Thursday, February 26, 2009

"Suffers from", and other oddities....

Tonight I’m in one of “those moods” -the kind where my subconscious warns me that I probably shouldn’t write anything for fear of what negative bile will come out of me, but I just can’t resist the impulse so I’ll try to at least keep it M. Night Sham Lon dark, not Nightmare on Elm Street.

Thus I give you a few of the things that I really hate…….

*Middle-aged men and any man over twenty-five with a pot belly who thinks they are reliving the glory days of high school athleticism by playing church basketball. Don’t fight with the refs- it just makes you look extremely stupid and desperate. And please, please, please don’t try to mimic ANY move you’ve seen a pro execute in the last Jazz game. Give it up. You’re old. It’s okay. When you’re resurrected I’m sure you’ll get a second chance at that athletic prowess you thought you had and your mom said you had at 16.

*Webcams. Why would anyone want to communicate over the internet face to face? Isn’t the best thing about IM and email that you have the freedom to say what you want without the strictures of face to face social etiquette? If I want to tell someone (not that I really would, well, maybe to one or two people but they REALLY suck) to go to &*##, I’d do it in an email because I know from past experience that I weaken substantially when I have to look the person I’m ticked at right in the eye and say so. Plus, now that my husband installed the stupid things on our laptops he can “check-in” on me and see that I really don’t get dressed until eleven in the morning everyday.

*Any “chick-clique” made up of women over twenty. If men try to relive high school through weekly b-ball games, women do it through cliques. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t a big fan of girls in high school because of the whole clique thing, and now that I’m older my tolerance for them has gotten even smaller. My best friends outside of my sisters and cousins were always guys, because they didn’t back-stab, hold grudges for a century, or spread malicious gossip about you. I truly believe that women are their own worst enemies. We’ll never be successful in being equal in the workplace or society until we quit trying to tear another down all the time.

*Mice. Just the sight of one on TV almost puts me in a panic attack. They are the nastiest, foulest rodents on the face of the earth. Because of their unfortunate resemblance, Guinea pigs and hamsters are guilty by association.

*Chinese food. Smelling the foul take-out from the dirtiest restaurant in SLC during my second pregnancy just about killed me (I‘m totally serious- a week later they were shut down by the health department.). I can’t even THINK of going into a Chinese restaurant now without subconsciously engaging my gagging reflex. This ban on all Asian cuisine has caused some friction in my marriage, but being the bigger and, might I say, better person that he is, my hubby has acquiesced and no longer even suggests it on date night. But when the King and the kids have the choice to go out sans mom, there’s a 99.999999% chance they are hitting Panda Express. Fox loves their orange chicken, and he’s pickier than I am.

*Leggings under dresses. Why not just throw on a pair of jeans, swoop your bangs and find yourself a sister-wife ladies?

* The phrase “suffers from”, as in “she suffers from migraines” or “he suffers from IBS”. In saying this, no disrespect is intended toward the maladies, as I know they are real and terrible, but that phrase just drives me to insanity. I have a real issue with the copious amounts of whiney verbiage that have been assimilated into our language as Americans. There seems to be an inordinate amount of ways to say “I’m so picked on” or “I’m insecure/unsuccessful/socially retarded because as a child .….” or the best, “my parents didn’t show/give/understand me…”. What was lost when this new vocabulary took root? The language of accountability


Whew, I feel better now that I've expelled all that verbal vomit. I'm all done being a hose-beast now. I promise the next post will be nothing but happiness and joy and sickeningly sweet nonsense.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I am so sick of getting sick!

They should start spraying down the kids after school with antiseptic in those giant plastic showers, like they do on Eleventh Hour when there's been a chemical spill or outbreak of some deadly, infectious disease. Seriously, do these kids spend all day touching each other after licking their hands over and over? Why are Elementary schoolds the breeding grounds for every virus in the world?

If it was just my own kids nastiness brought home it would be bad enough, but I also get everything that every one of my students brings with them to lessons. I love each and every one of them, but when they come to lessons coughing I just know I'll get it a few days later. No amount of lysol can kill every microorganism floating in the air of my studio during flu season. You'd think I'd be immune to every single bacteria out there by now, but without fail I catch a wide variety of flus and viruses every year.

This morning I woke up feeling like I had gone to war with demons in my sleep, and so I spent the entire morning laying on my bed with the man child while we watched every single PBS show in existence. The silver lining (a very, very small lining that is) is that I watched Sid the Science Kid for the first time in weeks, and it was actually one I hadn't seen yet on small machines, aka. wheels, so the Man Child totally ate it up. (side note- Just how dumb have I gotten in the 9 years since I graduated from college that I learn just as much from the science programs on PBS as my 2 year old?? Fortunately, I'm still ahead of Reading Rainbow, Word World and Between the Lions. Thank you Jane Austen for your intoxicating words that keep me literate!) He sat still through the entire 25 or so minutes it was on! Miracle! My hatred for the insipid May character came back as strongly as ever, as everthing she said sounded like it came from the mouth of a 40 year old woman knocking back a few dozen valium and washing it down with a few wine chasers.

But now I'm up, forcing myself to shower and feed the MC. Fortunately he's only asked to "go for walk" 4 or 5 times, and I was able to deflect it every time with "are you hungry?". No wonder the kid weighs 40 pounds. (note to self- stop using food as a bribe for the youngest child. As the other two are still within normal weight parameters, bribes with candy are still a-okay) I'm also going to make myself finish the laundry, because there's nothing worse than having to look at piles and piles of dirty clothes after purposely procrastinating the chore, and then get ready for this afternoon's round of lessons followed by Young Womens.

I really just want to go back to bed.

Monday, February 23, 2009

From the Mouth of Three Witnesses

After finding this story from the AP, I only need one more to verify the "truthfulness" of medicinal and/or spiritual origins of the great carmel colored Holy Water. I know this story is about the fully loaded brand- which incidentally hasn't passed my lips since I was 12 years old and realized just how many calories I was consuming daily in beverages- but the message is the same.

" A man in Croatia claims to be in perfect health after drinking only Coca-Cola for more than 40 years.

The man's religious mother made him promise not to drink alcohol in 1968. To him, Coca-Cola was the only flavor that rivaled wine and soon he was drinking it exclusively.

"Now I have a glass in the morning, before and after lunch, with my dinner and then before I go to bed. My mother isn't here to tell me not to drink anymore but I'm not even tempted to quit coke for alcohol... I'll drink it til I die," he said
".

Well said, my fine Coatian friend. If only there were some way to let him know that it doesn't have to end after he dies....

Thursday, February 19, 2009

"Why can't you just stay still for 2 minutes??????"

That's what I just begged/pleaded with The Man Child after a 10 minute cyclonic succession of emptying 4 kitchen drawers, dousing himself with water from the refrigerator door, dumping out the broken glass from would a vase he broke last night that I had stupidly left in an empty cup on the counter (yes, my bad, but freaking days why does he have to touch everything???), then finding the only door open in the entire house, the laundry room, and proceeded to dump out the entire content of a bottle of laundry detergent on the floor.

What amazes me is that he acts genuinely surprised when I get mad, and looks up at me with a face of madonna like innocence that says, "oh, did I do something wrong?". My dad would tell me that it is both age and developmentally appropriate, hence why we've all nicknamed him Dr. Phil and Barney and why I don't vent to him about the MC any more. As if knowing that what he's not the devil's spawn but just a normal, naughty two year old makes it any better. Here's the thing, until this last year I had no concept of what the terrible twos really are. The Fox and the Drama Queen blissfully glided through them with a few manageable tantrums but no real destructive or dangerous impulses ( I REALLY owe them a big time for that). I felt sorry for my friends and family members when they shared their horror stories, but I had no point of reference to be able to even begin to empathise with them.

Now I have my own personal 40 pound weapon of mass destruction. In the past 2 days alone the MC casualties of war are as follows:

-Broke a vase (already stated, but doesn't hurt to condemn him twice, right?)
-Threw a truck down the 2nd floor stairs and made a giant hole in the wall
-Rubbed his hands in the drying spackle that filled the hole that he made in the wall, so that it had to be reappplied
-Drew on the refrigerator door and shoe box with colored pencil (how is that even possible? He's been banned from crayons and markers but I though pencils would be safe. I guess he's coloring with water from now on)
-Broke my laptop (I'm not 100% sure that he did this one, but since I found him standing on the counter poking it, and the next day it was dead, I blame him. But the King got me this brand spanking new one, so I should really be thanking him but I'm not ready for that yet.)
-Dumped sticky blue laundry detergent all over the laundry room floor (again, a repeat)
-Dumped a bowl of milk all over the kitchen floor, well, dumped everything he has eaten or drank on the kitchen floor.

As I sit here typing and ignoring him, the MC asked asked to call his father 4 times. The first time, The King answered and the MC spent the next five minutes trying to convince him to convince me to "go for a walk" (for those of you who don't know, that means he wants to go for a ride). All I could hear The King say back is "ask your mom". Wow, I wish I could deflect and ignore him that easily. The phone went silent after that. MC got the voice mail three times, and he's smart enough to know that's not REALLY dad. He's now called again, and The King answered (ha ha) and MC is crying "GO FOR A WALK. DA DA. DA DA". I know I should feel bad for hitting redial over and over, but I can't help but giggle at the exchange between them. He should have to share my pain, don't you think?

Looking at his snot smeared, tear stained face, I almost feel bad for the kid. He really thought his dad would save him. But it's better this way. King and I have to be a team with this one- no "good cop bad cop" routine that worked with the other two. The only way we'll persevere is to stick together. It's okay to lose a few battles if we ultimately win the war.

"Man Child, put down that pen right now!"

Score: Mom/Dad:1 Man Child: 5000

From the mouth of babes....

My mom has been checking her email hourly for the last week in hope of an email from my little brother in the MTC. Before the last seven days, she has not checked it regularly in months which is really a tragedy as she has a super cool friend named Lyn who sends her the funniest and most inappropriate stories ever! I love digging through my mom's emails to find gems, but the best has to be the one she found this morning after finally reading the hundreds of emails she accrued during her technology hiatus. It's a post from a friend of a friend's blog, as I swear it should be submitted to the Church as scripture, or at least a footnote to the Word of Wisdom:



"So, Tanner continues to crack me up on just about a daily basis! Korby and Shayden were both out of town this past weekend, so it was just me, Tanner and Jackson hanging out. Well, one thing that I did to help get me through the weekend was buy some diet Coke (which I honestly don't drink very often). So, on Sunday as the boys were eating lunch before going to church I poured a large glass of it (to get me through the next three hours)! Jackson started asking for some and I had to explain to him that it was a drink for grown ups and not for kids. This is how the rest of the conversation went:

Tanner: Well, I've tried diet Coke before mom.

Me: That's okay Tanner. Kids just shouldn't drink it very much.

T: Well..... actually...... when I was up in heaven that is what Heavenly Father and Jesus like to drink.

Me: Oh really?!

T: Yea, that is their favorite drink. When it is snack time in heaven that is what Heavenly Father and Jesus drink and that's what they give the kids to drink too. "


I KNEW the Church was true!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Taking a Cue from Shakespeare.

As our Valentines Day celebration was consumed by church basketball and tile destruction, I thought I'd try to make up for the lackluster holiday by proclaiming my love for my honey in a very public (albeit extremely personal)way.

I give you the top 10 things I love about The King:

#1: I love the way you always say yes to me when I ask you for something, and not in a way that screams "I have to say yes because I'm scared of you", but because you genuinely want to make me happy all the time. I'm sorry that I ask so much from you, but my favorite times with you are when we are immersed in one of our projects.

#2: I love that you are unfailingly generous and compassionate. I remember the countless times you have given charity or service to others. You act when no one is looking, and never draw attention to yourself or look for praise. People have no idea just how much good you do.

#3: I love that we only find "our" shows funny when we watch them together. I love that we have mostly the same sense of humor (except I will NEVER find Adam Sandler or really any SNL alumni funny. Except for Tina Fey) When you are out of town I have absolutely nothing to watch but GH and Entertainment Tonight. Oh, and the death shows that you won't watch with me because they give you nightmares.

#4: I love that you are infinitely more intelligent and wise than I am. I love that you are successful at everything you do. I love to watch you work, but I hate the stress that you are constantly under because you expect perfection from yourself. Thank you for being such a great provider for our family.

#5: I love that you are sentimental and vulnerable. I love it that you can cry. Men who don't cry aren't tough- they're emotionally disabled.

#6: I love that you've taught me that it's okay to say "I'm sorry", even when I don't think I'm at fault. You say it so easily. You are so forgiving, it's almost maddening. I love it that you've never once blamed me for coming from a genetic cesspool and that our son will be blind. I didn't say it very often in our first few years together, and though I've grown up a lot since then I still need to say it more, but know that I am sorry when I hurt or disappoint you.

#7: I love that we can't stay mad at each other for more than a few hours. It's hard to stay mad at the person who vacillates between making me laugh so hard I cry and making me feel so bad for hurting such a sweet, guileless soul. Thank you for teaching me that the silent treatment is not the way to "make things better".

#8 I love the way that we talk about EVERYTHING- from the daily minutia and work to politics to religion. I love that you pretend to listen to me when I need to vent about my day, and that you talk to me about your work and ask my opinion even though we both know that I have no idea what you are talking about.

#9 I love the way you respect me as a woman and your equal in everything. I love that I know you will never make a decision for our family without consulting me first. I love that it was just as important to you that I get my degree as it was for me, and that you sacrificed to make that happen. I still miss those days living in the U student housing, sitting side by side doing homework while our first born raised herself.

#10 I love that you Get me. You accept all my weirdness and love me in spite of and sometimes because of it. I love that of all the billions of people that walk the earth, you and I recognized each other as two parts of the same soul. When you are gone it's like half of me is missing. I love that after 14 years together, very little about you surprises me. I love that you always say "You don't know me" when in fact I've just proven I just how completely I DO know you. You are my very best friend.

and as a bonus, #11: I love that you've given me three wonderful, creative and lovable children who look exactly like you. I know that I complain about how aggressive your DNA is, but the truth is I wouldn't have them look any different. They are beautiful inside and out, just like you.

Heart you forever.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Flashback Friday.....the inagural blog

A few weeks ago my sister in law suggested that I begin a new blog tradition of “Friday flashback”. I’d forgotten about it until about 10 minutes ago, so even though it’s really Sunday, let’s just pretend I wrote this on Friday- I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t start a new tradition by screwing it up!!!

The first day of Kindergarten:
By some weird fluke of chance and/or school policy, I was able to start Kindergarten as a 4 year old. Well, I guess I should qualify that. Chronologically I was 4 years old but socially and in maturity I was probably about 2 and a half. I had some pretty severe separation anxiety, which had made church and preschool the joys of my parents’ existence. How they thought Kindergarten would be any different I have no idea. They tried to psyche me up with all the “big girl school” references, but I still wanted no part of it. Emotionally I may have been immature, but mentally I was no dummy. School equaled the loss of freedom, and this was a 13 year sentence in prison I wanted no part of. Once it started, it was never going to end.

The one part of school that I was minutely excited for was the bus. I had seen my sister and cousin leave on it every day and since it always brought them home to me what seemed just a little while later (I had absolutely no concept of time), I figured it couldn’t be all that bad. On the first day as we waited at the end of the driveway for the bus, my grandma walked over from her house to give my mom moral support (plus, I think they anticipated that physical force was going to be necessary- I was a big girl even then). Soon we saw the big yellow bus coming up the road. My mom jumped in with the “It will be okay, it’s just a few hours, be a big girl” speech that she had been giving me for months, but I ignored her and hoped that my silent treatment would make her feel so guilty that she'd see the error of her ways and take me back inside. It didn't work. Before I knew it the bus had pulled up and opened its door.

Resigning myself to the fact that I'd lost the battle, I walked up the bus all by myself (remember, this was the part I hadn’t actually talked myself out of, plus the grand, stoic, martyred climb up the stairs appealed to my dramatic side), and the minute I sat down on those hard utility brown benches I knew that something was wrong. Well, something was wrong besides the fact that my mother didn’t want me home with her anymore and she was giving me away to strangers. The guy driving the bus was different than the man who had picked up my sister and cousin for the last two years. And they were driving in the wrong direction! I may have hated the “big girl” school, but I had been there enough times to know that the school they pulled up in front of a few minutes later was not the same as the one I had dreaded attending all summer. All the other kids on the bus fought and climbed over each other to get in the aisles, but I stayed put, frozen to my seat. The bus driver and bus aides both asked me why I wasn’t getting off, but I didn’t say a word. My silent treatment had changed from being anger induced to fear. I was literally frozen with terror.

You see, in my immature and anxiety riddled mind, the bus ride to this hulking, unknown school had just confirmed every fear I had about being sent off to school. My mom was trying to get rid of me. She liked my little brother better, the blond angel who was always cute and funny, and never got spanked for anything. Of course she wanted to be alone with him all day! And then there was my older sister. She was quieter and less obvious in the family dynamics, but that only made her adored by everyone she met. She was never sent to some obscure school from whence she would not return. I figured that they were going to keep me here because I was the naughty child- the one who made big messes and broke things, who convinced her siblings to do things that they would never think of on their own and would get them in trouble, and the one everyone said was so “precocious” (I still hate that word- it’s just a nicer way of saying “brat”). It was all clear now, this whole school ruse. Those $#@^#!*@ were getting rid of me!

I figured if I sat there long enough, they’d be forced to bring in the big guns (aka some random school person- remember I was 4 and had no concept of leadership tiers), and they would call the police who would take me home and make my parents feel extremely guilty for trying to get rid of me. Unfortunately, I was completely wrong. The big guns did come, in the form of the principal and the Kindergarten teachers, but instead of comforting me and sending out an Amber alert (I know they weren’t invented yet, but it’s the only allusion I can come up with to illustrate how I was feeling), they just discussed which class they should send me to and which of the as yet unidentified students on the roll I could be. If I had been a little smarter and a lot less stubborn, I would have opened my mouth to tell them my name and all my vital stats and cleared up the situation easily, and yet I sat. Completely mute. While they wondered if I was Jessica or Allison.

Just as they had decided to take me into one of the Kindergarten classes until they “straightened” everything out (seriously, how did these people run an entire school???), my mom and my grandma pulled into the parking lot where the bus had stopped. I was so happy to see them. I forgot every bad thing I had thought about my family as together they explained that my “real” bus had arrived just a few minutes after they had sent me on the now-obviouly wrong bus, so they had driven around to all the local Elementary schools until they found me. I felt somewhat vindicated as I noticed that my mom had actually been crying. She had felt so bad about sending me on the wrong bus that she was almost frantic- that’s why grandma had to drive.

As we got in the car to return home, I remember thinking that this disastrous first day of school wasn’t so bad after all. There was no way my mom would even think of sending me to Kindergarten again after the trauma I had been through. I mean, how do you overcome those emotional scars, right? But then grandma pulled up to the curb of the REAL school. No way- I could not believe them. Did they hate me, or just unwittingly enjoy causing me pain? They were actually making me go through with this school crap! Hadn’t that morning’s events taught them anything? School just wasn’t meant to be. And yet here they were, forcing me out of the car. And to make my degradation even more acute, there was my entire class waiting outside for me. You see, the “other” school had called this school and told them what had happened, so my “real” teacher decided it would be nice for the entire class to wait outside for me to arrive.

Brilliant.

Because being late and mortified in front of your entire class is a great way to start your school career. Oh, and I also chose that moment to throw the fit of a life time. The crying, wailing, kicking, hitting and flailing kind of fit.

Needless to say, my mom spent most of the first day of Kindergarten in the class with me, trying to get me to settle down. From that day forward, I cried every day at school. Every. Single. Day. Not on the bus- strangely, although it was the cause of my first day’s trauma, I resumed my strange acceptance of the mode of transportation that delivered me to my personal hell. But the minute I stepped foot onto the school ground it was water works time.

I have to give my mom credit- despite the fights and the drama, she dutifully sent me to school every day. I can’t imagine how relieved she must have been when I started first grade and some how made peace with the whole “school” thing.

But 28 years later I still take a tiny bit of comfort in knowing that this is the one and only memory that I will be able to hold against her for the rest of her life. What a perfect guilt trip- "you sent me on the wrong bus on the first day of school!" She’s lucky I’m the totally well balanced and issue-free person I am today :)

Mom- I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I hate the Simpsons, but...

Quote of the day:


" Grandpa smells like a regular old man, which is more like a hallway in a hospital"

Waxing poetic....

Dedicated to my son, the Man Child


In a wee little cottage on Dallas,
Lived a worn out mother without malice.
She cried and she pled-
"Son, please go to bed!"
He screamed nightly with rage,
Till it hit her (ta da)- A Cage!
Now he sleeps in a Guatanamo style palace.

Five minutes later...

So those fries that I got him to bribe him into finally going home?? Well, he's now sitting on my bed watching Sesame Street and throwing them at me.

That's what I get for bringing him back to the den of boredom and minutia.

Freedom !!!!!!!!

The man child has turned into an 80 year old woman.

This morning I had to run to the bank, after checking in the kids to school an hour and a half late (no one's alarm went off this morning, so I deemed it a sleep in as late as we want morning). On our way back to the house, the MC actually started screaming "no, no, no. Car. Go walk". I was so impressed that he had managed to form a simple sentence! It doesn't even matter that what he said made absolutely no sense. I'm actually starting to believe that one day he'll be able to speak as well as the average 18 month old.

Through my amazing ovary-endowed powers of deduction, I was able to interpret his request as "I would like to continue riding in the car, if that pleases you mother dearest. Oh, and by the way you are my inspiration." (okay, that might be the stretching it a little). It made me a little sad that my 2 year old is so sick of the house that a ride to ANYWHERE was better than going home, but I quickly dismissed the feelings and took the situation for what it was, an opportunity to "block stalk" my favorite houses. I LOVE architecture and design; if they had groupies I'd be the first one wearing a shirt that says "I Heart Queer Eye for the Straight Guy". My two favorite homes to stalk are in Draper and Bountiful, so I had to settle for the best available in Syracuse. I won't describe the houses here for fear that the owners might find out and start paying attention when a certain silver suv drives past over, and over, and over, but please know that I am totally harmless and almost sane. Well, mostly sane. Depends on the day.

After hitting my favorite neighborhoods for a good 30 minutes, I turned back towards home. We were not even 10 feet into our neighborhood when the MC started screaming again "no no walk, car walk". Are you serious kid???? He's not the kind of toddler who is lulled to sleep in the car; in fact, during his first 3 months of existence he screamed like someone was denying him his 3rd breakfast every time he was placed in the car seat. We have to pack the entire contents of his toy box every time we leave, just to keep him entertained while we drive the 3 minutes to the grocery store. But today he wants to go on a RIDE, and not just any ride, an LONG RIDE- hence my reference to the 80 year old woman. He and my grandma should get along beautifully. Shockingly- he was PERFECT. THE WHOLE TIME!!!!!

Of course, I eventually had to get home, so I bribed him with fries (works every time). I feel like today I stole away the ring of power from Gollum. Like I have this great secret tool that makes him do my bidding- I just have to make him really, really bored then he'll go where ever I want. Maybe I'll try taking him to the grocery store again. I haven't been able to do that in ages.

Oh wait, no. If he's behaving I'm going to Tai Pan.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Writer's block

When writing isn’t fun……………don’t force it.


I’ve been thinking over the last few days that I need to update my blog, not from a desire to write great epilogues of life to inspire one and all, my phantom readers, but because, shamefully, this is the only record that I have regularly made. What makes it even more pathetic is that I’ve only been “blogging” for a month and I’ve written more about my life during that time than the previous 15 years put together.

Do I really care to leave a record of my existence on this earth when I leave it? A better question might be if anyone will want to know about me after I die.

A part of me wants to only record the happy, brady-bunch moments of my family life, so that if my children ever read it they’ll think they were raised in the epitome of childhood bliss. This of course only works on the assumption that they have very short memories and that at 20 they’ll either have repressed all the bad parenting moments or are extremely na├»ve. Both would work, but I think all three of my progeny are smarter than that.

I’ve never been big on, well, to put it somewhat crassly, blowing smoke up someone’s butt. Life is, well, real. (Brilliant hugh? I should copyright that. Or at least embroider it on something. Wait , I forgot, I don’t know how to embroider). Crap happens. Then great things happen to balance all the bad stuff out. Then when you’re just starting to feel comfortable, crap happens again. This week was a doosie. I could go on for 4 or 5 paragraphs about all the things that made me want to quit my life this week. But every time I’ve tried to sit down and put them into words, I just haven’t found the energy or desire to do so. So I’ll just store them away in the corner of my mind that ignores the bad things until they build up and I feel that nagging ulcer return. If my kids take that trait from me, maybe there really IS hope that they’ll grow up believing they grew up in Leave-it-to-Beaver land, or maybe the Osmond family.

Just please don’t let them compare us to the Simpsons.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sticks and stones......

I really hate cliches, but tonight I feel the need to drop a good one, that one that says "no good deed goes unpunished". It's my husband's favorite; he says it every time he goes in to turn off the boys' light and tuck them in. Without fail, the minute he leaves the room the man child wakes up and demands to go watch "T" (tv). Doesn't he get that it's midnight?

Tonight though, this hammered saying is all mine. I just got home from Young Womens and headed straight for the high fat foods. That's a really bad sign. I am a big time comfort eater. And stress eater. And happy eater....

Six months into it I'm still not sure why Heavenly Father would call the most inept and unqualified woman in the entire ward as Young Womens president. Fortunately He inspired me to call extremely wonderful and capable women as counselors and advisers who more than make up for all my deficiencies. We've plugged along pretty well so far, with no real casualties to account for.

But tonight I hit my low point- it's the first time a girl has actually made me cry.

I absolutely LOVE the girls in our ward. The are amazing, unique, beautiful and inspiring. But I REALLY, REALLY love my Laurels. Sunday lessons are spiritual because of, not in spite of, them. They are fantastic missionaries. The younger girls want to be just like them. I could not ask for a better group of girls. Our oldest Laurel, however, has reached that age where she is "done" with Young Womens (by her own admission, I might add). She rarely comes to church, and to activities even less than that. I understand the way she feels to a point- I think we all went through that weird transition between feeling too old for YW but not comfortable with joining the old ladies in Relief Society. However, I see her so rarely that I haven't really had an opportunity to get to know her and try to make her feel more comfortable with us.

Tonight we had barely 10 girls in attendance when the activity started, but as the window for mormon-standard-time came to a close, more and more showed up. It's kind of a standing rule with the girls that whenever someone arrives we all shout out her name and clap/cheer (think "Norm!" in Cheers). At one point tonight, there were so many girls coming in one right after the other that it took me a minute to register that I'd just heard the infamous anti-Laurel's name called out. She was really there, for the first time in months! I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I was to see her. I jumped up and walked over to give her a one-armed hug. I had just gotten "I am so glad you're here.." out of my mouth when she glared at me and said "Please do not touch me".

Ouch.

What's my response to that? I couldn't get out of there fast enough- I really didn't want to burst into tears in front of all the girls and leaders- so I made the excuse that I had to go make copies in the Library. Once locked in the library, I couldn't stop shaking. I was mortified. This girl had just COMPLETELY rejected me. However socially retarded I might be with adults, I have NEVER, EVER had a problem relating to or befriending teenagers. She completely crushed me.

Thankfully, I was able to compose myself enough that I didn't break down as I feared I would (because everyone within 10 miles can tell when I've been crying, and I didn't want her to see the evidence that she'd hurt me. I reserved the crying for later and in the presence of my darling and sympathetic hubby), and I returned to the activity as if nothing happened.

But something did happen. I'm supposed to love these girls, ALL of them, as Heavenly Father does. I'm not supposed to judge them. I'm supposed to turn the other cheek. But right now, I really don't like this girl. The natural man in me is screaming to hold on to this grudge for a good long time, to relish every bit of anger, to criticize her for petty things, to reflect the scorn she has shown so willingly right back to her.

I know I can't. I know I won't. I really, really want to, but the fear of Heavenly Father's disapproval and disappointment is much more powerful than any pleasure I may get from making her feel just as bad and as insignificant as she made me feel. Right now the mature part of my brain is telling me to show her an outpouring of love, but the more vocal rejected and wounded part wants to crawl in a hole and hide.

At least she didn't see me cry. Maybe tomorrow the mature brain will be able to take back over. For tonight, I just want wallow.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Warning, this post has been rated pg-13

Every time we drive past a certain veterinary clinic on 2000 West in Clinton, unfailingly the drama queen or Fox asks "Is it testicle festival time yet?"

No, they aren't referencing a special male fertility holiday that only we celebrate. They are asking if it's time for the vet's bi-annual neutering sale, which they advertise on their marquee as "testicle festival 200_". It is without a doubt THE most creative advertising I have ever seen. We don't even have a dog, but every time I see that sign I want to go pick one up just so that I can pay some monstrous fee to have its manhood taken away. I really need to find a good reason (one that doesn't involve animal mutilation) to go inside that office. I bet the coolest people work there.

The kids have even made up a a festival jingle. It's simple but catchy. Test-i-cal fest-i-val, it's time for test-i-cal fest-i-val. I wanna go to the test-i-cal fest-i-val....repeat over, and over, and over. Makes us laugh every time. Fortunately, I don't think they really know what they are singing about.

I can't wait to see what the vet comes up with for spaying season.
Just a quick update....

Tonight we reached the halfway point in the construction of the “western Taj Mahal”, a.k.a the installation of thousands of feet of chair rail and crown throughout the 2nd and 3rd floors of our home. (Yes, I know it's ridiculous for a multitude of reasons, the first and foremost that the house is NEW!!). How did I know this epic moment had finally occurred? Not by any quantifiable or measurable means. It was obvious because The King started questioning and re-evaluating everything we had done so far, and determined that it all looks terrible, that he has no carpentry skills remaining from years of tutelage at his father's side, and that no matter how much puttying and caulking I do, it will never look good (caulking seems like a naughty word, doesn't it? I feel a little dirty every time I use it). I should have known we were in trouble the minute he started calling himself “dummy” and carrying on unintelligible conversations with imaginary friends while trying to simultaneously hold up 14' lengths of crown with hid forearm and not shoot himself in the hand with his nail gun, all the while holding on to dear life to a 20' ladder with his size 10 feet.
You see, this happens midway through every project my husband and I do together. I come up with grandiose plans, and he says yes to them because he either fears outright insubordination or wants to score big time bonus points with me (like, “honey I want an I-phone” bonus points). He's usually pretty much on board by the time we get through the planning stage- I haven't once had to beat him into submission- and he even starts to get excited and “see the vision”. The King and I are perfectly suited for each other, first because we are both the only people on earth who can put up with the other on a daily basis and still somewhat like each other, and we both HATE starting something and not finishing it. We become single minded in our goal, and it's all we eat drink or sleep for days on end until it's done. Somewhere in there we remember that we have kids and that tends to bring a little balance back to our lives. That being said, without fail halfway through the job a big dose of reality with accompanying burn out always descends on The King and it's a steep decline into downer-ville. Over the years I've mastered the pep talks that I use during these times- I think I could possibly have a career as a motivational speaker or corporate training manager (and I thought I'd never amount to anything important)- but they only go so far to persuade him to get over it. That being said, he never fails to dig way down inside and pulls out of it. Mostly, I think his desire to get me off his back wins over all other feelings (yay for being annoying!) and he jumps (well, more like forces) himself back in the saddle.
So tonight I began the first round of practiced pep talks with a mixed reception. I did talk him out of his disastrous idea to paint the 12” of crown (made up of 6 individual pieces- holy crap, he's an artist!- so I'll have to cut him a little slack) a different color from the base/case/chair rail. Score big for me! Silly boy, what was he thinking??? I think I'll have to rev up the annoying factor over the next day or so, because I REALLY want my house back in it's pristine but regimentally maintained and O.C.D fed order. See, I have my demons too!

Oops, that was supposed to be quick.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

When the kids are away..............

I really think that you can define a person's personality by the kind of movies they watch when they are all alone. For instance, I have had the VERY rare occasion to be at home by myself for the last four glorious hours. I cannot even remember the last time I didn't have at least one person clamoring for my attention. I should probably feel really guilty right now, because the Fox complained of a stomach ache all throughout church, but there was no way I was giving up my "me" time so I told him that he was probably just hungry from Fast Sunday and it would go away at Grandma Cella's house. I haven't had any calls telling me he's vomited exorcist style all over the floor so I figure all's well.

Planning this afternoon has been foremost in my mind ever since The King told me a few weeks ago that his parents were holding their annual super bowl fiesta. Now, I really love me some U of U football, but since there's no equivalent rivalry to that of BYU vs. Utah fans in the NFL football, it's really not worth my time to even care. The Holy war is just that, holy, and it cannot be compared to the trivial secular rivalries of colts vs. bears, or patriots vs....someone else, I really don't know many teams. Those are football teams, right?? So when he said he'd take the kids and I could stay home and have some time to myself, I vacillated between outright weeping and breaking into a happy dance to shame all other happy dances (I picked the weeping, and since I've previously admitted to my bladder control issues it should be pretty obvious why I went with THAT choice).

On Friday night I made a double batch of my knock-off Zupas Wisconsin cauliflower soup (yes mom, Amanda, Rebekah....and anyone else who is dying of shock right now, I cooked) so that I could have it for Freedom Bowl 2009 (it's the holiday I created for this special day, and all "super bowls" hereafter will be renamed as such). I stocked up on hot tamales, junior mints, and my very favorite 94% fat free popcorn. Funny thing, I HATE buttered popcorn. It smells like the greasy Taco Time I worked at in high school, and now that it's shut down I can freely admit without repercussions that the fryer grease was changed about as often as the bathrooms were cleaned. Of course, I also bought three 2-liters of holy water (aka. diet coke)which I fully intend to consume by the end of the night.

Yesterday, I swiped movies from my parent's house before we left for the evening, which brings me back to my opening statement. Knowing myself, the easiest choice for 5 hours of viewing pleasure would be every Jane Austen adaptation every created (which I could if I wanted, I do have them all). The thing is, I could do that on any day when I'm stuck in bed sick or on a rainy day. I've also held many a Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings (all the extended versions, 12 freaking hours later!) marathons, but those relate to my children who I am trying really hard to forget right now. Today is special, thus it deserves a special line up. So after much deliuberation (fanfare, pause fanfare),I started with "The Devil Wears Prada". Not the greatest movie, but since I've never seen it all the way through due to CONSTANT interruption from little people or annoying big people (yes, that means you Haime)I thought I'd give it a try. Turns out, it's not much better when you watch it all the way through. Meryl Streep is truly a magician though, because I LOVED her in Mama Mia and it's hard to believe the two characters are ultimately the same person. Also, the guy who plays Andy's boyfriend needs to pluck that mono brow. And shave. And bathe. I bet he smells all the time.

Next, I watched the 3rd movie in the X-Men series ( it really wasn't worth getting up to find the title), another movie I wasn't able to see all the way through at the theater. Okay, I feel like sometimes I am too negative as a person so I'll start with the good things, wait I mean thing- about this movie. Hugh Jackman. Purrrrrrrrrr. Oh my %$##, how does he get that buff? Seriously, his chest almost looks fake it's so perfect. Also, I finally noticed that little Juno is a newbie X-Men, sporting her pouty little pucker and sloucher "Life is Pain, so I don't want to be cute" attitude. It's really great that she went on to find role that didn't require her to stretch much as an actor. Now for the bad, or the other 60% of the movie when Hugh Jackman wasn't on screen. Yeah, everything else about it pretty much sucked. Despite this, I think I WILL look forward to the Wolverine movie, just for the eye candy. Frankly, they probably don't even need to have a plot or dialogue, just him, walking around, shirt off....................................................................oops, I think I just dozed off a little.

I was going to watch the Gidget series next, but I took one look at the cover and got really angry at just how badly the producers of these movies screwed up the series. Sandra Dee IS Gidget (okay, I'll give you that Sally Field was passable in the tv series), but that red haired THING that T.P.T.B. replaced her with in the Hawaii movie is so annoying I want to punch her in the ovaries for giving all women a bad name. (She was also in Disney's Summer Magic and about ruined that movie too) The only thing possibly worse than her is the other winner they cast in the Rome movie. At least there weren't many painfully fake surfing montages in it. Therefore, I chose instead to watch the Tammy series (you know, Tammy and the Bachelor, Tammy Tell Me True, Tammy and the Doctor,) mostly as a sign of support for their success in replacing the title character's actress after the first movie. Debbie Reynolds was great in the first movie, but Sandra Dee is just too cute. There is something slightly creepy about the obvious age difference between her and the leading men, but if the Heff can get away with it, anyone can.

So what do my movie choices say about me??? Well the "Devil" says I wish I were a size 2 and still cared about what I look like, but I'm not really into surviving on lemon water and I love my fleece sweats and hoodies too much to ever give them up. "X-Men" says I have a thing for bad boys who spend lots of time in the gym, but I wouldn't trade my wonderful and slightly bumpy husband for anything in the whole world. Besides, when we are all resurrected I WILL be a size 2 (I'll also have long, flowing blonde hair), and he WIll have the body of a greek god, right??? My issues with Gidget? I don't like posers. And finally, "Tammy" either touches the warmest, purest and simplest parts of my crusty old heart, or I have some deep rooted Oedipus issues that I need to work out with a counselor. Either way, it just makes for a perfect ending to a perfect afternoon of solitude.

Now, I wonder what my food choices say about me?...................