Thursday, December 29, 2011

Unite Against MRB! (Male Refrigerator Blindness)

I really don't understand why this disease hasn't had its place in the spotlight, its own colored ribbon plastering the backs of cars everywhere, or even its own telethon! I'm considering having T-shirts mass produced at an out-of-pocket cost, just to raise awareness and hopefully find a cure.

MRB (Male Refrigerator Blindness) does not discriminate between race or age. In fact, its symptoms start to manifest themselves in ages as early as 4 or 5, seemingly about the same time a young boy is able to open the refrigerator door in search of something to eat. The research has not been entirely completed as of yet, but these first signs seem to correlate with a trigger of mom having JUST sat down in a comfy position for the first time during a 12 hour period.

The disease may be defined as the inability to see anything that is not eye-level in a clear container that resides within the cool temperature controlled appliance, such as a refrigerator. Anything that is covered with aluminum foil seems to block the optical nerve from processing the contents of said aluminum foil and as such, it is not even perceived existing.

It also seems to be the case for all foods that are:
  • in the door of the refrigerator
  • hidden cleverly behind a gallon of milk
  • residing within its own compartment - such as the veggie drawer
  • not stored in its original container (i.e. the two left-over pieces of pizza wrapped in foil, rather than the 16 - 18" cardboard box it came in, and needs an entire shelf to itself)
  • on a different shelf than the middle one (it doesn't seem to improve symptoms if the levels are made of glass)
  • not marked in large bold letters with a black Sharpie and neon blinking arrows pointing to it
 Unfortunately, there is no cure in sight, and the disease seems to progressively get worse as the male ages. It also has been dubbed as the "doorway" illness that leads to other such afflictions such as:  
  • FLS - (Folded Laundry Syndrome) where the victim is unable to process the fact that the folded clothes that have been sitting there for 5 days are his, and actually need to be put away.
  • RCM - (Remote Control Migration), if the remote control is not sitting on the arm of the lazy boy it is "lost" and never to be found again

It may even cause so much damage a person my suffer from FTN - (Failure To Nod). An extreme disorder which results in momentary paralysis of the head and failure to acknowledge that someone has spoken to them even though they may have heard every word. This particular ailment also freezes the ocular nerves and the larynx so the person may appear to be completely blind, deaf and mute, offering no response in any form.

Ladies, we must unite! We must find a cure to save not only those afflicted by this ever growing epidemic that may, at last count, have claimed the lives of 90+% of the male population, but their loved ones who must suffer along side of them every. single. day...leaving their comfortable positions on the couch to move that milk jug a fraction on inch and point out the food they were looking for! We must bring light and relief to all of those involved! Right hon? Hon? HON! Geez, can't you give me some sort of sign you heard me? I'm not yelling...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Facebook Rant

Facebook has become a regular part of my day, as much as I hate to admit it. And, as we all have, I've noticed certain personalities that have emerged because of our online social activities. Some have managed to annoy the crap out of me. Here they are:

1) Those who have to tell you where they are and who they're with...every single second. I think they invented something called Four Square or something like that, which tracks your every move. This is a very handy option for anyone who would love to document your habits, stalk you, and then abduct you in a large shopping parking lot. Just saying, there are a lot of people out there who shouldn't be trusted with that kind of information.

2) Okay, I know the "proper English language" has been flushed down the toilet. But all of the saddens me that people don't know the difference between "there" and "their" or "here" and "hear" or even "too" and either "two or too". Call me old school.

3) Every one has a bad day. I understand complaining about your boss, your boyfriend, the bad service you had at your favorite restaurant. But really? You can't find one thing to be happy about? You're bringing me down man, every day you complain about something. It must really suck to be you. Or at least that's the image you want to portray.

4) How about the people who need feedback to survive? I really think that you're striving for a world record of some sort to see how many comments you can get when your status reads, "OMG, I can't believe I survived!" Tell us already! I'm not going to go back and check every 10 minutes so I can have closure on whether you were hit by a car, or whether you sneaked by having 11 items in the Wal-Mart express line instead of 10. It's not that important to me (unless you WERE hit by a car, at which point I'm guessing you're not updating your Facebook status.)

5) How about the person who "Likes" everything? I think maybe you're just short on time, and you're trying to let me know that you checked out my latest photo or status, because you don't have time to comment, but you like what I have. It's kind of the cyber graffiti saying "I was here." Thank you.

6) In the same sense, I have people who will NEVER comment or like anything I have posted, but when I see you face-to-face you will stop me mid-story to let me know, that yes, you already read that on Facebook. Fine. Well now I feel stupid.

7) The abbreviator: kind of like the person who hits the "like" button all the time, only in acronym. You will LOL or LMAO at everything! I don't even know what some of those abbreviations mean! You may be sending a completely misinterpreted message. No kidding, I'm old. I have to Google abbreviations. My kid thinks LOL means "Lots of Love." Just saying.

8) I'm not sure how I feel about status shuffle. I think a lot of what they say is great, but does that mean you're just too lazy too think of your own status? And if you rely on a second source to come up with a status, maybe you shouldn't say anything at all. It's the Hallmark card of status posts.

9) I'll admit, the first thing I do when someone requests to be my friend, I check out their page before I accept. If you have like 4,358 friends...I don't need to be another notch in your belt. Pretty sure you can't keep up. Who are you friending? Do you really care? Good Lord. It's not homecoming queen all over again, trust me.

10) The people who tell me every. song. they. listened. to. in the last half hour. Stop it. I don't care. When I want to see what my friends are up to, I don't need to feel like I'm sharing an ear bud with you. Your tastes in music are completely different than mine, I'm NOT going to click on the video, stop hogging my update page room. If I want to know what you're listening to, I'll go to the bar with you.

11) Stop posting "duck face (pursing your lips into a kissy face)" pictures every time you go out to the bar with your friends. As much as you think you're being sexy, you're not. And really, I just think you're a drunk, because I know you have 2+ kids, yet you're at the bar every least according to your Facebook pictures.

12) I really don't need to have you tell me goodnight or good morning every day. I'm not living with you.

13) I admire faith or lack thereof in our political system or your religious views, but please don't shove them down my throat.

14) The whole kid/puppy/kitten pictures with some sort of quip? Funny the first time, but not 30 links later. I'm happy that you have time to read every one of someone's posted pictures, but I don't need to be in on it.

15) Arguing with your ex/sibling/parent/boyfriend/spouse...whatever. This is NOT something to take public. Are you just looking for people to take sides?! This is a PERSONAL problem, keep it personal. Be a grown up here. This is like having a fight right in the middle of the most crowded restaurant with everyone listening to you. People will judge, and not for the better.  Take it outside.

I love Facebook. It has allowed me to stay connected with people that I would never have been able to before. But I think some things have gotten out of hand. And I admit, I'm guilty of more that one of these things myself. If their was a category called, "People who always post things about what their kids say," I'm totally guilty.

But I needed to get that off of my chest. And it's the end of finals week, maybe I just need to let off some steam.  Let me know what YOU hate about Facebook.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Parent Teacher Conferences Translated

My Kamrin is something else. He really doesn't fit into your "normal" barely 5-year-old category. And I kinda like it that way. He's outside the box, and frankly, hard to understand if you're not with him ALL the time, which I am. Or his mother, which I also am (even though I've been tempted to deny it). He's the boy whose food preferences are more adult than his peers, he picks the pepperoni off his pizza, but will fight his dad for the banana peppers. He asks for salads and steamed broccoli. During conversations with him, I feel like he is constantly processing everything around him and even the things that aren't, easily bouncing from one subject to another.

Anyway, a lot of his "quirks" can be interpreted has being a hard to handle boy, and I was slightly nervous when parent/teacher conferences rolled around in November. Did I mention that he attends Pre-K at a Christian school? It was one of the only full-time Pre-K classes available in town, and I was positive that the teachers there would be more patient with him as I am sure they feel they are held accountable by a higher power than just the principal.

I arrived at the school about 10 minutes early. I was the last parent slotted for the day, and I knew, that like a doctor's office, everything by the end of the day would probably be running late. So I settled in the dollhouse-sized furniture situated outside the classroom. On the table were several handmade books of the children's drawings. I flipped through each, each containing its own theme and was relieved to see that most of Kamrin's drawings related to the subjects at hand, even if there was the occasional bomb-throwing or gun toting stick figure in there. Hey, at least he was giving it a shot, you can't put limits on creative genius.

Across from me, on another miniature table, sat a laptop playing a slide show of candid photos that had been taken during the year thus far. In pretty much every single picture that Kam was in, he was making a goofy face. Yep. Have the same problem with my photos of him.

At that moment, his teacher stepped out to greet me. We exchanged pleasantries. "So," she began as she escorted me through the door, "let's talk about our special Kamrin." The defense walls shot up. What was that supposed to mean? I looked for any indication of malice or frustration in her face and saw none. She motioned me to sit in yet another teeny chair at another tiny table. She looked for his "file." She brought out his folder, and handed me his report card.

We started in. She lead with the good stuff;
She said: he was able to count to nearly 20, even though they had only covered 1-7.
I heard: Possible mathematical genius.

She said: He was able to identify over 90% of his capital letters, yet only 5-6 of the lower case ones.
I heard: Capital letters look much different from each other than lower case letters. All the lower case ones were basically loop and line variations, right?

We moved on to the areas that could use improvement.
She said: He had a hard time moving from one task to another.
I heard: He wanted to finished what he started. He was focused.

She said: He sometimes had a hard time paying attention to the task at hand, that you could see the wheels turning in his head.
I heard: He's a thinker. Constantly trying to solve the world's problems in his head, who has time to worry about drawing a line to match the mouse with the "M"?

She said: He can at times be overly concerned about how well others are doing...
I heard: Born leader...
She said: ...and it has caused some disputes, particularly with one other student.
I heard: He's not afraid to stand up for himself.

She said: He holds his pencil correctly and cuts very well for his age, although he tends to rush through his projects, only to flip them over to draw on the backside.
I heard: Picasso

She said: He is very helpful and has a special friend named Paige and that get along marvelously.
I heard: Ladies man.

She said: She put an "X" by 'writes own name' on nearly everyone's card because the first letter needs to be all the way to the top line, while lower case need to be under dotted line.
I heard: Stupid rule, blah, blah, blah.
He writes his own name. He just thinks outside the box (or lines).

She said: His biggest obstacle to overcome was going to be the fact that when he is scolded, or corrected, his first response is tears.
I heard: He's a guy in touch with sensitive side.

She said: He has a wonderful sense of humor, is curious about everything, and once he matures a bit (refer to previous statement), he could do anything he sets his mind to.
I heard: He has a wonderful sense of humor and can do anything he sets his mind to.

Overall, not a bad conference. Not bad at all.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

I'm not a scrooge, but Christmas makes me stabby.

Never mind the fact that Wal-mart already had their Christmas display up when I went to look for the kids' Halloween costumes. Or that I had to shop for my Thanksgiving groceries with Bruce Springsteen singing, "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town" blaring from the grocery store speakers, I'm just not a fan of Christmas. I've said more than once, "I hate Christmas." Which is not entirely true, if I could just fast forward to Christmas Eve and not deal with all the B.S. in between.

I would love to be able to decorate for Christmas, I just don't know how. We drag our tree from the basement, all tightly packed in it's little box, and we put the bottom, middle and top together. We try our best to bend every branch so it "fills out" and covers the five outlets we must intricately string together in order to light it up. It ruins the whole effect of the brilliant lighting of the tree when I have to tell everyone to close their eyes while I plug it in just to make sure all the connections are working. I hate our pre-lighted tree. Rainbow colors seemed the way to go at the time, but really have no congruity in theme. My tree is showing its nearly 8 years of age. It is not elegant, nothing matches, and honestly, I don't know how to decorate it.

One year, I bought tinsel and just threw it at the tree hoping it would stick and create a random effect. Not only did it end up in here and there clumps, but my dogs had some very sparkly poop. My mother cross-stitched some wonderful ornaments to represent significant times in my life. But now, some have to do with my previous marriage and find themselves on the back of the tree, hidden, but on the tree just because my mother made them.

Decorating the tree was always a special night when I was growing up, but not so much with my kids. During the time it takes me to unravel the ball of paperclips used to hang the ornaments, my kids have become bored, and now are engrossed in some re-run of "Johnny Test." My cheap felt tree skirt, is already pulling apart from itself and ends up in a crumpled ball within 3 hours of being perfectly positioned. Lights? Would love to make my living room a winter wonderland, but the duct tape just really doesn't do much for the ambiance.

I tried to be creative one year and spell out "NOEL" in lights in our window. Due to a technical malfunction, our window blinked, "NO...NO...NO..." the entire season.

How do your compete with this?!

I get depressed because, even though I can't force myself to actually buy foundation that matches my "winter skin," or despite the fact I have been piecing and smoothing my last bit of deodorant together for lack of money, I feel like I have to "spoil" the kids at Christmas. When I told them that we couldn't afford a new X-box 360, they told me not to worry, because "Santa would bring it." How do you tell a 5 and 7 year old that Santa's profit margin wasn't what he expected, he had to lay off a lot of elves this season, and really just can't afford to bring that this year?

It's not just about not being able to get my kids what they want either. I would LOVE to get everyone who is near and dear to me....something. My neighbors bring us food and treats during the holiday season, for which I am eternally grateful, because, with my baking skills, there would be nothing. But how fun would it be to decorate sugar cookies with the boys without having to scrape off the burnt parts? I have no idea what a dutch oven is, or a double boiler, or even how to use a candy thermometer. I do, however, know how to make microwave peanut brittle.

I would LOVE to be able to pay my daycare provider an extra week of pay, knowing that after only 2 days on the weekend, I'm ready to give them back to her. And just like the commercials suggest, I would give anything to hand out McDonald's certificates to my sons' teachers, bus drivers and mailman. Not going to happen. Those Christmas cards with a family in front of their tree dressed in identical atrocious Christmas sweaters? Yeah right. Mine would show the boys hitting each other, Kam making some sort of face, and the vein in my forehead being a pulsating prominent feature.

One year, I totally ruined Christmas for everyone. Our family tradition was to open gifts one at a time, enjoying the reaction as each present was opened and taking the time to thank the person who gave it to you. Apparently, this is NOT the tradition in my husband's family and he was totally okay with an opening frenzy, wrapping paper flying everywhere with a nano-second of a pause before moving on to the next. Well, I blew up, and pretty soon no one was talking to anybody and my parents considered going home early. Yea me.

Wrapping sucks. That's it. I just can't master that. No matter how hard I try, the gifts end up wrapped with a 1" strip of radically different paper, because I measured short and had to substitute. Not to mention I had to seal everything with packing tape, because that was all I had.

My oldest has come of age where he wonders if Santa Claus is real. He asked my husband point blank, and despite my violent shaking of head and hand across the throat motion behind my son's back, he told him the truth. I've been fighting that one ever since. DON'T DO IT! ALLOW THEM TO BELIEVE FOR AS LONG AS POSSIBLE!

I don't have to travel this year, but, if I did, add that to my list of stressors. North Dakota weather can change in a heartbeat.

I love seeing the kids' faces Christmas morning, but I just don't do "surprised" at 4 am until at least 3 cups of coffee has been consumed.

My favorite Christmas TV show is "Rudolf the Rednosed Reindeer," which I'm sure my sons will dub as lame the minute it doesn't live up to the animated graphics of "Up."

Remember this?

You know what I DO enjoy about Christmas? Tom and Jerry's. The end.

I know, I know, Christmas is not about gifts, or Santa, or what you can give or receive, but about Jesus' birth. And when we go to church, I always cry. I'm pretty sure it's the guilt I feel for missing the true meaning of Christmas, not being able to sing Christmas hymns like I used to, or just realizing we survived another year and have so many gifts that aren't the kind that are wrapped and sitting under the tree.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Charlie's Story (insert goosebumps here)

I'm an animal lover, always have been always will be. But I especially love dogs. I own two. There's just something special about dogs and the way they interact with humans, the way they cock their head at you like they're really listening. You can leave the house to start your car, come back in, and they act like they haven't seen you in 6 months! If you love dogs too, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

This is one of the reasons that, at the age of 41, I'm enduring late nights of studying, memorizing medical terms that are Greek (or Latin!) to me, stressing over grades and devoting every spare minute to becoming the best Vet Tech I can be.

But this next story is a once in a lifetime story, and makes all those sacrifices seem trivial and is the total sum of the reason that I'm doing what I'm doing.

Let's start out by telling you that my mom had a dog named Sophie. She was a little Bischon mix, that was frankly, hard to love at first. And even harder for me, because I like BIG dogs (think Great Dane). But Sophie mellowed out from her puppy stage, kept my mom company and became the reason we had to spell out "walk" any time we were within earshot of her. But Sophie, at the tender age of 5, became very ill. My mother was frantic. She took her to one Vet who had the horrible task of telling my mom that Sophie only had a few days to live. She had liver disease. Like anyone would do if told you were told you had a fatal disease, my mom sought a second opinion. The next Vet opted for exploratory surgery. But Sophie just didn't have the energy to fight anymore, and she left us. My mother was heartbroken. She called me, barely able to talk through her sobbing.

Fast forward to about 4 weeks later. I had explained to my sons about Sophie's passing when it happened. But who knows what goes on in little boy's minds and how they think like they do? As I was driving my youngest to school, he mentioned something about Sophie, some random comment that indicated that he was thinking she was still alive. So the conversation went like this:

Me: "Honey, remember that Sophie went to heaven?"
Kam: "Oh. I forgot. (pause) Grammie should have a new dog, he should be black."
Me: "You think so? What should we name him?"
Kam: "(Pregnant pause), I think his name should be Charla. (pronounce the 'ch' like "chew")."

I didn't think anything of it. I know that Grammie was considering adopting a dog to fill that empty space in her life, I was encouraging her to adopt, because there were so many wonderful dogs that just need a forever home. All of our dogs at school come from different rescue shelters, so I had my instructors on high alert to any potential dogs that would be suitable for mom. Morning progressed, and after I had dropped Kam off and had gotten to school, one of my instructors stopped me right away. "There's a perfect dog for your mom. You should go see him."

Of course I dropped my backpack and went to take a look. Here in our kennel, was the sweetest terrier mix. According to his chart, he had been kept (I use this term loosely) in a shed for six months. He was a year old. My gathering is he had very little human contact. I was told that he was going to need a lot of socializing. He was scared. When I went to see him, he didn't look at me, he laid curled up in a ball on a large blanket and wouldn't make eye contact. My heart immediately went out to him. "Hey sweetie," I coaxed. I opened his kennel door and sat beside him. He wasn't even interested in sniffing me really. I scratched his head, his ears, ran my hand along his back. I tried to be soothing with my voice. He was mostly black in color. My heart ached for him. How can people be so cruel? His whiskey colored eyes tugged at my soul. After a few minutes, I decided he really wasn't that interested in me, but he would be a terrific addition to my mom's household. I stopped petting him to reach for my phone to take some pictures, and he army-crawled a few inches and laid his head on my lap.

I took a couple of pictures, and then stood, closed the door and looked at his chart. His name was "Charlie." I stood stock still. My son's conversation suddenly filling my ears. The hair on my arms stood up and I could barely catch my breath. "Charlie?" I said. He glanced at me and then quickly looked away. I immediately called my mom. "You're not going to believe this..."

Charlie didn't know what a leash was. The Vets were worried because he wasn't eating. I visited him two more times that day. He had to be lifted from his kennel to go outside, and even then, would just sit the minute he got out the door.

I couldn't get him out of my head. I thought about him alone in that kennel at night and willed him warmth and comfort. Those eyes haunted me. I sent my mom the pictures. He was a bit bigger than she was hoping, and he looked nothing like Sophie. I convinced her that it was a good thing. She didn't need a replacement Sophie. I dog who looked different wouldn't be such a painful reminder.

The next day, I went in early just so I could see him. The same instructor who had told me about him now knew I wanted my mom to adopt him. I went in again at noon to see how his physical went, and she allowed me to keep him out to play with him. I sat on the floor and he came right up to me and leaned on me. After a few minutes, he would explore, but any loud noise or unfamiliar person, and he was right back next to me. Since he wasn't eating, I grabbed some dog treats to try to entice him. He eagerly snatched them from my hand. My instructor (we'll call her S.), said, "Let's get his dish and see if he'll eat for you." He looked at the dish, looked back at me..."Come on honey, have some food." I stuck my hand into the mixture of food and held it out for him. He gobbled it up and continued to sniff my hand, which I placed back in the bowl. It took about 2 seconds for him to realize that there was food in there. "I bet they just threw food at him and he doesn't know what a bowl is," said S.

Anyway, Charlie and I bonded. It became the running joke of my classmates that I had "fallen in love." Every day there was something new, he stood up and was excited to see me, he wagged his tail, he made some noise, he was curious again. I tell you, I have never been affected by any dog like I am with Charlie. The transformation I saw in him in just 4 short days was nothing less than miraculous. And although I would like to think it was all me, it wasn't. All the students there doted on him. By the 4th day, he was greeting me at he gate, licking my face, enjoying time outside and behaving like a dog should. Socializing? Nah. What he needed was some attention and someone to just love him. Which I do. I can't explain it. The other students started to refer to him as, "my dog." I was also told that this would be one of many that I would feel like this. But I don't think so.

My philosphy is that when sentencing someone for animal cruelty, they should endure what the animal has endured. I want to put this person in a shed for six months, throw his food on the floor and neglect them. I think anger is going to be one of the hardest emotions I have to deal with in this profession.

My mom has also fallen in love with Charlie through pictures and daily progress reports. She has already filled out her application, written her letter (along with mine) and we're hoping for the best. I'm pulling every string I can pull to ensure that he can live with my mom and dad. I'm not going to lie, I want him for myself, but he would be spoiled rotten with mom and dad, and I'm not sure who needs who most.

I only get a week with our animals at school, and tonight was my last night. S. could see the special bond we have, and allowed me to have my "alone time" with him. I walked into the kennel run, and this sad, lonely dog just a few days earlier, stood at the gate, tail wagging. "Charlie!" I exclaimed. He greeted me with paws on my lap and licks to my face. I took him outside, and saw something that would mean nothing to anyone else. He put his front legs down with his butt up in the air. Something we call a "puppy stance." He wanted to play! Something completely foreign to him. He was unsure of himself, but he after play position, he would run to me and stand on his hind legs and lay his head in the crook of my arm.
Can you tell the difference?

After about 30 minutes, I knew my time was up. I think he sensed it too, because as I put him in his kennel, I whispered, "keep your paws crossed, Charlie." He put one leg on each shoulder and licked my face. I don't cry easily, but that lump in my throat was the hardest I had to swallow. I closed the kennel door, and for the fist time, I heard him whimper.

I cried all the way home.

The story isn't over yet, hopefully. I love him enough, that even if it isn't with my mom, I hope beyond all hopes he gets the perfect "forever home." He deserves it.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Highlights of the Year

It has been a year since I started blogging. Some months are better than others as far as having time to write when I want. But I wanted to thank all of you who read me on a regular basis. I can't tell you how much it means to me when people ask when the next blog is coming out because the can't wait.

So here are some of MY favorites from the past year. I hope those of you who started reading as of late will take the time to read some of my earlier posts! Thanks again!

Laughing in Church
Now you'll understand that it's not that I'm not a believer....

Sheep & Weapons of Destruction
Boys are so much fun, you don't play with dolls...

Over the Hills
The dreaded six hour car ride and all it entails.

Pet Peeves and Perfection
One of my all time favorites

Snow is a 4 Letter Word
Appropriate. It explains so much.

Scouts or Just Armed and Dangerous?
It's a cult I tell you!

The Way it Should've Been
This is for all my Vet Tech friends.

Visitation Rights
If you've ever had to take your kids to a restaurant, or be seating next to that person...

Well I hope you enjoy these as much as I enjoyed writing them. Here's to another fun-filled, blog moment filled year!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Can't You Just...

Can't you just. Three little words, so innocent and non-threatening when they're all by themselves, but stack them one on top of another, up and up and up and soon, they're towering over me like an impending avalanche. Looming. Suffocating with their massive weight.

My last, "Can't you just..." piece was placed on top of my already created mountain, and came tumbling down. It had it's casualties. My cheerful morning was ruined and my husband reeled from the severe bite wound of, "I JUST SAID, I WOULD DO IT!" It seemed like a petty thing, asking me to run to the bank, but on top of all the rest, it brought the mountain down.

Can't you just. 

My schedule is packed. I mean, every minute, every second of every day. Those three little words cause more chaos than anyone in my family understands. "Can't you just get me one more glass of water?" Every step to retrieve this water, standing waiting for the cup, pushing through the stalling tactics of going to bed, is directly proportional to the amount of time I will have to stay up to finish studying. Forget the fact that I had just asked you if you needed anything before bed ten minutes ago.

"Can't you just help me get dressed?" Means I have less time to make sure we have everything we need to before we leave in the morning, and has on more than one occasion, resulted in my going hungry throughout the day, because I didn't have time to make me a lunch, or a forgotten piece of crucial homework.

"Can't you just tell me what there is to eat?" No. I haven't had the menus printed. Get off your butt and go look.

"Can't YOU just call the insurance company?" I'm on the phone in my car, or during the 10 minutes between classes taking care of something that seems so incredibly simple.

"Can't you just go to school conferences?" Now I must check my work schedule, call the school to find a different night and time, and take an hour and a half out of my nightly list of things to do.

Can't you just...get that paperwork together, pay that bill, send that email, take the kids to the walk-in clinic, pick up that prescription, feed the dogs, look up someone's phone number, get the kids out of the bath, help me with my homework, pick up snacks for school, drive the kids to or from school, make that appointment, approve that ad, or record that show?

When asked what I'm doing today, when I say "not much" doesn't mean I'm sitting in the recliner eating bon-bons. It just means that I don't have to work after classes. I still have housework, homework, laundry, dishes and other menial tasks that fill my day.

I used to think that it was just easier to resign myself to this position since it probably would take me half the time to do it. But now, when I have to claw my way out from beneath the rubble without any recognition or appreciation, I realize I have put myself in a very dangerous position. A position of being constantly frustrated, to a point of gnashing teeth and high blood pressure. Of being too weary to be able to do the "fun" things, like going for a walk or playing outside.

So now it's my turn. I'm throwing some stones your way, and if we all carried just a little bit, it would be a lesser burden.

Can't you just pick up after yourself? And I mean actually put the dishes IN the dishwasher instead of gambling that the last spoon isn't going to topple the leaning tower of Pisa in the sink? Can't you just go to bed without argument, without poking each other and fighting over who has more blankets? Can't you just do what I ask the first (or I'll even take second) time I ask instead of wondering why I'm hurting your feelings because I've raised my voice on the 8th try? Can't you just respect me as your mother/wife instead of your personal wait staff? Can't you just give me some input about what groceries to buy instead of complaining that, "There's nothing good." when I plan a week of nutritious meals? Can't you just take out the garbage when it's overflowing instead of attempting to put ONE MORE wrapper in and walking away when it falls to the floor? Can't you just do a couple of loads of laundry when, "I don't have any underwear." or at least put away the stacks of folded clothes that I have even sorted into shirts, pants, PJs and socks? Can't you just realize that when you leave them sitting out until I'm not even sure what's clean and what isn't anymore, that you have now created another hour of laundry? Can't you just take it upon yourself to do some of these things without me asking you first?

I drink LOTS of caffeine. Not because I particularly enjoy the taste of coffee, but more because I am up at 5:00 and in bed by 11:00 at the earliest. I NEED caffeine. I don't relish being "mean" or "hurting feelings," I am trying to do my best not to totally lose it and go ballistic on all of you. I really DO want to read just one more book at bedtime, but my precious minutes and seconds have been nearly eaten away throughout the day.

I know this is true for a lot of women out there, and I'm sure they would all want just a little empathy, a little compassion, and some more recognition. We know you've had a "hard" day, but I'm pretty sure you'd crumple under the pressure if you had to walk a few steps in my shoes.

I realize that at this rate, I'm going to end up with a couple of pansies, mama's boys, whose future wives will hate me if something doesn't change. And honey, when you scoff and rib me when some TV doctor tells the audience the benefits to your health if you're intimate 3 times a week? Help me make time in my schedule! Think about it. "I don't have time" does not mean, "I'm not interested." So let's make it happen, alright?! That should be some motivation for you.

So, because I know that everyone would benefit all around, then next time that, "Can't you just..." is casually flung out there. Expect a resounding, "No! No I can't." It's for your own good.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Mirror, mirror on the wall.

Do you ever have those moments, when you're looking at yourself in the mirror, and you realize...yep, I'm not 26 any more. I mean, really, I know it, I do. But sometimes I wish I could see myself from someone else's eyes. What do I look like to someone else? Honestly, I quit looking at myself...literally looking at myself, in the mirror, ages ago. I don't like to. I look at parts. My eyelids to put on make up, my legs to shave, and my hair to curl it. But not the whole. I'm scared to. I know I won't like what I see, but more than that, I don't want to look at myself and see that I've aged.

I've had hints, I know you all see them too, that famous lead singer that you lusted over as a teen, they make the news and you think, "My god! What happened to him? He's so OLD!" Granted, they may have lived a harder life, but then you realize, if they're that old, what does that make me? (Jon Bon Jovi is still hot though, don't get me wrong).
David Cassidy...what a heart throb then.

Okay, he's not horrible now, but kind of looks like he needs to be on a sitcom of some sort.

You find yourself reevaluating what you consider sexy. No longer is it the rock singer with long hair, but someone who wears a suit and has a bit of salt and pepper in their hair. Sometimes it's the "before" picture in the "Rogaine" commercials for men. I no longer fantasize about someone with a rock hard body, because I know in my heart of hearts, that I would no longer compete with the women he has available to him (this is all a fantasy, I'm perfectly happy in my married life). Not only that, but I know the rock singer is not stable and would not be a good father figure for my children. Pathetic, right?

My oldest was mad about something the other day, and I actually told him that if he didn't quit frowning, he would have a wrinkle between his eyebrows as deep as mine. See? He immediately quit. Nothing like scaring your kid with reality.

Other signs that I'm actually growing old:
I don't wear thong underwear any more. Honestly, it didn't bother me at one time, now it's comfort over any possibility of someone seeing me with a string up my ass and thinking it's sexy. Like that's going to happen.

My pajamas are a cotton blend that have three-quarter sleeves and reach below my knees. Nothing is see-through, nothing is silk, and more often than not, the top is the ratty T-shirt I was wearing that day minus the bra.

Speaking of bras, I buy a bigger cup size because I  have to manually scoop up any extra arm and/or back fat into the cup while leaning over when I put my brazier on. The straps are wider because I tighten them to hoist up the fat and make my boobs look perky.
I'm pretty sure that's at least 3 cup sizes.
I do a little happy dance when I'm carded and totally ignore the, "WE CARD EVERYBODY" neon sign in the window.

The panther I had tattooed around my ankle now looks like a Shynx.

I pee myself a little when ever I cough, sneeze, or laugh too hard.

I could actually live without cellphone for 24 hours and not miss it.

I saw the original "Footloose" movie and consider it blasphemy that they want to do a remake.
I'm sorry, but no one could nail this like Kevin Bacon.

I know how to dance with another person and it involves holding hands, spins, and actual footwork.

My kids find it hilarious that my skin wobbles on the backside of my bicep and will actually call friends over to watch and see how funny it is.

"Fame" was the only TV show that incorporated singing and dancing.

I can cook a hotdog without a microwave.

I have long hair and enjoy it, I don't so much enjoy that I now have to look for a chin hair that managed to grow over an inch while I was sleeping.

I don't even remember what color my hair is naturally, but I do know that when I grow roots, I don't find gray hairs, but PURE WHITE. What the hell? Don't I get some transition time?

My favorite radio station with the songs that I can sing all the words to, is called a "classical" station.

Retro fashion was my fashion. I'm afraid to throw anything away because it WILL make a comeback. Hairstyle on boys today? We used to call them the "Beatles." You're nothing new Justin Beber or whatever your name is.

I clean my house thoroughly if I'm going to be gone for more than a day, because I DO care what the police will think if they need to search my house for clues.

I record "Dr. Oz" because I can relate.

I'm afraid to attempt a cartwheel or even run, because I could twist an ankle and I will feel it every time the weather changes for the rest of my life.

I will not allow my son to have a turtle as a pet because it just may outlive me.

I have a "tramp stamp" tattoo, but I'm 99% sure that they should call it something else if it's on a woman over 40, and if I actually owned a pair a jeans that allowed that to be seen, it just may elicit some "eewwws" from the observer. By the way, all my jeans now incorporate a comfort waist band and some sort of tummy panel.

I now think of 60 as young.

If I have extra money, which is never, I linger at the "under eye" make-up section of the pharmacy (yes pharmacy) rather than the eye shadow section.

But I so want to still consider myself young. In my head I'm still in my 20s even though my body constantly reminds me that I'm not. I'm tired easier, I worry about certain aches and pains and what they could mean. But that doesn't stop me from going down the water slide with my kids, chasing them as the "bad guy" in spy games, or dressing up to go trick-or-treating.

You're only as old as you think you are...oh crap, I forgot how I was going to end this.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Randomness, the Sequel

I so enjoy randomness. It allows me to share with you snapshots of my life without having to come up with an entire blog that makes sense from beginning to end.

Conversations with the kids:
Kam: I'm not growing fast enough.
Me: You're growing too fast for me.
Kam: No my not! I want to be growed up so I can be a policeman and it takes forever!
Keep in mind that the only reason he wants to be a policeman is so he can carry a gun and apparently blow away bad guys - and anyone else who gets in the way - to smithereens. He hasn't mutilated any animals yet, so I don't think I'm raising a psycho-killer-gun-spree sort of guy. Hopefully.

In his obsession to be a police man, Kam took a pad of paper and drew faces on several pages. He proceeded to flip through the pages and ask me, "Have you seen this man?" I guess it was a photo line up. On the fourth one, I pointed to Shawn who said, "Wait, that man doesn't have facial hair." Kam promptly drew the needed beard and mustache and asked me again, "Have you seen this man?" And tilted his head towards his dad. Typical cop.

I have now come up with a clever plan to use this against him, "Kam, you can't be a policeman if you don't follow rules..." We'll see.

My oldest son got the 24 hour bug that was going around and it hit him the hardest. While everyone else suffered with high temps and chills, he added puking to the mix. After he ate spaghetti. Awesome. After an ordeal of being up with him nearly every hour on the hour, the next morning he said, "Mom, I'm sorry I threw up all over. I tried to run, but I didn't want to trip, so I speed-walked." Great diet plan, maybe I should try that.

My youngest son learned to whistle a few months ago, and now whistles better than anybody in our household. Unfortunately he only whistles, "Old McDonald." But my husband has been in charge of dropping him off at school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They walked down the hall hand in hand to hang up his coat and backpack. Along the way, a mother and daughter walking in the opposite direction, said 'good morning' to them. Five steps later, Kamrin ripped out a loud wolf-whistle (whoot-woo), which reverberated off of every wall and locker. The woman looked over her shoulder while Shawn pointed at Kam. Wonder if she believed him?

I told the boys to shut the TV off and find something creative to do. They took their piggy banks and decided to throw coins at each other in the bedroom on the bed. They now wake up with imprints of Abraham Lincoln on their bodies.

Out of the blue, on the way to Pre-Kindergarten, Kam announced, "I like to party." My kind of guy.

Other Random Things:
Shawn set his cell phone down next to mine on the table. "Hey," I said, "Your phone is touching mine." Without a pause he replies, "Phone sex."

I find it highly amusing that my husband receives spam in his email advertising dating sites for people over 55.

He also decided to shave our Lab-mix, Bo, but left a pom on the end of his tail. He's embarrassed. (Bo, not Shawn.)

Above mentioned dog got digging fever and dug a hole deep enough to nearly bury a Big Wheel. I personally believe it revenge for the tail thing.

Speaking of animals, I picked up my books for next quarter and two had pictures in them that made my 7-year-old gag. It's going to be an awesome quarter.

Money has been so tight, I felt bad about buying a pack of razor blades for $1.97 at Wal-Mart, but man, I was just getting too hot with all the extra fur!

Thinking that if we lost someone close, this is NOT the book I would buy to explain things to my children:

And just for fun, some pictures of things that I would totally buy if I were rich:
My kids would totally love me for this. It would also eliminate me having to say, "Keep your hands to yourself!"

Okay, I wouldn't spend $300 on a sleeping bag, and it would only be funny on the beach.

Perfect for me at Vet Tech school. Too bad it's not a dog or it would be first on my Christmas list.

Does it have to be a completely full bottle of wine? Just saying...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lessons Learned in 3 Months of Vet Tech school as a SOTA.

I'm a SOTA. For those of you who don't know what that means, it means I can't find a job that pays $3 over minimum wage in my field, so I've gone back to school to chase my dream. AKA Student, Older Than Average. So, curious as to what this old dog has learned for new tricks in 10 weeks? Read on.

95% of everything that makes most of the younger students gag or pass out, I've already handled 10 times over with my kids. And animals don't complain! For Pete's sake, ever been in a public place with a kid who is going to puke? Your first reaction is to hold your hand out to catch it.

Closing the door behind you doesn't apply here. Yeah, try to impress your Veterinarian with how well you clean the dog runs by LOCKING YOURSELF IN ONE! I was alone at the time. Thank God, the upper part of the run is bars. I was going to get my hand and wrist through those bars if it meant drawing blood. I'd just say the dog was in heat.

Cats are not attached to their skin. It's an amazing ability really, you think you have a hold on them, and they literally turn in their skins to scratch you.

There are a lot of cool 20-somethings out there, and there are a lot who are not. I'm not even sure where to start here. First, you can leave you damn cell phone alone for one hour, seriously, no one will die if you don't text them back in 20 seconds. I don't care if you have it on vibrate, when it vibrates the whole dang table during a quiz, I guarantee I will shoot you the iciest cold stare I can muster. Oh, and I know you don't know this, but some topics are off limit for class discussion, including your boyfriend problems, your menstrual problems and how drunk you got over the weekend. Don't care. On a scale from 1-10 with 10 being the worse, your problems are a 2 compared to what I've lived through, but I don't beg for sympathy. Get over it and grow up.

When there's 20 minutes of class left and 30 slides to cover, please don't launch into a story about how you've potty trained your cat on the toilet! I'm here to learn something valuable.

The best instructors even out the bad with the good. Hey class, we have a 235 point final...but I brought donuts! (Thank you Lord and pass the sugar.)

You don't have to stick your finger up to the second knuckle in a dog's butt (only the first) to find the anal's not fun for you or the dog.

Cats scream. It doesn't matter if you look at them funny, their screaming will make you feel like you plucked their whiskers out.

Yes, popcorn is a meal. 

It is okay to drink at ten in the morning. Only if you've just finished your last final.

Animals turned over to the humane society do not always have serious issues. Some do, but the majority have lost their home because of economic reasons, not abuse, and are actually very loving. They won't struggle, even if you're drawing blood and having to move the needle several times because you're new at this, just because they want human contact. Please adopt and save yourself from the "puppy/kitten stage."

After trying to get an anal temp on a cat, trying to get my kids out the door doesn't seem as challenging any more.

There will always be people who will complain that they were, "too hung over to do homework." Yeah? Try having a kid who has homework, a house that needs to be cleaned, supper to be made, laundry to be done and the only quiet time you get to study is after 10 PM. THEN talk to me about having no time.

Most of your instructors were born were born after 1980...try not to hold that against them.

Your kids are only interested in you day if it involves poop, pee or blood and gore or some kind of anal procedure.

Dogs don't care if they fart or how bad it smells. If you're lifting one on a table, no etiquette is required.

You WILL have to refrain from becoming a hoarder. "I found a stray," only works so many times.

These animals are someone's children, treat them that way.

A lot of animals are better people than a most people I know.

'Ode de la dogge' is going to be a scent you'll have to get used to wearing.

It's awesome not having to decide what you need to wear everyday beyond a long or short-sleeved shirt under your scrubs.

Hairstyle? Psssht. Ponytail every day.

Your kids will never understand the importance to being on time for a class, so just turn the clocks ahead an hour.

Seriously, spay or neuter your pet!! If you can't afford it, ask your Vet, we will get you help, it's that important.

Just when you think you can't remember anything else, there is finals week.

But here is the most important thing...if you've wanted to chase a're never too old to do it. You may feel like you're taking a step backward at times, but the love of this profession and the people I've met, the things I've learned and everything it's done for my self esteem is absolutely priceless. And I must mention, I have a husband you has become the sole provider for my family ( a HUGE undertaking) who has NEVER complained once about me not having a job, having to take on extra duties, and complimenting me on how intelligent he thinks I am. How wonderful is that? Screw crossword puzzles for Alzheimer's, go back to school!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Paranormal Addiction

I had a little time to myself, so I thought I'd watch TV. I brought up my list of recorded programs to catch up on. There it was in black and white (or blue and white). My addiction. Staring me in the face. I'm addicted to...(cough)...paranormal reality shows. My list consisted of, "Ghost Hunters," "Ghost Hunters International," "Paranormal Witness," "Paranormal State," "A Haunting," and "Ghost Lab." I saw the list, and realized I have a problem and may need an intervention. It's not that I really believe in that stuff, I just get sucked in. I may believe in an 'energy' or 'angels' but not ghosts. And these shows do nothing to make me a believer, trust me.

In fact, there are lots of thing that annoy me about these shows, and yet...some weird force compels me to sit there and watch them. Let me share my annoyances:

A) If you have an entity that will actually turn a flashlight on and off, why do they waste the entity's time by continually having them turn it off and on? I mean, if I could have a yes or no conversation with an actual dead person, I'm not going to waste my time having them turn it on when I count to three, or turn it off when I get to ten. How about, "Are you a male or female?" "Was it you who murdered three people in this house?" Come on people! They probably quit turning the flashlights off and on because the conversation sucks!

B) Why must they hunt for ghosts in the dark? If you listen to a lot of the client's stories, their experiences happen during the day. I mean a lot! If you had the lights on, you might actually SEE what made that noise, instead of swinging your flashlight over to illuminate a bunch of nothingness. Not to mention, pale green negative is not a flattering color on anybody. You look like a deer caught in headlights.
My husband's not so secret lust object. I'm okay with that.

Which brings me to my next point.

C) Maybe you guys should wear cameras ON YOUR HEAD. Do you know how frustrating it is to have you see something when the camera is constantly focused on you? I want to see what you see. Your cameraman will never react fast enough in a million years to see your reaction AND spin in the right direction to catch the ghost on film.

D) Investigate REAL haunted houses. If you want to catch something on film, spend the night in the Amitiville Horror house, not Mark Twain's house. Just saying.
So quaint.

E) EVPs, I'm not hearing what you're hearing. I don't know. Most of them time sounds like...well, nothing. How do you get, "I'm not dead," out of the same thing that comes out of my radio when it's in between stations. Oh, I agree, the minute you tell me what you hear, I hear it too. It's called the power of suggestion.

F) The ghost box thing is much better than the thingy with lights on it. If you don't know what I'm talking about, it's some sort of gadget that produces a lot of white noise, like a radio flipping through stations, and then you ask questions, and a word will pop out. The times I've seen it used, it actually gives you answers that make sense. Much cooler than green lights.Wanna hear one? 

G) I'm always in shock with actor portrayals. In "Paranormal Witness," they keep your attention by having a storyline instead of real time. So you're watching a little movie about 'real' (I use the term loosely) events and then they switch to the interview with the actual person. Does it ever shock you? In the portrayal, the woman is fetching, blond, nice features. Then...switch. Interview with actual person. Aaaackkk! Dishwater hair, slight under bite and about 50 lbs heavier than actor. OR actor with George Clooney looks (okay, maybe closer to Matt Damon) and real guy is balding, 25 years older than the actor, with beer gut. Go Hollywood. Umm, do the real people get to pick the people who portray them? Because then I totally get it.

H) Quit getting my hopes up! You cut to commercials when I think you have a ghost strangling you, I wait through 5 minutes of commercial only to find out you choked on your Mentos . That just isn't right. I feel violated. You didn't even buy me dinner.

I) The re-enacted tales...Do you notice they happen on the East coast and all happened during the 70s? Yeah, we all know what went on in the 70s. Are we sure it's ghosts? Or something else? Do we not have ghosts on the prairie? Okay, I did see an episode in Deadwood, SD. Maybe that counts.

J) Where are the ghosts anyway? It never fails that when you're downstairs, the noise is upstairs. You and your team race up there to find...nothing. But oddly, the noise is now DOWNSTAIRS. They're messin' with ya man. A ghost with a sense of humor.

And for the finale...this SNL sketch pretty much sums it up. And yet I still record...and watch. Weird. We all need rehab for something.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Lighten Up

It's been one of those hard days. I don't suffer from depression, but do ever have a day where you're mad/sad/pissed off and you really can't pinpoint a reason? Yeah, it was one of those days for me. So...instead of telling you all the reasons that may or may not have caused my Sybil behavior today, I'm going to focus instead on some of the lighter moments of the last few weeks (has it been that long since I've last written? Sheesh, I lose track of time.)

My parents came up for Labor Day weekend. My dad always insists on taking us out to eat, which usually ends up like this. But I picked a new Mexican restaurant, which is probably comparable to a Spanish Applebee's. It actually was a much more pleasant experience than usual. But we had something that you don't usually get at a restaurant...excellent service. Our waiter referred to the boys as "Amigo" as in, "More milk mi amigo?" And when one son swallowed wrong and started coughing, he came up and patted him on the back, telling him to, "drink slower, eh?" Which of course, prompted fake coughing from the other boy, just so he could get pats on the back as well. My highlight of the night was helping my dad finish his jumbo margarita. which should have come with two drunk goldfish, it was so big.

My husband has finally been recruited to be responsible for getting my youngest son to school....only on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I can't believe how complicated he makes things. I even made a checklist for him, so he would know which door to go in, where to hang the back pack, where he ate breakfast, etc. By the time Friday rolled around, my son asked me who was driving him to school. When I told him I was, he had his shoes on, his backpack ready and was nearly out the door. After much prodding, I found out what the problem was. I had told my husband that class started at 8:15 AM. To me, this means that I not only need to make sure that I have to get MYSELF to school on time, I need to get him there in time to A) find a parking space, B) get him into the building and down the hall to hang up his backpack and jacket, put his folder away, and walk back down the hall to sign up for breakfast C) give him enough time to actually eat breakfast and mingle with friends before class started. What this means to my husband...get him there at 8:14. My first sign should have been when my kid started sprinting from the car to the lunch room and into the breakfast line. Screw the backpack and jacket, he wanted to EAT.

My mornings are chaos. I have 3 backpacks to get ready, double check homework lists and make sure that everything that needs to be packed, is. I have to find mates to shoes and usually find them outside in the back yard. No kidding. I drop my oldest son at his bus stop at about 7:15 and then drive the youngest to school. It's a bit of a trek, but does allow us a lot of time to talk just he and I. Some of the things we talk about...

"Mom, I wish I were a gee-rill (girl)."
"Um, really, Kam? Why?"
"I want to play with ballerinas."
(Awkward silence.)
"Yeah, they have wings. But they're only for gee-rills."
Many thoughts here. He wants to be a ballerina? They have dolls at the school? Do I wait for a subject change?
"Um, dolls, Kam?"
"Yeah (small sigh of relief from mom)."
"Boys can play with dolls, hon. That's okay." No really. It's okay.
"No mom. Only gee-rills. (pause as he sees a white truck that he thinks he's seen before) AGAIN?! Are you kidding me?" Let the conversation go...whew!

Just to elaborate, we also talk about the little girl with glasses in his class. He doesn't know her name. But he knows that during a point in music class, everyone was supposed to high-five someone and nobody high-fived this girl...but he did. I met her and her mother (when he abandoned me for the breakfast line). I said, "This must be the girl Kamrin likes so much." The mom introduced her, and I told her I liked her glasses (which I really did) and then she said, "She talks about Kamrin too." I froze. Oh lord. What does she say? That he threw rocks at her on the playground? And why do I always suspect the worst? (Never mind, I already know.)

We also attended an anniversary party for our daycare providers who were celebrating 10 years. As we were walking in, my oldest pulled a John Travolta "Great Move" by running his hands along each side of his hair and informing me that he needed to, "look good for the ladies."
Yep, he's not egotistical, but he has the dance moves and he knows it. He danced for 2 and a half hours himself...showing off his "moves." Which consist of a lot of gun-finger-pointing, semi-break dancing moves, a hint of 70s disco, and a lot of running around in circles. The boy's shirt and hair were soaked with sweat and he complained his legs hurt at the end of the night. Kam, on the other hand, managed to collect at least 7 of the party favors (boxes filled with M-n-M's) under one of the tables. Hoarder.

I did endure a bunch of crushed toes as I danced with my oldest son, and try to remember some dance moves from my day as he rushed off, half a dance floor away, to do his moves before coming back to grab my hands to do some spins. Seriously. The boy's shirt was soaked and I wasn't about to touch his hair. Only after we got home did he inform me, "Isn't it a good thing a didn't wear underwear mom? They would have been gross!" Um, yeah, okay.

Other random moments included a book about frogs where Kamrin commented on "silly pads." Appropriate. Another attempt at Sunday school even after this. And still no enlightenment on the book of Revelations during adult bible study while I wait for the kids to get done. Still just don't get it. A lot of symbolism.

Oh. I managed to lock myself in a dog kennel. Thank you lord for small hands. (another blog.) No one knows though. Wait. They do now.

Is there a reason my blog is more popular when I don't write?

Anyway, time to go squeeze the bladder of my box of wine for just one more glass (aw, come on, you all do it)...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mars, Moms and Movies

I was all set to write about how my oldest child isn't adjusting to "school time" and about how the melt downs would come at a drop of a hat. Seriously. I just highlighted several paragraphs and hit delete.

But then we had, "family night." We do every Friday night while they are still at the age where they actually WANT to have family night. Where the idea of staying up later than normal, eating popcorn, and all snuggling under one giant blanket is still appealing to them. Because, guess what, these years are going to be gone in a mere blink of an eye, even if they don't know it yet.

I've had one of those weeks where I've felt unappreciated. Like a not-so-glorified member of the housekeeping staff. Couldn't even THINK of starting my homework before 9 PM because every two minutes I had to get back up to get something or other. Every word has been met with opposition, tantrums, and the type of resistance that goes along with adjusting to an earlier bedtime and wake up time.

But tonight, we watched, "Mars Needs Moms." I'll give you an overview, so if you want to rent the movie yourself, I'd suggest you stop reading now.

The whole premise is that Mars is actually run by women. They have hatchlings every 25 years. The female children are raised by nanny robots and the males are basically discarded. They all live below the city, among all the trash and debris. Wanna know why they're discarded? Because they want to hug and play too much and Mars is run by a female "supervisor" who considers this a waste of time. Kind of a nod towards how hard moms work, they nanny robots, after raising the female babies, must be dismantled because they are worn out. So in order to save time having to reprogram a whole new set of nannies (see a theme here?) they kidnap moms from Earth and use their memories in order to program the new robot nannies. But, here's the clincher, they only kidnap a mom who has a kid WHO ACTUALLY LISTENS TO THEM.

Yep. Do your job right and you have alien beings ready to suck you up in the spaceship, never to be seen again. That's gratitude for ya.

In this movie, the mom they've selected is doing her mom thing, and has stood firm when her son didn't want to take out the garbage, took away TV privileges when he made the cat sick by feeding it the broccoli that he was supposed to eat, and when he's sentenced to go to bed early, mom utters the very sentence that has crossed my lips more than once, "Maybe I'd be better off if I were a mom who didn't have to nag so much." To which, the son replies, "Maybe I'd be better off if I didn't have a mom AT ALL!" Heard that before? Or some version of it? I have. I try not to let it get to me, but it does chip a little piece off of my heart, even though I know they don't mean it. But it hurts.  I'm just trying to do my job here, and raise a kid that some woman will be lucky enough to marry someday. We've all been there. And what's your reward? You get sucked off to Mars so they can use your memories to implant in robots to raise their children. Thank you very much. Not even something you get to brag about.

Anywhooo. The son realizes that he didn't mean what he had said, so he goes to apologize to his mom (there's the fiction for you), and arrives in time to see his mother being abducted. In his attempt to chase her, he ends up on the spaceship.

Long story short, he ends up meeting an adult who has been on Mars since HIS mother was taken and hasn't quite grown up yet. He lives 'underground' where they keep the garbage (and the discarded males). This guy wasn't able to save his own mother. So in the movie, you see a flashback where his mother was 'destroyed' after they used her memories for programming purposes.

At this moment in the movie, my oldest (and most sensitive son), breaks down. I mean, buries-his head-in-his-blanket-I-have-to-pause-the-movie kind of breakdown. He's sobbing. My youngest son has a death grip on my bicep (or at least where I'm supposed to have a bicep). I actually need to put my arms around the both of them, hug them tight, and reassure them that this is just a movie.

I a bit taken aback. I honestly wasn't sure that my kids knew what it meant to them for me not to be there. Does that make sense? I mean, we do so much, we get so little thanks, so we wonder if they'll remember all those things that we do for them every day. Stuff like, cut their sandwiches in a diagonal without being asked, making sure their socks don't have lumps, packing their favorite lunch, taking them swimming when you don't want to be caught dead in a swimming suit and complimenting them on their attempt to make tuna fish sandwiches that takes every once of energy to swallow without gagging.

It's the little things that count, even if you find them on another planet.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Just Some Randomness

I've missed this place! Every thing I read and write these days has something to do with school. Next quarter will be a HUGE change. I will go from having 15 credits to 8, so maybe I'll be able to get back into the swing of things with my writing. I still creep around your sites when I can, but want to read so many, I haven't had time for comments.

But until then, here are some random thoughts, just so you'll know I'm not dead.

Reading instructions DOES make a job go faster, I don't care if it has five pieces or 50. And don't let your husband tell you any differently.

Any sentence, TV show or actual action involving a burp, fart, poop or pee, is instantaneously hilarious to males. Adults will blame their pets and children. Children will wear it like a badge of honor.

Pop, ice cream and mac-n-cheese will be scrutinized from every eye level and table level, to determine which portion is larger. A fight is unavoidable.

I will never be able to wear white until my children are teenagers, and possibly, not even then.

The house can be utterly quiet for 30 minutes or more, but the moment you pick up the phone, the kids start yelling and dogs will bark at thin air.

You spent the entire morning on your hands and knees scrubbing the kitchen floor, but that iota of melted Popsicle you missed under the refrigerator will attract every ant within a 20 mile radius.

The one night the kids are in bed early and you have control of the remote, there's nothing on.

You plan an overdue family outing involving a parade and your kid is the one who causes a collaborative intake of breath by spectators when he attempts to retrieve a half-squashed Tootsie Roll from the middle of the street...right in front of the Clydesdales.

I'm about to go into the grocery store and feel a hangnail. I pull at it. It starts to bleed like I'm a hemophiliac and there isn't a single tissue, napkin or used burger wrapper in your car to wrap it in.

I gave my kids sidewalk chalk to keep them busy on a nice day, and they write on everything BUT the sidewalk.

If I have sugar, you're out of creamer. If I have creamer, I'm out of sugar. If I have enough of both...good luck finding a coffee filter.

I have somehow finally managed to get both kids in the car early enough that I don't have to drive like Dukes of Hazard, and just as I put it in reverse, someone has to go "number 2."

Every Monday I have to tell myself, "This time I'm really going to do it," when I'm trying to diet. Every. Monday.

I get the kids AND myself to bed at a decent hour but a thunderstorm along with tornado sirens go off at 2:30 AM.

I finally get a tomato plant to grow, and the wind decides to whip it across the patio and now it's in shock.

I've managed to carry toys, purse, blanket, backpack, a pair of shoes AND a coffee mug to the car without dropping anything, and realize the car's locked and my keys are in my front pocket.

Well that's all folks! Nothing to deep or overly entertaining, but stick around, only 3 weeks until the end of the quarter!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Never Fails

Why is it that birthday presents cost six times what you think you're going to pay for them?

My son was invited to a friend's birthday party at Space Aliens. 5:00 - 6:30, the invite said. I mere hour and a half. Which meant I needed to squeeze in a little trip to pick up a birthday present. I usually set my budget according to familiarity. This child was in Kaiden's kindergarten class. After their debut to the school system, they were shipped to different schools. They see each other maybe 3 to 5 times a year for play dates. That makes him a $10-er.

BUT...I have to go to Wal-Mart. That's the only place that makes my time-frame criteria.

I hate Wal-Mart.
Prepare to be drained...

I have to give myself a mental pep-talk, do a few finger push-ups and bring my "A" game. As I enter the store, I only allow myself to pick up the hand-held basket...a cart is just too dangerous and I haven't mastered the will power techniques.

I stroll through the toy section, and I've found it, a Lego set that allows you to build a car and comes with a guy. $9.99. Works. My total comes to $30.02.

What?! How did that happen? Let's do a mental re-check.

Picked out the toy. Since I won't be able to stop anywhere between the store, picking up the boys and the party...I had to buy the bag and tissue paper. (Whoever came up with the idea to ditch wrapping paper and go with a bag..yeah, genius, but don't go all frilly on me! Solid colors, solid colors.) Don't forget the 99¢ card so the kids will know exactly whose thoughtful planning went into the gift.

Oh yeah, had to get a $3.00 Nerf dart gun for my youngest son, because WE'RE GOING TO SPACE ALIENS, and since I'm the one driving both boys, I need an escape plan. Because there is NO WAY I will be able to leave that place with one boy in and one boy out without some sort of bribery scheme in place.
You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.

Oh, and if Kamrin gets one, Kaiden will have to have one too. I just don't have enough energy this week to deal with the, "It's not fair," and the crying, whining, screaming bout that will happen if they don't each have one. I'm a coward. I know. But Kamrin will sit there and shoot Kaiden in the head point blank the whole time he throws a fit. Guaranteed.
Not what I bought, but it's how he'll use it.

I went in my scrubs. After Ward Care. Which is basically playing with, and cleaning up after, 3 dogs and 5 cats. And did I mention that means we have to take pulse, respiration, and temperature? You have to hold a dog thisclose, and tightly when you're about to stick a thermometer up its butt. Hey, at least they got dinner.
I'd need therapy if I was violated once a day for a week.

So I certainly HAD to have a lint roller. And refills. Two of them. I steeled myself against the Fabreeze spray.

After all that hard work, and the ultra-super-fast trip to the toy section, I'd worked up a thirst, and those little refrigerators at the beginning of the check-out lane looked so cool and I ended up with a Diet Coke.

Defeated again! Curse you, Wal-Mart you unmerciful budget breaker! He's not even that close of a friend!

Damn it. I forgot the dog food.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Watercolor Memories...

Haven't written in awhile. Not that I don't have the urge, I just haven't had the time. Then when I get the time, I feel like I have nothing interesting to write about. Who wants to hear about my days as a student? No so funny...yet. Or my unrelenting schedule where every minute is accounted for? Nah...boring. 

BUT...I'm not really wanting to talk about me so much. This blog is for my boys, so lets see what they have been up to lately, especially Kamrin this time.

Kamrin continues to amaze me. He has become quite the storyteller. Used to be he was comfortable letting Kaiden do all the talking. When Kamrin was 3 and Kaiden was five, I remember not understanding something Kamrin had said, and like I had done many times before, I turned to Kaiden and asked, "What did he say?" And he looked at me and said, "I don't know. I USED to be able to speak three-year-old." My translator was gone.

It's funny to hear Kam tell a story. You can tell it's going to be a big one when he pauses before he starts and draws in a long breath. And then he starts. And he doesn't quit. Unfortunately, most of his stories involve blood, bombs, grenades and some form of bodily mutilation. He has quite the artistic ability. But his drawings reflect the same subject matter as his stories.

Did I mention he'll be attending a church-based school in a few weeks? Yeah, that's going to be one interesting parent/teacher conference.
I honestly thought this was a picture of my funeral with people graveside, but apparently, it's a picture of him laying in bed with me? Or at least that's what he'll have me believe..heh, heh, heh. If I'm in bed, where does the fence come in?
I'd show more, but once he's done with a drawing, he cuts it up and makes it into something else.

Unlike Kaiden, he feels no need to let me know of his personal accomplishments. I may have said this before, but one night, after giving up on trying to put him back in his bed for the millionth time, I allowed him to lay on the couch, AS LONG AS HE WAS QUIET. Well, that didn't last. I finally growled, "Kamrin! Stop whistling and go to sleep!" paused. "Wait, Kam? You know how to whistle?" And not just the airy 'tweet tweet' of someone his age, he was whistling, 'Mary had a little lamb.'

One day, I opened my cupboard to pull out a can of green beans. I found this:
I usually have them so that all you would normally see in this picture is the tops of the cans.
"Yeah mommy?"
"Did you do this?"
"So everybody sees them better." Like it was so obvious, why was I even asking him.

Last night, I made chili for supper. As I stood by the stove browning the beef, a chubby little hand places a can of chili beans on the counter. "You need this, mom, it says 'chili'." I look, and indeed, the can says, "Chili Beans." I looked over at my husband, who is looking at me with eyebrows raised. "Can you read this word?" I asked Kam and pointed to the word beans. He didn't know. Or at least he pretended he didn't know. With him, it almost feels like he's holding back information just so you don't fall over.

He writes his name, he writes random letters which he knows, but doesn't know how to put them in word formation. If he wants to write a letter that he doesn't know how to form, he asks. I draw it in the air, not over the paper, in front of me. He takes a moment, he eyes go up and to the he's picturing it before he puts pen to paper. And then he draws it.

He peppers me with random questions all the time. I feel like his little brain must be racing a mile a minute, so busy absorbing.

"Mom, what do whales eat?"
"Mom, can you stand on a cloud?"
"Mom, can spiders hear?"

He has, in 4-year-old speak, an uncanny ability to know how the body works. He once explained to me that if a person got a bad cut, there wouldn't be enough blood to keep the heart 'beeping' and you would die. (Another one for the Christian teacher.) How does he know that? Maybe I'm getting old, but I don't recall the conversation we had that would lead him to that conclusion.

He's a busy child. Constantly moving. Constantly breaking things, constantly making a mess. He's a boy, I tell myself. There are few things that slow him down. One is drawing. He's got a wonderful sense of color combination.
Watercolor is his favorite medium.

Two: Blowing bubbles.

Three: Puzzles. He can put together a hundred piece puzzle and loves every minute. He does the same thing with puzzle pieces, that he does in picturing letters. He picks up a piece, thinks about it and places it perfectly. Not like most (including me) who will try it this way, then rotate, try again, rotate, repeat.

He's a handful. He's my problem child...but only because he's so intense on discovering his world. He special.

He will be 5 on August 25th. I asked him what kind of cake he wanted. He wants Curious George. So fitting. And ice-cream flavor? He wants pineapple. (Whah?) My lovely odd little boy. I couldn't love you more.




Almost five.