Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve has never been my favorite holiday. The only time that I can remember being excited about it was when I was fifteen and stayed up to watch MTV's top videos of the year. I've often thought that it was a forced holiday. You are supposed to have the time of your life, live it up, party hard. I have never been able to do those things.

When we were first together, Rob and I tried going out a few times, but it was always too loud and too crowded. We started enjoying the evening more once we decided to start staying home and watching movies. Low key works best for us. We watch movies until 11:55, switch to watch the ball drop, and then toast with sparkling grape juice (it tastes better and is cheaper).

This year is no exception. I am sitting here in my holiday finest, the red and white polka dot pjs Rob bought me for Christmas. So soft, so cozy. I pity the fools out there freezing their butts off in little black dresses.

Today was a great day. My favorite mommy friend came over with her three girls. I taught them the fine art of making Saltine candy,161,156162-242200,00.html and pretzel turtles (put a Rollo on a pretzel square, put it in the oven for a few minutes to soften, top with a pecan half and pig out). The kids played and squealed, we laughed at the antics of her two year old, and shared families stories, and book and movie recommendations (all in two minutes clip between chaos). We realized that it was dark and dinner time, so Caroline helped make mac and cheese for the kids and the grown ups had hot bean soup. Later I let the kids toast with sparkling grape juice (general opinion: too spicy!). They ended the evening watching Sponge Bob like exhausted zombies.

As for the rest of tonight, I'll try to find a good movie on TV and hang out with Caroline and Rob. Relaxing, lying like broccoli, chillaxing! Happy New Year! Wishing you all peace, love, safety, health, and happiness!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Rob's People He'd Like to Meet List

Here's Rob's list. His only criteria is that they'd met a lot of people and would have good stories to tell. He also liked the idea of ground breakers. He's a factoid man:)

Johnny Carson
Bill Murray
Dean Martin
Jimmy Stuart
Groucho Marx
Howard Cossell
Bob Hope
Lucille Ball
George Washington
Woodrow Wilson
Jack Benny
Lou Gehrig
Steve Martin
Neil Armstrong
Mel Brooks
George H.W. Bush (not his son)
Joe D'Maggio
George Halas
Amelia Earhart

Yes, this is how we spend our evenings, unless we are looking up trivia.

Monday, December 28, 2009

I'd Like To Meet

Redbook (I really do like this magazine) had an article about sparking creativity. One of the suggestions was to write lists, but not to do lists. Well, I love lists so here is the first in whatever series of lists I can come up with.

People I'd Like to Meet (subject to change, in no certian order, with no regard to status as living or dead)

Pete Seeger
Ina Garten
Paula Dean
Barbara Kingsolver
Elizabeth Berg
Both Bronte sisters
Jane Austen
Flannery O'Connor
Martin Luther King Jr.
Mother Teresa
Jim Henson
Kevin Clash
Elenor Roosevelt (she can bring Franklin along)
Jimmy Carter
David Robinson
Marion Davies
Lousia May Alcott
Lauren Child
Jack Johnson
The Bare Naked Ladies (the band, get your mind out of the gutter)
Robert Fulghum
Lucille Ball
George Washington
Amelia Earhart
(the last three were edited in after writng Rob's list)

That's all I can think of right now. I didn't include many of my favorite authors or musicians because I honestly thought they'd be pompous asses or terribly tortured and artisitc and well been there delt with that.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Another Parenting List Down the Drain

Do you remember that list you made in your twenties after an exhausting mall trip listening to someone's screaming child? You know the one entitled "When I Have Children They Will Never..."? The very same list that you completely broke after the first two months of your child's life? Well if after throwing out that you list, you were stupid enough (like me) to make another version entitled " My Teenager Will/Will Not...", I'm here to enlighten you.

Here is my list dissected and analyzed:

The myth: My teenager will not wear a sweat shirt as a coat in 30 degree weather.

The reality: After a 20 minute yelling match you realize that she'll deal with being cold and you are going to be late. You let her wear the damn sweatshirt and don't say a word when she tries to convince you her teeth are chattering because it's a fun thing to do and she is not cold. Same rules apply to hats, gloves, scarves, and socks.

The myth: We don't need unlimited texting. We have boundaries and limits.

The reality: Other kids don't have the same boundaries and limits. Your child dutifully doesn't text, but you end up paying for the texts her friends send. Just get unlimited texting and try not to choke the smug a holes who said "Oh Honey, texting is the only way these kids communicate. You won't last without it." Yeah, well it's their darn fault we're in this pickle.

The myth: My teenager will not wander through the store texting.

The reality: It is the only way to get a moments relief from the nonstop litany of smart ass remarks and bitching.

The myth: My teenager will openly communicate with me in a reasonable manner. I will not be one of those "hated" mothers.

The reality: Yes I am mean. I don't care if you hate me. Slam that damn door one more time and I am going to take it off the hinges. There is no reason.

The myth: My child is so sweet. I won't have any problems with hormones at all.

The reality: OMG, my child has turned into Sybil. I never know which mood I'm going to encounter. I just duck, try not to laugh and ground, hug, ground, hug, ground, hug.

The myth: I will engage my teenager in stimulating conversations. There will be no need for TV, pop radio, computers, cell phones etc.

The reality: If they don't have those things, how do you ground them? The entire point of technology is to use it as a bargaining chip. Google provides info for stimulating (and uncomfortable/shocking) conversations. If your child has no knowledge of pop culture then they are the "weird kid." It is hard enough to be a teenager, at least give them the proper tools to navigate the minefield of middle school.

The myth: My teenager will listen to interesting and eclectic music.

The reality: Yes, someday they will. First they need to go through their pop phase. Listen with them. Some of the songs are kind of good and you can answer many questions (it's a great way to teach innuendo).

One final reality: Yes this phase is more difficult than the terrible twos, but you will make it through (I hope). It is really very short and the rewards along the way are many. You are growing an adult. How awesome is that?

Random Thoughts from a Stuffy Head

I should not have complained about gaining weight from sitting around with a sinus infection. I got hit with a two day stomach virus. the upside is I lost the weight I'd gained. Anyway, I am sick of being sick. I make a terrible and grouchy paitinet. Today I decided enough was enough and dragged my scik self out for a few errands and to shovel the walk. A little fresh air and movement helped quiet a bit.

I also went back to the ENT. He scheduled me for sinus surgery on Jan 12. I reacted like I'd been given a gift from Santa. I will be so glad to be able to breath and live without sinus headaches.I got to look at my CAT scan with him and it was very cool. He had a nifty feature that "sliced" the image in different directions. It was like my own personal version of the Discovery Channel.

I just read a great article in Redbook that gave some guilt free ways to be healthy. I am going to get this author's book as soon as possible. I am so guilty of trying to do all and be all. No wonder I get sick.

I am at a funny age right now. I fell like I am going in a million directions and never stopping. I look at Rob's and my life and really we never slow down. We bounce from project to chore to driving a kid somewhere to calling relatives to check on them, all the while quickly sending each other messages. We are more like partners in the bussiness of marriage than a couple. I don't regret or object to it though. This is what you do in middle age. Really it is more of an extended servatuide that anything else. I know this time will pass so quickly, though.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Ready for My Solo

It has been rough going around here. My cold has morphed into a nasty sinus infection. I have tried medicaton, but nothing works. I went to an ENT and had a Cat scan done. Hopefully, he can figure out how to remove the blockage. I am pretty tired and overwhelmed. Add to that the storm of the century (we had 22 inches). I am slowly losing my holiday spirit. Which stinks because I live for Christmas and snow! I am not able to go out in the snow at all because the cold air causes my head to hurt 10 times more. Oh well, I just need to put on my big girl panties and deal with it (this expression makes my friend giggle everytime I say it becasue of the visual image).

I think this is why I like musicals. When faced with a daunting situation, the plucky heroine bursts into an uplifting song and dance with apporpriatlly placed props. I need to sing, but I can't move. The best that I can do is break each task into small parts and go from there. Today's job: wrap presents! Tomorrow: bake cookies!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

You May Think It's Funny, but It's Snot

Caroline caught a nasty cold over Thanksgiving, then Lily caught it last week. After two nights of no sleep and holding feverish Lily, now it is my turn. It sucks! I blow my nose, which is raw, so I use the marginally better lotionized tissues, which smear all over my glasses. I look like Rudolph's "rode hard and put away wet mother." Add to that I can't hear crap and my students are taking full advantage. if one more little six year old asks me why my nose is red, I'm going to scream. Any idea how hard it is to get little guys to listen when you have to stop and sneeze mid-lecute then blow your nose feriousiouly five times? Seriously, I'm just a disgusting mess. I'm just going to go sit and nurse a cup of tea. I did write a new song: "I'm dreaming of a snot-free Christmas, with every runny nose I wipe."

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Dining Room Update

So far, so good. Painting is finished for the most part. We just need to do the trim and touch us some spots. We went out today and got an estimate for hardwood flooring and bought a new chandelier. It's been kind of fun!

Thursday, December 3, 2009


My kids are quirky. Not in the way you'd think, though. I am raising decidedly suburban children who love all the things that good suburban children love. There are no amazing mind blowing theoretical conversations going on here, no extended huge Picasso-esque craft projects, no scarves and beads and artistic names like Willow. My kids, like me are in disguise. For all intent and purposes they look and sound like every other kid, but every once in awhile something comes out of their mouths that makes you do a double take.

Case in point, at the age of four Caroline was a Van Gogh expert. She would delight in telling people that "he cut off part of his ear because his brain wasn't thinking right." Flash forward to now. You know she's a drummer, but I wouldn't call her a prodigy. She drums on everything (and I'm developing a nervous tick), but it isn't her passion. Her passion is food. While, most teens leaf through gossip magazines, Caroline is ogling "food porn." She loves Paula Dean's magazine and made Paula's pumpkin bars for Thanksgiving (they over shadowed my famous rum pumpkin pie, dammit). This week, she talked Rob into buying her one of those glossy dessert magazines. I think that if I was able to take her to meet Duff from Ace of Cakes or Paula Dean or the queen of cooking, herself Ina Garten, it would be like meeting a rock star.

The only exception to this would be if she could meet that guy who is Owl City, you know the one who sings Fireflies? Yeah, you don't unless you spend all of your time with preteen girls. Anyway, this song is her other obsession. It is very dreamy and sweet and preteen girls the country over can sing every word with passion and joy (a side note, thank you to the kid who gave her the Fireflies ring tone, the one that goes off every time one of you texts her, which always seems to be during homework, which always prompts Rob to mutter we don't have unlimited texting).

Now to the other kid, there's no denying that this one is quirky. She's my logical scientist with the killer sense of humor. Awhile back I wrote about her being an alien http://http//
It's worse now than ever. She is just baffled by the ways of mere mortals. She also questions everything they do http://http// Lily still loves her babies (and all of their accessories), but she is developing a new love of theater. Makes sense, her Grandude works at one and we see lots of shows. It stands to reason that I thought she'd love to see my first graders' Thanksgiving play. I missed the mark on that one. She politely watched the show, but on the way home, stated that that really wasn't a play. They had costumes, but they didn't act. She wanted to know why the kids just sat there or went up to the microphone and talked. That's not acting. I thought the show was a hit. It's a good thing she doesn't write reviews for the school paper. My stepfather thought this was hilarious. I heard him telling it with pride at Thanksgiving dinner.