Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Baked or Fried?

I was at a visitation last night for the boy half of our BFF's mother. I took the Wild Ones because they wanted to give Auntie and Uncle BFF a hug. Well, they found the cousins and the family room...and the candy and the chips (can't blame them since we didn't end up having dinner until 8:45). So as we were getting ready to leave I made a comment about the chips to the BFF's and my crazy sister and her husband...I was a tiny bit embarrassed that my kids had dug into the family supplies...although it did keep the BFF's daughter happy. I know...get to the point. The boy BFF starts telling us that he can't believe how greasy his hands are from eating these chips, that he is used to eating baked Lays at work. And in a really loud voice (in the middle of the room where the visitation for his Baptist mother is being held) he says, "I haven't had a regular lay in a long time." Everyone's eyes got big and I did one of those eye watering silent laughs along with the BFF and my sister all while the boy BFF tried to back peddle and then gave up and tried to blame all of us for having dirty minds. Whatever!! It was exactly what I needed after 8 days of vomiting kids, 6 days at home alone with the Wild Ones (and all their assorted friends) and a phone call from the Big Guy telling me that he was stranded in Aspen due to a cancelled flight (poor guy). 

Monday, January 26, 2009

Benefit Schmenefit.

Whose benefits when the school district plans their calander to include as many 3 and 4 day weekends as possible? Not the teachers, cuz they still have to work many of those Fridays and Mondays...not the working parents cuz they have to find child care for those extra days...not the teachers (again) cuz they have to squeeze the same amount of work into less days AND regroup the kids after each extended weekend. I guess it works for the kids...more days to stay up late, sleep in and put off their homework. I know many families who take advantage of mini vacations and short lines at kid friendly attractions (our district has more days off than any other I know), but what I love most is a house full of laughter and smiles. Last night I tucked in Wild Ones and friends on the futon, the floor and the couches and awoke to giggles and calls for pancakes. The phone calls started early and the number of kids has doubled. There is sledding, fort building (inside and out), games and fresh cookies from the oven. Much better than the museum and besides I don't have a car big enough to haul them anywhere!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

No Pictures Today.

It's like the unwanted guest that won't ever leave. Just when you think it's over...here it comes again. I'm talking about a virus, a nasty virus that takes you down hard...in the middle of the night no less. The Wee Wild One is down and out and I the ever encouraging, loving mother kept promising him that he would be better by bed time...yesterday...after all, the worst of it only kept the giant Wild One down for about 15 hours. Not so with Wee...after 18 hours of misery he passed out at 9:30 (in my bed so I could keep an eye on him and hopefully catch a few winks myself) and I thought we were home safe. You know what they say about assuming. Let's just say we got so good at the bucket grab, the mouth swish, the face wash and the bucket scrub that by 4:30...yes am...we were doing it without even turning the lights on. Hey if you have to do something you might as well do it right.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I knew I had Rocker in me.

Some one has to teach me...and it won't be the Big Guy...he lives for my wild side. Things to include in your speech to "Me": school nights are not meant for concerts, rock concerts will make your ears ring for days, unplanned bar hopping by limo with 7 men after said concert could be...should be...scary and late night stops for food can leave stains on your clothes (and are tough to find on a Monday night). While you're at it, remind "Me" to drink more water, only sing when you actually know the words and dance like other Orono moms can see you (cuz there were a few within our 40 year old limited vision). Take your time gathering your thoughts and writing the info you want to teach...I mean share. I'll just be in line...waiting for more tickets.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama Mama.

I feel energized today (well, mentally at least...physically I am a little slow after the AC/DC concert last night). Do you have to be old, be a parent or just a concerned citizen to be totally psyched by the inauguration of a new President (an African American no less)? I waffle between shrieks of glee and tears of hope. 

My claim to fame is not poetry (actually not really sure I have one at all), but since each new president chooses a poet to read an original work created for him (someday I will look back and insert a "her" here) I thought I'd have a little fun and create something myself. I will steal the type of poem (see a real poet would know the correct name) from the Wild Ones. Here goes:


H is for (what else) hope. I hope that the world is reenergized, encouraged and enlightened by our new leader. If we don't hope it, we can't make it happen and we cannot live it. Hope that our children will live each day better than the last. Hope that we show them by example. Hope that we come together and build a better, brighter future.

O is for opportunities. Opportunities for a black man to rule our country. Opportunities for our daughters to to walk paths that we could not walk. Opportunities for our children to learn from our and their mistakes, to create things that we don't know yet exist. Opportunities of peace.

P is for power. Power to make dreams come true. Power to fight for what is right. Power to make ourselves happy. Power to make a difference. Power to be our best. Power to forgive.

E is for empathy. Empathy not just in understanding other's situations, but enough empathy to do something about it. Empathy to learn about others and to use that knowledge to change and to educate. Empathy to see through another's eyes, to hold someone's hand...to truly care for all humans. 

I H.O.P.E. that we all will make a difference.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Go Ahead...Make a Difference Today.

"An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity." MLK Jr.

Big "Happy Birthday" to Martin Luther King, Jr. A bit belated according to the Wee Wild One who wanted to go to school today...he didn't understand why he shouldn't go since they celebrated on Thursday...you know...MLK's actual birthday. I am so with him...celebrate at school and don't skip a day...I hope I don't have to make a cake. I am not a baker, perhaps I could make a nice chili or pasta dish. 

OK that is not the point...I know. I will spend time today (as I do on many other occasions) with the Wild Ones talking about human rights. It is a hard concept for them to understand at this time in their lives. They don't live in a time or area where they see problems of the magnitude that MLK was addressing. The best I can do is show them examples in their own little home (don't freak, we also talk about the civil rights movement, the constitution and how to help others in need). For example, it is a right for everyone in our family to have a warm place to sleep, food in the fridge and lots of hugs and kisses. In other families these things don't happen and that is wrong. If we don't see it happen or are not affected by it, does that mean we should ignore it, take our life for granted and feel lucky? Or should we come together as a family, a community and a country and fight for the rights of these children? We have started small...working within our community on these issues (we have not figured out how to tackle them all) and hope that we can make a difference. 

Perhaps some of these issues could be construed as privlages, but in our house they are a right...privlages come with responsibility and age...like eating ice cream on the couch when the Wild Ones have all gone to bed.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My Favorite Things.

At the risk of being asked to leave the state of Minnesota, I really don't get all the hullabaloo regarding the weather. We choose to live in Minnesota, we know Minnesota gets cold...bitter cold...and yet everybody is acts like a Cranky Charlie the minute the mercury heads south. The temperature drops, people hole up inside and talk of nothing else. Well I happen not to have a problem with it...I even took a walk outside today and if that doesn't invigorate (despite the brain freeze and frozen nostril hairs) the most sluggish bore than they deserve to hole up inside and whine (as long as they are out of ear shot of me). Perhaps these people need to invest in a few of my favorite things (like this and these and stand by this)...and if not...I hear there are buses and plains that actually carry people to the south.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Pushing the Limits.

I totally believe in the rights of free speech, but I also believe in a "place and time" for everything. Let's just assume this sign is real...looks pretty good to my untrained eyes. Did some government worker create this and hang it, was he/she appointed to do it as part of their job, are they still employed, isn't he technically their boss?  As a good upstanding citizen and considering the respect that Bush deserves (cough, cough) I would have at least waited until the 20th.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Black Ice.

If you live in Minnesota, the term Black Ice needs no defining...but will perhaps leave you cringing. The invisible layer of frozen water through which the black asphalt can be seen, but may seem invisible or just look like a patch of wet road. Believe it or not is is so cold here right now that the exhaust from the cars is freezing on the roads before it can evaporate. Makes for very dangerous driving due to people from out of town (places south of this winter wonderland) and for those (*@$&!) Minnesotans that have memory loss of last winters driving techniques (perhaps due to brain frostbite). That is why it will take me an extra 45 minutes to get to my appointment this morning (thank God it's with my therapist!) and why I took an unfortunate tumble...and wish my appointment was with a chiropractor. We were down to one car last week and I had an appointment and some errands to run. The Big Guy so graciously (he loves my payback) offered to drop me off...although he forgot to mention that his appointment for that morning was 45 minutes in the other direction. What's a Minnesota girl living in the suburbs (read: no convenient busing and miles of separation between EVERYTHING) to do? I packed my fuzzy hat and mittens and donned my fleece lined Merrells and started hoofin' it. About 2 miles into my trip, I attempted to cross a street...hit a patch of black ice and went "ass over tea kettle" right behind a little white car. I jumped up about as fast as I went down and kept on walking...checking my peripheral vision for any one brave enough to laugh out loud.  As soon as I got a safe distance away I began to check for damage. My bag, coat and jeans were a little muddy and I felt the beginnings of the bruises, but felt lucky that no teeth were cracked from the snapping of my jaw. The Big Guy called to say his appointment was really later in the day and he would pick me up in a couple of minutes. He got to me a block before my destination...just as the headache and muscle soreness were setting in. That is when I redefined the term Black Ice...the shroud of ice that covers one who is in no condition to be friendly to others...especially those laughing at personal current events.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Perfect Pair.

I don't know if it was the lack of sleep or being locked in the frigid garage for hours with Papa Elf (on New Years Eve), but I had the most amazing dream that night. Let it be know that Papa Elf is the Big Guy's number one fan and takes great pains in making sure I know it. This all comes at a time when I have been eyebrow deep in grease trying to make sure that all the "gears" in my life are properly oiled and tuned. So after deep debates regarding life and marriage I dream that the Big Guy and I are playing cards. Not just any game, but WAR. You know the one where you each take half the deck and flip them over one at a time-the high card takes both cards? Well into the game we each flip a card over...both nines. Well yelled,"WAR," and laid three cards face down and flipped over another card...both queens...three more cards face down, one more face up...both kings...three more cards face down, one more face up...both jacks. The Big Guy started to get freaked and stared directly, intently into my eyes...we both new it was a perfect match. I guess some things are just meant to be.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Cookie Withdrawl.

I don't really believe in New Year's resolutions...just one more thing to add to my list...that might not get done...which would defeat the purpose of making a reloution to make myself feel better. BUT, when I realized that the zipper on my jeans was going to need a little WD40 to make it all the way to the top...I figured I better rethink the resolution thing. I have not made a list, like eat 1200 calories or exercize 60 minutes a day (although perhaps that is exactly what I should do), I have just decided to be a better me...hopefully that includes a smaller me. It is a mind shift if you will...a new way of thinking. Better things going in, better thoughts while it's in there and better things coming out...and I mean attitude here friends, not potty talk. So those cookies on the counter (not to mention those still in the freezer)...staring at me...taunting me with their sprinkles and chocolate kisses...just might end up accidently in a sink full of sudsy water. Something has to drown them out...the little voices in my head don't need any more competition.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

One Way Streets.

I have always hated one way streets...especially when I realize I am on one...going the wrong way. I really don't see the point. After all, we all have to get somewhere and if we are coming from somewhere isn't that where someone else probably wants to go? It's not like we haven't been taught to drive in both directions, to look out for one another and take turns. Maybe they created one way streets as a metaphor for life. If they teach us to hate driving that way, maybe we will all learn not to ACT that way. Think about it...TBC.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Right Back in the Saddle.

Alarms are buzzing, back packs are laid out, buses are coming, phones are ringing, laundry is calling, calendars are bursting. It feels refreshing to be "back at work." Now I love a good holiday and all that, but there is something so nice about bidding the Wild Ones and the Big Guy ado and sitting down at my computer with a hot cup of tea...no TV's blaring, no games buzzing, no kids fighting, no one to ask me for ANYTHING (unless I answer the phone). Peace...now if I could just get the kitties to stop mistaking my ankles for a chew toy.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Wee Wild One.

As the Big Guy and I were getting the Wild Ones ready for bed last night, the Wee One said to us, "You better go to bed early tonight so you can be ready for my birthday tomorrow." Kind of like Christmas morning, he was by the side of my bed at an hour not acceptable for a Saturday morning, wondering if we could wake up the others so we could see if there were presents in the living room. As I was trying to peel my eyes open, the Wee One rolled over and started calculating how many minutes it was until he officially turned 7...thankfully it was almost an hour. We all closed our eyes and snoozed for a while. I cannot believe he fell for that, although it was his idea. So we counted down to the moment of his birth with a detailed story of how he was removed from my belly...cesarean style...and how incredibly long he was...his answer to the story, "Well, that must have be awkward." The Big Guy and I sang to him and our rendition must have roused the others as only something so scary could and that was the end of the lounging. The Wee One opened his presents (note to self: buy stock in Lego) and is waiting patiently for his blueberry pie. Happy Birthday my little Ju Ju Bee.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

I would have posted this yesterday...but we never made it home. We headed to the festivities Wednesday afternoon and never quite got motivated to leave. We met some new friends, made (and enjoyed) a fabulous dinner and before we knew it...or even had time to pop the corks...it was New Years Day.  The Big Guy and Miss Thing were trying to prop their eyes open with tooth picks, but finally gave in and wrangled up the Wild Ones and tucked them in. Mean while Papa Elf and I decided to make a trip to the garage (the unheated garage I might add) for a little puff of smoke...NO not me-I just had to supervise...you know I can't miss anything...and ended up in one of our life altering, change the world debates...I mean conversations...until 4 in the morning. The Big Guy popped out to give one last attempt to get us in bed and caught us in a compromising situation...or so he thought. You see Papa Elf gets a little excited, impassioned (rightious??) and let's just say in your face...the Big Guy asked us what we were doing and Papa Elf turned and hissed, "Chatting." The Big Guy knows when to walk away and didn't see me again for a couple of hours until I snuggled my icy ass up next to him to thaw (and not one word of complaint from the saint). Morning came all too fast and just as I was ready to head home...there were waffles to eat, kitchens to clean, games to be played, pizza to cook, football to watch, Nerf wielding crazies to avoid, more pizzas to order, more football to watch and more stories to be told. That is when I sat back and reflected on the wonderful friends that we have made...how lucky to have friends that not only don't kick you out, but make you feel so at home that you can lounge in your jammies and go through the fridge as if you were at your own house. I finally peeled the Big Guy off the couch and into the car...as it was nearing bedtime...for fear that we would never be invited back (only time will tell). Welcome to 2009...The Year of Happiness.