Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Apples Galore and Happy New Year.

Last year a friend of mine introduced me to this gorgeous orchard with delicious apples and equally delicious apple cider. (Okay, and these cider donuts that probably pack 1800 calories each, but they are sooooo good. Which justifies eating two+, right?) Since S had no school today because of Rosh Hashanah, I packed the kiddos in the car and we went apple (and donut...) picking. I was shocked when we made it through the adventure without too much fighting (the kids) or whining (mine; trying to take pictures of the kids.)
The boys actually had a blast and I just feel so blessed to have these experiences with them - not just because they counteract the ones like L trying to wipe himself after removing his own diaper; which....gaaaaaah! - or S throwing a huge tantrum because I wouldn't let him pick the paint color for the dining room (both happened today as well.) I also feel blessed because it reminds me how great these little guys truly are. Seeing the beautiful orchard and seeing the boys enjoy it reminded me that God truly is around and mindful of His children. And that in spite of all the awful things that happen everywhere, there are moments of peace to be found. I love those moments.

Here's to a new year with many more of these moments! Happy 5769!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Chair Quiz

A few of you had asked how my new chair works so I figured I'd let you vote on it. Look at the pictures and give me your verdict. The winner gets absolutely nothing - except of course bragging rights about knowing strange, modern Scandinavian furniture.






Is it:
1) A+B
2) B+C
3) A+D
4) D+E
5) All of the above
6) None of the above. This isn't a chair and you didn't fool me!

Good luck to all!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Letter to the World

Dear World,

First of all, I am fully aware that this letter format is not an original idea, but there are a few things I need to get off my chest, so pardon the borderline plagiarism. Actually, forget the pardon. I am currently miserable with some virus that "just has to run its course" and am therefore not in any mood for excuses. I am, however, in the mood for venting, so consider this your vent-ahead warning.

Let me begin by saying, I miss my mom. Yes, I understand, I am way beyond the age of needing my mother when I am sick, but regardless, I miss her. I wish she were here to send me to bed and bring me cool drinks and painkillers. Europe is just too far away and the airfare is too expensive. Sigh. A suggestion for our politicians might be to look at bringing Europe closer. Maybe a bridge or something?

Next, feeling miserable makes me grumpy. So a few things to avoid for everyone's benefit:
- to all the drivers out there who find it necessary to tailgate me when I am stuck behind a slow driver myself, BACK OFF!! Or go around, if you feel like risking your life, whatever, really, as long as you are off the tail of my car. That bothers me even when I am not sick, but being extra grumpy just makes me want to slow down more.
- don't tell me I look like crap. While it certainly validates how I feel, it doesn't make me feel better. At all.

Also, telling me how other people are much worse off isn't really useful. What am I supposed to do with this information?
If I were faking being sick, I might break down and confess, but since I am actually sick, it won't make me miraculously better. What kind of person would I be, anyway, if other people's suffering made me feel better, not worse? I get that there are tragedies and tsunamis and brain tumors that obviously are way beyond a common head cold. (!) I still have a headache, body aches, chills and fatigue, though. I also still have to take care of my two children feeling crummy. So I get that there are others who feel worse - that just doesn't make me feel better. And, now I feel guilty that I have the audacity to feel bad when others are suffering more. Not terribly helpful.

A few things that were helpful these past few days:

- telling me my hair looked fabulous. I don't really care if it's true at this point; anything beats "wow, you look awful."
- letting me take a nap. Thanks to those who made that possible. May your cereal never be soggy!
- not expecting me to make dinner. Or lunchboxes. Or to clean. My husband is even bringing me pizza tonight - how is that for fabulous. (I don't even care, that I can't taste much - the thought really counts here!)

And finally, telling me that it sucks to be sick and you have had it too so you understand. Even if you actually think I am a whiny wuss. It still soothes my soul.

Sincerely, Grumpy Smurf.

In other news, my youngest son looks like Jim from The Office. And people say he looks like me. Which then must mean I look like Jim from The Office. Right?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Google Reader

I am so excited - after spending more than an hour online I finally figured out how to get Google reader linked to my blog. Now I can stalk so much more efficiently.

Oh - and now those of you who never update can see exactly how long it's been. In case you were wondering. Heh.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Secondhand Bliss

I usually don't bother going to Goodwill or Salvation Army, because i have notoriously bad luck at these places. I don't think I have ever found anything worthwhile there; unlike most of my friends who always come home with these amazing finds. Until this week!!
I went to Goodwill looking for an entryway bench; figuring I'd at least give it a try so I could buy the more expensive one with a good (better) conscience. They didn't have any benches like the one I wanted, but tucked away in a corner, I found this:

(in blue).

I am so stoked! (Stokked. Heh! ;) For those of you who haven't yet encountered this fabulous contraption, it is an ergonomically correct office chair - supposed to be super comfortable and good for your back. I've never actually used one because they are super expensive - retailing for around 300-400 £s. I got it for $6. Six! I am so doing a happy shopper-dance. Now, I might actually blog on a regular basis. Or surf the net longer. To shop more of course.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Feeling Misunderstood

Today we were at the paint store and the kids were surprisingly cheerful considering the fruitless hour we'd just spent driving to and from Home Depot. (I am very unimpressed with that place, by the way!) I was waiting in line and suddenly heard this little voice singing "nobody understands me, nobody understands me..." - very, very clearly.

It's a song from the kids' favorite CD at the moment - "Philadelphia Chickens" (a hilarious collection of songs by Sandra Boynton, which we listen to ad nauseam in the car. I could probably sing it if someone woke me up at 3 a.m. But hey - anything to avoid screaming while I am driving. The kids' screaming that is. I still haven't found something to keep me from doing it.) I couldn't help but laugh out loud - I guess the kid is well prepared for when he sues me for his therapy fees down the road...

It's actually really funny; L sings a ton - he'll be playing/ walking/ going to sleep/ whatever and will suddenly burst out with a song. Maybe I could make money off that - to offset the aforementioned therapy fees, of course.

On a different note, I made a dinner tonight that everyone in my family (and even my husband was home for dinner! Yahoo!) liked. I nearly fell of my chair when S said his highlight of the day was the meal. Pre-seasoned kebabs from the local grocery store, of course, but I'll take what I can get. If only I could get that kind of response for meals that I actually put effort into. It certainly seems that the enthusiasm for dinner declines exponentially the more time/ effort I spend making it. If you have any good (read: easy) recipes that kids tend to like (other than mac n cheese...) please, please share! Although with all the abuse my cooking takes around here, maybe I could get therapy fees from the kids...Food for thought...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Self Esteem Boosters

It's beginning to dawn on me that having children may be the best way to rip your self-esteem to shreds. Not only did I gain a huge amount of weight when I was pregnant with both of them, and thus had to endure comments like: "Maybe next time you should try to gain a little less weight..." (Because I was really trying to gain the 40 and 60 lbs respectively...); it also seems like the short people around here have a knack for biting commentary. S once told me that my singing "hurt every part of [his] body" and here is the most recent self-esteem builder from L:

Me: (Carrying L as a backpack and teasingly chanting, while gently pinching his butt) "Mami has a little butt, Mami has a little butt."
L:"My have little butt. Mami have big butt."
Me: "Hey, L, that's rude."
L: "Not rude!"
Me: "Yes; you usually don't tell people if they have a big butt."
L: (Pausing for a second) "Little rude."

He does occasionally tell me that I look pretty (when I dress up) so at least he's fair all around.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The End of the World as We Know It

S started kindergarten today and I am terrified. (Because, obviously, it's all about me...) However, I'm scared that other kids will be mean to him, that the teacher won't appreciate his quiet genius, that peer pressure will be too much, that he will forget how important he is to us and to God, that he won't love school and learning, or make good impressions or be too much of a little motor mouth or...stops to take deep breath.
I really want his school experience to be amazing and I understand that he will get bruised and bumped; but honestly, it was like LAST MONTH that this boy was a tiny baby that I carried around in the babybjorn and wondered if he'd ever sleep through the night. Is this what life will be like? Today he starts Kindergarten, tomorrow he's off to college? Needless to say, I am a wreck this first day of school.
S, on the other hand, waltzed off to be first in line to get in and start his new adventure. Didn't even pause. I feel proud of him; that he is self-assured enough to be ready for this big step. My little boy!
Part of this is also that I guess I am all done lying to myself about being young, with little kids. I am now the mother of a kindergartener. Maybe I should take the minivan for a drive to hammer in the message.
By the way, I didn't cry today. Although I may have teared up a bit as I typed this up - mostly about my baby growing up so fast and a little bit over the end of an era. It truly is the end of the world as we know it. But I guess I do feel fine. So it'll be okay. Right?