Saturday, July 30, 2011

The one about fedoras, green hair gel?

I'm not sure exactly when it happened, but I have completely lost any semblance of control at the dinner table. My family is crazy. 

At one time, I DID have control. At one time, we all sat calmly and talked about stuff. Normal stuff. Mr. Wonderful and I tried to teach the kids table manners. We would talk to them about current events in the news and about school and ballet and soccer. It was calm and relaxing.

But at some point in the past couple of years, something happened. My kids starting...performing. And trying to outdo each other. They would get the giggles and I would get stern and Mr. Wonderful would reach for his wine glass and pretend he didn't notice the craziness.

Their hilarity and comedic competitions frustrated me and the more frustrated I got, the more manic they became.

For example, last night we sat down to a lovely dinner of grilled salmon, rice and green beans. A nice, normal dinner. Except that The Boy, for some reason, decided to sit down at the dinner table with green hair and sunglasses on. (The green hairspray was leftover from homecoming last year.) The Princess sat down with a black fedora (leftover from a Fosse inspired musical theatre dance she did a couple of years ago).

I tried to just ignore it. I really did. But clearly, my drama deprived children wanted more attention. They began hamming it up and feeding off each other and cracking themselves up. Eventually, I went for my camera. I figured that anyone who sat down at the table with green hair was clearly BEGGING to be featured in the blog! Of course, when The Boy saw the camera he decided  to dive in the pool to wash the green out of his hair and thwart me. 

While the photo is blurry, I believe you can still see the green all over The Boy's face and hair!

And then there is the dinner conversation. Last night, The Boy was telling us about something that happened at camp. His camp refers to the girls as "pink" and the boys as "blue" and has a hard and fast rule about "no purpling." I asked The Boy something about purpling and Mr. Wonderful (who had clearly not been paying attention to the conversation) asked incredulously, "Did you just ask our son if he was porking someone at camp?"

Sadly, no, I'm not kidding. This is a true story.

Naturally, this comment produced much guffawing. Once the laughter died down, I explained the concept of "purpling" to Mr. Wonderful and gently suggested that he pay attention to the conversation henceforth.

He responded with the witty observation that purpling is a stupid term and they SHOULD call it porking because it makes more sense.

He said this at the DINNER TABLE. 

Which is when the kids REALLY began to compete with each other with witticisms and comedy.

I could see that dinner was, once again, spiraling out of control.
I resolutely tried to steer the conversation into somewhat respectable channels but the kids were determined to continue their comedy routine and amuse each other.

After dinner, the hilarity continued as the kids tried to outfit poor old Lucy in a beanie so that they could "speak Eminem-ish" to her and say, "Sick nasty, Dawg!" (Which is The Boy's new favorite saying, and apparently means good.)

Lucy, while a sweet dog, is not always the brightest bulb in the pack. She thought this was a really, really, really fun game and that the object of the really fun game was to rub her belly.

Yeah...sick nasty, dawg.

Ha. Ha. Ha.

So, that was our dinner. It was...unique. Don't you want to come enjoy a nice, tranquil meal with us at our house?

Because Mr. Wonderful and I are completely aghast at this recent behavior of our children, we decided to try to calm the atmosphere down a bit with a nice family movie.

Really, I don't know WHERE this crazy streak in the kids is coming from. I'm just baffled.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Solving the world's glass of wine at a time....

I don't have anything to say today.

Maria is returning to Spain...
And the girls are sad to say goodbye. They have become very good friends over the past two and a half weeks. 

The other night Mr. Wonderful and I sat outside with a glass of wine and watched a storm roll across the lake.

It was very impressive and dramatic.

We sipped our wine and talked and talked.

We solved all of the problems in the country over that glass of wine. If only we were in charge...

But, alas, we're not in charge.

And nobody cares what we think.

Except us.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl....

*Names have been changed and no one was a showgirl*

We moved to our little burg in October of 1999, when the kids were 3 and 5. School had already started for the year. I dropped The Boy off at his Pre-K class with his teacher, "Mrs. Jones" and then took The Princess to her preschool class across the street.

As I walked across the campus searching for The Princess's classroom, I saw a young woman walking briskly and purposefully towards us with a huge smile on her face. She came up to us, towing her adorable little girl with big blue eyes and long, golden curls along beside her. "Hi!", she chirped, "You must be Mommie Dearest and this must be The Princess...I'm Lola and this is Courtney - they're in the same class! And your son, The Boy, is in Mrs. Jones' class!" I gaped at her in confusion, trying to take in this torrent of information and she continued talking and smiling. I must have looked a bit confused because she hastened to explain how she knew so much about us..."The Boy is in Mrs. Jones' class at _____School and she is my mother, and I saw the class list and saw that The Princess would be in Courtney's class and wanted to welcome you!"

The Princess and I followed humbly along in Lola's wake as she entered the classroom and introduced us to the teachers and other children. As I left the classroom, I looked back at The Princess. She and Courtney were talking and giggling happily together and were inseparable from that point on and for many years after that!

Actually, so were Lola and I.

Lola took me under her wing and introduced me to other mothers. She included me in playdates and girl's nights out and lunches. I don't even know exactly how it happened, but she became my burg guru and my best friend. She knew everyone (or so it seemed) in our little burg. We have carpooled and gone to birthday parties and sung karaoke and ordered umpteen gazillion pizzas over the years. She always arrives early when we entertain to help me set up and she always stays late to help me clean up.

She also never lets me take her picture so I had to crop and get creative to find these!

Once, after I had an emergency appendectomy and was supposed to be taking it easy, she showed up at our house and announced, "You need to get out of the house. C'mon...we're going shopping!" I protested that I wasn't able to walk very far and really didn't have the energy for shopping, but she waved away my protests and said that she had everything all planned and not to worry. Since she had "that look" in her eyes, I realized that it was futile to argue with her and so I capitulated.

She was right. She DID have everything planned. She had borrowed a wheelchair and she pushed me through the mall in the wheelchair that day. She was also right about me needing to get out of the house. It was a great day...and we also have a story about Mr. Wonderful and his housecleaning methods which we still chuckle about to this day - but that's a another story for another day!

Lola and I have vacationed together, with 5 kids between us but sans husbands, several times. We have so much in common it's ridiculous. We also have some major differences - she loves what she refers to as "the happiest place on earth" and I detest what I refer to as that "rodent infested hellhole" which is a couple of hours south of us. She is a die hard Republican and I' know...NOT!

The five kids at the beach...


Posing at the beach...

My kids love going to the beach with Lola because she isn't a big scaredy-cat like their mother...she takes them out past their knees (which is my limit) to the sandbar to look for sand dollars...while I stay on shore and take photos and have a cell phone handy in case they are attacked by Jaws and I have to call 911.

Hey, SOMEONE has to be the responsible one!

More vacation photos from you know where...

As I sifted through years and years worth of photographs, I realized that I have very few of Lola and none of us together. Thus, I was reduced to using these "nostril shots" taken by a munchkin child.

In spite of our differences of opinion, we have remained steadfast friends for the past ten years. Our friendship has survived the children attending different schools and having vastly different activities. It has survived family crises, which we have helped each other through. It has survived illnesses and hospitalizations. It has survived contentious presidential elections and churches splitting up. 

Lola is funny and kind and generous and loyal. She is the one person I know I can call at any time of the day or night and know that she will drop whatever she is doing to help me out. She takes care of my kids and my pets (when we are out of town) and the house...and me. She lets me borrow her van when I need something larger than the anteater to haul something in. She has been known to nag Mr. Wonderful for me when I have a birthday coming up. She has more energy than the energizer bunny. She doesn't judge me, ever. We both know each other's secrets and all the skeletons in the closet. She knows why I didn't speak to Mr. Wonderful for an entire week after my birthday one year and why we needed to get a new mattress. My kids think of her as their "other mother." 

She knows everything about the 70's and 80's...I'm not kidding - EVERYTHING! She is the goddess of 70's and 80's trivia. 

I feel so lucky to have Lola in my life. She is an amazing, special, beautiful soul and I am so thankful that she decided to be my friend. 

The one in which I delve into politics

I try not to discuss politics on this blog. 

But there is just so much going on right now, it's becoming very hard to restrain myself.

I came across this video which perfectly expresses my feelings and I just felt that I HAD to share it. 

So, just this once, I am breaking my "no politics" rule.
Please forgive me. 

(This video may not be appropriate for viewing in an office environment or around small children. Parental discretion is strongly advised.)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A few of my favorite things...part 1

I love seeing glimpses of other people's lives. Which is probably why I enjoy house hunting, and all of those shows on HGTV, and reading other people's blogs. I could claim that I'm just slightly curious or that I like these behind the scenes glimpses at other people's lives because I'm socially aware or I'm a student of humanity. The truth is that I'm just nosy.

Because I think that sometimes my tendency is to try to make life appear as rosy as possible on this blog - my version of the dreaded Christmas newsletter - I'm going to try to show little glimpses of our lives occasionally.

Today, I thought I'd share some of my favorite things about our home, other than the obvious waterfront view. So, in no particular order, here are a few of my favorite things...

Several years ago we painted our pantry door with chalkboard paint. I love this door. I use it to make grocery lists and to write witty quotations meant to inspire the family. The rest of the family uses it to draw silly pictures and to leave messages for one another. It changes daily. It's never boring. It's awesome!

I also love what surrounds our pantry door. I've been collecting angels and crosses for years. Every time I look at them, I smile. They just make me happy.

Our family is filled with a bunch of bookworms, therefore our home is filled with bookshelves. Almost every room in the house has a, usually overflowing, bookshelf.

Mr. Wonderful and I have one in our bedroom...

and in our office...

The bookshelves in the living room are a bit neater than in the rest of the house!

There are shelves in the guest room...
and The Princess actually has two bookshelves in her room...

Yes, there is a bookshelf in The Boy's room too. 

I have nothing to say about how messy it is.

He's a teenage boy. He's a slob.

Moving on...

I also love the kid's little art projects which are scattered throughout the house. They make me happy. They make me smile.

Our house was not put together by a decorator. The style is...eclectic. We have antiques and hand me down furniture sitting next to newer pieces. It's not a McMansion. It is a 40 year old ranch house with a spectacular view. We have children teenagers and pets. Our house is filled with books and memories and love.

One of the best compliments I ever received was from a friend who came over to have dinner with her family. She said, "I love coming over to your house...I always feel so comfortable here."  

Our house will not win any beauty contests. But as long as my friends feel comfortable and welcome in our home, I'm happy.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Karma karma karma chameleon

The past 24 hours have been good. Do you ever have spells where it seems that everything is going wrong and then suddenly it turns around and feels as though the planets are aligning or your karma is getting better or something?

That's how I feel right now. It's been a good 24 hours.

Last week was my 30th high school reunion. And yes, I do realize that I have now confirmed my age. And I also realize that my age is no longer "young". But the good thing is that I don't really care any longer. I'm sort of at peace with who I am now. And it feels good.

I wasn't able to attend the reunion because we have our guest from Spain here and had too much going on at the time. 

Last night, one of my friends from high school stopped by on her way home from the reunion. We haven't seen each other in 30 years. I met her family and we did a bit of catching up with each other's lives. I learned stuff about high school classmates which I never knew and realized that I was apparently really, really, really oblivious to a lot of stuff that was going on around me when I was in high school! I knew I was very naive back then,! I'm seriously shocked at how pathetically ignorant I was about, well, everything!

It was a wonderful, albeit short, visit and I can't wait to see her again soon when we are in her neck of the woods. Thank you Carol, for going out of your way to stop by and visit.

Today the girls and I ventured to St. Augustine because I thought Maria might enjoy seeing our nation's oldest city (which is not really old at all by European standards), especially since it was also a Spanish city.

We had a lot of fun, although I don't think Maria was very impressed with the historical importance of our oldest city! 

And also today? My son vacuumed and mopped the house while we were gone. I arrived home to a sparkling, pine-sol scented home. I also have leftovers from dinner last night, so I don't have to cook. And I found out that I didn't do something that I thought I did and that everything is OK, when I thought something wasn't OK. Which sounds confusing if you don't know what I'm talking about. Basically, it means that I've been fretting about something and now I can stop fretting. 

And that, my friends, is a good day.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Just call me Mama Gump

The shrimp are running.

The kids have been casting...

They have been casting a LOT.

Every evening, without fail.

And me?


"Anyway, like I was sayin', shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey's uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that's about it."

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