Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lost & Found

Youthful Midsection. Does not extend further than bra in profile photos, bloop over waistband or measure larger than bust measurement. Last seen with Hips that Hold Up Pants.

Slightly deflated pool floaty filled with Jell-O.

Please contact me to claim your dumb floaty. It looks ridiculous on me.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Can you hear...what I'm saying?

Okay, I'm about to reveal my true level of geekage.

I loved Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Jean-Luc Picard with his Earl-Grey tea, Ryker, Worf, LaForge and his cool visor, Westley--I loved the whole lot of 'em! Alright, I still do, but not on a weekly basis. Anymore. Often I think of Deanna Troi, and not simply that it was wrong on so many levels that she chose Worf over Ryker, who was handsome AND human. How could she even be attracted to Worf's cold, warrior, ridged-foreheaded self? Okay, Ryker had facial hair that would chap her lips from time to time, but at least his teeth weren't all pointy and he at least smiled!

I digress.

Deanna Troi was an Empath. She had the ability to sense others' feelings, thus the very ingenious name of her humanoid race. But when she was with other Empaths, like her nosy mother, they had a telepathic connection.

Which is the part that I think about far too frequently than I should admit.

Wouldn't it just be so much easier if we all knew each other's thoughts? Dating would be much simpler, I think. No more "'My stomach has felt funny since our date last night.' 'Mine too, I ate 3 plates of spaghetti at my dad's house'" miscommunications. How would marriages fare? Would the divorce rate decrease because we knew our spouses' thoughts or increase because, well, we knew our spouses' thoughts? Who would our elected leaders be if we could skip over the rhetoric and understand directly their genuine thoughts and motives? Lawyers would be out of a job. Lying would be obsolete and I'd know exactly who didn't flush and CLEARLY didn't wipe.

There would be no surprise parties, which would be a bummer, and Christmas morning would be a total bust. American Greetings would go out of business, because what would be the point in wrapping paper?

I watched parts of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs the other day with my kiddos. One of the inventions that the main character comes up with is a thingamadealio that allows us to hear the thoughts of his pet monkey, Steve. (Steve!!!) Interestingly, the same technology is used in Disney/Pixar's Up to translate dogs' thoughts--squirrel!--, but without the stylin' headband that Steve gets to wear.

I'd seriously like one of those. Or to be an Empath. Or something so that when I try to have a difficult conversation with someone we can just strap on the groovy headband & actually communicate! I'd love to skip over the discrete phrasing and wading through a range of emotions to get to the one that's just right and finding the best word for it that will properly and effectively communicate to the other party exactly what I'm thinking and feeling without offending or stepping on toes or having to backpedal because that word wasn't quite the right one and you interpret it to mean a certain thing but because of this life experience I had it means something just a little different and while it's not catastrophic to me, it seems to be a big thing to you. Phew! Can we just get past the formalities and connect?

That's what I want. I want to be able to know what you feel and have you be conscious of my thoughts.

But I don't want to have to kiss a Klingon.

PS--Extra points if you can identify the song that the post title came from.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

My Summer Plans

To do this Summer:
--teach Lee his numbers with the memory game I made for him
--when he knows 1-5, start him in piano lessons (he wants to)
--teach Lee a lot of his letters with the same sort of game (he loves memory)
--have play dates with our friends before they move
--schedule a weekly park day with school friends to solidify friendships before the first day of school
--okay, that one's partly for me, because I want to hang out with the moms, too
--have daily 'summer school' for 30 minutes or so
--do summer reading programs & get lots of rewards
--daily multiplication & division drills with Abby
--enlist the neighbor to do it with her, because it's more fun that way
--have fun
--heap praise on my children for the good things that they do and for the good people that they are

Am I the Only One?

Today is Saturday. Thursday was the last day of school: the beginning of summer, the end of confinement and the commencement of freedom from homework, early waking and daylight bedtimes.

I'm ready to send them back.

It's been two days and I've already had my fill of bickering, fighting and wailing. I've overheard too many times:

That's my favorite. "Ow." We hear it a lot around here, because it's a direct result of the way that Lee processes his displeasure. By hitting. There are not words to fully communicate how tired I am of hearing, "Lee's trying to hit me with a stick!" Aren't they supposed so play nicely if they're outside?

A great indication of the frequency of verbally-expressed frustration around here is Cora. Her first word was "peekaboo" followed by "nonononono," "num," "Mommy" and her newest: "bobbip." Stop it. No kidding. No joke. No exaggeration. The child with less than 10 words in her vocabulary says 'stop it.'

Lee expresses everything in physical ways. Alex and Abby are tired of being pushed around by their little brother, so treat him less than respectfully. Abby talks to him like he's a germ. In turn, he pesters them more, pokes them oftener and hits them harder. He's mean to them, so they're rude to him in return. It's all a wicked downward spiral, and Cora's catching on. Ugh. One day (inabouttwentyyears) they'll realize that the golden rule really does work, and that he'll begin to treat them nicely when they're nice to him for more than 5 seconds. And he'll realize that hitting them isn't producing the desired result of obesiance.

And in the meantime, I'd like to enroll in year-round school. Starting Monday. Can Lee start kindergarten a year early?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Happy Birthday, Alex!

This morning you did the funniest thing. Abby had already gotten you up because she was excited to be the first to wish you a happy birthday. You two were downstairs rummaging for clean clothes and you said, "Let's check" and held out your arms for a measuring hug. I sensed a little disappointment, but it didn't last long after you noted, "It doesn't feel much different." Funny boy.

You were thrilled to help put together your class birthday treat last night, and you were excited to show it to your teacher and classmates. Not a single crumb came home, so it must have been a hit. Nice selection.

I can always count on you to make a selfless decision when you're given the chance to make your own choice. When Dad almost had to work this evening and miss your birthday waffle & sausage dinner (plus cake & presents), you were really sad until he suggested that maybe you could go do something special later with him. Thanks for being willing to let him go do what he needed to do. Your huge smile nearly brought tears to my eyes when you found out he didn't have to go.

You've always been like that, though. Even before you were born. At 37 weeks you were sitting contentedly upright in my belly, not upside-down like you were supposed to. I sat with headphones in my lap for a couple of days and even tried turning myself upside-down. (Besides being a feat to get myself there on the couch, I almost suffocated once your baby weight was pressing on my lungs. That didn't last long.) You never did turn, so your Dad & I went in to have someone turn me into human play-doh and try to move you from the outside. Lo and behold, you had turned overnight. I didn't even notice it!

You talked when you were good & ready, you potty-trained when you wanted to. When you were small and Abby swiped a toy, you'd scream and yell about it. But after I intervened & gave the toy back to you so she could ask nicely, you happily gave it to her.

Perfectly willing to cooperate...on your own terms.

You've always been on the small end of things. I think it's because when you were a baby, you wanted to eat on your own terms. You wouldn't eat baby food unless you could control the spoon. By yourself! So we sort of skipped the baby food stage, and you went straight to finger foods, even though you didn't have teeth yet! Just before you started kindergarten, I told your Aunt Carin that I was concerned about you being so small. Her response changed my whole understanding of you: "Yeah, but only on the outside."

She was right. Not including your body, all of you is big: you think big, you feel big, you love big, you play big, you have big expectations and big frustrations. You feel all of your emotions to their fullest, and I love watching that.

Alex, you bring peace and joy to my soul.

You are kind, loving, selfless, giving, happy, obedient, helpful, smart, funny and such a handsome guy!

(It's no wonder that you're Cora's favorite.)
Even if you never do grow to be very large, you'll always fill my heart.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

I'm not dead...yet!

Today my sister posted that she's going through blog withdrawal. I've been very conscious that it's been weeks since I posted anything, and I'm trying to figure out why.

Maybe it's because...

...my boss has once again raised the axe above my job status and reminded me that I need to do ALL of the agreed-upon parts of my job, in addition to the other requirements that have been added 1 or 4 at a time over the last 6 years. Back to walking the property picking up trash daily (with kids), vacuuming the 3-story secure building & washing windows weekly (with kids) PLUS mailing monthly renewal letters PLUS emailing certain things on 4 certain dates during the month PLUS scanning & emailing documents to her 2-3 times a month PLUS PLUS PLUS... Oh, and when people come to the door, close it behind me because my house is too messy for potential tenants to see.

...I've been trying to get some semblance of an exercise schedule down because in less than 6 weeks I'm doing the 3-mile running leg of a mini-triathlon. (I can't currently run more than 1.5 miles at a time, and there'd better be no uphills!)

...we've recently implemented a new positive-reinforcement discipline strategy with the children in order to combat the craziness that is my home.

...Thursday mornings now find me sitting in on Abby's math lesson so I know what the HECK they're teaching so I can help her when she's lost in her homework that afternoon. (last week it was right, acute and obtuse triangles followed by equilateral, isosceles and scalene triangles. i.n. t.h.i.r.d. g.r.a.d.e.)

...her teacher and I have been meeting, emailing and rallying the troops to get down to the bottom of why on earth Abby won't ask for help, contribute in class, finish her homework and complete any sort of project in a reasonable amount of time. It's involving meeting after school 1-2 times per week with the school's math specialist and even with the school counselor! Figure it out and try our darnedest to start remedying it.

...my husband is home from his working-abroad stint which means that I'm spending more time with him in the evenings, instead of with my keyboard and glowing monitor.

That just might be it.

This month could be better. Or worse. So far:

June 1--be surprised that it's already June. I think we skipped a couple of months since January.

June 3--do the math & realize that I need to plan 2 birthday parties...like NOW. love evite all over again.

June 4--purchase bridal shower gift, get so soaked in the rain that the handle pops out of the Crate & Barrel box. really.

June 4--stay up until 4:00 in the morning with coughing, wheezing baby. sleep mostly upright with baby on my torso so she can breathe.

June 5--make Saturday appointment for hubby to take baby to doc

June 5--attend bridal shower

June 5--sign new lease

June 6--visit with mil & step fil for a few hours on their whirlwind grandkid-visiting weekend

June 7--deposit remainder of rent & post notices for any unpaid

June 8--go to school early to set up kid-sized tepee & tent in Alex's classroom for Camp Learned A Lot

June 8--make cool cookie/frosting/licorice centipede to take to Alex's class tomorrow

June 9--Alex's 7th birthday (get gifts & make cake prior)

June 9--possibly skip church ladies' group evening of book sharing and strawberry shortcake...we'll see... I really deserve that shortcake by now.

June 10--take birthday treats to Abby's class because June 27th is after school's out

June 10--attend Abby's class's musical production of The Internal Organ Hall of Fame

June 10--take hubby to the evening production, too

June 11--field trip with Alex's class to the park. take younger kids with. yay!!

June 7-11--prepare for big party I'm throwing that was supposed to be in May because June is way too crazy but key characters were a) out of the state b) out of the country c) having a baby d) all of the above. yeesh! (don't feel guilty, aubrey. your mother's hip replacement is much more important than my insanity, and I'm glad it went well.)

June 12--sign new lease

June 12--start showing apartments that haven't been vacated yet

June 12--set up for & enjoy party, see friends I haven't seen in a few years

June 14-16--plan 2 birthday parties: outdoor-activities for boys & kitchen science for girls

June 15--sign new lease (will someone please tell my boss that I'm rockin' my job?)

June 15--man the egg-on-a-spoon booth at field day

June 16--take veggies to Alex's end-of-year pizza party

June 16--Alex's birthday party

June 17--last day of school

June 17--Abby's birthday party (yes, they're back-to-back. sometimes it's easier that way.)

June 19--attend baby shower

June 19--sign new lease (hello?? 4 leases in a MONTH???)

June 20--Father's Day, get with friends & have missionaries over for dinner

June 21-26--take a very, very small breather

June 25--head to Spokane for Hoopfest

June 27--Abby's 9th birthday (have gifts & cake arranged prior)

June 27--come home... or maybe we'll just stay forever... It's too crazy at my house!