Friday, December 10, 2010

Santa Claus

Santa Claus at our house can be summed up in one sentence: If you don't believe, you don't receive.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

being N and Em's mom

So why identify myself as someone's mother when starting a blog? If I read the header, I would identify myself as one of "those moms" whose life revolves around their children. So if you reached the same conclusion let me set you straight. Life is just the opposite; employing gravitational pull to keep all my planets (kids, husband, dogs, work, and too much extra stuff) from careening out of control makes me the sun and my children planets. However, I do not have illusions of grandeur. This simply means that I am doing most of the work to keep everything from colliding, a concept that most moms can identify with. However, even though I have lots of interests that do not involve my children, it is still a big part of who I am now. I want to write about my experiences, and my memories of being a mom. Years from now when my children are off being productive members of society without me, I can start a new blog called 'crabby old lady left by her children to die alone.' So back to the original question- why N and Em's mom? It's simple. I like calling my kids N and Em. It reminds me of small candy coated chocolate which makes me happy. I didn't plan any of this when I named the girls. It's just a happy coincidence. Speaking of coincidence, my free range children are off doing productive things without me and halloween was only two weeks ago, so I think that I will see if I can pilfer some M & Ms to go with my morning Joe.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My oldest baby N turned the big one eight yesterday. Like all moms, I wonder where the years went. I now have a certified adultlet on my hands. So when she picked me up from work, I was all ready. "Happy Birthday!" I had already said this at least 10 times, but I followed it up with a shocker, "Lets go buy some cigarettes."

She didn't even flinch. Those years of conditioning have sure paid off. "Mom, I don't smoke."

"I know, but now you're old enough to buy cigarettes, and lottery tickets. Lets make a list of all the things that you can do now that you're 18."

"I can go clubbing with M_H_"

"Don't you have to be 21 to get into clubs?"

"No, they have clubs for people 18 and older." I instantly picture creepy 25 year old guys hitting on my daughter. I am no longer happy. "I can buy an exotic pet," continues N, "and a gun in some states."

Oh Lord! What did I start. Here is a list of all the things my daughter can now legally do, and it's not pretty.

THINGS I CAN DO NOW THAT I AM 18
by N

(1) buy cigarettes
(2) buy lottery tickets
(3) go to a club
(4) buy an exotic pet
(5) buy a gun- in some states
(6) enlist in the military
(7) move out of the house- if only she was a trust fund baby
(8) sign legal documents to buy a house or a car
(9) get married
(10) star in a porn movie
(11) work as a stripper

By the time we get to 10 and 11, I am already laughing/hyperventilating. It was an interesting look at what is possible at 18. The world is hers. She just can't rent a hotel room or a car, so she might need me a little bit longer.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

post-election hangover

Disjointed thoughts on the election:

(1) The election was 3 days ago. I still flinch when I get the mail or turn on the TV.

(2) My post-election hangover is almost over, just don't use the word "boondoggle" when you talk to me.

(3) I need to have a bottle of champagne ready for election night to celebrate the end of the nastiness.

(4) Tell me what you are going to do, not how horrible your opponent is. They call it being a tattle-tale in kindergarten.

(5) If you don't want to be called a politician, then don't run for elected office.

(6) I'm going to start calling people "Washington Insider" when I want to say something mean and nasty.

(7) I vote with purpose and on purpose, but that doesn't mean that I want to share my vote with the whole world. If I tell you that I don't want to tell you how I voted, drop it or things will get ugly. My real friends know how I vote or love me anyway.

(8) No one tried to hand me crap when I went to vote. It was creepy and made me uncomfortable that I was not accosted by literature-bearing campaign supporters who are usually too close to the door according to pesky federal laws. Hey! Maybe I could bring my megatape measure, wave it around, and yell things like "I know my rights" to keep them away. Historically, a simple "No thank you" hasn't detered the herd from asking repeatedly if I want leaflets.

(9) I am grateful that I live in the USA and don't have to walk 3 days to get to a polling place. So maybe I'll stop whining about the election now.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Candy

I buy candy every year for Halloween. There is the moral questions that I must ask myself: Do I buy candy that I like? Okay, Okay! That last statement was ridiculous. What I meant to say is do I buy candy that I like a lot? There really is no candy that I don't like, but there is candy that I prefer. When the kids were little, I got whatever was on sale knowing that I could pilfer from their stash. Before you become outraged by this, let me attempt to rationalize. I would make cute little costumes- sometimes staying up until the wee hours sewing whatever fabulous idea they cooked up, and take them out trick-or-treating. Halloween is a serious time sink when your kids are little. Since we lived in a large subdivision with only two other families with children, trick-or-treaters were lavished with candy. Basically, the kids would open up their pillowcases and little old ladies would dump in the entire bowl of candy. It was really sweet, and the kids would divide their stash up into the "candy I like" and "mom's pile." My pile had anything with nuts, coconut, or mint. Coincidently, my favorite candy has nuts, coconut or mint. My pile was huge, so I was in halloween heaven.

Of course, the mom pile would quickly disappear, and then I would slowly pilfer the candy they liked until the only thing left was undesirable candy with high fructose corn syrup, food coloring and artificial flavoring. My candy eating would be interrupted by Christmas candy, cookies, etc., and I would forget all about the Halloween candy hidden in the candy jar in plain sight. It would magically go back on the radar when I opened up the candy jar at Easter. Then I told myself that I could eat their crappy stale Halloween candy because they had gobs of new fresh Easter Candy. [Sidebar: this convoluted rationalization typically takes years and years of practice.]

Now the kids are bigger, make their own costumes, take their own selves trick-or-treating with friends, and like the candy from the "mom pile." So if I want to eat Halloween candy without stealing, I have to buy candy that I like and be really stingy with all the cute little trick-or-treaters that come to the door. I have come up with an infallible way to look like a generous candy giver and still have lots of candy left at the end of the night. Now I buy my candy at the last minute [Yes, I'm the crazy lady in Walgreens digging through the piles with the other crazy people] I get several bags of real candy with nuts, coconut or mint and the decoy candy the trick-or-treaters will choose with lots of high fructose corn syrup, food coloring and artificial flavors.

I shared my Halloween Candy philosophy with my kids at 5:00pm on Halloween eve in the Halloween aisle at Walgreens, bolstering their theory that mom is crazy. The neighborhood kids think that I am a really generous fat lady, and I am beginning to suspect that I eat too much candy. We might all be right.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Going to the Zoo Zoo Zoo How about U U U

My parents were in town this weekend. They were here to see N, the oldest, in her school's fall musical 'Once Upon a Mattress' which was totally fabulous. Plans for Saturday were wide open. Since Em the youngest wanted to go to the zoo and see the baby giraffe and my parents wanted to go for a walk, it seemed like a no-brainer to combine the two. I okay'd the invite to Miss R, Em's friend and neighbor to come with us, gave my parents 2 hours to get on their shoes, and then we were off to the zoo.

One of the best kept secrets about Saint Louis is that it's a very family friendly town with a world-class zoo that is free. Yes, you read that right- FREE. Since we live in town, we could go at the drop of a hat. We just don't. We lead the same kind of busy, over-booked life that most people with kids live. The kids are teens, and a trip to the zoo just doesn't fit in with the stereotypical 'this is what good parents do with their kids on the weekends' thing anymore. So we haven't been to the zoo in years, but as soon as we hop in the car, I revert to toddler mode. Old habits die hard.

"Okay, what animal do you have to see Miss R?" I asked as we pulled out of the driveway.

She is momentarily caught off-guard by the question. Then she gives me a typical teen response, "I dunno."

I decide to explain the family's zoo protocol and embarrass Em at the same time. We moms refer to this as win-win. So I gave Miss R the benefit of my parenting prowess and bore her to tears- again win-win. So this is a brief recap of the speech:

Since the zoo is free, I used to wake N and Em up after their naps and announce that we were going to the zoo. The end of the day at the zoo is magical. All the annoying people leave, and the animals come out because it is feeding time. We would roll in about 3:00 pm and grab a free parking space just as the other parents who had gotten up early to get the free spots were leaving with their crying kids who didn't have their naps. However, when they were little, even my well-rested kids would cry when we left. "I didn't get to see the (insert some random animal in the blank)." This is the downside to visiting a world-class zoo for less than two hours- too many animals to see in too little time.

Eventually I figured out how to solve the 'my kid cries every time we leave the zoo' problem. Once I initiated the 'choose one animal that you have to see' plan, everyone was happy. We also had the 'frosting on the cake' list- animals that would be fun to see, but our day would not be ruined if we didn't get to them. On the way to the zoo, we would plan our walking route. The kids had a sense of control, and I had happy kids. Again, win-win.

After I explain all of this to Miss R, she thinks for a moment (probably taking time to reflect how weird Em's mom is) then announces that she would like to see the penguins. I smile. Of course, penguins. The penguins and the giraffes are at opposite ends of the zoo giving us the opportunity to make a list of 'frosting on the cake' animals. It's nice to know that some things never change. My parents and I got to take our walk, the girls got to see their animals, and no one cried. Win-win.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Paperwork Frustration Part II

It is rare that I get to sleep in. Today was one of those rare days. My husband, however, had different ideas. He woke me up to find HIS paperwork for HIS doctor's appointment. I wanted to kill him, but he made me coffee. We're even.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Things moms could learn from Luis Urzua

I celebrated with the rest of the world when the Chilean miners were rescued this week. I was particularly inspired by Luis Urzua, the supervisor who gave the miners the hope and confidence that they would be rescued. They rationed a 2 day supply of tuna and milk by having a "meal" together every 48 hours. This meal consisted of a teaspoon of canned tuna and 1/2 cup of milk. Each miner had a job. They gathered equipment, dug for water, built a latrine area, and mapped the mine all without fistacuffs. And that was all before they were found.

I am clearly no Luis Urzua. If I was there would be no fights over the last cookie, the remote control, or doing chores at my house. Luis, you are my hero.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Weird/Real Science

I am employed by day, and sometimes nights and weekends as a scientist. So I was intrigued by the Yahoo headline a few days ago that said "Study shows McDonald's Happy meal doesn't spoil." So here's the scoop- a woman placed a happy meal on her New York apartment kitchen counter, took a picture of it every day for 6 months, and the happy meal never molded. Furthermore, she is calling this 'art.' The story was picked up by Good Morning America. But as a scientist, mother, and all-around regular person, I have several problems with this:

(1) Science isn't real unless it is done by people in white lab coats with evil laughs and questionable intentions. I learned this from TV, not reality.

(2) All good experiments have controls- a made from scratch hamburger and fries perhaps? If the hypothesis of the experiment is to show that McDonald's adds crap to their food to keep it fresh, then you need a meal to control for the environment to show that there is nothing wonky (a very scientific word) about your kitchen.

(3) My husband's family is from Jersey City. The apartments within a 25 mile radius of Manhattan have just enough counter space to put down a happy meal. So I am supposed to believe that this happy meal sat out for 6 months on the kitchen counter. Unrealistic and Gross!

(4) The executives at McDonald's are morons; they issued a statement vehemently denying that their food does not rot.......wait a minute! Why are you commenting on this? And why do you feel the need to state that your food rots?

(5) Finally- this is obvious and stupid. However, everyone knows that stupid, obvious stuff makes the best kind of science, art and news.

Therefore, since I have no artistic talent, I will need to talk my boss who is NOT an evil scientist into writing a grant. $1,000,000 for the 'Longitudinal study of the Environmental effects of post-consumption deterioration of chemically modified Solanum tuberosum' should just about cover my expenses. I will buy happy meals every day, and maybe a cup of Joe and the occasional cherry pie. All I need is a fab new digital camera and an evil assistant who coincidently will be really hot in a bad boy kind of way. After three years of careful notetaking, I will write up my findings in a peer-reviewed journal so that the rest of the world can know what every stressed, over-scheduled mom knows. McDonald's french fry bits that are found in between or under the seats in your car will not deteriorate or rot. Millions of moms know this; it is not science, art or news.

And just on the off chance that all of this is news, watch 'Supersize Me' a documentary from 2004 about what consuming McDonald's food will do to you. At the very end, they discuss the bizarre fact that the french fries do not deteriorate.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Paperwork Frustration Part I

We are in a paperwork frenzy at our house. I shredded three garbage bags of old paperwork at the end of the summer, and now my husband has been organizing the never-ending stream of papers that are generated at his work. In the process, we have piles everywhere. This morning as my daughter was leaving for school, I realized that she was missing her permission slip for a field trip next Thursday. I asked my hubby if he had seen several pieces of colored paper folded in half.

His response was unambigous, "No, haven't seen it."

I searched the car, the house, and a large stack of papers on the coffee table. After about 20 minutes, the hubby says, "Hey, I might have put it over there in that bowl."

Hmmmm. The bowl that is supposed to be for the remote contol and the spare key? Hmmmm. Sure enough it was in the bowl, and after all of the drama, the permission slip doesn't need to be turned in until next Monday. When I left my husband, he was sitting on the back deck drinking a cup of coffee and that is the story I'm sticking with.

Friday, September 17, 2010

I'm really, really proud of my kids, and I'm being redundant part II

When I was growing up, my mom bought me the record 'Free To Be You and Me' starring Marlo Thomas. I must have listened to it hundreds of times. It's message was you can be who you want to be regardless of gender. I was a child when laws were changing- women could own property and get loans without their husband's permission, keep their jobs or stay in school if they were pregnant, or be whatever they wanted to be- doctors, lawyers, engineers, or astronauts. I was seven years old in 1972 when Title IX signed was signed into law. Schools could no longer legally treat boys and girls differently.

Most people think of sports when they think Title IX, but it also had a huge impact in the classroom. Girls could no longer be actively discouraged from taking science and math classes. I took the required home economics and shop classes with boys in junior high, and upper level math classes in high school. There were an equal number of boys and girls in my math class, and we had a terrific teacher who encouraged everyone. But despite my personal experience, I am still on guard for my girls. Math is essential for so many careers, and I want them to have as many options as possible. I was thrilled when my youngest Em tested into a high school algebra class.

She is the only girl from her school, so she walks at the end of the day with 7 other boys to the high school that is a few blocks away. The principal at the HS commented on Emily leading as the 7 boys brought up the rear. So I asked Em why she is always in front and she explained in a disgusted tone of voice that the boys were slow because they verbally spar every day over one of the greatest questions of our generation- which is better Star Wars or Star Trek? She has no time for dorky boys and their obsessions (Yay!). Moreover, she has shown no signs of having time for boys in general (Yay again!). I like the idea of her fearlessly leading the way to math class.

So she had her first test yesterday - math rules- no not "Math Rules!!!!!" but math rules, defining rules like the associative property. Anyway, she came home crowing because she was the only one in her car pool who got the bonus point. 3 of the boys in our neighborhood go to the special math class, including the twins we have carpooled with for 3 years. Their mom does most of the driving. Pinch me, I'm so lucky! Anyway, back to math rules- the directions at the top of the test said to put a star next to your name, which she did. Em- you're a star in my book. I'm glad that you're not intimidated by being the only girl from your school going to math class, and I'm glad that the ideas in 'Free To Be You and Me' are not novel for you, but just how it is. Math Rules!

PS For the record, there are 8 girls out of 24 students in Em's math class.

I am really, really proud of my kids, and I'm being redundant Part I

I am very proud of my children. They are both talented, smart young women. N, the oldest, is passionate about singing. After being forced to go to Opera Camp after her sophomore year, she fell in love with opera. Although she is naturally talented, she also works very hard, practicing at least an hour every day. She had the lead in her school musical her sophomore year, but ended up with a small part her junior year. Yes, I'm bragging, but hang in there because it is relevant to the story. So last week were try-outs for the fall musical. She's a senior, a busy senior with lots of stuff on her plate. But I knew how much this meant to her. Getting a small part would crush her. I gave her all the usual mom-isms like "Just do your best; that's all you can do!" and sent her out the door with a smile and a wave. It is so painful because I have no control over the outcome. I am powerless to protect my baby against 'life.'

"Call me!" I told N before she left for school the next morning. The cast list was scheduled to be posted at noon, and I knew that I would be on edge all day.

"Mom, you know that I'm not allowed to use my cell phone at school."

My response was totally logical, "You don't have to follow the rules today because I need to know what's going on. Just sneak into the bathroom and call me."

I just got 'the look.' If you're a mom you know 'the look'. The look says, "my life is hell because my real mommy that lives in a mansion, with a stable full of horses and a swimming pool in the back yard hasn't shown up to rescue me, so I am stuck with this pathetic excuse for a mom."

So I get a text a work from her best friend M_H_ at noon. It reads, "Hi, this is m_h_. I got the lead and N is the queen!"

I squeal, jump up and down, and text back, "AWESOME!"

When N gets home she is just beaming. She tells me all about M_H_'s part. I ask if she's happy with her part, and she says, "YES!" [sidebar: these are conversations with teenagers, so there are lots of words in caps with exclamation points.] N goes on to observe that she's had her chance to have the lead, but M_H_ has had small parts over the years and really deserves the lead. M_H_ is a talented girl and will do a great job. Natalie's part is an over-the-top character role with lots of monologue and one solo. She is thrilled. I am thrilled.

This part will give her a chance to work on her acting, and because she is not in every scene, she doesn't have to be at practice every day. But the BEST PART in my book is that N is the kind of friend who is truly happy for M_H_. I am more proud of her support for M_H_ than I am of her getting a really plum part in the school musical. It's a mom thing.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I read in the news today that Snooki, the reality star from Jersey Shore was fined for being a public nuisance. My first thought was that this was not news; I'm pretty sure the world has known she is a public nuisance for quite some time.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

It is 2 weeks post-hernia surgery, and I am beginning to return to the land of the living. Apparently, I was so drugged that I told my teenagers who were staying with their grandparents that my husband was not feeding me or the dogs. This is just one of the conversations that I don't remember. For the record, Hector vehemently denies trying to starve me, and the dogs aren't talking. And if I talked to you right after surgery, please call me again and repeat the conversation that we had; chances are pretty good that I have no memory of it. I am now regretfully off the drugs and am trying to navigate in my post-hernia world. I have been instructed not to lift anything over 10 lbs for 6 weeks. Yes, 6 WEEKS! My reality is reeling. No vacuuming, mowing, picking up laundry baskets, and the list goes on. I sounds like nirvana except for the fact that my hubby has a work-related back injury and can't lift anything. We are a matched crippled couple and our home is rapidly deteriorating.

There are so many things that I take for granted. My first trip to the grocery store was ridiculous; I was craving watermelon and had devised a plan that involved finding a sympathetic worker at the grocery store and a kind neighbor. Luckily, those cute little melons were available. They don't taste quite as good as your garden variety 15 lb melon, but anything that keeps me from being filleted open again is a good thing. After getting home, instead of scooping up 3-4 bags in each hand, I carried in the grocery bags one at a time. Then I had to take a nap.

I have just enough energy to make simple meals. The silver lining is that this is a wake-up call for me to take better care of myself. Not being able to do the simplest things for myself because of pain has really made me appreciate good health.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I am in a total panic. I just received an email from Em's school; the first case of confirmed head lice has been discovered at her school. I know that your scalp just started itching when you read "head lice." Mine does, too. I am sorry, but that is the reality when you are a mom. So far, we have never had head lice. Two years ago, Em was exposed to head lice at a slumber party. I went into hysterics, bagged everything with fabric, washed, vacuumed and scrubbed like a maniac. I then went to Em's soccer practice and sat with the Stepford moms at her new school. When I announced that I was going to save time and burn down my house, they actually recoiled in horror. The lesson learned: women dressed stylishly with perfectly coiffed hair, matched mani and pedi's, and full make-up in 90 degree weather do not appreciate arsonist humor. Oh well; their loss.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Are you kidding me?

Are you kidding me? Two stories this week about infidelity with eery similarities made the front pages.



The first on the cover of GQ was Rielle Hunter, the mistress of former presidential candidate John Edwards. Wearing an oversized man's shirt and pearls and posing provacatively, she was upset and appalled that the pictures made her look like a sexed-up tramp. She went on to explain that her affair was okay because John's marriage was just a sham, Elizabeth was a control freak, and she and John were in love.



The second was Joslyn James, a porn star and now ex-girlfriend of Tiger Woods. She just released over 100 text messages supposedly sent to her from Tiger. She is mad because she thought that he was faithful to her ie., she was the ONLY girlfriend of a married man. Apparently, she wants the world to know that she would never have been in this relationship if she had to share him with anyone else except his wife.



When my husband and I were first married, he came home from work and told me about a woman he had known casually through work for years. She had never shown any interest in him. Then he got married and sported a wedding ring. She commented on the ring, then hit on him. Yes, my husband is hot stuff, but her message was clear, "I am interested in you now because its a competition."



To Rielle and Joslyn- it's not a competition. You are the other woman. You are committing adultery. If it is "true love" and you are meant to be together, the married men in your lives can get a divorce and then and only then is it morally okay for you to live out your version of happily ever after. Divorce really is pretty simple; you find a lawyer (John is one and Tiger probably has a whole team) go to the courthouse and file papers, and a judge splits your stuff in two. You don't need your spouses permission, and they can't stop you from getting a divorce. I know because I did it. Neither one of you appears to be worth the hassle so take a seat on the clue bus.



Rielle- keep your pants on when you're being photographed and when you're hanging out with married men and maybe people won't think you're a slut.



Joslyn- the only woman who deserved an apology got one.



Finally to the spouses- Tiger you seem to be on the right track. Your apology was not the most eloquent statement that I've ever heard, but he seems to be following it up with action. On the other hand, John Edwards denied his child, persuaded another guy to take the fall, and expected his wife and everyone in America to buy his load of crap. I think the days of pretty boy crying and having us believe him are over. I'm not convinced that John Edwards understands this. Elin- you have shown incredible restraint. Elizabeth- you have my thoughts and prayers. Keep fighting!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I am still reeling from daylight savings time and having a cold, and now I have been attacked by the New York Times. Well, not me personally, but I do include myself in the mommy blogger category even if I have not advertised my blog. Apparently, blogs are over. No one who is anyone blogs anymore. Tweeting is the new blog- faster, pithier, and a hit with the kids. Call me old-fashioned because I still own a typewriter and occasionally play solitaire with a real deck of cards, but I think that I will stick with blogging- for now.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

I woke up in the middle of the night hearing someone cry out, "Mommy!" When I went downstairs, everyone was sleeping soundly. I am still unsure if they cried out in their sleep (how horribly embarrassing for a teenager to cry "Mommy!" unless they vomit or want money) or if I had a dream. So now it is the middle of the night, and I am wide awake.

Typically, I would just watch bad TV for an hour or two, but I feel the need to write something, anything to avoid watching TV because I feel that I should be watching the olympics. As a kid, the olympics took up every moment that I was not sleeping or in school. I went to bed at night dreaming of being Peggy Fleming with long flowing dark hair in a chiffon skirt gliding across the ice. I begged my mom for ice skating lessons, and she supported my dreams. THANKS MOM! Unfortunately, I have weak ankles and a fear of falling, so it was pretty obvious that I would never go to the olympics. But I still watched. After Peggy, there was Dorothy. I always wanted the haircut. Next came Debbie. I actually met Debbie Thomas at a wedding. She was so tiny that it is hard to believe she was able to jump and spin with such fierceness. For the record, I said something clever like "Hi" but not with an exclamation point because I was trying to play it cool.

But once I had children, I did not have the luxury of spending hours in front of the TV for 2 weeks watching kids in sparkly outfits skate. So I settled for the highlights. As the girls got older, they were never bitten by the olympic bug. The upside is that I never had to shell out money for ice skating lessons for my children who inherited their mother's weak ankles. Living in Missouri without a nearby ski resort also keeps my children from participating in any sport featured in the winter olympics. But then I watched curling. For those not in the know, a plate-sized disk is heaved out on the ice and teams frantically sweep the ice in front of it to keep it moving as far as possible.

Being from Minnesota, I recognize this for what it is- a game that a bunch of drunk guys made up after they dropped their last fishing line into the lake while ice fishing. Rather than go home to their crabby wives, they devised a game to kill time while they drank more beer out on the ice. I know that most women reading this will not believe that a bunch of guys would have a broom in the fishing hut, but brooms actually work pretty well when its cold and the snow is light. Curling is probably the only sport that my children would be able to do at the olympics.

Only a few moms will get up every morning at 4 am to drive their children to the ice skating rink, shell out big bucks for the coaches, ice time and costumes, and support their children's dreams with everything they have. I think I have what it takes to show that kind of dedication to the sport of curling. I am willing to buy each of them a top of the line broom, move furniture so they can sweep rapidly without interruption, always hold the dust pan when they are finished, drive occasionally to competitions, and get a haircut and a cute new Nordic-looking sweater to wear when the camera pans in on me, the cheering supportive mom. I am ready to start immediately. It's 4 am; now all I have to do is find the broom.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I just had gallbladder surgery and have 3 inch long scars on my stomach to prove it. Fortunately, my bikini wearing days ended at the same age it was not longer cute to have fat thighs- at about 4. Having the scars really didn't bother me until I saw a picture of octo-mom in a bikini with her assertion that she has not had plastic surgery. I am also the sole owner of the Brooklyn Bridge and have a certificate of sale if anyone is interested. Does anyone really care anymore about who has had plastic surgery and who hasn't? Maybe its just me, but I don't get what the big deal is. I think that it would be worse to have surgery and not have people notice. Isn't that the point? And in a moment of honesty, I will share this: if I ever am on the cover of People magazine in a bikini then I have had lots of plastic surgery. Anything else would just be cruel.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

It is already 10 days into the new year, and I have not finished my new year's resolutions. Since I have also been dying to write a year in review, I will take the lazy way out and combine the two.

(1) Don't be an ass (run away from your kids) like Jon Gosselin. Maybe I'm being a bit harsh, but moving 4 hours away from your 8 kids and into a small apartment in Manhattan will not get you the father-of-the-year award. His shoulder-shrugging, sullen demeanor from Jon and Kate Plus 8 was boring. Even Ed Hardy T-shirts, globe-trotting, and 20 something party girls can't make this guy interesting. Therefore, I resolve to embrace my boring-ness and NOT run away with a 21 year old stud muffin to New York and party like a rock star.

(2) Don't pull a stupid stunt involving your children to get your own reality TV show like balloon boy's dad. He is a bad actor and and apparently didn't know that a 6-year-old is a terrible liar and will spill the beans. He made national news, but most of us, including myself, don't even know his name. Most parents have no interest in starring in a reality TV show, so the world can watch us turn into a bigger train wreck than we already are. If my family starred in a reality TV show, the same thirty minutes of me saying "pick up your socks" to 1 husband, 2 kids and 3 dogs would get old really fast. [sidebar: the dogs don't have socks, but they get scolded under the "You touched it last" mommy/referee call.] Therefore, I resolve to graciously decline offers for my family to star in a reality TV show.

(3) Don't have 14 children when you can't take care of them like the Octo-m0m. I have become very enamored with the phrase 'hot mess.' My children use it whenever possible, and I feel cool and trendy when I can find an opportunity to say it. 'Hot Mess' is a lifetime description for the octo-mom. Check out urbandictionary.com if you don't have teenagers to translate for you. You don't even have to have children to know that this woman is certifiable. Therefore, I resolve to not be a 'hot mess.'

(4) Don't stop taking care of yourself. Michael Jackson died this year. Yes, it is senseless that a man who was so young and had so much talent would die. But what I found so surprising is everyone seemed to forgive and forget what was at the very least, an unhealthy fixation with young boys. And lets not forget dangling baby Blanket over the balcony. Personally, I think naming a child blanket should be unpardonable. Apparently, people only remember the good things when you die. I plan on using this to my advantage. I've told my children that when I die a want to be cremated and have a formal memorial service with a carefully edited eulogy and fabulous singing with all the old classics (think 'How Great Thou Art'), then when all the people who think they like me but don't really know the depths of my depravity leave, I want the kids to have a FUNeral (pronounced fun er all) with those in the know, my friend margarita, and her sidekicks chips and salsa. It will be a small intimate party. There will be a lot of laughing at my expense, but I promise not to care. Therefore, I resolve to take better care of myself for the next 8 years, so that my youngest Em, who is now 13, can legally attend the FUNeral.


That's the parenting year in review. After reading my blog entries from last year, I would also like to give you all an update regarding some of my entries. The family room floor is finished and looks fabulous. I also finished 'Twilight.' Everyone is right, the last 100 pages go by quickly. N the 17 year old summed up the appeal of 'Twilight' in one word "Hormones!" I'm still processing that comment. I'm looking forward to writing more this year. I predict that 2010 will be a a writer's gold mine, and I resolve to continue my blog. Finally, a big "Thank you" to all my friends and family for their feedback and support. Happy New Year!