Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursday Thirteen, Edition 3:
Thirteen Little Things That Make Life More Pleasant

1. My iPod. I can’t imagine a day at work without it; sometimes, I leave the earbugs in without ever turning on the music just so people will leave me the hell alone so that I can get my work done.

2. My digital Canon Rebel.

3. My manual Canon Rebel.

4. The interchangeable long lens that I use on both Rebels, it takes awesome macro shots, close-ups like you would not believe and it captures action shots from a distance that I otherwise could not.

5. Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio. Best light summer wine money can buy.

6. My jetta tub. Great for relaxing tired muscles and for centering my thoughts on difficult days. I especially enjoy it when teamed up with numbers 1 and 5 on this list.

7. Good, strongly brewed coffee. I take mine light with a touch of sweetener and I rely on it to get my day off to a good start.

8. My friends and family but, that goes without saying.

9. Good literature. Currently I am re-reading John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row. Next, I’ll read To Kill a Mockingbird for the fifth or sixth time and, if the good weather holds out, I’ll start on East of Eden sometime next week.

10. Trash television. You know, the shows you are embarrassed to admit that you watch but that you just can’t seem to tear yourself away from? Yeah, those shows. I think the appeal is in the fact that the characters make the rest of us look good by comparison.

11. My front porch. I can’t say it enough although; I imagine some people wish that I could.

12. My garden. Worrying over whether or not it is going to grow and produce causes me no end of anxiety but; working in it, feeling the soil in my hands, watching the tiny plants sprout, brings me profound pleasure. Must be the blood of my farmer ancestors flowing through my veins.

13. Cooking blogs. I may not try every recipe that I read about on the internet but I am fascinated by the people who blog about their skills in the kitchen and, the blogs that include good photos of the foods, and the steps that go into making them, are my ultimate favorite.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Hail, You Say?

I was convinced that last night’s baseball game would be called on account of weather when the heavens opened up just an hour and a half prior to the game and unleashed pellet-sized hail upon the earth but; no such luck, the storm moved on and the game commenced on schedule which is really too bad considering that we got our asses pummeled almost as hard as the hail pummeled my petunias which is to say, hard.

(Longest sentence in the history of literature, thank you, thank you very much)

We did have a nice time after the game, though; it was Darren’s tenth birthday and Jana and I handed out cupcakes that we had decorated to resemble baseballs to all the boys. Chris also set up a camp stove and went to work grilling hot dogs for the masses and, by the time we were finished; we had fed just about every member of every family of every kid on the team plus the umpires, the coaches and a handful of random strays from the low-income housing project behind the baseball field.

In just under fifteen minutes.

A swarm of locusts couldn't have been more efficient.

The weather today looks much nicer than yesterday’s and I am hoping to get a few minutes in the sun prior to packing for my trip to the cabin to spend the weekend with my Girls. I’ve been looking forward to this trip for quite some time and would like to be as relaxed as possible going into it; not that I won’t relax while I’m there but, you know what I mean.

I’ve missed the heck out of my roommates and can’t wait to melt into the comfortable chaos that is the hallmark of our group dynamic; we are noisy like the hail minus the rampant destruction.

Um, unless you count that one time….but that is a story for another day.

In other news, I took the children to the library yesterday and the Man-Cub voluntarily signed up for the summer reading program.

A choir of heavenly angels sang.

The end.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Who Is Ready For the Dog Days of Summer? I Am.

Ah, the first day of summer vacation, no more early morning trips to the drop-off lane. No more harping at the children about finishing their homework before bedtime. Most importantly, no more trips to the principal’s office.

Instead, I will sleep in a half-hour longer. I will harp at the children not to break a leg jumping off the trampoline. I will make frequent trips to the ice cream parlor for soft-serve cones and to the dollar store to purchase cheap water balloons and the flavoring for a million summer snow-cones. I will be the chauffeur du jour for play dates and outings and, I can totally get behind that because, no more trips to the Principal's office.

We kicked off summer vacation yesterday with our first family outing on the boat. The weather was not the kindest; it drizzled on and off and the sun played peek-a-boo just enough to frustrate my attempts at getting a slight tan-sweatshirt off, sweatshirt on, sweatshirt off, sweatshirt on-it was annoying.

The kids didn’t seem to mind the lack of sunshine or the frigid temperature of the water, the Teenager even screwed up enough courage to swim a few lengths of the boat with the Rowdie dog, who, it should be documented; spent the entire day retrieving driftwood from the lake. Toys? Who needs toys? We have all this lovely drifting tree matter right here, people! and, the boat was littered with tree limbs and sticks by the end of the day but; at least we can say our dog knows how to fetch.

The Man-Cub made one valiant attempt to swim but, the shock of the cold water sent him scurrying right back onto the swim deck. He did, however, enjoy an afternoon of fishing with his father while I read Angels & Demons (sorry Dad, you were wrong; it isn’t as good as The DaVinci Code) and his sister demonstrated her wicked dance moves, dance moves reserved specifically for boating and not for public consumption or, as she put it so eloquently: If you put this on your blog, I will keeeel youuu.

Sorry, Teenager, some summer rituals just can’t be hidden from the public eye and, who am I to deprive the world of your interpretation of Dancing like an Egyptian? No one, that's who.

God, I love summer.

Monday, May 25, 2009

My Most Memorable Memorial Day

Fourteen years ago, on Memorial Day, my brother-in-law graduated from the Naval Academy. Oscar and Emily were understandably quite proud of his accomplishment and decided that an appropriate celebration was in order so; they rented a house in Annapolis and booked airfare for themselves, Oscar’s mother, Hugh, me, my Sister-in-Law and her brand new husband.

The house, while lovely, had only three bedrooms, one of which Emily and Oscar were to occupy which was only right considering that they were financing the trip. Grandma got the second bedroom because, at the age of 81, she had clearly earned the right to a bedroom of her own. That left the third bedroom which, Emily smugly informed me, would be occupied by the newlyweds since they had only been married for a month and a half and, hello! HONEYMOONERS and all.

(And, everyone knows that couples who have been married for over two years aren’t doing THAT anymore, right?)

This left Hugh and me on a pull-out sleeper located in the living room area smack dab in between all of the bedrooms. No big deal, right? Right, except for the fact that I was also smack dab in the middle of the most reproductive week of my cycle and Hugh and I were trying for Thing 1, AKA: The Teenager.
That made things a bit, um, awkward if you know what I mean.

Since we hadn’t told anyone that we were in the family planning mode, I couldn’t exactly pull the We Are Trying to Conceive Your First Grandchild And Need Privacy In Which To Do So card. Therefore, we were forced to engage in some acrobatic and athletic sex in the only room in the house that offered an iota of privacy; the bathroom.

This is how my daughter was conceived on a toilet in Annapolis, Maryland over Memorial Day weekend 1995.

The inconvenience was totally worth it just to see the look on Emily’s face six weeks later when she winkingly informed me that she and Oscar had calculated that I must have gotten pregnant right before we went to Annapolis to which I replied “Actually, Hugh and I figure I got pregnant IN Annapolis.”


This Memorial Day was almost as fun as getting knocked up while visiting our nation’s capitol-we took the boat out for the first time. I have a few things to say about that but; Hugh just asked us if we wanted to hit the all-you-can-eat-Chinese buffet and I never turn down all-you-can-eat lo mein; that just wouldn’t be right.

So, I’m off but, before I go; I just want to thank the veterans who gave their lives defending our freedom as well as the soldiers who fight for it still, today. Without our heroes (including my brother-in-law) there would be no Memorial Day boating trips, no family BBQ’s, no picnics by the beach and, worse yet, no freedom to spew personal stories across the internet.

Thank you. Thank you.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Male Bonding Has Nothing on Female Bonding

Today is the Teenager’s last day of school and I think she is looking forward to spending more time at home. Yesterday, she sat in a gymnasium all day while her classmates attended their field trip to the local State Park; we could have opted to let her stay at home but chose, instead, to send her to in-school detention because, the fact that there were underlying emotional issues at play in the revocation of her invitation to attend the trip didn’t change the fact that her behavior was unacceptable and; it was important to us that she face the consequences of her actions.

We want her to understand that, in life, we often feel frustrated, scared, and unsure but, that taking our feelings out on other people is not the way to go, especially when it involves the disrespecting of teachers. Not going to happen on our watch.

As for the underlying emotional issues-the Teenager met with the school counselor. I spoke with the counselor as well and she gave us a variety of exercises to work on at home; exercises aimed at helping the Teenager relax before bedtime to help reduce the occurrence of nightmares as well as some aimed at getting the Teenager to open up and communicate her fears and feelings more clearly.

Journal writing was at the top of the list and, although the Teenager isn’t a huge fan of writing, she seemed interested in trying. I’m mulling over whether or not to suggest that she start a blog-it might help and probably couldn’t hurt but; I’ll understand if she would prefer something more private, like a journal tucked away in a lock-box under her bed.

Either way.

Since she only has a half-day at school today, I made appointments for haircuts for both of us this afternoon, I think it will be a good mother-daughter bonding activity and, just to be sure that it is an unforgettable one; I made also made an appointment for the Teen’s first eyebrow waxing. My little girl, she isn’t so little anymore. Or, as she says, “Uni-brow- be gone!”

What can I say; the mother and daughter who, together, undergo the ripping of hot wax from their faces are the mother and daughter who can accomplish anything together.

Damn, I should embroider that on a pillow.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thursday Thirteen, Edition 2:
Thirteen Things I Want to do Before I Die

1. Take a culinary tour of Italy; I want to learn to cook authentic regional dishes from actual Italians.

2. I want to learn to speak Italian. I think it might come in handy when I am taking those cooking classes because I’m not sure how well cooking instructions translate into the suedo-sign language of the typical tourist; I’m guessing not well.

3. I want to snorkel off the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

4. I want to photograph the pyramids in Egypt.

5. I want to pose nude for photographs. Strike that, in this day and age they would probably end up on the internet and then go viral in a bad way. I wouldn’t want to cause anyone’s eyes to burn out of their skulls, that’s just bad form.

6. I want to meet a movie star so that I can tell all of my friends that he/she “wasn’t all that and, he/she’s short”. I live near a famous ski resort so; this could actually happen. Fingers crossed!

7. I want to spend a week or two in a hut in Fiji with nothing but my husband, my iPod and a few good books to keep me company.

8. I want to be the world’s best Grandma. You know, someday. Not anytime soon. We are talking waaayy down the road, here.

9. I want my fifteen minutes of fame (everyone gets that, right?) to be for doing something wonderful for someone else, something that really matters.

10. I want to be the best mother, wife, daughter, sister, and friend possible.

11. I want to see the sun set over every continent on the Earth, once.

12. I want to grow old with my family beside me.

13. I want the last sound I hear on this planet to be the sound of laughter.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Strike Three, You’re Out

One of our regular pitchers has been benched for the season following an incident at school wherein he non-maliciously plagiarized an author’s work. I say it was done non-maliciously because the kid doesn’t have a dishonest bone in his body and because I know it will never happen again; he has now learned to credit his sources... the hard way.

In his absence, the Man-Cub has been called up to the pitcher position and he did a great job at last night’s game; the practice he and his grandpa did over the weekend really helped and he managed to pitch a no-hitter in the first inning he pitched, without beaning a single batter.

In keeping with today’s “three strikes” theme, the Teenager has been “dis-invited” to attend the last field trip of the school year as her behavior at school the past week has not been up to the standards set by the faculty.

Hugh and I met with the principal at the school yesterday and, after a long and involved (read: tearful) conversation with him and with the Teenager, we all arrived at the conclusion that, although a large part of her really wanted to attend the trip with her classmates, an even larger part of her was afraid to go. Because the trip is to a large reservoir, nearby. A reservoir with running water which, apparently, has become my daughter’s Kryptonite.

The anniversary of Brandon’s drowning is looming, the Teenager has been having nightmares about drowning with him and, Hugh and I, perfect parents that we are, missed every sign that she was struggling; she asked us both several times if one of us could accompany the class on the trip, she “misplaced” the permission slip for the trip, at a recent birthday sleep-over which featured swimming in an outdoor pond-she called and asked me to bring her a couple of inflatable rafts and yet still opted to sit in the sun rather than swimming, she made Hugh promise-on several occasions-that he will never drive the boat fast when she is on the tube behind it, she has been generally disinterested in the boat-which she was thoroughly excited about last fall-and she has been moodier than usual (even for a teen).

Yep, missed it all. My daughter subconsciously sabotaged her chances of attending a fun activity because she was scared and I never saw it happening.

I feel like the biggest parental failure in the world and I have no idea how to comfort her; this is a child who started swimming before she could walk. She has always loved the water;-we still can’t get her out of a swimming pool for love or money- and yet, she is apparently terrified of running water and larger bodies of water and I didn’t even know it.

I didn’t know she was having nightmares, either although, she assures me that the dreams just started the past couple of weeks and I am somewhat inclined to believe that the vividness of the dreams may have something to do with the Claritin that she and her father have been taking recently for their allergies as Hugh claims more vivid dreams lately, as well.

Still, epic failure on my part.

Strike one, not seeing the signs.

Strike two, not knowing to look for the signs and assuming that, two years later, she would have moved past the worst of the grief.

Strike three, not knowing how to help her. I can’t reason away her fears, I can’t remind her that she knows how to swim (so did Brandon), I can’t assure her that she will always have on a life jacket (so did Brandon), I can’t tell her that bad things never happen to young kids (like, duh).

The worst part is, I don’t get a second chance to bat at this; there is no eighth inning in parenting, you just take your loss and you hope for a better game against the next opponent and you hope like hell that your child sees the balances between wins and losses on your record and that they forgive you for the times that you come in last.

But nobody tells you that when you sign on to play the game in the first place.

Monday, May 18, 2009

As My Father Says, It Doesn’t Take Much to Make Me Happy

My parents made the trip from Mayberry this weekend to watch the Man-Cub play baseball and to spend some quality time with the rest of us and, we made that time just as quality as possible.

The Cub did really well at the game, getting a chance to pitch for the first time which, really excited him (and, you know, his grandfather). I have to admit, I wasn’t convinced that he was ready but, he did ok; he only hit one kid and he managed to strike out three others. Of course, he knew all along that he could do it and I am a terrible mother for lacking faith in his abilities-he is an awesome pitcher.

And, yes, I'm sure the mother of the kid he hit, might disagree.

After the game, we headed home to watch movies but mostly, we were all really tired and just wanted to sleep, after all, we had a lot planned for the next day.

And, Saturday did not disappoint in as far as the plans we had made; we shopped, we visited, we watched Marley and Me which my parents had never seen and; for which they now understand the reason I have been telling them that the Man-Cub cries every time he watches it, even though he has seen it four meelion times. My mom was tremendously moved by the film and my dad, well, he is a manly man so, if I tell you that he needed his hanky there at the very end, you have to promise to keep that between us.

One of the things that my mom and I went shopping for was a selection of flowers for my porch planters. I picked up a couple of flats of purple and red petunias which, in hind-sight, was about a flat too many but; I now have six planters, a large pot, my late grandfather's ancient wheelbarrow, and an extra-large galvanized tin washtub overflowing with purple and red flowers. Also, since there were more than a few flowers left over, I planted a row down the fence line of the vegetable garden (which recently sprouted radishes and the very first shoots of sunflowers, yay! Things are growing! The curse, it may be broken!) and they are sure to be lovely there as well.

Another thing that I shopped for was a wicker set for the front porch; I have wanted one since before the porch was built and, after saving my pennies for the past six months, could finally afford the set that I wanted. Hugh and I picked up the furniture while my parents stayed with the Cub (The Teenager spent a large part of the weekend at a sleep-over, you know, as teenagers do) and, upon our return; my Mom and I arranged the new seating area on the porch and then spent the remainder of the day relaxing there. We even ate dinner on the porch, incidentally creating the first Porch Night of the season.

Long live Porch Night.

And, lazy afternoons on the porch with a good book, a glass of iced tea and a bowl of cherries.

Oh, and mornings on the porch with a cup of hot coffee and the crossword puzzle from the newspaper.

Insert contented sigh here______.

Unfortunately, my parents had to head back to Mayberry on Sunday morning. Hugh worked for the Police Department so the children and I hung out on the porch, reading, chatting, and catching up with each other. Both kids are looking forward to this week’s school activities as well as to Thursday and Friday, which are their last days-Thursday for the Cub and Friday for the Teenager.

I’m looking forward to not having to play the part of Cruise Director every morning; the kids can organize their own schedules as long as chores get done and the house does not burn to the ground. Fortunately, my job at the store allows me the freedom to come and go as needed and to spend more time with the kids during the vacation and; we are looking forward to several outings with Jana and the kids during this time as well.

Speaking of outings, Hugh brought the boat home this weekend and we are planning her christening voyage for Memorial Day. There will be cheap champagne for Hugh and me, sparkling grape juice for the kids and bologna sandwiches all around and we are going to love every minute of it, we are redneck, hear us roar.

And no, Dad; it really doesn’t take much to make me happy; you totally raised me right.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thursday Thirteen, Edition 1

Sure Signs That Summer is Just around the Corner

1. Each day that I open one of the children’s backpacks, a mountain of permission slips for upcoming field trips, awards assemblies, field day or some other end-of-year activity falls out, threatening to bury me alive.

2. The children are climbing the walls in anticipation of lazy summer days spent biking, swimming, running through the sprinklers and selling snow cones from their sidewalk stand. Their excitement is driving me bonkers and suffocation by permission slips is starting to look like the more pleasant alternative.

3. The petals have fallen from the tulips in my flowerbeds and the peony bushes are budding.

4. I discovered my first pest infestation in the garden yesterday-black sugar ants, less than one week after planting the garden; this does not bode well.

5. Our weekend calendar is rapidly filling with play dates, sleepovers, camping trips, boating excursions and visits to-and from-friends and family.

6. Hugh opened the attic recently and declared it full enough for yet another yard sale. Note to Hugh: Ain’t gonna happen.

7. When planting the garden last weekend, I tanned through three layers of sunscreen.

8. Flip-flops are becoming The Teenager’s primary footwear.

9. The Man-Cub’s entire school wardrobe is threadbare, torn at the knees, too short, and/or stained. Time for summer wardrobe shopping, obviously.

10. Yesterday, while I was playing catch with the dog, a gigantic wasp buzzed my ear. I screamed like a girl and made for the house, in case you were curious about my reaction.

11. The ice-cream truck made its first appearance on our street this past weekend. I ran as fast as I could but, did not catch up. Next time, Mr. Ice Cream Truck Man, next time.

12. My favorite liquor store started its annual wine sale and I am now sufficiently stocked up on Pinot Grigio (for sipping on the front porch well into the evening) and merlot (to accompany freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies on Movie Nights).

13. I tried on every stitch of my summer clothing and found that everything made me look fat, just like every other year but! I bought a new shade of OPI and my toenails look exceptionally slender.

Hellooo, summer!

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Changing the Subject

As much as I just looove to talk about my internal organs, I would much rather talk about the two products of said internal organs, you know, the ones what broke me in the first place, AKA: The Children.

Just kidding, they didn’t break me, I’m sure it was genetic. Thanks, Mom!

Once again, just kidding.

Anywaaay…another baseball game last night, another loss. But! There were some truly stellar plays in the outfield and we see improvement at every game. Our record now stands at 4 losses, one tie and; I didn’t even know you could end a game with a tie so, you learn something new every day (at last night’s game, we learned that bunting is not allowed in our league. That would have been really nice to know last year when the bunting was like epidemic).

Last night’s game marked my first foray into concession stand duty and…it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had envisioned. Oh, my duty-buddy and I neglected to start the crock-pot of cheeze (Now with improved cheese flavor!) so, there were no nachos or cheese-pretzels but, you know; no one seemed to notice or even to care. We did sell the hell out of bottled water as the temperature hovered in the low eighties.

That’s not a complaint, by the way; I am loving the warm weather. I’m wearing cute sandals and Capri pants. I’m enjoying time in my garden every afternoon, heck, I even throw the ball to the dog while I wait to change sprinkler positions during watering time. In a shocking turn of events, the dog brings the ball back to me. I’ve heard stories about dogs doing that and, I vaguely recall our late Trooper (God rest his soul) playing fetch but; this is an entirely new turn of events for the Rowdie dog.

I might eventually grow to like him….unless, of course, he storms the garden walls and eats all of my tomatoes. I can already see him plotting just such an endeavor and, if carried out; I might have to kill him.

Where was I? Oh, yes, waxing poetic about the warmer weather and the fact that summer is just around the corner, so, continuing on; school is out next Thursday which means no more early morning trips to the school drop-off lane (hallelujah, hallelujah!).

I am traveling south to meet my college roommates for a weekend at a cabin two weeks from tomorrow and Hugh promised to pressure-wash the porch and all the furniture on it this weekend so that Porch Night may commence ASAP. In addition, the boat is coming out of storage this weekend and Chris, Jana, Hugh and I have already started preliminary plans for a camping trip to Lake Powell.

I’ve stocked up on sunscreen. I’ve made a list of the summer clothing that the children have outgrown and that will have to be replaced and I’m 99% certain that the slip’n’slide is still in good working condition without rips, tears or holes so; we are pretty much set for summer.

All of which is a lot nicer to think about than dwelling on the state of my girlie bits, wouldn't you agree?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Apparently My Biceps Weren’t the Only Muscles I Needed to Work On

Hey, you know how I sometimes threaten to have my uterus removed if it doesn’t stop with all the monthly cramping? Yeah…well…turns out my uterus decided to save me the trouble and to just go ahead and fall out except, not really out, just down and, only enough to freak the holy shit out of me and to send me scurrying to the lady doctor.

Turns out I am in the very earliest stages of pelvic prolapse which essentially means that I have a very weak pelvic floor and, if I don’t watch it; all hell will break loose and the lady parts will eventually bungee jump right out of my hoo-ha like gruesome little paratroupers.

Only, less amusing.

The diagnosis wasn’t exactly a surprise; after a particularly freakish episode on Saturday, I rang up good old Dr. Google and he pretty much told me what I needed to know-but, all faith in Dr. G aside, I do like to leave these things to actual real-life professionals and, my lady parts doctor is the most professional woman I know.

So, I saw her this afternoon and, after a thorough (I’m not even going to get in to how thorough) examination, she prescribed a course of exercises ( Kegles! As a Career!) and also suggested that I refrain from heavy lifting, completely dashing my hopes of Olympic stardom in the power-lifting competition. Unless, of course, I lift with my vagina- after all, my pelvic floor muscles should be pretty damn strong after all those Kegles (the dream! It lives!).

All joking aside; I'm cool. According to both my doctor and Dr. Google, this happens to a lot of women as they get older.

And here I was, worried about dentures and varicose veins, Universe, you are hilarious.

If, for the sake of research you happen to Google images of uterine prolapse and, I’m warning you right now not to (for the love of God!), please bear in mind that I have a super-mild case of the disorder and my nether-regions in no way, shape, or form resemble any of the horrors to which you are about to subject yourself.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Picture Says a Thousand Words.
A Picture of Words Says Happy Mother's Day

I hope all you mothers out there have had a lovely day; I know I have.

It started with breakfast at the local diner followed by a day in the sunshine, planting my garden with the determined assistance of the Man-Cub. We both came out a bit sunburned despite liberal applications of sunscreen but, the results were worth the effort and, with any luck, this year the garden will thrive.

My love for the Man-Cub and his sister needs no such luck; it thrives on a daily basis and, I have a hunch that they feel the same way.

Having these two kids was the best thing I ever did, hands down. They give me reason to feel optimistic about the future of humanity as well as providing hours of amusement for their father and me. I can’t imagine a world without them in it and I hope that, one day, they both know the degree of pride and affection that I have for them mirrored in their feelings for their own children.

Together, they walk this earth, each holding half of my heart.

Heck, having them in my life is totally worth the recent prolapse of my uterus but, that’s a post for another day.

Happy Mother's Day, y'all.

Friday, May 08, 2009

The Spirit Is Willing But the Flesh Is Weak

Some days, it is really hard for me to find the motivation to eat well and to exercise. Some days I just want to give in to whatever I happen to be craving at the time; to just let go and hit the Little Debbie snack cakes with wild abandon.

On those days, it is nice to have a dedicated and determined spirit to keep me in line and, luckily, my Spirit is an obnoxiously assertive little bitch; this month, for instance, I have logged more exercise hours and fewer calories than in any month since um, 2006 and my Spirit has been feeling pretty smug about it.

Unfortunately, my Flesh gave the Spirit the middle finger and gained a pound this week; Flesh is sick and tired of getting bossed around by Spirit.

The weight gain had an unexpected effect on Spirit; it pissed her off and, in retaliation, Spirit signed Flesh up for a boxing class at the rec. center right after Pilates this morning.

The class starts in two weeks and will be held on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons; the course description reads like a script straight out of Rocky and Flesh is slightly concerned about this turn of events while Spirit is confident that this will be just the kick in the pants that Flesh needs to get with the motherf&$%*&g program.

Of course, Mind went all Dr. Spock on everyone and asked the logical question: Is Spirit throwing more at Flesh than Flesh can handle? And Heart just wonders why we can’t all just get along.

Put them all together and you would think that I would be one confused wanna-be skinny chick but, in actuality; I’m just really looking forward to hitting something.


Thursday, May 07, 2009

No Children Were Injured in the Making of This Post

Although, if I had heard “I’m thirsty, I want some water, will you buy me a water, please???” one more time, it might have been an entirely different story.

Other than frequent- and passionate-declarations of dehydration, the field trip went quite well. The Man-Cub boarded the bus at 8:30 and I dutifully pulled in behind for the forty-five minute drive to the falls. I chose to drive rather than to ride the bus because, unlike some of the other parents, I cherish my sanity and I wanted to protect it which, mission accomplished.

During the lovely scenic drive, I reminisced to myself about the field trips that my classmates and I used to take in elementary school and I could almost taste the flavor of a Hostess fruit pie in my mouth; field trips were the rare occasions upon which my mother deemed it appropriate to spend her hard earned money on “that crap”. Now that I am a mother myself, I fully understand her point of view but; I still cherish the memory of those apple pastries.

Once we arrived at the falls, it was a whirlwind of activity. It was a half-mile hike to the top of the falls and, I’m really glad that I have let Jillian have her way with me for the past month because; I was able to make the hike minus the heavy breathing that some of the other parents exhibited.

After the falls, we picnicked in Town Park and then toured the local historical museum where the biggest hit with my assigned group of boys was a room in which rocks and minerals fluoresced under black light; not that the minerals and rocks were the big draw-that honor went to the waistbands of the boys’ underwear which also fluoresced in a most glowing fashion under the black light. Side note: boys are weird. Also, easily entertained.

Once I was finally able to drag the boys away from giggling over the brightness of their tighty-whities and the alien-like glow of their own teeth (also a huge hit), they boarded the bus for the trip home; the end of the trip coinciding nicely with my wit's end at the aforementioned whining over thirst.

And, another successful stint as a chaperone goes down in the books.

Now, if I could just get over this inexplicable craving for Hostess fruit pie.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Let’s See How Much Crap We Can Cram Into the Next Two Weeks, Shall We?

School ends two weeks from tomorrow and we have just received the official list of activities planned for now until then; between the Teenager and the Man-Cub we have: 7 field trips, 2 awards assemblies, 4 in-school events, 1 classroom party and 1 final fundraiser for the activities budget.

In addition to the school activities, we still have baseball four nights a week (as of last night’s game our record is 0 wins, 3 losses. With the exception of the first game, the boys have played really well and have not been completely blown out, losing instead by four runs in each of the following games. We are proud. Hear us roar).

The Teenager has also been invited to a couple of birthday parties and the Man-Cub is hoping to attend a few Cub Scout related activities as well.

I get tired just typing this, much less attending everything. Fortunately for me, the Teenager is not at all interested in having me attend any of her field trips and the Man-Cub has been most understanding of the fact that I am planning on attending only one of his.

That particular trip is scheduled for tomorrow; we are taking the fourth graders to visit Box Canyon Falls, where we will ooh and aww over the waterfalls, visit the local historical museum and picnic in the park. I’m actually looking forward to the trip and, it beats the heck out of chaperoning today’s Walk-a-Thon or next week’s Waterfest activities.

Plus, the hike up the mountain to the top of the falls will be good exercise and maybe, just maybe, I can skip the dreaded 30 Day Shred for one day.

Ok, probably not; visions of Jillian taunting me not to be such a pussy will haunt my dreams if I do and; I'm apparently going to need my sleep for the next two weeks.

Monday, May 04, 2009

What Fresh Hell is This?

I recently started Level 3 of Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred and I want to die.

Levels 1 and 2 made me feel strong and proud; I could get through a workout without crying real tears and I was starting to see something that may-or may not-have been stomach muscles, on my stomach, like, where stomach muscles should be.

Level 3 just makes me want to strangle baby monkeys.

Or, you know, Jillian Michaels' slender little throat.

For one thing, the bitch expects me to jump.

In the air.

What. The. Fuck?

She also expects me to perform these traveling push-ups, or, as I like to refer to them-Salutations to the Devil (AKA: one Jillian Michaels) and, I totally suck at them. They make my arms hurt and, before you tell me that they are supposed to make my arms hurt, please remind yourself that I want to strangle baby monkeys.

And, I totally would but my arms are too sore.

At this point, all I can do is thank God that there is no Level 4.

Jillian: You don't get arms like this by wussing out on the traveling push-ups, wimpy.

Chelle: Shut up, Michaels.

Friday, May 01, 2009

You Have No Idea How Badly Hugh Wanted to Imprint His Naked Butt Cheeks in This Cement

Alas, he was too late; the cement had already set by the time he got home from work today.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that I kinda, sorta, wanted to leave my own impression in the driveway, oh, not my butt cheeks but, something; maybe my handprints, Grauman’s Chinese Theater Style.

Of course, I was also too late.

And, since we are in full disclosure mode, I will also tell you that the Man-Cub had no desire, whatsoever, to leave his mark in the pavement.

Not to worry though; I've no doubt that he will leave more than his fair share of marks throughout the years to come-in blood following the inevitable slew of skateboarding accidents certain to befall him.

The Teenager? She could not care less about all this driveway phooey and nonsense; she’s got a movie date with friends tonight and just wants to know who is going to finance said excursion, whom among us will pick her up after the movie and, why can't she have extra money for the super-size nachos and the trough-sized coke? All the other kids parents let them have it;'s not faaair.

We would hide her body in the cement but, as I've covered already; we are too late.