Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Boy am I old

Going back to school as an adult is tough. And by adult, I don't mean a person who is old enough to vote and get their first credit card. I mean a person who has a mortgage, some kids, and a 40hr/wk job that has benefits (as in 401k, vacation, and health insurance, not free soda and popcorn). Most courses I have taken are in the evening, early in the morning, or online, where I'm likely to find the company of other adult students. This semester, I went with a middle of the day class, and boy do I feel OLD. Some examples to prove my point:

1. The first week of class, the topic of children came up. My professor asked "Cuantos hijos tiene?" I answered "Hay cuatro." For those who haven't taken Spanish, or maybe it has been a while, my professor asked how many kids I have, and I answered that I have four. A few minutes later, my professor came back to me, and this time asked me in English if I had 4 kids, or a 4 y/o. I had to explain that yes, I understood her question, and yes, I meant that I have 4 kids. Apparently this isn't the norm in college?
2. While learning names for foods and drinks, the teacher asked how many people were 21 (before she went over the words for beer and wine). I was one of 4 people to raise their hand in a class of 25.
3. Today, we learned how to use comparing words, such as bigger, better, older, younger. We also learned how to say that one person is better looking than another. The example used was Channing Tatum and Johnny Depp, and of course, I blurted out that both of these men are on my laminated list. The young lady sitting behind me said "a what list?" I had to explain to her what a laminated list was. Pretty sure she wasn't old enough to see that particular episode of Friends. After all, according to google, that episode aired in 1996, and most of the kids in my class were probably still watching Barney or Blues Clues at the time.

Yup. I have kids, I can drink, and I watched Friends. These days, that makes me ancient.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cute Cake/ Hot Hubby

I've always wanted to make a diaper cake. They seem simple enough, and make adorable (and functional) decorations for a baby shower. A few weeks ago, I got my chance. One of my coworkers is preggo, and we were throwing a simple office baby shower. I immediately volunteered to make a diaper cake. I went out and bought a box of diapers, a bag of rubber bands, multi-colored tissue paper, and a few spools of ribbon. I headed home and googled "diaper cake," then looked at a couple how-to sites. I was so ready.
Turns out, those cute little cakes are a beast to make. Oh, rolling and wrapping the diapers was easy enough. And I decided to go with a square cake, to avoid trying to make a perfectly round cake. K, my 2 y/o daughter, even lent a helping hand, rolling diapers and handing them to me (which I neurotically re-rolled when she wasn't looking). Things were going great.... Then I tried to wrap the pretty diaper cake tiers with white tissue paper. If you weren't aware, tissue paper is very tearable (yes, I made that word up.) After struggling with the top layer, which I made several small rips in, I found myself closing my eyes and counting to ten. By the time I got to 6, I heard "Honey, what are you doing?" I had to explain to my husband that I didn't want to curse while making a diaper cake, because no mother wants to put her newborn in cursed diapers, and so I was slowly counting to calm myself down. Then the most amazing thing happened. My husband, who had been working crazy hours, without time off for a couple of weeks, offered to help. While we were sitting on the floor, talking strategy for covering diapers with tissue paper, and what accent colors of tissue paper and ribbon to use, I realized that THIS is sexy. A man who works hard all day, in the heat and the cold, using his hands to make electricity work, was now sitting next to me and helping me make a cute diaper cake. He was patient and helpful, even though it was not the kind of activity he would normally have volunteered to help with. Just having him near gave me a sense of calm (not to mention, the guy had some good ideas). I dare anyone to find a better example of sexiness in a man. I will pick my hubby over any movie star, musician, or Calvin Klein model, any day of the week.
Oh, and the diaper cake? It was pretty cute too, but I definitely don't think I'll be so quick to volunteer the next time one is needed. I'll just put a ribbon on a box of diapers and call it a day.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Update on Prince Charming

Two days ago, I posted about my supersweet son, who told me I didn't need make-up.

This morning, after a quick glance in the mirror, I announced that I didn't look good.

"Maybe you need some make-up."

"Bud, I'm wearing make-up." I'd been referring to my outfit anyway. It had looked better on the hangers, and I'd have to iron some of the wrinkles in the shirt.

"Well, maybe you need some more."

Monday, January 23, 2012

Make Up

I'd driven about one mile down our four-mile road this mrnning when I realized: I was not wearing any make-up. I don't normally wear much make-up at all. I just use eyeliner and mascara most days, eyeshadow on some. Occasionally, I break out the drugstore version of "Bare Minerals" and some blush. I do think eyeliner and mascara keeps me from looking tired. This morning, I'd forgotten any.

"Aw, nuts! I forgot my make-up. I should turn around." Note: I had plenty of time to do this. I was twenty minutes early!

"Why, Mama? You look great to me," said B. "You look normal to me, like you look most of the times I see you."

"Aw, thanks, Bud! I do have time to turn around, though."

"Well, did you ever go to school without make-up on before?"

Actually, there had been days where turning around was not an option, but only once this school year. "Yes, in October I went to school without make-up one day." It had happened to be "Read for the Record" Day, and I was one of the readers of Lllama, Llama Red Pajama. I'd hoped the entire time no one would take a picture of me looking sleepy.

"Well, did anyone laugh at you?"


"Did anyone hurt your feelings?"


"Well, if you weren't hurt, and your feelings weren't hurt, then it's not worth the time of turning around."

So, today I wear no make-up, and I'm developing two unrelated fever blisters on my lips. I may look horrible, but no one has laughed at me, and I've reinforced to my sons that hygiene is necessary but vanity is not. I hope they remember that as they grow up.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Cassie is a gift. She called me yesterday evening as G and I were headed home. I was exhausted after an afternoon of differing opinions with my two-year-old.

It started at the sitter/his godmother's house. G and I had a twenty minute argument about a diaper. He wanted to wear a Lightening McQueen Pull-Up that he'd been offered if he made a deposit on the potty. He would not deposit, but insisted he "didn't want the baby diaper." Consistency is key, so I calmly wresting him into a diaper after two visits to the potty.

Quick call to Josh. He suggested I brought G home. No time. We had somewhere to be! I had this.

Then we went to the playground where my mother-in-law were going to walk. G refused to wear a coat. It was cold and was barely drizzling by the time we left. Again, I won, but not with quite as much grade as the Diaper/Pull-Up Battle.

Next, we stopped at the library. There, he insisted he had to use the potty. Five minutes before the place closed. We were the only patrons. Sorry, Charlie. I realized I'd forgotten his log for the reading program, so we'd have to wait on stickers. He continued to yell about cookies (his code for #2) until the librarian offered to show him the stickers. Meltdown. "I don't want stickers!" I wrestled him into the carseat, but he was starting to get the upper hand.

At Food Lion, I perused the dairy section, looking for Flaxseed Milk. Hey, I'm on a diet, and that stuff is like 50 calories a cup. As a bonus, it isn't gross. G perused the cartons as well. Since he didn't have his wallet with him, I selected soy milk instead of the one with the cow (the one he was very loudly endorsing). We picked up some baby diapers (no argument this time), then I wrestled him into the carseat again.

To the tune of screaming G, Cassie called.

"Oh! That baby is happy, huh?"

I recounted my afternoon to her.

"Wow. You'd better hope nobody calls CPS on you. I mean, you made him wear a coat, gave him a dry diaper, and tried to give him sticker? You could be in real trouble."

And that's why I love Cassie. Perspective. :)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

New Year, New Beginnings

I love new things- New Years Day, new school years, new recipes, new writing ideas, new craft ideas.... New things hold a million possibilities, and always seem so fresh and clean. As a child, I loved starting a new school year- my book bag was clean and light, all my notebooks and binders were filled with blank pieces of paper that might later be filled with answers to impossible math problems, amazing stories, or interesting facts. With a fresh new start, wonderful things seemed sure to follow.
But new things don't STAY new. Paper gets filled with writing (not all of it good), the corners of your binders get bent, pencils are broken. New recipes can lead to burnt suppers, and even when done properly, not all recipes are keepers. Craft projects mean messes to clean up. Starting a scarf means taking the time to finish it. New things become old things, or at the very least, normal every-day things.
As much as I love new things, I have a problem with endings. I've started 2 scarves in the last few weeks, but haven't finished one. At the end of every semester, I am done with studying, writing papers on "New Jersey during the Industrial Revolution", and conjugating irregular Spanish verbs. I pray for the last day of school to hurry up and get here already. I constantly leave clean socks in the basket, because I get tired of folding laundry. I leave dishes in the sink because that last pan is just sooo much to scrub.
This year... this year is gonna be different. I'm going to finish my pile of laundry, wash all the dishes, and end each semester strong. I'm going to finish the scarf I started for my daughter and the one one I started for my mom. I am going to finish reading the Bible (yes, the WHOLE thing). I am going to finish the certification I started at work. I am going to stick to a diet for more than two weeks.
I guess I better get started... and that means finishing this post. Happy New Year's, and may your year hold many exciting beginnings, and just as many amazing endings!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wardrobe Malfunction

This morning, I had trouble figuring out what to wear. Well, even more than that, I had trouble getting to what I wanted to wear. I also realized that as the mother of boys, I have to toughen up enough to be sure they will be manly.

It's 6:30 a.m. I'm starting the morning when I hear scratching and tapping just outside my husband's closet. I begin to call to B loudly to wake up, but the sound continues. A quick peek reveals my gut wrenching fear: a small grey mouse. It scampers back into the closet. I try to brush my teeth on a nearby chair. It peeks out again, despite all the racket I'm making stomping around, then scampers back. I haul tail to my husband, yanking him out of bed for the emergency. He is not amused, and tells me that the mouse is more scared of me than I am of it. I insist this is not true, since it keeps coming out to mock me, and is probably going to attack me when I go to get my ensemble for the day out of the closet.

Josh searches for a mousetrap as I wake B, inform him of the mouse situation ("I know, Mama, I heard you tell Daddy.") and ask him if he's afraid of the mouse. "No, Mama, it's just a mouse!"

Good. I send him to the closet to get my pink sweater and brown shoes. Unfortunately, he has the genetic defect called a Y chromosome which impedes his ability to see things in front of his face. After pointing to the brown shoes--no, those brown shoes, for entirely too long, he offers to stand at the passageway between my husband's and my closet to "block the mouse." I point out that he will likely scare the mouse into running out of the closet and at me. We both realize that I am going to have to get the shoes, but he offers moral support. "You got em, Mama! No sign of him, yet!"

The trap is set. While I apply makeup I hear the snap, so I go to fetch Josh. "Can I see it, Mama?" B asks as I leave. "No!" I say too quickly, then realize: he is going to be some lady's man someday. I must raise him to be ablet to catch mice. What to do? If he sees the jittery, dying creature that's scratching on the trap it could ruin him for good. "Well," I tell him carefully, "It could be yucky. Ask your daddy if you can go with him."

I never thought mice would have this effect on me. I never thought I'd be such a whiny girl. Still, I asked Josh to throw out any clothes at the bottom of the closet, just in case they were a nest to Mousie's friends. And I'd hoped to fit into that bridesmaid dress again someday.