Friday, March 30

Little Fair Play

Little Chic was selected as Citizen of the Month and got recognized in Assembly today for having the character trait of Fairness. Last night we got the notice that she would be getting a certificate and she seemed really excited when I made plans to attend.

I went to watch the assembly and she seemed glad I was there as long as I didn't try to communicate with her. In any way. Including waving, smiling at her...or even looking at her. She was perturbed that I had my camera in hand and feigned mortification when I snapped a few shots. I'd post one but there were other people's wee ones in the frames so I'll refrain.

Apparently she likes the recognition but not the attention. Or maybe she's like her mama...she just pretends not to like it ;)

Thursday, March 29


Brainy Boy's absolute favorite thing about the newspaper is the editorial cartoons. He has quite the collection of clippings and he was less than thrilled when he learned that we canceled our subscription.

It just turned out that a recent assignment in his Spark class (sort of a gifted program) was to create an editorial cartoon. Below is a picture along with the captions that I could make out. There was some furious erasing going on before I had a chance to write the entire thing, perhaps because he spied me taking the photo ?!

The guy on the left is President Bush who is thinking "These stupid cue cards are all out of order! Don't worry, it'll come to me." The three confused individuals on the right are labeled "Congress" and they have question marks over their heads and the script reads, "...and Congress isn't any better!"

How'd he know that?!

Wednesday, March 28

Tables Turned

You know how you hear of Big Brother/Big Sister programs or surrogate grandparenting programs that pair needy kids with a mentor? Well, one of our local school districts is using this idea in the opposite fashion. They are holding free computer and internet classes for Senior Citizens to teach basic computer skills, internet browsing and safety - and pairing the senior citizen with a middle school student to help them out. Now isn't that a sign of the times?

Tuesday, March 27

Eating off the Floor

At this moment, you can literally eat off my kitchen floor (for the next 10 minutes anyway, until the kids get off the bus!). This is a rare occurrence in my house, as the Swiffer Wetjet usually has to suffice. But ma-in-law is coming and let me tell you, a nice ma-in-law elicits energy like a mean one never can! Somehow the pressure is intense, to prove to the sweetest of women that you have indeed carried on the torch and are taking care of her beloved son in the most doting manner possible (at least while she's actually watching).

It doesn't seem to go like that for those who have ma-in-laws of the judgmental variety. I suppose I could see myself smirking at the horror of a ma-in-law who didn't think I was caring for her precious as well as she did and keeping the effort to a minimum just for the value of the entertainment. But I don't have that problem. Muh Main Man's mother is the most kind hearted and certainly doesn't want me to go to any trouble on her account. Which of course causes me to go into a frenzy of doing the hand-and-knees thing with an actual mop bucket and ammonia in all the corners that haven't seen proper water action all winter. So if you want to see it, you'd better get here quick. It won't last long.

Monday, March 26

Fireman on Duty

As I was watching Amazing Race last night (and talking on the phone at the same time) I heard Muh Main Man holler up that he had a fire. Not thinking this at all unusual, I answered 'OK' and assumed he'd left the building. A couple of minutes later, I noticed a putrid smell wafting to the upstairs floor, and I hurried to tell Muh Main Man to get his stinky fire gear out of the house. I thought it a bit weird that he was sitting on the couch watching TV so I asked him why he wasn't at the fire.

He began to relate that it was "WE" that had a fire, not "HE". Brainy Boy decided to make some microwave popcorn in perhaps what is my most beloved and most used gadget in the house - my Samsung combination toaster oven/microwave. Rather than hitting the microwave button, he hit the toaster button (which is clearly separated and marked a different color ) and proceeded to literally fire up his bag of popcorn. When he checked to see if it was done, he found a fully involved fire inside my microwave!

Lucky for us all, the machine was still working this morning (with only a bit of scorching on the rooftop) and all frozen waffles were safely prepared.

Friday, March 23

Not Even a Gadget

Imagine my disgust today when I trekked over to the cleaning supplies aisle at my Walmart to pick up the new Swiffer Duster Plus only to realize that the addition of the "dusting spray" feature was none other than a teeny bottle of Pledge - exactly the same size as the little travel eyeglass cleaner squirt bottles I use for Brainy Boy's glasses. I suppose their selling point is the fact that the squirt bottle snaps into the handle of the duster. Big whoop. I'll use my aerosol can of Pledge with the Swiffer duster I already have, thanks.

Thursday, March 22

Probably the Only Gadget I Don't Need

I've admitted before that I'm a shameless gadget sucker. I'm always on the lookout for the newest, greatest miracle tool. The ironic thing is that I am not the gullible type and I tend way more on the skeptical side. For some reason, the process of proving (or in most cases, disproving) the claim is just FUN!

Anyway, my ears perked right up when I was working today and heard gadget-names like "Paradigm, H-Tron, Cozmo, Animas, AccuCheck Spirit, Medronic" and such. It was really exciting when I saw there are accessories called "Pumpwear" to go along with all these gizmos, because I just love accessories. Half of these names sound electronic Star Wars toys my boy would enjoy messing around with. It was a real downer when I realized they were all insulin pumps for diabetics.

However, I'm thankful nobody in my household needs to buy one of these.

Wednesday, March 21

Foot Fodder

Today beings a series of way too many appointments for Brainy Boy's upcoming double foot surgery. He is having subtalar implants put in both ankles and he gets his preoperative physical today. Next Wednesday, he has his preoperative visit with the foot doctor, the next Wednesday, he has the surgery and the following two Wednesdays after that he has follow-up postoperative appointments with the foot doctor. Then begins physical therapy.

Seems a lot of to-do for a short outpatient procedure! The worst part is definitely going to be the 2 knee-high casts he wears for 2 weeks. He is going to be way too heavy to tote to the bathroom. And he's mortified that he may have to be toted - declaring it "degrading". But I'm not banging up my freshly painted walls with a wheelchair, NO I'm NOT!

Tuesday, March 20

Chats in the Cafeteria

PTA mom-friend related this little conversation overheard in the school cafeteria today:

Kid #1: Are you talking about my real mom, or my step-mom?

Kid #2: What's the difference?

Kid #1: Well, I don't know. You know, a real mom is, like, well, real. She does real-mom stuff. Like a real mom does. A step-mom - I don't really know what she is. But she's not a real mom.

Monday, March 19

Real Age

A while back, Oprah had a couple of doctors on her show talking about your "Real Age", which is the effect of your entire lifestyle on how old you really are. I found a web site dedicated to the theory and found out that I'm not as old as I think I am! After taking the TEST, I found out that although I am 37.9 years in number, I am 32.2 in effect. Cool.

They did recommend that I eat more fish & nuts in my diet. I was really hoping for more chocolate.

Saturday, March 17

You Think You're Really Funny, Don't Ya?

I had momentary heart failure this morning when, for a second, I thought I had somehow gained 25 pounds overnight as my scale numbers were suspiciously off. A glance around revealed that Muh Main Man's toes were helping "balance" the scales a little bit. It seems that April Fool's Day registered on his calender six weeks early.

Friday, March 16

That's Good to Know!

Some things that are good to know...

1) If you spend $7 for a half-pound of gourmet coffee at Starbucks (to surprise your sweetie) but you accidentally leave it sitting on the counter, they'll probably still be holding it for you when you go back a week later. They did for me!

2) Even if spring is on it's way with 50 degree temps for a week, you can still get 6-12 inches of snow tomorrow. We are.

3) If your mailbox is having trouble staying upright, you'll only get junk mail on the days it is standing. Apparently all the important stuff is saved for the days it topples over. Right now it's standing. Must mean no bills.

4) You can get a ton of stuff accomplished on a day where you are cramped for time (like yesterday), and you can get nothing done on a day that you should have plenty of time (that's today).

5) You order something online and they say it'll take a week to 10 days to get to you, but it comes in two days. You mail something at the USPS and they tell you it probably won't get there for a week to ten days. Unless you want to make that Priority Mail, Ma'am.

Wednesday, March 14

Murphy or the Leprechaun, Who's to Blame?

I've just come inside from helping Muh Main Man repair (yet again) our mailbox. This would be the new, bottom-of-the-line replacement that we installed just a couple of weeks ago. I'm not sure what it is with us and mailboxes. We just can't seem to keep one standing. I was thinking that Murphy's Law was kicking in because we like the heavy-duty, nice-looking Rubbermaid green that matches our house. But even now that we've replaced our nice one with the cheapest, ugliest one we can find, I came home yesterday to find it too, lying face down on the road with my mail spewed all over the damp ground. The weird thing is, that each time we put it back up, we drive it a bit deeper into the ground, making each replacement sturdier than the last.

I'm changing my theory to suggest that perhaps the Leprechauns are eating their spinach before the big day, and taking practice shots at my house. They haven't stopped at my mailbox. I had the cable guy here this very day checking on my cable line because my digital phone suddenly isn't working either. I've about committed to staying home with the binoculars at the ready until March 17 has safely passed.

Tuesday, March 13

Newbie on the Job

I've gotten several calls in the past couple of weeks to substitute at the kids' school as a classroom aide. It hasn't worked out so far until today when I got called to go in from 11am to 2:30. Incidentally I was working in Little Chic's class and upon arrival, not only did I find out I was subbing for the aide, the two classroom teachers were out as well and there were subs for each of them. A day like that makes this perfectionist half tempted to pull my kids out and home school them myself.

The kids were actually well-behaved considering the lack of continuity but the main substitute teacher for the day - well - let's just say that apparently being a warm body is the main qualification to substitute teach. I speak loosely when I say "warm body" as she was quite elderly, she spoke so low that the kids could hardly hear a word she said and she had a whole collection of annoyed looks to use every time a student answered a question incorrectly. At one point, I honestly thought she was dozing atop her perch on the stool.

Now frankly, I'm not officially qualified to substitute teach for lack of a bachelor's degree, but I tell you, I had to hold myself back to keep from yanking the science lesson out of her hands and doing a proper job myself. I am positive that I could have piqued some nine-year-old interest in cumulus, stratus and cirrus clouds and had them remember the lesson for the day.

The scary thing is that this particular substitute has been in Little Chic's classroom quite a bit this year - I think I've discovered the reason that Little Chic has had no clue about how to do several of her homework assignments. I'm not sure I'm going to last long in this job - I may have to take over something if I spend much more time watching retired people who don't particularly like children get paid $100 a day for babysitting.

The most satisfying part of the day was when said substitute admonished a boy for not remembering their discussion about the metric system and totally confused the class by insisting that a kilometer is a much further distance than a mile. She didn't quite know what to say when I pointed out that a 5K race is only 3.1 miles.

Monday, March 12

Quote of the Day

"Who cares about the stinkin' farmers?!"

Said by Little Chic when Brainy Boy was explaining why we have time changes in the spring and fall. It was a little glum around the kitchen table this morning--everybody really felt that lost hour.

Saturday, March 10

What You Don't Know

5 Things You Might Not Know Unless You've Met Me:

1) I like to change my hairstyle. Right now it's back on the downswing from being short.
2) I live in a log house that Muh Main Man built himself.
3) I could easily work the night shift and sleep from 7am to 3pm. Napping is my favorite thing that I never have a chance to do.
4) I used to be a shoe-a-holic. At my prime, I had about 60 pairs of shoes. Even my babies had about 12 pair of shoes by the time they were 3 months old. I'm, not a shoe-a-holic anymore. I have about a dozen pairs now.
5) I like to buy myself a new purse every season and I get rid of the old one, never to use it again.

5 Things You Might Not Know Even If You've Met Me:

1) I'd been to Europe and Hawaii by the time I was 20, but since then, FL to NY is the furthest I've traveled.
2) My last name used to be the color of a Hershey bar.
3) Since getting married, I've had 2 dogs, 1 cat, 3 birds, 2 guinea pigs, 2 turtles, 2 fish tanks a tadpole turned to frog and an ant farm.
4) If I'd been introduced to kick boxing 15 years ago, I'd try to do it competitively. I'm too busy to manage black eyes and broken teeth at this stage.
5) I can be a little bit OCD - but I usually resist the urge to go check that I unplugged the curling iron 3 times.

PS - Since everybody has been waiting to hear, I have had exactly the same number of cups and lids ever since I disclosed my Dixie cup dilemma. AND, I fixed my profile so you can email me directly from my Blogger profile if that makes your life any easier.

Friday, March 9

Old Folks Home

It seems we're all feeling our age around here--

It started with the dog: She keeps getting me up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.

A sign I'm getting older: It appears I'm going to have to get my hair colored the next time I visit the stylist. And not just for highlights either.

A sign Muh Main Man's getting older: He keeps pulling muscles. First it was his knee hurting, now it's his shoulder. Luckily he has five years on me.

A sign Brainy Boy is getting older: He was embarrassed to wear the red shirt that said "Coolissimo" across the front. Last week he didn't care that he was wearing high waters.

A sign Little Chic is getting older: While watching American Idol, she said "Mom, I need a better name because when they announce my name as the American Idol winner, my name is not going to sound very cool." I told her that she could change her name as long as she changes it to "Chicken Butt." She's sticking with the one I gave her.

Thursday, March 8

Bad Way to Start the Day

Ya know what's gross? Day old coffee. Ya know what's grosser? Day old coffee when you are expecting fresh brewed.

I received this awesome coffee pot for Christmas from Muh Main Man. You can imagine that it was a big hit since everybody knows how I love and depend on my coffee. Anyway, the best feature of this particular style is that there is no carafe to clean. The coffee stays inside the pot and you push a dispenser button to get it out.

The only drawback is that you don't actually see the coffee in the pot unless you look at the little measure window on the front. That means you have to remember to dump the old coffee before you make a fresh batch.

Since I detest mornings and since my love language is Acts of Service, Muh Main Man has cashed in on those two tidbits of information for me and regularly sets up the coffee pot the night before so it is brewed and ready when I wake up in the morning.

This morning was an exception since he came home yesterday afternoon with symptoms of the flu, and I was on my own this morning. That was not a good thing. I made my new pot of coffee, forgetting to dump out the cold remains of yesterday. Luckily I drank enough yesterday to leave the container only half full, so the fresh half pot didn't overflow the tank. That's lucky because the gross lukewarmness only went into my coffee cup and not over the entire counter.

I considered settling for the half-n-half. But after microwaving the first cup in desperation and drinking it on the way to drop the wee ones at school, I decided I couldn't deal and made myself a proper brew once I returned home. All I can say is Muh Main Man needs to be back on his feet by 9pm tonight to get things situated or I'm gonna be in a bad way come the weekend!

Tuesday, March 6

Unique Perils of the Cold

There are some things that you just don't have to deal with in the south. Wintertime brings such unique challenges to the cold parts of the country, weird stuff that you just wouldn't think about unless you experienced it.

Did you know that you can actually have a snow day with no snow? Today is a perfect example. Wind chills of -22 made it impossible to have students waiting at the bus stop so even though no snow was falling, school was canceled. Yeah for mom to keep two kids occupied all day when it's too cold to go sledding!

And don't even try to take a sip from that water bottle you left in the car. The contents are now a frozen block of ice. Ditto for the extra tube of lip gloss and hand lotion that you keep in there as well. You definitely do not want to forget to bring in ALL the groceries. No leaving the soda to have hubby carry in later unless you want bottles and cans bursting all over the inside of your vehicle.

It's true what they say about cell phones too. The one that you left plugged in to the car charger proved that the LCD actually does freeze solid, ruining the phone.

You'll also notice that the engine makes a very weird noise when you start the car, convincing you that it seriously is necessary for you to warm it up for a few minutes (and reminding you that you should have asked for an automatic car start for Christmas).

It makes one really look forward to next week when we'll be going without jackets when it's 30 degrees.

Sunday, March 4

Peter Pan Picked a Perfect Pickle

Depending on where you live, you may not have been affected by the recent Peter Pan peanut butter recall. Up here in the nether regions, anybody who buys this brand had a jar of the affected stuff. I personally had 3 jars. All opened. Partially used. And we all lived.

I'm not so concerned about the recall as I am about the fact that I had 3 open jars of the exact same product. How does that happen? What happened to finishing one jar of something before you open a new one? And who is opening all these jars if it's not me? I'm the main PB & banana sandwich maker around here, so what's up with that? And how did I not even realize we had 3 open jars in the cabinet before Muh Main Man went to check on the serial number of the one jar we thought we had?

Another thing irking me is that in the weeks following the advisory to throw away all the jars of peanut butter beginning with the numbers "2111..." it is totally impossible to find Peter Pan Plus anywhere. The store shelves are completely devoid of any and all Peter Pan varieties - and since I'm a sucker especially for health gimmicks, I've been scouring every other brand to find the "Plus" part with those extra eight essential vitamins. And let me just tell you what - Choosy moms do NOT choose Jiff. In a desperate attempt to curb my sudden peanut butter craving that arose only because I had to throw my jars in the garbage, I resorted to Jiff. It is nothing like Peter Pan Plus. Although I am not generally product loyal, in this instance I suppose I'll be waiting until Peter Pan can get his act together there in Neverland and start supplying me with my jars of Plus once again.

Saturday, March 3

No News is Not Always Good News

Muh Main Man has hit a new stage of life in being a frugal consumer. He's generally not the big spender of the household, but only because his many interests keep him far too busy. For the most part, I get the responsibility of doing the household shopping, and thus, the blame for going over budget when it happens. As the leader of our recent financial class at church though, we both have had a renewed determination to adhere to our handy-dandy cash flow spending plan. To meet that goal, we've each been supportive as well as a bit hawk-like in watching one another.

With our recent mailbox demolition, we held out as long as we could for the county to replace our box but they never did. Finally the inconvenience drove us over to Lowe's to buy the cheapest, plainest mailbox on the market (the one that was demolished was an attractive, deluxe-style mailbox). Muh Main Man finally got the thing up though it took some real muscle power to pound the stake into the frozen ground. After 3 days of not getting our paper, we realized that the new mailbox doesn't have a paper slot. I attempted to send Muh Main Man back to the hardware store to get the box for the paper and he shocked me by saying that he didn't want to spend the money on a paper box and he was recycling the paper before reading it most days anyway. He said, "Just cancel the paper, Babe. I'll buy it at work if I want it. And put the extra money in your Spending envelope."

What a generous guy. And what am I gonna do with all that extra money ? A whole $17.33 a month?! And who is this guy who is more concerned with a couple bucks than a little convenience? I know.....must be that Hero Guy has sneaked back in the house.

Friday, March 2

Quote of the Day

"MAN, it's warm out here. I just LOVE this weather. It reminds me of summer!"

This is said by Brainy Boy as he steps out into the 38-degree breeze on the way to school this morning.

Thursday, March 1

Faithful Sentry

HyperDog has faithfully manned this corner of our kitchen for hours at a time, determined to prove that there is, indeed, some type of creature lurking within our walls, under our refrigerator or behind our garbage can....somewhere. Thus far, we have pulled out the refrigerator, have peered with a flashlight into every crevice and crack with a flashlight and have come up with nothing. Unfortunately our senses of smell and hearing appear to be failing in comparison to hers because she goes crazy at times - barking, whining and scratching. The downside is that it's driving us nuts with her acting all possessed-like. The upside is that she has been too busy stalking her phantom mouse to get into our bedroom garbage cans for the last 2 days.