Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Awl Ewe Knead Two No re: Homophones

I'm a little bit of a word nerd. (I know, you're shocked)

Have you ever been to the grocery store and seen a sign spelled wrong...  you know, like when the "oragnes" are on sale?  If you've ever been to the store after I have done my weekly shopping you might have seen the sign corrected in whatever color marker happened to be in my purse that week.  It drives me that crazy.  You're a business...  use a dictionary.

I was once in a local church building where they had signs asking for people to submit questions anonymously for an upcoming speaker...  3 signs... 3 different ways to misspell the word... I fixed them all.

Spelling is one thing - I can actually laugh at spelling errors and enjoy...  although I don't enjoy them as much as this guy.

I grind my teeth when I come across words used completely wrong.

This can be a little... problematic... when reading blogs.

I had one friend (a real life friend who had a good laugh with me when I pointed it out) who wrote about being "in term oil"...  I read it 4 times before the light came on... Turmoil!  Ah...  now it makes sense.  oh, and perhaps I'd better leave a more sympathetic comment!

I promise - I am getting better about letting it go... but I have recently had to repent to my dentist for the tooth grinding...  I blame it on the following:

"... peeked my interest" (piqued)
"...a click at school" (clique)
"in the passed" (past)
"that greats on my nerves" (grates)

I'm not even going to GO into the your/you're, want/wont (and won't), there/their/they're, it's/its, cavalry/calvary issues that I have...  This homophone list isn't comprehensive...  but yes, they ALL annoy me when used incorrectly.

so, if you're a repeat offender - I still love you...  but I may send you a dental bill :)  I mean, I'd rather end up wearing a mouth guard than stop reading my favorite blogs!!!



The good news - you can over use ellipses, commas, semi-colons, etc... ALL YOU WANT and I won't complain in the least.  I'm a word nerd, but not a grammar guru :)


Monday, September 27, 2010

Conspiracy Theories...

Some days are just not meant to go as planned.

Today is one of those days.  By 9:30 this morning I had given up on getting any of the planned activities done.

5:40 - alarm goes off
6:00 - I go on my morning walk/therapy session
7:00 - I return home. 
7:05 - I make sure that T and W are awake... they are (so far so good)
7:06 - M tells me her stomach is hurting - I recommend going to the bathroom (c'mon, you know that 99% of the time this is the problem!)
7:08 - Po tells me his eyes hurt.  No visible signs of redness, please get ready for school.
7:10 - H tells me her arm is sore.  I check it.  ManOfTheHouse has a look.  No obvious signs of damage - but I do offer to help her with her hair since her arm is sore.
7:12 - T is annoyed because W just jumped in the shower - making them both a bit later than they should be.
7:13 - M is still groaning and telling me her tummy hurts but declares that perhaps a good toot would make it feel better.  I recommend going outside for a few minutes because the fresh air might help.  (the sweet innocent thing didn't even suspect my ulterior motive)
etc... etc... etc...
I made the lunches, I did some laundry, I got them all out the door (on time!) and to their respective schools.  I then began to re-arrange the family room (anyone want a slightly used old reddish orange couch?) since we're expecting a furniture delivery shortly.

Then... the phone rings...  Yep, I'm a crappy mom.  M had barely finished her bell work at school before proving definitively that her stomach was really hurting... and not just from some trapped gases.  I'll be there as soon as possible.  Right?

Problem #1 - I'm still wearing my walking clothes.  Solution - who cares, rip off the socks and wear sandals.

Problem #2 - My glasses are broken.  Solution - pop in my contacts, quickly.

Problem #3 - Solution... no really... my contact solution.  I forgot I'd purchased a NEW kind of contact solution that apparently ONLY works with their fancy contact lens container...  which MUST must MUST be allowed to sit for a minimum of 6 hours before the solution is neutralized and therefore NOT like pouring Hydrogen Peroxide onto your eyeball.

Say it with me - OUCH!

no... much louder than that...

but really...  it's 3 1/2 hours later and I'm still squinting and typing with only one usable eye.

BUT - I got to the school... I managed to cram the broken glasses onto my face, held in place by my sunglasses and drove up there in record time.  Changed her clothes, wrapped her in a towel and walked her (shoeless) out to the car.  Got her home and settled on the brown couch (now you know why I'm only offering the red one up for adoption) while I continued to gut the family room - with brief breaks to start another load of laundry... or 3.

The delivery came - my new couch is on the back porch hiding from the sun because the room is FAR from ready...  how am I supposed to move out a couch occupied by a now sleeping M?

Me?  I should be running to the library (ummm... yeah, can't drive without my contacts - maybe in 6 hours?), I should be making Girls Night Out plans for October (I swear... I'll get right on that... after I shower), I should be making dinner (hmmm... somehow nothing is appealing to me after the clean-up I've been doing), and of course, after my long weekend absence I should be checking out some of the blogs I missed (I will, as long as little miss M stays asleep for a few more minutes!)

Now let's just all cross our fingers that I don't get two MORE phone calls from the schools letting me know that the sore arm and the itchy eyes are actually some horrible thing!

(I swear - just as I typed that the phone rang... luckily it was just M.O.T.H. - calling to sympathize from his relatively safe and puke-free existence)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

How I really feel about Caller I.D.

I've been described as a Tech-NO before... it's a title I'm trying my best to shed by learning a little HTML here (don't know what it stands for though...) and eventually I hope to be able to program my VCR to stop flashing 12:00...  (ummmm... wait, do I even HAVE a VCR anymore?  I'll have to check on that)

I was the last person I know to get a cell phone.  I still rarely use the darn thing.  I actually resent being tied to my phone.  If I'm not home... I LIKE the fact that I'm unreachable for a few minutes.  Very few people actually have my cell phone number...  (I make exceptions for the kids' schools...)

So this Caller I.D. thing - I know... everyone has it right?
I don't.
I resent when somebody calls me back based on the fact that I dialed their number.   If I had REALLY needed to talk to you, I would have left a message.  I promise.  Or worse yet - I misdialed my ManOfTheHouse once and the wrong number called me back.  He identified himself and then asked me why I called.  Oh BOY was he annoyed when I told him I'd called him simply because my finger slipped and his number happened to be similar to M.O.T.H.'s...  ummm, sorry sir - but really... I hung up after two rings and you were not required to return my call.

My LEAST favorite?  When people expect me to know who they are when they call me.  Growing up (and no, I did NOT grow up in the dark ages... but we didn't have caller I.D. - or cell phones... or VCRs... okay, maybe it WAS the dark ages...)  we were taught that it was common courtesy to identify yourself when calling someone's home.   Now?  I sit and spend the first minute or two of every conversation trying to piece together enough clues to figure out who I am speaking with.  It's a little embarrassing to have to ask "who is this?"...  but I do have to resort to that occasionally.
M.O.T.H. met some guy once who wanted us to hire him for... oh who knows what... the only thing I remember is that he'd call and begin chatting like we were old friends.  Did I recognize his voice?  yep.  Somehow it still annoyed me that he wouldn't I.D. himself when making a business call.  I ALWAYS said "now who is this again?" when he called... and somehow he never took the hint...  well, until I told him to stop calling altogether...  of course, that hint wasn't exactly subtle... but that's a story for another day :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Banging my head... against the wall?

thanks to a dear friend of mine - who made (okay, she had a little help) a full length documentary film about the band Blackfire - here they are....
I got to spend last night with my son and some friends at a concert.  Well, actually we got to see the film first (which was down right STUNNING)  and then see the concert.  And actually got to talk to some of the band members...  they are much nicer than those punk scowls indicate :)

The documentary (Blackfire: A Modern Warcry) had moments that made me laugh - and moments that made me cry... and even a moment of amazement where I think I finally understand the word "grace"  although I'm going to have to watch that film again before I'm 100% sure I heard him right.  I'm sorry you can't all run right out and see this film at your local theatres...  even if punk is not your music scene (and let's be honest... I'm getting too old for it to be my music scene) the story they have to tell is all-encompassing... something that appeals to anyone who cares about the land they live on.

WHAT??!!?  you expected FUNNY today?  okay - well, I will tell you that during the concert portion of the evening quite a few people were down on the floor creating their very own mosh pit.  Me and my Sucks2BU syndrome knew better than to go down there.  A few times the action down there was highly entertaining...  like when my director of the year friend protectively moved her younger brother away from the older moshing about to leave on a mission brother... and when the teacher of the documentary class gamely joined in the moshing mess... 

My son?  yeah...  too reserved for that... right?  or was it just that he was sitting next to his madre?  Ah... there's  a "sharable" - Son#1 has referred to me as "Madre" for years... but since the band last night has a manager who is also their mother...  we're going with "Momager" from now on...  well, we'll see if it catches on at least :)  It sure SOUNDS like it could get me a little respect!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Internet as a Healthy Life Choice

My sister had a birthday.  It's not important WHICH birthday - what is important is that she is older than me and therefore I am still young and vibrant.

Will big sis be offended by this?  Whatever...  I have it from a very good source that she will not be reading my blog today.  You see... for her birthday she decided to upgrade her internet service.  Faster - more reliable... lots more of those things that mean nothing to me...  I mean, past 300 baud modem I'm lost anyway.  Heck, I'm not even sure I spelled baud right.  Is it Bod?  I hope not, because that's just messed.

The process of upgrading goes like this - first, the old disgruntled "grouchy because you realized our service sucks" internet guy comes at the VERY BEGINNING of the 8-11 window they've given you... and the new "I'm still smiling because we're glad to have your business and your money" guy comes at the END of the 9-5 service window... and then finds out that some fluff for brains has apparently welded shut the access panel and it may take 24 to 48 hours to find out who exactly we should contact to obtain permission to put all our fancy whiz-bang whoozamawhatsits into the apartment building.  New York has pretty strict codes I hear... I think the whoozamawhatsits will require forms be filled out in triplicate - and that doesn't even cover the whiz bangs.  Well, 24 - 48 has passed... and as much "smiling to get your business and money" as they've done... the internet is STILL not going anywhere.

This is not even my house.  I am frustrated by proxy. 

So we chatted On. The. Phone.  Hey, I hear people did that for YEARS before Mr. Al Gore invented this world wide web thing!

We came up with LOTS of things that we'd give up before our internet...  and because I'm nice - I'm going to share it with you even IF (and that's a pretty definite IF) it does make me look like I'm a little internet addicted.  For the record - tomorrow while you are reading this I will actually be sitting and smiling WITHOUT my internet connection... I might need an anxiety reducer!

Without further ado:  (and yes, I do realize that the list isn't very long... we may have laughed more than we brainstormed...)
*Sliced Bread - I mean... people are always saying "it's the best invention since Sliced Bread" but really... I actually kind of like just ripping off a hunk of bread.  I would much rather give up sliced bread for life than my internet connection.

*Pizza - I'm a fan of pizza.  I like the stuff.  However - it's not all that good for me and if my choice was between no pizza Ever Again - and no internet ever again... well, my health concerns would win out every time.  Bye Bye thick crust with Ham and Pineapple - Hello thinner thighs and all my facebook friends!

*Plumbing - this is where things got sticky... I mean... do we mean ALL plumbing?  or just our household plumbing?  Could we run to the gas station?  Is this like lack of water plumbing (I can still flush it if I fill the tank with water I haul in from the river) or lack of all facilities plumbing?  And is this a "forever and ever" trade - or just how many hours are we talking?  I mean... I can hold it for quite a long time if needs be... anyone who has ever camped with me can attest to this fact.  Port-a-potties are WAY down there on my acceptable use list.  How many hours of plumbing would you be able to go without for the sake of the internet?  Assume (for the sake of argument) that you cannot use the sinks AT ALL or use stored water to flush...  go ahead and drink your stored water though... although that might cut back on the amount of time you can wait to flush!  I'm capping it at 6... as long as I have fair notice so that I can shower and use all necessary facilities - and as long as those 6 hours are the same ones that the kids spend at school.  Otherwise we're down to 2.  Max.

So, better than sliced bread?  yep.  More vital than plumbing?  the debate is not over...

And the wheel?  I think we need the wheel... at least until Al can perfect that transporter beam of his. 

The Monk in Me

No... not that kind of Monk...

This Kind...

If you don't know - he's the Obsessive Compulsive Detective that I've grown very attached to over the past few years...

I'm sure that OCD is nothing to laugh about... so I'll just apologize in advance - but I laugh very frequently at some of the OCD tendencies I see daily.

Tooth brushing? When I was pregnant the last time (6 years ago) I could NOT seem to feel like my teeth were clean... there were times when I just HAD to brush my teeth - I could sometimes put it off for a minute or two... but more than one friend laughed at me because I'd be brushing my teeth and talking on the phone at the same time. Heaven forbid my bladder should awaken me at night because I'd have to brush my teeth on the way to the bathroom... and then again on the way out...
gum chewing helped a little... and now my non-pregnant self knows that I can handle it... I only brush my teeth 6 or 7 times daily now - that's normal right?

Books? You know I love books... but I have a little gripe - I would love if there were an industry standard on the height of books... getting them all to sit nicely together on a shelf is HIGHLY annoying to me... just saying.

Decorating? I have to be the one that replaces the trunk that serves as a coffee table... it sits in the middle of a square patterned rug. IN. THE. MIDDLE. not off to the side slightly... the middle. please and thank you. Yeah, that does mean I'll re-do it every week after vacuuming. at least twice.

Don't get me started on the dishwasher... I'm trying to let that one go... especially since we have a new dishwasher and my OLD compulsive tendencies just don't work with this one.

Yes, my CDs ARE alphabetized thank you very much - but my clothes are no longer arranged by colors. I've moved on to separating them by seasons, sleeve length, and THEN color.

and numbers... sometimes they bug me... can I just tell you - that 99 followers thing? I may have to move it out of my vision... unless of course one of you visitors finds me funny enough to even it out for me? (if somebody UN-follows that won't help... I promise... that will just make me cry)

and for the record - yes I DO know that I should be aspiring to be more peaceful, loving, and the OTHER monk-like...  but hey - Monk (my OCD Monk) just makes me laugh SO much harder.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I need to spend more time in front of a screen...


This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of TiVo. All opinions are 100% mine.

I know, I know...  any of you who KNOW me might argue that fact.  ManOfTheHouse would certainly argue that fact...  but I'm just SO out of the loop sometimes...  I mean... I don't even know who won America's Got Talent this season.  I DO know that my friend Jen thought her girlie got robbed and that my other friend was a little miffed that the guys he was betting on didn't take home the gold.  What?  the prize isn't gold?  No wonder I wasn't watching...

The Fall Season is upon us!  Fall TV  promises to keep us on our toes... I mean...  I hear J.J. Abrams has come up with a real doozy this time.  Unfortunately the only ad I've seen for it was on YouTube and it FROZE at a crucial point.  That point being where a barely clad bum-cheek of a female skinnier than myself was the focus of the camera...  I think I might have to watch it after the kids go to bed.  WAIT - I don't have TiVo yet?  What is WRONG with me?  Vampire Diaries and The Big Bang Theory are both on at 8 p.m. - and although I've only ever seen ONE episode of each of these I really feel the need to see them this season in order to be able to communicate with the masses.  So... masses (that's you... the masses)... tell me what shows are MUST see.  I just found out that TiVo actually works with our new NetFlix AND has a new feature (similar to iMDB) that will let me search by actor...  so Cluttered Brain can watch every Matthew McCooKoohead movie ever made.  (sorry, I really don't mind the guy so much, but I'd rather make fun of his name than try to spell it)

If you (like lame little me) do not have TiVo... or even if you DO already have it and you're just feeling lucky -  Enter to Win their nifty new TiVo Slide...  trust me, it's pretty cool...  I mean... seriously - it has a QWERTY keyboard???  I might have to learn to spell McCooKoohead's name after all!  I'm not letting ManOfTheHouse call dibs on this one!

and while you're planning out all the extra screen time you'll be spending - make sure to be a TiVo Facebook Fan so that you can check them out...  besides, they're nice people over there :)

and when the Fall season comes... maybe this year I'll be able to discuss Glee and Modern Family with the rest of you couch potatoes!



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Thursday, September 16, 2010

My children get their worst traits from me.

Exhibit A:
my daughter... she's the one with her mouth W-I-D-E open...
 shoot - when I previewed the picture that person's big head wasn't quite so distracting... just focus on the cutie who is showing her tonsils to the world... and those SHOES that she insisted we make the night before to wear with her camp shirt and she has never worn since...

and Exhibit B: my son - who has graduated from wanting to be a pirate when he grows up... to being an actor.  a much more noble profession - maybe...  He's the one... well, you know, the boy.  Okay, there are TWO boys I guess, he's second from the left.
this past summer they decided they wanted to be on stage.  Center of attention. 

Do you SEE them cheesing for the crowd?  well, let's just say they do NOT get that from their father.  ManOfTheHouse may be a lot of things - but a ham?  I just don't see it.

Explore with me some of the wonderful ways we have blessed our children with our combined DNA...

Teeth:  their options are Mom's straight but not so cavity resistant teeth OR Dad's reasonably healthy but extremely crooked teeth.
     The result - crooked teeth that get cavities with the regularity of Old Faithful.  and yes, I DO make them brush... up and down even though I am stubborn and still brush side to side.

Eyes:  their options are Dad's barely near-sightedness or Mom's legally blind near-sightedness...  they have no hope.
    The result - remains to be seen...  neither M.O.T.H. nor I wore glasses when we were young... we figure we might get a few more years before we start getting blamed for this as well.

The Height/Weight Factor:  Options?  M.O.T.H. is tall and thin.  Mom (that'd be me) is short and has a predisposition toward chub.  The kids...  well, I think they're covering their bases...  at least on the weight thing...  but thus far nobody seems to be outgrowing Dad...  hey, as long as they're taller than Mom I figure we're doing SOMETHING good right?

Brains:  wait - I think we finally got one right... because of COURSE I have a handful of the most brilliant and creative children this side of the Mississippi.  maybe the other side too.  Let's just not talk about how we've passed down our inability to study and the uncanny ability to procrastinate...  because that might detract from the impression I've left you with of my mini geniuses.

Health:  Options - M.O.T.H.  rarely gets sick - and enjoys all of those outdoor activities like hiking... and other stuff that he does outside, don't ask me to expound... I just go along and pretend to like it when we all know I'd rather be inside reading and munching on popcorn.
    The result - thank goodness I took those acting classes - because I think we've actually fooled these kids into believing that I enjoy the hikes and the pickle ball games...  I think they might even believe that I like those veggies that I choke down if they're watching.

Why couldn't we have just sat down and made up a list of all the traits we'd love to pass on...  my ears, his eyes, my nose, his height, my sense of humor, his metabolism, his patience, his... wait, I'm all out of stuff I want to pass on?  okay - the rest can be his...

I think I hate genetics. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Of Buses and Bravery...

we started school a few weeks ago - this is what my kids looked like that day...
handsome, handsome, darling, darling, and handsome...  now focus on that darling face in pink.  This is her time to shine!

flash forward to last night...

For our "family night" activity we chose to go to a local splash park which also has a pickle ball court.  For those of you unfamiliar with pickle ball you may want to ask WikiAnswers all about it... or save yourself the time and imagine playing ping-pong while standing ON the table... only the table IS a little bigger and a little more stable... and the paddles and the balls... oh forget it - just look it up okay!  (I'd link it up... but turns out that I need to send an e-mail to my Wiki-Sister because their answer is lame with a capital LA.

BUT - now that we're past the confusion - my littlest girl (M) was having a great time running from the splash pad to the pickleball court and showing us the prints her wet self could make on the court surface.  We had discouraged this a few times... mostly because we were actually playing pickleball  and feared for her safety.

No need - she was plenty safe on the court.  Turns out the danger was lurking in the travel between the two places.  One faceplant later my little M had bloodied her lip, teeth, nose and forehead.  I did not actually SEE her go down, but everyone within a mile radius HEARD the aftermath.

After determining that she was not severely concussed and assuring her that no, despite what it felt like, her brains were NOT going to fall out - we went home.  That few miles felt like a trip across the ocean to any sibs that were blessed to sit by her.  I buried my nose in a book (hey, don't judge - I was almost at the end... and reading IS my coping mechanism... oh, and humor... but laughing made her nose hurt)

An Otter Pop helped the swelling in her mouth... and Pumpkin Pie apparently helped the rest of it because I got her into pajamas, teeth brushed, and into bed without too many crying jags...

But this morning?  Well, first you must envision that the skin on her nose was scraped up pretty thoroughly.  The healing looks worse than the scraping though - and a scab covered nose may not matter to her mom (who thinks she's beautiful anyway) but it matters to a six year old.  She didn't even look in the mirror before announcing that she WAS. NOT. GOING. TO. SCHOOL.  in her determined "I am the boss of the world" six year old voice.  (just trust me, it's pretty scary!)

Bribes of Mom walking her to class?  didn't budge.  Suggestions that she tell stories about how bad off the other guy looks?  didn't even get a smile.  Promises that I'd pick her up after school for the library?  not even tempting.  Threats that she'd have to spend the day with the "sick" rules (no TV/computer, etc...)?  okay, she didn't like these - but she still wanted to stay home.

I had to lay down the law...  she was going to school one way or the other.  I nearly cried when she asked for a pinky promise that nobody would laugh at her.

Oh honey, how I wish....

I made her a pinky promise that she would be brave enough to deal with it - and then said a silent prayer for her wishes to come true... love ya my brave girl!

She got on the bus.  Without tears...

...and then I swore on my dirty laundry that if any little brat hurts my angel today I'm going in to that school and Whup some little first grade Heinie.   (and then I retracted the aforementioned statement because it might get me in some legal trouble if something were to accidentally happen)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Just how much IS "several" anyway...

I might have mentioned awhile back that I went to my class reunion.  What I might have failed to mention was that it was a sparsely attended affair.  By no means am I the only member of my graduating class who has children - and I can even name 4 other class members who have MORE children than I...  but none of them were there...  so my five children was a SHOCKER to the assembled crowd.  SO much of a shocker that one classmate said "Man, you have a slew of children"...  seriously.  I laughed at his choice of words...  and have spent the past months wondering...  is there a guideline out there for what constitutes a slew... or several... or even many?

Well, my friends - I have found no such guide.  Granted, I haven't even tried asking at WikiAnswers (sorry sis) so perhaps such a thing does exist already... but that just wouldn't be as funny now would it?

So, without further ado... I present - the definitions of enumerations... (wait, not sure that makes sense either...)

a Couple - this is not up for debate - a couple is two, a couple MUST be two...  seriously - love triangles may make interesting teen-angst vampire werewolf novels... but a couple is a couple is a couple and always equals two.  thanks for understanding.

a Few - "few" just has to come after a couple... let's just say that "few" can mean 3... or even 4... 

Handful - ummm, guys - this isn't rocket science - a handful is 5.  I have a handful of children.  (my apologies to any of you six fingered people out there...  if you want, you can extend "handful" up to the number 6...  see, I can be sensitive to special needs too!)

Several - I don't know why - but Several means Seven to me...  okay, so I know WHY...  I'm just not sure it's a universal truth...  Let's go ahead and let "several stand for 7 OR 8...   so I won't be accused of typecasting poor 7 just because it has a few of the same letters!  (ha, did you just glance up to make sure I used "few" correctly... I did.)

Many - 9... or 10... or 11 even...  of course, if you repeat the word (i.e. - I have Many many many books in my house the number grows exponentially.  3 manys is about a thousand in the case of books...)

Bunches -  the vague number references are getting more vague about this point... or perhaps I am getting more vague?  It IS getting late after all!  Bunches is going to work for anything from 12 to 36...  preferable keeping them in dozens if you can.  Thanks - I like things to work out nice and even.  (you know... "bunches" of flowers?  probably dozens right?)

A Slew -  NOT a slough by the way... I promise.  (I looked it up to be sure)  This implies more than 40 to me.  I DO have a slew of relatives... but NOT a slew of children.

Tons -  this one is tricky since ton is an actual unit of measure...  2000 pounds.  So in order to accurately say "I have a TON of pictures to go through" or "I did a TON of laundry this weekend" I'd have to measure...  let's just say I'm rounding up though.  (I'm sure I've mentioned before that I'm no good at math)

A Crapload -crass, yes... but this can replace "ton" in the above sentences without worries of accuracy...  you might however begin to worry about offending those around you.  Use at your own risk...  just avoid using it for anything under the number 40... because those are already taken.

others:

"Plenty" - is subjective... I mean, I can say I have "plenty" of dish detergent... which probably means enough to get me through the month...  "plenty" of money though?  If I ever say I have plenty of money you can bet that it will be enough to get me through more than a month.  Ditto for "enough".

my kids also suggested "heckuvalot" - I wasn't sure if that was more than bunches... or less... 

any others? 
because we've all been left in the dark about the number of licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop for long enough...  is it a slew of licks?  a ton?  (please... don't say it's that last one... that's just not appetizing at all..)

Friday, September 10, 2010

awww... they grow up so fast...

Po turned 11 yesterday.

This is the child who has left pink yogurt footprints on my carpet and blue icing handprints on my walls... more than once.  I suppose I am to blame for actually making blue icing more than once.

When he was 2 and 3 he already knew what he wanted to be when he grew up.  A pirate.  and not just any old boring pirate.  He wanted to be "Bad Pirate"...  he wore pirate accessories almost daily for 18 months.  Sometimes not much else.

When he was 5 his kindergarten teacher told him that "Pirate" was not really a career choice.  (silly teachers)  He rolled with the punches though and when asked to make another choice he said "robber"...  Funny thing - she wanted him to choose something different.  He chose "Policeman" and that is what is written on his laminated placemat to this day.  The teacher did confide in me later that he had actually said "Policeman... then when I arrest the robbers I can keep the stuff they stole"  So apparently he really meant corrupt policeman...  I kinda wish THAT was written on the placemat :)

At 8 or 9 he was thinking that a photographer looked like a good career choice...  so we bought him a camera for his birthday.  Lots of fun - for about... ummm... 38 minutes?

About a year ago he started talking a little more reasonably about life goals...  and he wanted us to move to Hollywood so he could get a job in the movies.  Apparently he just knows he'd be discovered immediately - and if it takes a few weeks we could live off of my winnings from Wheel of Fortune right?  Drama is right up his alley.  (how many 11 year olds do you know who are aware of the definition of hypochondria?)

Given his "explosive" personality and penchant for the dramatic - I wasn't sure what to expect...

I DIDN'T expect such a gushing of thankfulness for his gifts.  I DIDN'T expect him to be so patient with the preparations of the day.  I most certainly DIDN'T expect him to be such a sharing, helpful young man on his special day.

Sometimes kids surprise me.  Isn't it nice?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Grandparents are MUCH more fun than parents.

A weekend at home means one thing to my kids:  clean room.  Okay, maybe eight things:  clean room, clean bathroom, clean kitchen, clean dining room, clean laundry, clean family room, clean dishes, and yard work.

We are NO fun.  I have witnesses.

Last weekend the kids had LOTS of fun...  we saw Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat - ManOfTheHouse went to a football game - we (well, some of us them) rode our bikes down a steep mountainside - we (the others of us) toured the fire station and crawled around inside fire trucks - we had a cookout in the Canyon - we sang songs (not the ones mentioned in yesterday's post though) - we watched Fireworks - we went to a parade - we ate cookies... and ice cream... and chips... and oh my stomach is still recovering.  (can you believe I forgot my camera to document all of this fun?) We did all of these things not because of the holiday weekend, but because Grandma and Grandpa are INFINITELY more fun than us.

In a few weeks we will be back at their house for another weekend - less action packed, but still fun I'm sure - because they will soon be leaving on a mission... 18 months without their brand of fun might kill my kids... but our house might be cleaner :)  Yes, we will miss them terribly - but this is a good thing - this is a really good thing that they are doing and we know how quickly the 18 months went last time (for us... not necessarily for them).

I thought my kids were okay with all of this until we were between song-singing and lesson-learning...  Grandma mentioned that they were going somewhere and my eight year old mustered all of her attitude to let it be known that she was NOT pleased with this.  All she had to say was "Again"... in THAT tone of voice...  I'm sure she'll survive... after all, she does have those OTHER grandparents:


Shoot - you KNOW that a regular parent would not allow you to use them as a surfboard...  how's a girl supposed to compete with that???

Oh well, my turn will come...  I can hardly wait (oh wait... I can wait... I can wait a LONG time...).

but when it DOES come, I am SO going to be serving cake for breakfast!

believe it or not - the images are actually my own today... well, sort of... a friend took the picture... but that IS my daughter and MY dad... that counts as mine right?

Monday, September 6, 2010

There's a Right way - and it's usually my way.

I grew up in a family that sang.  A LOT.  We sang songs about roosters and cats and a little girl named Ellie Mae who was so skinny she could go down the tub drain when the plug was pulled.

And then I married into a singing family - they sang songs about railroads and Arks and a little girl named Alice who was so skinny she could go down the tub drain when the plug was pulled.

and therein lies the problem.

Kids are impressionable.  If a kindergarten teacher - or a primary teacher in church - tells a child something - that something becomes irrevocably engraved upon their little minds.  It won't matter who is right... it only matters who got to them first!  I'm all for things like Veggie Tales - but I'm afraid that there is an entire generation of children who are going to be thinking about skinny cucumbers defeating Goliath pickles in Sunday School!

I'm no conspiracy theorist or anything - but (on a rare serious note) I think we should be aware of who is teaching our children... and what they are teaching them.  Really, I'm going to have to cope with the fact that "The Cat Came Back" that my daughter learned is not the one I remember my grandfather singing to me as a child - but there are worse things to get wrong.  This is why I will ALWAYS say that one of the most important jobs (in the world at large or in a church setting) is the teaching of young children.  

and I hesitate to tell the rest of the story because it might disqualify me from the job!!!  ah, what the heck...  maybe Ben won't see my blog today?

I was devastated the day (a few years back) the youngest came home from preschool singing me the song about the alligator and the monkeys in the tree...
"...along came the alligator, quiet as can be... SNAPPED that monkey right out of that tree!"

because in my head it is and always shall be thus:
"...along came the alligator, jaws open wide... Snapped up that monkey and swallowed him inside!"

yep, definitely more morbid, but at least I don't leave any kids wondering whether or not the abducted monkeys are being tortured for information.  I'm all about closure!

hmmm... "closure"... that seems like a good note to end on.


so...  which is it?  Alice or Ellie Mae... someday ManOfTheHouse and I are going to end up in therapy and we'll realize that all future communication issues all hail back to our inability to solve this one problem.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Labor Day

I had spectacularly awesome plans for a nice Labor Day post...

and then time got short...

and then I remembered that really... nobody enjoys hearing my Labor stories...  I think that other Moms smile and nod and cringe in all the right spots because secretly, they're just waiting for the moment when they can one up me with their own hideous stories of pain, screaming and torture.

So no labor stories...

Okay - maybe one QUICK one...

and really, there's no disgusting parts - so my men readers can relax now...

I love nurses - I am related to some nurses, and I know of at least ONE nurse that reads my blog and I would never dream of bad-mouthing the nursing profession (doctors and physical therapists are not safe here however)... but when I had been through about 15 hours of labor with my first son I had a really... ummm... dense? nurse -

She had been in and out of my room - making me lay on my left side.  leaving me alone for twenty minutes.  back in and switching me onto my right side... and leaving me alone for another twenty minutes...  rinse, repeat, do not pass go.  Finally she comes in and asks me this:

"Okay, honey - I need to ask... are you more comfortable with that child on the right side?  or the left side?"

Please remember that I've been in labor for 15 hours at this point - so do not judge me when I tell you that my eyes bugged eight inches away from my skull - fire came out of my ears and my voice became tinged with fire and brimstone as I answered...

"On the OUTside"

She got out of my room.  quickly.

and that's all, you don't want to hear about the next nine hours - I'm pretty sure my memory of real labor is spotty at best...  it must be, because I had four more children after that.

and yes, I DO know that Labor Day is not about childbirth... but hey, give me a break... I'm on a deadline here!

Enjoy your weekend!!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Horrible Confessions of Discrimination.

I've been short my entire life.  Seriously... born short... still short - it doesn't seem fair does it.

and when I say "short" I mean as in Under Five Feet short...   yep, I know... you'd all be looking down at me right now if we were in the same room.  and not just because I am sprawled across my couch typing this.

The thing is... the whole you towering over me thing... I like it that way.  I'm used to it.  That IS my comfort zone.  I put a lot of work into making sure that my hair is cute from that angle...  you know it requires at least two mirrors and an incredibly awkward arm position to make sure that my poofy hair is not too poofy up top.  But I do it... for all of the people taller than me.  Most likely, that means you.

Back in "the day" when I was still "growing" the doctor would always laugh at me because I wasn't on those fancy "charts" (hmmm... the quotation marks are just popping out there today aren't they?)

Not being on the charts means that at least 99% of the population (in your age group) is taller than you.  Once you hit 18 that age group becomes the rest of the adult world... so 99% of the adults on earth (and frankly a lot of kids) are taller than me.

I really don't have a problem with this - I've heard every short joke ever invented.  They're not terribly funny for the most part, but I smile because it's better than having people think I'm offended.  You know what I DO have a problem with.

Short People.

yep, I know... it sounds odd - but they kinda give me the creeps.  After a lifetime of looking UP to people I get a little weirded out when I find an adult that I have to look down at.  I MUST look away...  I MUST remove my shoes to try to be shorter... I MUST not stare... and above all I MUST not ask what is wrong with them!?!

My doctor's office (yep, the OB type of doctor) has a PA who is shorter than me...  shortly before delivering my last daughter I was scheduled for a visit with this PA - who I'd never met.  I stood around (wearing some darling 3 inch clogs) and she walked into the room...  I'm pretty sure I set a land-speed record in an effort to sit down in a chair... the shoes probably left a dent in the wall I kicked them off so quickly.
My daughter's teacher is barely taller than me...  I am careful to wear flat shoes when I go to that classroom...

This is wrong!  I know it and I can't help it.

Good news though - it turns out that the creepiness does not extend to "Little People" - for some reason that doesn't bother me... really. 

so truly - I am just prejudiced against people exactly like myself.  I think I should sue myself for wrongful discrimination...

Image taken from some area of Purdue's website... 

And I promise, if you're shorter than me, we can still be friends... but if we do lunch - let's not sit at those horrible TALL tables at Applebee's, I hate feeling like I'm in a highchair again!!