Archive | September, 2010

Take 5-O! O! Oh!

28 Sep

Once upon a time, Madhousewife introduced me to a little piece of heaven. 

Chocolate. Pretzels. Caramel. Peanuts. Peanut Butter.

The only thing that could make it more enjoyable is if Alex O’Loughlin personally unwrapped it for me.

(There are better pictures of Mr. O’Laughlin, but none that lend themselves quite so nicely to a fistful of sweet and salty goodness.)

What’s your favorite treat?  Edible or otherwise.


27 Sep

I spent Saturday afternoon running errands.  As I was getting off the freeway on my way home, there was a man with a sign that said, “I never thought I would do this, but I need help.”  I only occasionally give money to panhandlers.  Mostly my cold, cynical heart keeps my roadside philanthropic gestures in check.  But that afternoon I found myself wishing I had a couple of bucks.  I didn’t.  I rarely have cash.  I did, however, have some bottled water, and since it was a particularly warm day, I offered it to him.  He accepted it gratefully, and struck up a conversation while I waited for the light to change.

PH, opening his bottle of water: This is probably the last nice day we’ll have in September.

Me, looking up at the bright sun and then at his attire: Yeah, not the best day for black.  Oh good honk!  He is black!

PH, taking a sip of his water, looking at me out of the corner of his eye and half-smiling:  I like black.

Me, chuckling awkwardly: Well, you look hot.  You look hot?  Did I just tell him he looks hot?!  Fix it, Bythelbs!  Fix it!  I mean, temperature-wise.  Temperature-wise? Temperature-wise?!? Mayday, mayday!  Abort!  Abort!

I couldn’t look at him after that, but it seemed like he had taken a step or two away from my vehicle.  And I can’t help but wonder if somewhere I am now referred to as “the crazy white lady who tried to pick me up on the 88th St. off-ramp”.

Do you give money to panhandlers?  Food?  Bottled water?  Inappropriately suggestive comments?

More classroom adventures

23 Sep

I love working in my kids’ classrooms, if for no other reason than to hear all the crazy crap the other kids say.

Math time—working on making lists of things you are sure will happen, things you are sure will not happen and things that might happen.

Random Kid #1: I will go home from school today.

Random Kid #2: My toilet will not talk to me.

Crazy Crap Kid:  I might eat squirrel again.

Me:  Again?  You’ve eaten squirrel?

CCK: Yeah, we shot and cooked our own squirrel.  It takes like dark chicken, only the legs (mimes holding a squirrel drumstick up to his mouth) don’t have much meat on them.

Yeah, I am sure I will NOT eat squirrel.

This week in review

17 Sep

*Do you know what’s depressing about getting acquainted with new people (as I was doing just this morning)?  Inevitably they will ask you what your interests or hobbies are, what you do.  And then (if you’re me) you’re forced to admit you don’t do anything.  Like, at all.  You know what’s even more depressing?  Having the person you’re getting acquainted with ramble off a ridiculously long list of hobbies and talents: cooking, sewing, painting, drawing, photography, woodworking, gardening, zumba instructing.  Those are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head.  I could go on and on.  But I think my kids are better behaved than hers, so there.  (Actually, they’re pretty cute kids, just a little busier than mine ever were.)  Sigh. 

*I had the most disturbing dreams last night.  Like disturbingIllustrations are completely out of the question.

*Last night I found out that BigHugs will not be one of the kids moving from her am kindergarten class into a newly formed pm class with a different teacher being brought over from another school.  (She’s going to be teaching an am class at the one school and a pm class at our school, which doesn’t sound like an ideal situation to me.)  I was much relieved, as this has been a major source of anxiety for me this week.

*I spent 2.5 hours Thursday morning helping in BigHugs’ kindergarten class, which still had 27 students.  Wow.  All I can say is I think kindergarten teachers are saints.  Saints.  I was busy the entire time—sorting, cutting, sharpening (pencils, in case you were concerned), tying shoes, zipping and unzipping backpacks, showing kids how to put letters the right side up.  It was exhausting.  And fun.  I think maybe I was made for menial tasks.  Of the non-housework variety, of course.

*Tuesday and Thursday nights were curriculum nights at the elementary school, where the teachers outline what the kids will be learning, as well as their goals and expectations for the year.  There were 3-7 parents in each of my girls’ classrooms, and each of their classes have 26-28 kids.  I thought that was kind of sad.  But then maybe they were all off cooking, sewing, painting, drawing, photography, woodworking, gardening and zumba instructing, and the rest of us losers just had nothing else to do.

*On a lighter note:

DynaGirl’s class is working on writing their autobiographies.  Each day this week her teacher has had the class write about a different family member.

Me: What did you write about me?

DynaGirl:  I didn’t write anything bad.  Because there isn’t anything bad.

Me: Oh, you’re so nice.  And forgetful.  Maybe you’re just suppressing it—burying it deep down.  Like Mr. T.

Mr. T:  What?

Me:  Isn’t that what you do?  Take all the bad stuff and bury it deep, deep down so you don’t cry yourself to sleep at night?

Mr. T:  Who says I don’t cry myself to sleep?

I can always count on Mr. T.


Kinda sad and uninspired

15 Sep

The transition into fall seems to be breathing new life into many of you and your blogs.  Unfortunately, whatever’s inspiring you has yet to reach me.  Boo.  Until I reclaim my blogging mojo (you know, I tried to shorten that again, and it’s still just wrong), here are a few random conversational tidbits.


Overheard out of context.

Goose: BigHugs, if you have a baby in front of your husband then that baby’s going to get eaten by your husband.

I don’t know what this was about, but I blame Animal Planet.


Special request for Mr. T.

Me:  Can you like not make your digestive issues into a song?

It’s like a 24-hr gas station around here.  Could there actually be something to this puberty gas?


Family together time.

DynaGirl flips hair over her face and makes indecipherable barnyard noise.

Mr. T: You sould like a dying goat.

Me: Why would a cow have no face and long hair?

DynaGirl: I was being Chewy!

Me: Oh!

Mr. T, laughing hysterically: Why would a cow have no face and long hair?

Me: That’s what I wanted to know!

And I’m totally not getting “Why would a cow have no face?” thrown at me every. single. day.

What to do

8 Sep

Man, it’s quiet around here.  Almost too quiet.  Almost.

The kids are back in school.  The oldest three started yesterday, and today was BigHug’s kindergarten debut.

*Mr. T had a pretty decent first day of 9th grade, declaring two of his teachers “really cool” (“My English teacher is like the guy from the old Willy Wonka!”*) and only one “kinda scary”.  He’s at a brand new high school that’s divided into smaller learning communities, so he has all of his classes except one in the same building.  It’s a beautiful campus.

*DynaGirl had a crap first day of 5th grade.  She really likes her new teacher, but has none of her old friends in her new class.  The one girl she thought she’d get along with was moved to a different class.  She tried hanging out with her old gang at recess, but they ditched her.  She’s feeling very lonely and insecure.  I hope she finds someone to connect with soon.

*Goose is giddy with excitement over 3rd grade.  She has her same teacher as last year (who is awesome) and plenty of friends.  I’m relieved to not have to worry about her.

*BigHugs has been waiting to go to “real” school forever, and is very excited her kindergarten days have finally arrived.  I felt like a jerk this morning, being the only parent without a camera to document this milestone.  I took pictures at home before we left.  Do I really need a picture of her walking into class for the first time ever? (That wasn’t a rhetorical question–lie if you have to.)

I have two hours until BigHugs bus brings her home and then another hour and a half until it’s time to pick up Mr. T.  And then another hour and a half until it’s time to pick up the girls.  So what to do in the meantimes?  What to do, what to do…

*Who wouldn’t want Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka for their English teacher??

Tick Tock

3 Sep

Four years.  We have four more years until we send Mr. T out in the world to fend for himself.  Is it enough time for a last-minute parenting cram session to teach him all those things we’ve neglected to do so far?  Is it enough time to undo 14 years of parenting mistakes?  Will he look back on his childhood with fondness or with the help of a trained professional?

I feel even more this year than in past years that the clock is ticking away.  I’m running out of time.

But man, he’s a great kid.  So I guess we haven’t screwed up too badly, right?

Happy 14th birthday, Mr. T!  We love you!

Mr. T goes to high school.

 (Who can resist that?)

T minus 5 days

2 Sep

Summer sum-up.

DynaGirl:  But we’re your children.  It’s our job to annoy the crap out of you.

I love my kids.

I was born a ramblin’ (wo)man

1 Sep

Thank you for all of your helpful color suggestions.  I think we will paint test patches with Attitude Gray (a dark, but not too dark, ambiguous color, which fits quite nicely with my indecisive nature), Connected Gray (a greenish-gray) and Foggy Day (a very bluish-gray to appease all of you blue votes, though to be honest, it’s not a super strong contender, but I’m willing to keep an open mind or at least pretend to long enough to get the test patch up.)  I was going to add links to the colors, but on my computer screen they all look exactly the same.  Perhaps they are.

Monday afternoon I got a wild hair in me (how does that phrase actually go?) and decided to attack the shrubs in front of our porch.  They were in desperate need of attack.  I whacked the heck out of those babies for hours.  Well, at least an hour and 15 minutes.  I have the blisters to prove it.  I think there may be some kind of discernible improvement there, but I wouldn’t stake my life on it.  It would help if I had even the foggiest of notions how one should go about maintaining a shrub.

Last week was Mr. T’s high school registration.  Freaking high school.  That’s all I have to say about that.  For the moment.

Yesterday afternoon I decided to make some cookies.  Not just your run o’ the mill choco chip cookies, but the labor intensive kind with the 52,000 ingredients.  Seriously, there’s oats and coconut and cornflakes and chocolate chips and pecans and… .  Only, I substituted english toffee bits for the nuts because it’s cheaper plus also it’s toffee.  I originally told myself I was making them for others.  After all, they were the kind of cookies that say, “Hey, look how much I care about you with the 52,000 ingredient cookies and all!”  Or “Hey, look at me blowing your mind with my mad cookie baking skillz!”  But I have yet to take one of those babies across my threshhold.  Unfortunately, the only threshhold they’ve crossed is that big gaping hole in my face.  These cookies are the size of a decent sized saucer, and yesterday alone I ate four of them.  And a quarter.  BigHugs got 1/3 of the way through hers before telling me it was just too big.  (I’m wondering when will be the right time to tell her she’s adopted.)  I tore off a chunk of her leftovers before asking her to deliver the rest to Chuck, who ate the whole 2/3-1/4 before declaring himself full.  (I’m wondering when will be the right time to tell him we’re not actually married.)

My kids had two very hilarious exchanges yesterday (or maybe the day before?) and I forgot to write them down.  I am very saddened by the loss.  As you should be.  But hey, better to have laughed and lost then never to have laughed at all, no?

I’ve been indulging in some teen fiction, and I’m a little worried I might be enjoying it just a bit too much.  Having DynaGirl ask me what the book is about and then chuckle derisively when I tell her also gives me pause.  Just a moment’s, though.  I think I can safely conclude that when it comes right down to it, I’m just a hopeless (helpless?) romantic at heart.  Must I be ashamed?  Must I??

I’m afraid I’ve temporarily run out of ramblings.  I mostly just wanted to say hey.  My sporadic posting means less interaction with all of you, and I miss you.  Hope all is well.  Adieu, adieu to you and you and you.