Friday, May 28, 2010

Summer Fun Facts

Not actually our Slip N Slide.
Fact #1-A brand new Slip N Slide has a lifespan of about 2 hours when 7 kids (5 being boys) have been playing on it.

Fact #2-When you set up a Slip N Slide in your yard, kids you may not even know will show up in your yard wearing swimming trunks within 2 minutes flat.

Fact #3-7 and 8 year old boys don't care how many other boys are in the tiny wading pool.  They will find a way to fit in there somehow, even if they only stay in for a few minutes, before they decide that it would be great fun to slide down the swingset slide with wet pants on.  They will have more grass tracked into the pool within 30 seconds than you knew you had in the whole yard.  They will also inevitably take turns shoving the running hose down their trunks until you catch them and make them stop.

Poor Slip N Slide.  When I was a kid, all we got was a long plastic sheet, and a water sprinkler.  (It was rough back then.) Nowadays, they have all of these annoying fun inflatable parts.  Of course when I brought the thing home, I couldn't find the attachment for the bicycle pump to blow up the inflatable things.  So, I had to hold the thingie (technical term) right next to the air valve doohickie (being technical again), and pump away in the 90 degree heat.  That was fun.  Then, I had even more fun.  Have you ever seen a cartoon where there's a water hose, and the water just kind of bulges up in one area of the hose? Yeah, you can tell this won't end well, right?  Well, when I hooked the hose to the Slip N Slide, I watched, paralyzed in shock, as the water just bulged up in the tube thingamajig (I hope I'm not losing anyone with all the techie speak), and then popped open.  Great.  I managed to get it repaired with duct tape (best invention ever), and it actually worked! For a while. Until the inflatables at the end popped, and eventually ripped off.  At least it was sort of cheap.  Except for the water bill that will be coming.

Fact #4- The same moody, (dare I say, hormonal? Dear God, please no! Not yet!) 9 year old girl who was just crying dramatically because she wanted to be able to play on the Slip N Slide without a bunch of "little first grade boys" (she didn't like it when I said, "Well technically, they're all 2nd graders now!), will end up in the wading pool later happily barking and howling like a dog with a 4 year old, and 7 and 8 year old. 

Fact #5 No matter what, popsicle wrappers are drawn like magnets to my yard.  Even with stern lectures about the easy availability of trashcans.  Maybe popsicle wrappers like Slip N Slides, too.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I'm Versatile!

Hi! Remember me? That weird lady who owes more money in library fines than she makes in a week's work? The one who has been known to wash her hair with two different shampoos in lieu of conditioner?  The slacker who used to post new blog postings two or three times a week? Yeah, it's me! I am, in fact still alive.  Sorry, for slackingnot posting lately.  This is the last week of school for my kids, and the teachers at my kid's school think that it's great fun to assign fifty million projects in the last two weeks of school that require parental assistance.  Between all that, work, baseball and softball, and everything else....well, you know.  Actually, I wrote a big, long, really boring wickedly funny post Tuesday night about it all.  I spent over an hour working on it, but when I went to post it, it disappeared.  By then, I was too tired to rewrite it.  So, anywho....the kids are officially on summer vacation now, and maybe I'll have some more blog fodder time to post.

But, hey! Guess what? I'm versatile! Many adjectives, some flattering, some not so much, have been used to describe me, but never versatile. But maybe I am.  After all, I can wear my hair blonde with brown highlights, or brown with blonde highlights (although two weeks later, it pretty much just looks mousy brown no matter what-I think I need to break up with my beautician), and I can drink coffee with french vanilla flavored creamer or with something chocolatey. And....ummmm...there are probably other ways I'm versatile (all equally as boring and lame), but I can't think of them.  Ok, I'm pretty much a creature of routine and habit.

But, (I just started two paragraphs with "but"-that's not versatile) Lindsey from Just Another Milspouse Surviving Deployment awarded me with the Versatile Blogger award! Lindsey is one busy lady-she's a nursing student, raising her boys and taking care of everything while her husband is overseas-and she still finds the time to blog, much more regularly than me.  I'm so excited to win another award-thanks, Lindsey!  I would like to strive to be a more Versatile Blogger, actually.  Sometimes I feel like I've written myself into a box-some days I don't feel very entertaining or funny, so I don't know what/how to write, and other days I feel like I want to do something different here, but then I want to keep some sort of a consistent theme going.  I'm still new at all this.  Anyhow, I'm accepting this award as a challenge to work towards.

The terms of the award say that I have to share 7 things about myself, and pass this award on.  Ok, so here are my 7.

1.  A kid at the tutoring company I work for which shall remain nameless, but fairly obvious, really,  told my boss today that he knew that he was going to like coming there because I allowed him to be him.  That was a huge compliment.  Work hasn't been so great lately, so that was nice.

2.  I often write blog posts in my head, and then get sick of them before I get around to posting them.

3.  My husband and I are going to the Indy 500 this weekend.  I'm really not much of a race fan, but we live near Indianapolis, and well, going to the track is just kind of what we do here.  The people watching is the best part.  At practice and qualifications the other day, I saw some...interesting folks.  There was the lady with big, spiral permed, teased up to the sky hair,  (honey, that ship sailed off in a cloud of Aqua Net a looooonnnnggggg time ago) that I would have been totally envious of, you know, back in 1991.  Then there was the junior high aged boy wearing fireman's boots, and the dude wearing a tight basketball jersey (from a player who retired over 10 years ago) tucked into his long, army green cargo shorts. 

4.  I'm not a snob, merely an observer.  A collector of the unusual.  An appreciator of the seemingly odd.  Oh heck-they were probably talking about how goofy I looked, too.

5.  How can I be 35 years old and still so socially awkward at times? Ack!  Awkward moment today.  Don't want to talk about it, either. Nope.

6.  I keep thinking it's Friday and get disappointed when I realize I have to work tomorrow.

7.  I thought I was being a "cool Mom" by surprising my kids with a new Slip and Slide for the last day of school.  But then my husband surprised them with the new Wii Super Mario Galaxy.  Show off. 

My goodness but I'm wordy! Sorry-I'm making up for lost time.  Anyhow, I'd like to pass on the Versatile Blogger award to these fine, and versatile folks! Check them out!

Mary Bailey at Bell Whistle Moon
Chocolate Covered Daydreams
Monica at Organized Chaos

Thanks again, Lindsey!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I'm crabby today.  I don't know why, maybe it's PMS but it's SO not PMS.  I have legitimate reasons to be grouchy,, I've got my reasons! I just can't think of any of them right now, that's all.  Maybe it's the fact that the laundry that I sorted, washed and folded this weekend is still sitting on the coffee table waiting for certain other people to put it away.  I don't think I should have to, so I'm leaving it sit there, as...well, you know, an experiment of sorts.  Yeah, that's it, it's an experiment! I want to see how long it takes before someone (hubby, kids, the imaginary maid, Santa Claus, June Cleaver, the cat, anyone, anyone, Bueller?) puts it away.  I'm getting sick of looking at it, though, so I think I'll be nagging at the kids to get their stuff, and hauling the rest upstairs myself.  I could certainly use the exercise.

Or maybe it's because after cooking soup for dinner tonight, I looked in the cabinet and had no clean bowls.  So, I reached in the dishwasher for bowls and spoons (none of those in the drawer), and discovered that it had never been ran.  Great.  Even better, I had already used one of the dirty spoons from the dishwasher while cooking the soup, thinking it was clean.  I'll bet Martha Stewart's never done that before.  SO not a "good thing". We did eat the contaminated soup and we are just fine.  So far. Fingers crossed.   Obviously, my experiment with the dirty dishes has not had a successful outcome.

                                                           "You did what?! That's horrifying!"
Add to that some work issues, family issues, broken air conditioning, and feeling like I can't keep up with anything despite my best intentions, and you've got one, irritable, imperfect mom.  Anywho....I've got lots to be thankful for, great family, food to eat, clean clothes to wear, yada, yada, yada.  I'll be fine by next week.  It's not PMS!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Feet and Wiffle Ball

Happy Thursday! Wow-this week is flying by! Today, I am participating, once again, in Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop from Mama's Losin' it .  Every week, Mama Kat posts a few writing prompts, and anyone who wishes to participate can choose one or more prompts to write about, and then link up on her blog.  Click on the button below to visit more blogs, or to join in yourself!  (If you do decide to play along, leave me a comment, and I'll check yours out, too!)
Mama's Losin' It

Here is the prompt I chose:
2.) Where were your shoes? Write about an interesting time when you happened to be barefoot. Begin and end your writing with a description of your feet.

It was a sunny, spring Sunday afternoon.  Our family was gathered at my Aunt and Uncle's house to celebrate Mother's Day, and a couple of family birthdays.  (We're big multi-taskers.)    I had on my favorite pair of comfy, Born heeled sandals, which show off my pink toenails, yet hide the fact that my feet could really use some TLC. As we sat on the back deck, soaking up the sun, my Uncle Ron laid a couple of Wiffle Ball bats and some plastic balls in the grass.  You know, in case the kids wanted to play Wiffle Ball, or something.

Soon enough, Little Bit convinced me to bat so she could practice her pitching.  Pretty soon, I was jokingly running to an imaginary base after hitting the hollow plastic ball, so I had kicked off my shoes, and was running barefoot in the plush, green grass.  Ahhhh...I love going barefoot in soft grass.... Not long after, my Uncle had joined in, along with my 64 year old, arthritic Dad, and actual bases were established-a tree stump level with the ground, my nephew's jacket, a plastic bag of sports equipment, and one of my beloved sandals as home plate.  Now my daughter and my Uncle are pretty athletic-and somehow they ended up on the same team.  So very unfair. That left my Dad for my teammate.  We are not from an athletic stock of people.  At all.  Did I mention my Dad has arthritis? That left me pretty much to field all the balls that my uncle and daughter were Wiffling all over the far reaches of the yard.  I was basically a panting, sweating, laughingly complaining mess, and they were beating us badly.  My pleas for help to family members on the deck were politley, although laughingly, declined.  I think they were enjoying my pain...

Finally, we were up to bat, so I could sort of catch my breath.  I was first up  (out of two, LOL), and my daughter was lurking by playing first base.  I hit the ball in between first and second, and took off towards the stump that was first base.  My daughter got the ball and headed back to the base.  I stepped carefully on the stump right before Little Bit arrived.  First base made me a little nervous-remember, I was barefoot, and stumps have a tendency to be, well, splintery.  So, right as I gingerly stepped on the base, Little Bit went to tag me with the ball, and I lost my balance.  I tumbled to the ground in a disgraceful heap, and proceed to roll down the slope beyond.  My loving family, looking on from the deck, errupted in laughter and applause.  Nice, huh?

As a child, I remember falling, and just jumping right back up.  Falling is different as a 35 year old, out of shape woman.  I had to take stock of the situation before getting up.  As I lay there looking at the fluffy clouds (miraculously, there were no stars or tweeting birdies floating in circles overhead), I mentally went through each part of my body-amazed each time I discovered that it weren't in pain.  My laughing uncle came over after a while, and said "Are you okay? Did you twist an ankle or something?"  More guffaws came from the deck as I answered, "I don't know-I haven't gotten to that part yet!"

Anyhow, I was fine, and the game continued until for another 30 minutes or so, until my impatient Grandma decided she couldn't wait any longer to open her Mothe's Day gifts, and we quit.  As we headed for the house, I picked up my shoes, and looked down at my feet, which were now green on the bottom, and even much more in need of some TLC.  Who knew feet could get grass stained? I have a feeling that my daughter and I will both treasure memories of this day for a long time. Memories of Grandpa running (well, walking briskly with a limp, actually) bases, memories of the two dogs running around, trying to herd us as we went from base to base, and, of course, memories of me, tumbling down the hill.  Good times.  Really!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Yeah, that was me...

That woman you saw today at the little league baseball diamonds? You know, the one wearing a zip up hoodie, an ill fitting jacket, a child sized Snuggie and her daughter's multicolored, butterfly Children's Place gloves? Yeah, that was probably me.  Judging by the smiles everyone was giving me, I either looked cute or ridiculous.  I prefer to think I looked kind of cute, but really, there IS a fine line between cute and ridiculous.  (And I've been known to cross it.) But hey, I finally was able to put to good use some of the items in my minivan that collect there because no one ever carries all their stuff inside the house.

Welcome to May in Indiana-where we can have highs in the 80's for three days in a row, and then BAM! The next day, the temperature doesn't even make it out of the 40's. Don't forget the daily Tornado Watches, either! There's something for everyone here; weather-wise, anyhow.

I hope I get something good for Mother's Day, because seriously? I deserve it.  My daughter had a softball game at 9 this morning.  She scored a double play which is really awesome since most of the girls were bundled up so much they could hardly move.  All of us parents-those of us brave enough to not sit in our cars-were bundled up against the wind, clutching cups of concession stand coffee, and trying to force our numb hands to clap when one of the girls actually hit the ball. As midwesterners, we're supposed to be much more hardy than this, but we've been spoiled by an especially warm spring.  Give us a day like this in January, though, and you're likely to see people in flip flops and shorts.

Anyhow, 2 hours later, we crossed the parking lot to field 10 for my son's baseball game.  Tot can always hit the ball, but that's pretty much it, really.  When he plays first base, he's really more of a First Base Greeter, than a first baseman.  He goes to baseball practice to socialize and to climb up the walls of the plywood and cinder block dugout like a monkey until I go yell at ask him to get down.  Today, he was especially not into the game since he had already sat through his sister's game and was freezing, despite the three shirts and jacket he insisted upon wearing.  He pretty much just stood in the outfield and flapped his arms like a bird when his team was not at bat. Which, come to think of it, isn't that unusual, really.  But, he's in first grade, so there's only about 3 boys on each team who seem to really understand what's going on, anyhow.  The rest just run when they are told to run, and pick grass and kick up dirt the rest of the time.

By 12:45, we were all hungry and chilled to the bone from the artic wind.  The only Grand Slam any of us were interested in seeing at this point was of the Denny's variety.  After a quick trip through the McD's drive thru, we came home to warm up.'s good to be warm!

The things we do for our kids. (Sigh.) Okay, it really wasn't *that* bad.  The kids had fun, I had a yummy pretzel with cheese, and I'm sure I'll be able to hear out of my frozen, aching right ear again someday.

Picture is from

Friday, May 7, 2010

Five Question Friday

Yep, it's meme time again, folks.  I have a bad case of blogger's block (or maybe just a boring, unfunny life lately), so I've been doing these a lot lately, I know.  But, meme's are a great way to meet new blog friends, and to find more blog to read! I love reading, but I find that the older I get, the shorter my attention span is-I think I might have adult onset ADD.  Blog posts are just the right length to hold my atten-OH! Look! George Clooney!! Oh, never mind.  That was just the UPS man. What was I saying?

Oh yeah! Today, I am participating in My Little Life's Five Question Friday.  Click the button below to visit My Little Life, and to find other Five Question Friday posts to read.  Link up, and join in!

1. What is your worst memory of your siblings?
Hmmm.  Hard question.  My only sibling is my brother, Mark.  He is 9 years older than me, and we've always been very different people, so we've never been close.  I remember being little, following him around, trying to get him to play with me, and take me with him to his friend's houses.  Sometimes he would, but not often.  What 14 year old boy wants to drag his 5 year old sister around with him?  Anyhow, he and my parents-especially my Dad- had a rocky relationship.  Someone was always yelling or arguing.  I've always hated conflict, so I remember hiding in my room crying, wishing everyone would just stop yelling.  Ah, memories... Man, I wish this had been a best memory question-I have a funny story for that!

2. What was YOUR naughtiest childhood memory? (Must be something YOU did, no pawning it off on someone else!)
I was actually a pretty well behaved kid.  No-really, I was.  I think behaving well was my way of trying to keep the peace in our family.  Here I go getting all psychological today.   I was born to be mild, baby.  Most of the "naughty" things I did were things that I didn't realize were naughty, until I got in trouble, that is.  When I was about 4 or 5, I looked around the house and decided that there just wasn't enough art on the walls. So, I got out my Sunday School papers that had nice little color illustrations, and cut them out.  Then I got my trusty Elmer's glue, and went to work.  Next thing I knew, my Mom was angry at me, and I was being sent to my room.  I guess she didn't appreciate all of the pretty pictures I had glued to the wood paneling in the dining room and all over the walls down the hallway....

That's the only "naughty" story that sticks out in my mind.  I do remember getting in trouble for things, but I don't remember what for. You may find this hard to believe, but I had a tendency to be a little sarcastic as a teen.  Shocking, isn't it? *batting eyelashes innocently* My parents put up with most of it though, and I think that is when I first learned that I could deflect attention from a tense situation with a funny, sarcastic quip.  If I could make them laugh, then they couldn't be mad, right? Oh my, I'm getting all kinds of deep today....

3. Where do you like to go to relax?
Depends.  If things are calm at home, then I relax here.  But, the whole ADD thing can become an issue, and I get antsy. Truly, the only place I can just lay down and relax for a long period of time is the beach.  Not such a good thing when you live in the middle of Indiana.  Dang, there goes my annonymity.  We've got cornfields and race cars, and some yummy fried cheese at the State Fair, but oceans, we don't have.

4. What was the last thing you won?
I honestly don't remember.  I don't really enter any contests.  I won an art contest for my grade level that was sponsored by Goodyear when I was in the 4th grade, though.  The only prize my art will ever win.

5. If you could be on a game show, which would you choose?
Hmmmm...I don't know.  Competitions make me nervous.  I'm not animated enough for The Price is Right-I don't squeal and jump up and down when I'm happy, and I don't throw myself on the ground like a tantruming toddler when I'm sad.  I only know a few of the questions on Jeopardy, and Deal or No Deal only holds my attention until the second brief case is opened.

When I was a preteen, I used to imagine myself on The Newlywed Game (with an imagined husband, of course).  We would answer the funniest questions, and I would hit my imaginary husband over the head with my answer card when he guessed wrong, and we would kiss passionatley when he was correct.  Then, we'd win some romantic trip to a dreamy hotel in the Poconos.  You know, one of those sleazy places that they would advertise in the back of Brides magazine (I used to check them out of the library and plan pretend weddings), with the hot tubs shaped like champagne glasses and heart shaped beds.  As a naive 11 year old, I didn't quite understand what we'd do there, beyond swimming in our own private, in room swimming pool, but whatever it was, it was supposed to be sexy.

So, five questions, five answers.  My work is done here.  I'm off to go watch the kids who are outside strumming on tennis rackets like guitars, pretending to be popstars.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Pictureless Wednesday

Ok, so the title of this post was supposed to be "Signs That a Little Boy Lives at Your House", but I couldn't resist using this title, instead.  Plus, I can reuse this title whenever I don't feel like finding a picture I want! It's reusable and recyclable.  I'm SO green, people.  So green.

Signs that a little boy lives at your house:
  • black Sharpie marks on your mattress
  • action figures at Hot Wheels in the flower beds
  • red clay dust on the carpet, tracked in from baseball cleats worn in the house
  • a trail of dirty little socks all throughout the house
  • crumbs on the kitchen table
  • crumbs under the kitchen table
  • crumbs between his sheets along with a two week old bread crust
  • a varied assortment of Lego airplanes and spaceships in differing states of disrepair throughout the living room
  • a brand new T-shirt cut from the neckline half way down the chest
  • a...wait! What?!
Um, yeah.  My son will do anything for a laugh.  He's shy with adults, but is constantly trying to make other kids laugh with his goofy antics.  (I have no idea who he gets those personality traits from!) Today is a perfect example.  Thankfully for us, when he gets in trouble at school, or does something he knows he shouldn't have, he tells us about it.  It was his guilty conscience that caused him to show us his shirt right after school.

"Umm...I kind of got a little hot at school, so my scissors and did this", he told us, pointing out the straight slit that went about 6 inches down the front of his shirt.

"You cut your SHIRT?!", I screeched said incredulously, as my husband calmly started counting to ten.

It turns out that he was trying to make his friends laugh, while the substitute teacher wasn't looking.  Nice.  My kid is that kid.  The one who does daring, but dumb things to earn the respect and laughter of his first grade peers.  Great

The teacher never noticed apparently, and we established that he never would have even tried this had his real teacher been there.  Once every couple of weeks he gets his clip moved to yellow for some nit picky thing like asking to go to the bathroom 20 minutes after the whole class has gone, or giggling during center time, so I can just imagine that his teacher would have had a coronary had she seen this.

(Sigh.) He will be paying for the new shirt (that we just bought last night!) with his allowance, and we had a talk about showing respect for things and people, and the value of a dollar, and pretty much any other parently lesson we could think to impart in between more pauses for my husband to mentally count to ten and take deep breaths..

Other signs a little boy lives at your house:
  • little feet pitterpattering down the stairs for a second drink of water at bedtime
  • a second round of sticky kisses goodnight, gentle hugs, and "I love you Mom"'s
  • stick people drawings of Mommy and Daddy kissing surrounded by Star Wars tie fighters
  • a sincere little voice who says upon hearing thunder at bedtime "If you feel somebody climbing in bed between you two tonight, that'll just be me."
  • your house is filled with infectious, mischievous giggles, that make Daddy stop counting and start laughing along
Do you have a little boy at your house? What are some of the good, and not so good signs?
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