Monday, January 31, 2011

That's not my Name

My daughter is in the school spelling bee on Friday. As we go over words I look at her face and remember when she insisted at two or three years old that she was six, and her hair color was green. I would ask her if she was gorgeous and she would shout back at me, “NO, I am not gor-g-us, I’m Aiden!”

Then, I got to one of the words and I am reminded of this:

When she was born, her brother was 2 ½ years old. He was full of energy, smart, could be a smart-ass if you could get away with calling a two year old that and had been the highlight of our days and nights. Our world had revolved around him and we had no idea how much we rocked his world by bringing home a baby sister. She on the other hand, adored that boy. She had stars in her eyes on day one at the very sound of his voice and sight of him.

He wasn’t too into her.

The first six weeks of her life he hated me. No, he really did. He told me so the day I came home from the hospital, and left my sweet baby girl with the hubby to take him to the movies. He told me so a week later when I left my sweet baby girl home with the hubby and took him to a Blue Clue’s Live show. He acted like it when he cast spells at me to the point that I actually talked to a priest thinking he was possessed by the devil. It passed. I never thought it would though. Those were dark times.

A year or so passed and we were back to happy family. Our little girl was starting to say words. She still lit up at every single thing her brother did. He tolerated her and loved to show off. He still wanted to be the center of attention. She began to refer to him in her little baby voice as “Noying”. His name is Austin. Naturally we assumed this was her way of saying his name. As months passed her name for him became more and more clear. “Noying, Noying” could be heard all day long. My hubby, our sitter, and I thought that was the cutest darn way of saying Austin.

One day, clear as can be, she said “Annoying, where are you?”. It kind of caught me off guard, but then I got distracted with our newest addition, probably changing a blowout or changing my shirt for the fourth time in four hours.

Pretty soon we all heard it and understood it. She was calling him Annoying. The thing is, we never called him that. We certainly didn’t think she understood the meaning of the word.

One day my Mom came to visit. She had already knew our intimate details of baby talk and like us, thought it was cute how our daughter said her big brother’s name.

Until the end of my Mom’s stay. She said to me, “Honey, I know why she says his name is Annoying.”

She said, “All day long this is what you say - that is so annoying, or stop that it’s annoying, or you are being annoying, Austin.”

All of a sudden, I looked over at my daughter, who was fondly watching her brother jumping around in front of the camera while the hubby was trying to film the baby, saying “Get me Dad, can you see me Dad, am I in the camera?”

My husband said, “Stop it, that’s annoying”, and tried to brush him away.

She thought his name was Annoying.

She called him that until she was about 4 years old after many promised awards for saying his name right. He never did complain. Of course it was better than what she was calling her new baby sister. “THAT BABY is crying”.

She just correctly spelled Annoying, without a blink of an eye and I just said to her younger sister who is twirling next us, "Don't be annoying."

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cabin Fever at it's Finest

I Could, But I Won’t –

I was going to write a post about how we went to our city’s Home and Garden Show on Saturday, but then it was about as dark and depressing as the show itself, so I spared you the details and deleted it. (Thankfully free tickets softened the blow) I came away feeling bad for the people working there…. This was slow economy in your face and it was not pretty.

I could tell you about how much I enjoyed the movie Secretariat, but then you will think I am a nerd, so I won’t. (I will say that I think I enjoyed it more because the hubby took our son to the store for gym clothes and shoes while I got to cuddle with the girls on the couch after a long and stressful work week)

I could tell you that trying to find a place to eat on a Saturday night at the end of January when everyone has cabin fever sucks, but I am sure you know this. I know you know this because we found a place in the middle of nowhere and got the very last table available (right by the continuously opening door and freezing window in full view of every single person waiting for their table in a prime location)

I felt like I was on a reality TV show. Our manners, food selection, kid’s behavior and conversation were on display. After a little while I decided to just have fun with it and did a lot of hand holding with the hubby because there were some very-annoyed-with each other-couples watching.

The girls giggled throughout dinner and I bit my tongue, because there were some really haggard mothers watching my every move. I thoroughly enjoyed my food because there were some really skinny women staring me down hungrily.

We even let the kids get Sundaes in spite of everyone who was timing our dinner. Thankfully the kids had their backs to the angry crowd of people wanting our table.

I could tell you how this is the third post I have attempted today. I am still in my pajamas. I am thinking of absolutely everything possible to do except clean the house. Even a game of Monopoly sounds more fun.

I could tell you that I am so happy it’s already almost noon on Sunday and I can’t WAIT for Monday, but I won’t because it is so not true…..

Literal Cabin Fever

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Unexpected Blog Company

I am the person who has to have the house clean with everything in its place when we go away on vacation. Don’t worry, it doesn’t happen that often.

I really can’t relax well until the house has been cleaned. (Although I'm more about everything in it's place, rather than sanitized)

I like to be ready. For what?? WHO KNOWS!

In my married life, I would say the amount of drop-in guests with no warning who actually came into the house not just stood in the doorway have been maybe 5 ...... total.

(WHY am I so worried about the house??)

I am slowly getting better. Some weekends I wait until Sunday to clean. During the week, I do minimal household chores. Just a load of laundry every day, bed is always made, dishes out of the sink, and all surfaces have been Windex-ed at least once. With a few other odds and end thrown in.

That’s some background for you.

Here is my dilemma of late:

What if, in my dream world, I get picked for Blog of Note?

What if I had a crappy post, I am selected and all the visitors check my blog out BEFORE I have time to post something worthy??

Do they warn you beforehand? Do you get a 30 minute head start??

This is not a far-fetched issue. Some of my favorite blogs are ones I found because they were Blog of Note!

I worry about this. Especially when I am on a streak like this past month.

The good news is that if I am going to get noticed, NOW would be the right time since half the country is buried in snow, and half is in bed with some sort of sickness, at least a post is better than none/less competition??

Have you ever had unexpected company? Do you worry about this? If you had someone stop over RIGHT now, what would you HAVE to put away?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Beep Beep and Italian Adventures

My new laugh memory.

You have to keep a laugh memory inside. Tuck it away for safe keeping. Bring it out when you need it the most. Laughing is a cure for most anything.

Last night I went into the girl’s room before I went to bed, just like I do every night.
If I didn’t then the part of the movie where you have to choose play, would repeat over and over again. The Shrek one is especially obnoxious at 3am. “Pick me”, “Pick me, is repeated over and over.

Anyway as I walked into the room my daughter’s face was illuminated by the TV light perfectly and I stared at it for a moment, memorizing the lines. When all of a sudden I found myself doing something very silly that made no sense. I reached out and pushed on her nose twice and said, OUT LOUD, “Beep Beep”.
Now this is something I have done a thousand times to every small child. I have a thing about the little button noses that makes me want to press them like a button and say, “Beep Beep”. (Try it, it’s truly appropriate..) anyway, why I said it out loud was odd, since she appeared to be sound asleep.

But she wasn’t.

She slowly opened one eye as if to say, “Who is this person pressing my nose and saying Beep Beep.” “Surely, it is NOT the lady I call Mom who tells me to clean up 30 times a day and works a lot.”

Then she giggled, and then laughed out loud at the absurdity of it. Then I laughed at my complete absurdity and then we were both rolling and laughing with tears streaming down our faces.

And now this middle child (who is truly a middle) and I have something special we can share.
My Mom and I had a special wave. It’s something I will never forget (although, about 15 years went by where I didn’t RECALL it) until one day the image of us waving goodbye to each other in our special way popped in my head and made me feel like tears were streaming down my face….

I went to bed laughing, and woke up and laughed out loud while trying to put my contacts in. I know it doesn’t seem very funny or remarkable. You probably had to be there or be me or her in that moment to find it remotely funny. But for some reason it happened.

It helped me out today at work though as I sat in on a meeting having a mini panic attack.

Today we had a visiting Client from Italy. But unfortunately, 15 minutes in,  the other half of WE, ran out of the conference room pale faced. He returned awhile later to announce that he and a borrowed bucket were on their way home. He was downed man 2 of the 5 man down flu going around.

So I was left with Mr. Italy. Which is fine. I can handle myself in a meeting. I have always been excellent at the appropriate timed head nod, and faking that I know EXACTLY what you are talking about –
you and I, we are ON the same page.

But I was panicking because downed Man 2, was supposed to take Mr. Italy to the airport and now that job was left to me.

I haven’t been to the airport in eight years. I have never been to the airport with an Italian fellow in my Mom-Van making small talk.

I don’t think Italian women drive men anywhere. He seemed VERY nervous about me driving him. He asked if I was good driver and asked what kind of car I drove and seemed leery of this word VAN, I say.
I assured him we would be fine.

There was a slight bead of perspiration on his forehead while we were on the highway and I was trying to get my GPS to cooperate. (My British accent lady GPS!!) But after a few miles, lots of small talk, and my apologies about the state of my car
(MY CAR!!! I didn’t know I would be driving a client from Italy who drives an Alpha Romeo in my Salt covered Mom van!!!! –I could kill downed Man 2 if he weren’t already dying in his bathroom)
He turned to me and said, “You are good driver” (in strong Italian accent)

HIS car

Not MY car, Mine is WORSE

On my drive back to the office I laughed at myself. I used to be the girl who travelled all over, who talked to strangers every single day, what was I panicking about???

But from now on, my car is going to be cleaned on a regular basis.

Did you laugh out loud at anything today or have any minor panic attacks?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Not so ugly in a bubble....

I read back on my post yesterday and realized I have left you with a very poor impression of myself.
Really,  I do like myself most of the time. I am not ugly. It’s just the season. I felt it was important to say this because if I am down on myself then we are in trouble and headed down a dark depressing road.
You’ve got to love yourself and laugh. Not like rolling on the floor, more like, Ha Ha, that's funny...
I mean come on, it’s pretty comical the crazy things we put up with from our bodies. Then on top of all that, there are seasonal clothing issues, lack of money for yourself, and just keeping up with the Smith’s not to mention the Jones’s.

Today for example, every single time I touched my forehead, I felt a sharp pain. As I sit here thinking of what to blog about while rubbing my forehead I realize that the pain is from a slowly growing PIMPLE in the MIDDLE of my forehead. It's going to be the size of a GOLFBALL!!
Now COME ON!!!
I am WAY too old for pimples. I was too old for pimples when I hit 18. I’m just a little over 18 and I am not happy with this developing situation.

Moving on….

To my shoes. I have a really GREAT pair of expensive shoes. They look really good with jeans, they are stylish and they were expensive. The hubby surprised me with them. I take GREAT care of my shoes. Today, I look down and see that the entire side seam of the shoe is coming undone, to the point of making it look like my foot is too FAT for my shoe.
YEP. FAT FOOT IN A LITTLE SHOE…. (you have to sing that part like Chris Farley in my FAVORITE - "Fat Guy in a Little Coat ".....  EVERYTIME I put on my coat that plays in my head)

But I have TINY size 6 feet and bony ankles (one of the attributes I DO like) so..


And the worst part is, that I am going to have to wear these dang shoes because my son needs shoes for gym class and my daughter needs new shoes and you know the drill...... Priorities. Darn shoes….

Glad I got all that off my chest.

Everybody is sick. Hacking, Coughing, Sniffling, Sneezing, you name it they all have it and quite honestly I am wanting to be a girl in a bubble.
I do not want to get sick, even if it is a day off from work (and I mean HOUSEwork, not out of the house work). I love being healthy and am usually really positive about my good health,  But I am starting to get freaked out with all of the sickness.
The funny thing is that once there are a lot of sick people then the ones that aren’t really sick but just say they are for a break,  horn in on the situation and you never know if you are dealing with a real sickie or a fakie.

It's a vicious cycle.  I then have to worry that if I DO get sick, it will be at the most inappropiate time.  Like on the day all the fakers call off. Or on a Saturday.

But back to me.

My bubble.

If I had to be in a bubble because I was the last of the healthy ones, I would want a vintage style bubble.

Here are some things I want in there with me (besides family OF COURSE) Of course I would want my family, but if I HAD to be all alone in my vintage styled bubble, this is what it would look like:

I know, you could care freaking less. But it’s Tuesday. It’s January. It’s cold, I’m feeling ugly and by tomorrow, I might have a second head.  Just go with it and tomorrow will be so much more exciting!

What does your bubble look like?

Monday, January 24, 2011

You have entered The Ugly Zone.

It’s COLD-

HOW cold is it? Well based on my co-workers description, they know some Witches, PERSONALLY. Apparently these witches haven’t invested in a Vickie’s Secret padded bra- for extra warmth.
(Until today I had never heard of cold described in this way before and if you have no clue what I am talking about right now, then you haven’t either.  But from what I hear, Witches are COLD in the upper regions)

It’s always around this time of year, I look in the mirror and wonder who took my outer shell and replaced it with this crappy dull version?

My lips are dry and no matter how many times I apply my lipstick, it will not stay on.
But where is it going??

My hands are cracking and are as rough as sandpaper. I actually scratched my daughter with the skin on my hand! But my steering wheel smells lovely and has several coats of lotion on it.

My hair is doing its own thing every day. I no longer have control.
I have tons of hair so this is not a good thing. AT ALL.
One side is feeling kinky, the other is feeling dull and flat. The back is dry and frizzy and the top has completely given up.

My eyes, which usually are as blue as the sky (well the sky somewhere, not near where I live) have turned grey – like the sky.

My skin color can be described as eggshell and actually has that texture too.

I haven’t worn anything exciting since Christmas and I’m constantly covered up from neck to toe in something denim, heavy cotton and or flannel.

The thought of trying on clothes is frightening – especially when you try on a skirt and you see lovely sock marks.

I’m worried my feet will get too comfortable and never want to wear high heels again!

I have extra padding from double layers and of course the joys of comfort food.

(Our heating bill was little high, so we turned down the heat – now we just get into the scalding shower then take off our clothes)

Working out is the equivalent of taking off all your clothes and jumping into the Artic Sea at my house. So not a lot of motivation there…

Not only is MY outer shell in the Ugly Zone but my car that was once a dark grey is now a salty white and cinder black. (Yes, it’s so cold salt no longer works on the roads – Black Cinder time!)

My shoes and the bottom of my pants are salt stained.

Our garage is a salty, dirty snow mess.

The kid’s boots are piled inside the door or else they would be frozen in the garage,  and I hate having shoes in the house.

I haven’t been on my front porch in months. I can't even SEE my front porch!

The back door to our house makes a horrible noise when you open or close it from the weight of the snow on the roof.

It’s not just me and the house either -

We are now known as the pasty family – our teeth no longer look white nor do our eyes – because our skin is now the same color from lack of sunlight.

The curls on the girl’s hair have gone on vacation, and I’m at the point of wanting to cut all their hair off. However, having done this in years past, I learned my lesson. This ugly season will soon pass; I just have to get through the next THREE months is all.

This is just the worse looking time of year ever. I want to bury myself under my flannel snowman sheets and stay in my jammies all day, because my jammies at least flatter me for some reason. My butt no longer looks cute in my jeans like I thought it did in the fall.

Even the happy snowmen in the house are starting to freak me out.

The dust I can’t see at night, mocks me on the weekends.

The windows are constantly wet with condensation and therefore dirty looking.

The rugs by the doors are getting dirty and the cats are molting.

It’s ugly season here.

What makes you feel ugly this time of year? (come on, it will make ME feel better!)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

At Home Parties are Good for the Host, but bad for ME…….

A ladies only Pure Romance home party is not as embarrassing or raunchy as you might think.
Yep, I got invited to one, went in the middle of a snowstorm, sat next to my two sister in law’s (so I got really good at blocking out the fact they are married to my brothers and they do have sex with them)

Unfortunately, they didn’t sell naked men cards because to be quite honest, my brain is still a bit scarred from my night of innocent card playing with naked men from the 80’s. (read here for a catch up)
I was kind of hoping to find an updated pack of them so at least I wouldn’t ever have to see a third leg AND a mullet in one sitting.

I did come home with two items and to my hubby’s disappointment they had nothing to do with the bedroom. But I will have really smooth legs after shaving, that doubles as hair conditioner. Maybe next time I will be braver and go for the lotion that is an aphrodisiac as well as edible.
I mean a married woman doesn’t need any reason to multiply the quantity does she??

That was Saturday night. Sunday I drove an hour to my cousin’s house for a Pampered Chef party. You know what this means? I said I would and I DID. Meaning, I was invited and I went. I followed-through. Go me!
Two days in a row worth of other people’s parties where I should spend money that I really shouldn't. I did manage to drag my girls to the Pampered Chef party so I didn't feel too guilty for being too social, (typical working Mom's guilt) which may not have been the best idea. On the drive home they were high on sugar and I ended up having to threaten my little one because she was giggling too much. (Yeah, lovely Mom moment- would have made a great Super Nanny clip)

Instead of buying what I wanted to at the PC party, I spontaneously booked a party.
I am the girl who is not a fan of spending a weekend having to clean the house for a bunch of people to come over, mess it up and then clean it all over again just for 2 hours worth of fun. But I get wrapped up in the SELL of the party and find myself thinking:

I could do this in all my spare time…. It would be a GREAT way to bring in extra money so that we can buy a house, take vacations – heck we could WIN vacations with all my party hosting............


I did tell the host I wanted a co-ed party on a Saturday night in MARCH. The hubby thinks this is a HORRIBLE idea. I even suggested we could be a TEAM and sell Pampered Chef stuff in all of our spare time, that it would be like having a date night out, never mind that we would have to pay for a sitter and have NO lives whatsoever....
 and then he splashed water in my face and I came out of it.
Now I am wondering how to get out of the whole darn thing??
Darn in-home party hosts and their success stories and my gullible weakened WEEKEND brain!

These events made my weekend fly by and after a very hectic and slightly stressful week at work, I’m a little bummed that it is already Sunday evening with nothing to look forward to but freezing temps and a potential sick day for my youngest as she is sound asleep on the couch with a fever and a sore throat.

YES this is the same one that got yelled at for giggling too much in the car. I should have known – you would think after three kids I would KNOW that it was a sure sign, something was happening in that little body – and here, I yelled at her for being goofy.

I’m SURE I will have some exciting things to say this week. But for now, I’ve got to go get ready for bed because I also promised myself I would get up every day this week at 4:30am to work out. Would hate to break my streak of keeping commitments and promises NOW…..

How was your weekend?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

If I Crave it, will it Happen?

I have a craving to go bowling with a group of people. It’s been a LONG time since I have done this,

Wait – have I EVER bowled with a group of ADULTS, or was that a movie I watched?

I have a craving to go dancing. I can say for sure that it has been over a year since I have done this. A YEAR. That is pathetic.

I have a craving to smack my husband - (Did I just type that??) Whoops!

I have a craving to go to a little town crammed with interesting shops and spend money!

I have a craving to fly somewhere. It has been embarrassingly too long since I have bought a plane ticket and flown anywhere. Thank you crappy economy.

I have a craving to MOVE. I am currently going on my second longest stay in a home after moving 12 times. Every time I open a cupboard that is in a bit of disarray, I crave to start packing and set up house all over again.

I have a craving to have an all-girls sleepover party. For me not the little ones. Where we do too much laughing and acting like we were 15 again.

I have a craving to go to a Rodeo – Me, the girl who strongly dis-likes country music, loves bull riding.

I have a craving to go to a concert, a bachelorette party, an adult’s only party of any kind.

I have a craving to hang out with the kids and play games all day – under one condition – the house has to be already clean and we must wear pajamas. (One winter day a few years ago when all the kids could still tolerate each other, I took off of work and made the kids pick one snack, and one game to play each. We all wore jammies and ate junk food while playing games and it was so much fun!)

I have a craving to go to my Nannie and Poppies house and hang out with my Mom and Aunt eating birthday cake for no reason, laughing and doing all sorts of bad things. (Like throwing my contacts into my suitcase because I had a little too much to drink and watching them search wobbly and painstakingly through everything to find them.)

I have a craving to watch all my favorite movies in one day.

Unfortunately, my cravings are too big for my wallet and there never seems to be the right amount of time, darn it!

What do you crave right now? Let’s see if we can make them happen from now until the end of winter- which for me should be right about April 30th! I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pickle in the Middle

I’m on the cusp, the edge the bubble.

My youngest child stood in the doorway of my bedroom at 1am this morning. She said.  “Mom, Dad – I just threw up.” Of course I turned to the hubby and gave him a good shake and said “Help Me”……?

We had an agreement! He is Puke and I am Poop. For the past 14 years it has worked out really well. He used to bar tend for a living so puking is a non-issue. I never worked in plumbing before, but I took the back end to forgo the top end. I just can’t handle anything about throwing up.

But at 1am, as I shook him, he didn’t move. Well, he moved enough for me to know he was OK, but she was waiting in the door for SOMEONE to come and help and I had wasted enough time already, so reluctantly, I made a lot of noise going TO HER RESCUE.

Guess What?

What I thought would be a disaster to clean up was in the toilet and gone with a simple flush. She was already washing her hands, brushing her teeth, asking who was going to stay home with her and apologizing (they are so darn sweet when they are sick!)

So I realized at 1am something to be CELEBRATED (might have to get a little cake for this one)

Much before we reached our current stage

Check it out:

No more diapers, No more bottles, No strollers, All shoes can be tied without my assistance; everyone can now ride a bike. Everyone sleeps through the night in their own bed, pukes in the toilet even when they sleep on the top bunk. No babysitters needed, rare occasions of homework assistance, no car seats, can swim in a pool with only one of my eye's on them.

I’m in the middle. I’m in the safe zone. I’ve made it through the first however many stages that I forgot to keep track of.

Trust me – I KNOW it’s not over, I KNOW what’s around the corner.

(Learning to Drive, dating, the whole monthly girls thing, shaving, hormones, college applications, Homecomings, Proms, exploring their boundaries, testing my ability to CATCH them making bad choices, broken hearts and disappointments)

Being in the quiet in-between, I am not so sure the past was harder than the future is sure to be. Kind of wondering if I can handle it…..

But I am halfway there. Little pat on back happening over here….

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Sadly, my kids don't even understand this correlation...
I’m in a rut. My inner voice is stuck on repeat. I’m a broken record, Someone pick up the needle and MAKE IT STOP!
These are the statements I continuously repeat EVERY SINGLE WEEK DAY and quite frankly, I need a break:

4:45am  the Alarm (capitlized because it is a living thing) goes off. In the REAL WORLD, not my OCD life, it is 4:30am, but my clock is set 15 minutes fast.
If you don’t do this, you will never understand. I know there are more out there like me so stop making fun of me already.

Anyway back to FAKE 4:45am – Alarm goes off.

Inner voice says: It’s not REALLY 4:45am, hit snooze.

15 minutes later Alarm goes off.

Inner voice says: It’s now 4:45am if you hit snooze one more time you will have exactly an hour to get ready.

15 minutes later Alarm goes off.

Inner voice says: You don’t HAVE to get up to workout, if you hit snooze you can sleep and just get ready.

15 minutes later Alarm goes off and then my inner voice has the audacity to call me a loser for not working out!
Now I’m in the shower.

Inner voice says: What are you gonna wear today, what am I going to wear today, what are we going to wear today?

I’m racing to the kitchen trying to get out the door.

Inner voice says: What are you going to pack for lunch, what are we going to pack for lunch, what is edible I can take for lunch?

On the drive home from work Inner voice says:

What are you going to blog about, What are you going to blog about, WHAT ARE WE GOING TO BLOG ABOUT??

Do you think I have a problem?

I think my inner voice needs to go on vacation.

What does your inner voice repeat over and over to the point of wanting to slam your head against the wall?

Monday, January 17, 2011

How we Carry our Lunch

Have you ever watched your co-workers bring their lunches to work? I’ve realized over the years that how you carry your lunch is kind of like the car you drive- it may change over time but it definitely can and usually does define you in that moment. Please note that I have brought my lunch in all of the following ways, so you might say I’m a bit of multi-personality.

Brown Paper Bag – If they are clutching the bag at the top, this person might be on a liquid diet.

If the top of the bag is neatly folded over and has their name it on it than you are dealing with the office goody two shoes. Never makes mistakes, very easy to read, not getting crazy at the office Christmas Party. You can bet there is some sort of sandwich (egg salad, tuna fish, turkey) , a baggie of carrots, a baggie of grapes and maybe a chocolate kiss –but just one.

FYI- I searched for this picture AFTER I wrote this - VERY telling!!

Plastic grocery bag – This is the person who is usually running late and running through the door on the dot of starting time. They threw some stuff in the bag and often that same bag with random selections sits in the office Fridge for weeks on end. It might hold such things as individual Jell-Os, a whole piece of fruit with no way of cutting it, a store bought sandwich that tastes more like the wrapping than food and an entire Hershey’s Chocolate bar.

Cute lunch bag/tote /box made specifically for lunch – This is the Outgoing one in the office. The person who plans the parties, makes the cleaning rotation list, and ensures that all office supplies are accounted for. Not to be confused with the shyer brown paper bag person, this person likes to show off. Inside that neat little tote you will find frozen diet dinners, an in-season fruit, a yogurt from Whole Foods or the higher-end grocery store, and a protein bar claiming to taste just like dessert. The kind of food that you wish you had time and money to go and shop for , then once you do, you realize it still tastes like crap, it just looks better in a fancy tote.

Plastic Food Containers – If they are see-through, then you have the office show-off who can do all and does do all. This is the person that brings the best potluck dishes, and made five days worth of lunches on Sunday evening while watching Jeopardy.

If the containers are not see-through, then you have the person who is picky about what they eat and has to specially prepare their lunch. The person with many food allergies who also cannot use certain kinds of pens, and likes all of the papers in the files to go in the same direction.

Trendy shopping bags with handles- This is like the cute lunch/bag tote person but the difference is that they are much trendier. They can’t be bothered with a germy lunch tote that will need to be cleaned each and every night. This person likes the bag they brought their lunch in much more than the lunch itself. You might find a variety of things that famous people would eat or at least do a commercial for.

Gift bags – This is the person who is the social butterfly and will share whatever they bring with whoever is around. To them a present one day, lunch bag the next. Very laid back and usually a little too happy for normal people. This person will likely have plastic utensils, and straws because life is fun and so should your lunch be. Don’t be surprised to see them eating the remains of Birthday cake from the weekend out of that bag.

Coolers – This is your serious eater. Typically takes their lunch out to the car. Who really knows what is in that cooler? This person doesn’t talk much, works hard and likes to get home on time so the cook of the house can pack up the cooler and set it by the door for the next day, because this person is guaranteed to be at work EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Of course you have the Non-packers or often times fast food baggers- these are the people that you can’t figure out how they afford eating out every single day while you are eating your bologna and cheese sandwich wrapped in tin foil that you carried in by hand. Because you are the person who doesn’t want to seem too settled. You might not come back the next day and you certainly aren’t going to commit by bringing anything you would leave in the lifers fridge.

How do you carry your lunch to work?

(Today, I carried my Lean Cuisine in a Cheesecake factory bag with a whole grapefruit and some almonds – I told you I’m a little eclectic!)

and finally, for a guaranteed laugh:

Friday, January 14, 2011

What your Laundry Says about You –

If your washer and dryer are getting more action than you on a Friday or Saturday night you might be a loser.

If you are folding men’s t-shirts and underwear with holes in them you might be married for too long.

If you find the mates to all the socks it will be the most exciting thing that happens to you all year.

If you never have to turn clothes right side out, you don’t do the laundry.

If you fold and instantly put the clothes away, where they go- ALL OF THEM (and you are not a single person) you have NO life.

If you fold a dark towel, then a white sock, a pair of jeans, a sweatshirt and a blouse from the same load, you are either:
a shopaholic feeding your addiction
 a man (please don’t be offended I AM a man when it comes to laundry!)
or living alone and never have enough of the right colors/textures to make a full load.

If you make more money doing laundry than you do at work, then keep doing the laundry!

If you wash rocks, pinecones, sticks, little cars, gum and batteries, you have boys in the house.

If you wash erasers in various shapes, Chapstick, candy wrappers, hair clips, and stickers you have girls in the house.

If you wash the family pet, the mall receipts, price tags, your pill and the car keys no one will believe it was an accident.

If you accidently ruin that Puce colored shirt your husband insists on wearing with the brand new hot pink bedding, and get away with it, you are smart.

If you need to use a lint roller after you take the clothes out of the dryer you might want to
A. Empty the lint trap.
B. Google – How to do Laundry, or
C. Do it often and you might get grounded from ever doing laundry again.

If you have to wash the clothes at least 3 times because they sit in the washer too long, you are not alone.

If you forget if you added the soap five seconds prior, adding another capful won’t hurt, -or so I am told.

If you don’t know where your iron even is, you take your clothes out of the dryer faster than a one legged man in a butt kicking contest. (Contributed by the hubby b/c I don’t do laundry fast, ever)

If you iron your jeans and bed sheets, I’m glad I’m not your friend because then I would have to do that too.

If you have a knot tied so tight around a pair of pants by your bra- it’s a great reason to make a trip to Victoria’s Secret.

If you hang your clothes outside to dry, you are a show-off.

If you had a dryer that screamed and barked for months, your priorities are straight.

If your laundry room is the nicest room in the house, I feel sorry for you.

Yes, it’s Friday and I am doing laundry…..

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A feather, and I’m on the ground –

Yesterday my son non-chalantly mentioned that he could be considered for honors English next year and he was in the process of deciding whether to take it or not.

He is my first experience at raising a teen. I have many things to learn. It’s been a struggle for me some days. See my previous post titled Teenitis, the disease I have been recently diagnosed with and continue to struggle through.

I knew when he said something yesterday the best reaction was no reaction and to be slightly interested, not too much, don’t harp, don’t be a sap, show just the right amount of interest that doesn’t make you seem like you are trying too hard and make very little eye contact.
It’s an art.
Either you have mastered it, will someday, choose not to ever have to or are perfect and have perfect teenagers and come from another planet.

I didn’t expect to hear anything so soon because as a parent of a teen expectations are emotions you hide, just like the urge to want to hug and kiss them or scream at them.

Tonight, on the way to family fun at the grocery store (not recommended, however when everyone starts asking for different types of soap/shampoo/conditioner/toiletries the normal sole grocery shopper in our family – the hubby – gets a little overwhelmed)
you could have knocked me over with the proverbial feather. (Does the feather come from Big Bird, a large Ostrich or a prehistoric creature – it’s gotta be pretty darn sturdy to knock me down and all)
Our son said – “We need to hurry up because I have to get home and write my essay asking to be accepted into Honors English.” Telling us to hurry up or making the statement about what WE have to do is the normal part.

Later, as he struggled to write his essay we asked him to tell us what he knew about the class. He said, “Well you have to read four books over the summer, there are a lot of projects, you have to like to read and write and it will be very time consuming.” I know what the hubby was thinking because I was saying the same thing in my head (then why take the class? – go for CP English instead, that’s what I would do) but, knowing deep down that we have a son who is even considering this is making us do a little jig whenever he leaves the room - in a cool way of course.

As if that wasn’t enough, he also informed us that he would be taking two more years of Spanish class. (God help me, if I have to hear him complain about Spanish for two more years I may have to acquire a new hobby, and it won’t be knitting or scrapbooking if you know what I mean –but I’m not complaining)

This kid really listened to us. The things we have been telling him about school, grades, classes, they are penetrating that thick skin. He may spend a lot of time on Xbox, ignore his little sisters, resist family outings and say ten words per day, but he gets it.

Now, if his acceptance goes as well as his application to The Honor Society (they didn’t accept him) I will then go in my room, shut the door and throw a baby temper tantrum. The same one I threw when my daughter didn’t win secretary for Student Council, got the mean girl phone call, and any other time you see your child experience disappointment. I know- it builds character; this is why I am behind closed doors doing the silent screaming for them.

Would you look at that? We might make it as successful parents after all…..
 (Are there award ceremonies at the end of all of this, because I really want to walk a red carpet……)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Right up my Style -

I have this amazing pocket buddy. Her name is Kate. She lives in my pocket. - yep, dreaming again.  I like to imagine she lives in my pocket because she is one of those people with an amazing outlook on life.  When you read her blog you feel like you know HER. No exaggerations.  She runs and writes about it. She bikes and writes about it. She teaches, hikes, reads, sews, bakes, cooks,and she motivates me to try to be a better human.  That is why I like to think of her in my pocket - telling me what to do, motivating me but with simplicity, no fancy stuff.  Be sure to check out her amazing style too. 

She gave me an award today.

Now in order to receive this award I am supposed to tell you 7 things about myself.  I'll try to make them about my amazing style and all....

1.  I believe when dating guys with mullets you should match their outfit:

2.  A good ribbon in your hair really pulls an outfit together:

3.  I am a true believer in dressing sexy at Halloween, but I guess my definition needs work:

4.  At least I know how to match my dress with my shoes:

5.  It's best to develop a good sneer and appear to be unhappy yet cool:

6.  I measure my friends by their hair:

7.  I believe in making sure your outfit takes good pictures:

What can I say? - I am a style icon....

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Did those Bowls Come with the Cats?

You know those little square Magic Towels? - You know, they are teeny tiny usually found at the end cap in the dollar store or souvenir shops? They advertise that if you put them in water they will grow. Grow to supposed full towel size?? Like a beach towel,  yeah, a beach towel for your big toe that is.

Ok, now that we are on the same page hold that thought.

Last night my daughter who was reluctantly doing her cat job (we have two cats- which have been highlighted in previous posts – I am not a cat fan, got them for the kids because their Guinea Pig had died in front of them on the first day of summer and they were buy one get one free, so I ended up with two of course)  well she asked me a funny question. Let's say a funnily worded question that is.

She picked up the silver water dish for the cats( because you have to have a cool water dishes or else where is the fun in having a pet? ) and says to me, "Mom, did the bowls come with the cat's"?

Insert dreamy cloud scene and music:

Inner kid style, I said: "Yes, honey, I bought the silver bowls because they looked so cool, I just had to have them even if we didn’t have any pets at the time, they were just so pretty and they were in Target and I had only spent up to $89.00 at that point.

You see, I didn't notice until the bowls were being bagged that these little square things were attached to the inside. They were buy one get one free, so I had to have two bowls of course.

Once I found my car in the parking lot by clicking the door opener several times and looking for the beacon of lights, I inspected the bowls a little closer. Attached were these tiny packs of expanding Magic Towels.  One said GREY and the other said TABBY on it.
“Hmmmmm”, I thought to myself, that sounds like a fun project for the kids!

Once I got home, the kids were asleep of course (because I planned it that way -you know leave the hubby at home around bedtime and let him deal with it) so I stuck the square magic growing towels in a tub of water and went to bed because shopping at Target takes a lot out of you.

OH! I almost forgot - I put the shiny silver bowls on the counter so I could think about all the yummy things they would hold the next day - chocolates, chocolate covered nuts, dips, chocolate in one and dip in the other , chocolate covered nuts in one and dip in the other, oh, the possibilities!!

When I woke up in the morning, to my HORROR, I mean delight, there on the floor in a small puddle of water (I think it was water?) instead of giant beach towels, were a grey and orange kitten.

“So, honey, you ask, did the bowls come with the cats and the answer is why, yes they did.”

The moral of the story is to NEVER; I mean NEVER buy those square folded up Magic towel/sponge things. You just never know what your gonna get.

The End.

Monday, January 10, 2011

When did we Stop Acting like Kids?

Someone asked me this question the other day and I haven’t been able to shake it since.

When did we (most of us adults) stop acting like a little kid? Why did we do that? I mean in the sense of free will, carefree attitude, honesty, unconditional love kind of way. At what point do we make the decision to be less of all of that and more of serious, mature, stern, adults?

Great example of losing our inner kid - Is, Going, Gone.

Don’t blame it on jobs, kids, responsibilities. I do that enough for all of us. But honestly, look at some of the kids out there with one parent who can barely care for them, some with no roofs over their heads, some with only one guaranteed meal a day and that is if they go to school. They still act like kids.

They say kids are resilient. I’ve seen kids get over the worst kind of pain and misfortune and yet they are still kids at heart. I haven’t had to deal with half the crud they do and I still lost my inner kid.

Worse, have you ever caught yourself telling your kid to grow up, act mature or stop acting like a baby? Why do we have to mentally grow up and what does that really mean? Is life so much better when you are walking around acting like a “Grown Up”? Stop laughing, stop having fun all day, stop pretending, and stop playing make-believe is that being grown-up?

I am no longer a kid. I have officially grown up. Occasionally there is a glimpse of kid in me and then you know who knocks me out of it really fast? A Grown up person with their tunnel vision, negativity, fear of intimacy etc, etc, etc.

Wouldn’t it be great if every day you made a conscious effort to NOT GROW UP?

Think of things you did as a kid that gave you sheer happiness and joy. Things that you haven’t done since you were a kid. Make a list. Start doing those things. Maybe our inner kid will emerge and what is the harm in that?

My list of things I did when I was a kid that I can remember bringing me pure joy are:

Hugging (and I am a self described non-hugger now- avoid it at all costs unless it’s the hubby or my own kids)

Coloring (and I didn’t care if I stayed in the lines)

Pretending to be a Mom or wife (I REALLY did do this. I can picture my pretend house between the two trees in my backyard or in the space of my bedroom, and I was the happiest Mom and wife a man could have ever asked for in the meagerest of homes)

Pretending to be a teacher. (I was the nicest teacher, who taught her kids in a fun way and the kids liked me – now I am not a teacher by profession, but I have kids, I do teach them, I should be this great of a teacher to them all the time)

My list is pretty short with a lot of make believe. But whenever I have been in a bad/boring/too serious or tough situation in my life my coping mechanism is to pretend I am somewhere else doing something else. When my kids are upset, bored or whiny my answer to them is to pretend, take a mental time-out and escape. My kids have amazing imaginations. This kind of says something doesn’t it? Maybe we shouldn’t have to pretend so hard to make things better. Or maybe we should.

Someone else’s list might include the sports they played as kids were their happiest moments. So go out and play sports today, like when you were kids with less rules and more fun, and don’t keep score.

Would the world end if everyone walked around with smiles, giggled, laughed and got carried away having fun? Who are you going to upset? The adults who forgot how to laugh?

Do you know someone who has this kind of spirit even as an adult? I do. Her name is Cherie. She is my Aunt. She can laugh in the middle of the worst situations. She can make you feel like laughing while you are sobbing. Her soul exudes youthfulness. She is a grown up adult kid. With responsibilities, a recently deceased husband, a full time job, and many stressful years under her belt, but she still hasn’t lost that kid inside of herself. I know that I can call her up right now, and her voice alone will bring me back down, and I will hang up with a guaranteed smile and laugh. She has mastered the art of being a kid no matter what age, and she doesn’t have to be in DisneyWorld to find it.

I said this is MY year ten days ago (can you believe it has only been 10 days?) One of the things I want to accomplish is to find my inner kid. I should run down those basement steps right now and join the two little girls who I can hear pretending they are zoo animals. I should be one of the animals with them. It sounds crazy, I know!

I have a friend named Renee. She is a grown adult kid. She has an art for this exact thing I am talking about. She should teach classes on it with Cherie. I could use a class in finding my inner kid. I bet most of us could.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

All the way to the Zoo –

(Where I post AND participate in The Red Dress Club challenge to blog by starting every sentence with a letter of the Alphabet IN Alphabetical order…. This should go REAL well as I am doing a double challenge…..) (Be prepared for an abrupt stop, I am sure!)

Am I crazy? Birthdays in our house allow the kids to choose an activity as well as where they want to go out to eat and what they want as their gift. Clearly, January is a sucky time for a Birthday activity but we made the best of it.

Proof, it was cold, I couldn't even smile properly

Donning a pair of magic mittens – (thank God for those- buy some for the kids and I can wear them too) and lots of layers, the hubby, four little girls and I began our adventure. Early this morning, (do you consider getting out of the house by 10:30am on a Saturday with four kids early?) we took four girls to the Zoo. “Friggin cold “, was my first thought as I stepped outside in the 17 degree weather. Giant snowflakes fell around us as we walked through the Zoo parking lot. Humidity this time of year where we live is very rare so the thought of walking around the Rain Forest delighted all of us. Incidentally, they hardly charge you at all to come to the Zoo when it’s below freezing.

Just like true adventurists, we spent the better half of the day in the Rain Forest, and on the heated trolley. Keeping warm when we had to be outside was done by jogging from building to building and of course lots of giggling. Laughing hysterically at one point because the hubby got cornered in the Wolf Lodge by a lady who was really into her job, we left him to listen to her human tape recorder mantra. My poor hubby is just too nice to slowly back away.

Never a dull moment, we decided in order to take the kids to our new found favorite bakery and fill them with sugar. On the way home from the bakery we found and drove through the most amazing cemetery where James A Garfield is buried.

See anything interesting??
Where President Garfield and his Wife are laid to rest

Part of me wanted the day to end there, and just when I thought the gaggle of girls would end, they manipulated us into another night of sleepover. Quiet is not on the agenda for tonight. Regrettably, by Sunday, they will have gone 48 hours on 2 hours of sleep.

So far this year we have done a great job of exploring our City. The next item on my list of things to do and see where we live is a museum of some sort (nice and warm) preferably with only our kids or even better with just the hubby! Unfortunately, a lot of things cost more money than we can spend but so far, we have done a pretty good job of finding the best deals. Victory was had today in saving money, that’s for sure. We got ½ off of everything for braving the below 32 degree temps at the Zoo in celebration of their Polar Bear days.

Xanadu is not where I will be in about five minute’s time, as we have been invited into the basement to watch a production put on by four little girls high on sugar and excitement. (seriously,YOU try starting a sentence with X!) You can bet that the hubby is even more excited than I am. Zoo, bakery, cemetery, four little girls (our son escaped to friends for the weekend) and basement made drama, are quite enough for one man to take.