Monthly Archives: July 2013

dolled eggs and bacon…

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In the past, we’ve attempted to have the kids each take a night to make dinner for the rest of us. The doll liked the idea for about one day; her brother, one minute (if that). “Can we install a TV in the kitchen?” He asked. “Why? So you can burn the house down?” I said in reply. “You never trust me” he said with all seriousness. “Bay, honestly, if there was a TV in here, how distracted do you think you’d get?” He grunted some sort of response and then left the room.

Monday following work I stopped home long enough to pick up the hub, so we could drive up to IKEA (located an hour north). As we were leaving the doll asked “Is tonight a pick night?” “Pick” in our household refers to everyone “picking” out their own meal or better told “Mama ain’t cooking night”. I looked over at her and said, “Why don’t you take it upon yourselves and cook for us for a change?” She gave me a “Wha?” kind of look, but did not reply before we left.

An hour and a half later, as we drove home happy with our purchase (bathroom vanity), my phone rang. Connected via Bluetooth, Hubby answered the phone from our car radio. “Hi mom, hi dad!” The cheerful tones of our daughter said. “Hi doll” we both said in unison. “When you gonna be home?” She inquired. “Didn’t you get the memo? Your dad and I are on our way to Tennessee–without you and the boy.” I said in teasing tone. “Yeah right that’s why you didn’t pack any clothes…” She quickly rebuffed. “Oh but we did, while you and the boy were asleep this morning”. There was a long pause between us before she said “Well that’s too bad because I was going to make you dinner tonight”.?Smiling I asked “Oh yeah? What were you planning to serve?” “Sommmmethinnnnnng” she drawled out. “Well in that case, we’ll be home in about five minutes, barring a traffic jam.” “Only 5 minutes?” She asked. “Hmm, I was trying to think of something that didn’t require turning on the stove…” She said aloud, more to herself than to us. Her father jumped into the conversation then and said “How about you make some nice scrambled eggs and bacon?” “Ooh that sounds good” I concurred. “I was thinking about making eggs too” She added. “Doll, we’re almost home. You have a meal plan, so get busy.” And then hung up the call.

A half an hour later, after we consumed all the yummy eggs and bacon we could handle, the doll prepared to leave the kitchen; leaving all the dirty dishes yet to be cleaned. “Doll, the chef is required to clean up after herself.” Throwing her shoulders forward as if crushed by the thought of more “work”, she said “Really? I mean I just cooked dinner, can’t the boy be on the hook for the dishes?” Smiling back at her I replied “Well now you know how I feel every other night of the week”. Grunting loudly she trudged over to the sink and began her clean up duties.

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anything good…

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We all walk around from time to time wearing rose colored glasses. Some of us even wear glasses full time (still getting used to them) and yet our children, or more specifically, my children, tend to walk around with blinders on–except when it concerns candy found hidden in the house. On an almost daily basis I’m told we have nothing to eat and yet I’m shocked to find a refrigerator full of yummy delicious fruits just praying to be eaten.

Last night around 10:30 pm, the doll asked me what she could have for a delicious bedtime snack. I was just about to recommend some Sunsweet apricots when the boy came into the room saying “I’m eating a hotdog for mine…” And then took a bite of said dog. “Wha?! No, you don’t eat a hotdog for a bedtime snack!” I returned as I watched him swallow the last if it down. “You know better!” I added. Acting surprised he said “What? I was hungry.” “That well maybe the case, but not before bed–when you’re going to be lying flat for the next twelve hours.” “Sorry mama” he said more as an apology to me than for himself.

“Welll mom? What can I have?” The doll interrupted. “Doll how about some apricots?” I suggested. “Not in the mood” she replied. “I bought some good apples…” “Too heavy” she returned. “Well there is some cherries on there” I offered. “You know I don’t like cherries” she said. “How about some frozen grapes?” “Too cold” “Too cold are you nuts?” I thought to myself. “How about some fresh strawberries?” I came back. “Are they by any chance bathed in sugar?” “No, they are whole strawberries” I explained. “Well then no.” The doll replied. “Ooh we have some home grown cucumbers you could cut..” She wrinkled her nose at even the thought I would suggest such a thing. “Well there are some beautiful plums in there.” She looked back at me disgusted. “Mom I asked for a ‘good’ bedtime snack….” Looking back at her I smirked and then added, “I’m afraid all I have is delicious here. We’re fresh out of “good”. Sorry for your luck!”

“Mom!!!” The doll exclaimed while I laughed on.

A blessed house

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From my earliest memories, the rosary and crucifix have been symbols of love and security, in our home. Being raised in a Roman Catholic family, how could they not be? Whether we were visiting my grandparents and had to wait till they finished there rosary session, before we could visit or watching my father kiss the hallway crucifix before bedtime each night, these articles of faith conveyed a powerful message to me: We were safe and loved under their faithful guidance.

We have lived in our house for 19 of the 23 years we have been married. Fifteen years ago, with the impending birth of the boy, we decided to remodel our upstairs dormer and turn it into a master bedroom with bath. We employed the finest drywallers (Hubby’s brother and father) who helped us knock down the old walls to increase the available living space. That was when the first rosaries were found–boarded up between the walls; presumably, purposefully left to bless the house. “What do you want me to do with them?” The hubby asked. Also found in the wall was a time capsule of sorts, an old newspaper from 1947 and a pack of Lucky Strike cigarettes. “Leave the rosaries be” I replied more for sentimental reasons, less than faith filled ones.

Then two years ago, when we began our kitchen remodel and tore out all the old kitchen cabinets, lo and behold, behind each bank of cabinets we found more rosaries. We smiled at the memory of our bedroom find years before and now these. Looking over at my hubby I said, You know we need to figure out how to put those back”. He smiled and replied “Absolutely!” Before the new cabinets were hung on the walls, he found a way to put the rosaries back into their rightful position.

Last week we when we began our main floor bathroom remodel, guess what the workers found behind the medicine cabinet? While they were not the full rosaries we have found in the past, they were medals commonly found on older rosaries. We determined our old medicine cabinet had a slot for one to deposit their old razor blades. At some point the thin medallions were placed in the slot as well. “What do you want us to do with these?” One of the workers asked. Smiling my hubby replied, “Leave them be. They’ve done a marvelous job of keeping is safe thus far…no need to press our luck”,

I know to some, you may find this ridiculous. On some level I do to. But…whether its better to be safe than sorry; or we don’t want to press our luck; or any other excuse as to why when we sell our home, the rosaries will remain intact; believing that we live in one of the most blessed homes on our block is easily recognized when you see my family. Keeping them as safe as supernaturally possible is a no brainer.

thems big words…

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“Mama, you seem to be taking a circuitous route on this drive…” the boy pointed out. “Circuitous? Is that even a word?” I replied, a bit annoyed at the boy for using such a big word, when I was ill prepared to respond. “Yes Mama. The root word is ‘circuit’, which can mean a roundabout journey or course.” He replied. “Yes, yes. But ‘circuit’ can also have many other meanings.” I replied trying to deflect. “Not in this instance” He said which brought us both some laughs. Such is my daily life with the boy. He spouts out big words and I have to figure out what they mean. One would think, after 14 years I’d have a rather large vocabulary as well…and I do; just one that’s not as large as the boy’s.

*Note to self….read more words..er, books.

*****

Three weeks from today the boy begins High School. “Bwhahahaha!

Safety doll

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The other night I heard the garage door slam, then the doll walked past me very quickly, out of the kitchen and then into the living room. I didn’t think much about it at the time; she may have been in need of the bathroom or something else. After about ten minutes she came back into the kitchen, to where I was seated, appearing very upset. “Hormones” jumped into my mind first, before I asked “Doll, what’s” wrong”?

She took a deep breath before she began her long detailed story about almost getting hit by a car. “Your car is parked in the street and I didn’t see the other car coming because your car blocked my view and he didn’t see me because your car blocked his view”. “Wait! What?” I replied. “Well you see I was bored and just riding in circles at the end of our driveway into the street…” She explained as her tears became more prevalent. “And…” Sniffle, snort, hitches and sobs throughout “I didn’t look over your car so I didn’t see him and he must not have seen me because when we did finally see each other I had to swerve really hard to keep from getting hit and he had to slam on his breaks to keep from hitting me. Then he honked his horn at me. I was so scared I put the bike away and came inside.” She finished and then broke into earnest tears.

The doll visibly shaken by the event, gave me pause to wait a minute or two to respond to her verbally. Instead I
grabbed her into a hug first to offer love and give her comfort. After allowing her to cry I asked her “Wow, pretty good scare you got huh?” She shook her head up and down and continued to cry. A short time later she said, I wasn’t going to tell you at first..I was afraid you would yell at me”. Smiling I said “Seems to me you are doing a great job of scolding yourself here”. She shook her head in agreement. “You know doll, regardless where my car is parked, you should not be riding “bored” circles in our street. Even though we live in a residential neighborhood, we still get a fairly good amount of traffic around here.” “I think I learned my lesson on that one Mom” she replied. “Have ya? And what else have you learned from this experience?” She gave me a puzzled look as if to say “There’s more than one lesson to learn here?”

“Something you learned at safety city when you were five years old?” I hinted. “Something you obviously have forgotten over the last six years…” I added, a bit annoyed she didn’t have the answer. Then I watched as an idea swept across her face as she said “Look both ways when crossing the street?” “Kinda” I began. “But mom I wasn’t crossing…” She tried to argue back when I interrupted, “Doll you must be ever vigilant about your surroundings, be it cars coming down the street or other kids on bikes or STRANGERS approaching you! Do you know why that car honked at you?” She started to say “Because I was in…” “NO, he honked because you scared the hell out of him. Whether you are driving a car OR riding a bike, you need to pay attention to your surroundings!”

She sat there trying to absorb my lecture while also regaining her composure. After a while she said, “You’re right, I have to pay more attention. But for now, I think I’m gonna give my bike a few days off”. She hugged me again and stood to leave the room. “Doll, I think we need to say a a prayer in thanksgiving that this was only a scare.” Together we held hands and did just that. When she finally left the room all I could think to do was say to myself over and over again, “Thank God!”

Pulling teeth….

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The boy began his work study program at his new high school Monday, fully understanding, this was his way to help pay for tuition. I was really rather proud of him getting up without any argument and heading off to work. My baby is growing up; kind of. The first day upon his return he explained what his duties were, “I had to wash lockers, inside and out.” “Well that shouldn’t have been too bad” I commented. “Well some kids didn’t clean out their lockers at the end of the school year, so there was that.” He added. “On average, was it difficult work? “Yes! But not really” he replied, trying (and succeeding) to be cute.

On Tuesday when his work day was finished he ambled into the house. “How was your day today; more locker cleaning?” I asked. “No, today I helped clean out and move a science classroom.” He replied. Knowing science is his favorite subject I said “Ooh, I bet that was pretty neat”. “It was rather interesting…” He replied. “Did you have to carry any dead cats?” I asked, remembering back to their open house when they had cat dissection as one of their features. “Actually, they come three to a box; I helped carry one box and I think the female inside may have been pregnant”. Such great imagery I thought, as I watched the doll faux throw up and then yell “Gross!” In reply.

After he had a snack I asked him to mow the front lawn. “But mama, I just got home from work” he replied. “All the more reason to get it done now, before you run out of energy” I replied. Not happy with me he tried to bargain his way out of the chore “Fine but only the side yard”. “Um no, the whole front yard, both sides, up by the front garden and down by the street…or you could mow the back yard (which is a considerably larger area). You pick!” I explained. Grabbing his shoes to put on he stood up, groused and stomped off in the direction of the lawn mower.

I glanced out the window a few times to make sure he was doing the job, then turned my attention back to the job I was doing. After ten minutes the boy declared himself done! I walked outside to inspect his work and noticed he missed a large area near our front garden. “Bay, you missed this” I said pointing at the area. “So what, nobody cares”. “Excuse me? I gave you a job and I expect you to do it right the first time.” I replied. “Mom this is dumb! Why even cut the grass? It serves no purpose!” He began to argue. “Tell that to our neighbors who work hard to maintain their yards, only to live next door to sloths. Or better yet, tell that to the bugs and Mosquitos which love to live and THRIVE in the grass reeds. Oh and then there’s the pollen you’re allergic to, which grows exponentially when the grassy areas are not mowed regularly” I tried to explain as I pushed him back toward the mower.

Unhappily he began mower and finished the area in question. When he came back into the house he entered the kitchen to get a drink and shoot daggers out of his eyes at me. Looking out our front window I noticed another area up by the street that he purposely missed as well. “I can’t believe you didn’t mow that strip either. You’ve stretched a 15 minute job into an hour, with all your antics. GO FINISH THE FRONT YARD!”

Later when all was said and finally done, his father arrived home from work; impressed the front yard had been cut. “Did you mow the back too?” He asked hoping the reply was yes. “No, just the front”. “Oh” his dad replied. I was hoping. I guess I’ll have to get it later.” “Bay? Could you come in here?” I asked. He stood in the doorway to the kitchen and leaned against the door frame “Yes?” “So your father has been awake since 4:30 this morning, worked his butt off all day and now has to cut the back yard…and you’re complaining after your measly five hours of work? Hardly seems fair doesn’t it?” I explained. Looking at his dad and then firing off more daggers at me he slammed the kitchen door shut. But not before adding “That’s because dad has more energy!” To which his father replied “Not as much as I had when I was 14”.

Later that evening I pulled the boy outside after noticing more areas of the front yard he had missed. “What do you want from me? I had to refuel the mower and the gas can was in the way.” “Okay bay, I get what your saying. Just remember this cuts both ways. The next time you want me to help you with something, say money for a pop or chips… I think I can come up with even better excuses than these as why I will not help you.” He shrugged his shoulders and disappeared into the house.

While i wanted to scream in frustration.
Instead I went on with my evening, hoping tomorrow will be a better day, for all of us.

Ugh and sigh!

15,000 and beyond….

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Sometime in the next few days I’ll crack 15,000 views on this blog–which boggles my mind. I’ve had a few of you ask me how to make this blog bigger, but honestly I don’t know how…and am scared to find out. A few weeks back my niece told me I needed to start advertising the blog on other sites. I smiled, a bit flabbergasted at her confidence in this little writing thing I do. But if not for all of you, who have followed along on this ride, I don’t know if I’d publicly still be writing.

Of course I’ve got the easiest subjects in the world…yet at times they are the hardest. My doll knows if she shoots me a certain look, she’ll probably be reading about my reactions later. Then there are times I wonder if she shot me that look on purpose. The boy on the other hand, I’ve tried to not focus so much in his quirks, even though that is really difficult.

We are all, (all 4 of us) walking down paths of transitions: the boy is entering high school while the doll on the other hand is entering middle school aka hormonal imbalance central. In the meantime dad and I are trying our best to get through, one day at a time as our aging bodies try convincing us to start living healthier (but that ice cream cone looks delicious!) lives.

Sigh growing up is hard to do!

To all of you who have made this blog part of your daily lives, thank you. I hope we haven’t scared you into not having children or believing your child can’t measure up to mine. The hard truth, as I came to realize not so long ago, is children are universal. What may seem unique to you, isn’t. However, how you choose to explain that unique behavior is. That’s where this blog comes into play for me. Part catharsis, part frustration, total love.

So, you are cordially invited to stay tuned. Please continue reading this blog until I run out of material or imagination…or both! Please come back often…and if you would like to leave a comment or two… I won’t object.

THANK YOU!!!