Saturday, November 29, 2008

An explanation for my "crazy"

So, today I met a friend of mine for lunch.  I hadn't seen her in about 14 years, and we happened to be on the same side of the same state at the same time, so it seemed reasonable to drive 2 hours to meet her husband/children and see her.  Why not, right?  So, her mother and brother were also available, so they joined in too.  Great.  Cool.  Ironic.  

Why ironic?  Well, let me enlighten you.  When I was 17 I had a mad crush on the brother.  He was a little younger than me, but I did have a crush none-the-less.  So, What you don't know is that I was "the homely kid".  I can prove it if I need to, but I'd rather not.  Let's just say that my face didn't quite look right surrounded by an additional 10 pounds of baby fat and my acne was so bad I was at one point affectionately called Pizza Face.  So... homely=me, cute=the brother, and he wasn't going to give me the time of day any way, so why worry, right?  It was OK.  I knew it.  I compensated with an outrageous personality.  Some parts of that still remain.  

I started to be a lot cuter around 18 or so, and by 21 I looked about how I look now, which is still not going to win me a Victoria Secret cover, but at least I'm not the person who people look at and think, "Wow.  I hope she has a great personality because she's NEVER getting married."  So...  I'm not off topic.  I swear, just hang in...  We get to lunch...  I see my friend and her mother standing in the middle of the Chick Fil A and I walk right up and hug Nicole.  Only her mother is still looking for me, And suddenly sees me with recognition and she says, "OH!  WOW.  You grew up to be beautiful!"  Followed quickly by the (did I just say that out loud expression and pause and then, finally...) "Of course because you always were."  IF I were writing/directing a sitcom reunion scene, I couldn't have written it any better.

I'm telling you, the pause was audible.  It was... um... sweet.  ?  I think she was trying to compliment me, it was just a little awkward because it was clearly not what she was expecting.  Anyway, the brother... yea, well, he's still hot.  Married, with a baby, and still too young for me... but hot, with beautiful liquid brown eyes rimmed in thick black lashes, and a beard.  And I'm a sucker for a beard, don't know why.  It's a little gross on one hand, and on the other...  yea, Now I am off track.  

So...  If you ever wonder why I'm as crazy and screwed up as I am, here's the explanation:  I am still compensating for my homeliness.  

another bit of christmas cheer

Regarding Christmas Lights.  What I would like to know is this:  How is it that I carefully wrap up and put away strands upon strands of working Christmas lights in neat little rolls (wrapped around boxes and or wrapping paper tubes) each year... and when I bring them down from the attic and plug them in, only half of the bulbs work?

It's a conspiracy by the Christmas Light manufacturing company so that they never go out of business.  I'm sure of it.  And the worst thing about it is that every year I spend hours screwing around with all this crap, and honestly, I hate putting up Christmas lights... There I've said it.  I'm sorry.  It's true.  But the kids love them.  This year they joyfully announced in cheerful little giggles that they "want 'colors' out side and 'white' for the tree!!!"  Great.  I'm so full of joy I could puke.

OK.  I can't blog now.  I need to go out to Lowes or Home Depot to buy more lights.  

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

NO Exceptions! Except...

There are NO children allowed in our bed at night.  We just don't allow it.  It's too disrupt-full, no one gets a good night sleep, and then you have grumpy mommy, grumpy daddy and grumpy kid all day long.  So we have an "absolutely no exceptions to the rule" policy that we are more than willing to enforce.

Except, when I arrived in B's room last night to discover that she was wheezing and whistling with a croupy sounding cough (seal bark) I realized that the rules were, once again, going to have to bend.  I would NEVER have slept a wink knowing she was down the hall breathing like that...   as it turns out, I didn't sleep a wink once she was in bed either because her breathing was so ragged.

It was as though I was instantly awake.  In one minute I was asleep, in the next I was completely awake.  I got a lot of thinking done while I was laying there next to B.  "What if...she's really sick?"  "What if... I need to call and cancel E & A for today?" "What if..."

Monday, November 24, 2008

I have trouble Getting in the Mood...

FOR the holidays.  

Geez, you people.  I admit, some years have trouble getting in the mood for the holidays.  This year is one of those years.  I don't know why.  It doesn't even feel like it should be Thanksgiving this week.  I guess i better get on board with that because I'm incharge of the pie/dessert for 29 people.

So, why do I have such a hard time some years?  It's probably because those are the years that I do all my shopping super early *sometimes in January!, and don't have that immediate connection to the decorated malls.  My "Christmas Newsletter" is untraditional, so I don't get that immediate peppermint and holly scented tree feeling as I type it out.  Unfortunately due to allergies, I never get that holly scented home to aid my progression to "the mood".  Some years it takes me until Christmas Eve, and then I'm so over the top that H wants to kill me because I'm suddenly baking and prepping for something I've known about all year.  

Anyway, I've compiled a list of movies that I like to watch over the holiday season.  Some are movies from my childhood, and some are movies that probably have nothing to do with Christmas but I do tend to watch them at that time of year.  From the obvious to the insane... here are my favorite movies for getting in the mood:

10) Scrooged: with Bill Murray.  Yes, there are better adaptations of A Christmas Carol, but are any of them as funny or silly?

9) How the Grinch Stole Christmas (THE ORIGINAL animated one).  This is one of those timeless stories, just the SOUND of the narrator's voice makes me smile.

8) A Christmas Story ("You'll shoot your eye out!")...  the pink bunny costume... oh, I love that scene because it's JUST like the purple penguin dress I got when I was 11!  I had to wear it on picture day because my mother made me.  OH...  I needed therapy just for that.

7) Die Hard with Bruce Willis...  "Now I have a machine gun... HO HO HO".

6) National Lampoons Christmas Vacation... it's almost painful to watch, but at the same time, it's funny.  Anyone hear my story about the drunk kid breaking into the house and the 5 Henrico cops who came with  guns drawn to the rescue?  Well, that's the soundtrack I needed that Christmas.

5) While You Were Sleeping...  Just a cute movie...  "These mashed potatoes are so creamy... "

4) The Wizard of OZ...  has nothing to do with Christmas, but they play it on TV every year at this time, so I associate it...  And what's not to like about a film about little girl who gets a killer new custom pair of red pumps for FREE?  And there's even little elves... er, munchkins too.

3) It's a Wonderful Life...  no list would be complete without this movie.  I guess.  I mean, it's not my favorite, but I will sit through it and it's definitely a Christmas mood bringing movie.

2) Pretty Woman.  What, you don't think this is a Christmas movie?  Yes it is.  A hooker goes on a date and gets everything she's ever wanted.  Definitely a Christmas film.

and the best Holiday movie ever made in my opinion?  

1)  The Ref...  "That's it, I'm calling an emergency meeting of the Old Bay Brook Emergency Committee"  or "You're Dr. Wong?" "Yea well, my mother was Irish."  "and your father?"  "Wasn't."

Happy Thanksgiving!

What he DID...

SO everyone wanted to know what exactly "G did".  Well, he didn't really "DO" anything.  that was part of the problem.  He didn't do his work.  He didn't follow directions.  In all, he was simply checking the system, testing his boundaries & his teacher all in one day.  I wouldn't expect he'll do that again, since the weekend was really NOT GREAT when you're in that much trouble.  And I did talk to Mrs Flower and she was great, actually.  Very encouraging, and appreciated my support.  We also decided that G just needed to have a fresh start, a new 'folder' with a nice shiny new calendar in it, etc.  

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Awkward Pause #2...

It's never good if the grading scale is rated like a traffic light and your kid comes home with an "orange" day.  Green is good. Yellow is "slow down".  "Orange is not really on the scale but I don't want to have to send you to the office because it's going to really disrupt my class".  "Red is a visit to the principal"... and believe it or not, "Blue" is actually on the chart, I think because if you have a blue day you've probably been suspended.  Sort of like, if you have a blue traffic light, you were going more than 20 mph over the limit and been arrested on the spot.  

So, on Friday, in the FIVE minutes it took me to drop C off at Art C;ass, we got a call from G's teacher.  The message was a bit like this...

"Hi Mr and Mrs. F.  This is Mrs Flower, G's teacher.  I just wanted to tough base with you about today.  We had a very long day here in 1st grade.  Very long.  I....   (awkward pause on the machine) have a lot of things I'd like to discuss with you and hope you'll call me back this weekend at home#.  I... (awkward pause #2) wanted to make sure there isn't anything going on at home that I should know about.  So, please call me anytime this weekend so we can talk.  Again, I'm free all weekend and I look forward to hearing from you."

Is anything going on at home?  Um... gee.... I don't know.  I mean, Rory the Roomba seems fine, the floors are definitely staying cleaner....   But other than that new addition to our home, I haven't noticed any changes.  Could be that I'm too caught up in the BLACK PLAGUE or BRITISH LIT or the GEN JI KATA to know what's going on in my own home... and I doubt I spelled that right.  In the mean time, we're just going to keep an eye on G.  Maybe he was just having a bad day.

If there's one thing that being a mother has taught me it's this...  "If it's not one thing, it's something else."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What's for Dinner?

I admit, I'm a food hoarder.  I bake, cook, and prep... and freeze food all the time.  At any given moment we could have 3 weeks worth of frozen meat or meals ready to fall out off my over stuffed freezer.  And that's just the one in the kitchen, don't get me started on the garage!

So, why is it that I'm constantly at the grocery store buying new stuff?  Especially fresh meat?  I think it's that whole idea of, "wanting something new and easy".  It's much easier to buy a new pork tenderloin than it is to thaw one out and prep it, just like it's easy to buy it & toss it in the freezer for a rainy day.  At this point I have enough food planned for Noah's flood.  

So this month I'm trying to cut my grocery bill for 2nd Half November by using 1 thing out of my freezer at each dinner.  Yesterday for lunch we had homemade Turkey Soup - out of the kitchen freezer.  For dinner we had pork chops (freezer), butternut squash - 2 different recipes because my kids like one thing and my H likes another (both already prepared and out of the freezer), leftover MacNCheese, and because all this was prepared, I was able to make a pot of homemade applesauce.

Of which, I split in half and put some in the freezer for a rainy day.

Monday, November 17, 2008


I ran my marathon in 76:05:39:10...  that's 76 Days 5 hours and 30 minutes and 10 seconds.  

Well, I have 364 days to train for my next marathon, which I hope to finish in under 5 hours.  Yes, it's true.  I signed up for my 1st real marathon.  I still plan on running Half Marathons between now and then, to get some racing milage under my belt and also to make myself a more complete runner.

Sean's not happy about it.  I did broach the subject, as promised, right after I "gave him permission" to buy a $900 TV.  I thought it was a good tactic.  Apparently not.  I've been gently leading him to the idea of the full marathon for a few months now, but he's still reeling from the broken foot incident.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

let's get the kids in bed so... I can GO to bed too!

I'm too tired to blog today about how neurotic i am.  I ran the Richmond Half Marathon this morning, and I think I need to go to bed.  Is it 8pm yet?  Yes... good....  There's just something demoralizing about going to bed when the clock still reads 7something.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Racing Avoidance 101, aka, Brit Lit 243

In my attempt to distance myself from the race that's looming over my head I have thrown myself into my school work today.  No, it's not really working that well, because all I can think about is T's post that was about worrying, "Am I running too much?  Am I running enough?".  Have I trained enough to best my time, to attain my goal, to yada yada yada...  So, in a weak attempt at a diversion, I started reading an excerpt from Some Reflections upon Marriage, written by Mary Astell.  OK, first off, I never thought I would say this about my "stupid British lit class" but, WOW.  What a brilliant excerpt, first off because it's so cleverly written and easy to understand (bonus points for being in English), but also because it is so far ahead of it's time.  Consider Astell's statement about sex...

"...if a wife's case be as it is here represented, it is not good for a woman to marry, and so there's an end of human race.  But this is no fair consequence, for all that can justly be inferred from hence is that a woman has no mighty obligations to the man who makes love to her; she has no reason to be fond of being a wife, or to reckon it a piece of preferment when she is taken to be a man's upper-servant; it is no advantage to her in this world..."

Or, what she so cleverly points out about marriage in general, from the beginning, "A woman can't properly be said to choose; all that is allowed her, is to refuse or accept what is offered." to the merits of education, "a philosophical lady... would be too wise and too good for the men."  Finally, on getting married in general, "for perhaps if (women) took time to consider and reflect upon it, they seldom would."

The final gist of her entire statement about marriage is that in order to be happy in life, we (women) should look for happiness within or with God.  Now, I'm not here to suggest that we "look to God" to find happiness.  As I'm fond of saying, God's messages are sometimes hard to hear and understand, even by the most devout.  But, I think what the message is that you won't find happiness with money, beauty, wit or men unless you find it with yourself first.  

Ok.  Did I mention this was written in 1700?  Thankfully THIS is the fodder for one of the three papers due by Friday.  The other reading du jour, The Book of Margery Kempe, was eerie, disturbing, and... generally shocking.  I was so stunned when I read it, that I don't even want to dwell on it long enough to write a mandatory paper, much less discuss it on my blog.  

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A post for mothers of daughters

I was sitting with C last night in her room.  We were playing and cleaning up, choosing 5 items to give to Goodwill, brushing out her doll's hair, and looking at the American Girl Doll Catalog.

For those of you who are novices, American Girl Dolls are the most classy beautiful toys that a girl can play with, and they encourage conservative clothing (aka ANTI BARBIE), active lifestyles and reading.  What more could a mother want?  Exactly.  So the dolls are featured as historical girls.  They have a girl from 1774, another from 1904, another from 1944, etc.  About maybe 12 dolls in all...  I didn't count.  The Tag Line on the first page of the catalog reads, "What was it like to grow up in her day?"  So, I read that line, turn the page, and LOW and behold- the doll I'm looking at is from the year 1974.

What?  What was it like to grow up in her day?  Like it's a big mystery or something.  I'm sorry, but a girl can just call her aunt or ask her mother if she wants to know what it was like to grow up in the 70's.  I mean, I get the tag line on the girl from 1864.  You can't really just ask, and most history books aren't going to be geared toward the 8-10 year old girl.  But come on, 1974? 

Holy snap.  I'm showing my age again, aren't I?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Searching near and near

So, today I did a search to find a phone number of the Starbucks that is nearest my house.  There are 12 Starbucks within 5 miles of my home.  The first 5 are less than a mile away. 

People around the world are starving and unable to buy food, some as close as the city of Richmond, and I don't even have to go a mile to buy a $4 cup of coffee FIVE times over.  That is appalling to me.  Absolutely absurd.  Really.  Sick.  It's just sick.  Now, don't get me wrong.  The 'sickness' of it didn't stop me from hauling my a** over there to get my free cup of coffee today.  What can I say?  I'm shallow like that.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Just when you're about to give up

So, there's a few realities that have come to me lately.  The first is that I'm cheating on my blog with Facebook.  Yea.  Sorry about that.  I just don't have time to be addicted to blogger and facebook.  I guess I need rehab or something.  Here's the week in short, in no order, just things I thought of now.

So, just when I was about to give up on my son, he looks at me today and says, "Mom, you're a pretty good cook."

Um.  Thanks?

Followed by, "this is the best dinner ever.  Can we have this next Sunday?  And the Sunday after?"

Isn't that sweet?  Instead of just saying Ok, I decided to be honest.  "Well G, I don't think I can make this every week."

"Thats OK.  You can just get Pizza.  This is almost as good as that."  I should have quit when I was ahead.

Oh.  OK.  For just a moment there, I was having a moment.  My life was full.  My child appreciated my cooking and things were good.  And, then, my herb crusted pork loin roast was ranked along side of Papa Johns Pizza.  I'm not sure if that's a compliment, or a dis.

AND- Thirty minutes later H gives me bad news.  He's sick.  Which is bad, because what he's dealing with will either be gone by tomorrow, or we're off to St Mary's to spend the day in the ER on Tuesday.  I told him that was fine, but that he had to vote before I would take him to the ER if he felt we had to go.  

OH, and one more thing of note- SDD came trick or treating with us on Friday.  HOLY SNAP.  Damn- he's still f'n hot.  I swear, I nearly swooned.