July 31, 2009

shaken, but not stirred

My lovely daughter, Kacey texted the other day to say she needed to know the last generation’s equivalents for Brittney Spears and the Jonas Brothers. I asked for a bit of clarification on what she meant by “last generation”, then suggested perhaps Madonna and New Kids on the Block.

Deciding she needed some examples that were a “little older”, she asked who I mighted have “swooned over” in my day, adding, “Robert Redford? Burt Reynolds? Sean Connery?”

Excuse Me? Let me turn on my hearing aid, daughter. Not sure I heard you, what with all the shuffle-board noises going on.

Apparently my daughter thinks I have a thing for old men, considering the aforementioned were all born in the 1930’s. Either that, or she thinks I was on the same yearbook staff as the Golden Girls. Neither option is very flattering.

I responded with “Ewww” or something equally loquacious and suggested perhaps Matthew Broderick or Tom Cruise (both of whom are still older than her dear old mom . . . )

She quickly changed the subject and we discussed the next potential opportunity to spend some quality time together in the same time zone, because CLEARLY we have some “pop culture” issues to discuss . . . of course, this is assuming the nursing home will give me a weekend pass.

I suggest the weekend of the 14th, which she thinks might work:
1) Unless she and Nathan decide to go to Florida
2) Unless she gets tickets to the Kelly Clarkson concert
3) Unless the Aztecs were right, but had their numbers mixed up, and the world ends next week instead of 2012 . . . OR
4) Unless there is a “Family Guy” marathon on TBS
“But,” she says, “if we can ward off all those things, I think we’ll be good.”

I responded, “You forgot about the possibility, according to Dateline NBC, of gas reaching $20 a gallon. Or, of course, alieos invading.” (I meant “aliens”, but I was multi-tasking and didn’t catch the typo.)

She asked, “Are “alieos” the off-brand version of Swiss Cake Rolls? Or are they alphabetized Cheerios?”

“No,” I replied, “Alieos are invaders from Italy. Alphabetized Cheerios would be ‘abieos’.”

At that, she remarked that if gas went to $20 a gallon, I could just buy them plane tickets.

In case anybody wonders, Kevin is my favorite child. At least this week.

(Photo fun by www.yearbookyourself.com)

July 27, 2009

quiet time

I was one of “those” moms. You know - the one who took her children everywhere - to the grocery, to the movies, to parties. A stay-at-home mom. A 24/7 mom. A family-bed mom.

It goes without saying then, that I cherished my “quiet time” . . . you know: nap time; or Saturday mornings after they slept over at Nana’s house; or when I would lock them out of our one and only bathroom after giving them fair warning that if they “needed to go” they’d better do it now, ‘cause doggone it, mommy needed a hot bath and a half hour to regain her sanity, and if you come “knocking on this bathroom door I will hang you upside down in the shower by your pinky toes and turn on the cold water!”

Uh . . . what was I saying? Oh yeah, Quiet Time.

Loved it. Time to read. Time to reorganize a closet. Time to go for a drive without the radio on. Time to have an adult conversation. (Which really just meant talking to another adult ABOUT the kids, but still . . .) Minutes free from, ‘Mommy. Um, Mommy. Hey, Mommy. Look at this, Mommy. Read this, Mommy. I gotta go potty, Mommy. Mommy, I’n done, come an’ wipe me. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy!”

A mere twenty minutes into any given Quiet Time, guilt set in and I began to miss my kids so much I couldn’t wait to get back to mothering. Reading, snuggling, back-scratching, giggling. Dressing Barbies and building Legos.

Now that my youngest baby is 198 months old, and not in need of too much “mommy time” (though I still drag him with me everywhere and still get a lot of “Mommy . . . scratch my back”), my life has flip-flopped. I can go for a drive any time I want without the music on . . . but I never do. I can watch a movie uninterrupted . . . but heckling is no fun without a Siskel to my Ebert. I have the bathroom pretty much to myself . . . but it’s lonely, just me and the loofah. And, for the first time since before the Berlin Wall came down, I can have Quiet Time . . . but, ironically, I no longer want it.

(After I blogged this today, I saw this clip from "Family Guy", possibly the funniest show you should never watch. However, this clip was too perfect.)

July 23, 2009

my boy

In the middle of a really lousy week and an ongoing argument with God that I fear is not to be soon resolved, I was blessed to spend a couple of hours with my Sara, who is one of the most talented women I have ever known. I am so blessed by her . . . and here are just a few of the reasons why:

Thank you, my sweet friend for such perfect images of my boy!
For the rest of you, check out her website: www.darlingbydesignphotography.com

July 19, 2009

the boneheadedest thing or why blogging has made me a better person or why I got the cops called to mike & sara's house

You know that moment? That single, solitary second when you realize you have just done something irreversibly stupid?

Yeah, me too.

It started like this:

I pulled the "man-truck" into Mike and Sara's garage. (I borrowed it while they were both out of town last week and my car was in the shop.) ((Yes, I had permission.)) I was careful to pull it way over the right so there would be plenty of room for Sara to park when she came home on Sunday. I was careful to pull it far enough forward to adequately close the garage door without slamming it on the tailgate. And I was careful to get my house keys out of my purse so I could go THROUGH the house instead of having to run out of the garage wearing wedges and carrying several bags.

I was wildly successful at all these endeavors. I exited the man-truck, meticulously parked in exactly the right spot, with all my bags, and my keys in hand. I even remembered that Mike's truck does not have electric locks, so, being the ever-conscientious one,I was mindful to flip the lock when I got out of the truck. With my keys in hand. MY keys in hand. The ones out of my purse. That's when I uttered the following words to myself:

"Oh, CRAP, NO! NO! NO! Please, please, please. Oh man, oh man, oh man . . . I DIDN'T REALLY just do THAT, DID I?!?!?"

Yes, yes I did.

Mike's keys were still in the ignition.

And the man-truck was still running.

Yes, yes it was.

The worst part of this story is that I was not alone. Christina had followed me over to give me a ride back to get my car. Now it is not bad enough that I have done something ridiculously stupid . . . I have done something ridiculously stupid in front of a witness. So as she pulled into the driveway I told her what I had done, then I went into the house to ransack it for spare keys. Bound to be some. Kitchen drawer? Nope. Foyer table? Nope. Bedside table? Nope. Office Desk? Nope. Cubbyhole shelves in the hallway? Nope. Weird little place in the bathroom where they keep the lawnmower key? (I don't ask, I just happen to know.) But nope.

This is where I decided blogging has made me a better person, because instead of getting mad or frustrated or grumpy, I just rolled my eyes and thought how this is going to make a great blog story.

Now I debated the unthinkable. Do I call Sara and ask where spare keys might be? That means I have to confess to my boneheadedness. I don't want to. I REALLY don't want to. But the truck is burning gas and church is starting in 15 minutes and I am teaching a class. Well, I am SUPPOSED to be teaching a class. So I call her. Sara answered with a semi-panicky sound to her voice because I NEVER call. Ever. Oh sure, I may text her 38 times an hour, but I don't call. So, in a way, that was good, because she expected something was really wrong, and was relieved and even laughed when I told her what I had done. Then she laughed more when she informed me that the only spare key was currently with her in Florida.

Now what? Call a locksmith, I suppose. But first I called my husband 1) because he is a former police officer and will know which locksmith to recommend and 2) because he is used to my scatterbrained blunders and might even feel sorry for me. He does, and he called upon his buddies at the Sheriff's Dept. to help me out.

Then he told me he suspected I may have done this on purpose so I would have a great blog story.


About 45 minutes later Officer Bob showed up (I'm sure that wasn't really his name, but all generic characters in my stories get the name Bob, especially when I am too preoccupied with my own predicament to pay attention) and tried to "jimmy" open the door. Oooooooh. Maybe I should have named him Officer Jimmy instead. Though we ARE in Kentucky . . . so maybe I should just use both names. Doesn't matter, 'cause despite his kindness, diligence and professionalism, at this point he was unsuccessful at rescuing me.

Next, Officer Jimmy Bob got out a bloodpressure cuff, wedged it in the door and pumped it up to open the door ever-so-slightly. Then he slid in what I refer to as "a flamingo wire" (it was like an extra-long pink coat-hanger with a handle) and proceeded to try to flip the lock open. Christina stood on the opposite side of the truck to shine a flashlight in so he could see what he was doing. I had the difficult job of self-appointed "Lock Coach'. "Come on. You can do it. There you go. Almost got it. OOOOHHH, SO CLOSE!" I'm sure I was quite helpful and not at all annoying. After a good 15 minutes and some nasty paint scratches to the white paint, Officer Jimmy Bob was finally successful at opening the man-truck. Then I wondered, "How much do you tip a deputy who bails you out of a sticky situation?"

Now that this whole ordeal was drawing to close I became aware of the gathering crowd in the neighborhood, you know, because aside from Paris Hilton's "My BFF" on MTV, there's just not a lot of excitement around here. Oh, they all tried to be nonchalant about it, standing in their own driveways pretending to walk dogs and water plants and get mail . . . but I could see the quizzical looks on their faces. They were watching as Officer Jimmy Bob arrived, and they were watching as Officer Jimmy Bob left, and they were wondering, "WHAT IN THE WORLD kind of illegal stuff is goin' on over there at the minister's house?!?!"

I thought about drawing a white chalk outline of a dog on the driveway, but decided against it. Mostly because I didn't have any chalk. Guess those nosy neighbors will just have to read my blog to find out.

July 04, 2009

oh say, can you see?

For those of you who have known me for, say, longer than 20 minutes, I apologize in advance that you have surely already heard this story. However, this being July 4th, it only seems appropriate that this story should go down in blog history.

It was the summer I was barely pregnant with Kevin. Kacey was a very precocious, nearly 6-year-old. I can still envision her marching down the hall of our Jackson, Tennessee apartment, donning her blue daisy outfit, hands on her hips as she announces, "Okay mommy, I've been thinking about this. If I'm gonna be a big sister, there's some things I need to know. I know it takes a mommy and I know it takes a daddy, but what I don't get is how they get together!"

WHAT??? She's not even 6! I thought I had like 7 or 15 years before I had to explain this to her! However, I have always been a firm believer that if they are old enough to ask the question, they are old enough to deserve an honest answer. But how? How do I explain this simply enough for her to understand without freaking her out?

Lennart Nilsson's book, "A Child is Born". Perfect. It even has tasteful photographs.

So I pull it out of the closet from amid all my hippie birthing books and soft-porn breastfeeding manuals, and proceed to show her the male and female anatomy diagrams. After that, we move on to the images of the female egg and male sperm. We talk about how the mommy just has one egg, but the daddy has millions and millions of tiny sperm and they swim around really fast.

I'm pretty sure there were swirling hand gestures involved.

After that we move on to the ultrasound images of the baby growing, ending in a very tasteful labor and delivery photo layout. She seemed satisfied with the explanation, and I breathed a sigh of relief that "the talk" was successfully accomplished.

Fast forward two weeks. It is the weekend of July 4th, and we go to visit the grandparents. As part of the holiday weekend festivities, we go to the lake, along with 10,000 other people, to view the Fireworks Extravaganza. So, we're sitting there on the bank of the lake amid the throng of spectators, when one particularly interesting firework explodes. First it bursts white, then there are tiny little swirly sub-bursts which follow. It is gorgeous. The crowd "ooohhhs" and "aaaahhhs", then my petite, but very loud little daughter screams . . .

"Look, Mommy - SPERM!!!"

A hush falls. I think my dad swallowed his tongue. My mother gasps and looks at me as though to say, "WHAT SMUT HAVE YOU BEEN CORRUPTING MY GRANDDAUGHTER"S MIND WITH?"

I, well, I am mortified.

After that we have "talk number 2" about how some things are not appropriate conversation.

Happy Independence Day.

July 02, 2009

paint and parade

The last few days I've been doing a makeover on Kacey's room. There is still detail work to be done, like touch-up paint around the ceiling and floor, a bit more "staging", plus I'm not satisfied with the dust ruffle. It's too . . . cotton? Too . . . white? Anyway, I think I'm going to opt for a solid black one. So, here's the almost-finished room redo! I LOVE the color!

And yesterday's "Let's Face It' post was proof,
not that I have too much time on my hands, but that I have a project to be done that I am procrastinating! But the goofy pictures came out of a little photo edit I did last week after getting some pictures of the guys playing basketball. This picture of "the twins" made me giggle:

But this little photo edit I did with the "twins" picture makes me just plain laugh out loud. I call it "The Mike & Kevin Parade" and I have set it as my desktop background:

July 01, 2009

let's face it

Let's face it. Goofy things happen when you have too much time on your hands and access to photoshop . . .

PHASE ONE: Birth to Old Age

1) An ultrasound image of my face (note the resemblance to E.T. with hair), and 2) how I might look with braces

1) How I see myself in the mirror, you know, without my glasses, and 2) what happens - I mean, WILL happen, one day in the far-away future when my membership to the Loreal Hair Club runs out

PHASE TWO: Almost famous

1) My audition photo for "The Blair Witch Project", which I didn't get, because I was clearly too happy and not overdramatically faking fear, and 2) My audition as a news anchor in "Independence Day" when the alien spacecrafts disrupt satellite transmission, a part which I also did not get because, again, I am WAY too happy for a hostile alien invasion.

1) "Persistence of Stephanie" by Salvador Dali, and 2) a photocopy of my face, because, well, no other body parts should EVER be photocopied. EVER. By anybody.

PHASE THREE: How you see me
1) I might look something like this if you got really tired of getting emails from me and decided to Saran Wrap my face and tell me to breathe deeply, and 2) how I look through the shower door . . . the cheesy grin is because you are naked, of course, since you would be the one in the shower, as I have on my suede jacket and there is NO WAY I am getting that baby wet.

1) How spiders, ticks, and ants see me as I am flushing them, and finally, 2) how I might look in your nightmare if you dreamed that Jay Leno and Chewbacca had a daughter. This is assuming Chewbacca is a girl. Which, I'm pretty certain, he is not. Hard to tell under all that hair.

Somebody help me. I think I've been breathing too many paint fumes . . .