Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Undomestic Trivia Goddess

A recap of my weekend follows. Saturday, as is the norm, flew by. I needed to go to Wal-Mart for some groceries and ink cartridges. That didn't happen, surprise, surprise. Suddenly, I had an hour and a half before I needed to leave for a bridal shower. Brainstorms are aptly named, as my creative ideas always leave a storm-like aftermath mess. So, after frantically putting together the crafty part of my gift, I left for the shower. Then, remembered the car needed gas. I arrived at the shower about twenty minutes late, also known as fashionably late. (Ever since I had my first child, I have always been sooo fashionable:) One of the games played at the shower involved seeing pictures of TV couples and naming the show and their character names (not the real name of the actor and actress). We had 23 pictures to guess at, ranging from I Love Lucy to Moonlighting to The Office. I won! A box of chocolates with a second layer! So when I won, one of the ladies said, "You must watch a lot of TV!" Not at all, especially now! Just to prove it to you, 1) I had to completely guess at The Office (the show title part) and had no idea of the character names and 2) even though I recognized the Dr. McDreamy guy, I could not think of the title of the show (Grey's Anatomy) and had no idea of the character names. The book club girls are going to laugh at me b/c they talk about Grey's all the time, while I sit with my mouth shut b/c I have never seen one minute of it. I have watched The Office once or twice. So how did I win? There were enough older shows in there, plus I do watch the PG-rated Sex and the City episodes on TBS (or I did before my second child came along). I have never seen a "real" Sex and the City, though, and I hear it's pretty raunchy. I was particularly proud of knowing Bobby and Pam from Dallas and Maddie from Moonlighting! So, as I often tell my husband, I am a font of (usually) useless information. On a side note, the whole game gave me a bit of insight about myself. I already know I am extremely competitive. I can't help it. While playing the game and after, though, I also realized that I cannot turn off the urge to do my best at things. Not all things, but maybe those that are in a competitive environment? I suffer from over-achiever guilt or something. The shower also reminded me that my anti-socialness is causing me (and probably my children) to miss out. Maybe it's more C's anti-socialness and my germ-o-phobia/frequent exhaustion, plus my domestic abilities, read on...

Sunday morning, I was getting everything out to bake my mom a birthday cake (from a box, folks, my daddy always said why make it from scratch, when Duncan and Betty have already perfected it--although this does not apply to all cakes, particularly lemon pound cake). So as I am getting the flour (to dust the pans), I knock a box of toothpicks out of the cabinet; they scatter everywhere. This is an omen, I now see. Next incident, I get egg shell in the cake batter. Then, I burn my arm (not bad, but still!) getting the pans out of the oven. So, I have to warn everyone that there may be egg shell in the cake. Of course, there is egg shell in the cake (me, my mom, and my aunt got some crunchy bits). There you have it, why I don't like to cook or entertain in a nut (or egg) shell!

On a happy, proud note, if today continues well, H will have been six days with no leaks and no wetting of any diapers!

I have typed this whole post up to here with overstrike on and just now remembered that it's insert, not alt, that turns it off. My computer skills are quickly atrophying. The oven timer dings. Ask not for whom it dings, it dings for moi!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Sippy Cup

W took all of his formula this morning from a sippy cup, and he drank about half of it without any help! Hooray! I have been working with him on the sippy cup every once in a while, but he gets frustrated if he's too hungry. I am so proud of him and myself! I figured out how to set the correct time on here without any help from C (what can I say, I know Excel pretty well, but I'm technologically challenged).

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Alchemist

This weekend our book club met to discuss The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It is a quick read, and I liked it. I definitely thought that it contained some good, inspiring quotes (see Mantras post for one of these). I liked the message that when you are a child you have dreams many of which are attainable, but the rest of your life you are told that you cannot achieve them. I think this is especially true for people who have an artistic talent that they want to pursue. The book does become a bit unbelievable toward the end, if you read it literally, but I am not sure that is how Coelho meant for it to be read. I believe he is trying to explain that just because something seems impossible at first, doesn't mean you should give up immediately without trying. One book club member mentioned that she found it extremely religious. I didn't think the book was religious so much as spiritual (per the dictionary, there is a difference). We didn't discuss the book as much as I would have liked to, but I always enjoy book club as it is me time!

Also, I wanted to mention a book I've read recently that I really liked and that made me laugh: Be Happy or I'll Scream! by Sheri Lynch. It's all about her quest to have the perfect (sitcom) family. To be honest, it actually has inspired me a bit. She is really honest, commenting that no one told her and her husband that having two small children was pretty much the same as being under house arrest! It's a great book to make you realize most other moms and wives are dealing with the same things you are dealing with. You are not alone!

Jumping in Puddles

One day last week, we had an afternoon rain shower. After it stopped raining, H, W, and I went out to check the mail and spotted some puddles. H pointed to two large ones that were quite muddy and asked if he could jump in those. Not wanting to discourage something so simply fun, I asked him if we could look for some that weren't so muddy. We found one in the drive, and H had a great time running around it, splashing in it, putting his foot under the water spout ("It tickles!"), and just being a boy! W was watching all this and laughing! When C got home, and I told him about it, I finished the story with "Yea, boys!," arms up in a victory V! They are very fun.

The mimosa trees are blooming on our street, and they smell wonderful (why doesn't someone create a perfume that smells like that?). Anyway, they take me back to summer days sitting in the yard, drinking Pepsis with my daddy. So, after smelling them while taking H for a stroller ride last week, I decided to buy some champagne and have a mimosa for myself. That's how we had Muffins and Mimosas Sunday, very nice. Later on Sunday, C started working on our "jungle." It may be slow going, but we will tame this yard...I hope.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Odds & Ends

Back to back posts, no apologies, I love them on others' blogs! I just wanted to relate some funny and/or interesting things.

Our neighbors' son, daughter-in-law, and two year-old grandson are living with them while their new house is being built. H and W both like to see the grandson. So the other day, H and I are outside while W is napping (I tote the monitor around with me outside), and we see the grandson and his mom outside. We head over to say hello, and H is gung-ho to see their backyard, particularly their chimney as he's developed an interest in chimneys of late. We walk around back and can see their deck. H says, "They have chairs on their deck, Mommy, not weeds like ours." Nice, nothing like your own flesh and blood to give you the honest truth. We do have weeds growing up through the wood planks of our deck, which brings me to another topic. We really need to do some serious landscape work and home improvements.

We've been talking for a few months about getting new gutters and windows, but I'm not sure the folks could fight through our shrubs to get to the windows! Here are some excuses that I'll call problems: 1) time/availability- when can we work in the yard? who will watch the children? 2) danger- it's so bad now, I'm worried about snakes and spiders, not to mention the yellow jackets that appear to be making a home in a space between a window's frame and the siding 3) sloth- one of the seven deadly sins that me and C are guilty of, guilty, guilty, guilty. I could probably keep going, but to keep some integrity, I'll stop. Of course with the Spring/Summer come hordes of insects just vying for a chance to come inside and terrorize me and irritate C. I'm convinced the "jungle of shrubs and weeds" is part of the reason there are more bugs around. Home ownership, isn't it grand?

Potty training is so hard. H won't use the potty at school (Mom's Morning Out program). It doesn't really bother or surprise me except when the teacher mentions it. I don't like using public restrooms either. H will do so well for a couple of days and then not so good. It is so hard. Enough said.

I was going to put some of my thoughts about The Alchemist in this post, but I think I'll wait until after book club (this Saturday). That way, I can have others input, too.

After days of being undecided about what free ring tone to download, I finally chose one and wouldn't you know, I can't get on the internet from my phone to actually download it! C's on the case. It will get resolved eventually. I thought I was going to get a DMB song, but I chose what I'd call an "oldie." I did play Dancing Nancy (a DMB song for you non-Dave people) for the boys last night, and H said, "This is a great song, Mommy!" Amen, it sure is sweetie.

Father's Day

Father's Day is bittersweet for me. I lost my beloved daddy four years ago just a few days after Father's Day. I miss him every day and am saddened that my children will not know him here (I pray that we will all be together one day in heaven). Recently, I've especially missed his advice and emotional strength. It would have been so nice to have my rock to lean on during W's diagnosis and surgery. I would also love to have him here to help with household decisions like home upkeep and to help me with our yard which is turning into a bit of a jungle complete with stinging and biting insects! More on that in a future post maybe. However, I enjoy thinking of Daddy on Father's Day and also spending the day with my husband and sons.

This year I did a couple of crafty things with the boys. I made some magnets with H's thumb print and W's toe print. We also decorated a magnetic picture frame with tool stickers. C also got some useful gifts: a sprinkler, sunflower seeds for planting (they're one of my favorites), and a Snickers (not useful but yummy). C's dad and younger sister came over for a visit, and later in the afternoon, C set up the camera and got a few pretty good pictures of the four of us. We also took some of C and the boys and me and the boys.

I always say I am going to take a couple of hours for myself on Father's Day to think about my dad or do something he liked, but it seems the hours fly by so fast. Last year, I did have some ice cream with caramel sauce (Daddy loved caramel sundaes from McDonald's). This year I had hoped to go the Y pool and read an essay he wrote as a senior in high school. Maybe one weekend before summer ends, I'll get to do that. (Just so you know, laying out at the pool is something I like but don't get to do nearly enough nowadays).

Friday, June 13, 2008


I read Eat, Pray,Love for my book club last year, and the author talks about how we need to have our own personal mantra to live by. Over the past two days, I've discovered two mantras for myself. The first was in a back issue of Wondertime magazine (a fantastic magazine for parents, possibly for anyone). Areva Martin, a lawyer who cofounded a group to help low-income families with disabled children, says her grandmother and godmother told her "that it was more important that I respected them than liked them." This is going to be a personal mantra for me as a mother. Sadly, I know parents who have never, ever realized this wisdom.

The second mantra I found in The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I am about halfway through the book (it isn't a very long book), and so far I am enjoying it. I'll wait until I finish to say much about what I think of it. However, in the introduction, Coelho writes: "The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times." I love this! It is so true, and I want to be sure to pass this truth along to my children. I even like the way it is translated (Coelho is Brazilian). It is so Hemingway-esque.

So those are a couple of my mantras, words to live by.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Museum Trip

So last week I decided to take my boys to a local museum. Before we left, I kept saying zoo instead of museum (I have no idea why), but I laughed saying outloud to myself, "If we wanted to go to a zoo, we wouldn't have to leave home." I didn't have super high hopes as it isn't a very large museum, but it was somewhere besides home that is air-conditioned and not too full of germs (hopefully). So, off we go. My three year-old (H) informed me, "You and W (his little brother) can go in, but I'm staying out." Luckily, he changed his mind by the time we arrived. In we go, and we are almost the only visitors there (good, we won't disturb anyone and my plan for W to sleep in his stroller is plausible). We turn into the first hallway, there's a tiger behind glass. H, "Mommy, mommy, mommy... pick me up!" So I spend the next 10 minutes carrying H and pushing W (who shows no signs of going to sleep as planned and whimpers when he sees a few of the larger animals). I guess I should of thought to tell H about these things, but honestly, I had no idea what displays would be there. Note to self: find out what will be at the museum in case of anything remotely scary. He wasn't scared at the zoo, but he was younger then. Finally, some toy trucks made out of boxes and odds and ends by Nigerians lures H out of my arms (luckily, they, too, are behind glass). We view some cartoon-like drawings by a local artist, and H does a puzzle they have set up. However, he refuses to walk down to see the elephant at the end of the hall. Next, we find a display of local wildlife, and H gets to push buttons that make animal sounds! Hooray, he likes it, he really likes it! Later, we found some more buttons in a space display. We put some pennies in a vortex and watched them whirl. All in all, it was a good outing. W never slept whilst we were there, but we got out of the house and had some fun! Yay Supermommy!