Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday Scribblings: Follow

The thing about inspiration is you can't predict when it will hit you. It just comes.

I never would have expected to get the best idea of my life driving home after picking up a take-n-bake pizza. The kids were tormenting each other from the back seat. There was lots of screaming and possibly some scratching. I was doing brain yoga: deep breathing, counting to ten, thinking of my happy place.

My techniques were only marginally effective.

At the very moment I was about to lose it and do something that would certainly impair my ability to keep the car on the road, my mind was enlightened.

I am not a Nascar follower. Not that there's anything wrong with it; I just don't feel compelled to watch cars drive around in circles at high speeds for long periods of time.

However, if Nascar would put a couple of kids in the back seat of each of those cars as an added degree of difficulty to the drivers, Nascar might just be my new favorite sport.

I’d like to see how professional drivers compete while two kids argue, scream and take swipes at each other in the back seat. What about when one of them has to pee or claims he’s about to throw up?

Oh! This is something I’d pay to watch.

The driver, of course, would have to hand back juice boxes and snacks to pacify the kids while a Wiggles CD plays on the stereo.

A licensed therapist would join the pit crew, dispensing coping techniques through the driver’s side window at the same time tires are changed and fuel is refilled. During pit stops, the driver would have to take the kids out of their car seats, accompany them to a restroom, and then back to the car again, where he’d have to re-strap them back into their car seats.

Of course I’d want the whole car wired so we could hear all the insanity-inducing action.

I suspect if Nascar did take my advice their fan base would increase by 50%, crashes* would increase by 200% and mothers would win Nascar races 95% of the time.

Now that is something I’d follow.

*please don’t think I want little kids to crash in fiery balls of smashed up race car. Instead of real kids, we could use those crash test dummy kids with real kids voicing the fighting and complaining from a safe location.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Electric Friendship Generator

Make sure you don't make any of these mistakes on Facebook.

(Who would want to be friends with a grody-jody like Timmy?)

Thanks Greg Fisher for the link...which he posted on Facebook.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

In the Good Old Days

Here are a few of the things that have gone extinct (or are endangered) in our family since baseball season started:

Family Dinner
I used to love having the family around the table for dinner. Dinner time is also the time we say our evening family prayer. Now meals are usually consumed behind home plate, in the car, or in shifts. And family prayer...

Family Home Evening
It looks like we have a baseball game every Monday night until the season is over. (Like 2 months from now?) Either I'm going to have to do FHE on Sunday for the time being, or FHE will be sitting in camp chairs behind home plate.

Bed Time
Bed time was such a nice routine. Things were calm, baths were had, I got a chance to clean up from the day, I read books, butterflies flitted and a beautiful rainbow came down right on the roof of our house. Now? When we get home from the game (3 days a week) it's already about 30 minutes past bedtime. I'm usually frustrated, the boys are molasses-slow and, I'm sorry to say, at least one of us goes to bed crying.

The 2 days of the week we don't have games, Ethan usually has a practice. This just happens to overlap with Scouts. Right now we are trading between scouts and baseball practice. One Tuesday he'll go to scouts and the next he'll go to baseball practice.

If I start cooking around 3pm, I can have a picnic dinner put together by the time we have to leave for the game. If it's a practice night, then I usually have enough time to make dinner and have Ethan eat before he heads off for 90 minutes. I don't normally start dinner at 3pm. This has caused me to break one of our New Year's financial goals of not buying restaurant food. But Taco Bell is glad to see me again.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Comedy Gold!

This could be one of those times when "you had to be there."

Or, it could be one of those times where you just need to indulge a mom who thinks her kid is super cute.

Isaac: Knock knock.
Mom: Who's there.
Isaac: Banana.
Mom: Banana who.
Isaac: Why did the Pink Panther walk?
Mom: Why?
Isaac: So he could go, (singing to the Pink Panther theme) du dant, du dant, du dant, du dant, du dant. Get it!! He's saying "dead ant," get it? Dead. Ant. (hearty belly-laughing)
Mom: Good one kiddo.

*Update: See comment section for more detailed explanation of why I thought this was so funny.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Contest About Summer and a Book

The thing about living in the Pacific Northwest is the weather will make you crazy.

I can handle the rain, I can handle the sun, but I can't take the teasing.

Every once in a while Mother Nature will throw in a couple of completely amazing, where-did-this-come-from days. We had two last week. Out of nowhere, it was suddenly in the high 70's and absolutely perfect. The kind of weather we live for here in Oregon.

Then, like your scoop of ice cream falling off the cone after only 2 licks, it was over; we were back to the 50's and rain.

That's just cruel Mother N.

Then I saw this contest to write a summer haiku and get a signed advance reader copy of Jenny Han's newest book, "The Summer I Turned Pretty."

What better way to get through this indecisive weather than by thinking warm, summer thoughts? And reading a book about summer.

You should enter too. Come on, it's fun and it's know, 5, 7, 5. Easy peasy!

Click here to enter and read my haiku...or I could just post it here...

The sand, lava hot.
Sandals, why did I leave you
back on my beach towel?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Oh, the Drama or, The Cursed Cup

For the record, I never wanted Ethan to play Little League baseball.

As it turns out, he might actually be good. Not "start sending out the talent scouts" good, but good enough that he doesn't drag the team down, which was what I feared might happen. (Ethan's lucky to have such a supportive mom, isn't he?)

In the meantime there's a lot of driving, plenty of buying, a little fund raising, way too much required involvement, organizing, reminding and pestering (i.e. "go get changed for baseball practice," "let's get in the get in the car," "do you have your water bottle? Don't forget your water bottle.")

Little League is a lot of work.

Last night was the first game of the season. It was also the first time that Ethan used a "cup" while playing. (Evidently he was supposed to have a cup all along, but no one said anything to me and how in the world was I supposed to know?)

I purchased the cup which was size "youth." The other size options were "pee wee" and "teen."

Minutes before we were supposed to leave for the game, Ethan finally gives in to my pestering and starts to get his uniform on. Right away, there is a problem.

The cup is uncomfortable. It hurts. He's in pain. Mortal pain, or so it seems.

He starts to become upset. He claims he can't run, stand, sit, bat or catch wearing the cup. He doesn't want to go to the game.

This is not what I want to hear.

Robert is not home from work, we need to leave in 15 minutes to get to the game, and I'm starting to chant "I hate stupid dumb baseball" in my head.

I tell Ethan to get dressed anyway and wear the cup and that I would try and figure something out. Of all the parenthood things I am not prepared for, "proper athletic cup fitting" makes the top of the list, hands down.

Robert comes home from work and is unfortunately almost as clueless about the cup as I am, which is really not fair, since this falls cleanly into his section on the Venn diagram of parental responsibility.

I finally decide that I will drive from store to store (did I mention this was during rush hour?) to find a cup in a bigger size, then come directly to the game where Ethan will hopefully be able to make a discreet change-out. This is when I may or may not have added swear words to the silent "stupid-dumb-baseball" chant in my head.

Two stores later, I've got a new cup. Of course this whole thing is a joke because, as mentioned earlier, the next cup size up is teen. But, I decide this is an exercise in martyrdom, so I persevere. I purchase the teen sized athletic cup and drive to the game which is under way.

Here's what I find:

Ethan, in the dugout, with his teammates, in the line up to bat. He's smiling, he's showing interest in the game, and laughing with his teammates. He's not walking funny or crying or moaning in pain.

Hmm, interesting.

And Ethan did great. He batted twice and each time hit a line drive right between first and second. The first time he scored, the second time he had the RBI that ended the game.

I still don' t love baseball, and I expect that over the coming weeks I will probably hate it again. For now, let's just say that as far as I'm concerned, baseball's got one strike.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

It's Fun to be a Mom

It’s fun to be a mom because you get to have conversations like this:

Isaac: Mom, can you get my light saver?
Me: Light SABER, say it…SABER.
Isaac: Light SAVER.
Me: No, look at my mouth, saBER, buh, not vuh, saBER.
Isaac: (Really trying) saVER, saVER, saVER.
Me: Buh, buh, buh, saBER.
Isaac: Vuh, vuh, vuh, saVER.
Isaac: Mom, just get my light saver.

Another fun perk of being a mom is stumbling upon your 5th graders science project homework. This is what my guy accomplished in 15 minutes before running out to play:

(In 48 point type)
(in 24 point type)
My hamster ran faster at

(At least he spelled "conclusion" correctly.)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

On Notice

I'm putting my sisters (Allyson and Angela) on notice. They have not blogged in forever. Angela even said: Blogs are so yesterday. I don't need people to know every single detail about my every thought. Blogs suck. (Not an exact quote)

I think what she was trying to say was: I am so busy with my job and family I don't have time to keep up with my blog or anyone else's. Therefore, I won't be blogging anymore and since I'm not, everyone else who does, sucks. (I took some liberties with that last part.)

I think my sisters have a lot of interesting things to say. I'd love to keep up with them and their families via blog. I could see pictures, hear funny anecdotes, get all kinds of time and money saving tips and more.

But they don't blog.

So, they're on notice. I'm going to remove their blog links from my blog roll in 3 days unless they leave me flattering comments and beg me not to remove them.

This isn't a punishment. It's simply a way for me to allow them to slip into blissful anonymity. Which I suspect is what they want anyway.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Annoying Trends

It's time for some complaining.

Here are words and phrases I'm tired of hearing:

Our New Economy
I hear this phrase every night on the news. What is "our new economy" anyway? Oh! They must mean the one that's in the tank? I guess "our new economy" sounds better than "our crappy hide-money-in-your-mattress-because-that's-the-only-place-it-will-be-safe economy."

I hope this woman's 15 minutes is up soon because I'm tired of hearing about her.

Bikini Body
Have you heard? Middle-aged ladies that used to be famous a really long time ago are getting their bikini bodies back. Evidently they lost them in the 80's and found them again by becoming spokespeople for weight-loss companies, hiring personal trainers and nutritionists, undergoing a professional make-over and photo-shoot, and having the resulting photos subjected to the greatest Photo Shop minds of this decade.

Overseas Contingency Operations
OK, I haven't really heard this one on the news, unless you count The Daily Show: Overseas Contingency Operations is what we used to call "The War on Terror." But "War on Terror" is so "George Bush." And "War on Terror" sounds scary and mean. So Obama and his team niced it up a little. I think they are also referring to terror attacks as "man-made disasters."

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I Made These?

I wasn't planning on making cookies today, but when I saw Emily's link on Facebook to this recipe, along with her hearty endorsement of their tastiness, I figured I'd give these Peanut Munchies a try.

My only issue with the cookies is the name: Peanut Munchies? Was someone asleep at the cookie naming meeting? I can think of 10 names that are better than Peanut Munchies just off the top of my head and could probably come up with 20 more given a bit of time. How about Peanut Butter Bliss, or Peanut Butter Cup Cookie?

OK, I have one more issue with these cookies: There are many steps to making these cookies. Time consuming steps. Steps that will take around 45 minutes to an hour and a half to complete. But it's all good...when you taste them and think...Holy Cow! I made these?

I used a cookie scoop to make the chocolate balls, which saved a bit of time. With the peanut butter filling, I made a symmetrical log and cut it in half again and again and again until I had the right number of lumps. I didn't roll all the filling bits into balls, either. I just balled them up right as I folded them into the chocolate cookie thing.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

In Which I Have a Little Fun at Ethan's Expense

This is what Ethan got in his lunch today: Uncooked rice, cotton balls, sliced olives, cheesecake pudding mix and Legos. I also included a little note telling him to treat himself to a hot lunch and a little p.s. requesting he not use any of the fake lunch items to torment or distract his classmates.

Are you fooling anyone today?

p.s. Lest you think I'm an over-achieving super-mom, I must disclose that I had not the slightest inclination to do anything foolish today. But my neighbor asked me if I was doing anything, then sent me this link. That got the wheels spinning. Then when I woke up from a distressing dream at 4am and couldn't get back to sleep, I formulated the rest of the plan.

And it took less time to assemble this lunch than it would have to make an edible one.