Monday, September 29, 2008

They Say It's My Birthday

It's was birthday yesterday! In honor of my birthday, I thought I'd forgo my usually cynical and mildy amusing rantings, in lieu of a list. I am forever making lists at home for everything. If showering isn't on my list, it's not likely to get done. So, in honor of all you birthday mommas 'round the world;

5 Things That Should Be Prohibited By Law on Your Birthday

1. Doing The Laundry
Need I even say that doing the laundry on your birthday is a highly punishable offense. Let it pile!

2. Doing The Dishes
Let someone else do them. Better yet, go out to eat!

3. Working
Seriously, I think it should be written into every workplace manual that one's birthday is deemed and automatic day off -- with pay.

4. Taking Out The Trash
There is just something undeniably un-birthday like about schlepping a big bag (or 10) of garbage to the curb. Unless the trash man's visit is imminent, I'd wait it out.

5. Cleaning Up Toys
You really shouldn't be doing this on any day, but especially not today. While it'll be nice to see clutter free floors for a few moments, unless you're sweeping them up and taking them out within 5 minutes, you'll only end up repeating the process 10 more times. If you have to clean up after them, just wait until after they are in bed.

So, of course I thoroughly intended to enjoy my birthday.....but the best laid plans don't always play out. For starters, my husband was out of town....working in Houston, and the kids decided to be complete Hellions. So really, it was just another day. I suppose that being 32, I shouldn't expect my birthday to be a big deal anymore. But you know, secretly I do. So having absolultely nothing special done on MY big day was kind of a downer.

By the way, it hadn't even got to 10 am yesterday, that I completely broke all 5 of those rules.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

So I"ve finally come to the realization that mom was right

Confession: Sometimes I really, really need a break from the kids.

I love my kids. I adore my kids. The happiness and well-being of my children are my top priority. I am sure most moms reading along with my musings all this time, probably feel the same, or close to it anyway. So, I have to ask, why do we so often feel guilty if we want or need time away from our kids? Why are we taken to task by some about our 'parenting commitment' or our 'family values'? It is ridiculous I tell you.

I tell you boldly that I want some time away from my kids! Yes, I think that it is perfectly acceptable, dare I say even necessary, for a woman to have portions of her life, of her self, that are separate from that which she shares with her children. This is not a sin. This is not bad parenting. In fact I think it is quite the contrary. I think a little 'me' time every once in a while makes a much more happy, secure, focused mommy!

I am not talking about two weeks alone in the south of France. I am talking about an hour or two to go out to dinner with the girls, a few hours a week to go to the gym (ha ha but who does that, right?), or just some time to take a bath, read a book, or as I've said before, watch an uninterrupted segment of Days of our Lives . Is this really too much to ask?Apparently for some moms, it is. My hubby is petty good about this stuff, in as much as I will usually get an 'ok' if I prearrange. But, he still needs a little work. I think they all do.

There is an undeniable guilt factor that many woman (myself included) feel when they are out on their own, or doing something that does not somehow relate to their homes or their family. I am here to tell you that it is OKAY to take a little time to just be who you are. Time not to be Mrs. so and so, or so and so's mommy; time to just be Michelle, or Susan, or Kim, or whoever who are/were before you had kids. I knew it was dramatically apparent that we as moms were getting desperate for time away, when my friend told me that she was excited about her upcoming gynecologist appointment because it meant that she could leave hubby with their two kids for a couple of hours. Now this is desperation people!

Heck we've gotten to the point where we are satisfied when our 'me time' is made up of grocery shopping, doctor's visits, heck even dental work is seeming appealing to some at this point. This is not acceptable! So I would ask you, implore you, to take time out this weekend to do something that is JUST for you. Take an afternoon, an hour, or 10 minutes, but do one thing that you can completely and totally claim as your own. Then let me know if it doesn't make you feel at least a little bit better!

Do it for me, since I can't. My "me" time will have to wait until hubby makes it back from Houston......whenever that may be.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Sayings that reflect an attitude of success

1. Be realistic, plan for a miracle.

2. Successful people give more than they receive.

3. Happiness is a choice.

4. Trust your instincts.

5. The things you own end up owning you.

6. Spend your time with admirable, successful people.

7. The most important job you will ever have in your life is raising your children.

8. Forgive everyone and everything, including yourself.

9. Confront your fears. Overcoming them reaps rich rewards.

10. Let go of trying to control things you have no control over.

11. You can travel as far as you want, one step at a time.

12. Allow yourself to wallow in positive thoughts.

13. If you lay down with dogs, you get fleas.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Grocery Shopping Nightmares

You know what is no fun? Grocery shopping with 3 kids in tow. You what is less fun then that? Doing the aforementioned activity while sick. You know what might be described as the least fun activity ever? Doing the previous, while sick, and on the first day of your period. Yay!This my friends is a major, and I mean major, undertaking. The whole event takes literally hours.

I have 3 children. I have been doing this parent thing for almost 12 years now. While I have my moments of panic and insecurity, I think that for the most part, I am getting it down to a science. I tell you though, the events described above are enough to shake the confidence of even the most self-assured parent. It goes a little something like this.

25 minutes to dress myself (if you call brushing my teeth and throwing on sweats dressing) and the little one. The older two are on their own (This does not count sock and shoe finding and wrestling time).

5 minutes for potty.

10 minutes to lay down the rules for shopping, repeat them three times, then have everyone ask what the rules were again.

10 minutes to find shoes and socks.

10 minutes to get them on.

5 minutes for potty again.

5 minutes to gather purse and keys

10 minutes to find and put back on the shoes that came off while I was getting my stuff together.

10 minutes to load them up, strap them all in, and get out of the driveway.

ARE WE THERE YET????
I HAVE TO GO POTTY!!!

5 minutes to unstrap and remove everyone.

5 minutes to go to potty.

68 minutes of actual shopping time. This does include the trips back down 3 aisles I already visited, but I forgot stuff because I was trying to keep the boys from fighting and of course, putting the baby's shoes on again.

10 minutes of cries of "can I get ___________??????"

10 minutes to check-out.

15 minutes to load everyone back up in their seats, strap them in and get all the groceries into the car.Yes folks, if you are keeping tabs we are indeed at over 3 hours! And the answer is no, I have not unloaded or put away anything yet!

10 minutes to drive home.

5 minutes to get the darn Wii to work so I can occupy the kids while I am putting stuff away.

And last, but of course not least, 15 minutes to actually put away all of the groceries and rid myself of various bags, boxes, containers, etc.

By this point I need not merely a nap, but I think perhaps a hospital bed. Let's not forget I am pretty sure I have walking pneumonia again at this point.

Some people think it so easy having kids. Of course, they are generally the people that don't have any! You know the ones I mean. The ones who glare at you in the market as you wipe the snot mixed with lollipop stickiness off of your baby (with your sleeve). The ones who offer such wise and totally unsolicited advise to you in the checkout line.

I tell you I can not wait, I mean I relish in the very thought of the day that these people reproduce! I just know that they are going to have multitudes of little misbehaved beast-children running amok! I can't wait.

I promise to offer them all of my excellent, unsolicited, mommy advice when I see them in line at the market.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Serendipity

I bought these shoes last year from Payless for $11. They are awesome and every time I wear them, I receive at least one complement on them. They go with everything and I wear them all the time. Well, this year the rubber sole has started to fall off the bottom of the shoe. I tried to fix this with a stapler, but it doesn’t work for long. So, I had to make a decision. Either wear them with the sole flapping hither and fro, throw them out or permanently fix them. Considering they cost me all of $11 buck, I figured I could invest the $3.50 it would cost for superglue.
I bought the superglue, went home and prepared for the surgery.

I read the package thoroughly, as I always do. I followed the instructions, turning the cap upside down and poking a hole through the top of the tube. That is when things went bad. Out spews an stream of glue, all over my hands.

“QUICK!” I scream to my husband, "turn the hot water on". I rush over to the sink to immediately flush with hot water as I remembered the directions stated. My husband (a.k.a. Dumb) hands me a paper towel. So I (a.k.a. Dumber) grab the paper towel and attempt to wipe the superglue off. SUPERGLUE! It’s called that for a reason people, a very good reason.
Needless to say, sticking my hands under the hot water as the directions stated would have been a better solution than a paper towel. The end result was five of my fingers now had permanent paper towel on their tips. It would not come off.

I tried scrubbing them with soap and water, using a brillo pad. I tried soaking them in Nail Polish remover (as directed). All to no avail. Five fingers were coated white as if I dipped them in paint. After about 15 minutes, when it started to cake and dry, I was able to scrape some of the white off little by little, but it was not pleasant and I am sure the white only came off because I was scraping my skin off with it.

By now, the panic was gone and I was left staring at my white fingers feeling like a complete idiot. I kept trying to tell myself that eventually the white will wear away. What is it that they say? We replace all our skin cells every seven days? So, by this time next week I should look normal again.

I needed air. I went outside to chill a moment and try to think of what I was going to say to people when they ask me what’s all over my fingers. Should I lie and say it was paint or tell the truth and admit I am a complete moron?

That was when the mosquito bit me. They love me, those nasty mosquitoes. So, instinctively I reached for the OFF spray, (which I always keep handy) and began to spray it all over my arms, gently rubbing it in.

To my utter amazement, the glue, the napkin, the white gook, all of it just melted away. Just melted away, I tell you. That fast, that easy, that simple. I sprayed the OFF on my other fingers and “poof” it was gone in a matter of seconds.

And thus, I pass on this amazing discovery to you. Should you ever find your skin superglued together or superglued to something else, like a paper towel for instance, just use bug spray. Works like a charm.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Then and Now: It's Still The Same

I like to remind myself to keep things into perspective as much as possible. It’s the existentialist in me, I suppose. I can ruminate over something to the point of obsession, but in the end I try to remind myself that it is all a matter of perspective and it is all relative. The glass is neither half full nor half empty - it is just a 16 ounce glass with 8 ounces of water.

Lately my obsession has been with how to discipline my very willful children whithout breaking their spirits or mine. I just want to do it right, you know? I figure the least I can do is read a lot and learn, learn, learn. So there I was researching on the internet how I can become a better parent and hopefully raise happy, healthy, respectable, well rounded children. And I came upon this quote:

“Our youths love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love to chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when their elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.”

As I was reading this, I was shaking my head in full agreement, telling myself, “Yes! Yes! That is it and that’s the problem. Kids today are running amok, but how do we as parents combat this downward trend and churn out kids that are better than that?”

But then I saw that the quote was by Socrates, circa 400 B.C.

Perspective. We’ve been screwing it up for centuries.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Virtual Rooftops

Driving to work today, the U2 song, “I Still Haven’t Found What I Am Looking For” came on the radio and I found myself singing along at the top of my lungs. {the novelty of listening to music during my morning drive still hasn’t worn off} U2 songs have a way of inspiring such passion with their lyrics and music, don’t they? Most of their songs are about topics that matter, topics that reach people and their strong emotions about life, civilization and the human condition.

Riding along, I couldn’t help singing out loud like a raving lunatic because those were lyrics and sentiments I wanted to shout out. Loudly. Then I thought of that one video they made where they set up a impromptu concert on an L.A. rooftop. Could you blame them for wanting to express themselves, sing those powerful lyrics from a rooftop? If I were a little more ballsy I may be convinced to do that myself. In many ways I see this blog as my virtual rooftop where I get a chance to scream out to the masses the thoughts and emotions teeming inside me.

HEY INTERNET!

I STILL DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR!

I STILL FEEL LOST MOST OF THE TIME!

STILL AM NOT SURE WHO I AM!

Certainly, I could write all this stuff down in a personal journal, releasing my thoughts out into the universe and creating a physical presence where they can reside, rather than staying bottled up inside me. But just getting them out isn’t the main purpose. As cathartic as it might be, it isn’t comforting in the end. Yet shouting out from my virtual rooftop is helpful because it triggers the echoes of other voices.

“I hear you”

“I understand”

“Me too”

“I know”

Ahhh, the echoes! For me, it isn’t about just getting it out. I can live with the feeling that I am confused, insecure, unsure or lost. What I can’t live with is the feeling that I am all alone in being confused, insecure, unsure and lost!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Letter to Sarah Palin

Dear Sarah,

I hope you don't mind me calling you Sarah. I feel like we know each other so well, what with all the media coverage you've been getting in the last couple of weeks.I know you're really proud of the working motherhood arrangement you've crafted for yourself. But since the GOP has been holding you up as the shining beacon of model motherhood, I have a few questions for you. I think a few of the other moms I know do as well. So I hope you don't mind me asking! We could have a quick chat over a cup of tea, or you could just e-mail me -- I know you're killer on the Blackberry!

Katha Pollitt at The Nation already has posed some questions to you. And I really do want to know the answers to them. But here are a few others I'm curious about, as well:

1. If you're elected vice president, what are you going to do to help all the other working mothers in America? You know, not all of us have the kind of support system of family and friends you do to take care of our kids, but we still have to work so we can afford food for the table, gas for our cars and the after-school day care arrangements because most of us don't have nannies (we now know you did, at least according to your own words on this video)

.2. If after several years of being vice president you discovered that you had been paid less than all the other vice presidents before you, would you be OK with not being able do anything about it? If you're not sure, I know Lily Ledbetter would be happy to talk with you about that.

3. You say you're going to be an advocate for special needs children, now that you have one of your own. What does that mean, exactly? Will you use the power of being second-in-command for fight for health care coverage that these children need, but many of their families can't afford? Will you make sure that parents get all the information about special needs children and that the federal government will step up to the plate with some dollars to help achieve that? Will you be honest about your son's challenges if he grows up in the spotlight of national politics?

4. When will you be able to tell us where you stand on issues so important to the millions of working mothers in this country? Recently, one story said that you are "unable to say at this time what [your] position is on federal policies relating to job protections and benefits for working mothers." It sure would be nice if you'd let us know sometime in the next 40-something days. Sooner rather than later would be great.

5. I know you're a little busy at the moment, but since you're asking so many of us to vote for you, we'd like to hear a little more about these issues and less about that Bridge to Nowhere, though I would like you to be a bit more honest about what you did with the money you didn't spend on that bridge.

6. Oh, one other thing -- I know you say you're against "earmarks" for special pet projects, but that doesn't seem to square with the reports that you asked for over $450 million of them in the last two years. Maybe you could just be straight with us about that one, too. Feel free to call, E-mail or drop by. I'll put the kettle on and Piper can hang out and play with my son.

I know you think some of these questions are irrelevant, but I think it's fair to ask how your motherhood experiences will impact your potential advice on McCain administration's policies on FMLA, child-care and fair pay. I'm not Charlie Gibson, but I know we could have a really lively chat.

Sincerely yours,

Songbirdmama

Thursday Thirteen

13 things I would say to the computer if the USS Enterprise’s Holodeck was available at my work:

1) Computer…begin new program, label: Outta Here...

2) Computer…change office location to a Paris bistro in the Latin Quarter...

3) Computer…change this water cooler into a calorie free Dr. Pepper dispenser

4) Computer…change my outfit to the sassy number Kate Winslet wore in Titanic... no, no, the black and red beaded one that almost killed her…yeah, that one...

5) Ugh...gee...Computer…make me 10 pounds thinner…and now, the dress a size smaller… better, much better...

6) Computer…replace the sound of my computer fan whirring with...hmm, let me think…with U2 singing Joshua Tree songs…Oh yeah!

7) Computer… please make Bono 10 years younger…thanka you very much!

8) Computer…make pop and chips good for my health...

9) Computer…load the Einstein holograph to my right and the Bertrand Russell holograph to my left…that should make for some stimulating conversation!

10) Huh?...crap…Computer…make my IQ higher…higher…higher…okay, yeah, now I get what they’re saying...

11) Computer…a pen and paper please…I need to write this stuff down...

12) Let me see…let me see…what else…Computer…a nutella crepe would be lovely right about now...

13) Hmmph…hmmmph…Computer…end program…load previously recorded program, Saturday morning at home with hubby and kids…

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The ABCs of Me

OK, so this is something that was sent to me by Virginia. She did this on her blog and challenged her readers to do the same about themselves. So without further ado here is mine, and anyone who reads this blog (which according to the increase in comments seems to be a few more peeps) I encourage you to do one as well. It's a fun way to get to know a little more about eachother:

The ABCs of me:

A - Attached or Single?
~Attached and hanging on tight!

B - Best Friend?
~Aside from my husband and my mom, it would probably have to be my cousin, Dana.

C - Cake or Pie?
~Cake - Black Forest cake to be precise....mmmmmmmmmmmmm, cake

D - Drink of Choice?
~Good old water

E - Essential Items?
~Cell phone, chapstick, hand sanitiser and Kleenex

F - Favorite Color?
~Red and purple run a pretty close game

G - Gummie Bears or Worms?
~I’ll have to go with the bears on this one, but neither of them would be my first choice when it comes to extra calories.

H - Hometown?
~Raymond, AB

I - Indulgence?
~Dinner at a fine restaurant

J - January or February?
~February because it is shorter (I hate the winter)!

~K - Kids?
~4 boys.......3 biological and one I inherited through marriage

L - Life is incomplete without?
~Faith, family and friends

M - Marriage Date?
~October 10, 1997

N - Number of Siblings?
~Three.....all younger

O - Oranges or Apples?
~Oranges

P - Phobias/Fears?
~I have a bizarre fear of the dark that I carry from childhood....also spiders......a serious gripping, paralyizing fear of spiders......and death. Don't ask me why. My ration side tells me that death is nothing to fear, given what I know about the other side, but it scares me just the same

Q - Favorite Quote?
~I actually have a few favorites, but here's one or two:
“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” (Aristotle)

"No other success can compensate for failure in the home" (David O McKay)

R - Reason to smile?
~My boys, my family, my friends, bascially, my life

S - Seasons?
~I like them all for one reason or another, but autumn is definately my favorite

T - Tags?
~Like I said.....I tag all the new people who have recently discovered this little blog of mine

U Unknown Fact About Me?
~What could possibly be left to reveal?

V - Vegetarian or oppressor of animals?
~Umm.....I'm a meat-atarian. Seriously, I like meat...a lot

W - Worst Habit?
~Chewing on ice and ruining my teeth

X - X-rays or ultrasounds?
~Well the nice thing about X-rays is you don't have to have a full bladder and not be allowed to pee while someone presses on your poor abdomen

Y - Your favorite food? Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, Saigonese......mmmmmm, you get the idea

Z - Zodiac? Libra

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Life can be so cruel

That old saying is so true, so true…even in your dreams.

In last night’s dream, I was by myself driving down a winding country road. The weather was perfect so I rolled all the windows down to enjoy the warm breeze. The air smelled rich and clean. It must have been autumn because the trees were vibrant colors that took your breath away.

So there I was, casually driving along with my arm resting on the open window… soaking up the scenic view… loving the quietness and the wind on my face… feeling completely relaxed and peaceful…

When I felt a tap tap tap on my thigh.

Smiling ear to ear with such joy, I turned around to see this ugly small gargoyle perched on the console between the two front seats. He had warts all over his face, red glaring eyes and these huge fangs that were dripping blood.

He curled up his warty nose and snarled, “Turn left here or I’ll kill ya.”
My reaction went along the lines of WTHeck? followed by “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”
I screamed myself awake.

Unfortunately, I am just as neurotic and unstable in my dreams as I am in real life. I am easily startled. Mind you, it’s not as if I was expecting to turn around and find Johnny Depp offering me a blueberry scone. But still, I can safely say I was expecting a human being at the very least! Even now, the scariest part of that dream was not the horrible gargoyle or his menancing words. It was how you can be ripped from a state of nirvana one second and throw into hell the next.

Once I calmed back down, I started to get pissed off. Talk about cruel! I had just spent the entire week working my butt off, stressing about work, dealing with a sick kid. Then, on the one night the phone doesn’t ring or the youngest doesn’t end up in my bed, I get shocked awake by a stupid dream! I felt like the butt end of some cosmic joke or something. The universe can be sucky sometimes.

Do you hear that universe? I said, YOU SUCK! That’s right, YOU REALLY SUCK SOMETIMES! And you owe me for that twisted sick prank. I will be accepting apologies all week in my dreams. I demand nothing short of eroti.....er, pleasant dreams. You can skip the scones, but feel free to throw in the likes of Johnny Depp.

Shirtless.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Please pass the zucchini

We were at Walmart the other day, buying a few groceries. This is usually a very stressful event for me, since I am completely anal about the bagging of my own groceries. Nobody can do as well as I can, and therefore, the pressure is completely on me to finagle all of our new possessions perfectly, so we end up with the least amount of bags wasted and the least amount of trips back and forth from the car. It is an art, and I don’t like anyone messing with my canvas.

The girl there must have been new, since she was slow and seemed hesitant about everything she was doing. Nor did she make an attempt to throw the meats into their own separate bag, as most of them try to do. For this, I was grateful. She already won brownie points with me, which more than made up for her lack of speed. At first I didn’t even notice that she had stopped ringing us up. I was too busy intently staring at the block cheese that hadn’t gone through her hands yet. I was just waiting for it to slide down that black conveyor belt into my reach. The current bag I had in front of me was almost filled, except for a small sliver of room along the side. That cheese would fit perfectly right there. I wanted that cheese. I wasn’t taking my eyes off that cheese. After a minute, I noticed that the cheese, along with everything else, just stopped coming my way. I peeled my eyes off the cheese long enough to see her standing there, holding up a zucchini, waiting to get my attention.

“Can you tell me what this is?” she asked me sheepishly.

(Blink, blink)

“It’s a zucchini…”

She gave me a grateful smile and proceeded to look it up, then punch in the code. She gently placed it down on the belt, so the zucchini could take its magic carpet ride right into my hands.

Still eyeing the cheese, I grabbed a plastic bag. Naturally, produce gets its own bag. They all get along nicely in one plastic bag. Except for potatoes. Due to the fact that they are packaged in mass bulk, they deserve their own carrying case, lest they crush and pummel the more delicate fruits and veggies. I put the zucchini into the bag.

With my produce bag all set to go, I still have not gotten my cheese. So, I look up. Now, she is holding up the cauliflower.

“Cauliflower.” I say. She nods and punches in the code, dropping it onto the belt. Then the next item. She holds it up to me.

“Butternut squash,” I tell her.

I absentmindedly stuff the cauliflower into my produce bag. Now, I am intrigued.

“Say,” I ask her, “can you tell me if there will be a sale on canned tomatoes anytime soon?” (it was the only thing I could think of on the fly)

“Um,” she says, “I am not sure, but I can ask someone if you like?”

“Oh, no no. That’s OK, just wondering. Don’t trouble yourself.”

My question was answered. She had no accent. This girl was not a foreigner. My mind was starting to churn. Either her parents were foreigners, which would explain why she did not know the English names of such common produce items. Or, whoever is feeding this poor girl is mighty secretive about their recipes. I could not think of any other reason why someone at her age could not recognize such normal, everyday vegetables.

In complete shock, I continued to rattle off the names as she held each item up. Yellow squash. Asparagus. Kiwi.

Are you kidding me?

Is she pulling my leg? If not, my heart is breaking. What in God’s name could she be eating everyday? I can forgive the butternut squash ‘cause it’s such a beast to prepare. For as much as I like it, I will only buy it on the rare occasion. But, asparagus? Kiwi? Freakin' zucchini? Pfft!

FINALLY, here comes my cheese. I shove it in its coveted spot. But, really, by this point I am almost in a daze. I couldn’t stop thinking about this fragile creature who (God forbid) could be living off McDonald’s and KFC for all I know. That night, after we finished eating our dinner, I was putting the leftovers away. But, I hesitated. Oh, how I so wanted to bring that Tupperware container to Walmart and feed that poor girl.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Yada Yada Yada

The other day my friend was recanting a crazy thing that happened to him. After he told the story, he said, “It was like a scene out of Seinfeld”. Isn’t that the truth? Whenever anyone has some kind of wacky mishap, off the wall interaction or a stupid conversation about nothing, it always reminds us of “Seinfeld”. I am sure everyone has at least one Seinfeldesque thing that has happened to them. I’m going to share with you one of mine.

This took place at Blockbuster Video, standing in line waiting to pay. Right after this happened, all I could think of was how this could have been a scene right out of Seinfeld.
(Names have been changed to protect the innocent)

Elaine: It’s your turn to pay. Here’s two bucks for my candy and soda.

Elaine pulls a few dollar bills from her wallet and hands Jerry the money. A dime falls out, she bends down and picks it up.

Jerry: I can’t believe you just did that.

Elaine: Did what?

Jerry: Bent over and picked up that dime up!

Elaine: What? What are you talking about?

Jerry: It’s a dime. Why would you bother picking up a stupid dime?

Elaine: Um, gee, maybe because I dropped it!

Jerry: Still. It’s not worth the energy you exerted, it’s just a dime. That doesn’t even get you a phone call anymore.

Elaine: Are you kidding me? You wouldn’t bend over and pick up a dime that you dropped? It’s not like I just saw it there. I DROPPED IT! It would be practically littering to leave it there anyway. Geesh!

Jerry: I would have left it there. It’s not worth it for me to go through the trouble. I don’t need a dime that badly.

Elaine: Don’t compare your being too lazy to SIMPLY BEND OVER with me being desperate or needy or something!

Jerry: It’s not laziness. I might have bent over to pick up a quarter, definitely a dollar. But, a dime? That’s the same as picking up a penny these days. Worse! At least a penny on heads might bring you luck.

Elaine gives me a look of disbelief.

Jerry: If you believe that sort of thing.

There are soft chuckles going on around them, as other people in the line are obviously eavesdropping.

Elaine: You’re nuts, you know that? So what if it’s just a dime? We’re standing here doing noth-ing, we have all the time in the world. Now, I can see letting it go if I was running for a train. I mean, I wouldn’t miss my train to stop and pick up a dime, even if I dropped it. Or, say, if it rolled ten feet away, then I wouldn’t go chasing after it into traffic. But. We. Are. Just. Standing. here.

Long pause, they both walk forward as the line moves up.

Jerry: You’re just cheap.

Elaine: I’M NOT CHEAP! IT’S MY DIME!

More chuckles. Another long pause.

Elaine: Besides, a dime is worth something. Even today. Maybe not a phone call, sure. But, you can buy a chocolate covered cherry at Wawa with a dime. I am always buying chocolate covered cheeries. I love them! They are surely worth bending over for, let me tell you. Not to mention how many times a dime can save you from breaking a whole dollar. You betcha a dime is worth it!

Elaine: (mumbling) Lazy ass.

By now, they are at the counter being rung up. Elaine is tossing her precious dime up in the air and catching it over and over again while she rambles on, getting more and more agited. All around them, customers are shaking their heads in disbelief with slight smirks on their faces.
Just then the cashier starts busting out laughing.

Cashier: You’re total is fourteen dollars. And ten cents.

Elaine snatches the dime out of the air and holds it tight to her chest. Jerry just looks at her.

Jerry: Give me that dime. Please!

Elaine: Oh, you most certainly can have it…

She drops the dime.

He bends over and picks it up.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Tragedy of 9/11


Evolving from its original literary usage, the word tragedy discribes a great misfortune worthy of pity and mourning. However, the misfortune is often a result of some inner character flaw, a mistake based on ignorance, an opposition of moral dilemmas, etc. As a result, what took place could have been avoided, but the realization and wisdom needed often comes too late. Today, the word tragedy is highly overused to describe merely sad and unfortunate events, which in itself is unfortunate since it begins to desensitize us to the full impact of the word in instances when it is appropriate to use it, such as 9/11. While death, especially when unexpected is sad, it is not tragic. While destruction, especially at the hands of another is maddening, it too is not tragic. While distress, especially due to preventable circumstances is unfortunate, again it is not tragic. But, hate overcoming love, intolerance overcoming acceptance, suspicion overcoming trust, and fear overcoming faith is indeed tragic. When these things are allowed to happen, they mar the essence of humanity, they taint the nature of civilization and as a result, the human race suffers as a whole. Not only at the time they occur, but for all of humanity and for the future of all civilization.

Many people choose to focus on the heroic and selfless deeds that strangers did for each in the midst of the horror that day. While I too feel inspired and touched by the great lengths others went to and the ultimate sacrifices they were willing to make, I do not feel, however, that it takes a manmade catastrophe to remind me of these amazing qualities that live within the human spirit. Sadly, there have been, and will continue to be, enough natural and accidental disasters that bring out the best in myself as well as my fellow man. However, before 9/11, I never knew what or who Al Qaeda was, and now I find I hate people I never met. I find I am intolerant of a religion that promotes dissent. I find I am hesitant to travel and discover other cultures. I find I am mistrustful of strangers just because of their dress or nationality. And, unlike Ann Frank, in spite of all the courage and heroism I saw, I find that I am doubtful that people are truly good at heart. I know I am not alone. I know I am one of the many people from recent generations that have had the luxury of being born after the Holocost, after two world wars, after Pearl Harbor. I know I am not the only person who lost some of their innocence that day, who’s human essence has been permanently scarred.

Yes, many people died that day, many businesses were crippled, and many governments were shaken to the core. Our remembrance of 9/11 is significant because it gives us the opportunity to reach out and let others know we will never forget or stop mourning the personal pain we all felt, nor will we stop revering the numerous heroic and selfless acts we witnessed. But, the tragedy of that day is not something we have to remember because it is here, it is happening now, with every moment we live. Those senseless and cruel events had a profound and pervasive affect on all of us. The ramifications of which will continue to be widespread and felt by everyone, everywhere.

Whenever I remember what happened this day seven years ago, I am truly saddened by those individuals who experienced significant misfortune and loss. But, whenever I think about what happened, my heart breaks for me, my child, my family and the human race.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things I've Been Wondering Lately...

1. I wonder how clams reproduce.

2. I wonder if I will live long enough to see humans be able to teleport (thanks Star Trek)

3. I wonder why disgusted is a word, but gusted isn't.

4. I wonder if the other personalities living inside me are secretly plotting to kill me off.

5. Then I wonder why no one has every attempted to assassinate Barney.

6. And then I wonder what Chuck Norris thinks of all the "jokes" made in his honor.

7. I wonder what life is like on Pluto now.

8. I wonder why I didn't get the eat-all-the-chocolate-you-want-and-never-get-fat gene.

9. I wonder if Marx's tomb is considered a communist plot.

10. I wonder why the plural of goose is geese.....but the plural of moose is not meese

11. I wonder if Helen Keller can recall memories from before she learned a language.

12. I wonder if there is another word for synonym.

13. I wonder if anyone reads this blog.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What I like about you

My friend Allie had a great idea on her blog to write a list of one thing you love about each person in your family....yourself included. So, following her example, here I go

Ross: My wonderful husband - I love how he never tells me "no" when I ask him for something. Whether it's a listening ear, a warm hug, a material object, or help with the boys.....he never says "no", and I really appreciate feeling like an equal.

Me: I love that I am realizing my own true self and am embracing the talents that I have been blessed with

Andrew: He is the most tenderhearted and compassionate boy, the kind of kid who would be willing to give you the shirt off his back, even if was the only one he owned.

Randall: I love his strong will. He is not the type that easily bends to peer pressure or follows the norms just because others think he should. He has his own mind and it is amazing

Ryker: He is the most chronically happy child I know. The kid is always happy and smiling. He literally wakes up with a smile on his face before his eyes are open. It's awesome.

OK, I've been mushy enough. Anyone who reads this blog, I encourage you to do this.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Does Size Really Matter?

I am a bag lady. I don't mean to be. But, if you have kids, or maybe even if you don't, you've surely noticed the truth to my 'stuff accommodation theory'. It goes something like this. The larger the bag you are carrying, the more stuff (or crap as I like to call it) you will naturally somehow acquire to fill said bag.

For example, you are carrying a tiny little clutch containing only your wallet, keys, and phone. Immediately you will discover that you need a tissue (or 8). You've undoubtedly carried a box of tissues with you every day for the past 2 months and never even opened it. Yet today, day one without tissues, you find yourself with a runny nose, and not a tissue in sight.The tissues are a spring board to all of the other things you will learn that you need to carry in the next few days. You'll soon move to a slightly bigger bag to accommodate those few new 'necessities'. But inevitably, the new small'ish' bag will become overrun with receipts, paper scraps, and yes, admit it, even some trash!

And so, we move on and graduate to a larger bag. Oh, we vow to keep it clean and neat. We promise to keep the stuff to a minimum. Does it work? Of course not. Before you know it, you are carrying what can only be described as a small duffle bag, and wondering why you can't seem to find anything EVER!? For some, like me, this is how it all starts....My youngest was finally to the point where I don't fee like I need to carry a huge diaper bag anymore. I could keep a few diapers in the glove compartment of the minivan, and I have a little backpack that is always in the trunk with an emergency change of clothes and some wipes. Surely, I'll never be so far from civilization that anything else I might need, I could not quickly acquire at the local drugstore or Target.

So, I switched to a smaller bag. A tiny bag. I kept my keys, wallet, and phone in it. Not a single other thing would fit. Freedom! So, when I took the baby in to the mall and he pooped, I had to run out to the car that was parked a mile away in winter, to get the stuff to change him. Bah! So, we got home and I switch to a bag that can hold 1 emergency diaper and a thin wipes case. Next time we are out, we venture to a diner. Both baby and preschooler are crying for snacks, crayons, and other things to occupy them while we wait for food. While the waitress does her best to accommodate us, I know all to well that if I had my diaper bag, I'd have snacks, crayons, even those cute little stick-on placemats that double as coloring sheets! We go home and I switch to an even larger bag with all of these 'necessities' in it.

Even now, as my kids are older and are needing less "stuff". I am now carrying what can only be described as a diaper bag (albeit a stylish brown leather one), with my wallet, phone, and keys in it. It's okay though, my time to give up the bag will come- possibly when the kids go to college.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I Love The Lyrics To This Song

OK, I'm not normally a fan of "Christian Rock", but I really like the lyrics to this song:



Natalie Grant - I Will Not Be Moved
From the album Relentless

I have been the wayward child
I have acted out
I have questioned Sovereignty
And had my share of doubt
And though sometimes my prayers feel like
They're bouncing off the sky
The hand I hold won't let me go
And is the reason why...

Chorus:
I will stumbleI will fall down
But I will not be moved
I will make mistakesI will face heartache
But I will not be moved
On Christ the Solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
I will not be moved

Bitterness has plagued my heart
Many times before
My life has been like broken glass
And I have kept the score
Of all my shattered dreams and though it seemed
That I was far too gone
My brokenness helped me to see
It's grace I'm standing on

Chorus

And the chaos in my life
Has been a badge I've worn
Though I have been torn
I will not be moved

Chorus

Label: Curb Records

Tis The Season For My Favorite Christmas Albums

Martina McBride – White Christmas Let it Snow | Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas | Silver Bells | Hark! The Herald Angels ...