Showing posts from May, 2007

Clipping away at family traditions for the good of my kids

By Karrie McAllister I never know where I should be cutting my fingernails. I know that sounds like a completely ridiculous statement, but it’s absolutely true. Trimming my nails was not really something I thought about much growing up, because I learned from my mother that nails were clipped over the toilet. And when I was old enough to do it myself, I did as I was taught, hunched over the toilet, trying desperately to get the little clippings to land in the bowl even though 90% of the time they flung off to far away corners of the bathroom. But that’s how I thought it was done. When my husband and I got married, we did not live with each other first, so those little everyday mundane things were rather shocking in the beginning. Just as I had been raised in one household, he was raised in another. And apparently his mother had different ideas. I will never forget walking into our bathroom to find him hunched over the sink, clipping his nails. “WHAT ON THIS GOOD EARTH ARE YOU DOING??

Friends should break bread, not share it

By Karrie McAllister While visiting a friend a few weeks ago, she served the most delicious bread. It was moist, sweet, and I could easily see in my husband’s eyes that he was falling in love. And like good husbands should, he overly complimented my friend on her baking. [Note: Any guy who wants to earn bonus points should always compliment a woman’s cooking, regardless of just how much you have to lie.] And then he said those dreaded words, “Karrie, you’ve GOT to get this recipe.” What he didn’t know was that this was no ordinary bread. This was the infamous, the notorious, the legendary Friendship Bread. For those of you who have not yet been blessed with this delicacy that starts with a bag of spoiling goo, let me explain. A concoction of milk, sugar, and flour which has been added to and divided for years ends up at a friend of yours. She then follows the directions and after serving you the delicious bread, gives you your very own bag of goo, which is the ‘starter’ for the br

The shortness of Sundays

By Karrie McAllister Mondays are usually pretty long for me. We’re usually swamped with the big mess of the weekend and the luring stress of what lies ahead for the rest of the week. Tuesdays are rather ho-hum. Wednesdays are always a struggle because we’re trying so hard to get over the hump of the week. Thursdays are spent attempting to clean up the mess we’ve been putting off for the past three days, before the weekend comes again. Fridays are rather fun, and Saturdays drag on because usually means it’s time to do some work around the house, in the house, or trying to think of reasons to get out of the house so we don’t need to do any work. But Sundays are faster than a mom running after a child holding scissors in one hand and a lock of his sister’s hair in the other. They are the one day each week that my family spends real quality time just being a family, and I just can’t get enough of it. For me, it’s always been this way. The Sundays of my youth were spent at a cottage on

Feminism is all well and good until you hit a bunny nest

By Karrie McAllister Whether you believe that we were created by God or evolved through nature, there is one thing we can all agree on: Women are completely lacking the gene that allows us to easily light a grill with a match. No matter what color, race, creed or age we are, there’s not one woman that can turn on the gas and strike a match without trembling hands, a pounding heart and beads of sweat. This past weekend, while at a friend’s house, we decided to enjoy the warm weather and treat our children to a cookout. And, like most early cookouts go, there were technical difficulties with the grill. The first grill we tried was out of propane, and because neither one of us was absolutely sure how to change the tank (surely there’d be an explosion), we headed for her mother’s nearby grill. But the automatic starter wasn’t working. And like we were performing a bypass with a Idiots’ Guide to Heart Surgery, three very intelligent women read the directions word for word and practically

Moms are 20 times more likely to be found at the sink than at the mirror

By Karrie McAllister Finally some truth in advertising. Suave has a new ad which I have taped to my bathroom mirror, only because I didn’t think tattooing it on my arm would be appropriate. Apparently they have launched a new campaign designed to target mothers, thinking that we are an untapped resource when it comes to hair and beauty products. Apparently they think we could all use a little help. They don’t know how right they are. The ad states in big bold letters, “The average mom devotes 87.9 minutes a day to meals and only 4.2 minutes to her hair.” Well, duh. In fact, there are quite a few of us who do both at one time, trying to shove breakfast in our mouth with one hand while we brush with the other. Hair has always been a sensitive issue with me, only because I am forever thinking everyone else’s hair looks better than mine. Let’s call it a coiffure complex. And it stems from the fact that I honestly have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to hair. This does not, however,

Tuning out for little prizes and lots of pride

By Karrie McAllister Before me sits an ominous piece of paper. Actually, two pieces of paper, one for each child. My heart knows that we need to sign them and follow through with what we pledge, but my head thinks I’ve completely lost my mind and in one week’s time there’s a good chance that I might be totally bald from pulling my hair out. Today, April 23, 2007, marks the beginning of a week-long challenge. Seven very long days of no background noise or animations. It is TV Turnoff Week. We are no stranger to the television. I fully admit that my children watch plenty of it. In fact, in their innocence and total incomprehension of time, they ask me how long one hour is. “Two TV shows,” I answer. And sadly, they understand. I am not unlike other mothers who use the TV to help rear my youngsters. I carefully choose the most educational programs that I can, but all too often I am pleading with them ever so nicely to “SIT DOWN and WATCH YOUR SHOW so I can get something done!!!” No