The Governor of our state declared some sort of day for all our kids, where they were to wear the colors of their favorite college to school today. It was to promote higher education. I think the idea was not a bad one, but evidently I am the only one who saw it becoming a clothing war of Florida vs. FSU, with a smattering of University of Miami thrown in.
I told the boys at dinner last night, this theory of mine. Being a Catholic school, my eldest chimed in, “You’re right Mom, but don’t forget, there will be A LOT of Notre Dame and Matt is wearing Ohio State because his Dad went there.”
Mr. T: And the Callahan boys will be wearing LSU and UT colors, because their Mom and Dad went to those schools.
That is pretty important… this alma mater stuff, which was proving my point even more that the school would be full of FSU, UF, and UM colors.
With a smattering of Notre Dame.
And some good old fashioned SEC thrown in for good measure.
This wasn’t a day for higher education. This was becoming a day of football… ‘my team kicked your team’s ass last year and THIS is the team *WE* root for in our family during football season’.
And so I continued at dinner, “Boys, I think we should buck the trend. I know you’re all wanting to wear your Dad’s alma mater’s colors (UF), but I think you should be different from ALL THE OTHER kids and wear… MIT.”
Me: I’m serious. MIT. Nobody else will and it’s a cool school and definitely promotes higher education.
Boys: Ummm… what are their colors?
Me: A burgundy.
Me: It’s NOT Orange.
Ringo: Purple. It is purple.
Me: NO! It’s burgundy. Fine, I’ll text Morrigan. She’ll look for us on-line. (We went out to dinner.)
I got a text back from Mo that it was in fact Crimson and White and a little note to tell my ever lovin’ husband that orange was Syracuse.
Me: Crimson, boys. I know we have Crimson shirts…Come on. MIT! MIT! MIT!
They wore Gator colors. And all their friends? Gator, Seminole and Hurricane, with a smattering of Fighting Irish and some SEC thrown in for good measure.
Just as I frickin’ predicted.
NOT ONE MIT. Not one. I was so disappointed…
There is some seriously bizarre stuff on the internet.
For instance: This.
What in the world? Why? Who needed to watch it? Is this a major product in society and I’ve missed it?
Did someone send my brother this link? Is this a new fad in LA?
TGOO said in an email back to all of us, “I’ve got a real one.”
Well, I don’t, but I’ll pass on the paper one. Thank.you.very.much. Good Grief.
Our school has a crappy nearly non-existent music program. If you want your kid in band, you have to pay $100 a month and do it after school, on the kids' own time.
We don't have a band hall or a music room, so they practice where they can. Sometimes the library, other times the cafeteria, they've practiced in classrooms... anywhere they can find, they practice.
So what we have is a small group of children, 4th-8th grade, getting together to play on their time when other kids are out playing, with their parents forking over an extra $100 a month, and the kids being misfits and having to play anywhere they can find.
Needless to say, it is not a successful program... we have a high drop out rate, the kids that stay in it are labeled nerds and are made fun of, and hardly any children turn out to try it when the new school year starts.
Our band director, who we parents pay on the side, is tremendous. He tries so hard with what he has to work with, which includes bad attitude at times.
We have 1 trombone, 3 trumpets, 2 sax, 1 drummer, 1 flute, 1 clarinet and 1 bass guitar player who on any given day, tries to wiggle out of playing in public with the band. (That would be my eldest son.)
That is out of 500 kids. That's our band. They play at every Mass and they play at an Alzheimer's Center twice a year.
It is pathetic and I place the blame squarely on the school. They are hugely unsupportive.
But the kids that stick with it... for the most part, they are not giving up and they don't care what anyone says.
Yesterday, one of Mr. T's 'friends' came up to him and said, "Only nerds are in band..."
Mr. T looked at him and said, "All of us have a little bit of nerd in them..."
That was his reply. I was SO PROUD of him. So damn proud. And when he told me about it, he shrugged his shoulders like the entire incident truly didn't phase him and that would be because... it didn't. He believes what he replied with and he was right.
We all have a little bit of nerd in us.
I love that.
And I am still puzzled how it can be, that people who pursue music get labeled as geeks and nerds. Athletics is cool. Music is not.
There seems to be something so very wrong with that and it bothers me to the core of my soul. Our society is seriously twisted.
It is the first full week of school and I’m in the process of passing 3rd grade for the fourth time.
I’ve already caused a bit of a ruckus in Grammar.
Bones came home from school with homework to determine complete sentences and fragments. I was checking his homework when I came upon a ‘phrase’ that read:
pick the apples
He put fragment next to it.
Now I realize when I blog, I don’t use complete sentences, I will occasionally use run-ons, and my punctuation is shot, but I do actually know how to speak and write correctly. In blogging, to convey a thought, I will write as it would sound, so that the reader can hear it as I would say it.
So I looked and said, “Bones, this is a sentence. It’s a command. The implied subject is YOU.”
He looked it and replied, “No, it’s not. It’s a fragment.”
And now I was thinking to myself, “Holy crap. Is this supposed to be a trick question? How much do they know? This is NOT a fragment…”, but I started to doubt so I said to Bones, “We’ll call Big Daddy.”
TGOO is a grammar FREAK. Just how freaky is TGOO about grammar? So freaky that when my mother found her old love letters that she had written to him, he had corrected the grammar errors in red ink.
I’m sorry, but that’s pretty damn hard core.
So I called TGOO and skipping the formalities of “Hi, Dad, its me, your favorite daughter!” or “Hey, its me, the daughter who loves you most (heh). How are you?” as he picked up the phone I blurted out, “Pick an apple” is that a fragment or complete sentence?”
TGOO: Complete sentence. The implied subject is YOU.
Me: OK. That’s what I thought… it’s Bones’ work…
TGOO: Well, that’s the correct answer, unless of course they’ve changed how they teach grammar since I was in school.
Me: OK thanks. Bye. *click*
Nice military families. Straight to the point.
Both of those are fragments.
Anyway, Bones changed it to complete sentence, corrected the capitalization and punctuation and turned it in.
The next day, he got it back and it had an X next to it. He took it up to his teacher and said, ‘That’s not a fragment! That’s a command. My Mom told me and she EVEN CALLED someone!”
The teacher looked at it and said, “You are right”, marked it correctly and put a smiley next to it for him. But even though she knew it was right, the book is wrong. The teachers’ key to the workbook is incorrect and that is not sitting right with me.
(In her defense, these are new workbooks never used before. This is the first year. This caught both teachers off guard.)
My husband is along the lines of ‘Know your audience’, as in they’re only in 3rd grade, actually doing 2nd grade review homework, it was a bad example, but they don’t understand the ‘implied subject’. And he is right, they haven’t learned that, but the example was terrible.
Meanwhile, the two third grade teachers have been talking to each other, and the other walked up to me this morning and said, “Take out the trash!” I stood there for a second and she said, “Complete or fragment?” and I replied, “Complete! It has an implied subject… YOU. It’s a command!” and she said, “Right!”
And then she added, “I hear you even used your Phone-a-friend lifeline on this one!”
But I am wondering… why am I the only parent who caught that? Or am I the only one who happened to look at the homework like we’re SUPPOSED to, that caught it? I get the teachers. It is a new workbook and I don’t think they’d reviewed it before and if they did, it would have been quick.
But the parents… we have a LONG TIME we can look at this stuff. What is up with that? That’s been what’s been on my mind all day… Hey, I’m not working. I have to think of something…
Gah! It’s not cow’s milk.
I tried silk vanilla soy on a bowl of Special K. I think I’m going to have to try it with some other cereal, maybe a puffed rice cereal or something.
First, it came out light brown. Milk is WHITE. This was NOT. My eyes nearly bugged out and I could feel the bile rising in my throat as light brown liquid poured onto my Special K. Blech. Still makes me cringe in remembering…
Second, there wasn’t a nutty taste and I think that’s because I got the vanilla. It was SWEET! First bite I thought, ‘Holy crap, I hope my pancreas is working!!’ Then I looked at the ingredients and the second ingredient is cane juice… as in… SUGAR cane.
Holy crap. Message to Silk, cut the sugar guys. Really. Are you doing it to hide some hideous flavor?
Third and last… my cereal seemed to get soggier faster. Maybe it was Special K. Maybe it was a bad cereal choice. But I don’t remember my Special K getting so soggy so fast and I can’t eat soggy Special K because when it floats around in the bowl, it looks like old soggy nasty scabs and… wow… that’s just so so so so nasty on so so so so many levels. As soon as they get that ‘I went swimming and look what happened to the scab on my knee’ look, I gotta throw the bowl out.
With all the soy milk too.
By the fourth bite I was trying to minimize milk in the spoon… as if I was trying to eat cereal that had been lightly dipped in something wet.
Something that was not milk. Real milk.
So… believe it or not, I’m not giving up on the soy thing. I’m just going to try it with a different cereal. And if that doesn’t work, I’m going to try regular soy, not vanilla, and if that doesn’t cut it, I’ll try Rice Milk. I’m trying the soy route as I know soy is good for women as they get into the menopausal zone and I should be there in the next few years.
We’ll see. I’m just trying to keep my mind wrapped around that fact I poured brown thick liquid on my cereal this morning. The esthetics just were NOT there. That is a fact.
That one scrambled egg with raisin toast I eat every morning isn't seeming like such a bad thing anymore...
I’m blank today. Nothin’.
Kids are great.
School is going well.
I’m in the process of passing the 3rd grade for the 4th time. I hope I get it right again.
I stayed crazy busy yesterday and today as well. Thank God for the gym. It is going to keep me sane, I can tell. Running off my frustrations is a good thing.
6AM is… just too damn early. By 3PM, I need a 20 minute nap. My butt is dragging.
If people are nice to me, I want to do business with them. I have found that polite service people are hard to come by. Today I went with a garage door company to fix my problem strictly because I heard they were good people. Their price was the same as everyone else, but the please and thank you and small pleasantries on the phone sealed their deal… immediately. Meanwhile, when I called the other company back to cancel, phone answered by Marge Simpson’s sister, I knew I’d made the right choice. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t need the ‘Pretty Woman Ass Kissing Special’, I just want… courteous and nice.
I have become the computer ‘go to girl’ for most of the organizations I’m in. I’m no expert on WORD, EXCEL or Powerpoint, but… I know more than they do, and I’ll figure it out if I don’t know it, so I seem to be the person they rely upon. I think I’m OK with that. I actually enjoy it a bit… I’ve spent two days working on some funky calendar for Cub Scouts.
The school bought me a lap top to keep their books. I have made sure it has no internet access or anything that could be deemed personal upon it. No impropriety if I’m keeping the books. The battery went out after 3 months of use… and it wasn’t even daily use. How odd is that? So our IT person at the school is going to get me a new one, under warranty, but as of now I pretty much have a laptop that I move from room to room by cord… kind of like a portable lightweight desktop.
Bones doesn’t get why the people in New Orleans and Katrina don’t have their act together yet. He heard something on the news the other day and said to me, “Mom, What is up with that? Wasn’t Katrina like two years ago or something?”
I said, ‘Or something.”
I have been told, “NO milk FOR YOU!”, so it has been suggested that I go ahead and switch to soy. It should help with my struggling for my calcium intake. I bought a small carton of vanilla soy, my doctor saying, “Look, I drink it, it’s not bad”, but I keep opening my fridge and staring at it. Yup, its still there. Yup, its still not milk. I just… can’t… bring… myself… to… drink it. Gah!
Well I found out today, I shall remain unemployed for what appears to be an extended period of time. I’m not happy.
I’ve never been home for any great length of time, without kids. I’ve either been a Mom with kids under foot, or I’ve worked in some capacity. My frustration level is about pegged… but I’m trying not to dwell on that.
Key here to anyone who stumbles on this blog… don’t go automotive or aerospace when out of college. And don’t say I didn’t frickin’ warn anyone…
Anyway… dwelling on the positive. I told my husband I will spend the month of September getting my health back in order. Working out an hour to an hour and a half every day, taking a day off every 3rd day or so, to maybe just walk a few miles instead of run, cycle, or lift. I’ll listen to my doctor and not frickin’ fight him so much.
Thursday though, I did get a big two thumbs up and a big grin from him on my overall health. No, we’ve not resolved the one lingering issue, but we’re narrowing things down and he proclaimed to me, “Bou, you really are in GREAT health. Cholesterol 160, BP 94/60, resting pulse 60… all tests came out great, your weight is good. I’m happy.”
Not bad for an almost 42 year old woman.
And if he’s happy, I’m happy. I think he’s more happy that I’m not going toe to toe with him constantly, that I have given in that I should listen, and he’s more happy that he has a better understanding of who I am and how driven I am. I have more tests I have to have run, but I will listen and not work out like I did inadvertently before.
For one, I have no desire to freak him out again. Normal for this one test was a score of about 25-100. Mine came back 8000. When I took it not exercising, I was in the normal range. And two, I have no desire to repeat this test over and over and possibly get more invasive, so I’ll listen to what he says and do it all right.
So I have that. Good health and possibly better health on my side… I wonder if I can get my resting heart rate to 55 and my cholesterol down to 150. Goals… I need goals.
And there are projects around the house that I so DO NOT WANT TO DO. I am not a house person. At all. But, these things must be done, and I might as well bite the frickin’ bullet and do them. Dammit. I’ll just make a list of what to do each day and get through it.
I’m a task oriented person.
I’d so rather be working for pay and psychic income, neither of which I will get from any project around this frickin’ house.
So. One day at a time. It’s all good. I just have to keep goals for myself and check them off my list… one day at a time. Goals. I need goals.
You might need a hearing aid if... you have a cell phone and you have to keep it on speaker next to your ear.
Yes, my father in law came to dinner tonight. Why do you ask?
I’ve lived under a rock pretty much my entire adult life. Since 9/11, as I’ve withdrawn from the American primary social medium, TV, this rock has gotten boulder sized. My kids unintentionally hammer this home. Today’s conversation in the asexual mom-mobile could have been humiliating if my kids weren’t still so OK with the fact that I’m a dork.
That will change. I am sure. Although, Ringo as uptight as he can be with me, still doesn’t shun me, and seems to find this dorkiness of mine somewhat endearing.
That will change. I am sure.
So the following conversation ensued, today, to the best of my recollection. Couple points of reference… first, in the comments here, I admit readily to have never having heard of some kid named Zac Efron. Second, Bones watched Grease on TV the other day and said to me, “Mom, it’s an old fashioned high school musical”. That reference was lost on me… I thought he was making a statement… until today. I just kept answering, “Why yes, it is!”
Mr. T: We played Fame yesterday in class.
Me: What is this Fame game?
Mr. T: Everyone has a famous person pinned to their back and you have to go around the class and ask questions to figure out who you got. I got Bill Clinton.
Me: Ick. Really?
Mr. T: Yeah, Presidents are hard. I don’t know them all.
Me: *blink* Dude, he was JUST president… it wasn’t that far of a mental stretch for you!
Mr. T: I know. But I had a tough time. It took me awhile.
Ringo, glancing up from his book while riding shotgun: Mine was easy when I played in 5th grade. I guessed it immediately.
Me: Who’d you get?
Me: Usher? Who in the hell is Usher? A poet?
(I’m zooming in on Edgar Allen Poe here… I’m truly at a complete loss.)
Ringo, giving me his full attention now and the book is closed (The Golden Compass, btw, for those wondering): No, he’s a singer. He sang that song, you know it went Yeah!
Me, looking incredulously and shaking my head: No. I have NO frickin’ clue what in the hell you’re talking about. And you got this guy? Quickly? Wait. Do y’all know this Zac Efron guy?
Mr. T: Yeah! He sings in that show High School Musical 2!
(Sidenote: I’m assuming there was a High School Musical 1?)
Bones: You remember that show Grease? It is an old fashioned High School Musical!
I’m mentally slapping my forehead now as I completely got his reference from last week… one that was absolutely lost on me before.
Ringo: I so hate that show.
Mr. T: I like it. You hate everything.
Ringo: You always say that. I do not. Mom, they sing about everything in that show. They sing when it’s a sad day. When it’s a sunny day. Oh see that truck, (in lilting girly sing song voice) they’d say, “ooooooooohhhhhh, loooook at that woooonderful truuuuuuck!”
Bones: Shar pei is in that show.
Me: A dog? There is a dog?
Kids in unison: NOooooo. It’s the name of the person in the show.
So now I know. Sharpay, Zac, singing about trucks, Usher isn’t a short story but a singer, and Grease is in fact the original High School Musical. I feel so… enlightened.
And all this information will get me where? No where. Good Grief.
Today while sitting in the back of the asexual Mom-mobile, Mr. T said to me, “Mom, can you play MY music now? Play my favorite song. That one that goes, ‘I once shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die.’”
Me: Folsom Prison Blues?
Mr. T: yeah, I love that song!!
Heh. My boys are becoming HUGE Johnny Cash fans. Warms my heart it does. Gives me hope…
And then about 20 minutes later, the following conversation was overheard, Bones speaking to Mr. T. We’d just come from the pool, but Bones had been sitting out the last 10 minutes as his eyes were starting to hurt. So he sat in the sun, sweating.
Bones to Mr. T: Hey, watch this! I can lick my arm pit. *Big Pause* Oh man. I can’t believe I just did that…
And with that, all hopes were dashed. Gone. Swept away. Holy crap.
I wrote this, this morning.
My house is silent and I don’t have a job. What an odd feeling.
My kids are at school, their first day back, I’ve done two loads of laundry and I don’t have to be anywhere.
Granted, I’ll have a job, more than likely come September, mid month, but… for now, I do not. And even though I didn’t work every day, on the days I had off, I filled them with errands and things to do, trying to get as much done that is required to run this household, as possible.
I walked through the house and the beds were made. The boys made them themselves. Of course it’s the first day of school. By next week, I’ll walk through and the beds will look like beasts wrestled in them as there will be no high energy jumping out of them early with great anticipation. NO… it will be cajoling and dragging… and making the bed will be the last thing on their minds and my nagging about it, will be the last on mine.
Getting them out of bed, dressed, hair brushed, teeth brushed, breakfast eaten, lunches made… getting them into the car in time, will all take precedence over the beds.
The quiet… it is deafening.
I told my husband, that during this month I have off, I’ll go through closets and toys and books, and organize and throw away and give away. I’ll pick something every day to do… things that have needed to be done, but I’ve been putting away for that ‘perfect time’ that appears to be now.
I’m also going to do an hour of cardio a day. If I have to spend this much time alone, I might as well get back into the shape I need to be in for aging. There is no excuse… one hour of walking or riding or swimming… it is a must and can and will be done. I can’t exercise much in the summer with the kids, but now that they are in school, an hour a day will be easy.
We have a routine on the first day of school; I drop off Bones, then Mr. T., and then Ringo.
Bones got a GREAT teacher. She is young and vibrant and loving and wonderful. His girlfriend is in his class. His best buddy is not, but that blow was softened by ‘Valerie’ being in there. Stability for him. He looked a bit nervous when I left and kept kissing me on the cheek, which was his way of saying, “Please kiss me back.” The search for affection and assurance, which I happily granted. Before I left, I listed all the positives in his class, “Bones, Valerie is up front! High five! And Look! Ryan is behind you. High five! Look, ALL the Ryans are in your class. High Five! And your teacher… holy cow, she is THE BEST. She gives good hugs and she is so wonderful. You are going to LOVE her. *I* LOVE her. High Five!” He seemed better when I left.
Mr. T got a teacher I love as well, but the best part is, the two boys and girl he adores most, are both in his class. The four of them are straight A students and are always pushing for top grade. He thinks the world of these kids and their being in his class, had him walking on air. He was so excited. Hell, *I* was excited for him!!! His teacher, who I do like so much, told me she had good feelings about this class. I looked in her class, pulled her aside and I said, “I know these kids. You got a GOOD combination. This is a GREAT class. You have no idea…” She looked happy. She gives good hugs too… which I need to make sure Mr. T knows. He’s a hugger.
And Ringo. I have never cried when I’ve dropped my kids off. Never. Not in Kindergarten, not in pre-school, not ever. And I probably won’t for high school or college. To me, it’s a natural progression and I am growing with them. I’m ready when they’re ready. But today, on the drive home was tough. He’s in 7th grade. You can’t necessarily tell by the pictures, but he is becoming a man. I can see it in his features, how he carries himself, how he talks. His voice is going to change soon, I can tell. Parents didn’t recognize him from the face change this summer… the more narrow face, the muscles in his shoulders starting to take shape, making him broad and lean, the way he walks… more of a swagger. His hair has given him his age… no more, “I play the bass guitar haircut.” Everyone noticed. He wanted me there, because this is our routine, but he didn’t NEED me there. Well, maybe a touch emotionally he did, but just for a second. He didn’t really. He is independent, his own person, finding his own stride. I saw him looking around the class, assessing who was in and who was not. I did the same thing… although we were coming from different angles. He was looking for his buddies. I was counting troublemakers, of which there was only one. He seemed ok with his lot this year. I got good vibes as I slipped out doing my quiet “Goodbye”, not drawing attention to him or the fact his Mom was there. But the drive home was hard…
He doesn’t REALLY need me so much. We are in an in between. It is my goal to make him completely independent and this is the first year I’ve seen it so… forthright. It is a bit tough to swallow. It is going so quickly…
Overall though, I just have a GREAT GREAT feeling about this year. I really do. I see much personal growth, much learning, much progress made in becoming socially independent and productive citizens. I have great hope.
And there are days where that's what keeps me going...
Someone sent me this file today… and its so big, I fortunately found it on Youtube.
Kids make me laugh. Not just my own. All kids. The faces they make, the things they do, their acting grown up in such small bodies, the way they move. Honestly, to me it is humor and love in its most pure form.
I loved this clip. I sat today watching it with my kids in school and could not quit laughing, watching and listening to this little boy. The host is great with this boy. And the boy… what a true gift he has. Absolutely incredible…
I was reading the news on-line today and I found this article on sex and seniors. I was kind of surprised when I read they thought senior was age 57. That made me do a big *blink* as that’s only 15 years away. I figured senior was 70s.
Anyway, why are people surprised or repulsed that seniors have sex? What is up with that? Why would they not?
Why would they not enjoy it as much as some 18 year old kid? I would think they’d enjoy it more… the old ‘practice makes perfect’ adage. I’d think that a couple that had been married for a significant length of time would have one helluva sex life, barring health issues, because both knows what the other actually likes and what buttons to push… or not. Plus, nobody is going to get pregnant!
I don’t get the whole ‘sex must be for the beautiful young people thing’. As we age, sure we appreciate the bodies of someone more youthful, but I think with aging comes an equal appreciation for what we are becoming, growing to be, as well as that of the opposite sex.
My grandmother was widowed very young, early 50s, and never remarried. But my other grandparents, I know they didn’t have sex. Don’t ask me why, I just know, but I always thought it was kind of sad. I will say, right before I got married Granny told me, as I sat next to her on her bed, “Never say No”. I will admit that made me do the big *blink*. But I also know that she said it as a marriage tip, or what she thought was a good one… grandmother to granddaughter. But the point was taken… although not the way she intended. I suspect she was saying, “It’s your womanly/wifely obligation”. The point to me was, “Sex is important in a marriage.”
And it is. Very. It can be in the worst times, the glue that holds it together and in the best times, the icing on the cake.
So why people would be shocked or repulsed that seniors are getting it on is beyond me. Good Grief. I’m all for it! I sure as hell hope I’m healthy enough when I’m a senior… and I don’t mean frickin’ 57. That to me is a GIVEN.
I mean 80s. Hell yeah.
School starts tomorrow. I’ve been dreading it as if you do it right, it is a lot of work. And I’m not an early bird. It’s been so nice sleeping in until 8 every morning.
But I could feel it coming. Last week the Pack Leader meeting for Cub Scouts. Last night the Home and School Board meeting. It was like being in a train tunnel and watching the light in the distance get closer and closer and then “BLAMMO!” its here.
For the past two weeks Bones has been fighting me on the hair cut. His hair had gotten so daggum long. Its been this blonde flat scraggily hair that was way past his collar and eyes. He couldn’t see at all if he didn’t push the hair from his face.
I finally said, “Nothing. Not a word. School rules are school rules. You fight me on it, you whine, you will regret it. Not a word.”
So he’s kept pretty quiet, although I know he’s not been happy.
Today we walked into the barber and Ringo, whose hair is scary crazy long and… bushy… insane hair, said to him, “I want it short.”
I did a *blink*. The barber looked at me and there was silence. He continued, “I want it as short as Mr. T’s is now. No. I want it shorter than that. I want it an inch and half all over, except my neck, I want it tapered…”
And as the barber took the scissors to his hair, it was like he was sheering a frickin’ sheep. It came off in clumps. Balls of hair. We could have stuffed a pillow with it.
And as he cut it Bones said to me, ‘I think I want my hair cut short too…’
Never underestimate the power of the Big Brother.
There was so much hair at the base of the chair, the barber said, ‘I don’t typically get that much hair in an entire DAY, let alone an hour!’
So they all have really short hair now (pictures later this week), hair shorter than I remember them having in way too long, and they all look so cute and smoochy and Ringo… looks so grown up. Taking the hair off… I can see his face now, and he is getting older. He looks like he’ll be a teenager soon… and he will be, in eight more months.
Today was spent getting ready for school. And ending the summer.
VW met the boys and me at the beach this morning. It was rough surf, so the life guard came down to where we were and talked to us about what was going on with the currents and such. (He only had our five boys to watch and we are diligent Moms anyway, so it was a non-event for him, I am sure.)
Anyway, his coming to talk to us, that pretty much made my entire morning. Good grief. He was a hottie.
The boys had a blast and we left about 11:00, where we headed home so my boys could shower and we could run our last minute before school errands.
I spent the greater part of tonight, labeling folders, putting paper in notebooks, helping cover their text books, essentially helping them get organized.
It is odd… but, as much as my eldest gets all ‘12’ on me, there are some things he still enjoys. He still loves sitting next to me and having me help him get his school supplies together. All the boys enjoy that… but I like the fact HE still does. And he still wants me to come up to his class for drop off, but I’m only allowed to say, “Bye.”
Umm… by his imitation that would be a guttural “bye” without moving my lips.
I promised him I’d not kiss him or say, “Bye SWEETIE!” We were laughing about it at the table.
So as much as I’ve been dreading school starting, we are all looking forward to tomorrow…
THIS was sent to me by TGOO today. Honestly, I don't know how the pilot types do it... just watching the video made my inner ear all wonky and made me want to barf.
Rumor has it I may end up working in September, but on an aircraft I've not touched in 17 years. Could be interesting...
We were in the car yesterday and Bones said to me, “Did Dad have a girlfriend when he went to the Gator school?”
My husband has an advanced degree from UF.
Mr. T: Was she good looking?
Me: Yeah, I think so. I hear she was really pretty.
Bones: What was her name?
Me: Betty Sue.
(Names changed here, heh.)
Bones: I have a girlfriend. I miss Valerie. I can’t wait for school to start. But we don’t go on real dates.
Me: *blink* real dates? As opposed to… what?
Bones: What we do on dates. I just hang around her on the playground. We talk and walk around.
Hunh. I never considered that ‘dating’ when I was in 2nd grade.
Me: Ok then, what are ‘real dates’.
Mr. T: Oh that’s easy. When you go and kiss and all that stuff.
Bones: yeah, you drive, maybe see a movie and have dinner and you kiss. That’s a REAL date.
Nice. I wonder if Valerie is going to remember back on her 2nd grade year of school, walking around the playground with Bones, and think of it as ‘dating’. I think not…
I understand that my husband and I are in a nice situation to be able to buy cars. I drive my mini-vans into the ground, this van’s goal is 300K, but then we work on it and buy a new one. (I’m going for one year old next go round, let someone else take the depreciating loss, should I have to buy another asexual mom-mobile.)
I understand that people starting out have a tough time finding something reliable and affordable. My first car was a little Mazda that got 35 mpg. I kept my car payments under $200 a month. Granted that was in 1988, almost 20 years ago. It was nothing special… roll up windows, stick shift, a/c, tape player, cloth seats, four door, no power steering.
I loved that car.
But TGOO was insistent I kept my car payments under $200, so every month, for five years I paid $187.98. I drove it until it died and I reached my sixth month of pregnancy with my 2nd son. I used it as our family car too.
I’ve not priced the smaller vehicles nowadays since I have to fit between five and eight people. (Kids have friends.)
But someone please tell me… are vehicles, both new and reliable used, so expensive that an American must resort to buying a Chinese car?
Let me see… we’ve had a rash of pet deaths due to… bad pet food imports from China.
I think every toy in America, with the exception of frickin’ Barbie, has been recalled due to an array of issues all coming from… China.
I think I’ll pass on putting my family in a car made in… China… and seeing what else they may have inadvertently botched up, thereby eliminating my family from this Earth. Hey, maybe I’m being overly cautious, and two points do not make a trend… but I’d just as soon not take any chances.
It would truly suck if one cranked the motor only to have the car explode because something horrible was done in quality control to every 10th car and nobody ever picked it up.
I’ll pass. Thank.you.very.much.
**update- Roses added toothpaste! yes! That is our trend! And for the title of this post... we lived in Taiwan in the late 70s. We'd buy things from there locally and it was never... quite right. TGOO took to calling it 'the land of ALMOST perfect'. But good Lord, we never bought anything that could have killed us. That we know of. Hunh.**
Well, my birthday is coming up and the boys get excited and want to know what to get me. So I’ve been thinking.
I’m in this ‘trying to convert the black to green thumb’ mode still. With not one plant having died, and having to seemingly convinced the Suicidal Orchid to not, I have decided to go forth and continue more planting. But that means I need a new pot…
… and that brings me to THIS! Yes, I want a Mexican colorful frog pot for my garden. It looks so FESTIVE!! Whoo hoo! Some may be rolling their eyes and saying, “Uh oh. Tacky…", but I say, “FUN!” And I’ve asked the kids to have their Dad get me a ceramic colorful lizard for the garden too. Of couse if birds ever find my garden, all will be covered in bird poop, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.
As for the naming of my nemesis, I am teetering between Target as Grau suggested, because I just think that’s damn funny, and Roman as the Romans were Boudicca’s nemesis. I will probably pass on Denny’s suggestion of naming it ‘Eric’, as funny as it is, as I’m afraid I’ll end up with squirrel sex in my yard. Besides, I don’t want to take the chance of a squirrel coming after me with a shovel… Heh.
Last night when we came home, my son had showered in our shower, leaving the reeking smell of Axe soap for me to sleep with in my bedroom. As good fortune would have it, I did not asphyxiate in my sleep. There was a slight concern my throat might close off rather than breathe those vapors, but evidently that did not happen, as I’m still blogging,
Anyway, after that he said to me, “Mom, your blow dryer isn’t working.”
My blowdryer? The blow dryer I probably use at most once a quarter? He wanted to use it?
So I went in, acting as if this is a non-event, and hit reset and he dried his hair. His hair looked GREAT. It really did. The kid has nice hair, which I hope he is fully appreciating as he won’t have a lick of it in about 30 years.
This morning at 9:30 he came in with swim suit and shirt on, hair all brushed out nicely and ready to go to… a birthday party, a pool/slip ‘n slide party, being held by two girls in his class. All the kids are going. It was to start at 11. He was ready by 9:30.
The kid hasn't really been up before 10 this entire summer.
I told him to hold off and we would go in good time, but I know this has been on his radar for about... oh... three weeks.
On the way to the party I said, “Your hair looks great. Do you want me to get you a blow dryer?”
Me: Hell, you can have mine. I never use it. I can borrow it from you when I need it. I’m a wash ‘n wear kind ‘o gal.
Ringo, smiling: Yeah… you are that.
Me: Well, most women spend more time than I do getting ready. You kind of need to know that. I’m a bit of an anomaly in the ‘women getting ready’, primping, and hair thing.
Ringo, laughing: Mom, I think *I* take more time with my hair than you do.
Me, looking at him: *blink* Um, yes, you do. So does your Dad…
Ringo, looking back at the road, still grinning: Mom… I kind of think most men do…
Great. I guess he’s telling me the pony tail/hair clip deal I have going on is highly overrated. Actually we were both laughing. I am pretty low maintenance. He’s in for a true shock when he finds himself a girl.
We arrived at the party at 11:05, after I explained the rule of ‘never show up early’, only for me to find at least eight of his girl classmates already on the slip ‘n side, all clad in bikinis.
It wasn’t that I wasn’t happy. I was of course. I was happy I didn’t have girls! NOT ONE of those little girls was in a one piece. Not one. That is all I wore when I was 12, hell, if I’m ever caught in a swimsuit NOW, I still don’t wear a bikini, although after having had three children I really really don’t belong in one. I was just never comfortable in the ‘show the flesh’ suits. Or rather any suit where I could potentially lose a bottom or have something pop out of a top. That happened once… but… that’s another story.
I looked at one of the Dads and said, “Oh, well, so much for the cute little Disney princess one piece suits with the tutus that match.” He rolled his eyes as his son ran with my son to catch the girls and said, ‘yeah so much for that…’ when in reality I knew he was thinking, “I have a daughter. She is 5. Oh my God… this is coming soon.”
As I left with the boys, Ringo was grinning ear to ear, but NOTHING like his siblings were when we returned for pick up. Their favorite girl, the one that Ringo is a bit sweet on, is truly the cutest girl and she ran up, clad in her little bikini and sun kissed skin, long wet brown hair hanging loosely, and threw her arms around each of my younger boys, individually and hugged them tightly. Each boy looked up at me and grinned as the side of their faces were squished against… her.
Oh yes. I think they were saying, “Oh I love having an older brother…”
My brother turned 40 today.
I called him at work and said, “Wow, you’re 40…” to which he replied, “Yeah, you did it.” I told him, “Trust me, it is different when your younger sibling turns 40. You’ll see when Morrigan turns 40. Ick.”
I’m still trying to wrap my mind around his being 40. I can’t even imagine the mind game that’s playing on my folks.
Happy Birthday, Bro. You’re the best…
My husband and I had another date tonight. Whew, two weeks in a row! We’re on some kind ‘o roll!!
My father in law and his best buddy watched the kids for us. We walked in the house and some odor hit me. I’ve been a bit nauseous ever since. Of course this has been made worse by my having to go through the house, room to room, in search of the strange foul scent and its beginnings.
As I deliberately, but quietly, went from room to room, I could not place it, but my stomach continued to roll. I said to my husband quietly, “What is the smell? Is it your Dad, is it urine and cologne, is it something else I need to find?”
My husband replied, “I think its the garbage… I need to take it out.”
I don’t know. I think he’s wrong, although I’m not going to open the garbage and find out. I walked into our bathroom to find my eldest had decided to shower in there, so the smell of Axe shampoo has permeated that room and perhaps part of the house.
So who knows… perhaps I was smelling Axe mixed with cologne, urine and garbage.
I need a Tums…
I got email today from Toys ‘R Us that they are having a blow out sale. (Christmas shopping for all you folks with really little people!!)
But I had to ask myself, what is left to sell? Didn’t just about every toy in America just get recalled?
The last week or two I've been scouring for DCI. Championships were last weekend in Pasadena. They showed semi-finals around the US at various theaters that night, which happened to be date night for my husband and me.
I didn't think he'd truly understand my saying, "Uh, babe, instead of the Bourne Identity, how about we head out to Royal Palm Movies and watch the DCI semi-finals."
I was texting a buddy of mine the day before, as I have some old band tapes of ours that I am going to get converted to DVD. It's been on my mind, in particular knowing DCI finals were coming. He sent me a text back saying, 'I'll call you when I get home... I'm in Pasadena" to which I replied, "DCI finals are there this weekend" and to which the response was, 'I know! I'm going to semi-finals!"
And then to find out that Sticks son is in a Division II corps?! I was so stoked for him. What an experience. Kids who go DCI really have their act together. They work incredibly hard and know their instruments.
Blue Devils won this DCI. They are one of my faves. I do love Phantom, but the Blue Devils... they do rock. I've been on youtube tonight looking at the various drum lines.
Here's the Blue Devils from 2001. Their drumline is tight and clean. One drum. One sound. Amazing kids.
And as promised, a picture of that big alligator that was in my neighbor’s backyard. This is the best picture I could get… from so far away.
I will say, he’s not there anymore. I think the wildlife folks came and got him.
My garden… is alive and actually doing very well. I know, this is an ENORMOUS shock to me. Holy crap, what’s it been, two weeks? And nothing has croaked on me yet? As a matter of fact, they seem to be thriving?
Except for one.
I call him my… Suicidal Orchid.
Does he (plants are he to me) not look like he is trying to jump for his life from this pot? So I bought some orchid moss and tomorrow I will try to plant him back in his pot, in hopes he will rethink his suicidal tendencies and stick around.
As for the squirrel, he is still around. I did find a bird feather in my birdbath, so I think I’m getting a bird or two that I’m not even aware of. That makes me happy. But the squirrel… I was thinking about that bugger.
I have one.
I thought, “Wow, he could get whacked by a car and then I have NO squirrels.” Anything can happen. I mean, how long could a squirrel actually live, right?
The life expectancy of the squirrel is how long I have my problem, unless he gets whacked by a car. That’s it.
So I did some research.
Holy crap. Did you know those damn things can live for TEN YEARS?! Good Grief! They live as long as frickin’ DOGS and CATS! Hamsters don’t live that long. NO.
I can’t believe I could end up fighting this sucker into my 50s. He could be a major part of my mid life.
He needs a name…
So this time three years ago, when I’d just been blogging for a few months, Ringo was going into fourth grade.
His hair was cut very short… he wanted to be near bald.
He had only just started playing some game called Age of the Empires and that was on disk. He did NOTHING on-line.
He awoke by 7:30 or 8:00 every morning there was not school.
Girls meant nothing… they were just filler bodies in the classroom.
He ate a normal amount of food… just three square meals and an occasional snack.
His buddies would spend the night and everyone would be in bed by 10, having eaten last at dinner.
He was about to learn how to play the trumpet, and he thought it was cool.
He used whatever soap I had in the shower and whatever scented shampoo his brothers picked out.
His hair is crazy long and he is getting it cut only because the school requires it.
He has an AIM account and IMs girls… sometimes onto their cell.
World of Warcraft is the game to play… on disk and on-line.
The other day he woke up at 11:30.
Girls appear to be more than just taking space now.
He eats pretty constantly.
When his buddies come over to stay the night, they want to stay up all night and they eat until 10PM.
The trumpet is no longer cool and he plays the bass guitar.
And this is the biggest one.
Today in Publix he said to me, “Mom, I’m going to buy my own soap, OK?” and with that he disappeared down the aisle, assuring me he’d find me.
He returned with a black bottle of something called… Axe. And I kid you not as I type what is written on this bottle, that my 12 year old insists he needs to wash with…
“A revitalizing shower gel made especially for guys which combines a seductive fragrance with an intense clean.”
Then it says: Axe shower… How dirty boys get clean.
Further down in a big red box, like a warning box is says:
Experience the Axe Effect
The Axe Effect may result in, but is not limited to, unrelenting female attention and/or late nights.
Below that is a picture that has a 1. and a picture of a shower head and a 2. with a picture of a guy with each arm around a girl, implying? If you use axe two girls will show up in your shower?
Holy crap. Holy crap. Holy crap.
And I went onto their website… Good Grief. I’m thinking I’m not ready for this “mother of a teen boy” thing.
But worse, but definitely laughable, will be Bones. I know Bones is going to come out of the shower one night, his hair all slicked back, strutting in the room, thinking he is cool (because this is how he is, you have to see it to fully understand it), smelling of Axe.
Tiger Woods has a nice bod.
That funky green color shirt he wore today in his tournament is icky.
Today’s run SUCKED. I stopped after 15 minutes. I run for my health and if it sucks that bad, I’ll do something else. I’m not in the military. I don’t HAVE TO run.
I switched to the bike. It sucked too… but I stuck it out for 20 before I decided, “DONE!”
Speaking of military… as decent shape as I am in, I could never have made it through boot camp. It is a character flaw if you will… but I know of what I am capable and of what I am not and boot camp is a ‘what I am not’.
As much as I love John le Carré , I have to switch gears when I read him. His use of language and thought is much more complex than most writers and when I read him I must think and pay attention. I can’t fly through his books. I can read James Patterson or Janet Evanovich in a day. I can read 25 pages of le Carré in the same time frame.
Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Luis Zafon is one of my top six favorite books. I fell in love with the characters, and although it has been 2 months since I finished it, I still miss Fermin.
I think it is hopeless in Afghanistan. It depresses me. Although I consider myself a realist, I hope in this case I am a pessimist. The people there, in my opinion, are doomed. At least in my lifetime.
I think some people need a dictator to function. I thank God it is not this country. I love how we live here… even on our worst days, I think this is the best country to live in. It speaks volumes that we don’t violently fight amongst ourselves as the various groups do in other countries.
I think it is hopeless in Africa too. I try not to think of all the things going on over there.
On some days, I think the world is hopeless and I worry for my children incessantly. On other days… I bury my head in the sand and don’t think about it. I think they probably have good drugs for that nowadays, but I’m Ok with how I handle it… for now.
I’m not looking forward to school starting.
I had one butterfly in my garden yesterday.
I witnessed that damn squirrel drink out of my bird bath… hunched over drinking… it was so odd. He didn’t look squirrel like but like some sort of missing link.
Someone I didn’t know well, but cared for very much died last week. The funeral is tomorrow and I cannot go. I wish I could go… missing that funeral is almost messing me up more than missing my grandmother’s. I love her family and want them to know. I need to write them.
Things change so much as your children grow. My eldest had a buddy sleep over last night. At 10:00 they needed a snack… so they ate a big bowl of cereal before they went to bed. That made me laugh.
My eldest slept until 11:30 the other morning. What in the heck is he going to do in two weeks when he has to get up FIVE HOURS EARLIER?!
It’s hotter in other parts of the country than it is here and I’m sorry for them. Heat sucks.
I have been spending too much time reading about the miners. I do that with mining accidents. I don’t know why, but I completely plug in and sit vigil. This one I had a bad feeling about from the get go. My heart hurts for the families… my husband thinks I should not be so pessimistic. I say nothing.
I am sickeningly worried for our space shuttle astronauts too and am hoping that someone has their proverbial shit together. I've worked in the aerospace business a long time... sometimes it works. I can't think of it not working again...
Oh! One of the reasons I had to quit running! I made spare ribs last night and every time I opened the oven, the smell would come rushing to me, encased in a bubble of heat, melting my mascara, making my eyelashes feel crinkly, and burning my face. The heat/smell evidently stuck in my hair as when I ran this morning, I could smell greasy ribs emanating from my hair. It made me sick. Blech. But they were VERY yummy last night!!
I wonder if now that the Chinese are drinking more dairy and eating more foods with dairy, if their breast cancer statistics will increase.
I still have a Meme to do for The Ocean Guy on 8 random facts about me. I’m not sure there are any facts y’all don’t already know. So I’m still thinking…
Bones told me he wants me to get him into acting. Hmmm.
Last entry... I'm glad I write in WORD first. I too frequently accidentally close the blogging window before I hit save. I hate it when that happens...
Last night I was writing a post when Bones came in and said, ‘Mom, I’m helping put laundry away. These are yours”, and he placed two pairs of jeans on the bed.
Later that night, as my husband was getting ready for bed he said to me, “What are the boys’ jeans doing on our bed?”
I replied, “Boys’ jeans? Bones said they were mine.”
He picked them up and sure enough, they were small boys jeans. For sure.
This morning Bones came into our bedroom and my husband said, “Bones, what’s up with putting your jeans in our room?”
Bones: Those aren’t MINE! Those are MOM’S!!
Husband: Bones. Look at these. Look how small they are. These are yours. I know your Mom is really really flattered that you think her butt and her waist are that small, but trust me, these are NOT hers.
(Now at this point, I am laughing, but inside me, the woman inside me thinks I probably should have hurled a shoe at him or something…)
To prove my husband’s point, I flipped over the tag inside the biggest pair and said, “Dude, reading is a life skill. These are a size 8R. These are boy jeans. I promise you I do not wear a size 8R in boys jeans.”
He realized they were Mr. T’s jeans and that the others, the size 6S, were in fact his.
I have to tell you though, at first blush, waist and butt aside, I am amazed at how much my boys are growing. The length of Mr. T’s jeans were only off by about 6 inches. They could have passed for crop.
Other than the waist and butt…
Good grief. Sometimes there are things that occur in the comments of posts, that get me to laughing.
Yesterday, the Straight White Guy had a post on Sponge Bob and the fact that the space shuttle is being piloted by a UT grad. I know, an unlikely combo, but Eric seems to be able to always fit these things together as if they belong…. In some wonky but interesting jigsaw puzzle.
So the comments occur and I’m LMAO off at Erica (who if you’ve not read her blog, is a real trip and a pleasure), and Elisson (who is amazingly creative), commenting about Patrick Starfish. The two of them bring out the most laughter in me at times, and this for me was no exception.
And it just reminded me of something so completely, I don’t know the words… aghasting? Not a word. Stunning? Perhaps. But not quite. Astonishing sounds... too positive.
I’ve been doing a lot of work with my Webelo’s den, trying to help them get the Arrow of Light badge. I had the three boys in the car and they were talking amongst themselves. Something came up about food. One of them eats very poorly… a lot of sugar.
So something came up about this and Mr. T said (keep in mind, this is three ten year old boys, who obviously will talk about anything in front of me), “You have to eat vegetables.”
Bob the Webelo: Yeah, you do. Otherwise you get spikey poop. Isn’t that what you called it Mr. T?
Mr. T: Yup. Spikey poop. You have to eat vegetables.
Good grief. I hear about Spikey Poop. Trust me. I live in this family. But I am wondering what in the HELL has been said in the past, what conversation that I missed, that his two other Webelo buddies are versed in the ways of ‘spikey poop’. How did that come up?
And that is what popped into my head when I read the comments about Patrick Starfish. Spikey Poop. Great.
Sissy, who is no longer blogging, sent me a link to the funniest video. I in turn found it on Youtube, so I could blog it. (It's at the bottom of this post.)
Helen is due within the next 10 weeks to have her twins, the Lemonheads. I thought of her when I saw this video.
You may be asking, “Why? She doesn’t even have those babies yet! They’re still just two buns in the oven!”
Why? Well… because… when you are pregnant with your first it is fraught with worry. Worry about the pregnancy (which she has twice as bad as I did as she’s got the twinny thing goin’ on), worry about how to care for a baby, worry about what to expect in the delivery, worry about the general health of the baby, worry about what it is going to be like to not sleep, etc., etc., etc.
They are all common worries and I’ve only touched on just a few, trust me. Pregnant Moms can come up with some weird freaky crap to worry about when it is 2AM and you’re alone with your thoughts. Good Grief. Pregnancy can take paranoia and worry to a WHOLE NEW level, folks. Trust me.
But the general populace doesn’t help either. Oh no. They love to say wicked things, they think are funny, but to a soon to be first time Mom? No. They are not funny. At all.
The laughing over the fact you’ll not sleep again. That’s a pretty scary thing to think about when you’ve not experienced it before. I don't get why people would laugh at someone else's potential discomfort. I don't get it.
Or when they say things about how you look like, “Look at you! You are HUGE!”
There is nothing that can be converted into something nice, warm, and fuzzy with that statement. People who say that to pregnant woman should be… well… they should be shot.
The one that used to piss me off the most, was in the last 8 weeks when someone would say to me, “That baby is getting HUGE in there! Look how big you are!”
I wanted to scream at them, “You’re an ASSHOLE!” Perhaps I should have yelled, “YOU NEED TO BE SHOT!”
Because listen, there is only one way to get out of pregnancy, and that is childbirth and everyone knows that even the perfect childbirth involves a lot of pain.
The thought of having a really really big baby, when one knows they are planning to NOT have a C-section, is pretty damn scary. I am 5’2” and before my first baby, I weighed 115 lbs. The thought of having a HUGE baby scared the ever living crap out of me. There’s only one way out of there folks, short of surgery, and having gargantuan bubble head baby, is a horrible scary frickin’ thought.
And for the record, he was huge, it was a normal childbirth, and he had such a big head that when it emerged the doctor said to the nurse, “Wow. Big head.”
Eh, come the next pregnancy it was a ‘been there done that’ and a non event to think I was having a big baby.
But that first pregnancy? I frickin’ lost sleep over that!
Anyway, people say mean things. Whether they mean to or not, is irrelevant, the fact remains, people do not think before they speak, or they’re just jerkfaces.
This is why I thought of Helen. I know people are saying things that must have her worried. They have to be because… that is the nature of pregnancy.
I know there is the fear of sleepless nights and pacing floors with crying babies and on and on and on…but for every day where you feel like you cannot take anymore… there is an instant where something so wonderful warms your heart you think, ‘OH my God. I am so in love with my life and my baby!’ and it makes all the other stuff disappear.
*Poof!* It is gone. And it is all worth it. Life is good and bad… and with babies, barring illness… the good outweighs the bad.
And I saw this video and I thought of this… I remember my babies getting like this baby in the video and I remember my husband and I looking at each other thinking, “This is the most marvelous thing we have ever done… creating this life.”
And to Helen I would say… 10 seconds of laughing baby will wash away hours of just about anything else. It is the most wonderous sound… and you cannot help but laugh with it.
OK, Morrigan and I were speaking today and I told her this was on my list of things to post. Good Grief, I hope it comes out as funny as it did when it happened.
So every now and then TN gets on this roll where he just peppers us with youtube videos he finds. There appears to be no great rhyme or reason, to me anyway, as to how he selects his topics. Not being a mind reader, I have no clue what is going on in his creative head.
Some days its Jimmy Kimmel. Some days its blasts from our television pasts. Some days… Good Grief, its just weird crap. He keeps us on our toes.
And so the other day he sent us this link to this little boy who was an amazing drum soloist at the age of 7.
And we were emailing back and forth, about how great this little boy was and then someone wondered what he had done later in life and the conversation continued, via email between Hubba, TGOO, TN and me.
A few hours pass and I received the following email from Mo:
Bou- Just think at the same age, your kids were peeing on each other while this guy was writing drum solos.
Nice, huh? Really really nice…
We got a bird today!!! Yahooo!!!
I have no clue what it was. A medium sized one with grayish brown feathers, a smooth head and a red cap.
And now I can’t get enough. I’m hoping he went to tell his little bird buddies!!
He needs to come back! I know which direction he flew when he took flight… I’m afraid I’m going to become a… bird stalker. Gah!
So my husband and I went to see the Bourne Ultimatum. It is nothing like I remembered it. I read the trilogy… and I just didn’t remember Jason being so… Matrixy Karatey Supermanny.
But hey, I could be mistaken. I remember him being pretty physical and capable. I do remember that…
Good movie, by the way. We enjoyed it. Of course we probably enjoyed it more as the kids are not home tonight. Son#4’s Mom and Dad offered to keep the boys for the night. Of course I’m worried they have worn out their welcome already. I always worry about that. With them gone, that gave us an opportunity to do dinner and a movie. We think it has been almost a year since the last time we went out on a date. We are pathetic.
Anyway, this brings me to Matt Damon. Of course. Morrigan and I were speaking of him too. He is definite eye candy. I like to watch him on the big screen. I’m never going to say, “NO! NOT MATT DAMON! Gah!”
But… he is such a guarded actor. In all his roles, it’s like he gives, but not everything. It sounds odd, I am sure, but I’d love to see this guy have to play a Casanova or play a man completely hopelessly in love. Something that requires enormous emotion.
I want to see a part where he must emote.
Have I missed it?
And it makes Morrigan and I wonder what he is going to be like in 20 years as an actor. I suspect… he might emote more. It will be interesting.
And so the battle of the bird feeder continues.
No butterflies in the garden.
My husband passed the window the other morning on the way to work and said, “Hey, your buddy the squirrel is out there…”
This morning said buddy was attached to it, eating as if it were his personal all you can eat buffet.
And seeing that we don’t have one damn bird, it kind of… is.
I was watching him eat today thinking, “I should grease the roof of that feeder and see if he just slides right off.” The feeder is on a shepherd’s hook. I need to watch how that piece of crap rodent gets on there.
Then I thought, “Aha! I will tar the top of that thing! I’ll put tar on the top of the birdfeeder and then when he jumps on it, he’ll stick. My own little tar baby scenario going on here.” But then I thought, “Well then… what in the hell do I do with a birdfeeder with a squirrel tarred to the top of it?”
As of now, I’m letting him dine. It will need fresh seed and I’d rather him pork out than have to throw away the bird feed. Maybe he’ll die of obesity. Maybe he’ll just gorge himself so full of seed he’ll die some squirrel health related death.
Just as long as he doesn’t have any squirrel buddies. One I can deal with. Anymore and I’ll have to post a squirrel head on a pike to let the others know… “Stay away from this feeder!”
I was running errands today without the kids. They asked to attend a couple hour art class and I figured, “Hey, break for me!” and had them go.
So as I did my thing, I walked up to my asexual mom-mobile and it hit me.
As it so often does as I get to my vehicle.
I cannot park worth a crap.
I just so suck at it. And I don’t know what it is and why it is. TGOO has said I’ve always sucked at it. Its not getting any better and I’ve been driving for over 24 years.
First let me state, I fully believe, that when a parking spot is mine, I can park any damn way I want, as long as I just stay in my two lines. It is MY space to do as I please, so if I want to park cockeyed? Too bad. If I’m not infringing on your spot, it’s not your business.
But there is that small thing called… Ego.
It is still embarrassing to see how my vehicle is parked as opposed to others. I’ll walk into a parking lot and most of the vehicles are parked perfectly straight, the same amount of space on each side to their allotted white line.
You look at mine and I’m at a slant. Or cant. Or something. Not straight.
I must be missing some visual cue that others are catching. I must be.
Even these Moms who drive these big assed Hummers get their vehicles between the two lines STRAIGHT. Me? I could never own one of those, and not just because they get 5 mpg and I’d be afraid I’d end up in environmental hell with the likes of scum like Michael Moore who will be there just because he’s such a frickin’ scum, but I could not own one for fear I’d crush some little Previa while trying to park my Hummer.
I’ve never hit anything while parking. NEVER. But there are times where it can take me two or three times for me to get my car into what I think is an acceptable position which is akin to my saying, “When I walk to the car, I won’t be embarrassed that I parked it.”
I’ll park, look out the door, back up, move the wheels, park again. I’ve been known to look over my shoulder on the way to the store and think, “Egad! I cannot leave it like that!” and run over and repark.
I have parked, realize I’m cockeyed, start to pull out to repark, only to hear my 12 year old say, “Moms not straight. Give her a minute… or two.” Looking in the rearview mirror, I can see his brothers looking at him knowingly, a silent understanding that Mom isn’t probably going to get this quite right… this parking thing… again.
I like to blame it on the fact I am too short for my vehicle. I can’t see the whole front when I park, but I know that’s not what it is. I just suck. I am wondering that after I am gainfully employed again if I should go to one of those Driver teaching schools, and say, “hey, can you teach me to park?”
Honestly, if TGOO couldn’t do it 24 years ago when I had no bad habits, I suspect nobody can. Hopeless cause. I feel certain.
Good thing I didn’t follow in Dear old Dad’s footsteps and become a pilot? Can you frickin’ imagine?
We all have our little idiosyncrasies about our fears and our kids.
One of my dearest friend’s biggest fear is falling off a bridge or her car plunging into water with her kids. I mean it is a fear that has taken on a life of its own. She laughs about it when we talk about it. But we live in Florida. There are canals, waterways, and bridges all over.
She has a little popper thing to pop out her window. She has this cutter that will cut through seat belts.
Her mini-van is equipped with water proof flashlights.
She has gone through little mini drills with her kids. (She has three.)
She even has a little emergency 'pull a cord and air fills a little yellow raft/boat' in the back of her van… if she were to be able to get to it, she figures they can float it in. She has all sorts of floaty stuff so the kids have something to hang on to.
She has this entire plan in her head.
I’m not kidding. When she confessed all this to me she shook her head and said, “I know. It’s insane.”
For some reason it doesn’t seem so insane anymore…
Today we went back to school supply shopping. The kids LOVE it. I have grown to loathe it.
In the beginning, I was excited as they were. Mmmm… well… maybe until about three years ago. I’m an office supply addict; I love them. I refrain. So shopping for back to school supplies tapped into my inner office supply junkiness.
At the beginning of the year it’s the smell of brand new crayons, all straight and unbroken, smelling of fresh crayon wax, and all pointy. Pencils are long and straight and sharpened to a point. Pens all have caps and will write readily. Folders are crisp and clean.
But it is the end of the year I have come to dread that leads to this perpetual spending of money on things that don't last.
At the end of the year, crayons are broken and dirty and chunked up. It’s as if someone threw up crayon in my kids’ pencil pouch. Pencils are chewed on, ground to stubs or halfway, and are missing their erasers. Pens don’t work or blob ink and half the caps are missing. Folders are torn and dirty…if they even made it to the end of the year.
The folders I throw directly into the recycle bin. But the crayons, pens, and pencils? Gah! Most of the crayons get either thrown away or into this big plastic bin we have that, no kidding, must have 11 years of crayon puke. From when my eldest was in pre-school at the ripe age of two, when the crayons were those mongo sized, super chubby crayons, to just last year when they were the normal crayola kid sized, pack of 8 or 16, depending on how delusional I was with office supply delirium when I was purchasing.
Let me tell you… that is a lot of crayon bits. A LOT. I think I’m waiting for someone to tell me they need 50 pounds of old crayons to make candles for the poor and destitute. The thought of throwing them all into the landfill slightly sickens me. How many crayons make it to our landfill every year? Good grief.
The pens get thrown away, mostly.
The pencils? They get thrown in a basket in our kitchen. This year I said, “OK, I’m done. We are NOT purchasing ONE PENCIL this year. I will sharpen every stinkin’ one of these pencils, purchase those little eraser topper thingies and you all WILL use these pencils. The goal is for me to have NOT ONE PENCIL in this house when you all leave for college? GOT IT?!”
I know. Freaky. But it is my mission. I need to find a home for these lost broken crayons and my kids are going to use every last flipping pencil in this house before I buy another.
I told my husband at dinner, “With the tax free week, and the 15% off I got at Office Max by shoving the bag full of supplies…”
Boys: Dad! You should have seen how much stuff Mom shoved in those bags! Holy crap!
Me: … the bill still came to $120. I think I saved us $5 by not buying pencils.
Tomorrow is uniform shopping. Ka---- CHING! Ugh.
Thank God for hand me downs...
Nearly every Sunday we get together for family dinner. We either drive down to my brother in law's home or he and his family drive to our home. My father in law always comes as well.
When I set the table at my home, I have Pop sit at my husband's right hand, with his best friend on the other side. I sit my brother in law across from Pop and his wife next to him.
To sit next to Pop at a meal, is to want to hurl. He chews and chomps with his mouth open, food goes flying, its just absolutely disgusting. He has always been bad, he has the poorest table manners of anyone I have EVER witnessed, but now it is worse.
Just absolutely repulsive. Just thinking of the stories I could blog give me a combination of wanting to laugh or vomit. Ick.
Anyway, I always make sure the sons sit next to their Dad or around him, and I try hard to shelter everyone else. To sit across from him is doable. To sit next to him is just... yuck.
Last time we went down to dinner at my brother in law's, there was a table arrangement issue. My father in law, always the malcontent, did not like the end of the table he was supposed to sit at and wanted to change. And so they moved him to the end where I sit, and I ended up sitting next to him during the entire meal, trying not to hurl during dinner.
A quick side note, my brother in law cooked steak and I take mine rare/medium rare and everyone else takes theirs medium to well. Mine is the last on the grill and the first off, so he usually forks mine and puts it on my plate so nobody else accidentally cuts into it, pouring blood all over their plate.
To my horror this evening, the forked steak was sitting next to Pop again. All I kept thinking was 'Dear God NO.' I was about to signal my husband to come into the other room and tell him that he'd have to switch with me when my sister in law walked into the eating room and said, 'No, Bou doesn't sit there... move her down two seats' and promptly moved my plate.
She earned some SERIOUS points with me today. SERIOUS. All families have some strife. It happens, but I'm telling you now, I owe her big. That one action is something I shall remember. Yes.
I have this ‘If you build it they will come’ mentality. Put in the pretty flowers, the plants, pretty pots, the bird feeder, make it look inviting and like a slice of bird heaven and the birds and butterflies will surely come, flocking to our little alcove.
To date. Not one bird. Then again, we just put in the ‘pot garden’ yesterday.
We were webcamming with my folks yesterday when they asked what kind of plants we planted.
My answer was along the lines of, “Umm. Well, they have green leaves. And flowers! All different colors. You’ve seen some of them before. I think. Oh I know you have….”
I think I prefer not to get to know the names of the things I am about to slaughter. It makes me not feel so bad to not be too connected to my next victims.
Hey, but the pots are really really pretty.
Yesterday when my middle son and I were unloading the asexual Mom-mobile, carting plants and pots to the new plant cemetary, I noticed that there was a spill of birdseed under the bird feeder. I was so excited.
Me: Did you see this? Have we gotten a bird and didn’t know it?!
Mr. T: No, Mom. I think it’s the wind. We had the big storm. I think that’s what did it.
But it seemed odd. I believed him, after all it was the only rational explanation, but to get a spill like that appeared to me that there would have had to have been some sort of ‘action’ on the feeder. The only way to get feed to spill is to take feed from the bottom. Pull the bottom potato out of the bin at the grocery store and they all come tumbling down. Like that.
So I chalked it up to ‘wind’.
This morning I woke up, so excited in hope that my victims survived the night. Hey, it’s a touch and go proposition here with me and plants. I wouldn’t be surprised if they just flat out spontaneously combust in my care. It could happen!
And I was equally excited to see if just ONE butterfly or ONE bird had found our little ‘winged’ paradise. We have built it. Will they come?
And what did I frickin’ see? Was it a bird? A butterfly?
A FRICKIN’ SQUIRREL!
I didn’t even know we had any in our yard. I have lived here for 11 years as of 17 August, and never once have I seen a squirrel. Bunny? Yes. Rat? Yes. Squirrel? No.
But NOW, I have one squirrel who has found our feeder.
I need to devise some way to electrocute it without bothering the winged creatures… of which we have not one yet. Dammit.
It's been a long hot day.
We planted our 'pot garden', all legal, thank.you.very.much. I think I like having the plants all in pots so I can move them around.
Not enough sun? No problem. Move the pot.
Too close to roof water fall out? No problem. Move the pot.
Hate the plant? Pull it out and throw the sucker away. Save the pot.
I was in Lowe's waiting to check out when Morrigan called.
Mo: Hey, whatcha doin'?
Me: I'm in Lowe's buying plants. I hadn't killed anything in awhile. It's time for another killing spree.
This time I was accopanied by Mr. T and Bones as I bought pots and cheap plants, going from Target, to Lowes, to Home Depot. (Ringo was with his buddies. We have hit that hang with the friends all the time phase.) I bought PRETTY pots and cheap plants because....
... I will only have pots left! The plants will be DEAD! I figure when the plants are done, I'll still have pretty pots in the garden area. And then next time I feel the urge to commit Herbicide, I can just throw new cheap plants in the pretty pots I have.
The Pots of DOOM.
Anyway, it does look nice, so far. When we get it all nice-uh-nice-uh, I'll take a picture.
But for now, I'm frickin' beat. It's hotter than three hells here in S. Florida (at 9:30, it's still 85 degrees, blech) and the whole planting thing, while the kids and I had fun, kind of drained me.
I'm tired enough that when Bones came in after his shower, stark naked, shaking his hair at me and singing "Soul Man", I didn't have the energy to laugh, even though it was there, in the base of my throat. "Soul Man", sung by the whitest white boy of white town.
So I'm off to soak my bones in a hot bath, something I do once a year, but always tell myself I should do more often... it truly helps all the aches... and to finish the book I am reading now, The Bookseller of Kabul.
I think I'm done with reading books that take place in Afghanistan. As a human, they are terribly depressing... all the hopes perpetually dashed and all the turmoil. As a woman, its ... beyond depressing.
I look forward to all those women being able to hold a Burka Burning one day. But I suspect it will not be in my lifetime...
TGOO got his cast off today and the stitches removed as well, 10 days post-op.
I call this picture… Frankenhand.
He was glad to get the cast off as it was this big clubby thing on his hand that he said weighed about 2 lbs. He said if he hit himself in the head with it while sleeping, he’d probably knock himself out. Sleeping was evidently an issue. If he draped his hand down from the bed, over time he said it felt like his joints were being separated with the gravitational pull on that 2 lb club. So for anything he is happy about sleep issues potentially having resolved themselves.
He has good mobility (we Skyped and I could tell he is moving it well) and I think a good portion has to do with the fact no tendons or muscles were really cut upon… it is strictly connective tissue. So while sore, he’s got pretty good mobility.
I suspect he’ll be playing the pipes in the next 6 weeks. Maybe sooner…
VW posted on her son’s reverse birthmark, as she calls it. A lack of pigmentation as Mrs. Who added in her comments. (Her dermatologist’s remark made me laugh. It just made me think of some sort of baking indicator.)
Anyway, many people chimed in and said, “I have one of those!” and this made me think about Mr. T.
Those lines in the middle of your hand. Take a look at your palm. My left palm has three separate lines. My right palm has three as well, but two of them meet between my index finger and thumb.
Mr. T has ONE. It runs right in the middle of his hand and looks like someone folded his hand in half.
Does anyone else have this? I was told 5% of the population has a palm like this… but we’ve not met another person.
My eldest son had a pediatrician’s appointment today. When entering the 7th grade, a tetanus booster is required. During the drive to the appointment, we were unsure how many inoculations were required. We thought perhaps two or three.
During the drive, I made sure the other two boys knew they would NOT be in the room. I wasn’t sure how my eldest was going to react.
But the boy scarred me for life during his 5 year old shots, when upon receiving his first shot, he screamed, “YOU HIT MY BONE!” and leapt off the table making way for the door, hoping for escape before the next two shots.
Which truly boggles the mind as… how was he going to get home? Did he really think that all the big people in the office were going to let him run away? Did he really think he could outrun ME?!
Obviously there was not a whole lot of forethought. It was fight or flight and he chose flight. Perhaps I should be thankful.
Anyway, that paved the way for my being nervous at these exams, from thereon out. The unpredictability… I find it unnerving.
So I informed the younger two that when it came time, they would step out of the room, it was not a spectator sport.
And then I heard Bones say, “Mooom. I don’t waaaant the shoooots to hurt…”
And I thought to myself, “Empathy! He has empathy for his brother…”
Only to hear him finish the sentence with, “When it’s MY turn…”
It was asked if I would take a picture if he cried. That may have been a new low.
We had the full exam, and he’s checked out clear although there is still considerable concern about growth. Next year if we’re in the same spot, we’ll be seeing an endocrinologist. But it came time for shots and the doctor gave us some options… tetanus was the only one required. Chicken Pox booster may soon be required… but not yet, so he could have it now if he wanted… just to get it out of the way. He opted for the one shot only.
It was so funny… he had the shot and said, “Wait. That’s it?”
I have no clue what in the hell he expected. His memories of when he was 5… did he really think it was going to feel like they were going to lop off an arm? Good grief.
And on another note, VW and I take our boys to the same pede. We were talking the other day after she had to run one of her boys over again as he’d banged a tooth through a lip or something bloody but common, and I said, “I wonder if they see more boys than girls.”
Heh. So today I asked him. He started to laugh as I recounted VW having come in and our discussion and he said, “Well, there is no scientific evidence. I will tell you the worst trauma I’ve seen in here was a girl. That was bad. Wow. But… yeah, I see A LOT more boys than girls. Its boys. I know it.”
The answer was obvious of course… but I HAD to ask!
Want to know what makes a 12 year old boy laugh? This youtube video he had me watch today. And I laughed at part of it and he said to me, with an exasperated voice, "Fiiiiinally I found something I think is funny that you laughed at too."
Little does he know, I laugh... just not WITH him. Heh. Its usually AT him!
Said to me tonight as I was kissing Mr. T, goodnight: Mom, did you know that even if a hammerhead shark cannot see you, hear you, taste you, smell you or feel you, he will know you are there?
Me: Umm… no. Good night, and why would this be?
Mr. T: He has a 6th sense. He can sense electricity.
It is evidently Shark Week. I am gleaning these great little facts and thoughts about sharks throughout my day and have been for the last few.
Why just a couple days ago he declared, "MOM. It would so suck to have been in the worst shark attack ever in history..."
OH yes. It would have. I'm glad he's realized that. Evidently I am not raising dummies...
Mr. T has been itching to plant things. He consistently does or says things that have me shaking my head as… there is no reason for him to be aware, but the things he says are so much like TGOO. TGOO doesn’t live here. It must be genetic… we’re not around him enough for it to be environmental.
The other day we were in Home Depot and he said, “Mom, mom, mom, LOOK at all these seeds! I LOVE to make things grow.” We stood amidst seeds for carrots, cucumbers, and assorted plant life… some edible and some not.
Growing up, Hubba used to call TGOO “the frustrated farmer”. He’s rent a tiller and go out after work and till his plot of land, planting anything from potatoes to carrots. I learned that… if you plant potatoes, you will always have potatoes… for years to come… no matter what you do. And that the carrots you get in the grocery store are picked because they are all a certain length and shape. They don’t necessarily grow that way. We had some come out as tripods. Very odd.
Anyway, this growing things gene is obviously something Mr. T got from his grandfather. I am incapable of growing anything but children. I suspect they are alive as they make noise when they are hungry. Plants are quiet. Hence forgotten. And then they die.
But I have had this urge to get a bird feeder outside. We have a little alcove, cozy and shady and the kids bought me a bird bath a few years back for Mother’s Day. So the bird bath sits, with my decorative garden stake that I just purchased… and my shepherd’s hook with our new bird feeder… I want to look out the window and see birds.
In my home? NO. I can’t stand birds. They kind of freak me out. They’re dirty and poop all over and… I’m not a bird person. But outside? I LOVE to watch them. I love it. Outside.
But birds have not figured out there is a feeder and for four days, not a seed has been eaten, not a bird has flown by, nothing. Mr. T is getting a bit bummed that our little attempt at bird heaven is not full of birds. Or even has one for that matter.
So tomorrow we head out to various stores and we will buy pots and flowers and plants. He and I are going to start a little pot garden. I’m not putting anything in the ground. I don’t weed. Hell… I don’t grow plants.
We’re seeing if we can attract some birds… and Mr. T gets to grow things. If it looks all nice and tranquil… I will post pix. I suspect in a couple weeks it will look like a plant graveyard... but hey, I am full of hope.