Monday, September 30, 2013

My Fanny Pack...I love her so!

Because I'm so fond of sassing it up, and because I really want to have my children driven to hang out with me, and because I'm all about being a trend setter...I am personally bringing the fanny pack back.  Yes, it's sassy.  It's the same awesome black and pink one I've had since the late 80s.  Yes, my children jump at the chance to join me when I'm wearing it.  OK, that's a lie.  And yes, I am personally bringing the fanny pack back. 

You know, it's one of those things that purely reeks of utility.  It doesn't even try to be anything else.  It's hands free, it holds stuff, it rocks.

And to complete my evening look (atop my delightful spandex), I've decided to attach a blinky light for when the sun actually sets.

Yup, sassy, useful, rawks!

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

In Need of a Bravery Boost

I discovered last night that evening dog walks are not for the faint of heart.  Now, don't worry about me...I've got my trusty seventy-five pounds of awesome pooch with me.  I'm good.  However, said seventy-five pounds of awesome pooch only has 5' 1.5", one-hundred-two pounds of me with her.  This is the only explanation I have for her being such an utter and complete wuss.

Bless her heart.  (I have to say that...I'm from the south, after all.)

You see, last night someone remotely unlocked their car at the exact moment we were passing by.


Hazel levitated and somehow managed to jump sideways, directly into me, before the car had even finished it's noise.  After much reassurance she was good to go...for a while...until we passed a bush that first began swaying, then began rustling, then began shaking outright, and then the tiniest little bird flew out of it.  But Hazel never knew about the bird because she'd already pulled too far away.  In her mind there was a grizzly monster with fanged teeth and a most foul smell coming after her with only thoughts of doggie digestion on its mind.

 Hmmmm...maybe I need to get some of my bigger-than-me guys around her to start walking her.  I'm sure that'll boost her bravery, right?

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Pinterest success or Pinterest fail?

I made cookies this 7 AM early.  A new kind of cookie.  Something I saw on Pinterest.  Always a risk, right?  And now those cookies sit...and wait.  Because if you know me, you know I never, ever eat cookies.  They're simply not on my "I eat that" list.  A list that is alarmingly small, I must admit.  So I must wait for the guinea pigs in my world to wake up.

Anyway, I've got ants in my pants waiting, waiting, waiting to find out if I'm finally managed to have a Pinterest success of fail. 

Fast forward a few hours.

Dave:  "They're good...and crunchy."

Little guy:  "They're good...I like the other ones you make better, though."

Big guy:  "They look good."

So there ya are...three "good"s...Pinterest success!

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My Pinterest Success

Friday, September 27, 2013

Feelin' Fancy!

Ya know, it's the small things, it turns out.  It really is.  You see, the other day at work I decided that I really, really needed something to eat on.  OK, back up.  I always eat my lunch in my classroom when my class goes outside with my assistant.  Now I could go to the lounge, but I really, really love alone time, so I gift myself with some of that every day at work.  What I used to do was sit at my desk, place my food on top of spiral notebooks or some such thing to keep containers that had condensation on them from getting all over my desk which has a freakish problem with being damaged by the tiniest bit of water.

Anyway, the other day I decided that I was special enough to deserve a better, being my crafty self, I got a large piece of construction paper, tore up many, many colorful pieces of tissue paper, glued them on the paper, and then laminated it the next morning when it was dry.

And I tell you what, this girl is feeling mighty fancy with her one-of-a-kind Kali original place mat.  Yup!  And it goes perfectly with the cloth napkins I pack in my lunch. 

Fancy is as fancy does, people.

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Ups, Downs, and Awe

You know, you're up...and then you're down.

My up?  Well, I got to have two seconds of fame when I appeared on NBC's "Revolution" last night.  AWESOME!!  So today when I picked up my little guy from school (his bike had a flat, so I came to his rescue), I told him, "All day people have been stopping me on the streets to tell me recognized me from TV last night!!"

My down?  Well, that dose of realism that my kid is always good for.  "Mom, your facebook friends online don't count as people on the streets."

<Silence as I pondered the fact that I'd just been busted.>

Me:  "So did you tell all your friends that your mom was on TV last night?

Little guy:  "I didn't tell any of them, mom."

Apparently two seconds of fame doesn't automatically guarantee awe from your kid.  Luckily I know that making him cookies does.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What can I say? I'm human, after all.

I'm obsessive about wearing my bicycle helmet when I'm riding around.  Course it took me flipping over my handle bars and hitting my bare, unprotected head in front of a crowd of people about twenty-five years ago to convince me to start wearing one.  And I love my helmet.  It's cool, it's black, it's not one of those oblong-shaped ones you see a lot.  Nope, it's an awesome BMX/skateboard one and I feel like a super cool kid when I'm riding around town.

OK, enough about me.  Well, sort of, anyway.

You know how bike helmets are supposed to keep your head safe from injury, right?  Well, I learned a lesson about just that today that may toss that out the window.  You see, when I arrived at school this morning I took my bike lights off my bike, went to my classroom, took off my helmet, placed my bike lights in my helmet, and proceeded to work with my lovely students all day.  Then, when it was time to go, I picked up said helmet, raised it above my head, turned it over, and BAM, BAM!!!  My front and rear bike lights nailed me right on the top of my head!

So I suppose it might not be the helmet to blame and there's the tiniest chance that it could have been human error. 

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The taste of freedom smells really, really bad.

I've become used to the skitter skatter sounds of the little kitten tearing around everywhere in the house with two big dogs in hot pursuit.  It's become the background noise of our lives and a sign of pure bliss for the three critters involved.

This morning was no different...until it was.  Just like when my kids were little, the silence was more alarming than all the racket.  Silence = something not great is afoot!

I got up from the table, looked around for the kitten, woke up my kid, we looked around, discovered that the screen on one of the window was slightly pushed out, and to the front yard we dashed.

And there he was, jumping around right outside said window, looking happy, happy, happy.

Had that little toot been chasing lizards and birds?  No, of course not.  That little guy had clearly found a pile-o-poo and had been actively batting it around.

FYI, the taste of freedom smells really, really bad.

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Old Bag

Maybe this hasn't become the norm in your city, but in ours, everyone is expected to bring bags to stores when shopping.  Bye bye plastic bags...hooray!  Me?  This has been absolutely no problem as I've been using my own bags for many, many years.  Dave?  Ya, never has a bag...ever.

So, anyway, when we were out and about the other day we did a spur of the moment stop at a store.

Me:  "You don't keep bags in your car."

Dave:  "Not besides you."

Me:  "What?"

Two things.

1) I'm pretty sure Dave just called me an old bag.

2) He gets points for being funny and having good timing.

3) One of the things that makes our marriage work is that I always say, "What?" when I think he needs a second chance...because I do love him so, I really do!

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Superior? Compensating?

That moment when you follow a hot rod into a parking lot and realize that your Prius is far superior.

Yup, that's what happened today.  As Dave and I pulled up to a parking garage this afternoon there was a shiny black Corvette just in front of us.  It pulled very slowly up the abruptly slanted entryway, its clearance nothing to shout home about.  With our windows closed the sound it emitted was something to behold...I could feel the vibration due to what must have been a wacky and insufficient exhaust system...and as they pulled around a corner and passed the first row of parked cars, the rumbling set off a car alarm.  "BEEP!  BEEP!  BEEP!  BEEP!"

<Insert Dave saying something funny about "compensating" right here.>

My Prius?  Well that blue baby of mine zipped right up the hill with no clearance issues.  It passed the row of parked cars using only its battery and was practically silent.

Yup, superior. 

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Saturday, September 21, 2013


Technology keeps creeping ahead and leaving me behind.  Way behind.

Dave and the kid both have cameras now that apparently have face recognition.  Not only can they recognize a face, they can actually detect when you smile and click right then.  Weirdly amazing...and a bit creepy, right?

Well, turns out those cameras can totally detect me smiling.  (Insert a picture of me showing off my pearly whites here.  "Ding!")  But the darn things cannot recognize my face as an actual face.  I took off my glasses because "maybe the reflection was throwing the camera off".  Nope.  I pulled my hair back because "maybe it was blocking my face".  Still no.

Little guy:  "My camera doesn't like your face, mom."

Gee...I've officially been insulted by technology.

Likely just evens us up.  I've had a few choice words for technology, too.

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Lookin' good...Feelin' wimpy

So the young one has been totally manning up lately.  Not the rising to the occasion and taking care of stuff kind of way...a little, but that's not what I'm talking about.  I mean in the bulky muscles kind of way.  It's something to behold that kind of transformation that comes with absolutely no effort, purely built by teenage boy testosterone.

As he walked around the kitchen tonight in a muscle shirt...

Me:  "You are so good lookin'."

He looks at me, comes over beside me, leans in and...

Little guy:  "You have tiny muscles."

Hmmmm...not sure what the right response is, but I'm pretty darn sure it isn't "Thank you."

Might just be a good time to ask him to tighten his abs and let me sock him in the stomach a few times.  It's win-win.  He feels like a stud...I get to slug him.

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Mommy Mush Brain

I have this habit of losing babies.  OK, not actually a habit.  It happened only once.  And it was my own kid.  And I was actually holding him the entire time I was looking for him.  Pretty much exactly like when you lose your sunglasses and you find them on top of your head after you look for them everywhere else.  ...only it was a baby, not sunglasses. 

Anyway, I totally blame that incident on the fact that I had been nursing and had absolutely no blood going to my brain at the time.  Serious mommy mush brain.

But last night, after 14 years had gone by, it happened again.  Only this time it wasn't a baby, it was a kitten.  I got up from the table where I'd been working.  Looked all around the house, under the couch, behind the desk, in the bathroom, everywhere.  No kitten!

Little guy:  "What are you looking for, mom?"

Me:  "The kitten."

Little guy:  "He's on the table sleeping right by your computer."

Turns out serious mommy mush brain can be attributed to age as well as lactation....

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Supposed Future King of the House

Well, sort least he seems to think so.

Me:  "Your brother's beginning to make plans to move out sometime."

Little guy:  "Yay, I get all kinds of things and stuff."

Me:  "What things and stuff?"

Little guy:  Looks at me with that oh-so-familiar "Duh!" look.

Well, I didn't know.  I had absolutely no idea.

Hmmmm...perhaps "things" means "chores" and "stuff" means "the bathroom to himself".

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Collaborative Art

Most of the time I do my art on my own.  No help.  No input.  But the other night as I sat at our kitchen table sketching and painting, I had my kid's new little kitten keeping me company.  He licked a bit at my brush water before I could stop him.  He bumped my brush as I was laying paint down.  He walked on my painting as it was drying.  And after a while he fell asleep partly on my pallet.

He was the best collaborative partner EVER!

Check out our work!

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My Collaborative Partner

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Dizzy and Quiet...Ditsy and Loud

I spent most of the day in bed yesterday.  Woke up at 4:00 AM...and the world spun like crazy.  6:00 AM...still spinning.  9:00 AM...yup, still going.  10:00 came to a screeching halt.  Thankfully!  I was a little sniffly, sure.  I was nauseous, to be expected after that ride I'd been on.  I was exhausted, without a doubt.  And I was quiet, which was highly unusual.  You see, it took all my concentration just to move from place to place.  I was all scared and stuff that one false move, one twitch of my head, and it would start all over again.

And then I woke up today and I was just fine.  And I was not quiet.  I was my usual self.  Yes, speaking without thinking.  Well, not so much that, just speaking and thinking on the fly, my usual style.  I used to go to bed every night plagued with thoughts of what I'd said that day.  Mind you, never mean or ugly things, just perhaps more than I should've said.  But now that I'm officially middle aged, assuming that I live to be ninety.  I've moved to having bedtime thoughts of, "wow, best just go on ahead and get used to the way I am."  Hopefully other folks will get on board my ditsy train.

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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Does this haircut make my butt look fat?

Our big puppy, Hazel, is perfect in every way.  Well, except for the fact that she sheds.  Oh, and that she has a list of phobias about a mile wide.  The phobias?  Don't bug us a bit.  They rather crack us up.  Seriously...afraid of moving leaves, Hazel?  The shedding?  Can't stand it.  We find mini-Hazels all about the house...masses of black hair in the corners, under the tables, rolling across the floor like tumble weeds...not attractive.

Anyway, It was time to give our Hazel a hair cut.  (Did I mention she's clippers phobic?)  I started with her back.  It's the easiest and makes me feel good because I can get a lot done quickly.  Then I moved to her legs.  She's not a fan.  I'm not a fan.  We did not have a good time.  Next chest.  Then neck.  Then the holy grail of awfulness...her head.

And then I declared that I was done.  Finished.  The rest would be for Dave to do.  When?  I dunno.  Ever?  I did not care.  I was done.

I released Hazel to go in the room where everyone else was hanging out.  She looked like a mythical sweet girl in puffy Russian-esque fur pants.

Dave:  "Wow...Does this haircut make my butt look fat?"

Totally...but don't tell Hazel.  She's cruising around the house shedding half as much as she did the day before, blissfully clueless.

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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Behind the Slang Curve

Driving around with the kid...sometimes I wonder just what percentage of my life has been spent doing just that.  Lucky for me, he's rather a delight and we have a pretty good time when we're together...even if he's convinced I'm a dork.

Little guy:  Puts on some music so he can play his "challenge mom with a song" game. 

Me:  "That's Gorillaz!"  I was super excited.  I knew the answer!

Little guy:  "Yup."

Me:  "Knowing that gives me some serious street cred, right?"

Little guy:  "Don't ever say that again, mom."

Me:  "What?  That's what all you guys are saying these days."

Little guy:  "Not for a really long sound like a dork, mom."

Apparently slang is just like fashion for me...I run at least a year behind.  Dependent on what shows up in the thrift stores and all.  Perhaps I need to start getting my slang at retail prices.

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Like Father, Like Son

So the big guy cracked me up.  Like I said yesterday, he brought home a sweet little kitten from the pound.  The little fella is awesome, we're in love, it's all good.

But the whole "get a pet and surprise the family with it" thing?  Well, I can't exactly hold it against my big's a family trait after all.  A paternal one, that is.  Both of our dogs arrived at the house as surprises, Dave grinning ear-to-ear holding two of the sweetest little puppies ever.

Big guy:  "I pulled a dad."  Grinning ear-to-ear.

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

And then we were eight....

Yup, eight.

Just when I thought we had enough pets, our big guy brought home a sweet little surprise.  It was orange.  It was fuzzy.  It was teeny tiny.  And it's the cutest thing ever! 

My grandkitten...officially my pride and joy and he's only lived here for thirty minutes.

Can't wait to see him show the dogs who's boss.  Our other cat?  Well, that'll be another story entirely.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Will Hug for Food...later

My little guy just walked in the door...shirt off, dripping sweat, and scented in that "active teenage boy" kind of way.

Little guy:  "I'm starving.  Will you make me some food?"

Me:  "What's in it for me?"

Little guy:  "A hug."

Me:  "That's it?  After you shower, of course."

Little guy:  "Two hugs."

Me:  "Before or after you shower?"

Little guy:  "Before."

Me:  "Deal's going sour, dude."

And, yeah, I made him some grub...totally gonna cash in my hug raincheck once I catch the scent of Old Spice.  Cracks me up that the scent of clean kid is the same scent I remember from hugging my grandpa as a kiddo.

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013


I was trying to figure out what time it was today...was scanning the room looking for a clock, and someone came up and pulled their phone out to let me know.  And then I realized that I was wearing my watch.  Guess I'm still not used to having it on as I never, ever wear it during the summer, evenings, or on the weekends.  During all those times I, too, use my phone as a clock.

But, for some reason, I can't stand using my phone as a clock when I'm at work (I teach three- and four-year-olds with's a great gig).  The thing is, I figure kids in general are likely surrounded by adults constantly checking their phones for email, facebook, phone calls, texting, weather, and for the time of day.  I just don't want to be another one of those adults in their lives distracted by such a gadget.

Course now that I've written this I realize that I'm doing a better job of teaching than parenting as my own children see plenty of me looking at my phone for all sorts of things.

And, I'd better get a grip on this dumb blond thing of wearing a watch and still not being able to figure out what time it is. 

I see improvement potential in my future.

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Monday, September 9, 2013

Bumps, Bruises, and Such

While I'm not a fan of injuries per se, I am a fan of scars and the like.  I even enjoy a bruise here and there.

Let me pause for just a moment to say I don't mean anything caused by cruelty or horrible way.

Anyway, it's not the pain involved that I find appealing, it's the story the scars, bruises, bumps and such tell...of adventure, risk taking, clumsiness, and finally recovery.  I mean, what's better than watching a bruise go through its myriad of colors on its path to disappearing.

OK, now I've completely convinced you that I'm odd, right?

But what got me thinking about this today is the raw spots on the backs of my heels.  I've got a couple of pretty rough looking blisters there that I simply can't help but smile at when I look at them.  Do they hurt?  Yup.  Are they preventing me from my regular dog walks and other work outs?  You bet.  Do I have any regrets about having them?  Not one.

I smile at them because they make me think of running through the recently turned crop fields in my cowgirl boots and cowgirl hat (my niece told me last weekend that I could no longer refer to my stuff as "cowboy" boots/hat) alongside my little guy as we retrieved my dad's amazingly huge rocket.  The rocket launch that earned him his level three amazing day was had!

Yup, loving my blisters.

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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Armpit Hair

No, I'm not growing it out again...been there, done that.  What's is happening is that my head hair has reached the perfect length for managing to get caught in my armpits.  A lot!  It's driving me nuts and I'm having to get creative.  Wearing it all down is so not working.  My standard pigtails seem to just serve as direct channels from my head to my pits.  I've tried pulling the sides back into a clip and letting the rest hang long, but then my hair seems to want to enter my pits from the back side.  And just clipping it all in a bun...ya, I just don't like that.

Thinking I need to seek out a hair therapist....

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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Saddle 'er Up

It was a fabulous day of rocketry today!  My dad earned his Level 3 Certification.  It was the most perfect launch day ever.  Hardly any wind.  Hardly any clouds.  A good five degrees cooler than it has been lately.

And since we were shooting rockets I figured, "Why not dress like a cowgirl?"  OK, so I didn't really think that.  It went a little differently than that.  It went like this.

Me:  "May I borrow one of your cowboy hats tomorrow?  My floppy hat just doesn't go with my cowboy boots."

My dad's beautiful wife:  "Of course!"

And so I wore it.  And I helped ready the HUGE ten-ish foot long rocket.  I helped my kid carry it to the check in area.  I chatted briefly with some teenage boys in front of us in line.

Teenage boy:  "Do you ride horses?"

Me:  "No."  OK, I totally lied to him.  I should've said, "No, they don't seem to like me.  I've was thrown by one as a kiddo and another tried to get rid of me by rubbing me against tree branches when I was a grown up."

Teenage boy:  "Well you look like you ride horses."

And now I'm thinking we need to make a much bigger rocket...with holsters and a saddle.  Thinking that would totally rock!  At least it'd make a great photo...because you're not getting this cowgirl on a horse ever again.

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Friday, September 6, 2013

My Inner Dare Devil got Scared!

I'm typically not much of a risk taker.  Seriously, I'm a safety first kind of girl.  But for some reason my inner dare devil took over a couple nights ago.  You see, there was a storm approaching.  Hugely visible to the east...and heading my way.  And did I decide to take my dog for a long walk?  You bet I did!

It was all groovy at first...passing the ditch with all the awesome mice and rats scurrying around...rounding the corner...and FLASH!  The sky to the east lit up like crazy.  Did I turn on my heels and head straight home?  Nope, I kept on going.  Up the hill, past all the apartments, down the hill...and then I started freaking out.  The sky got really dark, the flashes of lightning stopped being cloud-to-cloud and became cloud-to-ground, the wind picked up, and I felt like I had a target on my head.

I was at my half-way point anyway, so it was the perfect time to change my trajectory homeward.  Only I wasn't sure what exactly I should avoid getting struck by lightning, that is.

Should I stay under the cover of trees?

Should I stay away from power lines?

Should I be out in the open?

Should I walk on the street?

Should I walk in the grass?

The only thing I did know for sure was that I definitely was not going to walk on those big metal plates street workers put to cover up big holes they'd made in the asphalt.  That and I figured it really was statistically possible that I'd get struck by lightning.  People do, apparently.

Oh, and I figured out that I couldn't possible make my body just walk...yup, this girl who never runs unless being chased turned into a runner that night.

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Love Notes

Most days I have the pleasure of reading love notes to students that their parents have sweetly placed in their lunchboxes.

"Have a great day!"

"I love you so much!"

"You are wonderful!"

And the kids LOVE it!

I can't help thinking of when my kids were younger and they utterly and completely rejected my lunchbox love notes, and, quite frankly, insisted that I stop.

Of course it was when they were in middle school.  Ya, so I was late to the lunch love note writing party...perhaps now that they're in high school and college I need to give it another go.

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Heat Test

I'm not one to complain about the heat...pretty much ever.  I'm the type who walks out of a grocery store or a movie theater, my body hitting the 105ยบ heat, and I sigh with relief.  Hugely so.

But when I got home from work today and discovered that I had neglected to bring my house key and no one was home except the dogs, I thought, "No problem, I'm sure my kid put the spare key back in the super secret key hiding place we set up after realizing that he'd never ever remember to take his key with him."

So I searched and searched and searched and the only thing I discovered was that he had not, in fact, returned the key to its spot.  And then I began to officially complain about the heat.  And darn if there wasn't anybody there to listen.  Sigh....

Oh, and did I mention that today was the day I decided to stop using that aluminum filled antiperspirant and instead use natural deodorant?

You bet I did...and, by golly, it worked!  I chalk this experience up to a fabulous test.

Thanks, kid!

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Style Points

So the big guy had an assignment in one of his college classes.  Something to do with where you stand politically and why.  Part of the assignment was to take an online questionnaire test thingie.  So Dave and I took it.  And the results were freakishly twinnish.

"We're twinkies!" I declared.

OK, so Dave and I are apparently perfectly aligned politically (certainly makes the election season a peaceful place at our house)...but, as I discovered tonight, with Costco shopping styles, twinkies we are not.

Dave?  He's a go-up-and-down-every-(FREAKIN'!)-aisle kind of guy.  Even that whole section on the left with all the electronics, appliances, beds and stuff.

Me?  I'm a follow-the-shopping-list-and-only-go-down-particular-aisles-intentionally kind of girl.

Tonight, as we were on a Costco date, I went with his style because I'm all go with the flow and all and he was trying to be romantic as he showed me the power generators and all.  And you know what?  Thanks to my sweet husband's style we have toothpaste, something that had not made my list.

Style points for style, Dave!

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Monday, September 2, 2013

Best shopping trip evah! And no "stuff" to show for it.

Did you know Costco was closed on Labor Day?  Ya?  Well, this girl didn't.  The little guy and I made the trek over there first thing this morning and were rewarded with a big empty parking lot.  Which was actually perfect!  Had I really been jonesing for a shopping trip today?  Nope.  Had I talked my kid into being my shopping partner with the promise of letting him try driving a car...for the first time EVER...if he came with me?  Oh, yes I had!

So that big empty parking lot was our oyster.  He fastened his seat belt.  He put it in drive.  He drove around the parking lot.  He used his turn signal.  He parked.  He backed out of a parking spot.  He was so, so, so, so, so happy!  And I earned some serious street cred as a cool mom.

Until I started singing "I'm Driving in my Car" on the way home and he turned on the radio to block out the sound of my voice and the moment was lost...or perhaps he was just acting out the next line of the song.

Either way, we're both still glowing on the inside.

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Sunday, September 1, 2013


I get on myself a lot for my mothering skills...go to bed thinking of all the ways I've surely done damage to my kids and how much therapy they'll need as adults and all that.  But every once in a while I get a little reminder that maybe, just maybe, I'm doing an OK job of this...that my kids will survive the dumb luck of being born to me and all my failings.

Me:  "I love you, babe!"

Little guy:  "I know.  I love me, too!"

And perhaps if I hold on to this I'll go to bed tonight and rest well in the knowledge that maybe, just maybe, my kids will turn out OK.

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