Sunday, January 30, 2011

The one about throbbing heads and crushed knees...

There are a couple of reasons that I haven't been around much the past couple of days. First, the kids and I have had some kind of virus - we've been headachy, feverish, and felt queasy for days. The kids, naturally, bounced back more quickly than moi and I have been spending a lot of time lying in bed with an ice pack on my head suffering gracefully in silence as I am wont to do.

Because I am the perfect patient. I'm not prone to drama and angst at all.

Nope, not me.

Are you LAUGHING??

Well...OK, it's possible that I might have complained just a teeny tiny bit about the sledgehammer that kept pounding my poor head. And it is possible that I may have moaned piteously a few times. But, only because I thought my head was going to explode! Really.

Anyway, I am feeling much, much, much better today. 

The other reason I haven't been around much is that Friday afternoon my mother called me to say that she had fallen and crushed her knee. The thing you have to understand about my mother is that she should I put this? She is grace-challenged. She is balance-deficient. She is, in short, a bit of a klutz.

Anyway, we went to the emergency room where they took x-rays of her knee and discovered that she had split her patella (knee cap) in half. 

Poor Mom. She is in a lot of pain and is not getting around very well, so she is staying here with us and we are trying to pamper her a bit!
Mom has had visitors who brought laughter, smiles and a milkshake (which cheered her up immensely!) and has friends and family chipping in to help make sure her house keeps running and her pets get taken care of.

She is icing her knee and keeping it elevated and relaxing and resting. Tomorrow she will see the orthopedist and see what the next step will be.

In the meantime, the kids are enjoying having "Ging-Ging" around all the time, and I am enjoying taking care of her for a change!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Flashback Friday: Memories

This photograph is of my great-great grandparents. Take a close look at my G-G Grandmother's chin. That's my chin. That strange little chin...looks just like mine. 

Which has absolutely nothing to do with anything, but it is sort of interesting that a trait like a funny little chin would jump 4 generations, isn't it? 


I was, once again, looking through old photos and I started thinking about memories. I can still remember my best childhood friend's telephone number. I can remember my old boyfriend's birthday (May 27). I remember the middle names of the guys who lived next door in my apartment complex during college (Gordy, Wyatt, Brent). I can still remember the address of every house I have ever lived in. I remember all the words to the theme songs for the Brady Bunch  (Here's the story, of a lovely lady....) and Gilligan's Island (Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale...).

I don't really want to remember those things. But I do. They are embedded in my brain. Along with other stuff...commercials (Timex: takes a licking, and keeps on ticking...Alka Seltzer: Plop, plop, fizz, fizz - oh what a relief it is...McDonald's: Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun...), the words to songs that I don't even like (Muskrat Suzie and muskrat Sam, do the jitterbug at a muskrat land...)

So tell me, please...if I can remember all of these ridiculous, worthless things that I don't even want to remember...why can't I remember my own cell phone number? Why can't I remember what I am doing tomorrow? Why do I go blank when I am asked my social security number? Why can't I remember to mail birthday cards in time?


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A few random, disjointed thoughts due to insufficient caffeine & a serious case of the Blahs

* Yesterday was a long, long day. I don't think I can even remember what all I did - lots of running around, errands, and cleaning. In the rain. It rained all day long. The errands couldn't be put off, so I was running around in the rain all afternoon. And then at some point I got something in my eye. It irritated and rubbed all evening until I finally arrived home and was able to take my contact out.

* Because of the offending small particle, my eye was red and stinging when I got home. I'm ashamed to say that I was so tired I went straight to bed. I didn't watch the State of the Union address. I didn't read. I got right into bed and fell fast asleep.

* Perhaps because I wasn't doing my usual, "Remember to set your alarm and brush your teeth and get all your school stuff together", The Boy forgot to set his alarm and we overslept this morning. We scrambled and hustled and I practically inhaled my coffee, but I managed to get him to school, barely, before the bell rang. 

* After dropping The Boy at school, my adrenaline rush dissipated and I realized that I was nervous and still exhausted. More coffee is definitely in my future.

* The Princess is excited because today is her audition for the performing arts school she would like to attend next year. She is a bit nervous because her ankle has been bothering her lately. She has recently switched from thicker elastics (more support) to thinner ones on her pointe shoes, and her teacher thinks her ankles just need to get used to the change and get a bit stronger. Anyway, she will be wearing an ankle brace tonight and hoping that her ankle cooperates!

* Because of the audition, it will be another long, long day for moi. I will be doing a lot of driving and sitting and waiting.

* You can imagine how thrilled I am at the prospect of more driving and more sitting. 

* The picture of the bird that I posted earlier today and yesterday is of a baby/adolescent blue heron which has been hanging around our dock. Yes, he really is that blue. (Although, I don't really remember him looking quite SO BLUE in real life. I have no explanation.) I think their feathers turn more gray as they mature. Isn't he cute? I call him Clyde. He just looks like a Clyde to me.

* I've decided that I am in dire need of a pajama day. A day off. A vacation from the car, ballet, taekwondo, school, auditions, cooking, cleaning and laundry. I'm in a rut. I have the winter/school/activities/mom blahs. 

* Because I am in a rut, I am seriously uninspired. I can't think of anything interesting to write about. 

* I am asking, no...I am begging for blog topic ideas. Begging. Because my brain has apparently turned to mush during my daily drives through rush hour traffic and my daily rants about cleaning rooms and doing homework. My soul has been sucked out of my body and into the washing machine. My brain is living in the vacuum cleaner. I am an empty shell which drives teenagers from one activity to another and repeats the same things over and over and over....

* Help me. Please.

Wordless Wednesday: Here Comes the Sun

Pleasure is spread through the earth
In stray gifts to be claimed by whoever shall find.
~William Wordsworth, 1806

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

You can't always get what you want....

Sometimes my soul just cries out for a rainy, blustery day.

Today is a day for a snuggie, a good book and a cup of tea.

Instead, I will be braving the elements as I pick up my contacts, grocery shop, and drive The Princess downtown for ballet class.

But maybe, just maybe, I will be able to sneak in an hour or so with my book and my snuggie.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday musings: The week in review, plus tough love comes to the VK Corral

Last week was quite busy, with a lot of hustling and bustling to and fro...and this week promises to be more of the same. 

In addition to the usual school, Taekwondo, Ballet, and homework, we have...

admired the breathtakingly lovely moon...

Mr. Wonderful and I went to Costco and Whole Foods in a vain attempt to fill the bottomless pit that passes for the teenage boy's stomach.

The Crepe Myrtle trees have been trimmed and the leaves were raked.
The Princess talked her brother into helping her rearrange her bedroom, and then pouted when she realized that her beds would only fit on the one wall where they resided previously.
Then she talked her brother into helping her move everything back the way it was before.

We had family movie night and watched Wall Street (the original). The kids were quite amused by the mobile phone Gordon Gekko uses!

The last of the lemons and oranges were picked from the tree...
And the first of the grapefruit was picked...

We are now inundated with citrus!

The elder child decided that he needed to earn some money, so he printed out flyers and then we went out to deliver them to the neighborhood mailboxes.

I know the pictures are blurry - I was trying to sneak them. He got all dressed up in a tie and jacket. When I asked him why, he explained his reasoning to me by saying that if anyone happened to be out in their yard he wanted to make a good impression.

The Princess has been drawing a lot of pictures.
The Boy has been uber-helpful - emptying the dishwasher without even being asked!
His uber-helpfulness made me a bit suspicious.

I discovered that The Boy has been slacking off a bit with his schoolwork. "Forgetting" to turn in homework assignments and study.

Our response?

He is now living in the dark ages. He is in technology lockdown. He has to (gasp!) use the home telephone to communicate with his friends! He is learning how to live life without his ipod's earbuds plugged into his ears. He is grounded. No, he is GROUNDED! He has lost all privileges. His life will now consist of studying, studying, and studying and lot of family togetherness.

He is not happy with us.

Which doesn't bother us at all. Because frankly, we're not too happy with him right now either.

Teenage boys...good grief.


The Princess is still telling us jokes...
Why did the carrot blush?

Because it saw the salad dressing....


Why can't you hear pteradactyls going to the bathroom?

Because the "P" is silent.

As for moi, I have been steam mopping the floors and doing laundry, cooking and doing laundry, running errands and doing laundry, going through photo albums and doing laundry, scanning pictures and doing laundry.

I do a lot of laundry.

It's just been a thrill a minute around here.
It was a crazy, busy, hectic week filled with drama and silly jokes.

It ended with a beautiful sunset and a peaceful evening. A glass of wine may have been consumed. 

I'll never tell....

Friday, January 21, 2011

Flashback Friday

Today I am really missing my baby boy.

I miss his smile and his infectious giggle.

I miss cuddling with him.

I miss the sweet, uncomplicated child that he was.

I love watching him become a man, even as I yearn for those simple, carefree days when he was more obedient and affectionate.

I love watching him enjoy the simple pleasures of life...

I wish that the path to adulthood didn't have to pass through the treacherous, turbulent and hormonal teenage years.

I wish he could understand that sometimes parents express their love by saying no.

Teenagers are difficult.
Moody and hormonal.
Incredibly frustrating.

Sometimes I wonder which of us will win this battle we seem to be engaged in.

But even as I struggle to accept that my baby boy is growing up, I am amazed at the person I see emerging from the moody teenager. I see a boy/man who is smart, funny, caring and empathetic.

His smile can light up a room.

He is curious and mischievous, original and creative. 

He has an amazing (and original) sense of style.

Although I get frustrated with him and would sometimes like to wring his neck, he is still my sweet boy. I have faith that we will survive these crazy, confusing, hormonal teenage years. Somehow.

We WILL survive this, right?


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Yes Ma'am is not demeaning

I have several things bumping around in my head today, and usually when that happens it results in a long and rambling post. I'll do my best to be succinct and stick to the topic, in spite of the 4,893 things that are filling my head today.

Firstly, all of y'all who are my friends on facebook may have noticed that I got a scanner. And if you did notice that, then you are probably wishing it would break or that I would finally run out of pictures. Or get a life. Or something. Your news feed has probably been inundated with pictures like these...

I'm sorry to tell you that not only is the scanner working perfectly, but I have boxes and bins full of old pictures. And also, I do not have a life. In short, I will be scanning until the cows come home. Or until the fat lady sings. What I'm trying to say here is that I have a LOT of scanning to do.

And I will also warn you, I am tagging people. So if you are in one of my old out.

Moving on, and completely unrelated to the first topic, I have been thinking a lot about the differences between Northerners and Southerners. I have lived all over the country and so I have picked up a few tidbits. One of the main differences is the approach to children and manners. I'm from the south, and down here we teach our kids to say ma'am and sir. I also tried to teach my children to say please and thank you as soon as they could talk. 

When my children were born we lived in Michigan and then moved to Washington state, where ma'am-ing and sir-ing is not common. In fact I was told many times that it is demeaning to children to make them say this. I ignored this yankee-ish advice and carried on like a good southern girl, but it wasn't easy. When I would gently remind the kids to say please or thank you or sir or ma'am, I was constantly told that he/she didn't need to say that. It's very difficult to teach your children when there isn't any confirmation or support. When the kids were just learning to talk and they wanted something I would remind them to say please or thank you. I would invariably be told by some well meaning northerner that there was no point to teaching them to say it because they didn't know why they were saying it. I always responded that I didn't care if they ever knew WHY, as long as they said it.

It wasn't until we moved back home that I was able to really get the manners thing to stick with my kids. I'm happy to say that today my teenagers are very polite and they (almost) always say sir and ma'am when speaking to their elders. They do not consider it demeaning. They understand that it is a sign of respect. They also understand that it usually earns them brownie points. 

I'm wondering how you feel about the sir and ma'am issue. Do your children say it? Do think it is wrong? It seems as though people either love it or hate it. 

I love it. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ten Things on Tuesday: Random

1. I received a portable scanner for Christmas and finally took it out of the box yesterday. I've been having a lot of fun scanning old photos. I'm hoping to go through some of my many boxes of old photos this week so I can get rid of them or put them in albums.

2.  I worked on my "to do" list and managed to check a few things off. Unfortunately, a few more got added. The last two items are just permanently on there and never, ever, ever seem to get checked off.

3.  We are attempting to put the cats on a bit of a diet since they've gotten so chubby. We're trying to feed them just once per day. They don't like this. They sit and stare at us all day now, hoping to convince us that they are starving to death. It's quite annoying.

4.  I get a secret thrill whenever one of the kid's friends sends me a friend request on facebook. I giggle out loud when the kids tell me that one of their friends thinks I am "cool." I want to say, "You mean I'm cool even though I am the meanest mom in the world and I am the only mom who doesn't allow her kids to do blah, blah, blah and makes them do blah, blah, blah?" Instead, I smile and ask them if they've done their homework. But while I act calm on the outside, on the inside I am dancing a jig!

5.  I'm not really supposed to say anything about the next item, so I'm just sliding it in under the radar. Plus, this way it will count as two items and I am running out of things to say!

6. C has a girlfriend.

7.  The past couple of months I have heard from several old friends - messages, texts, phone calls and visits. For the record, I love it! I love catching up and hearing your voice and hearing all about your life. Call me anytime! 

8.  Also for the record? Getting older sucks. I just DO NOT think it is right that I have to put zit medicine on right after putting on wrinkle cream. I'm just saying...

9.  Since I have now apparently veered into the land of random, errant thoughts   I will tell you that I have been having some very strange dreams the past couple of nights. It's very disconcerting and I wake up feeling exhausted in the morning. I think I need to start having a glass of warm milk before bed!

10. Finally, is it spring yet?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Rainy Monday morning musings

I awoke to heavy, somber gray skies and the pitter patter of the rain. As I puttered around this morning, sipping coffee and perusing the paper, I reveled in the tranquility and peace. Mr. Wonderful and I had a quiet, uninterrupted conversation while the kids slumbered in their teenaged oblivion.

When my children were young, I used to relish the evenings once they were asleep because it was "me" time. I could finally relax and take a bath, or sip a glass of wine, or read a book. 

My days were, and still are, filled with the constant cries of "Mom!" and "Have you seen my....." or "Stop it!". I am a short order cook, a chauffer, a laundress and housekeeper. I am the one who finds lost books and sweatshirts and tennis shoes. I keep track of appointments and activities and I listen to stories of teenage drama and hurt feelings. I still dispense kisses and hugs to make everything better. I am unable to find a private moment during the hustle and bustle of the day, not even in the bathroom!

So now that my kids are older and I no longer have the evenings as my time to recharge, I savor the still, somnolent, torpidity of lazy mornings while the teenagers wallow in slothful languor. I relish the delicious contentment of slowly sipping coffee and indulging in the luxury of a quiet, lazy morning.

The misty, drizzly morning renews me with a sense of tranquility.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Did you hear the one about the kids who told a lot of jokes?

Mr. Wonderful and I have spent the weekend listening to jokes. Some have been funny and some, well, not so much. 

The kids have been trying to outdo each other with their jokes and have been amusing themselves (and therefore, me) greatly.

Here's a sampling...

What's the difference between a terrorist and a woman with PMS?

You can reason with a terrorist.

What do you call a polite, funny, sensitive, good looking boy?

A rumor.

So a blonde and a brunette are walking down the street and the brunette says, "look at that dead bird", and the blonde looks up and says, "where?"

How is a duck like a pickle?

Neither one can ride a bike.

And so forth and so on. You get the general idea, I'm sure. Really, the best part was watching their reactions. The Princess cracked herself up, while The Boy tried to keep a straight face through his smirking.

Some of the jokes were accompanied by Oscar worthy acting performances...

While The Princess cracked herself up, she left The Boy scratching his head in puzzlement...

...or looking at her in confusion...

...or just trying to hide...

So then The Princess tried to add in a few thespian elements...

But Lucy seemed a bit confused.

Many of The Boy's jokes weren't politically correct, so I didn't include them, but this one made me giggle and so I am going to share it. If it offends you, I apologize. 

What's the difference between an American girl and an Arab girl?

American girls get stoned before they commit adultery.

**I almost forgot...Everyone guessed the correct answer for C. He sees himself as the turtle - the cool, confident kid. 

I'm just glad he didn't say he was the weird fish at the bottom...Whew!

Also, just for the record, remember that first joke up there? The one about the difference between a woman with PMS and a terrorist? Well, let's just say that he picked a bad time of the month to tell that one! Just sayin'......

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The one where The Boy explains how a turtle tank is like high school

MY son came in last night to tell me that he had decided that his turtle tank was like high school. "Really?", I asked him, "How so?"

He sat down with a bit of a smirk on his face, cleared his throat dramatically, and explained...

"Well, the turtle is the cool, confident kid who kind of gets along with everyone and always knows what he's doing...

The bass is like the football players and the jocks...always beating people up and eating people...

The little sunfish is like the girls, you know, all self conscious and defensive.

The catfish is like the awkward kid who's always hanging around...

The weird fish who hangs out at the bottom all the time is like the potheads.

And the little feeder fish are like the freshman because they get picked on and eaten."

After I stopped laughing I asked him which he was.

Any ideas? What do you think he said? I'll reveal his answer in tomorrow's post. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Flashback Friday

Sometimes children change as they grow older. They develop new interests and hobbies...

And sometimes they don't change at all.

See what I mean?

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