Thursday, April 26, 2012

I am my Mother!

It's official...I have turned into my mother. There is no doubt...I have proof. The house I grew up in, had a window in the kitchen, that overlooked the front porch. The window had blinds and curtains over it. But after we all moved out, I noticed that mom would tape the bottom of the curtain to the wall, in order to keep The Burglar from looking in. I thought she was being ridiculous...

But here I am...husband and oldest son are gone on a three day field trip...I'm not worried...I can handle it. I spend some time, checking and locking all the upstairs windows, as the kids are going to bed. Once they are tucked in, I do the same downstairs. As I let the dog out the back door, I see that the curtain over the door is gaping..."well that won't do," I think. I can just picture The Burglar looking in and being able to see me in the kitchen. I get the tape and start taping the curtain to the door, when I am hit with an extreme case of deja vu...."Omigosh!...that is just what mom would do! I have turned into my MOM!"

It was husband has been saying if for years. He sometimes calls me by her name, just to remind me of it. And it's not a bad thing...but I have to laugh at the things I seem to have inherited. It's not her high intelligence (she should have been a scientist or a doctor)...and it's not her ability to research and understand any topic...Nooo...I get her fear of spiders, her need to stay up late for fear she might miss something, and her amazing ability to fall off her shoes....Oh yes, I also got the much-coveted inability to remember which child she needs, and therefore must go through the entire list until she finds the right name...Yep! Those are the things I inherited...

After taping the curtain to the door, I figured I could use a little more protection from The Burglar and jammed a chair under the doorknob, just as my mother would do...  The Burglar has been a part of our family for a few generations now. My grandmother used to lock her door and say, "That will keep him out." "Who, Grandma?"..."The Burglar!"  (Eventually, Grandma put bars on all the windows and deadbolts that opened by key, on all the doors...and then wore the key around her neck...but that is another story...)  My mother would line up jars by the gate so that The Burglar would fall on the jars and cut himself...or maybe get a foot stuck in one. By the time my mom was the age I am now, she gave up on the jars and instead planted blackberry bushes, hoping the threat of those lethal looking thorns would keep The Burglar out. They were fine when my grandfather and my Dad were home...but left to their own devices...well, they had to protect themselves from The Burglar...

Now here I am...doing the same thing!  Of course...if it's the same burglar, I really have nothing to worry about...I mean, the guy has to be over 100 years old...what harm can he really do? Can he even reach the doorknob from his wheelchair? What's he going to do, come in and hit me with his cane? My house is not I doubt even if he could wheel himself up my driveway, he would never get over the thresh hold! And often, I worry about the second floor...but can this guy even think about climbing onto my roof? What's he going to do? Stand up, swing his cane and catch the rain gutter, and then propel himself onto the roof? Does he even have the muscle tone to do such a thing? I'm thinking that my burglar is decrepit and really no threat...But...on the off-chance it is his son or grandson who has taken over the family business, I will continue to lock windows, tape curtains and use chairs under the doorknob whenever the husband is gone.

With the husband and oldest son gone for three days...the little ones and I have been living it up! I haven't done laundry since they left! And I haven't had to run the dishwasher once! Perhaps it's because I haven't had to cook full meals. Last night, I let the kids do the unspeakable...they got to eat dinner on...gasp...the couch. And in front of the television. Talk about heaven. That earned me huge brownie points with those two. And to make it all the more exciting...they got to sleep in their brother's his bunk-bed. Shhh...don't tell him...our names will be mud! But those two little ones, think it is the best thing ever!

They took turns on the top bunk...the boy the first night...the girl the second. Unfortunately for me, the girl dragged in a ton of stuffed animals, blankets, pillows and books, and really made herself at home up there. So when the eldest son and his dad arrived home 6 hours earlier than I expected...I had to lock them out of the house while I raced up to the room, throwing animals off the bed and into her room at breakneck speed.

I will admit, if Daddy were gone more than just three days, all fun would probably come to an end...because at some point, these kids must do their homework, get to karate and baseball, eat dinner at the table and get to sleep before 10pm! And as much as the two younger children love each other...they tend to get on each other's nerves if there is too much togetherness...and after a day of arguing and sniping at each other...and then staying up too late, I really just want a drink! But I am the only adult here. I must keep my wits about me! What if The (old and decrepit) Burglar really gets in? I can't rely on our ferocious (very old and deaf) dog to defend us. It will be me! And like my mother, I will grab the poker off the fireplace and with the two children in line behind me, we will creep around the house to make sure all is secure and no breech of our security has occurred.

Besides, I don't think I'm all that good at this safety stuff...I went to lock the front door and couldn't find  my keys...because really...if you want to be secure, maybe one should not leave their keys in the door...outside! "Come on in Burglar...Keys are in the door! Woo hoo!"

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Ah...the quiet of a Saturday morning....I am up early enough, that I have the house to myself. Of course I have to tiptoe around and pray that the beeping on the coffee maker doesn't wake anyone...but be able to sit and have some quiet time...priceless!  The afternoon is filled with BBQ's and baseball I'm enjoying the quiet while it lasts...

It's been a week of rain, rain and more rain! Thunder and lightening, hail, torrential downpours...and while I love the rain (when I am not in it)...I think it has made me very crabby!  A couple of nights ago, I was SO crabby! And now, looking back, I can laugh about it...but I learned something...when I am crabby...BEING crabby is just not funny! I tried to write my blog that night...but I was just too cranky, I was afraid to post what I had written! I have gone back and read it...and it is fit to print...So here is my crabby Wednesday night:

(picture from web)
I am so crabby! The crabbiest of all crabs! Things that normally don't bother me, are driving me nuts! Like a lot of women, I am feeling the hormonal surge that comes once a month...and it is not pretty! Everything my poor husband does, is irritating to me. I just want to sit down and watch (gasp) "America's Next Top Model" and fold clothes. Yes, I know the show is stupid...but I want to watch something stupid...and the husband is totally willing to watch it with me...which I find completely irritating.  See? He can't win tonight! I don't want him to watch it with me...he thinks it's stupid...God help him if he rolls his eyes or sighs I am better off just letting him have the television right now... (which is making me crabbier)

At 10:15pm, I hear the boys upstairs...still awake...laughing...I know they are playing... I heard the oldest one come crashing out of his bunk bed about 30 minutes I am fairly certain he is in middle brother's bed. UGH! I hate that they are still awake, and love that they like to sleep now I have to go up there and threaten them...I SO need a drink...

(Here it my laundry room...still crooked)
Things seem to be breaking left and right around here. The dryer squeaks, my cute "WASH" sign in the laundry room is hanging on one nail, the switch to the lights in the kitchen are broken and I am forced to use the one fluorescent light, which bathes everything in a sickly green color....ARGHH....It is all driving me crazy right now! Every time I turn on the heater in the back of the car for the kids, there is a knocking sound...I always think it's the kids kicking the car, and then realize it's the heater...Luckily, we are heading into warmer weather, so at least that won't be an issue...but what do you want to bet the air conditioner does the same thing?

It's all too much for me right now! Everything is driving me crazy! The dog is shedding and leaves huge tufts of hair behind every time he stands up. It doesn't matter how many times I sweep the floor...There is enough dog hair on the rug, for me to rake up and build a dog. Or perhaps I could knit some bald dog a nice warm dog hair sweater! (If I could knit)

I'm still up doing laundry...the kids get to wear their "jog-a-thon" shirts every day to school. They are WHITE! UGH! Who gives white shirts to elementary kids and tells them to wear them every day? Not a mother! Hopefully next year, we can get the purple shirts and the middle school can have white. Oh wait...I will have a middle schooler next year...(I just can't win)

And really...all of these things would bother any normal person...however, I am also completely irrational right now...and I know it. The husband can't do anything right. His very presence is irritating to me. His breathing my air is irksome at this point. But he is smart. He stays in the other room, not uttering a word (for fear I will snap at him) fact...he is so good, that he is folding the clothes I unceremoniously dropped on the couch...

(Thank you Charles Schulz! Comic off of web)
Thank goodness for my Facebook friends who are sharing in my extreme crabbiness. I posted "Soooo crabby!" on my page tonight. Immediately my friends popped up..."Me too" said the first one. "Me three!" said the next...and on and on...until at least 10 friends said they were also crabby. Two of them are I suppose they have an excuse...but the rest of us blamed it on the rain that has been falling every day for a week!

My mood is lightening...after being on Facebook and reading the funny comments from my sisters and friends and instant messaging with my sister who is coming up with more reasons to be irritable, I am laughing at the whole situation. Oh, I still feel growly...and God help those kids if they come down the stairs this late at night...And the husband better cut a wide berth when he has to pass me to get to the stairs...but all and all...this too shall pass...but in the meantime...I think I will just give in and enjoy my crabbiness, knowing that my crabby friends are feeling the same way!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

NOT a Jellybean?

Halfway through spring break...a whole week of not driving the kids to and from making school lunches...finally getting to sleep plans. Of course I have wrecked it by getting a cold, but I am still managing to get them out for some fun. They are a bit demanding...wanting me to FEED them and all... and the boys have baseball practices and games, which is cutting into my "not having a schedule" for sleeping in...I'm getting some extra sleep here and there...from the kids...but the dog doesn't seem to realize we are off this week!

It's almost Easter. I love the Easter season. The colors are pretty, the decorations are so cute...I always decorate the house with all my Spring and Easter goodies. Hmm...but as I look around me, I hardly have any decorations out! "Why?" you ask? Because I could not find my box of Easter stuff. Oh, I knew it was  here...somewhere. After an extensive search of the house, I was fairly certain it was in the garage...or as I like to call it..."hoarder central". OK, so it's not that's just that I can't access the area I need to get to, because my husband has it tightly packed and the only access portal is through the big garage door...but to open it, I need to somehow get to it and unlock it...and since I have killed a black widow or two in the garage....there is NO way that I would crawl around in there! So after some subtle hints...(more like all out begging), the husband went on the hunt for the Easter stuff. He finally found it..."It was buried under everything," he told me, "I guess I thought we wouldn't need it for awhile...once a year and all." Wow...we REALLY need to clean out the garage, if that box has been buried for a year!

Actually, saying that I don't have anything Easter out, is not quite true...I am STILL finding that plastic Easter basket grass in the kids' rooms. It migrates out into the hall and gets tangled around our toes. I find it in corners and under their beds...I hate that grass. I knew better....but I waited too long last year to go shopping and that was all that was left. Not THIS  year! I went out weeks ago and got the PAPER grass...but now I am thinking maybe I should just go for NO grass...I try to fill the baskets with something besides candy would they really notice if there wasn't any grass? The oldest would....

The one thing they can't live without is the jellybeans. I love them too...and I find them all over the house after Easter. I remember a couple of years ago when I was finding candy all over the house. I was tidying up the house before picking the boys up from school. The little one was in preschool and was already home from her day at school....

I had just cleaned up a bunch of Easter grass and candy in the kids' rooms and was on my way downstairs to get the youngest ready for departure. As I got to the bottom step, I looked down and saw a jellybean on the carpet. "Geez!" I thought, "They even have candy on the stairs!" I bent down to retrieve it and noticed it was a light lavender color..."This is an odd color," I thought to myself, "must be one of the newest flavors." I started to bring it up to my mouth...(don't ask why I am eating things I find on the floor!) as I touched it to my lips, my brain started to scream..."Not a Jellybean!! Not a jellybean!!  It's a Tick!... TICK!...TICK!" ARGH!!!  My arm heard my brain and threw the jellybean/tick across the room as I raced around the house...eww, eww, eww,  frantically wiping at my tongue. I ran to the sink and stuck my tongue under the faucet...."EWW, EWW, EWW...TICK, TICK, TICK! this time, the little one has taken notice of her mother running around the house screaming and asks, "What are you doing, mom?" "Oh... nothing..." I say...trying to look as normal as I can while scraping my tongue with a paper towel...

I still had to go find the tick...and was holding out hope that it really was just a jellybean. I mean, why would a tick be that size? Although it did look suspiciously like the tick we pulled off the dog, a few days ago...I searched the entry way and saw the offending parasite. I picked it up with a paper towel and ran for the bathroom. Throwing it into the toilet, I bent down for a closer look...LEGS! It has LEGS! UGH!!!! TICK!! I LICKED A TICK!! ARGH!!!! Filled with the heebie jeebies and hoping I didn't get some gross disease, I loaded up the youngest and headed to the school. Of course my antics had made us late, and I knew I would owe an explanation...

I made the mistake of telling a few friends about what happened...and hence my new nickname.."T.L....otherwise known as Tick Licker"... Nice friends I have! I've learned my lesson though...oh, no...not "don't eat candy off the floor...I still do that...but now I inspect it to make sure it isn't a tick or some other disgusting thing. (don't judge me...the kids don't share...I have to take what I can get!)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April 1st...My FAVORITE day!

Everyone has a favorite holiday...some people love Christmas, some love Easter....I love all of the holidays...but I live for April Fool's Day! I plot and I plan...The pranks of April Fool's go back to my childhood. The one year my mom served us steak and eggs for breakfast...I eagerly cut into my steak...anticipated the wonderful flavors...ACK! It wasn't was LIVER! Good one, Mom! It's OK...I got her back by bringing coffee to her bedside...except it wasn't was prune juice!

In high school, I made up outlandish stories about how we were going to have to wear jumpsuit uniforms, wait until we are 18 before we can get a driver's license and how the high school was being rebuilt to include a revolving cafeteria. Man, my friends were so gullible.  My roommates were my victims in college, and now they don't answer the phone if I call on April 1st.

In my waitressing days, we would unscrew the salt and pepper lids, so when the other waitstaff went to use them the seasoning would dump out on their food. That did not make us popular with our co-workers.... When I worked for a builder, we were building homes on the side of a mountain, overlooking the ocean. One April Fool's Day, I called the construction superintendent and told him a home buyer reported a deer stuck in the culvert in the ravine. Ten men were dispatched to go look for it. They would call and check in saying they couldn't find it..."keep looking," I would say. After about 45 minutes I gave in and on their next call they said, "we can't find it." I replied, "oh...maybe you can't find it because it's APRIL FOOL'S!" The words that came through the phone....I hung up and locked the door, just in case they tried to get even.

My reputation is so notorious that my mother and sisters pick up the phone with, "I know it's April Fool's Day, so don't even think about it." DARN IT...they have taken the wind out of my sails for sure.

For the past 10 years, I have woken up my husband with, "OMIGOSH! The dog has crapped all over the floor downstairs. Multiple's disgusting!!" Every year he leaps out of bed, cursing and stumbles downstairs to see the mess...I make him go from room to room, searching for it. When he finally looks confused, I say, "APRIL FOOL'S!!" doubling over with laughter at the thought of getting him yet again. I was having a good run...and then it happened...he caught on! Last year, I did my yearly, "Omigosh!..." only to have him finish with..."the dog pooped on the floor....yeah, yeah...April Fool's..." and then pulled the covers up and rolled over. Oh....defeated!

So last year I took it easy on everyone. I gave the kids' rice cakes for breakfast...they stared at the lonely dry rice cake in disbelief..."Try it," I said, "It's all we have." The middle child took a bite and shook his head, "Disgusting!" he exclaimed. The other two took a nibble and looked at me in desperation. I quickly gave in.  But that was only joke. My big joke was no joke. While everyone sat by their phones, waiting for the inevitable...I never called. Their day was fraught with anticipation...only to not have it come. Victory was mine!

But it's a new year and again I am ready to try my best! I slept in late and missed the whole dog poop opportunity...but I did get the oldest son when he was getting ready for church. I came in to "help" him choose something to wear. "It's Palm Sunday," I told him. "This is the day when all the boys wear shorts and tank tops to mass."  I threw a pair of shorts at him, "I don't see a tank top in your drawer, so wear this," and handed him a red tank top of his sister's. He already had the shorts on and took one look at the shirt. "no way Mom!!" I am not wearing that!" he said in dismay. "You have's the rule," I said, slipping the top over his head. "Now go show your Dad and see what he thinks." He stepped out into the hall as his dad rounded the corner. "That looks good," said Dad. The poor kid ran back to his room. "I can't wear this!" As he started to stress out about it, his Dad nodded at me to let him in on the prank. ( was just getting good!) " don't have to wear it...because it's APRIL FOOL'S!" He looked at me with shock and disbelief...and then broke into a grin as he threw his head back and laughed....and laughed...until he doubled over....SUCCESS!

I got the next kid by telling him that no one had catechism today, but him. In fact he has a two hour catechism and would miss his playdate because of it. But as I saw the obvious dismay on his face and the tears coming, I quickly said "April Fool's" and was rewarded with a huge grin and a giggle.

The husband is a harder sell...I have been wracking my brain all afternoon. I finally decided on a prank. I put a rubberband around the spray nozzle at the kitchen sink. So if he turns on the faucet, the nozzle will spray him right in the gut. "hee, hee...I am brilliant," I think to myself. It's doubtful he will fall for it...the rubberband is bright green and the faucet is bronze...but still it's worth a shot. He came in to the kitchen and stood looking at the TV. I was dying to stay and watch...but didn't want to be obvious. About a minute later, I hear, "Son of a #@$%!! You got me!" HURRAY FOR ME!! I got him! I'm back! I've got my mojo!

We are on our way to a friend's house, so I guess I will put away my pranks for now. But when we get home, the kids will find their light switches taped down and won't be able to turn on the lights in their rooms...and when they go to brush their teeth, they will find mayonnaise instead of toothpaste...Whee...this day just keeps getting better and better!!!