Friday, January 30, 2009

The Taste

It was the summer of 1983. My buddies and I had been up for about 40 hours debugging a program and we were tired of the small screen and wanted a big screen, so we hit up the big brother of my pal David for a ride down to the Old Mill Multiplex. David’s brother Paul would take absolutely any excuse to fire up his super-sweet Trans Am so even though it meant someone riding over the gearshift and risking his tackle when Paul upshifted, we all piled in.
The Old Mill Multiplex was a combination of Kid Heaven and Yuppie Hell. There were eight theaters (a lot for that time) and an indoor-outdoor mall of sorts, with the best pizza parlor and video arcade and a number of freaky-boutique-y shops, such as the place that sold huge fiber optic “brush” lamps and ceramic fireplace cats with eyes that followed you. There was also a pool hall, which is where Paul headed after dropping us at the front of the theaters. We never checked out what flicks were playing or when, we’d just go down there and expect that something would be starting sometime soon.
“Look!” My friend John’s eyes were bugged out. “Evil Dead is here!” John was an avid horror film fan after surviving a trip to see Alien a few years back with only a few weeks of nightmares.
“We’ll never get in. Old Stony is on ticket duty.” said Bruce. ‘Old Stony’ was the hundred-year-old guy who ripped tickets and snarled “Teater tree, onyer left, teater shix, onyer right” at everyone passing through the turnstile and he was absolutely ruthless about the ratings and Evil Dead was rated R. We couldn’t even go and get Paul to buy us the tickets because Old Stony would kibosh the deal as soon as he got a load of David, who was 14 but looked about eleven. Not even my more-than-budding bosom was going to get us past Old Stony.
“But we HAVE to see Evil Dead!” wailed John, “It’s supposed to be awesome and super bloody!” David, who may have been short but was very sharp, said “Look, that dumb Disney thing is starting about the same time, we’ll just buy tickets to that and sneak into Evil Dead once we’re around the corner.” This idea had not occurred to any of us, probably because just saying the words “One ticket to (insert any Disney title) please” would have been like ashes in our teen-aged mouths. David, who was used to being treated like a little kid because he looked like one, had almost no shame about such things, so he went and bought us the tickets and called us all pussies, his right as the guy with the plan.
We shuffled up to the turnstile and one at a time handed Old Stony our tickets and were each told “Teater two, onyer left, teater two, onyer left, teater two, onyer left, teater two, onyer left.” We got up to the candy counter and Bruce said “Oh crap, Evil Dead is in theater SIX, that’s on the right!”
David was unmoved by this fact. “Come ON, nobody’s gonna notice. You are SUCH a pussy!” Bruce’s mother was a teacher at the grade school and Bruce was the youngest of six, the other five of whom were girls.
“Check it out, it’s easy!” I had just noticed something pertinent. “The women’s bathroom is on the right. I’ll go in the bathroom, you guys hang out over there by Galaxian and once I come out, we’ll all just drift that way. Old Stony won’t even see us!” We had a plan. We needed Milk Duds. Bruce was chosen for Dud Duty while I went in the bathroom and cooled my heels for five long minutes. Bruce had our Duds and was headed for Galaxian, I wandered out looking aimless and feeling like grifters, we all went straight into Theater Six and hit up the middle row, parking David on a pile of sweaters so he’d appear taller just in case anyone decided to shine a flashlight around in there. The theater was filling up fast with couples on dates and groups of teenagers, the lights dimmed and we had done it! We were going to see Evil Dead!
Given that our previous horror-flick experience was limited to what played on Channel 8 late on Friday nights and John’s Amazing Alien Adventure, Evil Dead blew us away. We stumbled out of there weak-kneed with utter joy, both from the film and how we got in to see it.
I've been a horror-film junkie ever since.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The art of being pregnant.

You would think that by the fourth time around one would have being pregnant down to a science. You would be wrong. Not only are pregnancies different between different women, they can be very different for the same woman.

My first pregnancy was so perfect. I was 28 years old. I had no morning sickness, no complications, nothing out of the ordinary. My energy level was up and I was so happy being pregnant. I lost 8 pounds and gained back 10 past my start weight. I had cravings, Reese's Peanut Butter cups. I had aversions, mainly the smell of fried chicken. I loved eating healthy food. I had the glow. I got the typical 2 ultrasounds. One at 11 weeks to confirm the pregnancy and one at 28 weeks for all the measurements. My water broke I arrived at the hospital 1 centimeter dilated and going no where fast. I was promptly induced. No warning at all as to the coming birth. The brilliant doctors had my due date wrong. Very wrong. So I was not prepared for his arrival. I thought I still had more time. He was delivered after 21 hours of labor. Not the way I had planned to have my first baby, but he was a perfect bouncing, baby boy.

My second pregnancy was totally unexpected. We were not trying to get pregnant. I had the aversion to the smell of fried chicken to confirm I was pregnant. At about 5 weeks I started spotting. At 6 weeks I got an ultrasound showing something was wrong. They determined it was an ectopic pregnancy and I was treated with Methotrexate. That was on July 13th. I was 8 weeks pregnant.

The third time around my pregnancy actually seemed more typical to me. Morning sickness started at exactly 8 weeks and ended at exactly 12 weeks. During that time I lost 12 pounds. I had no cravings at all. I didn't like anything. There were no foods that were better than any others. I had to actually force myself to eat something at least once a day. That was until I discovered the triple chocolate cake at the local grocery store. Then I was eating. Then I finally gained 10 pounds past my start weight. I got an ultrasound at 6 weeks to make sure everything was where it was supposed to be, another one at 11 weeks becuase they couldn't get the ultrasound with the Doppler, another one at 17 week for all the measurements and another at about 25 weeks to confirm the sex. I was tired and run down and by 34 weeks I was done. I was dilating rather consistently. By 36 weeks I was 2cm dilated and 50% effaced, by 37 weeks I was 3cm dilated and 70% effaced, by 38 weeks I was 3.5cm dilated and 100% effaced. I was having very random contractions for 3 weeks. Sometimes several a day sometimes only one a day. We decided I would be induced 3 days early. I arrived at the hospital ready to have a baby. A bit more ready than I realized. I was 4cm dilated and having regular contractions. Not that I was feeling them mind you. I wonder how long it would have been if I hadn't been induced. I delivered him after 6 hours of labor. That was a much better delivery in my book.

My first son was 5-3/4 when the baby was born. He was somewhat curious about the baby, but was very insecure after the birth. He had been an only child for so long. He thought he was being replaced. Poor kid. He did adjust and is a great big brother.

Now that I am pregnant for the fourth time it is a bit more of a challenge. I was 36 when this pregnancy started. I have had sever morning sickness from 6 weeks until almost 22 weeks. I lost 20 pounds. I got an ultrasound at 8 weeks, 13 weeks, and 17 weeks. This one woudn't sit still and they were having a real hard time getting a heart beat with the Doppler. I had one more at 20 weeks for all the measurements. I have been so tried from the get go. I again have no cravings. I don't like any kind of chicken at all. I am eating, but food is not my friend. I can find things I like, but not many. The oldest child is indifferent to my being pregnant this time around. He has a been there, done that attitude. The fun part is watching my second son react to my growing belly. There have been things about the pregnancy that he has not liked. I was still nursing him when I got pregnant. At about 3 months it was just hurting too much to continue and with being sick all the time I couldn't handle any pressure on my stomach at all. He still occasionally asks to nurse. He has been enjoying watching my belly grow. He pats my belly, rubs it, hugs it. It has been fun watching him. He has helped pick out things for the baby and talks about the baby. He is also doing things like sitting in the portable swing and saying he is the baby. I don't think his 3 year old mind has quite grasped the concept of the baby yet. The first night he spends without mommy she will bring home a new baby. I am really not too sure how that is going to go over with him. I am now almost 38 weeks, 2cm dilated, 80% effaced and ready to be done. I have finally back at my start weight. I am not having as many random contractions this time around, but a few. We also aren't having as much 'get this baby out' sex. Conflicting schedules and all. I do know that if I have not had the baby before February 9th I will be induced that morning.

My only fear at this time is going into labor while my wonderful husband is at work. Last time around it was no biggie. My oldest came with us. There was a small separate room in the delivery room and he hung out in there watching TV, movies, and playing his Nintendo DS. He would again be calm and quiet, it is the 3 year old I am worried about. He can be calm and collected, but he can also be a terror. I can't see him leaving me alone for very long without wanting to sit on mommy and see everything that is going on. He is a very curious child. Loves to be the center of everything. So I sit here typing, biding my time. Just waiting for something to happen. Will it be today, or next week? That is the big question.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Moron Exploitation - As Seen On TV!

You’ve probably noticed them, too. “Wonder-product” commercials are popping up everywhere. They all have the same formula comprised of a menial task, an idiot doing it wrong and a new and improved, foolproof way to get the job done. If you call NOW they’ll throw in, not one, but TWO completely superfluous gadgets as a bonus - all for the incredible price of just $39.95 plus shipping & handling and quite possibly, your soul! I’m not saying that these products are not timesavers and worth every penny of your hard-earned $39.95, but where do they find these amateurs? Who makes commercials that exploit morons encountering their daily strife and why do I get so much enjoyment out of them? These are the commercials I love to hate.

Let’s look at exhibits A through E of Commercials for the Criminally Inane:

The poor woman in the Smart Spin Carousel commercial can’t open her cupboard without an avalanche of plastic containers raining down on her head. If you watch the very beginning of the commercial, you’ll actually see her throwing the plastic-ware onto herself. Who DOES that?! I’ve never seen anyone endure such a bombardment and then figure, “Well, it’s all coming down anyway; I might as well just …THROW IT AT MY FACE!!”

(Disclaimer: When the voices are telling you to hurl things at yourself, the Smart Spin cannot be used to replace prescription medication.)

Aqua Globes’ advertisement shows a woman who can’t seem to water her plants properly. She tries. Oh yes, she tries, but the water seems to just…go…EVERYWHERE. First, she pours too much water over the entire plant and the runoff ruins the finish on her table. Then she forgets to water the plant and it wilts (okay, I do that, too), causing her face to take on that “someone kicked my puppy” look. She’s positively devastated that her plant is wilting and lacks the skills required to keep its apparently insatiable thirst quenched. I figured that if she couldn’t pour water into a pot of dirt, then filling up a glass ball through a small tube would be difficult for this one to master. Of course when she puts the Aqua Globe into the pot, upside down, in one fluid movement, spilling not one drop, I had to say, “Sham-WOW!”

One of my favorites is a commercial for a “seed rug” or “flower carpet” called the
Roll & Grow. In this one, a man is having such a difficult time planting flowers that he picks up poor, defenseless seedlings by the handful and throws them down into the dirt. Quite violently. Come on, people. Is it really THAT hard? Make a hole, put the plant in, fill it in with dirt – yeah, that’s a toughie.

Then there’s the
Bay City Slider Station. This nifty little thing looks like a skillet and a divided lunch tray in one package. It’s super easy to use: Put in a few globs of meat and press down. Voila! No flipping necessary! They obviously understand that not everyone possesses the dexterity required to operate a spatula.

Snuggie is my most recent favorite Commercial for the Criminally Inane. Apparently, a robe AND a blanket is just too cumbersome, so we have to make a robe OUT OF a blanket. This is akin to “Your seat becomes a floatation device”, isn’t it? And notice how the Snuggie-wearers all seem to look like members of some strange cult? “Put on your blanket/robe, grab a cup of the special punch, and prepare to rendezvous with the spaceship to Shangri-la.”

I could stay here and rant about these commercials all day, but I have to go
Bedazzle my cat.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Thanks, Carmin!

Of course, the day I remember to blog is when one of my own dear Ninjas has taken it for me. I did ask her, since I'm not as knowledgeable of politics, so I can not and will not be upset. I suppose I should go on about something. I'm not sure what this Ninja should blog about, but it should be something good.. she hopes.

Charmed is playing in the background. We've seen just about every single episode, so,it's there for background noise. Bella is napping and Patrick has gone to his previous workplace to help a friend of ours.

Typical day today. Get up as the sun rises, get ready and dressed and head out the door for "booty skool." I pick up one of the girls on the way there, because, well, she's on the way. I call her as soon as I hear the end of "Pour Some Sugar on Me" by Def Leppard only to find out that Sprint has shut off my phone. Great. She knows my morning schedule pretty well and is pretty much just waiting for me when I get there. Here's the kicker: I slept in half an hour and we still made it at our regular time. Nice.

I've been on a Def Leppard kick lately. Wal-Mart had a "Vault" album (pretty much all of their hits) and I bought it for Patrick. Guess who listens to it more. =) I rock it. Even when I'm in a bad mood, I rock it. When I get into my car from work at the end of the night, I blare it, making sure it's on a recognizable song. I want people to know I'm rockin'' it. Sad, but true.

I've nothing of real value to add to Blog Like Ninja today. When I think about it, I'll have to update a couple of other blogs, even if it means doing a copy/paste. Oh well; at least I 'membered today, right?

Oh, and, a huge congratulations to PRESIDENT OBAMA. I hope these next four years will help our economy and education system.

Inauguration Day Post

Politics, the Death Penalty and Religion. The three most dangerous topics in any conversation. It doesn’t seem to matter how tight the group, nor how wonderful the conversation, the mention of just one of these topics is sure to add tension into the air. Passions run high and minds are not likely to change but they still require our attention. Either side to each topic will fight venomously, statistics will be thrown out and morality brought into question. Even the closest and best of friends might not know when to back down.

We are in the midst of political chaos. A new president and a divided country- sure to equate ruffled feathers and ongoing conversations and this year, we throw race into the already stewing pot and create an even nastier fight… but is it really any different? Or is it perhaps that such a span of time occurs from one election to the next that we fail to remember the hurt feelings and heated conversations that occurred in years past?

What ever the thoughts and feelings may be, today we will be swearing in the 44th President of the United States- with all the pomp and circumstance that an inauguration deserves. We are the United States of America, a nation built upon free ideas and radical thinking. We are a country, as diverse as the world within our borders that enables its citizens the right to discuss topics- such as Politics, Religion and the death penalty no matter where you stand.

Today, I urge you to talk to your children about our history. Whether you are a Republican or Democrat- or one of the many other parties that make up our society, discuss the happenings; discuss the whys and the hows. Take a moment to express your personal feelings and what you hope comes about- and take a moment to remind your child that not all people agree with you, but that is their right as an American as well.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Pieces of the Past

Yesterday, I spent the day at my grandfather's house. Back in September, my beloved grandmother passed away. Yesterday my grandfather assembled the group of us at his house in a belated Christmas celebration. The secondary purpose of the get together, was for my cousins, mother, sister and I to go through my grandmother's jewelry. Veronica, the black sheep cousin (she's held that role since she got pregnant at 17 and again at 19) did not go, neither did my cousin Kathleen or my late aunt's boyfriend Steve.

My mother, my cousin Theresa and I picked through all of the interesting baubles and bits, taking what we liked. One thing I noticed was that I have no recollection of my grandmother wearing the majority of the jewelry. I found pieces that screamed "Hey, Heather - grab me!" including a classy set of pearls, and a tiny anchor. Other pieces I chose because of their essence, and others still because of their potential. It makes me feel connected.

What is more of a connective thing for me were the lace and embroidered handkerchiefs that I took. Two of them have my grandmother's name embroidered on them - Jane. Another has the word Mother on a corner. Several are plain, with a tatted trim (that's what my aunt called it at least!). One of these is surrounded by a fringe of multiple shades of blue. My aunt nearly made me cry by handing it to me and stating simply "Something borrowed, something blue..." I have no current plans for getting married; I'm still lacking in the beau department, but it made me feel all warm and fuzzy that someone has faith that I'll eventually get hitched.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

2 Arby's sandwiches please

Last night Michael and I went on a double date with some friends. We had a lovely time discussing a myriad of topics. The conversation came around to our worst dates.

Let me preface this story with the excuse that I was young. I should have just called off the date as soon as it started going wrong. I just put up with it because I didn't want to hurt his feelings. (dumb I know)

When I was in college a young man wanted to go out with me. We arranged to have him come to my house and pick me up for dinner and a movie.

He showed up in his new Chevy cavilier. While we drove to the restaurant he proceeded to brag about his new "sports car". I was laughing inside because I wasn't impressed but I thought it was sweet. We were young and he paid for it himself.

Then we pull up in front of Arby's. I was taken aback.

"I thought we were going to a restaurant" I said.

"This is a restaurant. I take all my dates here" he replies.

We get out of the car and go in. He walks up to the counter and orders 2 Arby's sandwiches, a large fries, and a large Coke. The cashier tells him his total and he pays.

He turns to me and says, "Oh did you want something?"

"No" I said flatly. I wasn't going to eat with him.

I sat down at the table with the skinny hunk of an idiot. He took out his first sandwich and put tons of their sauces on it. He took a bite and the sauce started running down his arm to his elbow.

HE LICKS THE SAUCE OFF THE LENGTH OF HIS ARM! No he didn't I think to myself.

He finishes all of his food and suggests we go on to the movie. I almost suggested that he take me home.

The entire way to the movie he brags on his car again.

We get to the theater and he decides we need to go see George of the Jungle. He pays for his ticket. I pay for mine.

He says that he wants to play video games until showtime. I watch him play the games. I am bored but the movie is about to start and I won't have to pay any more attention to him.

He looks at me and says, "This game is fun. Do you want to play against me? I have lots of quarters here."

I say, "Okay." What could the harm be? It was better than watching him play.

He puts in his money and says, "Put in your money."


The rest of the date went by. I blocked it out because it was horrible. He wanted to kiss me goodnight and asked me when we could go out again.

"Never!" I didn't care about his feelings anymore.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sleeping like a mom...

Ahh, I woke up this morning- on my own. Not to the sounds of anyone crying. Not to the sounds of someone whispering into my ear, breffast mom- I want breffast. I awoke on my own, snug as a bug. I was warm and cozy, nestled listening to my husband still sleeping next to me. The baby, between us (a little stuffed up so he was snoring.) looking deceptively like an angel.

Then I realize that said baby was sleeping on my arm… as I regain consciousness, I begin to become aware of the tingly feeling of my arm. It is telling me that something is wrong and it isn’t happy. Of course it isn’t, I think to myself. My arm is raised at the shoulder, then bent and the elbow- with 23 pounds of baby blocking the blood flow… eer, what to do. I don’t want to wake him, it is still too early!

As I begin to wonder how to move my arm, I begin to become aware of the rest of my body. I find myself leaning inwards (probably more of the arm tingling problem!) due to another child that has snuck into bed with me during the night. This one, built like a rock, has snuggled himself directly behind me- lying flat on his back. There is no room for me to lie on my back, nor enough room to wiggle loose the arm which has begun to scream with pain.

I look up to examine my options… only to become aware of my legs! Remember the upper part of my body, leaning inward- arm, screaming in pain… Well, a third child had made way into my bed during the night and she was sleeping soundly, head on my right thigh which was bent upwards with my knee resting into my husband’s side. My left leg had been pushed out of the way and was resting against her back- and from the looks of it, I’m gonna be limpin’ tomorrow!

*sigh* What am I going to do? Of course, I could just adjust myself with no care to the children. They were the ones that came to my bed- right? Not. A. Chance. This would only cause them to stir- most likely one of them to awaken. I look at the time- 4:55 am. NOT going to happen. I have to do something- my arm is in agony and my legs are beginning to let me know their unhappiness as well!

Determined to remain in bed and even more determined to keep the children asleep I look to my husband. HE was sleeping on his back, no child managed to manipulate that sleeping rock. Remember that right leg, bent up and resting next to his side… Gently I move it just enough to kick my husband. Damn sleeping husband… it took about 5 good kicks before he stirred. I hiss, Shhhhhhhhhhhhh! Help me! He looks up groggily and smiles. He stumbles himself out of the bed and quickly pulls the baby off my arm and onto his pillow. He picks another pillow up off the floor and together use it to replace my thigh. Now free I scoot over and adjust my body out… ahh. I look to my husband and smile- but he’s already grabbed another blanket and is headed out to the couch. This isn’t the first time we’ve done such early morning maneuverings.

Finally, resting on my pillow- snug in my bed I look about at my babies, resting happily on the mom bed. All three are cozy- my body no longer hurting… I hear the faint sounds of my husband snoring from the couch. 2 more hours before I have to get up- I snuggle in to sleep. What a wonderful life…

*Damn* Now I have to pee.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Stuck in the middle with you

Winter term is officially underway. Now is the time for New Years' resolutions, a time for high heel snow boots, hot cocoa and the long haul towards graduation, or at least towards summer. My mother always said that winter term was the longest and hardest term. No longer is there the excitement of back to school, or the anticipation of summer plans. There aren't any good holidays, except maybe V-day, but that's arguable. There is just something about being stuck in the middle of the year that makes the days go slower and the work seem harder. Being in the middle gets a bum rap though. There are all sorts of phrases that invoke terror involving being in the middle; 'middle of nowhere', 'middle aged', 'middle child' (Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!), even 'mid-life crisis' or 'midterm'. It seems that being in the middle of something is wasted time, waiting for the end but no longer excited by the beginning. The planning is over, but you are far from finishing anything.

Currently I am in the middle of saving money for a house. I have a job, I have a plan, I have a budget. Now all I have to do is DO it. It all seems so dull sometimes, day in and day out, working and putting money away in the bank. Of course once it is all done I will have the rush of owning my own house, but right now, being in the middle, it gets a little monotonous.

Of course there are advantages to being in the middle. You have time. Time to think about your plan, your idea. Time to decide if this in fact is something you want to do. I can't tell you how many of my peers changed majors in the middle of the school year. You have that lull where you can sit back and think, "What the hell am I doing? and how am I going to lose these 15 pounds from Christmas?" When you are wrapped up in the beginning of a great journey, such as going to school, or deciding to buy a house, the possibilities are endless. All your time and energy is spent deciding how, when, where, papers get signed, things get bought, but there is so little time to really understand what it is you are signing up for. By the middle... you know what is being asked of you. You realize that maybe this isn't a piece of cake after all, but something you have to work at. If it is something important to you, you will get through it though. You will beat the boredom, the monotony, the aching anticipation of the END.

So, I am going to embrace my middle-ness. I am going to take advantage of the time and relatively low stress I have right now to enjoy this winter, to play with the kids more, and to relax and continue to revise and revisit my plans. Because as soon as I am done being in the middle of this, I will have something else to do, something else to finish, and this will just be the beginning.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tooth and Plead

Baby girl wrote us this letter. We covered up the names but we thought it was funny.

Baby girl lost her top front tooth today.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Epitome of Murphy's Law

Everyone has their moments in which they fall victim to Murphy’s Law. If something can go wrong, it will go wrong. Well, I think my share of this is a bit more than necessary. We refinanced our house a few months ago. The loan slated to close by the end of November. I receive a phone call from the loan officer after Thanksgiving explaining that a few of the wires sent out had gone to the wrong place. Our money was on the way to a bank somewhere in Wyoming. Out of 1400 wires sent out, only twenty, one of which was ours, went to the wrong place.
The most recent snowstorm blanketed us with almost fourteen inches. We were ready for it. The world was white and beautiful and the kids went sledding everyday. The weather warmed and it started to rain and melt the snow. Well, everyone else’s snow was melting. We are partially rural and live in the woods. Our driveway is 500 feet long. On one side is a culvert, the other is a ravine about thirty feet down. After three days cooped in the house, I was going crazy. Luckily, I had a Doctor’s appointment (lucky to have a Doctor’s appointment? *rolls eyes*) and tried to leave the house. It had froze the night before and now our driveway was nothing but ice. I did not want to put my car in the culvert. The trees would prevent me from falling all the way down the ravine, but I like my car the way it is without dents. I had heard a rumor from the neighbor that the snow was gone. Defeated, I look out my window, which shows the world still white.
The next day, determined to leave the house, I slip and slide my way out of the driveway. It was a little hairy, but I made it. When I emerged from the dirt road, what do I see? Not one clump of snow anywhere! People are driving their cars and the mobility of mankind is back to normal. I run to the store for a few things ($100 later), grab a chai and go back home. I slip and slide my way back down the driveway and return to the winter wonderland that is our yard.
When I buy something that requires assembling, the pieces are always missing. Picking up a birthday cake from the store, they lost the slip and did not make it. Take the car in for an oil change, they did not schedule the appointment. Get new tires, two days later the wheel falls off while driving down the road. Out to eat at a restaurant, they forget to make my dinner.
Here is a good one. My dog had to have his knee rebuilt. Three weeks after surgery, he is still not walking on his leg. I take him back to the vet for x-rays and they find the kneecap had come back out. He needed surgery AGAIN to have a tendon repaired. What? They couldn’t do that the first time around?
I could keep going.
Most of the time, I take it in stride. I have come to accept that normal rules do not apply to me and try to think of it as an extra helping of ‘ha ha’ in my life. I am a good friend to have. Think of it this way. If we are chased by a bear in the woods, no worries for you because I will be the one to get eaten.

Friday, January 9, 2009


I am not sure that I have anything to blog about. My week has been a combination of interesting and fairly boring. My son keeps calling my oldest brother grandpa, so on Wednesday we went visiting. My other brother is here visiting from California, so it was very entertaining with 5 'boys' in the house. I say boys, because I am not sure either of my brothers are very mature when they are together. Then there of course is my husband who can be immature with the rest of them and my two boys who of course are supposed to be immature. I sometimes wonder if I am the only one with any maturity. It is always entertaining in any event.

Family. My father recently passed and now there is the task of going through all his stuff. It all has to be inventoried and then kept for 6 months before anything can be done with it. That would be the lovely state law here. There is stuff of value and then there is the stuff that we don't even know what to begin to do with. I have the feeling this is all going to take a while.

I am ready for the weather to decide what it is doing. It was 64 this afternoon and now it is 33. That was a 30 degree drop in about 5 hours period. The temp dropped 10 degrees while we were eating dinner. We may get snow on Tuesday. That is typical weather for around here. To add tot he almost freezing temps we have 35 MPH winds. That is also normal for around here. When it isn't windy you wonder what is wrong.

Over all things are pretty quiet here. Which is actually nice for the moment. I know they will be crazy in a month with the new baby and all. I am enjoying the relative calm before the storm for now.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

That Was My Name But You Wore It Out

From the moment their little mouths could make one syllable of baby babble, I coaxed it out of them. I encouraged it. I wanted to hear them say that word, that special name I longed to be called - “Mommy”. All peeps and squeaks with any semblance of that magical title were rewarded with smiles and hugs and approval.

The simple truth is this: I started it.

*sigh* Clearly, I didn’t think that through.

Indeed, I got my wish. They say it. Boy, do they say it. Constantly! “Mommy” is now the most abused moniker of my existence. It’s both wonderful and terrible at once.

True, it is awesome to be so invaluable that my name is the one that they call instinctively. Also true is the fact that in their eyes, everything seems to be stamped in big bold letters - URGENT.

Don’t get me wrong. I have three of the most wonderful, silly children I could have ever hoped for, but there are days when I am needed to the point that I want to run far, far away.

Every so often, one of my kids becomes The Unflickable Booger. I can bob and weave and put myself in Time Out to lose whatever glue-child is tailing me, to no avail. The Unflickable Booger will follow me. She waits outside the bathroom door to bombard me with questions about everything from long breasts to the lock-picking finesse Santa uses on homes without chimneys. More often than not, however, The Unflickable Booger’s main calling is that of stool pigeon.

Her insistence on coupling what used to be such a lovely word with “she” is maddening. The “Mommy, she (this)” and “Mommy, she (that)” statements have piled high on this camel’s back. I really don’t need to know which “she” did what to whom and why and for how long, do I? (Okay, sometimes I do.)

I recently made an announcement to my children. I would no longer respond to the name “mommy” if they continued to follow it with the pronoun “she” or asinine requests for the unloading of a particular “she” into the wilderness to be raised by wolves.

My name henceforth will be Tapioca Puddin’.


Monday, January 5, 2009

Read My Bum... Why I Object!

We've all seen them. Young women walking around bearing slogans upon their posterior. I can't figure out for the life of me why someone would want to walk around with words written on their bums. Maybe there is something that I'm missing here, as they're generally advertised towards my age group (the early 20's crowd). Am I seriously the only person born after 1981 who doesn't own a pair of talkative pants? Talkative may not be the right word, but it sounded amusing. I shall dub them... ButtWord pants.

Some of these pants bear slogans from major clothing companies (Juicy Couture and Victoria's Secret PINK for example), and others simply have words - a way, I suppose to make a statement about yourself. That is okay, if you're "sexy", "Hot", "Baby Girl", a "Porn Star", a "Cheerleader" or a "Rock Star". I've yet to find a pair that says "Book Worm", "Bibliophile", "Librarian" or "Band Geek". So, it is fairly obvious to me that these ButtWord pants are marketed to shallow narcissists.

I've seen ButtWord pants bearing the Greek Letters that belong to a sorority (not a fraternity, because no self respecting frat boy would wear sweat pants or embroidered jeans!). As a sorority lady myself, I find this extremely disrespectful. In the handbooks of most Greek organizations it states that a member cannot put their letters on the ground. Given that most college kids flop onto any available surface to study, the letters are going to be on the ground. Besides, I don't think that wearing your letters on your butt are the best advertising technique.

This brings me to my next point... Why the HELL am I finding child sized ButtWords pants?!?! Seriously, who needs their eight year old to have creepy old men staring at their backside?

An Uncluttered Mind

Do you know someone who doesn't have to launch a search in their house for anything that they haven't used in two days? Do they know when you have left something there after you leave because they know what was there before you arrived? Does this person use their personal calendar religiously and so would never forget their best friend's daughter's wedding, inviting hurtful spousal accusations that they didn't really care about the event? I'll bet they don't miss paying bills and if they did, they wouldn't be paralyzed with guilt, prompting them to keep it a secret from their spouse out of a misguided sense that they should be above such snafus. This person is also likely finished with their day's demands so that they can just sit around at night, and never leaves home for non-social purposes after dark. And, finally, if you have a favor to ask of such a rarefied personage, they probably have plenty of time to do it without causing the rest of their day to resemble a train coming to an emergency stop with all the cars running into each other.
There is a continuum, to be sure, but I have a theory that the more organized and together you are in your personal life, the less time and energy you spend on the doings and dynamics of the world at large. Even as I write this, I know that it sounds like sour grapes from an envious, unregenerate scatterbrain. This is really just a hard concept to communicate. I'm not talking about someone who doesn't care about anyone else. And, I'm not saying that organization doesn't free up time for outside interests. It's just that some folks just have an approach to life that doesn't allow distraction from keeping their own ducks in a row. How can you serve as a paragon of home, hearth and garden and still take time to read for pleasure, write to your congressman regularly, take off for a three day church weekend more than once every year and a half, get involved in charitable or political causes and homeschool your kids, or even just teach them how to write a paragraph?
What people like me struggle with is the desire to do everything that piques our interest, to the degree that there is no time at all for domestic competence. That is because we live in the mental realm so much more than the physical. The rub is that because, living in a world of what's right, we know that hubby and the house are also of major importance and we think we should be good at all of it. Throw in a job, and you've really got trouble.
I know a dear woman who has very limited grammatical skills and a vocabulary to match, hasn't given a thought to education since she graduated high school fifty years ago, votes a straight party ticket because it's efficient, reads her bible for the instruction and comfort it offers without any ongoing doctrinal questions, sees widely disparate people featured on TV without thinking any more about them once the show goes off, and just basically lives comfortably in the certainty of what she already knows and is good at. She is a killer cook, sews nicely, has artistic talent, and loves her family unconditionally. To those of us who have our antennae tuned to the whole world and and just expect home to take care of itself because it seems like it will always be there after the important stuff is done, it's hard to remember that the physical realm is actually important.
As a matter of fact, when you have to replace the car that you have driven for fifteen years, it's hard to make the loan officer understand that you were too busy composing and passing out bulletins detailing you congressman's spending habits as they contrast with his Constitutional limitations to manage to get the stamps necessary to mail out the bills you carried around in your purse for a month. And the fact that you actually wrote out the checks on time, even at the sacrifice of your sleep, really doesn't cut a lot of ice once you're in the finance office. It's frustrating to be compared negatively to people who think Austria and Australia are the same place, based on the similarity of pronunciation, but when you are focusing on performance in a substantive arena of real life, like money, a person's listening skills and grasp of history pales compared to their organizational and fiscal reliability.
In short, it's easy to be shocked that someone you care about listens and cares very little about the noise the world surrounds us with, but we shouldn't be surprised when it turns out that they figured out long ago that they couldn't do both. Some rare people can, but it's hard to accept that it's simply realism to choose the concrete over the abstract if you want things to run smoothly and be seen as someone who has life by the reins. I'm afraid it's too late for me. I just wish the arena I live in was valued as much by those who matter to me, as that quantitative, results-based one is. Then I could accept that it's just the way things are, that dinner is at 8:30 and I have to have a week's notice to produce the car title.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Appropriate Viewing

I'm in the midst of de-cluttering my home of all the Holiday mess. Quite a lot of it has ended up on the kitchen table. So, when dinner was ready this evening, I looked at the table and decided that we were having a picnic on the living room floor.

I went in to spread out a blanket, and realized that my boys were watching "Making Fiends", a cartoon that's just about as stupid as they come. I grabbed the remote and put on one of my channels which was having a show about kittens in the womb. I'd seen the previews for the show and thought that it'd be kind of neat to see kitties in-utero. It's science-related, informational, and just creepy enough to keep my boys from writhing on the living room floor out of boredom.

I went back into the kitchen to get the plates of dinner loaded up, when my oldest child walks in, a bit pale, and says, "Mom, I just watched a baby kitty come out of it's Mom's... belly. Can we pleeease watch something else? That's really gross."

So, while I thought that I was protecting my kids from inane cartoons, I was inadvertently giving them a crash course in "where babies come from". Great. Juuust great.

At this point, my husband intervened. I assumed that he would put on football, with it being Sunday and all. Nope. He opted for the channel that shows the UFC fights.

And that is what led up to our television-less picnic dinner.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Your View

As we embark on a new year I was pondering our past and our future. How does the world see us? How do we see the world? How do we want to change this?

The answer to the question can be answered in a myriad of fashions.

Some might say they don’t care. Others care but feel rejected so they throw their middle finger to the world. Many might feel obligated to put out a perfect image, while others feel more at ease.

The truth is no one is perfectly comfortable in their own skin. We all want others to like us no matter the height of our fences. We seek out spouses, friends, relatives, or children to fill this void. Dejected persons reject before they can be rejected.

We answer the world with our clothing, posture, hair, face, and our personalities.

There are people that have to have everything organized in their home. They truly become outraged by a knife in the fork spot. Others won’t leave the house without make up. Others reject those with different religious, ethnic, and social backgrounds. Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

What is the significance of my musing?

I want to challenge you to think about how you see the world and how they see you. Don’t just scratch the surface of this question. Spend the time to deliberate the appeal to you.

I want to tell the world that I love them. I want people to see beauty in me, not through looks, but through my actions and my soul.

How do I see others? I see them with beauty. All are a creation of God. Everyone does the best with their life that they know how. They may not be neat, kind, smart, perfect, rich, poor, giving, gracious, but they deserve love. Galatians 5:14 says The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbour as yourself."

Post script
This is not a religious post. I am, however, a religious person. I posted the two scriptures to demonstrate where my thoughts come from.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A New Year - A New Promise.

To truly understand the purpose and complexity of a New Year's Resolution, I realized that I needed to take a deeper look at the meaning of the term "resolution", and its base word "resolve". For reference, the definitions are included at the end of this piece, with several highlighted portions which I will be discussing.

The dictionary definition of resolution is simple, and logical - the act or process of resolving: as the act of analyzing a complex notion into simpler ones. A secondary definition considers it to be "something that is resolved" Resolve is defined as: to find an answer to.

It appears to me that most people fail at sticking to their resolution because they simply haven't taken the time to analyze their lives and resolved to change something that needs to be changed. The majority of people I know state that their New Year's Resolution is to lose weight. Well, that is wonderful... but it isn't easy. A resolution is not a wish - you can't just make a resolution and expect it to happen without work! That makes a lot of sense to me. It is very rare in today's society to get something for nothing. However, when you make a resolution... you are choosing to set a goal for yourself. The goal does not have to be a major breathtaking one.

To me, it matters more that you actually stick to the resolution than the goal you choose. If you decide that your resolution this year will be to drink less coffee - if you only cut out one cup a day, but stick to it... you're successful. If you cut out all coffee for two weeks until you're about ready to rip out your hair and shaking for desire for caffeine before giving in and running to Starbucks... you failed. Failing like that is not a terrible thing, as you've tried - but in reality if you'd given more thought to the steps involved in the process of achieving your goal, success would have been easier.

So my advice to you this New Year is to create a goal that is within reach and one that you can stick to. If you're a couch potato and decide that you want to take up snowboarding, don't expect to be competition for Shaun White by next Christmas - set your goal a bit lower and you are more likely to achieve it. Hey, if you do manage to achieve much more than you hoped for, at least that is not a disappointment!

Best Wishes for a Wonderful Year! I hope that you are all happy, healthy and full of joy!

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the noun resolution as 1: the act or process of resolving: as a: the act of analyzing a complex notion into simpler ones b: the act of answering : solving c: the act of determining d: the passing of a voice part from a dissonant to a consonant tone or the progression of a chord from dissonance to consonance e: the separating of a chemical compound or mixture into its constituents f (1): the division of a prosodic element into its component parts (2): the substitution in Greek or Latin prosody of two short syllables for a long syllable g: the analysis of a vector into two or more vectors of which it is the sum 2: the subsidence of a pathological state (as inflammation)3 a: something that is resolved resolution to mend my ways> b: firmness of resolve 4: a formal expression of opinion, will, or intent voted by an official body or assembled group

The definition of resolve follows here:
1 obsolete : dissolve , melt2 a: break up , separate resolved the light into a play of color> ; also : to change by disintegration b: to reduce by analysis <resolve the problem into simple elements> c: to distinguish between or make independently visible adjacent parts of d: to separate (a racemic compound or mixture) into the two components3: to cause resolution of (a pathological state)4 a: to deal with successfully : clear up <resolve doubts> <resolve a dispute> b: to find an answer to c: to make clear or understandable d: to find a mathematical solution of e: to split up (as a vector) into two or more components especially in assigned directions5: to reach a firm decision about resolve to get more sleep> <resolve disputed points in a text>6 a: to declare or decide by a formal resolution and vote b: to change by resolution or formal vote resolved itself into a committee>7: to make (as voice parts) progress from dissonance to consonance8: to work out the resolution of (as a play)