Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Google as a Character Witness

Or - Things That Might Could Get You Arrested

My recent Google search history includes the following:

child broken ribs
define mendacious
midnight crazies
drain flush
rush copley
Dunlay's on the Square
where to buy mourning veil

Sure, I could explain these things individually. But they're much funnier when put together and submitted without comment.

P.S. No ribs were broken. I think.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Lightbulb Moment

Ready for this?

Staying in a hotel is just like being a kid and living with your parents.

Someone else cooks, you pile up dishes but never wash them, you have a room that gets messy and eventully someone else steps in and cleans it. There's always clean towels, and you're not the one cleaning them.

Holy shit. I'm going to go home and assign extra chores right now. No way these kids are staying at the Momma's Head Hilton!

Monday, November 7, 2011

To Sleep, or Not to Sleep

Sleep is a subject that is near and dear to my heart. While I'm pretty sure that most mothers will admit to not getting enough sleep, I've read some scary numbers on just how many of us are popping Ambien or chewing Tylenol PM like they're Reese's Pieces. My normal inclination to any problem that smacks of, "It's all in your head" is to say, "Yes, it's all in your head, now stop it."
Editor's note: This does not include clinical depression, or children with things like ADHD, bipolar disorder, etc.
While I'd like to scoff at these women and repeat a line from my favorite faux children's story - Go the Fuck to Sleep - I just can't.
Because I'm one of them.
Either I sit there in the dark reviewing all the things that haven't been done at home or for the kids or my husband or the dogs or the car or how I should really apologize for every rotten thing I've ever done to anyone.... or I toss back those great blue pills and sleep the sleep of the medicated. Of course it's not every night, but enough nights to safely say that something must be way out of whack when you just can't calm your mind long enough to rest.
Most women I know don't really talk about this. We just accept it as a fact of parenthood. But is this the mental price we pay for trying to do it all? Is it worth it?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Stupid Helots

School has once again given me a bit of a nervous twitch. While I'm in the middle of writing a paper about something I don't care about, and quoting people that may or may not have existed, and either way were full of shit.... a funny thing happens. All of a sudden I get into a rhythm, and my focus is razor sharp, and all the pieces come together and I have all the answers, and know exactly where to pull my references to make my point.
Wonder if that's what using meth is like.

Right now I'm sleep deprived and just handed in a paper that probably has no less than 3 different styles of citations. Stupid citations.

Stupid helots.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I'm on my waaaaay ....

That there is a nod not to Vince Neil, but to Hot Tub Time Machine. Which I didn't even like all that much. But I can tell you that if I was going to off myself, I'd totally do it while listening to Motley Crue.

Soooooo....... I've got a new bloggy lay out here. Normally I'd go to my handy friend over at Mommy From the Midwest, but she seems to be on hiatus. Left to my own devices, I've gone with whatever template looked least likely and clicked OK.

This leads me to The Next Big Thing. A book. *gasp* So if I had the nerve to self publish (because my ADD doesn't allow me to focus long enough to go the traditional route, and I really really like instant gratification) would you people buy it? I'm seriously considering doing it on only electronic format, because there Are. No. Bookstores.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Potato Tacos

Although they may sound Irish-Mexican (I dated an Irish-Mexican once, dude was not right in the head) potato tacos seem to be a purely American creation. By American, I mean that my Mexican mother in law made them here in Chicago.

For years, I could not figure out what was so magical about those little tacos. And allow me to digress for a moment, so you can laugh at my lack of Spanish speaking skills. Every time we visited my mother in law's house, she would ask, "Quieres un taco?" and me, being me, didn't really dig tacos enough to eat them quite that often. It was a long time before my husband notified me that "un taco" doesn't necessarily mean A TACO, literally. It's a snack, and bite to eat. He asked, "What, did you think my mother had a store house of tacos somewhere?" Hey, I don't presume to know what your mother does with her food! Maybe she reeeeally likes tacos! *Okay, back to the story of the amazing potato tacos.* Then, on the eve of my darling (and I mean that with zero sarcasm) mother in law's return to Mexico, she showed me how to make them, along with her patented rice.

Last night I made potato tacos and Maria's rice for dinner. Both Daimean and Jesus were in carb loaded heaven. Daimean doesn't really remember much about his abuela, but he sure remembers her food. And for Jesus, who misses his mom, it's a little thing that makes him really happy. Poor Isaiah looked at the whole thing and asked if he could have spaghetti instead.

Friday, September 2, 2011

A Word On Luck

Jeeez, neglect the blog for a few days and all hell breaks loose. We adopted a kitten.

His name is Ozzie, and in, Prince of Darkness. The title for his blog was supposed to be, "Send me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breed fleas." You know how I love those insanely long blog titles. Ozzie is about 4 weeks old now, and is still bottle fed, and is firmly entrenched in this family.

Now, on to today's blog topic.

My mother is sad that today would have been her and my father's 35th wedding anniversary. Never mind that he's been gone 16 years, and they were divorced for 10 before that. Anyway ...

She asked if I'm sad about it, or if I dread the date coming on the calendar. I said no, that I'm always cognizant of the date, but I don't dread it. Tomorrow, Jesus will listen as I talk about my dad, and tell him some of the same things I've probably told him a hundred times before. When I'm done, I'll tell him I miss my dad, he'll say he knows, and he'll hug me. And that will be exactly what I need.

My mother said, "You're lucky to have Jesus"

I smile and say, "I know" :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mil-i-wauk-ee

Well, that's how Alice Cooper said it, anyway.

Here's the view from my room:


I'm here for a trade show, try not to be jealous. Next year it will be in Miami, maybe I'll have better pictures then. It's actually kind of cute here, like Springfield, IL.

For parents, a business trip with your own hotel room is kind of like a mini vacation, isn't it? The opportunity to go to sleep without first tucking in other people. Now, don't get me wrong. Tucking your children in for bed is a beautiful thing. But sometimes, the chance to sleep without keeping an ear half open is also a beautiful thing!

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Kitchen!

A while back I posted about the agony of our kitchen remodel, and just realized that I never followed up with the finished product! Well, allow me to present ... The New Kitchen!



Note the wine rack, a gift from Jesus. He keeps it stocked for me, too.

Maybe that's not a fact I should advertise.

But I bet my fellow "OMG I so need a glass of wine or I'm going to sell my kids" members will appreciate it :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I See Where This is Going

Also filed under: Parent of the Year

When I got home from work, I saw these on the kitchen table.


Somehow I just knew they were Isaiah's. So I asked my darling husband where those came from, and sure enough, Isaiah saw them at the store and asked for them. Of course, right now he thinks they're test tubes, and he enjoyed pouring Gatorade and Kool Aid in them.

But I see where this is going. His college years will not be good to me, will they?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Children, or, Why I Have Grey Hair

We have VoIP, because we're cool and we hate AT&T. (Hipster disclaimer, I hated AT&T back when it was SBC)

The bill is a fixed amount each month, until last month, when it was almost double. What the...? I look up the usage and find a few looong phone calls to some number in Portland. *I* don't know anyone in Portland. *Hubs* doesn't know anyone in Portland.

Oh, and the calls were made around 1am each time.

A quick look at Daimean's FB friends reveals a young woman in Portland. Whom he'd been calling at 1am to chat up. Oddly, my first response wasn't, "Why are you calling some girl in Portland at 1am?!" but rather, "Why the heck didn't you use your cell phone?! You have tons of minutes there!"

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Brain Damage

Yesterday, Hubs bashed his head on the bottom of the pool, and shortly afterwards, Isaiah cracked his on the edge of a desk. Hubs just looked dazed when he scrambled his brain, but Isaiah announced that he had brain damage.

Good times.

You know that old DeBeer's commercial, about buying an engagement ring, and how the standard 2 months salary could last forever? Considering what my husband made back then, ok. Considering what he makes now, I'm thinking upgrade. Does that make me shallow and materialistic? Maybe. But he brought it up. At first I said no. But now I'm thinking that over.....

Friday, July 1, 2011

Dammit, Freud


See? He's dreaming about me, too....


Last night I fell asleep *quite* content. Had a terrible dream in which my husband confessed to having "girlfriends" throughout the course of our marriage, and his insistence that this was not going to abate simply because I was displeased.

Woke up, almost smothered him.

Went back to sleep and had the most pleasant dream featuring Brandon Boyd.

Apparently, my ego and id both hate me.

And to make me feel better about that, I will keep this picture handy all day to compliment the many, many incubus songs that are playing here at my desk.

Enjoy.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Ready, Aim....

Apparently my husband has amazing aim (or stupendous luck) when we're in Oregon, IL. One time, we went fishing, and I was walking down the trail toward the river with the kids, and he was probably 25 feet behind us walking with his brothers. He does a practice cast off with his fishing pole, and the bobber (is that what it's called? The red and white floatie balls?) goes flying off his line at the very moment that Isaiah turns around to face them. It comes flying in a big arc and WHAPS Isaiah right in the forehead.
Then yesterday, he was playing around with his brother's golf clubs and (thank god) wiffle golf balls, when he decides to putt right in my direction (you see where this is going, don't you?) and THWAPS me right in the cheek with a freakin golf ball! If there hadn't been children there, a) I'd probably have started to cry and b) I'd have beaten him to death with the golf club.

That was the second time this weekend I wanted to beat him to death with a blunt object, actually. Saturday night, after my awesome sister in law's party wound down, I was dead on my feet. While there were still a few people around the camp fire, Hubs included, I retired to my tent in the Martinez ShantyTown of tents. Let me just say that isn't the most comfortable place in the world, so it took me some time to fall asleep. A little while later, I hear Smokey the Bear out there raking the camp fire to put it out, because he's paranoid about that kind of thing. So it's the dead of night, in the middle of nowhere, and I've just been woken up by this terrible sound. As he kept going with it, all I could think was, "I'm going to get up and beat you to death with that rake if you don't stop it. Right. This. Instant"

That said, we actually had a really wonderful weekend (my violent tendencies not withstanding)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

And the Most MisInterpreted Comment Award Goes To ...

New blog format - best part first!

Spoken by a male co-worker in the elevator - "And you know what else are delicious, salty balls of goodness?"

As I laughed so hard I gasped and quite literally stumbled out of the elevator, he adminoshed me for having a dirty mind, when all he was talking about were sardines. Back story, we were discussing fish and shellfish (and my aversion to both) when I amended my usual stance to say that I'd had veggie spring rolls at a friend's house, and they were topped with roe, and I found it to be delicious, salty balls of goodness.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Do Not Try This At Home

Let me just begin with the best part, then I'll explain. Besides, I know you appreciate knowing upfront whether reading this post is worth your time.

10:30pm, my son walks into the kitchen and asks why I'm standing at the counter with my hand in a bowl of milk.

Cause it's what all the cool kids are doing, of course. OR, the more likely reason, was that I'd read an old wives tale that says that milk neutralizes the capsaicin in jalapeƱos. Which I'd sliced and diced for dinner with bare hands, as I'd done a hundred times before with no problem. But this time, this mutant chili caused my hand to start burning.

And when I say burning? I mean I thought the skin was going to blister. I thought the pillow I laid my hand on would surely burst into flames. I thought, "Holy shit! This hurts!" and then "Sonofabitch when is this going to stop?" right before "Ohmygod seriously? It was just a stupid pepper!" followed by "Hey, this would make a funny blog post."

Obviously masturbation was out.

So off I went to the interwebs, to find suggestions for relief. Milk, sunburn gel, body powder and hydrocortisone are all worthless, people. I went to bed praying the skin wouldn't melt off my hand before morning. Telling myself that surely this is all in my head, and then turning on the light one more time to make sure there weren't freaking char marks on my skin.

Today, there's a little tingle there. But zero evidence of the insanity that was going on there just a few hours ago. I'm seeing some serious potential in the jalapeƱo as biological weapon idea.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mother of the Year

Yep, that’s me. Allow me to set the scene…

Sunday night, close to midnight. Vampire movie playing in the background. R rated, of course. Isaiah and I had been playing Go Fish for what felt like forever. As we wrap up yet another game, I announce a change. I’m tired of Go Fish, I say. Hey, both of you can count to 21, we’re playing blackjack.

Then, to make it interesting, I let them place bets with their allowance money. I’ll have you know that I was the dealer, so I didn’t take anyone’s money.

Today is my Tattoo Debut at work. The first time I wear a short sleeve shirt and wait to see what happens. Although, last week one of the partners noticed some ink poking out the bottom of my sleeve and asked about it. When I said that I usually keep them covered, she told me that’s silly, I don’t have to hide them. Ooohkay, so now I’m not. Let the fun begin.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Time Flies

Whoa, so apparently I've forgotten I have this bloggy thing here. It's not the only thing I've forgotten lately. There have been many important things which have fallen through the swiss cheese like holes in my brain in the last month or two. But you know what I never forget? First Friday, because I have priorities, people. School assignments may fall off the list of things in my consciousness, but girl's night, never.

Speaking of school, I'm officially a senior! Of course, being A Woman of a Certain Age, it strikes me as almost necessary to note that is senior as in, rule the school, not as in 55+ and gets a discount at Denny's. Two more classes down, and what feels like a million to go, but I'm on my way.

So what have I been doing for the past month that I've neglected my dear blog? Let's see.... finished (mostly) the kitchen remodel from hell. In fact, just last night we put up some more cabinets, and it turns out, that's harder than it sounds. OR I'm an idiot. Whatever. Wrote some crazy long smarty pants paper about education and did some lab assignments (including the dissection of a fetal pig) which I will never, ever, ever think about again as long as I live. Spent time hanging with my boys, who are still the smartest, most charming and handsome boys I've ever known. Inherited my department at work, world's fastest pseudo promotion because everyone else quit. Yep, I think that sums it up.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Joys of Raising Boys

This morning, while I was doing my usual morning rush thing, Isaiah asked me where the paper bags are kept. As I told him, I asked why. He said, "I'm going to make my lunch. I don't want you to make it. I don't want you to have so many chores."

And so he did. He made himself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, wrote his name on his brown bag, and packed it.

Afterwards, he gave me a kiss and asked if that helped me.

Not only did that help me, it made my day. That was the sweetest thing anyone's done for me lately!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Observation

Today, I walked into a classroom for the first time NOT as a student. That sentence isn't winning any awards for structure, but you know what I mean. My educational foundations class requires me to spend 10 hours observing a classroom, and another 10 doing service for the teacher. Lucky for me, the teacher I'm with is awesome. And thank god for that, because otherwise she'd have flipped out and killed these juvenile delinquents.

The school is old, and the students are crazy, and I didn't have any coffee. But I loved it. All of the teachers I met were open and willing to talk. The kids ranged from curious, oblivious, to outright hostile. These kids are about 12 years old, and I saw hickeys and at least one tattoo. WTF!? I graded papers and made up a spreadhseet for the teacher to use for one of the million thing that teachers must document each day. And one girl who was polite, funny and scary smart. She's going places, that one. Now, more than ever, I can't wait to get through school and start teaching.

Worst moment - when a kid stared at my ear piercing and asked if it hurt.

Best moment - the first time one of the kids called me Miss Martinez :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Never Ignore the Warnings

When I cheerfully told people we were having out kitchen remodeled, my fellow homeowners warned me that it would take twice as long as scheduled, and make me twice as crazy as I already am.
But did I listen?! No. Here's one side of the kitchen, the night before demo began. See the horrid almond colored tile? The cheap cabinets that were falling apart?



And here's how it looks now.



It's an improvement, in my eyes. But of course, there's electrical and plumbing work to be done, and the stove delivery has been delayed, and now Hubs wants to rip the floor out while we're at it.

Is this twitch I've developed a normal reaction to this kind of stress? Of course, it was our decision to do this, and I'm excited, and I will love it when it's done. But right now, the house is a mess, I can't find anything that was previously in the kitchen - except the fridge, which is in the dining room, and the microwave, which is stationed in the living room for the time being. If I kill someone, will you guys pool together some money for my defense attorney?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Week Full of Mondays

That's exactly what this week feels like, every day is Monday.
This morning's fun:
Isaiah upset that he didn't want to go to school, he didn't feel well, he was tired, etc. I bribed him with a honey bun and a dollar. Don't judge me. It worked. However, the delay made me 10 minutes late for a departmental meeting thingie. Damn.
Wore a great pair of boots to work. Halfway through the day, the heel on one broke. My only spare shoes were open toe heels, which were fab in the rain, lemmetellya.
Then mother nature decided she hated me more than usual, and ramped Aunt Flo up to 10, and made damn sure I was out of feminine products.

And just when you sink into woe-is-me, someone calls and tells you of a homeless woman she talked to today, and wants to help. Well, at least it takes the focus off my day!

Monday, March 7, 2011

So Happy That I.....

Last night I told Isaiah that there was to be no school today. After a moment of silence, he decided not to question this unexpected gift. He threw his little arms up and yelled "Yeaaah!" and yelled it so hard that he farted. To him, this was just further evidence that he was, indeed, excited.

To me, it was just another reason why raising boys is so very strange.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

What Language Means

Yesterday, Isaiah was studying the Chinese horoscope he received at school, when he read off the attributes to those born in the year of the horse. He told me it says I should be smart, and that yes, he believes me to be very smart. Then he said, "...and popular. Have you been popular, Momma?" I said, yes, absolutely. So he asked the natural question,
"When?"

*sigh* Kids are great for the ego.

Here's an interesting explanation I've just read on language, while I'm researching for a presentation for school. Just wanted to share, because it's pretty profound stuff.

Language is the combination of semantics (vocabulary), syntax (form or structure of the language—tenses, word order, plurality, etc.), and pragmatics (how language is used to meet communication needs). Language has meaningful patterns. Language is arbitrary, its symbols agreed upon by its users. Language is symbolic. Users encode their life experiences into words or signs, then recipients decode the messages to understand the experience. Language is social and modified by experience. Language has grammar. These rules define relationships between words or signs and sentences. Language has meanings that go beyond dictionary meanings. Language is variable among individuals. Language evolves and changes over time. People communicate language through different forms and modalities. Speech, writing and signing are examples of different modalities. Language does not need to have a written form.

Monday, February 21, 2011

I've Got Something To Say!

I said I wasn't coming back till I had something to say, right?

Lats Friday, I got on a plane, and I flew to New Mexico to surprise my sister.

How's THAT for new and interesting?!

And yes, I said surprise. Through careful planning with her husband, she didn't know. I spent 2 and a half days with her and her amazing family. After all these years, nothing awkward, nothing missing. In fact, it was like having a piece of my heart restored. We talked non stop, morning until night. And her kids! They're great, funny, smart. It was hard for me to leave, and if I hadn't been rushing to my plane at the last minute, I'd have started to cry. Now that I'm home, it's hard to believe I was really there.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Who Is ...

Piers Morgan, and why the hell should I care? Why is his name all over CNN? does he run a counrty? No. Now go away, man with the stupid name.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Could It BE Any More Random?

Last night I had a dream. My husband left me for an ex girlfriend. I went to a party, he was there. I started flirting with Matt LeBlanc to make him jealous. Someone mentioed that the kids had been left with a questionable baby sitter, that turned out to be Bill Murray.
I've got to stop eating before bed.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

And We're Back!

Isaiah was typing up a report on sharks yesterday. When I went in to check on his progress, this is what he had written:

"sharks are more feersom in your imagination than in real life. they can way up to 5,000 pounds I read aoubt it. they can have up to 20,000 teeth. ok we'll be right back ............................ 773, 202 doo dooo doo dooo loona! OK were back............ this is sparta! kick ..................."

I'm sure his teacher will love it. For non-Chicagoans, the 773-202-LUNA is, and will always be, his favorite local commercial. For Chicagoans, I know it's running through your head right now. So I don't know if he was hoping to get a corporate sponsor for his shark report, but he's courting LUNA pretty hard!

The 7th and 8th grades are "adopting" a refugee family from Iraq, working through our local Catholic Charities. D is excited about being a part of the plan, as each kid (and therefore, family) is helping to contribute to a welcome kit to help with their transition. It includes basics like cleaning supplies, rice, flour, cooking oil, tea and the like. We're also pitching in for things like pots and pans, bedding and dishes. While the family is settling here in Chicago, our students will learn about the history of Iraq, what's happening now, and what the experience may be like for families like this one, who have left and are starting over somewhere new. This is exactly the kind of project they need to be more connected to what's going on outside their own little worlds. Once the family is settled in, the kids will get a chance to meet them. I swear, this kind of thing makes me almost teary eyed.


Updates:
AZ - shooting people = bad. Hey Sarah Palin, with your shit about, "Don't retreat, reload" and other assholes showing propaganda using crosshairs - stop it. If record companies and video game developers can be held accountable for violent images, so should you.

Rahm for Mayor - Politics is like a sport in Chicago. Last week, President Clinton was here to stump for Rahm, yesterday he was stricken from the ballot by the appellate court, today it looks as if he's been restored by the IL Supreme Court. As long as no one's shooting any opponents, let's keep with the fun.

School lunches - I read a bit on CNN about a brilliant blog called Fed Up With Lunch, a teacher who ate and analyzed her school's lunches for a year. Bravo, I say. Our school periodically offers organic, feel-good food, but A) it's too damn expensive and B) I know my kids won't touch their organic rice pilaf with a 10 foot pole.

School - I've been trying (unsuccessfully, obviously) for a week to place myself at a local school for some observation, as mandated by the syllabus for my Educational Differences class. We were told by our professor to be prepared for our calls to go unanswered. Excuse me? I'm sensing I'm going to be the squeaky wheel soon.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Still Whining, Louis!

Time can pass quickly for mortals when they're happy. With us, it was the same.

Not that I'm implying that we're not mortal or anything, but I do love that line from Interview With the Vampire, and it goes a ways in explaining why I haven't been blogging much.

Think I'm going to take a short hiatus, and come back with a bang. Or a promotion. Or something.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

For a Good Cause



You're welcome.