Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Wishing desperately for a slice of King Cake right about now

On Sunday, we were making our usual pilgrimage to church when the kids noticed signs at several churches along the way announcing various Ash Wednesday services and activities.

Being naturally curious, they wanted to know exactly what it was, what it entailed, and why we didn't do it.

Having had some good Catholic friends through the years, I felt well-schooled in the ways of Fat Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, Lent, and the like. [Wisely, I left out the whole Mardis Gras/beads/flashing of boobs component. I figure MTV will take care of that job for me in a few years.]

Fascinated with the concept of giving something up for Lent, my three began begging to have a family lent of our own.

McKay offered cheerfully to give up homework.

Chase chimed in and offered to give up yogurt (something he absolutely despises).

Not exactly how it's supposed to work, is it?

So, with the help of the Husband, we steered ourselves toward the abandonment of something much more painful: Dessert. As a family, we are giving up dessert. For lent. A holiday our own religion doesn't even participate in.

Insane, right?

Realistic, and wholly unable to go 40 days, we opted for a week.

And let me tell you, this has been the longest week of my life.

I am on DAY THREE and I feel like I am starving. Not that I would have eaten much dessert over the last three days anyway, but the fact that I can't -- fills me with longing for it. I find myself craving donuts, brownies, ice cream, and pie. Things I don't even really eat anyway (my drug of choice will always be cookie dough, I'm afraid). I'm crabby. I'm irritable. I've got a pretend dieting headache. And the worst part is that I know it's truly all in my head.

Here's hoping we survive the next four days.

Maybe we should have just given up homework.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Self-esteem is definitely not a problem with this one

A quick quote from Hannah, as I was doing her hair this morning:

"I feel sorry for myself when I was younger. I just didn't know how pretty I was back then."

Um, yeah. We don't eat the humble pie for breakfast around here, as you can plainly see.

Should I be worried?

Nah. Middle school will knock her off that high horse pretty darn quick, I'm afraid.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sending you elsewhere

I have nothing for you today, my friends.

Still wallowing in the self-pity that is sick kids, bad weather, and absent husbands.

But I know someone who does have something good for you. Go here, and visit my cute cousin, Liz. LOVED her post on parenting and felt it was spot on for my life right now. I'd bet you'll feel the same way, too. It was beautifully written, brought a laugh to my soul and a tear to my eye.

Just what the doctor ordered.

Plus, there's a gratuitous photo of her darling baby boy. That alone is worth the trip there.

I'll try to find something exciting to tell you tomorrow. Even if that means I have to make it up.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Random thoughts on this pretend Monday

1. Worst weekend in a long time. Let's just blame it on strep throat, the Husband getting stranded in Grand Rapids, muddy footprints, and chocolate that refuses to stay out of my mouth. We'll leave it at that.

2. Anyone happen to catch this on the freak show channel Discovery Health Channel?

I find myself truly sorry for anyone in this situation, but have to ask one question - if you're bedridden due to your ginormous size, who is bringing you enough food to enable this situation to continue? If you physically can't get out of bed to get your own food, then what are you eating? Wouldn't you be bound, theoretically, to eat what was given you? And couldn't you then be put on a very strict diet, against your will?

It boggles the mind.

3. I am so over the winter. I don't know if it's because we had a taste of spring last week or because I've immersed myself in planning our vacation to Hawaii this summer, but I can't bear the cold any longer. I'm done. I've had it. HAD. IT. Hear that, spring? Get your lazy a$$ up and get over here already.

Yes, I know it's only mid-February.

No, I don't think I'm being ridiculous.

4. Big shout out to the Husband who came through with flying colors for Valentine's Day. Thanks to him, I will be escaping the cares of my exhausting life (ha ha) and heading to the spa for a day of beauty and relaxation. For that alone, he is forgiven the unpardonable sin of not reading this blog on a daily basis. (Yeah, he still has not caught on to the alleged make out session spoken of earlier. Pity, isn't it?)

5. There is nothing more thrilling than watching your two boys whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies on their own. I feel their future wives will thank me for instilling in them a competency in the kitchen. Every man should know how to cook, even if it's only cookies.

6. I loathe cleaning the bathroom. I don't even know if loathe is a strong enough word. What's worse than loathe? Hate? No, I feel even stronger about it than that. And in this house? I have four bathrooms that all need a good scrub down. I think it might be time for a cleaning lady.

That is all. My condolences to anyone who bothered reading this far. Disappointing, I know.

Happy Tuesday, interpeeps.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Best Valentines Ever (you'll thank me for this one)

While trolling innocently through my blog reader yesterday, I stumbled upon the most genius of all genius ideas.

Meet Alissa. Amazing photographer, mother of four beautiful babies, and blogger extraordinaire.

Now meet her genius idea (seriously, go check hers out).

And now see my literal rip-off of her genius idea:

I frantically grabbed my camera and caught the kids wherever they happened to be, and in whatever state they happened to be in. Two of the three were in the sandbox and totally filthy.

I honestly didn't care, so enamored was I with this idea.

I uploaded the pics, added the words in Photoshop, and then sent them online to my local Sam's Club. Within an hour, I had the photos in-hand. I made small slits at their fists with an xacto knife, inserted the lollies, and BAM. Best. valentines. ever. Total effort on my part? Maybe 20 minutes.

And that counts the break I took in the middle to get a snack.

Because sitting in a chair using an xacto knife? Totally nutrient draining.

So thanks, Alissa, and hats off to you, sister. Were it not for you, I would have been resigned to the tacky crap I hate at Target with pictures of Sponge Bob and Sleeping Beauty. These pictures are so much better.

See? All the pretty soldiers, lined up and ready to go:

Now hurry. There's still time to get yours made.

And yeah, you're welcome.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Cause and effect: The BB gun version


What happens when you take this:

And combine it accidentally with this?

Give up? You get this:

Which, thankfully, turned out not to be broken.

Instead, there was a hematoma [due to the blunt trauma of the thumb being smashed in the cock of the BB gun].

Have I mentioned before that I loathe blunt traumas of all kinds?

The urgent care doctor had a special tool that he used to burn a hole in McKay's thumbnail, to release the pressure and alleviate his pain. This caused a giant explosion of blood all over the examination room.

Which caused Chase to beg and plead to keep the special tool.

Which caused me to make a mental note of leaving Chase at home next time.

End result? Nearly all the pain is gone and McKay has a gross wound with which to scare away all the girls on the playground. He's very thrilled.

P.S. On a side note, I think the Husband has not been faithfully reading his wife's wonderful words this dumb blog. Thanks to my friend, June, and her brilliant idea, I am going to put outrageous lies in here until he calls me on them. Like today, when I made out with Angelina Jolie. It was so hot.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Prisoners of my disease

To my three babies,

In light of a certain situation that took place this afternoon, I feel compelled to issue you a public apology and a pledge, from the bottom of my heart, to be better.

You see, in case you didn't know it by now, your mama has a touch of the OCD. And because I automatically know that Hannah's next question will be, "What is OCD?", I will tell you. OCD, loosely translated, means I am incapable of dealing with messes in our home -- in any way, shape, or form.

This is not your fault.

It is mine. Some may call it a disease; while others look at it with envy and wish they had it, too. But for me, it is the core essential of what makes me who I am.

However, from this day forward, I will try harder to let the natural children inside of you be allowed to come out and play. I will not roll my eyes and exhale my breath loudly when you go outside and the fresh grass clippings cling to your tiny feet.

I will be glad you are playing freely in the fresh air, instead of moaning at the mess I have to clean up.

I will be more understanding of your so-called "leaf collections," and admire your profound interest in nature. Even when I find pieces of them all over the carpet upstairs.

I will realize that most people (your father included) don't spend hours a day thinking about magic erasers and mop kits. Or get excited about new ways to organize closets, or search for ways to make laundry more efficient.

And I definitely will not yell at you for playing chef in my kitchen (especially if you asked me first), even when you break the garbage disposal while dumping your creation down the sink. Yes, you snuck a fast one in there because you asked me in the middle of my Sunday afternoon nap.

And we all know that I'll pretty much say yes to anything when I'm half asleep.

But I promise to try and not complain when you return inside with flushed cheeks and happy hearts, even when I look down to see all the mud you have brought in with you. Because you know what? I love you more than my clean floors.

And that, my darling babies, is really saying something.



Thursday, February 5, 2009

Help, I'm raising a giant pack of nerds

(Nerds one and two: Expanding their vast stores of knowledge at a museum)

(Nerd three: Doing what she does best, looking pretty)

It is a truth universally acknowledged: Anyone who has ever foolishly thought they were once cool, must raise at least one nerd.

I'm raising three of them.

Here's where it all began. The school had a traveling science fair come and visit the third grade. This prompted my third grader to come home begging to have a family science fair. I mumbled my usual, "Yeah, sure, whatever," a remark that I reserve solely for things that bring them great joy, require no effort on my part, and probably won't make too big of a mess.

All yesterday afternoon, Chase helped Hannah work on her entry for the family science fair. [Yeah, just writing that makes me feel like a big, fat nerd.] Here we see her completed entry on the life cycle of a rabbit:

And because it's just too good to miss, let me break it all down for you. First, the rabbit is born (or bron, as Hannah likes to spell it). I like that the baby rabbit is actually wearing a diaper and seems to be locked in some sort of cage, while the mother sits outside with a smile on her face.

Now we know why rabbits have so many babies, don't we?

Then we have childhood. Which consists mainly of playgrounds, slides, and large lolly pops. Although, I am really hoping the jumbo-sized rabbit on the end of the see-saw is not meant to be me. She seems to have a bit of a weight problem when compared to the other bunnies.

And I can't help but worry about the bunny on top of the see-saw, and how he seems stuck in the air, waiting interminably for Chubby Stie the big boned rabbit to get off the see-saw.

Childhood is promptly followed by the phase of life known as, "adult." Here, we see that adults type on computers and wear ties. I am assuming they are sitting on chairs, even though one of the chairs does slightly resemble a toilet.

I'd like to point out that no one in this house ever sits on the toilet with a laptop, unlike some people allegedly have been known to do.

Once you've completed the adult phase, it is time to mate.

After she finished this poster, she came and asked me what it means to mate. I told her it means you get to hold hands with a boy, on your first date, when you turn 27.

She seemed to believe me.

After you mate, there is only one step left in life: Death.

And I must say, it doesn't look pretty. Death by rabid dog/wolf cannot be a pleasant way to go. Although, if you'll notice, both rabbits appear to have smiles on their faces. Interesting...

Nerd number two (aka, Chase) has just started his own entry. He brought a book home from the library and told me his project was on the human body.

He writes: "Here is a human. He, as we can see, can't see inside him."

That's all he's got so far. I can't wait to see the rest of it, which, I have no doubt, will be anatomically correct.

Nerd number one (McKay) is still tossing around ideas for his special project.

Looks like a very educational week, indeed.

Is it wrong that I sort of want to give them all wedgies and steal their lunch money?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

To my big boy on his birthday

Dear McKay,

Today you are turning eleven years old. This day every year brings you one step closer to that inevitable moment when you are ready to spread your wings and leave the little nest I have created here. I find myself wholly unable to think about that far-off day, and turn my attention to the utter joy you bring us now.

Mack, you are just good. There is no way around it. There is not a mean bone in your body. You not only root for the underdog, but you go out of your way to help him. You cannot stand the idea of anyone hurting. Your thoughtfulness is way beyond your years.

Your current favorite game is one of your own invention, called, "Would you rather?" You give me a choice between two diverse (and often really gross) scenarios, in which I am forced choose the lesser of two evils. Tonight, you asked me if I'd rather die a hero or live long enough to see myself become a villain. Proud of your keen intellect and creative philosophizing, I bragged to your daddy about it on the phone.

He laughed and told me it was from the newest Batman movie.

As I'd want it, school has been an ongoing challenge, and I'm so proud of the way you've dug in your heels with determination. You absolutely refuse to not do well at anything. You are driven in such a way that I know came solely from your father's genes. You have a vision for the way you want things to be someday, and you are planning now for that future. I have no doubt that you will achieve all you set out to do. And I can't wait for you to make those millions you're dreaming of.

Because laboring for hours to bring you into this world without an epidural? That's got to be at least worth you funding my golden years in a really posh nursing home staffed by strong, handsome men.

You continue to share everything in life with your brother. The two of you are inseparable, and it is not uncommon for me to find you both bent over a pile of legos, or laughing while reading a Calvin and Hobbs book together. I can't tell you the joy it brings to my mama heart when I see you two so close. Just a few minutes ago, when I walked past your room, I smiled as I heard you and Chase talking together about various events in your day. I love that you love him so much.

You are thoughtful and tender, obedient and kind. I rely a lot on you, and without question, you do all that you're asked and more. You make me laugh with your silly jokes. You make me smile when I see that look on your face - the one where you try so hard not to smile or show others how excited you are about something. The one where you look just like your dad.

You are the kind of kid that makes parenting feel so easy.
I love you, buddy. I know you love me, too, even if you think it's gross to give me a hug in public. Thank you for filling our life with such sweet, easy happiness.



Monday, February 2, 2009

What's the cure for a sugar hangover?

Let's just say there's a football game on television that happens once a year. You invite some friends over to watch it on your husband's ridiculously large t.v. You spend the day filling your belly with things like fresh guacamole, sugar cookies, Swedish meatballs, and chocolate cake. [Curse that Pioneer Woman and her satanically-delicious chocolate sheet cake.]

You then plant yourself in front of the television, balancing a large plate of food on your knees. You have foolishly left your buffet unattended, knowing the pitter-patter of little feet overhead is the children gorging themselves on sugar.

And about thirty minutes into the game, the shrieking and fits of hysterical laughter coming from their direction confirms this very thing.

But you allow it because, after all, it's the Super Bowl. It's a once-a-year phenomenon. It's the only time you ever sit down in front of a football game with your husband (but let's be honest, you're really only there for for the commercials). You pretend to care about field goals and touch downs while you daydream and drool over the back and front sides of Kurt Warner.

You cheer when that one guy goes running across the big green field and scores some points. You feel mildly annoyed when there's a pit in your stomach, as you root for the guys in the red and white uniforms to win.

You console your husband when they don't.

Then you send your husband off on a business trip with a plate full of snacks for the ride. You happily start chatting with your friend Shiloh, and look up to find that the clock says almost two in the morning. You mentally count the hours until you have to be up and going, and realize it's very few.

You decide to eat one last sugar cookie. Because at two in the morning? Sugar cookies are always a good idea.

You go to bed with horrible heartburn and swear yourself off sugar forever. Then after what feels like minutes, your alarm is startling you from sleep. You rouse the troops and find they are faring no better than you:

Except for one, who has the constitution of his father and doesn't seem to need, require, or care for little trifles like sleep:

[ Seen here opening his birthday presents yesterday - a few days early due to the Husband's trip this week]

You forget your self-imposed ban against sugar and decide a cookie for breakfast is the cure for what ails you. You wash it down with a diet coke.

Oddly, it doesn't make you feel any better.

You pledge to never combine football and sugar cookies again, and wonder if your friend Becky would lend you her extra special elastic-waist pants.

And that, dear friends, is how you experience the Super Bowl. In case you were wondering.