Monday, November 26, 2007

More Trash Talk

This time it is my four-year-old. For a little thing, that kid sure has a fresh mouth--and I'm not talking minty-fresh! "Stupid" is a regular part of his vocabulary: "stupid table" when he bumps his head on it; "stupid Maddox" when his little brother hits him with a toy; "get that stupid car out of here" when he trips over a toy that his little brother left on the floor. Oh, and today it was, "If you don't let me play Gameboy, you're stupid." Yeah, let me tell you, I'm ready to take that Gameboy and throw it to the North Pole where Santa can give it to a little boy who speaks nicely to his Mother. He has even coined his own bad words. This summer, when potty talk was all the rage in the neighborhood, he came up with "Butt Weeder." I have no idea what a Butt Weeder is, but it can't be good. Now that his big brother has gone to first grade (and is coming home with a few choice words of his own), he has learned that a "wiener" is another name for, well, you know. This of course undoes all the years of teaching them the anatomically correct parts of their little boy bodies. Naturally, "Butt Weeder" has evolved into "Butt Wiener" which he doesn't pass up the opportunity to call me or any other person who crosses him. I haven't played the "Santa's watching" card nearly often enough this year. I'll have to pull that one out, dust it off, and give it a try (after all I only have a few more weeks to get out of it). If that doesn't work, maybe I'll get out the duct tape--good for 1001 uses, including curing Trash Talk!

Friday, November 23, 2007


Not having to plan, prep, clean, host, and cook Thanksgiving dinner is such a treat. Every year, we go to my parents' for dinner, and every year, at least for the past 6 or so, I thank my lucky stars for an entire two weeks before the big day that I don't have to host. I host my share of holidays, and while I love doing it, it is a lot of work. It's nice to have those holidays when you just don't have to do a darn thing. My mom is a bit of a control freak when it comes to holiday dinners. I am usually good for a dip or maybe even a dessert (although pie is just not my thing), but this year I was able to wrangle two vegetables out of her, and it did not even involve me tackling her to the ground and ripping the bag of potatoes from her white-knuckled fist. And in the end my sister, either feeling like she wasn't pulling her weight with the dinner, or feeling left out of all the festivities of the day, took over the potato peeling and cutting--works for me!

The dinner was wonderful. Somehow everything always tastes better when you don't have to shop, prep and cook it yourself. After dinner and a bit of rubbing of our overstuffed bellies, we headed outdoors. My sister tortured my two nephews with a never-ending photo shoot to capture just the right shot for her Christmas cards, while my boys ran races from one end of the yard to the other. I even joined them in a lame attempt to burn off the 4800 calorie dinner I just ingested. When everyone tired, we headed inside for a friendly competition of A to Z Jr, a game where you have to think of a word in a certain category for each letter of the alphabet. My dad didn't actually play the game, he just stood over our shoulders shouting out answers, most of which contained the word Zebra (i.e. things that are red: zebra with a sunburn). Ha, that Dad is a funny guy. As an aside, my Dad has taken up juggling and the fashioning of animals from those long skinny balloons. Luckily, he has a pump to blow them up because if his brain is deprived of any more oxygen the results would be catastrophic.

To end the day, much to my husband's dismay, (and probably my sister's husbands, and my kids, and my sister's kids, and my dad, and my aunt, and anyone else who isn't tone deaf) my Mom got out the old karaoke microphone. There was a lot of singing, if you can call it that, going on in that little kitchen. The poor dogs in the neighborhood must have been in agony. A little Celine, some Irene Cara, an Eric Carmen hit (which by the way is not a very easy song to sing: "All by my se-e-elf, don't wanna be, all by my-y-y-self, any-moooooooore"). Oh yeah, good times. And for the record, I held the second best score, topped only by my 17 year old niece who has sung solos for huge audiences, has had voice lessons for the past 4 years, and could make it to the top ten in American Idol if she would only try out! I'm only pointing out my win because I know my sister reads this blog. Really, the only places I'm fit to sing are the shower when no one is home, and the car with the windows rolled up tight, the radio at full blast, and for the sake of the passengers, well, no passengers, at least not any that aren't deaf!

But isn't this what holidays are all about: good food, no stress, family, having fun, and happy memories. Cheers!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Four Things About Me

I received this from my good and dear friend Kayla today. Would make a great scrapbook page. Here goes:

Four Jobs I've Had:
1) Cashier at a grocery store
2) Front desk security (ha!) at my college dorm
3) Teaching kindergarten
4) Mom

Four People who e-mail me: (regularly)
1) My mom
2) Jenna (my sister-in-law)
3) Perry (when he forwards all the Land's End specials to me)
4) Jen

Four of my favorite foods:
1) Fresh crusty bread dipped in roasted garlic olive oil
2) My mother-in-law's meatballs (no better meatball on the planet!)
3) Crab Rangoons
4) Candy!

Four Places I would rather be (all with my family):
1) Seeing our country by land
2) Traveling Europe: Ireland, Italy, France
3) African Safari
4) Walt Disney World

Four movies I would or have watched over and over:
1) Beaches
2) Say Anything
3) My Best Friends Wedding
4) There's Something About Mary
Nothing deep here. What can I say, I love chick flicks!

Four Places I have Lived:
Only one, and I'm still here!

Four TV Shows I Watch:
Who has time for tv?! But I like any of the criminal shows and can catch one usually once a week
1) CSI
2) Law & Order
3) Without a Trace
4) Cold Case

Okay, there I am in a nut shell. Take some time and answer these questions for yourself. Or forward it to a friend that you are curious about.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Lessons from Geese

I first read this when I was working at a start-up company in the late 90's. It was as pertinent then to keep the employees focused on the goal of building a successful company, as it is now as I work in various teams.

As each goose flaps its wings it creates an "uplift" for the birds that follow. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.
People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.
When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.
If we have as much sense as a goose we stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help and give our help to others.
When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into formation and another goose flies to the point position.
It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership. As with geese, people are interdependent on each other's skills, capabilities and unique arrangements of gifts, talents or resources.
The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
We need to make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups where there is encouragement, the production is much greater. The power of encouragement (to stand by one's heart or core values and encourage the heart and core of others) is the quality of honking we seek.
When a goose gets sick, wounded or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it to help and protect it. They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again. Then, they launch out with another formation or catch up with the flock.
If we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other in difficult times, as well as when we are strong.

Just a little something to reflect on. And whoever coined the term bird-brain obviously never knew a goose!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

What's in a name?

It's been a busy weekend without a whole lot of time for any creative juices to be flowing. Here's a fun little thing to do and then send on to your friends, courtesy of CD's blog:

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car)- Tigger Freestyle
2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie)- Mocha Chunk Milano
3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name) - M-Ned
4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal)- Purple Monkey
5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born)- Christine Worcester
6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 3 letters of your first) - NedMic
7. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink)- The Green Lemonade
8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers)- Roger Alfred
9. STRIPPER NAME: ( the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy)- Lemon Licorice
10.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names )- Noreen Louis
11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter)- Goldman Gainseville
12. SPY NAME/BOND GIRL: (your favorite season/holiday, flower) Summer Daisy
13. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”)- Blueberry Jammie
14. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree)- Strawberry Mini-Wheat Hydrangea
15. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”)- The Scrapping Rainbow Tour (rocking!)

Be sure to post some of your fun names for me!

I'm determined to not let the weekend be a total loss for getting anything done--off to work on my holiday cards.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Trash talk from my 6-year-old

Well, it has happened. This afternoon while discussing the plan to wear flip-flops the entire time in the Y locker room with my 6-year-old (in order to avoid contracting Staph), he blurts out the phrase "piece of s#*t." Now for that brief moment in time I had stepped away from him to retrieve his jacket from the closet, so there was a possibility that I had not heard him correctly (crossing fingers). Instinctually, I replied, "What did you just say?" "The floor's a piece of shit." Me: "Where did you hear that word, who says that?" "John*," he respectfully replied, "it means something's a piece of trash or dirty." At least he used the word in the proper context. Trying to muster all of my control and calling on all of my best parenting skills, I attempted to not let him get too much of a reaction out of me. "There are some words in the English language that are offensive, which means they bother people. That is one of those words. If you mean that something is dirty or is like trash, then please say 'dirty' or 'trash'." Of course during my mini-lecture he tried on the word a few more times, and even spelled it out. When I had finished talking, he replied, "Well, John says it." "Yeah, well, I'm not John's Mom, and he's very lucky I'm not because if I were I would be washing his mouth out with soap." So, there you have it. It has happened: my children are forcing me to sound like my mother.
*Names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Very first blog post

My middle child started preschool this year, and my youngest still naps--bless his heart. One child in first grade full time, plus one child in preschool part time, plus one napping child equals two whole hours of child-free time for me. It amazes me just how much one can get done in two hours with no interruption. I have checked and replied to email, folded three loads of laundry, unloaded and reloaded a dishwasher, washed last night's dinner dishes, and made a bed that I just couldn't get to this morning (growing up, my mom drilled the importance of bed-making into me). It leads me to reminisce about those pre-children days when I was "oh so busy." Remember those days? When you could clean your entire house in one Saturday morning and it would pretty much stay that way until the following Saturday. The days when your entire weekly laundry amounted to one load (two if you sorted by lights and darks--another thing Mom taught me).

I am also in the middle of my busiest card making time of the year. We have a total of 8 birthdays in October and November in my family: two nieces, three nephews, my dad, my sister, and my husband. Needless to say, I have been using my precious two hours in a birthday card-making frenzy, not to mention the holiday cards I have yet to work on. Anyways, here are the cards I made for some of those birthdays.

Gatefold card for my oldest nephew:
Card inspired from SU! catty page 86 for two nephews:
CASE'd from Split Coast for my two nieces:

Another gate-fold for my dad:

Well, figuring out how to shrink these photo files, post them, and add captions took way longer than I expected. So another night of no creativity and no scrapbook pages to show for it. Guess there's always tomorrow. . .