Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Disturbing News

I rarely watch the news anymore. It only leaves me depressed. However, since we are getting our third snowstorm this winter (a rarity in our fair state) I thought I'd try to catch the weather and find out what the heck is going on.

But I shouldn't have.

Today I saw something that shook me to the core. It enraged me.

A woman who had her baby in four minutes.

That's right, people. Her water broke and four minutes later she had the baby.

Talk about global warming. Talk about war in Iraq. But this...this is beyond unfair. It's unspeakable. I mean, should she even qualify as a mother? Can we take a vote and have her excommunicated from the Mom Club? Impeached? Something?

Geez. I just can't watch the news.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Red Letter Day

I was sitting here, checking my email, when Brother, who was playing outside, comes up and knocks on the storm door.

"Come here," he shouts, to be sure I hear him through the door.

"What?" I ask, somewhat annoyed.

"Come here," he says, now more insistent.

"What do you need?" I am finally back up and running with my computer and am perfectly happy to have my face buried in it for the moment, thank you very much.

"Just come here! I want to show you something."

I get up and go to the door. Brother bounces down the steps and grabs his bike. I am intrigued and step out onto the porch in my socks, wondering if he is going to do what I think he's going to do.

He walks it to the end of the driveway, hops on and then takes off.

What's the big deal?

Last March we bought him a new bike for his birthday and took the training wheels off his old one. For almost a year we've been trying to coax him into giving it a shot. A couple of times we even did the whole hold-on-to-the-back-of-the-seat-take-off-running-then-let-go thing. But he was too afraid. He just wasn't ready.

But today, he did it...all by himself.

I started jumping up and down in the driveway, screaming and cheering, almost crying, acting like a complete and total lunatic. I grab the camera, I text message my husband, I call friends. The next door neighbor sees and cheers for him, too.

Next thing I know he is down the driveway, out the gate, and halfway down the street before he hits the brakes with just the right amount of pressure, slowing and stopping perfectly, just like a pro, and turns to give me a huge grin.

That's my boy.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Unintentional Vacation

Where have I been, you ask?

In the course of two weeks, I have survived a snow/icestorm of catastrophic proportions, been holed up in my house for five days without a running vehicle (due to the untimely death of my minivan), housed my brother for four days, three nights, two hours and fifty-seven minutes (another blog altogether), had two family members in the hospital, and endured a visit from the ever punctual and enduring Aunt Flo. You will have to ask around if you don't know Aunt Flo. Chances are, you know someone familiar with her monthly visits.

All of this together pales in comparison to the real trauma I have suffered. The icing on the cake. The straw that broke the camel's back.

My computer died.

Yes, you're all gasping in awe and admiration. How have I survived????!!!!! But after a couple of days of cold sweats and twitching, I realized I would probably be okay.

Luckily, I still have school, and there are computers aplenty here, so I have been able to somewhat reconnect with the outside world. Unfortunately, duty calls and I must study. But I shall return...

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

How do I do a post about one of my children turning another year older without waxing sappy and sentimental?

It can't be done.

So you must endure my blubbering, because Sister was five yesterday.

We had cupcakes for breakfast, a longstanding tradition in our house. Then we finished the rest of them after lunch and before dinner. I think we all had about three each.

If you can't eat as many cupcakes as you want on your birthday, then when can you?

It was a good excuse for me, too.

And today I am sporting a Purple Glitter manicure, courtesy of the Birthday Girl, who, like all princesses, got to do whatever she wanted on her special day.

It is interesting how all my children seem to take turns being the source of frustration and concern for me, which is good, because if they were all frustrating at the same time (which has happened on occasion) ugly things could happen. And Sister is the one who has been driving me mad of late.

But nothing makes me happier and turns me into a blob of mushy goo like a hug and an "I love you, Mommy" from her. I worry sometimes that I spoil her too much. That I haven't adequately taught her the importance of her place in the world and how that pertains to other people. I worry that because I see so much of myself in her, that I will also overlook my shortcomings in her. She is most like me, in so many ways, which is thrilling and frightening all at once.

She is my storyteller, my tender heart, my Prima Donna.

Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl. May the spotlight always shine favorably on you.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

First Day Back or What the Heck Did I Get Myself Into?!

I realize it's probably somewhat natural to have the jitters on the first day of a new semester. I also realize it is difficult to know what to expect after only one class.

But I'm thinking I may be in slightly over my head signing up for an Honors Literature class.

Scratch that.

I'm dead.

I come from a very humble background. My small school didn't exactly offer a first-class education. And the community college I attend now isn't exactly Harvard. Though I have always had above average grades, I wouldn't neccessarily classify myself as a "scholar".

And though I am a fan of literature and at one time, was an avid reader, I have a confession to make.

This is my very first literature class.


That's it. I'm dead.

I did have some literature in my high school English class, but anything I learned or read beyond that was purely recreational on my part. It's weird, but I used to read Shakespeare for fun.

However, today when my instructor asked the class what they were currently reading, the first book that popped into my head was Green Eggs and Ham. Beyond that, I got nothin'.

And I look around and these are all kids. So young and so bright and all I could do was sit and listen. If I dared say a word my cover as a True Literary Master would be blown. And they would all know I am nothing but a poser.

Poser. How's that for a shining example of my literary exptertise?

Dead. Dead, dead, dead. As a doornail.

These kids were using words I had to write down so I can look them up in the dictionary. I did. I swear.

And then the instructor gave us a "light" reading assignment for discussion on Thursday. About 40 pages of opinions and essays on the French Revolution. Tiny print.

"If, as I suspect, modern letters owe more than they are always willing to own to antient manners, so do other interests which we value full as much as they are worth." (Edmund Burke; Reflections on the Revolution in France)


Let's just say it's a far cry from Sam I Am.

And I haven't even had my Math class yet.

Yup. I'm dead.


It's back to school for me today, folks.

(Insert gleeful dancing and singing here)

And get this...I am taking half as many classes, but getting double the amount of time away from home. Don't ask me how I pulled that off. I'm just going to pretend I don't notice so as not to draw attention to it. If the Stay-At-Home-Mom Police hear I'm not actually home two days a week, the jig will be up, and I'm certain they'll shackle me to the stove, or something like that.

This semester will not be without it's share of excitement, though, as I will be taking Basic Math.

Yes. That's right. I am taking an HONORS Literature course and BASIC MATH.

My name is Supermom and I am a Mathaphobe.

It all started in the eighth grade when I took Algebra 1 from Mr. Y. Mr. Y was your average, run-of-the-mill, aging seventies disco lounge throwback, complete with gold chain and hairy chest. To make it even better, he was a smoker who enjoyed Funyuns and coffee in the teacher's lounge between classes.

During the first week of school that year, I happened to raise my hand to ask Mr. Y a question, as I was a good suck-up, I mean, student who hungered and thirsted for every golden nugget of knowledge thrown my way.

Mr. Y sauntered over to my desk, leaned in close, putting an arm on either sides of my desk, and said with aromatic breath, "Talk to me, Babe."


I never asked another question again.

And what's really sad, is that I had to have him for Algebra 2 and Geometry as well. The only time in my life I ever made a D.

Ever since then, I've had a love/hate relationship with Math.

That's not true. It's more like a hate/despise relationship.

Before I enrolled last semester, I took a placement test to see which classes I needed, as I had been out of school for thirteen years. I scored so low on the Math part, I could only take College Algebra if I signed a waiver saying that the school had advised me against it and if I took it and bombed, it would be my own stupid fault and they had nothing to do with such a hairbrained idea.

So I'm taking Basic Math/Beginning Algebra. From there I will take Intermediate Algebra. And then finally College Algebra, which I have to have to graduate. I'm approaching this as a self improvement exercise. I figure if I'm teaching my children, it might be a good idea to know how to add 2 and 2.

That's 5, right?

Wish me luck!

This is what happens when you leave candy within reach of a two-year-old and turn your back.
I suppose I should work with her on unwrapping the candy first.
Poor little Tootsie Roll...never stood a chance. Sniff.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Phase 2

It's funny, really. I had talked to Brother and Sister about redecorating their room with a medieval theme months ago. I talked about painting it to look like a castle. I talked about painting princesses and knights and dragons and they were gung ho.

Especially Brother.

But I failed to mention to him that I would have to paint over this:

This is what his room looked like when it was just his. Before we decided to move the girls in with him and make the extra bedroom a playroom.

Apparently he thought I would paint the castle and such around the transportation stencil, because when he saw me doing this:

he freaked out a little.
Unfortunately, it was too late too turn back.

But I found it fascinating how much he loved the stencil, and I was glad that at almost eight years old, he still thought it was cool. I remembered how much fun I'd had painting that room for him. How anxious I was to use the stencil I had found on clearance. And how we came to decide on the bright, kelly green, which is his favorite color.

I looked at the wall and felt a little sad, too. The days of choo-choos and glow in the dark stars don't last long. And I was painting over them.

I apologized to him and promised that when he had a room of his own again, I would paint anything he wanted on the walls.

"Cool! I want Lightning McQueen!! Ka-chow!" was his reply.

Of course, he may be 21 before that happens. Hope he still likes Lightning McQueen then.

However, the room looks really cool. It feels like you're standing inside a castle courtyard.

I'll keep posting my (slow) progress!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

True Story

I need new bras.

Forgive me, male readers, if I have caused you any kind of discomfort or embarrassment. But it is the cold, hard truth.

And after hearing this story of a woman whose life was saved by her bra, I feel as though no ordinary bra will do. She was hit by a runaway bullet, but it bounced off her bra strap, resulting in only a graze. So now I not only need something supportive, but bulletproof, too.

Really, one never knows when it might come in handy.

So, while folding laundry the other day, I caught something out of the corner of my eye. I looked down to see this poking out of my sweater:

This, dear friends, is the underwire from my last good bra.

But I'm thinking of keeping it. Might deflect a bullet.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Have you ever seen one of those really old black and white photos of a little boy in what appears to be a dress? Have you ever wondered why they put their boys in dresses?

My grandma, who hailed from the deepest, darkest backwoods of Booger Holler, Arkansas, gave me the explanation one day. It's very simple really. All her children wore dresses until they were old enough to help with chores. If she needed to get some work done, she just put the hem of that dress under a leg of the bed and sweet Little Junior was contained. The Hillbilly Pack N Play.


And today I've seriously considered bringing back that practice.

Baby is the world's busiest toddler ever. She has no use for anything that remotely resembles an age appropriate toy. If it isn't dangerous, fragile or messy, it holds no fascination for her.

Granted, today things have been somewhat hectic. Due to my painting project, the kids' bedroom is pretty messy. Because with any redecorating, I have to do reorganizing. And with any reorganizing comes more mess, which always seems to bleed over into all the other rooms.


Because I like to do things the hard way.

So in addition to all the other crap she likes to scatter all over the house, she now has more piles to plunder. And I am about to lose my mind.

Problem is, she's not wearing a dress today. So tell me what you think...would this be too extreme?