Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Thank you, public education for keeping me sober. This week. So far.

So, it's no secret how I feel about Red Ribbon Week.  Although, I must say it kinda seems like my kids' elementary school decision-makers read my blog post last year *gasp*.  I say this, because this year Red Ribbon Week Schedule has actually been...manageable.  Since the majority of the people in the world are not reading my blog, I suspect what actually happened was that they had someone serving on the Very Important Committee That Makes Red Ribbon Week Decisions who actually has a child.  In public school.  Participating in Red Ribbon Week.  *GASP*  The first step in making it a successful year (in keeping parents sober) was sending the Red Ribbon Week Schedule home a WEEK EARLY.  So great.  We had one full week to prepare and buy crap we don't need this year.  Thank you, public education!  I will not mention how a few people thought that because the note went home a week early, Red Ribbon Week was October 17-21.  Therefore their kids showed up at school all peace-ed out for no good reason.  Nor, will I gloat by saying: -I was not one of those people!

Here's the 2011 Red Ribbon Week Run-Down (and although I am delighted at not wanting to drink heavily after reading it, I must admit I am a tad disappointed in the lack of fanfare, chaos, and household fighting):

Monday - Say Peace Out To Drugs.  Wear your tie-dye shirts and/or peace symbols.  Since both of my girls love peace symbols and since the nine year old boy is content this year with, "Just saying no," I really have no comment on this.  But, I would be remiss if I did not repeat what I said last year.  If you remember the 70's - you were not there.  So, I remain conflicted about invoking the "Peace" symbol as a symbol of No Drugs.  It seems a bit like a mixed message.  Girl 1 and 2 left the house looking cute as bugs and as far as I know they remained drug free all day. 

Tuesday - Don't Let Drugs Give You The Blues.  Wear your blue jeans.  Fabulous!  I almost thought it was a joke when I read it - it was so easy.  It seemed a little surreal.  Like I had been serving on the committee and I had said, "Why not just something simple that everyone already has.  *Insert long pause.*  Like BLUE JEANS?!"  No blue hair?  No obscure outfit from the 40's?  No "paint your face two different colors"???  This one seems to have been made for Slacker Moms like me.  After all, what sane kid living in America doesn't have a pair of jeans???  I'll tell you what kid.  Girl 2.  She has not one pair of jeans.  She hates jeans.  She hasn't worn jeans since she was two and I forced her into them.  Hubby says she has "sensory issues."  I say she likes to drive her mom crazy when shopping for clothes.  I digress, and either way - SHE DOESN'T HAVE JEANS.  So, there was ONE unhappy camper in my house yesterday morning.  BUT, it's okay - because this did not make me want to drink a beer.  Just a teensy bit.  Girl 1 and Boy Child left with jeans on and remained drug free all day (as far as I know).  I think Girl 2, despite not wearing jeans, remained drug-free too.

Wednesday - (Pay attention because here's where it gets tricky.) My Future Shines Bright Drug-Free.  Wear your shades to school.  So, typically people with sensory issues don't like stuff on their faces.  But, Girl 2 agreed to wear some of my old sunglasses and Girl 1 did, too (What are the odds that I kept two pairs of old sunglasses???  It's creepy.).  Boy Child agreed to wear some of his dad's sunglasses.  Sa-weet.  Our first day participating in drug-free week as a family.  I was positively giddy and wanted a cocktail to celebrate!  Then:  As soon as I got back from delivering them all to the bus stop - I found all three pairs of glasses sitting on the table.  I pray they can resist the temptations today without their eye wear.

Thursday - Life is a journey, Travel Drug Free.  Wear a shirt from another city, state or country.  Now, my comment on this one is just going to be a quick re-cap of the conversation I had with Girl 1 two weeks ago when the Red Ribbon Schedule first came home.

Girl 1 - (Diligently reading me the entire Red Ribbon Week Schedule and inserting her own cute little eight-year-old comments.)  Thursday Life is a journey.  Travel Drug Free.  Wear a shirt from another city, state or country.  Ha-ha.  That's funny, mom 'cuz y'know what I thought at first?
Me - No, what?
Girl 1 - That it was okay to do drugs in another place like another country or city or state.  But, just not in your own home or place where you live.  Hahahahahahahaha.  THAT would be ridiculous, huh?
Me:  Yes.  That would be ridiculous.

Enough said.

Friday - Insert Elementary School Name and Mascot are PROUD to be Drug-free.  Wear your spirit shirts.  I love this one.  We all have spirit shirts and we all like to wear them.  I will NOT even drink a celebratory beer for this one..............well, maybe............................but just one.

It's Wednesday and I am proud to say we are all drug-free so far.  No one has a shirt from another city, state, country, or planet (we have four kids and are too poor to travel), so the jury is still out on whether we will remain drug-free for the week.  But, it seems Red Ribbon Week just keeps getting better and better.  Frankly, I am excited for what 2012 has to offer me in terms of tricks to stay drug-free.  Good luck staying drug-free, friends and HAPPY RED RIBBON WEEK!

Friday, October 21, 2011

What's Wrong With Kids These Days???

Remember the good 'ole days when we had "gym" not "physical education"?  And it was all about public humiliation and popularity not self-esteem, cooperation, and actually being physically fit?  Well, apparently in the New Age Physical Education real-life games and the rules of real-life games are not actually taught.  Or even implied.  This was brought to the front and center recently when my husband suggested we play dodge ball as a family.  This was the collective response from our kids,  "What's dodge ball?"

Now, you guys remember DODGE BALL, right?  The game where you desperately tried to escape being hit with this largish red rubber ball that actually hurt when it hit you???  It was fun, right?  It usually came right between tug-of-war (when you got actual rope burns on your hands) and climbing all the way up that rope net thing (a "sport" only soldiers have to do now).

So, you can imagine what hubby said when our kids admitted to not having a clue what Dodge Ball was, "YOU GUYS DON'T KNOW WHAT DODGE BALL IS???  WHAT DO YOU KNOW???"  (I am not even kidding.)  Then to me quietly (well, not really because he doesn't know how to be quiet), "What the hell do they teach these kids in public school now-a-days?"  

After a lot of necessary bruising while hubby and I schooled the kids on dodge ball something even more alarming was brought to my attention.  Kids are not playing Kick Ball anymore

I find this shocking and frankly, I am appalled. 

Going back (don't worry I'll go quickly) to my elementary school years when the Gym Coach looked like Janet Reno, kick ball was a game I could excel at.  Well, maybe excel is a bit generous.  Let's just say I could play it.  I have few to none athletic abilities and I pretty much hate all sports (which is why I ran track in high school - I learned to run somewhat quickly to escape being hit with a dodge ball - or any ball - by kids who were much more athletic than I was).  But, Kick Ball?  Now, there was a game I could actually play.  The ball is big so less danger of 1.  Getting hurt seriously - large bruises, but less black eyes, 2.  Not missing it when it is coming right toward you, 3.  The rules are the same or close to the same as baseball (which, seriously, even a Sport Moron like me can keep up with baseball).

Since I have few memories of crying and throwing up when we played kick ball in Gym, I have decided to make it my personal mission to teach my kids how to play kick ball.  This comes right on the heels of teaching them to play Two Square (I won't even go into how they didn't know how to play THAT???).  The craziness that has ensued is far too much to be able to relate here, so I have made you a short list that I call: 

Kick Ball - The Train Wreck

1.  My kids have never been involved in organized sports and learning the rules of sport.  No organized sports here - except BMX where the goal is pretty simple:  finish without dying.  The actual rules are too complicated for me and someone is usually there to tell you what to do when you are not dead so no one new really has to learn all the rules.  You can tell they've never had to learn sport rules when you try to TEACH THEM RULES OF A SPORT.  It's a bit like herding cats.
2.  My kids have no concept of bases.  This is difficult because sometimes STILL (even though we have talked about "running the bases") they will run after each other, ball in hand, all the way to the neighbor's house in an attempt to get the other person out.  I guess "making it to First Base" is a lost concept on my kids.  And I don't know if I am happy or frightened.
3.  I am often laughing so hard I have to sit down at my "designated area" (since we don't have enough people to man every post which only adds to the general confusion which is our game).  When I do this the kids scream, "MOM!  STAND UP!  ARE YOU OKAY?  WHY ARE YOU CRYING?  Wait.  ARE YOU LAUGHING?  MOM, ARE YOU LAUGHING AT US???"
4.  My kids really have trouble with the concept of ghost players.  Now, again:  Remember ghost runners???  This was a loved concept from my childhood and apparently this is not being taught in public education???  What the heck?  The first time I called, "Okay.  Ghost runner."  My kids looked at me like I was CRAZY TRAIN.
5.  Since my kids don't play organized sports (I am assuming this is the reason - couldn't be because they are just bossy and rude.) they have no concept of a team sport.  There is no huddling, strategizing, or passing the ball.  This often results in one player running to get the ball and then proceeding to chase the runner around the neighborhood.  This while all of my kids are screaming at whoever that they are playing wrong.  And as I said in #3 THIS results in me having to sit down and laugh.  Then my kids start screaming at me. 
6.  The mosquitoes are as big as cats where we live right now.  If you are wondering what this has to do with kick ball, don't worry it will be crystal clear in a second.  Last night during our game this happened several times:  We would all seem to be semi-understanding the play and the roller would roll/bounce (a seemingly simple concept none of them have quite mastered is:  rolling the ball) the ball to the kicker.  The kicker would then suddenly see a mosquito and begin to swat at it (none of us could, of course, see the mosquito).  This would result in everyone else beginning to laugh at that person (because they looked kinda like a CRAZY PERSON).  Then the person who was swatting at said mosquito would scream, "WHAT???  What are you laughing at?  I am trying to KILL A MOSQUITO."  Meanwhile someone would scream, "STRIKE 1."  To which the kicker would scream, "NO FAIR!  I WASN'T READY!  I WAS TRYING TO KILL A MOSQUITO."  Then #3.

My conclusion?  This is what I have so far: 

1.  P.E. is not even remotely close to the Gym I grew up with.
2.  I am slightly relieved, but wonder a little about what they are missing.
3.  This change in the nature of P.E. could be the root cause of bullying, teen pregnancy, and drop-outs.  KIDDING.....kind of.
4.  I maintain the utmost respect for P.E. teachers everywhere and I think possibly my kids' could be the reason they are not attempting to teach team sports in school.
5.  I might die soon of an injury sustained while teaching my kids all the crap skills they are not being taught in P.E.
6.  If I die, I will die laughing.

That's all.  If you are depressed, come over and play a game of kick ball with us and the mosquitoes tonight.  It promises to bring you out of your funk.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Age like Jagger.

In case you missed it:

A few weeks ago hubby showed this to me and asked me to guess who it was.  If you saw it, keep your mouth closed.  If you didn't - take a guess.

I'll tell you my guesses (all wrong).
1.  A burn victim from war.
2.  A pedophile with a mic.
3.  ZZ Top (take your pick).

All No's.  Granted I was looking from the kitchen on to his laptop screen squinting to see, but seriously???  It is Axel Rose.  Yeah.  It is.  Axel Rose from...Guns N' Roses.  So, this just begs the question:  WHAT THE HELL?  So, it was Rio...and it was raining.  But, seriously?  And I LIKE Axel.  In fact, years ago I may have loved him.  I have pinned him for God's sake (a MUCH more flattering version of him). 

So.  What I said to Axel then and what I say to him now is this:  Axel, take a lesson from the professional ager below.

We all know who this is.

Hawttie.  That is not only an older man than Axel rockin' some skinny jeans, a green shirt AND a green Hugh Hefner jacket, that is one hot man with some moves like butta'. 

I have added to my daily prayers.  Dear God:  Please let me age like Jagger and not Rose.  Amen.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pinterest! Y'know - between Lite beer from Miller and dark chocolate.

Don't mind me, the piles of dirty laundry, the dishes in the sink, the hungry kids wandering around - I have been really busy PINNING.  I'm kinda addicted.  Years behind the trend (as usual), I cannot really stop. 

Short list explaining my addiction to Pinterest and why my blog may be temporarily interrupted.

1.  I have no pressure to:  be witty, make friends, find friends, experience rejection, post cute pictures of my kids, update my status (ideally to something more witty), or "check-in."  Pinterest is all about me!  What's not to love?

2.  Finally a place to "pin" all the critical crap so that I can remember what I was like later when my memory is completely gone.  My Favorite Drinks, My Birthday Party Guest List When I Am Famous, Things I Miss About the 80's, Things I Want To Do, But Know I Will Never Do, But Just In Case, and on, and on, and on.

3.  It's so much more fun than housework, laundry, parent-teacher conferences, cooking, and cleaning.

That's all I got.  When I find my boards are sufficient I will get back with you with a worthy post about world peace or something.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

nothing says Happy Halloween like calling 911 from the corn maze.

In case you missed it:

My sister constantly scourges the Internet looking for bizarre tidbits that I need to know (but not at work - because then she would be fired). I got this yesterday afternoon from her and I am sorry that when I got it the Baby was having a meltdown because I wouldn't let her eat candy before dinner. I had to ignore Baby until I finished laughing (which was just a few minutes ago).

I am forced to surmise that first 911 call since we don't have the transcript from that one.

Operator: 911. What's your emergency?

Woman in distress: Hello, 911? I'M STUCK IN A CORN MAZE.

Operator (signaling for all his fellow operators to huddle near the phone in a "get a load of this" motion): You say you're stuck in a corn maze?

Woman in distress: YES.

Operator (holds hand over receiver to stifle wild laughter from him and his co-workers): Ma'am, I'm not sure I understand the nature of the emergency. Aren't people supposed to get stuck in corn mazes?

Woman in distress: Yes, but I am with my two children - one is a newborn - and I can't find the way out.

Operator (trying to concentrate as his fellow operators frantically scribble things on cue cards for him to say, "ARE YOU NUTS?" "WHAT KINDA CRAZY IS THIS?" "WHERE THE F IS THE HIDDEN CAMERA?": Okay. (swallowing hard) Is anyone with you besides your children?

Woman in distress: Well, my husband is here.


My sister and I decided several things via email this morning:

1. We agree this indeed was a "nightmare" and this woman needs to keep her post-partum crazy HOME.
2. We are both happy that she is not a close friend. But, part of us (okay maybe just me) wish we knew her just so that we could say, "I like you, but you are FREAKIN' NUTS!"
3. We agreed to be careful in the future when calling 911 because it might be on msnbc later and cause embarrassment to our friends.
4. The humor in: "She takes the baby out ONE time and now the whole family is traumatized." was not lost on us. "That will teach her to take the baby out." (And, I am quoting my sister, not myself - I would never be that sarcastic...that was sarcasm, right?)
5. (And my sister didn't actually agree to this one, but I know she will once she reads my post.) I may want to call this-kinda-crazy Flowers in the Attic Crazy.
6. We think possibly her husband had no sense of direction......Therefore he was.............another woman?

On the other hand, I am going to see if I can friend Bob Connors on Facebook because he sounds like a happy picnic. What I know about him that makes me want to be his friend (virtually and otherwise): he wanted people to get lost in his corn maze, he made it in the shape of the Headless Horseman, he likes to give people their money's worth (who wouldn't love that?), he has a "funny feeling" that because of this "harrowing journey" it's going to be a "busy season."

That is all.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sometimes it's just not funny.

These past few weeks of my life have been decidedly "not funny."  So, bear with me as I veer away from my normally caustically sarcastic self and give you just a Plain Post.  If you are against Plain Posts, I will not be offended.  I promise when I am feeling better I will tell you the other more humorous stories milling about in my head.  What the heck has happened to Axel Rose?  My Life in Cleaning Episodes, and some practical parenting tips.   Meanwhile - I am focusing on what makes me in love rather than what makes me want to poke out my eyes out with sharp sticks.  So, here is my melancholy list for today.

What I Love...
1.  When my kids crack me up in a big way and it is totally unexpected and ironic.  Example:  Last night all of my four were having meltdowns of various size and scope AT THE SAME TIME.  Incomprehensibly, I found this hilarious and literally could not stop laughing.  My kids were hurt and disappointed in my lack of compassion (Girl 1's exact words) *bad mommy*.  This only made me laugh harder.
2.  The delightful things.  Girl 1 wrote a story a few nights ago.  She often does this, so I've read many "The Amazing Rabbit," "The Tales of Sammy Squirrel," "The Girl Who Loved Stuffed Animals," ad naseum (kind of because it is darn cute).  The thing that made this one stand out was this:  "About the Author."  And here's what she wrote, "The author lives in San Antonio, Texas.  She is married and has two children.  Writing has always been her passion."  I am not posting the actual text  because I promised (in a fit of weakness) to not post it on Facebook, my blog, or "anywhere else on your computer."  But, isn't that delightful?  Try to read that without smiling.
3.  Enduring love.  Did anyone say love was easy?  If they did, sorry.  I missed it.  It just sounds like something my mom would have said to me, "Y'know, honey, love is not easy.  But enduring love is the best thing.  Ever."
4.  When someone stands up for what is right even though that is sometimes really difficult to do.
5.  That I will catch my mom in my sisters.  I have more sisters than the Jehovah's and I love them all.  I had the chance to see two of them in the same week.  And in the short time we were together I saw glimpses of my mom.  That brings me a lot of comfort and joy.
6.  Halloween.  Best.  Night.  Ever.  (Even though it usually starts with serious family dysfunction and ends with one child in a total and complete sugar high melt-down.  To the ground.)
7.  Cooking ahead of time.  Now, this is a bit Betty Crocker/Martha Stewartish for me but I must admit it has saved me these past few weeks when cooking has really not been my focus.
8.  Reading blogs that make me laugh.  Out loud.  I don't laugh easily and recently I have stumbled upon a blog that really has made me laugh.  Since I've shared many of my favs with you, I will share this one as well.  Thanks bloggers!
9.  Good friends who stay through thick and thin.
10.  and, because I love round numbers.  I really love when someone gives me something to think about.  Here is what I have been thinking about for a few weeks:  What are you doing today that years from now you will look back on and be happy about?  What are you doing today that years from now you will look back on and regret?

That's all I got.  Sorry if it was too straight-laced for you - I will be back to "normal" soon (after menopause is over - JOKING...kind of).  Peace!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I like you, Joe Corbi. But just as a friend.

This one's going to be short and sweet.  You all know about the Joe Corbi "affair."  I'm back to tell you - we remain friends.  I do, however, have three suggestions for Joe that I think will increase his profits (not really, but I bet people would just like him more).  I have titled my list

My Suggestions to Joe Corbi 

1.  Show all of your items in your glossy next to a Coke can (or a beer can since most moms feel the urge to drink a cold one when it comes to fund raising).  Now, that is not really my idea but a good friends' idea.  Sadly, she does not have a blog, so I will just have to steal her idea for my blog.  Thank you, friend!  Because I really care about you, Joe, I am going to tell you why this would be so helpful.  When I was picking up my items I was frantically searching for what I had ordered (the rest of the people be damned) and I couldn't see my Cheesecake Sampler (which I had considered sampling on the way home).  Turns out it was right in front of my eyes.  Problem was I was looking for a huge box like the one in the glossy.  The box I had was teeny tiny.  I guess that's why you call it a Sampler?  Needless to say, it wasn't sampled on the way home - it was eaten.

2.  Consider a little higher quality for your student fund raising rewards.  Now, I must say I am delighted beyond belief to now have seen a &*%$ Cell Phone Radio with Light.  But, I am positively dreading the day (later this weekend or tonight) when it breaks.  It is CHEAP like a chicken clucking, Joe.  The kind of sad part about that is that I think Boy Child had to sell like 1,546 items to get it.  Just seems to me like you could give back a little. 

3.  Do not make substitutions.  Now, if you read my open letter to you, Joe I hope you got a feel for how hard it is to sell this stuff to good hard working Americans.  And, I also hope you understand that I have to look these people in the eyes every morning when we are leaving for our days.  So, when they order the Ham and Cheese Calzones and actually get the Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches this is a Big Deal.  It just doesn't sit right with any of us.  Please, Joe.  Do whatever you have to do - hire more help in the kitchen (Lord knows the cheesecake sampler maker peeps have a little free time).  Help me keep the few neighbors I have that still will speak to me.

That's it.  I promised short and sweet and I have delivered.  My time with Joe has come to an end, but I like to think we are still friends.  It's been a good ride overall and I look forward to our meeting sometime next year (no, I don't really but that sounded good on my blog).

Have a great weekend, friends.  Know that I will be eating my cinnamon rolls and listening (kind of) to crying about the stupid cell phone thingie breaking and the 18" pencil not really writing and WHY CAN'T WE GET IN A BOX WITH MONEY FLYING AROUND???  Peace.