Tag Archives: mom

Take Your Mom to a Movie Day

I’m back.  That was a fun summer break; wasn’t it?  People who blog consistently are machines.  MACHINES, I tell you.

Couple changes happening here.

1. I’m not going to even attempt to try to post every Tuesday and Thursday.  I’m going to be posting when my muse comes.  And I have the website open.  Could be more; could be less.  I find not knowing exciting.

2.  I’m going to start discussing my traveling.  I travel a lot.  I often pretend it hasn’t happened because of a weird reputation people who travel a lot get.  Mostly they get a reputation that they travel a lot and who wants that?

But besides these two things, everything is totally back to normal.

And normal  includes taking my almost 81 year old mother to The Expendables 3 in DBox.

DBox are those seats that move around with the action.  In the case of this film, they end up shaking whenever things blow up.  So the chair is generally always shaking.

Shaking makes the movie more exciting.  Especially when you try to drink from a straw.

Before you freak out that the seats could’ve injured my mom, calm down.  Her knees may be full of metal and she may be on 43.6 different meds, but her back is completely fine.

And if it does start hurting, I’m pretty sure she has a med for that.

What Did You Melt With a Car’s Cigarette Lighter?

When I was a kid, the cigarette lighter in the car kept us entertained for hours.  We burned the edges of every plastic snow scraper my mom got for free from car insurance companies.  We burned both ends of pens.  (After taking the ink out so it wouldn’t explode.)   (We weren’t stupid.)  It was fun for all ages.  But we always knew that it was hot and we shouldn’t touch it.  That’s why we melted things with long handles and we kept our hands far, far away.

We knew what a cigarette lighter was for;  we saw people lighting cigarettes with them and we saw the fire they created.  It wasn’t anything taught us.  It was something we intrinsically knew.  It was part of society.

Not so anymore.

My new car doesn’t even have a cigarette lighter, but our older car does.  My husband and I never thought about it.  Until our boys decided to see how the lighter works.   They didn’t realize they started fires.  Even though they know it’s called a LIGHTER.  My youngest got a blister. They thought it would just shock them.

So learn from our pain.  If you have an older car, DO NOT assume your kids know that cigarette lighters are actually hot enough to burn.  (And DO NOT assume that the large red circle will give them the slightest hint.)

DO sit them down with a can of root beer and the first season of Starsky and Hutch.  Everything should come together by episode 10.

(Maybe read a book about how you can increase your children’s common sense, too.  And email me your findings.)

I Had a Perfect Plan Until I Went to my Kids’ School Open House

OK.   I’ve planned 2-3 hours a day to write.  I have an amazing schedule. It has different colors.  And a place for everything.  It’s an amazing schedule. AMAZING.

Then I went to my kids’ school open house.

And I signed up to bring snacks for Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and Christmas.

And I signed up to volunteer in the classroom.  Because supposedly it shows I care.  And it helps my kids succeed.  And having a relationship with your teachers is supposed to be a good idea.

And I told the PTO I’d help in any way they need.

And I told my son’s 5th grade teacher that I’m not as flighty as I seem.  (Seriously?)

And all three kids are in piano.

And 1st grade means reading really boring books every night.

And 3rd grade means working on math facts every night.

And there’s dinner.

AND THEN I SAW THIS:

I am doomed.

I am doomed.

So we’re gonna see what happens in September.  And if men in white coats take me away, we’ll know my plan didn’t work.

(When times get really tough, I figure I’ll just remind myself that at least I’m not dancing on a stage half nude surrounded by giant teddy bears and Robin Thicke dressed as the Hamburglar.)

Look In My Purse and See My Soul

A professor of mine, Louise Plummer, taught that you should make lists as a way to keep a history or to find out more about yourself.  Lists of what’s under your bed; what’s in your car; what’s in your wallet… That sort of thing.
So here is a list of what was in my purse yesterday when I cleaned it out:

  • 1 sample kids’ toothpaste
  • 3 samples of floss
  • check book
  • glittery hair tie
  • ear buds
  • Target coupon
  • glasses cleaner
  • high heel page marker stickers
  • U of Iowa key chain
  • 4 expired Dr. appt. cards
  • key to office
  • 2 samples of essential oils
  • 5 lip glosses
  • 1 lipstick
  • 5 pens
  • a bracelet
  • a wallet (but that’s another list)

This is an amazing representation of me, if I think about it.  How well does your purse/wallet describe you?

It looks small but it can hold A LOT of lip gloss.

It looks small but it can hold A LOT of lip gloss.

It’s Not a Coffee Shop, but I Do What I Can

So my goal has been to write but summer is… summer.  I find myself taking my kids all over the place just so I don’t have to hear them say: “I’m bored.”  (And when they do say it I can then rattle off all the places I’ve taken them and then talk about what an amazing mother I am for at least 5 minutes while they have to sit there.)

A few weeks ago I went to Utah to do some school shopping. (A total bust for the boys.  They still only had short sleeve shirts in the stores I visited.  And my 6 year old is still deciding if he’s a size 7 or 8.  I’m hoping he grows the extra half inch, BEFORE I buy pants.)  And we went to Chuckie Cheese and a water park and the new Percy Jackson movie.  I couldn’t do much writing in the movie theater, but I did pretty good at Chuckie Cheese and the water park.

I recommend writing at Chuckie Cheese.  It has unlimited Diet Pepsi.

This would be better proof if the notebook were actually open.

This would be better proof if the notebook were actually open.

 

(Whose) Crime and Punishment?

I’m not good at punishment when it has to go beyond “the look” and a stern voice.  I run out of ideas.  You’d think I wouldn’t.

And I guess I don’t but I think of the consequences of the punishment of my kids and if I think it will also punish me, I generally refrain.  Which leaves me with few options.

Recently, my daughter was being a pill.  (This is a 1960’s way of saying pain in the butt except not as scarring.)  We had recently gone school shopping.  She is fashion conscious (unsure how she developed THAT particular trait.)  She had really cute clothes.  And new shoes.  And a mood ring.  And a fuzzy diary.

I told her I was going to take it all back.  She changed her attitude immediately.

Which is good because after I said that, I realized I wasn’t going to take it all back.  It had all been on sale.  Huge sale.  All of the clothes were at least 40% off.  Her Converse All Stars were $9.  I got her a black cardigan for $5.  Her mood ring was buy one get one free so I’d have to take back MY matching panda mood ring too.

If I took these clothes back, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t find the same deals.  Even different brands would’ve been more.  And I’m hoping the fuzzy diary with the pen with a dangling heart I got for $4 will encourage her to write.  (Probably with a different pen because cute pens rarely have much ink.)

BUT I have kept the clothes in my room and she can’t wear them yet.  SO THERE.   (That’s mostly because they’re fall/winter clothes and it’s 90 outside, but still.  I think there’s some principle there.)

I think this is more of a NEED than a WANT

I think this is more of a NEED than a WANT

 

The Hiawatha Trail

We took our kids on the Hiawatha Trail. It used to be part of the Milwaukee Railroad.

“It was called one of the most scenic stretches of railroad in the country. When the Milwaukee Railroad was operating, the trains traversed through 11 tunnels and over 9 high trestles, covering a 46 mile route that crossed the rugged Bitterroot Mountains between Idaho and Montana. The “Route of the Hiawatha” is most famous for the long St. Paul Pass, or Taft Tunnel which burrows for 8771 ft. (1.66 miles) under the Bitterroot Mountains at the state line.”

Now they’ve covered the tracks with dirt and you mountain bike over it.  It’s a beautiful path.  We put tag-a-longs on the back of my bike and Kevin’s so that the two youngest road with us and our oldest road his own bike.

The first 1.6 miles are in a completely black tunnel.  You have to wear headlamps or a bike light to make it.  On both sides of the tunnel there are 18 inch ditches for water runoff.

(I highly recommend learning to ride with a tag-a-long and kid before entering a slightly sloped, completely black tunnel with water dripping from the ceiling.  It throws balancing off just a wee bit.)

It took us 3ish hours to get down the path.  It was mostly downhill.  We paused occasionally to read the historic signs along the way and to eat unhealthy snacks.  We thought of riding back up but the shuttle was right there waiting for us.  It was a sign.  And we didn’t realize how tired we were until we sat down.  And closed our eyes.

They drop you off at the end of the tunnel so you have to bike through it again.  Seeing as we were experts at riding our bikes in the dark, it went much faster the second time.
I recommend riding bikes in a dark tunnel.  It makes you feel like you’ve done something incredibly cool and dangerous without actually doing anything cool or dangerous.

We're waiting for endorsement deals.

We’re waiting for endorsement deals.

Parenting Quiz:

Is this NATURE OR NURTURE?

(IE: Does this something I would’ve said coming out of my children’s mouths?)

I picked up my 10 year old son from Wilderness Survival Camp.  (Someone in the family must be prepared for Zombies.)

Me: So how did it go?

Him: Well there was this one kid who was really bossy.  He took control and was so bossy.  I asked him if he was an only child.

My 6 year old son was telling a joke. My 8 yr old daughter was listening.

6 yr old: What do you ask a person hanging from a limb?

Kevin: How’s it hanging?

6 yr old: No.  How are you hanging there?

8 yr old: Uh-uh.

6 yr old: Uh-huh.

This goes on for a while until I say: Who cares:

8 yr old: He shouldn’t be telling that joke anyhow because it’s from a movie.

Me: So?

8 yr old: It could be copyrighted.

Hint: I proceeded to explain to her that often copyrighted things can be used for personal, at home use as long as no profit is made.

Arches: the Gateway to Patience

I took my kids to Arches National Park.

Here’s how it went in their words:

We hiked Park Avenue (so named because the red rock is as high as sky scrapers on both sides of the path).  It is down hill at the beginning but flattens out quickly.  The hike is .9 miles one way.  We probably did .75 and turned around due to lack of shade.

10 yr old son:  I like this place way better than New York City.  There are too many people there.

8 yr old daughter:  New York City is WAY better.  I hate this place.  There’s too much sun.

We had water.  I may forget lunch for school but I don't forget water in the desert...

We had water. I may forget lunch for school but I don’t forget water in the desert…

We’re almost back to the car:

8 yr old: I’m gonna die of a heart attack.

She sits down on a rock.  I tell her I’m going to take her picture.  She poses.

We hike The Windows.

Me:  This is Turet Arch.

8 yr old:  It should be called Tiring Arch.

We approach a little hill with slick rock.

8 yr old: We’re going there?

   5 yr old son: Look! No hands!

We go to the visitors center to watch the introductory film so everyone can become Jr. Park rangers.

5 yr old: Is this 3D?

We only hiked Park Avenue and The Windows.  We walked around Balancing Rock and then headed back to Moab.  We went to Milt’s for burgers and shakes, swimming at the pool, and a chuckwagon dinner.  The next day we hiked Delicate Arch.  On the way out of town we drove 3 miles to the middle of nowhere to see fossils still in the rocks.  I almost got stuck in sand.

I asked my kids if they liked the trip.

10 yr old:  I liked the arches.

5 yr old:  I liked the dinosaur fossils.

8 yr old: I liked everything.  Except the hiking.

This is not "almost there."

This is not “almost there.”

Out of the Comedy Groove

Lately I feel like I’ve gotten out of my comedy groove.  I’ve been treading water and although I learned to swim, I didn’t properly learn how to tread water.  It has something to do with moving your legs in different directions like egg beaters except that I don’t really use egg beaters unless I’m at my parents house and at home I just use a whisk and they don’t teach the ‘whisk’ way to tread water because you have two legs.

Let’s alter this metaphor.  I feel as though I’m up to my eyes in life.  Which also is technically not possible and I would come up with a better metaphor if I weren’t up to my eyeballs.

I had a week and I’m trying to bounce back and I can’t get enough air under me.  I can see the humor in it all but I can’t make it funny.  I feel like my squeaker is broken.

I threw 2 bday parties with over 13 kids each within 24 hours.   I had to do forensic accounting and find missing money (which sounds cool but is really depressing.).  An old friend decided to be ungracious, I woke up to be told I have skin cancer (minor, non-threatening, really just more of a pain kind) and then I got a migraine at the end of my triathlon.

There is TONS of material in here.  I mean all of this happened within a week.  And instead of it happening in 3’s, it happened in 6’s which just seems unfair and yet incredibly hilarious.  It’s unfortunate I didn’t get it in pictures.

I am definitely learning that no matter what happens in life, we can’t judge other people because they may have woken up and realized that every single kindergartener was in fact coming to the birthday party that night and they only had 12 squirt guns.  When faced with this type of pressure, a person is going to snap and it may happen while you’re watching.

So next time you find someone twitching while in line at Target, instead of passing judgement, pass them a Diet Coke.

(See?  I just don’t have it.  I think the migraine killed some brain cells.)
(I’m hoping the procedure to remove skin one layer at a time brings the funny back.)

Someone who does this to themselves should never lose their comedy groove.

Someone who does this to herself should never lose her comedy groove.