Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Today's exercise in patience

It is darn near impossible to get three four year old boys wearing skates and helmets to look at the camera all at the same time. The only one who cooperated was sweet, little MO. The other two yahoos (JG and his buddy NB) are just being their accomodating selves.

What is it they say in showbiz? Never work with children or animals.






The mommy wars

Last Friday I caught a little bit of the Today show - by the way, I don't think I am really loving Meredith Viera, I wish Katie would come back - maybe she will if her evening news gig continues to tank. Anyway I digress, there was a piece about moms and playdates, it was called Happy Hour for Moms? and it has got me all worked up in more ways than one.

First, the whole drinking at playdates and how the piece portrayed mothers whether this was achieved by editing or if these women really said the things in relevant context is in question. Bottom line - it made the moms featured look like women who had to have a drink to get through the day. One quote basically said, "Sober mothers aren't good mothers." Whatever. Like I said, it is amazing what a little editing can do.

I think these women want to have fun, relax, exercise the right to be responsible adults and good mothers at the same time. They are not going to put their children in harms way. Once again the media put their spin on the subject and let it roll. It is just another example of where women, especially mothers, are held to a higher standard.

What is the difference between these playdates and grilling out in the backyard with the friends on a Saturday? Personally I would bet the children would be safer at the playdate with the solo moms drinking a glass of wine versus a BBQ with fathers, flames and lager.

After the piece aired, Today had two women with Meredith to discuss whether playdates and happy hour mix. The first was Dr. Janet (the expert) and the second was Melissa Summers - a mother and blogger (just like many of us) from Detroit. The women began to debate whether it was appropriate for this type of parent/child socializing to co-exist.

The Dr. put on her puritanical hat and essentially repeated the same statement at every opportunity. I did agree with her on a few points. I don't believe that you have to have alcohol to have fun or to socialize, however I believe that it is choice of the adult individual and it does not make a woman a bad mother if she has a drink. You can't tell me that Dr. Janet, mother of four, wouldn't maybe want a glass of wine after a very long Saturday at home with FOUR CHILDREN.

The other woman, Melissa the blogger, was in my opinion the sacrificial lamb. I will admit I didn't know what to think of her at first. I believe the first statement out of her mouth was something like, "I don't drink to get drunk anymore. In college I drank to get drunk." Not really the best choice of words right off the bat, but you know what? Who didn't drink in college to get drunk? I am guilty of that, plus have a few friends just as guilty as me - I have many blurry photos with bad 80s hair to prove our guilt.

Melissa then went on to say she thought about putting her son on eBay after a bad day - another thing not to admit on TV - then again, who hasn't wished for a Calgon moment? Maybe eBay is her Calgon. Who knows? Just probably wouldn't have admitted to eBay sale of son and binge drinking in front of 2.7 million Americans. I bet her folks were proud at that moment and maybe rethinking telling the entire Bible study group to watch their daughter on national TV.

I believe Melissa was being herself and trying to say something witty. Can't really throw any stones at her for being honest and sarcastic. Who knows what kind of stupid statements would come out of my mouth if I was put in front of America on live TV? As one of my former co-workers said once, "If you live in a glass house don't throw stones, however if you don't live in a house throw as many as you'd like."

While I am on a roll, the other thing that got me really miffed was Meredith Viera. She asked Melissa if she would allow a babysitter to drink while watching her children. Melissa stated, no because she was paying her to do a job versus she is the mother. Meredith then said, "What's the difference?" That's great, Meredith Viera just compared stay-at-home moms to babysitters, I am sure that will do wonders to the ratings.

I think the saddest outcome of this piece based upon looking at boards and other blogs is it just widened the gap on the Mommy Wars - women judging other women on their parenting skills whether it is staying at home vs. working, drinking vs. not drinking, spanking vs. time-outs it goes on and on and on and on...

For this mommy, the rant has gone on and on and on long enough... I need to go have a drink.

I've got a secret...again

I saw this article this a.m. on CNN. It is about the PostSecret books I wrote about a few weeks ago. I picked up another one of the books from the library last week and again was transfixed for an hour.

Monday, January 29, 2007

I am sure our phone will be ringing off the hook for playdates

And the hits just keep on coming...

Little man is in a mood, a very bad mood. He is insulting everyone he knows including the dog and is in time out for his unacceptable behavior. He informed his buddy MO (the sweetest little guy) he is "the weirdest person he knows" and then told his sister "you are the stupidest girl on Earth." Needless to say, bedtime cannot come fast enough today. I want my sweet little boy back.

I just hope JG isn't getting sick, he like his father, gets real surly before crashing.

Conversations with grandma

This morning JG had a conversation with my mother. He talked for a good five minutes straight about what I didn't really know. Some days he is a talker other days not so much. When he was finished telling grandma all he wanted her to know he handed the phone back. I asked my mom what they talked about, she was laughing.

Evidently our son asked her if he could have a sleepover at her house, when my mom asked when. He told her "when I am 46".

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Almost all better now

We are on day 5 of the home office's demise - the doctor's office did finally confirm he had Influenza A. He is at least up and about today and was kind enough to Lysol the infirmary. DLS has become quite comfy in his little house in the basement. On a positive note he was finally able to take full advantage of his big screen TV which he says he is never able to watch thanks to the little people in our lives.

During his quarantine he has managed to watch:
15 movies
4 hockey games
20 hours of Sports Center
2 episodes of Oprah - I was cleaning out the DVR and needed to catch up. He will not admit he watched this and has claimed retaliation if I put this in. Bring it on sick boy. I think he was actually asleep otherwise there would have been more commentary from the couch.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

What is the deal?

For the first time in my life I am going to send an email to all of the local television stations here in the Twin Cities. Why? Because my children are having nightmares from commercials showing the latest horror flick of the day. There are so many of them out now it is ridiculous. I think I have told the kids to look away at least four times today because the Saw III spot is on.

I am not a prude by any stretch of the imagination, but showing people being tortured during a commercial break at 5:14 p.m. has made me mad. You try so hard to police what the kids see, but when they are watching a basketball game and a guy with a mask on that even scares me it is time to say enough.

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree

My dad gets a real kick out of little man. We talk multiple times during the week and he always asks, "How's my JG?". I think he enjoys these little anecdotes because JG's actions remind him of himself when he was young.

One of my favorite stories about my father happened when he was a little older than our son.

My grandparents had four boys in five years and my dad was the second of four. The boys were busy - sometimes too busy for the neighborhood and there was one man in the neighborhood who was especially curmudgeonly when it came to my dad and his brothers. Any opportunity he had to share his joy he took full advantage of it and my father gave it right back.

One day my dad was out running as fast as his legs would take him (at this age my dad said he was as wide as he was tall) while my grandma hung the laundry on the clothesline.

The crabby neighbor watched my dad go by. "Look at the baby elephant run."

My dad stopped, looked right at the man and without missing a beat said, "Look at the jackass speak."

The neighbor was speechless. My father kept on running and my grandma left the laundry in the basket and went inside to laugh.

Friday, January 26, 2007

1.26.94

All day I couldn't for the life of me remember why today's date felt familiar. Do you ever have that feeling when you think about a date? Somewhere deep down you know you should know something happened that day, I know the home office has that feeling every June 25th (our anniversary). However January 26th didn't seem obvious to me.

Well, I finally figured out what it was. January 26th was my anniversary date at my only official, real, grownup company job. Today would have been 13 years. Holy cats, how did 13 years slip on by? You know, not much has really changed. OK maybe some things have changed.

Here are some of the Schmidt numbers since 1.26.94

Zero championships won by the Vikings, Twins, Timberwolves or Wild - how many flu shots DLS has had - light bulbs changed in foyer light (it's too darn high)

One marriage - toilet replaced in master bathroom thanks to little man flushing a shaving cream cap down the drain - girls weekend on a ship staying in a room which could pass for a closet.

Two kids - houses - presidents.

Three dogs (1 still living) - colors painted on the wall of the Partridge Family Bus bathroom aka master bath (one of these days I will get it done).

Four new cars for Susan (Blazer, Purple Pride mini-van, Tahoe, mini-van once again) - years the fireplace in the Family Room hasn't worked.

Five trips to Florida, 4 of which included a trip to the Happiest Place on Earth - The Magic Kingdom - my husband's least favorite place on earth - stitches in little man's head.

Six new immediate neighbors - restaurants in Maple Grove (The Lookout, May Nin, Bakers Square, Cousineaus, Champps and Pulaski's Polish Palace) when we moved here in 1994 - trips the home office has made to Vegas.

Seven hundred three days since I left the thankless job which was the inspiration for this rant.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The best day ever

Tonight at dinner JG shared his day.

"I had a good day. First I got the hip-ups (hiccups). On Sponge Bob it was the Best Day Ever one. I beat the volcano on Game Cube and then we had Poet (Polish) Sausage for dinner."

The Great One

My last few blogs have been a bit Eeyorish. Woe, woe, woe. Enough woe. We need some happy. My aunt and I were talking yesterday and we were laughing so hard about a little exchange we had with little man a few months ago.

We (AE, KB (AE's pal), JG and I) were riding with my aunt. We were at a stoplight and across the intersection there was a large motor home with "Denali" across the front.

My aunt always wanting to share knowledge with the children tells about Denali National Park in Alaska she asks the kids, "Denali. Does anyone know what Denali means?"

Silence. Complete cricket silence from the backseat.

"It means The Great One," my aunt answers her own question. "Does anyone know what famous mountain is located in Denali National Park?"

Again silence.

Finally KB takes a stab at it. "Mount Rushmore?"

"No, honey. That is in South Dakota, but good guess," my aunt responds. "AE, JG do you know?"

Yet again silence.

From the back seat my son's little voice asks, "Mountain Dew?"

The correct answer was Mount McKinley.

Bad wheel

I hurt myself yesterday playing tennis, imagine that? I was playing singles when my ankle rolled like it does quite often, however this time it really hurt. It is on the inside of my ankle which is new and I can't even put any weight on it.

I have been having trouble for awhile with the bottom of my right foot which now hurts like a son of a gun after yesterday's spill. After doing a little web MD sleuthing I think I have plantar fasciitis plus a bit of a strain on my ankle. No good.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Maybe someone should have gone for a flu shot

I can count on one hand how many sick days my husband has taken in his entire professional career. Today is day #6. He is down for the count and has proceeded to take over the entire lower level of our house. At least he is sick enough that he has stayed there. He is the only person in our house who refused a flu shot. I don't know if that is what he has, but it makes you wonder.

The kids are miffed because their entire toy/activity existence is located in the DLS infirmary, so we had to improvise tonight for family activities. At AE's request, we ended up spending most of the night doing portraits of her numerous Littlest Pet Shop pets. I tell you, I do not have a talent for drawing iguanas.

I need to sign off the patient has requested he would like lights out (our PC is in the basement), plus he is starting his Fred Sanford routine again... "Oh, this is the big one! You hear that, Elizabeth? I'm comin' to join ya, honey!" He stinks as a sick person.

Wiki what?

I am addicted to Wikipedia. Everything I need to know is there. I am actually using it more than Google when I know exactly what I am looking for. There are links, definitions - everything. If you haven't used it try it out. If you have, you know my joy.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Don't mess with Texas

Our son has started standing on one leg with the other pointing straight out. I figured it was some kind of move he saw on Pokemon or Avatar so I didn't ask.

Sometimes it is best to let them come to you because if you call attention to it they will stop and never explain. Example: AE wore her sunglasses upside down from age 3 to 4. I asked one day why and she stopped. I never knew why she chose to look at the world upside down. Maybe she didn't know she had them on bass ackwards.

I have found out the reason to his unique stance - kind of. He told me.

"Mom, look at me. I'm Texas," JG said while standing on one foot with his other leg perpendicular to his body.

"What?"

"I'm Texas."

"Texas?"

"Yeah, Texas. This is how they stand in Texas."

"Why?" I asked.

"Because they are waiting for their horses."

That's all I got. Near as I can tell he has been watching Westerns and saw one too many cowboys saddle up. If anyone else has any suggestions let me know. He hasn't stopped. Maybe more info will be forthcoming.

Wonder what his interpretation of Minnesota would look like? If he goes off of what he sees at home it would be reclining in the La-Z-Boy with a remote outstretched.

You say it's your birthday...

I have spent the majority of the day planning birthday parties for our children. Why did we think it was a good idea to have the children born two weeks apart? We should have had one in the spring and the other in the fall. Oh, well what are you going to do? Can't control the weather or birthdays.

JG has decided he wants to go to Pump It Up for his party. It is basically 14 children bouncing and running amok for two hours, while on a sugar high. Sounds like fun right? I am sure they are going to have a blast.

He wants a Pokemon theme. I didn't realize it would be a challenge (everything is sold out) to find Pokemon cups, plates etc. Finally found what I was looking for on eBay Express it worked really slick and was 1/2 the cost of the other online stores.

We will see what I get when the package arrives. I always hold my breath when I order from eBay. Call me cynical, but you just never know what you are going to get. DLS bought an "authentic Coach" wallet once and ended up with this plastic piece of junk that wouldn't even close because it was glued together wrong.

AE's party is proving to be more of a challenge. She wants to have a sleepover with nine girls, a spa sleepover to be exact. She has grand plans for pedicures, manicures, banana facials - the whole nine yards. I am not exactly jumping at the opportunity of giving twenty little feet pedicures and wrapping all of their hair with curling rags.

So, I have spent the day racking my brain trying to come up with an alternative and I think I have found something. I hired a local woman to come in and do caricatures of each of the girls doing their favorite activity. AE thought that sounded great and we haven't said a word about banana facials since. Whew...

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Like a star

If you don't have this song yet, get it. It is perfection. Corinne Bailey Rae was on Oprah last week and it made me like her even more.



ps. I am just giddy I figured out how to add a video. A real, live video. Small accomplishment, but big for me at nearly 11:30 p.m. on a Sunday night.

La pelicula Gracias a Winn-Dixie

Today we were lazy. We watched a little football (yea Colts), a little tennis (yea Martina Hingis) and a few movies.

AE & I watched Because of Winn-Dixie first thing this morning. It was a really cute movie, any movie with a dog I am a sucker for.

I tried to get AE to watch this before when it appeared on On Demand, however she never really had any interest. I knew she had watched it when she was at my sister's once, but didn't really mention anything about it other than she didn't really like it.

After the movie was done AE said, "I loved that movie. I want to watch it again."

"Really, I thought you didn't like that movie," I asked surprised.

"Yeah, I know. It was better this time."

"Why?"

"Well, last time when we watched it HP (her cousin) was playing with the remote and we had to watch the last half of the movie in Spanish," AE said very matter of factly.

She added, "I can understand way more when it is in English."

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Bad hair day

Last night the Schmidts finally made it to the Hennepin County Service Center to complete step one (passports) for the Mexico Spring Break adventure.

It was all going so well until little man stuck his hand in front of the camera while a rather joyless fellow traveler was getting their photo taken. No one else thought it was as funny as I did. However I did not express my true feelings for fear they would tack on an extra $13 for retakes for a person we would never see again. They charge you for every little thing.

The only tragedy was the outcome of AE's photo. She was NOT pleased with the results. Her hair was "winging out" and not acceptable. The woman behind the counter was not about to take another.

Poor AE. Her father tried to console her as best as a father can. He told her, "Don't worry. You only have to live with the photo for five years. By the time you turn 13 you can get another and by then you will really be in the middle of your awkward stage."

His words were not well received, AE burst into tears and finally came out of the photo funk this morning. Need to work with DLS on what to say to an almost 9 year old starting to deal with hormones. Drama.

The OC, Simon and me

This past week many of my television guilty pleasures have made it back to the small screen. Just what I need more shows to add to the DVR.

American Idol is back and I am underwhelmed. I feel gypped because all they have shown the past two days is really, really delusional bad singers. They started out in Minneapolis which wasn't necessarily a good thing.

Out of 10,000 people who auditioned in MN they sent 17 to Hollywood. Not only were the people poor singers, but they were some real nutballs. I thought we Minnesotans had finally got over the stigma of Fargo, now we have to explain the girl who sings like the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz. Thanks a lot.

Then there is The Real Housewives of Orange County on Bravo. This show is like an accident you see on the side of the road and you can't help but stare. We the audience are in on the joke and can't help but watch in amazement as the dramatic irony plays out. Here these people believe they have everything, but really have nothing. Do you think they really know, don't care and are laughing all the way to the bank?

This show proves money can't buy happiness, sanity or your children's love. Their personal relationships with spouses, children and even pets are severely dysfunctional, but they just put a smile on their face, oh wait they can't take the smile off because they have had way too much botox.

Maybe the reason I watch is because it makes all of us "normal, truly real and not so desperate housewives" feel better about the job we do everyday. Even though we do not have all of the material possessions our lives are still richer.

Like I said, it's just like an accident and I can't stop watching.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Squirrel, did someone say squirrel?

Today my third child, you know the furry one, is having a bad day. Mimi has been going crazy because a gray plastic bag blew into the brush behind the house. Every time the wind blows she thinks it is a big, old squirrel teasing her.

Mimi has a history with the chipmunks (or chickmunts as little man says) and squirrels who visit our yard. All day, in and out, out and in. Barking, barking and more barking. It doesn't help that she has a 4 year old egging her on, "Where's the squirrel? I see a squirrel."

I should just go out and take the Byerly's bag off the branch, however do not recall what the combination is for the lock on gate at the end of the yard. There are alternatives, but cannot imagine what part of trying to scale the fence in snow boots would be a good idea (other than becoming a good blog).

Hopefully the wind will really blow and the squirrel will fly far, far away from here. For now, I am just thankful it is dark outside so she can't see it taunting her anymore with its big, fluffy tail.

Nanny nanny boo boo.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Oh, schnap

Yesterday the kids were home and we ran some errands. We went to Byerly's and did well with three kids (AE's buddy KB was along). It was nice to have the big girls along to help corral little man. We only lost him once when he went behind the seafood counter looking for a free chocolate chip cookie. Right idea, wrong counter.

Since they were so good at the grocery store and the library I told them we could go to Starbucks for a hot chocolate. We went to the drive through and ordered up a latte, 3 hot chocolates and a piece of Classic coffee cake (so yummy). It took awhile to get our drinks, so we shared the coffee cake while we waited. The kids can't get enough of the coffee cake.

When we our drinks came the girls tasted their hot chocolates both of them said, "Our hot chocolates taste like coffee." I grabbed AE's cup and took a sip, "It tastes just like hot chocolate, you're fine." They shrugged and continued drinking.

After a pause KB turned to AE and said, "Oh, I know why it tastes like coffee."

"Why?", AE asked.

"Cause we just ate coffee cake," KB responded.

"Oh, yeah. You're right." AE concurred.

Then both of them said in unison, "OH, SNAP!"

Then from the middle seat a little voice added his version, "Oh, schnap."

Monday, January 15, 2007

One man's trash is another man's treasure

This weekend I went to estate sales with my mom and aunt. It is one of our favorite things to do - dig through other people's infinite amount of crap.

My mother is the ultimate digger - she loves the hunt. She is continually trying to locate the perfect find to one day take to Antiques Roadshow - she never misses an episode. She dreams of arriving at the Roadshow with her find and telling them, "You know I found this under a pile of crap and I bought it for $2." Then in her dream the Roadshow expert will say, "I would say you made a good investment, this is worth $30,000."

We went to a sale at a little house in Edina. It was actually a dump and there wasn't one thing in the entire abyss of linens, glassware and books I couldn't live without. I was waiting for the trash to treasure twins (mom & aunt) to surface when I went to the garage. That is where I found this sign. It was covered in cobwebs, but I loved it. I purchased it for $10, quite the steal in my estimation. It's not going to make me $29,990 on the Roadshow, but it makes me happy.

In 50 years it will be at my estate sale and hopefully the person who finds this little treasure will be as happy with their purchase as I am now.

Love, love (as in tennis)

My friend Jody and I played tennis together for the first time this season. We were regular doubles partners last year and after a frustrating season for both of us we decided we would rather continue our 7+ year friendship versus continuing as tennis partners. We felt we are very compatible in life, but not tennis. No sense losing a good friend over a bad lob.

So, Friday we tested our friendship once again. We subbed for the team we played with last year. I think both of us were a little tentative, but thought what the heck we just want to have fun. We did very well, we won 6-4, 6-0. We didn't have any harsh words or dirty looks between us, plus we actually laughed.

The funniest part about Friday is we played a woman both of us know through the local media, she is the former wife of a baseball Hall of Famer. She was amazingly nice and I am going to be playing doubles with her next Friday since her regular partner is out of town.

I love those days when you wake up with no particular direction and life takes you for a little ride with all kinds of surprises.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

JG's in love

Remember that song Chuck E.'s in Love? I think it was by Rickie Lee Jones. Well, I have been singing that little tune in my head this afternoon. Evidently JG is smitten in a big way.

I guess today at pre-school he went up and declared his undying love to Paige, a very cute blond with a bob. My friend Jeremie was picking up the boys and told me JG went up to Paige and told her he was going to marry her. I don't know what Paige's response was to his proposal, but when the boys were riding home Jeremie asked JG why he liked Paige.

JG responded, "Because she is so beautiful."

So, how was your day?

We have dinner as a family every night at 6:00, we eat and share the highlights of our day. As in most households, the TV is on in the family room and I turn it off before we eat.

Monday night, little man had a meltdown when the TV went dark. He was in the middle of watching Sports Center on ESPN (his new favorite show) and was not pleased it was time to bond as a family.

"Why do we have to turn the TV off?", he asked.

I responded with the same answer I give everyday, "Because we need to share with each other how our day went."

"Why do we have to share? It always the same," he began pointing to his family of three. "Your day boring, your day boring and your day boring."

We ended up talking about our day despite protest. When we got to little man we asked how his day was.

"Good," he said. "until mommy turned off the TV."

Monday, January 08, 2007

Lazarus

I went to Best Buy today with the intention of purchasing a new iPod. Instead the nice young man (he looked about 12) at the audio repair desk brought my iPod back from the dead. He must have the magic iPod juju because I tried all of the same tricks last night to no avail. I didn't mention I whacked it against the desk - he seemed to really care about my iPod.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The sound of silence


Last month there was an article in the Star Tribune Source section telling about iPods and the high failure rate consumers are experiencing once the warranty runs out.

I read the article and empathized with the poor folks who have lost their dear iPod friends. I looked at my trusty 20 gig iPod and thought silently, "we've beat the odds old friend, I knew you were special."

Special my butt. I became one of the poor dead iPod people today. The flipping thing died. It made the worst noise I have heard in a long time - kind of a little shriek - and then froze right in the middle of a really funny Mark Hoppus podcast.

I have tried to resuscitate. I did all of the steps on the apple.com site and even tried a few renegade measures e.g. whack a mole (as some of these techies call it). Basically you beat the crap out of the poor thing and it is supposed to miraculously come back to life. Didn't work. It is still dead, only now it is making a little tinkling sound inside. Think I might have whacked against the desk a little too hard.

I am sad, I have lost a friend. Maybe it knew I was secretly shopping for a new 30 gig friend, got mad and beat me to the break-up.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

She is her mother's daughter

AE had a sleepover at her friend Em's house last night. Em's mom told me she woke the kids up this a.m. to take them out to a nice breakfast. What was my daughter's response?

"Why in the world would you people wake me up at 7:56 in the morning?"

Friday, January 05, 2007

#1,500

I am a HUGE supporter of the library and the borrowing of books. Did I mention I want to be a librarian when I grow up? However, I believe I will be purchasing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows whenever it does finally come out.

Why? Because I am currently #1,500 on the waiting list at my local Hennepin County library.

Holy cats! At that rate with 26 books on order I would be able to check out the final Harry Potter TWO YEARS after publication. Basically, if I utilized the Andrew Carnegie way of reading a book I would need to wait until 2009 to know whether or not Harry lives.

You have got to be kidding.

Shhh, I have a secret

A few months ago I read a little blurb about the publication of a book: My Secret: A PostSecret Book by Frank Warren. Everything about the book intrigued me.

Frank Warren began an art experiment back in 2004 on 3,000 blank postcards he distributed in various places like train stations, library books. He asked people to "anonymously contribute a secret to a group art project. Your secret can be a regret, fear, betrayal, desire, confession or childhood humiliation. Reveal anything - as long as it is true and you have never shared it with anyone before."

The secrets made their way to his mailbox and he posted the secrets on his blog. Two years later postcards keep on coming and coming. I finally picked up Warren's first book, PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives today from the library after being on the waiting list (for what felt like forever).

I have read every one of the confessions and I don't know really what to say. There were cards expressing many things I have felt or thought and others which shocked me. Most just made me sad knowing people walk around each day with amazing weight on their hearts and minds. There is little comfort in believing people's lives have been a little easier now that they have purged themselves of whatever they needed to.

So the question going around in my head right now is whether or not I should send a little note to Frank Warren. What secret would I tell? What secret would you tell?

PostSecret
13345 Copper Ridge Rd
Germantown, MD 20874

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The greatest right fielder of all time

AE came home last night and was so excited. I don't think I have ever witnessed this amount of excitement over an academic accomplishment - ever. All of the reading (aka bribing by DLS) has paid off, she moved up a reading level! Couldn't be prouder.

So how did our daughter celebrate? She brought home a new book she picked out herself. It was a biography of Roberto Clemente - the Puerto Rican baseball Hall of Famer. I can honestly say I didn't see that one coming.

She never ceases to amaze, that is why we love her. If anyone wants to know anything about Clemente's tenure with the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1960s I am more than happy to discuss.

Form DS-11

I am never going to get a job with the government. Too many forms and procedures. I am filling out the paperwork to obtain passports for the little people in our house and it isn't fun. I also have to get a new passport, mine has expired, thank God I had really bad hair in 1993.

I need to get this done, all of the others going on our trip completed this task two months ago. Lori even called to remind me before xmas...can you say procrastination?

I try to tell myself I am getting better about not waiting until the last minute, hopefully I will not have to expedite. In my mind paying a fee is penance (there's that Catholic upbringing again) for waiting until the end. I don't even want to calculate how much I have spent in my lifetime on late fees.

By the time I get on the ball and get things done I will be so old and have lost my mind, I won't remember what I was supposed to be doing in the first place.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

What's your playlist?

Over the holidays I began the task of cleaning out my iPod. Some of the music I am proud to say I listen to and then there are the cringe worthy tunes I am too embarrassed to admit. In all there are 2,789 songs on my iPod (down from 3,643). I am amazed, how could I possibly listen to or know nearly 4,000 songs?

Obviously the iPod has taken on a life of its own.

While scrolling through the bazillion songs I began to think about all of these Celebrity playlists out on iTunes which are supposed to define who the person is in song and how the music shaped their lives. Some of the lists are lame and try to make the person sound more interesting and deeper than who they really are. Other lists have introduced me to music I would have never listened to before which I love, plus they sometimes give you a glimpse to moments in their lives.

I am going to give my non-celebrity, hopefully non-lame playlist a shot. Thanks for letting me indulge. Here is my life (so far) in song:

Dancing Queen - ABBA - This is my childhood (along with every other little girl in the 70s). It is dancing with Auntie Shirley and mom in Tahoe. My sister and I must have worn out the tape, we seriously listened to this the entire road trip to CA and back in 1982. That would be about 24 hours of ABBA. No wonder our grandma couldn't wait to get out of the car.

Kiss Off - Violent Femmes - This is high school. I smile whenever I hear this song and remember driving around with my friends and singing it at the top of our lungs. I forget what eight was for.

Luka - Suzanne Vega - This is one of the most annoying songs, but it completely reminds me of when I lived in Japan and didn't know anyone at first. So I would sit in my room and listen to Suzanne Vega and think, "I wish I knew someone who spoke English."

Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want/How Soon is Now? - The Smiths - Moving from WY to MN, complete angst and drama of being a teenager - these songs fit so well. It is kind of funny to listen to them now. Turned out to be the best thing to happen, guess there is a plan.

Ironic - Alanis Morisette - Still one of my favorites. It makes me smile and remember maybe we aren't in as much control as we might think.

Sweetest Thing - U2 - Blue eyed boy meets a brown eyed girl. Sappy, but reminds me of my husband. He would hate I told anyone that - don't tell him - o.k.?

God Only Knows - The Beach Boys - Love the Beach Boys. Brian Wilson is a genius. I have sung this to AE & JG since the day they were born. One of the most beautiful songs ever written.

The Luckiest - Ben Folds - Very sweet song, it's about knowing you are where you're supposed to be.

Just a Girl - No Doubt - This song reminds me of my sister. We actually had a little sing-a-long flashback this summer driving through the middle of nowhere in Nevada with the windows down. I've had it up to here - I think of that line often. Wonder if I will still sing this song when I am 80?

Everlong - Foo Fighters - My favorite band. Couldn't have my life in song without Foo.

Can you say routine?

Aaah. Finally. Back to our routine after a chaotic two weeks. AE left on the bus this morning and it felt like we hadn't missed a beat. Will write more later...off to my routine - tennis! Very happy girl.