Monday, December 27, 2010

The End is Near... THANK GOD!!!

It has been a rough 6 weeks at our house.
Or rather I should say for TeenBoy and SIX.

First SIX breaks his arm in the second to the last play of the last game of the year... 3 days after his 12th birthday.

Then TeenBoy puts his hand through his bedroom window because he missed the lamp shade he was trying to kill...
And then he fell through the attic to the second floor hall- taking out a light fixture and the smoke detector along the way... just missing the stairwell... Thank God - seriously Thanks, he could have been killed!

And then?

Silly us. HeMan Hubby and I went to a Christmas Open House. Or so we thought.
About an hour and half into the party the cell phone rang.

It was SmartGirl.
SIX and TeenBoy were horsing around in the house so she yelled at them.

Did they stop?
Heck No.

They took it outside.
Into the snow.
In t-shirts and shorts.
Without any shoes on.

SIX slipped on a patch of black ice running across the driveway.
He couldn't catch himself... broken hand - remember?
Cracked his chin, took out a hunk of skin to the bone.

The call came in at 9:12pm.We were in the car by 9:26pm for the 45 minute ride home.
He was at the ER by 10:45pm. We left the ER at 1am with 5 sutures in his chin leaving behind a basin full of the asphalt they took out of it.

Do you know what SmartGirl and ManBoy said?

We took too long to get home... what? Found our coats, said goodbye, dislodged the vehicle from the parking mess then drove home, changed clothes, gathered SIX into the car, drove to the ER and checked in a mere hour and a half later???

When they are parents I hope they each have 4 boys... all a year apart... and really good health insurance.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

MERRY CHRISTMAS !!!

Happy Holidays from my family to yours....

May the New Year find all your dreams coming true!

St Jude Gund Collectors Bears
Don't forget to support St Jude's Children's Hospital by purchasing a St Jude's stuffed animal at your local 7-11!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Inside Looking Out

I read a book today.




There were presents to wrap, dishes to wash, dinner to cook, floors to clean, pies and cookies to bake...
did I mention there were presents, for the kids, that had to be wrapped before they got home from school?

Yeah, I was just gonna read for a bit with my morning coffee.
In the book, the boy has Aspergers Syndrome.
Like TeenBoy... only different.

I kept reading until lunch time when I suddenly found myself sitting, staring at the page.

Eyes burning, throat raw, sore from the tears I was swallowing.

No -I think to myself- TeenBoy is much milder, he doesn't do all those things like in the kid in the book
Yes- he does I whisper back... wiggling fingers, endless pacing, needing to stand in class or get out into the hall for a while, reading a book to be able to focus on the teacher's lecture, the holes in the wall, the closet door, the bedroom window, growing his bangs out to use them as his screen from eye contact, difficulty making friends.

In the book the author explains having Aspergers in a way that really made sense...
Imagine you are on one side of a plastic membrane and the world is on the other. Sometimes you can hear and see what is going on but just not enough to understand and you can't ever break through the barrier- always trapped inside with no way out and no way to make anyone hear you.

I finished the book today.
I only meant to read a bit when the kids left for school, something to enjoy my morning coffee by.
I ate my lunch and skipped dinner with it.

Then I closed the cover and went to bed wondering if I am as good a mother as the one in the book
Then I realize I want to be like a fictional character ...

But it could be worse I think to myself...
I could want to be like Martha Stewart... again.


The book?--- House Rules by Jodi Picoult

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Been There Done That ...So Don't Want To Go There Again!

The kids always open up in the car. 
When there is no where to run, to hide,  THAT is when they choose to drop little nuggets of their lives on me without warning.

SmartGirl needed candy canes. 
Somehow she, BratChild and I ended at the grocery store.

Yes, on the 3rd shopping day left before Christmas I was at a store. 
That I had to drive to.
On the roads.
With all the last minute shoppers gone crazy.

And then, she did it. BratChild just came out with a doozie.

"My friend at school is pregnant."

SmartGirl says- maybe you shouldn't be her friend.

I think the same thing, for just a split second, then my head kicks in and I say something like...
it's going to be hard for her...

I know how lame was I?
But in my defense I was appalled that I even thought for a nanosecond that BratChild should stop being her friend.

Her friend at school?

She is me 30 years ago.
I was the 8th grade girl scared and worried and not sure what was going to happen.

I was the one whose friends stopped calling.
Stopped sitting with her at lunch.
Stopped hanging out at the locker between classes.

The one who was alone.
Pointed at.
Laughed at.
Then ignored.

I told BratChild to tell her friend I was her age when I had GoodMom.
I told her that if she ever wanted to talk I would.

Her mom laughed when she told her. She thought it was a joke. 
Then she screamed and ran out of the house to get some air.
Then she came in, sat down and hugged her. 
Told her they would figure it all out together.

It was different for me. Very different.

I think she'll be okay.

She has BratChild for her friend and that makes her really lucky.

And BratChild

She has me... been there -done that- wish K wasn't going to go through it too...

She knows she can tell me anything, anything at all and I'll be there 
for whoever needs me

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Support Our Troops

There is nothing I need to say....

Let's Say Thanks

Just Do It...

It's The Right Thing To Do!
In Honor of Charlie Cartwright and Kurt Shea....
The Few, The Proud, The Marines... OORah!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A week until it's almost almost Christmas!

Yes. Today is the day that I start the count down to Christmas.

It goes something like this...
There are 18 days to Christmas which is really only 14 since after the 21st really, who wants to be anywhere near a store or mall?
And once the 14th gets here in a week there is really just that one week left until Christmas and only one weekend left to hit the mall like a madman, woman, er, person.

And with Christmas on a Saturday and only 2 more of those until it gets here, it really is almost almost Christmas.
A party on the 11th... HeMan Hubby's co-worker.
A party in the 18th... fellow DeMolay advisors
A party on the 19th... the Holiday Party for needy kids that our DeMolay chapter hosts every year... this is year 59!

Then Wham! It's the week of Christmas and baking and wrapping of presents and cleaning and packing of clothes for the holiday trip to visit relatives down south commences.

Yes.
Today marks the beginning of the end of the
Holiday Season.
The culmination of the weeks, months, days of anticipation created by Cable TV programming and the Retail Establishments and a Greeting Card company.

Happy 15th 
Oh, and today is TeenBoy's birthday.
He's 15.
He's lucky.
He almost didn't make it this far.
(ceiling, stitches... read back a few posts & you'll see why)

And...
Today is the 69th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Just wanted to make you sure you don't  forget that very important fact on your way to the Christmas rush...

TeenBoy Trivia: He was named for a WWII vet and arrived nearly 3 weeks early to be born on this day ...

Monday, December 6, 2010

Wii Party Gets the Party started Right!

A month or so ago I received an email from someone who said someone had given my name as a person with a family who might enjoy having a party with pizza and the New Wii Party game.

Well, I checked into it and someone really did say that stuff about my family and they were right about it so...

I answered the questions about our Wii system.
Yes- we do indeed have one.
Yes- we do have controllers... 2. I have been holding out for Christmas hoping to get 2 new motion plus ones
Yes- my family enjoys both pizza and parties
Yes- we would be thrilled to try this game and have some pizza
Yes- I would definitely let them know how it went... and I might even blog about it...

Guess you can tell I decided to blog about it, right?

So yes, we did get the Wii Party Pizza Party kit in the mail. It actually arrived a day early and SURPRISE! In the box was a 25.00 Gift Card to Dominoes Pizza and the Wii Party game AND a Motion Plus Controller.... and it's PINK!
Wii Motion Plus in Pink available HERE!

Yeah, I hate pink, but the kids can tell which one is MINE now which is nice.

Did I mention there was a box with a big pink bow on it and some Mii Masks in there too?
No, the kids weren't crazy about the masks, but everything else, You Betcha!

We decided to wait until Thanksgiving break to have the party.
There were 7 kids in attendance and 2 adults,
Or 5 kids and 4 adults, it depends on who you ask.

There was a variety of games to play. Some were long- an hour or more.
Others were 30 minutes.
Then there were the quickie games.

Our group played a couple of the 30 minute games then opted for the shorter games.

First came the challenge where a series of games would be played and the first player to win 5 of the challenge games won. This took some time with 4 players. The challenges were random.
Some were more fun than others.
Some were easier to understand than others.

But this led to the kids exploring the mini-game options and going on to play about 10 of these.

L liked the water games. There were only a few but he liked those the best. He's 3 and his mother helped him when needed. Okay she helped him a lot!

E liked the racing ones. The spaceships. The racing through sheep. Ski jump racing. Anything that looked like a race he wanted to play. He's 9. He could work the controller all by himself. Except when it was a steering wheel. That was a bit awkward. It was a steering wheel a lot. But that's okay because he finally got the hang of it, mostly.

BratChild looked on with distain. She's 13 so... but she did not leave the room and she even slipped up a few times and cheered for L. I think if her friends had been able to come she would have been more into it. Or if I wasn't anywhere in the universe. I did say she's 13.

TeenBoy was into it. After a slow start that is. He expected it to be 'Baby Games' and was pleasantly surprised at the skill level and the fun that was had with every game. Even the 'baby game' that L actually won.  TeenBoy said yeah, he would definitely play again and he was sincere.

SIX, with a broken hand, was the most reluctant to play, and/or like the Wii Party. The best part for him was the pizza, or so he said. Until the games began. Even with one hand in a brace and fingers he couldn't really manipulate well, he was able to steer a car, jump hurdles, dodge sheep and race a spaceship through the sky. He even won several times. And he was cheering and having a great time in almost no time at all.

SmartGirl and ManBoy watched and commented and gave advice. They both thought the games looked fun, some more so than others. They also said they would rather play with people at their own skill level or age than with the little kids like L and E since it would give them the option to play one of the longer games like the board game or trivia.  But they agreed it was fun to play all ages together for a family fun nite.

Honestly, all of the kids, and the adult-like people too, had a good time. Pizza and soda to start off was perfect. Got everyone into a fun and games mood while we got the games set up. They all had fun and they each won several games along the way.

The general consensus was that they all had fun and will play again.
Except me, I won't play again, I will finally get to play, and use my very own PINK controller with the  motion plus.
I can hardly wait.

We've got a challenge for New Year's Eve with some out of town friends...
And Team BusyFamily plays to win!
And eat pizza .

Friday, December 3, 2010

A day in the Life of BusyMom...

We went to Pennsylvania yesterday, my sister-in-law and I.
We left when I got home from work, she drove.
We went for the Christmas Gift and Craft Fair in Harrisburg.

This is the second year that we've done this.
This year her sister met us there and we spent the day browsing, shopping and having a good time.

I had to get some new links in a bracelet I got there last year.
The vendor wasn't there, but I found another one who, after I bought a replacement bracelet, decided they could add a few links to the original after all.
Now I have 2. I guess I'll give SmartGirl the new one too.

I got some glue. Really, serious glue- " The Last Glue You'll Ever Need" glue.
Really, that's what the guy called it and if it fixes the shoes the dog chewed then I will be sold on it for life.
I'll let you know how it goes.

I got a hanging planter.
It's made of copper wire and stained glass with a bud vase suspended in the center..
I'm going to put it in the kitchen window.
I'll let you know if that works too.

I got some shirts for the guys... I think they'll get a kick out of them.
Their ego's definitely will!

We ran out of time. The place is huge and I would have loved to spend more time but...

Back to real life.
The life of BusyMom.

I got home in time to get SIX and HeMan Hubby into the car and out the door to SIX's football banquet.
He got a trophy for his team being a finalist in the Division Championship....
The game his hand got shattered in.

Then he got another trophy.
MVP for Defense.
For making his presence known in that game, and every game of the season..
The coach said, " No matter what the score was the other team ALWAYS knew we were on the field with (SIX) taking them down"
Every one clapped. Everyone cheered. The defensive coach grabbed SIX in a bear hug and said...
"I asked you to give your all and you always did, offense, defense, special teams... you even gave up your hand, but you never gave up the points... You are THE MAN ! You are an awesome kid"

I worry that I make too many mistakes with the kids.
I worry that I'm not doing my job.
I worry that they will not become the wonderful people that I know they are...

Then someone else steps in, or several someones.
They teach my children, they praise my children, they make my kids feel good about themselves and...

I know that HeMan Hubby and I are not doing this alone.
It takes a Village to raise a child is what I've heard.

But I think that maybe what it really takes
 is a Football Team...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010 Part 3- the finale

Black Friday... long lines, stampedes of people, waiting for an eternity in the dark, cold hours of the morning...

Yeah, that's what I thought too... Until they came up with the Midnite Madness sales!
Stores open at 12:00 AM ...these sales were made for Night Shift workers like me!

It's become a tradition for my girls and I to travel over the Bay to the outlet mall for a night of shopping, bonding and serious people watching... topped with a greasy breakfast at Denny's.
BratChild has been talking about it for weeks... her second year being a part of Girls Nite Out.


Except this year we went to the mall near our house. Which has outlets for stores like Timberland and J.Crew and BASS... and a lot of regular stores.

But not a lot of deep discounts like they have over the Bay.

Or as many people to watch... and laugh about ( seriously? shopping in PJs and bedroom slippers in the rain with your newborn and a 2 year old at the OUT DOOR MALL!!!)

Or as much bonding... with only a 10 minute drive the trip is over before it starts.

But there was The Skanky, I mean Hunky Santa... a stripper Santa... I mean really...Ick!
And the promise of Chocolate Chip Pancakes at IHop!

HeMan Hubby took the midnite WallyWorld watch to make sure we got the deal of the century... we relieved him by 2:30am.... that's how much Madness was not going on over at the Mall...

Well, except for that one little thing.... where I slipped off the curb and my foot slid in my shoe-
the shoe that BratChild wore earlier and walked on the sides of her feet in and stretched all to hell so they're too wide for my feet now.... so I cracked my knee on the curb and scraped my palms and twisted my ankle...
And the paramedics came running, full speed, to my rescue.
I felt sorry for them.
They had just moved the ambulance from one side of the mall doorway to the other and back again... probably from boredom.
I'm pretty sure one had just said how boring the night was and Jinxed me!

After hanging out at WallyWorld for 2.5 hours with visions of Skanky Santa dancing in our heads...
and BratChild psyched for some IHop... that wasn't open!???

Yes, I managed to find a Denny's and thanks to the NEW MENU which now includes Chocolate Chip Pancakes... she got her Black Friday Breakfast.

But it was just... not the same.
Not fun.
Not what she was looking forward to all month long.

Sometimes it's not about the shopping and the savings.
Sometimes it's about the things that are priceless....
A night spent with daughters, sisters, Mom...
A tradition that just isn't the same when it's really just about the shopping...

A tradition we will be doing the right way.... OUR WAY
Next year!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Time to find the Christmas decorations... Thanksgiving 2010 2 1/2

Oh - I almost forgot... as  I sit here with my knee on a pillow thanking GOD that we had green beans instead of the Frozen Peas for T-giving dinner...( you'll find out why in Part 3)

the boys- the ones with only one good hand each... the ones I asked to ask HeMan Hubby where he put the Xmas tree... go walking up the stairs with a step ladder... as I call out to them to NOT GO INTO THE ATTIC... yeah yeah we got it they say...

Then THUMP! CRASH! WHAM! 
Yeppers, drywall and insulation and one TeenBoy falling thru the ceiling...

Can this HOLIDAY be over yet?
I used to feel sorry for kids left at boarding school for the holidays...
Now?
I sort of envy their parents!

PS
HeMan Hubby came to the rescue.
He pulled some drywall that was just chilling in the basement and got the hole covered.

The really cool part is that he made TeenBoy help him... to atone for his stubbornness

But that's not the cool part, the really cool part is that I could hear HeMan Hubby explaining how to measure the area and how to cut the drywall and put it up so the seams would be hidden once taped and mudded and the stucco pattern to match the rest of the ceiling was done.

And TeenBoy? He listened and asked questions and actually learned a thing or two...
While spending some time hanging with his Dad doing some Guy Stuff...

I guess sometimes things really do happen for a reason...


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010 Part 2

don't forget to read Part 1 below
Thanksgiving is a week-long holiday that begins with Parent-Teacher conferences on Monday.


This happens every year. 
Some years they go much better than others.
This year was a 'better' year... sort of.


After working all night I had to be at the school at 8am 
with BratChild and SIX - who were too tired to get up on time-
for a student-led conference. 


Which means they tell me how they are doing in school.
Yeah, that's so very helpful... lucky for me a teacher was available to answer my questions.
Thank You God!


After working all night I had to be at the school for a Team conference with ALL of BratChild's teachers at 11am...
because of the Math teacher... who did not seem to think there was a problem... 
the other teachers did not agree ....
things should be better when school resumes! 
Yeah! not a bad day after all...


Oops! 
Spoke too soon...
TeenBoy lost his temper... you know, the way teen boys do.
And his poor bedroom window paid the price... 
well that and his hand that, after a quick (yeah right) trip to the ER was stitched and bandaged and totally useless for a week...


Why? you ask... he was mad. Bad mom, I made him get off the computer...
good news is he doesn't have to worry about that anymore... No More Computer until.... Easter?


Yes, Thanksgiving is a week long celebration of family love and togetherness...


Please God, let me make it to the end without killing, or at least maiming , anyone! 


But wait! There's more.... Look for the continuing saga of Thanksgiving 2010... 


Part 3 and the story of the Midnight Madness sale that wasn't...
Mad that is

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Road Trip to Remember

Through the years I have taken many road trips with my children.
Summer, Winter, Spring, Fall... no matter the season, if there was enough time to squeeze in a quick trip to visit my Grandma and cousins in Ohio we loaded up the car and away we went.

One of my favorite trips was Independence Day 1989.
My daughters were 9 and 4 and my son, he was 8 weeks old.

My car was my favorite one to date. A red Hyundai Accent 5-door with a sun roof and soft, fluffy upholstery.
It was also my very first New car.

We set out early on a weekday morning, traveling Rt 70 into Pennsylvania, then following the winding roads that cross into West Virginia with a detour to the cemetery to put flowers on my grandparent's and brothers graves.

Once in West Virginia the girls started the ritual of calling out which route to take over the mountains.
"Follow the River"
"Over the mountain"
"Go the back way"
"Stop at OUR gas station"

No, we didn't own the gas station, but we always stop at the same stations on our trips.
That way the kids know how far to the next stop- in hours if not in miles- and with frequent trips the employees become familiar and recognize us when we stop in.

After our stop in Bridgeport at OUR gas station to fill up on snacks and fuel I had the girls pick a number between 1-10. The one closest to my number got to pick the route over the mountain.

I don't remember which one got to pick, but we took the route along the river that led through Clark Gable's hometown. We took a short detour to drive past the house he was born in. The girls complaining all the while wanting to know what the big deal about a Black and White movie guy was... years later they saw Gone with the Wind and stopped asking THAT question!

We stopped at a little diner for a late lunch.
The hole-in-the-wall kind that always has the best food ever.

Lesson learned the hard way? Go where the truckers go. They travel the same routes and know where to eat!
And when they see a young mom and her kids travelling they pay attention and keep an eye out.

The girls talked to the waitress and told them where we were headed. I saw a couple truckers nod to each other and head out as we paid our bill.

Yep, they were going our way and they kept pace and looked out for us until we got to the turn off to Grandma's house.

SmartGirl threw up somewhere around Donegal, Pa. Her first ever bout of car sickness. And GoodMom? She got in a snit because she had to sit in the back with 'The Baby' for part of the trip.
But we look back and remember that trip and laugh.

We made the trips for years and years. The vehicle getting bigger as we added more children to our family. The detours sometimes fun, sometimes shortcuts and sometimes not-so-short-cuts.

There was the time ManBoy couldn't figure out if BratChild has spilled her drink or over-flowed her diaper...
We all laugh whenever we remember his little voice calling out " It sure doesn't taste like Lemonade".

Or the time we got a flat tire when a milk crate flew off the truck in front of us. We were headed to Ohio, this time for Grandma's funeral. I was leading the way with GoodMom driving behind.
The kids still bring up 'That time Grandma almost got run over by a Saturn'. Because, well, she almost did. She ran across 3 lanes of the Ohio Turnpike to retrieve the milk crate because... well we still have no idea why... nearly getting clipped by a blue Saturn going 70 miles an hour.

We head South now instead of West. And we travel at night with the truckers watching our backs to avoid the heat and the traffic jams on I-95.
We carry our cooler filled with water bottles and juice and apples and fruit bites... and chocolate to keep BusyMom focused. The kids watch movies and listen to iPods and take turns sitting by me just talking while I drive.

There are lots of memories from lots of road trips and really, when I sit back and think about it,  every trip is my favorite for one memory or another.

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Discount Tire blogging program, making me eligible to receive a $50 gift card and be entered for a chance to win a prize valued at $1,000. For more information on how you can participate, CLICK HERE."

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010 Part 1

My beautiful family... a couple or 6 Thanksgivings ago!
TeenBoy HeManHubby BratChild Me SIX
SmartGirl ManBoy GoodMom
Ahhh, another Thanksgiving under the belt... or in some cases hanging over it.
A day filled with family and friends. Good food and better drink ... 
Eggnog people! 


Pageants with children dressed up as Pilgrims and Indians
 who dance and sing and yell out 'Hi Mom!'


This is the day that we all love and live...
thru the movies on television, that is.


Mom in a dress and heels, Dad in a suit and tie
The kids are clean and fresh come to the table in shirts and ties
 and skirts with ribbons in their hair.


At my house I'm lucky if TeenBoy puts a t-shirt on before he sits down.


And me?
After cooking a 19 lb turkey and 11 lb ham... making 15 lbs of mashed potatoes and 5 lbs of my wonderful stuffing... 2 pumpkin and 1 deep-dish sugar-free pies... 


Hey!
I'm lucky if I can squeeze in a shower AND put on some make-up BEFORE the guests arrive.


And by guests, I mean family. Who are technically guests, but not really so...
Do I have to observe hostess etiquette and offer drinks and hors d'oeurves?
I sincerely hope not, cuz I don't. 


Not that I would love to, but because I'm too busy trying to get someone to set the table... including the silver ware... oh yeah, and the napkins PLEASE


Finally, Finally! 


We sit, after managing to find 12 chairs... oops! We needed 13 this year...
We sit, except TeenBoy who stands because he has no chair...
we say Grace, er, my father says Grace...


as my lovely granddaughter, FancyPants, sits between GoodMom and I with her little hands clasped in front of her as her great-grandfather says a prayer...


Yeah, that's what Thanksgiving is all about...


yeah, that and a week off from school so kids can drive their parents insane...
But that's another story ... Thanksgiving 2010 Part 2.. COMING SOON!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Today is Sunday... a day for recharging the soul

Sunday. 
The day of rest.
But in reality, is there ever a day of rest for any of us?
Sleeping in ... all the way to 7am!
Laundry and cleaning and preparing for the week ahead.
These are the things I do on my day of rest.



You will show me the path of life.

In your presence is fullness of joy...

psalm 16:11

But more importantly, my day of rest is my day to recharge my soul.


To take the time to watch the sunlight shining through the window, lighting up the dust motes as the float by.


To take the time to relax with a child or 2 and watch TV... infomercials, Disney movies, Phineas and Ferb... whatever. It's a time to just enjoy spending time doing nothing with them.


To make the time to Thank God that I am able to see the gifts he has given me.


To stop and smell the proverbial roses along life's path and remember that no matter what God will accept me, forgive me, boost me up and walk with me...


For as long as I want him there...
and yes, even if I don't.









Thursday, November 18, 2010

Writer's Workshop: When I see you smile...

Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop:


Prompt #2 - write a poem about a time someone made you smile.



This is about my son's first kiss... the one he gave his girlfriend after the final performance of the high school play she was in. He gave her the bouquet of roses he had picked out for her and then he kissed her for the very first time. I saw this happen from across the lobby. It made me smile as I remembered the awkward young boy his father was the very first time he kissed me... 


Tonight the final curtain call.
Is it the end or only the beginning
of  her career, a hobby, or a dream


A nervous laugh as the lights come up
beautiful red roses held tightly in his grasp
he saunters through the crowd unseen


And then, she turns her face toward him
her eyes gleam, her smile widens
as she watches him draw near


Flowers are thrust into her arms
he sighs then shuffles he feet, nervous
he leans in to give her love's first kiss


I watch from a distance
a smile on my face
and I think how like his father he really is.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Another Day Another Dollar...

Or in this economy it's more likely to be a quarter.

It's that time of year. Time to clear out the old and bring in the new... er, no, that's not right.
It's time to clear out the cobwebs and dust, move the furniture to see exactly what the kids have hidden underneath, clean out closets and cabinets filled with winter clothes and coats and shoes that no longer fit anyone in my household.
That's what time it is.
Once the floors are clean and the corners of the rooms are cobweb free it's much easier to settle into the routine of winter.
Days spent indoors, instead of out, watching all those shows I DVR because I can't seem to stay awake past sundown...
Days spent baking cookies for the holidays and searching out recipes for new things to make for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.
Days spent making gifts for family and friends... crocheting and knitting while watching all those DVR'd shows or Hallmark Countdown to Christmas movies.

I love this time of year.
Not only do I get to de-clutter and clean, but I get to relax and enjoy being home.
Football and Soccer season have finally ended. Not that I don't love them as much as TeenBoy, BratChild and SIX do, but they've been going since mid-summer and quite frankly, five months of practices and games and cleaning uniforms and cleats... there is a limit to what a BusyMom wants to do.
Now we can sit down to dinner, together, instead of eating on the run on the way to some ball practice or another.
Now I can make dinners that don't have to be portable or pre-fab frozen deals that can be microwaved in a snap.

Yes, now I can do all of these things...
but will I?
All?
Probably not.

Friday, November 12, 2010

What I want to BE when I grow up List

Over at SITS I joined a group with activities to help me find my voice, my blog voice that is, and my audience... again the blog-reading one.

This week we were called to write a list- in 10 minutes- and the grocery list was not the one they meant so... here goes.

This is my list of things that I would like to be... when I grow up, or when my kids do, which ever comes first.

1- a Super Hero- any kind will do... I just think it would be cool to have people actually need me for something other than a meal and clean clothes and as a chauffer.
2-a doctor or a PA or a Nurse Practicioner or an herbal healer or Wise Woman - but not the kind that were burned for being witches.
3-a college graduate... a prerequisite to number 2
4-an acclaimed author... with a real book with my Nom-De-Plum or alter ego's name on the cover.
5-the best person I can be... and not feel guilty for wanting to be ME instead of Mom or Wife or person-you-can-always-count-on...

I know that I will in all likihood not acheive any of these because, let's face it, I am Mom amd Wife and Person-you-can-always-count-on and...

I like who I am and that is probably the thing on my To Be list that matters most...
6-Happy to BE me!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day... a lesson and a Thank You... No,Really- THANK YOU!

Below is a repost of mine from last year...

Since then another fine young man died while fighting for the things he believed in... things like Love of God, Love of Family and Love of Country...

To Kurt and Charlie and all those who GAVE THEIR ALL during the last 12 months...

Thank You from the bottom of my heart.

Original Post November 11, 2009
Today is Veteran's Day.



A day set aside to honor those who have served to protect and defend our country.



Everyone knows that. We learned about it in grade school- you know back when the holocaust was real and the 'Cold War' was still being fought?

But what many people may not remember, or possibly never really learned way back when, is that Veteran's Day was originally Armistice Day.



What is Armistice you may ask... again because you were too busy watching Nixon being impeached on TV or listening to your grandfather rant how the Russians were planning to take over the world to remember what your teacher was telling you in school.



Armistice is a cessation of fighting by mutual agreement between all parties involved.



And Armistice Day was originally intended as a remembrance of the Armistice Treaty that went into effect at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, thereby effectively ending the First World War... or as it was called by many, "The War To End All Wars"... well, until the next one that is.



So, November 11th at 11:00 am is when the guns stopped shooting and the soldiers stopped marching and the tanks stopped rolling in 1918. And those left standing were able to return to their homes and families in time for Christmas and the Peace-full New Year of 1919.



But the armistice did not last because, well, let's face it, we ARE human after all, and eternal peace and happiness just aren't part of the genetic code of our species.


Someone had to decide they were "The Man" and start taking over the smaller and less adequately defended countries in Europe-- oh so slyly and quietly so that the bigger, badder nations across the globe did not realize exactly what was happening until it was almost too late.


And of course, The US being the Defender of the Defense-less, and Global Conscience that it is, we got involved. Oh- I mean before Pearl Harbor- we had pilots flying for the RAF out of Canada and Great Britain, we had intelligence personnel in Europe sending back some not-so-nice reports on Adolph and Friends and there were discussions in the governmental bodies about how and when we should intercede.



Then Pearl Harbor happened and just how much trouble Adolph and his Pals in Italy and Japan had gotten into became alarmingly apparent.

Thus the US was thrown into World War II, and although it was not our brightest hour, it was certainly not a good idea to piss us off from the get go.
 Japan was not very smart about that, or they under estimated us as a military force? Maybe it is because we frown on killing perfectly good people by using airplanes as bombs like those crazy Kamakzi guys. But hey, maybe it was something else.


So WWII happened. Lots more of our young men died defending those in need across the globe against a mad man, who had some serious mental-health and self-love issues, because he could talk a good game.



That 'War to End All Wars' ended in 1945, and not a moment too soon for those interred in concentration camps across Eastern Europe.


In 1954- only 9 years after WWII ended and a year after the Korean Conflict- cuz I do remember learning in school that it was NOT a war, just a conflict where people got killed... a lot, had been ... er, un-conflicted?


Anyway- 1954 saw the signing of a bill making Veteran's Day a day to honor American veterans of all wars by Dwight Eisenhower, who was himself a great veteran and who said... ( I had to put a quote of his here because he is my favorite president)...


"On that day let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of those who fought so valiantly on the seas, in the air and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain."



Since that proclamation was made 51 years ago many more veterans have arrived on the scene... From the cuban conflict, Operation Desert Storm, Viet Nam, Operation Iraqi Freedom and so many more that I am sure We, The People have no idea ever happened.






For ALL of those Veterans I want to say thank you... and I include those who are left who bear a tatoo identifying them as true veterans of war because, unlike American History books who barely mention the "alleged holocaust" I believe that their lives were endagered, taken and tossed aside without care... and I KNOW that without OUR Veterans of that war, and the many since, history books the world over would be filled with more atrocities than even I can imagine, and let me tell you, I have a really good imagination!






So- Thank You to Marty, Vic, David, Steph, Dad, Uncle Dave, Wink, Mr. Schuyler, Matthew, Smitty, Charlie Cartwright- KIA Afghanistan November 2009, and those whose names I cannot remember and those whose names I have never known... you are ALL to me like family... the family of Man-Kind with the emphasis on KIND.

The Heartbreak of Defeat.... or the broken hand... take your pick

SIX broke his hand.
Badly.

Actually, he didn't break it, the kid on the other team did.
Or in the words of SIX, 'Thunder Thighs broke it".

For a team of 11 year olds, there sure were a lot of BIG kids on it.
And by BIG, I mean Thunder Thighs probably weighed in around 230.
No joke!

SIX is 5'5" and 107... just a little difference in size.
But SIX stopped Thunder Thighs from getting the touchdown ... which was good.
His team still lost... which was not so good.

The season officially ended with the play after SIX's hand got crunched... yeah, figures.
No more nightly football practice.
No more Saturday's spent at the field.
No more searching for elusive uniform pads and socks before a game.
That's what our team has to look forward to.

The other team?
According to SIX...
They're at home eating donuts by the fire.
Fattening up for next year.

You know, I think he just might be right about this one.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Scary Thing Happened On The Way To A Football Game

Driving.
Many of us do it. Usually several times a day.
How many of us are safe drivers though?


A law went into effect October 1st that no one can text or talk while driving in my state. 
One MUST use a hands free device to converse on the phone while driving.


There was a cry of outrage from the media, the public, the teens who's cell phones have been surgically attached to their wrists! 


Somehow, in all the to-do about that law, another more important, and to my mind totally for dummies law, went  into effect without so much as a whisper of commentary.


As of October 1st, failing to move to the left, or if unable to move left, to slow down, when passing a police vehicle on the shoulder with lights on is a ticket-able offense.


I know, it's a long law. And it's a totally 'Well Duh!' kind of law. Everyone I asked, like me, was taught to move over a lane when a police car is on the shoulder with lights on when they were in driver's ed way back in the dark ages. 


Apparently, the driving classes now don't teach that? Or perhaps they don't emphasize the importance of this little courtesy to our men in blue? Either way, it appears that there have been so many police officers injured, or killed, during routine traffic stops by cars side-swiping or rear-ending the police cruisers, and/or the cars they have stopped, that lawmakers felt this had to be addressed with this new law.


Just when I thought that, yet again, the lawmakers of my state were wasting tax payer money writing laws for things that are common sense, I was put in my place. For thinking, that is.


On the way to TeenBoy's final football game of the season ( no you do not want to know the score), I was driving in the right lane. In front of me was a brand new full-size pickup with the ginormous tires and a gun-rack in the rear window. 
As we approached a red light the truck turned on his right turn signal and moved into the right turn lane. Only to slow, then swerve suddenly to the left, cutting off a car that was coming through the intersection - as he DID have the green light - then continued across all the lanes of traffic, pedal to the metal, only to turn into the McDonald's parking lot on the other side of the road.


I give up.
There are no 'Well, Duh!' laws. 
All of them need to be written down and THEN they need to broadcast them daily on a loudspeaker along the highways so that all the stupid people, like that truck driver, will have no excuse to say they did not know the laws.


Oh, the driver was not a youngster, or even an older person who was perhaps confused... but someone, who in all appearances, seemed to be 30-40 and in good physical health. 
At least from what I see for the10 minutes he was driving in front of me before he went insane.


TeenBoy will be eligible for his learner's permit in one year. 
Great, like I don't have enough to worry about already! 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Writer's Workshop: Like Ace of base.... I Saw the Sign

Welcome to another offering from the writing prompts at Mama Kat's


Todays prompt is : 


5.) Describe a moment when you saw someone hit their breaking     
      point.





She seemed calm, normal actually, at first,  as I watched from across the room.


Then, an eerie light began to glimmer, just beyond her pupils, as if from some other place behind her eyes, an almost manic look.


Her mouth turned down with sadness, her brow furrowed with anger and then her coloring got, well, blotchy.
Her face, her chest and down her arms grew cold, then hot,  then prickled with goosebumps as she balled up her fists.


It was then, right then, as she slowly slid to the floor, that she surrendered to her anger, the sense of inadequacy, and cried...


" I give up. That's. It.  I'm. Done"


She sighed, her body going limp, her eyes filling with tears, her head drooping as she leaned against the mirror, slowly breathing in, then out... as I realized that I was the only one in the room.





Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Day After...the day after

Today is the day after the day after Halloween.

It was a laid back and relaxing one, for a change.

The kids carved their pumpkins without much fuss or fighting.


They dressed themselves and only asked for help with the little things like the 401k-that-took-a-beating make-up.

Before I knew what happened they were out the door and I was left...
alone
in peace
and quiet.

Just me, the TV and Ghost Hunters Live...

It was wonderful.

And then, they came home...

with 10 pounds of candy each.

Note to self-  call the Dentist!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Just when you start thinking your kids are growing up... Think Again!

Kids.

You gotta love tthem.

Except when you might actually hate them.

But then, you don't really hate them, you just don't like them so much.

Anyone with teens knows what I mean.

Exactly what I mean.

Today I am not so loving TeenBoy and Manchild. 

Why?

I used to have a really nice breakfast bar on my kitchen island.

Now I have a really nice partial breakfast bar on my kitchen island.

And a really pretty piece of butcher block pine...

Yeah, today I am so not loving those boys.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween...

Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year.

I know, it's not a REAL holiday, but then again, it kinda is.

Parents spend time with their kids.

Laughing and playing make-believe and just enjoying being together.

Carving pumpkins, dressing up,
watching It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

At our house, on Halloween night, we got dressed in our costumes as soon as we got home from school.
Then we gathered around the kitchen table with our pumpkin.

Mom only got one, but it was HUGE.
When we were little she would cut the top off, then hand us all a big spoon.
We would all dig in and start scooping.
Happily, we dug out handfuls of seeds covered in gooey slime, chunks of pumpkin flesh.

Next came the argument, there always was one, about who got to draw the face.
And, who got to cut it out.

My older brother usually got this honor... he WAS the oldest of the 4 of us.

Once the face was drawn, cut out and the candle was lit... 
Our Great Pumpkin took up residence on the front porch, keeping watch over the street as the sun went down, the street lights came on and the Ghosts and Goblins and Power Rangers and Cinderellas came out of their homes and swarmed into the night.

Dinner was spaghetti. 
Nearly every year it was spaghetti.
Easy to make, quick to eat and good fuel for trekking through the neighborhood, lugging a pillowcase full of treats.
And filling enough to make eating too much candy uncomfortable when we got home.

Candy had to be checked, sorted and traded before heading off to bed, visions of Jack-o-lanterns, ghouls and strobe lights in our heads.

And plans for what we would be next year already in the works.

I still make spaghetti for dinner on Halloween.
And, we still carve our pumpkins before the kids head out to gather their treats.

Checking and sorting and trading still takes place, only now it's my kids doing it, as I look on and remember the nights of my childhood with my brothers and sister...

And how our family came together for one night of the year, not because we had to, but because, candy was involved!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Writers Workshop: Helen Keller Inspires me... sometimes my kids make me wish I couldn't hear them OR see them.... sometimes















Today's Post brought to you by:   


Prompt#5:

"Keep your face to the sunshine and you can not see the shadow" - Helen Keller

In what ways are you able to stay positive about something that sometimes brings you down?


At first, I thought this prompt was really hard. 

Then I realized
It's Not! 

What do I do to help with things that bring me down?
This! 
This is what I do.

And sometimes, instead of feeling like a failure or that my life is miserable or unbearable...
I actually, really and truly, like my life and the trials and tribulations it brings.

What do I have in my life that sometimes brings me down?
Hmmm, good question.

I have TeenBoy and BratChild and SIX...
And then I have a mortgage company from HELL
And 2 grown children  I still support...

But the biggest elephant in the room is my health.

I have lupus and rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia... 
or a combination thereof...
or none of the above.

Depends on which doc you ask on which day of the week.

I have written about my life , my kidsmy mortgager and  Living with Lupus.

I have no idea whether anyone actually reads these posts, but they help me to let off steam or use sarcasm and witty repartee to deal with the bumps along my life's path.

How do I stay positive?

Not sure that I do, but I am sure that I don't let the suicidal thoughts,  or homicidal ones for that matter, have any real space in my head... 

And that's about as positive as I can be... 


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hanging in the Hood... in a so not creepy way

Eight large pizzas.

Two cases of diapers.

A vacuum cleaner.

An all-in-one printer.

Recycling day is wonderful.

Why?

Because I learn so much about my neighbors...

without having to be Stalker-ish!

All I have to do is go to work and I'll know all about the people that live on my street!

Huge party for the returning war hero = Eight large pizzas

Potty training has failed  (again) = empty diaper cases

Serious Fall Clean-up and perhaps a For Sale sign in the yard?  = new high-powered-pet-dander-removing vacuum

Fancy new all-in-one printer.... nope it's mine and all it means is HeMan Hubby wouldn't let me get the 30.00 one from Wal-Mart... he had to have the wireless printing...
and it's out of ink
Already!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Home Coming Weekend... A Night To Remember?

TeenBoy had his first High School Experience this past week. 


SPIRIT Week came to a crescendo last Friday afternoon with a Pep Rally, followed by the JV then Varsity Homecoming football games.


Which they lost.


Again.


Like every other game this season.


But...
They did not give up.
They did not surrender.
They did not stop giving their all...


Even when their own fans stopped cheering madly.
Stopped waving banners.
'WIN IT'.... yes, they tried
Stopped paying attention to the game.



The JV players kept the Varsity guys pumped up...         


They soldiered on 
Fought the good fight...




Then went their separate ways as the crowds dispersed;
their classmates and friends all went home.


Only to reconvene for the Homecoming Dance Saturday Night.


TeenBoy experienced this Rite of Passage into Teen-dom
And he went with a girl... friend.
A friend who's a girl?


$200.00 suit jacket, $40.00 tickets, $35.00 orchid, and a tie...


And in the words of HeMan Hubby...


"All that money and all he got was a girlfriend?"


Yes.
TeenBoy is now 'in a relationship' with his date for the dance.


I know this to be true because...


It's says so on FaceBook!