Thursday, September 25, 2008

somebody has some explainin' to do

There are some things that need to be explained to me. Ok there are a lot of things that need to be explained to me but I'm not going to tell you all of them in this rather public forum.

I watched the President's address last night and that helped. I somewhat understand why we are in the mess we are in. What I don't understand is why somebody didn't see it coming. Well, I'm guessing lots of somebodies saw it coming and a lot more somebodies chose not to listen or not do anything about it. And I can understand that too. Laws are created only when the need arises. The need doesn't usually arise until a catastrophe strikes (i.e. 9/11).

But let's not get bogged down with failing economies and terrorist attacks. I've got some things on my mind that somebody needs to explain to me like why Scotch tape costs $3.50 for a tiny little roll. That's 3 dollars and 50 cents so my kids can tape up every piece of paper that touches their little hands to our walls. Think about how much Scotch tape is made everyday. Consider how much tape my kids go through (it's enough to make me break out in a sweat every time I have to buy it). Do they really need to charge that much for it? Is that sticky substance derived from oil or perhaps 18k gold? I think big companies like 3M that charge $4 for a 2x2 square of Post-It notes should pitch in and pay our 400 billion dollar bail out. Or at least send me some coupons.

And while we are on the subject of oil, why is it that corn oil costs $5 for 24 oz? How can that be? Isn't corn a relatively or maybe ridiculously abundant resource in the US? Have you noticed that just about everything you buy in a package at the grocery store has some derivative of corn in it? It's in our gasoline. It's probably in our shampoo too. Actually, I think my undies may be made with corn husks. They're kinda scratchy, but don't distract me.

That corn oil I bought for $5 might have actually been a vegetable blend oil like canola and corn oil. So, what is a canola? I know what a cannoli is and a cannellini. A cannoli is yummy and a cannellini is a bean. I have no idea what a canola is and why I want it's oil. It must be something that grows more than a mile beneath the earth's crust and we must have to drill to find it, then pump it out and refine it and then ship it across the entire country. Because I'm thinking it costs me $4 for a gallon of gas and $5 for 3 cups of some vegetable by-product. Someone explain that to me.

Monday, September 22, 2008

All Is Well

My dog is laying at my feet completely worn out. It must be from hearing me say "no" over and over. She's been an ornery little fart head lately. Digging up my flowerbeds to bury her bone, chewing on the kids stuff, and chewing on the kids. Wonder if I can get her spayed again. She was really well behaved on that day...

So here's the latest update from Indy-suburbia: all is well. Maya is doing well in school despite the fact that it is harder than last year. I think she had a pretty easy teacher last year. I have to bite my tongue to not tell her it's only going to get harder. So I say things like "sure it's hard but it's fun hard, right?" Big eye roll.

Eva is doing well in every subject except science. She gave me a paper Thursday morning that said she was flunking science. She gave me this paper two minutes before the bus was to arrive. If she's smart enough to do that then she can pass science. I handled it well though. I told her we'd talk about it when she got home from school, gave her a hug and "I love yous" and sent her on her way. Then I freaked out. But it's all water under the bridge now. I'm not going to worry about college admissions -yet.

Isaac forgot his library book yesterday. Ok, I forgot to give Isaac his library book. I guess at the kindergarten level I'm the one that should be taking responsibility here. He didn't get all over me about it though. This is good because I see signs of anal retentiveness and of impending obsessive compulsive disorder in him. Tim thinks I'm jumping the gun. Isaac lines his fruit snacks up by color and then eats each color individually. Last week he organized the granola bars on the shelf because he doesn't like to put his hand in the box. Yesterday he rolled his eyes at me because I kept turning on his lamp from the light switch and not the lamp itself. Evidently this is wrong and he is done being patient with me. He's five. I'm forty. I have to remind Isaac I'm not his slacky, I'm his mom, there is a difference. I said this after I made his lunch, got him dressed, brushed his hair and thin removed the toast crumbs on his cheeks by licking his face.

Ok, I'm not really a licker. Olive is a licker. I don't like to be licked. Tim enjoys being licked. (It's amazing that we're still married.) Turns out other people are ok with being licked too. Tim informed me that several people that we had over this weekend (I won't mention any names although they are related to Tim, not me) just let Olive lick them. I am appalled people. I cannot see how you can just sit there and be licked. It is beyond me.

Olive destroyed a small stuffed purple fish the other day. Now I'm going to have to reattach a fin and reinsert some stuffing so Isaac doesn't have to live with only 49 stuffed animals instead of 50. I asked him if this was an important fish. Evidently by the look he gave this is an important fish. I think his name is "purple fish".
Yes, all is well....

Monday, September 15, 2008

Fly Me To The Moon

Yeah, that's right baby. Fly me to the moon and leave me there for an extended stay. Life is too dramatic down here with my children basking in the light of the full moon. Yes, I said FULL MOON.

If those two words didn't strike fear into your heart then you are neither a parent nor a teacher or you just haven't made the correlation yet. And it's not just the day of the full moon either, it's three days before when it all starts, climaxing at about 8:30pm on full moon day when your 3 year old is doing kamikaze trapeze stunts on his bed while you are very calmly reading Go Dog! Go! Ask me how I know.

My kids began howling at 4pm on Friday. By Friday at 9:00pm I was having visions of boxing their heads together. By Saturday afternoon I was ready to strangle them. Fortunately for them we were at Target and I didn't want any witnesses. I had taken Maya and Eva shopping to spend some of that birthday money that's been burning a hole in their brand new wallets. We made it to three different places. And we all made it home together in one piece. (Well, with one injury but it wasn't my fault, well it was but not intentionally my fault. Eva shouldn't have stuck her hand out the car window after telling me to roll it up. It's was the 112th time I'd heard "mom" that day and my synapses were starting to misfire. She's OK. Not nearly as bad as when I slammed her hand in the van door....)

Where was I? Oh yeah, still alive, made it home safe and sound and Eva announces that it was the best day of her whole life. (Guess she forgot about the pain in her right hand.) That's a pretty good day. Eva does tend toward the dramatic but three stores and three new items later, throw a full moon in the mix... best day ever.

Lying in bed Saturday night I was perplexed as to why I was feeling like hopping on a rocket and leaving Earth's orbit for an extra long weekend. It's not like it's summertime and I'm with my kids 24/7. Surely I cand handle a whole weekend? But I couldn't. I reasoned with God that he really didn't want me to go to church with my family when I had visions of slouchy, whiny kids bickering with each other and hanging all over me in the pews. Fortunately he agreed and told me to take the morning off. I think He said "stay home and clean something, you'll feel better." And I did, and I did. God is amazing. I love God. I hope that statement makes up for the fact that I didn't go to church. But I digress..

It was Sunday morning during my exorcism, I mean cleaning spree, that it occurred to me that there was a FULL MOON that was going to happen very soon. Ah-hah! I'm not losing my mind! Well, maybe I am but at least there's a good reason for it.

I'm glad to say that today my children spent most of the day in school. When the girls got home there was an American Girl Doll magazine for them to peruse. They still had some bday money left but they were going to have to do some extra work to earn the rest and no the American Girl Doll would not show up at their doorstep tomorrow morning. And just before my eyes, there it was. It was suddenly the worst day ever in the whole history of time. Get me an Advil.

Later, as I'm cleaning the kitchen Isaac came to me with his sad face in place. He told me he couldn't get his window curtain up in his room. I told him I'd be there in a minute. Evidently I wasn't fast enough because he came back with his sad face in place and now he had a mini chalkboard that he had drawn a sad face on which he held up for me to see along with his original sad face. Wham! There it was. Double pouty face. What's a mom to do? No words were spoken. So I said "it's the curtain isn't it?" He just nodded, concentrating on keeping the sad face. Whoa the drama.

The moon is going to peak tonight and tomorrow will be another day. We'll have to wait and see what's on the lunch menu before we'll now if it's worth living through or not.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

You Make Me Feel Like A Natural wo-MAN

For some reason the world feels like a better place when you can open your back door on a sunny day and let the breeze in. Ahhhhh..... It's a good day to be's a good day to be (mostly) a woman.

I visited the endocrinologist today. The endocrinologist isn't so bad. I've never had to remove my pants or get felt up in any "sensitive" areas at an endocrinology appointment. We had a discussion about my slightly twisted hormone levels. It was a good visit all things considered. Is it just me or do ALL endocrinologists originate from some Slavic country? I had a little trouble understanding her sometimes except when she said "You skinny." Well, yeah, I got that. And I couldn't really deny it either. It doesn't go along with my personal diagnosis of PCOS (which basically means I'm slowly turning into a man) which also means I should be at least 50 lbs over weight. I'm not. "You got lots of hair?" (You have to use a turkish accent when you're reading this.) Well, yeah I do. I'm not sure she believed that either because she kept looking me up and down for some tell-tale sign of my impending maleness. I shave OK? I shave it all. Daily. Everywhere. All over. She was looking me up and down with such a disgusted look on her face I started to laugh. Evidently they don't teach certain things in medical school in Turkey like how to not look at a patient like they are the gum on the bottom of your shoe.

I considered telling her that I weigh more than some of my uncles (and my feet are bigger too, perhaps that is why she kept staring at them.) and that I started removing the hair from my upper lip before my brother did who is 3 years older than me and looks like he's related to Cheech AND Chong. But I figured she wouldn't buy it. It's true however. I come from very little people on my mom's side. And my brother Jim and my brother Phil and I are the only ones who got the uni brow gene out of over 20 grandchildren. When I attend a bridal or baby shower in my mom's family I feel like a giant at 5 feet 4 inches. I'm always a little worried that if I lose my balance my lengthy arms might take 4 or 5 small Italian women with me. It's a scary thought. I'm not sure how I'd get them all back upright without someone getting hurt.

The appointment ended with a decision to get my estrogen levels checked. What a revelation! And you know, of all the other doctors I've seen about this over the years no one, not a one person has suggested that. I like this doctor. She made me laugh. She was also almost as hairy as I am. And maybe we can reverse my impending sexual transformation.

And now I must go pluck.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Isaac Is So Goooood Looookin'

It's true. And he knows it. He called me on Tuesday from Tim's cell phone after he got his hair cut and said "Mom, I look good." When I came home he was all Mr. Hotstuff not talking to me until I acknowledged his good-lookingness. Then he was all "yeah, can't help it." And I was like all "where did this kid come from?"

So Isaac and I talked for quite a while on the cell phone that Tuesday night. I was frantically walking around a bookstore trying to find a book for Eva with both girls in tow and get home by bedtime. The orginal reason he called was to ask me what the state dinosaur was. I had no idea what he was talking about. This frustrated him greatly but fortunately for both of us he didn't come right out and call me stupid. He did ask if I was hot. I thought I misheard him. The conversation went something like this:

"Are you hot mom?"

"Is your father putting you up to this?"

"Mom, are you hot?"

"No, I'm not hot."


"YES I'M HOT!!!" (Yes, I'm standing inthe middle of the bookstore.)

"Ok, then maybe you should come home now."

Somewhere between the planets of Mars and Neptune that conversation makes perfect sense.

Today he had to look good for his school picture. Ironically at 7:10 this morning he didn't look so good. He looked like he'd pulled an all-nighter. Perhaps he stayed up late thinking about Match Box cars, things that could be turned into swords and T-Rexs. By 8:00 he looked good. We'd done the necessary 5 year old lookin' good routine: wipe off the cinnamon sugar from cheeks, brush some teeth, flatten some Alfalfa sprouts on the top of his head with a wet brush. Good to go. Loooookin' Goooood.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Mother Pucker

No it's not a typo. It's my new favorite phrase.

After our Olympic fiasco on Saturday Tim and I sat down at the kitchen table and started a list of names for his sister Susan's pepper peppers. No, I didn't studder. They are peppers (like salt and pepper) made from hot peppers like jalapenos. (Yeah, it took me a minute too.) Susan has several different kinds of hot peppers (six different colors) that she's turning into peppers. It was six o'clock in the evening after the big birthday bash and Tim and I were staring at each other from across the kitchen table wondering how we were going to stay awake till 8pm. It seemed like the perfect time to get creative. Susan had already come up with one name, Dante's Dust, very cool, elegant and catchy. We were having trouble with cool and elegant so we just went for catchy: Twisted Blister, Witches Twitch, In Heat, OMG from the Garden of Eatin', Eve's Very Bad Day also from the Garden of Eatin', Cocoa Conniption (for the chocolate colored pepper)and Holistic Heat. Those were some of the ones I came up with.

It turns out that men will buy a hot sauce, for example, because of a name that says what it will do to you, and not in a good way. Evidently the quicker the hot sauce comes back out the hotter (and better) it is. Some of Tim's names: At First Blister, Butt Blister, Buns of Heat, and Green Skids.

Men are disgusting.

On Monday we were just chillin' at the lake house feeling the effects of sleeping at the lake house and being again on the edge of delirium we decided to put our heads together with Tim's sisters Robin, Tam and Susan, and see what other names we could come up with. (The great thing about the lake house is that our kids have their cousins to play with so we didn't have to worry about being overheard. In fact the only time I heard from my kids was when they were hungry. And then I just pointed to the kitchen and said "peanut butter sandwich". What a beautiful thing. I did realize Sunday morning that Isaac's breakfast consisted of fruit snacks, a granola bar and some caramels he snuck out of the kitchen drawer. If you can just relinquish proper nutrition for a couple days the lake house can be very relaxing. ) Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, the kids were busy so we had creative freedom.

So we came up with a few others: Butt Pucker (Tim's favorite) Hairy Navel (for the peach colored pepper), and let's get right to the point: Colon Cleanse. And it just went downhill from there until Tam came up with Mother Pucker and that was it, that was the mother of all pepper peppers, Mother Pucker.

So it's my new favorite phrase. Tim warned me last night that I need to be careful so I'm mostly just saying it in my head and, when I can, to him. (It's amazing how many times you can work that phrase into your day to day chit chat.) Too many little ears around to hear. And let's face it if there were a priest standing next to me I'm not going to say Mother Pucker and then say "Hey father, I didn't say the "F" word you know?"

With my new favorite phrase in place Tim decided there must be a cuss gene and that I have it. If you know me you might be surprised to hear this because I don't generally throw around the f-bomb or any other such words for that matter. But if I spend a weekend with my best friend I inevitably come back talkin' like a sailor, no doubt about it. It's like I need a twelve step program when I get home. Then there's the real test of the cusser's gene. Whack your head getting out of the van, stub your pinkie toe on a dresser and phrases fly out of your mouth that a marine couldn't put together and then you know - you have the cuss gene. Like any addiction it's hard to hide it from you kids. It was why Eva started saying "shit" at the tender age of two. Now that they're older I say "just ignore that", and " you didn't hear that" and "if I ever hear you speak those words then you're in a shitload of trouble." Well, mother pucker, you see my dilemma.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Olympic Glory

You've probably enjoyed the spectacle of the greatest event in sports over the last few weeks, the glory of the Olympic Games. I know my whole family has tried to see as much as we can. The gymnastics, the swimming, the volleyball, the male swimmers swimming in their Speedos, the field and track events, the male swimmers jumping up and down in their Speedos, bad minton, ping pong, those darn speedy guys in their darn speedy Speedos. Whew. While watching one of the swimming events one of my sister-in-laws said "wow, he's got nice form". I looked up expecting to see some really good swimming since all of Tim's sisters were swimmers in high school but he was just standing on the deck, shaking out his big muscles, in his Speedo. He did have nice form.

Phew! Where was I? Oh yeah, Olympics. It's kinda sad seeing the closing ceremonies and knowing the summer olympics are done for the next four years. So we decided to extend the events at our house. Sans Speedos.

On Saturday we had the Johnson Olympic birthday bash. Maya and Eva celebrated their 11th birthdays with 7 of their closest buds and relatives at our first (and last) annual Olympic games. Isaac was in charge of the Olympic theme song which we heard over and over and over. He also graced us with his scary kung fu-like dance. There was the running of the torch, which consisted of running around the swingset in our backyard enough times so that everyone who wanted to could carry the torch, the medal ceremony which included us (trying) to sing the national anthem (because the medals stand was dominated by US athletes don't you know, except for Isaac who was team Italia that day) and many "athletic events" which included the water balloon toss, the water balloon relay, and let's bust the water balloons on our heads. Refreshments were served in the form of several mini-cupcakes in the shape and colors of the Olympic rings. I'm just going to have to give myself a pat on the back for that one. But right now the best part of these Olympic games are that they're over. Whew! Now, that's Olympic glory.