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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!!!!!!!!!!!!!