Friday, March 30, 2012

Good Morning

I don't want to forget this.  I realized today that these times may start to dwindle in the coming years and oh-too-soon be just a distant memory.

It's the tender moment right when my babies wake from slumber. I hear them coming, it's the only time of day when their footsteps don't sound like a herd of elephants. They come into our room with sleepy faces, intent on being guided into the day in the arms of their mother or father. There are no words spoken. Just a look of here I am, and there you are and we belong to each other.  They crawl up in bed with arms full of random toys and stuffed animals but without questions or demands or complaints or wiley schemes. And in return , I vow to use kinder tones and correct them less. To channel their energy into something creative instead of trying to stifle it. We caress their faces, brushing stray strands of hair our of their sleepy eyes. We snuggle them close, in hopes that this precious moment will last.  Eventually, they say their first words of the day.  Daddy, your breaf is fantastic.  Momma, tickle my arm.  Then someone giggles and we start our day.

Ten minutes later, it could be a tornado of fighting and whining and running and stomping; but already it has been a good morning.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Knock On Wood

I wouldn't say that I am superstitious or anything. But I did learn a long time ago, that when you're on a hot streak, you don't talk about it. Take for instance the years that I was living in Minnesota. I had been there two years and out of my mouth came these words: "I can't believe I've lived here two years and have never hit a deer."   I hit my first deer a few weeks later. And then three more after that in the years to come.

So a few weeks ago when the thought entered my head that I haven't seen a snake in our yard, I actually put a filter on my mouth and didn't say a word to My Chef. Well guess who ran inside last night, screaming her head off because she had slithering, hissing competition in the frog catching games.

Oh Hello Mr. Frog. Looks like you're enjoying the evening.

What's that. A harmless garter snake?

Guess that wild redhead isn't the only one that wants to play with you tonight.

So, since the same night I was thinking about the snakes, I also thought about certain other things that may or may not have to do with:

  • Wild boars
  • Car Wrecks
  • Winning The Lottery
  • Successful Potty Training
  • Weeks on end with un-interrupted nights of sleep
  • Losing weight while eating mini-donuts
then I am going to start knocking on wood.  Because either there is something to superstition...or I have ESP (which I highly doubt since I am Irish and if we as a people were blessed with visions of the future, then we certainly wouldn't need to spend so much time washing our sorrows down with ice cold refreshing brewskys).

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Tazmanian Princess and The Frog

Have you ever seen a puppy play with a grasshopper? The grasshopper jumps, and then the puppy jumps. Then the little bug stops, most likely in total fear of being pounced on, but the puppy wants it to hop around some more, so he paws at it a little. Only the puppy has no concept of how one tiny playful swipe will crush the delicate creature. Then the puppy paws at it more and more and gets that sad little look because it's new friend is just laying there...and it's legs are over there...and it's suddenly kind of gooey...

That's kind of how things went with The Tazmanian Princess and The Frog:

Well, hello there little guy.

OK, be gentle.
No, just a little more gentle.
Yes. He's cute. Now let's put him in the grass.
No, you can't keep him in your room.

Yes, they do stink a little.
Ooh, ooh don't squeeze.
Yes, they get kind of sticky when you do that.

Why don't you help him into the grass so we can go wash that off your hand.
Yes. I think he's sleeping now.
It's very tiring playing with people.

Monday, March 19, 2012


There's an art to insulting someone.  Personally, I think calling someone by the wrong name is right up there with any kind of direct slander on one's personality. I heard the latter kind of insult today, and for some reason it made me think of the former.

In college, I was working with a couple of fellas with Down Syndrome that lived in a group home. One of them developed a bit of a crush on me.  It was bound to happen. We had formed a band, sort of. I played harmonica, and the two boys took turns singing lead and playing guitar. They had matching black Stetson hats and real microphones. As for me, I had two new friends that didn't care that I only knew three songs and they weren't country.

Anyway, when you share something as powerful as music, emotions are bound to get stirred up and need a place to land. Since I was the only "lady" in the band, I was naturally a good object for affections. Also, I'm pretty fun to hang out with. I really couldn't blame the fella. (Let's call him Keith.)  During the time I worked with my band friends, I had a pretty serious boyfriend. (Let's call him Rob.)  If you know anything about college girls, you know their favorite topic is their boyfriend. I'm sure I was all- Rob this and Rob that and Rob this some more.

Well, after some time, Keith started taking computer classes. He had gotten pretty good, and learned to type.  I was extremely flattered to receive my first ever, typed love letter. I won't recite the entire letter, but one of the highlights included saying he missed me like a country song. Then came the best part:

"How is Ralf? If he leaves, let' me know and I will touch you."

I don't care what kind of disabilities that kid was born with. He was a genius. I thought of him today as I heard my own sweet girl with another genius insult.

The girls were playing Princess Dress Up. Rylee had on a pair of yellow high heels with a picture of Belle on them. Maggie had her sights set on those fancy shoes. "Gwass Swippers Momma. I wan 'em. Yiwee won gimme my gwass shoos."  I walked away and pretended I didn't hear the whining. It's how I handle conflict.  Two minutes later, I heard the screaming.

Out of Rylee's room comes a very happy Maggie, proudly walking in the Belle shoes. I could almost hear her taunting na na na na boo boo as she sashayed down the hallway. I entered the victim's room to console her and try to head off what could potentially be the start of a cage match.  Red faced and teary eyed, I was given the play by play. She told me between sobs how she took off the shoes to display them on the bed, along with the sparkly dress and wand, when SHE came in and grabbed them.  Then she headed to her doorway and screamed:


I tried to mask my delight that she didn't go for the cheap and easy name calling like "stupid pants" or "poopybutt" but went right for the chin.   I picked up my feisty little Tazmanian and rocked her so that she wouldn't see her insult landed on wax filled ears, prancing around in fancy shoes. And also so she couldn't see my beaming face. To be funny and witty while she's madder than mad...well, that's one I still don't have.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Club Etiquette

I feel like I'm just full of Public Service Announcement type of information this week.  Today, I would like to discuss Etiquette as it pertains to the gym. Or as I like to call it, The Club.  Here's a list of things that may or may not be common knowledge:

1. Hawking loogies in the gym showers is not OK. This may or may not apply to the men's locker room. I'll never know. As for the ladies....come on now.

2. If a shower curtain is closed, it is only polite to ask if it is occupied before tearing open the curtain.  Just a quick -"Excuse me, I see a pair of shoes under the curtain and hear the water running, but I am unsure if there is actually a person in there."- type of statement before flinging back the mildew-resistant sheet of plastic, should save everyone involved a little bit of embarrassment.

3. If you see a hard working woman, flailing around trying her best to work off the three Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches she accidentally ended up eating yesterday, and some of her sweat lands on you or your very fancy workout bag, just go about your business like nothing happened. It's the kind thing to do.

4. Likewise, should a kind looking person be doing some sit ups to work off the 1 pound bag of chocolate covered raisins she ate at the premier of The Lorax with the loves of her life, and that kind person accidentally breaks wind, you should go about your business like nothing happened.

5. Flexing your muscles in the mirror is totally acceptable, even for people just looking to see if they have them.

That should cover it for today. I am sure there are some others- like not leaving your old band aids on the floor - but I don't want to overload you.

Monday, March 12, 2012

My First Ever Garage Sale

So, I've just finished up my first ever garage sale. I think I'll call it a success. I learned a few things that I think I should share. You know, like a public service announcement of sorts. Here goes:

1. If a Jamaican man pulls up in a full sized, split pea colored, conversion van and starts asking you questions you can't understand, just answer them all with "No." It's better this way.

2. Don't let your children talk to the "customers", especially unintelligible Jamaican van drivers.

3. If people start talking loudly about the flaws in your items for sale, it is most likely a passive aggressive way to barter with you and get you to lower your price. You should just remind yourself that this is a garage sale, not TJ Max, and the reason you're selling that item for a QUARTER is exactly because it is flawed.

4. If people walk away before they even walk into your garage, you shouldn't let it effect your self-esteem. Just because you've loved every item in your sale within a inch of total destruction does not have any bearing on why that person walked away. Most likely, they just have gas and didn't want to embarrass themselves.

5. Don't waste your time marking items. That's never what you sell stuff for anyway.

6. You don't need to give commentary on your precious sale items. Like how your found that lawn trimmer on the curb last month, so no, you don't really know if it works, but yes, you are firm on the $20 price tag.

If this has helped just one person, then my work here is done. The End.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Arrrg: Politics and Religion

Politics and Religion. I'm not a fan of either. Reading the headlines lately, I get all sorts of riled up. Birth control pills, and gay marriage and the name calling and the blah blah blah. Arrrrgh. It's maddening.

I hardly ever enter the conversations, because I tend to contradict myself.  Do I know what The Bible says about marriage and same sex relations? Yes, I do know what it says.  Do I believe in The Bible? Yes. Do I believe that Gay and Lesbian couples should be able to marry? Yes.  See what I mean.

Do I think sex is a beautiful thing that should only be enjoyed in the confines of marriage? Yes. Was I seven months pregnant in my wedding pictures? Yes.  Are you starting to see a pattern? I'd make a horrible political or religious leader.

Do I think, as a Christian, we should use The Bible to tell people they are living their lives wrong? No. Do I believe The Bible when it says there's only one guy that ever did it right? Yes. Do I think I, personally, should use The Bible as a guide to live my life? Yes. I am going to get it totally wrong? Yes.

Do I think that just because you can find scripture that appears to back up your point, that you are right? No.  Am I going to quote scripture to back up my point? Yes.

Galatians 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

I read that scripture today and thought that the words "circumcision" and "uncircumcision" could easily be replaced with the words Republican and Democrat.  If politics were actually based on loving those it is suppose to serve, then maybe campaign season wouldn't be so maddening.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Rubber Neckers

We may have accidentally traumatized our preschooler. It went like this:

There we were, minding our own business in the driveway,
doing a little bike care seminar with the girls.

When all of a sudden, fire sirens go off and My Chef says LOOK AT THAT BIG STACK OF SMOKE.  GET IN THE CAR, GET IN THE CAR!!

So we jump in the car, and The Taz confuses our excited-rubber-necker voices for
the-sky-is-falling-save-the-children voices.

So she was already on high alert when we drove to see this:

Rylee: "Why are those people up on that ladder? That's dangerous."

"Are their people ok?"
"Does any aminals live there?"
"Is our house on fire?"
"What will happen if we get a fire on our house?"

According to news outlets, no persons or animals were harmed in this fire,
except for The Taz who hasn't slept right since her
overly curious parents took her to witness
what they have speculated to be nothing more than insurance fraud.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Speed Racer and The Valley Girl

She's not even three, but she's got Lance Armstrong's spirit. A week ago we passed down The Taz's bike to Bear Cub. She got on that thing and took our sloped driveway like she knew how the brakes worked.  She didn't, by the way. Tonight I got her to the sidewalk and walked behind her as she rode about a half a mile. Her shoulders were hunched up by her ears; her chin down by the handle bars with her elbows back. She was in optimal position for the wind stream. Never mind that her toddler helmet was creating some major drag.

"I'm PAST Momma."
"Yes. You're very fast."

So fast she couldn't keep her feet on the peddles.
She may need training wheels, but she also needs toe clips.

And let's look at what happens when you beg and plead to get on the show
What Not to Wear
and they never invite you
and you have children
and you dress them like
A Valley Girl  from the '80's

(Bike Care Seminar)