Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Color is not my thing....

The painters started painting our shutters today. I went home for lunch and they were just starting. It seemed really bright but I didn't want to panic. I leashed up the dog and, by the time I got around the block once, the first set of shutters was done. It looked like this:

Note the contrast from the shutters to the frame of the screen door (do not note the dead hanging plant in the bottom right hand corner). It's bad, right? From a distance it looks even worse! I asked them to stop in what I hoped was a calm voice and proceeded to inundate my husband's voice mail with messages. Then I plucked some leaves off the bushes and sped off to Sherwin Williams. My gut tells me the shutters should be less orange-y red and more purple-y red to go with the door and the foliage. I also want it to go well with the rocks to the right of the front door. I have no confidence, though. Anyone with an opinion, please help. My husband is not answering his phone and I need to decide soon!

This is what I think will work:

The old color is on the right and the new color is on the left. Here's how it looks by the front door:
Thank goodness I never studied to be an interior designer! It'd be the worst!!! Am I on the right track? Am I panicking over nothing? Advice, please........

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Birthday parties

Usually, when I plan my kids' birthday parties, I let them choose a theme and then plan food, games, decorations around the theme. We've done a luau, under the sea, The Incredibles, Disney, horses and Thomas to name a few. This year that's gone out the window! Either I'm getting too old, or I'm finally getting a clue that this is done more for the parents than for the kids. I remember asking my son and his friend if they'd like me to put together some games for this year's party and they both responded, "NO!" in unison. OK. OK. I get it!

I never had or expected having a birthday party every year but I've created those expectations in my kids. It's been a combination of peer pressure (all my friends think this is what should be done), having the disposable income to put them together, and my view that it's not such a bad thing. My family thinks I'm spoiling my kids. I kind of am but they're not really that bad (that's what all parents of spoiled kids say, right?). No, really. I know a lot of kids who are WAY more spoiled than mine. My kids listen to authority figures and don't talk back, they don't expect presents beyond Christmas and their birthdays, they have kind hearts, and they say please and thank you. I think we're on the right track so I'm going to keep throwing them birthday parties as long as they want them!

Last night my son had a sleepover. He invited four little boys (but one chickened out). They had a great time! We borrowed a Game Cube from a friend with a couple of Pokemon games and some Pokemon DVD's and they played outside and ate pizza and brownies. That's all they wanted! Here was the most popular activity which involved gaining speed on a scooter or skateboard and then flying off of it and rolling down a hill. They did it for hours!

The other big hit was the game cube, of course!

I'm exhausted and glad the birthdays are over for another year. It's a love/hate thing for me for sure! I hope they will remember these days fondly, though. That's why I do it.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Project

My son came home this week with a big assignment. He had to pick a country (Canada) and research it and then decide on a "project" that he could present that would graphically display six important facts. They told us we could do a poster or place mat or let our creativity go wild. This sounded like a challenge to me and there was no way I was going to help my son turn in something ORDINARY. He wanted to use clay as his medium and I suggested that we put the facts on a totem pole since he listed totem poles as something found in Canada. Perfect, right? I thought so. I bought some clay and then used a wrapping paper tube as our totem pole mold. Here is my preliminary sketch:

Now, at this point, some of you might be thinking that I'm one of those overbearing moms that take over their kids' assignments trying to compensate for a lack-luster school performance as a child but this is not the case! All these items where listed by my son in his research and I merely put them all together and supplied the inspiration. From this point on, he was in charge!

Well, not quite. I started slapping clay on the wrapping paper tube so that he could then add the embellishments. This took about an hour and by the time he came home from school I was ready to instruct him how to successfully add the final touches. Unfortunately at this point, the wrapping paper tube was saturated with moisture and starting to collapse. He very gingerly applied pieces to form the fish, blueberries and Caribou and used a pencil to carve out some details. We tried to preserve the structure by inserting a bat into the tube and then stringing it so it would stay straight. This is what we ended up with:

It started to crumble as it dried and there was no way to reconstruct it much less paint it, which was supposed to be the next step. This was Wednesday night and it was due on Friday. I began to panic. My son, however, did not feel any pressure whatsoever. I could've said, "screw it" at this point and pulled out some poster board. I'm sure my son wouldn't have minded. But no. I could not let go. I had to find some way to make it work! How did this turn out to be about me? I don't know! I am so aware that I am acting irrationally but I can't stop myself. It's like when my mom took over my serpent mound diorama and I turned in a work that was clearly not mine. The cycle is repeating.

I had an epiphany at his rookie league game on Wednesday and decided to recreate the totem pole using paper. I knew it would work! I had it elaborately planned out in my mind. When we got back from swimming lessons at 4:30 on Thursday afternoon, we immediately got to work. Here's the final result:

Not bad, huh? We actually did it together! OK, I cut out all the paper but he wrote all the words, embellished everything and glued it all on (with guidance of placement from me).....and he did learn his facts which was the whole point of this exercise. So there! I betcha no one else's project in first grade turned out this cool (I'm patting myself on the back right now with the knowledge that I'm more talented than a seven year old)!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Is this the end????

OMG! A cyclone hits Myanmar and the U.N. estimates between 63,000 and 100,000 dead with probably more to come. An earthquake hits China and so far, there are over 12,000 dead. Then there's all the tornados that have hit and killed people here in the U.S. in Oklahoma, Mississippi, North Carolina, Missouri, Georgia.

All this human suffering is juxtaposed with me driving my new luxury minivan, drinking my latte on a beautiful seventy degree sunny spring day in smalltown, America. It doesn't seem right.

It's freaking me out, people.........

Monday, May 12, 2008

Wah, wah, wah

My mother's day kinda sucked yesterday.

First of all, there was no breakfast in bed after a lazy morning of flitting in and out of sleep. Instead, I was the first up and got stuck with dog duty. I always have dog duty as a consequence of deciding our family needed a dog but I thought maybe just this once, my husband would actually act like the dog exists and take him out. Didn't happen.

Then, I had to shower and get myself and the kids ready for Sunday school and church. I am usually the first to blow off church but once a month, I volunteer to do the children's liturgy. Scary that they put me in charge of it but, not to worry. I keep my cynicism at bay for the twenty minutes I am impacting these young and impressionable innocent children and molding their spiritual side. Anyway, this required my presence in church on a day I would much rather be relaxing.

After church, the day was not mine either. I had promised my son who turned seven today, that we would go on a road trip to Staples (of all places) to buy his most-desired birthday present - a pack of Foohys. So off we all went in the rain to do this.

We got home at 4:30pm and I decided to play the mom card here to take a nap. Naps never agree with me and end up making me feel queasy and groggy for the rest of the day. When I got up ninety minutes later, the sink was full of dishes, my husband was on the couch watching CNN and ignoring his kids, the laundry was still out of control, and the dog had a full bladder. I also still had birthday invites to finish for my son's party this weekend and cookies to make for his class birthday treat the next day.

To top the whole day off, I floated the idea to my husband that for Mother's Day, it would be cool if I could get some patio furniture that I saw at Walmart for $400. I was turned down cold and ended up getting into a big fight over it. Never mind that only recently, I told him to go ahead and get a new motorcycle even though the one he has now is not that old and in perfect condition. My irrational purchase apparently doesn't compare to THAT situation!

So there you have it. Poor, poor pitiful me! Hope all you mothers out there had a better day than me! :)

Friday, May 9, 2008


You know that song by Brad Paisley called Ticks? It makes it sound romantic that he wants to check his girlfriend for ticks. Well, it's so NOT romantic! I found one on me today when I was in the shower! Ewwwwww! I didn't think I had it in me to get it off so I asked my husband to help. After Googling "tick removal" we decided the tweezer method was the way to go. He got it after a few attempts and I then asked him to check me over to see if any more where lurking about. We have been married for seventeen years but there's a little romance left. However, checking me over for ticks did not make either of us feel very amorous.....

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Pichu update

For those of you afraid to ask, yes we still have our dog. He's getting better but still has issues.

The good things are that he is trainable and listens (he pee's when you say "hurry up," sits, lays down, and comes when you call him), he doesn't run away, he stays in his crate nicely when we are away, he's house broken, we're done with the worms (I'm knocking on wood now) and he loves the children.

The bad things are he barks too much, he practically destroyed my knitting last week, he is afraid of trash cans, blowing plastic, visitors, the cat, and anything new and unfamiliar.

He's ten months old now so hopefully he won't be getting much bigger. He is a good looking dog, don't you think?

Monday, May 5, 2008

Tom Hanks likes Obama!!!

I always knew I loved this guy! Check out what Tom Hanks put on his Myspace page:

Beware: Celebrity Endorsement

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!!!

The story of Cinco de Mayo gives us a lesson of how the U.S. and Mexico can work together for the betterment of both our countries. It's about how the Mexicans helped us in the Civil war and we helped them get rid of the French.

I'm so tired of hearing the fears of people who think immigration is the root of all the woes our citizens face. It's so not! Any Mexican who wants to come here to pursue the American Dream and help make this country great is OK by me!

In the spirit of better relations with our neighbor to the south, I'm sharing one of my favorite songs from an awesome Mexican singer, Julieta Venegas. Everything she does is good but, this one, especially so! I love it when the old lady sings to the old man! Enjoy!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Almost reliving Barbaro.........

That was my last horse race!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RIP Eight Belles.

"Screen savers" .... they're not what you think!

I was shopping at Kellie's again. Her shop is so much fun (mostly because Kellie is there and she is one of my favorite people)! I bought an awesome purse which coming from me, says a lot. I do not change my purse depending on my outfit and put functionality before style. This purse is functional and I could totally someone like Paris Hilton or J Lo carrying it too. I will add a picture of it to this post soon.

Here's what I want to show you though. They're little double sided magnets for your screens. They come in dragon flies, suns, butterflies, frogs, and I can't remember what else. One part goes on the inside and one on the outside. Aren't they awesome? I bought ten but may have to go back and get more.....

The Derby is about to start so, I'll add to this post soon!

Friday, May 2, 2008

OBX, here we come!!!!

I have the most awesome father-in-law! Almost every year since 2001, he has booked a beach house big enough for all the siblings and grandkids to gather for a week and do the beach thing. It started with our kids being the only two grandchildren and now, we're up to eight ranging in age from newborn to ten!

Here's the beach house he's lined up for this year:

The house is HUGE and has every amenity you can think of! I'm spoiled, I know. My goal is to provide the spoiling for the next generation and follow in my father-in-law's footsteps......

Since I wasn't blogging last summer, let me share a few personal pics from last year:

My son jumping waves

We watched some people catch crabs with chicken parts tied on strings. I think we might give it a try this year......

Our most awesome and bodacious host!