Welcome to my world...come hang out and have a little fun!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

HEY YOU! Yes you....and all your marvelous flaws......

  Flaws?!  What flaws?....No, not you.... that person in your living room or in the office space next to you.  We make an exhausting attempt to live up to external expectations.  Since we were children, we've heard, "just be yourself"...."be ourselves?  but what if thats not good enough?"   All day the merry go round of thoughts whiz past our brains.....( was I good enough today? nice enough today? loving enough today? did I volunteer enough this month?, because you know so and so over there volunteers all the time and they are super excited!   Ugggh....the list goes on and on.   The truth of the matter is that you will NEVER be good enough, nice enough or volunteer enough.  If you're a stay at home parent you will feel guilty over the house thats never clean enough or if you must work you will suffer guilt if you want to be home..  Its a catch 22...the classic damned if you do, damned if you don't.  Let's just stop the craziness for a moment....take a breath chill out a little.  I remember hearing a line in a movie once that I don't think I'll ever forget..." In this life you don't have to prove nothin' to nobody except yourself".  Powerful words....Freeing words.......Can we let go of the image, that cannot be lived up to?   Can you be okay with yourself  if you arent perfect today?  You have great value..you are what someone needs today...just the way you are....marveously flawed.....

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Loyalty That Could Not Be Bought..(subtitle)...The Bird That Could Take Me Or Leave Me

  Let me introduce you to "Birdman".   One would think that a name of such caliber should invoke thoughts of superheros or at the very least a half man half bird you find in a mythology book.  Not so much,  this name belongs to our beloved Cockatoo.  He was obtained in a rescue of sorts 19 yrs. ago.  The previous owner said,   " $50 for the cage and the bird and he's yours."  What was the deal?  Why so cheap you wonder?  The deal was,  he was a notorious, nervous feather picker, not very attractive by pet store standards.  We shoved the large cage and nervous bird into our tiny Toyota, off we went on the hour trip home.  We were looking forward to having this great pet,  we could train him...this was gonna be supercool.   Reality sets in.....we lived on the second floor of our apartment building and upon entering  the front door on the main floor, we heard loud amazonian like screeching.   We raced up the stairs in a panic to attempt to quiet the beast.  oh my gosh, what was up with this bird?!  Upon further research, we discovered that in the wild, they all let out primal screeches at dinnertime.......silly me, of course....what was I thinking?   Oh yes...and usually in captivity they like to bond with one person.   You would think it would be me right?  After all,  I'm home with him, I feed him and once in awhile I'll even give him a toy or even some newspaper to shred all over the floor.  Not a chance,  it's Big Daddy he loves.  I mean, I don't really blame him, I love Big Daddy myself.  There have been times when this lovely animal has even taken a lunge at me or the kids will yell,  "ma! look out!" as he descends on high to peck at my head. Did I mention we keep his door off so he can come in and out of his cage at will?  All the snuggling and lovey bird noises are saved for his true love, Big Daddy.  I get attitude or just plain tolerance.  Anyway, he remains...our longest lasting pet and faithful friend to the man he loves.  He never did quit picking his feathers, oh well,  I guess what they say is right, beauty is in the eye of the beholder ( just be careful not to get your eye pecked out!) ok...that last part was added...I think you get the picture.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sunnin', Swingin' and Dog Poop Flingin'.....

    With "Real Feel" temperatures rising, my little one has been after me for days to put out the kiddie pool.  By nature, I tend to procrastinate, doesn't the old saying go " Why put off today what you can do tomorrow?"........Ok, I know its the other way around,  but sometimes I wish it was worded that way.  Big daddy in his usual wonderful way drags out the old blow up pool and finds a piece that will fit the blower machine and gets to work.  Sweat beads down his forehead in the hot garage as he takes care of this inflatable.  Ok, hard part finished.......not so fast, this thing still has to be scrubbed out and dragged out to the back yard.  At 7 a.m. one of the first things I'm greeted with is "I want my pool , is it filled?"   I set a time of 9 a.m. to do the dirty work.  I drag the plastic beast to the back of the house and figure out that doggie clean up needs to happen so we don't have kids mushing down "surprises" in between their toes.  I get to work...now, if you remember back to my winter dog clean up story, there was some poo flinging toward the garden in a heavy wind.   Thankfully, no wind this time, just searing heat.  Let the flinging begin!  I was grateful that the burning sun had hardened these dog pies, making the clean up a bit easier.  As in the winter, I look back at the house to see children in the window smiling at their tankini clad mother throwing doo doo.  I'm convinced this should really be an Olympic sport.  I'm finished, onto scrubbing the pool, that wasn't so bad,  out the kids went with the immediate question being, "when's it gonna warm up?"....well happy to report the kids enjoyed the frigid temperature without too much complaining.  A good time was had by all until........a giggly 4 yr. old  informs all in earshot that she has just peed in the pool.....(sigh)... the pool seems to empty very quickly when someone yells that.  There's always tomorrow.....

Friday, July 15, 2011

Even Heros Have the Right to Bleed.....

  I woke up sometime during the early morning hours weeping.  I was having a dream where my dearly departed father made 2 cameo appearances.  I lost my dad just over 5 years ago now and although the "strike" to my heart has lost most of its strength, there are moments out of nowhere that bring it back.  The thing that I enjoyed most about my dad was his sense of  "ease",  his ability to not take life so seriously.  He was funny,  sort of a silly guy.  When I was young, I saw him as all powerful, almost a superhero.  He was just barely 18 years old when I was born.  He was a father when he was a very young man, but as a man he didn't abandon his child.  Even superheros have their weakness,  and as "spectators", sometimes we view our superheros weakness in an unkind light.  We wonder why they didn't "measure up" or "come through".  As parents I believe most of us have only the best in mind for our children. We hope that they will be happy, well rounded if you will.  We hope that they will overlook our inadequacies to see the greatness.  I have come to that place in my heart when I think of my dad.   His love, his sense of humor and his easy going nature will live on.....I have grown up to see "the greatness"........

Monday, July 11, 2011

Motherhood of the Traveling Laundry Pile

  I have a love/hate relationship with my laundry.  Well, for one thing, I like to wear clean clothes,  we all do, right?  Seriously, a person can only Febreez a dirty shirt so many times, true?  I don't really do that, I actually do not like spraying freshener on dirty stuff, kinda gross to me, although I would never poo-poo any ones parade.  Onto why I hate my laundry...I absolutely cannot stand to fold the clothes.  I admire people that say, well, I just fold it as it comes out of the dryer, this way its fresh and its done.  Unfortunately, this is not actually how I roll.  My routine goes a little something like this,  washing the clothes is a smooth operation, drying, "easy peasy".....folding....hmmm...here's where things get a little "iffy".    By "iffy" I mean, "if" I'm not busy, then I will fold.  My laundry pile is currently about 3 loads high....now I procrastinate.  I fold a few things then walk away, then someone usually runs through my pile, so then I'm back at 1st base.  Yesterday, I folded some things, then just laid on top of the pile and daydreamed a bit.  Eventually everything actually does get folded and no one is wrinkled.  Starting to wonder if I should delegate it to the kids, I mean at least the towels and  undies would be folded... hmmm....the ponderings of  a daydreaming mama  :)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tick, Tock, Tick ......

  I went and tried one of those self serve dog washes with the kids.  Let me rephrase...I didn't actually wash the kids there, just the dog.  Ive been wanting to try this for awhile but was always deterred because of the distance.   I'm a country girl so its pretty much a 20 minute drive one way to town.  Anywho, I promised my daughter that we would take the dog for a car ride on his birthday.   This grand occasion was actually 3 weeks ago but its been kinda hot so I was procrastinating.  An old dog and 3 small children doesn't always work well on a 85 degree day.  Yesterday was nice and cool, so we seized the day.

  We pulled up to the car wash and I survey the dog wash, I say, "ok you guys, this costs $7 for 10 minutes so we need to hurry.  They were great helpers, we got the old guy up the ramp onto the "sink" and began to scrub.  So as I'm scrubbin along, I feel a hard roundish bump hanging off the dog.  I got squeamish knowing this could only be one thing...A Tick!  This is nothing new in the country but for some reason, this season we particularly have our fill.  Up until about 8 years ago I was a city girl so I wasn't all that familiar with bugs the size of small kittens and such.  Of course, I'm exaggerating, but they can be intimidating.  Back to the tick,  I deal with him in the only way ticks should be treated, I will spare the gory details.  The timer on the dog wash was was counting down,  we were racing against the clock or we would be going home with a soapy dog as I didn't have many more singles in my purse.  Whew, we got done in the nick of time.  On the way home we stopped and got a chicken sandwich off the dollar menu for our brave subject.  Well, the kids had a new experience and the dog got the stink washed off him so I guess in all, it was a win-win situation.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Welcome to Your Local Germ Fest....Part Deux

  Hey all!  I felt compelled to add a second thought to my original post about public restrooms.  Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the toilet....(insert Jaws music here).  Today we will be chatting about the splendor of the port a potty.  Let me back up a bit, as if I wasn't busy enough, I decided that signing the kids up for sports would be a great idea.  We made it through Karate and moved onto T-ball.  T-ball enables me to visit the port a potty at least twice a week with my young child who is intrigued by the toilet in a box.  I should be grateful, at least there is hand sanitizer in there.  Unlike the wood boxes of yesteryear, we now have the luxury of toilet paper and don't have to resort to crumpled napkins on the floor of the car.  If you weren't fortunate enough to scrounge up a napkin or two, you may have to resort to some type of leaf or the "drip- dry" method.

   My young child must be accompanied to this glorious box in order to somehow be levitated over this hole of muck by yours truly.  Once again, I implore her..."Don't touch anything...please....and don't touch my face".  Helping her with her clothes is an added treat since I get to bend over and somehow have my clothes brush the makeshift urinal ever so gently.  I  utter out a few groans of disgust as I say,  "didn't we use the potty at home?  why are we in here again?"  The only explanation I get out of this wonderful child is .."I had to go.."    I guess for now,  the potty trenches it is....

Friday, June 3, 2011

Has Anyone Seen the Crazy Cream?

  The change.....what exactly does that mean?  Well, if your entering midlife, you might have some idea of where this might be going.  I guess the word "change" can produce optimistic feelings or possibly a wave of negative emotions.  We might experience a lop sided mixture of the two and we may scramble to find that delicate, elusive balance.  A dear friend of mine let me in on a little secret...she called it "natural progesterone".  I had a surge of hope...could I find that balance I was in search of?  I took a little trip to my health food store..where was it?!  As if the heavens opened, a ray of gleaming light shown down,  there on the women's health shelf was the answer to all that was amiss.

  I got home and opened my bag of gold.  On the container it said, " Massage 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of cream into inner arms, thighs, blah..blah..blah".  On it went, "Yay!  the solution to all my ups and downs,  happiness and calm in a bottle!"  I did notice a difference, a slight improvement, better than nothing.  Big Daddy lovingly refers to my new found treasure as "crazy cream".   He will enter my perimeter and survey my aura..."did you put on the crazy cream?..slap it on, eat it or do what ever ya got do...."    Hmmm......I wonder what he's trying to tell me...Ahhh yes....these stages of life.   No wonder why the  "Good  Book"  offers up the encouragement...."Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a women who fears the Lord will be praised."   So, as I beat back my impending mustache and growing feet, I will try to keep that wonderful verse in the forefront of my mind.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Mother of a Meltdown

  Eww...I just realized I dropped stew on my keyboard yesterday, ick....what was I saying?  Oh yes...meltdowns.  We're not talking about some kind of cooking fauxpax or a lesson in candle making.  We are in fact talking about a good old fashioned tantrum.  The kind of tantrum that leaves you exhausted, wondering somehow if your lack of parenting skills, somehow have resulted in this untethered outburst. 

  There are a couple of different kinds of tantrums that I, myself have been privy to. First,  This is what I call "the undercover tantrum", this is the kind where it's not totally obvious, although there is a lurking stinky attitude.  The grudge holding, stink eye if you will.  The second of these is much noisier,  with the threat of pushing the parent to the very edge of insanity.  In public this type of tantrum is embarrassing to say the least.  You struggle to maintain all composure, but inside you feel the cringe, the looming thought that all eyes are on you, somehow judging your parenting skills.  You somehow manage to whisper through your gritted teeth, "you better get off that floor, before you have a consequence..."   You really have no idea what that consequence will be at that moment, your just trying to get cooperation in a frenzied moment.

  Somehow, the child's attention is diverted...and "poof"...as if someone waved a magic wand....it's over.  We regain composure and move on to the next call of business.  We are a little worse for the wear, a little weather beaten if you will but we manage to pull ourselves together.  You know that if you can hang in there for a little while longer, bedtime will come and all will be well.  The scene in the Willy Wonka movie comes to mind, you know the one where Verruca's dad is trying to reason with her as he sweats it out.  The mom says something like, " happiness and harmony is what matters most with children".  Well we all know how that turned out for Verruca, now don't we?  I myself have given into the bribe, in a desperate plea I have caved and offered ice cream in return for "happiness and harmony". 

  I hear my parent's voices in the recesses of my mind,  "someday you will have children just like you".  When I was younger, I thought they were a little kooky.  The dawn of understanding has risen to enlighten me.  I get it now...sometimes I say to Big Daddy, "when they have kids of their own, we can just point and laugh.."  A little immature I know...what can I say....I hang around with kids all day  ;)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Welcome to Your Local Germ Fest!

  Few things in life get my dander up more than the public restroom.  Using the commode as a highly potty trained adult can be a tricky experience in a public setting.  After selecting a stall, you carefully open the door, your eyes scan the small perimeter as if in search of creeping marauders.  If the toilet is "usable", we begin the toilet paper process, the covering of every square inch of "sit" space.  Some chose to forgo this exercise and chose the squat method, hoping that their aim is on target.  Then, the flush,  some of the more neurotic among us may use our foot to flush, hoping to escape a handful of germs.  Last but not least, let's not forget to wash our hands.  You may need to hold your purse between your knees while you wash, then do the shimmy, side step over to the hand towels. Oh, I almost forgot, don't forget to use a paper towel to grab the handle on the door, lest you become a host of potty germs.

  If you have ever been fortunate enough to take a child, perhaps even 3 to the bathroom at once, your experience will be even better.  That day you achieve the elusive "potty trained" status, you are now enrolled in a new experience called,  "Take your child to every bathroom at every stop, no matter where you are".  Your patience will be tested as they touch the seat then touch your face as you are attempting to help them with their clothes.  As their clothes get wet while you are trying to help with the hand washing, you try not to mutter out a cuss word under your breath.  Parents all over the world can be heard in public facilities saying, "ah...ah... I just said don't touch that, why did you touch that?!"  In my perfect world there would be some kind of robotic device that came out of the wall in the bathroom stall after each use, to completely sanitize each area, sometimes I dream big...maybe someday.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Boys Are From the Sandbox, Girls Are From the Flower Garden

  Big daddy and I sat at a table enjoying coffee.  A large pane of glass separated our peace and serenity from complete chaos. The chaos of which I speak is happening in the large hamster type habitat for children to run amuck.  Our silence is shattered as my youngest daughter runs through the door with my son following close behind.  "WHAT DID I DO?!", he yells out in a desperate plea.  Apparently my girl was reacting to a minor infraction committed on her brother's part.  If I remember correctly, I think she felt ignored while he played with a new found friend.

  This scenario got me to thinking about the differences between boys and girls.  When my children were babies I had it all planned out.  I would teach my daughters to be strong, not to overreact...they would be soft but not overly sensitive if you will.  My son was going to be the perfect male specimen.  He would be sensitive and extra thoughtful.  I in my master mind planning was going to create the perfect balance in my boys and girls.  I'm beginning to see that these differences appear to be hard wired in the genes of these little people.  For ages men and women have struggled to understand each others complexities.  Striking that delicate balance of understanding, love and everything in between.

  I watch every morning as my girls lavish kisses and hugs on their dad. They follow him out to the car, wave good-bye from the window and pray for their dad's day.  All these "butterfly kisses" are preceded by my son shouting a hearty, "BYE DAD ! SEE  YA LATER!",  as he carries on about his business.  It amazes me to watch the differences, gives me a little more understanding into my own life...hmm..interesting.  Needless to say, my masterful plan has been pitched to the wayside.  I replace those plans with thoughts of guidance, and instruction.  Maybe instead, I can help them learn to live with each other in helpfulness and harmony.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I'm Gonna Wash That Red Right Outta My Hair..

  We will begin this story with a look back in time.   I'm a natural red head with wavy hair...enough said.  So it begins...at age 16 the  "I wanna be blond bug hit me".   It all began innocent enough, if any of you remember "sun-in",  you'll know what I'm referring to.  A simple mist to the hair, a step out in the sun and instant highlights.  As any "junkie" will tell you....the road to "never enough" started with just one hit.

  At age 21, I was ready to take the plunge.  My mother pleaded with me...."Don't do it,  you'll regret it!"   As it goes, sometimes we just don't take our parents word for it.  The need to learn on our own and make our own decisions drives us.  I bought my first box of $3 hair dye..this was it,  I was going to be blond.  I somehow would be transformed into the beauty I always hoped to be.  Hmmm...it didn't produce the results I had hoped, the solution?  Get more hair dye!!  This went on until my hair was nearly yellow white with a slightly darker shade at the roots.  "Well", I thought..."no place to go with this but backwards." 

  In the years since then, I have gone up and down the color chart.  From yellow, white went to chestnut brown to burgundy red.  Currently, I am a lighter shade of my original self.  A thick coat of  frizz remains...my hair seems to get bigger and bigger.  In the shadows of my mind, lurks a thought, more of a threat really.. that one day in my old age, red haired  frizz will somehow resemble the makings of a circus clown.  I chalk this experience up to "life lessons",  in these lessons I have realized a couple things along the way.  1.  leave your hair to the professionals  and   2. learn to love yourself for who you are and to see the value in how God created you.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Mice Who Were Destined For Greatness

   I always thought that parents who denied their children the joy of owning pets were a little unreasonable.  The word "old fogey" comes to mind.  My opinion changed when I had my own kids.  Feeling that we had our fill with one feather picking parrot, one diabetic dog and four goldfish ( 2 who have since gone to "sleep with the fishes"), I decided that no more pets would be necessary.  The kids tag teamed us with a barrage of requests for more animals. These requests were always denied.....after about a month, our defenses started to weaken.

  "Hey! What about mice...can I get a mouse?", my daughter asked.  The idea of having mice kinda creeped me out, especially because I knew I would end up having to participate in the daily care of this little creature.  Well, one mouse quickly became three (3 children=3 mice).  We surrendered....we attempted to lay out some ground rules about the care and responsibility of  these new additions.  Off to the pet store we went, I'm sure we asked the pet wrangler more than once..."are you sure these are all females?  please no males..we don't want any accidents).  Side note:  mice can have babies every 21 days with a large litter.

  The journey began, wheels, mouse house and biscuits were purchased.  The kids lacked the squirmish instinct we adults have at the idea of reaching their hands  into a pile of mice to pick one up.  Turns out these furry things were actually very trainable and personable...hmmm..who would have thought.  These mice have been with us for several months and have actually become quite lovable and have been featured at our local expert night ( in which the kids showcase projects and expertise).  Some mice are destined for snakes and Decon...others for greatness.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Just who do you think YOU are?

  Hope everyone had a good weekend!  Did we really have a good weekend?  Did we meet all of our internal expectations for our lives?  If all went well,  our homes might be immaculate, the kids got a bath, our husbands met our emotional expectations and we had a couple of good meals.  I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say for many gals, one or more of these scenarios did not take place.  How did that make us feel?..how did we respond?

  We look at others around us and think, "surely, they must have it together"...we see what we perceive as flaws in our own lives and we allow shame to creep in oh so subtly.  We begin the slow downward spiral of self  loathing.  Let's step away from this dreaded descent for a moment.  We know we should love our children, respect our men and we have certain ingrained expectations on us as women.  But how do you love yourself?

  We  mentally assent to the term "me time",  but what are we believing about ourselves when were in the 'trenches"?   My encouragement to myself  and to you is to go easy on your self.  Let's not view ourselves in a bad light  because the house is a mess or the kids aren't a picture perfect image of manners.   Lets take life one step at a time and strive to enjoy the process.  I often hear older folks say, " enjoy them (your children) while they are young".  They don't really add anything to that statement, but I often wonder if they have regrets.  Did they let the years fly by in a downward spiral of discontentment?  Did they think they had to live up to the image of  "The Jones' "?  One day, I hope  my children will remember my love not my organized cabinet.   So, I will endeavor to keep this in mind when thoughts of  "you're not enough" show up at my door.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Did Someone Say, "Hot Date"? ...update...

  2 posts ago we discussed the impending "sleep over" in which my lovely little squirrels were venturing out beyond the tree.  I tried to tell everyone about my hot date with Big Daddy in which I was detailing the beautification process.  That post has seemed to vanish into thin air.   Today, I will give an updated version of my date night.  I was trying to decide whether I should go the route of the flat iron.  I in fact just crunched up my hair old school style and finished it off with some spray. I know what your thinking....but I really didn't look like I stepped off the set of an 80's video gone bad.  The metallic eyeshadow worked out ok but I might have been a bit pinkie, orangey in the face. Oh well, gotta give a chic credit for trying.

  The buffet was fair although I did witness a nose picking by an employee.  I might not be back for awhile.  I did get to talk Big Daddy's ear off and enjoy the time I had him to myself.  My littlest one did indeed ask to come home which worked out great since she was only next door.  I was told, she just took her little backpack and sat on the bench near the front door like she was waiting for the bus.  The other 2 were great.  One of them is actually asleep right now, a siesta after a long night's play.  I asked them today..."were you homesick? were you ok?"....the reply..."oh yeah , it was great, I wasn't sad!"  I did take their pictures with their sleeping bags and whatnot to commemorate the big day. Big for them, and me.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Did Someone Say, "Hot Date"?

  Two posts ago, we discussed my squirrel's taking a few steps away from the nest.  That day has come.  I am swimming with emotions right now.  To name a few....elation, anxiety and then a little bit more elation.  Whether they all actually make it through the evening without calling or asking to come home remains to be seen.  Initially, I thought maybe I should stay home glued to the phone in case someone needs me.  I replaced that thought with "wow! I can call Big Daddy and invite him on a hot date!"

  With all the backpacks set to go I can begin the beautification process.  Katy Perry talks about "get your heart racin' in my skin tight jeans"....well I don't know about that.  I will try to get out my "nicest" pair of jeans, so that's about as racy as that's gonna get.  I think I'll go for the newest ones that give a little in the waist, that'll work.  I mean who can go to the Chinese buffet with skin tight jeans on?  There is no way you can eat more than your fair share with that get up on.  Okay, I'm kidding, I know your supposed to exercise extreme  discipline when entering the lair of the all you can eat.   Who am I fooling?   I'm gonna enjoy this small taste of liberty and eat the extra crab rangoon.

  I digress,  anywho....hair and makeup...hmm.. what to do?   For special occasions I pull out the false eyelashes, but where did I put the glue from the last time?  Ooh and I have that metallic eyeshadow....yeah, I said it, metallic....age appropriate?...maybe, maybe not...whatever, Big Daddy seems to like it.  Hair is another story...I could flatten it ...but I always get a weird groove in the back...hmm..I still have a little bit to figure it out.  I know my man appreciates when I make the effort, so at least he'll know I was thinking of him.  So,  I'll take my crazy eyeshadow and bumpy hair and just have a fun time with my date.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Summer Wardrobe Trenches

  Aah yes...the scorching heat must mean one thing....summer is on the horizon.  Only in our state can you go from 50's to 80's in a matter of days.  The dawn of summer presents several issues for many of us.  Many thoughts will start to crowd our already multi tasked minds.  We may ponder, " Will my shorts from last year fit?  Will the button close?"  The summer shirts come out of storage to see the light of a new day.  We may carefully inspect these items...how many stains did we collect last year?   Let's not forget the shoes, for choosing  flip flops is no easy task.  Finding comfortable summer shoes for size 10, alligator encased, Barney Rubble feet can be tricky.

  Keeping our hair manageable is no easy feat either.  If you have the great fortune of having thick, wavy hair such as myself...you may find your husband passing you by saying, "hey...Nexxus...size of a dime!"  If you're not familiar with the Nexxus line, they were the hair calming products of yesteryear.  Last, but certainly not least, let's talk about our faces.  Nothin' like a red, peely glow on your face.  Let's set that off with a little blue eyeliner that will be sure to leave a crease on our sweaty little eyelids.  Oh yes ladies, summer is here, let's get out there and put our best alligator foot forward!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Where have all the squirrel's gone?

  My mind is a whirlwind today....my babies are headed to their 1st all niter away from home.   Technically, this wont be happening for 2 days, but the backpacks are out.  I watch as my girls attempt to pack way too much, take my favorite pillow and way to many stuffed animals.  They have this packing thing figured out. Enter my big boy, he announces, Mom.....I don't need to bring anything......just my light saber...   It's funny how the boy, girl differences come hard wired.   After watching his sister's parade of sleeping bags, backpacks and paraphernalia, he decides he might possibly need something to wear if he is leaving home.

  I'm a little nervous about this as my children have never been away all night.  I know they will be in good hands and mommy will be an after thought in the mind of the entertained child.  Anyway, I told them..."I'm just a phone call away ya know..."   Well, they know this and I think it's slightly amusing to them to hear mom going over all the rules and such.  I guess these times will come and mommy will get a little more courage while I watch the metamorphosis of the beautiful butterflies.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Daddy, this is your moment to shine!

  I hope everyone had a fantastic mother's day.  Mine turned out particularly enjoyable, but one of the things that amused me was my visit to the mall.  I sat with big daddy in the kid's play area.  There was a man there with his son.  As his son and my boy engaged in an imaginary battle, the man sat on the vinyl puffy bench with his head hung in a droopy manner.  You would have thought this guy hadn't slept a wink all night as he hadn't even had a startled jerk in about 10 minutes.  This kid could have left, circled the mall and been back without papa being none the wiser.  I leaned over to big daddy and said, " if that guy's wife shows up, he's probably gonna get a smack in the head..."  Fortunately, his wife did not show and he finally awoke.

  I sat and thought to myself, then spoke out loud about the carpet probably never seeing a cleaning and muttered something about the overwhelming feeling of sitting in a germ fest.  As I sputtered out my criticism,  another family caught my attention.  They were out for a mom's shopping afternoon.  The reason I know that is because the lady kept trying to convince her toddling bundle of joy to stay with dad and have fun.  After many conversations to no avail, the dad was hot under the collar.  "JUST GO!" he irritatedly said to his wife.  She finally decided to take the kid and leave the older child with the father.  I'm sure he didn't mind.  It was sort of fun to watch dads out of their element. Kudos to the dads who tried to give their wife a well deserved break, well intentioned if not perfect.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Caution...I will bite!

  There it was...emblazoned across the meaty backside of a 20ish something mom.  Caution...I will bite!  The red letters on the black sweatpants bellowed out for attention.  As I sat in my local mediocre eating establishment, I watched as this vision of modesty walked past and sat in the booth in front of me.  She was dining with her man and her baby.  As she picked up the baby, she started to babble in some elfin language I'm sure only her baby understood.  That's fine, I mean the dog and I share the same secret language.  Anyway, what was I saying?  Oh yeah....crazy jogging pants.

  The topic of modest attire has become of particular interest to me since I have become a mom with 2 daughters.  I will add the mention of my son to this list because modest dressing will also affect my boy's eyesight one day.  I was out shopping one day for my girl, she needs new shorts and we all hope the sun will eventually show it's face again, so began my search.  I was hard pressed to find a huge selection of shorts that weren't cut right below the fanny.   Now,  I know longer shorts exist, but apparently not at the store I was in.  I thought to myself, "gee, don't we want to keep our little girls, little for as long as possible?"

   I'm not saying modesty should mean turtlenecks and floor length dresses, don't get me wrong.  I think you can be pretty without being under dressed.  Just a concerned mom.....

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Six degrees of poo

  Let me introduce you to Rudy.  Rudy is the family dog who came to live with us at 7wks. old along with his sister Daisy.  Rudy was aptly named after famous football legend, Rudy Ruettiger.  Our puppy is reaching the sunset of his 10th year.  We are looking forward to celebrating his 11th birthday with hamburgers ( every year he gets 2).  Now that the fluffy introductions are over, let's get down to the nitty gritty.

  When the notion of getting a pet enters your mind, a couple of questions pop up.    A.  This could be fun and they are so cute or   B.   who is really going to be taking care of this animal?  Having no children at the time, we decided to embark on this joy ride.  One of my least favorite animal chores is potty duty.  This brings us to our story.

  After the recent winter melt,  all the snow hidden piles of "doodie" lay exposed in a mushy mess.  Deciding this clean up duty was inevitable I set out to conquer this disgusting mess.  I say to Big Daddy, " what am I supposed to do with all the poo?"....his reply, " just toss it over by the garden".  No problem, I think... I head out.  After assessing the situation, I realize this simple toss of the poo, has to reach a distance of about 50 yards.  Having very limited upper arm strength, my best shovel throw was about 4 ft.

  It was a particularly windy day,  probably not the best day to be ultra motivated.  The wind whipped as I hurled the slushy turds.  At first I thought maybe this will help my distance, not so much.  As I slung the shovel forward  and the bounty escaped my tool,  a gust caught it and I cringed as I felt the spray of melted snow and droppings against my face.  I looked back to see my children laughing at me in the window.  Needless to say, that wave of determination quickly dissolved.  Poop duty would have to wait.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

There goes my hero...

  Hey girls, let's shout a hip, hip, hooray for the good men out there!  Let's give props to the guy who will go out there and give his all to love his family.  The husband that will come home and listen to endless stories about kids and school.  I mean don't we all love the guy who doesn't have a big complaint about our frizzy hair?  Let's send a shout out to the man who will come right to your son's karate class from work on an empty stomach.

  I lovingly refer to my superhero as Big Daddy.  I love his dedication and his loyalty to the family that he has been given.  I like to watch as he and the kids enter the wrestling arena most nights after dinner.  I appreciate that he tries not to complain if dinner isn't great.  Ladies, lets give thanks if you have a "big daddy"...let's try to get that flat iron out once in awhile and show him the love he deserves!


Monday, May 2, 2011

Potty daze

Somehow the 2nd in command, Chimp mentor (me) got a much needed  3 hr. break.  I headed over to my local "drink our coffee and read our books" spot.  I didn't actually buy their coffee, but I sat there pondering, "can I actually bring the coffee out of the cafe?"  or "I guess I could sit in there...but what if I spill coffee on a book? Do I have to buy it?"  The last time I sat in there with big daddy, we managed to get a table directly across from the gentleman who stared right in our direction almost the whole time.

  Deciding against the cafe I found a chair where I could be alone with my book and my thoughts.  This spot happened to be in the children's section.  I sat undisturbed for about 10 min. until a mom and her tot wandered past me.  Slightly annoyed by this mild intrusion, I have no choice but to listen to this interaction.  In a loud voice, this mom announces, "NOW YOU CAN HAVE ANY BOOK YOU WANT BECAUSE YOU WENT POTTY ON THE TOILET!"... I'm intrigued....I have no choice but to discretely stare at this pony tailed vision of  pride.  Now, I have always taught my children not to stare....but I just can't seem to help myself.

  My best guess is that this child must be no more than 2.....My first thought? "Hey kudos, lady how'd ya pull that off?"  As this lady is wandering around looking for a suitable selection for " Timmy the Toilet Tamer", I notice that this kid is in a distracted daze, all consumed with the train table 2 feet from my chair.  "TWANE?", he says as he leaves his mother to play with the new found treasure.  My mind drifted back to my first child, I promised her, " when you go on the toilet we will go to the store and get you a cool horse to play with!"  Well, she did...and it was a major event in our house, pictures were taken, signs were made and a toy horse was purchased.

  I thought we had arrived,  sadly to say that event in retrospect was a fluke,  we spent the next year in the potty trenches...oh well.  We did manage to get out of diapers eventually as did the other 2 chimplets.  I don't remember making signs and taking pictures for the next training accomplishments.  The lady did find her book, complete with sounds of flushing and excitement.  I too, was excited for her....at least now I'd get my quiet little nook back.

Friday, April 29, 2011

My 1, 3, and 5 year goal

  People talk in terms of goals.  What are your 1, 3, or your 5 year goals, they'll ask.  If you actually have some type of plan in place, you can answer with confidence.  If your like most, you sheepishly sputter out what you've been planning to do.

  Oh sure, all the usuals stay the same,  be more patient, be more loving...blah, blah, blah.  I have 1 goal that is always constant.  Conquer the clutter that is called the basement.  Every 5 years, I renew that vision and tell myself...This is the year!   Every now and again I muster up unstoppable energy and purge.  That is when my children become a little more suspicious and guard their possessions with tenacity.  I can imagine the garbage men and what they may be saying.  That's when I hide behind the curtain and watch from the window as they go by.

  Many years ago, in preparation for a move, I neatly stacked boxes on my curb for next day pick up.  The local vagrant wandered by and began to look and sort through things in search of some treasure.  I panicked...I envisioned what would become of my stacks....I wandered out and asked in my nicest voice, " when your done can you close everything up?"   When all was said and done..if looked as if the am vets vomited all over the curb in the front of my house.  I tried to compose my boxes to no avail and watched as the pick up driver slowed down, made a call then drove away....without my stuff.

  Is almost time for another cleaning....(sigh) ....one day I will reach my goal.   Someday I will have neatly ordered shelves and a basement to be envied.  Until then, I will try not to shake my fist at the Container Store as it shouts out it's haughty condemnation.  I will stay far away from the Martha Stewart's and the Keep it Simples at the checkout.....I will be content with progress and not perfection.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tiger mom....or Chimp mentor?

 When I think of a tiger, some words that come to mind are dignity, poise, power and focus.  I had long been intrigued with how "tiger" moms turn out such highly accomplished offspring.  "How do I do that?" , I would ponder.  I mean really, don't we want our children to succeed and ultimately make us look good?   After all, there is more respect and applause when our kids are accomplished pianists.  How many would like to stand up in mom's group and talk about little bubba mastering the banjo?

  I have decided to adopt the "Chimp, mentor" approach to my mothering skills.  Dignity and poise?...not always, sometimes the high pitched bellow of  "AAAHHH....AAAAAHHH.....AAAAHHHH!!"  can be heard coming out of me in a moment of child craziness.  Power and focus...ehhh....what were we talking about again?  Oh yeah....power and focus....occasionally I find myself in a moment of  distracted, weakness giving in for the mere sake of peace and quiet.  The quiet is usually short lived, unless a REALLY interesting show is on.  Educational of course because I couldn't live with myself  knowing they actually watched something different..(yeah right!)

 Whenever I see chimps with their young, they appear to be loving and nurturing.  I guess I'll go that route.  I'll love, I'll hug and I'll nudge them onto greatness.  I will be interested in pet mice and I will attempt to help my son with his round house kick.  I will teach them from the "Good Book" and hope they'll remember the love their parents have for them.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mom, I can have more Craptain Crunch?

  I pride myself on having a fairly juvenile sense of humor.  Is that bad at age 40?...I don't know, but I'll take a good joke on bodily noises any day of the week. I rank some of the greatest comedies of our time with the likes of Dumb and Dumber.  This poses a bit of a challenge at times when rearing "proper" children.

  As parents, we all have a certain amount of pressure to instill manners, proper etiquette, etc.   This is where it gets a little tough.   I mean is there really any parent who doesn't laugh when their child sings, "If yous happy and you know it crap your hands!"  What about the well thought out joke,  "mom, what did the banana say to the wino (rhino)?"  Somehow the word wino makes big daddy and I snicker to each other like we're in grade school.  

  Don't get me wrong, we don't advocate potty talk, but these little language learning faux pas can add a laugh to any one's day.  Take a test with me,  the next time your child asks you for more Craptain Crunch, lets see if you can keep a straight face....or the next time they ask you about "winos" try not to giggle...I mean their not gonna talk like this forever, we might as well enjoy it while we can.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

These small wonders

I think we would all like to think of our holidays as well oiled machines. Maybe our Easter gathering could resemble a picture in our favorite home magazine. The food would be perfect, the house immaculate and the kids at least clean if not in their Sunday best.

Let's enter the real world, at least mine. The eggs did get colored, thanks to Big daddy. He patiently dissolved the coloring tablets and helped each child with their share of eggs. I took a couple pics and drank Irish Cream coffee. The house was still a mess from lunch, laundry and kid toys. I probably should be cleaning but I don't. I decide I better get moving and make the mashed potatoes for tomorrow.

The potatoes are finally ready to be mashed. I have this great potato masher my mother in law gave me..I'll call him the potato duck. This isn't a fancy masher just a sturdy tool with a whimsical handle. This just so happens to be my favorite fun little gadget...sounds crazy, I know. Anyhow, the job got done and the kids had a good time. Martha Stewart shouldn't stop by anytime soon for a white glove test. We did make memories though and enjoyed each other. Rob Thomas, in one of his songs talks about how our lives are made in these small hours, these little wonders.....I love this song, I think his words are true and helps remind a busy mom to stop and just enjoy the moment....

Friday, April 22, 2011

Of weekly rats and chocolate crosses

This morning I had a conversation with big daddy.  I say, "Ya think we can get away with not coloring eggs this year? No one is really talking about it and I just don't feel like it...."  Big daddy responds, "well, we probably don't have to do it".  I think for a moment and I think of my grandma, who according to my mom, made every holiday seem like a celebration of epic proportions.  Hmm.....I think for a moment and say, "oh...I guess I'll just do it.."  After awhile we all pile in the van for a trip to our "we got it all right under one roof" store.   As we pass our local low budget with the weekly "rates", the kids want to know if that's the place that always has the "rats"...although funny I say," well they probably don't have rats " although it might not surprise me if they did.  We get to the store and strategically separate, big daddy to the toy department with the kids and I to the Easter aisle for my mission.  I get to the candy and the Easter paraphernalia and just stare.  There's just so much!  A few 20 somethings pass me and appear to be picking out something for every Tom, Dick and Janie.  I hear one say,  "every holiday is bleepin' ridiculous!"....I have an attitude check as I find myself mentally assenting to the Easter Grinch.  I pass the cute, chocolaty bunnies in all their yummy goodness and I also see the chocolate crosses, I'm at a crossroad.  The responsible good church goin' gal probably would have gone for the edible cross as to drive home the message of the true meaning of Easter, I did not.  I succumbed to the temptation of the naughty bunny.  I finished picking out a couple of whatnot's then found my family so we could hightail it outta there. Tonight we said our bedtime prayers and gave thanks to God for the sacrifice of  His Son and I remembered my mom and her pep talk on how we need to love people and make memories, because those are the things that people remember.  Mom is right, its not about the bunnies or even the chocolate crosses, its Gods love for us that doesn't fail and His mercies that endure forever...

And the mother of the year award goes to.......

We take a step back in time about 2 years.  With my 3 young children in tow,  I decide I am brave enough to not only venture out of the house to meet dad for dinner but to actually bring the children in the restaurant .  I nervously sit down and hope for the best.  To my surprise, this was actually going pretty smoothly.  I'm gaining more confidence as my angelic little sweeties eat their bite sized portions.  My confidence is soaring as I think, "Wow, I have really got thing together!".  Across from me I notice a woman enduring her 2 energetic , bouncing boys.  She has a weary look in her eye that seems to say " Im being held captive...please send help!"....I smuggly gather up my perfect little family and head to the car.  As my confidence soars I decide that a trip to the local department store is in order.  As if  an imaginary dark cloud had descended, all tyranny had broken loose. I was sure that somehow I had missed someone ordering the release of the flying monkeys.  I struggled to get through the store as children poked each other and had tantrums.  People seemed to stare at the poor woman being held captive by her children...oh yes....payback had come....I weakly made it to the front of the store,  I stood in line muttering under my breath at the slow cashier...."whats the hold up?! why do I always get the slow chick?!".   The kids grabbed at the candy and the laser lights...I got to the van and traveled home with my head hung low.  I learned a humbling lesson that day....I learned a little more compassion....developed a little more sympathy for my fellow mom.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A heapin' helpin' of mediocrity

When hunger and a great coupon weakens the will,  what do you do?  Ya head down and belly up to the all ya can eat!  Seemed like a good idea at the time....with the promise of "fine" cuts of beef , fantail shrimp and the like.  All started out well until the salad bar incident "as it came to be known".  A young, overworked teen morosly wiped each bin of veggies and whatnot..as I approached I thought I had better be extra neat in my scooping as not to make a mess.  Well, the inevitable happened, the cottage cheese managed to slop off my spoon down onto the previously cleaned edge...I looked up sheepishly at the girl in time to see her shake her head annoyingly.  I quietly walked away from the salad bar as a wave of embarrasement swept over me.  I return to my table and within minutes I was sopping up lemonade after one of the  children  decided it was time to wave their arm in excitement..  "Just stay calm and collected", I reminded myself as this was supposed to be a fun family outting.  I had regained my enthusiasm as I remembed that the steak on the grill was promised to be ready in 7 min.  Off I went to retrieve my bounty from the grumbling chef who was seen to be muttering but thankfully was out of earshot.  "Can I have 2 please?"....( one was for big daddy, I promise) ...He slaps 2 steaks on my plate, I go back to eat...I let out a long sigh....Its half fat and a little dry....oh well....we finish and make our way home, slightly overfed and a lot tired.....we tuck our sleepy children in for the night and I rest somehow knowing that at least I wont have to clean my kitchen in the morning.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The left side of the scale

I have a wonderful old relic of a scale that was passed down to me. Belonging once to my dearly departed grandmother-in-law, it must weigh 20lbs.  This is the kindest scale I have ever known....if you step ever so lightly onto its left side, it has been known to give you the greatest benefit of the doubt.  This can be a great encourager to press on...maybe give up that 3rd slice of bread.  Somehow on that side of the scale I believe that my clothes fit better and I'm empowered with the hope of greater health and smaller jeans.  Now, I know what will happen if I step onto the right side of that trusted old friend.  Ill get a subtle dose of reality...and breathe a sigh...and mutter .."You're lying! there is no way this can be right!".  One day I'll reach my goal, until then I'll stick to the more encouraging side that beckons me onto greatness.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What is that stink?!

There has been a subtle lurking stink sneaking out of the fridge.  I thought we had eliminated the problem after the Leprechaun incident. I'm referring to the time after St. Patrick's Day when the 9 day old corned beef and cabbage was removed.  Perhaps, not only did the Leprechaun slowly pass into eternity before removal but quite possibly may have left a "ka-ka" in his stead......either way, the source is not to be found.  Maybe its time to implore the bleach fairy or the baking soda squire.....

Monday, April 18, 2011

Kindergarten frat house

Ahh...the sweet sound of silence....all except for the dog laying nearby licking whatever...yuck.   My living room resembles an impromptu frat house with children and their daddy sprawled out on the floor.  We have indulged in fine delicacies like only $1 can buy.  Before that, little mister big man stepped into his first karate class.  As any proud mother would, I tried to discreetly click off a picture at a low angle so I would not garnish a look from a disapproving Syn-say....ahh yes...one might say I have a lot to learn grasshopper...

Monday morning

Good morning everyone!  Kids are calling out my name, house is a mess, the smell of dog gas wafts over to the table where I'm drinking coffee.  This doesn't just happen on Monday mornings mind you, although, there are variations of the order in which these things happen.  Thats okay..eventually the dishes will get done, the dog will get over his gas and I'll finish my coffee.  One thing that always remains is the calling out of the name that I love......MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!