out of her reach. She knows exactly how to push a chair up to whatever surface is too high for her hot little hands.
I was taking it to a Halloween Costume Party for the kids tomorrow.
Whaddya think? Should I slap on some orange frosting and call it good? Or do I leave early for the party so I can stop off and buy some cupcakes?
Monday, October 23, 2006
Because it's 6:39.
This is not good, because I have class at 8:00 a.m.
And this should leave plenty of time to get ready. But I have a quiz this morning for which I am not completely prepared and wanted an extra hour to cram before heading off to school.
6:39 is bad.
I stagger into the living room to find Brother checking football scores on the computer and talking to someone on the phone.
"Who are you talking to?!" I demand. Who in God's name is calling my house at 6:30 in the morning and talking to my seven-year-old son??!!!
He continues talking and gives me the polite "one moment please" signal with his pointer finger.
"She's awake now...here she is," he says, and then hands me the phone.
I respond with a sleepy, yet obviously peeved, "hello".
It's my brother.
"Why are you calling so early?!" I ask, not even trying to be civil, waiting for my blood pressure to come down to normal.
He's hurt. "I just wanted to call and wish you a Happy Birthday before you left for school," he says, trying to not sound wounded.
Oh, yeah. Today's my birthday.
Now I feel like a heel. Like a squashed bug on the bottom of the heel.
So what do I say to that?
I think I said something like "thanks", but it's kind of a blur. I vaguely remember him handing the phone to my mom and her singing happily in my ear. The rest of the conversation is completely lost in my subconscience never to be found again.
Remind me to apologize to my brother later.
I get the coffee going and kick it into high gear. Actually it is more like sluggish, slothful, semi-high-ish gear, but I'm winding up to it.
I wanted to take a shower and try not to look like a bag lady today, on my birthday. But those plans are toast and I resort to throwing on yesterday's clothes and putting my hair up in a clip. I manage lipstick and mascara, which is admirable, in light of things and head to the kitchen to try and get half an hour of study time.
But my children have this habit...it's somewhat annoying.
They like to eat breakfast.
I literally throw Kix in a bowl, spilling them on the table and floor which suprises Sister. She knows Mommy would correct her for such behavior, so she looks at the scene with hesitancy and offers her two cents: "Uh...Mommy. You spilled some."
"Yes, Honey, I know. Don't just sit there. Grab a spoon!!!"
I sit down with my Psychology book and try to absorb the text without even a drop of coffee and Baby clamoring for Dora in the background.
Things are not looking hopeful.
At 7:32 I am yelling at Hubby to get out of bed while I find my shoes and shove books in to my bag. I pour the coffee into my Starbuck go-cup, give quick kisses to all (except Hubby...sorry, Hun) and fly out the door at 7:45.
Hubby drove the car last, so the seat isn't adjusted to fit my shorter leg span. Instead of fixing this problem while the car is stopped, I prefer to do it while driving and balancing my cup of coffee in my lap.
You know what happens then, right?
I end up with coffee in my lap.
It's a good thing I take my coffee beige. Otherwise I would be walking around campus today with brown stains on my baglady outfit.
I make it to class just as the instructor is unlocking the door. Barely on time.
Happy Birthday to me.
As I write this, things are looking up. I think I actually did really well on my quiz. My friend is taking me to lunch. She has a present for me!! And I just received an email saying my blog has been featured on BlogHop. The email was quite complimentary.
Yes, I know it's probably a standard email they send out to everyone they feature, but hey, it's my birthday, GIVE ME THIS.
Leave me a comment. Tell me Happy Birthday. Tell me I look 18. All bow down and adore me...please.
And then tomorrow we can pretend it never happened. Because that's what I like to do with birthdays.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Have you ever had one of these days?
This was Baby's expression for about six of the 14 hours we put in today. This particular episode began after I (gasp!) warmed her lunch for her to eat after naptime because she was too tired and cranky to eat it before. Apparently cold macaroni is her favorite.
Lord have mercy. Bedtime could not come fast enough.
After her two hour nap, which failed to leave her refreshed and happy, she began crying and asking for "Dowa", her cute little spanish-speaking friend from Nickelodeon.
"Sorry, honey," I say. "Dora isn't on right now."
So she runs down the list of Dora's friends, thinking surely if Dora isn't on TV, perhaps Boots or Backpack is. And I have to tell her no, they aren't on either.
But my answer is not satisfactory.
She throws herself to the ground, weeping and wailing, refusing to be comforted or distracted.
So what do I do?
We hop in the van, dragging a screaming and kicking snot-nosed Baby with us, and run to the library to get a Dora video.
I scanned the shelves, reading all the Running Times on each Dora video, trying to find the longest one. 48 minutes was all they had.
48 minutes??!!! I need 96. 96 minutes of funny, sunny Dora time.
Alas, it was not to be. But at that point I didn't care. I would've taken 48 seconds and happily played it over and over.
I showed the video case to Baby, who beamed and began pointing to the characters, reaquainting herself with her long, lost friends.
And all was happy again...for 48 minutes.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
A whole year of mindless drivel.
Go here to read my very first post and wax nostalgic.
In honor of the special occasion I am holding a little contest. See, I made this new bow to put on my website, but I need a really great, creative name for it. Whoever successfully names my bow (that means I get to pick which name I like best) wins that bow for FREE...shipping and all.
Don't have a girl to bowtify? Give it as a Christmas present!
Or wear it yourself. Hey, it worked in the 80's.
So here it is:
For some reason it makes me think of brownies. I don't know why.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Yesterday we were all watching TV and happened to see a commercial for the Swiffer Sweep/Vac.
They were enthralled.
And being the thoughtful, kind children they are, they thought of me.
"Mom!" exclaims Brother. "You need one of those! It's the new way to clean!"
To which Sister replied, "Maybe you can get that for Christmas!"
One can only dream...
Friday, October 13, 2006
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Now Hubby is railing on me. "Why haven't you blogged? You really need to do that, you know. It doesn't have to be great, just put something down."
I'll admit, I've felt a little pressure to write something witty and smart and it seems I am running out of material.
I know. Shocking.
You would think I would have an endless supply of material with three children at home all day, so why am I stumped?
Here's the thing. This blog was truly started out of desperation. The title has deep meaning. I was feeling frustrated and somewhat trapped by my life. I began writing to release those frustrations, and lo and behold if it didn't take on a life of its own. And before I knew it, I was living and breathing it. I spent the biggest chunk of my day thinking of what I would write next and being absolutely giddy when something crazy happened because I knew it would make a killer blog.
Sad, don't you think?
Don't get me wrong. I love blogging. I miss blogging. And I still want to do it. But there is a difference now.
I don't need to.
For me, the therapy worked. So when you see I haven't blogged for awhile, be happy for me. It means I'm not feeling overwhelmed and irritated. It means I'm taking my life in a healthy direction. It means I've spent the day feeding my mind, teaching my children and loving my husband and I'm not completely exasperated at the end.
Or it could mean I am up to my ears in laundry, dishes, homework, diapers and bows and I barely have time to pick my nose, let alone, type a friggin' blog. WHAT DO YOU PEOPLE WANT FROM ME???!!!
I mean, after all, I am Supermom.
Footnote: After giving it some thought, I worried this might have sounded very arrogant and haughty, as if I now have a life and all you bloggers out there don't. Please, don't take it that way. I love this weird, little blogging community and wouldn't dream of abandoning it. Blog on, sisters!!
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
I should be cleaning.
But I don't want to.
I've missed my little bloggy-woggy and I want to spend some quality time with it. It needs me. It actually accused me of spending more time with other blogs, but that is certainly not the case. In fact, for all of you with blogs I haven't visited in a while, please tell your blogs I am very sorry, and I will get around to it soon. I will make it up to them somehow.
Maybe I'll take them to the circus.
Or buy them ice cream.
So, in the spirit of not cleaning when I should, I thought I'd at least post about it, and somehow that should magically make it ok.
This interesting article at www.goodhousekeeping.com caught my eye today. It's entitled "Good (Enough) Housekeeping".
This article actually suggests you hide your clutter from company. It even suggests a good piece of furniture you can buy for just that.
Got a sinkful of dirty dishes and a dishwasher that needs unloading? Toss them in the oven!
Now folks, I've been pulling off this kind of deception for years. This is not news to me. Heck, I can even think of a few tricks they left out. But I am happy to learn it is now socially acceptable.
Fifty years ago, Good Housekeeping was telling us to iron our socks, vacuum every day in heels and pearls and perfect the routine of the perfectly prim housewife down to a "T".
Today, we don't have to worry about being perfect.
As long as we can fool everybody into thinking we are, it's all fine and dandy.
Refreshing, isn't it?
Saturday, September 30, 2006
She's way ahead of me in this motherhood game.
Once upon a time, in my other life (You know, the one where I wore makeup, had my nails done and went to the coffee house at 10 p.m. if the mood so struck me. That would be the "Pre-Baby Era".) I used to marvel and even wonder aloud how the heck my sister's kitchen floor got SO dirty.
I mean, my floor was never that dirty. Hubby, the cat and I kept our floor very clean. In fact, I cleaned it at least once a week. And I had a job! She was home all day, leading a life of leisure. Why couldn't she manage to sweep, for crying out loud?
Oooooo. I was a snooty little thang.
But alas, it has come full circle. My sister has the last laugh.
Behold, what I swept up in my kitchen floor today:
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Today, during our "Table Time", Sister started digging through our craft drawer. After a few minutes, she brought out a paper bag and a bottle of glue. I was helping Brother with his assignment when I noticed. I didn't pay a lot of attention and went back to helping Brother while she busied herself, swirling gobs and gobs of glue onto the sack. She then got a plastic container full of beans and began placing the beans on the glue, one by one.
This was no haphazard, throw-the-beans-on-the-bag-any-old-way production. She was meticulous, making sure every dot of white glue was covered. She even went as far as to color a blue dot on some of the beans, just for an extra punch of color.
She spent an hour on this. No lie.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
"Dude! I was talking to this girl the other day and she said she was going to have a different outfit for every day for a year!"
"Was she hot?"
"Naw, dude. She was fat."
"Man, an outfit every day...that's a lot of clothes! Dude, that's like...like...200 or somethin'...at least!"
Friday, September 22, 2006
According to some urban legend, there are children out there who are quiet, compliant and obedient when visiting the grocery store. It sounds crazy, I know, but I have actually seen a few. Otherwise, I wouldn't believe it, either.
Mine are not those children.
Each time we go to the store it's like a traveling three-ring circus has landed right in the middle of the frozen section, scattering innocent bystanders to and fro.
Yesterday was exceptionally fun-filled.
I go in with my list, trying hard to focus on it all so I don't forget anything, which I inevitably do. Immediately, before we barely make it through the front doors, Brother starts to ask for something.
This is becoming a frequent problem these days. I don't buy my children something everytime we go shopping. In fact, I NEVER buy them anything. I figure I'm buying food and toilet paper. What more could they ask for? The only time they get something extra is if they have their own money to spend.
So what's with all the asking? Brother asked for something three times before I even got anything in the shopping cart. Maybe he thinks his real mom has been abducted by aliens and I am the android, fill-in mom who doesn't know the rules.
And what is it about the store that makes them want to run? Is it the wide open aisles? Is it all the sugary snacks lining the shelves, seeping into their skin by osmosis? Is it the fluorescent lighting making their little brains short out and go haywire?
And the touching. They MUST touch everything. I know one day it will be the poor, helpless jar of spaghetti sauce or mayonaisse that will pay the price.
While passing by the soda aisle, I remembered the family gathering on Sunday for my dad's birthday. I called Mom to see what I needed to bring so I could pick it up while I was there and not have to make yet another death-defying trip to the store.
As you know, children have a sixth sense - a built in radar - that alerts them to Mom being on the phone and properly distracted. Prime time for mischief.
So the Not-So-Well-Trained Monkey Act begins. Baby, who has been trying to stand in the shopping cart seat every thirty seconds, has now resorted to slapping my chest and laughing. Brother is trying to pick Sister up by the neck, which elicits ear-piercing, window shattering squeals from her, and loud, obnoxious belly laughs from him.
While on the phone, trying to gather useful information, I periodically say, "Stop!" or "Sssshhhh!", even using sheer, brute force at times to try and control the chaos. But this only makes them more manic and hysterical.
We are attracting "looks" from other shoppers.
I finally tell my mother that I need to go and manage my children, who are behaving like hooligans. "Give my babies a hug!" she says sweetly. "What they need is a kick in the pants!" I growl.
Brother finds this extrememly funny and decides to turn the tables. What does he do?
He kicks ME in the pants.
And my protests only egg him on. Encouraged by this, Sister joins in. And Baby, always the copycat, begins her abuse of Mommy again by slapping my chest and laughing.
I look like a woman who has dropped a bag of marbles and is scurrying around trying to gather them up.
Who's the trained monkey here?
So, I will never, ever, EVER take my children to the store again. Even if all we have to eat is raisins and chick peas.
I would rather starve.
Monday, September 18, 2006
On my last post someone called surfingmama left an interesting little invitation. Here is what it said:
Hi there!We would like to invite you to showcase your blog articles to millions of internet-surfing mums through the Surfingmama Blog Carnival. Make a difference for mums all over the world. Surfingmama focuses only on stuff that matters. For mums. Submit to us practical, useful & informative articles that mums need to make informed choices. Topics include childcare, preschool, child-education, child-safety, pregnancy, child-health, special-needs, breastfeeding, mothers-health, childbirth, getting-pregnant, and etc.
I'm flattered and all...really. But I don't think this person has actually read my blog. How do I know this?
"...practical, useful and informative articles that mums need to make informed choices."
First off, they used the word "mum". That isn't at all relative as to whether or not they have read my blog, but I just thought it was funny. It makes me think of SuperNanny.
Supermom vs. SuperNanny. Hmmmmm...
Hel-loo? Name one post I have written that was practical, useful and/or informative.
Go on. Name one.
See what I mean?
How about these for articles?
- How To Shine Your Floors While Throwing A Temper Tantrum
- Just Say "No" To Exercise
- What To Say To Telemarketers
- Showering: Luxury or Neccessity?
- How To Put A Funny Spin On Your Child's Sociopathic Tendancies
- Paint Your Living Room In Six Short Months!
- Schizophrenia: You're Never Alone
- Decorating Tips Every Mom Should Know
- Finding The Best Dress For Shape...At Bass Pro Shop
- How To Save Money On Diapers
Now, if they need something whiney, sarcastic or mean, I'm the woman for them.
I question it myself daily.
But upon hearing the news of my new business venture, I believe people have deemed me as certifiably insane. The reaction is the same.
A quiet, speechless look of shock.
When they finally regain their faculties, their reaction is a variation on the following:
"So, you have three kids, homeschool, started back to college at a full 12 hours, AND you started a new business? ARE YOU CRAZY??!!!"
The answer would be, Yes. Indeed, I am.
To the average, logical, prudent person of normal common sense, this would be the behavior of a crazy person. One lacking in judgement and smart decision making skills. One who is on a one-way, crash course, doomed to run head on into Failure.
And if you had asked me to do all these things a year ago, I would have shook with fear and replied there is no way I could possibly do it all.
But I'm doing it.
Hubby told me it would make me better. He said I would be a better mother and a better teacher. And I couldn't see it. How could all that juggling possibly make me BETTER?.
I'll tell you.
Because I am away from my children for an entire day out of the week, I appreciate them so much more. I can be more patient and giving. Because I am given the opportunity to be out in the big, wide world that before was only am image on the TV screen, I am rediscovering who I am in it and how that relates to everyone else around me. I am given the opportunity to learn how to learn, which in turn, opens my eyes to my own little pupils at home and what they are facing in their education. Because I am pursuing the creativity that drives me and using it to better my situation. I have a purpose...more than one. I have found the freedom to give to myself, which makes it easier to give of myself, and the gift of that becomes sweeter. I'm remembering what it is like to have goals and dreams.
And I am not stressed.
In fact, I am happier because of it all.
Is my house clean?
But that is where the entire family becomes enriched by this experience. Hubby and the kids are learning to pitch in.
Groundbreaking, I know.
I dare say, our entire family is better for this wild ride.
I guess Hubby was right.
Don't tell him I said that.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Saturday, September 16, 2006
How would I know this?
It all began a few days ago, after the beautiful autumn weather settled in and brought with it cool breezes, falling leaves...
All of my children have seasonal allergies, but Brother and Baby have it the worst. Brother takes Claratin, so his have been somewhat tempered. Baby has been miserable. She's had a cough and hasn't been able to breathe well, which means she doesn't sleep well, which means I don't sleep well.
And that is a problem.
I hate having to give my children medicine and will wait as long as I possibly can. With Baby, I've tried to keep the Dimetapp to naptime and bedtime.
But it hasn't been enough.
I've had to up the dosage to every 4-6 hours. Problem is, I didn't consult her before I began this process, and she is very unhappy about the decision. In order to convince me of her extreme displeasure, she has taken to screaming, flailing, hitting, clenching her mouth closed, spitting out what little gets in her mouth and just generally refusing to take part in the medication ritual.
Beautiful, tender moments to cherish forever and always.
So around midnight last night, after two hours of her tossing, turning, snorting and coughing, I decided I might as well wrassle her down and try to get a little something in her. I was exhausted after two days of not getting much sleep and in no mood for games.
I take her to the kitchen, where I have the plastic, measuring spoon thingie and sit her down in a chair. She cries while I get the Dimetapp and pour it into the spoon. Thinking perhaps she might be tired and disoriented enough to actually cooperate, I come at her smiling, offering the sticky, grape liquid as though it were mint chocolate chip ice cream cone.
Apparently I was the one who was disoriented.
She immediately turns her head and lets out a shriek of disapproval.
No more Mr. Nice Guy.
I take her in my arms and put the wrestling hold on her, pinning her hands down and positioning her head between my arm and shoulder.
Oh, but she's obstinate.
She spits it out, letting it run down her neck and into her hair. She got some, but I don't know how much. She needs more, but I don't know how much more.
I'm sick of fighting her.
I'm frustrated with the whole thing.
I just want to sleep.
So, what do I do?
The thing most helpful to the situation.
The mature thing.
I do what any rational, thoughtful parent would do.
I throw things.
I first throw the plastic spoon against the wall. But it was too light. It didn't make a nice "thud". So I chuck the bottle of Dimetapp. It bounces off the wall and into the floor.
Not good enough.
I pick it up and throw it again.
This time it makes a great thud. So great it pops the lid off the childproof bottle and the bottle goes rolling into the living room. All the way across the room to the front door, leaving a sweet, purple trail.
After bathing Baby and mopping the floor, we got to bed around 1:00 a.m., where we both slept most soundly.
Weird. My floor is shiny.
Friday, September 15, 2006
Go to www.punkinheadhairwear.com to see my bow site.
My hands are shaking as I type this. I'm excited...and nervous. Mostly excited. But still nervous. What if I can't do this? What if it's too much? What it turns into a disaster? What if I completely lose my mind and became a screaming, raving lunatic?
Well, it's too late for that. I am a screaming, raving lunatic.
And thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to Jules, from Everyday Mommy for all of her help with this. I couldn't have done it without you, girl!!
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Monday was my day at school. That means Hubby got to play Desperate Housewife. I have to say, thus far he has really done a great job.
I mean, he doesn't do things MY way, but I hear there's more than one way to skin a cat.
Or so I've heard.
When I called him Monday afternoon to check in, he gave me a status report.
"I've done nothing today," he said.
"Not a productive day, huh?"
"No, I mean NOTHING."
I figured he was being general. All us housewives do that. We say we've done NOTHING, but that generally means instead of doing dishes, laundry, dusting, vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom, grocery shopping, rearranging furniture, cleaning out closets, saving the planet and feeding the children, we have only managed to wash dishes, do laundry, dust, vacuum, clean the bathroom and feed the children.
But no, he wasn't being general. He was being literal.
I arrived home to find things just the way I left them...only a little worse.
Dirty dishes. Dirty clothes. Unmade beds.
But the real kicker...the straw that broke the camel's back...the most heinous of all his domestic crimes...
He took my girls out in public without (GASP!)...
That's right, friends. My girls went out with naked heads.
He said he didn't feel well. OBVIOUSLY. I mean, I know this is true, because who, in their right mind, would do that to two innocent children.
Speaking of bows, isn't that picture up above absolutely beautiful? My friend took a bunch of them for my web site and did a spectacular job. All the pictures are so, so sweet. (Click the link and go check out her new site! If you see pictures of an adorable blonde girl with huge bows, that is Sister.) I am hoping to have everything finished and open to the public by this weekend. I will be definitely doing a post to let everyone know. So be watching!!!
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Tonight I watched a documentary about September 11 and the NYFD. I saw footage from a man in the midst of it all when the towers collapsed. I saw a storm of dust and debris and paper. Papers blew up against the lens of his video camera and stuck, flapping in the aftermath. Papers that had been sitting on desks not long before. Papers that belonged somewhere and had seemed so very important to the comings and goings of the day.
Story after story of brave men who plunged deep into the throes of danger. Men who didn't come out. One firefighter said, "You could have told us it was a nuclear bomb that went off. We still would have gone in." They went back in, day after day, sacrificing health, safety and sanity all in very dim hopes of finding someone...anyone.
To those men and their families, I salute you.
We will never forget.
The teethers and wrist rattles.
Save the crib, that's it.
I've sold them. For $103.
Seems so small compared to all the happiness I've had using them.
I must admit. This was not an easy step to take. It's like I'm admitting I won't be having any more babies. I can think it. I can agree when my husband says "no more", but actually coming out and doing something as drastic as selling my baby items? That means I have to commit to it.
I love babies.
But that's it for me. And I'm sad.
Help me out, moms. Those of you whose babies aren't babies anymore, how did you come to terms with it? How did you close the door?
Friday, September 08, 2006
I just don't get that.
Tonight while watching MTV's Fashion Rocks, I realize I can add one more to that list: Fashion. I must be way outta the loop because I just don't get why people think this kind of stuff is cool.
Tell me, would you wear this?
And can someone tell me, what happened to her neck?
This looks like she has a lobster claw on her head. But at least this one might actually be useful at Halloween.
"Help me! I'm being held hostage by the draperies!"
Betty Boop turns Dominatrix. Scary!
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
On more than one occasion, I have considered making this the title of my blog, because it seems to be a reccuring theme in my life.
But yesterday, the pee smell was taken to a whole new level.
We have three kids that live within one or two houses of us here in our neighborhood. I have, in the past, expressed my concerns of letting Brother play with these children. But I have recently lifted my restrictions somewhat and allow him to play with them as long as I can see them and have some supervision. One of the boys, we'll call him Jack, is 10, maybe 11 years old. He has some developmental and learning disabilities, so I try to be especially careful. Not that I think he is a bad kid, but he is nearing adolescence and I'm just not 100% certain my children should be left alone with him.
Yesterday, about five minutes after arriving home from our short weekend trip to see inlaws, the kids knocked on our door, asking for Brother to come out.
The weather was gorgeous. Brother had been with his family all weekend. He was itching to play boy games. So I let him go out and play. I had the windows open. I could hear and see what was going on.
They played tag and a really great game of hide and seek. Brother and another boy actually hid in our sandbox, quietly hiding under the lid. Before long, Jack knocked at the door asking to use the restroom.
"Uh, sure. Come on in."
He was in there only a few minutes. I never heard "tinkle tunes". I never heard the toilet flush. I never heard the water run.
A bit disconcerting.
He came out, smiling sheepishly, with a bright, wet spot on the front of his red shorts, and went back outside.
"I think Jack had an accident," I said to my husband, as soon as the boy was out of earshot.
"YOU LET HIM USE OUR BATHROOM??!!!"
If I have concerns about Jack, Hubby has deep-seated issues that go way beyond unnerving. He feels Jack's entire family is disturbed and needs psychiatric help.
Hubby looks into the bathroom and notices that Jack did not even remove Sister's padded Blue's Clues potty ring that sits on the toilet seat. "AW, MAN!!" is his response. We also see a towel on the floor.
And a very strong urine odor, wafting from the doorway.
I go in to inspect the damage.
Turns out, poor Jack made a puddle in the floor, which he tried to cover up with the towel. Sister's potty ring was also hit.
I cleaned up the potty ring and mopped the floor, certain that would rectify the situation.
But there was more.
About 11:00 last night, while taking a break from homework, I noticed the bathroom still smelled. I mean, REALLY smelled. Just in front of the toilet, there is still, what looks like, a dried puddle.
How did I miss that?!
So I break out the bathroom cleaner, spraying the toilet and the floor surrounding it and I scrub both, desperate to rid my house of the stench.
...it still stinks.
I follow my nose aorund the bathroom only to find that Jack's aim is far reaching. It would appear he sprayed the wall and the vanity next to the toilet.
You know, it's one thing to clean up after your own kids. But someone else's?
I'm off to Wal-Mart to clear their shelf of all things Clorox and see if I can find a HASMAT suit.
In the meantime, I think I'll stop off at the truckstop and use their restroom. It smells better.
Friday, September 01, 2006
My bow site is really taking shape! Jules from Everyday Mommy has created this beautiful design for me and is helping me get it all put together. I'm dying to show you what an incredible job she's done, but I'm going to make you wait until it's all finished and ready to take orders.
I'm such a meanie.
Between that and my secret life as a student, as well as my day job (that "mom" thing), I'm finding it hard to squeeze in my blog time. Let's hope I find the balance somewhere.
Have a great holiday weekend! I'll be back next week.
Monday, August 28, 2006
Stretching isn't exercise. It's...stretching.
So when a friend asked if I wanted to take Pilates with her, I was all for it.
I can so totally do Pilates.
Since I am a card-carrying college student, I can take full advantage of the campus fitness facilities for free. This means I can even take the exercise classes for no extra charge. So, this morning, after class, I ran to the nearest Wal-Mart and bought myself some stretchy workout pants. Cute little capri workout pants. I threw them in my gym bag with my Easy Spirit shoes and some deoderant.
Like I'm going to need deoderant for stretching.
Once there, I follow my friend's lead, since she has done this before. Outside the classroom we grab a blue floormat, some small weights and a huge rubber ball.
Honestly, when I look at those giant balls, in shades of blue, yellow and red, I think of cute, little Teletubbies, frolicking along astroturf hills, talking their weird little babytalk, happily chasing the big, fun, bouncy ball.
Just in case you're about to run out and join the next Pilates class, it ain't Teletubby Land.
Upon entering the classroom, I notice all four walls are mirrors. I notice it right away, because like I said, it is mirrors, and you don't just casually dismiss something like that. Especially when you're wearing stretchy pants.
We start out slow, stretching our arms above our heads. Inhale. Exhale. Lengthen your spine. Stretch this way. Stretch the other way.
Piece of cake.
We go through some different accessories like the hand weights and this nifty pole we use to balance ourselves on one leg while stretching the other leg out behind us. The instructor makes it look so easy. "Don't lean on the pole. Just lightly hold it and use your abdominals."
Abdominals. She uses that word a lot. Trouble is, my abdominals disappeared a long time ago. I'm not even sure I still have them. And why did she give me the pole if I'm not supposed to lean on it?
I follow her directions, wibbling and wobbling on one leg, sometimes falling back to both feet. But even that wasn't too terribly bad.
Then she tells us to put the poles down and get our "balancing balls". And like a true Pilates idiot, I thought it would be easy. Let me just point out something. Sitting on that ball is not as easy as it looks. We are supposed to sit down and roll forward, so that our lower back is on the ball and our feet are planted firmly on the floor, supposedly keeping us from rolling off and cracking our heads on the concrete.
But I could not escape the fear of falling off that ball. And what's funny, everyone else seemed to be just fine, gracefully executing each move. I think something must have been wrong with mine, because I was flailing about, rolling around on that huge ball, looking, in fact, like a Teletubby.
But the instructor knew what she was doing. She lulled me into thinking it was so simple by saying things like "Remember to breathe. Inhale. Exhale. This is only a breathing exercise."
If it's only a breathing exercise, WHY ARE MY THIGH MUSCLES ON FIRE?!
At one point, she tells us to completely lay back on the ball, basically doing a backbend on the ball with our heads hanging upside down.
A word of advice, if you're going to be hanging upside down during your workout, do not down a Vente Caramel Frappucino with whipped cream before class.
I thought I was going to hurl.
And what's up with the mirrors??!!! As if making a fool out of myself isn't bad enough, I get to see it all happen!! AND MY BUTT LOOKS HUGE!!!
After an hour of excruciating humiliation, were are finally finished...and my legs feel like Jell-O, as does my ego. I glance around to find the stand that sells the T-shirts reading, "I did Pilates - and lived to tell about it".
And I'm going back next week. Just call me La La.
Friday, August 25, 2006
If you happen to see this box in the freezer section of your local Wal-Mart and/or Sam's Club, avert your eyes and keep walking.
These seemingly sweet and innocent little sundae cups are evil. Evil sent from the pits of a fiery hell by the Dark Angel himself to lead us into temptation and spit us out on the other side, soul-less and devoid of righteousness. They will take you prisoner and suck any and every thought from your brain until all you can think of is the gooey, buttery caramel sauce underneath a dark, rich chocolate shell with tiny, little chocolate candies hiding within. You will find yourself hiding them from your children, and lying when they find them. (e.g. "These? Oh, you won't like them. They're filled with vitamins and carrots...and, uh...bugs. Yeah, bugs. Those are little candy coated beetles.) They will turn you into a mindless drone, shuffling around in your pajamas, with only one goal in life...to have more.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
I know every Monday will not be so leisurely. I know I'm going to have to do some work. But today, just for today, I'm enjoying the time.
After dropping my friend off at her car, I head back to campus to try and get my student ID.
It's a good thing pictures don't capture bad breath, because my french onion soup and iced coffee breath is very...fragrant.
The line to get IDs is behind a desk in front of the Fitness Center and it looks long-ish. I take my place at the end behind a woman with long dark hair and jeans. She smiles shyly at me and I take the first step in making Friend #2.
I make a stupid joke about driver's license pictures and mug shots and I find out her name is Rose. She has dark eyes and a few tell-tale lines on her thin face. Everything about her seems to tell me she has had a difficult life. She is in her 40's with three teenage boys. She decided to go to school to become a radiologist after working a factory job for years, putting rivets in appliances. She says she wants to use her mind.
I cannot believe this seemingly fragile woman has taken such a bold and courageous step. I am amazed by her resolve and I don't mind telling her so.
And then, the moment of truth. My turn to smile for the camera.
Ugh. I hate pictures. I was hoping to get my ID first thing this morning, when my makeup was fresh and my hair wasn't frizzed, but the machine has been broken. Now, my makeup is practically gone and I'm feeling less secure about the whole picture taking thing.
And when I get my ID, it isn't hard to see why.
I wish Rose luck, hoping I'll run into her again, and head upstairs to the bookstore. One more book to buy.
You're probably wondering, "Why didn't she buy it when she was at the bookstore earlier?"
The answer is simple. I am attending two different campuses and have to buy my books at the campus on which I attend.
Anyway, I have one more book to buy.
The dreaded class.
Dum da dum dum.
I don't mind telling you, politics is not something of great interest to me. Anytime people start discussing politics, tempers flare and fingers wag and it just makes me all icky and uptight. I am not looking forward to this class. Not at all.
It would seem everyone else on campus had the same bright idea to wait until 5:00 to buy the book they need for their 6:00 class. The line is wound around to the back of the store. I quickly grab my book and get in line. No one is speaking. No one is looking around. Everyone is standing, silent and sullen, staring into space.
Granted, I've been holed up inside my own little corner of Suburbia, talking to people under the age of 10 for many moons. So, I may be a little out of the loop here. But why are people so gosh darned unfriendly? Do I look like a terrorist?
Well, based upon my student ID picture, that could be the case.
I stand in the line for 30 minutes before I finally get to the checkout. And the woman behind the counter has the same sadsack demeanor.
I go to the little cafe next to the bookstore to grab a quick bite before heading to...
Dum da dum dum.
I am greeted by a trio of lovely Lebonese people (family, perhaps?) who make me a delicious Rueben. Jalapeno chips and Pepsi to top it off, because the mint I had earlier made my breath a bit too minty fresh.
I sit down at a table overlooking the pond outside with the lovely fountain and begin to look at my notes.
"My what a good student she is!" you must be thinking. "Already taking notes!"
But, no. These would be my BLOGGING notes. I've been writing things down all day so as not to forget one teeny, tiny detail. Really, people. I know what's important here.
After scarfing down my dinner, I gather up my courage and head to...
Dum da dum dum.
When I finally find the class, I find it already almost full. I take a seat in the front row again, which is surprisingly empty. What's with these people? Aren't they afraid they might miss one tiny kernal of knowledge way back there in the back?
I take note of the room, very plain as classrooms go. In one corner is a map and projector screen. In the other corner is a wide, black metal cabinet. Next to it is the instructor's desk. I try to imagine what he might be like based upon his desk. It is cold, gray metal with only a computer on top. I imagine him to be dull and longwinded. A very no-nonsense kind of guy.
I am not looking forward to this.
To my left is a middle aged man, listening to an Ipod and reading, rather, devouring, his textbook as if it contained all the answers to life's mysteries.
Weird. I mean, who would ever voluntarily read such a book?
In walks a petite young brunette in torn jeans and sits to my right. She sips her water and bounces her foot so her flip-flop smacks her heel. Several more students file in, filling the desks one by one. And we sit.
The door opens again and a man in a blue striped dress shirt and khakis walks in carrying a laptop case. No smile. No words.
That must be him. And boy, was I right. He is dull.
But to my surprise, he takes a seat on the front row, next to Smacking Flip-Flop girl.
So we sit some more, waiting.
Suddenly, the door swings open and a very loud voice booms "HOW THE HELL ARE YA?"
Meet my Goverment teacher.
He is a very tall man who looks like a cross between Willard Scott and W.C. Fields. His large, bulbous nose is red. His eyelids droop just enough to make me wonder if he is completely sober.
He picks up a wooden, tabletop podium that sets on the folding table directly in front of me and literally throws it on to the metal filing cabinet with a BANG! We all jump. He chuckles.
So, he's not Mr. Rogers. At least I won't be falling asleep in here. Anything to make the class interesting for me.
And interesting, it is.
He is very loud, very sarcastic and loves to sprinkle his language with profanity. But he is also passionate about politics and government, and there is nothing better than a teacher who loves what they are teaching. He held my attention. He made me think. And I enjoyed the class.
And that, friends, pretty much sums up my day.
It's been fabulous.
I feel so different, and I'm not even sure I can put it into words. Words like, metamorphasis and resurrection come to mind. That's not to say I haven't been happy staying home with my children. I have been satisfied. I wouldn't even think of giving that up. But I've been disappearing inside myself for years and haven't even known it.
Thank you, to my wonderful, supportive husband, who practically shoved me through this door. Who saw what was happening and intervened.
It's going to be an amazing journey. I simply can't wait to see what happens.