Friday, October 31, 2008

Domestic Glitch

Domestic Glitch: noun. An instance when a person tries their hardest to run a smooth household, but something still goes wrong.

So, we planted this little garden a few weeks ago, and it is still doing OK. I'm thrilled. We've been able to add lavender, rosemary, and basil to our cooking, and soon we'll have tomatoes and peppers. It's wonderful, but it does need to be watered daily, although it doesn't take a large amount.

The other day I was watering from a hose with sprayer attachment. When I was done, I simply tossed the hose aside. It landed just right upon the trigger and lay there continually spraying into the air. Yes, I got wet.

This afternoon, I had some things that needed to be bleached. I don't use bleach very often, and there are very few things that I use it for, but this was one of those instances. I opened the detergent tray of our front loading washer and added bleach to the specific bleach compartment, then closed it and went to get the items I needed washed. When I opened the door to the washer, I saw that the tray doesn't hold the bleach, but allows it to drip through. So, because of the shape and design, the bleach ran out of the washer and onto the floor. I got to have many thoughts I would rather have not had, like...Did I just ruin my shoes? How do I get straight bleach up off the floor? WHAT KIND OF WASHER DESIGN IS THIS?

I'm telling you...somewhere out there is an engineer sitting at his desk and laughing hysterically because he knows his bleach tray design is going to get somebody...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Vanishing Nostalgia

Vanishing Nostalgia: noun. Things you knew as a child but realize that your children may never know.

OK, I fully admit that what I'm about to say is going to sound silly. A few days ago, Husband and I wanted Pizza Hut. We didn't want to order it in, but go to one of the sit-down locations and have a pizza and a pitcher of soda. I know, I know, not exactly health food, and since I'm trying to lose weight, not the best choice. But we really wanted to go. Our local Pizza Hut is not a sit down location, so I looked up online where the closest one was. Fifteen miles? Seriously? Well, we really wanted it.

We packed up Monkey Boys in the car and headed off, but a couple of miles from our destination, we ran into a parade. Darn it. Plans canceled. But we did try again last night, and after having to make a U-turn because we missed it, we arrived.

Upon walking in, we were startled. This was an eat-in restaurant in the way a McDonald's is an eat-in restaurant. Go up to the counter, order from a large lighted menu hanging a few inches below the ceiling, and eat off of paper plates. We were disappointed, but already there. Sadly, we found the food to be wanting, at best. Not nearly as good as we remembered from a few years before. This was not the nostalgic experience we wanted.

And here's something funny: They expect to be tipped here. No, I'm serious. You stand in line to order at the counter. You get paper plates to eat from. If you want a drink, extra napkin, or *gasp* eating utensil, get up and get it yourself. When you're done, clear the table yourself. I mean, they even bring you the pizza already in a box. They want a tip for being a waiter when they haven't done any waiting? Seriously? I'm not saying I'm too lazy to do for myself. What I'm saying is I don't tip at fast-food restaurants, as there are no waiters and you do everything for yourself. So why would I tip at a place that's exactly like a fast-food restaurant?

Friday, October 24, 2008

2 Quick Notes, in All Seriousness: Note 2

One more thing. I want to tell you about a woman named Ter. She had a stillborn baby a while back, and if that's not enough to make your heart break, her husband has terminal cancer. She's having a lot of trouble with money making the trips to and from the hospital to be with him. I'm asking two things of you.

1. Pray. Pray like crazy.

2. Stop over to the blog post about her. On the left hand side, you'll see a tip jar that says, "BearHugs, GasMoney4Ter." If it is in your ability, please donate. We'd all want the help if it was us.

You can read Ter's personal blog here.

2 Quick Notes, in All Seriousness: Note 1

Just a quick break from the Mom-tionary to ask you a question: does your child know what to do if he/she gets lost? Taken? Merely separated from you in a crowd or store?

I'm going to tell you what I do. I'm not saying that you have to do what I do, but please have some sort of talk with your children.

First off, I've told Monkey Son #1 to never, EVER go with a stranger. Not if they offer him candy. Not if they want him to help them find a lost puppy. Do.not.go. If they try to take him, kick, scratch, fight, bite, and scream until he gets away.

Second, I've told him that if he were to get lost, stay put. Look around and see if he can find a police officer, but don't wander off and look. Only move his head. If he doesn't see one, find a lady and tell her you are lost.

Third, I've taught him what I call the address song. I use the tune "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." So for example,

Twinkle, twinkle little star

John Doe lives at 555

How I wonder what you are.
Any Street, Anytown.

Then I repeat the tune again, saying, "His mommy's phone is..." followed by my 10-digit cell number.

None of us want to talk about this. It's a scary thing to think about for a parent or child. But what does my heart good is to see Monkey Son #1 really remembering this. The other day, we were at Target, when Husband and Monkey Son #2 got separated from Monkey Son #1 and I.

"We lost Daddy," I said.

Monkey Son #1 quickly replied, "I don't see a police officer, so find a lady."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Parental Knowledge

Parental Knowledge: noun. Knowledge that a parent has about the potential of their child that is not seen by others.

Here's something you probably don't know about me. Once upon a time, when I was in elementary school, I was tested for gifted. I failed. Now, I didn't fail because I wasn't smart enough. I failed because the proctor giving the test felt that I was not mature enough. You see, he was showing me unpainted wooden puzzles with no frames and not telling me what the puzzle was supposed to be. To show me what I was supposed to do, he put together an apple. Then he gave me a larger puzzle. I had trouble with it and got frustrated. Instead of really focusing and finishing, which I'm sure I was capable of (maybe if he wasn't leaning over me the whole time?), I called him out on the unfairness of the situation. I told him plainly that it was not fair he got a 3-piece apple and I got this huge horse (yes, it turns out it was a horse). My mother told me weeks later that the program decided I was not mature enough to enter, and I can only imagine it stemmed from that situation.

The result? I continued to stay in the same classes, only doing enough to get by, and wondering if I understood the concept of something the first time, why did I need to do it twenty more times?

Of course, I have no one to blame but myself that I never entered the gifted program. It probably wasn't as great as I made it out to be in my mind, anyway. But now I'm seeing a problem with Monkey Son #1. He's very bright. Well, I'm his mom so I may think that just because. OK, let's assume he's very bright. He can tell you all about rockets and build really amazingly detailed things. However, he seems to really be opposed to learning anything that does not immediately interest him. Since it is my understanding that schools are pushing children to learn more and more at increasingly earlier ages, this worries me. I just hope that when he goes to school, his teachers will see him the way I do.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Guest entry: Flump

Flump: noun. Refers to the lumps and bumps at the toes of your socks that pinch little toes when put into shoes.

Brenda, another mom, sent in this word and definition. She adds, "I spent more time chasing flumps when Dylan was a toddler 'til he was about 6. By the way, Joe Boxer and Payless Shoes brand socks are virtually frump free."

I'm really tickled at this. I remember hating the feeling made by the seam at the end of the sock and would pull the toes of my socks up, and the left and right sides toward the center to avoid the "flumps" made by the seam. You know, I have no idea if I still do that. If I do, I don't think about it. I'll have to pay attention next time I put my sneakers on.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cyber Tag: I'm it!

Cyber Tag: noun. An internet game of tag that causes those who have been tagged to do something. Not to be confused with chain mail.

So Jessica over at Banana Peel tagged me. From what I understand, I must now share 6 things about myself that no one else from my blog community knows.

1. My younger sister and I can have heated debates and not be angry with each other ten minutes later.

2. When I was 3 or 4 years old, I had a nightmare that my mother stabbed my younger sister. It was so vivid that I remember it to this day.

3. I have a scar on my right knee from when I was a child. I wanted to see if you could sit down and ride a scooter like you could on a skateboard. Turns out you can't.

4. It's been my dream for a very long time to be a professional writer, but before that I wanted to be an archaeologist. That ended when my high school guidance counselor told me that was a bad idea because I would not be able to afford the schools that offered archeology.

5. The area around my sink is rarely clean, but I am working on that. Really, I am.

6. In our house, Husband does the cooking. He is really good at it and I can't stand raw meat.

I will now tag:
Erika at Rocky Mountain High
Toni at Utahdesertrunner's Weblog
Noella at A Prince and Princess

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Holiday Time Warp

Holiday Time Warp: noun. The strange yet common situation of losing several weeks or months of time upon walking into a store.

So, the holidays are just around the bend. You're trying to keep your child away from their Halloween costume so they don't ruin it before trick-or-treating. Several family member started hounding you at the end of September, wanting to know who's house you are going to for Thanksgiving. Maybe you are even still struggling with getting your kids to finish their homework and get up in time for school, and if that's not enough, stores want to remind you that Christmas is just around the corner.

Husband, Monkey Boys, and I went to our local Home Depot the other day to look at plants. We turned down the aisle that would lead us to the outdoor garden center and there they were. Christmas trees. Ornaments. Outdoor electronic Santas. What happened? We weren't even half way through October. I turned to Husband and said, "We lost two months by coming in the door."

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I-Think Existence

I-Think Existence: noun. The particular type of existence a young child gives to the inhabitants of his imagination.

A little philosophy course refresher: Philosopher Rene Descartes made the famous statement, "I think, therefore I am." Believe it or not, what he was saying with that statement is that if he is thinking, there must be someone there doing that thinking, therefore he exists.

Young children, though, seem to take this idea to levels that would shock Descartes. They go beyond "I think, therefore I am," to "I think it, therefore it exists." But what is it? Anything from polka-dotted dinosaurs to closet monsters.

When I was very young, I believed there were hands under the bed that would reach out and grab you if you stepped too close. Why? I have no idea, but to me they had this sort of twilight existence, merely because I thought of them. If my parents told me that there wasn't anything there, I wouldn't have thought they were lying, but I still would have stayed away from the edge of the bed.

As a side note, I began to get over this fear when one night I had a dream that has stayed with me all this time. In the dream, I just got sick of these hands and their nonsense, and decided I would tell my mother about them. As I stood up and began to walk past the bed, a hand reached out and grabbed my ankle. Frustrated and in no mood to deal with this sort of thing anymore, I slapped the hand and it immediately released. Take that!