A Give Away and some fruit

Because I could hear the sound of birds chirping and my stomach growling on my last post, I decided to up the ante. Help me think of a Twitter name and if I choose it, I’ll give you a 25$ gift card to Target (woohoo – just think of all the free toothpaste $25 buckaroos can purchase!)

Now you are getting great “advice” AND possibly a gift card just for being my friend a reader of my blog.

Isn’t life great? Just one more tidbit of “advice” to keep you thinking, laughing and remembering why you’re reading this in the first place.

If life hands you lemons, either mix them with Vodka or squeeze them in someone’s eyes.

Until then, if you can still see…(then obviously you’re not drinking enough Vodka, haven’t pissed off anybody enough to get lemon juice in your eyes, or just maybe your day’s going pretty darn well and nobody’s handed you any lemons)…if that’s the case, feast your pretty peepers on these pictures.

This is me in the morning...I'm trying to poke my OWN eyes with lemons. Alas, I have missed.

But then I have a little breakfast and all is good with the world. Except...I see a hand a little too close to my "coffee".

Now I've had my morning "coffee", I've got my pitchfork and I'm ready to start my day!

So let life throw you lemons…you might just have $25 worth of your own to throw back!

Indecisiveness

I want to add a Twitter account, so I can update the world regularly on my awesome parenting advice and world domination. I mean if you could see how well my kids behave, how clean their rooms are and the fact they start every morning, after bringing me breakfast in bed, with:

“Mommy, after we’re done feeding the homeless, what can we do for you today?”

You would understand why you need me in your life — on a daily basis. Moment by increasingly dull moment. Not sure how to parent your kid effectively, read this. Wondering how to talk to your teenager, have no fear, check out this.  Thinking of improving your marriage? Look no further, I have all the answers here. I’m practically an expert on everything and I have the checkbook, the debt, the kids who adore me and the perfect marriage to prove it. Face it, you really can’t go on without me and my “advice”. (See, you didn’t even realize I was giving advice, did you? Don’t worry, neither did I.)

So, help me think of a name for a Twitter account. It can only be 15 letters.  Your spouse, life partner, mother, sister, boss, friend will thank you for it. Or at least I will…

Yeah sure, I’ll talk to him

I got a call from one of my kid’s teachers today. It was the same story I’ve heard many times before. This time it went something like this:

Teacher: “Your son has been told numerous times to come into the class and put away his books. He consistently fails to do it in time; he’s too busy talking.”

Me: “Yes, he told me he had 5 points deducted because he had his book in his lap.”

Teacher: “Yes, it’s supposed to be inside his desk or at his feet.”

Me: “Oh, ok.”

Teacher: “I give them all a couple of minutes to put away their things in the beginning of class, but your son never pays attention to the time.”

So that’s when I tell them in the shortest length possible, I know. I know he’s unable to do anything in the exact time alloted. He daydreams, he fidgets, he creates things with paperclips etc…but never what you ask him to do right that second. Then I apologize and tell them I’ll talk to him. His story is entirely different, but there are still enough similarities to see and sympathize with the frustration he’s feeling.

We can go on and on that it must be our parenting; he must listen and instantly obey. But…he’s not going to. The reason I know this is because his father is the same way.  He doesn’t even hear half of the things going on around him. He, like my son, can observe the tiniest object in  a place no one would ever look and remember its exact placement, but realize the person in front of him is on fire — no way. They could both instantly recognize a tree has lost 3.5 leaves from a certain branch they walked by the other day, but if you asked them to hand you a pair of scissors they will forget by the time they reach the drawer. Meanwhile they’re contemplating where those 3.5 leaves could have gone. And if they did go somewhere it was probably some far off land…

You know, the far off land where only “artsy” people’s minds wander. I imagine it looks something like The Yellow Submarine movie or a Van Gogh painting.

I know it must be annoying if you’re a teacher. I know it is as a mother and as a wife. It’s annoying to me because I am so firmly planted in this world… I’m a complete and total stressed out mess. There is no wandering to a far off land; I’m too busy worrying about the dirt that’s right under my feet.

And you know what? I’ll never be an artist. I’ll never “see” what these people see. I’ll never live in their far off land. And you know what? That Sucks for me.

The more time goes by the more I realize, public school doesn’t teach you anything but the basics and if you’re “special” in any sort of way it’s just something  hopefully you can deal with and still come out of with at least a speck of self-esteem.  Basically, school — you suck.

Sex and the morning

Jason thought I should title this ” State of Denial”. Damn morning people.

My husband leaned over to kiss me goodnight last night and lingered. I brushed him off, telling him I was too tired. He whined for a second and even threw in, “Are we ever going to have sex again?” I answered, “We had sex Saturday, it’s only Wednesday.” He looked at me blankly like — Yea. Exactly. It’s already Wednesday. That’s 4 days.

I laughed and pushed him away.

As he sulked on the other side of the bed, I turned around and flopped my arm on him and apologized. He shrugged. I said I had too much on my mind and that I loved him, but I was exhausted.  And I am. See, I already need about 23 hours of sleep a night. I recently read a study about living longer and they said anyone who sleeps more than 2 hours a night (ok, it was 8 ) was actually hurting their health because they must be making up for hangover or something.  Really? I’ve had one or two hangovers a week in my life, and regardless I could sleep forever.

Rip Van Winkle has nothing on me. I will think up every excuse I can when the alarm clock starts ringing.

I don’t need to wash my hair? A little ponytail holder and we’re good. Snooze.

I don’t need to put on make-up? I can do that in the office or in the car. Snooze.

I don’t need to make breakfast, don’t they serve it at school? Snooze.

I don’t really need a shower; I smell fine and it’s  nothing a little deodorant and perfume can’t handle. Snooze.

I tell myself, “Self, it’s ok. Just use this time to pick out an outfit for work by visualizing your closet. ” Snooze.

Before it’s all over and done with, I’m basically jumping out of bed, grabbing my toothbrush, throwing together an outfit with a couple of pairs of shoes (so I can decide in the car which ones looks best) yelling at my children; “Mom overslept again, so let’s hurry! Sorry, no time for breakfast, I’ll run in a store and buy you doughnuts some fruit as a treat on the way to school…Chop-chop.”

Then I’ll let my daughter choose whatever clothes she wants and she’ll pick the smallest ill-fitting stained shirt she wore to bed sometime this past week, with an impossibly non-matching skirt and flip-flops — she would never purposely choose socks. I’ll throw them all in the car with my toothbrush still in my mouth and get halfway out of the driveway before realizing I don’t have my cell phone or make-up bag. Then I’ll hobble up the driveway with one shoe on, wave at my neighbors walking their dogs and all the while I’ll curse myself for not getting up sooner.

But at least I’ll be more awake for my marriage’s sake…

And Now for Something Completely Different…

So I’ve been at a loss for what to write, besides those great stories that come into my head while I’m falling asleep. Gosh those are good stories, the verbage is so eloquent, everything falls into place and comes out exactly how I mean it.  It’s perfect. Novels, blog entries, the little assignment sent home by one of my children’s teacher asking me to describe my child, man they’re so good. I should get a tape recorder.

But alas, all I have is the dribble that comes out in the daytime.

It’s back to school time here in the South. Yes, the kids have heat advisories warning them to stay inside for recess, but there is air conditioning which is more than our house had for half the summer.  Anyway, even though it’s hot, it’s time to “get it together”. The routines, the bedtimes, the early wake-ups, the homework, the after school activities, the babysitters, the forms (oh my God – why are there so many forms?), dinner at a reasonable time, the homework, did I mention the forms?

It’s a time better suited to cooler weather. Cooler weather tends to make you want to have some routine. Hunker down so to speak (that’s a Florida term for what you do when a hurricane is coming — why I thought it works here, I don’t know). You know you feel the need to get things done, the need to “make it happen”.  Summer is better suited to lazy days at the pool, vacations, sleep-overs, margaritas, water with everything – just not my margaritas. A time when you swear you’re going to start working out everyday and look fabulous in a swimsuit, but not today…Today is for drinking and lying slovenly in a chair by  the pool. Plus it’s too damn hot to work out, I break out in a sweat just reaching over to lift my wine soda out of the cooler.

They’ll close the pool in a week or two, truly signaling the end of summer. The temperature is expected to be in the 80’s; who could possibly swim in that? In a few weeks we’ll start turning on the fireplace to discount the air conditioning which is set at 65. And I’ll start eyeing my boots and scarves, thinking – well, it is awfully chilly in the house…

The routines will start to become, well, routine. We’ll settle in, getting used to the structured days. We’ll think of all we’re going to accomplish this year. I’ll volunteer think about volunteering  for too much and then whine I don’t have any time, spend too much at the grocery store and then think about where to go out to eat every night. I’ll be late to work because someone’s socks are not aligned properly on their toes. It will be another school year, another chance to get it right. Or another chance to really screw it up. But let’s think positive, right now it’s one last chance to spend the weekend in a lawn chair. One last chance to swear off jogging because it’s too darn hot, one last chance to think every night deserves a wine spritzer. One last chance to think eventually the kids will get in bed early.

I know, I know — who am I kidding? I’ll be saying the same thing come December; I’ll just change the type of drink.

Not much humor and bound to piss off many….

We recently moved from a small town in Central Florida to better opportunities for our children and for our ourselves. Or what we  perceived as such. You see this will offend many I’m sure, and it is not a bite or a slight to the many, many  people in Georgia we know and love but here goes…

This is the most prejudice, hate filled group of people hiding behind a Christian fish that I have ever seen in my life. I’ve  lived in the Northeast, out West and in the deep South. Oh the South, the land of hospitality and good manners but only on the surface. Behind this facade lies seemingly ingrained thoughts of perceived manliness and attitudes harking back to the Dark Ages.

My middle son is losing new, and a little old (if you count a few months) friends because he refuses to fight another child. This  began because my son stood up for a girl who was being ridiculed. Now this would seem to be the right thing to doespecially in the South – but in his raising we forgot to teach him of the hate and vile children can bring to the table.  We forgot to teach him, as we struggled to pay for a small private Montessori school, even though his parents were non-violent people and he was in a safe environment where words were brought to the table versus fists, that honor in the South still harked backed to the days of The Hatfield vs. McCoys and the North vs. the South. Or maybe I’m to down on the South and need to be down on parents everywhere, parents clueless about Facebook and what it can entail, clueless that as you sit in a church pew your child is figuring out how to taunt another child and clueless overgrown children (fathers) who think their kids are only as good as their fists.

Maybe I am blaming the South unfairly, and maybe I shouldn’t be blaming any region of the country. Maybe I should be looking a lot closer to home, at myself and my husband for not insisting our children play football, not insisting our color is better than anyone else, for not telling them that indeed war is the answer to issues, for not telling them that religion is a good thing — but only if it’s ours. We should also blame ourselves for teaching our children to stick-up for others who are being pushed around, that all life regardless of religion or color or economic standing should be valued. Yes, I guess it is our fault. Hopefully we will learn and do a better job with our daughter.

Our supposed move to a swim-tennis community with manicured lawns harbors behind closed doors a step back in time. The kids will say “Thank you” and “Yes ma’am” but they also think the world begins and ends at University of Georgia. They think everyone in Brazil lives in a hut and the big city of Atlanta has people of another color waiting to rob you blind. These are the “great schools”? Maybe I’ve just simply described Suburbia? The place we all run to thinking it is the best for our children.

I am not saying this doesn’t happen everywhere; I know it does. But then somehow we’ve all screwed up. Badly. And we all will have to live with the consequences our ignorance has wrought. In the meantime if anyone is interested in purchasing two homes in the land of cotton, please feel free to drop me a line.

Paris, a lesson in humility and stairs

Ok, some of these pictures might not blow you away and that’s because I took them. But I must show you this one first, because this could have been the end of my trip to Paris.

Montmartre

You see this “little” church in Paris is in the Montmartre district  (in the 18th arrondissement on the Right Bank if you want to get technical) and this is a very, very hilly area of Paris and I’m very, very clumsy. Fast forward to a little afternoon stop at a cafe in said district, a few glasses of wine, and killer heels not meant for hills, cobblestone streets, nor steep downward stairs to the bathroom and you’ve got to know where this is going… Let’s just say when my friend heard the thump, she knew it was me. And it was. One very twisted, sprained, strained ankle later and you have this.

You should see the video.

I don’t mean any disrespect, but this is a one way ticket to the The Mona Lisa up close and personal. There was no standing behind the ropes. There wasn’t much standing at all for me at the Louvre. My best friend and husband were kind enough to push me around, however they demanded I not hobble up stairs. No, they were not being kind. They insisted if they had to push my clumsy butt through the Louvre I was going to have to sit and take the slow, very noisy ramp up the 2 to 3 steps of stairs that are everywhere in this museum. However, we did get to push buttons and disappear behind walls in many museums in Paris. Never a dull moment when I’m around…

I just love the lighting in this picture.

Dessert at Jules Verne.

This, my friends, is the only way to experience the Eiffel Tower.

Especially if you’re having trouble walking, you’ve seen The Mona Lisa without having to wait your turn, the back rooms of the Louvre and your life flash before your eyes as your tumbling face first down tile steps. I would assume these are not your typical memories of Paris, but they are mine. I have the stair ramp video to prove it.