Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I'm moving...

I've moved the blog over to the Motherhoot website. So please, follow!

See you there!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mission Monkey Minute

This week I am participating in The Daily Dose of Reality's Monday Minute. I want to show my support for Momma Pixie's Monkey. Visit The Daily Dose and Momma Pixie and play along. Let's all support this family right now!


The rules are simple. Copy the questions, answer them in your blog post, and link back to The Daily Dose.

1 - How old do you act?
I feel like I've been stuck in my twenties for a long long time. Maybe not my early twenties, but definitely mid to late.

2 - As far back as you can remember, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I've wanted to be a writer for eons. That's been a constant in the ever-changing dreams of what I want to be when I grow up. Although, I'm still not quite sure...

3 - If you were to write a book based on your life, what would the title be?
My Life with Boys. I've been writing it in my head ever since I saw the first hula hoop strung up in the tree many years ago.

4 - What's something that you do that's considered "childish" by most?
I'm addicted to my Ipod games. Bejeweled can make me lost track of time most nights. But I just read a study where the experts concluded that playing Tetris strengthened brains. So I'll throw in a few games of Tetris into the mix. Oh, and some might not think this is entirely childish. You would if you knew how competitive I get when I see my score dropping in the rankings!

5 - The last question isn't a question.  Write a story of a time of when you or someone you know overcame great adversity.
I don't think I know anyone who hasn't gotten through some great adversity. Seems like you live long enough, it's your turn for some heart ache and pain. Eventually you come out the other side and everything's fine. There's the day you realize the pain hasn't been constant, that you actually had some pain free moments. Soon the good moments out number the bad moments and you're moving on. You just didn't know it.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day...Let's Make An Instrument

My Mother's Day has been lovely. (The preceding sentence was not sarcasm.) Don't get me wrong. I slept late. Got great presents and even better cards.


Friday I got a call from Aaron's music teacher that he did not complete his music project. It was due last Tuesday. They worked on it in class. She provided materials. I knew nothing about it.

I was so happy that I would be spending time this weekend making a musical instrument and composing a song. (The preceding sentence was sarcasm.) Because that was the whole assignment. And the finished instrument cannot look like the base material. For example, coffee cans have to be decorated.

I was so excited that I got to make music this weekend. Not.

I checkout the teacher's website and read the directions. I studied the how to make a drum page and thought I might have some ideas. But I wanted Aaron to do it on his own.

When Aaron got home from school, I interrogated him about his failure to complete the assignment. And like a lot of 11 year old boys (my twins were very much like this) he had no answer or explanation. Just a deer-in-the headlights-expression that I took as a major clue that his brain had stopped working. He had no ideas. None. He might have even forgotten his name. Apparently, he has started adolescence.

This time around I am not terrified by this revelation. Because I know it will pass in about four years--a very long four years.

Saturday Jim came home from running and announced he had solved the instrument mystery and got out an old milk jug. Aaron helped him cut it apart and throw on some rubber bands. The project included using a drill and tape. Except it didn't work.

I threw an empty shoe box at Aaron and told him to wrap some rubber bands around it after his dad cut off the cover. And we were all happy that an instrument had been born, (Note: my project did not require power tools. I'm just saying...)

And because that was so exhausting, we all took to our beds/television/xbox and let the subsequent steps of the project gel in our brains until today. Mother's Day.

Since the shoe box could not look like a shoe box, we started discussing disguises. Aaron suggested coloring it. Sounded really messy to me. He suggested stickers. Sounded like a trip to Michael's for me and I hadn't taken a shower yet. I suggested using the Sunday comics. Thus the box was decorated with a few strips of tape.

Aaron started writing his song, but he wrote on the bottom right hand side of the paper so I made him re-do it. He got another sheet of paper. He scribbled the numbers down that correlated with the rubber bands and I suggested he write more neatly. He got another sheet of paper. He copied down his first line. When he played it on his shoebox/rubber band instrument it didn't sound half bad. Then he added the second line and started writing it half-way down the page in the middle. I began to suggest he start over (perhaps with a piece of paper with lines) and decided I was stifling his creativity.

Now I'm wondering if Mozart's mother went through this with him as a child.
"Amadeus! Your treble cleft is all messy, re-write it!"

"Amadeus, that symphony would sound so much better if your posture improved!"

Aaron has written his first piece of music on Mother's Day 2010. And he's probably scarred beyond anything and will never again look at music in the same way. Another Mother of the Year moment.

Being a mom is so hard...

Friday, May 7, 2010

Let's Get Naked

At the gym, I came out of my shower in time to see a woman who usually attends water aerobics with me. I said hi as I carefully adjusted my towel so that no offending body parts were visible. Which means most of them because I learned at an early age that unless you are bone thin you keep everything covered.

The other woman, I'll call her "Eve," hung up her towel and began an intense 15 minute conversation with me about the new training program she is trying. The entire time, she is stark naked. And she isn't bone thin. She's an overweight 40-ish woman who is standing there completely naked.



I'm polite and maintain incredible eye contact throughout the conversation. Because I don't want her to be uncomfortable.

Because I don't want her to know she's my new hero.

Yes, this woman is my hero. Why? Because she stood there in all her glory, holding a conversation, without ever appearing to be self-conscious about her nakedness. She didn't use her hands to cover up anything. She leaned against the wall, she moved around. She was into the conversation and didn't appear to be constantly thinking, "how do I look?"

I was programmed at an early age to hate my body. The message I received from my mother and certain female relatives was that unless I was thin, I was not worthy. You could have warts all over every surface of your face and be the meanest, nastiest woman ever, but if you were, you were gorgeous!

As a young child, I remember having multiple conversations with these same women. They went something like this:
Them: If you don't lose weight no boy will ever ask you out. You'll never go to prom.

Me: (Since I was all of nine or 10, I wasn't as witty as I am now) Really?! (Even then I recognized the horror of not being worthy of a man's attention because it was so important to these women.)

Them: Yes, no one likes fat women. You need to do something about it now.
Or having my mother tell me how disgusted my father was with me because I was fat. "Dad's boss asked him if you were dating anyone and he told him 'she looks like a football player, who would ever date her?' " said my mother. Wow, that's a great way to boost your daughter's self esteem.

Or having the nickname "Suey" during high school. Of course, they didn't call it bullying then. And my mother wasn't sympathetic at all. Because she agreed with them.

Even after moving away from home and coming to ChiBurbia where I lived with one of these same women and her husband, the "little talks" continued. Too fat. Not pretty enough. Not date-able. I was 20 years old and being berated about my weight. By people who didn't even really know me!

This is why Eve is my hero. Because those voices, those snippets of conversation, apparently aren't running through her head. I would love to ask her how she got to this wonderful place. But I am afraid doing that will make her self-conscious.

Instead, when I see Eve in the locker room, walking around naked, I will mentally throw up my fist and cheer, "You Go Girl!"

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Review...Dream in Color

Dream In ColorI "met" Sarah J. Bradley through my demand that Rick Springfield will follow me (which he hasn't, and I'm getting a little annoyed with him! Could someone mention that to him?!). Some Rick Springfield fans friended me and followed me; Sarah was one of them. When she told me she had written a book about Rick, I was all over it.

Dream In Color is a romantic adventure about Ramona, a thirty-something woman in a rut. When she gets the news that her beloved Jesse Alexander is coming out of retirement for a summer tour, she jumps at the chance to change her life.

I loved Ramona! She's surrounded by naysayers, but marches on to fulfill her dreams of meeting Jesse Alexander. I cheered for her when her witchy boss gives her hell. I wanted to hug her when he mother gives her a hard time. Mostly, I wanted her to meet Jesse and have him meet the real Ramona.

Sarah does a great job of describing the process of song writing. Ramona is lovable. Jesse is not a Rick Springfield clone. (Unless Rick really does drink root beer and...)

It's been a long time since I read a romance. Usually I stick with thrillers, suspense, and mystery. This was a welcome treat. I found myself reading most of the book in one evening, only stopping because I couldn't read any longer because I was so tired.

I wanted Ramona to win! I wanted her dreams to come true! I wanted Jesse to appreciate Ramona for her true self!

Do yourself a favor and take the time to read Dream In Color. You won't be sorry!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Microwave...Part Two

So we went to the store...

Have more frightening words ever been uttered?! Battling the weekend crowds. Looking for the best deal. Agreeing on a microwave.

I was frightened. Seriously, horribly, utterly frightened.

See, early in our marriage Jim and I had a bad shopping experience. We were new home owners in need of a lawn mower. I assumed one just bought a lawn mower. Jim looked upon purchasing a lawn mower as some medieval crusade. The lawn must be conquered by the biggest, the best, the cheapest lawn mower ever.

Five or six hours after we began The Hunt for the Perfect Lawnmower, we were back at the first store getting the first one we looked at. Why? Because no one had a bigger, better, cheaper lawnmower in all of ChiBurbia! (Obviously, I am still having issues with this and will work on finally forgiving Jim for this event.)

Please understand that this is what I was picturing. Another quest, only this time for the Holy Microwave.

I offered to go alone. Whip in and out of WalMart and pick up whatever I could find. Jim says he will go along. He tells me it's to help carry it. I am weak and he knows this, so it wasn't a completely unappreciated offer. I tell him someone from the store will put the microwave into the turbo minivan and he can bring it inside when he gets home from work. Nope, he's going shopping with me!

At dinner the evening before The Microwave Quest is scheduled, Jim says something about the impending shopping trip.

I don't even let him finish speaking before I snarl, "I'm not going to a million stores! Pick one and we're getting the microwave there." (Yes, sometimes I get testy.)

He doesn't really react. Just rolls his eyes (just a little because he knows that drives me nuts) and points out that all of our appliances are purchased at BestBuy because they seem to have the best prices. He agrees that BestBuy will be the place to buy a microwave.

(I've never loved him more.)

Saturday afternoon we go to BestBuy. It's not very busy. Jim goes to look at CDs. (He's really old fashioned and gets his music at the store on CDs rather than on Itunes!) I go to look at netbooks. I have an inkling I want one and want to check them out.

The netbooks are cool. I poke and play. Go to find Jim. He's still flipping through CDs.

I go to look at microwaves. There really isn't a big selection. There's cheap, middle range, and more expensive. Seriously, the cost of microwaves has come down a lot since we last shopped for one. See a few promising ones. Go back to Jim.

Then I make Jim go talk to the cell phone people so I can drool over the Iphones. The cell phone person tells me the Iphone is cool, sure. But Droids are better. Then she shows me some droids. We all agree the Droids are cool.

I say, "Maybe I should just get a basic phone and a netbook." She gets really really excited and asks me why I need a netbook. I tell her, without stuttering, fainting or anything, that I am a writer and want it to write with.

We go back to the netbooks. Play and drool over them. They make us a take it or lose it offer. I pass because I can't really justify a netbook. Sure the laptop battery sucks and lasts about 15 minutes. That limits my away from home writing. I just got the Sony ereader. Why must all of my toys cost so much more than Jim's?!

I drag myself away and we go to the microwave department. Ten minutes later, we have our microwave and are on our way home.

And that's why we decided to go microwave-less, changed our minds, went shopping, and now I need a netbook and an Iphone. Maybe an Ipad...

I'm gonna go eat some cereal. I bought some new boxes this one's been home to wipe them out.

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