Thursday, August 31, 2006


Three margaritas later, mood is significantly improved. We now return to our regularly scheduled programming...

Happy Hour...

I've had a long week. I had a rough day. I'm not waiting until Friday for Happy Hour. Come on over, I opened up the bottle of Mommy Juice and am working my way to a state of contentment...soon there will be peace in the valley!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

All about Girls...

Overheard this afternoon, as Thing One was watching YuGiOh "I've got dibs on HER. I"m going to marry her!" While I"m relieved that he's finally moved on from insisting that he's going to marry me, and his dad is relieved to know it was a female character on TV that caught his fancy, we realize we still have our work cut out for us in terms of educating him on better dating strategies. Doubtful any girl would be thrilled to hear her man say "hey, I've got dibs on you" as he proposed. And well, yes, there is that little detail about it being a cartoon character and not a real gal.

And shortly after this conversation, Thing Two was explaining to us how a doctor can tell if a woman is going to have a baby boy or a baby girl. Yup, he points to his head and says "if the baby's hair grows long, the doctor knows it is going to be a girl". Ok, I'll take that from my newly minted 7 year old! And, yes, I too am still wondering what in the world prompted him to make this comment and conclusion in the first place.

Ah...The joys of raising boys into men. I'll have my work cut out for me on many levels, eh?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Containing Myself...

This week's SS blogger challenge:

1. Open your purse/wallet/briefcase/diaper bag.
2. Inventory the contents.
3. Pick one item from your inventory list and expand on it. Why do you have it? Where did it come from? What special meaning does it have? Is there a funny/interesting story attached? Choose something that will tell the reader a little about you, whether it's serious, funny or unremarkable ()- or if you're writing for yourself, choose something that will remind an older you of who the younger you was.
4. Add photos if you'd like to.

Go - inventory your contents

Ok, so I'm making my own modification to this challenge and and instead of looking at my purse, I've decided to share with you my bedside table contents. Why? Yes, I do like to be difficult sometimes but for today, that's not why. Nope, my purse is not much of a reflection of who I am. Really, honest. Somehow when I was being made, I missed out on the accessorize gene and so my purse is rather nondescript. Oh, that and right now I"m not sure where I left my purse...

So, instead I decided I would take a look at what's on my bedside table. Now, there isn't enough room next to the bed for your traditional nightstand so instead, I use the top of my dresser to hold my stuff. I give you exhibit A

  • First up is a pair of socks. When folding laundry earlier in the week, I realized those don't belong to the Things. So, I've set them aside to return to whichever pal of theirs they belong to. They've only been there since last week's birthday bash. If they look like they belong to your kid, please let me know.
  • Next is a photo of me as a little girl. I like looking at that photo and remembering that I didn't always have to pay for my blond hair. I'm holding a kitty which I find rather perplexing as I"m not really a kitten person. Was this a cherished childhood item? I don't know but maybe my sister can refresh my memory on that. Then again, maybe it was hers and I insisted on holding it during the photo shoot? Yep, I was THAT kind of bratty kid sister!
  • Then in the teenny tiny frame is a family portrait. It was the last time we tried to take such a photo. Was it three years ago? Or maybe even 4. Anyways, it was a real disaster and I wasn't pleased with any of the pictures enough to order larger copies. This is just the little proof that I decided to keep. It reminds me that we're just not studio portrait kind of people.
  • Next is one of my many Longaberger Baskets. This one holds my baubles. But again, because I am lacking that accessorize gene, I often forget to open it and put on such baubles. So, it rarely sees much activity.
  • Stuck somewhere in between are a couple other boxes and holders that contain stuff that really should have a more proper home but I never seem to remember to go back and clean things out after a stash and dash session. FlyLady would be so disappointed in me.
  • In the front are my assorted reading materials.
    • There are a couple chick lit novels that my friend gave me for my birthday. Haven't felt like reading lately so there they sit.
    • There is a library book there. The review looked great but I was once again fooling myself thinking I could handle reading a non-fiction work. I should take it back as I'm sure there is a waiting list for it. Sensory Processing stuff is all the rage these days.
    • I've got a couple magazines in the stack as well. I'm not much of a magazine reader but I like to thumb through them right before I call it a night.
    • And finally is my daily journal. I tried earlier this summer to join the Scrapshare group doing the Artists Way. I lasted only a chapter or two before it dawned on me, this too it non fiction and I just can't go there. But, I did discover that there is much to be gained from daily journaling. And so that's where I do my daily journaling. It is VERY different from my blog. I use it to get rid of all my ugly thoughts and worries. If I die a sudden tragic death, first one in the house, please promise me that you will dispose of the journal post haste?
    • Oh, I almost forgot my glasses are sitting there as well. I'm lost without them but since I wear contacts during the day, I just need the glasses at night and for those days when I'm just too unmotivated to pop in the contacts.
    • And I"m sure there is more than a thin layer of dust to make it all complete
So, there you have it, a glimpse into my personal space. But now I really do need to go looking for my purse...not that there is much in it but....

A crafter's worry

I'm convinced that all crafters share one worry: that we will run out of that critical item and chaos will take over. But, we don't know what that critical item will be so we hoard a little bit of this and a lot of that. You know, just in case...

Well, yesterday my worry was realized when I ran out of stuff for my laminating gadget. Sadly, I"m sorry to report that chaos did not take over. I just shrugged my shoulders and said "oh well" and went on to another task.

Oh my, what am I to do now that I know there is no need to hoard stuff? Life still goes on even if you use that last bit of adhesive or that last swatch of favorite card stock. This will certainly take some time to process.

So while I process, I"m going to share with you some memories of two of my most loved hoarders: my mom and my grandmother.

Mom wasn't into paper crafting like I am. (Now some of that is probably due to the fact that paper crafting hadn't reached her crafter's radar back in the mid 1980s) Nope, she was a thread chick. It didn't matter: yarn, fabric, cross stitch, she loved it all. And she stashed it all! Towards the end of her battle with cancer, she did a fair amount of retail therapy even if she didn't have the strength to keep on stitchin'. When she passed away, my dad discovered her stash. A true blessing for any crafter: to have your stash discovered by your spouse AFTER you've passed away. Less confrontation I'm sure! :) But Dad took it all in stride: he gave some of the stash to my sister and I (yes, we're passing down the hoarded stuff. I"ve purged some of the stuff but some I am keeping just for sentimental reasons. How about you, Laura?) and some of the stuff he took back to the store where they issued him a refund (yep, you are right, it WASN"T a Michaels she writes with a sarcastic grin).

And then there was my maternal grandmother, Irene. She was mostly a knitter with some occasional sewing. Whenever you would visit, she'd ask "which one do you like" as she'd shuffle off to her hall closet where she kept her stash of patterns. Oh how I loved that closet: it was probably my first experience in FEELING the thrill that comes with looking through you stash. You see all the crafting projects just sitting there, waiting to be put to use. Bliss, I tell you, pure bliss!

So, maybe it isn't just worry that leads us to hoarding our stuff. I know I get a warm and cozy feeling when I sort through my stashed stuff as I imagine all the awesome things I can create with these treasured items. Not that I actually will, but the fact that I could is very comforting to me.

But first, I gotta get a refill for my xyron...and while I"m there, I bet I buy TWO just in case I run out again...

Friday, August 25, 2006

Just minutes from our house...

Is this! Honest Injun! And to think it took a third grade field trip for me and Thing One to check it out.

I learned a lot and most importantly I was pleasantly pleased to discover that serving as a chaperone for third graders is much easier than second graders. There seems to be this maturing thing going on that made it a very pleasant, yet hot, adventure.

Just the same, I'm reminded that I did not miss my calling in life when I chose nursing over teaching. Teachers must be strong hearted and even tempered and well I'm not that as often as I should be.

And a stop at the 1860s homestead at the end of the day reminded me that yep, I am definitely meant for living in this era. It all just just looked and sounded like way too much work for this air-condition loving, TV watching, mini van driving Momma to have survived. Nope, you won't hear me saying we should go back to the time when things were simpler (although it was pretty cute looking at those kids in the old fashioned school house playing by the rules of the day with their bows and curtsy and hands folded neatly on their desk, addressing us all as Ma'am or Sir!)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Hope they don't cancel my membership

I went to Sams Club yesterday. With just one thing on my list. And, I came out with JUST THAT one item. If this keeps up, I'm afraid I'll have to go see a doctor about this problem.

Fingers crossed they don't cancel my membership...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Where does he get this from?

Both hubby and I are not fancy talkers. Oh sure, I like to talk, but I've always had issues with proper pronunciation (Hubby jokes "are you sure you were educated in this country and that English is your first language?"). If given a choice, I will opt for the word with the fewest syllables, as there is less chance of an error on my part.

So, I'm reading with Thing Two this evening and in the story, the kids are fighting and I pause to ask some of those comprehension type questions (yeah, go ahead and hate me, I think it is that childhood dream to have been a school teacher that I just can't suppress when I'm working with the boys. I take this reading together a bit too serious sometimes).

Instead of saying something simple as one would expect from a rather newbie first grader, he goes on to explain that the " girl character exclamated the problem when she was bossing the other kids and that led to the starting of the fight"

Ok, I get where he comes up with exclamated instead of escalated...that's genetic from his tongue tied momma. But the rest...that's way too insightful to have come from either hubby or I!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Simply Remarkable!

This weeks Blog Challenge asks us to look at what it is that makes the ordinary things about us remarkable. In case you are curious, here is the challenge in its original format:
Read the following quote and think on it:
"My students were middle-class kids who were ashamed of their background. They felt like unless they grew up in poverty, they had nothing to write about...I felt sorry for these kids, that they thought their whole past was absolutely worthless because it was less than remarkable."-David Sedaris, from an interview in January Magazine
Admit it. You've said, "I have nothing to blog about. My life is boring." Haven't you. Haven't you?
Your challenge is to write about it anyway.Write about your less than remarkable life. Write about your routines, your habits, your schedule. Find the unremarkable things about your life and CELEBRATE them.
Go - be remarkable!

In my circle of friends, I'm known for my ability to story tell. If you want to know the latest news, it is a pretty well established fact that you should just ask Martha because surely she's heard "something" on the subject. Now I will admit that there are days when I'm telling less of an actual story and more of just spreading gossip and starting rumors. I've been known to embellish the details just a tad and spinkle in an extra dash of snark if I'm feeling on the grouchy side. But no doubt about it, being able to tell a good tale is one rather simple fact about me that makes me remarkable.
Now, to look at me, yes you do indeed see nothing but average. The house, the husband, the kids, the occasional vacation to see family and friends. But I take great pride in these average accomplishments and enjoy celebrating them in my blog.
I'm fast approaching my one year anniversary of regular blogging. I'm proud of this accomplishment and view it as something remarkable. This is actually my second blog. My first one is hopefully long since deleted as I was approaching it from a different mind set and I didn't like the tone it was taking.
Remarkable things have happened since I've started to blog. I've gotten to know several other SS bloggers a little bit better because I routinely check in on their blogs. They comment on mine, and I try to comment on theirs. Locally, two of my gal pals have started blogs themselves. Their lives are no more interesting than mine but I think they see how through a blog you can take the every day stuff and while weaving a story make it interesting and memorable.
And isn't that what makes us all remarkable? Our ability to recognize that our experiences are unique and worth remembering and celebrating.

Friday, August 18, 2006

His Final Words...

Thing Two, on the eve of his seventh birthday declared "But I'm not tired". Said declaration made right before the tell tale sound a child deep in sleep. Yeah right my child, you are so not tired. You are worn out, exhausted, depleted of even that last little drop of energy. Tired would definetly be an understatement.

But oh what fun he had! He decided long ago that for his birthday, he wanted a Friday Night Beer and Pizza Happy Hour Party. It seemed appropriate given his recent fascination with all things Homer Simpson. And yes, Mom and her gal pals probably had some influence over it being a "happy hour" style affair.

Now in case anyone thinks I am destined to become "the party mom", I'll have you internet people know that the beer I served was of the root variety. I surprised them with the bottled variety and each kid had his own bottle. It was a riot watching them try to drink without the head spilling all over the place. And since there is a late summer cold spreading through the neighborhood, we struggled with ways to label brown bottles that had brown labels. But, hey a colored balloon tied around the neck is a good way to tell yours from your pals. Of course, that still didn't stop them from swapping bottles but hey, they are boys, what do they care, right?

All in all it was a fun afternoon and before the final meltdown that prompted the trip to bed, he declared this was his best birthday ever. Ah, maybe that other Martha is right, simple can indeed be a very good thing!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Ready for the Road...

Heading out to school this morning, Thing Two says "can I drive the car?". "No son, you don't have a license".

Without even pausing to think about his response he quickly replied, "But, I'll just use yours, ok? Then I can drive the car".

Heavy sigh...Sadly the day when he does have his own license will be here way before I"m ready...

Monday, August 14, 2006

Celebrating Early...

Thing Two is celebrating his birthday later in the week. Today a package arrived from MI, courtesy Auntie Laura and family. I KNEW what was in it so I figured he'd enjoy the treat of opening his packages early. Not to mention, the package arrived after he'd gotten home from school and I knew I didn't have the stamina to deal with the pleas of "can I open it now? How about now" for the next 5 days.

Sure enough, he opened his big box and first found two cards. "I must be extra special because I got two cards" (One was actually a gift receipt in an envelope, but I hated to burst his special bubble). Next, he takes off the wrapping paper and sighs a "What The?/HUH?" and commented on the fact that the present was in a shoe box. He said "they sent me shoes?" with a real tone of worry to is voice that perhaps he really was getting shoes (for the record, neither Thing has much interest in footwear). Finally, he opened the box and discovered a CD player, just like his brother had gotten earlier in the summer. A second package had also arrived over the weekend and I decided to let him open that as well. It too met with his approval. Something like a big YAHOO, MY FAVORITE were his exact words. It was the soundtrack from Rugrats in Paris, his FAVORITE movie these days.

When Hubby got home, he asked Thing Two "I wonder how they knew that was your favorite? Do you suppose Auntie Laura is psychic?"

In true Thing Two fashion, he replied "Nope, I think she's a gypsy!"

Thanks Gypsy Laura, ya done good! (and of course, he remains clueless to the reality that there is a spy here in the House of Chang)

Color me confused!

One of the online communities I visit (ok, so maybe visit is too soft of a word, more like I camp out there) started a blogger's challenge. Initially, I thought to myself, I can do this. Yeah right! Just like the various blog quizzes that I love to read but am hopeless at completing myself, this challenge is well...a challenge for me.

If you are playing along at home, here is the initial challenge:

This week, blog or journal about color. Your favorite color. Colors that
make you happy. The color of your favorite flower. Colors that speak to you or
that totally turn you off. The color of YOU. What's your color personality,
according to the thousand websites out there that analyze that sort of thing?
(Google "favorite color" and you'll find them.) Is the analysis accurate?

So, what's the problem you ask. Well, I don't really have one favorite color. I'm more into a color family or spectrum of color. If that were the question, I could answer it in a heart beat: I'm all about the warm rich earth tones. Fall Colors. Tuscan Yellow. Ruby Red. A deep rich Olive Green.

Yep, these colors speak to me. They make me think of being all cozy and warm. I've mentioned before what homebodies we all are here in The House of Chang. My home decor reflects my preference for these warm earthy colors. Gee, do you think there might be a connection between the two?

Now, I've just tried to google what this says about my personality and here's where I get turned around and confused. The reds in the palette say one thing. The blues and greens say another. But, in the end, that would be me. Right there in the middle. I've got a few strengths and character traits of each of the two main groups. And yep, the negative attributes of these colors also plague me from time to time.

As for color in our house, this is the plate that started it all. Several years ago, a dear friend gave this plate to me as a gift. I loved it from the minute I first opened it! Not only do I have this thing about roosters (I suppose I really should blog about my rooster obsession one of these days). But, we've turned to the colors in the plate time and time again when making decorating choices. Hubby spotted the yellow on the plate and immediately announced THAT was the shade he wanted to paint the family room. Which we did, at the other house. Here at the new house, there is no urgent need to paint at least the main floor. Yep, because the previous owners left us window treatments and an accent wall featuring the green in my favorite plate.

Gee, all this talk about color makes me want to go and play with some color in the craft room. Anyone want to guess what colors I'll be playing with this afternoon?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

His and Her Weekends

His: riding for hours on "Gretl" as he explores the High Country

Hers: tinkering for hours in her craft room, completing 15 cards for gifts and swaps

And together they lived Happily Every After...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


This week, the Things and I are reading a Magic Tree House book. The exact title I don't recall, but it is something like Buffalo before Breakfast. Anyways, I get to the start of Chapter 7 last night and it is called Stampede. I pause and ask the boys "do you know what that word means?"

Hubby who is partially listening to the story quickly chimes in and says "Yeah boys, it is when a herd of buffalo get together to stamp!" He then starts to giggle like a little boy. Hubby is a pretty quiet man by nature (how he survives with me and my not so quiet ways is a question we still both ponder from time to time). But, when he finds something to be funny he really is a laugh out loud kind of guy.

Next thing I know, the boys are adding to the moment. "No, mom, it is when a bunch of buffaloes start to dance" says Thing Two. "Yeah, like this" chimes in Thing One. And now, all three of my guys are humming (or trying to hum) a can-can tune and dancing like a heard of buffaloes.

Well, I'm pretty sure that Letterman and Leno can rest easy tonight knowing that nobody in the House of Chang is apt to steal their job from them...

*interesting enough, the above photo was taken at a new park we found called The Great Plains Park. No buffalo were spotted: none dancing or stamping...

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Back to school blues

Thankfully, the Things are doing a pretty good job with heading back to school. And, I'm slowly getting into the groove of the school routine. But today, oh my, I met a little fella who was one unhappy camper. I figure I'm entitled to smile at his misery since most years it is one, if not both of my children crying outside the front of the school.

But, this little boy, hasn't figured out that crying gets you at least sympathy. Nope, this boy was having a full throttle temper tantrum. Don't want to go, not going to make me go. The principal was able to help him work through it and he finally made it back to his class. That's where I met him: I was doing vision checks on his class. He'd calmed down considerably so his teacher suggested I try to screen him as well. All went well with the testing.

And then in my happy mommy voice I said how much fun school can be, how he will make LOTS of friends. With the cynical tone of a grumpy old man he curtly told me "I already have plenty of friends~!"

Somehow I have a feeling that this is not the end of this little boy's back to school blues...

Friday, August 04, 2006

Ah, we made it through the week!

What a hectic week it has been.

Ok, so hectic is probably an exaggeration. But, after the weeks of sheer lazy days, with nothing on the calendar and taking all day to do just as little as possible, the return to school has been a bit busier than any of us are used to.

And it remains hot.

And, I worked this week.

And just as I was starting to whine about being tired from these realities, Friday arrived way too soon for my liking and we had our school's vision/hearing testing today. I head up our school's assessments each year. Ok, so I didn't test them all, but I did coordinate all elements of the process of screening over 300 students. And sadly, that's only half the school. We'll do it all again in September. The things I get myself into...

I'm one worn out Momma that is for sure.

But, that's the bad news around here. The good news is that both Things had a great first week of school. I had good first impressions of the teachers and class mix. As for the vision testing, I had my midlife epiphany this summer (where you go I"m getting too old to play the games and get worked up about the stuff that just doesn't matter) and managed to set some clear boundaries and distance with the school nurse. I kept my sanity and held my tongue through the countless messages she left me, telling me the same things over and over.

So in the end, I'm energized by the thought of a new school year. We may be off to a busy start and our bodies are still adjusting but I'm excited about the newness of it all. Or maybe it isn't excitement and instead, perhaps that margarita finally kicked in...all I know is it is past 5 o'clock here and we made it to the weekend...Lets celebrate!