Thursday, September 29, 2011

A turtle. You know? The cute and cuddly kind.

So, I am not a pet lover.  If this is an unfavorable trait, I blame my mother.  She was not a pet lover and I think I inherited this distaste from her.  In my lifetime, I have loved two pets and they are now dead.  One was an incredibly dumb/smart golden retriever named, Maverick who we had nearly from birth and the other was a demon possessed cat named Quentin who came to us because we needed to learn a lesson.  This post is not about them, but just for the sake of background...

Maverick was a golden retriever.  What else can I say?  They beg you to love them and really you are rendered defenseless and often find yourself doing ridiculous things like crying on their "shoulder," feeding them scraps of bacon from your breakfast plate, popping popcorn just for the "two of you," and laughing saying it's "cute" when they eat the just barbecued chicken you have been waiting for hours to eat.

Quentin.  What can I say?  He was an awful, evil, hateful, fat cat that I loved from the night he spent outside our bedroom window meowing louder than any cat should ever be capable of doing begging us to feed him and give him a home.  He bit neighbors, my mother-in-law, small children, and anyone else who was irritating him or just breathing.  He often bit me.  When I was feeding him.

Another side note (because I am in a rambling kind of mood today):  I hate it when people discover that I like some dogs better than some cats and say in that gushing and condescending way some pet lovers have, "Oh, so you're a dog lover?"  I desperately want to say, "No.  I am a pet hater.  I do not discriminate."  But, in this world that often seems worse than admitting to spanking your kids in anger.  NOT saying I have done that.

September 2011 - All of my kids (including that pestery three year old) want a pet.  Damn them.  My excuses are wearing thin and their whinyness about it is wearing me out.  There is something to be said about persistence (ask hubby).  So....get ready for the Bonus Parenting Tip for this post......when your kids ask for a dog - Say "no," but instead promise a TURTLE.

Yeah.  Now, I am second guessing myself.  What the heck?  A turtle?  I sort of promised Girl 1(and maybe the other three) a turtle for Christmas.  And, shhhhh, because I haven't told hubby.  Now, I am realizing this was totally wrong, but I am afraid we are too deep into the insanity to backtrack easily.  Here is a recap of how the backsliding went:

Some random child of mine:  Can we have a dog?
Me:  No.
SRCM:  Can we have a cat?
Me:  No.
SRCM:  Can we have a gerbil?
Me:  No.
SRCM:  Can we have a mink?
Me:  Hell to the no.
SRCM:  WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?
Me:  (Insert any answer you want here.)  Because they require responsibility.  Because they require money.  Because they poop.  Because they stink.  Because they pee.  Because we go on vacation and can hardly afford that.  Because mommy hates pets.  Because we might develop allergies.
SRCM:  Can we have any pet with fur?
Me:  No.
SRCM:  Can we have fish?
(This is another blog post.  I had fish as a child and they all committed suicide.)
Me:  Um, no.
SRCM:  How about a turtle?
Me:  Hmm.

The kids heard the weakness and pounced.

So, now Santa MIGHT be bringing a turtle.  I don't want to totally alienate you dear readers, so I will not expound on how much I hate Santa right now.  Just use your imagination.

SRCM:  So, what kind of turtle?  A tortoise?  Is that legal?  Will we be kicked out of our neighborhood?
Me:  NO, NOT A TORTOISE.  WHAT ARE YOU KIDS?  NUTS???  TORTOISES AREN'T EVEN REAL.  THEY ONLY LIVE AT ZOOS.
SRCM:  So, what kind of turtle, mom????
Me:  YOU KNOW.  A CUTE CUDDLY TURTLE.

Pray for me.  It's getting deep in here.

Monday, September 26, 2011

You didn't tell me there would be snacks.

So, this post falls into Life's Disappointments.  You know Those People (or you might actually be Those People) who never really put effort into things and it seems they just have good luck?  Fortune just comes their way?  Well, last week brought a family lesson on Those People.  Here's how it went down.

About three weeks ago Girl #1 became giddy about the prospect of being in an organization called Student Council.  I may have predated Student Council as it pertains to elementary school but, Girl #1 quickly brought me up to speed by telling me: 
1.  Being in Student Council is as important as picking the university you go to, and getting married.
2.  The Student Council makes critical decisions in the school - such as what to sell in the PTA Christmas Crap Store
2.  and being an effective Student Council representative requires organization (a skill Girl #1 assured me she has even though her room, closet, and Yukon seat show no signs of it).

She explained to me how in third grade there are two representatives - a boy and a girl.  From ALL OF THIRD GRADE JUST TWO STUDENTS ARE PICKED.  By the teachers.  She told me she could name about 10 people from just her class who were applying.  She also explained that in fourth and fifth grade there are more representatives and sometimes they are just picked by the teacher and don't have to apply.  I found it all rather confusing and considered calling her teacher and attempting to bribe her into picking Girl 1. 

But like any good mother would, I decided against bribery.  And instead, I encouraged Girl #1 to write an application letter for Student Council.  This was done with much fanfare.  She wrote, rewrote, proofed, wrote again, and then repeated all of those about 27 times.  It was exhausting and all I did was encourage and mutter, "Mm-hmm."  We had many (and by "many" I mean over 100) discussions that went something like this:

Girl:  Mom, do you think they'll pick me?
Me:  Well, honey, I don't know.  You are doing your best and that is all we can do.  I certainly think you are the most qualified person for the job and your application is going to be outstanding.
Girl:  Yeah, but do you think they'll PICK me?
Me:  Again, baby, there is really no way to know for sure.
Girl:  Well, I just want to be in Student Council so bad.  I just really, really, really, really hope they pick me.
Me:  I know, baby.  I know. 


Now, after a few days of this kind of talk it became apparent to me that we would have a family World War III if Girl #1 was not picked.  And, because we are lucky, part of me knew that that was precisely what would happen.  I just never imagined it would happen quite like it did. 

Two Fridays ago I picked everyone up from school like I always do.  About 10 minutes into our ride home Boy calmly with not too much excitement said, "Hey, mom.  I almost forgot to tell you.  I am in student council." 

Before I could say, "WHAT???  YOU DIDN'T EVEN APPLY OR WANT TO BE IN STUDENT COUNCIL," there was a loud shriek/howl from Girl #1 and I think she said, "WHAT DO YOU MEAN???  YOU CAN'T BE IN STUDENT COUNCIL.  YOU DIDN'T EVEN WANT TO BE IN STUDENT COUNCIL.  DID YOU????  DID YOU????  OH MY GOSH.  DID YOU WANT TO BE IN STUDENT COUNCIL AND YOU DIDN'T TELL ME???  I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO BE IN STUDENT COUNCIL FOR LIKE A WEEK NOW.  YOU STOLE THIS FROM ME.  YOU THIEF.  YES.  YOU ARE A THIEF.  YOU STOLE THIS.  THE SCHOOL IS NEVER GOING TO PICK ME NOW BECAUSE I AM YOUR SISTER.  I AM NOT FORGIVING YOU." 

Fast forward to Girl #1 not being picked.  And numerous talks about:  how she did her best, how sometimes we do our best and things still don't work out, how we can still be happy for the winners, how brother did not intentionally do this to hurt her, how teachers don't know everything that goes on in every one's homes (thank you, Jesus), how sometimes people get things that they don't ask for or even particularly want that we DO want, how we are called to forgive those who hurt us, how this will not be the last disappointment she will ever have, how some people just sometimes "get stuff" or "get A's" without even studying, etc., etc. 

If it sounds simultaneously melodramatic and traumatic, it was.  Times about 200.  If you are thinking it must have taken her a while to "get over it," you are astute.  It did.  It took a few days, but I was sure she was over it.  She had told me and hubby that she understood everything we had talked about, that she was proud of her efforts, and that she had indeed done her best.

Fast forward again to last Wednesday when I picked up the two girls.  Brother stayed for the first Student Council meeting of the year.  Girl 1 got in the Yukon and silently started sobbing.

Me:  What's wrong?
Girl 1:  It's Student Council meeting day.
Me:  I know, baby.  But, remember we talked about that?  Remember everything we talked about?
Girl 1:  I know all that, mom.  But you didn't tell me they would have snacks at their meetings!!!  They are having M&M's and Goldfish and you know those are my favorites.

Sometimes it is not the big stuff, it's the small stuff.  Here's to not sweating the small stuff and I hope you have a fabulous week.  :o) 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dead or Alive? I have no idea.

I had a completely different post for today about the discipline mistakes mothers make (and by "mothers" I mean "me"), but in case you haven't heard:  BOB HOPE'S WIFE DIED.  R.I.P.  So, I will have to post this instead.

Yesterday I told you how I have a poor memory for details.  Well, this makes it really hard to remember who is dead and who is alive.  I am not talking about people I know personally (I'd like to think I have a handle on that - just don't sit still for too long.) or people who died notorious deaths (for example - Michael Jackson).  I am talking about people who are more elusive like say - - Paul Newman and some politicians.  I'll give you a couple examples so that you will know where I am coming from.

Recently I attended a birthday party for my brother and someone had Paul Newman salad dressing.  Some party goers were wondering who could be making the dressing now that Paul Newman had died.  I said something like, "HOLD THE PHONE.  He's not DEAD!"  There was a little polite laughter ("polite" as in "she's clearly nuts") and then some commenting about how yes, he was indeed dead and had in fact died quite some time ago.

Now, I think I have already told you hubby is like Google.  He is the knower of All Facts That No One Really Cares About.  So, naturally I:
1.  Never play trivial pursuit with him, and
2.  Consult him on all facts that I do not know (which covers basically:  All Facts). 

So, here is what I texted him immediately from the party:

My text:  paul newman.  dead or alive?

His text:  dead.  where will we get our dressing?

I couldn't text him back because I was so shocked.  I hate it when I am dealt a death blow right before the salad course. 

This phenomena of Not Knowing Who Is Dead and Who Is Alive often happens to me with politicians as well.  I can never remember if they are dead or alive.  AND THIS IS NOT A POLITICAL COMMENTARY.  I HATE POLITICS OF ALL KIND.  THIS IS STRICTLY TO ILLUSTRATE HOW BAD MY MEMORY IS.

George Washington - Haha!  Dead....................Right?

JFK - dead.  I can remember that.  Although, the how? and when? are still a little sketchy and possibly conspiratorial in my mind.

Ronald Reagan - dead.  I can remember it because it seemed he died and then two weeks later I turned on the TV and he was still dying.

Richard Nixon's wife?  Hmm.  Now, there's a toss up.  Dead?  Possibly.  Alive?  Possibly.  I'm thinking - dead, but could be like 114???  This would definitely be a "consult hubby" and also a sarcastic comment from hubby in reply.  Such as:  You have a master's degree????

To keep me on my toes hubby will sometimes play a game with me that we call Dead or Alive.  Totally irreverent for some (if you are one of those "some" then "sorry").  He throws out a name and I have to say "dead" or "alive."  He may do this to chastise me for not knowing any facts or he may do this to see how bad my Bad Memory is progressing.  It doesn't matter because I usually fail miserably on both counts.

Now, all this about politicians and Paul Newman is just a little history for you so that you would understand what happened this morning when hubby greeted me with the news that Bob Hope's wife had died.

Hubby:  Hey babe.  I see here (as he had the newspaper spread out in front of him) that Bob Hope's wife died.

Me:  Bob Hope's?

Hubby:  Yes.  She was 102.

Me:  Wow.  I thought she was dead.  I'm sure Bob will be sad.  And, how old does that make him?

Hubby:  You're kidding, right?

Me:  Huh?

To sum up:  Bob Hope and his wife are now dead, friends.  They were both really old when they died.  Try to remember that.  I was greeted with this sad news before my morning coffee.  No worries, though because thankfully I have had time to recover from the news of "no more salads for me" since I am not sure who is now making the Paul Newman salad dressing.  Here's to memory and a mostly happy Tuesday!

Monday, September 19, 2011

What? Where? And, remind me - WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?

It's Monday.  So, since it's already a tough day, can we talk about aging for a minute?  It sucks.  I have decided to share a few tidbits from another list that I have been working on for about three years now.  I call it: 

Aging Sucks.  Don't Let Anyone Tell You Any Different

Side note:  It's baby's third birthday today.  Now, when I'm dead and baby (hopefully she will go by her given name by then) reads my blog lovingly over and over trying to remember what a witty and wise mom she had I do not want her to think that I was only thinking about myself on HER third birthday.  So, this is for you, baby, when you are old and known by your real name, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BABY!  I LOVE YOU AND I AM SO HAPPY YOU CAME INTO MY LIFE!"

Okay.  On with what I'm thinking about today.  If you are Where I Am let this be a refresher list for you.  If you are not Where I Am, let this be a warning.  If you are past Where I Am - God bless ya, be glad you are still alive, grab your bi-focals, and have a good laugh at how you used to be.  By the way - Where I Am is somewhere between 30 and 50........WITH A THREE YEAR OLD.

1.  At some point you will have to wear bi-focals.  Let me tell you why these are a raw deal.  First a short history in opthamology:  When you were born you had excellent vision.  You could see through walls.  As you aged you may have gone the route of glasses or contacts.  Or you may have been one of the lucky ones who skipped through Life Under 40 with nothing but your naked eyes.  BUT, you will know you are close to 40 or 40 because one day you will wake up and not be able to see the directions on the medicine you are either taking or dispensing.  It's a little disturbing at first.  You will go to the eye doctor and he will do an irritating test where he says, "Is it 1 or 2?  A or B?  C or D?  3 or 4?"  Until you think you have failed the SAT.  Then he will tell you, "You need bi-focals.  It happens when you get old."  This will make you want to say, "Thanks, eye doctor.  Now, go suck an egg."  At first your bi-focals will be fun and cute (like a new puppy).  But, then you will lose them, have to purchase like 10 pairs to keep all over, and you will forget what "prescription" you need when you are at the actual store where they SELL bifocals (You will stand before the racks of bifocals saying to yourself, "Is it negative 3 or 4, 4 or 5, 6 or 7????").  It's all terribly annoying.  AND, forget about texting.  Don't feel bad about not being able to read the text because there is no way you will be able to text back.  Squint and figure out who is texting and then pick up your home phone (Remember those?  You're gonna need one again.) and call them.  Hopefully they are a reader of this blog, so they will know what the hell is going on.

2.  Your hearing will gradually go.  At first this will be a grand excuse to ignore your kids, hubby, and friends (like when they are reminding you you owe them money).  But, then you will find you actually need your hearing and not having it can, frankly, be embarrassing.  Here are a few examples: 
  • The school (where your kids go) calls and tells you, "Blahblahwhooblah, blah is in the nurse's office.  It seems blahwhoohasoma."  You say, "WHO?  WHAT HAPPENED?"  The nurse patiently repeats what she said the first time and makes a note in your kid's file, "Mom is deaf."
  • You go through the bank drive through and ask for your balance.  The teller speaks through that tunnel that I think is connected to Australia and says, "Two thhunonefour."  You scream back, "EXCUSE ME???"  She patiently screams back at you and then everyone in the drive through line knows that you are overdrawn and have been for about two weeks.
  • You constantly tell friends, relatives (and sometimes strangers) that your cell phone is "breaking up," simply because you cannot hear a $%*# word they are saying.
3.  Around 40 it takes eight hours of exercise to equal one taco, donut, candy bar, or anything else you might desperately want to eat, but that is not on your Healthy Eating Diet.  Frankly, it's exhausting.  There is one up side to this.  Some days you will honestly be so tired and sore from working out that you will not be able to find the energy to lift a fork to your mouth.  You will be limited to only food (or liquid) that can be somehow taken directly into your mouth (like water - or beer - through a straw).  If this "no-hands diet" lasts more than one day you might lose weight.

4.  Menopause kicks in if you are a woman.  If you are a man reading my blog:  sorry, but if you know any women approaching 40 you might want to read #4 just by way of self preservation.  Now, let me just say menopause is a strange creature.  The more I know it, the more I want to say, "Remember when you were a teenager and your emotions could flip on a dime, you sometimes had this raging appetite (no funny business here) where you wanted to eat like a live horse, you sometimes slept until your mom woke you up and told you a week had passed, and you sometimes felt like the most minor of all occurrences could literally RUIN YOUR LIFE???????"  Well, that's menopause in a nutshell.  Add some extreme bloating, night sweats, migraines, and bad cramping and you've got it.  Does it sound like a church picnic on a beautiful sunny day?  No, I don't think so either.

5.  Your memory will fail you.  Now, I've never had a mind for details so my mind fails me in much broader ways.  For example (and take note - this is just an example it hasn't actually happened):  I would never forget my fourth born's date of birth because I never was able to remember that in the first place.  But, I might forget the fourth born.  It's shocking and embarrassing at first, but if you carry your phone (and your bifocals) around with you most of the time you can always try to remember to slip away and google what you need to know.

I have tried to hit the most important aspects of aging with this short list.  There are many more, but you will just have to muddle through those on your own.  After all you didn't get this far simply by reading my blog!  Now, lest I end this post all gloom and doom - take heart!  Remember you will be much wiser and able to laugh at the foolishness of young people.  Just know you will doing it with your glasses on, they will have to be loudly foolish and you will have to remember who the hell they are and why you give a flip.  At any rate - Happy Monday, my friends!  Enjoy your day, and remember this is your LAST DAY being exactly as old as you are!       

Thursday, September 15, 2011

"These socks may or may not be clean."

Thank you for the honesty.  Now, you might think that statement came from the nine year old Boy.  But, no.  It came from the two year old baby.  And it made me want to share with you a Top Ten List I have been composing for a while. 

The Top Ten Ways You Know That Kid is a Fourth Child:

10.  She is TWO and had to be rushed to the ER after doing flips on a drainage ditch railing after seeing older siblings do it.  *Her parents may or may not have been watching her diligently.*
9.  She is TWO and can often be heard chanting, "I don't care, I don't care.  I'll pull down your underwear."  *Sometimes to her mother.* and *Sometimes in public.*
8.  She knows where the Give to Goodwill clothes bag is kept and frequently comes downstairs wearing 12 month size clothes when she is going to turn three soon.
7.  She often can be seen digging in her nose.  When questioned about it she says with complete certainty, "Bubba said there are treasures in there."
6.  She insists on practicing piano and doing her homework every night and if a comment is made about her not even playing piano or not even having homework she promptly throws a fit that makes even calm people want to hit their heads with heavy books till they pass out.
5.  She can often be seen and/or heard having long and detailed conversations with other children through the crack under the closed (and barricaded) door.
4.  She is two, yet she is often persuaded to do tasks which other birth order children would not do.  Such as:  asking mom if she and others can watch Sponge Bob, going back upstairs for the millionth time to retrieve a DSI that doesn't belong to her, reaching into the toilet to get our a matchbox car (that, again, does not belong to her), testing milk to see if it has gone bad, etc. ad nauseum.
3.   She does not speak in a normal voice.  She yells everything due to the fact that no one ever lets her talk.  She often and proudly tells her mom, "Daddy says I learned to whisper in a helicopter."
2.  Because no one ever lets her speak she is developing a stutter and is told by her older siblings (as they shake their heads and sigh deeply), "Sounds like you are going to need Speech."

And the number one reason you know that kid is a fourth child:

1.  Her mother has no idea WHERE she puts her dirty socks so when she comes downstairs holding a pair of socks the mother always asks, "Are these clean?' (after a quick sniff test which would indicate probably not) that TWO YEAR OLD child responds cheerfully, confidently, and very loudly, "These socks may or may not be clean."

Monday, September 12, 2011

How Feeding a Family Prevents Me From Feeding My Family

Preface:  #1:  Baby was in the ER Friday night.  My intention was to blog it today, but instead I am saving that for my book - chapter to be titled Make Sure Your Kids' Panties Are Right Side Out Before Said Kid Ends Up in the ER.  #2:  I don't think I am fully recovered from baby going to the ER and my hands are already shaking from coffee intake in an attempt to fully recover.  SO, you are stuck with the following blog post on cooking (collective - blech).  When my book comes out you can thank me for the ER tips.  And lest you think I am a heartless mother who has no regard for her baby who was in the ER and only thinks of herself (who me?).  Baby is fine.  I think she recovered miraculously when she heard the words "popsicle and stickers if you can do this," and she was actually spotted high-fiving all the ER staff on her way out.

Today's Post

One of my resolutions for 2011 was to cook more things from scratch and not feed my family so much processed food.  I am a professed Non-Cook, so for me this was HUGE.  When I wrote the resolution I did not fully realize just how much actual work, time in the kitchen, and countless hours of research this would entail.

When it comes to cooking I have a few people I look to for inspiration who are clearly way above my skill level.  My good friend over at cyberbones is a crazy good cook.  She makes things like MARSHMALLOWS, and lots of ethnic foods that I have never heard of but am dying to taste.  She blogs about it later and I dream about doing the same.  Cyberbones effortlessly cooks circles around me. 

I also occasionally find myself related to outstanding cooks.  My beautiful niece over at http://skinny-fatkids.blogspot.com/ is just one.  Not only is she drop-dead gorgeous she manages to cook all this amazing food that is actually HEALTHY.  Oh, and did I mention - she's in law school.  Yeah, I know.  She blogs about her food AND photographs it WHILE cooking it.  Check these two blogs and you will say, "Standards too high." 

And, lastly I will just mention my hubby who is The Cook In The Family.  He is a born fabulous cook.  Thank God or we would starve.  He has tried to teach me to:  Taste my food while cooking.  Test recipes on our family, not strangers.  Memorize recipes that I make frequently.  Not even use a recipe - to just experiment with food I like.  Etc., etc...............I could be unteachable.

So that brings me to yesterday.  I had decided to try my hand at calzones in 805 easy steps.  I whittled the steps down and in preparation for yesterday this is what I had done.

1.  I researched calzones back to Italy itself by way of allrecipes.com, the Food Network, and epicurious.com.  Finding a recipe for actual made from scratch calzones is a little difficult since most of the recipes called for "Refrigerated Pizza Dough."  I finally settled on homemade pizza dough and a seemingly yummy recipe for a veggie filled calzone.
2.  Using the recipes, I made a grocery list of what I needed to buy to make Spinach and Cheese Calzones.  Thank you Bobby Flay and Rachel Ray.  When I went to print the recipes, the printer was out of ink.  This resulted in a quick fit from hubby (because the printer has been flashing "almost out of ink - GO BUY INK" for about six months now and I have yet to go to the ink store - across town and with two toddlers - to buy ink), quick fit from the boy-child (who was trying to print his invoices which were overdue - and yes our 9 year old has a paying job - don't judge), quick fit from Girl 2 because I couldn't print out her spelling words, AND (most important to this post) I had to hurriedly WRITE the recipes while three people were throwing fits.  Later this will be critically important.
3.  I thought I had a basic knowledge of how yeast actually works.

So, I set out to make the calzones at 1:30 p.m. in plenty of time for a 5:00 p.m. dinner. 

"What could this possibly go wrong?  Didn't you have a recipe?" you ask?

*Tired pause,* coming from months of experience answering this question when hubby asks it after I angrily shout at him, "SOMETHING HAS GONE WRONG.  WE ARE EATING OUT." 

Here's a run-down of what went wrong.

1.  Something went wrong with the yeast.  I don't exactly know what.  I ended up with not "double the amount," but more like (and this is exactly what the boy-child said) "possibly one quarter more than the original amount."
2.  Because I was forced to hand write everything since we had no ink - I ended up totally leaving out several critical ingredients to the recipe.  One of them being the main ingredient - ricotta cheese.
3.  I made a split second change in the recipe (which never turns out good when I do it) in order to accommodate having no ricotta cheese.
4.  When I opened one of the pizza sauce jars that was in the refrigerator (leading me to believe we had two half-used jars that would presumably equal one full jar) it was moldy.
5.  I thought I had more frozen spinach in the deep freeze.  When I actually went out to the deep freeze - we didn't.

At 5:45 dinner was served.  We had one HUGE calzone (about the size of half a pizza).  In it was:  sauteed artichoke, garlic, red, orange and yellow bell peppers, mozzarella cheese and a quarter bottle of pizza sauce.  We also had three smaller calzones with the rest of the pizza sauce, a teeny amount of seasoned spinach, and mozzarella cheese.  AMAZINGLY it tasted pretty good.  It was not at all what I had set out to make which is frustrating and upsetting to me, and I am sure Bobby Flay and Rachel Ray would have been positively mortified.  BUT, the Cook who was there (hubby) said it was, "progress."

This almost year of trying to cook from scratch has led me to this conclusion:  The cooking show I want to see on the Food Network is Cooking Healthy Meals From Scratch With Four Kids in the Kitchen, One Needy Husband, and Lots of Other Important Business to Attend To.

Post Script - On To-Do List for today:  Make peach cobbler.  Bad news:  The peaches were never taken out of the plastic bag from the grocers and properly put away because baby threw a Holy Hell Fit upon returning from said grocers.  Peaches are now moldy.......................................................

Banana cobbler?  Anyone?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

P.S. - Santa might ruin your life.

So, let me just say:

1.  It was brought to my attention yesterday that I have a pastor for a reader (Thank you, pastor for reading my blog.  I am honored and was just wondering - while you are reading my blog - could you put in a good word for me with The Big Man?).
2.  After my post yesterday I felt compelled to tell you that I love my children dearly (and not just because they give me 99.9% of my blog material.)
3.  There are so many post scripts to yesterday's post about big boobs and being NOT Jewish that I may have a new chapter for my book.  Aren't you glad you stumbled over to your laptop and pulled up my blog?  Because you are going to get it first (I know, I am too generous.)

P.S. Santa Might Ruin Your Life

The conversation that follows occurred after a deep conversation about the reality of Santa.  Now, I am one of those joy-sucking parents who wish that my kids would just stop believing in Santa and get it the hell over with.  (I am sure you are surprised.)  Keeping up the Santa rouse for me is frankly exhausting.  My nine year old Boy still firmly believes in Santa, his eight flying reindeer, and I think, the Abominable snowman.  Girl 1 stopped fully believing in Santa a long time ago.  There are just too many unresolved issues for her (and I quote): 
  • Mom, reindeer can't fly.
  • We don't have a chimney and we always keep our doors locked.  Are you telling me Santa has a key to every one's house?  Is he like a burglar that gives?
  • Where does he shop?
  • Are elves dwarfs?  Real live dwarfs?  Are they the Oompa Loompas???  I just don't believe that.  Where did they come from? 
So, back to the conversation that ensued:

Girl 1 - Momma, I just had a horrifying thought.

Me (seriously afraid to ask) - Oh.  What baby?

Girl 1 - What if you get married, have kids, and you and your husband or wife really still believe in Santa.  So, since you believe in Santa you don't buy any of your kids any presents because you are sure Santa will take care of them.  And your kids believe in Santa.  But, then THERE IS NO SANTA.  So, on Christmas morning your kids wake up and they don't have any presents??????

Now, this was one of those times that I had so many things I wanted to say that I was rendered speechless.  Here are some of the things that were going through my head:  There are kids that don't ever get any Christmas presents and you know what - that's horrifying.  Santa is NOT real.  It's all momma and daddy, so that's also horrifying.  If two people have kids and those two people STILL BELIEVE IN SANTA - that is not only horrifying, but we got more problems than those kids not getting any presents.  No worries.  I didn't say any of that.  Instead I said:

Wow.  Then those parents would be in a tight spot, huh?  Now let's turn off the light and go to bed!

Girl 1 - So, mom - IS SANTA REAL OR IS IT JUST YOU AND DAD???

Me - Well, baby I will say what I say every time you ask me:  Do you believe in Santa?

Now, this answer is entirely unsatisfying for me.  I just hate it, but frankly I can't think of a better one and I am too tired to think anymore about it. 

Girl 1 - So, is Jesus real?  C'mon just tell us.

Say what?  How did Jesus get dragged into this?  I'm sorry, dude!  Now, what ensued is just too detailed and sketchy (due to my lack of actual knowledge) to relate here.  So, I will summarize what I said.  (What I think I said - again, my lack of actual knowledge sometimes confuses the details.):

  • Jesus lived.  Then he died.  Then we and certain other people (called Christians) believe he rose from the dead and was the son of God.
  • Santa lives in your heart if you believe in him.
  • He also maintains a residence at the North Pole.  I think.
  • Jerusalem is a real place.
  • Jesus doesn't live in Jerusalem anymore.  Remember he died and then rose and now he lives in your heart?
  • Jesus gets along with Santa and there is room in your heart for both of them.
  • I don't actually know any reindeer that can fly.
  • We kind of have Jesus' playbook.  It's called the bible.  I don't know of any playbook for Santa.
  • Santa did not write the bible.  Neither did Jesus.
  • Not all stories in the bible are real nor should we take them all as real events that actually happened.
  • I am not sure what Jewish people think of Santa. 
  • I am pretty sure Jews like Hanukkah.
  • I am pretty sure Jonah and the Whale is not one of the more true stories in the bible.
That's all I got, friends.  I pray we have closed the book on Santa and boobs for a while.  And, I am going to try and keep Jesus safe.  Peace.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Life's Disappointments #17 - We are not Jewish.

So, if you are new let me catch you up:

1.  I hate talking about sex.  It makes me physically ill and most days I would rather make a chicken pot pie from scratch.
2.  I do not like anything to do with the female genitalia or describing it, looking at it, learning about it, etc., etc.  When asked during my first labor if I wanted a mirror I think I said, "HELL TO THE NO."  The less I know about the inner workings - the better.
3.  I am really not one for small talk (or some days - any talk at all).  Nor do I particularly want to debate abortion, gay sex, or welfare with anyone any day of the week.
4.  I tend to be a deep thinker - but I really don't have time for anyone else's deep thinking (basically - it's all about me).

So, naturally God in His wisdom and goodness would bless me with Girl 1 (age EIGHT) who:

1.  I found at age 2 examining her privates with a mirror.
2.  Asks me questions such as:  What's gay marriage?  And, do you think it's right or wrong?
3.  Announced one day before bedtime:  I really would like to have a baby someday, but are there any other options besides pushing it out of my body?  I'm terrified of pooping on the delivery table.
4.  Has, since the age of when she learned to talk and think, become schooled on a series of informational tidbits which have gone on to shape her thinking.  I like to call these informational tidbits "Life's Disappointments."

To give you an example of Life's Disappointments (1-17) they include:

1.  You can't marry your brother (in most states).
2.  Baby's come out of your body - not from the stork.
3.  Girls will - have periods, shave their legs, and give birth to babies.  Boys will - not.
4.  Eyebrow hair does not generally fall out.  It may at some point (when sight is no longer possible) need to be waxed and that will hurt.

That brings us to Life Disappointments #16 and #17 which happened the day before yesterday and yesterday respectively.  As usual, they caught me completely off guard and frankly unable to appropriately address them.

Life Disappointment #16:  Boobs Eventually Stop Growing

I know.  Huge shock, right?  Well, it's true.  And I had to break it to Girl 1 night before last when she told me she wanted to gain some weight.  She weighs I think over 20 pounds, is frightfully thin, and eats like a horse.  So, I was a little interested the other night when she skipped over to me and said (in her happy voice), "I'm thinking about gaining some weight, momma." 

Me:  Oh, you are?  Why?

Girl 1:  'Cuz I want big boobs.

Now, this caused me some pause and I had to consider how I might answer without damaging her self esteem (turns out my self esteem was in question), not cause her an eating disorder in later life, and provide her with accurate information.  Naturally I said:

Well, that's nuts.

Girl 1:  It is?  Why?

Me:  Because - just because you gain weight does not necessarily mean your boobs will get huge. 
(Thinking) - sheesh if that were the case momma would be eating chocolate full force.

Girl 1 (looking suddenly crushed and clearly engaged in deep thinking):  Well, then how do I get big boobs?

Now, there are many times that as a mother I:  mutter things under my breath, seriously veer off-topic and confuse the $hit out of my kids, and bite my tongue in order to avoid saying something inappropriate.  This was one of those times.

Me:  That's a good question, baby.  I guess you are just born with a Big Boob Gene.
(Thinking) - that CLEARLY you will not have.

Girl 1:  (looking positively forlorn) Oh.  *huge pause*  Hmm.  Well, momma - when are you gonna get big boobs?

Ah-hem...........

Life Disappointments #17 - We are not Jewish.

After I spent most of the day yesterday mentally recovering from the hard realization that Girl 1 now knows Mom does not have big boobs, the Christmas edition of the American Girl catalog arrived in all its glory.  I was positively joyful.   The frenzy of making Christmas lists commenced immediately upon the girls opening the catalog - the questions about boob size forgotten entirely.

I noticed after both girls had diligently tabbed pages and circled items that the Hanukkah Gift Set $20 was circled.  So, naturally I said, "Baby, did you know you circled the Hanukkah set?"

Girl 1 (practically gushing) - Yes, momma.  That's for me!

Me - Ah.  Well, did you know it's a Hanukkah Set?

Girl 1 (again, gushing) - Yes!  Did you know I LOVE Hanukkah? 

Me - Um, no.  Hmm.  Did you know we're not Jewish?

Girl 1 - (slightly disappointed voice) - Yes.  I know.  But, I really love Jews.  (Me thinking - Well that's a relief.  No neo-Nazis here.)  I just love the celebration of Hanukkah and I'd like to learn more about Jewish traditions.  Can we do that, mom?

Me (desperately trying to think of another Jewish tradition) - Yeah, um.  Sure.  I think that's great.  But, the Hanukkah Gift Set is $20.  And, again, just by way of budgeting for Christmas - we are not Jewish.

Girl 1 - Well, I thought about asking Santa for it, but isn't Christmas a Christian holiday?  So, I'm not sure how Santa would feel about that.  Does Santa give presents for Hanukkah?  Is there another Jewish holiday that I could ask Santa for a present for?  Oh, momma.  I wish we were Jewish so bad.



So, ends #17 the rationale part anyway.  What can I say?  Sometimes I wish I was Jewish, too.  Say a prayer (or whatever) for me that I can handle #18 'cuz it's getting pretty deep in here.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Employer - SWOT mom

I am not sure who coined the term "SAHM," but I would like to know if that person has kids.  Because I have four (not that anyone would ever ask me about anything in regards to parenting -  Octomom seems to be more popular).  I am just wondering what made Stay At Home mom a seemingly acceptable title to describe us collectively.  And, while I'm at it, what made an acronym even better (I hate acronyms and rarely think they make anything better - ROTFLMAO being my prime example because it reminds me of barfing rather than laughing)?

So, I've not worked in a formally titled location full-time for about eight years, and I find myself paralyzed when faced with the my four kids' hundreds of school forms that ask for Employer.  I have been known to jot down something vague (home organizer???), illegible, or "N/A".  I am sure that whoever reads these countless forms has a good snort at my expense.

This year was no exception.  I found myself unable to actually put my employment status on the line.  This brings me to why I am writing this post today:  Sometime during 2010 I became familiar with the acronym 'SAHM'.  And, it might be fair to say I hate it.

I didn't know what SAHM stood for for a long time.  Since I would rather admit to a regular case of dandruff than not knowing what is going on, it did not occur to me to ask someone what it meant.

Illustrating a Point by Way of Actual Conversation:

Girl Child - Mom, what's that white stuff in your hair?
Me - Dandruff.
Girl Child (later that same day) - Mom, did you know that these pants I am wearing are called Jeggings?  And, that jeggings is jean leggings???
Me - Um, yeah.  Who doesn't know that/??? 

Soooooo, when I started seeing SAHM on various Twitter bios, blog profiles, parenting articles (not that I actually read those), etc., rather than try to find out what it meant I just pretended I knew and carried on.  I had a fun time making up stuff that SAHM could stand for (usually I am far too busy to have time for such nonsense).  I am not sure where this term originated (possibly another planet), but since I live in a city that is regularly abbreviated S.A., I invented many meanings for SAHM.  My personal favorite:  San Antonio Home for the Mentally Incapacitated (forget that the "I" is missing from the acronym).

Now, I hate to tell you, but when I found out the true meaning of SAHM I was disappointed and bewildered.

My disappointment sprung from not being able to mess around with funny names anymore (not that I regularly have time for such foolishness).  My bewilderment, (which later developed into....hatred), was a little harder to pinpoint.

Well, I am writing this post today having hit the nail on the head.  I find myself hating SAHM because it is so woefully inaccurate.  Stay At Home Mom?  Seriously?  To define a woman who quit a Work Outside the Home (also, woefully inaccurate) job to raise children, maintain a household, and cater to a needy husband (Oh, wait - is that only me? Did I ask that out loud?) as a Stay At Home Mom just begs the question:  Are we really all STAYING AT HOME???

If I was to name everything I do during the day - rare is the day that Stay At Home would even make the list.  Which brings me to yesterday when I thought of SAHMs and how we really need to rename ourselves.

5:30 a.m.  - My alarm rang waking me from a dream in which I was a famous writer and had thousands of Facebook fans and Twitter followers.
5:30 - 7:00 - I cooked breakfast, made lunches, and frantically scurried to get three over-sleeping, whiny small people on the bus.
7:00 - 8:00 - I contemplated working out and opted to surf the net instead.
8:00 - 9:30 - I went to the bank, the farmer's market, and HEB (not an acronym, but the actual owner's initials).  By the way, this required me to Go Out Of My Home.
9:30-10:00 - I put all the groceries away, packed two more lunches, and hit the road again.
10:00 - 11:00 - I drove around town making deliveries for the business I do from home (but which requires me to leave home frequently).
11:00 - 11:15 - I went back home to pick up the two-year old's water bottle, cell phone, and purse in an attempt to squelch the screaming and whining emitting from the back seat.
11:20-12:15 - I ate lunch with my son.  At school (which, in case you hadn't figured is...NOT HOME).
12:15 - I arrived back home.  Read Goldilocks and put the two year old down for a nap.
2:15 - I woke up said two year old and prepared to Go Out of My Home again to pick up the short people.
3:00 - I was back home to peruse homework, sign papers (hopefully not asking for my Employer), do a quick clean-up, and cook dinner.
6:00 - 9:00 - I was out of my home again!  I watched some titillating scootering, played some two-square, drank some beer, and hung out with the neighbors.
9:00 - 10:00 - I put kids to bed, talked with my husband, and finally got back in my bed to dream of becoming famous.

Does that speak Stay At Home to you?  I know if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem, so here are some alternate titles I have coined (based on my own actual experience with four kids) for your review and consideration.  If you, dear reader, are a SAHM and you like one - use it!  Consider it my gift to you (thank me later).

Drive All Over The Freakin' Town (DAOFT) Mom
Cook Six Hours A Day (CSHaD) Mom
Listen Excessively To Whining and Fussing (LETWF) Mom
Not Working in a Formally Titled Location, but Rather Working At Home and About (NWFTLRWaHA) Mom

and, last but not least (what I'm using) -
Still Working On That (SWOT) mom

Changing the world one acronym at a time.  :o)

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