Tuesday, January 27, 2009

11-25


Jan and Donna, this is for you...I am going to come up with 25 random things if it kills me...and it probably will (I am soooo boring). Here goes:

11. I am a cheap date...1/2 a glass of wine and I am under the table. I once did a wine tour of the Napa Valley and was plastered by 3:30 in the afternoon.

12. On the alcohol theme, I don't like beer but the best margarita ever is Mike Massuci's "Beer-garita." I would share the recipe but I have no idea where my Test Pilot School Recipe book is...

13. I arrange all my dollar bills face side up, same direction, lowest to greatest value.

14. I get really annoyed when the grocery bagger puts onions in with my fruit, soap with my produce (Who wants to eat an apple that smells like an onion?) or when the clerk puts something heavy on my bananas/strawberries/lettuce...can you tell I am food snob/worked in a grocery store? Can I count this one as three random things?

15. On the food note, I clean out the Commissary's Tazo Awake tea. I have no guilt about taking every last box...okay, so it has only happened twice because they have just started carrying it. Just wait.

16. I like lots of ice in my iced tea. I drink it with a straw.

17. I don't eat iceberg lettuce. My theory is if an iguana will starve on it...what's the point?

18. I do eat romaine/green leaf/red leaf/Boston. I hate field greens...there is something in there that tastes like dirt.

19. My mom gave me a real "fake" id for my 19th birthday...she wanted me to go to bars with her and her friends. True story.

20. I spent 48 hours in hard labor with Roo before getting a c-section. I am sure that qualifies as enough labor for 6-8 kids.

21. I don't mind surgery...it's that IV that puts me over the edge. When I had Roo, most of the Wright Patt Hospital tried putting an IV in me starting at 9 a.m. and they didn't successfully accomplish the insertion until 9 p.m. I will do anything to avoid an IV.

22. My first marriage proposal was when I was in 7th grade at Knott's Berry Farm. The guy even went down on his knee (we were in the Justice of the Peace).

23. I drove from CA to GA by myself on a military move after losing Greg, Roo, and the dogs at the CA/AZ border. I would find them every night at the hotel, lose them as soon as we took off the next day (sub-conscious? or just an effect of living in the pre-ubiquitous cell phone age?)

24. I thought people that entered the military losers and those who went to military academies...super geeks.... I ended up marrying an Air Force Officer who graduated from the Air Force Academy AND spending 19 years of my life as a military dependent.

25. I am constantly being humbled by God for my evil thoughts...See number 24.

Monday, January 26, 2009

For Lisa


Here are the random things you asked for on Facebook...I'm doing it here because I am too lazy to follow all the directions on Facebook AND I don't want to put anyone under the horrible pressure I felt with trying to come up with 25 things...I think I might be able to pull out 6.


1. I've always wanted to be a redhead. I think redheads are gorgeous.

2. I have always wanted blue eyes.

3. My first kiss from a boy was when I was 5 (see Roo, you can't shock me)

4. I was once hit on by Billy Martin. That will only have meaning if you followed baseball in the 70s. I still have his deposit slip asking me to meet him at the Biltmore.

5. When I was in 8th grade, a boy slapped me on the bottom and got sent to the Principal's Office. I ended up going steady with him. I was 38 before I found out he got a slap on the bottom too by our giant Assistant Principal. I was horrifed when I found out, now I think it is hysterical. He is a friend on Facebook now.

6. I was extemely shy until I was 38. Now I am too old and too tired to care what anyone thinks about me except God. I am still trying to figure out how I was voted "Friendliest" in Junior High.

7. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would voluntarily live in Ohio. I not only lived there once, but twice, and gave birth twice there.

8. I was exceptionally liberal in high school and first two years of college...then in college, I walked over to the conservative side...now I am exceptionally conservative.

9. I turn the radio up really loud on Def Lepard songs. I may have to rethink this once Miss Hannah starts singing "Pour Some Sugar on Me."

10. Okay, I am scratching the bottom of the barrel for a 10th here...OH! I tried coffee once when I was in Hawaii...I immediately spit it out in the pond with the Koi. Fish and me...well, I have a history of doing dastardly things to them. I'll save that story for summer while we hang out at the pool.

Friday, January 23, 2009

A Few Rules for the Dating Game


A few tips for my two readers who are in the dating world...I hope this helps...

1. Never throw your blind date's pack of Marlboros off the ride at Disneyland, even if you do find him loud, obnoxious and conceited. It is a long drive home to Lancaster.

2. It is probably not a good idea to change your mind about a date and leave a note on the door that says "Gone jogging."

3. Along those lines, it's probably not a good idea when a someone is coming over to hang out...to go watch your ex's football game instead.

4. Punting is not soccer, it involves a boat and a long stick...also, if you agree to go punting, stick around for the date and don't take off for Windsor Castle because it sounds more appealing than getting wet in the Thames.

5. It is probably not a good idea to laugh when your date gets tossed out a window because your posse has decided the date is a dud...Okay, the image of his cowboy boots in the air...still funny.

6. Never suggest to a guy you're dating that he lighten up. Your next date for a movie and pizza might consist of porn and Gin as a testimony to his ability to be "light." You may sit there for 10 minutes wondering if you're a thesis project of if this is for real before walking out.

7. Not a good idea to start a date with one guy and leave with another.

8. If you break rule 7, don't go back to the same hotel where you can hear the original date scream your name from the other side of the hotel...the hotel staff tends to frown on this.

I, of course, know no one who would do such things...I hope this helps your survival in the dating jungle.
Lastly, if you could see the bottom of the picture, you might see some cowboy boots.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Jack Frost


Jack Frost visited last night...This morning's drive to school was serene with the grass and pastures glistening in the sunlight. You could see the frozen dew on individual blades of grass, on the rooftops, the makings of ice on the ponds. It was beautiful. Who knew this handcrafted setting could turn into a competition between an almost 5 year old and an almost 7 year old.


H: I have more frost on my side, I see frozen water.

M: No! I do!

H: You're cheating you're looking out my side of the car!

M: I am not! You're cheating!


And so it went...the entire ride to school. I was struck at how quiet my life was for 12 1/2 years. If Roo had fought with someone...it would have been a great indication that she had developed a second personality. There wasn't anyone to fight. My second journey into motherhood has brought a level of competition I am completely unprepared for...the accusations of "You love M" more than me or "You love H" more than me...depending upon whomever is not sitting in my lap at that moment.


Art, a normally quiet experience becomes a competition...M drew a picture two weeks ago...he studied a picture on the refrigerator and announced "There is an ugly picture on the refrigerator. Take it down and put this one up." (M had just "drawn" a picture for me) I looked at the refrigerator and saw the Princess driving a car...I had a sinking feeling this is the one he had targeted, I knew we were going to go toe to toe about taking H's picture down. Sure enough, the princess was the eye offending object that needed to go. I was finally able to convince M that there was enough room for both...he didn't like it (and I am still waiting to see if that picture "disappears" sometime).


Yes, motherhood is soooo much different with two children instead of one. I am kind of hoping Jack Frost stays home tonight.

Monday, January 19, 2009

45 Seconds

What I learned this weekend in 45 seconds or less: 1.) Always check your yoga pants before going out the door...they might be on backwards. 2.) Never wear lace undergarments under lycra yoga pants...it results in a really lumpy bottom. If you have cellulite, it could get really ugly...so ugly that your friends might hold a car wash to get you the help you need. That's it...that is all I learned. It was a quiet weekend.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Time

I should put a disclaimer for all 3 of you who read my blog..."All blogs written in 2 minutes or less." Why? Because they are...I have found that what appears to be the perfect time to get on the computer will turn into not so perfect because the quiet kids have turned into wrestling kids. Time...one minute quiet, the next minute chaos.

Take last night for instance...I thought soup the perfect dinner for the bone chilling night. I brought the soup to the full rolling boil point. I am thinking I am such a great mom providing such a perfect dinner for my perfect family...Then, in a split second, that rolling boil soup hit my hand...then time really stood still. I could not get rid of the ladle and the bowl fast enough and the more I tried to get rid of the offending soup, the more I burned my hands...It is amazing how many thoughts run through your mind while being burned...If I drop the bowl it will hit the range top (one of those flat surface kinds) and will break the bowl, soup will fly, I will get burned more, will the range top crack if I drop a ceramic bowl on it? I got the soup down, ran to the sink and turned the water on for my hands. There is one advantage to this bitter cold...the water comes out like it has been cooled in ice. I stood there for a very long time before my slow brain thought of filling a tub for my hands. I later switched to my daughter's princess boo boo cold pack...those things don't stay cold very long. I ended up taking a blue ice to bed with me. Seriously. Time, one minute it is for you, the next against. Hopefully, y'all have a blue ice to comfort you when you get burned.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Life in the Schoolyard


Recent events have taken me back to painful lessons I have learned in the schoolyard and in life. I learned the hard way in school. I learned the hard way not to take sides when friends have a rift. I always picked a side, the two friends made up and now I was on the outside. It has taken me a lifetime to figure out what to do when I am angry with someone or two people I care about fall out...I was 38 before the words of wisdom came to me. Was I or the offended party sinned against or was God sinned against? If God is being sinned against, easy call. If I am upset because I am not getting my way...I am sinning. If two people I care about are in a dispute, I have to look at it the same way.

I was 39 before I learned my most important lesson in parenting...Love your kids like they won't be here in a year and teach them like you won't be here in a year.

This week these two principles of my limited wisdom have been brought into my life. Someone I care about very much is very upset because I have not stopped talking to someone who hurt her. Does this mean I care less about her? Absolutely not. I had to go to the Bible for my decision in this. When Hagar and Sarai hurt each other (and Abram sat passively by...men, another story) did God let Hagar hide when she ran away? No. "The God who sees" lovingly told her to go back and to do what is right. All three characters had to reap the consequences of their sin. Did God love them less because he wouldn't let His loved children hide when the going got rough? He loved them passionately. He refined their character by letting His loved children learn to do what is right even if when it was painful and uncomfortable. I must love those around me in the same way.

If my sweet H hits another child in the schoolyard and the other child says "I don't want to be your friend anymore" I am not going to take H's side. I am a weird mom, I believe my child needs to apologize for any offense and understand if that child never wants to play with her again. I am not going to remove H from the uncomfortable situation of being friendless. We're not moving, she isn't changing schools. She is going to have to see that child everyday and learn how to deal with it. It is a consequence. It is a situation my child is going to face throughout her life when she sins against others and does not honor God. I believe it is for His glory that he lets us reap what we sow.

I love my friends and family deeply but I have go one step further in this crazy life we lead...do I protect them from their hurt or let them learn to deal with it? One day I won't be here, all I can do is love them like crazy, pray for them daily, and let them learn.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Military History


Lately, I have been indulging my interest in American History by reading about the American Revolution and the two World Wars. It's a strange interest for a woman who loves Louisa Mae Alcott and Jane Austen.

Today I had a revelation while reading about how to outflank the enemy, etc. I loved the story about how Washington tricked the Redcoats into thinking his army was much larger than it actually was, leaving the fires burning while he and the Army slipped away in the night across the Delaware River. I loved how the Allies accomplished the same thing with the Germans...through the use of rubber tanks and movie studio staged ports. The Germans continually overestimated the strength of the Allies...I think my sub-conscious is trying to find pointers on how to outsmart my children psychologically when they become teens...since I will be in my middle to late 50s when this journey embarks. I am pretty sure they will both be physically taller than me so I will have to rely on my wits.

One thing which really struck me in my reading was how American troops watched the cows in Normandy. They realized the fields would not have mines if there were cows, cows are curious and would watch if someone was nearby...letting the troops know there were Germans close to them. I wonder if cows could be used to figure out what a teenager is up to...perhaps it would moo if they were sneaking out at night...block the driveway if they try taking the car without permission...I am pretty sure a cow will make a big enough mess to keep the teens shovelling for quite awhile.

Yes, I am just beginning to see how to use military history to battle my children.

Bach

My children love to be told the stories of when they were born. I am a different kind of mom, not only did I not have my children in the same decade, they weren't even born in the same century. All three were born under a Bush as president and the last two were both born in years the Patriots won the Superbowl.

Today's drive to school was accompanied by Bach. The children were asking all sorts of questions about the music and I told them it was playing when M was born. This prompted the "When I was born, when M was born and when Roo was born conversation) I don't remember too much of when Roo was actually delivered (a combined effect of 48 hours of labor and morphine) but I do remember country music was playing and they had to chase a fly out of the room before the c-section. M thinks it is a hoot that he pee'd on the doctor and H loves the part about biting the doctor. Once again, I told M that Bach was the favorite of one his doctors. M's response? "Bach Bach Chicken!"

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Lisa,

Wish you were here...Love, Julio and me XOXO

My Resignation


I think it is time to tender my resignation effective immediately and head to Mexico with Julio. I wonder if they have Starbucks in Mexico? I need my tea. I hear it is warm in Mexico and they have margaritas...I understand the natives speak a different language so no one will bother me with incessant chatter. Julio doesn't talk...he just caters to my every whim, the perfect man. All desires are fulfilled without my asking. I just have to give a little nod of my head and he turns the page of my book. A tilt to the right of my head and my thirst is quenched with my shaken iced tea. It is lovely, delightful, wonderful...I am off, I'll send y'all a postcard.

Wait a second...Why are these little blonde people following me and why are they calling me "Mom?"

Monday, January 12, 2009

Growing Up

Last night I was reading a book to my children before bed and M reached over to touch the page. I was struck by how small his little hand is...I watched him sleeping and was mesmerized by how small he is...I realized that my two little ones have so much energy during their awake hours I feel like I am dealing with two huge people, bigger than me. They're still so little.

My oldest is 19. She is my size. Physically, she is done growing up...This past weekend, I watched my oldest deal with her first loss of a sweet funny friend. It opened purposefully forgotten wounds. I was 22 before I lost any friends, one a suicide and one killed by a drunk driver. It is a horrible ordeal to go through and it is awful to have to watch your child learn to deal with grief, grief that goes down to the marrow. It is horrible to be my age and watch a young person die under such tragic circumstances, so much potential...vanished. Unexpected death of a someone never gets easier, perhaps it just gets harder. You feel for everyone who was impacted by the tragedy. There are no words to share. Words are just empty at this point. I can only sympathize with my daughter and feel the pain of her growing up.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Broken Hearts,Shattered Lives

"Hi Mom!" was my greeting by Rob. It was a big greeting with a smile that lit up his face...sometimes I was so distracted by my little people that my big person would have to say "Mom, Rob just said 'Hi.'" I would look up and see this big grin and huge wave coming from the McAllister's kitchen. My kids loved Rob, they would run up to him and give him huge hugs and he would inevitably give H a piggy back ride.

I read a MySpace bulletin once that my daughter responded to one time that asked "Who tells the funniest jokes?" Her answer was Rob.

Rob's passing is going to leave a lot of heavy broken hearts and some shattered lives. There will be a lot of "What ifs" and "I should have..." I don't think he would want it that way. I think he would want us to remember him for the laughs he gave us and to take care of his still new bride, comfort his family and treat each other kindly.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Influenced

Jackie Nelson passed away on New Year's Eve, 2009. I am blessed to have known her. Jackie,was the mother of my best friend in college, Karen Nelson.

Jackie treated me like a daughter and opened her home to me on many occasions. I lived in Lancaster and went to school at California State University, Northridge, as a commuter.

There are so many wonderful memories of being a guest at the Nelsons and being profoundly impacted by this family. There was the week in 1984 when we got hit with a huge snowstorm and it was finals week at CSUN. Jackie allowed me to come stay the week as soon as I could get out of the Valley. Karen and I spent most of the day on Tuesday on the phone with weather updates instead of studying . I finally got out and made it to my finals. Karen even drove me to the Airport after finals were over so I could go to England for three weeks.

Karen and I went to a Halloween Party in Beverly Hills with some of Karen's friends and the Nelsons contributed to my Halloween costume. Jackie was always helpful at accessorizing me...she provided a necklace once when Karen and I were doing up the town, and she provided the earrings when I got married...the something borrowed.

Bill and Jackie were in Kuwait when Iran invaded. They were taken hostage and I remember praying like I have never prayed before...Jackie was released and then Bill. God is good.

The biggest influence Jackie had on my life though is really simple. She was a stay at home mom and it was this that helped me decide to be the same. I had planned a career but when I stayed with the Nelsons, I got to see how nice it was to have simple home dinners with the family and someone to sit with while I ate my breakfast. Jackie made me a piece of toast and some tea, then she sat down and talked with me while I ate. A simple act that has stayed with me a lifetime.

I know she touched many others in her lifetime and I am blessed God allowed me to be one of them.

Chick Flicks


Roo and I have a long tradition of watching Chick Flicks on rainy days...before H and M, we would usually pull out the Wedgwood tea set and insert Pride and Prejudice and have marathon Chick Flick time.

Life became a little busier with the addition of H and M and chick flick time has been drastically reduced...we're happy if we can watch Friday Night Lights in the same room.

However, Chick Flick time took a turn with Roo's college break. Roo joined me on the couch for Band of Brothers and The Longest Day. This was delightful to share an interest of mine with my eldest child. There is a funny side to this...my dad was passionate about history also, but he didn't think girls should be so my brother inherited the WWII and Civil War books to my dismay and I got the Art books. I laugh as Roo and me share this interest...if he could see us...Would he be proud or ask what we did with Pride and Prejudice?

By the way, I am working on my own library for the American Revolution, Civil War (or the War of Northern Aggression, if you're a Southerner) and the two World Wars. History ain't just for boys and Chick Flicks can include hott soldiers.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Rainy Days and Mondays...Nope, Tuesday

It's raining again. I think it is safe to say the worst drought in 150 years is over...And because it is raining again, I think I should get extra points for going to the gym today. Rainy days should be spent with someone who makes your heart skip a beat or (and in my case since I am old) with a hot cup of tea and a really good book....and a fire...except I like to read in my quiet room and the family room contains the fireplace...Maybe I could put a firepit outside my living room window...then I could have the best of both worlds. I digress, which isn't unusual.

I still would have preferred the tea and book but my buddy, Donna, showed up for the gym so I feel like I accomplished something. If only not to get publicly flogged on Facebook for being a no show at the gym...

I will keep this short...if I quit now I can get one hour of reading in before it is time to pick up H, take her to ballet and then take both of the Little People for their first day of swim class...Yeah, I know, swim class in January...Nuts, right? Blame this on my going to the gym and running into Steve who wanted to know why H and M weren't signed up like usual...Yes, my children are famous at the gym...They both kicked and screamed for the first two months of swim class...the entire staff would try to coax them into a state of happiness...now? They are both fish...which is a good thing since it is so wet outside.

Ciao, it's time to see what is up with King George III.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Green Chair


If this chair could talk, what stories it could tell. I fell in love with the chair when we lived in Georgia. It was my favorite type of chair...a wingback and it reclined. What more could a girl ask for? It matched the couch and loveseat we were buying for our new home and it was the most relaxing shade of green. That was 12 years ago.

The chair has been moved from Georgia to Iowa to Alabama to Ohio to Massachusetts to Virginia and back to Alabama. It is time to replace the chair but it is like letting go of a long lost friend. When we bought the chair it provided just the right amount of sophistication for me and my new home...the perfect amount of comfort.

The chair kept my feet up during my unexpected pregnancy with H. I loved to sit in it while homeschooling Roo. Our cat thought it was its own personal scratchpost much to my dismay. My favorite quiet moments were in Massachusetts watching the snow fall and nursing H while reclining in the chair. I cannot tell you how many times I have sat in the chair and held a sleeping child or been thrown up on by one of those angelic children...I was always the target and fortunately, the chair never came out as bad as I did. The chair was a peacemaker when we brought M home from the hospital and H wasn't speaking to me. She got sick the night I came home and the chair was in our bedroom so we reclined it and she slept there that night. She started speaking to me again and somehow she never went back to her bad but kept sleeping in the reclined chair. Numerous bedtime stories have been read from that chair...too many naps to count have been taken in that chair...I noticed a few months ago the wingback on the left side was working loose and now there is a rip in the fabric...It is time to replace it but how? There are so many stories in that chair.

MJ and Mr. Gator


Chomp. I woke up to this sound and to the face of an alligator/crocodile. (It is supposed to be a gator but I think it is a crocodile) I also saw the impish face of my little boy with a mischievous grin on his face. I love when he wakes up, he always has a smile on his face. His little cheeks plump up like apples when he smiles.

Tonight it was difficult getting him to sleep. He told his daddy a lie about eating his dinner so he didn't get his dessert. This did not go over well with the Little Man. He loves his chocolate (the boy needs a 12 step program for chocolate). There was a lot of crying and declarations that he was going to leave home with Sissy. Apparently, the two of them are going to live outside next to the house. I bet Sissy is going to love that...she's not much of a camper. Finally, after M was sure we understood how displeased he is with us as parents, he climbed into my lap put his head on my chest and fell asleep. He is the picture of innocence when he is sleeping.

M's normal mode of falling asleep after his story is to put his head on my left arm and drift off to sleep after staring at nothing for a few minutes. I will move him but he tends to come back like a heat seeking missile. He tends to sleep in my back leaving me on the edge of my mattress...and I wonder why I am always tired. It is funny the way he curls into my back...a few weeks ago I dreamed about going to prom but I had a bunch of sticks and leaves stuck to the back of my dress. I am sure this was a result of the little man putting pressure on my back during the middle of my R.E.M.s

Then morning comes and I get the sweetest smile, kiss, and a hug...suddenly my sweet boy turns into all boy, he's off the bed with a bang and he is full force energy and personality for the rest of the day. He is amazing

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Walk


Tuesday was one of those days that felt really good to be alive. I took the kids for a walk, M needed to try out his new bicycle and H needed to ride her new scooter. The kids felt water bottles were necessary so H packed up two bottles and put them in her backpack...away we went. We had to take regular breaks and the sweatshirts had to come off and the water bottles came out of the backpack. Each time we came upon the pond's 4th footbridge, M had to stop and throw rocks in the pond. The ducks would think it was food and let their displeasure be known that we weren't feeding them. M's face took on a rosy glow and H had joy with every breath...

H began planning morning walks at the crack of dawn not realizing this little glimpse of heaven would end the following day with some really cold weather...now, you cannot blast them out of the house. It is chilly but Tuesday, the sun warmed your cheeks, the breeze lifted your hair and brushed it across your face like a kiss, our neighborhood pond glistened in the sun, the ducks were quacking and the leaves softly rustled the leaves. Perfection.

Followers