Monday, September 29, 2008

When a fine is not so fine. . .

My husband has a problem with the way I spend some of our money. It is a small portion of our annual income, to be sure, but nonetheless, it is an annoyance to him. What irresponsible thing do I do, you ask?

I sometimes "rent" books from the library.

The library concept involves checking out books, reading them, then returning them by a specific date. All for free! This is America! However, sometimes that is difficult for me. I can easily check them out, and even read them, but often that due date slips by unnoticed. Then, voila! poof!, a mere few days have passed, and I am informed by the librarian that I have a fine.

Sometimes this is not my fault. I have found many a book under a bed, under a rug, in the danger zone called my daughter's bedroom. . .the list goes on. I have four little library users who do not always return their books to the bookshelf. But, try as I may, I cannot completely blame the kids. The bottom line is: the due date just slips up on me!

So, to my local library, enjoy the extra revenue I generate for your branch. Buy some new books with all of it. If we decide to check those new books out, I will do my best to return them on time!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Self diagnosis

I have a sickness. I have had this sickness for awhile, but I have been in denial. Today, I made a step toward getting well. I accepted that I have a problem.

I cannot leave short voicemails.

There. I said it. I can't deny it any longer. It is out in the open.

I am unable to leave succinct messages. I feel I must ramble on with the entire content of my call. I can't say, "I have a question, call me back!", in a cheery voice. I must wax eloquent about the subject at hand. I have tried, oh I have tried self-help techniques, but to no avail. Before leaving a message, I chant to myself, "You are a strong, confident woman. You CAN leave a message that is less than three minutes long. GO YOU!!". It doesn't matter. I still prattle on in a mind-numbing fashion.

Those of you have been on the receiving end of one of these soliloquies know. You have rolled your eyes at me and sighed loudly, wondering when (or if) my message will ever end. To those of you who have felt this pain, I apologize.

Step one is always realizing you have a problem. Perhaps sometime in the future I will move on to step two, which is actually attempting to solve your problem. For today, acceptance is all I can handle.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A swing by any other name. . .

Yesterday, my daughter had a friend over after school. They went outside to play, causing my 4 year old son to have a sobbing fit. He was crying so hard I couldn't figure out what the problem was.

Finally he said softly, "I don't want them to swing on John".

He has named his favorite swing "John", and apparently has sharing issues.

My daughter is reading this over my shoulder and informing me that she named her favorite swing "Lucky".

I'm sorry to report my childhood was woefully bereft of swings with proper names.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Clothes call

For the past week, I have been slaving in the basement trying to organize all our children's clothes.
We have a TON of kid's clothing.
We could clothe a small country with what we've got down there. I am trying to rebox everything and make sure the labels are correct. Since we are probably not done having children, we can't give everything away yet. I am, however, trying to pare down. If the last couple of kids haven't worn it, or if I just plain don't like it, it is going to Goodwill. I have already filled up 7 boxes for Goodwill, and I'm not quite done yet. It is liberating.
It is a beautiful day (and has been beautiful for the past week). Why again am I doing this now, and not in the middle of January?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

40 years and still counting. . .

Congratulations to my parents as they celebrate their 40th anniversary. May you have many, many more anniversaries to come (and maybe more trips to take with all of us?).
My husband and I just celebrated our 12th anniverary. Only 28 more to go till we reach this milestone. I bet the time will fly.

Dermatology gone awry

I was at the dermatologist's office a few weeks ago for a yearly skin check (when you have a complexion like mine, you can't be too careful). I had left the children with my husband, and while a doctor's visit isn't exactly my ideal on-my-own adventure, I was, nonetheless, alone. I was looking forward to sitting in the waiting room reading some trashy magazine like People. I got checked in at the front desk, and turned around to find a seat and grab a magazine.

Except there were no magazines to be found.

There were, however, lots of pamphlets on laser hair removal, botox treatments, spider vein procedures and the like. I was understandably disappointed, but sat down anyway, near the TV which was tuned into what appeared to be some sort of health infomercial. I sighed and turned toward it, every now and then scanning the room to be sure I hadn't missed something interesting to read.

I hadn't.

I had no choice but to listen to the woman on the infomercial. It turns out, she doesn't think I am very attractive. She thinks I need to have several treatments done to put my best self forward. She made several comments in the vein of ". . .even though you are beautiful, you can still be more. . .". I scanned the room to see who else was being subjected to this. To my left were two teenage girls and their mother. Thankfully, they were reading something of their own and laughing uproariously, completely oblivious to the TV's propoganda.

I sat in the waiting room for about ten minutes, and heard most of the woman's spiel. By the time I went back to my exam room, I was a little miffed. While the doctor checked my skin, I felt like saying (but did not), "I know I have spider veins, and cellulite and stretch marks. I'm sorry. I know how unattractive I must be".

The doctor himself is a very nice man, but I couldn't believe he would subject (dare I say force?) his patients to listen to and read this stuff. If anyone had a low self esteem upon entering the waiting room, he or she would certainly feel worse upon leaving! In a world where celebrities are being paraded in front of us, showing off their perfect bodies and being portrayed as the norm, we don't need to feel this way at the doctor's office as well.

It was a very disturbing message. Here is my message, (for the three of you who read this!): Love your body! God gave us these bodies and they may not look Hollywood perfect, but He loves them just the way they are.

I scream, you scream. . .

I have just witnessed THIRTY straight minutes of hysterical screaming tantrum from my two year old. This is very out of character for him. Daddy and the older two kids left, and he was great. I put him in his highchair to feed him the granola bar he requested, and his beverage of choice, juice. At this point, he lost it. Out of control screaming, refusal of the coveted sippy cup and granola bar. I tried everything (and so did his brother - it was sweet) I could think of to make him stop. I had taken him out of the highchair during the pandemonium, but finally decided to put him back in. He continued screaming, then suddenly looked at the juice on the counter and said, "Izza?" (which means "What is it?"). I said, "Do you want the juice?", he said yes, took it, and drank it happily.
I will NEVER understand the mind of a two year old!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The power of prayer

My four year old's prayer began as usual, but tonight he added something new to be thankful for.

"Dear Jesus, thank you for Mommy's hair".

This is my hair-obsessed son praying. He is most happy when he is playing with my hair. When he was a toddler and in speech therapy, we had to monitor how many words he was speaking. I recall being overjoyed when he made this request at Walmart: "Mommy, I want to play with your hair." Eight words, I happily reported to the speech therapist. Now, two or so years later, he sees Mommy's hair as a gift from Jesus.

Said child is now sneaking downstairs for the third time since I put him to bed 37 minutes ago.

Thank you, Jesus, for this child.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Gotta love it. . .

Tonight as I tucked in my oldest son, I said, "Good night, handsome." He replied, "Good night, pretty woman."
Be still my heart.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A fight to the death?

Tonight, Daddy and the two middle boys were sitting on the family room floor, facing each other, with several plastic dinosaurs between them. After watching them gear up for their activity, I ventured to ask my husband what exactly they were going to play. He replied, "Each boy is going to pick a dinosaur, the dinosaurs are going to fight, and whoever doesn't drop their dinosaur is the winner."

If you haven't met my boys, this kind of a game is a little window into their souls. . . On the up side, the only person to get injured during this spirited game was my husband. Miraculously, the boys survived with little damage.

We got away this weekend, my husband and I, sans children. It was heaven - lounging on the beach, sampling (many!) different wines at some of the local wineries, eating dinner at 10:00 (that's PM, people!). It was hard to come back, although I think the grandparents were ready for a little vacation of their own after a busy weekend with our four kids!