Wednesday, April 30, 2008

You know what?

It's just creepy.

Let the wild rumpus begin

We now have more teenagers than “other” in our home. WoW!

Our middle child (oh, the issues he will have to discuss with his therapist someday) turned 13 a few weeks ago, it’s hard to believe he’s a teenager already. For one thing he’s still pretty sweet, and it seems like only yesterday he was a little boy (probably because yesterday he WAS still a little boy).

Maybe it doesn’t seem like a big deal to have the “teens” invade (it is an invasion, make no mistake, as surely as if a spacecraft landed in our backyard). To me, sigh; it’s sad and fun and frustrating everyday, sometimes all at once. I love that they are getting older and they are becoming individuals with their own personalities and opinions, on the other hand, there are times when I am soo annoyed by their opinions and personalities that I could scream.

For example. Our son who is 16 was planning to attend school today without shoes. Honest Injun. NO SHOES! When I explained to him that this simply wasn’t acceptable I was informed that it is really ridiculous that I am so concerned with what other people think. Yeah, that and the fact that walking around a high school all day barefoot is really disgusting and probably not very safe.---This by the way, is the same boy who doesn’t believe in taking out the garbage.

Then there is the 15 year old. Sigh, an enigma wrapped in a riddle Batman. This one has MANY layers. More onion than parfait.

Our sweet middle boy has always been so peaceful and kind, but recently I have seen the teenager starting to peek through the little boy shell.

When you have a house full of little boys sometimes you long for quieter days and more maturity, trust me when I tell you I have learned {the hard way, of course} that 13-19 does NOT equal quiet and mature. It does equal, louder, hungrier, sometimes smellier friends, huge grocery bills and crashed cars. All logic has gone out the window, forget trying to have a conversation that follows any straight line. And girls. Yep, now they LIKE girls.

It’s bittersweet to me. I am glad to see their strength and independence, but I know the reason they need strength and independence is so they can leave us and strike out on their own.

We hope that we have done all we should have to prepare them, knowing of course that we are learning just like they are and we have let them down plenty of times. Sometimes I want to scream-“Stop, give me another chance! I’ll do so much better this time.” But that’s not the way it goes. One kid, one chance, do your best, and hope they survive it.

I hope that when the time comes I can greet it with more joy and less regret, and that someday they will know that I really did try so hard to be a good mother. I wanted to prepare them for everything, I wanted them to have everything, I wanted them to be happy. I tell myself, my own mother surely must have wanted all that too. But I am still a dissatisfied customer. Maybe that is why I worry so much that my own smarty pants teenagers will fly the coop and never look back.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I guess it's not that bad around here

Have you ever had a day when the sorry state of other people’s lives made yours look so heavenly that you almost felt guilty?

I have said before that I know I have a pretty good life, and I am grateful for it, but sometimes I take it for granted. Sometimes I even whine. You know, ‘cause I don’t have time to read, or my kids didn’t finish their chores, or even that my mom is crazy.

Yesterday between phone calls and e-mails and just the overwhelming sense of peace I have because I am not Miley Cyrus (or her parents) I was assured that barring natural disaster I am always going to have a better life than some people.

Early in the day I received a phone call from a friend, who could best be described as unstable and worst be described as potentially dangerous, telling me about her weekend. The details included one crazy husband (because sometimes opposites DON'T attract), one pompous and naïve new son-in-law, five sad daughters, and two visits from the police. I can’t even imagine how many nervous, nosy, and amused neighbors this story contained.

It went something like argue, argue, scream, cry, then the whole family took a trip to crazytown. Blah, blah… what should I do? Oh, I can’t do that. Therapy doesn’t work for me….. Blah, blah…..I don’t want to take medication…..

It was not a fun call, I now know many details, about many people, that will make it very hard for me to make eye contact with them the next time I see them.

Then I got an e-mail from a friend who is also not exactly “in a good place”. This time the drama was not about her, but her sister who has been carted off to rehab because she’s a raging drunk. The unrehabbing sister with be caring for the drunk’s children while she’s away. Let’s just say, that might not have been the best choice since sister #1 sometimes doesn’t have the best grasp on reality.

I really am not crazy myself (I know you are laughing—or something-STOP IT!) I just seem to attract crazy. I bet it’s because I am so compassionate. Really, I don’t know what it is. I have a sister-in-law who hasn’t had crazy cross her path in years (unless you count family), I don’t know how she does it. It’s like a force field.

Anyway, I am glad that my problems don’t amount to much. I’ll take cranky kids and never ending laundry any day.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Some things are not meant to be done with your Leatherman.

I have facial hair. Really. Unchecked I would have a mustache, beard, and the most bitchin unibrow you’ve ever seen. Fortunately I don’t let it go unchecked. I am a vigilant plucker.

I don’t do wax. Never have, never will. It frightens me.

Problem is plucking requires tweezers. Why is that a problem?

I. Have. Children.

It works like this. If there is something that I NEED, like tweezers, and have requested repeatedly to have kept in a certain spot, that item will NEVER be there when I need it. On the other hand if there is something that I NEVER need, like a pink Webkins poodle, and I have asked to have it NOT in a certain spot, that item will ALWAYS be on the stairs where I can find it anytime I want (which is NEVER, but absolutely never ever in the middle of the night when I am half asleep—a person could trip and almost fall down).

So, like I was saying, the facial hair must be removed. It is not a good thing to go out with a few whiskers if you are me (let’s be honest, unless you are a kitten, it’s a bad thing no matter who you are). I have even resorted to using those tiny fake tweezers that come in the Swiss Army Knives because my real tweezers could not be located. I hope no stranded camper ever has to rely solely on those things for their beauty routine, because it is no secret that Tweezerman and Swiss Army are not owned by the same stockholders.

If I had to guess, I’d say I buy between 7 to 10 pairs every year. I have even hidden them from my kids. No cigar. When you have a hot item like tweezers, you can run but you can’t hide.

Maybe you wonder what my children are doing with the tweezers, well you are not alone. I would really love to know. The point is, they are doing something. And I cannot pluck.

This morning I went into the bathroom, and there on the counter were 3 pairs of tweezers.

It’s not even Mother’s Day.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Who needs a book..

...you should spend the weekend reading this. It's pretty funny--or something

You must speak JAVA

Friday, April 25, 2008


If you are going to put all that work into making a sign-

I’m just sayin’.

What is customary here?

If someone sends me an e-mail, trying to pass off an idea as their own, when in fact I have received it as a forward from more than one of the dastardly forwarders who have my e-mail address, is that plagerism, or am I to think that maybe today's sender was actually the original creator of this famously and much shared correspondence?

*was that the longest sentence ever, or what?!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Life is not whatnot…

..and it’s none of your business.

Last night at mutual (our once a week activity for the youth {12-18} at church) one of the girls asked me what my favorite movies are. Hmm, good question.

“Well, Sixteen Candles, of course, if we are talking all time favorites.”
Then I realized I shouldn’t be telling a 14 year old girl (who is like a naïve version of Molly Ringwald’s Samantha Baker (sammy baker davis jr.) any of my other favorite movies.

But I can tell you-Snatch, The Usual Suspects, Little Women(the Winona version), The Sound of Music(I guess I could’ve told her that one), Amelie……………

See, she can’t even watch Sixteen Candles, it’s rated R, which is a big deal for some adults I know, and absolutely for this girl and her parents. Then I got to thinking, I might not want my own 14 year old daughter to watch it (I mean if I had a 14 year old daughter).

Then I got to thinking some more {you can bet this is going no place good with all of the thinking involved}, I would hands down rather my kids watch Sixteen Candles than say Anchorman (or any other raunchfest that Will Ferrell is in).

What about Pretty in Pink? The Breakfast Club? Better Off Dead? Didn’t we all know those kids in high school? Weren’t we some of those kids? Oooh, ooh, Fast Times at Ridgemont High—I married that guy!!

I think we are having an 80’s movie marathon this weekend. I see a mix tape in my future.

I heart Jake Ryan.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Not just different.....prettier. And that makes ALL the difference.

Last week I read an article about a plastic surgeon who has written a children’s book to help children understand cosmetic surgery. My Beautiful Mommy. Intitally I thought the story was fake news, you know, like The Onion. Sadly, it's not a fake story, it's just a story about fake people.

The publisher's website says if you order it now you will have it by Mothers Day. What a relief.

It promises to help explain all of the hard questions about tummy tucks and nose jobs. With answers like “Since I had children I cant’ fit into my clothes like I used to, now I will.” Or “Now mommy will be EVEN prettier.”

Go here, read the article, return, discuss.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What's your breaking point?

There has been much debate about what is by definition torture, well ladies and gentlemen I offer you a form of torture more heinous than being held under water, worse than the sound of nails on a chalkboard, the chokey doesn't even come close.

Imagine if you will one adult in a room with 2 children who are allegedly doing their homework.

Imagine this adult trying to mind her own business.

Now imagine this-

Child one-“Stop tapping your pencil.
Child two-“I can tap my pencil if I want.” tap tap tap tap
Child one-“Mommmm!!”
Innocent adult- “Please just do your homework
Child two-“I AM doing my homework, why do you always take her side?
Child one- “Noooo, you’re not doing you’re homework, you’re tapping your pencil.
Child two- “I can do more than one thing at a time.”

Imagine if you will that the innocent adult tries to leave this room so these children learn to work things out without a mediator (you know, so they will develop those all important problem solving skills), but, no, it is not to be, in the next room are more children, also allegedly doing homework.

Child three- “Watch this, I can pull my lip completely over my head.”
Innocent adult- “Are you finished with your homework?”
Child three- “Almost.” (this is a child who has almost made their bed, almost finished eating, almost taken out the garbage…)

Imagine if you will this scenario being played out in room after endless room, because we have so many children we don’t know what to do.

Now imagine this grown woman hiding in a closet with a pillow over her head until her husband comes home.

Unlikely scenario? Maybe……..maybe not.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Let's chop it up, shall we?

Yesterday I found myself in a dark dank room. I felt a little cool in my tight sweater. When the lights came on I saw some dead presidents on the floor, sick!

You probably think this was all bad for me. HA!!!

The room was dark, but very fun and festive. I have never looked better than I did in that extremely fashionable sweater. The evening was complete when I saw all of the money on the floor, I could not believe my good luck.

That’s right. Dank is not damp, tight is not uncomfortable, and sick is a good thing. Dead presidents=money. Who knew. Not me.

I felt very old (which means, aged, uncool, and totally for sure NOT with it) after my vocabulary lesson.

If you want to be like totally groovy and be in the know this looks like a pretty good “slangtionary”.

Personally, I can dig the fact that I am lame. I’m soo over it already.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Business Time

I have a post half written that I planned to finish and post today. It’s all about my favorite thing to hate—cosmetic alterations. Sigh, but I have a headache and silly brothers and I am not feeling much like ranting (or editing) so instead I give you -

Business Time

Destined to become a classic………………something.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Gotta run, I think my phone is ringing......

I like it when my husband calls me on his lunch break.
I feel like his girlfriend. I like it.
When he doesn’t call I worry.

About what you ask?

You didn’t ask?

Don’t you care about my feelings?

I worry that he has gotten hurt, or that he is upset with me for hogging the blankets, or that he is talking to someone more exciting and witty than me (as if that is even possible) and he’s going to decide he doesn’t need to call me on his break anymore because now he has friends.
Friends who actually have something to say besides,

“Whatcha doin’?” "whatcha eatin'?" “ whatcha gonna do after work?”

You know, people who talk about –stuff-.
He didn’t call today, so I’ve got some free time to blog.

Now you are also hoping he didn’t make some thrilling friends at work aren’t you?
Because if I’m not talking to him I’ve got to talk to someone…….

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Keep off my grass!

A sign on my front lawn proclaims my choice in the upcoming runoff mayoral election. A sign that I hope will cause others to stop and think about who they are voting for and of course, consider my candidate. That’s all. I have no hidden agenda.

If you elect (get it?) to vote for someone else, well good for you (I guess, if you want to waste your vote). We can still be neighbors and even friends. And if you want to talk about the election and the candidates, great! I would love to. I have done my research on the issues and the contenders. Let’s chat, maybe you can tell me something I don’t know (though it’s unlikely—I’m KIDDING).

Here’s what that sign is NOT.

It is NOT an invitation for you to mock me or my beliefs. It is NOT your chance to tell me that I am a fool if I think my vote counts. It is NOT time for you to start guessing how I may or may not be voting on other issues and to start belittling me for a choice you assume I will make.

I respect your right to vote for the person you find most qualified, and I would not ever suggest that your right was any less important than mine.

All I ask is the same in return.

Thank you in advance for your respect and courtesy.

All your wildest dreams will come true

Behold the power of the great and wonderful internet!!!

Monday, April 14, 2008

What next?

My in-laws live in a lovely little town in Utah. It used to be a 2 grocery store metropolis. But this very morning I heard a rumor that Duane’s Market now holds a milk monopoly (if you don’t count those who milk their own cows and goats). That’s right; according to my source The Pioneer Market has closed its door to the grocery shopping public.

Word on the street is you can still have all of your "sportsmanly" needs met at The Pioneer Market, but if you want a bologna sandwich you are going to have to head on down the road. (Don't worry Duane's is just a hop and a skip away. Please don't add a jump, you'll surely miss it.)

If it's true, it is a sad day indeed. No longer can the local residents count on “One Stop” shopping & taxidermy. I mean where else can you shop under the watchful (glass) eye of a lovingly preserved bobcat.

I will always remember when I first learned about the ol’ PM. The brilliance of being about to purchase either shot gun ammo, or ground beef, giving customers the choice between, do it yourself, or living the lush life of taking your meat home already divided into single use portions.

Ah, and the window display, my children thought of it as a petting zoo of sorts. Lions and Tigers and Bears! (not really, there are no tigers in Utah)

If the Pioneer Market can’t make it, what's to become of the Garden of Eatin’? Will this recession never end?

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Hunted

If you didn’t watch The Office last night I’m sorry for you because it was classic. Here are my top 5 moments-

1* Michael says “Honey, I have the best trophy right here.” As he gives Jan a squeeze.

2* When Jan puts on Hunter’s CD and tries to dance with Jim.

3* Dwight and his date/babysitter at the door with wine glasses and a cooler.

4* After Jan hits the TV with the Dundee and Michael yells “That is a $200.00 Plasma Screen TV you just killed!!”

5* When Angela smeared the ice cream cone on the car door.

Honorable mention to the Warhol portrait of Jan, the “table” Michael built, the video camera in the bedroom and the beet salad. I was laughing my head off the whole time.

Go watch it here.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Office

Back tonight!!! Woo Hoo!!

Who could ask for anything more?

There seems to be a theme to my day and it’s only 9:30 in the morning.

After dropping my son off at school I saw this bumper sticker-

My Dog is an Honor Student
At Pete & Mac's Pet Resort.

I’ve got just a couple of things to say to this guy. First, I don’t care about your dogs position on the honor roll, and second, that doesn’t sound like much of a “resort” if you are a student. I don’t like to take spelling tests when I’m at the spa (or I don’t think I would if I ever went to a spa).
I’m going to get a sticker made that says-

My daughter is an Honor Student
At Mrs.***** Day Spa for 2nd Graders

Anyway……I came home a checked my e-mail and found this. “How old is your dog really?” Click here to take the FREE dog age test. What the? Seriously, I’m looking at my fat balding dog right now as she takes her third nap of the morning, knowing her “real” age could send her over the edge. I don’t think she could take it. So out of respect for her, I’m gonna skip the doggy age test. That’s the only reason. If my dog were in better shape I would take that test in a second. Thanks a bunch to who ever put me on that mailing list.

Which brings me to this. The 2nd item in my inbox. Go on, check it out for yourselves.

We’re you as touched by that as I was?

I believe this little doggy theme in my day is because I didn’t forward that lucky “Good Morning” e-mail from yesterday. It warned me that if I let it end with me my luck would end too.

When will I learn?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

My work here is done

It has been brought to my attention that my standards are too high. My desires are unreasonable and my needs border on obsessive. I may have to be institutionalized.

Yesterday morning when I woke my son at 4:30 a.m. so he could polish our silver, mow the lawn, and use cleanser to scrub the rings left by the potted plants on the tile of our grand entry before school he expressed to me that my expectations are overwhelming him. He is being crushed by the weight of never having a spare moment and he feels that I am never satisfied.

Ooops! What I meant to say was that yesterday morning when I asked my son if he had done his chores (take out the garbage and sweep the kitchen floor) he let me know that it is ridicules the way I am constantly hounding everyone about cleaning. He tells me other people don’t live like this, he’s been at their houses and he’s seen how it works in the world outside of our little compound.

As soon as I was able to speak again (for I was overcome by the horrendous suggestion that other people do not take out their garbage) I gave him the old “I made you and I make the rules” speech stopping just short of the “I walked to school uphill, both ways, barefoot” speech.

The logical side of my mind knows that it is normal for teenagers to scowl at their parents, and that it would be unusual if he cared about the garbage situation, and of course he thinks I’m insane, I have spent the last 16 year convincing him of just that. But there is another side of me (just call me Sybil) that is hurt when he looks at me with pity in his eyes. The look that says- “I feel sorry for you and your little life, and I will NEVER be like you because it is just too pathetic.”

Some of our other children whine, procrastinate, or use the “It’s not fair!” argument. While none of those are fun, they are expected. Of course no one WANTS to do chores, and as for fair, better sooner than later they figure out that life is not fair. I can take all of that. I barely even flinch anymore when I find a weeks worth of socks under the bed. My endurance to whining is unmatched.

But the pity gets to me.

If I were inclined to psycho-analyze myself (who am I kidding, of course I’m inclined, who knows me better?) I would have to conclude that the reason it bothers me is that I pitied my mother. I knew her life was sad and I vowed to never live like she did. It’s a promise I‘ve worked hard to keep.

Is there anyone out there who was satisfied with their parents? Who really wanted to be just like their parents? Is it because we are comparing our parents to everyone else’s parents when really no one’s parents are perfect? {Well except Jack and Kelly Osborne, those kids have some AWESOME parents!} Or maybe he’s right. Maybe I am pitiful, I mean, does the garbage REALLY need to go out EVERY day?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Cleveland's Next Top Model

I can't believe it. Is that....?

Maybe I just don't understand all of the facts.

Did holding the Olympics in Nazi Germany save lives? Did it bring attention to the horrors that would soon escalate to levels no one could have imagined? Ask the Jews who continued to suffer if seeing a black man win a race kept them from marching to their deaths. No one can deny what that moment must have felt like to Jesse Owens, but I think we’d be naïve to think that it lessened Hitler’s determination.

The first time I read that the 2008 Olympic Games would be held in China I felt a little ill. While I realize they are meant to celebrate the world’s athletes and unity and be free of politics I don’t think that is possible, or even always wise. I think we fool ourselves when we say things like that. I believe that the Chinese government must see it as a great victory that they are able to continue to treat the citizens of their country in the same way they have for so many years and still be rewarded with such an honor.

This morning I see that, as is so often the case, violence begets violence. The Parisian leg of the torch relay has been severely disrupted by protesters. The torch that should be being proudly carried through the city has had to travel by bus in some areas.

I wonder how I would feel if I were an athlete who had been training for most of my life for this opportunity to compete? Would I boycott? Would I speak out? I hope I would.

I know if I were a Tibetan I would be glad to know that somewhere in the world someone cared enough about my situation to make a ruckus and call some attention to me.

Politics or not, the Olympic Committee owes something to the participants of the games as well as the citizens of whatever nation they select to host the games. Choosing to hold them in China, or any other country that has shown so little regard for basic human rights, seems like a slap in the face to everyone—Except the Chinese government.

Just my 2cents.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

MJ and Curious George

Double wow.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


I can't help it. Have you EVER seen anything so STUPID? Wow.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Who Knew?

I was going to post this yesterday but I just knew someone might think it was an April fool’s joke. Which it totally is NOT. I mean, there are fools involved, but it’s no joke, not the funny kind anyway.

My husband read an article about Urine Therapy. That’s right, the benefits of consuming your own waste or massaging it into you skin. Don’t they call it waste because it is trash, garbage, stuff you don’t need? Well, according to this article, no, it’s just EXTRA.

Supposedly there have been many studies on Urine Therapy and there are more than a few suggestions for how to get the maximum mileage out of your waste--I mean, surplus nutrients.

Let me go on the record right now—I don’t care how good it might be for your immune system or how many experts say so, I will NEVER drink my own urine, not EVER. And if my husband starts, he will not be getting his mouth close to mine anytime soon, like ever.

You can read all about it here, here, here, and here. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

That was a good one.

My best April fool’s trick ever was a couple of years ago.

I called my husband at work.

Honey,” I said “you are not going to believe this. I have to go to the airport and pick up my mother.
She got in a huge fight with her boyfriend and he kicked her out.”

Here is where I tell you that I NEVER thought he would fall for it. I am not a good tricker. I can’t keep a secret, I don’t even tell jokes because I always laugh. There are no surprise gifts, ask for a hint and I give it all up. I’m an open book.

He fell for it. He was in shock and awe.

Now, of course you would have to know my mother to find this even slightly believable or to understand why it would be so upsetting. It was actually more like a Fire Drill than an April fool’s prank, because the thing is, the scenario I laid out for him could take place on any day at anytime. We all live on pins and needles. The details are many and sorted, not the kind of thing that could be covered in a blog post (more like a Tolkien trilogy.)

“Well, how long will she be here?” he asked

I went on to make up this story about how she was upset and crying and I had no idea how long she would be here. My husband was not happy. His voice was beginning to sound a little tense. I never could have pulled it off in person; I was silently laughing my head off.

Can’t she stay with one of your brothers?”

I told him I hadn’t even thought about any of those things yet. She had called and I was surprised but by then she was on her way and I couldn’t say no.

I really couldn’t believe he was falling for it.

“Well, she can’t live with us
.” He said “She’s going to have to get a job and a place of her own.”

He was starting to get a little worked up so finally I asked him if he knew what day it was. He was so relieved to find out he had been Punk’d.

What’s your best April fool?