Wednesday, November 19, 2008

WTF Wednesday #12

Christmas is coming. I kind of... sort of.... forgot to blog a bit, but only because I was working on christmas cards, and christmas gifts. It's not like I forgot to feed my kids...again.

back when I was 6...7, I was all about My Little Pony. We actually had horses and a REAL pony, which most kids dream of, but that wasn't good enough for me. Who wants a real live pony you can ride, when you can play with plastic ponies. Who you calling ungrateful? Me? Okay, I'll take it.

I had a few ponies, with super fabulous names like Blossom, Moondancer, Starshine. They had their own hairbrushes, and I would brush their hair all the time- unlike mine. Mine was a hot mess, but that's another WTF for another Wednesday. I would play outside with them, inside, wherever. But since I was a smart cookie, I had dreams. Dreams of a stable. Our REAL pony had a stable, which means that my little ponies needed a stable. Right?

So I asked for this for Christmas

Christmas morning, I waited for the go ahead. My parents were THOSE parents, with the whole, you had to wake them up, they would make coffee, start a fire, count specks in the concrete, any time wasting activity just to watch us squirm, I swear. When we were all down stairs, I saw it.

My beloved stable, in all it's plastic glory. It wasn't wrapped up, wasn't in a box, it was all set up, BEGGING me to play with it, name it, and raise it. It was sitting on an end table, so I just crouched down and opened it up......


There was.
HORSE POOP IN MY BRAND NEW STABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think my jaw fell open, my body turned to stone, my hair fell out and I didn't move.
Apple Jack was eating at the little trough, with a pile of horsey doo doo at her tail end.

The sound of pure evil laughter erupted behind me. Had I been kidnapped? ALL the adults around me, the parents, the aunts, the uncles, grandma, EVEN GRANDMA was laughing. Not just "hee hee hoo hoo" laughing, but peemypantsandrollaroundintit laughing.

WTF! They (meaning one of the sick, twisted people) had taken rabbit food, the little turd like alfalfa pellets, , and had put it in a nice little pile behind my pony. In my stable.

I know Santa wouldn't ever dream of such a cruel thing, so I was pissed about them touching my gift. And about 10 more shades of pissed when one of them freaks yelled "Looks like your ponies made a mess. Guess you need to clean it up."

Poo, especially my little pony poo is not funny. Clearly I am scarred.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Spelling Test

This is Middle's spelling test. Let's go over it.

First, we won't ignore the elephant in the room. My darling dear wrote Crap on her test. Complete with a backward C. Cuz she is a high roller like that. Should I write an apology note to the teacher?

"Dear Mrs. First Grade,
Sorry about the Crap snafu. I'm sure Middle didn't think you were telling her to spell crap. It's not like she says the word. She can just spell it...apparently. You learn something new about your kids everyday. Who Knew? And um, please let this be no reflection of my parenting.
Fondly, Middle's mom."

Number 5 is what? Jes? Jessica Simpson, that you? I guessed many words, but Middle has since informed me it was dress. Hmmmm, don't really see it. And then later she said it was does. She had written "doss" three times on her spelling list. SO, it's the mystery word. I have nooo idea.

And Brena. She's an girl from the Swiss Alps. And yodels at night with long blonde braids.
Or it's the word brown. Brown brown brown brena brown.

So, back to crap. It was actually "crack." Say no to crack and just write crap. Should I be worried that she can't spell brown.... but she can spell crap?

and um this week is "The Duck Who Clucked." Complete with words like flock and cluck. That's a recipe for a phone call home. With concerns over Middle's vocabulary..
Maybe she will stay home sick on spelling test day.......

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

WTF Wednesday #11

I grew up going to church, a denomination "loosely affiliated with southern baptist" they always said. Pretty much contemporary, wear jeans and a t shirt. Communion was once a month, grape juice and crusty bread. You played tag and had donuts afterwards. Very laid back.

When I was around 10, one of my neighborhood friends invited me to her church. She had come to a few church functions with me, so of course, I would go to hers. We pull up and my first thought was, "Wow, this place looks like a church!" Complete with lit up cross, and white steeple. Our church was in a business park. Theirs said St. Patrick's on the outside.

Should have known things were going to be a liiiiitttlllle different when we rolled up at 6pm. In her mom's Cadillac, complete with metal straps on the trunk, making it look like a suitcase. I was used to Sunday morning service, and only six o'clock services during Christmas. I probably would have fell over and died had I know they had MIDNIGHT services.

We bustle into the pew, which, once again, we rows of chairs at our church. Every ones butt parked in it's own spot. I'm not a big fan of space invaders. So we start singing hymns, from back in the day of Jesus himself, that I had never heard of. Once again, I plead naive, only contemporary music was floating around my church, with the exception of Amazing Grace, Joyful, Joyful, etc.

I sit down and put my feet up on the foot rest. I was in awe over the footrest, our church wasn't that cool. Oh wait, that's not a footrest? Its to kneel on? Whattttttttttttttt????? We're kneeling?

So we all get down on our knees, and pray. Except for I didn't pray. I was too busy trying not to laugh, because for me, this was weird. I was peeking one eye open and looking around. The pastor gets done, and everyone starts shaking hands and saying "Peace be with you." Huh? What? Why? So of course, because I don't to stick out like an old grandma in a Miss America pageant, I do it too. And we sit back down, and repeat. About 3 more times. Up, down, kneel, pray, shake. Like a bad case of the flu.

Then, they all filed into a line. By now I am sweating. This place is stressing me out. They all know what to do, and I have no idea what to do. I'm standing in line, I don't know what for, and the Pope-- that is the Pope, right? Looks like the Pope..... I get corrected, it's a bishop. Pope, Bishop, Nuns, I don't know. So the Pope/Bishop places a something on the tongue of the person in front of me. And kisses their cheek.


I am not opening my mouth like a baby bird, and who knows what that paper thing is he put on their tongue. And then a kiss? EWWWWWWWWWW no. So I walk up there and put my hand out. He hands me the nasty tasting matzo cracker cardboard paper, and leans forward......

I bow my head and say "Thank you your majesty"

My friend whispers something about how I shouldn't call him that. I didn't know!!!!! I didn't want him to kiss me, so I panicked. It seemed appropriate, I think. Call him Father, she says. He's not my daddy, I am sure of that. I don't plan on getting that close to call him anything again. He motions me to the next line. I stand there, and when it's my turn, the pope/bishop is holding out a glass. And everyone takes a sip. FROM THE SAME GLASS.
Double EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW. I quickly duck out of that line. I am not swapping spit with strangers. I have already shook hands with everyone and their grandmas in a three row radius. I have enough germs on me to start a measles/mumps/rubella revolution.

We sit back down, where a lady asks if I am Catholic. I say no, I am.... American.
What, I'm ten. Didn't matter because she starts making a stink about about how I shouldn't participate in communion because I'm not Catholic. Of course I think I have just committed a crime, and am about ten seconds away from tears. We say our final Peace Be With You/Shalom/Hallelujah/Ooga Booga and I have to say I have never been back. Let's remember I was ten. Those things stay with you.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank you Veterans

"He's A Veteran!"

He's a man who looks the world in the eye. He's a man who feels an extra heart-tug when the flag goes by. He's a man who steps a little faster when he hears the beat of a military band. He's a Veteran.

He comes in all assorted sizes and shapes. He's a big man, he's a small man...he's a short man, he's a tall man. He is the "Doughboy" of World War I...the "GI" of World War II... He's a man who's seen Korean skies, fought the cold and silent battle of uneasy Berlin....and braved the booby traps and ambushes of Ia Drang Valley in Viet Nam. He's a Veteran.

He's a sailor....soldier...Marine. He's a flyer...seabee...coast guard. He's artillery...infantry..medic...aviation machinist mate....armored and ordnance.. He's a Veteran.

He has the quiet dignity of a man who knows the pride of freedom ...He has the clear eyes of a man who respects himself. He is courage living on Main Street. He is patriotism mowing the lawn on Saturday afternoon. He is good citizenship with a smile on his face. He's a Veteran.

He is Republican, Democrat, Independent/..He is mechanic, farmer, banker... He is Catholic, Protestant, Jew... He is rich and poor and in-between. He's a Veteran

He's a man who loves peace because he knows the price tag of war. He's a member of history's most exclusive fraternity. He knows that war is ninety percent boredom and ten percent sheer terror. He's been there. He's a Veteran.

He likes the majesty of America's mountains...the tranquility of America's valleys. He likes the bustle of America's cities and the friendliness of America's Main Streets. He likes the sound of America's children playing on the American playgrounds. He likes to watch the flag go by... He feels a bit sad when he hears the sound of an American bugler playing "Taps". He is a citizen soldier...Peacetime leader... He's the first to volunteer in time of trouble...and the last to come home. He's a Veteran.

He is proud of his American past...alert to his American present...confident of his American future. He likes the legends of America's greats...the Washingtons...the Jeffersons...the Abraham Lincolns...the Roosevelts...the Robert E. Lees....The Stonewall Jacksons...the Pattons...the Eisenhowers...the MacArthurs...the Nimitzs....the Pullers....the Dalys and all the proud patriots who have marched through America's history books. He's a Veteran.

He has bivouacked at Valley Forge...charged the hill at Gettysburg...stormed the sands at Guadalcanal...swarmed ashore at Omaha Beach..advanced on Pork Chop Hill and fought in the bunker complex in War Zone "C" in Southeast Asia. He parachuted into Grenada. He stood watch in Beirut. He fought in the streets of Panama and served in the Middle East in support of "Operation Desert Shield". He's a Veteran.

In the very rear of his secret heart there is always a tinge of sorrow, a souvenir of sadness for lost and departed comrades. No matter how gray his temples grow or how many inches he adds to his middle-aged waist, he always walks with a distinctive pride that isn't given to lesser men. He is America with an honorable discharge... He is Democracy with a Good Conduct Medal lost in the darkness of his keepsake box... He is freedom with a Purple Heart. He is a first class fighting man with a quiet walk and sentimental grin. He's America's most honorable citizen He's a Veteran."

Author Unknown

Some don't blink an eye at today. They think of it as a holiday, a day off. Some don't have a grandfather who served in the navy. Or a grandfather that served in the army. Or a father who has two purple hearts, troubled memories, and spent countless nights in the jungles of Vietnam.
Who now spends his days making the lives better for all those who are serving now, his brothers, once a marine, always a marine. Whether someone knows someone or not, today, they all deserve our thanks. The wives and the kids who stay behind deserve our thanks.

For all that defend our freedom, years ago, today and tomorrow, thank you.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Parent teacher time

Today was Middle's conference. She's in first grade, reading, writing, math. She's doing well. She knows her math, she can read, but reads too slow. Which we know. She is not a phonetic reader, which I guessed with her inability to sound out and spell. She can read sight words, and sound them out, but she could not spell many back to save her life. It's frustrating, for her and us.

She told us that she is very shy. She touched on it several times. The teacher says she doesn't let her get away with it, which I understand. She has been, since the day she was born. It's painful, and we work on it. We try and teach her how it comes across rude, and that she needs to speak up, and to people. She is not the first to speak, or greet. She hangs her head, or tries to run off, when she is at home, dealing with extended relatives. She was the little toddler that watched with a scowl, wanting to join, but She plays on her own a lot, and is okay with it. Yes, she is shy, but it has never been an excuse in this house.

It's hard. The teacher has had only a few months with my child, and that's okay.

But she wasn't the mom the days that Middle cried as though her heart would break, and begged me not to take her to school.

She wasn't the mom who picked up her baby blue eyed girl, with tears streaming down her face, just hiding behind me.

She wasn't the mom watching from 20 feet away as Middle approached a group of girls, on her own and ran off to play with them. I just watched her, tears in my own eyes, and my heart soared. She took a giant leap that day.

Or how about the day that she came home, just a few weeks ago, and announced at dinner that she plays soccer, with a group of kids, at lunch. On her own. The husband and I shared a look of complete happiness, and listened. Listened to the sound of her breaking free, little by little from the glass box of shyness she had been in.

She has made leaps and bounds. And that's worth noting.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Family Fun Photo Time

Took the kids out yesterday, along with the husband to get some family pictures.
Four our Christmas cards. Not two seconds after we spot an open field, does it start to go downhill.

Oldielocks has a cold. Oldielocks already has puppy dog eyes, combine that with her cold, and 75% of pictures with her in them look like she was taking swigs of Jack Daniels, and NyQuil, repeatedly. Her eyes are so heavy. And she has shiny snot pockets reflecting.

Middle was feeling the greatest either, but she giggled through it. As she played in the dirt. During the first picture and every hundred after. Hands down, on her haunches like some native tribal warrior, drawing directions to the nearest banana tree. Sifting it through her fingers. She too has snot pockets. Lovely.

Baloney, well this is Baloney about 5 minutes after we arrive.

She was real excited about the whole thing. When she wasn't running away, or chasing dogs. Because we arrived at prime walk-your-dog-without-a-leash-or-poop-bag time. SO I prayed for no dog doo souvenirs and kept taking pics.

And the husband.
Let's just say he wasn't feelin it either.

Next time I am swiping the family in the frames you get at Kohls and calling it a day.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

My fav juice ever

seriously. It's super good. All different flavors. I tend to be a little more of the tropical fruit lover,
so I get those flavors. I get it at Costco. Or some of the local stores.
Or the nudist colony.

get it? Naked juice, nudist colony...

(I agree, that was lame.)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

thought provoking

Found it here

"Living History
By Anna Quindlen

The American Museum of Natural History threw a spectacular party on New Year's Eve 1999, but perhaps the millennium really arrived there just a few weeks ago. A group of New York City schoolchildren were at an event marking the 150th birthday of Theodore Roosevelt, naturalist and president, and at the end of the visit one of the kids raised his hand. "I have a question," he said. "Was he black?"

History will record that on Nov. 4, 2008, Barack Hussein Obama was elected the first black president of the United States. It is impossible to overstate what that means to this nation.

America is as much a concept as it is a country, but it is a concept too often honored in the breach. The Statue of Liberty welcomes with the words "Give me your tired, your poor." Yet generation after generation of immigrants arrived here to face contempt and hatred until the passage of time, the flattening of accents, turned them into tolerated natives. The Declaration of Independence states unequivocally that all men are created equal. Yet for years the politicians and the powerful seemed to take the gender of that noun literally and denied all manner of rights to women.

But no injustice or prejudice brought to bear by this country against its own people can compare with how it has treated black men and women. Humiliation, degradation, lynchings, beatings, murders. The rights the United States pretended to confer upon all were unthinkingly and consistently denied them: the right to the franchise, to representation, to protection by the justice system.

Literal ownership gave way to something not so different: "When we are moved to better our lot," Richard Wright wrote in 1941, "we do not ask ourselves 'can we do it?' but 'will they let us do it?' " Henry Louis Gates Jr., in the memoir "Colored People," says simply, "For most of my childhood, we couldn't eat in restaurants or sleep in hotels, we couldn't use certain bathrooms or try on clothes in stores." Alice Walker left home for college on a bus and was ordered to move after a white woman complained that she was too near the front.

None of this was so very long ago.

Time passed. Things changed. John Lewis, a boy who loved books but was not permitted to enter the public library, a man whose skull was fractured by Alabama state troopers when he led a peaceful march across a bridge, now sits in Congress. Gates is a professor at Harvard, Walker a revered writer. Segregation as a matter of law has given way to segregation as a matter of class and custom. As President-elect Obama said when he gave a speech about race earlier this year, speaking of systemic poverty, bad schools and broken families, "Many of the disparities that exist in the African-American community today can be directly traced to inequalities passed on from an earlier generation that suffered under the brutal legacy of slavery and Jim Crow."

But Obama said something else in that speech, something both simpler and more profound that has special resonance now that his improbable candidacy has prevailed. He made the political spiritual. "In the end, then," he said, "what is called for is nothing more, and nothing less, than what all the world's great religions demand—that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us." He asked the American people to be fair and just, to be kind and generous, to put prejudice behind them and be one people because that is, not a legal or social imperative, but a moral one.

There will be learned discussion in the years to come about the specific meaning of this moment, about whether it will be more symbolic than substantive, about whether having a black president will lull Americans into believing that racism is a thing of the past. But for just a moment consider this small fact: for a long time a black man in many parts of the United States was denied even the honorific "Mister" by the white community, and was instead called by his first name, like a child, no matter how elderly and esteemed he might be.

Now a black man will be called Mr. President.

They never thought they would see the day, people said, especially the older ones, who could remember the murders of Martin Luther King Jr., Medgar Evers and Malcolm X. They wept, some of them, and so did I. Perhaps it was because this man seems so young and vigorous in a nation that seems old and tired. Perhaps it is because he promises change and hope, and both are so badly needed. He is the president for our children's generation, a more tolerant and diverse society, so insensible of bright dividing lines that one of them would idly wonder whether Theodore Roosevelt was a black man. They belie a time when there was a crayon labeled "flesh" in my Crayola box, a crayon that was a pale pink.

But I suspect that, like many others, I wept for myself, too, because I felt I was part of a country that was living its principles. Despite all our prejudices, seen and hidden, millions of citizens managed, in the words of Dr. King, to judge Barack Obama by the content of his character and not the color of his skin. There were many reasons to elect him president, but this was one collateral gift: to be able to watch America look an old evil in the eye and to say, no more. We must be better than that. We can be better than that. We are better than that. "

WTF Wednesday #10

When I was in high school, I was an international traveler. Well, I went to Mexico.
On a missions trip. But it totally counts as international.

Our time down there was for a week. We lived in a tent city of about five thousand other Americans. Eating canned ravioli and cup o' noodles. And sweet bottled Coca Cola.
No baths, or showers, and only washing your hair twice, in the hoses that ran in the city parks. And all the while you washed your hair, you would pray that not a drop would get in your mouth. Because it contained something or other that would give you the Hershey squirts something fierce. And who wants that, in another country, with no bathrooms. During the day, all the different church groups went to their "foster" church, and taught vacation bible school. 45 minutes of driving, on bumpy dirt roads, in 85 degree heat, to these little villages. The kids were sooo excited to see us, clamoring excitedly in Spanish, wearing worn out,ripped clothes, hardly any had shoes on their feet. It was a humbling experience.

At the end of the day, we would head back, eat dinner and relax. And stand in line to use the port-o-potty. Remember the part about no bathrooms? To help us Americans out with our modern day conveniences, they trucked in a few hundred port-o-potties. For 5000 people. They had about 20 in a row, all over the tent city. The first day, it's fine. They smell like a rose met pepto bismol and had a chemical reaction. In other words, they smell empty. As in no doo-doo marinating in urine cooking in the hot sun. That stank is reserved for day 3. The end of the week, I'd rather have a bladder infection and a septic system coming out my ears, than go in there. A weeks worth of ravioli reeks havoc on one's small intestine. You could smell it from the mountains of Peru, it was so bad.

To add insult to injury, you had to use them in the dark. If there is no bathrooms, you better believe there is no electricity. When you went to the bathroom, you would go in parties of 3 or more. You had to pull your hair back, because who wants feces mites floating in the air and living in the hair that you can't really wash. Not me. You wore face masks. Because the stench, and well, those poo vapors, they could make a flower wilt. Before it grows.

After you reach the port-o-potty, you would throw open the door and waste 1/3 of a can of Lysol. Just close your eyes and spray like it's a raging wildfire. This is where your friends come in. They shine flashlights through the slats at the top. You now know who your friends are when this happens.

Then you needed to B.Y.O.T.P, not just for wiping but for lining the seat with. Not that you would actually SIT on the seat. Of all the gross things! Hover and release.

Now that you know the low down on Mexico port-o-potty 101, let me share.

When you first get there, I mentioned how they are clean, and empty. And all the boys would try to see how many guys they could cram into one, and then one by one walk out. People would just watch, and seem confused. It was every bit funny and immature as it sounds.

I was standing in line on the first day. A group of girls, very obvious this was their first time to tent city and all it's fabulous tourist attractions, were waiting to use the potty. Some chick with more make-up than a drag queen comes out, and exclaims, "Those are so neat! They even have a little purse holder so you have somewhere for your stuff!!" and walks away carrying her purse.

I stand there, thinking about what she said.
It's my turn so I go in there, and I'm looking around, and then it hits me.


That's not a purse holder.........

that's a urinal for the guys!!!!!!!

Of course I'm thinking that she couldn't possibly have thought that the stinkhole would have a purse holder..... could she? I come out and let her know it's true purpose. She turns about 8 shades of red, and everyone dies laughing. No, she really thought it was a purse holder.

Truck stops ain't got nothing on Port-o-Potties.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


It's rainy today.
It's Election day.
It's one or the other.
Only one can win.

If one wins, we will have a woman
for the first time, helping lead a nation,
that before, was only led by men.

If the other wins, we will have
for the first time, an African American,
leading a nation, that before,
was only led by white men.

No matter which one wins,
the people, of this country will have won.
The trail has been blazed, the foundation has been laid.
The dreams of our ancestors are no longer dreams.
They have come true.

I can imagine Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Frederick Douglass, Abe Lincoln, and the joy they would find in today. What they fought for.

I can imagine the smiles of Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Jane Addams, as they embrace the power of today.

Everything, they and so many others have done, is for today.
We are making history today.
I'm writing history.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Politics...and the Middle

Me: So.... who should I vote for tomorrow?

Middle: For what? President or something?

Me: Yes, President. (or something.. I guess)

Middle: Well, I don't really know. What are their names again.. Rock Obama? and... McCain?

Me: You got it. Rock is a silly name, dontcha think?

Middle: Maybe he's named after a special rock? I don't know much about them.

I know they both have hair.... and suits.
Oh and give speeches about being safe and healthy.

You're good at this. I think you should go vote.

Middle :
Um, I'm just a kid. I can't even drive, and they talk about gas prices. Like if you go to 7-11, and gas cost one hundred dollars, they will lower the gas to one or two dollars. So you can afford it.

Me: Wow, You're one smart cookie. And you are very right. About all of that.

They live in D.C. Washington. I think you should vote for McCain.

So I should vote for John?

Middle: *giggle* That's his real name?

Yeah, just John, Not fred or anything. What did you think his name was?

I don't know. Can we talk about something else? Like solids, liquids and gas?

I'm impressed.
I think we will be filling out her application to Harvard tomorrow.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

I really like this

I think Baloney would look adorable in this. But I have two other girls. AndI really can't put them in the same exact outfit forever. Because when I am 89, in my nursing home, my kids will come visit me, in t-shirts, with a picture from 2007, when they had matching christmas dresses. And it will have some witty, snarky, but hilarious caption underneath, and it will give them a good chuckle, and if they can't ever bond over anything in life, it will be the matching outfits that will remind them just how very much they are sisters. I'm willing to be their laughingstock. I got to figure out if I can dress my family around this dress. It's from Gap. And I lurrveeee it.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

halloween food goodness

I love any reason to celebrate. And Halloween gets oodles of attention. I like creating, and decorating, and kind of sort of like my kids too, so, well this is what you get.

This was what I packed for lunch. I cut out sandwiches in the shape of pumpkins, made witches fingers out of string cheese and bell pepper nails, and monster mouths out of apple, peanut butter, and marshmallows. I topped it off with a little note, and drawings. I so wanted to play a trick and fill their lunches with fake bugs, but maybe next year.

I decorated the table, and chandelier, complete with skulls and hanging bats, that Baloney spent hours trying to knock down.

We ate:

Mummy Dogs

Spider cupcakes

Goblin Brain

Monster Eyeballs

Goblin Guts

Vampire Blood, complete with blood thirsty worms.

Any moment that I can sprinkle magic into the lives of my children, I'll take it. It is most certainly about the little things. :)