Friday, October 30, 2009

Get to Work

Someone needs to rake these leaves....

They do look nice. However, don't come in the house since 50% of the occupants have the flu.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Avert Your Eyes

Do you see Mr. 92? That's Peter.

The season is over, but Peter LOVED his uniform. He didn't play much, but he LOVED the team. I am so proud of him.

Doesn't that line of boys look cute? I don't think I'm supposed to be looking at that.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Another One Bites the Dust

Kids are selfish when it comes to Easter candy, ice cream, pony rides and birthday presents. They are not particularly selfish when it comes to GERMS.

With germs, there's enough for everyone. Even if you're standing behind a door, wrapped in plastic, covered with a Haz-Mat suit and using a can of Lysol as a weapon, there's enough for everyone.

Kid Deux got sick today and called from school in a sheepish little voice for a pick-up. Before too long we were off to ambush the doctor with both kids despite only having an appointment for one of them. Kid Deux said "The doctor will be happy to see me because I have nicer hair." Must you be vain even when you're sick, I implored?

Two hours and two boxes of Tamiflu later, they were ensconced on the couch in blankets, surrounded by Kleenex and inhalers and within reach of a remote and glasses of Sprite.

"I have better hair even when I'm sick, " declared Kid Deux. Addressing his brother he said "You just have normal hair. My hair is Spectacular!"

Seriously, you're sick!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Told You So

One of the boys is sick. This is the one who was kind of sick a few weeks back. It was then that he learned that the normal temperature is 98.6, give or take, and not 95 like he's a snapping turtle or some kind of toad. Therefore, it was with much glee that he spiked a fever and took his temperature today. Aside from feeling too rotten to move off the couch, he seems to have had a pretty good day proving his point. Repeatedly. Every 30 minutes. All day long.

I decided he needed a bath. An entire day of holding the couch to the floor just in case gravity gives out, is rather hard work. So is being lippy while you're sick. This requires extra energy.

Me: You need a bath.
Kid: I'll take it if you fill it up for me and turn on the heater and the TV and get me some Sprite and a big fluffy towel.
Me: grumble grumble
Kid: (peakedly) thanks
Time passes...
Me: There's 6 inches in the tub, stick your wrist in it and make sure its ok.
Kid: Yep. It's fine.
Me: Get in it then. I won't watch.
Kid: I want to wait until it's all the way filled up.
Me: I'm not filling it up. I'll need a loan to pay for the water. And you might sink and drown. Or displace a twelve year old sized amount of water onto the bathroom floor. Just get in the tub.
Kid: I always do it this way. Besides, I have a fever.
Me: grumble grumble
Time passes...
Me: You're not in the tub.
Kid: Ya, it was too hot.
Me: You were supposed to test it so you could adjust the water temperature. You're sitting in a bay window with the lights on, naked, and it's dark outside.
Kid: Oh. Don't say it.
Me: What?
Kid: Just don't say it.

That was fun.

Until, he only spent 5 minutes in that giant tub of water.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Marbles Part 4: I wish

I wish
I knew what to say to your family.
I wish
I wasn't so sad.
I wish
you were not sad.
I wish
you could see the bright blue sky and the colored leaves.
I wish
you remembered that Christmas and Thanksgiving and Easter are coming.
I wish
you had called your sister or your mom or your wife.
I wish
you had ten more minutes to think again before you made your choice.
I wish
your choice was not our consequence.
I wish
you could kiss your daughter's cheek on the first day of kindergarten.
I wish
you could walk your daughter down the aisle.
I wish
you had something to look forward to.
I wish
you had more time.
I wish
for strength and prayers for everyone you left behind.
I wish
the shining stars in the clear night sky give you peace.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Marbles- Part 3: Too Many Questions

How could you?
What for?
Why didn't you call, someone? Anyone?
Was your phone broken? Were you too broken to dial?
Do you know that God never leaves you alone?
Do you know that we still love you?
Do you know that you're not forgotten?
Did you forget about the stuff you loved?
Did you forget that the sun sets on today and gives us a brand new tomorrow?
Is the pain gone?
Are you healed?
What did Jesus say?
Did He give you the hug I so want to give you?
Can you see us?
Do you know that your pain is ours and we would have gladly carried it right along side you?
Why were you selfish that day?
Can you see your mother wearing your cross around her neck?
Can you see us laughing at your 3rd grade picture in the argyle sweater?
Do you see the pictures of your daughter?

Marbles, Part 2: A List of Things Worth Living For

Fried Chicken Drumsticks
Crunchy Fall Leaves
Country ham and cheddar cheese on toast. with mustard.
Chocolate Martinis
Christmas presents- even if it's socks
Saturday morning cartoons with someone cuddly
Taxes- always got to remember the taxes
Letters in smelly envelopes with lips
Everyone who loves you even when you're not loveable
Reality TV
South Park
Tomorrow. Just because

Marbles in my head

I have lots of interesting and somewhat disturbing thoughts floating around in my brain. I'll process them and toss them out and around and about. Then, in a day or two, I'll post something worthy of a life, that should be led, with everything you've got, even when you might not think you're up to the task. As an open offer to anyone going forward, if you ever think it's all been too much for you, the walls are closing in and you're thinking of throwing in the towel or turning out your lights, call me first. There's always something to live for. Always.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Why We Bombed the Moon

What to Expect When You're Expecting has been on the paperback nonfiction best seller list for like 300 years. I read that book and it left me completely unprepared. Not unprepared for the baby thing, although I have admitted to letting my kid roll off the footstool once or twice. No, I was unprepared for all the stuff that comes WAY after the kid is old enough to tell you the ottoman is not a good perch for a roly poly infant or that they need to eat every few hours. Whatever, Lucky Charms comes in an easy open box for a reason.

Walking though a bookstore today, I felt underwhelmed, put-out and generally under-served by the book publishing industry (This means you Random House). I can go into a bookstore and learn how to make my own hominy (pass the lye, please) and then dry it in the sun and whack it with a rock to make my own grits. I can get a book to teach me how to raise sheep, weave my own cloth, dye it with onion peels and sew my own root vegetable clothes. I can learn how to read the Bible and speak Yiddish.

But there are no books called What to Expect When your Kid is about to turn 13. If this book existed it would need chapters like "I Hate You Means I Love You" or "Just Because I Throw Up in Your Car Doesn't Mean I Speed Ate 14 Hot Dogs at the Football Game After You Specifically Told Me Not to."

No one writes these books because what happens when you raise boys to be about 12 or 13 is supposed to happen in secret. No one wants to know how it happens at your house, they just want to see the finished product in the shiny, polite Eagle Scout. And, if someone did write this book and someone else who was considering procreation read the book, there might not be any more people. Come to think of it, I bet the CIA would come and take any manuscript away and fire it at the moon so that no one really knows what goes on in houses with 12 or 13 or 14 year olds.

And, I think I finally understand why we bombed our moon a week ago. Someone had the audacity to write a book about how to raise kids to be decent Eagle Scouts but included chapters about all the crap you have to go through to get there and the government took the book and shot it into a crater on the moon to save humanity. Good thing they did so that I can remain as clueless as ever for the next 7 years or so.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Lucky, Lucky! Everything Comes with Pancakes!

I spent my formative years in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, not too far from Milwaukee and the locale responsible for my weird accent. It took me until 4th grade to figure out how to spell Wauwatosa or any other Indian type word. Anyway, I loved to watch the TV show "Laverne and Shirley."

I especially loved the L's on Laverne's sweaters and Boo Boo Kitty. At the beginning of every show, the opening song scenes featured a shot of a prominent Milwaukee building. Whenever we drove into the city I used to look for Laverne and Shirley's apartment. Of course, I never found it, but I was pretty convinced I lived about 15 miles from Laverne, Shirley, Squiggy, Lenny and Boo Boo Kitty.

One episode of the show featured the girls in a misguided attempt at waitressing. It had something to do with breakfast because Laverne would walk up to every table and announce flatly and in a way only Penny Marshall could... "Lucky Lucky... Everything Comes with Pancakes!"

This funny sentence or phrase or announcement about carbohydrate laden breakfast food means to me- Hey! Good stuff is about to happen to you! Yes, You! Truly, any time someone offers to give you something for has to be good. The only thing that would make it better would be an extra side of bacon, but I think Squiggy was Jewish which would have messed up the plot.

Regardless, today was the kind of day that made me want to climb to the roof and shout about pancakes. It was a good day and good stuff happened. You know why? You make your own luck. You make your own luck by walking into Laverne's restaurant on the day with extra pancakes or by making the right choice or by doing the right thing.

Today was one of those days. I am lucky, I have extra pancakes and I'm looking to pay it forward. Watch out when you see me, if you do. You might just end up with some extra breakfast. And I hope you enjoy it and feel lucky too.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I'd like to see a few of these...

Boy Picks Up Laundry, Cites Mom for Inspiration

Boy Does Homework Without Complaining! Mom Needs Immediate Resuscitation!

Boy Eats Leafy Greens- Says "Yummy!"

XBox Extinct!

DuPont Introduces Self Cleaning White Carpet!

Ten Martinis a Week Recommended by Physicians

Vodka Industry Needs Help- Perrysburg Mom Fills Glass

Self Correcting Cameras Shave 15 Pounds from anyone over 35

Boss Says "Yes, You May Dance at the Office on Fridays!"

Human Body Temperature Corrected! It's 96.7!

Levi's Declares All Adolescent Boys Get Free Jeans Until Age 18!

Sock Company Invents Impervious, Magnetic Pairing, Sock!

Blogger Requests No More Use of Exclamation Points!

Backyard Tomato Plants Sprout Cash!

Your Mom Was Wrong! Your Life WILL be EASY!

If You Have Checks Left, Bank says "You still have money!"

Television and Lucky Charms Will Make You Smart!

Perrysburg Mom Has Nickel for Every time Kid Says "You're Mean!" She's RICHER Than OPRAH!

Chef Boyardee Newest Iron Chef!

Mom Says "I Hope You Have One Just Like You!" and It Comes True, Twice!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Are you a fish?

Kid: I don't feel good. I have a cold.
Me: You've lounged around all weekend. Eat something. You're fine.
Kid: I'm not fine. I feel oogey.
Me: Tough. You don't have a fever. Eat something and go to school.
Kid: It's awful. I think I could be dying.
Me: Let's take your temperature
Two minutes pass....
Kid: Look it says I have a fever.
Me: Huh? Really? What does it say?
Kid: 97.5. I told you I was sick.
Me: You don't have a fever and you must have done it wrong. Either that or you're an amphibian.
Kid: No. Human temperature is 96 something.
Me: That would be 98.6- that is the normal human temperature.
Kid: Oh.
Me: Off you go!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Pick it up!

The conversation this morning went something like this...

Me: Holy cow, are you OK?
Kid: Yes, why?
Me: How can you sleep so close to such a powerful force field?
Kid: Huh?
Me: Everything you've worn all week is in a pile 4 feet away from your laundry basket.
Kid: Force field- um, ya, that's exactly the reason.
Me: Do you want me to pick all that stuff up so you don't hurt yourself? You've got football practice and a spelling test. I wouldn't want anything messing up your day.
Kid: Well, watch what happens.
(Kid slowly approaches the basket and just before touching it KA POW! He flies 10 feet back and lands on his bed.) See! It's amazing!
Me: Pick that stuff up or so help the moon Alice.
Kid: Who's Alice?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Things That Make Me Mad

I am not an easy person to love. Actually, I'm really rather difficult. I'm opinionated, objectionable, self absorbed, surly and at times talk in a way that would make a longshoreman blush.

I know all this. My husband knows all this. Take a few minutes and feel exceptionally sorry for him for the next 15 seconds. OK, that's enough. He has a whole lot of angry, loud mouthed girl on his hands.

Truth be told, I get paid to be surly and loud mouthed. It's perfect. I love going to work and being opinionated and hollering at people that deserve it. My dearly loved assistant functions as my gatekeeper- shooing people away when I'm in the middle of a "smack down." She shoos them away not because she's afraid I'll eat the next person who comes into my office, but because she's listening to my tirade. I do love her so (and she knows it!) Just for good measure, feel sorry for her for the next 15 seconds also. OK, that's enough.

Now for my confession. I got so mad today- boiling over ready to kick the wall, probably need an anger management intervention mad. Yea, that's kind of mad. This person made me so irate that I wanted to come home and play the song I always used to play in college when I broke up with a boy (yes, they were all boys and there were lots of them and they don't know what they missed and I NEVER waited for them to call). When I played the song, you were out. Flat out, way out. (It's a "Stone Roses" song, I have it around here somewhere. I've never played it since I met Tim.) But today, I wanted to pull it out and blast it over a loudspeaker to make sure that this person knows...


I am so done that I hope your license shrivels up and falls off your office wall. Yep, so done. You know why? I don't wait for a week to have someone call me back. I don't wait for ANYTHING. (See, I told you I was scary and self absorbed. Feel sorry for Tim and Michelle again.) I have shown self control and complete professionalism and YOU, yes YOU WHO SHALL BE UNNAMED TO PROTECT YOU, THE NOT INNOCENT, are a big TURD.

I feel so much better. Thank you and come again for a visit. I promise I'll be more restrained.

Isn't blogging just a great way to get that out. *sigh*

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How do you spell that?

I love spelling. I love spellcheck. I love everything about words. I love to use big words and freak people out. When I was a kid there was nothing I enjoyed more than telling another kid "Hey, your epidermis is showing." The kid would look around to see what was inadvertently hanging out while I laughed hysterically. I love reading business letters and emails with mistakes missed by spellcheck. I had an email last week where the writer was going to get back with me about my "corns." She meant concerns.

I'm still laughing about that.

As you are aware, this blog is about A&P and my inadequate, often faulty,misguided and all around shoddy parenting. A&P do not particularly like words. (Note: I did not say they don't have opinions.) They have no particular use for spelling words properly or using them in the correct order to construct a nice, complete sentence, perfect for diagramming with friends. No, they have little use for this or my love of words. My inner English major hollers out in silent pain every time they end a sentence in a preposition. "Were you born in a barn?" I scream.

What to do, you ask? How can you raise them to be straight talking, good grammar utilizing boys so that they don't go to dinner with Queen and say something pedestrian? Test them. Test their vocabulary and cram new words into their heads until they cry for mercy and the XBox. Test their spelling until every irregularly spelled French derived English word or commonly used Latin root is jammed into their heads. It's painful, but someone has to do it. It's not abuse so don't even think about turning me in.

At the beginning of every school year, I let out a fair amount of rope. This rope can be used to mess up spelling and vocabulary for about 4 weeks until such time as I lasso them back in. Last Thursday was "Lasso Day." I am now back in the spelling and vocabulary business at the dinner table. They holler and protest, but mysteriously their grades improve by about 30% within 24 hours.

I can hardly wait until they learn about dangling or misplaced modifiers. Good times.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Prodigal Clothing

Boys go to school. Boys take extra stuff to school. This extra stuff doesn't always make it home. Just like the money I give them. There has to be change. Really. But I digress...In two days, we were missing:

3 sweatshirts

1 jacket

1 pair of jeans

2 pairs of gym shorts

2 pairs of socks

2 t shirts

a violin

This makes me cranky. Given the size of the lost and found box- it's more like a dumpster- at the school, we're not the only ones sacrificing stuff to it. I bet the janitors take loads to the box every night like a Mayan priest approaching an ancient pyramid. "Hoo Ha Hoo Ha. Here's more stuff for your monster sized stomach. Hoo Ha Hoo Ha."
You think I'm crazy. I see torches, dancing the whole bit. Come on, we have no idea what happens in that school after dark. I bet all of Peter's lost 6th grade homework ended up as a sacrifice.

Whenever a boys wears a jacket to school for the first time every fall, I wonder, "will I ever see you again? You were such a nice buy and on sale too." It's cold in the morning so, they wear the jacket. By midday it's not cold and the jacket gets left in science class or on the bleachers or in the hallway or on the bus. I can't explain the jeans or the gym clothes or my change.

Snoopy is dancing because at least some of our prodigal clothing returned to us over the weekend- three sweatshirts and a jacket, some of the gym clothes and the jeans. The violin is not missing (hurrah!). It was left at school so someone could avoid practicing it.

So help me if the violin gets sacrificed. That gives me the willies just thinking about it. Instead I will celebrate the return of the stuff- even the stinky gym clothes- and their escape from the BOX.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


I loathe parent teacher conferences. There I said it. Is that allowed? I wrote it and didn't actually speak it. I will probably end up on a bad parent list in the teacher's lounge.

I had to go to a parent teacher conference when I was in 5th grade. Mr Zahn. Yep, I remember it. And, I couldn't spell the word "biscuit" and I was very inadequate at my fractions. Well, I'll show you Mr. Zahn, not only can I spell "biscuit" but I can make them from scratch. And you know what else I can do? I can cut that biscuit recipe in 1/2 and make half as many biscuits. Or, if I'm feeling wild I can double it. So, I conquered biscuits and fractions.

I have not conquered being the Mom at the conference.

I go to every conference feeling like an inadequate 5th grader. I hope they give me a break to go to the bathroom and sharpen my pencil.