Showing posts from November, 2013

Actually, no offense

Oh, to be a kid. The carefree lifestyle of decorated cereal boxes that don’t flash the word FIBER across the front to lure in adults and other boring people.  The wonderment of the latest toy craze.  The magic of simplicity, like swinging on a swing and not feeling like you’re going to toss the cookies you had at lunch.  There are rewards of ice cream and early bedtime.  There are naps.   Oh, the naps. But there’s also the fact that kids can presumably act like a grown up and be fairly cute about it.  Kind of like those old painting where animals are playing poker or shooting pool.  Totally unrealistic and yet so comical because they are trying so hard to be like us, but they are so very far away. That’s what my daughter has become.  Not a bulldog shooting the eight ball in the corner pocket.  She’s become a wanna-be adult. Two very important phrases come to mind when I think of her five-year old brain and what it must be going through.  The first phrase is: actually. As i

You snooze, you lose

I’m a snooze-aholic.  I’m the person who purposely sets her alarm clock nine or eighteen minutes before I really need to get up so that I can have the pleasure of smacking that button on the top of my clock with the force of a freight train coming down a mountain before rolling back over and snuggling into the warm blankets. Somehow, in my weary mind, I feel that I am tricking my body into thinking that I’m doing something really nice for it.  It’s the equivalent of knowing that you’re going to eat an entire pie, but you just serve yourself one sliver at a time, purposely allowing yourself the treat and the lack of self-restraint. Because when it comes to pie and sleep, I have little self-restraint. Which is why I’m so deeply in love with my snooze button. And which is also why, I know now, that I stumble around for the first fifteen minutes of my day, walking in circles and doing things I have no recollection of because my body does not like the snooze button as much as my

Five napkins

In perfect world, I would listen to the quiet sounds of jazz music while I prepared a nutritious evening meal.  My children, numbering three, would each take a specific task to help organize our dining experience: one would get the plates, one would arrange the silverware, and the third would place perfectly folded napkins next to each setting.  My husband would put down the newspaper and join us at the table for a healthy dose of food, laughter, and family time. But in reality, we spend 50% of our time eating from a paper bag before or after a sports or music practice, 30% of the time grabbing some sort of leftovers and shoving them in our face as fast as possible, 20% eating so late we are exhausted and staying awake is the main objective, and 10% of the time actually attempting the family dinner meal. Of that measly 10%, 90% of the time someone forgets the napkins. I usually get blamed, as mothers often do, and so I leave my warm food to gather them from the cupboard.  And ev

You’re lookin’ at country

Not everyone likes country music, and I can appreciate that.  I know that plenty of people out there actually will go as far as to say they despise it, that they would rather listen to a crying baby run its fingernails down a chalkboard and operate a leaf blower at the same time, probably the way I personally feel about certain types of music.   But for me, I love country music.  I always have, thanks to my dad and his collection of Willie, Merle, and Johnny, and I always will. If you’re one of those people who don’t prefer country, I thought I’d clear up a few facts about it: All country music involves a dying dog.  FALSE.  However, there are a few songs that do mention the passing of a worthy hound, some that will even remind you of Old Yeller and choke you up a bit. All country music must include something about “mama.”  FALSE.  Although there are plenty of songs that mention somebody’s mama, I can assure you that in country music, being a mama is something to be proud of

Uncomfortable fun

When’s the last time you stepped into something fairly uncomfortable?  And no, I’m not talking about skinny jeans or platform heels.  That’s just ridiciulous.  I’m talking about stepping out of your comfort zone and spicing things up a little, maybe taking a break from the chicken noodle soup of life and straight into a hot tamale.   For me, we’ll say it was late July. For those who know me now, you might be surprised to find out that I was indeed a very shy child.  I hated doing anything in front of anyone, blushed at the drop of a hat, and was perfectly fine staying at home instead of out socializing because I was afraid no one would like me or I’d do something stupid or generally embarrass myself more than I did usually, which was fairly frequent.  Ask my parents.  They’ll shake their heads and tell you it’s true. I dabbled in theater in high school but was always content to work backstage or hide behind my instrument in the accompanying pit band.  I had one role onstage, but

The sound of clocks makes for clean closets

Every year when my children go back to school, I spend a good solid day frolicking through my house enjoying the peace and accomplishing tasks.  I turn on either the television to a show that is not animated or music of my own liking, or sometimes I just turn everything off and scare myself silly at the silence because it’s not something I have heard in many months. This year, I did just that.  I turned off all noises and sipped tea in the kitchen while sorting though a pile of mail that had been accumulating since May and I heard the strangest sound: the clock that hangs on the wall. My grandmother bought me the simple clock when we moved into our house over eight years ago, but I swear I never knew it actually made noise.  I thought it was some new-fangled fancy clock that had moving parts but didn’t tick-tock like clocks normally do, but I was completely wrong.  The clock makes noise.  I was floored.  I nearly spit tea out on the overdue bills. It was this quiet, creepy rh

Sunglasses error is perfectly normal

I tell this story not because you, the reader, really cares about my son’s eyewear, but rather because it’s a glimpse into the reality that is, well, life.  And try as we may, life is everywhere and no matter who you are, you’re aren’t alone. Also, it’s a shout out to TV sitcoms, may they rest in peace. The word “sitcom” is really just a shortcut to two long words: situation comedy.  It basically means that we could flip on the television in the evening and put our feet up and watch some other family do stupid stuff.  And we’d sit back and laugh and get popcorn during commercial breaks and think say things like, “geez, they are something else!” or more likely, “see, dear?  Our life is normal!” But TV sitcoms are few and far between these days, with the birth of reality television, which, c’mon, isn’t all that real after all.  Somehow, producers think we would rather stare at people eating jungle plants or going crazy living in a house of strangers than laugh at our own plain, bo

Dear big, giant retailers...

Dear big, giant retailers, I am writing today not really to complain, but more to express some deep concern for your lack of spontaneity and those who enjoy it. You see, I myself am a last-minute shopper.  I don’t internally have the capability to plan far in advance, nor do I have the desire.  I’m a self-proclaimed shopping-hater because I don’t care for crowds of people, standing in line, spending money, or carts that have completely wonky wheels so that walking in a straight line is impossible.  But still, as a consumer, I have needs.  And because my children continue to grow, they have multiple needs in multiple sizes.  And because the seasons continue to change, my whole life has ever-changing needs, which brings me to the main point of this eloquently worded letter containing a plethora of large vocabulary. At the time of this writing, it is late summer and as a family we are squeezing the last bits out of our sunblock and bug spray and attempting to avoid the inevitable

Cardboard dreams

In recent days, my household life has been dominated by laundry, mostly in the form of a dryer that had finally dried up.  After nearly 14 years and three houses, it was beyond repair and I couldn’t fathom stringing our socks across the back porch another day.  Finally we broke down and had to buy another one, which came delivered to my door and my children stood staring at the truck until one of them broke the silence. I thought they would say something about the size of the truck or the amount of appliances it held.  Instead, it went something like, “does it come with a cardboard box?” The kindly deliverymen overheard and after telling us that it did not come with a box, they quickly redeemed themselves.  “Why, did you want one?  We’ve got some here.  How many do you want?” “Three,” I answered. And I haven’t seen my children since. The magic of the giant cardboard box is nothing new.  I’m pretty sure I spent at least four years of my childhood hanging out in one, either dr

Summer’s sweeter when you’re the skeeter beater

Seasonally speaking, summer is one of my top favorite times of the year.  When the sun first starts shining and the woods and world turn green again, I am at my happiest.  And then comes the second half of summer when I start itching. When you hang out in the out-of-doors as much as I do, there’s a good chance you also have a stock pile of anti-itch creams, gels, and sprays forever within reach.  If it isn’t poison ivy or some other unidentified plant rash, it’s the ever hated and cursed mosquito, which lately seems has taken over as Ohio’s state bird. These little irritating things kind of need us to survive.  Male mosquitos pose no threat to us.  The female mosquito needs blood to lay eggs and reproduce, so it’s only the girls that drive us nuts.  She has to sniff around to find the tastiest of bloods to consume, which is why we so diligently attempt to make ourselves super stinky and unappealing to these blood sucking critters.  There are as many recipes for bug repellant as

Attack of the angry appliances

My appliances are trying to get me.  I think they’re angry because all summer long, when we’re all home all day every day, we use them a lot.   Also because I spend so much time cursing my dishwasher and my entire laundry room in general. As a mom and CHO (chief household officer,) I spend a decent portion of my day playing a never-ending and not-so-fun game of catch up.  As soon as I finish the laundry, it’s piled up again.  Finish the dishes?  The sink is full.  Go grocery shopping?  The troops are hungry.  I often feel like a hamster on a torturous wheel where my children sit outside the plastic cage and laugh and giggle and change their clothes and ask for snacks because they absolutely delight in watching their mom go bonkers. But now it seems that the house is trying to get me back for all the grumbling I do as I go about my day. (The following stories are all 100% true.  I truly wish I could be making them up.) The first bit of bad luck happened after an apparent allerg