Monday, August 18, 2008

10 Things

Matter Of Fact Mommy tagged me with a meme last week and it's taken me this long to complete it! The idea is to share 10 things that people may not already know about, but I've had a hard time. I mean, I already confessed that I'm a lazy, self-absorbed neurotic - I can barely think of anything else worth knowing, but I shall try. Here goes:

1. I took Monday off of work to re-arrange the furniture in my house and clean. Since my sister married and moved out last week we've been living in a mess. So, Monday I called in to say that I was helping my sister move (which was the original plan until my parents moved up the schedule two days) and spent the rest of the day cleaning and re-arranging furniture. I am having vague feeling of guilt over this which is why I decided to share it. Validate me!! :)

2. I'm a classically trained musician. I took 17 years of piano lessons as well as 13 years of violin lessons and have actually played at Carnegie Hall. (I just love saying that, but rarely get the occasion to) I originally went to college to study music in the hopes of becoming a music teacher. However, all music all the time made me not like it much anymore so I switched majors and eventually earned my degree in Economics.

3. I am a voracious reader. I read about two books a week - and that's not including school books! I'm lucky that my little sister works in a book shop. Between her and the library I'm well supplied with reading material. I'll read pretty much anything except horror.

4. Speaking of horror... I can't stand it. The first and last horror movie I saw was the Exorcist at age 16. I made my little sister sleep with me for WEEKS afterwards (I'm not proud, I can admit it) because I was so freaked out. I can barely watch thriller movies either - the anxiety levels are not fun for me. I nearly walked out of Dark Knight because it was too tense. In other words, I am a big fat pussy.

5. As a complete juxtaposition I can confess to liking a certain amount of romantic literature. Not necessarily all out Romance Fiction, mind you - but I admit to an affection for novels with some "sexy bits" included. Hey! I'm a single gal who hasn't done the deed in FIVE YEARS! Sue me!

6. I am, in all seriousness, the worst dancer on the planet. I can do a mean '80s punk thrash-about, but that's only if I'm completely alone. Get me around other people and I am living proof that white people have no rhythm except when drunk. Which is completely surprising considering my musical background. I think I have a case of hopeless self-consciousness.

7. My favorite bands in high school were The Cure, Depeche Mode and The Smiths. That ought to speak volumes about my state of mind in those days. I still love listening to punk, post-punk and new-wave music. Color me a girl-child of the 80's.

8. I have had major fights with all of my family members as well as my best friends. BIG fights that lead to people not talking to each other for a long time. In fact, this time last year I got in a very large fight with one of my closest friends and we still haven't patched things up all the way. I read her blog but I'm afraid to comment because I don't want her to read mine. I am a silly, high strung woman.

9. Even though I'm almost finished with graduate school, I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I recognize the fact that I require constant stimulation because I get bored very quickly. I also recognize the fact that I am a mother before I am anything else. Most of the jobs that interest me - including my current profession - require me to compromise my duties as mom and primary care-giver and that is not a compromise I am willing to make.

10. Finally, I love my life. I know I complain and fuss, but that doesn't mean I'm discontent. There are things I'd like to improve and I'm working on it. I have never been able to do things in a "conventional" manner and I think that I'm ok with that. After much reflection I have determined that my past has made me who I am today. I wouldn't change a thing.

Ok, I know I'm supposed to tag others but I think that all the people I read have already been tagged or have already completed this meme! If I'm mistaken - please please consider doing it. Even though it took me a while to complete, it was fun!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Face Plant

So, I'm sure everyone who has ever raised children can sympathize with the frequent attacks of "gravity testing" that is part of the growing-up process. Am I right? Kids fall down A LOT! Muffin is no exception.

My daughter was frantically chasing after a tiny super-bouncy ball when she tripped on a random pocket of air and landed on her face. Thankfully she survived relatively unscathed. However, she did look around first to see if there was an audience for her performance before launching into the "I've just killed myself" wail of pain.

I was immediately reminded of an episode of Creature Comforts. Have you seen that show? It used to be on CBS, now it's moved to Animal Planet. I've got my T-Faux programmed to record it every time it comes on because it's FREAKING hilarious and apparently based upon actual interviews with real people. Here's the clip (thanks Youtube!) that reminded me of my Muffin:

It's probably wrong that I pointed at her and said "FACE PLANT!" but she didn't seem to mind. In fact, she stopped crying and asked, without a trace of tears, "Mama, what's that? What's a Face Plant?" Guess it wasn't so serious after all!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Three Things

Here are three things that occurred in my world today:

#1: Apparently sometime after I put on the scanty dash of powder that counts as make-up in my book and my Very Important Chief Of Staff meeting I grew a great big zit on my chin. I discovered it while I was rubbing my chin thoughtfully and became obsessed with it over the course of the meeting. In my mind it was as big as a quarter, red as a baboon's arse, seeping ooze and everyone was staring at it. In reality they were probably just wondering why I was suddenly doing everything in my power to cover my face with my notebook. Or, and most likely, nobody noticed because (despite what I may believe) I'm not actually the center of the universe.

#2: I cut my nails. While this may not seem noteworthy to some - to me it's a big deal. I used to be a compulsive nail biter and consequently had the ugliest nails and cuticles on the Eastern Seaboard. Now they are neat, trimmed and no longer able to slice open my daughter's face. I'm not sure when or why I stopped biting them - but I'm glad none-the-less.

#3(a): I have decided that going out to lunch, special Mexican dinners and alcohol will be put on hold indefinitely. All of the wedding fun and festivities left me feeling rather uncomfortably tight in my uniform and I don't intend to go out and buy new pants. So, strict dieting will be enforced from this date until further notice. Consider this fair warning for any future mood swings and be glad you're neither my neighbor nor co-worker.

#3(b): I have also decided that I. Hate. Pants. They only reaffirm the fact that YES, DEAR GOD I did overindulge and by golly I liked it so much I did it some more. I'm boycotting pants from now until I decide my ass looks good in them again. phoey.

So, that's what's going on in my world - how about yours?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Tale of Two Flashlights

As I have mentioned before, summer in Eastern VA often brings tons of thunderstorms. Ever since the "lightening" episode, my Muffin gets a little freaked out at the sound of thunder. She has also developed a phobia of power-outages.

For the past several weeks she will break down about five nights out of seven due to her anxiety of thunderstorms and subsequent power outages. I explain to her that I will come and get her should any power outage arise from a severe thunderstorm - but that's not comforting enough. Finally, I remembered the super-cool flashlight that I Santa put in her stocking last Christmas! It's pink, it has the Disney Princesses on it and the jewels around the bulb light up!

I fished out the flashlight and brought it to her, explaining that IF the power goes off she should turn it on. She eyed it skeptically and asked if I would use MY flashlight if the power went out.

"Yes," I said "I will use my flashlight to come and get you."

"Well," she replied "I think that I should have YOUR flashlight. You can keep this Princess one."

"Allllrriiiiiggghhht," I said as I went to get my flashlight. Really? What's the appeal of a grown-up's flashlight? It's just a basic flashlight, nothing interesting about it at all!

Below is a comparison of the two flashlights. One has princesses, jewels that light up and bling on the end of the strap. The other has a black strap. Nothing else.

However, once she had my simple little flashlight tucked under her pillow she was able to relax enough to get some rest. Therefore, I am thankful for my generic flashlight. PLUS! I get to keep the super-cool Princess one for myself! SCORE!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Star Wars Lines You Might Hear In A Porno

Do you love Star Wars! I know I do!! I remember seeing it for the first time, many many years ago, and thinking "Golly, that was a cool movie!" (I probably would have inserted some explicitives except that I was something like seven years old and hadn't learned any good ones yet.)

The Keeper Of Lists has created a list of the Top 106 Actual Star Wars Lines You Might Hear In A Porno and it made me laugh long and hard (Hey! That could probably be in a porno too!) Here are the top 25, but you should totally go check out the rest:

1. Luke, at that speed do you think you'll be able to pull out in time?
2. You came in that thing? You're braver than I thought.
3. Size matters not. Judge me by my size, do you?
4. She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid
5. "Backdoor, huh? Good idea."
6. Get in there you big furry oaf, I don't care what you smell!
7. Let's blow this thing so we can go home!
8. Pull out Wedge, you can't do any more good back there!
9. "Look at the size of that thing"
10. You've got something jammed in here real good.
11. Almost there... just a couple of seconds...
12. Negative! It didn't go in. It just impacted on the surface
13. There's an awful lot of moisture in here.
14. Hey, Luke, thanks for coming after me -- now I owe you one.
15. "Get on top of it!" "I'm trying!"
16. "I want you to take her. I mean it! Take her!"
17. "This may smell bad, kid, but it'll keep you warm."
18. "Hey! Point that thing someplace else!"
19. I look forward to completing your training. In time you will call me 'Master'
20. Sorry about the mess...
21. "I thought they smelled bad on the outside."
22. "We're going in, and we're going in full throttle."
23. "He is here. I have felt him"
24. I don't think the Empire had wookies in mind when they designed her, Chewie.
25. "She's my sister."

Bonus points if you know what scene these lines came from and EXTRA bonus points if you can spot any that are misquoted. I saw one! (Hint, it's number 7 and yeah - I'm that big of a Star Wars dork)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Push Down For What You Belive In

Everyday, when I pick Muffin up from school, I ask the teacher how her day went. Usually the teacher will say something along the lines of "Oh, it was fine." or "She did great." but today was different. Today the teacher hesitated and we all know what that means.

"Did she have a bad day?" I asked, thinking about her recent bouts of clinginess.

"Well, she did hit a little boy," the teacher replied. Then, turning her back to the kids she whispered "But it was Gavin, so I really can't blame her."

"Oh." That does explain part of it. Gavin is a super obnoxious little boy who seeks out attention by behaving like a monster. I'm sure he's not really a monster, but apparently that's the only way he's learned to get people to pay attention to him. Though most kids Muffin's age are pretty easy going as far as friendships are concerned, not many of Muffin's classmates want to be friends with Gavin. Sad, really.

However, even if he did provoke her, Muffin knows better than to hit. When we were in the car I asked her about the incident. First, the automatic response:

"I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to do it."

Which is, of course, nonsense. This "apologize quickly and save my ass" reply is something that I should anticipate hearing quite often in the next ten to twenty years. *sigh* I responded with:

"Muffin, you know better than to hit. Please tell me what happened so we can talk about it."

"Well," she began "He was saying a wrong thing to me. So, I pushed him."

Knowing Gavin, lots of uncomfortable "wrong" things he could say to her were running through my mind. I was wondering if I was going to have to phone his mother when I asked: "Really? What wrong thing did he say, exactly?"

"He said that frogs don't live in the forest. And they do." Muffin replied self righteously.

"Ah ha." So, nothing naughty after all. What a relief, and what a funny little girl. While we all know that pushing/hitting isn't behavior to be condoned, I'm proud of my baby for pushing down standing up for what she believes in. Even it's only the habitat of frogs.

Stupid Fitted Sheet

Can anyone tell me how to fold a fitted sheet?

I'm pretty sure that it can be done, I've seen performed once before - by a BOY! Can you believe it? I was staying at a friend's house on an inflatable bed and the gentlemen of the house folded up the fitted sheet nice and neat right before my eyes. I've tried to replicate this amazing feat, but to no avail. I generally get frustrated and just ball the damn thing up. However, if anyone can impart this ancient secret to me - I'd be much obliged.

Why do I ask? Because I'm tired of bringing out guest sheets that have two nicely folded pillow cases, a nicely folded flat sheet and a wadded up ball of fitted sheet. I am vain and I would like to leave my guests with the impression than I can perform miraculous acts of sheet folding.

By the way, I'm not too good at origami. So I hope the secret technique doesn't involve too many intricate folds and creases! :)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Down By The Bay...

(to the Raffi tune of "Down by the bay" - go on, DENY that you know this tune!)

Down by the bay
Where the Chesapeake Stinks
My daughter whined
Drove me to drink

Her little mouth
It never stopped
If I ever had a pill
It'd have been popped!

Down by the bay...

See, in my mind, we are going to have a fantastic outdoor event! In reality, she whines her little pants off. Thus making it an exercise called "the struggle for humane parenting."

Granted, this time there was a just cause for all the whining. I decided to go to Fort Story on the Chesapeake bay instead of our usual Virginia Beach run. I thought that the bay water would be more calming than the beach waves. Nope.

It stank. Oh dear GAWD did it stink. Muffin whined for the entire hour and a half we were there and it was mostly about the stink. My personal favorite was:

"Mama, my feelings are hurt by the stinkiness!"

Well baby, I guess I couldn't have said it better myself. My feelings were hurt all around. I tried to read my book but was constantly distracted by sea gulls, other people, my daughter's chatter and SHARKS! OH YES, there were freaking sharks thrashing around in the bay. This is one time that I was very grateful Muffin is naturally shy of the ocean. Those suckers were all over the place and I was eager to stay out of their way.

In preparation for a nice afternoon outing I took out all of the sand toys. I thought "Hey, if she has lots of things to occupy her perhaps some reading will be had!" Nope. More toys on the beach meant more shit to freak over as far as Muffin was concerned. From the time we arrived there was a constant monologue of worry and anxiety from the Muffin Dept. Things were too sandy, too wet, not sandy enough, not wet enough, too close to crabs, too far away from crabs, and altogether too close to the stinkiness...

Needless to say, little of my book was read. However, the constant distraction did allow me several photo opportunities. Observe, my daughter's new Ninja Name "Iron Biscuits" because her firm little bottom is not unlike two iron biscuits. (Go ahead, color me crazy - I'll just chalk it up to sun exposure).

Muffin a.k.a. Iron Biscuits

Cutest "babe"ing suit and cover-up EVAH! Thank you Disney Store Sale Rack!!

Ladie's Night!

Whoo Whoo!!

The bachelorette party was an absolute blast. I succeeded in getting Sissy way more drunk than she ought to have been. :) There were gag gifts and costume changes and - oh yeah - lots of tequila shots. However, since a picture is worth words, please view the proof of our silliness below:

Giggling over gag gifts

Tequila Shots with Sarah

Costume change into 60's Geisha

Here she is! Miss Bachelorette!

All other incriminating photos will be saved for blackmail purposes burned, never to see the light of day again! Glad you had fun Sissy! I'll miss you, but I know you're going to be very very happy! *kiss*