Sunday, December 21, 2008

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas I posted on my Blog ...

Twelve canes of candy

Eleven cranes a-folded
Ten points on antlers
Nine manger figures
Eight links for counting
Seven pm concert
Six handmade stockings
Five birthday guests
Four excited kids
Three bloggy gifts
Two dozen cookies

Merry Christmas, Bloglanders!

...and we will now soon return to our regularly scheduled programming.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas I posted on my Blog ...

Eleven cranes a-folded

Ten points on antlers
Nine manger figures
Eight links for counting
Seven pm concert
Six homemade stockings
Five birthday guests
Four handmade stockings
Three bloggy gifts
Two dozen cookies
and a pretty decorated Christmas tree.

Though I do do some origami, and can make cranes (with the instructions in front of me) I did not make these, but the friend of a friend who knows that we were without our regular decorations this year.  So kind to share ...

Friday, December 19, 2008

On the Tenth Day of Christmas I posted on my Blog ...

Ten points on antlers

Nine manger figures
Eight links for counting
Seven pm concert
Six homemade stockings
Five birthday guests
Four excited kids
Three bloggy gifts
Two dozen cookies
and a pretty decorated Christmas tree.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

On the Ninth Day of Christmas I posted on my Blog ...

Nine manger figures

Eight links for counting
Seven pm concert
Six homemade stockings
Five birthday guests
Four excited kids
Three bloggy gifts
Two dozen cookies
and a pretty decorated Christmas tree.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

On the Eighth Day of Christmas I posted on my Blog ...

Eight links for counting

a Seven pm concert
Six homemade stockings
Five birthday guests
Four excited kid
Three bloggy gifts
Two dozen cookies
and a pretty decorated Christmas tree.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

On the Seventh Day of Christmas I posted on my Blog ...

a 7:pm concert (played by #2)

Six homemade stockings 
Five birthday guests
Four excited children
Three gifts from Shauna
Two dozen cookies
and a pretty, decorated Christmas Tree

#2 plays flute in the 7th grade concert band.  The flutes are the first two rows to the right of the conductor.  #2 is on the second row, second chair.  I have to say, these kids are amazing.  I have heard (and been in) my share of jr. high and high school bands, and this is one of the best I've heard, especially for how young they are.  They play well, play together, and have an amazingly full and talented percussion section, which adds depth and fullness.

Monday, December 15, 2008

On the Sixth Day of Christmas I posted on my Blog ...

Six homemade stockings

Five birthday guests
Four excited children
Three gifts from Shauna
Two dozen cookies,
and a pretty decorated Christmas tree.

The other "Mina's Christmases" picture this post will paint for you has not to do with the photo, but the time.  I have set all of these posts to publish at 7 am.  Some are missing photos as events are on-going, but I have been able to get them all ready by publish time.  Not the stockings.  I taped them up (because I need to buy hooks), shot them and uploaded the pictures the minute they were finished.  (And these were pretty sloppily done by my standards--thank goodness the photo hides much of that.)  It will be 1:40 by the time I post.

I spend all season, and all year for that matter, procrastinating.  I always want to have everything ready to go ahead of time.  But it almost never happens.  The only time I was ready for Christmas early was the year I was scheduled to be induced on Dec 23rd.  The sad fact is that if I had not decided to post about our stockings, they would remain yet unsewn.

Tomorrow's post is scheduled to publish at 9 pm.  That is not because of procrastination, but because of the time of the event I will be posting about.  Just so you know...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

On the Fifth Day of Christmas I posted on my Blog ...

Five birthday guests

Four excited children
Three gifts from Shauna,
Two dozen cookies, 
and a pretty decorated Christmas Tree.

Okay, to be honest here, there were 4 guests and one birthday boy.  But "guests" alone fit the tune so much better.  So I took poetic license.  Though his party was yesterday, #4 turns 7 in another week and a half.  In the photo he is second from the left.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

On the Fourth Day of Christmas I posted on my Blog ...

Four excited children

Three gifts from Shauna, 
Two dozen cookies, 
and a pretty, decorated Christmas Tree.

Friday, December 12, 2008

On the Third Day of Christmas I posted on my Blog ...

Three gifts from Shauna

Two dozen cookies, 
and a pretty, decorated Christmas tree.

Thank you, Shauna!  You are so very sweet.  I don't know where you find the time ...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

On the Second Day of Christmas I posted on my Blog ...

Two dozen cookies, (made for the prison)

And a pretty decorated Christmas tree.

With all of the great comments I'm getting, I wanted to add two things.  One, my 2 dozen cookies were a contribution to a Stake Relief Society annual project.  The over 6,000 cookies get bagged into sets of 4 cookies and are delivered to the local state? prison.  It's a really wonderful service and is this year particularly close to my heart.

Also, thanks for saying the cookies "look" yummy.  I guess it's a good photo, because these are the ugliest Holiday cookies around.  We sometimes call them ugly duck cookies.  There's nothing to do to pretty them up.  But they taste wonderful.  Full of brown sugar, pecans, dates and candied cherries.  Almost like a fruit cake.  But actually delicious.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

On the First Day of Christmas I posted on my Blog ...

... a pretty decorated Christmas Tree.

Today through December 21, I will be posting 12 Posts of Christmas.  I got the idea from Erin, the great.  This will give a small peek into celebrations Chez Poisson.

Monday, December 08, 2008


I was recently presented by Wendy with this "honest scrap" award.  The original idea was to list 10 honest things about yourself.  I knew, however, that I'd be writing an essay instead.  Coming up with a topic took a while, but thanks to a Facebook chat I had with my schoolmate Tim and to some brainstorming in the shower, I am ready to write.

My dad left home when I was almost 7.  (Just about exactly the same age as #4 this month.)  The divorce was final when I was in 6th grade.  It was long and drawn out.  Absence of closure is not a helpful thing for someone who tends to brood over everything to begin with.  Throughout that time, adults (including my parents, or at least my dad) always seemed to comment on how well I was handling the divorce.  That was absolutely false.  But an overwhelming desire to be very grown-up kept me from correcting any one.

To be honest, I was sad.  I had been a bit of a daddy's girl, and to have him gone every night was not easy.  I felt disillusioned.  Divorce had been a fear of mine a year or two before, and one night I'd asked my parents if I would have a say in a decision like that.  They had said yes, and I felt safe, because I knew my vote.  Anger over that "lie" lasted well into my teens.  More anger was directed toward my dad for leaving at all, for then quickly leaving the church, and for frequent miscommunication.  Even more anger was directed toward his new mate for her existence and for being so hard to hate.

I felt embarrassed.  Maybe not quite at first, but by 3rd or 4th grade, I was embarrassed to have a single mom, poor, living in an apartment.  By middle school I was also continually embarrassed by our very old cars.  That is, until I could drive the old cars.  Lots of kids drove old cars.  I was embarrassed to have very generic clothing.  Ironically,  now that I can generally shop wherever I'd like, most of what I own comes from Target.  My kids aren't even embarrassed.

All of this fed what I believe to be a natural inclination toward insecurity.  I felt like I had something to prove.  I had to prove to my friends that I was friend-worthy.  I had to prove to my cousins that I was family-worthy.  I had to prove to myself that I was better than my surroundings.

This is not a good state to be in.  Especially when a little kid decides that the best way to prove all of this is to tell everyone how great she is and show off.  That is actually a fantastic way to lose friends and make your cousins think you're obnoxious.  Losing friends and having family not like you is a great way to think you have something more to prove.  It was, tritely put, a vicious circle.

Gradually through middle school and by high school, I found that the best thing to do was to keep my mouth shut (not only about how great I was but about most things) and hope for friends to find me.  And some did.  I decided that it did not matter, really, what anyone thought.  But if I'm really being honest here, it did matter.  I'm still not sure how to make it not matter.  I acted back then in ways I am ashamed of to fit in and get just a tiny bit of attention with out the bragging.

Being honest, I still continue under the assumption that most people probably won't like me.  Or like me enough to be my friend.  I have a hard time putting myself on the line enough to reach out.  I am always grateful for the friend here and there who reaches my direction, and then once I feel certain the rejection is not, in fact, eminent, I can finally open up.  I am fully aware that this is a selfish way of thinking and behaving.

That has been the seductive aspect of blogging.  Being in a brand new place, I have found it relatively easy to hop over to some one's blog, click "follow" and leave a comment. At least once I figured out that that action would not come off as presumptuous and bothersome. And you know what?  A few kind folks have clicked "follow" on my site.  They even return, some of them, to see what I have to say.  This is the best my social life has been since kindergarten. To be honest, it's some of the best that I have felt about myself.

For more introspection, though hopefully less depressing, click here, here, and here.  Otherwise stay tuned for my upcoming fluffy 12 days of Christmas posts, Dec 10-21.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Shameless Product Endorsement

Well, except I'm not getting paid.

Not long ago, a fellow blogger listed "dog owners who don't train their dogs" as a pet peeve.  Sorry.  I'm in that category.  Lucy is completely house broken, which she was not when we got her.  And she can sit.  And she does (usually) sit for me.  I think that's about it.  We're working on the not jumping on visitors thing which she is getting better about.  And I've gotten her to stop waking me up to go potty in the night.  But that's really it.

Let me 'splain.  We got Lucy in August 2006 from my father-in-law's neighbor who'd gotten her for the kids for Christmas, but decided they didn't really want a dog after all.   She hadn't been abused or really neglected.  I think she was largely ignored.  She was about 9 months old. 

I immediately started walking her almost daily.  This was a chore.  She is a pure-bred Golden Retriever.  It's not uncommon to see Goldens walking their owners.  They are high-energy dogs.  I thought, "I need to train this dog." (Especially since she was not, as I said earlier, housebroken.)  So I bought some books and videos from "Uncle Matty" (this is not the shameless plug).  Those really did help with the potty training.  And I think they would have helped with the "heel" command too, but ...

It was just barely a couple of weeks later that I was hit in the middle of the night with Trigeminal Neuralgia.  My life was turned on it's head for several months.  Not walking Lucy anymore wasn't the worst of the pet troubles we had.  We had a dwarf hamster that I stopped feeding and watering, and no one else thought to do it ... and she died.  If I hadn't been in such constant pain followed by constant drugged-upness for months, I would have felt like a monster.  As it was I felt pretty bad.

Anyway, I never got back into the walk the dog regularly thing.  Send her in the back yard with the kids and a tennis ball just seemed much easier.

Since we've moved, though, I've been inspired to really train her.  She still acts like a big puppy, and everyone would be happier with a trained dog.  I read those books again.  They are great.  But I haven't actually used them.  Then last Saturday, my brother-in-law sold the new puppy that #3 was sure was meant to be hers.  TO help ease the devastation, Larry suggested we go let her pick out a new toy for Lucy.  While toys were being analysed, I happened to see a dog harness.  It claimed that it would instantly end pulling.  I was totally skeptical.  But for $9.99, I figured it was worth a shot.

Yesterday we tried to for the first time.  INSTANT SUCCESS!  I was absolutely astonished.  This basically works by having a harness around the dog's chest with two straps that go under her "armpits" and lace through a loop.  The ends of the armpit straps are connected to another loop where you hook your leash.  So when the dog pulls, the straps tighten.  I guess this is uncomfortable, and keeps the dog from running ahead.  I am still unsure why this is more uncomfortable that the choking that always resulted in the past, but I guess it is, because it keeps her by my side.  It's a Festivus MIRACLE!

I just got back from ... walking my dog.  No choking.  No arms pulling out of their sockets.  It was wonderful.  I like walking so much better when I'm walking her.  I don't know why.  But my hope is that this will get us back to the walks that we both need so badly.  A tired puppy is a good puppy.  And a walking Mina will hopefully be a skinnier Mina.

* Note:  If you are interested in this product, check it out with the link above, but don't buy it there.  It's $16.48 there versus the $9.99 that I paid at Walmart.

*Another Note:  Here are photos of us, post-walk.  I was trying to show the harness, but she wanted to lay down and have her belly rubbed, so there was limited success.  Isn't she pretty, though?

Oh, my!  Let's zoom out, shall we?

Ok, not a bad shot of the harness, but what the heck is she doing?  
Can't she see I have a camera in my hand?  Come on ... smile!

Well, now cute puppy and no harness.  BAAAAAA!

Ok, finally!  A little of the cute dog.  A little of the harness.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Reason #43 why I am glad we moved to Idaho

In Southern California:

Sudden bladder infection hits.  Pain, blood, need medical attention.  

Larry drives me to the ER (Urgent Care closes early), where I pee in a cup and wait 5 to 8 hours for a doctor to confirm what I already knew and get me a prescription.

Why the long wait?  Because the ER is full of a) folks who are trying to get out of work the next day, and b) folks who use the ER as their regular doctor because they have no insurance, generally for a reason which I will not state because I will sound like an insensitive bigot.

Wait 45 minutes at the over-crowded pharmacy for my anti-biotics and pain meds.

Sleep all of the next day to make up for the whole ordeal.

In Idaho:

Sudden bladder infection hits.  Pain, blood, need medical attention.

Larry is in California on business (bummer!), but helps me think while I find the number and address of an open Urgent Care Clinic open until 10 pm.  I drive there, get registered there since I'm new, pee in a cup and wait 5 minutes for the test strip to develop.  

No wait?  What?  I'm seriously the ONLY patient?  Alrighty then!

Wait 15 minutes for a my prescriptions.  Head home. 

 Total time gone: 1 hr. 20 min.

Last summer I was talking to a sales woman at Joann about moving up to Idaho.  She said, "Well, I hope you like it, because you probably won't be able to move back if you don't."


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Get Yourself a Blog Already

Larry is in California this week. (Thankfully I have all of you to fill the void of my evenings!)  Anyway, I just got an email sent from his cell phone.  This is not in itself very strange.  He knows I'm more likely to be at my computer than I am to hear my cell.  He sent a photo he'd taken.  Also not strange.  I often get pictures of ridiculous things he sees for my entertainment.  But what I got was this:

with the caption, "They fit just right!"

Let me back up to give a small amount of context.  Larry was packing for the trip and opened a new package of socks.  The label read, for shoe sizes 6 to 12.  Larry started to gripe about such a large range of feet that were all expected to fit into this particular sock, adding to his frustration that socks never seem to fit him well.  I pointed out that his size 9 foot was smack in the middle of that, which was a good sign.  And I guess it was indeed.

Ok, is it me, or does this seem like just the kind of photo and story we'd run across as a post from one of our bloggy companions?  In fact that thought struck me so hard that it was a little of a turn-off.  It seemed, I don't know, feminine of him.  (Not that I find blogging feminine, CaJoh, but there is certainly a feminine style of blogging.  I don't see a post like this on your blog.)  I mean, what's next, a picture of pouty-faced-Larry holding a up stripped screw?  Maybe a fresh-out-of-the-salon photo--how do you like my new hair-cut? 

Larry has mentioned more than once the idea that he start blogging.  I'm not sure if that would annoy me or please me.  I don't think he even knows my url.  If I want him to see something on my blog I have to show him myself.  Well, maybe he just wouldn't have Mormon Mommy Bloggers on his blog roll.  I might have to "pay" him to list mine.  Of course, I think he had ideas of posting insightful and humorous bits of wisdom rather than pictures of his feet. 

Friday, November 28, 2008

Col. Mustard, in the Library, with the Candlestick

Ok, well, not exactly.  But we did solve the mystery of Stinky Pete.  I originally posted about this almost an entire month ago, and the, er, trouble had been going on for a little under two weeks at that point.  It's been a while, and I'm so relieved, if not a little grossed out, to have figured it out.

The solution reads like this:  "The previous renters' cats, down the heating duct, with the urine."

It now makes sense that we didn't smell it until we started running the heater, heating "things" up.  We contacted our landlord who reacted in a surprisingly unsurprised manner, and then called the heating and cooling guy who is coming Monday morning to replace that section of ducting.  Until then, we have closed #4's vent, and covered it with a huge, folded towel.  Larry bought a small space heater so #4 doesn't freeze.  


Monday, November 24, 2008

Holiday Spirit

Dracula lived in the shower in the bathroom at the top of my stairs when I was a very little girl.  Of course he only lived there when it was dark.  His presence made it quite difficult for me to venture to the top floor by myself at night.  It also made it hard for me to get to sleep.  My bedroom was directly next to the bathroom where Dracula resided, and because of him, I would have nightmares about witches.   I would frequently, therefore, drift off to dreamland in the safety of the downstairs living room, where my parents were watching TV.  They would carry me, unknowing, up to my room and tuck me in.  

Occasionally I fell asleep before having changed into a nightgown.  I would then wake up the next morning devastated.  It was like the whole night had been a waste.  I had missed out on the optimal sleep experience.  I was cheated out of blissful rest.  I needed my jammies on.  But it was too late.  I would brood about my sad situation all day long.  Things were never right again until I had slept through the next night properly clad.

There have been years when the holidays have not seemed holiday-ish enough for me.  I fear I am facing such a season.  Thanksgiving is three days away, and it does not feel or smell or sound or taste like Thanksgiving to me yet.  Sure, I'm eating Dryer's pumpkin ice cream every night and there is serious frost each morning, but I do not anticipate one of my favorite holidays coming right around the bend.

Not only does it not feel like Thanksgiving, but this being about as late as Thanksgiving gets, it does not feel like we're only a month out from Christmas.  My closet is filled with wrapped presents, I've been playing Bing Crosby and Johnny Mathis and John Denver and the Muppets on my iPod, and I've already strewn some twinkle lights on my mantle.  But no visions of sugar plums are dancing in my head.

In years past, when faced with this situation, I will begin to panic.  For in my mind, just as one should spend the night in her nightgown, one should spend the holidays in the proper spirit, or the whole thing is a waste.  The major difference being that it will take another 11 months for a shot at doing it right, rather than 16 hours.  Panicking rarely gets me in the mood.

So what to do?  I'm just not sure.  I am guessing that Wednesday will help slightly.  On Wednesday I'll make cranberry orange relish, and orange rolls, a French silk pie and a pumpkin cheesecake.  On Wednesday I'll pull down the harvest ornamentation and replace it with this year's scant Christmas decor. On Wednesday the kids and I will make a construction paper Christmas countdown chain.

But then what?  How do I avoid missing out on Christmas because I'm feeling like the daughter that Scrooge and the Grinch never had?  I'm sure I could count my blessings and lose myself in service to others.  That's the advice I'd give to someone else in my place.  But my heart's not quite buying it.

When I was little and was made to go to sleep in my bed, I'd try to stave off witchy nightmares with thoughts of birthday parties, specifically my birthday parties.  It seemed to work as well as anything.  I don't see it being quite as effective in this particular instance.  But maybe I should give it a shot.

So if you see me this holiday, please wish me a Happy Birthday instead of a Merry Christmas.  And please refrain from commenting about my pink gingerbread men pj's which I may very well have on for good measure.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tag, I'm It

Ok, I am now officially swearing off swearing these things off.  I guess if I want a spot in the bloggy world I need to play the bloggy game.  Thanks to Tink for ABC-tagging me.  Link to her survey to find out her super-cool greatest accomplishment.  In fact, go do that while I try to come up with something super-cool to say.  Go.  Now.  But please come back.

A-Attached or Single:  Attached.  Unless you're Johnny Depp or Mr. Darcy, and then I may give some consideration to that.

B--Best Friend(s):  My real best friends, Kelly and Jenna, and hopefully now that we're up here, Kim--see N below--don't blog.  (Kelly is considering it.  She's following me now, which is a good first step.)  But all of my eBFFs are listed to your right.  Try Clan of the Cave Hair.  She's probably my favorite eBFF out of nepotism.

C--Cake or Pie:  Pie.  That's easy.  Unless it's cheesecake.  Which I prefer to pie.  But I don't think cheesecake really qualifies as cake, do you?

D--Day of Choice:  Friday (see, Tink, it's almost like I'm copying you.)

E--Essential Item:  Lipstick and mascara and my blow drier/round brush have a 3-way tie.  I'm so vain.  I even think this post is about me.

G--Greatest Accomplishment: I used to say my bachelor's degree, which I received when #2 was 5 months old.  But 4 times now I have actually finished afghans that I started.  So, you know...

H--Hometown:  Northampton, MA, about which there is a book written by Tracy Kidder called (ironically) Home Town.

I--Indulgences:  Chocolate, Reading

J--January or July:  January, only because that's my birthday.  I love my birthday.  Especially if there is cheesecake.

K--Kids:  3 girls and 1 boy all call me Mom.  Plus a husband who calls me Mina and a Golden who comes when I call her.

L--Life is Incomplete Without:  I should say something meaningful like "the gospel," but my first reaction is "chocolate."  The real answer, though, is Larry, also an "L."

M--Marriage Date:  December 28, 1993

N--Number of Siblings: 1 younger brother, 1 brother-in-law and his wife (see B above), and 3 sisters-in-law and their husbands.

O--Oranges or Apples:  Well, I love both fruits if they are good, but if they stink, they are also each NASTY.  Overall, I think you can find better apples throughout the year.  A great, juicy sweet orange, though.  I am really bad at choosing.

P-Phobias:  Spiders, crowds, and losing my husband

Q--Quotes:  "Curtsey while you're thinking.  It saves time." -The Queen of Hearts in Disney's Alice in Wonderland.  Sorry, Brittany.

R--Reason to Smile:  20 followers.  Aw, come on, someone--make me smile!

S--Season:  Fall.  I love everything about it.  Maybe except soccer season which is OK, but I don't love it.

T--Tag 5 Friends:  I hate this.  I feel so presumptuous.  But: DianeWendy at Going Incognito, Ramona, Brittany, and Kristina.  You don't havta if you don't wanna.  I'll know how to take it.

U--Unknown Facts About Me:  Well, for most of you most things about me are unknown, aren't they.  Keep reading my blog.  Read past posts.  Email me.  I can't make a good list here.  Not enough time.  You'd all get bored.

V--Very Favorite Store(s):  Target (Said with a french accent, of course.)  I actually have a funny story about this.  Hmm--maybe a post for another day.

W--Worst Habit:  Is procrastination a habit?  I procrastinate famously.

X--X-ray or Ultra Sound:  I'm not quite even sure what this means.  You need different tests for different problems.  Neither of those are bad.  What I'm not too keen on is an MRI.  Those are a little freaky.

Y--Your Favorite Food:  Low Point food (I'm trying to think positively, here)

Z--Zodiac Sign:  Aquarius.  Born, I believe, on the cusp.

Added 11/22:  Check out April, who took my tag, and has a way cool blog.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

More On Aging

How does one go from looking forward to getting older to resenting it in less than two years? If I think about it, the process has actually only taken three months.  It began when we moved to Idaho.

During the four years we spent in the mountains, I had always been the youngest by one or two if not the youngest adult at church.  My friend who had children the age of my children and who served with me in Primary that entire time, was 11 years older than me.  The other women were retirement age.  At school there were moms younger than me, but it seemed that more of them were older.  At least that was true of the parents I hung out with.  Getting older did indeed give me added validity.

Here we live in a community filled with families.  There are certainly parents older than I. More seem younger.  Many of my kids' teachers are younger than I.  

Though I've had this blog for 2 1/2 years, it's only since we moved that I've really entered the "blogging" community.  (What can I say?  I'm a little lonely.  It's easier to sit here and make pretend friends on line than it is to go "out there" and find real ones.)  I am finding that many of my fellow bloggers are very young.  Like, I-would-have-hired-you-to-baby-sit-my-kids-or-could-have-been-your-Young-Women-leader-a-few-years-back, kind of young.  I am grateful for anyone over the age of 30 who blogs.

It's not really age that's the problem.  I'm fine with that.  I have no reservations telling anyone who asks.  I am 34.  I will be 35 in January.  This is not ancient.  It's the increasing number of adults who were kids when I was already an adult that makes me feel old.  Twice recently I have been "complimented" on the fact that I don't look old enough to have two middle schoolers.  Ok, yeah, that's nice, thank you.  But this really says to me, wow, you are OLD.  Suddenly I feel it.

Today, I was helping in #3s class.  Her teacher had read them a book about desert life and was pulling up the internet right there on the classroom pull down screen to research both the author of the book and desert life.  He was having trouble getting their attention.  I couldn't believe it.  This was such cool technology, amazing compared to the reel to reel films I watched in  elementary school.  And I said so.  The kids gave me a blank stare.  They have no idea what a film reel is.  The teacher (only about 6 years my junior) said, "Oh come on, you're not that old."  Well, yes.  If having watched films on a projector makes me old, then yes, I am that old.  Video technology was certainly there in the very early 80s, but it was expensive, I never saw it in a classroom until maybe 6th or 7th grade.  

You know,  it's a lie that my attitude changed only with the move.  I suddenly remember posting about the girls' middle school dance.  That made me feel old, too.  And that was June.  Well, perhaps the move has just accelerated the inevitable.  My baby is about to turn 7, and I am about to turn into a fogey.  Maybe that's okay.  I'll be good at it.  I have a lot of old person habits already.  I'm always cold, I knit, and Larry and I do the crossword.  I'm sure there's more to that list, but I can't recall.  My memory is going.

Where's my flannel blanket?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Safety First

I will never cease to be amazed at the influence of trial attorneys and class action lawsuits on product packaging.  "Oh, you mean that hot coffee might burn me?"  And so it began.  And so it continues ...

Larry recently purchased a set of little letter openers from Staples.  Nothing fancy.  Just those little plastic things with a blade embedded to slice envelopes.  Fortunately, it came with some safety advice for our benefit.  "They," the elusive, omnipresent "they" who seem to know what is good and healthy for us better than we ourselves, have decided that goggles aren't just for use with power tools anymore:

The bad news is that we cannot find our safety goggles at the moment.  So though I hate to admit it, we've been flirting with danger, opening letters without goggles.  Irresponsible, I know.  And a bad example to the kids as well.  It will give them permission some day, I am sure, to use unsafe letter-opening practices.  And how will I feel when a flyaway envelope shred, or worse yet an opener slipped out of an over-exuberant hand, hits them in their unprotected eye?  I will feel like the horrible mother that I am.  And worst of all, because of the warning, I will have no legal case against Staples.

Please.  What's next?  A welding mask for nail clippers?  Maybe steel-toed boots for a vacuum.  Latex gloves with white-out.  Just so long as they don't get sued.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Where I've been ...

Kristina P. was kind enough to ask where I've been this past week.  Thank you for noticing my absence.  I feel loved.  

To be honest, I have been busy with real live, non-virtual life.  I mean REALLY booked.  I'm not really the type to give a laundry list of mundane activities that mean little to anyone but myself.  But I will say that Monday I spent about 6 hours picking out carpeting and tile for our house that's being built.  A little stressful at the time, but I have a great designer helping me keep everything straight, and once it was done I was very excited.  I have tile samples laid out all over our family room floor.

I guess ultimately my trouble is that I have yet to figure out how to be good in the blogging world and the actual world at the same time.  Something gets neglected.  This week it's been you guys.  Sorry for that.  Please enjoy my boobie post below.

Express Yourself

In an effort to maintain a fair and balanced blog, I am following my modesty post with a post about the boobie shirt.

Last week Larry and I were eating lunch at Taco Bell.  (Now before you all accuse me of having poor taste in Mexican food, I need to inform you that I in fact have excellent taste in Mexican food.  I also like Taco Bell.  I just don't categorize Taco Bell as Mexican food.)  We were sitting in a booth by the soda fountain, as this was the table with the most sun, and I was cold.  This was also a desirable location for engaging in one of my favorite pastimes, people watching.  I watched as folks waited for their orders, emptied their trays, and filled and refilled their drinks.

One guy passed back and forth several times.  He did not particularly catch my attention other than to note that he was not very attractive, and by that I mean that he was quite unattractive.  It wasn't until his last refill before leaving the restaurant that I happened to read his T-shirt.  "Boobies Make Me Smile."  Something about a thirty-something ugly guy wearing an article of clothing with the word "boobies" screen printed on it made me burst into hysterical laughter.  It was absurd.  They seemed words more fitting for a shirt on a lewd teen-aged boy or a tongue-in-cheek onsie for a breast-fed baby.

I began to imagine circumstances he'd find himself in during a day, and wondered how his, er, statement would be received.  I thought of him making a deposit at the bank, likely because Larry and I went to Taco Bell after making a deposit.  What if he was helped by a well endowed teller?  What if he smiled at her as he said hello?  Could she help but wonder if he was only smiling at her boobies?  

What if he encountered a large chested pharmacist?  A grocery checker wearing a 38DD?  A buxom state trouper with the power to ticket him for smiling at her boobies while going 50 in a 35?  That facial expression on him was now entirely tainted by his wardrobe choice.

The  social scientist in me wished I had seen the shirt in enough time to take off my pea coat to see if he'd smile at my boobies.  Expressing this regret to Larry, he kindly offered smile at them for me himself instead.  

Maybe I have it backwards.  Maybe instead of inappropriate and offensive, this is a shirt that should be standard issue for the XY chromosome set.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Package Update

Oooooh, pretty:

How exciting!  This is going to be SOOO much fun:

I can't wait until Thursday:

Thursday night, the unwrapping:

It's Ruthie! :

Happy birthday, #2:

Kit and Ruthie, Great Depression BFFs:
The folks at American Girl sure help a mom out.

Well, what did you think it was?  Oh my, the sick minds of some of the girls who read my blog!  Do you actually think if I got one of "those" packages in the mail that I'd post about it?  My dad reads this, for crying out loud!  And my daughter.  

If you want that kind of info from me, you'll have to email.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Modesty is the Best Policy

I've been brainwashing my kids to be modest since they were walking and talking.  I mean, I don't mind sun dresses on babies, but once you're in kindergarten, you need sleeves, little sister.  Yes, I'm one of those moms.

Why?  Because I was allowed to dress less modestly than I am comfortable with, looking back.  I am embarrassed by photographs of myself with my returned-missionary, one-day-to-be-husband boyfriend, wearing tank tops and shorts with hems closer to my crotch than my knee.  I will grant that tank tops were not what they are now.  They used to have 2 to 3" wide straps.  Now, they look like lingerie.  And we girls were careful not to let our bra-straps show.  'Cause that's skanky.  Or it was.  Now it's "part of the outfit."  Ugh.

But back to my kids.

This brainwashing has produced some funny moments, as well as modest kids.  There was the day when #3 at age 3 shouted, "She's not being modest!" as we passed by a hussy mom dressed in hot pants, a push-up bra, and see-through camisole, picking up the kids from school.  Maybe she wasn't a hussy.  Maybe she was sweet and God-fearing and nice as could be.  But that's not the look she was going for.

Then there were the months when #4 (my only son) was about 4 and thought that "modest" translated into "wear a shirt."  I'm assuming this misconception came from the fact that in hearing my tutorials on modest dress he heard the common theme of covered shoulders and midriffs.  However it came about, no one was allowed to see him without a shirt.  He'd run from the bath to his room, wrapped in his towel to get that shirt on before his sisters saw him.  Underwear and pants, on the other hand, were optional.

Then this past Saturday I had a great conversation with #3.  Picking her up from her friend's birthday party, she was giving me the report.  She definitely loved the eating doughnuts off of a string, but being a fruitaphobe, she wouldn't even try to bob for apples.  I was gratified that she also found the bobbing for apples thing to be a little too "germy."  

According to #3, some of the boys who were bobbing for apples got their shirts wet, and removed them.  Apparently, they went shirtless for the rest of the party.  Number 3 was appalled by this.  She proceeded to get up on a little modesty police soap box (not at the party, although that would have been priceless--just for her mother) about how nasty it was to have shirtless boys at the party.  

"One of them, you could even see their underwear," she ranted.  "It was gross.  Plus, I mean, when they get big, with big, hairy chests, and they take off their shirts, it's like, no one wants to see THAT.  So get used to a shirt now."

You go, girl.  I have no use for big, hairy chests, myself.  I wanted to applaud and crack up all at the same time.  I did neither.  I chuckled, grabbed a pen and scribbled her words on the back of the party invitation, not at all distracted from my driving, and putting neither my daughter and I nor anyone else who may have been driving that country road in danger.  What can I say?  It was just too good to lose.  

Modestly lessons, check.  Driver safety lessons, ...  Aren't driving lessons the dad's job?

Monday, November 03, 2008

It's Here!

I am so excited.  It came today in it's plain, brown wrapping.  No company is listed in the return address.  I appreciate their discretion.  I need to hide it under my bed before the kids get home.  I'll have to get it out once they're in bed.  I can hardly wait!  I can show Larry.  Although he doesn't usually get into it as much as I do, believe it or not.  And because #2 has been stalking my blog, it's not really safe to talk about here ...

... until Thursday night.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

An Open Letter to Ringo Starr

Peace and Love, Peace and Love.  

Ringo, I am writing to you today to inform you in peace and love that after the 20th of November, I will no longer be accepting signed memorabilia from you.  Please do not send me anything you have signed;  concert t-shirts, LP or CD covers, key chains or tote bags.   I simply DO NOT HAVE TIME to accept anything of this nature and it will be returned if it is dated after November 20th.

I was raised as a Beatles fan.  Though my favorite was John, (you may imagine my devastation at his death when I was but 6 years old) I've always liked you, thought you were funny and cute and phenomenal on the drums.  I could listen to Yellow Submarine, Act Naturally, and Octopus's Garden all day long.  But the fact remains that I NO LONGER HAVE TIME for you to be my idol.  Fortunately, I will continue to have time for Paul, who I am sure will never himself be too busy for the gratification of gushing fan mail.  

Paul, please feel free to continue to send me signed Beatles, Wings, or solo memorabilia, which I will accept and gratefully acknowledge receipt of.  A signed copy of Flaming Pie would be nice.

Peace and Love, Peace and Love, 

Paul fanatic

**Please, dear readers, if this doesn't make much sense to you, be sure to follow the link in the text above to Ringo's announcement on You Tube.**

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

This post could have been named, "A display of my mediocre photography and inability to successfully integrate text and images."  But I guess these photos can speak for themselves.  

(Gotta love Halloween Peeps!)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Who Do You Think You Are?

It's not often I post twice in a week, let alone in a day.  Today, however I am completing an assignment from Fit For Service.  I am supposed to write about who I think I am.  Not what I do, but who I am.  This seems easier on the surface than it is in reality.   I'm a pretty introspective person and my self-analysis is generally a muddled, murky sea of memories, regrets, desires, hopes, excuses, embarrassments, pride, and frustration.  So I've been thinking all afternoon about how to succinctly  convey the essence of myself.  Here is what I have come up with.  

I think that I am a talented person overall.  I have some areas that lack such as athleticism, but in general I am good at what I do, and this without much effort.  I am musical,  creative, and a little artistic.   I am intelligent, funny, and empathetic.  I can be organized, detail oriented and am project-driven.  I am a home-body and a good wife and a decent mom.  I am traditionalist and religious.

On the other hand, I am not as spiritually minded as I'd like to be.  I tend to procrastinate and am not disciplined.  I am a yeller and am impatient with my kids.  I get annoyed too easily.  I care way too much what others think of me, which I suppose is technically vanity.  I'm not stereotypically vain, rather I keep to myself on many, many levels to avoid rejection.

There I am.  Good and bad in a nutshell.  The bad list was as hard to keep short as the good list was to make long.  That may say something about me as well.  In fact I know that it does, but that something is not anything I'm ready to explore with an audience.  There is a lot about myself that I wish were different.  Some of it I can work on, and some of it I probably need to accept.  

So who are you?  

Stinky Pete


That may be a slight overstatement, but this is still a little gross.  About two weeks ago, maybe less, I went into my son's room to wake him up and found him curled up in a ball under his covers at the foot of his bed, his bared back revealing the fact that he was naked.  He's only 6, so though certainly curious, this wasn't the gross part, like it may be a decade from now.

As I roused him from slumber, I asked him why he was sleeping at the foot of his bed and where his jammies were.  He didn't seem to know.  The confused look on his face was a combination of residual sleep, a belief that this was entirely normal behavior, and maybe embarrassment.  I asked him if he'd peed in the night.  He answered no.  I only believed him because his bed linens were dry to the touch and odorless to the closely pressed nose.  I figured this was just a weird night, and hoped it was not the beginning of a phase.  The entire episode was quickly forgotten.

Early last week I entered my son's room to wake him in the morning.  He sleeps with his door shut to prevent Lucy from entering at night and absconding with something precious just to turn it into a chew toy.  I opened his door and was overwhelmed with the odor of stale urine.  I went over to my boy and checked him for wetness (this may look like a simple crotch grab to many, but the expert mom will always recognize the scientific information gathering move for what it is).  I felt his sheets, blankets, comforter, pillows, and they all felt dry.  I started sniffing them and none contained the stench that wafted through the room.  I then began to wonder if I'd really smelled what I thought I had.  The scent seemed to have dissipated, and I couldn't tell what I was smelling.  What it just a bad case of morning breath permeating the room?  Well, our mornings are busy, and I couldn't find a source, so I moved on.

Every morning this continued.  Bad smell, origin unclear, move on.  Once Larry got back from California, I had him sniff the boy's room early morning to see if it was just me.  He smelled it too.  I finally washed all bedding.  I figured this must be the problem, even though they really did not smell to me.  I figured he had indeed peed that night a week or so ago, and just did it early enough in the night that all was dry by morning.  But there was no blast of odor as the hot water in the washer hit the sheets, presumably drawing any dried up scents out of them.  And the laundry room didn't smell as the second load waited for the first.

The first morning with the clean bedding, I entered the room to the scent of dryer sheets.  Ah.  Good.  Guess that was it after all, I figured.  Number 4 confessed that he had peed in bed the day I found him disrobed.  He had been scared to tell me the truth.  That must be because I routinely lock up and torture bed wetters in this family.  Anyway, problem solved.

The second morning with the clean bedding, the stale urine was back.  I began to be very frustrated.  I began to get short with my son, questioning him about the source of this odor, and what pee pee garments he may have hidden where.  My husband implicated Lucy, and even though she hasn't peed in the house in well over a year and a half, I sniffed out the carpet.  Nothing.  This is an elusive smell.  The more you look for it, the less you can smell it.  And you can't really smell it much during the day, even though #4 keeps his door shut then, too.

Yesterday afternoon, as I was preparing my home for the arrival of 8 & 9 year old girls from church for a service activity, I offered five dollars and one cent to the child who could produce the source of the odor.  After a few minutes, I restlessly joined them, sniffing out individual toys.  Two stuffed animals were found to be harboring some urine smells.  They were removed to the laundry room.  I found the toys.  But I didn't get paid.

I need to go in this morning to wake up that little man.  I've already sniffed his room and the laundry room.  Laundry room, clean.  #4's room, stinky.  My sniffer is sniffed out.  My dog is no reliable bloodhound, because I've thought of bringing her in there to see where she'll gravitate.  I think I have no choice but to burn the contents of the room and start over.

Post Script:  A few years back Larry and I went to Seattle for a breathing technique tutorial for Larry's asthma.  We brought back a T-shirt with a little boy pirate named Stinky Pete for #4.  Stinky Pete's speech bubble read, "We don't take no stinkin' baths!"  #4 loved this shirt, and quoted it frequently, except that he pronounced it "stinksin'."  Very adorable.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Neener, Neener, Neener

I had not started off the month intending to develop a #1 theme to my posts, but so it is.

Height is relative.  At 5' 4 1/2", I am downright tall for a woman on my mother's side of my family.  In my husband's family, however, I am short.  So short, that for 15 years it's been continually pointed out that I am, in fact, the shortest adult.  "Oh yeah, you should see me loom over my mother's clan!," I want to respond.  But I don't because I know it will sound much lamer aloud than it does in my head, and it doesn't sound that great in there, either.  And "loom" is probably an exaggeration, anyway.

My husband, on the other hand, is fairly tall in any set outside of the NBA, at 6 feet.  His 6 feet looks even taller than it is since his weight hasn't reached a buck fifty since we've been married.   And it looks taller, still, because he has very long, thin legs.  I have long legs, too.  You just can't tell, because I'm short and filled out.  But my torso is ridiculously squat in proportion to my height.

Wait, this was supposed to be about #1, right?  I'm getting to that.  #1 looks just like me.  Her facial features are quite similar--especially her nose, and her body shape and development were cloned from my body.  This was obvious to anyone who'd seen us both in the buff from the time she was about 2.  In other words, my husband and my mother and I knew she'd grow to look like me.  Ah, the miracle of genetics.

Families are funny.  They always want a kid of their family member to look like their family member, and not that person's spouse.  So to Larry's family, #1 was the spitting image of him.  "Oh, she'll be tall," they'd say.  "Just look at those long legs!"  Larry would try to go to bat for my case, but he never rounded first.  

His family's remarks were only strengthened by the fact that she started to get tall pretty early on in adolescence.  "She'll be taller than you before you know it."  Here I began to speak up myself.  You see, my mother's family is full of short women.  Short women who reached their adult height by the age of 13.  We all looked tall in Junior High.  But a year later the gig was up, as everyone else around us had kept growing.  So I've been telling the fam, "She may end up taller than me, but she won't be much taller."  No more than an inch, I had predicted.

Well, what do you know.  #1 has turned 14.  She's been 5' 2" for the past year.  I think she's done.  So not only is she not taller than me, she's still 2 1/2" shorter.  My victorious, somewhat gloating attitude has nothing whatsoever to do with #1 herself.  I feel like I've won a 12 year ongoing bet.  I smile whenever I think of it.  I get a little giddy.  Because even if she bucks the trend and does grow a little more, it'll be no 2 inches!  Nope, family.  Not tall.  Short.  I told you so!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


She entered the world with a perfectly round face, big blue eyes and rosy red lips.  Absolutely beautiful.  We'd get stopped by strangers for months to tell us our baby looked like a porcelain doll.

For the first 7 days, we had a rough time feeding.  She'd latch on, and then stare at me.  No sucking.  Any milk she did get down she'd quickly projectile vomit all over me.  I was frustrated.  I was scared that they'd make me start her on a bottle if I told the doctors.  So I would call my mother in the middle of the night, sobbing and seeking advice.  But she figured it out--eating--and did just fine.

She didn't crawl like other kids at first, instead rolling with great expertise to her destination.  But she figured out the crawling too, eventually.  At 16 months, she figured out the walking.

Even with these delays, it was not until she had hardly figured out talking at 3 that we started to seek professional advice.  And this was the beginning of a four to five year period of testing, wondering, misdiagnoses, discovery and therapy.  It was a period of fighting against what I both knew to be wrong and hoped to be wrong.  I'm not sure I handled it well, but I am also not sure how I'd have done it differently.  That medical journey is the topic of another post.

At three years old my #1 had her first IEP developed for her.  I have found that this is something that either a person's child has or that they have never heard of before.  It is an Individualized Educational Plan.  Yesterday, #1 turned 14 years old.  This morning, we developed her 12th plan.

Her first four IEPs were exclusively for speech therapy.  It was a relatively easy process.  But by first grade, she was not keeping up.  Even remotely.  Teachers were frustrated with her, and I think with me.  At my request, she was tested for the possibility of more intervention.  That process was conducted by the school psychologist and took several weeks of testing #1, interviewing me and her teachers.  Just after her 7th birthday was the IEP meeting to discuss those findings.

The psychologist pulled me aside just before the meeting to prepare me for the label.  Mild mental retardation.  IQ of 68.  He said he didn't want me to be thrown off in front of everyone.  I was grateful, and went through the meeting in a numb, out-of-body sort of fashion.  This was not what I had expected.  I did not want a retarded child.  Let me rephrase that.  I loved and wanted my daughter.  I did not want her to be retarded.  I got all the way to my car before I broke down.  I cried for a while then had to pull it together to get home to my mother in law who was watching numbers 2 & 3.  I wasn't prepared to discuss this with her.  I wasn't prepared for this at all.

For several years, I would leave the IEP annual reviews and go cry in my car.  I often felt that #1 was misunderstood, and not appreciated for the sweet girl she really was.  I also continued to mourn, and to hope that somehow she would grow out of this and catch up with her peers.

Three good things happened to change this.  First, my aunt, who has disabled children of her own, told me, "A label doesn't change who she is or how you deal with her.  It just lets her get the help she needs from others."  I must admit, however, that I appreciated that wisdom intellectually long before I could embrace it emotionally.

Second, we signed her up for AYSO special ed soccer, or the VIP program.  It's been good for her over the years, but that first year it was good for me to meet other parents of special needs kids.  Good to see them happy and hear them discuss life like any other parent.  I realized that I was unhappy about my girl because I kept hoping for something more.  Larry and I both did.  And that was the year that I began to stop doing that.  It became easier for me to advocate for what would be best for #1 when I no longer had unrealistic expectations.  It was no longer sad.  It just was our life.

Third, we moved to a new community the following summer, just in time for a little maturity to kick in.  #1 was no longer misbehaving at school, and kids and faculty alike did not realize that it was a change.  Peers reacted to her much differently--better.  Teachers thought she was sweet.  And every resource teacher she's since had has quickly come to love her and want to look out for her almost as much as I do.  I stopped crying after IEP meetings.  I'd often come away with a smile on my face, feeling blessed to have such great, caring people to help my daughter get an education.  We'd still sometimes encounter problems, but they were workable.  We'd find solutions.

This morning's IEP was our first here in Idaho.  The only hesitation I had in moving up here was #1's schooling.  New resource teacher, new friends, big, crowded hallways.  I'd heard good things about the special ed programs, but I still did not know how it would compare until we were here.  Well, I am thrilled.  #1 is happy.  Her resource teacher is fabulous.  There is a much smoother transition here from middle school to high school, which will make next year easier.  Her IEP has reasonable goals and sufficient accommodations.  Things that need some tweaking are already being tweaked.  I walked out of our meeting toward my car with a stinging nose and watery eyes.  Not because I was sad but because I am blessed.  Any stresses that this move is causing are worth what we have here for my girl.

I used to think it would have been easier had #1 been born with a visible disability.  Something that we could see and accept and research and deal with.  Our experience has been a little less straight-forward.  But here we are, and I wouldn't change a thing.  We adore our "sunshine" just how she is.  She makes us better people.  We've had associations and made friendships and had opportunities to serve that we'd have never had without a special needs child.  And special needs or not, she is still simply our sweet baby girl.  With a perfectly beautiful face, big blue eyes, and ruby red lips.  

Happy birthday, baby girl.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Please Indulge Me for a Moment

Oh boy.  A couple of years ago, when I first began writing this blog, I participated in a "tag," noting that I'd not do it again.  But I think I am going to.  Maybe just this once more. 

Let me explain.  I don't really feel like what I do here is your typical blog sort of thing.  I don't post often.  I don't have broad readership, and that really doesn't bother me--very often.  But I have discovered the past couple of months the larger blogging community and I've been dipping my toes in it.  There are a few that I really enjoy, and many more that I find tedious with out personal knowledge of the author.

One of the more interesting authors, who is also my one and only "follower," has tagged me.  (Thanks, by the way, Brittany, though I'm not sure if it looks worse to have 1 lonely follower or none at all!)  Out of  a mixture of gratitude and slight curiosity about the results of this, I feel compelled to participate in this blogging ritual one more time.  If this doesn't interest you, please read my coat battle post below.

  1. I have a tattoo of a bleeding heart flower above my left ankle.
  2.  I have an unhealthy relationship with refined sugar, particularly as an ingredient in chocolate.
  3. I wish I had minored in Humanities.
  4. I love Jane Austen Novels.  Especially Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Sense and Sensibility and Persuasion.  There are really only a few more, but these are my favorite, and I am usually in the middle of reading one of them--even if I am also reading something else.  I wish Jane had written the scriptures, because then I'd have that commandment down pat.
  5. When I was little, I wanted to be Jewish.  I loved the tradition, the symbolism, everything.  I felt Mormonism was lacking in those types of things.  I've since discovered that it's there in force, just not in daily and weekly worship.
  6. My favorite number is 2.  (Not to be confused with "Number 2," which I do not like so much and have had issues with.)  It always has been.  I'm not sure why.
  7. I think I'm relatively talented at a lot of things, but I lack the attention or discipline to really be GREAT at any of it.  This bugs me.  I wish I had that one "thing" that I did really well.  Then I could say in a tag, "I do (insert talent here)," and not feel a little like a fraud.
  8. (because I just thought of one more) I'm pretty geeky.  I love Mythbusters, Deadliest Catch, and Numb3rs, scifi, crossword puzzles, and statistics.  This is not a great thing when you're in HS.  As an adult, it works pretty well.

Okay.  Here is the lame part.  Like I said, I've not been blogging, as in, with others, for long. Most of my readers don't blog.  Therefore, I don't have seven people to "tag."  A couple who I'd get have already been tagged.  Another has a closed blog.  So here's my proposal.  If you are interested in doing this, leave me a comment, and I can stick your link in this post after the fact.  

The other lame caveat is that if you blog on Blogger and I haven't been to your site, I have to wait to check you out until I can clear you with my filtered internet service, which usually takes about 24 hours.  Sorry.  Of course, others can still link to you through your comment.  I can't say I was thrilled when they blocked Blogger a couple of weeks back.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

When hell, er, Boise, freezes over

The time is 6:53 am.  It is still dark.  The temperature outside is about 27 degrees Fahrenheit, which is exactly what it was at 6:10 when I first checked it.  A cold front is coming in, and we may even get snow flurries on Saturday.  

I've been asking my kids to dress warmer for a week or two, to which I've received replies of, "We're fine, Mom."  They probably were.  I am a cold person.  Even in the summer I get cold after I've eaten, or in an air conditioned store.  Or looking at a picture of frolicking penguins. 

Yesterday afternoon, #3 actually asked me to make her wear a coat in the morning, because they got cold walking to school.  Imagine.  Exercising AND cold.  Welcome to my life.  Anyhoo, I felt like the Negligent Mom of the Year because I had indeed quit pestering them about the jackets.  After checking out the front window for CPS, which I was sure her teacher had tipped-off, I dug out our outdoor thermometer from the boxes in the garage, and hung it on the back porch.  A mom armed with information is ... well, still going to face a fight from some.

So this morning, I gleaned my precious information, aroused the middle school set, and went about the task of digging those winter coats out of the boxes in my closet.  Each child's coat was updated with our current phone number and hung on the back of her, or his, dining chair.  

Number 2 was the first to see hers.  Amazingly, her coat had morphed into the spawn of Satan as it hung on her chair.  More amazingly, she was the only one who could detect this transformation.  Doing what any red-blooded American would upon seeing the spawn of Satan right there in her dining-room, she instantly tried to kill it with her laser-vision-evil-eye-glare.

My unfeeling response?  "You ARE wearing that to school today."  

"Wha-at?"  (as in, geesh, mom, what is your problem?)

"You are glaring at your coat like it's evil.  It's not even 30 degrees out there."  (See how helpful it is to have information?)

"I'm wearing a sweatshirt."

"And you have to stand at that bus stop for almost 10 minutes.  Do you not understand how cold it is?  30 degrees, as in, it would snow if it was raining.  Snow!  You are wearing that coat."

"oKAY." (as in, geesh, mom, what is your problem?)

Luckily #1 came down not to the spawn of Satan, only to a coat she did not want to wear to school.  And doing what any red-blooded teen-aged girl would do, she started complaining.  I'll spare you that conversation, which went remarkably like the conversation with #2, only at a higher decibel.

Mom did win this round, if you call producing two long, pouty faces winning.  As they were walking down the drive-way, #1 sulkily remarked to #2 that it was warmer today than yesterday.  "That's 'cause you're wearing your coats!," I yelled after them.  If they heard me, they didn't acknowledge the fact.  Of course, if they didn't hear me, I should get their hearing checked.  This afternoon.

Well, the sun is coming up, the temperature has dropped a few degrees, and I've just woken up the elementary school set.  I anticipate a better response.  Being warm is still cool in 1st and 3rd grade.