September 30, 2009

Mommy Cake
Went to eat sushi with Ashley last Friday. When the sushi arrived, beautifully arranged and brightly colored, her 2 year old daughter pointed and said, enthusiastically, "CAKE!" Ashley gave her a piece while trying to explain to her that it wasn't really "yummy cake" but more a "fish cake". Don't think she really grasped the concept until she took a bite. She turned up her nose, handed the piece of sushi back to Ashley and said, "Mommy cake."

Let the Sunshine In

The other day I went into Mom's house. It was really dark. I mean REALLY dark. And it was the middle of the day. For a minute I thought the power was out. I even asked, "WHY IS IT SO DARK IN HERE?" Then I took off my sunglasses . . .

Yeah. Not my, uh, "brightest" moment.

Just Say No
(The following story is not intended, in any way, to make light of drug abuse and addiction. We take it very seriously and feel for those who struggle with it.)

We don't do drugs in our house. And when I say we "don't do drugs", I mean if you come to visit and get a headache, you will not find anything in our cabinets to alleviate your pain, unless chocolate works for you.

It became a running joke in our family, years ago, when the "Just Say No" public service ads came on tv, for me to say, "Hey Kacey, Hey Kevin, Don't Do Drugs!" Then it evolved. Anytime anyone on television would say, "Talk to your kids about drugs", I would say, "Hey Kacey," or "Hey Kevin, Don't Do Drugs!" And, since we're fans of repeptitive humor, this has happened pretty much weekly in our household for some 10 or 12 years. So much so, that when I say, "Hey Kacey" or "Hey Kevin" they will conclude the statement, "Yeah, yeah, don't do drugs."

So this morning Kevin and I are going through our usual routine of emptying the dishwasher, eating breakfast, folding laundry, putting on makeup (this one would be limited to me), all while watching the Today Show. They did a segment on the rise of marijuana use among professional women in their 30's & 40's, when my son says,

"Hey Mom, Don't Become a Casual Recreational Pot Smoker."

September 25, 2009

only if you enjoy the holy grail

The cowboy is in Georgia for another horse thing this weekend. (He will be riding a real horse, not just clopping together two empty halves of a coconut.)

Lindsay came to visit AND cooked dinner. (Pasta Alfredo, not lambs and sloths, and carp and anchovies, and orangutans and breakfast cereals, and fruit-bats)

Kacey is jealous that Lindsay came to visit, and is texting to say my mother was a hamster and my father smelt of elderberries.

The usual high school bunch is here to hang out, plus a couple of newbies this week!

Tonight became "Double Feature Movie Night". Can I just say, there is nothing - NOTHING - more hysterical than watching Monty Python's Holy Grail with a room full of teens. An hour later and I'm still giggling at the Holy Hand Grenade: "First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it."

The kiddos are having a good time.

*There are four squashed into a loveseat that is only designed to accomodate two.

*There is one naysayer who didn't want to watch this movie, and who continues to say, every 30 seconds or so, how "dumb" this movie is. I didn't really think he meant it until he said it for the 82nd time, so I'm really, really glad he was persistent in voicing his dislike.

*There is an empty plate on the coffee table, that an hour ago, held dozens of brownies. Pretty sure Becca ate 32 of them.

*There are two kids who feel a bit more connected tonight than they ever have before.

*There is one who is well-acquainted with all the jump scenes in this movie and who is enjoying making Samantha jump at all the appropriate times.

I find it also imperative to say it is completely futile trying to watch a good M. Night Shyamalan movie (Good = one with great dialoge, Horrid = "The Happening" with that awful B-movie script) with a room full of teens who chatter incessantly. How can you possibly appreciate Bob Balaban's brilliantly ironic death speech in "Lady in the Water" if you aren't listening, people!?

You can't. Which is why I am now blogging. :o)

September 22, 2009

updating the outdated

My first blog post, some 2 1/2 years ago was "100 Things About Me". I didn't know at the time that topic is generally reserved for your 100th blog, but . . . whatever. Anyway, it dawned on me a few days ago that many of the original "100 Things" from April '07 are already woefully outdated. So, because you are fascinated with my life, or because you have an iPod and happen to be stuck somewhere with wi-fi access and nothing better to read, I have updated the outdated.

3. The numerous nicknames I have had for my kids over the years have morphed into just two: Daugher-Face and Kevie-Poo. In fact, at one of the FOG softball games this summer, Kevin's "groupies" were all cheering for him and they did: "Gimme a K, gimme an E, gimme a V, gimme an I, gimme an E, gimme a POO, whatd'ya got? KEVIE-POO!"

8. I am still not a collector of things, (the exception being the previously blogged-about collection of gross family treasures: baby teeth, gallstones in a little jar, titanium pins from a broken hip, and a shriveled umbilical cord with the shoestring still attached.) I'm seeking therapy.

17. I still love email and texting! (It's like getting letters in the mail, only without a 3 day delivery wait and a liberty bell stamp.) I have added to that a love of Facebook and all things blog-related. I hardly knew what a blog was 5 years ago, and now I have a running list of dozens I keep up with - some I enjoy, some are convicting, some are like bad car crashes - I don't necessarily want to look, but I just can't help myself.

18. I still HATE talking on the phone, but now I know why . . . A) people only call when they want something or when they want to talk ABOUT somebody else. Either option doesn't work for me. B) All the really horrible life-changing news in my life has come to me via the phone.

19. I am terrible about keeping up with old friends, though Facebook has brought many of them out of the woodwork and made my life infinitely richer . . . For example, I can know when a guy I sat 2 rows behind in my Senior English class some billion years ago, feels the need to mow his grass today. :o) Seriously though, I am adding "friends" on a regular basis, some close, some not, plus a very special one I haven't heard from in a lifetime (and which, between you and me, has me totally freaked out.)

20. In April '07, we were still Amish (no cable, internet, or cell phones). Now we have all three, making the original number 21 on the "100 things" list even easier.

25. Even more codependent on my reading glasses, which have gone from 1.25 to 1.75. At last count, there were 8 pairs floating around the house and the office.

26. I have a pretty new purple purse.

35. Still love road trips, still prefer to be in control, but I am completely relaxed when my newly-licensed son is at the wheel. He is a GREAT driver. Clearly he had a good instructor.

41. Well, #41 is probably the most significantly changed of the 100. Pasta has been demoted as my favorite food. If you don't know what replaced it, you haven't been reading my blog very long.

49. Every night, after Kevin went to bed, I would flip the light on in his room so the glow-in-the-dark ceiling stars would shine and then flip the light back off and say “PWETTY Stars”. Every night. It annoyed him. A lot. Which is, of course, why I did it. So one night, after he had spent the evening home alone and I was feeling that I had neglected him that day, I went to tell him goodnight, flipped on the light, and just as the words "PWETTY Stars" began to escape my mouth . . . NOTHING. No stars. Just darkness. He had utilized his precious few hours alone to "de-astronomize" his ceiling. Sad day. Sad night, rather.

54. My musical range has expanded considerably, thanks to my iPod-addict son and the minister-who-shall-remain-nameless in the office next door. They share their musical tastes with me, and I am happy to have my horizons broadened.

56. Coffee has been added to the list of things I love.

58. I have been blessed to be part of 3 more births since my blog was born, (Titus, Aurora, and Garrett the amazing enter-the-world-at-record-speed homebirth baby), with another doula "job" on the horizon.

68. I still always clean the kitchen before I go to bed, but I no longer start a load of laundry until morning thanks to a germophobic friend who pointed out that my clothes are sitting wet for 7 hours just waiting to sour.

79. The treadmill got demoted from my bedroom to Kacey's room, where it no longer gets used as a clothes rack, and where it no longer stares at me like the creepy Geico Cash, making me feel guilty for not using it.

91. Blogging replaced scrapbooking as my creative outlet. I no longer have the time to crop off the heads of people I don’t like.

100. My favorite scripture is still, and will likely always be, Philippians 2:3-15. I never get tired of reading it, and it serves as a much-needed reminder that it's all about Him and NOT about me.

September 12, 2009

41 at 2:31

At 2:31 yesterday morning, I was awakened by my son standing in my bedroom doorway.

He said, "Is it 41?"

"Is it what?" I asked sleepily.

"Is it 41!?" he repeated adamantly.

"HUH?" I questioned.

"41!!!" he insisted.

"Oh! Yes, honey, it is 41, now go back to bed."


From time to time my son sleepwalks.

Can be quite entertaining.

September 05, 2009

Holy Cow, Batman

The cow. Got out.

Just let me say: Green Acres is NOT the place to be. Farm living is NOT the life for me.

My husband, the cowboy was out of town. WAY out of town, buying a registered quarter horse, because, you know, we don't have one yet.

I was hosting something that has come to be known as "Friday Night High School Hangout", where a bunch of high school kids come over to my house on Friday Nights and, you know, hang out.

And since the cow (affectionately known as "Patty") is a relatively new phenomenon at the Reynolds' Ranch, the kiddos wanted to go out and see her. And, apparently, pet her.

The problem: She is a COW. She does not wish to be petted. She wants to be left alone. The kids approached her. She backed away. She ran in circles. She disengaged her hindquarters (which, in horsetraining, has something to do with submission. In marriage, however, it has an entirely different meaning, but we're not going there.)

Patty tried to dissuade them from petting her. She spoke to them in Bovinese: "Children, lovely children . . . I do not wish to be touched. I do not wish for you to come closer. I prefer that you do not force me to . . . "

Then she squealed some sad-sounding cow scream, bolted to the north, and jumped a 4-foot chainlink fence. Yes she did.

Kevin immediately ran into the house to inform me of the Cattle Coup, and we instantly did what city-people do in a farm emergency: we made phone calls. After many such calls to multiple sources all giving us the same lousy advice ("just go find her and herd her home"), we did the other thing city-people do in an emergency: drive. So I put on my 2" black wedge sandals and took the car up the road.

I found Patty a few tenths of a mile up in a neighbor's side yard. I parked the car, got out, and walked toward her. She stood there. I waved my arms (hoping to scare her back the direction of the house). She waved back. I stared at her. She stared at me.

We stood there
Just staring,
We stood there
We two.
And I said,
"How I wish
We had
Something to do."
And since Dr. Seuss rhymes seemed ineffective as a herding tool, I went back to the house to herd the high schoolers up to the cow. Kevin drove up in a second car.

At this point I was FINALLY able to reach the cowboy by phone. Though he was 320 miles away, I felt it imperative that he know what was going on.
"THE COW IS OUT!" I yelled.
"The power is out?" he queried.
"No . . . YOUR COW IS OUT!"
"The power is about to . . . what?" he asked, confused.
"YOUR STUPID STUPID COW HAS JUMPED THE FENCE AND RUN OFF!!!!" I declared in no uncertain terms.
"Then go find her and herd her back home," he responded calmly.

Ohhhhh . . . this ticked me off.

"Well, honey," he asked sweetly, "What do you want me to do?"


So, basically, I hung up on him, somewhat angry and incredibly frustrated that this Big Dumb Future Shish-ka-Bob was going to make a beeline for the interstate and cause a 7 car pileup resulting in death, dismemberment and a really big explosion, and I would be responsible.

I went back up the road to find Kevin driving around in somebody's backyard and bunch of kids running around and flailing their arms. Patty darted around them and got away again. We couldn't find her, and since it was nearing dark, it was becoming virtually impossible to locate a black cow in the country.

Thankfully, a couple of superhero cowboy trainees had been viewing our comedy routine, and came out to join in the chase about the time Patty reappeared on a side road. After several more minutes, and a 9-person team of rodeo clowns, we managed to herd her into somebody else's field, via somebody else's gate, where she joined a herd of somebody else's cattle.

So far our Friday Night High School Hangouts have consisted of: going to the movies; playing "Murder"; having finger-dart wars; nighttime Hide & Seek, and glow-in-the-dark ultimate Frisbee. This, however, was a whole new experience. I wondered, "What would they tell their parents?" Erin, one of our sophomore girls, answered that question for me: "This is the MOST FUN Friday Night Hangout . . . EVER!!!"

We spent the rest of the night relaxing with a low-key game: SPOONS.

I lost.

September 03, 2009

Q-tips and quiet, clones and comic relief

I never thought I would enjoy the boy as much as I enjoyed the girl. I am NOT one of those moms who plays favorites, who chooses to love one more than the other. And though sometimes you can hear me say, "Kevin is my favorite, but I love Kacey more," I could just as easily flip-flop that statement and never realize it.

I never wanted a boy. You've heard me say that before, but it's true. Having been the oldest of two girls, and then myself giving birth to a daughter, the idea of a boy was foreign. Especially the idea of raising a boy. So when my order for a second female offspring turned out to be on permanent backorder, I was a bit bummed. But you have also heard me say how God knew what I needed better than I did, and how much comic-relief and unconditional love the little man brought into my life.

Still . . . when my daughter-clone left for college, leaving boy junior behind, I couldn't imagine a relationship with him like the one she and I have. Which is good. Because if I had the expectation of shoe shopping, late-night girl talks, and sharing a love of all things sparkly, I would have been sorely disappointed. However, a love of great music, action movies, sushi rolls and a myriad of quirky little inside jokes keeps this mother/son duo pretty tight.

We don't have those late-night "talks", you know, because of the whole XY chromosome thing, but he does share with me, in detail, the latest goofy thing one of his friends did, or every single play of the last football game, or each hi-def detail of whatever video game happens to be the flavor of the month. Sometimes I even find out the big stuff that goes on in his brain, though it usually takes him about a month to get around to the really important topics. But he is sweet, he does little things to brighten my days, and he works hard to never hurt my sometimes way-too-fragile feelings. (Although there was THAT incident at McAlister's . . . but that's another blog altogether.) All in all, he seems to tolerate my existence in his life and on his facebook with minimal disdain, and what more could a mom ask for, really?

So, the other day I was working at my desk and glancing at him from time to time as he sat four feet away at his laptop, doing school. (Why is it homeschoolers always say, "doing school?" Anyway. . . ) After a few minutes, he loaded his 67-pound AP Biology book onto the furniture dolly and headed down the hall to an empty classroom. He has done this for about 3 years now, this going down the hall thing, whenever he has needed room to "spread out and study".

But that was before . . . I remodeled my office. That was before . . . when he had virtually no desk space of his own. That was before . . . he had an entire table to himself. Now I had to wonder . . . why is he still "speading out" on the table in the empty classroom down the hall? There is absolutely nothing in that room but a table and a dozen chairs. It is hotter in the summer and colder in the winter. It has those evil retina-destroying fluorescent lights. Plus, it's quiet. Too quiet.

So I asked him why. "Why?" I asked him.

He shrugged it off as just a preference, merely a change of pace, "think of it as changing classes, if you will," he implied.

This answer did not satisfy me. Not with a perfectly good table sitting empty before me, just screaming for something to be dissected or depolarized or dehydrated on it. So I kept asking, why? Every day he would drag those enormous textbooks down the hall. Every day he risked herniating something, and every day I would ask again, "Why?"

Finally, one day, the truth came out. The truth he feared would hurt his mother's feelings.


Seems that mommy talks to herself. A lot. Seems that every time she talks to herself, or hums a little song, or argues with her hard drive, he thinks she is talking to him. Seems that sometimes she even answers herself, and it is just more than this man-child can handle while trying to concentrate on peroxisomes and eukaryotic cells.

Therein lies the difference between sons and daughters. The girl could have worked there just fine. She could have hummed along with me, played "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon", and still memorized the periodic table of elements (though why anyone needs to know there are seven stable isotopes of mercury, is beyond me). But not so the boy. He has been quietly leaving the room for 3 years just to avoid hurting my feelings and telling me that when I talk to myself it drives him crazy enough to want to "sneak into my room at night and stick Q-tips up my nose."

If that's not the basis for a great mother-son relationship, I don't know what is.