Tuesday, June 27, 2006

taggedy tag tag

Well, my daughter's friend tagged me, so rather than ignore tags as I usually - and rudely - do, I'm going to post my answers here.

Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18 & read line 4: "As the neonate matures, more subcutaneous tissue develops."

Stretch your left arm out as far as you can. What can you touch? The door into the infant nursery.

What was the last thing you watched on TV? Some nasty, gaggy, worm-eating competition on Fear Factor as I was walking through the room. Why do my kids insist on watching that show???

Without looking guess what time it is: 11:20 pm

Now look at the clock. What is the actual time? 11:07 pm

With the exception of the computer, what can you hear? A newborn crying because he's getting blood drawn. :(

When did you last step outside? What were you doing? 6:20 pm, going in to work.

Before you started this survey, what did you look at? Queen of Heart's blog.

What are you wearing? Denim capris, lime green tank top, lime green/peach striped shirt, Birkenstock sandals.

What did you dream last night? I don't remember, but it was probably something very strange.

When did you last laugh? About 30 seconds ago.

What is on the walls of the room you are in? A bunch of medical charts, and a photo of a nurse wearing a bunny tail on her scrubs.

Seen anything weird lately? Besides the above photo, my own weird self in the mirror.

What do you think of this quiz? I try not to think too much about quizzes. :)

What is the last film you saw? Part of one of the X-Men movies on DVD.

If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy? A new house, since I can't seem to convince God to send a tornado to wipe out the one we're currently in.

Tell me something about you that I do not know: I have slept under the Eiffel Tower.

If you could change one thing about the world, what would you do? Stop child abuse.

Do you like to dance? Yes, but my family won't let me. They say I embarrass them.

Comment to George Bush: "Do what's right, not what's popular."

Imagine your first child is a girl, what would you name her? Emma. Or Claire. :)

Imagine your first child is a boy, what would you name him? Tyler. Or Flex. :)

Would you ever consider living abroad? YES.

What do you want God to say when you reach the pearly gates? "Well done, good & faithful servant. Now you can eat all the chocolate you want without gaining weight."

Friday, June 23, 2006

Some people's kids

I thought my own children were getting just too tech savvy for their own good, until I read Bonnie Wren's blog entry about her boys' "adjustments" to her cell phone ringer. Jumping Jupiter!

Okay, have you stopped laughing hysterically and pulled yourself together? We moms need to brainstorm about how we're going to keep our kids from taking over the world at age eight, simply because they know more than we do about microprocessors and gigabytes and pings and RSSs. (By the way, I bet you can't find one person in your circle of adult friends over the age of 25 who can tell you what an RSS is.)

I think we just haven't put the fear of technology into our children. And saying, "If you do that, the computer will blow up," just isn't good enough. Boys will be more than happy to witness a computer exploding into six gajillion pieces, especially if one of the shards will penetrate their little sister's Bratz doll's head, trading her hip, urban look for a more primitive bone-through-the-nose appearance..

And girls have no fear of cell phones. I thought about giving my daughter the classic "that's going to grow attached to your ear" speech, but then I realized she'd actually be okay with that, since that would free up both her hands for a Starbucks Frappaccino and her iPod. If she could operate a laptop with her feet, believe me, she'd do it.

Of course, if you're in the sandwich generation like me, you've also seen the other end of the tech savvy spectrum. This would be personified in my father, who cannot set a digital alarm clock, and in my mother, who thinks that if you open the microwave while it's still running, you run the risk of nuking your own brain and imploding your neighbor's prize pumpkins. My mom owned a digital camera for two years before she would actually take a photo with it. I'm not sure, but I think she thought that it would somehow transmit pictures and classified information by satellite to one of those axis of evil countries.

So anyway. If you have any good ideas about how to scare my kids into leaving my electronics well enough alone, I'd like to hear them, and ASAP. Today my youngest son changed my Windows log-in name to "Shugah Mama," and my daughter uploaded a photo of her boyfriend's eyebrow to serve as my cell phone's screen saver. Something's got to be done.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Meaningless meanderings of a middle-aged mom

I started my day today with a big bowl of Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch. Some days you just have to throw caution and bran flakes to the wind.

As I get older, I'm starting to get nervous about taking showers. The print on all the bottles and tubes in there is impossibly small, and of course I can't wear my bifocals in the shower, so it's always a real possibility that I will apply the wrong product to the wrong place. I'm afraid I'm going to put Acid Peel on my hair and Thickening Conditioner on my face, and end up bald but with a luxurious mustache.


I've figured out that there are two kinds of people in the world - those who rarely scrape, cut, or abrade themselves; and those whose bodies are basically held together with an assortment of Band-Aids because they have no skin left. I'm in the former group. A 30-count package of adhesive bandages could last me my entire life. I live with a bunch of people in the latter group. How these people are still walking around is a mystery; it seems to me that they should have all bled to death by now, given the number of Band-Aids they need on a daily basis. The 60-count package is nowhere near sufficient. I'm going to check Super StuffMart to see if they carry a 500-count Box 'O Bandages.


The recipe for Skunk Shampoo is as follows:

1 qt. hydrogen peroxide

1/4 c. baking soda

1 tsp. dish soap

I think it is a frightening comment on my life that I know this by heart.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Of babies and drool (mine, not theirs)

It’s often been said that kids don’t come with an instruction manual. I beg to differ.

When our first child was placed in my arms nearly 16 years ago, I also received a detailed journal of his first six weeks of life, thanks to the diligence of his wonderful foster mom. She had been careful to record all of his preferences - back patted or rubbed (rubbed); pacifier or thumb (pacifier); cloth or disposable (disposable); soup or salad (salad, with extra croutons and ranch dressing on the side). She even had him sleeping through the night. In my opinion, she’s so far up the sainthood ladder she should be the next Pope.

So you can imagine my surprise when I gave birth to our daughter a year later, and she didn’t emerge from the womb clutching a spiral notebook titled, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Raising a Self-Proclaimed Princess But Were Afraid to Ask. And she had the nerve to wake me up every 2 hours to eat. The next two kids were even worse. Everything I thought I knew about parenting infants was, of course, utterly outdated for the 1993 and 1995 models.

My mother was no help. Actually, she did offer up one bit of wisdom that turned out to be 100% accurate: “Welcome to motherhood. You’re going to be tired for the rest of your life.”

I am tired. Fortunately, I have mastered the fine art of sleeping nearly anywhere. Unfortunately, I have also mastered the fine art of sleeping with my mouth hanging open like a vast cavern, and usually in the vicinity of my childrens’ friends. My eleven year old son tells me I’m “an embarrassment to nature.” This, coming from the kid who thinks soap is for sissies.

To his complaint, I say, “Tough noogies.” My kids made me tired, so they can deal with the consequences. And they’ve been given strict instructions that if there’s a drool puddle under my face, to let me sleep. No drool - call 911.

Well, it’s time to show my son I have not yet begun to embarrass him. Tomorrow is his hockey practice. My goals are two-fold: 1) get a good 2-hour power nap, and 2) snort loudly in my sleep a few times.

Look for his side of the story in a few days, on his blog.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

For this I'm paying HOW MUCH every month?!

A few weeks ago, I decided it was time to upgrade my cell phone and our service plan. The kids were complaining that my basic little phone didn’t perform any of the most necessary cell phone functions, like taking pictures, text messaging, or having an obnoxious ring tone. And I thought we needed a few more minutes on our plan. As it was, we had 400 minutes per month, which meant that my kids could call me 400 times so I could answer the same questions every time:

1) “Where are you?” and, 2) “When will you be home?”

Additionally, on odd-numbered days they call to remind me that we are out of milk, socks, and underwear, and on even-numbered days, two of them take turns calling every 10 minutes to rat each other out. I should also note that I receive the majority of my phone calls before I have even pulled out of the driveway.

So I decided to upgrade our service plan to 600 minutes, thinking I’d have a nice cushion of minutes to use to call people who want to talk about something other than boogers and who ate the last Klondike bar. But it’s not working out the way I planned. It seems that Princess BunHead and her friend have decided they need at least an hour a day to discuss what they instant messaged about that morning, and then another hour to discuss what they emailed about that afternoon. Hello? Have you people ever heard of the postal service? Would it kill you to use a pen?

Well, at least I have a nice, new phone. I picked out a pink Razor phone, even though my daughter, FashionBug, advised against it. She says it’s going to clash with my outfit every time I wear red. Color aside, my new phone has all kinds of cool features like a camera, which has allowed me to be the proud owner of 18 pictures of my son’s nostrils and five photos of the inside of my purse. I’ve also successfully but mistakenly text-messaged a snake farmer in India and a German brewery.

To make things even more interesting, yesterday I purchased a wireless headset (in matching pink, of course). This allows me to walk around in public looking like I am carrying on a very important business call, when in fact I am just disconnecting all my calls because I can’t see the dang thing to push the right buttons, and then muttering to myself about my apparent technological ineptitude.

So don’t call me for a couple of days. My phone’s going to be tied up while I figure out how to program it to answer, “TC is not available right now. If you would like to leave a message that she will never receive because she has forgotten her voice mail password, press 1. If you would like to make a donation toward her cell phone bill, press 2. If you would like to annoy her, just press a bunch of buttons in random order. If this is an emergency, please hang up and send a postcard. Thank you.”

Friday, June 9, 2006

I've got one nerve left, and they're stepping on it.

I had intended to write something interesting today, but instead I'm just sitting here in a stupor, feeling like a tabby cat that's been dragged around by the tail all day. My kids have worn me down to a half a nub.

I thought bedtimes were supposed to get easier as children get older. Ha! It takes nearly two hours to urge, cajole, argue, and convince my teens and adolescents that they really do need sleep. Gosh, it's like wrestling a herd of Tasmanian devils - by the time it's over, I'm covered in teeth marks and they're foaming at the mouth. It really sets the stage for sweet dreams of family harmony when the last words my kids hear at night is, "I'd better not hear that basketball hit the ceiling one more time, or you're going to be grounded for eternity while I run off to Brazil! And I'm taking the dogs, the computer, and the cell phone with me!"

Exhausted sigh. Am I the only mother who struggles with this?

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Thoughts on my day

So, it’s 7:00 am and I’m in the bathroom, putting on my makeup before taking Princess BunHead to dance camp. I start with some concealer, and wonder, as I do every morning, if I can buy this in the industrial barrel size. I need to be dipped in a vat of concealer.

Everything goes along fine until I get to the foundation. I squeeze the tube and get a dribble of makeup out of it. I remember what I paid for this little tube and wonder, what makes this stuff so expensive? I should check the ingredients. Maybe it’s made from the cuticles of pregnant Siberian mountain goats. Anyway, I’m going to get every last molecule out of this tube, so I start squeezing up from the bottom.

Blurp. A fountain of foundation erupts over my makeup case, its contents, and the bathroom counter. If it had been crude oil, I’d be a millionaire. Apparently, the tube was nowhere near empty. “Was” being the operative word. Sigh.

I continue with my beauty routine until I drop my mascara brush. The bathroom counter is now wearing a layer of foundation, some spilled loose powder, a little blush, and mascara. It looks better than I do. Actually, on any given day, an old tractor tire looks better than I do. I consider adding some lipstick to the counter and sending it out to face my day, while I go back to bed.

Sigh again. While cleaning up my mess, I think, I am such a goombah. Then I realize I’ve been humming “Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven,” and I remember the line, “Well our feeble frame He knows.” I shake my head. Feeble ought to be my middle name. I wonder if the comedy of errors that is my life makes Him roll His eyes and smile? I mean, He must not mind that I’m a goombah. He made me this way.

An hour later, I glance in the rearview mirror of my car and see that my hair looks like broom that's been gnawed by beavers. How attractive. It seems that the little foundation episode caused me to forget to comb out my hair. Great. Now I'm a goombah with a haystack on my head. Sigh yet again.

Later, I drive by a church marquee that says, “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous.” Yep, He saw me start my day with incompetence. He knows I’m a goombah. But because I’m covered by the blood of Christ, I’m a righteous goombah.

It doesn’t get any better than that.

Monday, June 5, 2006

Busy, busy, dreadfully busy

I think I have lost all voluntary control over my own body.

The next two weeks are packed - dentist & orthodontist appointments, an hour drive each way to daily ballet camp for my daughter, hockey spring training for Sasquatch, work, a bathroom remodel that has now grown to include the laundry room and a second bathroom, and a swimming pool to tend to. Forget about cooking and cleaning. My family will have to forage for wild berries and wear beach towels safety-pinned to their underwear.

For whatever reason, my brain has suddenly decided that I can get by on less than 5 hours of sleep each night. I look like I've got a matched set of Samsonite luggage hanging under each eye. But what my brain doesn't know is that my body is soon going to rebel by falling asleep while I'm standing in the produce department of the grocery store. If you see a woman upended in the pineapple display, don't pull me out. I need my rest.

And for some odd reason, I've been thinking about getting back into running. Never mind the obstacles of

1) no time. Except for the possibility of running around my car at red lights.

2) heat. Texas is nature's answer to the toaster oven by 8am now.

3) the reason I quit running in the first place:

Well, that, plus I couldn't find running clothes to match my elbow-length gloves.