Thursday, September 30, 2010

Spin Cycle- Laughter

Loud PB whisper from around the corner:  "Let's sneak up on Mama and give her surprise hugs!  Sneak, sneak, sneak."  
 Loud giggle, and even louder whisper:  "We're sneaking.  Sneak, sneak.  Shhhh, little o, don't tell!" 

How can you not laugh when you know you're about to get a "Sneak attack" of hugs? 

This weeks Spin Cycle is "Laughter".  Jen wants to know what makes us laugh.  Truth be told, we laugh a lot in our house.  At each other, at ourselves, at the TV- the antics abound.

I laugh when I walk into the living room to find both boys doing the "No Pants Dance".  Somehow little o gets his trau off, and LG decides his knees need some air, too.  Then he realizes he's doing something "naughty" and starts to giggle. It's all downhill from there.

I think I laugh hardest when LG repeats things he's heard PB or I say.  "Little o, listen to my voice.  Don't throw Legos!"  "To the moon, little o, to the moon!"  It's that tiny voice trying to act all grown up that's hysterical.  And the fact that he can repeat it word for word! (on a side note, that also ticks me off.  It means he's listening to us and just ignoring what he hears.  Grrrr.)

I also love a good corny joke.  Got a pun, send it my way.  A priest and a rabbi in a bar?  Please share.  I'll laugh out loud for you.  Ok, maybe I'll groan with smile on my face.

"Three asparagas were in a car accident.  Two died immediately, the third was rushed to the hospital.  When the wife asked the dr how he was the dr responded, 'He's alive, but he'll be a vegetable all his life!'" 

It's having a sense of humor that gets me through the day.  If I couldn't see what was funny about all the little every day things, I'd never make it through.  

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts

It's Tuesday.  It's also my birthday (gasp!).  But more importantly, Keely's having us all over, so I can party and not have to clean up your mess.  Come play.  Look, I even remembered the button this week:

->  Yes, it's the Mama Badger's birthday.  I'm 36.  I tell you this proudly because I look darn fine for 36.  A good friend (looking at you Auntie D) tells people she's 29.  People know we're the same age.  We look terrible for 29!  Ugh.  No, no.  I'll accept all my years proudly.  Hell, most of the people I know are amazed I've made it this long.  If it were cave times, I'm pretty sure I'd have been saber toothed tiger dinner long ago.

->  PB made me pink cupcakes.  Because I'm the only girlie in our house.  It was very sweet.  Isn't he cute?

->  Did you know that the oldest living zombie from "Night of the Living Dead" is 92?  How cool is that?  She still thinks that making the movie was one of the best things she ever did.  Most of the zombies were random people that the producers knew, like Moms, Aunts and neighbors.  This ladies sons both worked on the film and they talked her into being a zombie and loaning them her car.  I can only hope my sons come home with something this cool some day (I would totally say yes).

->  PB and little o have started playing "chicken" at dinner.  No, not eating chicken, playing chicken.  Little o likes to throw his food when he's full.  PB does not like this at all.  He tries to stare little o down and "dare" him to throw the next bite. Guess who usually wins?  Then LG makes it all that much better by shaking his fist and saying "To the Moon, little o, to the moon!" in his best PB impersonation.  Makes me laugh every time.

->  I've begun to worry about the people who don't worry for themselves.  Let me explain.  People like me read about all sorts of weird stuff and react.  BPA is bad, change your plastic usage.  The chemicals in food are bad, eat natural.  Coloring, dyes, it is all causing unseen damage.  I read it, I react accordingly.  I can see how it's affected some of the folks in my generation. side note:  I'm amazed at all the people I went to hs and college with that weren't able to conceive with out assistance or have gotten cancer.  The growing nature of chemicals in our childhood and this statistic can't be a coincidence.  end note.  What I worry about are the people who are completely ignoring all of these things.  Why do I care?  Who knows.  Apparently, I don't have enough to worry about in my own life...

->  I hate little plastic dinosaurs.  with . a. passion.  The teachers at school have given up on giving a treat every time LG uses the potty.  Clearly he has the skill down.  Now they give him a treat if he uses the potty every time they ask in a day.  It's a little plastic dinosaur.  Of course he'll go sit on the potty if the little prize from Taiwan is looming in front of him.  We have a lot of little plastic dinosaurs.  LG is still not anywhere near potty trained.  Damn the dinosaurs.  They didn't help at all.

->  Ever watch a complete stranger "grow up" in front of your eyes?  I work right next door to a college with many commuters.  For the last few weeks, I have managed to get behind the same car on my way home nearly every day.  There are some hairy traffic situations before we can get on the high way.  For the first few days we sat and waited.  And waited.  And waited for ideal traffic before she'd turn.  Then she'd wait, and be a little bold.  Now she's recklessly driving into traffic like a seasoned trucker.  I'm so proud of her, sniff.

Ok, time to make the donuts.  Have a good Tuesday, everyone.  And may the next year be filled with all sorts of good stuff for everyone!

Monday, September 27, 2010

MicroFiction Monday

Once again, time for MicroFiction Monday!  Susan from Stony River gives us a picture, and we take our best 140 characters to bring it to life.  Think it's easy?  You should try it too!  Here's today's:

As much as Delia loved her family’s reunion on the coast, sometimes she had to slip away and just be by herself with the ocean.

And today's "I'd rather be" for Monday:
I'd rather be at work (facing the Audit Committee, ugh) than at home wondering how in God's name my toothbrush ended up in the washing machine.  Really.  Found it last night.  Toothbrush in with the boys laundry as I put it all into the dryer.  I'm not sure I even want to know.  Do you think the Downy will keep my breath fresher longer?  

Go ahead and tell me, where would you rather be?

Have a good Monday, all!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Spin Cycle- Religion

Gasp.  That's right.  This Spin is about religion.  Feel free to click off at any time.  It's not going to be a soapbox post, though, so you might want to stick around.
I'm one of the few people that will talk about religion.  And I like it when other people talk about religion.  It's ok by me.  

I think we'd all be a little better of if we talked about religion more.  It's all in how you talk about it.  There is a huge difference between sharing ideas and lecturing or trying to convert.

I'm a Catholic.  Born and raised.  My parents were Catholics.  But not all of my grandparents were.  My paternal grandmother was Jewish.  My father was born during WWII.  Any guesses why she didn't raise him as a Jew?  She also died when he was 2, and the Jewish side of the family didn't have the resources to take both him and my Aunt.  So the Catholics did.  But the Jewish side still saw him a lot, and he learned a lot about being Jewish from his visits with them.  I learned a lot about being Jewish from my visits with them.  There's a lot to learn.  

The biggest lesson?  Tolerance.  We can all believe different things and still be friends. 

Much of what you read about any moderate religion will tell you the same thing:  No where in the texts our religion is based on does it say you need to kill other people who don't believe as we do.  Extremists and people trying to use religion for political advantage like to read that into the works, but the words themselves do not support it.  Moderate Christians will tell you this (Catholics included), moderate Muslims will tell you this.  Jews, Buddhists.  They all have extreme sects, but the mainstream religion believes in tolerance.  Many of us shake our heads when the extremists do something that gets them into the news.  "Ugh", we say, "Why do they make us all look like crazies?"  

So, why can't we talk about religion?  I'd like to know more about Muslim.  The holidays, what they really believe.  All we hear about is the ones who want to blow stuff up.  Certainly that's not every Muslim!  Or the world would be a pile of cinders.  So, what do the others believe?  And Judaism?  All most people know is the holocaust and Hanukkah.  But there is so much more to know about it. If only people could talk to each other about it.

I know, I'm over simplifying.  It's hard to talk about religion without the passion that religion brings out in people.  We desperately want people to agree with our view.  With our understanding.  Because if we can convince them to agree, then maybe we'll be more convinced that it's true.

In the end, that's what it's about right?  Who has the "right" answer?  When the big game ends, who did the right thing?  Who prayed to the right guy?  Or was it ok not to pray at all?

Ok, I'm done.  I have to go read what other people think about this.  Maybe learn a thing or two.

Bringing is all back around:  If my Jewish relatives hadn't been tolerant of Catholicism, we all would have missed out.  They would never have known my Dad, who was a great guy.  I know that they loved him a lot.  He (and I) would never have gotten to know them.   I would have never learned how to play dreidl, or why the Passover dinner is so important.  I also would have never heard my Great Uncle Karl tell my older brother the single most important thing I've ever learned about any religion:

"It's not important how you pray, on your knees or standing facing a certain direction.  It's not important if it's in a church, a synagogue or a parking lot, out loud or in your head.  What's important is that you believe.  Believe in God, and believe that he'll help you do the right thing.  Don't let any human being try to force you to do something you know isn't right."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wordful Wednesday

It's Wednesday.  Time to subject you to another set of pictures.

Little o in the wagon.  Not looking thrilled.

LG on a pedal tractor.  Looking sweet.

Today is a "grind your teeth" day at work.  Because if you're grinding your teeth, it means your mouth is shut.  Which means nothing will come out that will get you fired.  It's a good thing...

This Wordful Wednesday was brought to you by 7 Clown Circus Parenting by Dummies.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts

The button is up.  That means it's time for Keely and Random Thoughts.  Enough about my illustrious host, on to more about me.

->  Ever sit down and think about what weird krappe you're passing on to your kids?  Now that fall is here, there is candy corn out in abundance.  My Mom had a thing about candy corn.  She loved it (as do I).  But it's not a "wrapped" candy, so she didn't like putting it out in her candy dish.  She was afraid of the dust and germs.  Her answer?  Hotel shower cap.  Yup.  She'd put one of those clear hotel shower caps over the bowl so that people could see what was in it, but not have to get the dust and germs.  By comparison, I'm normal.

->  "I'm thinking of taking up the guitar."
      "Really, what brings that on?"
      "I don't know.  I didn't want to in high school, but now I think it'd be a good skill to have."
      "As opposed to something useful, like vacuuming?"
I'm apparently a killjoy, shattering PB's dreams of rock star greatness.

->  Sometimes support comes from the weirdest places.  I took LG and little o to a "Fall Festival" this weekend.  It was really no more than a bunch of bouncy things, a small hay maze and a few pedal tractors.  One of the bouncy things was an obstacle course, though.  Which clearly indicated that you need to be 4 feet to go in.  LG is 3 feet if he stands on his tip toes.  But he desperately wanted to try.  He kept peeping up into the entrance "hole".  I kept saying no.  Finally, the long haired hippy "attending" (I put quotes because he was more just standing next to it, gazing into space) said, "Why don't we give the little guy a shot?  If he gets stuck in the middle, I'll go in and get him."  Uhm, ok.  If you think he can.  And in LG went.  The (tall enough to see over the edge) hippy guy updated me on his progress "Wow, look at him go!  He's loving it in there.  Not a problem at all.  This little guy is ready for Everest!"  And soon enough, out popped LG on the other end.  The hippy dude helped him in 7 or 8 more times and watched him each time. 

->  I will now be cutting this blog short.  Little o was at my SILs because he was sent home from school yesterday with a low grade fever.  Now he has spots.  Yeah!  Polka dot is my favorite pattern...

Have a good Tuesday, all.  I'm off to go rescue a little o.

Monday, September 20, 2010

MicroFiction Monday

It's Micro Fiction Monday, with the lovely Susan from Stony River.  She provides the lovely picture, you supply the 140 words to go with it.  

The picture had hung in the foyer as long as she could remember.  Emily just couldn’t bear sending it to the Salvation Army with all of her parent’s other things.

And my "I'd rather be" for today:
I'd rather be at work than answering the question, "Why, Mama?"  

Have a good Monday.  Or have a miserable Monday, if you prefer, and just hope Tuesday provides some relief.  Your choice.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Spin Cycle- Education

Ahhh, blogging on my new computer is what I imagine blogging in heaven is like.  I had no idea that my old one had such problems, but now that they're gone?  Angels singing.  

Anyhow, this week's Spin Cycle is on Education.  And I've been mulling it all week.  So many angles, which one to choose.  Then I realized that I haven't been on my soap box in a while.  It's time I dust that off and take a moment to step up to where the air is just a bit thinner...

Education is becoming undervalued in our society.  With the advent of the Internet, everyone thinks they know, or can find out, all the information they will ever need.  No need to consult experts, no need to check facts.  Surely, if it's on Wikipedia, it must be true, right?  Who needs to pay attention in school?  For that matter, why does anyone even pay for a degree anymore?  We all seem to think we're Internet experts in every field (and we don't even stay at the Holiday Inn Express).

Here is a perfect example.  Be honest now.  How many people go to the Internet when they're not feeling well?  You consult Web MD way before you call your own Dr.  Sometimes you even diagnose yourself (and have the nerve to suggest to the Dr what you think it is you have...)  Gone are the rules for how many days, or how severe your ailment must be before you call the doctor.  Now you just hit the webs, go the pharmacy and do it yourself.  Does that sound even remotely safe?  Or sane?  We still send Dr.s to school for 8 years.  They have residencies and internships and all sorts of things.  And somehow 20 minutes of trolling the web makes us capable of a diagnosis?  Not so much. (I'd love to see survey of how many people have self diagnosed over the web, and applied a web cure to find out that either they did more damage, or the weren't really sick at all).

 Then there's politics. Every one thinks they can run the country.  We make judgments based on what we read on the web, or what an actor or talk show host has spouted.  We listen to people who have no EXPERTISE in what they're speaking about.  They haven't studied economics for years, or learned how health insurance works.  These are people who couldn't tell you the difference between a hedge fund and a trust fund, but they'll tell you the government should never have bailed Wall St. out. Those people are all thieves.  The make judgements on people's salary, with no real job description.  Because the people doing the talking don't understands what they're talking about.  They have read the cliff notes, and act like they've done their doctorate in the subject.

I'm just saying a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.  The Internet is a great tool for sharing, and for learning a little about a lot of things.  But a website doesn't make you an expert. We still need to go to the Dr, read real books, go to class.  Consult an expert and realize that it's worth whatever you have to pay for their educated opinion.

Ok, I'm pretty sure I'm the only spinner that went down this road.  Go visit Sprite's Keeper and the others and see what's going on in class this week.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts- Birthday Surprise!

Welcome to what could be considered either an amazing or a completely awful Tuesday here at the Badger Den. But we'll get to that in a second. We're all sorts of Random today, thanks to Keely at the Un Mom.  If you're feeling random, go visit her.  She's doing something with peanut butter today.

->  I would have had this post up a lot earlier (I was all sorts of prepared) but I am living through the blue screen of death.  Ugh.  I turned on the work computer this morning (where I had all sorts of photos stored...) and there is was.  Mocking me.  The bad news is that I'm not sure I backed all those photos up at home.  The good news is that my oldest kid is only 2 and a half, and I take more pictures of him that most people want to see, so it's probably ok.  The other good news is that my boss was so annoyed that he called IT and demanded that I get a new computer instead of just fixing the old one.  Ooooh, shiny and new.  And then I'll put all my links back so I can visit you guys.  Until then, I might be a little slow on the finding you.

->  Ok, stop chomping at the bit.  I'll put up a picture of the cake.  I know I've been promising.

Now you're wishing you had been invited, right?  This is all thanks to Miss Jan at Jan's Sushi Bar.  (She's got a guest blogger today, but since it's BE you should go visit anyway!)  We'll get to the excitement of meeting Jan in just a second.  Go back and take a look at the cake.  How cool is that ducky???  The right side didn't contain a big smudge, it was little o's name.   She really saved me on this one.  I am not talented enough to do cupcakes, let alone a fancy cake.  And she drove it all the way up to our house.  Have I mentioned that she's beautiful and talented, yet?   Everyone who was at the party complimented our ducky fest.

Not only did she do that one above for all our guests, she did this one just for little o to enjoy:
And enjoy he did.  Sweet, huh?  How adorable are these?  I really owe her in a million ways. 

Little o loved the heck out of his ducky:

Nom, nom, nom.  This is good stuff.
 That's him offering my niece some while she made a movie of the whole thing.  It was hysterical.

->  I got to meet Jan!  Of the Sushi Bar!  You all know she lives right here in sunny Ohio, so I was hoping this day would come at some point.  Woo hoo.  She really is just the cutest lady alive.  I just wanted to hug her to death.  I did hug her, but she remained alive, I promise.  She couldn't visit long (something about boys and pizza and needing to supervise) but we threw out the idea of meeting in Amish country at some point so we could actually sit down and enjoy each other's company without the idea of 30 odd strangers in my house looming in the background.  I had a picture of the two of us with little o, but it has gone the way of the blue screen.  Hopefully it's still on the camera at home, and I can load it up later.

I have more random, but it will have to wait until next week.  Since my morning was shot to death, I'm pretty sure my boss would like to see me accomplish something today.  Go visit Jan and Keely with all your extra time.

Monday, September 13, 2010

MicroFiction Monday.

Whew.  I might be back for real this week.  I sense a calming in the universe.  

My Microfiction.  Less than 140 words, with a picture provided by Susan at Stony River:

Go visit Susan and you can see what others envision when they see Betty and Maeve.
Also, back to "I'd rather be..."

I'd rather be at work than...  uhm.  I'd rather be at work...  Nope, I've got nothing.  Maybe cleaning my bathrooms?  We had an awesome weekend (I'll save that for tomorrow, though).  I'd really rather be at home with the boys or visiting the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center (where Little o is the proud sponsor of the Red Fox for a few months).  (Insert joke here)

Ok, that's all for today, class.  Come back tomorrow when I'll reveal the super hero that saved my chestnuts from certain roasting by baking Little o his birthday cake (which was amazing!!!)  And we can talk all about what it's like to have 30 mostly strangers in your house.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A trip around the sun... A Wordful Wednesday.

Many things have to go into this post.  Eeek. 

Happy Anniversary, PB. 

Thank you for putting up with me, and all the weirdness that comes with me.  And thanks for making me lunch yesterday (but seriously, you couldn't cut the sandwich in half at least?).

->  Secondly, HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY LITTLE O!!!!  No, I will not call you big o.  You'll always be little o to me.  We'll do a quick review, for people who want to ogle your cuteness.

Do you know what you're doing?  Seriously?

BFFs- Little o and Phil, the Elephant
First smile!
Little o's first Hanukkah.  Don't ask.
Little o as Obi Wan
Little o as food critic
Have you noticed that little o frequently has a questioning look on his face?

Grooming him for world domination

World domination after snack time...
Little o, the Patriot.  We'll use this as a campaign picture some day.
Little o resisting clothes...
Little o and his real best friend.
The first birthday shot.
Congratulations on surviving the first year in this crazy place.  We love you!!!

This post sponsored in part by WordfulWednesday at 7 Clown Circus.  And by the number 2.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts

Ok, I'm not sure it the thingy above is a real link or not, but I'm not going to questions it's presence.  Just go with it.  It belongs to Keely, though, so if you're going to ogle it, you should at least visit her site and thank her or something.

->  Tomorrow is little o's first birthday.  Nope, not ready at all.  When did 1st birthday's become such a huge deal?  What happened to inviting the grandparents over for ice cream and cake and calling it all good?  Now I have to make cupcakes for school tomorrow, and then I'm having 50 people over on Saturday.  I have duckies coming out my ears.   I'm fairly certain my parents didn't do this for me.  And I didn't sue them for malpractice.  I can't take the chance of little o having a better lawyer than me, though (don't go picking sides, Auntie D.  I know he'll win.  He's cuter.)

There will be more tomorrow.  This a preview.
         ->  What do you get a 1 year old who's older brother has every imaginable toy under the sun?

->  Tomorrow is also my anniversary.  Ready for that?  Uhm, I'll get back to you.  I might be. 

->  Blow it up.  It's amusing.  Something to offend everyone.

->  I will now concede that summer is over.  The NY kids have gone back to school.  Labor day is over.  It's time to get down to business.  Put away the flip flops, start making plans with rain contingencies.  Sigh.  It just didn't seem long enough this year.

->  "Little O, do you hear my voice?  I talking to you."  Do you know what it says to me when LG can repeat to little o verbatim the things I say to him?  The little punk is actually listening, and outright ignoring me.  This is why small children are cute.  Otherwise we'd throw them out the window.

->  LG flying a Black Hawk helicopter.  Yes, he's making the noises (hence the weird face).  Be afraid.  Be very afraid.

Ok, I'm off to go ruin some one's day.  No worries, it's not yours.  I'll spare you this week.  Go see Keely.  She's got a moustache for you car.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Spin Cycle- Respect

This weeks Spin Cycle is all about respect.  Anything we want on respect.  Hmmm.

What do you  do when someone you respect does something that you don't respect?  Do you immediately lose all respect?  Do you try to justify their actions with acts from their past?  Or do you look at the situation for what it's worth and realize that we're all infallible and we make mistakes from time to time?  Do you start out respecting people, and then they lose your respect, or do people have to earn your respect through their actions and words?

For me, it depends on how I know you and what you represent in my life.  If you're a politician and you have an affair?  Meh.  I'm not your wife.  I didn't trust your political prowess on your ability to handle your private life.  I decided based you your voting record or your campaign promises.  If a politician doesn't come through on their promises?  That's when they lose my trust.  Same thing with sports players.  I didn't admire Tiger Woods for his ability to maintain a home life.  I admire his ability to play golf.  His divorce is his business.  Now if I were to find out he cheated while playing?  Then I'd be upset.

I find it really interesting when people become personally  vested in public figures.  They feel betrayed when a sports figure does something illegal.  Their faith is rattled when they find out a politician is dishonest.  They respected those people as whole beings, and now that respect is shattered.  I find that a tad unfair.  If I've been thrust into the public eye for my ability to act in movies, then Joe Q. Public can judge just that, my ability to act in movies.  My salary, my choices of roles are all up for grabs.  But who I sleep with?  How I choose to spend my free time?  How do you earn the right to pass judgment on that simply for the price of a ticket?  Don't get me wrong.  I read a tabloid or two.  But that doesn't make those folks my friends.

->  Side note:  The above is why it amazes me when someone like Jenny McCarthy or Jim Carrey holds sway over whether or not folks vaccinate their kids.  Yeah, they have a kid.  But they aren't doctors.  They're actors (and quite frankly, I don't even respect their acting).  How do people have respect for them as authority figures in their child's health questions?  Call me kooky, but I look to certified professionals for those things.  Anyway... back to our regularly scheduled blog.->

It's gets a little touchier with friends.  Friendship doesn't occur in neat little boxes.  If a friend has questionable business dealings, or does something illegal, it does matter to our friendship, and maybe to my respect for them.  Part of my value of them as a friend is their integrity and my ability to trust them.  If I can't trust your choices I will have a hard time respecting you as a person.  I do look at people as a whole, though.  We all make mistakes.  We all take the easy way out on occasion.  You can't go around casting judgment on each individual action.  And then there's the case for forgiveness.  What do you consider forgivable transgressions and what rocks your faith in someone to the core.  I think it depends on the situation and the friend.

In the end, respect is complicated.  While it seems like a simple emotion, it's wrapped up in all sorts of other emotions.  (did you notice that in most places in this blog the word respect could have been replaced with trust? That's just how respect goes.)

Have a great labor day.  If you have a minute during your Earl Evasion (for the east coasters) go see Sprite's Keeper and have some respect!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The dreaded haircut.

This was meant to be a wordless Wednesday post, but Wednesday seems to have disappeared.  Hmmm, wonder where it went.  Any way.

The before :

Note the beautiful golden curls at the back of his little head.  

The during picture:

Note the look of utter betrayal on my little boy's face.  The horror, the horror.
Note the distinct lack of beautiful curls at the back of previously mentioned adorable head.  And the fiendish look of tyranny on that little face as he beams at the battle axe.  If my boy turns to a life of violence, I'm blaming it all on this haircut.  It was the turning point. (what, not everyone buys their 1 year old a foam battle axe?  who are you people?)

Yes, PB, this whole post was my parting shot across the bow of the HMS Guilt.  I will now let it go.  mostly...