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.