Monday, June 27, 2011

Nighttime Nattering

I've gotten several comments on hubby's silly sleep-talking, and was asked why I haven't posted his unconscious musings until now. The answer is simple: many times his ramblings are in the middle of the night! I'm usually not awake enough to write them down and by morning I've forgotten exactly what he said. So why the sudden surge of sleepy chatter in my posts? Well, the answer to this is also simple: I've been taking my computer to bed with me. I know, I know-- how romantic. (Actually, I'm in bed right now posting this with hubby dead asleep beside me-- I'll let you know if he says anything interesting!) It's just that the last few weeks have been busy, and sometimes the only way I can get anything done is at night. Not that you asked....

So, here is a special "The Darnedest Things" segment of hubby's midnight musings (and if you'd like to continue to see them posted, I suggest you not mention it to hubster-- he might ban my computer from the bedroom!):

1. Hubby: (asleep) "Do you trust in good ol' Heidi? She's a good egg-- cut out of hard to find dye, I tell ya!"

2. Hubby: (asleep-- and throwing his hand up in the air with a "rock on" gesture) "Wooooohhooooo! Yeah!! I'm finding ways to pronounce Niger...Ni...Nigeria."

3. Hubby: (asleep) "I have only two covers on me right now. There's, like, a million out there with you. I'm sure it's all a plot."

4. Hubby: (asleep) "Yeah, there were...there were none. But I wasn't paying close attention."

5. Hubby: (asleep) "I didn't fall asleep while we were talking, did I? I don't remember falling asleep. I don't remember!"

And now for the quotes spoken while fully conscious-- starring the kiddos this time:

1. Ruby Jane: "Can we get a cat?"
Me: "No. We already have a dog and a frog-- and we're only allowed to get pets that rhyme."
Ruby: "You mean we can get a hog?!"
(Shoot-- I didn't think of that one. Guess my brilliant plan backfired....)

2. LM: (immediately after our friend walked into our house) "How old are you?"
Hubby: "How about saying, 'Hi, Mr. M!'?"
LM: "Hi, Mr. M, how old are you?"
Hubby: (shakes his head, eyes rolling upward)
Mr. M: "It's okay-- I appreciate his forthrightness. I'm 39, buddy."
LM: (disgusted) "And you haven't even married anybody yet?!"
(Still appreciating that forthrightness, Mr. M?)

3. Me: (after Ruby Jane had told a particularly dumb joke and we both laughed) "Oh, I love my little nerd girl!"
Ruby Jane: "I'm not a nerd-- if I was, I'd tell really scientific jokes like this: what did the astronaut say to his dog? Stop licking Uranus!"
(Hmmmm, case in point, Ruby Jane: nerd! And nothin's better in my book.)

4. Me: "I'm getting my hair cut, bud-- what do you think about that?" (I pantomime the length at my chin.)
LM: "Great! You'll look like Willy Wonka from the Chocolate Factory!"
(Hmmmmm, as much as I like Johnny Depp....)

Well, hubby has stayed disappointingly silent tonight. But, fear not, he's bound to start chattering another time! And when he does.... :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Most of you know by now that hubby's dad passed away last week after having suffered a massive heart attack. Although he was an older gentleman, it was still quite a shock. We always thought of him as a tough old bird (think Clint Eastwood) even when rheumatoid arthritis began to ravage his joints and he got a dose of the gimpies. But heart problems? Not even on the radar.

Seeing my husband lose a parent; hard. But death has a way of making you reassess life. What's important, what's not, what's right, what's wrong.... And I've decided to make a deliberate recalibration of my values, because while looking at life through death's eyes, I saw some characteristics in me that needed changing. I've been getting too caught up in desires that don't matter; the size of my house and the furnishings in it, gadgets and newfangled devices I'd like to own, losing weight and fantasizing about various plastic surgeries that could propel me toward that end, moving up in the world, insecurities, anxiety, pride, envy, I could go on but I've embarrassed myself enough.... But all of a sudden, that stuff seems so petty. So worldly. So...far from who I want to be.

If I were to die tomorrow, would a tummy tuck be considered amongst my greatest achievements? Will getting in the last zinger of an argument win me favor with my Maker? What if I never look as cute as you do in jeans and despise you for it-- will that enhance our friendship? Will I get to Heaven and think, "geez, my only regret is not having a house as big as The Jones's"? Somehow, I think not....

So, if anyone's interested, here's what I came up with to combat, It's the renewed order of my values:

A. God.
B. People.

Pretty simple, really, but I need simple because I'm just not wired to handle complicated for more than a few seconds.

A no fail plan? Ha! Please! Any plan where I am the primary player is bound to stutter and sputter along, like a student driver working a manual transmission for the first time. It's gonna be a bumpy ride!

But I've been reminded that death can arrive at any time for any of us (not trying to be morbid here, just tellin' the truth), and when it comes for me, I don't want to be caught feverishly pursuing desires that are contrary to A and B. It's not about the things themselves, mind you, it's about my motivation. My priorities. My heart.

'Cause hey, if a surgeon ever offers me complimentary liposuction, a university begs hubby to come on staff so they can pay him a hundred grand a year, we can afford a nicer home in a great neighborhood with stellar schools, etc, I will accept that as God's generous blessing! Thank you, Jesus! And if I never reach the level of attractiveness our society deems worthy (and it seems less and less likely with every year I get older), hubby gets fired, and our home is flooded without our having the appropriate insurance coverage, I will accept that as well (albeit less graciously, I s'pose).

In the meantime, however, as life goes along the way it does; the good and the bad all mixed in together, it is my intention to pursue loving God and people first and foremost. Everything else is just...everything else. Because at the end of my life, only one thing will matter, and that is hearing these words: "Well done, good and faithful servant." (With or without a tummy tuck.)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Course In Coarse

Tonight Ruby Jane asked the burning question: what does the term "junk in your trunk" mean? I explained it's when a woman has an ample backside (although, upon reflection, who's to say the term can't apply to a man? I mean, they have spare tires and all...). Anyway, she said, "oh, I thought it meant you had to go poop." I couldn't help it-- I totally cracked up. I offered, "well, maybe that's when you have a chunk in your trunk?" And the kids and I burst out laughing once again. (What can I say? Our collective sense of humor has yet to mature beyond that of a 6-year old boy.) Of course, after that our conversation began to seriously degenerate.

But it wasn't until, after coming up with numerous giggle-inducing rhymes, LM thought up this little gem: "Or what about having 'gas in your....'" I waited, holding my breath, caught between a ginormous guffaw and a mortified gasp. He doesn't know the word that would fit at the end of that thought, does he? Does he?! But he finished the sentence with an innocent, "back". Phew! That was a close call. Needless to say, I then redirected our conversation to...safer territory. ("Hey kids, how about those Portland Timbers, huh? And such crazy weather we're having! Oh look-- it's time for bed!")

I know, I know, I'm not going to win any Mom-of-the-Year awards at this rate. Guess there's a "tumor in my humor", too much "mock in my talk", or perhaps a bad "flavor in my behavior"? Okay, I'm done! Until later, alligator....

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Survey Says!

I learn something new everyday. Sometimes I learn two or three new things. And when they happen to be about one of my kiddos, it's an especially successful day. Take for instance the very interesting little tidbits we discovered about LM recently. (These coming from the psychologist who evaluated him for social and academic purposes.)

First of all, LM has a poor short-term memory. That explains soooo much. He's often asked to do chores which then don't get completed, only to insist, "I forgot!" when he gets in trouble for the lapse. Well, the doc informed us he probably really does forget. (Oops.) But if LM thinks this gives him a free pass for negligence or disobedience, he's got another thing coming! Knowing this fact about my boy will only mean that he's expected to get things done immediately, before they slip his competent little mind (oh, 'cause we also found out he has a high I.Q.). Poor guy.... I would like to welcome him to the fun world of lists, calendars and schedules-- they're going to be lifelong friends of his, I think. Now, as for his long-term memory-- that's another story. It tends to be more excellent than I would actually like....

Second of all, LM has poor facial interpretation skills. This means he has a very difficult time reading your face for information about what you may be feeling. In fact, he might not even recognize you at all. Your face matters very little to him, apparently. He oftentimes will see strangers in stores, or pictures of celebrities in magazines, or even acquaintances he's met before, and mistake them for family members and friends. (Pointing to a picture of Julia Roberts, he once asked, "is that you, Mom?" I wanted to say yes, but....) So, when dealing with LM, make sure you use other context clues to help him decipher what you're trying to communicate (tone of voice and surrounding circumstances help), because if you just give him a "look", he'll probably have no idea what you're trying to convey.

To help illustrate her point, the doc had LM look at my face as she asked him, "how do you think your mom is feeling right now?" I grinned at LM and gave him a little wink. He glanced at me and proclaimed my emotional status as, "horrible!" She asked him why he thought so, and he explained that I was probably disappointed by his test results. She then asked him to tell her what my mouth was doing; I smiled bigger. His response? "She's chewing gum." (I was.) The doc probed and coaxed and finally got him to admit that I was indeed probably happy and not disappointed at all.

So what does all this mean? I don't even know! But it's interesting, huh? I think what it could mean, though, is that I'm a lot better looking than I previously thought-- 'cause apparently Julia Roberts and I are like twins. Awesome.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

When It Rains....

Poor hubby. He's off on a 3-day, 2-night field trip with his students. But that's not what makes the man poor. It's the fact that he's off on a 3-day, 2-night field trip with his students without his suitcase of clothes, sleeping bag and pillow. Yep, all his gear is still in the back of our car. He forgot to load it on the bus. Whoopsie! Those of you who know me well know that I laughed hysterically at this news. But it gets worse (and much less funny). He also lost his iTouch while sightseeing with the kiddos. Big bummer. So every time the phone rings now and it's him, I cringe a little. (What next? I don't think I wanna know....)

1. Mister: (throwing a small fit)
Me: (with mock seriousness) "Do you know what we do with little boys who throw fits?"
Mister: (a bit worried) "What?"
Me: "We kiss 'em!!" (I proceed to plaster his face with kisses.)
Mister: (indignant) "No we don't! We spank 'em!"
(Sorry, bud, I can't help you there.... And just in case his mother reads this and gets any ideas about a post-event punishment, rest assured I already took care of the little bugger. Yep, he got tickled no joke!)

2. LM: "Nini said we'll probably take drugs when we grow up."
Hubby: "Why would she say that?"
LM: "Because I'm cool and might like to do that."
(Hmmmmmm.... I think something was definitely lost in translation. Either that, or we're gonna have to keep both eyes on that Nini!)

3. LM: "You know what my least favorite words are?"
Me: "What?"
LM: "'What the hell' and 'Oh my god'. Wanna know what my favorite words are?"
Me: (nervous) "Uh-huh...."
LM: "'What the blazes' and 'What the heck'."
(Well, I think it's clear we may need to diversify his favorite vocabulary a bit here. Especially after I saw him trying to teach a friend's 18-month old how to say "what the heck". I'm sure they were thrilled.)

4. LM: "Mom, know who my favorite dicycle is?"
Me: "Who?"
LM: "Peter! 'Cause I just love how he cut off that guy's ear."
(He's my favorite, too! But for different reasons....)

5. LM: (trying to, um, impress a friend) "I've drunked my own blood before, have you?"
Friend: "You've drunked it?! That's not how you say it! You say 'I've drinked it'!"
(Ugh, I don't know what's worse-- that his friend took no issue with LM's nasty confession, or the fact that his grammatical correction of my son was so grammatically atrocious itself.)

6. Hubby: (asleep-- dead asleep) "That's a bunch of bull! Hogwash! You're not fine-- you're just saying washy, washy, happy, happy!"
("Washy, washy, happy, happy" being said in a "neener neener" tone. Folks, I could create an entire blog around what this man says in his sleep.)

7. My Sister: (singing silly songs to The Bopper)
Bopper: "Mom, sometimes when you sing it makes my stomach feel sick and I wanna throw up a little bit."
(Ahhhh, so sweet!)

Well, I'm off to bed! I'll be thinking of hubby as I snuggle up all nice and cozy, head on an actual pillow instead of a wad of someone's dirty clothes. Wahahahahaaaaaa! No worries-- I'm sure he'll think the whole situation is funny too...eventually.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

U2 360 6.4.11

No, that's not my bank account number, it's the name and date of the U2 tour we (my two sisters and all the hubbies) had the pleasure of attending last night. And let me tell you, after a day of traveling, shopping, eating and concert-going, I'm exhausted. Not feeling sorry for me? Oh, alright, I suppose that's fair enough-- even though I may be permanently deaf. (Hmmmm, now you feel a little bad, don't you? What? I can't hear you.)

But it wasn't just the concert that made the day entertaining. Getting there was a feat as well. My brother-in-law let us borrow their GPS system, and hubby didn't always get along so well with it. He's just too ADHD for such an efficient gadget, I think. We made a lot of premature turns, which had the added benefit of providing us with a more scenic route. ("Now this is a cute little neighborhood, isn't it? Okay, then, we're turning back onto the main road-- on we go!") But I think hubby really appreciated all the backseat driving we offered while he learned the ropes, as was evidenced when he lovingly yelled, "shut-up!" over and over when we all clamored to direct his path, voices raised in unity together. What can I say? Our helpfulness was a gift!

Meandering around the big city, once we eventually arrived, was an adventure as well. The weather was fantastic and people were out in droves. After finding a parking lot that didn't require us to take out a second mortgage, we abandoned the car and set out on foot. Almost all of us had a destination shopping spot we wanted to visit, so we headed toward my little sister's top pick: American Apparel. Those of you my age or a bit older will understand when I say that American Apparel's 80's theme was cringe-worthy. (T will try to defend it as "cool", but c'mon, those of us who lived through that era know there's a good reason to keep its fashion in the past.) Everything from high-waisted, taper-leg, pleated pants to cropped belly shirts and neon fingernail polish. My older sister and I couldn't wait to step out of the store and return to the 21st century.

Then onto dinner before the big show! What's the one kind of food that you should perhaps try to avoid while traveling as a group a long distance in a car? (Especially because a few in our party had been struggling with gastrointestinal issues.) If you said Mexican food then your thoughts are my thoughts exactly. But, that's precisely what we ate. Big, huge burritos. Beans, beans, the musical fruit.... (We did make sure to institute a no farting rule on the car trip home, which was honored by all-- at least, those of us who were conscious.)

But the concert? Wow. From the first chest-vibrating bass beats of Lenny Kravitz to the final haunting refrain of U2's "Moment of Surrender", I couldn't remove the look of awe plastered to my face. Even with the drunk middle-aged couple in front of us dirty dancing and sucking face the whole time, I was completely mesmerized by the band. (Well, okay, I did stare at the couple for a few moments, I mean, we all did. They were like a train wreck you wanted to, but couldn't, look away from. Sure, we were glad they seemed to have had such a, errr, healthy love life, but all that gyrating was enough to make one dizzy!)

After the show we headed home once again, stopping for a "quick" post concert meal at Dennys first (nothing but gourmet for our troop!). We thought eating might help us stay awake for the trip home (hey, we promised our mother we'd at least try for the sake of the driver). But, alas, most of us conked out within the first 15 minutes. Obviously, though, we made it home safely.

My final analysis?
6 tickets to see U2: $672
Gas, parking, and food for the journey: $250
Seeing Lenny Kravitz and U2 live at the highest grossing concert tour in history: Priceless (or $922-- however you want to do the math-- but the point is this: worth every penny).