Thursday, August 14, 2014

We are funny.

I love it when my kids surprise me with their humor...last night I got a big belly laugh courtesy of E.

We watch a ton of "reality" shows on Netflix.  We've made our way through Mythbusters, Call of the Wildman, Man vs. Wild, and Finding Bigfoot.  Now we're working on The Jeff Corwin Experience, and the kids are still getting used to his funky little asides, some of which is way above their heads.  Last night's episode took place in Brazil, and Jeff was watching some giant otters.  He was making these squeaky noises and the otters were answering, and he was very excited.

E:  How does he know what he's saying?
Me:  I don't know.
E:  Maybe he's saying something really stupid.
Me: What?
E: Like, maybe he's saying, "Put the broccoli on the roof."  And the otters are saying, "That's so stupid!  Why would you say that?"

:)  Love.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Diva Challenge #180

Loving the online challenges...I must miss being in school or something.  Assignments with deadlines are fun, especially when they don't involve grading scales and red mark-ups.

This was another one that I plowed through even though I didn't like it at first.  It turned out very heavy, but not terrible.  I wonder if I should plan for a heavy or a light touch, or just let it happen.  Maybe it's mood related!  :)

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Zentangle Diva Challenge #178

This is my first try at a Zentangle online challenge.  I tried the method at a workshop in May and I was so fun and I can't believe nobody told me about it sooner.  :) 

This is what I came up with to represent my initials, Mambo and Eddy.  At first I thought the two very curvy patterns would just be too much, but I stuck with it...cause it's way too easy for me to rip up a project into tiny pieces and make it disappear.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Gaga Dilemma

Go ahead and judge, it's fine.  I already judge myself when I read the following sentence...

So, the kids have been listening to Kidz Bop.  We got a bunch of them out of the library, and E and M both LOVE the song Paparazzi.  E insisted for two weeks that Brittany Spears sings the original version, and I just couldn't keep my mouth shut.  I could not let her think that, I just could not bear it.  So I told her that I was "pretty sure" it wasn't Brittany...and after several conversations I said, "Fine.  I'm going to get a Lady Gaga CD and play you the real song."  Which I did.

After quietly listening to ma Lady, E stated (very definitively), "Wow.  She has got a GREAT voice."  "Yes," I agreed.  "Yes, she does."  And so, after an internal battle that lasted several minutes, I played them most of the rest of the double CD set.  I did manage to cut off a few questionable lyrics mid-sentence, but they got a good taste of it.  And they loved it.  M said, "Play that one again with the he ate my heart."  Emma is requesting "Telephone," also better than the Kidz Bop version, and "Alejandro."

I did not intend for this to happen.  E told me the other day, "You are the best Mom because you let us listen to Lady Gaga.  Most of the other mothers don't."  Whoopsie.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

What is Grief?

A few years ago, I put to paper what my experience was on September 11, 2001. Like most, I can remember snippets of the day, television screens, quiet skies, disbelief. This ten year anniversary has brought to mind not the initial shock, though, but the feelings that followed and continue today when I hear the newscasters recount "the events as they unfolded." In actuality, my world seemed to stand still for several months following 9/11 as I wound my way through life on autopilot, unable to believe that there would even be a tomorrow (let alone a next year). I vividly remember a bike ride with Mike where I felt so overwhelmed with sorrow that I stopped on the side of the road and wept. When he asked what I was feeling I described it this way...the only thing I wanted to do at that moment was take my bike over my head and hurl it into the field. I wish I had accepted then what it was that kept me up at night and miserable during the day. It was grief.

My reaction seemed ridiculous to me at the time, knowing that I was safe in the Midwest, nowhere near danger. I scoured the lists of people who were killed convinced I should know at least one person...that would validate my emotions. But there was no familiar name, no face I recognized. Looking back it seems so obvious...much as I complained about the concrete and the oppressive crowds, I considered New York my city. People in Michigan always raise an eyebrow when I say I'm from NY, even though my hometown resembles Okemos more than it does Detroit. On September 11 there I was, hundreds of miles from "home," where my people were suffering.

My brother was working downtown during the attacks, and for several difficult hours I did not know where he was. My sister knew one of the firefighters that was missing, the father of my niece's friend. Once I could get a call to her (close to midnight), we sat and talked as we watched the horrific videos shown over and over again. In the months that followed, I was not only grieving the 3000 strangers who died, I had lost my sense of security. How on earth would I travel when I could never envision boarding a plane again? I thought I was pretty smart, and knew how things worked. But apparently the world can change overnight, and we are left powerless, small and terrified.

I still cannot fathom what some people lost that day...friends, co-workers, family. But having since experienced the death of my father, sister, and mother-in-law, I now have a clear picture of where my depression came from. I fought it because I didn't feel like I had the right to grieve, but I did. We all do. There is no sense in making an internal comparison of who lost more, or when. If I had owned my loss ten years ago, talked about it, asked for help, I might have been able to switch off the autopilot sooner. Really, I should have just thrown the bike.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My First Day of Kindergarten

No, I'm not writing this from E's point of view. In the hour and a half I spent in her classroom yesterday, I learned a lot. Tons. More than she did, probably. Now I know what people meant when they said, "Just wait til your kids start school."

On my first day of kindergarten, I learned...

  • I'm going to need an inbox for all the papers E brings home. And an outbox for all of my homework.

  • Although they deny it, they're expecting kids who enter kindergarten to know how to write their names, cut paper with scissors, and match letters with sounds. Gone are the days of tissue-paper-crinkle projects.

  • There is a big difference between "carline" and "parent drop-off."

  • My girl is so much like me it's scary. As I filled in the sheet describing her, it was as if I was answering the question, "What were you like, exactly, as a 5-year old?"

  • Put me in an elementary school and I'm immediately a teacher-pleasing machine. I hope she liked me.

  • The Pledge of Allegiance makes me cry.

This is going to be a big year for us. In the end, I hope my hard work merits a "satisfactory," but I'm betting on "needs improvement."

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The (Cat) Gods Must Be Crazy

I cannot believe that I have old cats. How did this happen? I had no idea that Larry was 13 until I was forced to do the math for a new veterinary office last fall. That means that in this house, we have Larry, now aged 14 (or thereabouts), Bean, aged 14 or (gasp) 15, and Mac, who is at least 10. It shouldn't surprise me that they are accumulating health problems as numerous as their whiskers, yet I find myself truly expecting them to live forever. They HAVE to live forever, by the way, because E and baby M love them. These cats must never die.

Larry's Fall Adventure (short version) included six (or more?) trips to the vet, a feeding tube, two nights of saying goodbye (sure he wouldn't make it until morning), and a miraculous recovery. He now looks and acts like a healthy, young kitten with a new lease on life. E calls him "Lar-Lar." Rhymes with "Bear-Bear." Betcha didn't know even nicknames have nicknames.

Mac's Belly Bomb was diagnosed last month as either something like IBD or Lymphoma, take your pick. Either way, the Big symptom is lots and lots of puke and a big old tummy ache. He's been on medication that he takes rather well, and he probably will be on it for the rest of his days. He seems happy enough and the puking has all but stopped, so we're just thinking happy thoughts for now.

Bean's Sugar Shake started a few months ago, when he was looking thin and lethargic. I brought him in to said vet and he was diagnosed with (EEK) diabetes. During a tearful meeting, I blubbered that I didn't want to start insulin, I couldn't deal with another sick cat, couldn't we do anything else? Please? So we changed diets (high protein, low carb) and crossed our fingers. Bean improved for a while, but last week I saw how thin he was getting and decided that the insulin had to happen now, or never (if you get my drift). So I entered the vet's office yet again, full of angst and tears, and said that yes, I could probably TRY the insulin for a few months. If my quality of life was suffering, I would re-evaluate.

Well, dang it if that cat's blood sugar wasn't back in the normal range! I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, so I think I did both. Though he IS skinny, it is probably due to the shift in diet, and he's losing the baby-fat that I had grown to love. I always called him "Big Boned," to spare his feelings when friends said he was overweight. Oy.

So the current plan is just to stop time altogether, prevent everyone from aging (kids included), and that will be that. We'll just live today over, again and again, Groundhog Day style. Let's, okay?
Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr