Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Random Tuesday Thoughts

I'm going to Random today, even though Keely bailed.  You'll stay for the ride, right?

->  I have a confession.  Not only did I go to a "Mommy group" even on Sunday that involved accessories (how cliche is that?)  I've also been stalking a fashion blog.  http://whatiwore.tumblr.com/tagged/daily_outfit  I have no idea how I found "What I Wore", but I'm in love.  It's my daily fix of the "pretty girl" world.  She has some great outfits, and she's interesting.  I don't follow her fashion advice at all (I'm just not that good), but it's fun to sit on the sidelines and watch.  How girly-girl of me.

->  iPhone games are like crack.  I should have known it would only be a matter of time.  I was playing "Fruit Ninja" the other day, while LG and little o were building/destroying block towers.  LG said, "Mommy look!"  I replied, "Do I have to look right now?"  The minute it was out of my mouth I put the phone down.  Shame.  Horror.  Bad, bad me.  But I blame Apple.  I have to blame someone else, right?  Isn't that how it goes?

->  LG won the "I love you more" game the other day.  "I love you to infinity!"  "Mama, I love you to infinity and BEYOND!"  He, he, he.

->  Photos from a party this weekend.  "Toy Story" theme.  Sheriff Woody hats.  LG wouldn't take his off.  Though these look like such 70's shots.  This could have been my 3rd birthday, for what I have the kids in, with the straw hats.

->  I'm tired of saying, "It's better than nothing".  Really, really tired of it.  I'm tired of scrimping, and budgeting over and over and refinancing.  I'm tired of saying "Well, not this year, I guess."   I'm tired of employers who had good years in 2010 telling us that we're getting "cost of living" raises this year.  And I'm tired of the employees feeling grateful that at least this year we're employed, and getting raises.  Just tired of it.  Turn away now if you're a teacher, it's going to get ugly.  I'm REALLY tired of public employees complaining about the raw deal their getting, when they have good benefits and job security.  Yes, once a year you fight for it (and in some places you fight hard) but those of us in private industry don't even get to fight.  We just get a pink slip, and a pat on the back.  If you think my wages are so much better than your benefits, I'll trade you.  Come be an accountant.  The non-union private sector isn't fun.  Ok, mini-rant over.  Sorry about that.  One of my co-workers just got his review back.  Sigh.  We were all hoping for better news, so we could make a plan.  Nope.

->  Why did I leave that to last?  Now I'm ending on that note?  I can't do that.  Because for all my angst, I've very appreciative of teachers.  You work hard, doing something that most people can't do.  And you deserve what you get.  I just wish the rest of us could share a little more of the love.  I think this is the plight of the middle class right now.  We want to help, and we want something for everyone, but we don't want to get less for our hard work, either.  Again, sigh.

Ok, I'm out.  I have Fruit Ninja to play, after all. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Microfiction Monday

A new MicroFiction Monday Meme has inspired me to blog today.  Go see Grandma (and her Goulash) and see what some of the others think.  Oh, and this one has a "word", too.  Cater.  Here goes:

"The last beams of light made the chair look so tempting.  But with so many guests at the house to cater to, Maeve knew she'd regret even a moment of its comfort."

Ahhh, it's good to be back in the game.  I'm busy digging out, but now that Sprite's Keeper and The UnMom have gone on hiatus, I'm strangely motivated to write...

As for my "I'd rather be" Monday:

I'd rather be at work than doing my taxes.  Not that they're done.  Not even close (know the saying about the cobbler's kid and shoes?)  Still, I'd rather be here avoiding them than at home avoiding them.

Have a good week, all.

But wait, there's more:

A bonus for Monday.  Jan of the Sushi Bar is giving away a copy of Mark Sisson's new cookbook.  If you like cooking, if you eat in the primal/paleo/low carb/grain free/gluten free/dairy free this sounds like an incredible find.  Go visit Miss Jan, say Simon says, and enter to win an autographed copy.  Easy-peasy-lemon squeezy.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Between the lakes.

It spring, mostly, here in Ohio.  When you walk outside in the morning, the air has that special smell.  I've talked about it before.  Wet and chilly, but not cold.  The smell that takes me back (eep) 25 years to when I was a kid.

I grew up in the nothing-ness that occurs between Westchester and Albany NY.  Yeah, there are some smallish cities, but it's mostly wooded rural towns.  (Maybe by now they've grown to suburbs, how do I know?)  At any rate, there were lakes and trees, and dirt roads.  No worries about "crossing streets" or "waiting for the light". 

I grew as part of the last generation that was allowed to grow wild.  Our moms turned us out in the morning with a sandwich, and didn't expect us back until supper time.  I'm sure they occasionally wondered where we were, but they didn't worry about us if we weren't in sight.  I'm pretty sure we were almost never in sight.  We'd take off on our bikes, and go who knows where.  When you're 10 years old, the world seems a whole lot bigger.

The place the kids in my neighborhood loved to go was "between the lakes".  My community was formed around two lakes, separated by a narrow stretch of land.  In some places it was just wide enough for two people to walk side to side on the path, and in others there were big rocks, and trees and little coves out to the water.   The boys would take their fishing gear, scope out a spot and could be found there from about Easter through Veteran's Day.  

->This is the point at which I will give all our parents the credit to say it was strictly forbidden for us to go there.  Any of us, all of us.  No parent liked the idea of the kids being around all that water in a place that wasn't easily accessed by a station wagon.  You all understand what made it so desirable a destination now.<-

There was only one other little girl my age in the neighborhood, and we'd get on our pink Huffys and find the cove we liked.  We'd bask on the rocks on sunny days, or find shelter beneath the trees in drizzle or wind.  Only a true downpour would send us home.  We talked about nonsense, or nothing, and spent most of the time pretending we were anything but middle-class, American girls in the 80's.  We'd climb the trees and just sit in the limbs.

On really hot days, we'd wear your swimsuit under our shorts and when we heard the first boy splash into the water, we'd join them.  We'd dry off in the sun, and go our own ways again.  Only the water brought the two groups together.

At the end of the summer we would all go back to school with brown arms and legs, and a sense of regret for missing out on all the nothing we did all summer.  Not for lost video game time, or theme parts we didn't visit, but just the time without rules, without boundaries.  

I spend a lot of time thinking about this because I wonder what it will be like for the boys.  In suburban Cleveland, I'm pretty sure CPS would be all over me if my kids were sent out at 7:am with just a sandwich and a prayer.  But what do they lose with that independence?  If I'm always within arms reach, how can they find any kind of freedom?  Freedom to make a silly decision (let's have a rock fight, let's shoot arrows straight up and see where they land, let's ride our bikes off this ___) and face the consequences.  Do they have to wait until the 14, or 15?  That worries me.  The options to make mistakes are bigger as a teen, the decisions larger.  If you haven't had the chance to face the silly stuff how the hell do you face the bigger stuff?  Part of me thinks this is why Generation Y and the one after are having such a hard time of it.  Forget the Internet, and global access, they just were never allowed to develop their own sense of judgement.

Ok, now I'm getting judgemental, and that's not what this is about.  It's about figuring out how to let kids be free.  I've got another few years to worry about it.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Random Tuesday Thoughts- The Siesta Edition

So, this will be the last Random Tuesday Thoughts sponsored by Keely for a while.  I might still corral my randoms on Tuesday, but you won't get her blogtastic linky.

With that, let the good times roll:

->  Lately I've been bribing the boys with a cookie in the morning.  When little o toddles down the stairs (where PB sends him after he's dressed) and I'm still in the middle of making lunches I will hand him a cookie to entertain himself.  Great parenting, huh?  Just to mess me up, though, this morning LG asked for a carrot.  What?  I just offered you a cookie and you asked for a vegetable?  Nutjob.

->  I had to keep LG home sick yesterday.  He got sick at school on Monday afternoon, which puts him out of the game for 24 hours.  Except by yesterday morning, he was fine.  Jumped out of bed, ready for action.  Tuesday is story time at the library, so I figured I would take him to eat up some time.  And I met a co-worker there (she only works 3 days a week).  Now, isn't that a cute little catch 22.  Either I admit that I took my sick kid to a public place, or I admit that I'm not at work and my kid is healthy.  He, he, he.  Great.  In the end she was the one to say, "I hate it when you have to take off work because they came home sick, but they are completely fine the next day!"  Whew.  I noticed that she did put a few feet between her kid and mine, though.

->  I have officially met the biggest pain in the rear end parent in the world.  I really wish I were in a position to "disown" her in some way.  Her son goes to school with the boys.  He's actually in the room in between them (so, not in class with either of them, thank god).  Every morning she sees the boys with their chocolate milk, high fat yogurt, toast or muffin or whatever slathered in butter or cream cheese.  And regularly she comments to the teacher about how that just isn't healthy.  The teachers make their usual non-commital comment (because they can't possibly defend it without disclosing stuff that could get them in big trouble).  A few days ago, Miss Nosybody decided to confront me at pick up time.  Because when I'm trying to wrangle a toddler and a pre-schooler off the playground is a great time to strike up a serious conversation...  Anywho, she starts in on the fat, and the sugar, and all the extra calories.  And I sigh, and tell her I have it all under control.  She persists.  I tell her we're working with LG's doctors, and we know what we're doing.  She doles out what is clearly magazine advice.  I put my arms around little o to keep from smacking her face to the other side of her head.  Then she makes a comment (seriously, I can't even remember what it was because the red veil of rage took over for a second) that pushed me over.  I spent the next 3 to 4 minutes "informing" her about the number of specialists we've been to visit, the tests that poor LG has been through, the food journals, and every other month weight check ins that he endures.  All because my 3 year old weighs 25 lbs soaking wet.  He makes a rail look like Mama Cass.  His younger brother will outgrow him in about 6 months (and nope, little o isn't a "big kid".  He's just under average.)  Has she ever taken a good look at LG???  Does he look like he's in danger of childhood obesity?  Then, could she please be kind enough to save her concern for the people in Japan, or someone else who could really use it?  Because the people who need to be concerned about my kids already are.  I think she' avoiding me now.  He, he, he.  I'm sure she called CPS about them living with a crazy lady, though.

->  Over the weekend I posted a picture of my Mom on FB, because she has been gone 19 years as of Saturday.  Whew.  19 years.  Over half my life.  And I didn't give it too much thought.  On Monday, I opened my page to a few comments and "likes", and a  personal message.    My best friend from elementary school wrote a message about how she sometimes misses "the old days" and included many of our friends.  People we didn't even really stay friends with into high school.  In my day to day, I completely forget that there are still a LOT of people out there who knew my Mom.  Knew her well.  People I grew up with, and have reconnected with over FB.  They shared some memories, and we all laughed together on-line.  For as many relationships as FB ruins, I wonder how many it rekindles in a good way?

->  Yesterday confirmed the fact that PB will be the Lego Master at my house.  It took me an hour to put together the jeep for the Toy Story Army Guys.  I was reminded that "Papa can do it faster, and he doesn't read the directions."  Really, kid?  You're alone with me all day, and that's the route you want to take?  Sigh.

->  First purchase for little o's new room.  http://www.amazon.com/Oxo-4113600-Candela-Zoom/dp/B00200KIAU/ref=pd_bxgy_hi_img_b  (yeah, I can't link the picture for some reason).  How cool is that?  A rocket ship night light?

Ok, off to the salt mines.  Have a good week.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

May the sun always find you on a rainy day,
When you need to be home, may you find a way.
May you always have courage to take a chance,
And never find frogs in your underpants!

This was the only picture I got this morning.  After this one, o decided that LG was getting to comfortable with Alien, and he had to stop that.  LG said Alien had to be in the picture, since he's green.  Good times.

Ahhh, I hurt.  Last night I took my first Zumba class.  It was advertised as a fun, dance, exercise class.  Like Jazzercise for the new millennium, right?  Holy krappe.  The instructor was young, tan and perky.  She looked like she was in a dance club, with smooth moves and astounding rhythm.  She had fancy gold threads weaved into her hair and some sort of baggy exercise pants that made her backside look great.    Me?  Pasty in my work out shorts and old t-shirt, all angles and no rhythm.  I barely kept up with the feet, forget the arms.  And she reminded us that to get the full workout you need to do the arms.  But she was very sweet.  And really fun to watch.  She promised that next week I'd do better.  Ahh, to be young and optimistic.  Next week I just hope that I can sort of keep up better.  The plus to this class, though?  Nobody is watching you.  They couldn't possibly.  You have to keep your eyes on her or you'll fall on your face (you can't even watch yourself or you get lost).

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

I likes the jelly part.  You want the peanut butter part?

Why, yes, Don King is my hair stylist.  Why do you ask?
I threw this last one in for comparison sake.  This is 2009's St. Patrick's photo.  Come back tomorrow for 2010's ;)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Random Tuesday Spring

Ahhh, it's Tuesday.  It's almost Spring.  I want it to be spring so badly I can almost taste it.  You know the taste.  When the crisp, cold winter air changes to the breezy, warmer spring air?  That's what I'm looking for.  When you wake up to the patter of rain on the roof instead of the creaking of the icy tree limbs. 

Anyhow, on to the random.  With Keely.  And whatever she has going on this week.

->  One of the things I miss most about being in school is the breaks.  Because you can't compare a vacation from work to a break from school.  When I take a vacation day of my choosing, it's for a purpose.  A trip, or an event, something at the house that needs to be done, or something I'm doing for/with the boys.  There are no "just because I'm going to sit on my rear in front of the TV" days.  Now, if I sit in front of the TV for more than an hour, I start to notice all the things that need to be done.

     ->  This Sunday was the first "nothing" day we've had since LG was born.  No plans, we were all in our jammies until noon.  LG wanted to watch "Monsters, Inc" with me.  So, little o toddled around (with no competition for toys) and LG sat with us on the couch to watch TV.  Amazing.  I didn't realize he had a pause button.

->  We're planning on re-doing our pool deck this summer.  New patio, new fence.  Some fancy financing to make it all work.  Then we got into the financing, and thought, hmmm, maybe change it up a bit and do it next summer for the best cost we could get.  Hmmmm.  This weekend?  A pine fell over onto the pool fence and forced out hand.  Thanks, mother nature, for putting in your two cents.

->  Ever have a plan just fall into your lap?  On the to-do list is getting little o out of the nursery and changing it into an office/guest room.  He'll move down the hall and be next to LG.  But first, I need to plan out his new room.  Rockets?  Submarine?  Forest?  So many options.  Then he fell in love with the alien from Toy Story.  (really.  some one gave him a little plush alien.  I won't let him leave the house with it, but once he's inside it's his BFF.)  And Home Desperate handed me a plan.  His room is going to be "Infinity and Beyond" with "Alien Green" highlights.  Now to make it happen...

->  Rock star day at school.
That's all I've got this week.  There were more pictures, but my phone is playing tricks on me.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Random Tuesday Thoughts

We're going to jump right in.  No frillies today.

->  Does anyone else find it ironic that Charlie Sheen is living the exact character he played in Ferris Bueller's Day Off?  Hmmmm.  When fiction becomes reality.  (BTW- Charlie- look in the mirror.  You went from cute boy to crack whore.  Now stop that.)

->  Yes, I have "winter" and "summer" dishes.  Blame my mother in law.  I am only responsible for changing them out in the appropriate season (which anyone who at at my house last summer can tell you doesn't always happen).

->  These came in the mail from my old college roommate:

Sorry the picture is upside down.  But you get the idea.  Squeeee!  My first thought was, "These would make great church toys!"  Then I heard a small piece of George Lucas' soul die, and I decided against that idea.  Technically, they are for LG, but little o is IN LOVE with Yoda.  The force is strong in that one.

->  This is for the Aunties.  Yes, he really does love the ducky.

->  PB's graduate work is taking a toll on the whole family.  This weekend the boys had to suffer through 3 hours of shopping with Mama so he could get some time to write a paper.  (for the record, little boy + being in a shopping cart for 3 hours= CRAZY)  Plus, he's throwing off our show watching schedule.  As it is we're down to two shows.  Being Human and Chuck.  If you don't watch them, you're clearly inferior (or you don't have cable, for which I applaud you).  We have at least 3 episodes of each TIFauxed.  How sad is it that we will have to declare a "stay in date night" to get to watch one or two?  Sigh, May can not come soon enough.

->  I told LG to keep me honest when food shopping this week.  If it wasn't on the list, we weren't going to buy it (a down fall of mine).  Whew, he's a stickler!  He called me out on a pack of gum!  Of course, when I explained that the Ho-Hos were on sale, and a treat for Papa, he let that one slide.

->  LG is signed up for big boy swim lessons starting next week.  Yes, we're trying again.  This time it's no return.  He will scream until he decides it's all good this time.  Can I hide now?

->  Ok, back to my project.  It's slowly killing my soul.  This is why I became an accountant.  Yep, just for this.

Have a good week, all.