Monthly Archives: May 2011

double negatives….

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The other night at dinner, the boy, trying to get out of eating squash and zucchini began telling us about someone at school.  “Mom, did you know that if you use two negatives in a sentence they should cancel themselves out.”  “Yea…like in what way?” I said curious to know where he was heading with this story.  “Well that’s this girl at school named Shaniqua who on every Friday announces, “Yay! We ain’t got no homework!! But what she should really be saying is, ‘Yay we don’t have any homework'”.  His father and I look at one another and say, “That sounds about right”.

Not wanting to be left out of the conversation the doll piped in, “Boy, why do you have to be so detailed?”  That was like the pot calling that kettle black.  Laughing at her remark, I said to her, “What are you talking about; you are one of the most detailed people in the world.  There has never been a detail you didn’t like.”  “No I’m not, the boy is…” she replied.  To prove my point I began recounting something she had told me earlier in the day:  “Mom, guess what?  I was sitting on the couch and heard a noise like the front door opening, and so I looked over and saw that Dixie had pushed the door open and was on her way out the door, so I got off the couch went over to the door, opened the door and yelled, “Dixie, get back in here” and let her back into the house.”  Then I presented another view of the same event, just less detailed… “Mom, guess what?  Dixie somehow opened the door and got out.  But I let her back in.”

Looking up at me from her dinner plate she gave me the only response she could muster…. She stuck out her tongue and the rest of us chuckled…

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puddle hopping….

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The kids were a bit confused when I picked them up from school.  Wearing my rain coat and carrying a large umbrella, while the sky was apparently clear.  “Take off your shoes and put them in your backpack” I said.  Elle looked at me as if I were insane.  “Aunt Marsha, I’m not walking home barefoot, that’s silly”.  When all three girls finally emerged from the school, they were surprised by all the commotion.  “Mommy, what the heck?” the doll wondered.  There were more parents than usual standing at the main doors; kids were not allowed to walk toward the street, as they were underwater.  “There was a very heavy downpour a little while ago and all the streets surrounding the school are flooded.”

“C’mon, take off your shoes…” I said again.  Mary, Elle and the doll looked confused.  Fortunately, another neighbor decided her kids should walk home barefoot as well.  “I realized I’ll be out buying new shoes if I let them walk home with them on” she said to me.   Once they understood there were indeed flood waters out there, the girls stopped and removed their shoes.  We were now embarking on a grand adventure!

As we exited the property, we found the boy, standing on the opposite side of the street and yelling!  “Hey Momma, I made it across dry!!”  Being very proud of himself, he explained he puddle hopped.  The girls however, to extend this new experience made a point of walking in the water giggling as they went.  When we arrived home, the boy eager to investigate our flooded streets put his bathing suit on.  “Please Mom; let me go down where the kids are playing in the water….”  Fearing for raw sewage, I tried my best to talk him out of the idea.  His friend Mike upon hearing “raw sewage” backed out altogether.  “I’ll tell you what…you can go down to investigate, but you must try your best not to get wet…” I said, remembering back to when I was a kid and wanted to do the same thing.  “That’s okay mom, I’m a good swimmer”.  “You’re missing the point.  I don’t want you playing in the water…but you can go down and check it out.”  Seeing this was his only option, he agreed, put on a pair of sandals and disappeared down the street.

When he returned he excitedly told me how he was able to avoid the knee deep water by cutting across lawns.  He walked around the entire park while only allowing his feet to get wet and on some instances, used a large stick to measure the depth of the water.  His suit was dry so I had no choice but to believe him.  “Now can I investigate Grandpa’s back yard?”  

No, I think we’re good.

Morning comes early….

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I think the kids have hit the teenaged years.  I understand the doll is only nine, but her attitude and behavior lately tell me otherwise.  At the same time, the boy, who refuses to go to sleep at bedtime prefers to read, listen to music and walk around the downstairs instead.   Then when morning rolls around, I have two tired and cranky children who prefer to be yelled at to get out of bed, than having me just announce time for school.

I remember when the boy was born, how tired I was all the time.  I often wished I could roll back time to 1979 or any teenaged year and recoup some of the lost sleep I was now missing. Who would have thought sleeping until noon at this age was such a luxury?  Ahh, but alas, as the songs tell me, I can’t go back—not even for some extra sleep.

It’s my turn to experience the pain my mother went through while trying to get her children out of bed.  Apparently, turning on the bedroom lights, pulling off their covers and turning music on really loud just aren’t enough.  Perhaps throwing cold water on them might do the trick?  Nah…that will only  be a mess I’ll have to clean up later…  Oh wait, I know I’ll announce:  ONLY A FEW DAYS LEFT OF SCHOOL!!!  Hopefully that will do the trick.  Cross your fingers for me…

Of course you know the first day they don’t have school, they’ll be up by 6:30 am complaining they just can’t sleep in….  Sigh….tweens!

the plan

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Just about a year ago, Dad and I changed up our diet plan.  The idea was to cut out processed foods, while introducing better nutrients into our systems.  On paper the idea was fabulous.  In practice…?  Well that hasn’t been the easiest, but we have been making the plan work.  Between the new food plan and my daily walks, I have toned up and lost some unwanted weight.

The plan was to slowly introduce the kids to this new “food plan”, while slowly eliminating their old time favorites.  The doll, unhappy with this change over, will at least attempt to eat the food, though grousing the entire time.  The boy on the other hand, believes since we stopped buying Kraft Macaroni and cheese, he must have been transported into an alternative universe, one where parents “hate” their children…  There could be no other explanation.

For dinner on Monday I made Tilapia with steamed veggies, on a bed of Quinoa and wild rice, served with medium salsa, to help improve the overall taste.  The fish had been coated with fresh garlic a little olive oil as well as balsamic vinegar.  This was a tasty dish.  As I pulled the dinner from the oven, the doll looked at me and said, “Where’s the boy and my dinner?”  “You’re looking at it” I said, as I motioned toward the fish.  “Mom, you know we don’t do fish….”  “Sorry Charlie, we are serving fish….get used to the idea”.

As I dished up the meal onto their dinner plates, the boy took one look at the food and declared he was no longer hungry!  Not caring for his attitude I quickly reminded him, “This is not a restaurant, this is dinner time.  If you do not eat what I place on the table, you will not eat tonight.  Choose wisely”.   The doll smothered her fish in salsa and declared this was the best food she’s ever eaten.  The boy stared at his portion of food, I think trying to magically “blink” it away.  “Boy, put some salsa on the fish, it completely hides the fishes flavor” the doll encouraged.  After much to do about nothing, he finally ate his portion.  At the end of the meal the boy said, “I know you’re trying to make me eat better mom, but couldn’t letting me have a hot dog just make it easier?:  “Easier doesn’t not mean better boy.  There is a difference and we’re going for the better.

Skip to Tuesday after school.  As we were walking home, the doll asked, “Are we having Tilapia tonight?”  Expecting her to make gagging noises, I said, “Nope, you’re off the hook tonight…”  “Ohhhh, I love tilapia.  I wish we could eat it every night!”   Translation::  I really like salsa!

scales

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Monday was a hard day.  I’ve had worse, I suppose, but yesterday was hard.  The kids are so ego centric these days, that’s it’s hard to feel the love they have for you.  Couple with that the death of someone I cared for makes for a  difficult day.

Yet the Indian’s won at home, making their home record, the best in the majors!  My husband told me he loved me, as did several people on FB.  I guess Monday, despite all it’s obvious woes, was a good day.   Just…someone please, tell my doctor to get  a scale that matches mine!

Celebrations

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We gathered in the dining room and invited the guest of honor to sit at the head of the table…  A large cake, decorated “Happy 90th Birthday Dad”, was placed in front of him, lights were dimmed and the horrible singing commenced.  When we finished, he invited his grand children to help him blow out the candles and then asked me to read his “speech”.  Earlier in the day, after I had put the speech on celebration paper and had him sign ten copies, he said, “You did a good job writing this Marsha.”

As the family members shouted “Speech! Speech! He shouted, Marsha, get over here…and read my speech.  UGH I was the “ghostwriter” not the reader.  But when a 90 year old man, who also happens to be your father, instructs you to do something, there is no argument.  You simply do the task.  So I read the words I had written tweaked, rewritten, tweaked some more and finally printed out, still not satisfied with the first paragraph.  Unlike other times where I’ve deviated, from what was on the written page, this time I read the paper as if it were my first time reading it through.

Dad was afraid he would get too choked up to read.  I only got choked once, near the end when I referred to my Mom as the love of his life.  In all honesty Mom was the love in all our lives.  Together Mom and Dad were great examples of respect, love and friendship.  I ended the speech on a high note, cracking jokes no one outside the family would get, but tying in his overall message.

When all was said and done, my Dad retreated into a room, where the different members of the family could approach him and wish him well.  I was given many kudos from family members on how well the speech was written and I felt satisfied I had met his criteria—even though I still wanted to tweak that first paragraph.

laughter is the best medicine….

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Whenever Elle is excited to tell me anything the first thing she’s says is “Guess what?” then waits for you to respond a “What?” in return; before she tells you her news.  Today however when she said, Guess what?  I answered, “Your shoes are on the wrong feet?”  “No”, she said with a giggle, “Guess what?” she asked again. “You spilled your milk all over your lunch?”  “No, she giggled but sounded a bit perturbed.  Then asked again… “Guess what…?  “You jumped into a puddle at recess?”  “No.” this time she answered with a frustrated voice.  “Guess what?” she asked again, except this time she didn’t wait for me to respond, instead answering her own question right away “I got my brother to laugh by saying ‘open sesame’ in a really funny voice”  “Awesome blossom” I said in return.

A while later she asked again, “Guess what?”  “You traded your lunch with another student?”  “Aunt Marsha, could you please stop doing that?  You’re really annoying me.”   Acting surprised I said back to her, “But, you’re asking me a question with your ‘Guess what’s’?  So I thought I was supposed to find the answer.  Shaking her head back and forth she explained, “No, you’re just supposed to listen to my answers, okay?”  Acting a bit disappointed, I agreed.

Later Mary, Elle and I were playing a game of Sequence. Elle and I were formed one team to play against  Mary.   While Mary was trying to strategize on where to put one of her game peices, Elle  who is finishing up first grade, said to her sister and me, “Guess what?  There’s a boy in my class named Micha, and he said he thinks Mary is ‘hot’”.  All three of us began to laugh almost before all the words were out of her mouth.   Between her embarrassment and the absurdity of Elle’s statement, Mary laughed hysterically.  In the living room, the boy and his buddy Michael were playing video games in the living room.  Hearing what sounded like his name being  referred to he yelled, “There is no way I would ever think or say that!!”  Mary paused from her laughter  to issue a warning with a stern voice, “Stop it Mike, we weren’t even talking about you!”