All I Want for Christmas is... A Lifestyle Lift. Yes, really. Okay maybe not. Well kinda, yeah. Oh, I don’t know.
Sweetie wants to be a stick of butter for Halloween. Before she decided on that, she said she wanted to be a plate.
Two Christmases ago, she wished for a Christmas Fork.
Last Christmas, all she wanted was a 78 Toy.
This year she says she hopes Santa brings her a (real) baby giraffe.
She thinks Fear Toxin is when her Daddy (or anyone) pushes all her hair into her face. And she thinks the green husks on an ear of corn are called Green (Sweetie) Crazy (okay - both of those items are ENTIRELY Hubby's fault).
Why isn't my daughter normal?
Whatever. Never mind. Normal is boring. Sweetie is AWESOME!
Or, as she would say - she's GREAT.
If you're planning - or attending - a 4th of July celebration this weekend, might I suggest a few things to consider? You know, to make sure your star-spangled manners are up to par.
For those of you hosting a party:
1) Make sure you have enough food for all your guests. I was invited to a party once and the invitation said it would take place "From 2 PM - ???" When I showed up at 4 PM, there was no food left. Not even a potato chip. The host had given his guests a window of three question marks, and yet had run out of grub in 2 hours? Not acceptable. Similarly, I was invited to another party where the guest wanted to know beforehand how many hot dogs and/or burgers I would be eating. This was not a wedding, it was a back yard BBQ! Bottom line: don't skimp out on your guests.
2) Unless you have managed to gather a crowd of 5,000+, fireworks are not a good idea. You could shoot an eye out, you know. That, and when people want to see a fireworks display, they'll travel to a location specifically for said fireworks display. Having a cheapo display go off from your back yard is just going to piss your neighbors off. This includes their dog(s), who you really don't want to piss off.
3) Even if you're not going to risk life and limb to set fireworks off, you'll probably still be drawing a crowd, what with the free food, drinks and Bocce Ball setup. So be considerate of your neighbors. Make sure your guests' cars aren't blocking their driveways. And turn that music down! Better yet? Invite your neighbors over. Nothing will prevent them from calling the cops like the previously mentioned free food, drinks and Bocce Ball.
For those of you attending a party:
1) Bring something for the host - but not an entourage. Even if someone tells you, "the more, the merrier" this usually means, "Yes, it's fine if you have to bring your mother-in-law, or your son wants to bring a friend." This is not an invitation to pack as many people possible into a clown car and head over. Bring a bouquet of flowers, a bottle of wine... bake a cake! Just don't arrive empty-handed.
2) Don't mock people who get festive. Decking oneself out in red, white and blue may not be your thing, but some people like to rock the patriotic garb... and that's OK. This rule doesn't apply to Christmas sweaters, as those tend to offend throughout the whole season. We're talking one day of red, white and blue here. Deal.
3) When the party is over - the games have stopped, the grill is turned off, the parade is over, the fireworks are done - LEAVE. No host wants to keep entertaining when the overwhelming majority of the party guests have gone home. Even if you can't take a hit that the party's over, it's time to go home, at the very least, help with the clean-up.
But most importantly: have a safe, fun and Happy 4th of July!
Holy frijole! Is it hot in here or WHAT? While I'm not quite old enough for menopause, I managed a pretty good imitation as I ran errands today. Popping between the car and the stores, I sported a shiny and flushed face, sweat dripping between my boobs, and severe irritability toward, oh... everyone else on the planet.
The fact is, I am not a Summer Person, and that is because I am a Sweaty Person. If you are also a Sweaty Person, you have my sympathy, and I know you share my pain as well. I am an example of the unfortunate sub-type of Sweaty People that sweat mostly on their heads. I sweat normally on the rest of my body, but my scalp is out of control. More than once I have been captured in summer party photos looking like someone dumped a bucket of water on my head while my armpits are miraculously dry. It's lovely, trust me.
This is actually one of the few things I'm truly self-conscious about, so a while back I did some research to see if anything could help me. I'd been to one too many elegant functions held outside on a hot day and spent far too much time running to the bathroom to pat down my forehead with paper towels. On these summer evenings, I was acutely conscious of the flush on my face and the sweat trickling down in front of my ears as I nibbled hors d'oeuvres. As if high heels on gently sloping lawns aren't torture enough, I always end up using a finger to discretely squeegee off my cheekbones.
A few years back, a friend of mine (who is a nurse) took one look at my sodden state and said, "Whoa! Hyperhidrosis!" Because I am a well-educated, rational woman, I immediately went home and Googled it. Yes, it is a real condition. No, I don't think I'll be having microsurgery done on my SPINE to cut a tiny nerve ending to stop it.
I'm not someone who has embraced the concept of aging well at any cost. I wince when the gossip rags show pictures of actresses sporting brand new pouts, and like many people, worry about what popular culture in this country is promoting as "beautiful." I'm not anti-plastic surgery, per se, because I know several women who have had procedures and I was thrilled for them when the results were so positive. But guess what is used for sufferers of hyperhidrosis? Botox injections in the scalp, which paralyze the nerves that send "We need more sweat up here!" messages to the sweat glands. Yeah, I'm kind of ambivalent about that one, too.
Another option is high-potency aluminum chloride antiperspirant gel you can apply to the affected area, but again - not a fan of the neurotoxins! Or of the "burning and irritation that may occur." Ouch. Oh, wait! There is also a handy pill, made up of various herbal ingredients in "strict proportion," which would only run me $160 for a two month supply. After tracking down the common names for some of those ingredients, I discovered most are common herbs and spices, but one of them is this stuff:
Latin Names : Cateria lacca... English Name : Lac insect
The most common and widely occurring species of lac insect in India is Laccifer lacca... which produces the bulk of commercial lac. Lac is the resinous protective secretion of the tiny lac insect. The major constituent of sticklac is the resin (70-80%); other constituents present are: sugar, proteins, and soluble salts, coloring matter, wax, sand, woody matter, insect bodies and other extraneous matter...
Looks like it's up to me to start a brand new, back-to-the-future fashion craze. Handkerchiefs or bandanas, anyone?
Yes, I know. You think I am insane. All the dampness here in New England must have affected my brain! The rot and mildew is setting in!
I have one word for you to explain my love for the rainy days we've been having: allergies. Last year at this time, my poor little Peanut was hit with a tidal wave of pollen. You may remember that it stayed cold for a long time last spring, and then BOOM - warmed up and stayed really warm and dry for a while?
The allergist told us it was going to be a terrible year because everything that would normally bloom over a span of weeks or months bloomed at the same time instead. It hit so hard and so fast, we ended up in the E.R. a few days after the warm weather started, with Peanut wheezing and needing a nebulizer treatment to set him right.
The rest of the summer was the same. My boy is allergic to a lot of thing, just a few of which are trees, weeds, and grass, and the weather pattern last year made it impossible to even play outside for parts of the summer. It really sucked, loading him up with prescriptions and nasal sprays and eye drops, only to watch him rub his eyes and ask to go back inside on a beautiful summer day.
This spring has been really different so far. The rain has come, and gone, and come again, and each time it has washed away a ton of pollen. This morning dawned sunny and bright, and despite trying to keep the house as allergy proof as possible, I couldn't resist opening the windows in a burst of optimism.
It was lovely, and I enjoyed the breeze even as I began thinking I should probably close up the house and run the air conditioning, but then the skies darkened. The rain has been threatening to come down again this afternoon, and I'm loving it. Our family is singing a new song these days:
"Rain, rain, don't stay away!
Come back and wash the pollen away!"
Cross posted at A Smeddling Kiss
I'll give you a moment to get the U2 song into your head (or click on it so you can actually hear it). It will set the tone for this post. Then you can be mad at me for the rest of the day when you can't get it back out of your head.
One of the many things that just leaves me staring in amazement is the way streets are named in Massachusetts. Many streets do not appear to have a name. That's not to be confused with streets that change names every block. I've had quite a few debates with people over the names of streets. They will insist that a road may be called Belmont Street or Boston Turnpike, while I will point out that if I follow the signs for Route 9 and ignore when it is called Belmont Street, Boston Turnpike, Highland Street, or any other name, I will get to Natick and see the fabulous new mall with the Cheesecake Factory. Quite honestly, if it takes you to cheesecake, does it really matter what it's called?
This brings me to this past Sunday. I decided to take a second stab at running the course (literally) for the triathlon. Well...most of the course. I didn't do the swimming. I did the biking again with no problem. Then armed with the handwritten list of street names for the running course that I had copied from the triathlon website, I took off. Everything seemed fine, until I realized I was back at the main street without having run through every street on my list. Based on the amount of time that elapsed, there were two possibilities: I had doubled my running speed or more likely, I had somehow lost a mile of the course. How weird does that sound? It's true though. The same thing happened the week before when my triathlon training buddy and I also attempted the running part of the course. The only difference was that time she had written the directions.
Determined to find where I took a wrong turn, I retraced my steps. That's when I realized the third possible explanation. I had stepped into a Harry Potter book. You HP fans know that in order to get to Diagon Alley, someone (usually Hagrid) has to tap a strange pattern of swipes onto what looks to the average person like a brick wall with his umbrella. The wall then magically disappears revealing a magical town. I believe that the triathlon course is similar. I needed Hagrid to bring his magic pink umbrella to tap on one of the luxury driveways in this neighborhood to magically cause another street to appear. I want to tear down the walls that hold me inside.
Of course in this very nice neighborhood it is hard to distinguish driveways from small streets; I suspect one of those non-driveways may be the missing link on the secret triathlon route. I did take a gander down several driveways, but after getting weird looks from a homeowner or two, I decided it was better to hedge my bets that the course will be marked on race day than spend the next several hours in jail after the cops were called on me for trespassing. That would make me want to run and want to hide. This does impact my race gear. In addition to needing shoes, a bike, a swim suit, a helmet, brown and a bag to wear over my head or throw up in (but not in that order), I also need a magic pink umbrella.
Alright, I am sure the prosaic among you may have come up with another explanation for the missing mile on my triathlon route. It is possible that the map on-line was wrong. It could also just be my mistake. My spinning instructor told me that she missed the microscopic street the first time she ran that triathlon while waving back at a friendly (or mischievous) neighborhood kid who waved at her. HP magic sounds way more fun. My favorite explanation remains the possibility that I developed superpowers and ran the until course in record breaking speed... All I can do is what I told my training buddy. "When I go there, I go there with you. It's all I can do."
Cross posted at Formula Fed and Flexible Parenting
I was reading an article recently about “Buzzword abusers” (you know, the people who sprinkle every conversation with “at the end of the day” or “think outside the box” or “on the same page” and the like) and it got me thinking about things that bug me.
(Unfortunately, as patience is something I always have to work on, it didn’t take me long to come up with a list in my mind of such things.)
But one stood out…
When I was in college, there was a girl on my dorm floor who was kind of a crunchy feminist post-1960’s flower child.
One day she came into my room all excited, and extra “grungily” (yes, I just made that word up) dressed.
“I’m going to see Ani tonight!” she exclaimed.
I had no idea who Ani was, and just figured she was talking about a friend at another school. “Cool,” I answered.
“You wanna come?” she asked.
At this point, I had to find out who Ani was, because if I said yes and Ani turned out to be some back alley drug dealer, there were some serious consequences and ramifications I’d have to consider.
So I inquired about just who Ani was, and found out she was talking about Ani DiFranco, the crunchy feminist musician.
And here’s my gripe… it’s one thing if you actually know someone, and therefore have the right to refer to them in such a familiar fashion.
But if said someone has no idea who you even are, do you really have the right to be on a first-name-only basis with her?
I say no!
I’ve found that fans of Dave Matthews Band have this similar affliction.
When Dave Matthews comes to town, I find that I can’t talk to anyone without being asked, “Are you gonna see Dave?”
Even my grandmother gets into the action sometimes.
If I happen to mention that it’s going to be… oh, I don’t know, a sunny day… she’ll say, “Well, Gary says the rain will hold off until the weekend.”
Gary being a weather guy at one of our television stations, of course.
And no, Gary doesn’t know my grandmother from Adam.
Wait - does Adam have a last name?
Wow, I can’t even write a post without contradicting myself.
Oh well, I guess at the end of the day, we all just have to think outside the box and try to be on the same page as everyone else.
I have a slightly embarrassing confession to make. No, nothing really big and juicy but one that makes me laugh ever time I think of it. With this beautiful weather, I've thought about it quite a few times this past week.
The summer my older son (OS) was about 20 months, we spent a lot of time at the park. It was the first summer that he was walking and could really enjoy the equipment. He particularly liked the little toddler slide at one park. He would go on it over and over again. Except for this one day when a bunch of older kids kept climbing back up the slide. These
teenagers 4 year olds didn't even seem aware that OS was trying to go down the slide. I was really annoyed. Where were the parents? All I could see was a bunch of parents standing around talking.
I was completely irked. I even emailed my moms group list-serve to ask about the etiquette for this situation. (This makes me laugh a slightly embarrassed laugh.) I mean surely this rude behavior was an anomaly. Maybe not. I witnessed it a bunch of times later on that summer. Each time I a huffed about it.
Fast foward to yesterday. I was at the park with both of my boys who are 4.5 and 21 months. I was talking to a friend while standing next to the slide that my boys had been using. I turned around to see a woman standing on the other side looking perplexed as her granddaughter proved unable to go down the slide because my sons were climbing up the slide. Great. Nothing like being a hypocrite. I mumbled an apology, as did the boys, and took them off to climb on a different structure.
One of the many things that continues to amaze me with my kids is the types of toys that they like. A toy that is bright and shiny occupies them for about 5 minutes. Some gross knick knack that they find under the table at a restaurant will be on their minds for the rest of the day and possibly the next day. Usually this knick knack is something like a broken used crayon in a shade of red that is far less inviting than the brand-new perfectly good orange crayons. Another sure winner is the stray ponytail holder found on the ground in the parking lot. Even if I convince the boys to bypass the junk, there's a good chance that any subsequent visits to the restaurant or parking lot will recall memories of this treasured item. This long-term memory is particularly impressive in the face of my 4.5 year-old's inability to remember that I told him to put on his shoes two minutes later.
Several years ago, we were at a playgroup where the hostess had fun-shaped laundry hampers. Just so there is no confusion, I am not talking about some sort of electronic gadget; I am talking about a basket into which dirty clothes are placed. This hamper was nylon with fun designs and some sort of springs in them so they fold down. The kids just loved hopping in and out of them. Whenever we subsequently visited someone's house with a hamper in palin sight, you know whose kids were hopping in and out of them. My younger son has learned to love this type of play by following his brother's example.
As odd as it sounds, my older son has been asking for a laundry hamper for some time. Sure he has a plastic laundry basket in his room, but that is for dirty laundry. He wants a fun hamper! Today at Bed Bath and Beyond, we happened to see a bunch of them. The boys picked out a Cars one. They've been playing with it since they got it. It's amazing how many ways you can jump in and out of a laundry hamper. Funnier how much time kids can stay occupied jumping in and out of laundry hamper.