Thursday, March 31, 2011

Family Stories Old and New

In the morning, William takes medicine from time to time which makes his stomach a bit queasy.  In order to get him to school without having any incidents, I tend to tell him funny family stories to take his mind off of it.  By the time we arrive at the curb, voila, miracle, no vomiting!  I love it when it works out this way. 

This started me thinking about why we don't share family stories more often.  Every family has them.  They're classics.  They're like I Love Lucy reruns.  They never get old. 

The one I shared this morning was when my father would come home after a long, hard day at work and the four older children were told to remain quiet at the dinner table.  How was that possible with a toddler staring us down from a highchair and a plate full of corn in front of us?  The yellow corn kernels were slyly wiggled onto our front teeth and when our parents weren't looking we'd grin at the baby causing him to hoot and holler with laughter.  We drove our parents crazy.  They had no idea what was happening.  What awful children we were.

I remember the time my father backed into my aunt's car and sat there giggling under his breath while my mother and her sisters pinned the blame on me commenting how awful I was to leave the scene of the crime without so much as a note.  I guess I had that one coming.  It was, after all, after the notorious corn at the dinner table incident.

Memories of a catamaran rented for a family sailing trip in Hawaii without a dock to board her on.  My family was not prepared to wade out into windy seas and jump into a blow up dingy to sail out towards her - especially not in front of hundreds of Hawaiian tourists.  Humiliating day for the Bryant family to be sure.  Of course this day also ties into the fact that I have a weak stomach for all things that sail, fly, or just move in general.  My mother rented a small Cessna airplane to tour the beautiful mountains of Kauai.  Who needed the complimentary vomit bag for this experience too?  Yes, yours truly. 

We are now making new stories with our young families.  Austynn always loves sharing the tale about when he burped so loud at the dinner table, it caused William's eye glass to pop out of the frame and land into his bowl of soup.  Coincidence?  I think not.  You should have heard the burp.

Yes, family stories old and new.  They are classics.  They must be shared and retold.  The laughter never gets stale.  They tie generations together and keep humanity from becoming way too serious. 

By the way, did I mention the time I drove around with Austy's underwear hanging off my sideview mirror...?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Uh Oh! Somebody Got in Trouble!

Haha!!  Caught the little bastards!  I know, I know.  Not the best use of a grown-up's time - stalking fifth graders and following them home to tell on them...BUT THEY STARTED IT!

Ok.  Deep breath.  Relax.  Find my zen.  Go back to the beginning and explain all...

In one of my earlier blogs, A Village and the Neighborhood Crazy Lady, I wrote about a group of 5th graders whom I had caught throwing rocks in my neighborhood and when asked to stop, they showed me their evil, demon mob mentality.

After that incident, I had a sneaky suspicion that I had not seen or heard the last of this group.  All had been quiet on the western front until yesterday, when while minding my own business and yes, playing once again, Cooking Academy 2 World Cuisine on my lap top, one of the piss ants played ding dong ditch at my front door.  How, do you ask, do I know it was this same gang of devils?  I happened to be sitting at my dining room table facing the front door which conveniently has a series as window panes.  Haha!!

Believe it or not, I was going to ignore it.  This was not a big deal and it was kind of funny listening to them think they got away with something awful.  But then I starting contemplating how they happened to know where I lived.  My neighborhood is very large.  The rock throwing incident happened several blocks away.  And then it occurred to me - they weren't harassing the crazy lady.  They didn't know where I lived.  They where harassing the weird boy who lives upstairs.  My son, Austynn.

The other day, when Austynn had been suspended from school and was upstairs in his room, these kids were walking past our house and were messing around with something in our driveway.  Austynn's window faces the front of the house and instead of getting me, he took it upon himself to tell the kids to stop whatever they were doing.  But you see, Austynn has Asperger's Syndrome, a form of social autism whereas he has a very difficult time addressing people appropriately.  So instead of opening his window and saying, "Hi, what are you guys doing?", he yelled "You guys are idiots" or something to that effect but in very colorful language.  From my vantage point, I heard kids laughing and throwing rocks at his window (which immediately stopped once I opened the front door), running feet, and Austynn's 4-letter words flying out the window.   

This was not acceptable.  I know that someplace in the parental handbook under the "Bad" section, it says YOU SHALL NOT FIGHT YOUR CHILD'S FIGHT.  Bull Pucky.  This lioness refuses to let these bullies go after her cub.  So after these brats rang my door-bell and turned the corner, I got into my car, went around the block, and waited for them to disperse.  I specifically stalked the "ring" leader (pardon the pun) and followed him home.  I pulled up to his house, he looked at me and said, "what?", and slammed the door in my face.  Nice.

Thank goodness his Dad was home.  Nice guy, Larry.  He came out.  We talked for about ten minutes.  I explained to him about Austynn.  How he interacts with kids and how I understand how other children would perceive him; however, Austy needs some empathy.  Until kids understand what his issues are, they won't know how to sympathize.  He apologized and said he was going to have a serious talk with his kiddo and the parents of the other children.  Deep sigh of relief.  There's always a possibility these conversations can backfire.  Larry was a big, burly dude with a CU sweatshirt and doormat.  I almost wanted to run when his two German Shepard's with choke chains had to be held back at the door. 

I also told Larry about the rock throwing incident in the street.  Ooooh was he mad.  He hates rocks on sidewalks much less on the street.  When he found out that it was his son and his friends making the mess....BUSTED!

Oh, the feeling of redemption!  I know, as a 44year old I should be above it all.  What I should really be grateful about is that perhaps, last night, six children hopefully learned the meaning of compassion and that I had some part in that.  Also, I would be lying if I didn't have some sort of satisfaction.  Next time I see those little shits I'm going to give them the "whatever wave" and keep on driving.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A 10% Loss Ratio Makes For a Lovely Day

It's the small, unusual, common place things that bring me inner peace and make me happy in the morning.  Everything must have it's place.  Everything must be in order.  Everything must go as expected.  If 90% of this happens in the morning, then I can say with all certainty that my day will be lovely and will run smoothly regardless of what happens after 10:00am. 

Take this morning for instance.  Eric's alarm clock, which is always set ten minutes ahead of time, went off as expected.  When it went off, Eric did not bolt out of bed and scare me to death but gently rolled over and shut it off.  Lovely.  I don't believe he realized that he did this because he merely hugged the dog, not me, and continued snoring where he left off.

Next step.  Bathroom.  Look in the mirror.  My hair is perfect.  No bed head!  It barely required a brush!  I love it when this happens.  I took a bath late in the day yesterday which means I can sneak by this morning for a few hours at least without offending.  This was such a nice treat that I didn't mind wiping up the dog pee on the bathroom tile.  It could have been worse, I could have stepped in it or they could have chosen to relieve themselves on the carpet in front of the bedroom door.  It's all good.

Wake up William.  Always special.  He's normally a grump and this morning wasn't any different in fact, he was more so than usual.  My hair was so cute that I refused to let this bug me. 

Downstairs to make lunches.  Oh how nice it is when the kitchen is spotless from dinner the night before!  Peanut Butter and Jelly.  Eric is working from home today so I didn't have to make a third lunch.  I hate it when I get peanut butter on my fingers.  Sticky fingers...yuck!!!  Drat!  I dropped the knife in the jar.  Line up the bread just so.  Apply the strawberry jelly.  It must remain within the bread crust otherwise my fingers get sticky when I place the cut sandwiches in the bags.  Drat!  Sticky fingers...yuck!!!  Doritos.  I hate Doritos.  That's why I buy them.  Oreo Cookies.  Juice Boxes.  Mandarin Oranges.  Austynn's lunch bag fell off the top shelf of the pantry and hit me in the face.  That was silly.  At least it was empty.  It could have been worse.  It could have been my metal Partridge Family box from my fourth grade year.  That would have been painful.

Drive William to school.  Growling that he didn't want to go.  Oh well.  I certainly didn't want him to stay home (especially when he's grouchy) so off to school for William.  Yeah mom!
The morning is glorious.  It snowed last night.  Beautiful.  The kind of snow that sticks white to the trees and shrubs but not to the roads.  Low fog, big billowing clouds on the sunrise.  The kind of morning that takes my breath away.  I pull off to the side of the road and take a picture with my phone.  Someone asked me if I'm ok.  I lied and said I was feeling sick (nice).  Everything is fine except my camera wouldn't take a good picture. Oh well, it could have been worse.  My phone could have been broken. 

So I get home and I notice that William has planned an ulterior motive.  He left his lunch on the sink.  He'll be calling because he's not feeling well and plus he left his lunch at home.  Stinker!  Nothing is going to ruin my day.  That is, of course, if Austynn leaves his lunch here too.  Nope.  I won't let that happen.  It's going to be a good day.

Off to school goes Austynn (with his lunch).  I forgot he had state testing today.  Drat, I could have dropped him off earlier.  Oh well.  He was in a good mood at least.  Our only argument was that he wanted to wear shorts on a snowy day.  He had bed head with a huge rat in the back of his hair.  I felt kind of bad when I combed it out and almost made him cry.  He still gave me a kiss on the way out of the car.  No ulterior motives for him to come home early today.

Ahhh.  Survived the morning with only a 10% loss ratio.  It's all good.  It's going to be a lovely day.

Monday, March 28, 2011

I Think the Boys Said Their Prayers Last Night

It's official!  I've had over 1000 hits (no, not "slaps" - visitors to my blog site) since I started posting these silly rants close to a month ago.

Many thanks to those of you who've returned from time to time to see what my mind is up to.  Welcome to my world.  And for those of you who read my blog on a daily basis, you have proven yourselves to be as certifiable as I am.  Congratulations.  It actually comforts me on some sort of base level that I'm not alone in my madness.  (I'd normally insert a smiley face here but I don't believe that this would be apropos for a professional blog writer such as myself.  You see, I've now earned $3.31 from my rambling and must refrain.)

As you know, wild and unforeseen things occur everyday with our boys.  If you're new to my blog, you'd think, isn't this normal with most kids?  Yes, but with my boys you must multiply it by 10 and then it becomes a little more interesting.  Without going into great detail (and because I'm impatient and haven't finished my coffee yet), I'll ask that you refer to my first blog, "The Optometrist Appointment", to get a better understanding of my children.  With this said, church as always, was a hoot last night.

Eric and I attend a very large Catholic Church and go to mass on Sunday evenings at 6:00pm.  Before we go, I must confess, I take a Valium.  This sounds awful, I know; however, if you had to sit next to Austynn for an hour and a half and saw his behavior first hand, you'd totally understand.  He'll hang on me.  He'll pet my hairy arms (he once pronounced rather loudly that he would save his money so I could have them waxed).  He'll kiss me repeatedly in sets of three's.  He'll discuss the mustache of the woman sitting beside us with the woman beside us without her shared enthusiam.  If there is an awkward smell, he'll own up to it loudly or he'll point out the culprit (family or not) even louder.  He'll pull my face towards him (while I'm deep in prayer) and give me butterfly kisses.  I sit next to him because I have a prescription and can keep my calm, prayerful, and peaceful presence.  Eric sits beside me, growling under his breath, shifting, and offers to take him outside, etc.  I just pat him on the hand and let him know it's all good.  The parishioners around me think I'm a Saint.  I ask God for forgiveness because they don't realize I'm totally drugged into a state of calm lucidity.

William is no angel either.  He sits on the either side of Eric refusing, like every other teenager there, to acknowledge his parent's expectations for respectful behavior.  At least he's sitting there quietly.  The drive home is where he shines.  Antagonizing Austynn and making those wonderful comments which will go down in the Potts' Family Memoirs.  In the ten minutes it takes to drive home from church, William always contributes some glorious moments.  Last night he made the following statements; "maybe I'm not that much smarter than dad", and "dad isn't that ugly", and the final straw and the one that silenced him permanently, "I might trade jowls with dad if he asked me to" (bad, bad comment as Eric is very sensitive about his chin and William knows not to go there).  Usually, he picks on me, which in my altered state of reality, I just ignore blissfully.  Poor Eric.  William saw a vulnerable target last night and went for it.  Unfortunately for Will, dad had had quite enough. 

There are those moments whereas even the most gentle of giants can scare the living crap out of you.  Remember that.  Don't push it.  No one wants to hear that bellow.  I think the cars at the red light in front of us probably would have agreed.  Quite frankly, it kind of turned me on.  The nice thing was, I didn't hear a peep from either of the boys for the rest of the evening.  I'm thinking maybe they said their prayers before they fell asleep last night.  Lovely.  If this is how they find the Lord, then so be it.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

By the Way, Crow Tastes Like Crap

Stop the presses!  I'm eating crow and it takes as bad as the damn bird is annoying. 

Yesterday morning, after I wrote my heart wrenching blog about not being Wonder Woman (which today is doubly true), and how we were teaching our son the value of saving his money and buying his own ereader - Dad (Eric, my husband), went out and bought William his ereader along with that new TV we couldn't afford on credit.  Oh, the value of not having a dollar!  The television I assumed was going to happen eventually but so soon after our talk the night before?!  However, in retrospect, opening day of baseball is desperately upon us and Eric not having his own functioning television is truly beyond comprehension.  I do specifically recall though looking at William before they left and said, "Do not expect Dad to buy you a new ereader."  Hmmm....the deals fathers and sons make behind closed doors of Ford F150 trucks...amazing.  I don't know what their payment agreement is.  In my opinion, after William ate my Dove Ice Cream bar in the freezer, his father should be charging a 21% finance charge and getting it in writing.

Enough of this.  I'm still extremely miffed.  So much for united parental decisions.  Eric is staying clear of me for a few days and I can personally attest that William is afraid to show me his new reader for fear I may like it and keep it for myself for a few months (if you catch my drift).

Since I'm annoyed with Eric, this is the perfect opportunity to discuss daydreams.  The reason I bring this up is because I'm listening to Austynn watch "Dirty Jobs" on the Discovery Channel.  (Yes, it's only 7:00am on Sunday.  Yes, I'm awake.  Yes, Austynn tortures me by getting up this early on Sundays.  No, my daydreams have nothing to do with "Dirty Jobs" per se.  Nasty people!)

I have a terrible crush on Mike Rowe the host of "Dirty Jobs".  He's big, hairy, funny, and intelligent.  Now, don't worry about Eric.  He's both funny and intelligent (not so much big and hairy) and is fully aware of my TV crush.  So when Eric is absorbed into a game of or has annoyed me to no end (i.e., the above mentioned ereader purchase or in error commented about a pimple on my face), I roll over and daydream about Mike Rowe until I fall asleep. 

If I could hear my readers through the computer giggling, snorting and gasping, I could also probably hear grunts of agreement - not necessarily over my choice of TV personalities - but because you all have a "fall back" daydream when your significant other ticks you off or, let's face it, let's you down.  Not too long ago, a dear friend (who's name will be withheld to protect the innocent), told me that hers was Anonymous.  Anonymous is good.  Anonymous can be sexy.  And, the nice thing about Anonymous is that he/she is always interchangeable.  If and when I get tired of Mike and want to move on, I'll almost feel guilty about it.  I'll feel as if I owe him some sort of an explanation.  It's always a tough situation to let go of a daydream lover.  I mean, after all, you've been through so much together.  I know from personal experience.  Back in the 80's, it was a very emotional break-up with Luke Skywalker.

You know, it's still really early.  I think I need to go back to bed.  Just listening to Mike's voice makes me want to pay him a visit.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I'm Not Wonder Woman So My Heart Can Still Hurt

We had a rough evening last night at the Potts' house.

It started out well enough.  The boys were fine on their last weekday of spring break and once I realized that I wasn't Wonder Woman and tried not to squeeze fifteen hours of work into eight hours, all was calm.  I really need to remember that more often; however, as I sit here and type this I'm beginning to hyperventilate looking at my dining room table (unloaded shopping bags from yesterday, seat cushions tossed willy nilly on the floor, cookbooks and recipe cards everywhere, and the biggest offender - a picture frame so crooked that I must completely stop typing for a moment and remedy the situation...fixed.).

Ok, last night.  My fifteen year old is an avid reader.  This is a blessing.  When he came to live with us at six years of age, he didn't know his letters or his sounds.  He was so behind in school from being shifted around from one foster home to another that we ended up having to hold him back in second grade.  Now, he reads like there's not enough books to consume.  He just finished The Odyssey by Homer for school in a matter of days and he totally "got" it.  So, with his Christmas money, instead of clothes, music, or video games, he chose an ereader; a handheld device which can download as many books as his little (big) brain can absorb.  Wow.  I'm a proud mama!  This is the good stuff. 

Here's the tough part...William doesn't take care of his things very well.  He put the ebook in the front pocket of his camouflage pants without the cover.  While he was helping to carry in groceries last night, something cracked the screen.  He was upset - devastated - tears, bloody nose, you name it.  Austynn started crying.  The dogs started circling.  It was one of those moments where Eric and I had to split up and negotiate the terrain.  While I was holding a cold compress to William's nose and trying to keep the dogs away from the bloody floor, I could hear Austy screaming at Eric through his tears, "Why don't you just buy William a new one?"

Why not?

What a tough question and what a tough answer especially when I'm listening to William's heart breaking through a wet compress and a bloody nose.  Sure, Eric and I could afford it...on our credit card.  We were just looking at TVs to replace the dead one in our bedroom.  We held back though.  Over the meager Costco dinner of cheese pizza and $1.00 sodas, we were just explaining to our boys about priorities and responsibilities, that we didn't have the money, and that we would love to buy a new TV but we were not going to charge one.  We had bills to pay.

Our boys.  They came from having nothing and we could make our son so happy by replacing something that is basically a really good thing...a book.  In this world of watching children receive everything they want when they want it, our hearts were breaking. 

Crisis averted.  Nose bleed over.  Austynn's tears wiped dry.  Dogs given a healthy treat.  Conversation...

William:  Mom, do you think you could loan me the money to get a new ereader?

Mom:  Dad and I are doing bills tomorrow.  We'll figure out how much you're getting for allowance after your phone bill is deducted.

Dad:  Yeah buddy, you can start saving for another one.  It shouldn't take you too long since you haven't been able to use your phone (Will's phone was taken away due to below average grades).

William:  (through new tears) It's going to take me forever, that's all I have left!

Mom:  (starting to feel her heart break again) We'll take you to the library tomorrow.  In the meantime, we'll let you play the PlayStation tonight.  Will that make you feel better? 

William:  Really?

Dad:  You can stay up 'til 10:00 tonight.  Be sure to lock up, ok?

William:  Ok!

Mom:  Don't bleed all over the carpet (smiles).  I love you, William.

Heartbreak just a little less painful.  Just a little...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Does the Doctor Have to Look There?

Poor Austynn. He had his annual physical yesterday at Children's Hospital in Denver.

He has to go in once a year because he's in an Autism Spectrum study and it's a requirement through the hospital.  I don't know that I would call it a true physical; however, he was so worked up that someone was going to "look" at his privates that he was melting down all over the room prior to the actual "event".  All this young doctor did was peek to make sure he had a cue stick and a couple of balls.

In my day, it seemed like a full invasion of privacy. I started squirming the week before and was hanging over the toilet bowl the morning of. I dreaded it more than Potato Hamburger Helper and at least with this hanus meal, there was no forewarning. No thinking about it in advance. Just walk in the kitchen door after a nice afternoon of playing tag or riding bikes and BOOM - the awful, nauseating aroma of dehydrated potatoes trying to get re-hydrated in a bubbling pot of ground beef.

My physicals were crime scenes (that doesn't quite sound right but I refuse to edit that statement) and because I inherited the genes of women who started maturing at the gentle ages of ten, eleven, and twelve, they were excruciatingly embarrassing for me.

My sisters and I were raised to be extremely modest. We didn't undress in front of one another or our mother. We didn't discuss anything sexual. To be honest, I didn't exactly understand how babies were made until I watched a Discovery program in my mid teens. So, imagine my mortification, every other year (mom was a stickler for our health), when I had to visit our family pediatrician and go through a full physical exam.  It wasn't just a peek - it was poke, insert, and an "oh my gosh is this really happening".  All of this while my mom was discussing the whys and what fors of personal hygiene.  Of course, to add to the agony, it was a male doctor. 

As I sit here typing this, I'm still traumatized and I can barely pick up my coffee and drink it without dribbling it down my chin.  My apologies.  I need to stop typing and find my Valium.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pass the Beans, Please!

 こんにちは (Kon'nichiwa)!  Hello to my friends in Japan. 

Good morning or bonjour to my blog readers in Canada!

I'd like to say hello to the rest of the folks out there who have accessed my blog  from different parts of the world.  I'd also love to name their countries specifically but as of yet I'm not sure that when they hit my page it wasn't a mistake.  If so,no worries.  It was nice to think I had a visitor from Russia or elsewhere if even
for a moment.  Доброе утро!

Before I go off to face the big, bad world today, I must address the issue of 
miscellaneous smells.  (I apologize.  I should have warned you to swallow your food or drink before I wrote that sentence.)

As with everything, there are good smells and there are bad smells.  Sort of like 
the Yin and Yang for your nose.

I bring this up because for the hour and a half during my drive home from a friend's house last night, I was overwhelmed with my sense of smell in a bad way.  Normally, if I'm by myself, I tend to be forgiving (if you know what I mean) butthis was different.  Several times along the way, I actually contemplated pulling over for a cup of mocha.  Coffee is a heavenly smell which overrides any
disturbing odors permeating a small space; however, it was well after 10:30 at night and I knew I'd already be a hyper goofball when I got home.  (Poor Eric.  I tickled and harassed him until well after midnight.  Could you imagine
what I would have done had I bought some coffee..?  Ummm...actually, please
don't do that.)

So consider my disgust this morning while packing for my 214 errands (give or take) when I noticed old doggie vomit fermenting on the back floor of my car.   
Nice.  My children sit in the backseat every day (that's, of course, when they're not fighting over who gets to sit in the front seat.  I don't get that.  They're really
close to my flicking finger that way...).  Do you think they could have said something?  No.  They must have assumed mom would make them wipe it up (rightfully so).  Instead, they've probably been pushing the floor mat over it for weeks.  

Every day, I walk through this house as if I where the Child Catcher in the movie, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, but instead of sniffing out children (actually, I'm pretty good at that too), I detect evil odors.  I'm guessing I need to give this one up to God.  With two dogs, two birds, and two boys, I believe it's a lost battle but I can't stop sniffing.  I light candles, spray sprays,
sprinkle carpet deodorizers, and check every spot on the carpet for
dampness. I even ask my friends if the house smells like dog pee.  Pathetic.

That's it.  As of today, I'm over it.  I'm entering the disgusting, make the most
obnoxious smell possible, and refuse to light a match contest. 
Pass the beans, please.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

As Usual, I Missed My Turn

I almost took up residence in Kansas yesterday.  Why Kansas?  Colorado is interesting whereas it borders so many states. To the north is Wyoming.  Been there.  The south, New Mexico which I'm always driving through on the way back to California.  To the west, Utah.  My car is close to 12 years old and makes strange clanking sounds.  There is no way I'm attempting to go over the Rocky Mountains in old Bessie.  Besides, she's done me well over the decade.  That's not a nice way to bid adieu to an old friend, making her suffer so.  To make a long story short, I had my options but Kansas seemed simple, easy, uncomplicated and flat.

As usual, I missed my turn.  Instead of turning east, I turned west and ended up at Barnes and Noble Bookstore on 120th and Colorado, sucking down a venti skinny mocha, no whip, 3 Sweet N' Lows with 2 shakes of powdered cinnamon, and playing Cooking Academy 2 World Cuisine on my laptop.

What led me to this moment?  Let me explain.  Right out of high school I thought I knew what I wanted to do with my life.  I started taking journalism courses at a local city college, attending a broadcasting training school in Hollywood, interning at CNN and all of this while balancing two part time waitressing jobs.  My plate was full but my dream was clearly in front of me.  I wanted to be a TV news anchor.  What happened?  I burned out.  Plain and simple.  At the time, I blamed it on everyone and everything but myself.  I quit the broadcasting school one class shy of landing a placement.  I was good.  One doesn't become an intern at CNN unless you are but instead I left it all behind and started working in dark, ugly office cubicles.

So yesterday my husband had set up a field trip for the boys to meet privately with our local Fox affiliate weatherman, Chris Tomer at the news station in Denver.  It was amazing.  He was so gracious.  He walked us through the station, sound stage, and the production booths.  We met the camera men and news anchors...and then it hit me - this was what I had wanted for myself so many years ago.  This was the dream of a young girl right out of school.  The lights and the excitement.  Sitting in front of a computer writing news copy and then reporting it on camera.  Deep sigh. 

As we drove home, I felt as if I were in a different place.  A mom with two special needs children discussing how they had done so well only making one fopaux by commenting about boogers in front of Mr. Tomer.  Driving home to the Denver suburbs, planning out the kids schedules for the rest of the day, thinking about groceries and dinner and washing some laundry before Austy's OT (occupational therapy) appointment on Thursday and I wondered, "how did I get from there to here?"  Then I thought, hmmm...Kansas.

It's so true that life never starts and ends where we think it should.  My life is still in mid-swing so I'll be quite interested to see where it eventually ends up.  Also, had I not made that wrong turn, I would have missed a perfectly lovely calzone for dinner last night, staring into the beautiful grey pools of my husband's eyes through my soda straw, and laughing with him at my boys' bizarre, miscellaneous comments coming home from the restaurant.

I realize that we're all put on this Earth for a purpose.  Perhaps mine wasn't meant to be the next Katie Couric.  Perhaps my purpose was to be my boys' mother, Eric's wife, the person who holds your hand when you pass away.  Perhaps my greater purpose is still yet to be decided.  

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I'm So Pickin' Confused!

I don't think so...really?

Did my husband actually tell me last week that he would be home late tonight? I don't recall. He says he did. He can describe the moment, what we were eating, etc. I don't believe him!  He lies like a cheap rug.  (By the way, all you women who think he's cheating on me and ready to ditch me, think again.  I treat him so badly that if he were going to leave me it would have been years ago.  Nope.  He loves me.  He's hooked.  Sorry.  This late night is truly business related.  I'm keeping him for now.)

William told me that he has no homework over spring break. This one is questionable. Come on! No homework for a freshman in high school over spring break? Did he really tell me that? Geez, I can't remember...drat!

Austynn asked me the other night for his Game Boy. I told him it was confiscated for three days as a consequence for his temper tantrum over the weekend. "You never told me that!"  I'd never say it out loud but I'm wondering, "Didn't I?"

I question my dogs. Did they really go pee outside? I mean, I saw them squat (I'm so ashamed. Tank is a boy but he pees like a girl. Eric must see to this). Sometimes I have a sneaky suspicion that they pretend just to get their treat. Why else would I step in a warm, wet spot five minutes later in the middle of my hall?

For all of you classic movie connoisseurs, please consider the movie Gas Light with Ingrid Bergman. Her handsome husband played by Charles Boyer secretly plots to convince her that she's stark, raving mad for his own diabolical purposes.

I believe that's what's happening here. They're all out to get me! It's all some sort of evil plot to convince me that I'm getting old and can't remember from one day to the next what's been discussed. I think they're mad at me because I comment from time to time about their disgusting habits on my blog. And so, let the battle commence!

Now what did I say I was going to write about...?

Monday, March 21, 2011

I Must Always Take My Monday Medicine

It's Monday and I hate to start off the morning on a negative note with so many of my dear friends and family bemoaning the lost joy of the weekend.  So, I've decided to start writing this morning on the reverse.  In other words, start out with what makes me truly happy and then end it with what pisses me off.

 My coffee.  I made it to perfection this morning.  I even added an extra swirl of Hershey's Chocolate Syrup just to ensure the richness of flavor and depth of chocolate that I crave every morning.  I'm sure I'll suffer later when my sugar level drops and I have to shove a pound of something into my mouth to compensate (if this occurs before I finish writing, I'll be sure to include it in my "pisses me off" section below).

Eric, my husband, knowing that it's my boys' first day of spring break (this topic in itself may end up down below in a minute), made his lunch for me last night so I could sleep in and not get up with him at 5:00am to take care of it.  He's wonderful. 

When I sat down at the computer this morning, my sweet dogs nuzzled up to my legs and behaved for just a moment.  Pefect segue...

After this beautiful nuzzling moment and since I've began this blog, I have removed four pieces of bark from Tulip's mouth.  She's a stubborn pain in the ass and fights me for every toothpick of wooden shard.  (By the way, I must say what amazing training skills Eric and I have that we've managed to teach Tulip to vomit only on our tile but she still doesn't quite comprehend how to pee outside on the grass.)  I have chased Tank through the house and managed to save a blue sandal, two socks, and a miscellaneous empty zip lock baggie (whatever it contained I'm sure we'll recover one way or another).

My son Austynn has been awake since 7:45am - it is now 8:25am.  In this amount of time he has asked me for three bananas and if he could play the Wii six times.  Need I say more?  Happy first day of spring break, Bri.

And finally, as I sit here, my typical cleaning obsessions kick into gear.  I'm wondering why the dust bunnies only collect in the middle of my hallway versus behind my fake potted plants (clears throat).  I know that the dust is so thick on my bedroom dresser that even if I wrote my name on it, it would be absorbed into some kind of dust blob monster.  Also, it's almost April and I'm fully aware that there are Christmas tree needles on my family room window sills. 

These are all the things that are pissing me off today.  Now that I think of it, I haven't taken my medicine yet.  Perhaps that's what my problem is?  Maybe I'll just pack it all up and take everyone to the park and leave the dust bunnies for another day.  Damn, I need to remember to take my medicine! 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Fine Art of Attraction

I've been trying to figure this out for years.  The secret female art of getting what you want when you want it without little or no work whatsoever.

It's all a falsehood.  A bunch of phooey, malarkey, Bologna, crapola, whatever.  I've decided that it really all depends on the dude, the timing, and the set of circumstances. 
The idea came about this morning as I was driving home from chapel at 6:30.  I look awful on Sunday mornings because I don't turn on the lights to avoid waking up Eric. I throw on whatever is next to the bed (usually a couple of days old - inside or out), stick my hair in pig tails, and run out the door (I'm notoriously ten minutes late for everything).  I was driving 75mph through side streets and running red lights to boot.  If I were pulled over, how could I possibly talk an officer out of writing me up a citation?  I couldn't have batted my eyes and smiled because he would have given me a ticket just for the way I smelled. Would I have used the holier than thou, going to chapel, and I couldn't leave the Holy Eucharist by Himself angle?  Geez!  Talk about this Catholic being a wee bit of a hypocrite.

Not too long ago, I dropped off Austynn to junior high as I do every day.  Since he's in "special" special ed class, I drop him off five minutes after school starts.  A teacher's aide walks out, meets him at the car, and escorts him to his first program.  Afterwards, as I do every morning, with a breath of freedom I haul ass out of the parking lot.  I had no idea there was a signal there until the school police officer flashed his lights and pulled me over.  Who knew?!  I've only been dropping the kids off there for years.  Let me tell you, Officer Smith took one look at my last name, calculated how many times my boys have been suspended, and instantly rethought the situation.  He didn't even go back to his squad car.  All he gave me was a warning.  Based on my speed and the way I took that red light, I should have been hand-cuffed and taken off to the pokey.  Nope.  Hence, the Compassion Syndrome.

I'm not just talking about getting out of tickets either.  When our house was being saved from sinking into the Thornton, Colorado abyss (long story in itself, a completely separate blog for a later date), I had to park my car outside this past winter.  I like the cold as long as I don't have to commit too much time in it.  So, when in the morning (not always my particularly favorite time of day), I have to drive my oldest son to school in my crappy, ratty, flannel over-sized sweater jacket thing, sweat pants, t-shirt with holes in it, and slippers, and I have to scrape my windshield, no one can really blame me if I'm upset.  For those of you who don't know me, I tend to be somewhat dramatic (go figure?!). 

One morning, after seeing ice on my windshield and, of course, being ten minutes late, I threw a wee bit of a temper tantrum in the middle of the street.  I embarrassed my 15yr old who promptly got into the car after telling me that the building contractor was sitting in the truck behind our car watching the whole thing.  GOOD GRIEF!

Let the humiliation commence.  I began scraping.  My scraping sucked.  I was in a hurry, all I needed was enough to peek through the corners to get William to his high school ten minutes away and get it done quickly.  I just didn't want Scott, the nice burly construction dude, to get out of his truck, talk to me about the house, and notice that I still had last night's food in my teeth.

"Bri, give me the God damned scraper."

"Huh? What?  Oh, Hi Scott."

"You, heard me.  You're making a mess of things.  Look what you're doing."

And with that I noticed all the squirly circles of ice on my windshield.  Why were guys always right and couldn't they just leave me alone when I looked like shit?

"Really, Scott.  I'm good.  I'll get it.  You don't have to do this."  As I was saying this, I can see William smiling in the car as if to say, "Mom, you planned this whole thing."

"Bullshit.  Give me the scraper." Cold frosty air escaped from Scott's mouth as he laughed under his breath with a lit cigarette dangling out of his mouth.

With my head bent in mock humiliation, I handed him the scraper.  He methodically scraped all the windows causing William and I to be much later than we were originally.  There was no arguing with him though.  He saw my temper tantrum.  I brought it on.  Damsel in Distress Syndrome.

I can go on forever about the cheesy, big hair, throw the bosom in your face women.  Of course they get whatever the want, whenever they want it.  We all know why so let's not waste any more words than what I've spent on them.

And finally, there's the horrifying, I have no idea what the Banshee just said, so go along with it and just give her what she wants before she has a meltdown syndrome. 

These syndromes are usually reserved for our better halves and they're awful.  I don't know about you, but I actually hear the Banshee when she's speaking and I can't stop her.  She comes about once a month, a growly, fierce beast.  I watch Eric's face as she starts and it's almost as if there's a transformation.  From pleasant to confusion to anger to abject terror.  I hate Banshee.  She belongs in Hell and I believe Eric tried to imply that once.  That was a very dark day in our marriage.  Thank goodness she's fleeting.  Unfortunately, she made her appearance yesterday.  Hang on tight, Eric, she'll be gone soon.  In the meantime, could you scratch my back?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I Have My Mother's Feet and I'm Ok With It

Yesterday, out of nowhere, it was suddenly ok to be like my mother. 

Half my life, I've been battling the statement, "You are so much like your mother."  My response would always be, "Are you kidding me?  I'm nothing like her!", as if it would it be so horrible to be like my mom.

For my sanity, and only because I haven't quite finished my cup of coffee (for those of you who know me, candy bar in a cup), I need to break this down further because last night between strange dreams of the movie, "Uncle Buck" and my dog snorting in my face, I couldn't stop thinking about why I have so many silk, potted plants in my house.  Why did I buy them?  They do look nice and fill up the empty spaces but did this affinity come from my mother?  My sister Ellen doesn't have them.  If it were up to Eric, he would purchase living plants which I talked him out of due to the mess.  Damn, this sounds so much like my mom.

Sticky notes and lists.  When Eric and I were first married, I was out of control with those yellow pieces of paper.  I had a sticky note to remind me where my list was.  I had lists on my refrigerator for lists.  I do recall as a teenager coming home from waitressing shifts and seeing my mother's sticky note reminders all over the back door.  Hmmmm....yeeeeeessss.  Who the Hell invented sticky notes?!  They're one of the soul contributors to the madness of two separate households.  Bastards!  Eric had to ween me off slowly.  It was painful.  We almost had an intervention.  I still have a pad of yellow culprits sitting by the phone; however, they know their place and are used only for messages...sometimes.

I can certainly go on with the madness I have single-handidly inherited, and by madness, I mean the certifiable, see a doctor, and receive medicine type of madness.  There where eight siblings in my mother's family.  The craziness seems to have focused solely on the women.  Not all of them.  Some.  I say that with all the love and endearment in my heart.  I am not making light of it.  I'm simply stating the obvious.

I love my mother's silliness.  The way she makes people light up when she walks into a room.  I appreciate that she's given that piece of her to me.  I have to say though that I've also inherited my father's sarcastic sense of humor (I don't know, does it show?) so when combined, they can sometimes get me into a bit of trouble.  Not everyone "gets" me.  I open my mouth and a lot of crap dribbles out without forethought.  Oops!  Oh my gosh!  Shit.  Afterwards, I spend the next three nights analyzing every word and reaction agonizing whether or not I should apologize for something I said.

So how, are many of you wondering, did this profound thought of my mother cross my mind yesterday?  Well, I was staring at my pretty pedicured toes and thinking, "thank God I have her feet."

Voice Recording:


Friday, March 18, 2011

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Parenting handbooks?  Oh yes, I've seen a few of them on bookshelves but in my opinion, like the weathermen in Colorado, they're full of malarchy.

Last night I spoke with someone who was as far off as I've ever heard a parent be.  No one is completely right, but boy if someone is going to be!  God bless her!  She told me that she did everything 100%.  Nothing half assed so to speak.  This woman told me that once her baby was born, all of her went into her child.  There was no time or room in her life for her husband or anything else.  How sad. That kiddo will never know how to be her own person without her mother making her every move and decision. And worse, she'll never learn how to love anyone but herself.  She'll come to resent her mother in the end, the very person who gave up everything, including her own identity, to raise her.  Yikes. 

Now, as most of you know, I am an adoptive mother of two biological brothers both of whom came to me at different times but at six years of age.  A bit confusing, I know.

My husband I and took special parenting classes in the county where they were adopted.  The training helped somewhat but it did not not prepare us at all for what we were getting ourselves into. So like many wise parents before us, even those without special needs children, we have learned to write the handbook as we go along. We should break copyright laws and name our handbook, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

As I type this, I'm listening to Austynn watch SpongeBob SquarePants (my arch nemesis of all cartoon characters), and plan on keeping him home sick a second day from school.  Yesterday, as would most sick days in this house, it would fall under the "Bad" section (I'm sure I'll touch on the "Ugly" eventually in my blog.  It will be good reading, I promise.) in the Potts' Family Handbook.  It's the whole questioning thing that's awful. 

Yesterday Austynn was complaining about a sore throat.  Now, let me preface this by saying he's a tremendous hypochondriac.  I can't sprain my ankle without having his foot x-rayed. 

Embarrassingly enough, Wednesday afternoon I yelled at William (quite substantially)  because he ticked me off beyond belief which caused my throat to hurt which caused me to suck on a throat lozenge.  Suddenly, yet not surprisingly, Austynn's throat hurt and he desperately needed a "candy cherry Hall's thing".  On Wednesday night, predictably, we heard moaning from Austy's bedroom..."my throat hurts...ooohh".  On Thursday morning the complaining was so bad that I knew if I sent him to school, he would disrupt class and I would have to bring him home.  Now, keep in mind, he was suspended just the day before so I was livid.  "GO UPSTAIRS!" 

Later that day he came downstairs for lunch and complained that his throat was still hurting.  It suddenly occurred to me that he had been quiet all morning.  Hmmmm...?  For Austynn this is highly unusual.  He's a non-stop chatter bug.  His cheeks were flushed.  Strange.  He looked like he had been sleeping...uh oh.  "Austynn come here for a second, Buddy."  Forehead touch.  Sweaty.  Clammy.  Crap!  He is really sick!  NICE ONE, BRI!  Get out the Tylenol....

Thursday, March 17, 2011

True Confessions

I have some confessions to share of which I am not proud. 

Not long ago I mentioned giving up coffee for Lent.  Embarrassingly enough I made an extremely big deal about it.  I had even mentioned something to the fact that I would share a cup of tea with Anderson Cooper, the CNN and ever so sexy TV news journalist, when my house was packed up and ready to fall into the next Thornton, Colorado sink hole.  First of all, Anderson Cooper does not strike me as a tea drinkin' sort of guy.  With this said, sometime during that day I ended up driving through Starbucks where they promptly handed me my standard Venti Skinny Mocha, no whip, 3 Sweet N' Lows with 2 shakes of powdered cinnamon cup of heaven.  Was it their fault?  Certainly not.  Mine?  Questionable.  Coffee and chocolate, hence the word "mocha", coarses through my veins.  I can not function properly without it. So, without much ado, I prayed and asked for forgiveness.  I was blatantly stupid in my assumption that I was stronger than caffeine.  Now I have a new Lenten sacfrice/offering which I will not share with the world because, after all, I am human and no one wants to read another True Confessions Blog.

Secondly, I ran away from home yesterday.  Yes it's true.  A grown woman left home and literally contemplated checking into a Motel 6 (this is not one of those tacky television tell all shows but unfortunately it's starting to feel like one).  As many of you know, my boys have serious emotional and behavioral problems from both their Autism Spectrum diagnosis' and prior abuse/neglect history.  I normally can handle one melt down a day but when they're both having issues...whoa Nellie!

It wasn't really too awful until my oldest directed his issues at me.  It was a huge matter of trust and it stung as if a fast ball came out of no where and hit me on the side of the head.  I was hurt and angry so along with Austynn's second school suspension in less than a week and his continued screaming outbursts - I was done.  Over it.  When Eric came home, I told him I needed to go out and out I did.

Dinner first.  Nothing less than an appetizer as an entree.  Fried food and of course a cup of mocha.  Bliss!  No fifteen year old to ask for $50 lobster plate.  No twelve year old shoving down ten french fries and choking on them over my dinner...if I had a nickel for every time that happened!  Then a movie.  I sat in the parking lot in front of Macy's for over an hour Googling for a movie and ended up just surfing the Web on my phone (this is a true confession in itself.  How stupid!).

Shopping?  Ross.  I hate shopping!  Why did I do that?  First of all, I hate walking into any store that has a store merchandise "officer" standing at the door.  Secondly.  At 9:15 at night, why are all these women out imposing other women to their exhausted, screaming children?  Don't these women know that I'm ready to blow and they should have their beautiful babies at home in bed?

Drinking?  Thank you to my friend who when I called was at home and not in some exotic location like Mexico or Paris (crazy lady) and also who when I asked if I could come over and get "shit faced" opened her door.  As it turns out, I didn't need a drink.  Just someone to cry to.  I love you, lady.

And finally, my last true confession of the morning.  I can not avoid it any longer.  It is the one household chore I put off all week.  I have buffed my kitchen sinks to a wicked shine.  My laundry is done.  The bed sheets are changed and the bird cage is cleaned.  I'm going up there.  It's time.  Today I clean the boys bathroom.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Random Useless Thoughts

Everyone has them.  You know what I'm talking about.  Those strange, useless, random thoughts that come creeping into your mind at odd times of the day when you least expect or want them.

Just this morning, while waiting to drop off my son at school, I was watching this kiddo cross the street and wondering, "Why is he wearing that silly hat and what's with the pony tail?"  Now in itself this is a complete useless thought but I see him every day and think the same thing.  Why can't I move on to something different for instance, "Are those the same shoes?" or "Does he live in my neighborhood?"  I'm really starting wear on my nerves.

How about those awful thoughts while you're taking a bath?  I know people who specifically prefer showers.  Could it be for this reason?  Is it because they're afraid to be with they're own thoughts for longer than 15 minutes?  If their thoughts are anything like mine I don't blame them.  I should give up baths because they're starting to make me a nervous wreck.

Just yesterday, after lighting the candles, lying back into the bubbles, and thinking all is right in my little world, I started experiencing random, useless thoughts which led to serious concerns which cut my relaxing bubble bath short because I was stressed out.  This is how it went... bubbles.  Nice.  Shoot, I forgot to take my watch off!  Oh well, it's not like I'll get electrocuted or anything.  Silly.  Remember that awful horror movie when the lady got electrocuted by a coffee machine because there was water on the sink?  Gruesome.  Awwww....feels good.  Did I unplug the coffee machine?  Does it matter?  Damn it! 

Out of the tub.

Then of course there are those random thoughts right before I fall asleep at night.  Everyone is settled.  Lights out.  Comfortable.  I start hearing the house settling.  Oh God, the house is cracking!  The contractors didn't do a good job restoring it.  Are we able to sue?  Should I get up and start looking for new cracks?  Eric did you hear that??  <SNORE>  Shit!  How can he sleep through this racket?  Where are my earplugs?

I drift off to sleep...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

2:00 am Love Songs

Last night, like every night at around 2:00 am, I was unmercifully slapped in the face by an impatient dog asking to go "pot pot".  In my opinion, based on the struggles we continue to have house breaking, I'm willing to put up with this inconvenience.  I would prefer a gentler means then sharp paws on the nose; however, with the way some of my hallways smell, I'll take whatever I can get.

Up I go, Tank, the paw smacking culprit follows.  I pick up Tulip, a 12 pound Shih Tzu, who manages to push a 230 pound man to the edge of a bed, and carried her downstairs. Tank is the pee warrior.  He knows what he needs to do and does it.  Tulip, on the other hand, is the pee princess pain the arse.  I normally have to go out and beg her, "Go Pot Pot, Tulip, for a Treat!"  My neighbors must think I'm an idiot.  I coax her and cheer her on.  It's a ten minute process.  God help me if I ever have to go pee.  I might have to squat down and show her how to do it. 

After the last drop is dropped and the treats are distributed, we crawl back into bed and attempt to find our comfort zones.  (By the way, I must confess we never bought that king size bed.  We priced them and they were far too expensive for our budget.  As soon as my blog brings in more than $1.86, we may re-consider.  However, I am excited to say that my writing is finally contributing financially to the well being of this family.) 

This brings me to the point of my story, the secret, lovely conversations and giggles which happen in the middle of the night between lovers.  Ok, ok...I'm not talking about the naughty stuff.  Get your heads out of the gutter! 

Eric:  <groggy> "Oh, you where gone?"

Bri:  "Duh!"

Eric:  "Sorry."

Bri:  "Whatever.  I was already mad at you from my dream so I thought I'd keep it going."  <giggle>

Eric:  "Huh?  OW!  TANK!  OFF!  I'll take Tulip up here, she's smaller."

Bri:  "Tankie, it's ok..he's a big poop ball.  Over here sweetie.  There you go.  Oh, I see, you'll cuddle with Tulip but not with me?!"  SICKO!  See how you are?!"

<laughter, Bri kisses Eric on the forearm as he knocks Bri in the eye> 

Bri  "OW!"

Eric:  "Oh my gosh, I'm sorry!"

Bri:  "You're killing me, Larry!"  Next time I'll whallop you instead of kissing you."  <giggle>

Eric:  "I love you, Breezy."

Bri:  "Whatever!" <giggle>  "I adore you, Potsie."

2 minutes later...

Bri:  "Shit!"

Eric:  <groggily> "What?" 

Bri:  "I have to go pee!"

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Load of Underwear and Some Deep Breathing

Every night I go to bed thinking I'll have nothing to blog about tomorrow.  What the heck was on my mind when I said I was going to post something every darn day?  NUTS!  And yet each morning I wake up with a plethora (I like that word) of crazy, weird ideas running through my brain some of which are so odd that I'm afraid someone will show up at my front door and take me away. 

Also, I always have a back-up story ready to go.  However, I stress out at the idea of using it because then I'd have to come up with another back-up story and then I wouldn't have a back-up.  Confused?  I am.  Oh, what a twisted web of life we weave...

One idea was to write about my dream of the football penalty which cost the opposing team 164 yards from the end zone.  This is interesting considering there are only 100 yards on a football field.  I must say, it was an amazing foul.

Then I thought, hmmm...why is it that pork loin recipes always say they're going to take less time than you need to cook them?  Last night I added 15 extra minutes and I still ended up throwing the damn thing in the microwave.  Arrrghh!

No, this morning I must discuss why it is that every important item from my keys, to my purse, to my glasses, etc., are NEVER EVER where they're supposed to be???  Yes, several of you are familiar with my house troll(s).  I can always rely on him for a good excuse but damn it, not this time.  This is all me.  I own it.  These stupid items will be in my hand one minute, I set them down, and then they're gone.  Poof!

I remember this mystery as a child growing up with my own mother.  It wasn't quite as comical as it is with me (a lot of chaos and hollering as I recall).  I've learned, with the help of deep breathing, laughter, and yes, therapy and medication, to let a lot of stuff go.  There have been a couple of mornings where I've called in tardies to school, done a load or two of laundry, and voila, there they are!  Isn't it amazing how a 12 year old will think a load of underwear and a crazy mother will guarantee him a day home from school?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Das Stolen Chocolate Morsel Syndrome

I work hard everyday as most stay at home moms do. 

I struggle to keep up with the demands of homework (actually, Eric does. I hate homework and math has baffled me since the boys moved past fifth grade), housework (well, not really anymore.  My therapist told me to start focusing more on my needs), and laundry (I figure the boys can wear their jeans more than once or twice - why waste the water?  They don't take good showers and normally they do a good job smelling on their own).

My biggest success story is my thriftiness as a shopper and menu planner. 

I save my husband quite a bit of money by not shopping for myself.  I am definitely not a clothes person.  It's embarrassing but I must admit that I hate walking into department stores and buying anything for, bras, jeans, dresses, you name it, I hate it.  The only exception to this rule is perfume.  I love perfume like other women love shoes.  Talk about a total dichotomy!  Here I am sporting ratty jeans, a man's t-shirt, hiking boots and yet wearing a beautiful scent by Vera Wang.  It's weird but true.  With my being a tom-boy, I guess it's my way of saying that I still like girlie things from time to time.

I also love cooking for my family.  It saves money and my husband prefers my dinners over restaurant meals.  Every two weeks, right before pay-day, I sit down and prepare a very detailed menu taking into account nights we'll need to eat out, Sunday breakfasts, desserts, appetizers for upcoming parties, etc.  I leave nothing unaccounted for.  Afterwards, I go through pre-printed lists for our grocery store, Price Club (Costco) and Walmart, sorted by aisle with items I purchase on a regular basis based off of my menu and things I've noted during the week.  Then, I go through my pantry and make sure I'm not buying more than I need.  My goodness, just writing this makes me feel uptight and crazy! 

All of this brings me to my eventual point.  Last week I specifically knew that I had a bag of chocolate morsels ready and available for a truffle cheesecake.  Now they're gone.  No one is willing to admit taking them.  I have ruled out Eric, my husband, because he would have confessed to his wrong doing plus he is completely entitled to eat anything in the pantry since he is lord and sire of this household.  He brings home the bacon and I fry it up in the pan.  So now my obsessive compulsive side kicks into gear and I can not, nor will not stop until I discover which house troll ate the morsels and in which room and why. Well, I suppose I know why. 

Am I the only stay at home mom that suffers from the stolen chocolate morsel syndrome?  I tink not.  I mus get to das bottom of dis!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

All Creatures Great and Small

Yesterday, one of my dear friends commented that she'll be putting down her two dogs this weekend.  Her small children, in their innocent wisdom, know that the much older one should go to heaven at the same time with the very sick one.  I wept when I read this on Facebook.  The tears started again when I saw the picture of her kids and the dogs this morning and now I can barely contain myself as I type this.

A couple of days ago another friend's Chihuahua freaked out during house construction and ran like the gypsy she's named after.  Every nail and hammer stopped until she was coaxed back into that house.  Several years ago, warm water was poured over our gold fish (in all fairness, the person was concerned that Einstein was cold in his bowl).  Chest compressions were administered for 20 minutes until it was determined that all hope was lost.  I am sad when I see lost cat posters attached to light posts and mail boxes in my neighborhood. I live in an area where hawks thrive.  There's usually no hope for missing house pets in this part of town.

Our pets.  They look at us with so much trust and affection.  Our dogs, cats, fish, birds, reptiles, you name them...we love them and they love us back.  We would do anything and everything to keep them safe and make them happy because that's what they would do for us.

There are people out there who prefer not to have pets.  Their lives are too busy, pets are costly or they smell or make a mess.  Please consider this, there is nothing more magical then walking into the house after a long day and being assaulted by slobbering kisses or magical purring around the legs.  And for all the hassle, cost, smell (house breaking two puppies, what was I thinking?!), mess and heartbreak, remember that there's so much joy, laughter and companionship that having a pet will bring you.

I have finally stopped crying.  I adore my friend's children whom I've never met but they've reminded me that little ones always seem to be the wisest ones. 

Now I must go feed my finches, Mike and Sebastian, and spend a little one on one time with them.  Poor Mike is very old and not long for this world.  He'll soon be buried in my garden along with his old friend Ike. Uh Oh!  I'm not going to start crying again!  And finally, I'm going to play tag with my dogs upstairs whom I can hear chasing the ball around and tearing apart my bedroom. 

This blog is dedicated to all my dear little pets past and present...thanks for the laughter.  Damn!  Crying again!!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

I'd leave it all behind except...

 My family, my pets and my crappy, ratty, flannel over-sized sweater jacket thing.

Let me explain...

Just this morning as I was searching for an alternative for my daily cup of coffee which I've given up for Lent (only three days into the season and I'm already bitching about and threatening to break my sacrifice), I knock my head into the kitchen cabinet (which as far as I know has not moved in five years), and whining what a rotten day lies before me when I open my lap top and read about about the 8.9 Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan.

As I continued to watch the devastation, the reporter interviewed a man in Hawaii who was evacuating his home for the inevitable tsunami to hit his area in the next several hours.  He was so calm.  So accepting.  In a little while, everything he has will be swept away in a wave.  He was discussing this with Anderson Cooper as if he were sharing a cup of latte on his back porch (I really need to stop obsessing about coffee).  Anderson sounded more upset than this man did.  And then it hit me - this guy has it all figured out.  He knows what's important to him.  No stress.  No running about shoving everything from his house into his car.

Of course my family and my pets would be the first in the truck.  I would already be wearing my last item and that would be my crappy, ratty, flannel over-sized sweater jacket thing.  You see, for me it's never been about stuff.  So I would be done relatively quick too and I could enjoy a nice cup of umm...tea or something.  I've always wanted to chat with Anderson Cooper.

Yes, I suppose important paperwork would be nice but in all honesty, I'm not as organized as people make me out to be.  I'd be found dead, floating around in my basement with a confused look on my face. The last thought on my mind would be, "Really? Now that I'm dead, why did I need to find my Birth Certificate?"

Photos Albums?  I never take good pictures anyway and for the life (or death) of me I can't remember who half those people are sitting next to me (Mom, do not give me your 65 photo albums, please!).

The rest of it, chachka.  Trinkets.  Things you can't take with you when you die so why take it with you when your house is going down?  I don't want it.  Besides, it'll only sell for ten cents on the dollar at a yard sale anyway.  Yard sales are way too much work for that kind of return on your investment.

New England 1997

My crappy, ratty, flannel over-sized sweater jacket thing. It took me to New England and kept me warm along trails dotted with Autumn leaves. I hid in it at work, sipping coffee (damn it!), with cubicle lights low helping me through the tedium of office work.  It held me the night my father died and many nights later as I cried in its sleeves and rocked me to sleep.  It still comforts me when I'm sick and gives me inspiration when I write.  It's my bathrobe and also defines me as the neighborhood character. 

Now, how could I possibly leave this nasty thing behind?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I'm Dreaming of a Serta Perfect Sleeper

When my husband and I were first married, we did what most young, honeymoon couples do - we bought a small, queen sized bed.  The smaller to cuddle in, right?  Wrong. 

Now, sixteen years, several questionable pounds, and two dogs later we have come to the conclusion that our love is just not strong enough to survive this size mattress.


Every morning, we wake up stiff and sore.  Growling and griping.  Gross and grisly (this would mainly be Eric).  Anyway, I must admit that our dogs are very small so it would seem as if I may be going a bit overboard with my complaining.  Not so.  They, Tank (a Lhasa Apso), and Tulip (a Shih Tzu), are spoiled and have learned to sleep horizontally in the center of the bed.  We've tried to move them in the past but to no avail.  The dogs just make their way back to their spots stretching their little bodies until they're comfortable.  In the meantime, Eric and I, in our muddled sleep state crawl to the foremost edges of the bed, desperate to find just a few pleasant, uninterrupted moments of slumber whereas we're not kicked in the face or trampled upon.

Cuddling. This has become a non-issue.  I can't remember the last time I've had my back scratched or was snuggled by my husband.  Tank, our male Lhaso Apso, must be cuddled at all times.  The closest I get to being spooned is having Tank on my pillow, pawing at my hair insisting that I pet him.


Making love.  Deep sigh.  The spontaneity is gone.  We must plan ahead and buy impressive diversions for the dogs to keep them away from us.  Inevitably, we become Tulip's diversion at the most critical juncture. I can not even describe how awful it is to look up at that moment to see her eyes watching every move and examining each angle.  Thank God I can't hear her critique me. She already does crap for my libido.  If Eric only knew how many times I have rescued his privates from Tulip's curiosity, well... 

I love my husband so much.  This weekend, we're off to the mattress store.  Do you think they sell anything bigger than a king?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Village and the Neighborhood Crazy Lady

I've been tossing and turning all night thinking about those little piss ants yesterday and whether or not I should have followed them home and told on them.

Boy, that sentence really showed my level of adulthood.

I expect most teens to act like jerks when they're in groups of let's say...hmmm...two or more.  I realize that's generalizing and I did say most not all.  I'm sure there's a small percentage of very polite young people out there who will not flip me off when I drive by and smile at them.  So, to my friends and miscellaneous readers (of whom I have none) with teenage children, please do not post mean things because I have a delete key on my side of the keyboard.

Middle schoolers, they're just in general goof balls and so I expect some rudeness.  I ask them frequently to open the door for me when I go to Austynn's school to pick him up.  It's almost laughable to see the look on their faces.  They've never heard of such a thing.  Open the door for a lady?  Why?  What's that all about?  (I must admit, most days I look like a hobo but that's entirely beside the point).  When I stroll through a group of girls wearing butt high skirts, lipstick, drinking lattes, and dropping the f-bomb about their boyfriends, I usually let them know what I think.  Normally all I see or hear when I walk away are rolling eye balls or giggling but just maybe, maybe I got through to one of them.

So yesterday, a group of elementary school children were throwing rocks at each other across the street while I was driving through.  Naturally I stopped and asked them (politely) to knock it off.  I've seen the rocks over this stretch of road before so I figured these kids were the culprits.  They indicated they were ok with my request. I nodded my appreciation, started driving off, and the little jerks started doing the disrespectful "whatever wave", and shouting at my car.

Now, I don't know about you but this just doesn't fly with me. I stopped, pulled a u-turn and asked them; what the heck was their problem, were they always this disrespectful, would their parents be happy with their behavior?  I threw my toughest questions at them.  Pointed at them even!  They apologized.  Fine.  I started driving off again.  THEY DID IT AGAIN!!!

I pulled over, put on my hazards, got out of my car and waited for them to disperse.  If anything scares a kid more, it's the girth of my body with my arms folded across my chest.  They all ran.  The little shits!  I should have followed them home.  I expect eggs and toilet paper this Saturday.  Damn it!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ghosts, Goblins and Other Pains in the Arses

As a middle aged woman, I have given up on many of the myths and fairytale characters of my childhood; HOWEVER, there is one particular personality, or in this case, demon that I still strongly believe in...the House Troll. 

This little critter is responsible for every wicked, unexplainable mishap and disaster that arises.

Just last night, my husband was staring at my bedtime apparel which consists of an oversized 1985 Cub Scout t-shirt, sweat pants, and socks (don't smirk, it's actually very sexy) and he asked me where all the holes came from on the bottom of the shirt.  This is not the only one that has been chewed on and relegated to my PJ drawer.  And - out of my entire family only my shirts have been destroyed.  My answer to Eric...the House Troll.

The infamous missing socks.  I am nothing if not obsessive about finding every piece of laundry on Tuesday mornings.  I crawl under beds, dump out closets (it's actually kind of embarrassing ), and yet there is always one lone sock at the end of the day.  House Troll.

The sewing needle that finds its way into the bottom of Eric's heel when I haven't sewn a button or attempted (I say that with all humility and humor) a hem for over a year.  Damn that House Troll!

The clogged toilet bowl.  Of course, no one poops in my house.  Only the House Troll does.

I'm sure there are many more things I can blame on this little booger but right now I can't find my glasses and I'm really pissed off because my coffee cup just exploded in the microwave.  Yeeesss...Hmmmm...???