Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Forgive me Blogiverse, for I have neglected thee.

I have to say December has been magical, but not without a casualty - my sleep. I think it's partly because of the pending pandemonium of producing a pretty great time for those I love, and partly because I have been having blogging topics floating in my mind and have no time in which to get these ideas down. It's ridiculous and embarrassing, but it's the truth. And I'm starting to resent you, your royal Bloginess. So here I am, Blogiland, way past my bed time. I promise to fill you in on my brain fodder (for the only reader that probably still checks this blog after a very sparse blogging month - thanks mom) if you'll just let me sleep. It's all I ask. It's really the least you could do, ingrate (I'm talking to the Blogosphere here and not my mom).

So here we go:

Today it snowed. And in Portland that means that people completely lose their minds and become seasonally insane. I'm not judging, because I might too be one to succumb to this seasonal insanity, but I know enough to exercise all methods of prevention, and stay out of my car and off of the roads. I know that I have very little cold weather driving experience (which happens when you grow up in the Palm Springs of Canada) and I know we're all better off with me off the road rather than involuntarily using my car as a weapon. Plus walking in the snow is fun. So, after dinner we got all the gear on (which was surprisingly adequate and even mostly water-proof with the exception of footwear) and went for an old fashioned snow walk to our local market/bakery place a few blocks away. Because what's the use of walking anywhere without the promise of a salted caramel brownie?

As soon as we step out into the weather, I remember that during "Arctic Blast 2008" we learned that Little Man hates the weather. We would stand him up in it, only for him to lift his pudgy arms to me and hunker down in the sling waiting for the cold stuff to magically disappear. He has no tolerance for anything remotely inconvenient weather-wise. He cries when the sun is too bright, he whimpers when the wind is remotely brisk, he balks with an open mouth when it rains. This from the kid that will randomly head butt anything at head-butting height and giggle about it. He's a true study of contrasts. He's a weather wimp. That might sound unfeeling and harsh coming from his mother, but better from me than in middle school in a taunting circle of 8th graders. Don't say I never equipped my kids of the real world.

So our walk was mostly him begging to be held, then begging to be put down and not moving a muscle for a couple minutes, and begging to be held again. Which was most disappointing to me because I have had a secret dream of strapping him to a baby-leash and harnessing it to a sled and just letting him run me to the bakery for the aforementioned brownie. This might also sound unfeeling and a little bit bizarre, but I come from a very decent and good place here. He has energy to burn and Mama needs a brownie. Win/Win. Better yet, it's zero emissions. We could even call it "going green."

You're welcome.

But with this weather wimpyness I have to explore other avenues, while continuing to avoid Social Services. So stay tuned.

There. You happy, your Highness (I'm talking to the BlogHead here)? I blogged. I trust you will let me go to sleep and dream of brownies and snow storms.

Good night.
Arctic Blast 2008 - The beginnings of the end of my toddler sleigh dreams.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy Deductible!!

Isn't this time of year amazing? Not only because of the sentiment of the season and the "good will towards all wo/men," or the great tv specials or tear inducing commercials (State Farm why do you do that to me!?), but the rush and bustle of getting entirely ready for the big show is stressful, yet adrenalizing (imagine my disappointment when I realized that I didn't make up that word adrenalizing. A serious let-down because I love making up words, and I REALLY love taking credit for them).

But this time of year also has another level of activity and planning because I feel like this is the time of year for optimizing my health insurance and taking care of all the little nagging health items that quietly fester on my psyche. As you may not know, I worked in medical billing industry for several years before finding my calling in legal assisting (kidding) and know my way around an explanation of benefits pretty well (and for any of you wondering: medical billing is as glamorous as it sounds, I have the insurance knowledge and 10-key finger muscles to prove it). And as the calendar year winds down, I'm always in a mad rush to get those last items (wisdom tooth extractions, pregnancies, etc.) done before the calendar year ends so I can use up all my available benefits and so that my up-coming year's benefits can be dedicated to new problems and not old ones. I know I probably sound maniacal, but it's just how I am now. Medical billing did this to me. The irony here is that I am Canadian and was raised in a universal health care system where you didn't usually WANT to go into early labor so that your baby could be paid for under your previously met out-of-pocket max that had already cleaned out your bank account (FYI: babies with January birthday cost their parents lots of money. Case in point: Little Man, Jan. 10th. Took 17 months after driving him off the lot before that baby was officially ours and not owned by the hospital. Some days though I wondered what would happen if I was late a payment and what kind of repo-person they would send for him. I told you, I'm maniacal). Not to get political, but I am Canadian and turned out just fine under universal health care. I think.

So on top of decorating, crafting (I don't love the term crafting because it makes me feel like a granny crocheting an afghan, and not a young, mature 30-something crocheting a THROW BLANKET worthy of a pottery barn catalogue cover. But my legal counsel and I have been so busy we haven't had a chance to make up a word that suits me better, so we'll just stick to "crafting"), baking, cooking, wrapping, Santa-ing, and delivering - I'm also dentisting*, annual examing, and benefit crunching my way through December. Nothing better than the smell of freshly decorated sugar cookies and topical Novocain to get me in the holiday spirit.

So, if I seem a little absent in the blogging world this month, I am. But for very worthy reasons. Because the gifts won't buy themselves. The cookies won't bake themselves. These gums won't graft themselves. Wish me luck!!

*Pending legal counsel, the word "dentisting" is my property and I would appreciate a little credit if you chose to use this chawsome** word. A check for $1,000 per use will probably cover it.

**Same with "chawsome."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Grateful for Second Chances. And Thirds. And Fourths.

Remember when I challenged myself to blog every day? What crazy pills was I taking? How do people blog every day? It's beyond me. So here's the down and dirty gratitude list of the missed days:

- Thankful for scoring free Portland Trailblazer tickets (through a client of The Man) and watching them stomp all over the muddied carcases of the Chicago Bulls. It was a doosy of a game and I loved every minute of it. From the babysitter, to the expensive but close parking, to the FREE tickets (did I mention they were free?) I had the best time. Later, The Man apologized for not being more chatty during the game. I hadn't noticed. I was drinking in the bigger than life arena, the skill of the ridiculously gigantic players, the Dr. Pepper in my cup holder.... I was on cloud 120 (that was the ridiculous score of the Blazers achieved during the game). It was totally awesome.

- Thankful for friends. I have the best friends. And they are good to me. Really. I'm totally undeserving.

- Thankful for the little Man's new favorite phrase - "Poopoo in the tub mama" because (this is really the only really good thing to come from this new fascination, because frankly, I get really annoyed every time he says or does it) it will be good blackmail when he's engaged to some fantastic girl, and we're looking through photo albums and reminiscing about old stories, and I say, "Remember Little Man when you used to poop in the tub? And you talked about it incessantly? And you wouldn't stop talking or doing it for like a couple months? Remember that?" And he'll feel uncomfortable and she'll be speechless and I'll be laughing. That's the ray of sunshine here.

And finally,

- Thankful for The Man coming home early today to start the Thanksgiving festivities. We are so lucky. Even when we're unlucky, we're lucky.

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!

Poopoo in the tub!! Good one!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Gratitude Day 4: My Grandpa's Pipes

My Grandpa was quite a character. The only man I knew that owned more silk jackets and white leather shoes than I own diapers. For the record, I own lots of diapers. He always wore his hats at a jaunty tilt and had a joke, sometimes with a four-letter word in the punch-line, at the tip of his tongue. He was so fun to be around and made everyone around him feel happy. He was the kind of Grandpa that hid candy bars around his den, and would take us to McDonalds whenever he was in charge. He bought blue soda in bulk (hand it to the Canadian grocery stores) and when he couldn't remember your name he called you "Gorgeous" if you are a girl and "Handsome" if you were a boy. No one corrected him when he forgot their name. He drove a little red and white scooter around town as a retired senior citizen and loved to strike terror in the hearts of neighborhood wildlife and house pets. Otherwise a non-aggressive guy, he did love to shoot crows. From his balcony. In his underwear. I miss him.


For the record, I stole this picture from my cousin Carly's Blog - thanks Carly!

He had a career in radio and his voice could melt butter. He and my Grandma performed together (he sang and she accompanied him on the piano) and performed at many venues, especially retirement homes, weddings, funerals and church functions. They made a CD a while back, and I love to listen to it during the holidays. It reminds me where I came from and helps me remember him. In his underwear. Shooting crows. I miss him.

He passed away two years ago. The funeral was lovely and unforgettable. At the end we played a recording that he had prepared for his funeral long before he was even sick. At first I thought that perhaps singing at your own funeral would be strange and I wondered if people would think it slightly gauche. True to form, the beginning of the recording was my grandpa saying, "If you're listening to this, I'm gone now. And whether I'm going to heaven or hell, I'm sure I'll see many of you there" which preceded a beautiful version of the old gospel anthem "Going Home." The idea that we were departing from a beloved grandpa and had his own voice soothing and comforting us while celebrating his life, was very therapeutic and moving.

Fast forward to today: Sundays are usually chaotic around here. We attend Sunday afternoon church and my kids usually have quiet times/naps during that time. By the time the sun sets, my children resemble manic depressive rabid monkeys on uppers. Tonight, between time-outs and food fights I turned on my grandpa's CD and just sat. The Red Baron came and sat on my lap, and the Little Man soon followed. His soothing voice, repeating the songs that I loved as a rabid monkey, spoke to my children somehow, and they both calmed down. It was only a moment, but I know they heard him and something tells me they recognized his voice. Maybe he and the Little Man high-fived while passing in heaven (Grandpa died 2 months before the Little Man was born). I hope the Little Man got some good jokes out of him while there too. Something to make me secretly laugh, but publicly send him to time-out. Because I'm sure the jokes are inappropriate for even monkeys.

So today, I'm grateful for my Grandpa's pipes.

* I'm trying to figure out how to upload my very favorite song onto this blog. If anyone knows how to do that, please tell me and I will forever be indebted to you.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Gratitude Day 3: Surprises

Since being "stuck in the mud" I've decided that I need to work harder at making my life a little more spontaneous and magical. But I've decided that the organic surprises (aka ones you don't fabricate yourself) that pop up naturally are the best way of un-sticking oneself. Today's organic surprises:

1) Finding out The Red Baron is way tougher than she looks when it comes to weather. Went for a walk today with her, and she wanted to go further and further in the pouring rain, with inadequate gear (thanks to her ill-prepared parents). A very pleasant surprise for this Northwest family.


2) My husband is a machine when it comes to basement organization. A huge surprise.

It's just funny that right when you feel like you know someone really well (my child and husband), you find these hidden talents. Just kind of keeps me on my ill-maintained, unpolished toes.

In other news, the Little Man is getting more and more in the thick of incivility and toddlerhood and I'm starting to feel like I can't take him anywhere. But in the spirit of this gratitude post, I'm grateful that he's really cute.

I should really be a propaganda spinner.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Gratitude Day 2: Babies

Today I'm grateful for babies. Other people's babies. Ok, ok, and my own.

Today I watched my friend's gorgeous little girls, which was so much fun. The older daughter played with my kids, which kept them all occupied and I got to hold the infant. Which was so fun. It's been a while (approximately 22 months give or take) since I could just sit and stare at a baby, and I forgot how fascinating that is. It's somehow very soothing like watching a fish tank at the dentist's office.

And I remembered: it's so much fun to hold other people's babies. I've become so consumed with my own babies, I really haven't held other people's babies in what seems like forever. Usually it's the last thing I even think of. But lately I've found myself gravitating to them. The promise of that baby smell, without the responsibility of producing that baby smell (my babies naturally smelled more like rotten milk or last week's diaper bucket), has been slightly magnetic. And I thought, "I should baby-sit more often for this friend of mine, this is so much fun." I need to also mention here that this particular baby is the smiliest, most mellow baby ever. Even her cry is cute and her puckered lower lip to show distress is the most delightful thing you've ever seen. It's like she's some kind of tron-baby.

And it made me miss this stage of my own kids. They were beautiful babies, if I do say so myself. And I realized that part of this gratitude theme is to appreciate what I have now. Today. And today I have two very opinionated toddlers that would launch into hysterics to know that I still refer to them as my babies. The Little Man's eye-brows would disappear over the crest of this forehead and the Red Baron would actually turn red, and it would be all over for me. So today I am grateful for holding other people's babies and for having held my own. They really were quite something.
The Red Baron with her first traces of red. 1 mo.

The Little-ist Man of them all. 1 week

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Miss Me?

The Little Man has a couple choice words/phrases right now, which have provided ample entertainment:

"STOP!" Shouted with both arms out, and eyebrows arched beyond health.
"NO TOUCH!" Shouted with both arms out, eyebrows arched beyond health and a vehemence reserved for Eastern European dictators during war crime trials. This phrase is especially used when The Man around here puts the moves on me.
But mostly he says,
"STUCK IN THE MUD!" to just about everything and everyone. This is a fan favorite and applicable to any scenario.

But mostly, this is how I've felt lately on a very minor level. I've felt stuck in the proverbial mud of anticipation and energylessness (not a word, but should be). I would love to blame oinking fever but let's be honest, at this point it's my laziness, pressure of the holidays and perhaps the gloomy realities of the weather setting in. I've even had some real doosies to write about but haven't had the time, focus, or technical support to execute. My computer is still acting out and my camera is driving me crazy. But those are all just excuses. Again, this is such a mild case of stuck-in-the-mud irritation that if it were a soap they wouldn't even put a sensitive skin warning on it. So not to worry, this Pieface is not suffering. I'm just stuck in the mud.

So, to liven things up a bit I'm going to challenge myself to blog every day for the rest of the month on the theme of gratitude. Beyond being appropriate and timely, I think the gratitude shovel might be the best thing to get me out of my muddy mess. Lately, whenever I get ready to wind up and pitch myself into hurricane winds of complaining, I realize - wait a minute, these really aren't problems. My camera doesn't sync with my computer? COME ON PIEFACE!! You've got to come up with bigger problems than THAT! This country is in two wars and there's no cure for cancer for crying out loud!! If you're going to complain, vent about despair, or pain, or the loss of hope. But save your techno-dinosaur dance for another day.

So here we go:

Today, I am grateful for TECHNOLOGY (picture Kip, Napoleon Dynamite's brother serenading you right now). Even though it can be perplexing, I'm sure I would be lost without it. And you wouldn't be able to see the Red Baron's new look. Watch out Tyra.

The Red Baron's Small Smile

The Red Baron's Medium Smile

The Red Baron's Big Smile

My Favorite Eastern European dictator ever

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Having "The Talk" With My Stuff

It is one of life's great ironies that as soon as you can't do something, you want to do that thing all the more. And I'm afraid that I fall victim to wanting what I can't have all the time. Except in my case it's practically debilitating. As soon as an option is off the table, I am dead set on it and my brain does mental cartwheels and triple sow-cows until I can get this unattainable thing in my humongous, amazon hands. It's a sickness really and most recently it happened while I had swine flu.

I had just finished reading Peter Walsh's book "It's All Too Much - So Get It Together" about how getting rid of stuff leads to a better life, and then BAM! Swine flu drained my energy and my desire to even stay upright, let alone comb my attic and flush out my basement. While the book is geared toward the juvenile reader (and let's be honest - if I'm anything, I'm immature) and despite the continuous references to cleaning out your locker and returning your friend's Seventeen Magazine collection, the theories in this book were completely applicable to me as a home owner and mom. But suddenly because of my case of oinking fever, I couldn't implement these uncluttering truths and it was killing me. Not because I am unhinged at messiness (quite the opposite unfortunately), but because I was suddenly physically incapable of doing it. In my blurred vision and 102 degree fevers, I should have envisioned steaming cups of tea and warm comforters, not mislabeled boxes under my bed and mysteriously full garbage bags in my crawl-space.

See how complicated I am?

I've recovered from oinking and I'm trying to focus my pent up organizational energy with a vengeance.

But there's a problem: I've learned that I assign feelings to inanimate objects. These aren't just objects with emotions, they are much more than that. They are wedding gifts, mementos from the past, nay - they are members of the family. The guilt is pretty thick, like I'm letting them down, if I even think of clearing things out. Because my relationship with my stuff is like my relationship with people. And since no one is perfect and every relationship can be improved upon, I tend to give my stuff more lee-way that it deserves. So, it shouldn't really matter what the differences are between me and my unused fondue pot; everything can be resolved with some quality time and mutual respect. If I just focus less on my needs and hone in on the needs of my still-in-the-box kettle corn turner, somehow we can make it work.

But the personification of my stuff doesn't stop there. Whenever I take pictures of things to list on Craiglist, part of me feels like I'm taking photos at a funeral and in my head I hear "We have gathered here today to reflect on our dear friend, the futon." I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to add the line "to a good home" when writing the selling descriptions. Once while a Craigslist patron was looking at our old kitchen table, she expressed that she wasn't interested, and I got offended. All of the sudden I was thinking--with an Italian accent and punctuating my imaginary thoughts with double hand gestures--"What? You think you're better than this table? You think that this table that fed my children isn't good enough for you? Move along, this table doesn't even want to go home with the likes of yous." That's probably when I knew I had a problem.

Peter Walsh to the rescue! He says that we need to change the relationship with our stuff in order to successfully de-clutter not only our homes but our lives, and I knew as soon as I read those words, he was talking directly to me. So I've been having the talk with my stuff and there are some key lines I've been using to move things along. "It's not you, it's me" to lessen the blow. "You're going to a better place" to seal the fate. "You'll be happier where you will see the light of day" to illuminate the bright side. Last but not least, "We'll always have Maui." And I have to say, as strange as it is to admit publicly that I'm having to verbally define my relationships with my stuff in the same way that one would speak to a romantic interest, I am loving the feeling of closure and release.

I know I have a long road ahead (I'm tormented with my inability to provide solace to my 6th grade "Save the Whales" t-shirt), but I'm fairly proud of the two huge garbage bags full of stuff that is going to Goodwill this week and the stack of boxes that I've sentenced to recycling. It's a good start for me.

And as I escorted those garbage bags of stuff out to the back of my car, I could feel my house breathe a sigh of relief that I was finally lightening her heavy burden.

"You're welcome house," I said.

"Just call me Bernice." She replied.

10/20/06 - Computer Desk... and friend.
02/17/09 - Kitchen Table, looking especially dressed up.
10/20/06 - RIP Futon, may you continue to help people sit or sleep, which ever they prefer.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Top 10 Things About Being A Swino

In my uneducated opinion, I'm about 90% over swine flu. The only real lingering effects are my low energy, which arguably could have been there before swine flu, and a lingering cough or two each day. So, in the art of fondly remembering things that are past, I give to you the top 10 things about having swine flu (in no particular order):

1) I was briefly a part of a national state of emergency. Someone out there in Sheboygan, WI, was worried and I was a part of it. Makes me feel patriotic.

2) Taking a nap during daylight is divine. I can't really remember a time that I could just take a nap during the day. It was incredible.

3) People write funny things on your facebook page like "I hope you survive." It's a unique time in your life when people don't know if you're going to make it. Since I'm mean, I only posted sporadically while I was sick, and let people imaginations run. For the record, I wasn't ever in peril of being hospitalized or anything like that. It got ugly but not THAT ugly.

4) You get to wear those super stylish surgical masks in public. If that doesn't make you feel like a leper, I don't know what will.

5) People call you just to check in. That was really nice, knowing that people are pulling for you. Or that they are morbidly curious. Either way, I liked it.

6) People bring you food. Like really good food. Like food that they would normally not even make for themselves. I'm talking homemade bread with hand ground wheat, and soups as far as the eye can see. It was really beautiful. I have fantastic friends.

7) Your mom comes to visit. And she lives a country away, and she's in real danger of getting a serious respiratory infection if she becomes a swino, but she comes anyway. Because that's what moms do, and my mom rules.

8) You can empathize with sick people again. Honestly, I forgot what having a 103 degree fever felt like. I'm hoping my stint as a swino will help me be more patient when my kids get sick and less frustrated with their inability to suffer quietly. Fevers and coughing is no fun and everyone should know about it. It's only right.

9) Your husband takes time off work, friends, life, fun trips to Las Vegas to take care of you. And though his having to cancel his trip made me cry (he was looking SO forward to it), knowing that he didn't think twice about it, and put my situation ahead of his own wants. I know he wasn't happy about it (who would be?), but duty called and he answered. He did a great job taking care of us all too. A regular Florence Nightingale!

10) A good ole fashion reality check. So much of my day has fake deadlines and unnecessary worry, I talk myself into being the "only one" who can do certain things, ridiculous things. Becoming a swino was interesting in that it was a total loss of control for me, and I had to give up the reins on everything and let other people handle things that had been my responsibility. And they did a great job. The reality check of my own insignificance came as a relief is some ways.

Anyways - those are my thoughts on THE DREADED SWINE FLU. I look forward to the time where we can look back on the time I became a swino and laugh. And laugh. And cough and then laugh again.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sharks with Freakin' Laser Beams

From the moment I found out the gender of my babies (I found out gender during both pregnancies - I'm not what you would call very patient), I had to find the perfect baby outfit. This outfit wasn't really for the baby, but to help me get through the pregnancy. I felt like it was some kind of insurance policy - that a baby was actually coming. It offered reassurance that all the torturous symptoms of pregnancy would be over eventually and that this baby was actually real, not some psychotic episode or strange pregnancy dream. This outfit would go under my pillow at night, I would cling to it while wanting to vomit, and drape it over my ever-expanding girth throughout those last HUGE months. It was my blanky. This might not make any sense to the non-pregnant person, but man, having an blanky seemed totally obvious to me.

When the Red Baron was due to arrive, I found this supremely cute pink polkadot soft sleeper that fit the bill nicely and it became my constant companion. Then, not long after she was born, we found out about the pending arrival of the Little Man. The first item of business was to find a blanky. But the more I looked at the boys clothes, the more unsatisfied I became. Here's the reason: infant baby boys clothes are absurd. I think the baby boy clothing execs got together and drafted all manly items into 3 categories: ferocious animals, professional sports, and power tools. Then, to decorate every manly item, they would randomly choose one thing from each category and make it into a completely ridiculous montage. Dinosaur playing football while holding a screwdriver - check. Alligator playing basketball next to a power drill - check. Lion playing baseball with a tiger holding a hammer - check. None of these images gave me any comfort. In fact, they're all a little terrifying and a tad bit insulting to my intelligence and the intelligence of my multi-celled fetus. Come on!! Do you really think an animal without opposable thumbs would even really like baseball? Please!

Let me qualify, I am aware that there are many, many child clothing retailers out there, but I do my shopping at Target, Craigslist, and the occasional Costco, and that's what was coming up in those locations. The kind of clothing that did not offer the calming reassurance I was looking for. Where were the unassuming plaids? The quiet stripes? The polite paisleys? Nowhere. Feeling bereft of any retailer support, I caved and picked up some Rottweilers-playing-rugby-while-flying-fighter-jet onesies and gave up the fight. Who am I to take on the infant boy retailers of America? I was just a puky mom who wanted a sweet little reminder that I wouldn't be pregnant forever and that my son would come into this world welcomed by cheer and warmth and not fangs and spark-plugs.

Then the Little Man was born, and some answers were offered in the labyrinth of differences between boys and girls clothes and their inspiration. When the Red Baron learned how to move/crawl/walk she usually did so around the existing furniture/obstructions/obstacles. If an infant can be dainty, she was it. But when the Little Man learned these same things he moved like a tank and usually did so as close to the obstacles as possible, like he needed some kind of challenge. As if simply moving straight and steady for the first time ever wasn't difficult enough, he needed to simultaneously scale the couch or straddle the cat. No obstacle was too great. Especially when it came to chasing his sister. Yes, the Red Baron was (and still is) the Little Man's Everest. She is the perfect moving target, and he's on the clock tower with a sniper rifle. The poor Red Baron, after months of being told to "watch out for the baby," "don't hurt the baby," and "be gentle with the baby," found out that this baby had been studying in utero with his little ninja snapping turtle friends while they dig a moat around a javelin field.

Turns out these retail execs know a thing or two. Little boys, even in their infancy, are so in tune with their primitive primeval selves, they can be strategic in obtaining their goal, as evidenced by their deft maneuvers and sharpened instincts when it comes to the chase. And if that can't be celebrated with a jujitsu sparring rhino in a hard hat, than I don't know anything.

So I'm on the look out for some girls clothes with street-fighting butterflies while building a throwing star factory, just to even the score a bit.

Exhibit A: Little Man's first attempt at a sock monkey half-nelson, 3 months old.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Oink - Public Service Announcement

Ok, so I've got it. My husband has been calling it "THE DREADED SWINE FLU" for effect I think. And I just figured I wanted to share a little bit of info that I learned from the Dr.'s office, which I didn't know and found interesting:

- Swine flu is projected to hit about 40% of the population, with varying degrees of severity. The most severe (a projected 1%) will be hospitalized.

-The hospitalization will be because of respiratory distress. Which is so weird, because when I think of flu I think vomiting and digestive distress (I think I like that word combo). But this flu attacks the chest and you'll think you have a cold or strep, not the flu (at least I did).

-Hospitalizations usually happen within the first 48 hours of onset.

- The under 5 year old crowd (and over 65 year old crowd) tends to avoid the really bad symptoms, which is good and bad in a way. Good because if my kids had gotten as sick as I am, I would have gone completely insane (mental distress). But if they had shown more serious symptoms, other than a run-of-the-mill runny nose, I would have kept them isolated from society in efforts to keep it from spreading, instead of taking them to preschool, church, etc. Where they may have spread it to their other under 5 year old friends and their families. My kids didn't even have fevers, but the doctor is pretty sure I got sick from them.

- I was told under no circumstances to come in contact with anyone prego. So my prego friends, DON'T GET THIS. I've had fevers up to 103 this week, and have only been able to keep them down with high doses of tylenol and advil. I'm just not sure what a prego lady would be able to do in this situation.

-I sound like I smoke a pack-a-day still, which is pretty annoying. The coughing is pretty painful, and last night I woke myself up at 4am coughing to the point of gagging. I know, gross. But I just want people to know, because some cases aren't bad, and that's great. But this has the potential to get really uncomfortable, and I'm there.

-I've heard all kinds of estimations on incubation, and the doctor didn't even really know the period of contagion, etc. But she said that I needed to stay away from people until I could be fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication, and so far that hasn't happened and I've been sick for 6 days.

-It's being spread by droplets, ie. coughing, sneezing, mucus, etc. and receiving those germs into your eyes, nose, mouth. So try to avoid touching your face at all costs. And wash your hands like crazy.

Anyway - just some info I've been meaning to put on here, but haven't really had a chance to. I'm in good hands and am feeling so loved. People are so good to me, I'm quite undeserving. I'm sure I'll be feeling 100% for the Halloween festivities. I have so much to write about lately - I promise to catch up soon! Until then - OINK!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Alternative Medicine

I don't know what it is, but there's something going around these days, and there are several victims at my house.

My technology is sick. My printer won't print, my scanner won't scan and my computer won't compute. Actually it will compute, but it won't upload pictures, which is extremely annoying. Hence no really recent pictures up lately. Sorry folks. As soon as I can locate a professional to check it's vital signs, I'll have something fun up, I promise.

The kids are sick. Actually, they're ok, but the constant flow of greenish ooze from their noses and poor sleeping habits have me a little concerned. But I'm told the nose residue is the fall accessory of 2009 in the 2 yr.-7 yr. old crowd. If that's the case, my kids belong in Paris and Milan as this season's most fashion forward tots.

And finally, I'm sick. Actually, I'm not that bad, but my throat is on fire, and I sound like a-pack-a-day smoker. It's hard when the person who's supposed to take care of everyone else is not up to par. So the Red Baron is taking charge and is working as my own personal physician. Here is the transcript of my appointment with Dr. R. Baron:

Dr. R. Baron: Are you sick mom?
Me: Yes, I'm not feeling very well.
Dr. R. B.: Well, let's check your heart beat. Oh look, there's a baby in your stomach.
Me: Really? That's weird, I don't remember that being there (suddenly sucking in).
Dr. R. B.: Yeah, there she is. Her name is Mmmini.
Me: Ok, let's talk about my sore throat instead (feeling a little uncomfortable and self-conscious).
Dr. R. B.: Ok. And I need to check your eyes. And your mouth. And your shots.
Me: Where will I need shots?
Dr. R. B.: In the forehead, the heart and the baby.
Me: Ouch. That sounds serious.
Dr. R. B.: Shots only hurt for a minute. Then you can have a candy corn. (Which ironically might the reason why there's a Mmmini in the first place).

She wound up and gave me my shots; turns out stabs and shots are the same thing. What can I say? My Dr. is very thorough. She kissed it better and then started singing a Spanish song, while drumming on her brother's head. Did I mention she has a more homeopathic approach to medicine?

I'm relieved that my prognosis is so good. It turns out that Mmmini and I will be fine. It's nothing a candy corn won't fix. And luckily, I have a decent supply of the medicinal candy corn, so if you need any, you know where to come. I can be your dealer.

If you excuse me, I have to intervene on Dr. R. Baron from performing her first session of acupuncture on the Little Man. Stay well!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Opposite Day

Remember when you could just declare that it was opposite day? Like if someone said something you didn't approve of, for instance, "wear shoes" "it's time for dinner" "today is Tuesday," all you had to do was decide that it was opposite day and instantly in your mind you could wear sandals, eat dessert and it would be Friday. Am I alone in these elementary school antics? I hope not, because opposite day was the greatest, especially when there was a test to take in the winter while it was raining.

But in the effort to keep opposite day alive and well, let's just pretend that it's opposite day. No wait, let's make it opposite week.

And the Little Man is like this:

The Red Baron feels like this:

And they love each other like this:

But I'm going to level with you. It's been more like this:

Yes, that's the Little Man wearing a winter hat, stuffing Red Baron in the diaper trunk. She's not super happy about it. For a little guy, he's pretty spry. This week has been a little wearing, but I just have to remind myself that someday I'll miss the days where I could just sit back and watch Little Man stuff Red Baron into the diaper trunk. Probably when they're teenagers.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

RIP Rest In Peace

Usually when my kids hit their milestones there's fanfare and parades, facebook postings and phone calls to family, declaring the spectacular news:

"Red Baron used the potty!"
"Little Man just rolled over!"
"Red Baron stopped biting other children!"
"Little Man finally got hair!"

We just passed another milestone, but not the "national-moment-of-silence" kind. No, this isn't a really celebratory milestone. It's the kind that actually makes my quality of life drastically plummet. I approach this milestone with the weight of a person burying a loved one. Yes, it is this day I officially say good bye to my dear friend, the Red Baron's Afternoon Nap (let's call it "Reban").

I have had hard time letting go of this friend. In fact, Reban left several weeks ago. But I've been in denial. Reban needed to get some air and hasn't been back since.

At first, I wasn't alarmed. Reban probably just lost track of time, I thought.
That Reban! I'm sure Reban got distracted in the magazine rack at Safeway. She'll be waltzing through that door any moment now full of apologies, I continued.

But nothing happened. No phone calls, no emails. The silence of the space that Reban left in my home was filled with the screams of over-exhausted toddlers.

That's when I got scared. Phone calls to the pediatricians office and enquiries to the mommy websites didn't turn up any helpful leads. What if Reban was pinned in a ditch, isolated and obscured from the search parties a few meager feet away? No, I had to keep searching; I was Reban's only hope (or rather, Reban was my only hope). So I waited. And waited some more. But nothing. It was like that time I got stood up by a date, minus the hair spray and lipstick. Empty waiting and ticking of clocks. Except I knew Reban would never stand me up. No, Reban and I knew each other. Reban was the one who saved me from sure institutionalization and mental evaluations. No, Reban wouldn't leave me hanging. Not during toddlerhood. Not MY Reban.

After some time passed many said "Reban is gone, it's time to stop waiting and move on with your life. Go to the zoo or something." But I refused. I refused to believe that this thing of beauty, these moments of solitary tranquility and mental breathing were all just the charade of some one-sided relationship. That I didn't mean as much to Reban as Reban meant to me. But that was precisely the situation. And it hurt.

It was during these throws of desperation when I heard a knock at the door. Jilted, I answered it and in walked Parental Guided Quiet Time ("PGQT" doesn't work, so let's call it "Parry"). Parry entered, with a sippy cup full of milk and a bag full of library books and single-handedly filled the gap that was left by Reban. The baby gate closed behind Parry and with these tools of distraction, I was released from duty and alarming quiet blanketed my precious afternoon. And just like that, tranquility was restored once more.

Don't get me wrong, I still miss Reban. But the time has come to say good bye. So good bye dear friend. You're in a better place now. LONG LIVE PARRY (please)!

Red Baron (7 mos.), Monk the Monkey and Reban during happier times.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Nowhere To Hide

Have you ever looked over while getting undressed and seen the totally unimpressed face of your pet?

Yeah, me neither. But I think I'll work out anyway.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Farewell Queen of Awkward

I'm the first to admit it: I am the queen of awkward. I'm the friend that goes in for the hug, when you are going in for the handshake. In fact, I go in for the hug when people aren't even wanting to shake hands. What can I say? I'm a hugger. It's something I'm coming to terms with and learning how to read social cues. I also forget names quickly, which is understandable for lighter associations, but not for people I've known my whole life, extended family members, etc. Yeah, pretty awkward. I've grown pretty attached to my title Queen Awkward. Which is why it is with great surprise I relinquish it, because this week I met three people that I think deserve my crown. And there's nothing more awkward than a three-way tie, am I right?

It all started with the piano tuner. He seemed pretty nice, and played some nice jazzy chop sticks, and I thought "I like this guy." Somehow our discussion rambled toward the two no-no subjects: politics and religion. I normally don't go near these emotionally charged topics, but I figured "Hey, he plays jazzy chop-sticks, how bad can this get?" Famous last words. Turns out he is a conservative southern Baptist and I am a liberal member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. But again, I thought to myself "Pieface, you're both adults, there's no reason for this to be anything but two mature adults discussing their backgrounds." But the discussion reached the point of no return when he said that I "seemed too well-educated to be Mormon" among other awkward accusations. Sure, it was all delivered in the nicest possible way, the way that you would picture a guy who played jazzy chopsticks to say it. But by the time he left, I was mentally exhausted. I'm happy that I stuck to my guns on being respectful versus his more aggressive approach, but HELLO! Are you really attacking my politics and religion, while you tune the piano and PLAY JAZZY CHOP STICKS? In MY house? In front of MY kids? AWKWARD!

Maybe you should just get back to tuning the piano.

Several days later I rode my bike to the grocery store with my kids in the bike trailer. After I packed everyone back into the trailer, I turned to put my cart into the little cart shelter, and in the 7 seconds that I wasn't by my kids' side a woman ran up to them with her hand on her heart, looking quite frantic.

Me: "....Hello....?"
Her: "Did you just go shopping while your kids waited outside in the bike cart?"
Me: "Ummm, no. Didn't you see me? I was just returning my cart," pointing to the cart shelter about 10 feet away from my bike.
Her: "Are you sure?"
Me: (getting on my bike) "Uh ... yup" (riding away).
Her: "Oh, because I was sure that someone had just left these adorable little children on the street, and I just didn't know what to do blah...blah....."

What the? I turn my back for approximately 7 seconds and this stranger is ready to call social services. AWKWARD!!

Fast forward to yesterday. I'm at the playground and this woman I don't know looks at me and asks in astonishment "Wow. You're a young mom. Like a really young mom. How old are you?" I--again--being the mature adult that I am, said "30" and resisted the cheerleader-in-trouble-with-a-married-sugar-daddy-in-the-State-Senate-and-you're-old-like-really-old, how-old-are-you? fictitious reply. Because, remember, I'M MATURE DANG IT!!!

So kudos to you Bible-thumping-piano-tuner, strange-grocery-store-social-services-lady and super-nosy-ageist-mom. You put my awkward hug with what's-his-name older ex-coworker while shopping at Ikea to shame! If you ask me, you all need a good hug!

Turns out the awkward hugging problem is genetic.
* Jazzy Chop Stick mentions: 4

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Something Is Wrong With My Phone

I feel like I owe a lot of people a lot of phone calls lately.

Sorry folks. My phone. It's been really weird lately. I promise to catch up soon.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Pieface Origins

I feel like it's time for me to disclose the origins of Pieface.

It was the fall of 1985. I was 6 years old and in grade one (aka I'm Canadian). I loved school, but my favorite part was to wander around the playground, stirring up action. You know the elementary school type action: pushing kids into the rope pit, pretending to know how to play street hockey and making the boys let me play, chasing anyone that would run in front of me, etc. Nothing malicious or destructive, just active and busy. And as I remember it, I was kind of a lone wolf. Not that I didn't have friends, but being only 6, I was completely ignorant that you were supposed to have a posse and didn't know that in being alone you were indeed lonely. I think that's a learned trait.

It was during one of those recess rants that my path crossed a certain boy, let's call him Ronald (in the name of protecting the not-so-innocent). Ronald was also stirring up the pot and to be honest, I can't remember what transpired, but I must have done something to really get his goat because the next thing that happened has etched itself into my memory ever since. He looked at me for awhile, and yelled at the top of his lungs "Your face looks like a pie!! You're a PIEFACE!!" and ran off like a scared little school girl (ironic). I suppose a posse would have been useful right here.

I just stood there in shock. I quickly looked around, expecting to see someone right behind me smeared with blueberries or maybe a fancy lattice dough pattern tattoo. But no. I was the only one there. I remember feeling my face get really hot. The bell rang and I went back into the class room, only thinking one thing: is looking like a pie a bad thing? Because if it is, Ronald better run fast because he doesn't know what he was dealing with. I knew how to be scrappy because I have 3 older brothers and they were big (ages 8,10,11). We went to different elementary schools at the time, but I figured this worked to my tactical advantage. Ronald wouldn't know what to do when I showed up to school with my very own cavalry. Plus I had a little sister who was 4 at the time, who could scream louder than anyone I ever knew, so if the boys couldn't finish the job, than surely she could do some damage. And when I say "finish the job" and "damage" I mean give him a rub-burn on his forearm or any other fiendish acts my siblings had in their arsenal.

By the time I got home and sat down for dinner my bravado was completely depleted. Who was I kidding? Someone out there thought my face looked like a pie, and even my 6-year old psyche knew that this was not a high rung on the ladder of social acceptability. In fact, it was like the gum on the bottom of the shoe of the kid that was trying to crawl up the ladder in his double leg casts. My dad noticed that something was wrong and asked me what happened at school. As I told everyone the story, tears started sliding down my cheeks and by the end of it I was sobbing the words "heeeee...... c-c-c-called me... PIEFACE!" completely devastated. The table was silent. I regained my composure, expecting the war-cry and call to arms that would inevitably ensue.

It didn't.

The pause lasted longer than I expected. Then there was a muffled snort. Then heavy breathing, the kind that someone labors through to keep themselves from bursting out in hysterics. Then came the hysterics. My dad, bless his itty-bitty character-building little heart, said "well....he.... might be onto something." And at this point the whole table erupted. I would like to think that maybe I saw the humor in this funny little scene as well, but I'm sure at this point I unleashed my elbow hits to my brothers' ribs instead. Hey, don't judge, I was 6.

So my family started calling me Pieface (and "Evil Elbow"). I hated it at first. But this story has become part of our family legend and as I have heard this story re-told over and over again, I learned the important lesson that to laugh at yourself is healing, even when things are hard to laugh at. This story also reminds me that deep down I still have a feisty, independent, taking-matters-into-her-own-hands little girl is ready to throw some elbows for her cause. And I like that. So I wear my Pieface proudly, for everyone to see. Because, in my experience, very few people can say no to pie.

As for Ronald, he never met Pieface on the playground ever again. He may have had some run-ins with Evil Elbow but my memory is a little fuzzy on those events (in the name of protecting the not-so-innocent).

* I have tried to scan a picture of the original 6 year old Pieface, to accompany this post, but have had very little luck. I promise to produce photographic evidence and we can take a poll on whether you too think that Ronald really was on to something.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wife of the Year

So, I had a couple extra minutes the other day, and thought "Pieface, you should do something nice for the man in your life." See, he was having a hard day and everything seemed a little bleak. And I know that when I have a hard day, a little extra attention, a thoughtful gesture, a reassuring word or a fully cooked ham is all I need to get me through the tough moments. The next problem would be what do to? What could help his mood and lift his spirit? Should I make him something? Would he like a new outfit? How about if I send him out of the house with a book and "free time?" My brain came up with all these really fantastic answers and all these incredible ideas, but I realized they were all things that I wanted and not what HE would want.

And finally it dawned on me. The perfect, most excellent thing I could do for him, and it was shockingly simple.

So, I shaved my legs.

I don’t want you, dear Pieface reader, to think that I take my hygiene lightly or that I’m not a fan of shaved legs because that would be false. I’m a huge fan of shaved legs, and love the feeling and look of them immensely. My problem is that they require some time and effort which are in short supply these days (what with my new blogging responsibilities and all). Also, with the turning of seasons, and the pants being dusted off and pulled to the front of the closet again, shaved legs seem as useful as a calculator watch (don’t tell me you have forgotten all about the calculator watch!). In fact, unshaven legs are very useful in providing that extra layer of heat padding for those especially brisk days. Who in their right mind wouldn't want an extra layer of heat padding? Sounds fantastic, doesn't it? But this perspective isn't quite the view the man in my life takes. It's not that he wants me to be cold or anything ridiculous like that. Nor does he even really care if my legs are shaved or not (or that he really has a choice in the matter). I just know that it's something that I can do, like a nice little gesture to show him:

"Hey you.. yeah, you in the back, next to the Doritos... I know you care about this, and even though I don't really care about it, I care about it today because you care about it."

So there you have it. Shaved legs.

Don't say I never did anything for you, honey!

Monday, September 21, 2009

I Hope That This Never Happens To You

You know the feeling when you find a fantastically priced house in the perfect neighborhood, with all the right schools and the gorgeous parks? It's like you've hit the jackpot. But they never tell you about that one strange neighbor .... with a problem... until it's way. too. late.

It all started like any other quiet, stay-at-home evening in the Finnegan household.

A family dinner,

Mrs. Finnegan and little Fanny watching Battlestar Galactica,

and Mr. Finnegan and young Barkley doing some sudoku,

but they couldn't shake the feeling that something wasn't quite right.

It was as though they were being watched somehow.

"...RUN FANNY!...."

They tried to escape, but they were really no match.
A criminal investigation was conducted where a suspicious piece of downy hair was found with a trace of tuna fish residue. The authorities haven't been able to question the Finnegan's neighbor, Crazy Eye Mishi, who coincidentally didn't report in for duty at her job down by the docks that night. Neither the Finnegans, nor Crazy Eye, were ever seen or heard from again.

*No dolls were harmed in the staging of this post.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Red Baron's First Solo Flight

The Red Baron has officially entered the system and had her first day of preschool (coincidentally on Tuesday, aka my 30th birthday). Never in the history of preschool students has there been a kid with higher expectations and anticipation. She has been asking to go to preschool since she turned 2 years old (I didn't start taking it personally for a good 6 months) and would practice leaving to go to preschool on a daily basis. We found out she got into our favorite preschool in June, and she has asked me a minimum of 4 times a day since "can I PLEASE go to preschool today?" like it was something I was willfully withholding from her.

And preschool has come at a high price too - the toll being that she had to be potty trained. Anna used her iron will in this instance and was so determined to go to preschool come hell or high urine, that she made the potty training happen on her own. Well, that and a jar of jelly beans, but since they're only 4 calories each we don't really count them.

Next came the outfit, and most importantly a backpack. I'm embarrassed to say that I shopped in more stores for Anna's backpack for preschool than I did for my own wedding dress. We made her special hair-band, bought glowing Tinkerbell shoes, searched Craigslist for the best "first day of preschool outfit" (my wallet has a moral dilemma against buying new clothes for my kids other than at Target) and performed what we hope to be an annual back to school fashion show the night before the big day. I was exhausted by the whole preschool ordeal and kept having preschool-related nightmares and found myself gazing into space wondering how healthy the other kid's snacks will be, what might happen if she kills the class guinea pig (by accident of course) and other equally important and meaningful thoughts.

So the day came and after tiring her completely by photographs, we all took her to school. Since she's never been in daycare before, I was a little anxious how she would handle our first parting. She walked in, found her cubby and turned and said, "Ok, bye guys." and started painting. Chad turned to me and said, "Did you hear that?" and I was in total shock. My baby just left ME at preschool like it was no big deal. The teachers handed us a little parting gift (complete with tear-inducing poem and Kleenex) and we were suddenly back in the car, completely dejected, relieved and stunned.
I looked in the back seat to find the Little Man, having lost his playmate and best friend for the morning, looking like this:

She could have had at least cried for a minute or shed a small tear, right? But she was nothing but excited and ready to tell everyone who the real boss was and that these "teachers" were merely ornamental in function and that the buck stops with her, as we heard her telling the teachers it wasn't time to clean up, she wasn't finished with her water colors yet. I have to say, hearing that interchange helped me leave a little less sad.

When I picked her up after, she was so sad to leave preschool. She looked at me and her whole body deflated as if to say, "Really? You again?" A trip to Burgerville for a celebratory berry smoothie solved that problem, and she's been wearing her backpack ever since.

The Proud Dada
A Very Proud Pieface

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Getting Into the Birthday Spirit

In our house, birthdays are celebrated like Hanukkah (for the record we're not Jewish) - it's long lasting, filled with fun and total disregard for the suggested daily caloric intake. And this birthday was no exception. It all started with a meeting Chad had with a new client, a karaoke joint called "Voice Box" downtown on last Friday night. He suggested that I bring the kids down at about 7:15 to do some good old fashioned family karaoke. You would think that the odd client meeting time (what client is meeting you on Friday night?), or overly specific arrival time would have tipped me off, but if Chad knows one thing about me it's that when talking karaoke I don't ask questions, I just show up with my game face on. So I'm heading into the Voice Box and as he's giving me a quick little mini-tour, I pass by this room, and all of these people jump up and yell "SURPRISE!" which made me almost throw up in my mouth. My poor Little Man, who was on my hip at the moment, completely froze in place and his inner-thigh muscles didn't let go of my side for about a half hour after the initial surprise. After assessing that my toddler wasn't going into cardiac arrest, my first thought was "how nice of Chad's client to let him throw me a surprise party." That is how convinced I was at his story. It took some time, but finally I realized that this party was thrown under this "client" guise.

This is the same guy who shows me my Christmas presents every year weeks in advance. How did he pull this off? Then I remembered a conversation that we had a while back, where we jointly decided not to have a big birthday parties for each other this year, because of schedule, budget, etc. I remember agreeing, but feeling a little disappointed because I like me a good partay! I realized that Chad was paying close attention AND listening to my disappointment, and as a result he threw me a surprise party, doing one of my favorite things - KARAOKE. Too many highlights to list, but two stand-out performances were: The Red Baron doing the worm along the floor under the disco lights, and the Little Man singing back-up for about a solid hour, because I couldn't wrestle the second microphone from his sticky little hands. And of course Chad's performance of "Sweet Child of Mine" brings a tear to my eye, as it always does. It was a great night, and I've been thinking about it ever since. Thanks folks for letting me monopolize the microphone and for putting up with my performance starved family.

My man can SANG! Little Man and Red Baron waiting patiently to have a turn doing "yoky."

Can you feel it? Sure you can.

If it's possible, it gets better. My other birthday present was given yesterday (Tuesday - my official birthday) and is a FREE DAY where I get to LEAVE THE HOUSE WITHOUT KIDS and will return to a clean house, all by the heroic efforts of my husband. This is epic. Which proves that Chad was listening to me when I said "You know the best present would be 3 hours by myself with 50$" (a hint I dropped several months ago). I suppose I've been priming the birthday pump for quite a while.

To recap - I got a night of sweet karaoke tunes, a free day all to myself and a husband that listens, which is probably the best birthday gift of all. Which also means that this birthday is stretching to Saturday (my free day). So HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!! Mazel Tov!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Mental Organizing

My mind has had lots to think about lately, and I've been able to compartmentalize all my thoughts into specific categories. So here they are, in tidy, little, lists with labels and everything:

Category 1 - The Mundane
"That laundry pile is getting bigger and bigger. Oh well."
"I don't suppose that fridge will clean itself. Oh well."
"That kid probably needs a diaper change. Oh well."

Category 2 - The Trivial
"I wonder what's happening on Facebook right now?"
"Better check my email again."
"I wonder what's happening on Facebook right now?"

Category 3 - The Deep
"I was at the Twin Towers one month before 9/11."
"I took the bus to and from the Pentagon every morning and evening for 3.5 months during the summer of 2001."
"I became an American citizen on August 14th, 2001."
"It could have been me."
"It could have been any of us."
"It wasn't."
"This country was united then."
"This country isn't united now."
"Why do we have to have an enemy to unite?"

Category 4 - The Optimistic
"I hope things get better."
"Maybe I'll make cookies this afternoon."
"If I have to hear one more crazy loud-mouth verbally spew about health care, I'm moving to Canada."
"Chad can clean the fridge."

I'm really good at hypothetical/philosophical/metaphorical organizing. My mind is really the only part of me that does that (organize). Some of my best mental organizing skills were learned by the GOP during the recent Presidential elections. If we could all put our thoughts/actions into the "The Terrorists Win" category or the "The Terrorists Lose" category, we can't really go wrong.
For example, "I want to create a training camp in my basement." (Terrorists Win)
"I want to get along with my neighbor." (Terrorists Lose)

It's really easy. So, tonight as you are thinking your mundane, trivial, deep and optimistic thoughts, let it all lead you to where the Terrorists will lose the most. As for me, I'm going to a karaoke joint, because I'm pretty sure they would HATE that.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Lesson from Hemingway

A new favorite lately is listening to Writer's Corner on NPR, where I recently heard that Hemingway once wrote a story in 6 words. It reads: "For sale: baby shoes, never worn." and is acclaimed as being one of his greatest works. I have never been concise in my writing and I'm even worse in my speech, but if I were to write the story of today in few words, it would probably go something like this:

"One dozen Krispy Cremes, totally inadequate."


"Where are you now Super Nanny?"


"I'll give you something to scream about."

Forgive me on the superfluous word on the last one. Today was one of those days. Cheers to tomorrow, because it couldn't get any louder than today.