Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bad News For the Target Crowd

I went to Target to try to find a flag pin for my Sarah Palin costume today. Fortunately, I have a red suit left from my Relief Society President days. I stopped at the snack bar to get a pretzel combo. I was going to drink the diet coke and I was getting Joe the pretzel for his after school snack. The saleslady rang it up and said, "$2.71, please." "There has to be a mistake. The reader board says that the cost is $2.00." She tried to convince me that the difference was sales tax. I told her there was no way sales tax was that high. Then she confessed that the price had just gone up that day to $2.50 and that the board had not been changed yet to reflect the increased price. Somehow she was able to over come the system and charge me $2.17, including tax. But here is the problem. The cost on all of the $2.00 combos at Target are going up to $2.50! So if you want to get your combos for $2.00 you had better run in before they change up the boards, and bring a calculator to prove their math is wrong. And all of this had to happen just when Chris had come around to really enjoying Target.

Just in case you were wondering, I couldn't find a flag pin at Target. I wonder if they will be able to survive the bad economy with two red flags in one day.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Newest Member of the Straight-A club

This is a picture of Joe at Sky Ranch. He went to Sky Ranch October 15, 16, and 17th.

Joe came home from school today and was so excited. He had a paper that I just had to look at. It was his progress report and he had all A's! I told him that I was very proud of him. He has had to really try hard and study in school. He is one of the youngest kids in his class and he has an older mom who is pretty laid back now compared with how I used to be. He had the same surprise for Bob when he came home. "Look at this paper, Look at this paper, Dad!" We love to look at those kind of papers any day of the week.

So I am going to have to ask his Aunt Deanna for an invitaion to the Lost party for the straight-A crowd.. He is willing to be Jack!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Wicked Weekend In The Windy City

I arrived at O'Hare last Friday morning. I was meeting Megan and Chris for a late Birthday celebration for Megan. We had been planning on doing something like this for about two years. I got on the train at the airport and headed for downtown Chicago because Megan and Chris were still on their way. As I sat on the train looking out at the city scape I noticed something terribly wrong with the trees. They were discolored and losing leaves. I was contemplating what terrible disease was spreading and how the arborists were going to handle the blight and how the tree services were possibly going to be cutting down affected trees, when it occurred to me that it was just autumn and leaves fall off trees in autumn. I had just flown in from Dallas where we don't experience leaf change until December so I was in the wrong paradigm.


Whats up with the sickly trees?


Chris is just a lucky guy! We went to Barnes and Noble and put our names in the witches hat to see if we could win the lottery to buy front row seats for $25. Chris's name was pulled out of the hat. Having seen Wicked twice, he was not anxious to see it again. He allowed me and Megan to go to the show while he opted to watch the Michigan Game at the ESPN Game Zone. I just love this musical! My only criticism was that Fiaro was too short. It just doesn't seem right when Fiaro is a Munchkin. I want a tall, good-looking, Fiaro with a lot of charisma.


We went out on a boat ride on Lake Michigan and up the river. On the lake the temp dropped a good ten degrees. I was prepared with three coats so I didn't freeze. We brought a lunch with us and had a picnic while on our 90 minute cruise. Chris was some what hesitant about the picnic, but the bacon, bagel, and cream cheese sandwiches were fresh. The chips were BBQ Kettle. How can you go wrong with bottled water and bananas? I even packed donuts for dessert. The guide provided us with lots of Chicago historical and architectural information. At first I went to placate Chris. He had suffered through two days of shopping on Michigan Avenue without a complaint. What a trooper. I have to say that the boat ride was one of the more fun things we did on the trip. Not that shopping wasn't fun. It seems like every major retailer has a flagship store on the Miracle Mile.


Chris and I are standing next to each other near the bean in a downtown Chicago park. The bean is highly polished and very reflective and you can actually go inside of it.

Another highlight of the trip was the Hershey Store. They make the most incredibly delicious cupcakes. We bought one almost everyday and split it between us. When you buy this cupcake you are getting a cupcake and a show because the Hersheyizer has a cute but somewhat sadistic personality which comes out when she makes a cupcake.

I carried the cupcakes home for Joe and Bob. Joe has decided that I am not going to Chicago without him in the future. Joe made his cupcake last 4 days. That boy has been seriously deprived of sweets.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Clean and Mean

Today as Joe was getting ready to go to school I had to remind him to brush his teeth and wear socks. Bob had to remind him to wear deodorant. Last night we had to remind him to take a bath after football practice. Another challenge that I am usually successful with is getting Joe to wear clean clothes. He is okay with taking his dirty clothes out of the hamper and re wearing them. He did this last Friday with his Spring Creek shirt. He had worn it under his football jersey during practice earlier in the week. I did not notice until he got home from school. Let's just say that I was tempted to burn the shirt, but Joe had become accustomed to his aroma so he could not smell the problem.

I know Joe is ten and he needs these constant reminders about personal hygiene. I am relatively certain that in a year or two he will be motivated to take care of these things on his own. I remember what got me motivated to take care of my personal hygiene was the help I received from all of my 6th grade friends. Okay, they were real jerks but I got the point! Wash you hair everyday even though your parents tell you to wash you hair once a week. Bathe daily even though your parents tell you to bathe once a week. I am not sure why people in my parent's generation bathed and washed their hair so infrequently. Maybe it was a combination of depression thinking along with a desert-rancher lifestyle. Wear deodorant everyday and carry an extra bottle in case it fails in the middle of the day. Try to wear clothes from the right decade and make sure they are clean. Brush your teeth twice a day. Use mouthwash and carry mints. Keep your hair combed and carry a comb with you to fix things in the middle of the day.

My point is that what your parents fail to teach you, or what you fail to learn from them, or those things they teach you incorrectly, your pals in 6th grade will help teach you these valuable lessons and make the necessary corrections. It is never kind and never gentle but it is effective. Joey is still in fifth grade but next year he will be in the sixth grade. This is why I am confident that Joe will eventually end up with good hygiene.

Feel free to share how your 6th grade friends helped you become a more hygienic person in the comments. I know I am not the only one who was taught valuable lessons. If you would rather share stories about your kids or your brothers and sisters that would be great. They will never see this blog! But if they do see it they will think it is funny. I promise.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Its All About The Jeans

I always put away my jeans about the middle of April and I don't pull them on until about the middle of October. Yesterday I saw the weather forecast and decided that it was time to break out the long pants because the morning temperatures were in the mid-50's. I put on a pair of Calvin Klein's that fit me perfectly in April and went to do my hair. As I stood there with my curling iron I noticed that the jeans were sitting too low and that there were hands full of fabric on the backs of my thighs. I was amazed! They were too big! I quickly went to my dresser and found the jeans that I can usually only wear right after I have had a serious round of the stomach flu. I put them on and zipped them up. I did not even have to lay down on the bed and use a hanger to get the zipper up.

This is a new one for me. Usually October finds me searching for the biggest jeans in the dresser, laying on the bed...vowing to go on a diet. So what has made the difference? I have been walking almost every morning. I only walk for a mile and a half. I keep thinking that I need to do more but maybe not. I have a walking partner, Debbie Pope who meets me at 6:05 AM at one of the local high school tracks. We walk at a moderately fast pace. I can actually jog a lap without stopping but I usually do not.

I started walking this summer when I signed Joey up for Running Club through the City of Richardson. I had chased him around the track the year before and I decided that the $40 price tag for some one else to motivate my child to exercise for an hour a day for two months was a great bargain. So while Coach Armond was working with about 15 kids, most of the mommies would walk around the track. Okay, there were two mommies who ran around the track but they were not in my league. At the end of July Debbie and I decided to keep going. It was pretty painful then because it was so hot. There were a few days when we only walked one mile because of the sweltering heat and humidity, without a wind to cool us off. We brought Joey and CeCe with us until school started. It really motivates me to get out there if I know someone is waiting for me. I have been walking regularly for over 4 months now.

This is a picture of Debbie P. She is an intelligent, consistent and fun walking partner. She has a blog which you can access through her website at

CeCe came to Joey's birthday party this summer.

I put on my skinny jeans and went to a PTA board meeting. While there one of the board members brought a scrap book from 12 years ago. I found a picture of Megan performing in her 6th grade Christmas program and I found a picture of myself. I was going through such a hard time after Matthew died that I gained a lot of weight. At the time I was jogging 5 miles a day but still gaining. After I quit jogging I gained even more and ended up about 100 pounds over weight. I was really glad that I had a great moment with the skinny jeans before remembering how dark and dismal those days were. Unfortunately my weight has always been an indicator of my mood. I was reading in the paper two days ago that statistically the best way to lose weight is to get divorced. You actually lose personal weight in addition to that 170 pounds of ugly fat you have been dragging around called your ex-spouse. The emotional strain just takes away your appetite, unless you are like me.

Okay, now for the bad news. I am either going to have to buy a few more skinny jeans or gain weight because I only have the one pair. There is also the question of what I will wear now after I have a stomach flu. Can you all remind Bob how lucky he is to have me around because after he reads this his eyes will be rolling back into his head. I have been so many sizes.

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Ship Called Liberty

I texted John today with the quick note feature asking, "How is it going?" I got the reply, "Terrible." "Whats wrong?" "Everything."

There is nothing like this type of exchange to prompt an immediate call from a concerned parent. My call found him in the library, unable to speak much above a whisper. He told me he really could not talk but the cause of all of his distress was that it was Master Chief Week and that he had to go. I assured him that I was going to send a care package that I had been putting together for him for a few weeks so that he at least has something to look forward to this week.

I have tried to find out what Master Chief Week is but nothing pops up on the USNA website or even on a google search. I am going to assume that the company Master Chief gets to put the company in order as she sees fit during this week. Normally the first class students(seniors)are in charge. The Academy is a laboratory for leadership where the upperclassmen get to practice on the underclassmen. The Master Chief is actually an enlisted sailor whose job at the Academy is to make sure certain jobs, especially military discipline,are accomplished in the laboratory. John let me know that his Master Chief is especially into the plebes doing sanitation detail. This has never been John's forte even though he was required to do this chore for about 6 years at home. He is just so clean. He hates to get his hands or clothes dirty from drippy garbage. Imagine John taking out the trash in a uniform which will be inspected.

He also had to switch to uncomfortable winter uniforms today, adding to his misery. In addition, he is not allowed to stay in his room during the day, but if he happens to be in his room to change or something, his room has to pass an Alpha inspection. I suppose that was why he was in the library when I called him today. From a parent's perspective, I know he will get more mid-day study done in the library as opposed to his room. But I am sure that he would disagree.

Well, they can't kill him and they can't stop time, so this too shall pass. Maybe I should remember this when I get trapped in those Master Chief Weeks in my own life when everything seems so dismal.

I reminded him in a note that I sent with the care package that he really is doing well academically. He is not on Ac probation as are many plebes right now. He still has town liberty privileges which he treasures.

This reminds me of a funny story when we went to see John during Plebe Parent Weekend. He finally got his mobile phone back after a six week enforced break. He had not been off of the yard for the entire Plebe Summer and he was just so elated to finally be getting off campus. He immediately texted all of his friends, "I'm on Liberty!" Ryan Vissotski texted back, "Great! What's Liberty?" His friend Andy Thursten texted back, "Is Liberty a ship?"

Last week was Beat Air Force Week. John really liked that week because he got to walk in the halls instead of chopping(jogging) because he taped Beat Air force on the bottom of his shoes. There were several other privileges that the company kept losing and earning back. Pranks were pulled on the visiting Air Force Cadet in John's company. They switched out all of his uniforms for Navy Whites so that was all he had to wear. The Midshipmen visiting at the USAF Academy built a mock submarine in a courtyard. On the bad side, one of John's room mates got arrested for robbing the Mid Store while he was out pulling a reconnaissance mission to paint a statue on the yard. Later he was released because it was a case of mistaken identity.

This whole experience is such an emotional roller coaster. I have always preferred the sure and steady course, but I don't always get what I want.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Megan Hits the Big 2-4

Twenty four years ago today Megan was born into the world in Anchorage, Alaska. I was such a proud mother. I knew that I had the most beautiful baby in the world. She was 8 pounds 5 ounces and was about 20 inches long. She had a big, thick swath of black hair. This seems funny, but I could swear she was born with a tan.

She was hungry from day one. I didn't have any other children to compare her with but it seemed like she cried a lot. I later realized this was not my imagination. If she was not eating or sleeping, she was crying. But I did not mind. It was really difficult to find a babysitter though.

I remember taking her into the mall with me when she was a couple weeks old because I had a gift certificate to a certain store. Fortunately, she was sleeping so that meant she was not crying. I put her down on the counter to complete the transaction. A couple of women came by and thought she was a doll for sale and were musing over her life-like characteristics and wondering what the cost would be. Now that I tell that story I wonder why I didn't have her in a stroller, why I put her on a counter, now that I know how easily a baby can fall off. I am a much better mom now and I am grateful that I had a wonderful, forgiving daughter to practice on.

After my mother died a month and a half ago I was contemplating my own miserably bleak childhood. I realized I have had several perfect childhoods with my own children as they were and are growing up. I finally got to take piano lessons three times. I got to play on a bunch of sports teams with great uniforms and important life lessons. I got to play the oboe, the trumpet, the drums, the acoustic guitar, and the electric guitar. I have had more toys than I could have ever possibly imagined. I had big boxes of new crayons, markers with ink, glue, tape, and blank paper to draw on instead of notebook paper. I have worn stylish clothes and had great haircuts. I listened to popular music. I got to buy books at the Scholastic Book Fair. I was the center of about four birthday parties each year. Just think of it this way, the lady with the cake gets a lot of attention. I got to swim, run, jump, and even pole vault! I could go on, but I think I have made my point. At the end of the day, I can say that I was able to share in the rich, full childhood experiences that I had longed for with my children, and I am grateful that they have shared their lives with me.

Happy Birthday Sweetheart! I love you.

About Me

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I am a stay at home mom but the clock is ticking. My husband and I only have one child left at home. I enjoy shopping and finding great bargains.