Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mom Awards


Dear Editor of all newspapers and Producer of all shows with “World’s Greatest Mother” contests:

  I would like to entitle this letter:  Why my Mom deserves this reward and not the mom who survived five kinds of cancer while raising three special needs children and donating all extra funds to Global Warming research.

Tonight was the father and sons campout with our church.  Dad took my two brothers to play with fire, literally, and I stayed home with my mom.  My mom wanted to make tonight special.  She bought a craft kit to make fairies with and we made two wire figures with flower petal skirts, which I will rip apart tomorrow. 

She took me to the nail salon and I got my nails painted sparkly green with pink flowers on my thumbs.  Then she asked me if I would like to get an ice cream or if I would like to go to a movie.  I said movie and she so wonderfully said ok.

We arrived at the movie theater and looked at the selections.  We live in a small town with one commercial movie theater and one independent theater.  Mom doesn’t take me to the independent theater because they mostly show Michael Moore films or really intense artsy films that she likes to see alone.  We walked by the billboards to see what was showing.  Mom wanted to take me to the latest Brandon Frasier kid flick, but it was only showing at noon.  I had already seen the latest Pixar movie, and she didn’t want to see the movie about the ocean. 
Mom:  Maybe we should rent a movie.  I wouldn’t mind seeing Robin Hood, but it has Russell Crowe so it can’t be appropriate for children.
Me:  I wanna see Iron Man.
Mom:  I think that will be really violent.
Me:  Let’s just watch it.
Mom:  Do you promise not to become a homicidal maniac if I take you to a PG-13 movie?
Me:  Yes.
Mom: ok

My mom buys the tickets and we get popcorn.  We walk over to the butter dispenser.
Me:  Are we going to dinner?
Mom:  Is popcorn not good enough for you?
Me:  What are you putting on the popcorn?
Mom:  Cholesterol.
Me:  I really like cholesterol, Mommy.
Mom:  Everyone does, honey.

We get a really good seat and Mom starts to explain the importance of Robert Downey Jr. to me.
Mom:  We are really going to see this movie because Downey is in it.
Me:  uh-huh
Mom:  I have had a crush on this man since The Pick-up Artist with Molly Ringwald.
Me: uh-huh.  Can I have popcorn?
Mom:  People used to say I look like her when she was the “it” girl in the eighties and I felt as though I should see everything she is in.  I am much less neurotic, though.
Me:  Can I have the Sour Patch Kids?

Now some of you producers may not think this is a movie that a four year old such as myself should go and see.  I would like to reassure you, however.  Nothing actually happens for the first twenty minutes, causing me to become very bored with the film.  My wonderful mom starts to play with my back, causing me to get very sleepy and promises me a toy if I close my eyes and sleep through the very loud and violent parts.  I am a very obedient daughter and fall asleep.   (Please remember this when looking for Perfect Daughter articles).

My Mom realized she should win a prize as she lovingly carried my sleeping body out of the theater as “Highway to Hell” was playing during the closing credits.  She has since confided in me that she has based most of her parenting decisions on this song.

And the final reason why my mom is the best is that although I was completely sound asleep and would have slept through the night had she driven straight home, she still took me to Target and woke me up to go pick out a toy.  She realized that although I was asleep, upon waking in the morning, the first thing I would have asked for was the toy she promised me the night before.  I would not have been happy and may have even pouted.  Loudly.

Thank you for considering my Mom in all future refrigerator give-aways.

Friday, May 14, 2010


I have decided to be a Domestic Diva.  Now you may say:  "Marianne, please, please tell me how to be a domestic diva."  I will tell you how I did it.  I just wrote down that I decided to be one and so now I am.  Try it.

So now when I do laundry, I can do it with a flair and it is ok if I ruin some clothes because I am a Domestic Diva and Diva's can ruin clothes.  If I don't feel like cooking dinner, it is ok because I am a Domestic Diva and Diva's don't often cook.  If I would rather read than clean my house, it is ok, because I am a Domestic Diva and Diva's can do whatever the hell they please.

AND because I'm a Diva, everything I do is perfect.  I cleaned out the garage today perfectly.  Even if I left everything that was in the middle of the garage untouched and only cleaned the edges, those edges are cleaned perfectly.  I washed a load of laundry today perfectly.  And in 2 days when I realize I never put the wash in the dryer, I will rewash it perfectly.

Everything I buy is also because as a Diva, I am allowed to buy whatever I want as long as it is sold at Target or the local grocery store.  However, I am allowed to venture out at times, as Divas often due.  Today, I decided to buy new sheets for the condo and I decided to buy them at Macy's and not Target.  Everyone talks about wonderful sheets and I have never had any.  Due to not wanting to know what was used during the birth of someone else's child in my condo, I, as a Diva, decided to buy new sheets.  I am going to find out what 400 thread count feels like.  And I will do so perfectly.

And next week, when I go through every inch of the house cleaning it before we move out to the lake so when we come back I am not coming back to a disaster, I will throw away whatever I want to no matter how useful the thing may be, because I am a Diva who may be sick of putting things where they go and may just want to throw it away.  And in anticipation of this event, I bought black trash bags you can't see through so that my UnDiva-like husband cannot see through the bag and figure out that I am getting rid of perfectly good shampoo because half of it was used to clean a bike and that is why we have four dead spots in our lawn and I am not putting it away because the garbage can is right next to me and that is why the shampoo is going in there and not back in the bathroom.  That is perfectly reasonable.  Because I am a Domestic Diva.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wanna go to Kansas?

 The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
I'm not sure if you could tell from my Mother's Day expose, that we are not in Kansas anymore.  Last week I had all these great plans.  I was going to clean out the garage; I was going to buy land; I was going to do laundry; I was going to feed my children.  Instead, I got Seth's cold.  I bought season 2 of Law and Order, filled the fridge with Lunchables, and tried to get the dirty clothes pile to the ceiling.

I woke up Sunday really wanting to stay home from church but I was singing with 5 other people and Kevin was giving a talk.  We got up and got the kids ready and Kevin was going to take the kids to church when I told him he could wait 10 minutes for me.  He had something at the office he needed, but he waited.  Good thing because the van didn't start.  Nothing.  Not even a growl.  No noise was made at all when the key turned.  So we piled into the Subaru, which has aged 10 years in the 3 Kevin has driven it, and drove to church.  Kevin dropped us off and went to the office.  He showed up in time for his talk, though.

I really wanted to go home and be sick, but Kevin planned a cute Mother's Day activity that the kids loved.  And then I had to pick up plans for the house I am building somewhere.   Every time I decide where, something happens.  I'm calling the builder today and whichever lot is the cheapest to build on, we will build on.  I bet they will be about the same.  That is how my luck is going. 

In addition, I think Kevin is going to bolt the side mirror onto the Subaru.  A few weeks ago, someone sideswiped the car and the passenger mirror is attached by the wires, but just hanging there.  While I was driving it due to the fact that the van had to be jump started every time you wanted to drive it, I called the dealership to get the mirror fixed.  This put Kevin into action.  He called a friend to help with the mirror.  I am all for driving not so flashy cars, but I would like them to at least not have bolts sticking out of them.  I think keeping cars looking decent is a good investment.  Plus, this is the first decent car we have owned and I would like it to stay that way.  I am sad to think it may become our second Kia.

The van starts now so Kevin never bought a battery for it.  I am waiting for it to fall apart on me again.  I am driving around with a battery in it to jump start it if needed.  I should not have to do this.  I think I may rebel and just buy a new battery even though things are working right now.  I think I may rebel so much that I will have someone actually put it in for me.  Last time Kevin put it in, he dropped a piece and never found it again.  May be why we are having problems again.

So that is why I wanted a nap on Mother's Day.  I still want a nap.  I will be going grocery shopping instead.  I have a feeling I will buying an unhealthy amount of chocolate.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is the day mothers hope and pray the laundry will be done, the food will be prepared, the dishes will be washed and none of it being done by the mothers.  We hope for this every year and every year we are disappointed.  Generally, we put off what we would have done on Mother's day until Monday.  At the same time, we have to be pleased by whatever our family does do for us, although all we really want is a nap.

We don't want a burnt and childmade breakfast in bed because we will have to wash the sheets later on to get all the crumbs off or get the stain from your kid tripping on the way with the tray.  We don't want flowers with pollen that we have to clean up or a vase that the kids insist on refilling every hour.  We don't want to have to pretend to be happy with what our family has done that day.  We would like that day to be free of pretending that a finger painting is the greatest thing we have ever seen, although it is just as great as the finger paints the other kids have made.  We would to not have to thank our husbands for putting the dishes away in all the wrong cupboards or doing the laundry and forgetting the fabric softener so we have to peel everything apart as we fold it on Monday because men believe that once the laundry is in the special machines everything is done.

Kevin is surprised that some women don't like Mother's Day.  I do personally like it.  It is the one day that I am definitely thanked.  I like being thanked.  I don't get paid and I have no hope of promotion.  In fact, the older my kids get, the more they believe I am not qualified for the job of being their mother.  But even teenagers thank their mother's on Mother's Day.  It is the most important day because of the words "Thank You."

And now we have four weeks to plan Father's Day.  When will fathers understand that what mothers do for Father's Day is really what we would like them to do for us?  I think Mother's Day should be after Father's Day so that fathers can just recreate their day for us.  Because on Father's Day, I cook the lunch, do the dishes, let dad sleep and make the bed.  I would be happy if Kevin just let me sleep.  All Day.  In a sound proof room.  With a padlock the kids can't pick.  With a margarita mix.  (Happy Cinco de May).

I leave you with a quote from one of my favorite Mother's Day talks by Phil Snyder:
Father-in-law: Well, Phil, what did you get Lu Ann (Phil's wife) for Mother's Day?
Phil: Nothing
Father-in-law: Nothing!? Why not?!
Phil:  She's not my mother.
Father-in-law:  She's the mother of your children
Phil: I don't have any children
Father-in-law: You will in a few days.  (Lu Ann was 9 months pregnant).
Phil: Then you'll have to take it up with your grandchild next year.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Getting Sick


I remember when life got better when I got sick.  I would get to watch game shows in the morning (what happened to those?) and then I would watch soaps with my Mom in the afternoon.  My Mom would make me soup or a sandwich and it was so comforting.  (My mother does not watch soaps anymore (what happened to those?) and did 52 Hail Mary's in repentance)  

In high school, depending on the social calendar, I enjoyed a day off or two.  I oftened planned those around activities and tests.  I was a nerd and being sick wasn't as much fun because I hated make-up work.  I actually did the make up work.  I made many mistakes in high school.

In college, I would go to class and then nap.  I hardly ever miss class because as long as I went to class, i didn't have to study much and I could nap.  In college, I often started my papers early (I made many mistakes in college) and so I could take a couple of days off and get better.  I would curl up with a book and hot chocolate and get better.  It was especially nice when I would not have a roommate.

Now I have to plan my sickness.  I am coming down with a cold.  Nothing is worse when you start feeling a tickle in my throat, an itch in my ear, a fulness in my sinuses and you start to feel sluggish.  When I start feeling this way, I think about my week.  I can't rest today because I have ballet, soccer, and two gym classes with PTO.  Wednesday I have soccer practice, singing practice for church and book group.  I am also meeting a designer for Kevin's building.  Thursday I have Bunko.  So I can be sick on Friday.  I am hoping Kevin can come home early and I can go to bed.  Until then, I am drinking half a bottle of children's Tylenol at a time.  I have no adult meds.  For those, I have to show my ID.  I can buy 15 bottles of children's Tylenol with nothing going on.  So I give some to the kid's and then take a few slugs myself (everyone has the weather changing runny nose).  I really wish they still had alcohol in them.

In addition to figuring out free time in my schedule to be sick, I have to figure out if I have time after being sick to fix what happened while I checked out.  It is 50-50 if my husband will watch the kids and clean up.  So I need to be able to be sick, then clean, do laundry, and the dishes.  Is it worth the nap?  Not all the time.  I need to hire someone to come to my house, tuck me into bed, give me soup and put a damp cloth on my head, while yelling at my children to pick up after themselves.  I checked the want ads today.  There are many daycares with openings but nobody meeting my requirements.  It's enough to make a person sick.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Bathroom

See full size image

I never thought that my favorite room would be my bathroom.  I feel as though I have a special bond with it.  I can lock myself in there and I can have at least 2.5 minutes before someone pounds on the door.  If I am really lucky, the kids won't realize where I have gone at all.

My kids are old enough for me to lock the door without them accidently killing each other.  (They would be doing it on purpose now.)  I can shower and have some privacy, as long as I am fast.  I do get things shoved under the door and a mine field outside the door, but I can have ten minutes of privacey once a day.

I try for ten minutes after 3pm when they are all home, but generally they start pounding after 5 minutes.  I guess they have decided people only need the bathroom in five minute increments.  Or they have seen me enter the room with a pillow and blanket.

Law and Order


I am addicted to Law and Order.   I love the original and Criminal Intent.  I have been feeling tired lately, so I bought Season 1 of the original series.  It took place late eighties.  I miss that time.  I miss that New York City where visiting gave you a badge of courage.  I believe the Boy Scouts gave out a special merit badge if you walked down a street of NYC by yourself.  Now it is family friendly and Law and Order is just about terrorism.  Just.

I think I like Law and Order because the law is dealt with within an hour.  It is semi-nice and neat with a few ethic questions.  I would like to have an hour of law and order within my house once a week.  I would like witnesses as to who touched who first?  Did she really call him a name?  Did he really hit her?  Who was on the computer first?  Whose turn is it to pick a movie?  Who turned the hose on?  Who spilled a whole pitcher of kool-aide on the floor?

Any witnesses I may have to these events are very suspect.  I usually have to treat them as hostile witnesses and they are constantly objecting to my line of questioning or the opposing counsels answers.  None of them are willing to accept a plea, even for a lesser offense and I often find myself just not caring if justice is served.  Jail time in their rooms is minimal so I think I am going to start doing public service.  I think they are going to have to start scrubbing the kitchen floor.  With their tooth brushes.

So I escape into a television show with gruesome violence and really adult themes so that I can feel a sense of make believe justice in the world.  And I like to see how Chris North's hair has changed over the decades.