Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Little Validation Goes a long way.

Last night it was Tuesday. On Tuesdays, kids eat free at our local Denny's. Now, I really don't like Denny's - even if I'm not in one of my eating healthy moods, I really don't like Denny's. Therefore, it goes without saying that my children LOVE Denny's.

I was worn out from the day yesterday, and didn't have any genius inspirations for dinner, so I decided I'd take advantage of the kid's eating for free, thing. (The three of us ate dinner for $13).

However, it wasn't the food that provided sustenance for me.

While we were waiting for the waitress to bring our meals, I took advantage of the time and we did our homework. (Yes, at this age, it's *our* homework). First S read his book (he's gone up another level, now - he's at 13), then A read her library book (with a lot of help from big brother). We talked about both books, ensuring comprehension.

Our meals came, and we began. Not once, not twice but *three* times during the course of our dinner we were given compliments. The first came from an older lady that was sitting across from us - she came to tell S & A what good readers they were and how well they did their homework. The second came from an elderly women with a heavy accent to tell me what beautiful children I have, how golden A's hair was (then of course she looked at me, and just assumed that I was borrowing her, I guess), and she had to touch A before leaving. The final came from the waitress herself, who was obviously impressed with the children's manners (they remembered most of their pleases and thank-yous, and even remembered to thank mommy for dinner). Her comment to me was, "You're a wonderful mother... hardest job in the world, and you're just great."

Did I mention how much I love Denny's?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Name Game

Blog, Blog, Bo Bog, Banana Fanana Fo Fog, Mi My Mo Mog - Blog!

Stolen from here.

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car)
Bambi Durango

2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie)
Half Baked Macademia Nut
(Wow – doesn’t that just inspire fear?)

3. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal)
Purple Puppy
(um… yeah…)

4. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born)
Mara Mt. Kisco
(Ok, I kinda like that one)

5. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first)

6. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink)
The Blue Wine
(nope, doesn’t work)

7. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers)
Sydney Maurice
(Ok, that works)

8. STRIPPER NAME: ( the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy)
Summer Godiva
(Ok, some of that was abbreviated to make it work)

9.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names )
Beth Neal
(Wait, couldn’t that be my porno name???)

10. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter)
Hinckley Houston
(Eww… I wouldn’t like that)

11. SPY NAME: (your favorite season/holiday, flower)
Spring Rose
(well, technically Spring Fire and Ice Rose)

12. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”)
Apple Shorty

13. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree)
Coffee Willow

14. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”)
The Cooking Wind Tour

Every Minute

Was it W.C. Fields that wrote "There's a Sucker Born Every Minute". Well, apparently I am one of them.

I bought new toothpaste last night. Because it was purple.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Flying Time

I know we've all heard that "Time Flies When You're Having Fun" - but who knew that the secret to making time pass was a separation?

Seriously, I can't keep up with *how* fast time is swooshing past me. I don't know if it's because my weeks are now divided into two chunks - the "with kids" chunk and "without kids" chunk. Maybe it's because I have so much more stuff to do that I just don't have time to look at a clock? Maybe it's because I'm feeling good and energetic and using every minute I've got.

All I do know is that today is Wednesday, and I sent my kids off to school this morning, knowing that I won't see them again until Saturday. It's getting easier to do this, but I still don't really look forward to Wednesday mornings. Wednesday evening is usually spent on a trip to the library, a visit at a friends' house, some housekeeping at home. This week, Thursday evening will be another visit at a different friends house. Friday evening will be some girly time, and Saturday is pretty much booked up with errands, soccer games, and kid-prep work, since they come home again on Saturday evening.

See what I mean? In a blink of an eye it's going to be Sunday again.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Spelling Lesson

I learned something valuable about myself this weekend. I've learned about something that really pisses me off.

I hate when people assume to think that they know me better than they do. I hate hearing things like "but you don't like to do that..." and "you love that!"; "since when don't you want to..." or "you meant to say... " - NO! NO! NO!

I am not a child. I am not in the same mood every day. I may have liked something in the past, that doesn't mean I like it today! I don't want to be pinned down!

Here's the crux... the more I have people telling me what I do and don't like - I've found the more secrets I tend to keep. Not really beneficial for healthy relationships - but I just hate having things assumed about me.

So, just in case anyone needs reminding - here's a friendly little spelling reminder - everytime you ASSUME you make an ASS out of U and ME.

Friday, September 14, 2007

When is it OK?

I am a huge multi-tasker. I am usually to be found doing at least three different things at the same time. Whether it's at the office or at home, I can't sit still terribly well. Hell, even as I write this, I'm doing a few other things.

HOWEVER - today's question - why is it that all of a sudden I'm noticing multi-tasking in the worst possible situations?

In the last few days, I've seen people talking on their telephone while driving (ok, I know, this is a mild infraction); texting messages to someone while driving (two thumbs working the phone, knee on steering wheel); and my favorite - the gold-medal winner - reading, talking on the phone and driving all at the same time! (And the crowd goes wild...)

Is there a coincidence that all three of these cars needed some body work?

Is it just me - or do you ever feel the urge to tell someone to "PUT DOWN THE DAMN PHONE AND DRIVE!!!"?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Gift Etiquette

I love presents. Big or little, inexpensive nothings, or pretty things that sparkle and are associated with the word 'carat' - I love them all.

However, what is the etiquette for receiving a gift when you really don't deserve it?

Here's the specifics:

An old friend of mine sent me a gift. This is someone that I dated in HIGH SCHOOL - saw once or twice in the years following, and whom I've had sporadic e-mail contact with ever since. Oh, I still very much enjoy our conversations on IM and e-mail, we share joys and sorrows regarding our relationships and children, and I still consider us friends, even though I probably wouldn't recognize him if he was sitting next to me on an airplane.

However, this very sweet person sent me a gift to make me feel better about my impending divorce - to help me through. Here's the problem - I feel better than I have in years! I'm enjoying my home life again - even if I am a bit reluctant to leave my house. My children seem to have adjusted well, no fall-out (yet) that I can tell.

So, aside from the thank you note, which can't even begin to explain how nice a thought it was - what can I do? Please don't tell me not to keep the present - presents come along too rarely in this world, and I'm keeping it!

Monday, September 10, 2007


Is it just me or is this definitely not a sign of progress?

It may be hard to tell from this picture - but this is the newest version of Monopoly. The gimick - there's no money. Everything is done on your "Visa" debit card. How does this annoy me? Let me count the ways:

1. I think board games are a fantastic way for kids to learn - they start out learning to take turns, learning to be gracious winners and good losers, they learn counting, reading, logic, and yes - MATH skills.

2. Aren't we enough trouble as a credit-card dependent society? How many people are living beyond their means? The average American household carries $8,000 in credit card debt. Granted, I don't believe the game allows you to "spend" money you don't have - but the concept scares me.

3. As a kid - being the "Banker" in the Monopoly game was an honor that always went to the oldest child. Being the youngest, I never got to be banker unless I was playing with friends - not family. Where is that right of passage going to go - if you're just sliding a card through a machine?

Now, I haven't seen the game in person, and I don't really know how it works. My outrage is based on a commercial and a reading of the game description. Not enough to be considered an expert- but I never claimed to be.

I can, however, safely say that I will not be buying a copy of this game - with cash or credit.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Virtual Life

I managed to have a complete evening without ever leaving my house!

I had dinner with a friend. Well, technically, I had dinner with a friend. She was on one end of the phone, and I was on the other, and I was eating - munching in her ear. Aside from the long pauses while I was taking drinks of my lemonade - we had a great conversation, so that counts, right?

Oh, and for the rest of the evening, well, let's just say the phone has many uses...

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Motivation and Rewards

I'm obsessed with rewards right now. I believe that they work well, and I'd much rather reward for good behavior than punish for bad behavior.

However, while I'm pretty good at coming up with rewards for everyone else - I find that I can't self-motivate with rewards. The main reason is that all the things I can think of require money, and I just don't have any. I'm trying so hard to be fiscally responsible, even though I've got those pretty little plastic cards calling my name. There are books I want, toes to be painted, restaurants to try - but I'm tempered by the lack of actual cash in my checking account. Damn It!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Damn It, Do I Have To?

Grow Up, that is.

My last post was about the weekend from the mom perspective. What I left out was the part of the weekend before my kids came home.

I addressed two fears on Saturday - old age and perception.

Fear # 1 - I set up a new IRA account. I have a 401 (K) that's sat around for years and years. I don't think about it - I don't look at my investments, I don't really do anything with it. I opened it when I was with a company years ago, as it was just one of those benefits that come with the job, and since I left that company 5 years ago, I haven't done anything with it since. However, I'm growing up now, and actually went to the bank to set up an IRA. Ok, so I'm getting a push to do it from the company I've been with for the last 3 1/2 years, but still... I did it, even chose the funds I wanted to invest in.

After I did that... I dealt with fear # 2.

I went to a movie. By myself. I know, that seems like a strange thing to be afraid of, and I don't know where it comes from. It's mostly a female thing, I think - I don't know a lot of men that are unwilling to go to a movie by themselves, but the majority of my female friends won't do it either. This was actually the second time I've gone to a movie alone, but the first was on a business trip, in another city, another state, and my meetings didn't start until the next day. I wonder why women are reluctant to do these things by themselves? I don't have any problem going to a restaurant alone - so why a movie? Maybe because I didn't have anyone to make smart-ass comments to? Maybe because I associate movies with dating - and therefore movies are foreplay? In any case, I did it. I didn't see a movie I was particularly interested in seeing, but it was the only R rated move at that theater - and I was proving a point! I can see R movies! Neener Neener - I'm a grown up.

Damn It.

Monday, September 3, 2007


Ok, if I was up for the "Supermom" title before - I should clinch it this weekend!

The kids have had a really good first month at school. In the early years of grammar, school they do an active progressive discipline, where the child has to move a clothespin, or another marker if they don't follow the rules. They start out on a light color and move up - in Kindegarten there are 4 stages; white is good, yellow is a warning, blue is a time out, and red is parent notification). In 1st grade, they follow the traffic signal - green is good, yellow is a warning, and red is trouble!

Well, for the first month of school, my little angels have stayed on white and green - so it was time for a reward!

I got the kids back from their father on Saturday evening, and we had a nice, quiet evening in. On Sunday we were up bright and early, and off to pick up a friend. Then down to Tempe where we headed to a splash park. The one we had intended to go to was already closed for the season, but there was a smaller alternative. It was basically a playground with fountains and sprayers so the kids ran around playing, and doing their best to soak their momma. (Successfully, I might add).

From there we went to Chuck E. Cheese - for a few hours of entertainment and crappy pizza. By the end of the day, the grown-ups were worn out, and probably the kids, too, but it's harder to tell with them!

We got back into town in the mid afternoon, and after about an hour of play, I made dinner (yep, all food groups once again present and accounted for) and then we did a little craft project together.

Bedtime for the munchkins was a special treat, as I let them sleep in the same room - something they ask for all the time, but since it usually means a really late night, we don't so it often. However, I figured after the day they had - they wouldn't have the energy to stay up late!

This morning, we were up at at 'em early - as of this time (10:45) we've had baths, eaten breakfast, gone to the grocery store, and made dinner (the kids did most of the work (or so they like to think) but we've got chicken and veggies in the slow-cooker for later). In about 15 minutes, we're heading out for lunch and a movie, then back to finish our housework and homework, and then... (and here is where the gold medal supermom award comes in...)

We will have dinner. With their father. Yep. I am either an amazing parent or freakin' insane, but either way, T will be coming over for dinner. It was so hard for me not to see the kids for 2 days, that I can't imagine how T can do it for 3 - so I'm being a nice guy and letting him come have dinner with the kids and I.

So, keep fingers crossed for me... wish me a night of peace.