Monday, June 25, 2012

With This Ring

     I heard the ping of metal bouncing off metal as I opened the washing machine and began removing clothes.  Soon after starting my chore I spotted the shiny gold noise maker.  Confused, I pulled it from its nest of clothes and rolled it around in my palm.

It wasn't fancy, but it was mine.
     Nearly six years ago, I lost my wedding band.  Embarrassed and filled with regret, it was nearly three months before I confessed to my husband.  He would hold my hand, notice the band was missing, and ask me about it.  (Pesky, strangely observant man!)  I kept skating around the question hoping he would forget or I would find it soon.

     Finally I told him I lost my ring.  With Blondie in tow, we went to the jeweler to find a replacement.  I have kept that band safe for the last six years, which is no small matter for me.  But even though my newer band exactly matched my older one, it wasn't the same.  It wasn't the band given to me on the day we made our vows to each other.  It wasn't our ring.

     For a short while the ring from the washing machine confused me because I knew my rings were nestled safely in my dresser drawer.  When I went to my drawer I found my rings sitting where I remembered.  That was when I realized I had just found my original wedding band.

Together again.
     It was tucked in a shirt pocket many years ago, folded, and packed away in a box.  If not for me going back to school and washing old work clothes, that ring might not have been found.  That is why today as I start my first day of classes, I am adding the return of my precious ring to what I am sure will become a long list of things school gives me.

School is giving me lots of things like text books and homework.
Could you give me better things like a click on the banner below?
Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Monday, June 18, 2012

I Didn't Feel Old Until...

     For those of you who don't know, I go to kickboxing classes twice a week.  These aren't the mostly aerobic dance around classes sponsored by area gyms.  These are "you will learn how to defend yourself and become a badass" classes taught by a black belt in Tae Kwon Do at my kids studio.  We are hardcore.

     The usual teacher wasn't there tonight so instead the 18 year old assistant taught.  Before starting, he called me out of line and told me that he was going to have to put his music on and asked if I was OK with that.  Being not old or prudish at all I said "yes".  Then he looked at me and asked "Are you sure, because this is new music?"  It's fine if you want to turn on your new fangled hip hop music sonny boy.

     Right after that, he asked the class if we wanted to run for our warm up or do an extreme obstacle course.  Everyone said obstacle course.  He calls me out again: "Marian, do you want to do an extreme obstacle course?"  Of course I am good with the extreme obstacle course as long as you let me bring my walker!

     Then the instructor told us all to get a drink of water.  As I'm rehydrating a sixteen year old girl says in an annoying whiney voice "You're out of cups.  Get us cups!"  I looked at her and thought in my head: "God that was rude.  Where are your manners?"  And there it was; I was officially the old lady in the class.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

If I Had $1000..

     Today's Monday Listicles prompt is "how would you spend $1,000?"  Because I'm feeling greedy, I've decided to take ten separate chances at that $1,000 instead of simply going with ten things that collectively add up to $1,000.  After all, a girl can't be too limited in her imaginary spending habits.

Before I get started, allow me to brag a little.  Do you see this fine specimen of a man who rode his bicycle up a freakin' mountain?
Yup, that would be my husband. As supportive as I am of all his exercising, he wishes I were even more supportive; as in get my own bike and join him supportive.
  1. For this reason I would use my imaginary $1,000 to buy this bike.*  Unfortunately, I would thoroughly embarrass him when I walk my bike up hills because I am incapable of riding up.  He would dutifully pretend he's happy "just spending time with me" but be secretly thankful when I only ride with him once a month.
  2. I could almost completely cover my caffeine addiction for the year by buying myself 273 iced chai tea lattes from Starbucks. That would pay for a drink every day of the week and sometimes on Saturday. (I think that the amount of math I've put into this proves that I am an addict. Hello my name is Marian...)
  3. With that money in hand, I would shop like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.  I would tell the store that I have $1,000 to spend and leave if they don't fawn all over me: "No, I said I want the fancy t-shirts and jeans!"
  4. An extravagant set of All Clad Stainless Steel cookware would look great proudly displayed on a pot rack in my kitchen.  It would continue to hang in my kitchen while I use my $15 Teflon coated pan from Target for every single meal I cook.

    Oh wait, I already did that when I got married.
  5. I was hoping $1,000 would be enough for annual passes to Disneyland for my family, but it will only almost pay for four of us.  Proof that once again the world frowns on people who over-reproduce.
  6. Considering that my three children have had their way with our kitchen table, a replacement would be nice.
  7. As much as I love standing while eating, chairs seem to complete the look.  So with another $1,000 could I please buy chairs to go with my new table?  (I really only need five.)
    While you're at it, could you just replicate this room in my house?
  8. $1,000 would buy the best fried chicken dinner ever.  This money would fund the car ride from Southern, CA to Northern, CA, two night's stay in a hotel near Nappa Valley, and our fancy pants dinner at Ad Hoc by Thomas Kellar.  (I could also spend $21 for the big family meal bucket at KFC and pocket the other $979.  Six of one...)
  9. I would find out if Bare Naked Ladies would come to my house for a private concert in my backyard and sing "If I Had a Thousand Dollars" to the tune of "If I Had a Million Dollars" because I haven't been able to get that song out of my head since I read this list prompt.
  10. Last but not least, I would do something nice for my children.  $1,000 would pay for one summer camp for each of them.  I would find something special like Harry Potter camp where my eight year old daughter can train for Dumbledore's Army.  You might think Harry Potter camp sounds geeky, but I would argue it is considerably cooler than college Quidditch leagues.
Yes, it's a real thing.  Even Princeton has a team.

* When I asked Hubs what bike I could get for $1,000 he already had the bike picked out for me.  No pressure!

Today I'm linking up with The good life and her Monday Listicles.

Please take a minute to click on the link below.  I will give you another imaginary $1,000 to spend!
Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Evil Corporations and School Libraries

     A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I lived with my husband in a beautiful land called "Childless."  In Childless, adults have lots of spare time on their hands; the kind of time one uses to write hostile letters to evil corporations with vile practices who exploit people.  The evil corporation about which I write was Blockbuster.

     I rented 3 movies from Blockbuster.  I returned those 3 movies to Blockbuster.  I began getting letters from Blockbuster.  These were not love letters, these were "give us back our videos" letters.  I was indignant.  I gave them back their videos.  What were they talking about?

     I walked into Blockbuster and ransacked shelves looking for the videos to prove I had returned them.  One of them was on the shelf; vidication!  I knew Blockbuster was evil!  I told the teenager at the counter to stop sending me letters.  The teenager at the counter did not stop the letters.

     The next letter said that for the remaining two videos I owed the store $240; $100 for each video and $20 for late fees on each video.  Don't they realize they can go to Costco and buy that video for $15?  $100 for a stupid disc is exploitation.  I was outraged!  I decided to fight these letters with one of my own.

     I sat down and crafted a "Cease and Desist" letter telling them; I most certainly returned the videos in question, they needed to erase all late fees from my account, and they were not allowed to contact me further regarding this matter.  (Hubs refuses to write letters like these and discouraged me from doing it, arguing that we should just pay the fine.  Easy for "he who could still rent videos at Blockbuster" to say!)  In spite of him (or maybe to spite him) I sent my letter off to the big bad evil Blockbuster corporation.

     Weeks later an apology letter arrived in the mail from Blockbuster.  My slate was clean, all late fees were expunged from my record, and my video rental priveldges were reinstated.

     A couple weeks later I was cleaning out my car.  While vacuuming I saw two boxes under the driver's seat.  Yup, those would be the two videos I had fought so hard to clear my name over.  Doh!  Under cloak of darkness I dropped those two videos in the drop box to asuage my conscience.  (No, I didn't pay the $40 in late fees.  Even though they were right about me, I'm sure they were wrong about someone else.  They are after all, evil.)

     A month ago Dude borrowed a book from his elementary school library.  Given our not stellar record of returning books to the library, I made sure that book was packed in his bag to be returned the very next day.  Two weeks later a note came home from the school library telling me I was going to have to pay $40 for the book in question.  I was outraged!  (Do you see where this is going?)  Ready to go into school this week to have a stern talk with the librarian the book was discovered, in Blondie's room, having been hidden by the Dude.

I won't write a cease and desist letter to you if you click below.  Thanks for your support!
Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

The Ball of Insomnia

     I assume she gets it from her dad.  If he wakes up in the middle of the night he is awake for hours.  He's made me realize what a gifted sleeper I am. At least 2 out of 3 of my kids got the gift; those odds aren't bad.  Then there's the Ball...

     At 11:00 p.m. Ball clambered into our bed. I was woken by a knee to the head. When I looked up Ball was staring down at me like "Hey guys! What's up?"  I ushered her back to her bed, kissed her on the head, and said good night.

     At 2:00 I was woken again by Ball in my room, this time creepily staring at me. Hubs said she had been laying in bed for the last few hours singing loudly.  Again I ushered her back to bed with a kiss on the head and a goodnight. 

     An hour later I heard the loud singing from her bedroom.  (I was passing in and out of sleep through all of this.)  This time I went in and in my stern Mommy voice told her if there was anymore singing she would loose something.  (It was almost 3:00 a.m.  "something" was the best I could do in my sleep addled brain.)   I kissed her yet again and left for the last time.  Some time in the next hour little Ball fell asleep.

     I would love to applaud my awesome parenting techniques for that; you know, the whole not engaging or making it fun.  (You like how that's good parenting at 3:00 a.m., but not so much at 3:00 p.m.?)  However, I'm pretty sure it was her own exhaustion that won out, not me.

     I know I'm lucky because except to come say "Hi" to us, she stays in her bedroom.  At least I don't have to stress about disasters occurring in the middle of the night by an unsupervised 4 year old.  That being said, it seems to be a genuine case of preschooler insomnia.  This isn't waking up, crawling into bed with Mom and Dad and going back to sleep.  Ball apparently never got the memo about "going back to sleep".

     I have yet to meet another parent whose kid does this, but Ball has done this once every month or two for as long as I can remember.  She is just genuinely wide awake for a few hours in the middle of the night.  Thankfully, it's only once every couple months.  Now, please hand me my coffee and stick around to share your own sleep deprivation stories with me.

I'm linking up to the TGIF Blog Hop.  Join Funny Postpartum Lady, Overworked Supermom

I would really appreciate it if you could click on the banner below so it
looks like I actually have a friend. Please and Thank you!
Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Not A Driving Bathroom

     When we picked Dude up from school we had to walk into his class to collect him.  We walked right past two toilets, got Dude, walked past the same two toilets, walked out, and loaded into the van.  Not one minute later Ball starts saying "I need to go potty!"

     Having to walk into his classroom and physically collect Dude has seriously shortened my time on an afternoon when time is already tight.  One day a week we are running from school to the swimming pool for lessons and too often we don't make it on time; today is that day.

     Unfortunately, Ball often waits until the very last possible second before deciding that she needs to go potty and recent experience has taught me that she will not be able to wait until we get to the pool.  This would be so much easier if she were a boy!  (I'm thinking of empty water bottles and yes, I write from experience.)

     I pull onto a side street and pull up to the curb of a nearby community.  I grab a towel out of our pool bag (thrilled that I am somewhat prepared for this), hold it around Ball and position her so that I am holding her under her armpits as if she were sitting, with her butt swinging in the breeze over some plants.  As she's watering the plants, I'm moving my feet so they don't also get watered.  I'm also working hard to keep her modest with the towel when Dude jumps out of the van, stands next to us, drops his drawers and just lets go.  (Now that, was unexpected.)

     I am now aiding and abetting two minors with indecent exposure.  I am doing this because one time when Ball was first being potty trained, and I didn't have a spare diaper to slap on her, and I couldn't find a place to pull over, I said to her in a defeated voice "you can just go potty in your car seat."  And ever since then, I have been trying to convince Ball that my van is actually not a driving bathroom.

     Please share your own potty training failures with me so I don't feel quite so inadequate.

I would really appreciate it if you could click on the banner below so it
looks like I actually have a friend.  Please and Thank you!
Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

I'm linking up at the TGIF Blog Hop, hosted by Funny Postpartum Lady, Overworked Supermom, and You Know It Happens At Your House Too!  Come join the fun!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Prince Charming School

     This morning as I was sleeping I felt a child climb into my bed.  This kid climbed under the covers next to me, snuggled up and wrapped an arm around me.  We laid in bed like that for a while with me half asleep enjoying some morning cuddles.  Then my child leaned over, kissed me, and said "wake up Mommy."

     That was when I realized it was my sweet boy in bed with me.  Like Prince Charming waking Snow White (because I'm a brunette who is pasty white and not such a beauty at 6:30 in the morning) he was being gentle and sweet.  I want him to hold onto that because it will serve him well.

     He's sandwiched between two girls with distinctly different personalities.  From them I am sure he will learn some helpful skills for his dating years.  Dude is also subjected to all kinds of girlishness and has seen more than his fair share of Disney princess movies.  I hope he is paying attention because as annoyingly anti-feminist as these movies appear to be, they have some great lessons for boys.

     Dude, if you can learn these lessons from the Disney princes and figure out how to handle your two crazy sisters I'm sure you'll turn out just fine.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

My Blog Coming and Going

    Having kept it going for six months, it's possible my blog might not be just a flash in the pan.  I really want to keep at it because it feels really good to have a place to unload my stuff.  And I thank those of you who read it.  (You can claim you were under duress when you clicked the "follow" button if you like.) 

     That being said, I have no idea where this is going.  For those who don't know, in three short weeks I am starting a master's in teaching program so I can teach middle school and high school English.  I was just told at orientation Saturday that this will be the most intense 15 months I have ever had.  Although I appreciate the honesty, that felt like a lot to throw at a prospective class of teachers who will come out of this with the ability to earn slightly more money than an employee at McDonald's.

     Right now I have no idea how blogging is going to fit into my new life.  I feel completely out of the loop this last week just having to interview nannies for my children.  What's it going to be like when I have to do some real work?

     Also between making time for homework, squeezing in children's activities, and finding time for my husband and myself I do wonder where blogging will fit.  It will probably still happen at 11:00 p.m., but instead of my children catching my eyelids drooping it will be a professor whose opinion actually matters.  It might be time for me to invest in Starbucks.

     I'm going to try to have some fun in the next few weeks before I start "the most intense 15 months of my life."  After that, I'll be around in whatever form I can manage; whether it's lurking and silently judging your grammar, or sleepily piecing together a mostly coherent post once every other month (call me optimistic!).  And when I'm finished you should expect nothing less from me than perfectly polished blogs and a whole new realm of blog fodder.

p.s. After reading a few comments I feel like I need to put a disclaimer on this.  I'm not going anywhere.  It's just that in the short time I've been in the blogging world I have learned that true blogging requires give and take.  I'm feeling guilty (mom guilt and now blog guilt, ugh!) that for a while I might be taking a lot more than I am giving and you should know the reason.  See?  I'm being selfish for a reason.  Doesn't that make it all better?