Sunday, November 29, 2009

More Random Musings

  • Why is it that the Littles can hear and converse with Stuart and his friend Margolo, but act hard-of-hearing when Snowbell speaks?
  • We are in that curious holiday limbo where the decorations from the holiday(s) just past are halfway down and the decorations for the next holiday are halfway up. It looks like an explosion in a Party City.
  • The noise from the Star Wars video game is highly annoying. Therefore, I am setting the timer.
  • Grocery shopping whilst hungry will result in 5 different kinds of bread. Where is my copy of the Carbohydrate Addict's Diet book?
  • Why can I never find my Advent Wreath? Even when I pack it away with the fall decorations, it goes missing.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ten Things You Don't Want to Find in the Washer or the Dryer

10. Tissues
9. Rocks
8. A Fork (?!)
7. Chewed up Starburst candies
6. Grass
5. Marbles
4. Eyeglasses (the kind from the dollar store, thank heavens)
3. Crayons
2. Realistic-looking toy snakes
1. Poop!

It's sooooo much nicer to find money. I would also like to point out that, other than tissues, I never carry any of these things in my pockets.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

You know you're a Mom when...

  • Any sentence with the words "temperature" or "degrees" in it automatically makes you think of fevers instead of weather.
  • The only thing you want to say to the young studly lifeguard is "stop twirling that thing before you poke someone's eye out!"
  • A stranger in your immediate vicinity 1) sneezes 2) cuts their finger 3) gets dirty or 4) has a clothing emergency. Without even thinking you reach into your purse and hand over a 1) tissue 2) a bandaid 3) a wet wipe or hand sanitizer and 4) a safety pin.
  • You also carry snacks in your purse. And crayons. And paper. All in multiples based on the number of children you have.
  • You know the locations of all the public bathrooms within a 50 mile radius of your house.
  • You know the guy who makes smoothies at the local Dunkin Donuts by name. And he knows you and your kids and who likes strawberry and who likes mango.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

True Confessions

  • I've never finished reading Little Women. Along about the time that Laurie and Amy get engaged, I just stop caring. Every few years I drag it out, determined to finish and... quit in the same place.
  • I don't sort my laundry, I just use a lot of Shout Color Catchers. A few months ago I felt guilty and pretended I was in an old Cheer commercial. I didn't notice any difference at all and it took 45 days to get the laundry done instead of 31. So the heck with that.
  • I sometimes secretly reload the dishwasher after D. does it (actually it's probably not that much of a secret, he's just too much of a gentleman to bitch about it)
  • If I do something that's not on my 'to do' list, I write it down just so I can cross it off.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Random Unjustified Fears

  • Whenever I smell something in the basement, I am immediately convinced that there is a gas leak and we will all be blown to smithereens. Even when it is obviously the towels I left in the washer for 2 days.
  • I once spent an entire night in my childhood home wondering what would happen if the furnace blew up and envisioning how I would make a sling for the dog from my quilt and jump to safety from the porch roof.
  • The Prize Patrol will come to my door and I'll be wearing the pajamas with the holes and my hair will resemble a styrocasaurus with twice as many horns as usual.
  • My car will careen off the Grand Island bridge and I'll be swept over Niagara Falls. (I actually had a recurring nightmare about this when pregnant. I went the long way around to NF for 7 months).
  • Scientists will discover a junk food that will ensure weight loss and is good for your heart. Naturally it will be the one I absolutely hate.
  • My kid will bring home a bat for a pet. Or a komodo dragon. Or a giant anaconda. (hmmm... suddenly a puppy doesn't sound so bad!)
  • I will never meet Tim Gunn.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Rebuffing Murphy's Law

Last week I painted the hallway closet and hung 16 pictures on the walls -- things that have been on my "to do" list since we moved in 5 years ago. Next week I'm going to attempt to make curtains from the bolt of fabric that's been living under my bed for 3 years. That better not mean we're going to move.

Random Musings

  • How much do they pay those guys who stand on the corner waving signs about sales or store closings? It must be a lot because one of them was standing there in a thunderstorm and torrential rain yesterday. There's also been a lot of dancing jalapeno peppers and pita sandwiches to announce restaurant openings. If the job search doesn't work out, maybe I could do that.
  • There's a lot of building going on around here and whenever we see some excavation starting, we joke that it's going to be a pharmacy. The sad thing is that it usually is. How many Rite Aids or CVS or Walgreens do we need? There are 5 intersections that immediately come to mind with a pharmacy on each corner. There must be a lot of $$ in prescriptions because all the other stuff in there is the same. Is the population really aging that fast?
  • Why is it sunny all morning but as soon as the pool opens, we get thunderstorms and rain?
  • For 2 weeks in a row, I have maintained and emptied my ironing basket. I'd like to say it's my commitment to organization, but it's really a comment on the horrible weather this summer and how much we have been indoors.
  • We watched "Lady & the Tramp" the other day. It occurred to me that Jock & Trusty are offering to marry Lady not to get her out of the doghouse but because she's spent the night with Tramp, compromised her reputation and is already preggers. Please tell me I'm not the only weirdo who finds subtext in classic Disney films.
  • We were talking about our "happy places" the other day and I said Wegman's was one of mine. Hmmmm.... grocery store as a happy place on one side of the scale, weight issues on the other... Hmmmm....
  • The Friends of the Library are selling chocolate bars as a fundraiser. Since I'm at the library approximately 3 times a week, this is really good news. Or bad news, depending on my hormonal state at the moment.
  • Why is it that I've taken 5 bags of clothes to Goodwill but I still don't have enough hangers?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

And That, Gentlemen, is an Example of How NOT to Behave

It must be my week for peeves.

Ok, as much as I hate inappropriate cell phone use, intentional rudeness is worse. We should all be reminded on a daily basis that the world and its inhabitants do not revolve around us.

The boys and I were eating lunch in the cafe at our local Wegmans when a young woman started berating the elderly gentleman sitting behind her. Apparently, she was studying for an exam and was bothered by his loud cell phone conversation. What ensued was a much much much louder argument.

I sat there in amazement. What has happened to common courtesy? Both parties were in the wrong, but a public screaming match was totally unmerited. My only consolation was that (surprisingly) no swearing was involved. She could have moved if she was bothered by the noise or found a more appropriate place to study. He could have used a headset or earpiece if he had trouble hearing or found a more appropriate place to talk. Either of them could have made their grievances known to each other in a polite manner, if they felt the need to say anything at all.

He finally got up and left. She spent the next 10 minutes glaring at the rest of us with her hands over her ears. And then someone else sat behind her and whipped out their cell phone.

By then we were done eating, so we left. But talk about teachable moments!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Yadda Yadda Yadda

Today's topic is cell phones. At times I think they are the greatest invention of the modern world. What on earth did we do without them? We lost our friends and relations in warehouse clubs or the mall, we ran double the number of errands, we had people wondering if they should start calling the hospitals when we were merely stuck in traffic. And then there are the times, like today, when I curse cell phones and want to throw them all down a very big hole.

Just because you have a cell phone, that doesn't mean you have to use it constantly. Use a little restraint and common sense, people. Does everyone in the dentist's office waiting room need to know every little detail of your ugly family feud? The fact that your 13 year-old is shushing you and is totally mortified should have clued you in. Does the entire post office need to know the intimate details of your recent colonoscopy? Even your spouse probably doesn't want to know all of that.

Just because you have a cell phone and it rings, that doesn't mean you have to answer it. That's what voicemail is for. You can call back. Do I really need to know that you're in the bathroom? I can't help but picture (cringe) what you're doing with the hand that's not holding the phone.

If you must talk on the phone while driving (I know sometimes it is necessary), please use a headset or hang up while you're trying to parallel park. Or is it just me that needs two hands and complete and total focus for that?

Monday, June 29, 2009

I Probably Don't Want To Visit Your House

I've got to report a little peeve. Well a big one actually. In the past two weeks I've visited about 10 public bathrooms and all of them were disgusting. Not in the sense that management hadn't cleaned or maintained them. They were disgusting in the sense that patrons weren't using them correctly. It's pretty crowded in a restroom stall with two kids doing the potty dance and the space gets smaller when I've got to clean everything first before they can go. I'm trying to teach them to be neat and respectful of public spaces and the people whose job it is to clean them. That's difficult when they can see for themselves that no one else is bothering.

Come on people, I know your Mom taught you to flush! Yes, public restrooms have a high germ factor. But that's what the paper and the toilet seat covers are for. If there aren't any or you just can't bring yourself to sit, please wipe up the seat and the floor, so I don't have to. Go ahead, use all the paper you need. Use it all if you must. I always carry tissues but now I'm considering carrying Clorox wipes and the warehouse-club-size hand sanitizer too.

I'll bet you didn't wash your hands either.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Little Old Not-So-Crazy Neighbor Ladies

When I was a kid I used to sit outside and watch all the neighbor ladies sweeping. They swept their doorsteps. They swept their porches. They swept their stairs. They swept their sidewalks. They swept their driveways. Mrs. Correa even stood in the middle of the road and swept that! They swept like it was their personal mission to attack all dirt within a five-mile radius. When they swept it was like Charlie Brown's friend Pigpen walking by. And when they all got going at the same time, I had an idea of what the Dust Bowl might have been like. If I had known then what an anthropologist did, I'm sure I would have felt like I was studying an unknown culture's rituals.

I thought of all those neighbor ladies this morning as I swept my walk and driveway, tidying up after last night's lawn mowing. After I'd been responsible for a home of my own for awhile, I finally realized that all that sweeping outside made for less sweeping inside. I grew up with a mother who had a love affair with highly-starched curtains and thought the smell of ammonia and bleach mixed together was "lovely." In light of that fact, I think I can be forgiven for not necessarily placing housework high on my list of priorities. (Though my house isn't as grody as reading this blog regularly might lead you to believe. Honest!) But this morning as I got into the rhythm of sweeping and listened to the tchh-tchh-tchh of the broom on the concrete, I came to a new realization.

It's about more than cleanliness. It's neighborliness to the nth degree. It's about self-respect. It's about loving your family. It's about loving your neighborhood and the world at large. By showing that you care about your little corner of the world, you're also showing how much you care about everyone else's corners. Everyone in the world should have a corner of their own that's clean, well-swept and free of all manner of debris. Sadly, that's not a reality for many of our neighbors. But if we all do our best work, we can eventually help that come to pass. Some of us work to clean up the environment. Some of us work to make sure children grow to their fullest potential. Some of us provide food. Some of us serve and protect with their lives, be it in the military or as police officers and firefighters. Some of us bring joy through the arts. Some of us practice medicine. And some of us sweep. But no matter what job we're doing at any given moment, we're all doing the same job.

As I put the broom away, I said a little prayer and thanked all the neighbor ladies for showing me something so wonderfully important. Even if I didn't know it then.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

You Can Call Me Ingrid

My sister-in-law and I were joking the other day about how some women try on their wedding dress on each anniversary. It's a cute idea but we'd never go there. D. overheard us and very nicely said that I'm skinnier now than when we got married. I said he was nuts, he insisted, we looked at the wedding photos, we still disagreed, he got some brownie points and we moved on. I put these pants on the other day and to my surprise, they were a bit big. I stepped on the scale and somehow I lost 10 lbs. It's been a long time since I weighed less than my husband. I'm not sure how that happened, but I think my friend S. has to get some of the credit since she's been convincing me to go to the gym and then I've actually broken a sweat once we get there. So I've been trying on a few other things in my closet, just to see...

I may have mentioned a few times that my favorite movie of all time is Indiscreet starring Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant. In 198-I-can't remember-that-far-back-exactly, I bought The Dress at Loehmann's Back Room because It reminded me of this ensemble from the movie (and because it was an unbelievable $25!):

In reality The Dress looks nothing like a Dior. But It is a classic Little Black Dress: princess-seamed, knee-length with a keyhole back and made from a heavy black brocade. The matching coat is the same fabric in white with a simple black jet button closure. When I bought It I had absolutely nowhere to wear It. I still don't. I wore It once for about an hour to a family Christmas party until I dripped cocktail sauce on the coat. I ran screaming for the stain remover and my predictable and oh-so-washable reindeer sweater.

Over the years The Dress has hung in my closet as a talisman of possibilities, a tribute to romance, and a wink at my inner-Ingrid. When size 11/12 was a long ago memory, It went in the Goodwill pile during every closet reorganization, only to be snatched back at the last minute. When I was in the midst of crazy quilting obsession, It went into the cut-it-up pile, but I could never bring myself to do it. And there It remained, unworn but well-loved.

The suspense was killing me, I had to try It on last night. I wouldn't necessarily say It fit, but It did zip. I didn't try to sit down and wearing It outside the house would require serious scary-undergarment intervention. But. The glimmer of all manner of unseen possibilities re-emerged.

In actuality, I may never wear The Dress. But those glimmers make me unbelievably happy. What possibilities have been turning up in your life lately?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Predict the Weather

Why is is 80 degrees and sunny until the day after I take the storm windows out and put the screens in?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sure Signs That Your Kids Are Growing Up

Other than the obvious kids-wearing-pants-that-now-look-like-capris, I've noticed a few things lately:
  • I no longer chuck 3 stain remover sticks in my grocery cart each week.   (yes, you read that right, I used to buy 3 each and every week).  In fact, I don't remember the last time I had to buy a stain stick.  We still use them and I still keep one in each bathroom and in the laundry room but they are lasting a LOT longer.
  • Related to stain stick quantities, I'm not sweeping up as much food from under the chairs.  So if it's not on their clothes and it's not on the floor, it must be going in their bodies!  Wooohooo!  Which must be why their pants are all suddenly too short.  (Sorry boys, you'll have to look like geeks just a bit longer until it's shorts weather).
  • Another household cleaning product I no longer buy in massive quantities is Magic Eraser.  No one draws on the walls anymore, thank goodness.
  • I often find them reading books together rather than bringing one to a grownup.  While this is sweet and has me running for the camera, I hope that we're not totally outsourced as book buddies yet.
  • I can say "get in the car" and they actually go in the garage and do it.  And one of them can buckle his seat belt.  Wow.  The other one might also be able to do it with a bit of practice, but if I show him how to buckle it, that means he would also know how to UNbuckle it and I'm just not willing to go there right now.
  • Ditto when I say "get dressed" or "get undressed." 80% of the time it actually happens and the dirty clothes end up in the hamper.   Except for socks, but hey, every home needs a few socks strewn about to make it look lived in.
  • I almost never have to clean pee off the floor or the wall anymore (aiming takes practice and parental patience).  I only have to wipe the seat half the time.
  • Everybody knows which recycling bin is which.
  • I have help setting the table, putting the groceries away and dusting (Ok, that's not totally honest.  I never dust.  But when we're having company and I notice it needs to be done, I get volunteers).
  • They notice what's on the car radio and now I have to give them equal time.
  • They order for themselves when we go to a restaurant (I only have to translate a bit for P.)
  • We can sit through an entire movie at the theatre.
  • Homework!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Recap

Easter has always been a relatively low-key holiday for us.  We color some eggs, have a egg hunt or two, overdose on marshmallow Peeps (oh wait, that's just me) and look for some signs of spring.  This year was no exception.  We hung out in our pajamas for awhile, took some walks around the neighborhood, engaged in a cut-throat game of hide & seek and generally enjoyed being with each other.  

M. has been anticipating what the Easter Bunny would leave for weeks.  So much so that I had
to remind him that it wasn't like Christmas.  There would be a few candies, a toy or two, some colored eggs and that was it.  He said he knew that, but I was still a bit concerned that he'd be underwhelmed or disappointed.  I resisted the urge to buy more stuff.  (Eek, did I type that out loud?  Cover the eyes of any minor children who might be in the room while you're reading this!)  What I meant to say was we left a nice salad the night before which the Easter Bunny enjoyed tremendously before leaving the parent-approved amount of loot.  And everyone was happy.  

P. pretty much lives in the moment (as far as I can tell anyway) and was more than happy enjoying the Easter videos and books that we got out of storage a few weeks ago.  It's always a happy day when I get to reread The Country Bunny and the Little Gold 
Shoes by Dubose Heyward.  This is the first year that the boys enjoyed it too, rather than just suffering through my enthusiasm. They do like my other favorite, The Golden Egg Book by Margaret Wise Brown.  There's something about that mischevious little bunny pushing the egg with his foot that just speaks to the souls of little boys, you know?  And of course we had to watch It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown.  It's just not a holiday without Charlie Brown.  We're watching it again right now.

We colored eggs twice, once with regular food coloring and once with the usual
Paas egg dyes.  Much to my dismay, both times everything stayed really neat and clean and only one egg cracked (D. did it). Part of me misses the dyed hands, having to repeatedly say don't drink it!, multiple spills and eggs that end up brown inside and out because they have a billion cracks from being literally thrown in every single color.  The first year we dyed eggs the boys were both technicolor marvels and I worried it would never come off.  I'm surprised that I feel nostalgic for chaos.  But the fact that Superman X-Ray Vision Glasses were necessary for egg dying made me feel much better.  Call me crazy.  

We all hid plastic eggs in the house on Saturday and hunted for them Sunday morning.  We're still finding them, which explains why we don't use real eggs.  

Sunday, March 22, 2009

7 Things About You at Age 7

  • When you're not reading everything in sight, you're writing and illustrating your own stories.
  • You still like to snuggle with a grownup and read chapter books together though.
  • You just discoved Webkinz and all the online fun you can have with them.
  • Chicken fingers are your new favorite food.
  • You started karate and love it.
  • You're very sensitive and empathetic and because of this, you've been visiting the school nurse a lot lately (mostly for reassurance).
  • Art is still your favorite subject
  • Woody from "Toy Story" is your almost constant companion (you have two of them).
  • Lately you prefer to watch the outtakes from a movie rather than the movie itself.
  • Your favorite book is "Too Many Toys" by David Shannon.
  • Pasta is still your favorite meal, but now you'll eat mashed potatoes and gravy.
  • Swimming is still your best thing.
  • Cookie Monster makes you laugh really hard!  
  • Ever since you saw "Ratatouille" you want to help cook dinner and read cookbooks.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

R is for Respect

There are a lot of lovely words that begin with R: rain, radiant, read, reassure, recipe, reconcile, recycle, reflect, refuge, rejoice, relax, remember, rescue, resilience, reunion, reverie, revive, rhapsody, rhyme & romance.  

There are also a lot of ugly words that begin with R: racism, rage, rancid,  rat, reek, reject, renege, reprehensible, repress, repugnant,  revenge, ribald, ridicule, rigid, rotten, rubbish, rude & ruthless.

It's time to ban the ugliest R word from our vocabulary: retard.  

President Obama appeared on the Tonight Show this week and compared his bowling ability to the Special Olympics.  He apologized for the remark before the show aired and Special Olympics Chairman Timothy Shriver called it a teachable moment for the entire nation. Should the President have known better?  Sure.  Was he trying to be purposefully hurtful?  I don't think so (because those folks don't apologize).  Was he insensitive?  Sure. To me, it just shows how commonplace statements like this have become. The majority of people who use the word "retard" or "retarded" probably aren't even hearing the word when it comes out of their mouth, never mind connecting it to a real live person.  It's become a synonym for ignorant or doofus.  You hear this word every day, everywhere, from people of all ages. I'll admit that I used to say it when I was much younger and much much much stupider. I never gave a thought to what it really meant and I'm ashamed of that now.  It's a slur, plain and simple. And it hurts.  

It's also very inaccurate.  People with special needs are not retarded in their capacity and capability to love just like the rest of us. They are not retarded in their ability to learn, just like the rest of us.  They can function in the world and be productive members of their community, just like the rest of us.   However, people with intellectual disabilities and other special needs may not always be able to articulate their feelings. When they can't, it's up to us, the ones who love them, to say it.  It hurts everyone in our society when you use this word or otherwise treat them as 'less than.'  

From now on, let's use all the lovely R words more often.  Help eradicate one ugly one.  

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Gee, Am I Really that Transparent?

D. thinks all this sorting and organizing is a thinly disguised attempt at avoiding finding a job.  Maybe a little, but it's more equal parts full-blown panic knowing that once I go back to work it'll never get done and plain old I've-had-enough-of-all-this-now.   I can't tell you how much better I slept last night because there were no piles of crap around the bed.  Sure, I should have had this revelation six months ago, but I procrastinate on everything, even revelations.  

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Treasure Hunting

It must be cabin fever or maybe longing for spring, but I've been sorting, organizing and purging this month in a big way.  I've unpacked boxes that got shoved in various closets and piled in the basement when we moved into this house almost 5 years ago.  That would make me feel bad, but remember the part in The Incredibles where Helen tells Bob that it only took her 3 years to unpack the last box?  I'm not a superhero so I think that means I'm doing pretty well!  Part of me was a tad overwhelmed and thought, oh you haven't opened these boxes & bags in 4 years, just donate them all sight unseen.  But I had open them because there were things I'd been missing and worrying about, like:
  • All my "good" jewelry (with the exception of my wedding band and gold bangle that was Nana Bertha's that I wear every day).  
  • My flower girl dress from my sister G's wedding when I was six.  My sister K. sewed it to match all the other bridesmaid's dresses.  It's blue dotted swiss with net sleeves.  (Do they even still make dotted swiss?)  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this dress.  I'd like to shrink myself so I could wear it again.  The only childhood dress I loved more was my "rainbow dress" from when I was 7 but we didn't think to save that one.  I think I'm going to put it in a shadowbox or display it on my bedroom wall somehow.
  • Ditto the little baggie of cloth diapers that came home with me from the hospital and the one decorated with pink ribbons that the nurses made for me to wear for the occasion.  There were no NICUs 45 years ago and these little diapers are a reminder of how much these ladies loved and cared for me for 3 months and how they wouldn't give in, especially after my twin Philip passed away.  These have to be displayed somewhere special.
  • 2 boxes of checks.  I knew I ordered them! 
  • 2 pairs of handmade gloves with fur trim and Athabascan beading.  A very dear friend made these for us when we lived in Holy Cross.  They're too nice to wear every day but I'm going to start wearing mine more often now that I've found them.  I also found some other beaded items that we got as gifts, some keychains, a credit card holder, some earrings.
  • Video of the boys when they were very little.  I found 3 tapes earlier in the month but I knew we had taken lots more.  I found 5 other tapes today.  I haven't watched them yet but I'm guessing 4 of them are of them egging each other on in the Jolly Jumper and the Exersaucer.
And the treasure hunter in me was happy to find:
  • 2 savings bonds
  • $100 cash ($50 in each of 2 sealed envelopes with the boys names on them, no note or card or anything and it's not our handwriting.)  I opened a bank account with it and I think it'll be the start of our Disney fund.  (I know I should put it in the college fund but if we don't start saving the boys will be in college before we get there!)
  • A bag of lightbulbs.  Considering that the kitchen light just burnt out and the drawer where we usually keep lightbulbs is empty, this is a good find.
  • Some silhouettes that an artist handcut at a craft show when the boys were about a year old.  I totally forgot all about these.  Just looking at them brings back memories of that time.  I need a frame for these.  I'll probably find one in another box :-D
  • My gargoyles.  I missed their ugly mugs.
  • A new pair of pants that I bought at Target in... the receipt says April.  I have no memory of buying them, but they're rather nice and they still fit.
And then there was some stuff that was easy to donate or recycle:
  • All the cards & ribbon bows from my baby shower.  I always had intentions of putting these in a scrapbook or something.   Oh well.  I've got lots more current things for the scrapbooks!  And I've still got the love, if not the cute little onesies and blankets.  Actually, we do still have some of those... remind me to post the photo of 6 yo M. wearing a 6 month size romper!
  • All the miscellaneous bedding that didn't match or was for the wrong size bed.
  • Lots of lots of crafts and stitching supplies.  I could probably get rid of a lot more but I didn't want the "now we can go and get more" instinct to kick in.
  • My collection of perfume bottles and little china boxes.  They're pretty but they're just not me anymore, you know?
  • Many years of Family Fun magazine.  Everything is online now anyway.  Ditto for all the other magazines I used to keep.  I kept the Simple Scrapbooks only because I do refer to them and they're going out of print.
  • A bunch of books I've finally admited I will never read again.  This was not as hard as it used to be.
  • Many plastic bags and other flotsam.  Apparently I packed our garbage.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tropical Bird Massacre

Feather boas make good reins when you're playing all the variations of horse race.  I only hope the vacuum cleaner can handle the aftermath.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

You'd Think I'd Know Better

I made the mistake of mentioning to D. that "gee, no one has been sick all winter!" 

Now the germs have decided to hold their annual convention here instead of in Tahiti.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Looking for a Job

I've been a SAHM since I was pregnant (I was a full-time student).  But now the time has come to re-enter the workforce.  I'm nervous about finding a job.  I'm nervous about actually doing it once I find one.  I'm nervous about finding a job that will still let me be home in time to meet the school bus.  If that's not possible, I'm nervous about finding a good after school program that we can all be happy with and that doesn't use up my entire paycheck.  I'm nervous about leaving all the stuff undone that I leave undone now - only with less style, grace and while having to wear pantyhose.  I'm nervous about appearing to be a functioning human being with a brain during a job interview.  For the most part, being a mom uses a whole different set of skills  - when was the last time you had to use the eyes in the back of your head in a job situation (teachers excepted)?

So what on earth do I put on the resume? Domestic Engineer & Chief Operating Officer have been done just a few too many times, but here are some jobs I'm quite good at:

Food Stylist.  For several years I have been able to make dinosaur chicken nuggets (or whatever food item my children are currently fixated on) look appetizing and different each night.  This is more for my benefit than for the person with the food jag,  because as long as they get to eat the item of choice they don't much care what else is on the plate.  (And please don't leave me a comment about how your kids eat escargot or whatever you put in front of them or how to be firm at the dinner table.  You pick your battles and I'd much rather argue over something really important, like how your pajama bottoms should always match the tops) 

Food Artist.  I can make pictures with food in an effort to get picky eaters to ingest more than the aforementioned dinosaur chicken nuggets.  And it works too!  Pictures of Blue's Clues rendered in cheese & salami, a horse and rider made entirely of pickles, olives, cheese and dried cranberries and other such artistic creations available on request.

Hormonal Grouch.  Just when my family thought they were safe, menopause starts nosing around.  On second thought, most workplaces probably wish they didn't have to pay the hormonal grouches they already have, so we'll just scratch this one from the c.v. why don't we?

Special Needs Educator to the Public.  Unfortunately, many people still express surprise that P. is able to walk, communicate and otherwise function in the world.   Whilst I still find this shocking, P. & I have been able to give a little primer on etiquette and reality with a smile and lots of patience.  And on P.'s part, lots of hugs.  

Twin Wrangler.  I have been able to feed two infants simultaneously without the aid of bouncy seats or high chairs, using only the limbs God gave me and a throw pillow.  I can buckle two wriggling boys into carseats without dumping my purse or the grocery bags.  I can look at a "crime scene" and know immediately whether one (and which one) or both children were involved.  I can get everyone to bed and asleep in... several hours.  

Family Photographer.  Literally thousands of examples available on request.  But if you want a photo of me, there aren't that many.  M. took one the other day that has most of my head in it.

Lustful Launderer.  This isn't a homemade porn video, honest.  (With these stretch marks!?)  I do like to iron and folding laundry can be meditative, but I just like to watch my collection of Highlander videos while I'm doing it.

Family Timekeeper.  Through years of scientific research, testing and a highly developed system (all my clocks are 30 minutes fast), I am able to get my entire family to appointments on time.  To date, we have never missed a school bus!  

Organizational Maven.  Just read previous posts for evidence of said brilliance.  (Ok, maybe not all of them)  In the corporate world, I specialized in color-coded filing systems.  In the domestic area, closets and drawers are a specialty, as are toy systems containing lots of eenie-weenie pieces.  It is a known fact that it's a lot easier to organize someone else's stuff than your own.  

Translater.  I have a lot of experience translating KidSpeak into English for the benefit of waitstaff, store clerks, and other members of the public who may not know the language or who have lost their skills.  Apraxic speech patterns also translated.

Lily Gilder.  My husband says I'm quite good at this.  I don't really see it though.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Project 365 and One Little Word

After a lot of deliberation, I've decided that my One Little Word for 2009 is Health. Sure, it's about physical well being. Everyone in the free world is resolving that this week and I'm no different. But I'd like my word to encompass more than that.  Mental health, financial health, emotional healthy, relationship health, keeping the whole family healthy... That's probably way too much for one little word to handle.  But I'll give it a go.

Have you heard of Project 365?  You take one photo a day for a year.  It sounded daunting until I realized that I carry the camera everywhere I go anyway.  I took 190 photos in September 2008 alone.  So 365 in a year should be pretty easy.  We'll see!  Click on the Flickr badge on the left to follow along.