Friday, August 29, 2008
A while ago we received a matching couch, loveseat, and chair. It was the first time in our married life that our living room furniture matched 100%. It wasn’t the best fabric pattern, but you can’t argue with free. In retrospect, I could have covered it, but that’s getting off the point of my post.
We live in a 1933 bungalow, so our living room is fairly small. There’s not a lot of room for furniture, and the couch set took up every square inch of space and then some. We actually had the chair shoved into a corner that was never used and it was a sad sad state of affairs for our living room. But it matched. Our sad state of affairs was fully coordinated.
Sometime during the anticipation of Critter’s arrival I got the crazy notion that if we got rid of our couch, it would open up a world of room in our cramped quarters. We rarely get visitors in large quantities, so I figured we could make do with a love seat, chair, and recliner. I made my wonderful hubby drag our couch to the curb.
Big mistake. Bonehead started grumbling immediately. He couldn’t lie down. He couldn’t sleep on the couch to get away from my snoring (let it be known he snores too, it just doesn’t bother me). There’s not enough room. I think he was being a drama king because I tried it and there was plenty of room but then again I’m 5’3(AND A HALF)” tall, and he is darn near 6ft. He wasn’t happy with the couch scenario. I wasn’t happy with his grumbling. And we learned to live with it.
Now that I’ve filled you in on the history behind my story, I can bring you to more recent events. A couple of months ago, my mother-in-law ordered a new couch and loveseat for her TV room. This event of course led her to offer us her old couch. Hubby started salivating before she finished her sentence. Of course we will take it. This happens to be my beloved Bonehead’s prized napping couch. We go to his parents, his dad turns on either a football game or Nascar race depending on the season, and hubby grabs the giant Shrek pillow that’s migrated his way into their TV room thanks to the grandkids, folds it in about 5 different inconceivable ways and stuffs it under his head in order to begin the football/Nascar nap. Bonehead on the couch and his dad on the recliner soon emit rumblings consistent enough to cause the windows to vibrate- but again I’m losing my point.
The Nascar Nap Couch, of course we’ll take it. And the wing back chair they offered us, too. Why not get rid of the whole overstuffed set that’s too big for our living room and attempt to streamline the place? In anticipation of the arrival of our new (old) couch, we unloaded our love seat and chair to a new college student the entire week before. This event actually left us with only a recliner and lawn furniture for a whole week. But I didn’t really mind, because I was out of town with the boys. Bonehead didn’t even have to arm wrestle any of us for the recliner.
This past Saturday morning my in-laws arrived with the couch and chair. And we promptly began unloading, because, well, there was really nowhere for anyone to sit. Cushions first. Then the couch. It’s the first piece of furniture I’ve had to help move since I discovered I was pregnant with Critter. This sucker is big, and heavy to boot. We managed to get it out of the van and up to our doorway. Then the plan went hopelessly awry.
No one measured the couch to see if it would fit through our door. No one THOUGHT to measure it. Yeah. We’re a family full of higher than average IQ kind of people who pride themselves for being witty and intelligent. But like every finely tuned machine, sometimes we short circuit a bit.
We spent a great deal of time trying to make a 28 inch wide couch fit through a 26 inch door. At some point I fully expected Bonehead to start yelling, “Pivot! Pivot! PivAUGHT! PIV-AUGHT!” like Ross did on the episode of Friends when they got the couch jammed in the stairwell. Hubby described the incident like something straight out of Seinfeld. Either way, the couch was a no go. And, we ripped the cushion trying to get it un-jammed from our doorway. So, essentially, our in-laws drove a couch an hour and fifteen minutes to put it on our curb for the local garbage pick up on Thursday morning.
That’s right, we got to have a couch on our curb for darn near a week. I started to feel sorry for it, it was looking pretty rejected when no one would even pick it up for free.
We already gave our other furniture away, so now we have no couch, and no love seat. We do still have the recliner we originally had, the new (old) wingback chair, and we unearthed the glider/rocker from when Smooch was a baby (I prefer to snuggle in the recliner these days). Three mismatched chairs and a jumping thing for Critter to sit in. No couch potatoes here.
It’s actually not so bad- now that the initial panic of not having a couch has worn off.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
This morning, before Smoochie got dressed and ready for school, he brought a nicely washed and folded pair of pants to me. “Mom are these the ones that need to be tightened?”
At that particular moment in my morning, I was bleary eyed, jonesing for caffeine, listening to Critter scream, and trying to make a nutritious Pb&j lunch for Smoochie. To be quite honest, at that particular ebb of my little stay at home universe, which pair of jeans needed tightening was massively eluding me. So I gave him the best answer I possibly could considering the frazzled circumstances. “I have absolutely no clue whatsoever honey, put them on and we’ll find out.”
And that was the last word from him regarding the jeans.
We went about our hectic morning, got everyone ready (I was leaving immediately after Smooch was bus bound for an early morning walk with Critter), went to the van for the stroller and told Smooch he could push his brother. He takes great 6 year old joy in that little act. Most times, he pushes like he’s been tipping the bourbon, but Critter doesn’t seem to mind, and as long as he stays mostly sidewalk bound and completely away from the road, I don’t mind either.
Now that Critter can mostly sit up by himself we finally broke out the jogging stroller, and this was Smoochie’s first test drive. He took off jogging (because it IS a jogging stroller after all) and I immediately noticed what I should have noticed at home. He was wearing the big pants. He had to hit the breaks to hike up his britches at least twice on the three house walk to the bus stop. Let’s just say I felt like a total bump for not noticing earlier, and I was faced with perhaps my greatest mothering dilemma to date.
There was no time to go back to the house and correct the situation. Do I embarrass him in front of his friends waiting at the bus stop by adjusting the band on the inside of his jeans, or do I let it slide (pun may have been intended) and close my eyes and hope beyond hope his pants don’t fall prey to gravity and expose his little Mach 5 Fruit of the Looms at school in front of 24 or so other classmates? On one hand, I’m looking at a guaranteed future therapy session full of ‘my mom is the most vile, embarrassing, evil person on the planet musings’, and on the other I was looking at probable (but not guaranteed) lifetime scarring (aka personality shaping- the stuff tough guys are made of). I decided to play the odds. I watched him hitch his boot cut denim up again twice more in line, once more before he stepped onto the first bus step, and then pulled out an eyelash and wished for the best possible outcome.
Did I do the right thing? What would you have done?
Monday, August 25, 2008
We arrived home from our mini vacation after a 4 ½ hour drive on Friday, and immediately set sail for Grandma and Grandpa’s a little over an hour away. After dinner and a shopping excursion to purchase much needed soccer gear for Smoochie, we embarked on the trip home. Bonehead had mercy on me and drove home for us. I’m normally such a control freak I feel like I’m going to fall off the edge of the earth if I’m not driving. Between Critter being in full grouch mode and 5 ½ hours on the road, I was too tired to care. He could have driven us to Hooters and I would have kissed him, given him my debit card and told him to “have fun I’ll wait here.” I was so tired I would have been just fine with that. The Weekend fun was only beginning.
Smoochie’s first soccer game was Saturday morning. I’ll not be one of those parents who brags about how great their kid is at sports, because, well, David Beckham he is not. He did better than last year at staying up with the other kids, though. For some reason he feels the need to jog in place, even when he’s not moving. I must confess for a moment or two of his game, I had a couple of very scary Jane Fonda thoughts. However, I do not care really if he is the best or the worst kid on the team. What I care about is the fact that he is running around outside for an extended period of time, and not at home with his nose plastered to the TV screen.
Once the soccer game was finished, we immediately headed home so we could partake in the Great Couch Escapade of 2008. I will write an entire post regarding this event in our lives this week, but for now I’ll just throw out the warning: Couch Potatoes Beware.
Grandma and Grandpa came out to see us, so after the Couch Escapade we headed out to purchase some school clothes for Smooch since his first day back is today. I learned a very valuable lesson: Never let a 6 year old hold his own shoes. They get set down on a display somewhere in the store and you don’t have them when you get home. So after 2 shopping trips Saturday, Smoochie was prepared for the much anticipated start of school.
Sunday was the Corn Fest Bike Rally for Bonehead and Smoochie. They rode about 20 miles together on the Critter Puller, and although I couldn’t go along this year, I was filled in on the fact that Smoochie can ask questions at the speed of light while pedaling a bike as well. I was worried about that, for what would Bonehead do without the rapid fire questions from Smoochie on their morning ride?
Today was the first day of school. It’s only ½ day, but even so I fought the desire to start doing Lucky Charms Leprechaun kicks after my early morning wake up. Like every doting mother, I made sure to take pictures of his first day of first grade. Our photo shoot conversation was something along these lines:
Me: Smile for the camera, Smoochie
Me: Smoochie. Smile.
Smoochie: I can’t the sun is too bright.
Me: I have to have you stand there, otherwise the camera won’t be able to see you.
Smoochie: Moooooom!! I can’t see. (grumble grumble)
Me: Fine, move over here.
Me: Stand still already.
Me: Every picture I take keeps turning out blurry.
Me: Smooch. Please. Stand. Still. For a moment.
Me: Good enough.
Smoochie: Woohoo! Can I push Critter? Is it time for the bus yet? Do I have ½ day or full day? Are all my school supplies in my backpack? How do my new shoes look? Will Critter miss me today? Etc. Etc. Etc……
Monday, August 18, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
This is a left over from my teenage years, when I watched this movie approx. twice daily. Although I found the book even funnier, the movie was the foundation my teenage years were built on. The movie had it all, adventure complete with pirates and sword fights, humor, wit, love, hate, more humor, and a smoking hot Cary Elwes for the teenage mind to lust over didn’t hurt either. If I sat down and thought about it long enough, I could still probably quote most of this movie.
This movie about a young unwed mother is one of the movies I could watch over and over again. I think Natalie Portman did a wonderful job portraying a young naive new mother who overcomes some pretty big obstacles in order to make a better life for her and her child. Whenever I am in need of a little refill on hope, friendship, love, and a lesson on how to make lemonade from lemons, I pull this movie from my shelf and pop it in.
Legends of the Fall-
What can I say, I am truly a sucker for a good love story. I really do love this movie. I love the largeness of it, and I’m pretty sure I would love it even is someone other than Brad Pitt played the part of Tristan. But I’ll have to come right out and say that little tidbit didn’t hurt this movie’s chances of making my top 5.
Oh how I love this movie. The story of a replacement football team hired to replace a major team (forgive me if my terminology is faulty here, my lack of football knowledge is a source of great discord in my marriage, but in all fairness he can’t tell me the difference between a tab top panel and a valance so we’re mostly even) leaves all kinds of room for humor. I love to root for the underdog, and generally manage to find something to giggle about each time this movie is popped into the player.
OK. Confession time. Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) is my absolute #1 favorite celebrity crush. He’s funny, intelligent, and has great…eyes. I know absolutely without fault that if I ever ran into him on the street, I would spontaneously combust. On top of that, I find this movie freaking hysterical. Every time I watch this movie I laugh out loud. No matter how many times I’ve seen it, there’s some new level of humor I find with each new viewing. Laughter is truly the key to this girl’s heart. Keep me laughing, you’ll have me forever.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
2. Q: There are 4 people in our house, one of which is away from 5am to 7pm Monday through Friday, and one of which is nursing. How many dishes does this house use in any given day?
3. Q: If your otherwise nice and friendly neighbors choose not to mow their lawn for an entire month in the middle of summer, how high will the grass grow if there has been ½ inch of rain and 30 days of sun less 2 cloudy days in that given month?
A: 3ft tall
4. Q: You have one baby who is extremely cranky between midnight and 3am. Do you:
a. Count to 10 backwards 100 times
b. Purchase a train ticket to find how fast he can speed away through a tunnel
c. Clean your kitchen, make Tension Tamer Tea and Pancakes while humming a
A: This is a trick question. There are actually 3 correct answers. While a. would be the most appropriate answer, doing C while secretly wishing for B will be accepted as well.
5. Q: If Smoochie is 6 ½ years old and Critter is 6 months old, and Mom is 33 years old, how old is Daddy?
A: The difference between person #1 and #2, provided the generally assumed age is 2 plus the age of person #3.
6. Q: How long of a bath can a 6 year old take?
A: Until his lips are deep purple and the temperature of the bathwater reaches ice cube status or approximately 1 hour.
7. Q: How many cubic gallons of bath water can find their way to the bathroom floor in an hour?
A: 35 if there are no bath toys included in the calculation, 236 if there are.
8. Q: If Train #1 leaves the station at 5:33am heading West for 37 miles, and Train #2 leaves the station at 6:01am heading East at 53 miles per hour, at what time will they pass each other?
A: They don’t. Train #2 got a load of the screaming Critter on Train#1 and the engineer stopped the train to go for a 40 mile bike ride.
9. Q: How much stuff can you fit in the trunk of an 86 Ford Tempo?
A. An entire woman’s wardrobe including shoes, a TV, Stereo, Curling iron and other assorted beauty necessities. Simply jump up and down on the trunk until you get it to latch and tell your wife NOT to open it until she completes her cross country drive. Word of warning: do not stand within 10 feet of the trunk when opening it.
10. Q: If you take a 1933 farm house and fill it with one energetic husband, one sweet
be bopping Smoochie and one rambunctious large lunged Critter, how full is the house?
A. The house if full to maximum capacity of love, laughter, joy, frazzled nerves, and entertainment.
Somehow, new math works for me.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek
First Plane Ride.
First Time Meeting Cousins From Sweden.
First Time In a Geodesic Dome House
And my personal favorite, First Bovine Staring Contest.
As a mother of course I only want the best for my first born son. I find I occasionally stumble through my job as a parent, making mistakes and struggling with how much freedom and leniency to give him. I always love him immeasurably and I have watched him change from the squeezable little boy he was in these pictures to the more knobby version of him now. Every new experience he has in his life shapes who he is. I might have been left behind for this collection of firsts, but I get to experience the little boy they have shaped him to be. Full of humor, wit, sweetness, and bovine skills.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
To reinforce the fact that denial was completely not working on my inner psyche, the announcement came reverberating over the blaring horns making themselves apparent. “Can we have your attention please. There has been a code black issued, and at this time we need all cashiers and shoppers to proceed to the center of the store. I repeat, code black, please go immediately to the center of the store.”
At that point I’m pretty sure I had to squash the urge to run and flail yelling “We’re going to die!!! It’s useless to fight it! The ceiling is going to blow off the building and we’re going to get pummeled to death by florescent light bulb glass bits!! Prepare for your death people!” I squashed it, but just barely, by reminding myself I had a 6 year old and a 5 month old and I had to keep it together just long enough to throw myself on top of the two of them if the need should arise.
I reassured Smooch that it was just a bad storm (I could see the panic rising in his eyes) and put on a calm exterior for his sake. We found our way to the center of the store and I attempted to squeeze us next to a wall of men’s jeans, because, well, if we have to get pelted by blowing debris, men’s jeans are preferable to 50 pound sacks of dog kibble. In my book, anyway. It’s kind of funny, really, the things that go through your head when you’re facing certain death.
I have to step forward here and tell you that one of my greatest fears is tornadoes. It can thunderstorm until the cows come home, or in my area of the country till the corn drowns, and I’m fine. But the second the word tornado comes into the warning system, my lungs start seizing and pushing my heart up out of my chest into my eyeballs. If I have a nightmare, 9 times out of 10 it involves a tornado chasing me. We HAD to have a basement for the tornado refuge- I never wanted to be stuck in a ranch home with no basement again. I could go on and on here, but I’ll just sum it all up in one sentence. I would rather face down a giant uber hungry python than live through a tornado.
My thoughts included the irony that I was actually going to die at Wal-Mart. I hate Wal-Mart, but not for any political reasons. They’re always out of something I need (like iceberg lettuce for Pete’s sake), and they have their aisles so crowded, two carts can’t fit down them at the same time. Whenever possible I shop elsewhere, but they do have the cheapest diapers in town and we’re now a one income family, so I bit the bullet and headed to the big W. And now I was going to die there. Doom and Damnation, Death Death Death.
I can’t believe I was able to think all of these things while reassuring Smooch. I hid the fact that I was shaking with a pasty white knuckled death grip on the shopping cart, and the other set of knuckles made busywork of rubbing Smoochie’s back. Then, much to my relief, the all clear came over the speakers and instantaneously we were meandering our way back to the veggies for our final few purchases.
We ran into Smoochie’s old daycare teacher and her oldest daughter (who is such a cutie I’m hoping Smooch eventually takes her to prom or homecoming or something but that’s another story for another time) and I remember trying to sound more chipper than I was and saying something about being able to think of better times to shop. I think I got 2 or 3 more items in my cart before the whole ordeal began again. Sirens, the code black announcement, the whole shebang.
This time I was an old hat at the process. We wound our way back to the men’s jeans, this time for the comfort of familiarity and because If I was going to die, at least I’d be next to something manly. If I couldn’t be next to MY man, just the thought of a man would do in a pinch. This time the store was mostly empty because there was a mass exit after the first all clear. A nice lady stood next to us talking, and explained she picked us because she saw I had two kids and she could offer help if the need arose. After the second all-clear when we finally paid and made a run for the safety of command central (my minivan), I had a few other offers for help as well.
Once I got home, the kids safely inside the house, and dodged the lightning bolts to get the groceries inside, I was able to relax. And I realized that there are truly nice people in this world. People nice enough to offer assistance in the face of “certain death”.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
In the beginning, after Bonehead and I got married, we threw on whatever clothing was appropriate and took off. This was back in the day of grunge, so clothing consisted of jeans and a flannel shirt, sweats and a flannel shirt, or shorts and a flannel shirt (usually the very same flannel shirt). At any point of any day, we left our dwelling with such sweet freedom. Lunch at 11:30? Sure, let’s go. Wanna go for a scenic drive? Let's get going, chop chop. Hungry at 2am? Let’s drive around until we find an all night diner.
Then Smoochie entered our lives, and things became a little more difficult. Now we had to worry about an adequate supply of diapers, clothing, the proper kind mind you (can’t pack the boy gym shorts when it’s 20 below with the wind chill), food and the like. Leaving our place of residence was a little more difficult but still fairly easy.
And then Smoochie got older. He started toting toys. Then he grew bigger. Now we have to worry about him trying to pack for a major move instead of going to the grocery store for an hour or grandma’s for a day. If we would let him, that boy would tote along a suitcase full of matchbox cars, two or 3 big Tonka trucks, a fake camera, a cell phone, Florida his stuffed dog, two pillows, some tooth picks and a stick of butter. If we would let him.
Hubby is progressively gaining his own routines designed to clutter up our impending departure times. If there is any excuse in the world to include one of his bikes in our excursion, the bike needs to be packed. Which means the bike gear needs to get packed. By bike gear, I mean the helmet, the gloves, the water bottles, the socks, a bike pump, at least one type of grease/lube material, a change of clothes or two, and certain personal hygiene products. Normally, this would be OK, but not one of the above mentioned items ever gets put in the same place twice, in which case I become the lost and found referee. “Honey, have you seen my other sock?” “Do you know where my bike shoes disappeared to?”
Critter is too little to tote along toys other than the teethers and rattles we lob into his car seat with high hopes of avoiding an hour long scream fest on the way to Grandma’s. A good Critter scream fest will shatter the eardrums of even the most hard of hearing companion, let alone in a car with all that glass for those scream waves to bounce off of eternally. Fortunately, he’s still at the fairly simple stage which means all I have to worry about packing is a change of clothes, jammies if we plan to be out past 7pm, diapers, wipes, cereal, jars of baby food, burp cloths, bibs, dishes in which to prepare his food, baby spoons, a changing pad, baby bumbo seat in case we need a place for him to sit/eat. We keep the stroller in the back of the minivan (the monstrosity takes up the entire trunk space) at all times because we find it is needed quite frequently. Fortunately for us, he’s not trying to cart around a years supply of turkey bacon just yet.
Ok, so now that we have everything packed for the 6-7 hours we are going to be away from home, that will be 2 or 3 trips to the minivan to load everything up, another trip for any items we might have forgotten, a trip into Bonehead’s car for any crucial items he needs from there (sunglasses and sunscreen), and two kids to lock and load. Is it any wonder I’m exhausted before I ever step off my back porch?
Pulling out of the driveway, we resemble nomads, with only our eyeballs visible above all of the crap we have attempted to stuff into our minivan. If we ever got lost and had to live off of what we had with us, we could survive quite contently for months, or at the very least, be kept nice and toasty warm with one helluva bonfire.