Friday, February 15, 2013

Feline Friday

Massively freaked out!

I am not sure if I am actually get to five random things today, because I am a new mom!   The adorable ball of fluff you are seeing is Zazzles!  So we shall rename the day FELINE FRIDAY.  If you are not a cat fancier, sorry.  You are missing out on some of the most indifferent unconditional love in the world.  I was missing this aloof affection and adoration. We adopted a one year old cat this week.  I had forgotten what younger cats were like.  Our Yoda was 17 years old when she left us, and though I always felt she was rather feisty and spry, I am now being reminded more of what her earlier years were like.  Not that Zazzles is like Yoda...or that I even want that (I do not.  I want to appreciate them as the individuals they are).  However, all cats do certain things as youngsters that fade with age.  The biggest thing is how surprised Zazzles is by the sounds and sights of her new house.  I forget that she is new to house living.  Dishwashers are loud.  Vacuums are terrifying (although I am pretty sure that all of the other humans in my household are equally terrified of the vacuum).  Everything is surprising.  I also forgot how nosy cats can be.  I was accustom to Yoda walking up  going through bags and even my purse.  She gave everything a cursory looking over.  It was second nature.  Yoda also stole pens from my purse, and put them under the dresser in the bedroom. (It has been nice being able to find basic office supplies for the past few months)  Zazzles stalks all bags, bats everything around them, then steals a glance inside and then runs off.  Empty far.  She is not confident in her snooping.  Perhaps in time she will grow more confident in her snooping skills...or perhaps not.  Either way it is nice to have her lovely, indifference in my home.
Relaxed .

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Busy Rebelling

This week I have been too busy, not that I like it, or I am proud of it.  I am not.  Busy is like a disease sometimes.  If you do not do anything to stop it, it just gets worse.  The more you do, the more people ask you to do, the more you agree to do, and if you are highly competent you can plan on having plans everyday for eternity (okay, I exaggerate a bit). In general Americans seem very proud to be overly busy.  I have friends (and I love them dearly) that will open up their calendar or their calendar app, and show how insanely packed their days and weekends are for the next month or two months.  At times I feel as if they are challenging me to a "busy off".  I am not taking the bait.  I am not proud when my time is double and triple booked.  I do not like to have to serve my family convenience foods, with crappy nutrition because I have spent my day running about, in meetings, or other busy tasks.  I want to enjoy my life.  I want to enjoy my kids.  I want to enjoy my husband.  And I do not want to schedule time to enjoy them.  How hurtful it must be to have your beloved say, "Get out your calendar and let us schedule time for a date night".

How about just spending time together, and paring down on all the extra stuff?  How about asking yourself what your priorities are, and being honest about it?  If something is a priority YOU WILL MAKE TIME FOR IT.  Your partner should not be made to feel like a dentist appointment that needs to be scheduled.  Being busy is just a very good excuse.  It is socially acceptable to be insanely busy.  The chronically busy are lauded as great, productive, and helpful people.  Yes, they are.  However, let us ask ourselves, at what cost?  Probably at the cost of their family, and their own inner peace.

I am not claiming to have it all figured out, but I am telling you, I am no longer proud to be busy.  "Busy-Bee" is not a badge of honor I want to wear.  I would rather be known for how many games I played with my kids, how many books I have read, how many lunches I have had with friends, how many inside jokes my beloved and I have, and a thousand other things that really matter.  I am starting my rebellion against being busy.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Five for Friday

It is another snowy snowy my lovelies have no school.  In fact, my lovelies have not had a five day school week since before their holiday break.  It has worked out that either the school through scheduled days off,or snow days, or a sick little lovely has made each week in 2013 less than five days.  I just told my lovely son that I was going to write, and he pointed out it was snow day so I could skip it. WHAT?  I did not the rules applied to me?  Never.  Here are five random ramblings for a snowy day.  (If you are reading this in a region deprived of snow, I am sorry...and enjoy anyway)

  1. Tell me this does not sound like Rick Astley.  This is a band called Swedish House Mafia, and I am telling you the man singing sounds exactly like Rick (Never Gonna Give You Up) Astley.  If you do not remember Rick Astley, you probably do not remember the late 1980's.  My daughter put the SHM tune on our shared iTunes account and the "cloud" put it on my devices.  It is catchy, but I am telling you it sounds just like Rick Astley.  Ahhh, the memories! 
  2. Love v. Obligation. Since Valentine's Day (insert my eye-roll here) is coming up next week, I will once again pull out my yearly campaign against VD (is it a coincidence that the abbreviation is the same as that of venereal disease?  I think not).  First of all, I am not an angry lonely heart.  I have been with my beloved for close to 20 years.  He is a wonderful, flawed man that is well matched with this wonderful, flawed lady.  We work together.  Do I expect, or even want him on the 14th day of each February to suddenly shower me with gifts and flowers?  ABSOLUTELY NOT.  February 14th is not a significant day for us.  A day on the calendar should not make a person acknowledge their love for their significant other.  Love is a choice, not an obligation.  Perhaps I am just lucky to know that I am loved and valued everyday of the year.  No roses and flowers required.
  3. Mandatory Craftiness.  Have you ever been asked to do something, and because you did not completely fail at it, people then think you are good at it?  That is me and kid's crafts.  Yes, I have lots of ideas, and a glue gun...but all of it is very forced.  I do not enjoy crafting very much.  I learned to crochet, but I would prefer to read a good book (or even a mediocre book...or the nutrition info on cereal).  However, now I have a reputation as an arts & crafts person.  I suppose there are worse things I could have a reputation for...but sometimes even those things seem less painful than planning a craft for 35 Cub Scouts.
  4. Nerdiness.  It is okay to be nerdy.  My daughter is at that special age when many girls forgo being the lovely intelligent people they are so they can play dumb to get boys to help them with their homework, or just because they think being smart is not pretty.  Wrong.  Smart is pretty.  Thus far, my daughter has not abandon her brain.  She is very proud that she has the best grade in her German class.  She asks her dad questions about Algebra, because she does not want anyone in her class to know that it is sometimes it is confusing.  (And she knows to not ask me about it because...well she is smart).  Her favorite TV show is The Big Bang Theory, because she thinks scientists are funny and cool.  She is proud that she is a gifted musician.  Sometimes she says she is "nerdy".  Which is fine, but sometimes she says it as if it is a bad thing (just sometimes).  And that makes me nervous.  I am afraid the thought of pretending to be dumb crosses her mind.  I pray every night that she fully embraces her intelligence, and understands that nerdiness is awesome.  
  5. Waiting for Exercise to Get Fun.  I have become exercise tolerant, because it is necessary for good health.  Just like brushing my teeth (I actually love brushing my teeth, always have).  I am still waiting for it to fun.  I hear people rave about have much they  love to workout.  I am glad they feel that way, but I am generally most pleased when the workout is over.  Yes, some workouts can be fun, but I generally do not appreciate that "fun" until it is over, or in the cool down phase.  I have also never learned to fully enjoy cleaning bathrooms, but I love the look of a freshly cleaned bathroom.  Perhaps I am waiting for something that is never going to happen?  I have been cleaning bathrooms for a long time, and it has not become a great joy.  

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Precious Cargo I must give credit to old friend from high school for the topic. (Thanks Chris)  I was scrambling for something solid to write about, and nothing on my idea list was producing much inspiration (oddly, on another day I may fight over competing ideas...that is how it goes).  My solution was to ask for ideas from my FaceBook connections.  And BOOM, the perfect idea, a very common problem that most parents face either daily, or if they are lucky only on an occasion or two...THE SCHOOL PARKING LOT.

I am of the opinion that children are the future, and though I do earnestly believe my kids are the smartest, kindest, wittiest, and most precious of all the children on the planet, ALL CHILDREN ARE PRECIOUS AND SPECIAL.  However, I am forced to believe that not all parents hold the view that all children are precious. Why would I think that?  Because some parents drive like absolute fools in the parking lots of their children's school. Parents that drive with no regard for the little people walking around.  Parents with no regard for the safety of the other parents in lot.  Parents that are in such a hurry to get their kid to school and get to work, nothing else seems to matter.   I know school parking lots, and drop-off loops get rather congested and move slowly at drop off and pick up time.  But guess what?  Children move rather slowly when weighed down by backpacks, boots, snow-pants  and the posters of the solar-system.  At pick-up time, children get confused as to which vehicle belongs to their parent (all vehicles with three rows of seating do look similar).  And yes, children wander where they probably should not.  They are children, and they will learn.  Almost hitting them with your car, or honking will not speed this learning process.  School children are confused, but they are precious and special.  For those of you who believe that the middle school and high school parking lots will be better to manage, let go of this notion.  The same parents that drove like fools in the elementary parking lots will be driving like fools in the secondary school parking lots.  Not to mention, if you thought young children were confused; texting, hormonal teens are confused and conflicted.  Yes, I get frustrated in the parking lots at my children's schools, but unlike many, I am fine with driving slowly and watching for kids (because they are precious and special).  Call me crazy, but I think that all parents should do same thing.  Both of the schools that my kids attend send out letters and maps at the beginning of the school year that indicate traffic flow patterns, drop-off zones, and parent parking.  I find it helpful to follow these guides as if they were enforceable by law (they are not, but it keeps me honest, even when I am in a hurry).

Here are some helpful thoughts and guidelines for dealing with school parking lots.

  1. Follow the recommended traffic and parking patterns.  If it does not make sense and you have a better idea that would improve traffic flow, write it up and propose it to the principal.  I am sure he/she would take it under consideration for the next school year.
  2.  Drive slowly.  I have seen so many parents just gun the engine as soon as their child is out of vehicle and on the side walk.  Yes, it is now your time to get out of lot, and get on with your day, but other children are still in the lot.  It is a parking lot, not a drag strip.
  3. Walk your really young ones to the building.  Kindergartners and first graders generally need parental guidance to get to the school building.  I have walked other people's young children to their entrance doors on several occasions because their parents dropped them off, pulled away, and never realized their child was uncertain of where to go.  Kids get confused sometimes.   
  4. No swearing or gesturing.  I am not known for having the cleanest language on the planet, but even I can get in and out of a school parking lot without swearing out loud (I keep it all on the inside, with a pretty smile on my face).  Gestures are right out, completely unacceptable.  For the children, keep your road rage in check.
  5. We all have somewhere else to go. No one wants to be jammed in the school lot.  Your job is no more important than other persons.  Leave your house earlier if you are in a time crunch.  Otherwise deal with it.
  6. All of our kids are the most precious and special people in the world.  Watch out for all of them and keep them safe.
**There was no really good way to tie this personal account of the confused & conflicted teen in the post.  So here it is as a funny aside.  I was parked, in a parking space in my mini-van, at my daughter's school and a kid that was texting walked right into the side of van.  Not just at the front bumper, right into the side where passenger door is.  He looked up and saw me in the driver seat staring at him, and I was giggling (because it was hilarious).  He turned, walked away, and then tripped over one of those cement bumper things in the parking lot.  It was truly precious and special.  I fear natural selection may get that young fellow. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Photo Friday

Last week my kids had Friday off of school because it was the end of the semester.  It was rather cold so we resorted to a favorite activity that we do not nearly enough.  Pottery painting!  I just picked up out freshly fired creations.  Mine is the tilted pitcher that I am going to use to refill the water reservoir of the coffee machine.  We currently use a really big plastic cup with the cast of Twilight plastered on it.  We have no more Twilight fans in the house, but it holds a lot of water.  It is currently residing in the recycle bin now that the tilted pitcher is home and ready to be pressed into service.  I did intend to make the stripes in varied widths, because it adds whimsy.  And who does not need more whimsy???
Now if I may direct you attention to the stunning turtle to your left.  This is the fine work of my daughter.  She is in a turtle phase.  She even painted the masked faces of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on her nails recently.  This is as close as she is getting to having a real turtle.  They smell odd, and carry illness.  Please refrain from comments about how cute turtles are and how they make wonderful pets.  I am not adventurous in my pet keeping ways. Cats, dogs, and fish...and the fish was a bit of folly really.  Fish are even too exotic.  So I hope she loves her the turtle she painted.  It is lovely, and odor free.
My son was very happy to see the Iron Man piggy bank.  Iron Man is his favorite of all the super hero types.  He likes that Tony Stark made himself into a super hero through his own thinking and inventing. I suppose that it seems like the most attainable way of becoming an action hero.  He also does not want to subject himself to excessive gamma rays, get bit by a spider, or the other painful ways that mortals become superheros. Yes, we have talked about the best and worst ways to become a super hero.  Thor and Superman had it easy being born into greatness.  I am impressed that he has figured out his limits, but is still striving for being a super hero.  Not to mention Tony Stark has a pretty kick butt collection of cars, and rather plush living conditions.
Happy Weekend.  Don't overdose on chips and guacamole during the Super Bowl.  I am officially rooting for the team coached by a Harbaugh to win.  My odds in Vegas are stellar.

***Note:  I really tried to make the title "Photo Phriday" or "Foto Friday", but I could not stand the cutesy misspelling.  My love for alliteration has it limits.