Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Passive aggressive non-conformity

Another etiquette issue. Sort of. One thing I really like about club sports versus recreational sports is no treats. Let me explain. You enroll your child in soccer at the YMCA. At the first practice, some go-getter mom hands out a treat sign-up sheet. Usually it involves signing up to bring a snack and a drink for post-game refreshments for the kids.

I have a couple of problems with this. First, I have enough trouble getting my child and his ball to the game. I do not want to have to remember my date for bringing the snacks and drinks. What a pain in the ass. Again, I end up scrambling. I hate to scramble. I make bad decisions when I am scrambling.

Second, the snacks are usually something like fruit roll-ups or rice krispy treats and kool-aid or a juice box. Have we not learned anything about childhood obesity?! Hey, everyone, get your child active and exercising and then fill him with candy and sugared drinks. We wouldn’t want to actually replenish their muscles and fluids with something like apples or water. In fact, if you actually bring a healthy snack, you will hear groans from the kids and face the side glances of disapproval from the parents. You will face the same consequences if you forget the snacks on your snack day. Oh, the horror! That is even worse because everyone will be saying, “Johnny was supposed to bring snacks.” Or, “No snacks today. Johnny’s mom forgot to bring them.” If you remember the “food” part, you will hear, “What?! Where is the drink?”

I discovered the simple solution to this problem. When I am handed the snack sign-up sheet, I simply pass it on to the next person and no one is the wiser. Plus, I get a sense of satisfaction knowing that I bucked the system. Stick it to the man!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Thank you notes and other disasters

I am completely inept at social customs and etiquette. I recently attended a bridal shower. As a side note, I was coming inside from eating on the deck at the shower and I slammed my ankle in the door. OMG! I was cut up and bleeding and I think I may have bruised my bone in the process because it is taking forever to feel normal again. I almost fell down. Wouldn’t that be embarrassing?! Then, a couple of weeks later, on the last day of school, I was carrying a bunch of stuff in my arms and I fell in the hallway and got a nasty rug burn on my knee. Is that old lady, or what? I will definitely be breaking my hip someday. Fortunately, I was alone in the hall because there happened to be an assembly that morning.

Okay, back on track. So, anyway, at the end of the shower I spotted a small, blank envelope on the floor next to me and thought to myself, “Oh, that must have fallen during the package clean up.” I casually picked it up and tossed in onto the coffee table. I looked around and realized that people were busy writing something. So then I thought it was game time or something. But, no…I finally got it. Everyone was writing their names and addresses on the envelopes so that the bride can mail us thank you notes. What’s more, they are writing the bride’s return address on it as well. This is shocking to me! Really?! Let me get this straight. I address an envelope so that you can mail a thank you to me when you have already thanked me in person? I can assure you that while it is fun to get mail, I will be dropping that baby, envelope and all, right into the recycle bin. That poor tree.

Not only do we lose a tree in this redundant thank you process, but I receive a very disappointing piece of mail. I don’t know about you, but I always experience a little thrill when I see a hand-addressed envelope in the mail. Then I realize it’s just a thank you note. What a total let down. Even worse is when I realize the thank you note came from a birthday party one of my children attended. I get a little flutter thinking my child has been invited to a party. But no, this is just another reminder of the fact that I do not have my children send thank you notes after their parties. Triple whammy. Kill a tree, experience a total let down, and then feel like a huge loser.

Here is my plan for the future. On my children’s party invites, which I will send via email, I will write, “Please be advised that in the spirit of conservation [of trees and my time-I won’t say this part], my child will not be sending thank you notes. Rest assured I will see to it that my child thanks your child profusely during the party.” This might actually work, except that I am usually scrambling at the last minute to put a party together because I have blown it off until the day before their birthday.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Virgin Blogger (new to blogging, NOT a virgin who blogs)

Hey, out there. I have had a couple of people comment on the fact that I don't post often enough. I would love to increase my readership. Any suggestions on how to promote my blog? Additionally, if you enjoy it, become a follower so that you will get notifications of new posts and you won't have to keep checking the blog, only to become disappointed when you see the same old post at the top. Feel free to recommend it to others.
I am using this opportunity to let you know that one of my worst fears about writing is that I will make a typo or misspell a word or use improper grammar. My fellow writing snobs will understand. I sincerely apologize if this happens in any of my posts. The foibles of my life do not embarrass me nearly as much as bad writing. (I just ran spell check and found I had misspelled "misspell." Hee hee.)
All comments are welcome.

Monday, May 24, 2010

I love this

My sister sent this to me awhile back. Probably a not-so-subtle hint.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

When Naughty Kids Get in Trouble

In my last post, I mentioned that two good things had resulted from the incident on Tuesday. Well, after some consideration, I have realized that I completely missed the most important benefit of all. Principal now knows that I actually produced a child that does, indeed, feel remorse for his actions. Here is what I mean. My daughter, Piper (6), was in the principal’s office within the first week of kindergarten. She made it again during the first month. AND, she was in the office during her second month to meet with a social worker because of the whole DHS thing referenced in an earlier post. They had to meet with her in the counselor’s office without me knowing. I work at the school. Imagine my mortification, if you will.
We are now down to the final two weeks of school and you would think that a kindergarten student has a pretty good handle on the rules by now. Not so. Not my child, anyway. When Piper gets home from school, she gives me her mail and then shows me her communication sheet from the teacher. Most students get a sticker on theirs. Piper will hold hers up with the back facing me and I can see LOTS of writing through the paper. My shoulders drop, my head drops and I say, “What is it?”
Monday Piper was messing around in the bathroom AGAIN. Ten minutes later she showed up to class. She will not be using the hallway bathroom anymore.
Tuesday At lunch, Piper took another child’s Twinkie, smooshed it and took a bite out of it. She spent her recess on the wall.
Wednesday Piper pulled the Twister mat right from under another student. That student fell and hit her head. Piper lost the rest of center time. Mrs. P and Mrs. N witnessed this also. (As if I might not believe it.)
Thursday There is an X on her sheet indicating there was some kind of trouble, but the lines were all used up from previous days. Not sure what happened.
Friday Piper didn’t work in her Literacy Center. She was messing around. Today was the second day that Mrs. M had to tell Piper to stay out of the mud. (Maybe that was yesterday’s issue.) She was sent to the office for recess.
Aside from Thursday, obviously, these are the actual written words of her teacher. What an eventful week for Piper. So, yes, I am kind of glad Elias got in trouble. At least he has the wherewithal to express remorse when he is sitting across from the principal in her office.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

When Smart Kids Get in Trouble

On Tuesday, my son’s (Elias 9) teacher pulled me aside at school to let me know that she had to write Elias up because he had threatened to kill another student. Elias would have to meet with the principal later that day. The funny thing is, his teacher was so apologetic about it. She explained that the other student had nagged him and nagged him and nagged him (yes, a girl) until he exploded. So, later that day, the principal waved me into her office and said, “I just have to tell you about this.” When she called Elias into her office, he sat down across the desk from her. They discussed the incident briefly. He put his head down on her desk with his hands on either side. “I know, I know, it was SOOO inappropriate. I never should have said it.”

After Elias left, she called the other student in to the office to discuss the incident. The principal explained that Elias should not have said those words. The student said, “His words did surprise me, but his frustration didn’t.”

Two good things resulted from this incident. First, Principal had a great laugh because she RARELY sees remorseful students. Second, the school made a record so that someday, when my son really does go ballistic and kill someone, they will be able to say they had properly addressed the early signs of his rage.

Shout out to my new friends! Spread the word.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Rated M for mature

Just so we're clear, I do not swear in front of my kids. I think I have been honest enough in this blog for you to believe this is the truth. The worst thing I say in front of my kids is "flippin'," as in, "Get that flippin' dishwasher unloaded!" Occasionally I use a "freakin'." I have started to use the word "shit" in front of my 13-year-old. Just now and then, not every day.

My intention was to keep this blog fairly clean, but people tend to read it, or at least comment on it, more often if there is a juicy word in the title. Whether it be "douche bag" or "f***ing," the language keeps 'em coming back. Besides, to be honest, bad language is really more my style.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Yeah, I'll bet she has some big f***ing bags and wrinkles under that eye mask

Allure’s 9 Simple Steps to Younger-Looking Eyes


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Pissed off scrapbooker

I have a couple of subscriptions to scrapbooking magazines. I was flipping through one the other night and realized that I get a little pissed when I read them. I have finally figured out why. When I look at the sample layouts, I see a picture of two cute, clean kids hugging each other and I read this in the journaling, “I love to watch the relationship that is developing between the two of you. Six years separate the two of you and you get along like peas in a pod. You are our oldest and youngest, and as I watch you together I am reminded how wonderful it is to be a mother.” This makes me want to barf. I’ve seen others that read something like, “You are such a little stinker sometimes, but you are always daddy’s little angel.” First of all, I hate it when people portray their lives as perfectly harmonious and blissful. And second, I hate those people that think their kids are perfect.
Admittedly, my kids’ scrapbooks have lots of cute pictures. But, I don’t really write that much about the photo other than to identify the time and place (if I am able). I feel like that type of journaling just isn’t me. It is not my style at all.
While thinking about this post, I came up with a great idea. These blog posts would make GREAT journaling for my family scrapbooks. I will print them out and stick them on the pages next to all those super-cute photos. The only issue is that the kids love to look at their books and these posts probably are not appropriate for them to read at this point in their lives. Maybe I can make a secret book for those rated PG-13 and R pages. When the kids are old enough, I can put those pages in their books. I am totally psyched.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Douche Bag follow-up

I think I have totally ruined the phrase for my son and his two friends. Every time someone says it, they will think of me and the whole 'washing out the vagina' thing.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Don't be a douche bag

Last week, I was driving Isaac to soccer with two of his teammates. I love carpooling because I learn so much about my kids and their friends. I just pretend like I am pre-occupied with driving so they will talk more freely. The key is to not ask questions. You do not want them to think you are listening. Anyway, they were tossing around the term “douche bag,” talking about how a kid at school is always calling people “douche bags.” One of the boys in the back seat made the mistake of asking, “What does it mean, anyway?” Another one said, “Well, ‘douche’ means ‘shower’ in French.” At this point, I could resist no longer.
“Do you guys want to know what it means?” My unsuspecting victims, in unison, said, “Yeah!” “Well, I don’t even know if they make them anymore, but it’s a plastic bottle with a long nozzle on top. A woman uses it to wash out her vagina.” A short pause of absolute silence. Then a collective, “Ohhh, don’t say any more. That’s enough!” I told them, “If you guys ever want to know anything, just ask me.” Obviously, I get a giant kick out of doing this kind of thing. I am not shy about telling it like it is. The bonus is that my son will actually ask me things. So far he has asked me about condoms, periods and all kinds of things about puberty. If you want your kids to ask questions, my advice to you is to just be straightforward and fairly brief. That gives them time to let it soak in. And, they will know that a simple question won’t lead to a long, involved and uncomfortable conversation.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Battle on Brougham Road

Okay, so I have finally done it. My total humiliation is complete. After you read this, you will wish you were my neighbor purely for the entertainment value.
This post concerns my three sons, well, really one in particular, Isaac. The boys do their homework right after school or it will never get done. It still requires a bit of nagging, but not nearly as much as there would be if we tried to get them to do homework after dinner. Anyway, after homework yesterday, they wanted to go outside and have a Nerf gun war. I warned them that they would end up in a fight, but they assured me they would not. They said they had played the other day with no problems. So, okay, I let them go.
About twenty minutes later, I could hear screaming, the bad kind of screaming. I spied on them from the window for a few minutes and I saw my middle son threatening to hit Isaac with a Nerf gun. Then I heard Isaac screaming at him and calling him a retard. Finally, Isaac tackled my middle son and my youngest son jumped on Isaac and began punching his back. I decided to intervene. I opened the window and told them to put the guns away and come inside. Isaac then screamed at me, said I never do anything about the others and called me a retard.
I am NOT going to be disrespected like that, I thought to myself. Here is where it got bad. I decided to take action. I closed the window and headed outside in a huff. I attempted to pick Isaac up to take him inside, but he fought back. I was still trying to get a hold of him when he grabbed my legs and took me down. A struggle ensued. We were rolling on the front lawn in a full-out battle, each trying to get control of the other. Keep in mind that I was still in my nice work pants and turtleneck. I WAS ROLLING AROUND ON THE FRONT LAWN FIGHTING WITH MY 11-YEAR-OLD SON! I finally got on top of him with my knees on his back.
“There, how do you like being picked on by someone bigger than you?,” I hissed.
I stood up, composed myself and took a quick look around to see if there were any witnesses. Sure enough, the most conservative, judgmental guy in the neighborhood was walking his dog right across the street, trying to pretend he hadn’t seen us. How do you even recover from that? It occurred to me that I could yell something at Isaac to make it look like we were just kidding around, but I didn’t bother. I just went inside the house and hoped that he was the only witness.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Ahhhh…I just finished my morning scream fest and I can now relax and sit down at my laptop to write. First, let me acknowledge that, yes, I failed. My last post was Sunday and today is Wednesday. What can I say? I can only continue to try.
People are always saying to me, “I don’t know how you do it. Our schedule is crazy with just two kids. I can’t imagine having six.” In case you are wondering, here is a little rundown of my typical Monday and Tuesday schedule. I get home from work around 3:00, grab a snack and take off with Cassidy to pick up a teammate and take them to gymnastics. By the time I get back home, the other kids are off the bus and usually running a bit wild. I come in the house and ask for any mail they may have from school. I send Isaac and Elias to their rooms to read for 20 minutes and then I have to sign off on that in their school agendas. I know that Elias does his reading. I am not so sure that Isaac has been reading lately. I’m going to have to spy on him today and find out.
Anyway, I nag and nag Piper and she still doesn’t get her mail to me or get her school stuff put away. I usually have to tell Levi two or three times, but he eventually does it. Then I have to start in about chores. Isaac is supposed to load or unload the dishwasher. They need to pick up things they have dropped around the house. In between all of these things, there is a fair amount, sometimes a lot, of bickering and fighting.
On Mondays, Piper has to be at gymnastics at 6:00 and Isaac has to be at soccer at 7:30. Levi has wrestling on Monday (that is going to change). Throw in a band concert for Cassidy and things get really interesting. On Tuesdays, Cassidy and Piper have dance and Elias and Levi have soccer. Things will heat up in April with more soccer practices as they start training outside, not to mention the beginning of baseball for Isaac. I am skilled at arranging carpools, so I will need to start organizing soon.
I want to get one thing straight. I am not complaining. The fact is, I get a payoff from all of this. I love youth athletics. I am so excited each weekend to go to a gymnastics meet or soccer game. Is that sad? I’m not sure, but it works for me.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Mom's Best Friend

Friday, February 05, 2010
7:30 am

Isaac walks out of the bathroom. “CLEAN UP IN AISLE 4!”

Mom, “Okay, I’ll get Korky.”

Elias, “Who’s Korky?”

Isaac, “Mom’s best friend.”

Original Korky® Plunger
p/n: 93-8

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Guilty Pleasures and Guilty Omissions

My Guilty Pleasures

*People magazine
*Forensic Files (it's not a fictional television show)
*Cold Case Files (again, not a fictional show)
*Watching the relationship of John and Kate go up in a puff of smoke (only watched the show briefly until I became resentful that Kate had the ingenuity to market her family and get free tummy tucks and vacations and stuff) (followed the story of their downfall very closely in People)
*pop music
*looking at the headlines on KCRG.com and only reading the articles that involve particularly heinous or grizzly crimes/accidents

My Guilty Omissions

*never read the paper
*have a subscription to The New Yorker and RARELY read it (only read it if I happen to hear from my daughter that David Sedaris has written an essay)
*never watch public television
*never listen to public radio

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My two sisters and I are starting a crafting blog. We all dabble in various crafts and we plan to share some of our projects. If you are interested, click on the Crafty Sisterhood link over to the left.

This is the time of year when I really start to get depressed. Not just a little bit down, but really depressed. The snow is no longer pretty. In fact, it's downright dirty and makes everything else downright dirty. It is still really cold. I feel more cold now than I did in early January. I need to start getting on the treadmill just to get my blood pumping and work off some of my anxiety. But, I need to be in the mood to exercise and I'm not. I haven't been in the mood for about four years.

Today some of my co-workers were talking about their Wii Fits and the fact that they can't get good cardio workouts with the Wii. They only use their Wii's to tide them over until they can get to the gym. I just walked out of the room. This is the type of talk that only fuels my depressed mood. I don't think I will ever be the type of person who discusses her cardio workouts. Wait, I won't ever be the type of person to HAVE a cardio workout. I wish I was, believe me.

On that happy note, I am off to bed. I am hoping to wake up tomorrow with a better attitude. For those of you that are interested, I may even shower.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Two Random Comments

First, my 13-year-old daughter had the baby-think-it-over last night. Her comment was, "I LOVE BEING A MOTHER!" hmmm.......

Second, I have a free Apple itunes download link over to the left. Apparently, Apple releases a few free downloads every week. I haven't tried it yet, but I thought it sounded pretty cool. The link looks really cheesy, though. Don't let that scare you.

Monday, February 1, 2010

No Need for Romance

All of the Valentine talk has gotten me thinking about my husband and how he is completely devoid of romance or romantic ideas. I have a little story to illustrate my point. Those of you that know me well have heard this story, so please forgive the repetition.
When my husband and I were dating, I asked him about some of the girls he had dated in the past. He mentioned that he had thought about asking out one of the girls he worked with. Naturally, I wanted to know more about her, especially because he had decided against it. The conversation went like this.
"I decided not to ask her out," said Ed.
"Why not?," asked Lisa.
"Oh, she was into being thin and tan and pretty. But I like you," said Ed, with a pat on my
I should have recognized right then and there that our relationship would not be full of roses and quiet dinners at dimly lit restaurants. In fact, in our entire 14 years of marriage, I have received one anniversary card and he didn't even sign it. He was probably thinking he could return it the next day and get his money back.
I used to get very bent out of shape when he didn't buy me a birthday or Christmas gift. It took me a few years, but then I realized I have something so much better than any quickly forgotten card or gift. I have a man that likes me best when I'm schlepping around the house in my old sweats, not having showered for a couple of days. He likes extra jiggly skin here and there. And, he does just as much bitch-work around the house as I do. That man is not afraid of housework. All of this probably adds up to some kind of weird fetish, but who cares?!!
So, when people ask me what my husband got me for Christmas or Valentine's Day, I never know what to say. Perhaps this year I should say he gave me the freedom to be fat, white and ugly.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Short Teaser

I intended to post yesterday, but I sat in front of my laptop totally blocked. It's funny how things are constantly running around in my head. Things I want to share. Then, I sit down to write them and they are gone. I am determined to post today, so I am writing a short note before I head off to a youth athletic event. More on that later.

Just a little FYI. This blog will not be a blubbery, gushy blog about the cuteness and greatness of my kids. I like to read about real life and I will presume that you do as well. Although, my kids are pretty damn cute and they totally crack me up sometimes. Also, I will generally try and keep my posts fairly short. Occasionally I may run off on a tangent, but for the most part I will keep them short and simple.

I'm off to shower. I know you are dying for more, so I'll try and post later.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Inaugural Post

I am kicking off my blog today although it has been a terrible day so far. Maybe this will cheer me up. I am home sick for the second day from my part-time job at the school and I about killed my kids this morning. They wait until 10 minutes before the bus comes and then tell me they need [fill in the blank] for school today. Well, I'll be darned if I am going to be the loser parent who doesn't dress my kid in a Hawaiian shirt today for "summer day." So, while I am searching for the shirt for my 3rd grade son in the basement, which I actually may have donated to Goodwill because I hate it, the other three of them are upstairs fighting and laughing and screaming. With bus time looming dangerously close, I told my son to wear some shorts (it's 4 degrees outside) and ran upstairs to attempt to get everyone corralled to head outside. I found two of them wrestling on the living room floor with no shoes or coats and I found one naked in his bedroom. I am still astounded as to how this nakedness happened. When I went downstairs five minutes ago, he was dressed.

By this time, I am in a full-out tantrum. Now I am screaming and running around and, yes, swatting a naked butt. The bus stop is at our driveway, which means all the neighbor kids heard me screaming. And, I stuck my head out the door three more times to yell at them while they were in line. The bus stop was very quiet today. Although, I am pretty sure my kids were giggling under their breath. Now I feel awful and I am praying that my son doesn't show anyone the handprint on his butt.

After counting the four heads above, you may be wondering about the other two birds for which I am responsible. One is in college and not living at home, which is best for both of us. (I think she would agree.) And, I drove my 7th grade daughter to school at 6:30 am for jazz band practice. My husband has to leave for work around 5:30 am, so I am forced to fend for myself in the mornings. Clearly, I was not very good at fending for myself today. Kids-1, Mom-0.