Saturday, September 29, 2012

Hats


Hudson and I have a tradition that once a week, after I pick him up from school we stop at Starbucks and he gets a chocolate chip cookie and chocolate milk and I get coffee.  It is a time for us to chat and catch up on things.  It was on one of these outings that he told me about his career aspirations.

“I want to be a hospital person that helps sick people when I grow up.”
“Like daddy?”
“Yes, but I want to drive the ambulance too.  But what hospital would I work at?”
“You could work wherever you want.”
“I want to work at the same hospital as daddy because I’ll want to see him when I’m bigger.”

I think my heart literally melted.  Not only did he want to be just like his dad, he wanted to make sure that he got to spend time with him as well.  I was proud of my husband for being the kind of father that his son, at the age of four, already sees him as a role model.  Now if this story ended right here, it would be really sweet, right?

Things got quiet for a few minutes and I knew he was thinking about something.
“Do policemen wear hats?”
“Yeeesss…”
“I want to be a policeman.”

From this I learned two things.  First, life is a few sweet moments surrounded by a whole lot of weirdness.  Embrace the weirdness.  It makes life interesting.  I love the tender moments, the hugs, the I love yous, but in the end it is these moments of absurd that make this life uniquely mine.  Second, I now realize that my son is going to do, what he wants to do.  All we can do as his parents is be good role models for how to be a good person and lead a happy life.  And while I do that, I’ll wear a cool hat.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Photo Friday: Vacation Pics

Guest Post from Ann

Since I'm on vacation in Amsterdam, I've got a super-short Photo Friday post for you.
Tip No. 1: Try to get people in your vacation photos.  Sure, photos of buildings and monuments are great, but I find that the ones I look at again and again almost always have people I love in them.  And a lot of times it's when they aren't posing, especially with kids, who often have a strange idea of how they should look when you take their picture (that grimace-smile thing).  Hang in there and keep shooting until they forget about you.  I mean that in the "they forget that the camera's on them" rather than the "oops, we left Ann in the art museum" sense.
Tip No. 2:  Pack extra batteries and memory cards.  Bring your charger.  If you're in Amsterdam, be sure not to stop and get run over by someone bicycling and texting at the same time.  Yes, that's a thing.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Creepin'


I’m a little worried that my son is somehow related to that creepy kid from “The Shining”.  The other night I was tucking him in and he started to tell me about how he thinks a bad guy snuck into his school and changed the colors of the paints and the feathers.  Don’t ask.  I don’t understand it either.  My best guess is that someone snuck LSD into his Goldfish crackers at lunch.  Anyway, I was telling him how I don’t think there are bad guys at his preschool and he looked me straight in the eyes and said, “If they want in, they will come.”

Well…alrighty then.

And just as I had convinced myself that I wouldn’t find him in my bedroom one night writing red rum on my bedroom door, today he had this lovely thing to say about our dog.

“When Cooper dies, can we get a cat?”

Stupidly, my response after I reassured him that Cooper was going to be around for several more years was "Plus, I don't want a cat" not "Hey, let's have a discussion about that really disturbing thing you just said."

I therefore ask you friends, if you have not seen our dog in a few days and see that we have acquired a cat, please bring a priest and some holy water to our house and perform an exorcism as soon as possible.  Our family pet thanks you.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

On Shortness


Today at the gym I took a nice sized chunk of skin out of my shin trying to do box jumps because I forgot that I’m 5’2” and contrary to popular belief, cannot jump.  Other than bodily harm, there are many other lovely things that come along with being vertically challenged, so let me just tell you about them.

People assume you are a child.  I went to a doctor’s appointment yesterday and the registration person wanted to know if this would be filed under my dad’s insurance.  No, it will not.  You can file it under you’re an asshole.  There was also the time I bought a desk lamp at Target at the cashier said to me in a sing song voice, “Someone’s going to college…”  People tell me I should be proud of this because I look young, but I guarantee that he was not thinking, “Look at this hot college coed” but more like “Look at this funny person who is three-quarters the size of a regular person.”  So no, I’m not proud.

You can never take standing pictures with your spouse if they are normal sized.  My husband, who is 6’1’, and I did this once and it looked like the Jolly Green Giant married an Oompa Loompa.

You are sometimes forced to wear children’s clothing.   Like the time we went bowling and I was given shoes with Velcro.  Only thing worse would be if they lit up when I walked and had Dora plastered all over them.

Sometimes adult clothes just don’t fit though.  When I complain about this to my husband he will say, “Why don’t you just look in the children’s section?”  Because I’m 33 and do adult things like pay taxes and schedule regular appointments with my dentist…that’s why.

The only up side to this shortness thing is I rarely bang my head on things and when I do swallow my pride and meander over the kids section, I can get a t-shirt for like $5.  So I’ve got that going for me…
Guess which one's me.  I'll give you a hint.
The children's helmets were a different color.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Couch Food


Ok, so it may be time I actually cleaned the house up a little bit seeing as how my son pulled an entire Papa John’s appetizer out of the couch.

“Mom, can I eat a breadstick?”
“We don’t have any breadsticks.”
“Yes, we do.”
He is looking at me from the couch wielding a breadstick like a saber.
“Where did you get that from?”
“The couch”
“No, you cannot eat that!”
“Why?”
“Because we don’t eat food that we find in the couch.”

These are words that should never, ever come out of anyone’s mouth…ever.  I think even for a hoarder, this might be that eye-opening experience were they realize what filth they live in and change their ways.  “I never realized how bad things had got until I found the breadstick in the couch…”

Looking on the bright side, at least I know that if anything ever happens to me they can survive for a couple of days foraging for food in the upholstered wilderness of our living room.

On that note, who wants to come over for dinner?  I think I may have a nice meatloaf in the laundry hamper.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Freckle


I have a vision that one day my children will look back on their childhood and remember me fondly for my quirkiness and humor.  I imagine they will one day be sitting at dinner together with their respective families and say “Remember when mom…”.  They will then tell some story of my hilarity.  There will be many from which to choose.  I don’t think this will be the case though.

The other day I decided to name the two freckles on Hudson’s nose Fred and Fiona Freckle.  I thought he would think this was funny.  There was also the sappier version in which he is going through a hardship at school and feeling lonely but is comforted by the fact that Fred and Fiona Freckle are always there with him, then recalls this when he’s older as a time I was able to give him strength.  Look, I never claimed to have brilliant ideas.

However, I can now sadly report, based on the look I received, that my kid thinks I’m a dumbass.   Oh, I know a look can’t completely prove what my child thinks of me.

But this can.
“Hudson, tomorrow we need to clean up this playroom.”
“Let’s do it sometime when I feel like it.”
“Are you ever going to feel like it?”
“Nope.”

Still not convinced.  How about we add a tone of condescension to the mix?
“Hudson, did you just take that from Kenzie?”
“No, she gave it to me.”
“How do you know?”
“Because I’m smart.”

There you have it folks.  Irrefutable evidence that my son thinks I’m a moron.  I am living with a pint sized Sheldon Cooper.

The worst part is that even my not yet 2 year old daughter has joined the mom's an idiot bandwagon.
"Poop"
“Kenzie, you pooped?”
“Yes.”
“In your diaper?”
“Yes.”
“Like where else would you poop?  That was a dumb question.”
“Yes.”
If sarcasm is a developmental milestone, I'm pretty sure she's got that one nailed. 

Since my kids are obviously smarter and wittier than me, if you need to have an adult conversation or need the answers to any important grown up questions, check with my kids.  I’ll be sitting by myself laughing at fart jokes.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Mimes and Korean Rap


Sometimes I feel like I’ve been living under a rock covered by 8-track tapes, car phones, and maybe one Debbie Gibson cassette.   It has become apparent to me that I am completely out of touch with what’s going on in the world.

“So you know how there are church mimes?” said my friend Ann.
Excuse me, what?  Let me preface this with, this conversation came up because she had seen a flyer for a Mime Convention in Dallas billed as “a mime blowing experience”.  This came up because…you know what, never mind.   We could be here all day.  Let’s just leave it as sometimes Ann and I talk about some weird shit.  Anyway, the point is that I had no idea that there were churches with mimes.  Choirs…yep.  Hand bell choirs…yep.  Religious pantomiming…not a clue.

Just when I was wondering what else was going on in the world that I didn’t know about, I get home and Eric starts to show me an SNL skit I had missed this weekend.   “So you know how there’s this Korean rapper that’s been all over YouTube?”  Seriously?!  How am I missing all of this?  Church mimes.  Korean rap.  I’m starting to feel like my mom when she once asked me about “Snoopy Doggy Dog” when I was in high school.   Is this how it starts?  You become a parent, you watch one too many episodes of Thomas the Tank Engine and the next thing you know you’re wondering how skinny jeans are still able to sag.

So I’m officially handing in my cool card that establishes me as an informed citizen of this world.  If I ever really had one that is.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Photo Friday: The window's your best friend


Guest Post from Ann

My daughter says, "Grandma, send help, my parents are fools." Indeed.  Fools who take her picture with no flash near a window.

I love taking photos.  There's nothing like having your wedding or family portrait shot by a professional, but, let's face it, that person is probably not going to be at your house when your baby smears sweet potato puree all over her face or greets you with a gummy smile first thing in the morning.    And, really, if there is a professional photographer there, you probably would have to change out of your monkey pajamas, clean the sweet potato off your shirt and actually brush your hair.  Or maybe that's just me.  Also, what the hell is this person doing at your house at 6 a.m.?  You might want to consider an alarm system or a Rottweiler.

Anyhow, I asked Sabine if I could do a photo post each week to help share what I've learned during a couple of years as a photography enthusiast or just share photos that I'm really excited about.  My first tip for photographing your kid is to plop them in front of a window (I tend to like them with their heads facing the light or at a right angle, but it's fun to play around with, depending on what they're doing), turn your flash off and let them be their charming little selves.  When they get tired of just sitting there, have favorite objects on hand.  Because, come on, you also want to remember just how intensely they loved chewing the edge of your living room rug or carrying around that favorite spoon.  Or maybe that's just my baby.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dirty Secret


Lately I have had a number of people accuse me of having too much time on my hands.  I guess this is because of my tendency to go to the gym, get my hair and nails done or start a blog.  Since people are getting suspicious, I will come clean. I have been stealing time and am completely addicted.

It all started one night after bedtime.  I had spent the day making sure my children had just the right type of nutritious meals in just the right proportions.  I made sure to limit their TV time to less than the recommended amount and engaged them in just the right type of play to foster creativity, independence and fine motor skills.  However, despite all my best mommy efforts, my kids were awful.  They whined, they fought, they didn’t want to go to bed and when they were in bed, they kept getting up.  When they were finally asleep, I thought I’ll just do one small chunk of time.  Just 15 minutes.  I can stop at any time.  So I did.  I took 15 minutes all to myself and let me tell you there is nothing quite as glorious as that first hit of time.  I felt euphoric not having to worry about anyone else and a sense of peace and calm washed over my frazzled nerves.  I knew at this moment I was completely addicted.

I needed more.  If I can do 15 minutes, imagine what 30 minutes would feel like.  I could do something that I had dreamed of doing since childhood.  I signed up for piano lessons, once a week for 30 minutes.  My friends started to suspect that something was up when I could play Moonlight Sonata and play a halfway decent version of The Entertainer.  The weird thing is my kids didn’t catch on.  They seemed to be completely okay despite my reckless behavior.

That’s not completely true.  They probably did notice some things.  I’m sure they noticed that the house wasn’t as clean anymore.  As time became my main priority, a few dishes in the sink no longer bothered me and it was more common to see a basket of unfolded clothes.  Also, thanks to my time, I had newfound energy (another side affect is increased anger threshold and decreased bitchiness).  At my darkest hour, I played with my kids in the rain. I was no longer afraid of the mess it might make in the house, so we just went outside and ran, laughing and getting completely soaked.  To my shame, my kids loved it when I was strung out like this.  They were now going right to sleep at night because they were exhausted trying to keep up with me in my intoxicated state.

Now my behavior got completely out of control.  I started to hang with the wrong crowd.  I would get together with another group of like-minded, time-addicted friends.  We had blatant disregard for the safety of our children and left them with babysitters.  We got so bad we decided to do this once a month and call it “adult swim”.

Now my story takes a turn for the worse.  You can only hide addictions for so long before your family starts to notice that something has changed.  My husband didn’t come out directly and say that he knew I was using, but he said “I like you better since you’ve been letting yourself go a little bit.”  Oh my god, not only did my husband know, he seemed to approve!  He was completely enabling me!

So there it is.  My dirty secret.  My name is Sabine and I am addicted to time.  Here’s the thing though.  I don’t want help.  Don’t try to have an intervention or make me go to rehab because I won’t go.  I love my time and the way it makes me feel and I’m never going back.

Psst… I probably shouldn’t do this because it takes me over that border from junkie to pusher…but…if you want to do just a little bit of time…it’s ok….I won’t tell.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My Baby is Smarter Than Your Baby


Isn’t it funny how when moms of young children get together we always end up playing this game of “Look at how my baby is way ahead of his or her developmental milestones and doesn’t that mean he/she will be the next Stephen Hawking”?  Well, I am here to urge you, fellow mothers, that we stop this malicious practice because my baby is obviously so much smarter than your baby.

Yesterday Kenzie had a fever.  She spent the afternoon sleeping on my chest while I watched CNN.  When I got up to make dinner, I laid her on the couch and left the T.V. on the news because I think it’s important that she become an informed reader of political Facebook posts.

She started pointing out things on the screen and naming them when she recognized them.
“Flower…Puppy….House.”
“Kenzie, did you see a house?!”
“Yes.”
I think this is the smartest thing she’s ever done.  The fact that she was watching world news coverage somehow makes her seem like a genius and totally makes up for the time that she ate a foam dinosaur.

So go ahead.  Tell me about how many words your baby knows after using “Your Baby Can Read”.  My baby can name stuff…while watching the news.  Game. Over.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Woodpeckers and Other Things That Go Bump in the Night


One night Hudson decided that he was afraid of woodpeckers.  He had just come back from his grandparent’s house and they had heard a woodpecker in a tree.  His grandmother had told him about how they use their beaks to make a home in the tree.  How this creature had somehow morphed into some terrifying beast of the sky in his mind, I couldn’t tell you.

“I’m scared!” Hudson wailed while I was tucking him into bed.
“Of what?”  I was expecting his usual answer of “the dark” or the ever more popular “I don’t know”
“Woodpeckers”
Insert dramatic pause here.
“oookaaay..…..Why?”

I knew when I became a parent that I would one day have conversations about ghosts and monsters under the bed.  There was that brief period when he was two where he was afraid of his own toe fuzz in the tub but that was quickly rectified when I was able to prove that they weren’t bugs. This I didn’t know how to handle.  How do you make an animal that is already not threatening, non-lethal, it’s a bird for gods sake, even more non-threatening to a child?  Were there reports of a woodpecker trying to build a home in someone’s skull that I didn’t know about?

“I don’t want them to make holes in our house.”
“Our house is made out of brick.”
“But I don’t want them to make holes!”
“Hudson, our house is brick.  He is a WOOD-pecker.”

I don’t remember how this conversation ended. I know we went back and forth a few times and that I was completely frustrated.  I remember in a moment of desperation that I told him about Woody Woodpecker and how he had a funny laugh and he gave me a look that said essentially, pardon my language, “what the fuck are you talking about?”  I do know one thing with certainty.  I know that the next night he wasn’t afraid of woodpeckers anymore.  I remind myself of this story whenever I need to know that this too shall pass.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Day of Eating Awesomeness


This weekend I decided to leave the castle of Mommy-dom and have a girl’s weekend with my friend Ann in Dallas.  Everyone needs an Ann and let me tell you why. 

We decided that we would eat at a place for lunch in which our husbands would never set foot.  That place was Kalachandji’s, an Indian vegetarian restaurant set in a Hindu temple.  When we set out at 10:30 and realized that the restaurant didn’t open until noon, she concurred when I suggested that the most reasonable thing to do would be to go and eat pie before lunch.   When we got to Emporium and were staring at the extensive selection of pies trying to choose one to split, she thought and I agreed that the best course of action would be to just get two pieces, as to not be pie bigots.  As we were eating our insanely delicious pie, we were suddenly very aware of our gluttony.  Lesser friends might have made a pact to go jogging in the morning or to eat only carrot sticks and celery tomorrow, but that’s not how we roll.  What we did instead was to create a whole new holiday and we called it “Day of Eating Awesomeness”.

Day of Eating Awesomeness progressed with a delicious vegetarian meal full of fragrant spices at Kalachandji’s surrounded by the beauty of the temple.  The waitress came to tell us about the desserts and we looked at each other and said, “It is a holiday” and ordered both.  If you’re counting that brings our dessert total up to 4, but it is a fact that calories consumed in a holy place don’t count.  The calories are too enlightened to settle on such a humble a place as my inner thigh.

We took a brief break from eating to visit the Arboretum but Ann’s 9-month old daughter was not too entertained by botanicals and Chihuly exhibits and subtly let us know as much by screaming.

We then asked ourselves, what would the founders of this great holiday do next and then we remembered that we were the founders and we do what we want.  What I wanted was a 50-cent hot dog from Ikea.  Now you may be saying, “but I’m a vegetarian.  Can I still celebrate Day of Eating Awesomeness?”  Do not despair, my friends.  The Day of Eating Awesomeness is for people of every race, gender, and dietary orientation.  A slice of pizza or a cinnamon roll is equally acceptable.  Ann is a vegetarian and went with pizza.

Now we were ready for the grand finale of the “Day of Eating Awesomeness” and we settled on a place called Whiskey Cake.  We ordered fried green tomatoes for an appetizer, I had salmon and Ann had a Portobello mushroom stack.  The waiter asked if we would like to try their namesake Whiskey cake for dessert and you know we said yes because if there is anything better than cake, it is booze and cake.

All in all, it was a most awesome day.  So go ahead, moms, and give yourself a break.  Leave dad in charge, grab your friend, eat some pie, and create a holiday of your own.  If you can’t think of one, I hope you will join us next year for Day of Eating Awesomeness 2013.