United States of Motherhood: September 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A New Milestone

Yes, my friends. A new milestone. Eldest has my tummy troubles from this week-end, but he is finally able to partake in my favorite concoction of glorious peppermint-y pleasure with coating.

Yes, this:

Yes, Eldest is now 12! 12 I say. So take that (thwap) Reyes Syndrome! Let's all dance:

Yep, he can chug it like a big boy.

Before you feel bad for him because his Mom blogged about his diarrhea, let it be known the first thing out of his mouth after that peppermint dose went in was "You're going to blog about this, right?" He's cool like that.

Monday, September 22, 2008

This is How We Parent

CG sent me this pic below this morning from three years ago. Ah memories!

Yes, they are at the post office and yes, CG is using Li'l Man at age three as a bad Seinfield episode. Yes, son, open your mouth so I can use your wee little tongue to moisten the glue of fifty-bajillion Christmas cards.

We are nothing if not pro-child labor.

That's all. Carry on. Must go to Blockbuster to get more Weeds dvds. We finished season one and two in one glorious week-end of laziness.

Okay, we did go to a wedding, make the kids do all the chores they didn't do last week all in one day, and ate Chinese food and cocktails. Oh, and I bled out and sloughed my uterus. And you?

I then proceeded to pop Motrin like jelly beans and then between the Chinese food, wedding cake, and my massive dose of Motrin's gastrointestinal effects, spent Sunday night on my porcelain throne.

Pretty productive week-end, I think.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Live Like a Pirate! Your Kids too! Teach 'em...

It's talk like a pirrrrrate day, my friends. In that same vein, Eldest's middle school is havin' pirrrates for the theme of their very first spirrrrrrit day.

Last year, his first year of middle school, Eldest was less than... errr.... spirited. He worries too much about what others think of him. He generally does not take risks. I was generally the same at his age.

However, I firmly believe you miss so much until you get out of your own head and take a risk. There's freedom of acting a fool and realizing the sky doesn't fall and most of the time people laugh with you. Furthermore, there's a lesson too be learned about real friends when they do laugh at you after you take a risk.

I broke out of my shyness shell in high school, running for student body offices for the next three years. I got involved. Geez! I became so much of a joiner that I joined the Army, joined the College Republicans AT BERKELEY, joined the PTA and headed it two years later, and formed my own Mommy networking group when we moved here.

Life's just too short to worry about looking foolish or not being accepted, eh? There are lots of times when that reserve creeps up on me, but I do fight it.

Back to today, it was mandated by me that Eldest get himself spirited. He has eye patch, gold hoops, skulls & crossbones on head kerchief, shorts, shirt, and sweatshirt. We even did one better. We drew a skull & crossbones on his cheek and wrote, "Arrrr."

CG whispers to me, "Dude, that's in permanent ink."

Me whispering back archly, "Yesssss."

"If it all goes wrong, he won't be able to take it off." Me think CG had some social fears of his own in school.

"Exactly." He can't take it off the minute he walks in those school doors.

Am I cruel? No, but I do believe in teaching my children that facing their fearrrrs is important.

I often find myself pushing my little chicks beyond the point where they feel comfortable. So often, they quickly realize not only are they comfortable in the new situation, new risk, or new activity, that they LOVE it and realize what they've been missing. They fly.

You can't fly without having fallen. Our children deserve the chance to fail before we push them into the real world as adults with no coping mechanisms in place.

Too many parents are helicopter parents coming to the rescue at middle school with forgotten lunches or negotiating uncompleted homework or poor grades. Sigh.

I think as parents we shield our children to their disservice. Think back to your own childhood drama, fears, and fights. How much of them changed you into the person you are today? Not all childhood is fluff and sugar. You need risks, dirt, drama, and tears. Better now to teach them when they have you as a net, then when they are in the world by themselves.

Okay. Arrrrhhh. this pirate-y Mammy is off to torture her daughter into wearing clothes she thinks her friends will make fun of... There will be tears. There always are. Then smiles that come home. She even said last time, "Mom, you were right. They all loved my hair and outfit!"


I should have recorded it as evidence.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Double Standards, Cartoon Network, and Game Playing

CG realized that the kids were once again watching an inappropriate cartoon on Cartoon network Saturday at 8:30 PM. I stupidly thought they were showing programming for kids at that hour. Cartoon network is about to be banned.

This was not the first time for Cartoon Network to betray my trust. CG pointed out Chowder first. He actually Tivoed it for me to watch. This program was showing during the day during summer break and can I tell you: crude sexual undertones.

I am not easily shocked and I was shocked. CG, also no prude, wrote about it here.

So back to the latest. It was this cartoon called Total Drama Island. A synopsis was a character was eating meat balls, but really they were cow balls. As in showing cows castrated and cartoons eating 'em. Li'l Man tells me today how realistic the balls were because they were "veiny and scrunched up and cows would moan and cry:"

What the living hell. Saturday 8 PM. This is not appropriate.

CG notices that this show is rated PG. What? I didn't know cartoons were rated. Apparently it was in the corner.

We had them turn it off.

Eldest: "What?! They just said it has 'flirtatious dialogue?'

Flirtateous, my butt. It's crude.

Me: " What the hells is flirtatious dialogue doing in a kids' show?"

The kids whined. CG decided on board games which was surprisingly. PB whined some more.

CG: "I'm telling you, go get Uno."

PB talking back in flirtatious dialogue : "Are you asking as a Dad or as a friend?"

Oh, hells no, she didn't say that. But? She did.

I can't blame this one on Cartoon Network. Little girl has been trying to work her Daddy for years now. If Eldest said those same words he would be in the severely punished category.

CG laughed and we played Uno and Clue late into the night.

Double standard for little princess? Me thinks yes.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Just Call Us Juke Box Heroes

"Ohhhh, Beau!!"

"Errr Timpani?"

Sorry, I know I said on the last post that it was Wordless Wednesday, but we also know I'm windy. The two don't go together.

Sooooooo, for those of you who don't know, my husband who I so lovingly call CG (Computer Geek) has a name. His name is Beau. Yep, perfect for a soap opera hero or all Gone-Like-The-Wind-y dashing southern Confederate officer (Heh! He was a captain in the real Army after all), but a computer geek? Heh!

I laughed at his little joke. Get it? Oboe and timpani?

Then he started to clutter up a simple joke like Seinfield, by suggesting it would be better if my name was Tiffany; then it would be really funny. 'Cause Oboe and Timpani are more like Beau and Tiffany.'


Then he starts talking about Eragon. You see Li'l Man said recently that he wasn't so enamored with his name. PB was up in his face saying how rude and disrespectful he was being since "Mommy and Daddy worked really hard to come up with the best name for you."

He didn't buy it.

So he said he at least wanted his nickname to go from "Peanut" and "Mr. P" to "Eragon."

Yes, my friends, Eragon. It just rolls of the tongue, does it not?

So I laughed. CG? He apparently went along and I've been hearing calls for Eragon around this house all week.


I must be the cranky lady dragon in the story?

So, it begins that we are a family of heroes with so far a dashing Confederate soldier and a dragonslayer.

For some reason this song keeps spiralling in my head:

No worries though. I ran into the Principal and Vice-Principal/Programs director last night. They mentioned they called Li'l Man by his sister's name recently. You see they both, his sister and he, have names that are pretty non-gender specific. I've heard both girls and boys be named both names.

So, the VP says she called him his sister's name. He responded. He did not correct her. She realized and corrected herself. He said that's okay. You can call me her name too.

I told her that PB was the same. People call her variations of her name and she'll just roll with it. Eldest goes by a name with an "x" rather than correct people that it is "c." Simply too laid back.

I know some Moms feel insanely strong about what their kids are called whether it be not shortening their progeny's name from "Michael to Mike" or no mispronunciations "Car-ah-Lee not Care-ah-lee ."

Me? Shrug. I cue off my kids. If it bothers them, I figure they'll correct people. So far, very few corrections. Eldest likes the mistake name as a nickname. PB couldn't care less. And Li'l Man? He seems to be trying out a whole plethora of identities of late as the third child.

The principal loved it and said it was amazing and I had done a good job making them feel so secure that they could be so flexible.

Hmmmmm.... Never thought of it that way. I just thought of it as a quirk, but hey, if the Principal says I'm doing a good job, I'm taking it. Call me Super Mom.

By the way, as I was looking for a link to the Eragon book, I was reminded that my name on this blog for my eldest son, "Eldest," is another book from the same author and Eldest is an older dragon who is a hero as well.

Super heroes, at least by name, run in this family, eh?

I mean I have a nephew whose is swear-to-Jesbus named "Cedric" as in from Harry Potter.

Don't you just love it?

Not So Windy Today--Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

So Not Exaggerating About My Kids' Education Opportunities

PB asked me to sing and snuggle with her tonight. It happens less and less often as our lives get busier and busier. I cherish these moments, but all too often don't make enough time for them.

Tonight however, I made time. We stayed up a 1/2 hour after bedtime. She requested a lullaby. As I curled up next to her, I noticed the bright, fullish moon.

"Wow, that's a beautiful full moon."

"Yes," says PB, "but I think it's more Gibbous Waxing or Waning."

Um, hello. Who are you and where is my eight year old child?

I called CG from the hallway and asked her to repeat what she just said. You could see the geek in CG preen. Heh! Obviously, my grade school education was inferior. Gibbous Waxing? Wuh?

Then it was Li'l Man's turn. He requested Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. Easy enough. We sang in his bed and made the little hand motions I taught him as a toddler. We get to this part:

"Like a diamond in the sky."

Li'l Man sings, "Like a diamond or a rhombus in the sky."

People, I shit you not. These were just two reminders of many that my kids are the upgraded versions of me on the same day Eldest was asking about "predicate nominatives."

Errr, I admitted I could not remember. Yes, people, I may have gotten a perfect "5" on the AP English & Literature test, but my friends, as the old saying goes, if you don't use it, you lose it, is most definitely true. Yep, just check out the litany of syntax, grammatical, and spelling mistakes that occur daily on my blog from sheer laziness. The computer age and spell check has been bad for my English-ishness as well as my literary side. Heh! Still wordy though.

So back to the kids. Doode, can I just say that our kids' schools rocks?

They are just stuffing their little heads with tidbits. As CG says, my heart was all twitterpated. I know we are lucky. With a PTA that starts the school year before doing one fundraiser with $100,000 in the bank in which every dollar goes either straight to the classrooms or some enrichment program, we are blessed.

With a school with amazing parent participation, the kids are so fortunate. Teachers and staff are outstanding. At curriculum night tonight, the teachers were so eager that they literally mentioned they had goosebumps and rubbed their arms. They were fired up and so enthusiastic.

I just can't say enough especially when we usually hear so much negativity about U.S. education.

I know all schools and all districts are not created equally. I worked inner-city Oakland classrooms to know the difference. We tolerated a sub-par school in California at which time I was PTA president trying to make it better, but which eventually initiated our move out of state and away from family. Education is that important to us.

I am just glad we made the decision to leave California and parlay our home equity at the right time to be in this school district and community.

I wish every child was so lucky.

I know I talk conservative on this blog, but you will never, ever hear me say we spend enough on education.

Children are our jewels. They are our investments. They are our future. Spend away on education. Raise taxes for education. You won't hear a peep out of this Republican.

Every child should be as lucky, as entitled, as my children to the best education the American dollar can buy as should they have schools where every parent, whether working or at home, plays a part and finds a way to be involved.

Okay, now I'm off with my glass of wine to hum Twinkle, Twinkle and gaze at the moon--the Gibbous Waning moon--on the patio.

Good night, my friends.

Poop, Fecal Matter, Plungers & Weapons

PB griped quite a bit the other day about pee on the toilet seat. I did kind of ignore her as she can be a little drama queen. I might have even said, in my mind, deal with it. You have two brothers.

However, when I went to use the bathroom: Oh. My. Gott!

Everywhere! Yellow droplets covered the entire seat. This was a huge infraction. No way the boys would not have noticed this. There was obviously no seat lifted and no aim employed.

I yell not for them, but their father. I felt it was his job to instruct his boys on proper seat-lifting and aiming technique.

He made them clean all the toilets in the house as punishment.

No sooner had he commanded said punishment and left the bathroom when he heard Eldest and Li'l Man tussling and squabbling.

Seems our 12 year old thought it might be a good idea to use the welllllll-wellll used toilet plunger to thwap his little brother on the back.

Um, he thought wrong and CG commanded he spend the weekend in his room. Pretty harsh. I insisted he be let out for meals.


I am still gagging about the last place I saw that toilet plunger since the boys--all the boys including CG--seem particularly talented at plugging toilets with their hugemongous deposits.

Now PB and me? We only poop flowers.

*Blognotes: Many thanks for the badass bullseye from by FadderUri

Monday, September 15, 2008

Raising a Metrosexual

Lil Man whispers in CG ear thinking I won't hear:

" Daddy? Can I have a spoon full of sugar?"

CG, ever the pushover for his youngest pulls out a bottle of homemade syrup for cocktails from the fridge. He gives Li'l Man a big tablespoon full of iced sweetness.

Li'l Man:

" Ahhh! Simple Syrup."

Just so we all know: He's his father's son. We are raising a metrosexual who paints his nails and can discern and label a sweet syrup as "simple syrup." He knows what pancetta is. He knows how to push the right buttons to make the perfect strength and volume of espresso for his Daddy by age five. I guess we should sign him up for the William-Sonoma cooking classes, eh?

Related Blogs:

Oh, shit.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

You Say Cheez-its. I say...

CG: I think Jesus is my favorite character.

Me: What?

Cg: (Repeats same sentence to befuddled wife Scout. That's me!)

Me dubiously: You thank Jesus?

Cg: Yes.

Me: JEE-Suz? (I know there's a catch)

CG: Yes, Cheez-its?

Me: Wuh?

CG: Cheez-its, my favorite character.

Me: Character?

CG: No cracker.

Me: Oh! Just give me my lemon drop.

Meat! It's What's For Breakfast.

CG works furiously making a divine breakfast with sizzling pops of fat and banging bowls says these unconvincing words Sunday morning:

"I apologize for your diarrhea later today."

Um, what. What did he say?

Oh, he made a ton of meat for breakfast. It seems someone stopped at the butcher yesterday afternoon.

There's something about white butcher paper that always incites CG to purchase and make large quantities of meat which stupidly I then eat and subsequently I always have disastrous results to my gut that used to be vegetarian and does not process animal protein well.

So yesterday, he brought home dried pepperoni sticks to immediately.

Then this morning's menu has thick apple wood bacon and fat, greasy scrumptious breakfast sausages on steroids. Apparently, there is chorizo in the wings for some appetizer he wants to make tonight.

Sigh. so much for healthy, eh? Sorry? His Polish Meat-Worshipping ass is not sorry.

Related Posts:

Sex Education for Kindergartners?!

I found this really insightful blog called Three Conservatives. In it, I came upon these two videos regarding Obama's record for sex education for farking kindergartners. I just didn't believe it. Geez! Having a 6 year old who is nowhere ready for sex education, I thought these conservatives were pushing it. But I watched these videos anyways. Do it yourself. Watch these videos, compare and contrast, check out the original post, and tell me what you think:

I know my opinion is less government is better government.

Yes, this means as a conservative I even endorse gay marriage. Gasp!

If two loving people who happen to be of the same gender want to marry, then let them. None of my business and it's none of your either.

If I think my kinder needs sex education, I'll do it. Please stay the fuck away from my kids. The government has no right.

If parents and a teenage child want to use a medical procedure that I consider evil to terminate a pregnancy, it's none of my farking business and neither is it the government's business. This also means no tax dollars should be used toward said abortion or counseling of said abortion either. And no, it shouldn't be subsidized by insurance premiums either. It's an elective procedure just like cosmetic dentistry. Pay for it yourself.

I wish we would go back to a government that governed our safety, our infrastructure needs, and represented us to the world, rather than one of a social enabler, social legislation, bureaucracy, welfare and handouts, bailing people out of real estate mistakes, and less personal responsibility.

Yes, personal responsibility rather than a law to tell us what is right and should be taught to our kids. I am responsible for parenting my children without the government deciding they need to be educated on sex--back off--that's my job.

When did our government become a parent? Just a note I am all for some sort of sexual education at 9, 10,11 years old. But five? Or in the case of my daughter who was four when she started kindergarten? Inappropriate.

By the way, I have really appreciated the comments I've been getting and I am trying to find the time to respond. Please do note that I welcome all opinions and ideology as long as it's respectful. No haters. I especially like hearing ideas different from my own. It makes me think. That's good for my mommy-brain condition. We should also exercise that cranium muscle (heh!) and be so lucky to be challenged on our ideas.

What if you have no strong convictions? That's fine too. One of the best lessons I've learned from my kids was to shut my yap and just listen intently to both sides before making a decision. Often times it takes hours, weeks, and months, and I'm still not sure who is right, but I keep on listening...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Of Community Organizers & Governors

Proof that Scouty can make fun of her own. I read this on Strange Bedfellows on the Seattle P.I. and laughed out loud:

They've come up with a campaign button keyed to Palin's put-down of Obama in her acceptance speech. It reads:

"Attention Sarah Palin

"Jesus Christ was a community organizer.

"Pontius Pilate was a governor."

Okay. funny, it's just funny.

Putting Lipstick on a Pig

No, I promise. No politics. No talking about Obama's lipstick on a pig comments. Really. Nope.

What is Scout blathering about?

We're talking pancetta and my mouth. As in I just made a colossal mistake and forgot Pancetta is not like ham or prosciutto. It is not cooked.

And I just popped a piece of pancetta--raw pork--in my lipstick-covered mouth.





Friday, September 12, 2008

Comments Speak Volumes: Keeping Up With Sarah Palin

Pundit Mom recently wrote on Blogher a pretty interesting post about her feeling that Sarah Palin was perhaps not the "shining example of the working mother" that she could embrace. She saw Sarah with her stay-at-home husband, wide network of supportive family and friends as a personal safety net, and "the luxury to bring home the caribou bacon and fry it up in a pan, " as something she and most women do not have.


You know me. Windy, windy, windy. Heh!

So check out the original post here.

And my response:

"I really have to say that I respectfully disagree. I might be different than you but I feel no compulsion to mimic or replicate someone who holds a political office or someone who is a celebrity. Just because wealthy Angelina Jolie can pop babies and indulge her obsessive-compulsive adoption addiction doesn't mean I feel the need to do so. Neither do I feel threaten or cheated because I don't have the same set up as Sarah Palin.

Honestly, I don't know where this is coming from really. Were these same concepts applied to Hillary Clinton? Should a woman feel threatened that you couldn't work on medicial insurance policy in the white house surrounded by secret service with your daughter with millions of dollars in the bank for nannies and real estate? Should one feel cheated to have her as a role model of a senator because her husband made 10 million in speaking deals and they could afford to send Chelsea off to Stanford?

Really, I am getting a bit upset about this double standard I am hearing from liberal women that it's okay to be a working women and hold office--as long as you are a Democrat. You should be happy for her that she is surrounded by a supportive family. Furthermore, would you begrudge a male candidate that had a stay at home spouse and circle of family that helped out? She is lucky to have such an enlightened spouse.

What it comes down to is everyone's family situation is different and if Palin can make it work, why not? It shouldn't matter what party she belongs too. In answer to your question, yes, it is fair to hold up Sarah Palin as a shining example of working motherhood. And just because she is running for VP, does not make her a "standard." Do you feel you can live up to Hillary's standard if there is such a standard? There should be no standard. The idea of a standard is what sets women back 50 years. It sets them up for failure. If there were to be a standard, it should be that you do your best as a wife, mother, employer, employee, colleague, and citizen and you decide which roles are prioritized in your life. No mold. No expectations. You choose. That's what I feel is really feminism--making no false standards of what women should be or do.

What bothers me is that Obama couldn't see past his ego to choose the most qualified person who happened to be a women--Hillary--as the rightful and deserving VP candidate. she should be by his side. I can't help but think having two women as VP candidates would have been moving more toward the change he says out of one side of this mouth whilst choosing a 30 year MALE senator that is as old school Washington as possible. That, my friends, sincerely befuddles me. Hillary should be there and she is not."

So what are you. my friends, thinking? Is Sarah Palin, politics aside, not as good a working mother as say Hillary Clinton or Nancy Pelosi, who as Speaker of the House, has FIVE children as well?

To me every woman's situation is unique. Some have more money, some less. Some have more enlightened stay at home husbands, while other's have a more traditional relationship. Some stay home and some work. Isn't it lovely to have that choice today? I can't begrudge Nancy's position just because she was able to have it "all" just because she is a Democrat., but I feel Sarah Palin is getting that sword thrust in her because of her party affiliation. Sigh.

The sad fact is no woman can have it all. I found this interesting article on Pelosi in the LA Times:

"Nancy Pelosi juggled two roles--mom and rabid Democrat--during her first 15 or so years in San Francisco. If forced to pick between the two, however, there is little doubt which she would have chosen. As her four daughters and a son grew older, she would say she wished she could take them out in the rain, shrink them and start over."

You see, no one can have it all. There are always choices, priorities, and regrets. Every woman has them sooner or later. This is why life as a woman is such a unique experience is which no standard or expectation should be allowed.

Believe me, I will vote for the McCain/Palin tickets, but I have no plans to pop another three kids and parlay my PTA roles to VP candidate in the next 4 years. Nope, but I can respect her resolve to get where she.

Furthermore, even though I probably agree with less than half of her ideology, I still can admire her ambition and her ability to get where no woman has gone before--a Republican VP candidate. So "shining example for working women" that anything is possible, I vote yes.

Honestly, I don't think all women are giving her a fair shake. Her gender really shouldn't even matter in the politics arena, but she's getting picker apart by Hillary's female supporters.

No surprise there. We women are hardest on ourselves.

Pondering Gender Roles

We happened to have extra time this morning before my two littlests went off to school. We decided to paint PB's nail bright pink to kill time.

Li'l Man piped up he wanted his nails painted too.

So we painted his nails black. Yep, he's all punked out.

Honestly, I think it's nice to have a 1st grader who is so sure of himself that he'll wear nail polish to school. He spent half the time ,while I painted, giggling about how this would make his classmates Ellie and Kate laugh. He's okay at making people laugh at him, and honestly, he does more than alright with the ladies. He likes to entertain.

He was so confident as he left the house that he strolled up to PB's 4th grade friend and told her he was a rock star zombie. She snickered which thrilled him.

So funny how the babies of the family turn out. He likes the attention probably because with two older siblings, he doesn't get as much as he would like at home.

I am so okay with this type of attention. Way better than acting out in school or at swim practice or being whiny at home. Do I worry it will get him in with the emo or stoner crowd? Uh, no. Dooode, he's in 1st grade. If anything, he looked like Sporty Spice today with his brand new Nikes and "Futbol" jersey and plaid shorts. Hmmm...now that I think about it, the plaid, spiked hair and painted nails sound more like a clown. Heh!

Vote, My Friends

Spouse: Would you like a glass wine?

Other Spouse: No thanks.

Spouse (Now slightly peeved): You never drink wine anymore. It's bad for your heart.

Now it's your turn, my friends. Guess who said it. Am I "spouse" or "other spouse?" Curious to see who's paying attention here. Did I mention there's a prize in it for you?

In honor of the ridiculous seasonal holiday decor that's been in the stores for the last month and a half, I present you with this charming Victorian beauty to grace your tree in September:

I know you want it. Like shit, there's only like 80 days until Christmas so hurry up. To be fair to Indian summer, I think I will close this contest on October 1st. That seems a more decent time to think about Christmas.

So go ahead. Vote. There's a 50-50 chance you'll be right. All correct answers will be entered in some audja-mat-gical randomizer. One lucky winner will be one bulb closer to a full tree of Scout loving. Get it? Scout (that's me) who loves seasonal decor and my readers equally, will give one of you a heart-shaped ornament that will showcase my lurve for you, my readers.

Tap. Tap. Tap. You still there? Sigh. Isn't my heart enough?

Oh, wait. Sigh. You probably need more of an incentive, don't you? Okay, here's a little single serving of something else Scout lurves to "make spirits bright" even though it's September and we should be farking thinking of Halloween or Thanksgiving:

So what are you waiting for? Vote! Especially if you don't feel like voting for president, vote anyway!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

How Could Any Woman Resist Such Honey-Tongued Words?

How could any Mommy resist? Were ever sweeter words written? He presented this to me yesterday at swim practice:

" My Mom is perfect. I love her. She is the best. 'I love her.'"

And who knew there was an orange day and Li'l Man had a ghost? No matter. What does matter is that my little peanut rocks. There's nothing sweeter than a six year old.

Now, ahem, my teeth in the picture are scaring me a bit, but heh, who can quibble with perfection.

So Soon We Forget...

Honestly, a part of me wants to forget what today's date means. It so hurts my heart.

I remember very clearly where I was when it happened. We had gotten out of the Army a mere year before. My husband went from a job where he blew things up to being part of one the world's largest ice cream companies.

We were back in California after four long years away from family when stationed in Alaska. I had a kindergartner and was breastfeeding my daughter. I had not yet received the paperwork from my honorary discharge.

Life was good. We were living the American dream in our first home purchased. We knew where we were going.

In one instant, my confidence was shaken. I got the call from CG at work. Turn on the T.V. Now! I watched in shock and tears as those towers came down. Parents rushed to the school to pick up their kindergartners. Who knew what would come next...

What was most shattering were the thoughts and fear for my children's future. The United States always had felt like a safe place. Isolated from terrorism and tube bombings. Isolated from the IRA. From holy wars and jihad.

That day, but for a moment, I lost confidence.

Then we fought back.

Some of us now feel ashamed for this war that has resulted.

Never have I.

I feel we fight for our children. For our safety. For our ideals. For children both here and in Afganistan and Iraq. For their futures free of fear, denigration, and terror.

Those terrorists made a big mistake and we will never let them forget it.

Now, I worry we will be the one making the mistake come this election. We will vote for our pocketbook. We will forget to vote for our safety, our freedom, and our future. We must finish what we started.

For the year after 9/11, we were so united and so strong. Today, we are a battered giant. We can withstand international criticism, but can we withstand the self-doubt within?

My friends, my confidence is once again on tremulous ground. I feel we must choose wisdom and experience over ideas and pretty words.

Let's continue to fight in the name of those lives lost in 9/11 and on the battlefield. Let's fight in the name of those brave souls that took on the terrorists in the cockpit. Let's fight for that confidence shattered.

Let's roll, my friends, let's roll...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Most Delicious

We've been trying to eat more healthy around the Scouty household. We shopped for two weeks of menus of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks that include a huge variety of fruit, veggies, fish, whole grains, and low-fat meals from Cooking Light. No more eating out.

Three days in, so far, so good.

Today's breakfast menu was strawberry-banana smoothies and whole wheat toast with peanut butter and honey.

It was a bit rushed today because I had an early morning call from a friend and also was watching another friend's two kids at 7:30 AM on. So I gave Eldest the task of making smoothies. I rattled off the recipe for one serving off the top of my head:

5 Strawberries
1 Banana
1/2 cup Milk
Handful of ice

Blend well and add straw.

Easy, yes? Eldest performed it like a champ and even made separate portions for his little brother and sister. So very helpful. Then as I chatted away, he helped make lunch off today's menu:

Whole wheat turkey and pepper jack sandwiches with avocado, onion, & tomatoes
Fresh grapefruit cups
Cherry tomatoes
Broccoli florets
A tiny container of lite Ranch dressing
Organic chocolate milk box

Sounds healthy, right? So, during lunch prep, Eldest offered me a sip of his smoothie.

O. My. GAWD. It was delicious. Seriously. I gushed over what a great job he'd done and I really, really meant it. I kept thinking we should make smoothies more often. Eldest said he'd made one change. He used the coffee cream. Wow! Who knew non-fat half-n-half could make a smoothie taste so great.

So the kids went off to school and it wasn't until noon that I had my first cup of coffee. Why noon? My trusty husband who makes me coffee every morning was off getting his Mini serviced.

So noon it was when the caffeine headache kicked in. I opened the frig and immediately see the other container of cream was open.

Nope, my friends, it wasn't non-fat half-n-half.


Um, duh! Delicious? I was drinking a milkshake not a smoothie.


So much for being healthy and nutritious. I guess today was blown when my kids had milkshakes for breakfast. Heh!

**Blognotes: Many thanks for the Flickr pic from by Ereine.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

It's Picture Day and I'm Gob-Smackered!

You know it's going to be a stellar day when you wake up at 6:30 AM totally unprepared.


Yes, unprepared at 6:30 because you have done nothing. Nada. Not one ounce of preparation for picture day.

Yes, my friends.

It's Picture Day!

Oh, for the days of picture day at business days the week before school started.

This year, our illustrious PTA went back to the traditional groom child only to have pictures taken immediately after PE and with a lunch of ketchup smeared on child's gob for you to get an overpriced passel of pics that you forget to send to relatives and which then takes up residence on your desk with the other envelopes full of pictures. Sigh.

I guess I can't complain since I eschewed being on that very same PTA board, eh?

So today?

I sheared my squirming 6 year old at 7 AM while pushing him to drink his milk, nosh on the bagels and strawberries I gave him, but for the love of all that's holy, please don't get hair in your cream cheese which will cause you to cough fur balls and hack hairy cream cheese gobs like a cat.

Then I threw that little beast in the shower and became a hair-wrangler extreme with my daughter's thick locks. We finally went with a head band which I am sure will get all sorts of screw-y before her picture time whence a evil volunteer will help arrange her hair so that said volunteer's daughter will look prettier.

Volunteer picture mom sabotage, my friend. It exists. (Nodding my head.)

You think I jest.

I've seen it.

They take their provided combs and with an evil glint, brush out a mom's hard work and extra spray of hair lacquer in one fell swoop. Evil I tell you!


Then I came to the realization that we had no outfits designated. I scrounged for new clothes purchased for Li'l Man everywhere before ten minutes later finding all those brand new clothes with tags still on that we purchased weeks ago, stuffed in a corner of his closet under dirty boots.


Yep, get out the farking iron. Pant, pant.

Usually I am so on top of these things. As we clothes shop before school starts, I always earmark an outfit specifically for pics and deem it verboten to wear until said pic day.

This year?

Ehh...meh! I am loosing my super mom touch. Eldest wore a shirt I bought two years ago and was too big. It had never seen picture day, so I was okay with it.

I remember buying a collared shirt at one point for Li'l Man and after searching madly for it and ironing the crumples from the closet, it worked.

PB? Eh, she wore an pretty, but not new, sundress. This would never have past muster two years ago. People, I am losing my touch.

So there I was, madly ironing, while packing lunches as kids brushed teeth. We had 30 minutes until school. Did I mention PB's friend across the street ceaselessly rung the phone wanting to walk together.

Briiiinng. Briiinggg.

Girl? Are you crazy? Uh, Picture Day! Walking will immediately humidify all hairspray and uh, duh, breezes tangle. I ignored the phone until CG finally became so frustrated he answered and said, "No! No walking today." Nope. Nada. Zip.

PB confirmed lip gloss check, teeth check, and earring selection. CG was urged, with much hysteria, to help Li'l Man put on shoes, so ironed shirt wouldn't rumple. I heard sirens in my head. I threw on some clothes and might have run a brush once through my own bedhead. Maybe.


We left the house with hair clippings all over the floors, dirty knives laden with jelly and cream cheese in the sink, and crumbs littering the counter. No coffee graced my hand.

I grabbed all backpacks and swim bags, so nothing would wrinkle on kids and staggered to the car. Kids followed like baby ducks. We roared off. One block passed before I realized we didn't have the as-yet-uncompleted picture packet envelope. Remember to breath...


U-Turn, rush home, get packet, drive back to school, slamming on breaks to sedate 22 MPH in school zone. Heheh! No ticket for me, especially since my registration expired 2 weeks ago.

We get to the front of the queue and I realize I must make choices. What background? !

I wildly squint at kid ensembles and coloring. Yep, blue and gray. No wild emerald green here. Tasteful, we are.

But ho? What's this? Pose choices? Sitting? Standing? Bent over? Close up? We were prepared for pics from the waist up, my friends. The "uncomfortable and itchy" collared-shirt worn by Li'l Man was brokered as a deal by being paired with a favorite pair of ratty khakis and no belt since I THOUGHT they wouldn't show in picture.

Yep, no brainer. "Close up, sitting."

By now, I'm blocking the queue and have to spin around again because there are still forms to fill and checks to write.

Two minutes until the SECOND AS IN FINAL bell.

The buzzing in my ears has reached crescendo. So winded. Oh, I am holding my breath.





I grab backpacks of kids, and wild eyed, we run to crosswalk of parking lot to school front only to wait for crossing guard lady who will not be hurried. Kids rush to classes while I implore them to carry, not sling backpacks, and dang it PB, no bouncing. Your fluffy head-banded, curled, teased, and pimped hair will fall.

We made it. One minute to spare.

No worries now. Mission completed.


I immediately go from high urgency to aftershock. My blood pressure drops. My racing heart slows to a trembling, twitchy pit-patter. The tunnel on my vision begins to open. My eyes dilate...

...Suddenly I realize I am in the middle of trophy-wife central with moms getting ready to have coffee or meeting for tennis sets in cute work-out outfits with perfectly highlighted high ponytails or tailored tweed business casual and leather riding boots attire for the local country club.

Me? Here I stand in too big jeans, flip flops, frizzy bedhead, all wild eyed without an ounce of makeup. Damn if I don't have bagel teeth as well.


Pictures days are stressful.

Then something niggles my subconscious. What's worse than ketchup face?

Yes, my friends. I packed a lunch with PB&Jelly?


JELLY! WTF was I thinking?! We won't even discuss the repercussion of possible yogurt spilled on black dress or chocolate milk explosions. Not a word about not checking Li'l Man's chompers for bagel teeth.


Ah well, at least I have these pictures:

The First Day of School: Fall 2008

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Blows You Mind, Doesn't It? But I've Got Your Back...

Imagine you book two waterfront rentals for a family vacation from the same management company on the Strait on San Juan De Fuca/Sequim area for $140 nightly for the next 2 weeks?

Then imagine you arrive after driving 3-4 hours, only to find a dirty trailer as your accommodations? You spend the next days cleaning the trailer on your vacation because it's that filthy? Then a couch cushion gets melted on some heating vent that could have burned you and your children up in their trailer trash diggs and they have the gall to charge you $500 for the melted cushion?

My worst nightmare.

Now imagine you blog about your experience and start getting comments from management company and/or owners on your blog, then thinly veiled threats, calls to your husband AT WORK, people following commenters at your post and harassing them at their blog, constant calls at home and emails to take down your post for the following two months after your vacation?

Dream vacation, my friends, dream vacation.

I guess the important thing to remember is buyer beware. In that spirit, I want to make sure the word gets out about Brigadoon Rentals and Water's Edge. The owners have put out their own Rebuttal blog with some suspiciously fake comments. Let's keep Helen's post on the top of the Google search, so no one falls prey to such a horrific family vacation again.

Here is Helen's 1st Post:

Here is the Landlord's Response post on Helen's blog:

Here is her follow up post after threats and harassment of her, her husband, and her readers:

My friends, me thinks my bloggy friend need some back up here. Put yourself in her place, go check out her blog and especially the pictures of spider infestations, run-down trailers versus the idyllic website that portrays the rental as somewhat of a paradise, and make your opinion known.

By the way, here's the pic of Paradise at $140 night:

Let's see the power of the internetz, my friends.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


All three kids were sent off today in style. We walked the little ones to elementary school as a family and waited in line for the second bell.

Then, I walked Eldest to the bus stop and made threats to kiss his forehead and leave a big lipstick kiss. I told him I put on extra lipstick just for him. He dodged quickly. That whippersnapper is getting pretty fast at dodging kisses. I missed and just nuzzled his hair since he is now too tall for me to kiss on top.

I didn't feel too bad since it was his idea for me to walk him the 1/2 block to the stop. Sigh. He still loves me.

Then, I felt all morning like there was a mosquito in my ear.

I kept hearing this something, something in my ear. What was it?

Something niggled my subconscious.

What was it?!

Oh, yes. It went something like this:

Free at last.

Free at last.

Thank God Almighty this Mom has three kids in full time school at last.

That last line was thunderous--at least in my head.

Of course, the first day of school would have to be an early release for the two youngest ones and a late start for my middleschooler, but still that's FOUR hours straight of kid-free-ed-ness, my friends! The longest ever and this Mom so needs a break to clean, organize and recover from summer.

CG just asked if, " I was sad?"

I cackled wildly and said "Ummm....NO!" Then, I mockingly countered back if he was?

People, shockingly, he said, "Yes. He was lonely."

That's what you get when you have a work at home Dad during the easi-ER years. He missed all the years at home with poopy diapers, whiny pre-schoolers, pink eye, the flu, hanging on to ankles, hours cleaning undone in minutes, and the noise. He's worked at home for the last two years when the kids were a bit more civilized and hence enjoyed it when they visited him.

Now me? I don't visit him much in his office very much when school's in. I'm on a mission.

People, I've mowed the lawn, racked/groomed bark, started cleaning up summer toys on the patio for storage , and had some heavenly quiet just this morning alone.

Lawn mower versus whiny kids at end of summer?

Heh. I pick the lawn mower any day.

Don't get me wrong: I love my kids, but six hours a day of non-interrupted cleaning, organizing, phone calls, maybe some light reading, definitely blogging, even the commode, seems like manna from the gods.

Free. Free at last! Freedom!

I think I'll go paint my face...er...nails blue in honor of good ol' Mel. Gingersnaps people! I might even get all lush-y at lunch like Mel too. Why?

Because I can!

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