Monday, October 24, 2011

Homework for Mom

  Oh Mom. I forgot. I need to make a bar chart by tomorrow.

Sounds relatively harmless right? Well, it was 9:30 at night. It had to be on a large piece of cardboard. It had to be 3-D. Did I mention it was 9:30 at night?

Needless to say, we were up until 11:00. But the finished product wasn't too bad considering the time crunch and the fact that we were asleep on our feet. 


Friday, October 21, 2011

Ding Dong! Crackle Crackle! Squeak. Squeak! SQUEEEEAAAAKKK!

  We recently celebrated Sweat Pea's birthday. She had the usual assortment of parties, celebrations, gifts, etc. mostly on the weekend prior to her actual birthday. But when the day of her actual birthday came, we couldn't let it go unnoticed. So I brought home a box of Ding Dongs and a balloon. Along with a candle and a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday, we managed to celebrate it quite well.

There were still a few Ding Dongs left the other day so I snatched one from the cupboard and crept stealthily into the Dining Room (also known as the Pig Room in honor of the Guinea Pigs whose cage happens to be in there (and also in honor of the stench of said Piggies)).

Well, let me tell you, those pigs are squealers! They weren't too interested in my entrance into the room, but as soon as I started to open that Ding Dong, at the very first crackle of paper, they began squeaking at the top of their lungs. I imagine it was something like this:

Eleanor: Hey, whatcha got there?
Oreo: Sounds good!
Eleanor: Quit shoving!
Oreo: Ooooh! It's a Ding Dong! She has a Ding Dong! An actual Hostess Ding Dong!!
Eleanor: Hey everyone! In here! She's eating a Ding Dong!
Oreo: Come on in guys! Check it out! She's eating a Ding Dong!
Eleanor: Quick! Before it's gone!

So, of course the secret was out. Everyone came in to see what all the hub bub was about. And there I was. Caught red-handed with my cheeks stuffed full of Ding Dongs. If it wasn't for the crumbs on my chin, the cream on my nose, the chocolate under my nails and my wide, innocent eyes I may have gotten away with it. Darn pigs!!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sweet Ineptitude

  The other day at work I got myself some coffee. I like a little sugar in my coffee so I reached for the sugar. It was one of those cylindrical cardboard cans with the plastic top. This happened to be a new one, so after lifting the flap, the little plastic tabbie thing on the top needed to be popped in. Piece of cake right?

Well, I don't know if I was just being stupid and did it wrong, or if the thing was defective, or if my muscular thumbs just got out of hand, but I ended up smashing the top into a pile of white plastic shards which of course ended up in the sugar. In fact, just about all of the cover was gone, leaving only a few ragged plastic edges, which of course I cut myself on. Not badly - just a small scratch, but for heaven's sake!

So, I picked the plastic bits off the top as best I could, poured some sugar into my coffee and left the room, flexing my powerful thumbs. Thank goodness there were no witnesses.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Assorted Schmutz From the Bottoms of My Shoes

  I went to a catholic elementary school. I got to wear an awesome little maroon and gray plaid jumper. Every day. For 9 years. That's right. Very fashionable. On the plus side, I didn't need to worry about being fashionable, everyone was dressed like a dork. But I wore those things for 9 years. 9 YEARS! And recently when my mother pulled out one of my old uniforms and gave it to me I was moved to tears. OK, that's a huge exaggeration, but I did giggle and remember those years fondly. And then what did I do with the uniform? That reminder of my youth, that wonderful symbol of all my years at a school overrun by nuns?

Did I lovingly preserve it, wadding folding it carefully and placing it into my cedar chest? Did I use it to make
a quilt with bits of cloth from my childhood? Did I incorporate it into a scrapbook with memories from those years?

Or did I just toss it carelessly in the trash?

Actually, a combination of the two. I made a garbage bag. Yes, that's right. I cut it up and made a nice little bag out of it and it hangs in my car for tossing in bits of paper, fast food wrappers, lollypop sticks, tags and assorted schmutz from the bottoms of my shoes. It even still has the iron-on patch with my school's initials on it - the same patch that graced my flat elementary school girl chest for 9 years. And now it has a place of honor (of a sort). A place where I see it daily. Where I can pause and reflect on my youth, my education, my friendships. Where, with a single glance I can relive the many wonderful memories gathered at that school,
much like one gathers garbage in a bag.

Disclaimer: Despite what you might think after reading this, I did have an enjoyable experience at said school, didn't mind the uniforms for the most part and have nothing but happy memories of my time there. The garbage bag is in no way a reflection of my years there, or any sort of commentary on nuns or religion or Catholicism in general.  :)


Friday, October 14, 2011

Like a Koala Bear on a Eucalyptus Branch

So there I was, sparring the other day in karate, and I got a knee in the thigh. I had my leg up to kick and so did the other guy and clash. OK. Not a big deal. Happens all the time. But OUCH! Immediate charlie horse. Just shake it off and get on with things right?

I shook my leg. That horse didn't wanna go.

I shook it again, harder. No luck. That horse was clinging on like a koala bear to a eucalyptus branch, like taffy to teeth, like a toddler to mom's leg, like a wet bathing suit.

Shake shake shake. Nope. That sucker was there to stay.

Give it a couple of days and I'll have a nice big bruise. It will match the one on my knee from my (graceful) fall in the garage and the one on my shin from another clash, and the one on my shoulders from jiu-jitsu and the one on my arm . . . . I'm like a banana. A really really big, old, bruised banana.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Byzantium Jujubes or BJJ

So, I attended a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu seminar recently. (I may have spelled it wrong in the post title). I was somewhat hesitant to do so, but hey, learning how to defend yourself in all sorts of terrible situations is never a bad thing to learn. But still, I was hesitant. My reluctance was not alleviated when I stepped onto the workout floor with upwards of 20 large, burly, hairy, heavily-muscled men. I was somewhat soothed by the presence of two women - neither of whom was particularly burly and a handful of teens/tweens and of course, my hubby - who is a large, burly, hairy, heavily-muscled man, but he's MY large, burly, hairy, heavily-muscled man, which is very different than a large, burly, hairy, heavily-muscled man that I don't know.

If this was like the last seminar I attended, I knew we would be switching partners and I wouldn't have the luxury of only man-handling and being man-handled by, my husband. Fortunately, that wasn't the case and the hubby and I were partners for the entire class. (However, I would imagine that if I were to continue studying BJJ I would have to occasionally work with a different partner. Which I am sure would be OK and I'm sure I would get used to it, but there you go.)

In any case, the class went well. I'm not a touchy-feely type person. I usually shy away from physical contact with strangers, acquaintances and those I don't know really really well. My kids and husband get lots of hugs, pats, tickles, bumps, shoves, etc, but other than them, most people are not subject to my touch. But if you are into BJJ, well, physical contact is required. It's not like sparring where you attempt to maintain a safe distance - just close enough to kick someone in the head, or punch them in the gut, then get out. This is a much closer sport - like mashing chests together, wrapping arms around necks and using shoulders to push faces out of the way. it's about 'mounting' or straddling your partner and having them do the same to you. It's wrapping legs around each other and getting very very very close, much like being in a pit of snakes. Sometimes it's hard to tell whose legs are whose - even when some of them are your own.

And while it's all for the sake of learning to defend yourself (or for sport for those interested in that aspect) all that contact with strangers can be somewhat overwhelming. Being a girl I don't have much experience with wrestling despite the fact that I was always a tomboy and grew up with 4 older brothers (and a girly sister :). But all that aside, it was a success and I enjoyed myself. I learned a lot and would like to learn more. I guess only time will tell how far I go with this.


Friday, October 7, 2011

Piece of Cake

Ever use one of those frosting sheets? You know, the ones that come out of some fancy sort of frosting printer with a picture made of  frosting that you can put on a cake? Those things are pretty cool - a  piece of cake to use really.  Just lay it down on the top of the flat frosted cake and it melts into the frosting and looks wonderful.

Now, it's not a fancy, uber-cool cake with layers and columns and architectural supports and fancy doo-dads like I usually prefer to make, but it sure is easy to use and it's a good alternative when you have a tween girl with a boy-band obsession. I don't think I was up to making cute boys out of frosting - not unless you want them to look like lumpy, disfigured, blobs and then they don't really count as 'cute'.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Re-Tucking, Itchy Noses and Windy Nights

So, I've really been slacking lately with this whole blog thing haven't I? For my (few) loyal readers I apologize. For the rest of you who don't read this blog, what are you waiting for? Get with it!

In any case, I've been busy. Busy with all sorts of things. What sorts of things you ask? I have no idea! I never seem to get anything accomplished, yet I never have time for anything. But I guess that's just the way of things, isn't it?

One thing I've been doing is trying to squeeze in a little bit of web development again. It really is amazing how much web development I can get done in 10 minute chunks (almost none, but for 10 minutes that 'almost' is what counts!) When the kids are 'supposed to be' in bed, but really aren't - at any given time one or more of them are (choose any two):

A) giggling
B) lonely
C) scared
D) arguing
E) need a drink (oh, so do I!)
F) need to be re-tucked because their blankets fell off
G) need help finding Prickles or King Mooey or Limbo Ducky.
H) have a runny nose or a tickle in their throat
I) have an itchy toe
J) the cat is under their bed
K) the cat is not under their bed
L) it's windy out
M) the  moon is too bright
N) the night light is not bright enough
O) they are thinking about a recent scary episode of some TV show
P) they need an extra hug

But usually around 9:30 they are finally all tucked in and snoozing. That leaves me about, oh, 10 minutes or so before I'm too exhausted to do anything but stumble up to bed.