Saturday, May 24, 2008
Friday, May 23, 2008
I got two wrong...thank goodness.
For the current generation, ranging from the teens to late 20s, I imagine the defining question for them is: "Where were you on September 11th?".
In no way would I ever make light of either tragic event, but the defining moment for my generation would have to be, "Where were you when Donna Martin found out she'd be allowed to graduate?". It says a lot.....
Anyway, as I previously posted, the Hollywood wells have run dry and, consequently, many movies and television shows are being reworked. Among them: Beverly Hills, 90210
The show will include a new cast of over-priveledged teens (shout out to Gossip Girl...yes, I watch it and no, I'm not embarassed to admit it), who encounter every conceivable teenage drama, only to have it quickly resolved within the neat little hour of an episode. Adding to the show's appeal, Jenny Garth and Tori Spelling (ugh) will also take turns at reprising their original roles on the show.
Based on the extended trailer below, I am doubtful that the reprisal will come close to doing the original justice. So, I thought I'd throw out a few ideas to enhance the show's appeal:
1) Bring back Hillary Swank as a character who has been pregnant for 15 years, much to the bafflement of doctors.
2) Incorporate an episode where Andrea takes on Ken Jennings in Jeopardy, but then loses and blames it on the fact that she did not enjoy the same advantages of Ken.
3) The scar on Luke Perry's eyebrow becomes the newest character, Chaz, who makes fun of Dylan's every move (because every move he make is, in fact, worthy of laughter).
4) Tori Spelling comes back for a special Halloween episode, and she dons her most outrageous costume to date: a person with socially redeeming value.
5) Ian Zering returns as a David Wooderson type who has no actual lines; he just circles the parking lot of "West Bev" in his now run down convertible, prowling for high school girls.
6) Jenny Garth opens another boutique that specializes solely in leggings and baby doll dresses and Brian Austen Green, having never recovered from the loss of Scott Scanlon, is the stock boy who occasionally spins records for the usually empty store.
7) Tiffany Amber Serena Lisa Mary Juanita Thiessen returns as the most successful alum who, having relinguished her nightclub endeavors, now offers her services as a therapist.
8) Nat, never able to reconcile the fact that his only friends were weird teenagers, remains one of Tiffany's most regular clients.
9) Jason Priestly returns to the show in a docu-style role to highlight his run for the actual presidency. Given the current talent pool of potential candidates, he secures the votes of the 26 - 40 female demographic (so long as he promises to bring back the sideburns and deports Emily Valentine). Oh, and Jesse Vasquez will be his running mate (obviously).
10) Shannon Dougherty returns.
5) If you spill Oreo cookies, they will come.
4) Home Depot is Graceland for some, the winter of discontent for others.
3) Lucite high heels with "tip slots" in the sole are never a good idea for Mother's Day, unless your name is Trixie, Roxie, or, ahem, Julie.
2) Forget Mama Fashionista, I need a style consultant for my car, a la "Mom My Ride".
1) He could give me a slurpee and he'd still be the best guy in the world.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
However, I do believe there are some basic rules of parenting that really belong in what I consider the ultimate textbook, Parenting 101.
1) Fire, knives, electric sockets, guns, and ovens should not be used as toys.
2) You teach your children a lot more by your actions than your words.
3) If you do not supervise your children while they paint, there is a very good chance the paint will not remain in the designated areas.
4) Children do not belong on reality television.
Unfortunately, someone forgot to give this trusty manual to the braintrust that is Denise Richards. Now, Whoopi Goldberg tries to call the Rhodes Scholar on her errors in parental judgement, but Denise's attempt to comprehend reason looks like the equivalent of a fish being given a calculator.
See for yourself...
He declined to comment.
So, in typical wife fashion, I feel compelled to speak for my husband. Knowing my husband as well as I do, I am certain he would say:
My wife is the most thoughtful, charming, intelligent, beguiling woman on the planet, and my choice in Mother's Day gift was a heinous error in judgement... and she's really hot.
And there you have it.
As the season progressed, you also saw the progression of his talent, as well as stoicism being challenged by the pressure of the contest and the extreme anxiety and worry brought on by the decline of his terminally ill brother. Despite the appeal of his aw-shucks competition (David Archuleta) who no doubt captured the hearts of tween girls and their mothers, David Cook generated interest and excitment that went beyond simply having a good voice.
And, quite deservedly, he won.
In case you never watched the show, here is a great clip of him covering Lionel Richie's "Hello".
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
I'm not sure which aspect I enjoyed more...
1) The fact that is sponsored by Zima (They still make that? More importantly, why?)
2) The mom's name is Christine
Our best wishes to the expanding family!
The Comment: Observing that your child is not advanced in his or her verbal skills, the stranger says, "Gee, he's not much of a talker, is he?"
What You Want To Say: "No, we just encourage him not to talk to strangers or morons and you happen to represent both."
What You Could Say: "I know. I guess he's just been too busy finishing his first novel to really work on developing his oral communication."
What You Should Say: "Gee, I hadn't noticed. How long have you been working with children?"
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
With my own daughter, the battle to get her to eat a full mean occurs every day, despite a million different approaches with no consistent results. I know I am not alone in this, nor am I alone in my worry that she is not getting enough nutritious sustenance to support her growing body.
Thankfully, Babyzone just made the following chart available to parents who want to know exactly how much their child shoud be eating on a daily basis.
Though the chart only goes up to the age of 2, it certainly provides some insight into the daily guidelines. It is also important to keep in mind that a day here or there where these amounts are not met should not result in serious worry; this list represents what should be consumed on an average day.
Since my husband and I are pretty religious home bodies, the transition to life with very little social interaction with the outside world was not as hard for us as it is for some. Never ones to hop on a plane to Vegas or start up a band and decide to tour, we really didn't mind hunkering down to be still with our new family. What we did not anticipate would be how tired, tired could be and how hard it is to talk to each other about things other than diapers, feedings, and naps. We struggled to find some rhythm, yearned for something resembling normalcy (or at least predicatbility) and though time had made life easier to juggle, the idea that a return to easy living being just around the corner really did not ever happen. With each new age comes new worries, new anxieties, and new obligations to eat up your time.
So, if you could surrender one of the harder parts of parenting, what would it be?
The answer was as close to unanimous as we've come: having limited freedom. Not choosing when to start your day, not being able to decide on a whim where to go and what to do, not being able to ignore a clock, someone else's needs, or a lingering odor all become the realities of parenting.
Though I do not miss the crazy nights out that took longer to recover from than the hours spent enjoying them, I do miss dining out with friends and conversations that never seem or need to end. I miss lazy weekend mornings drinking coffee, reading the paper, and eventually deciding to do something. I miss going to the bathroom when I have to, as opposed to when I can fit it in (you'd think teaching would have prepared me for that) and I miss not having to worry so much.
Unfortunately, there is no way to fully appreciate all those bygone things without completely surrendering them. I guess that is why empty-nesters and new grandparents always seem so happy.
Other constraints included the second place finishers: administering discipline and laundry. I actually don't have a problem with disciplining my children, as my struggle really lies in trying to figure out which method works best for the individual child. And as for the laundry, the pile waiting to be cleaned in my laundry room could swallow a small child...and I really don't mind that unless people stumble upon it while looking for the bathroom.
The last place votes went to doctor's visits, which usually serves as a great test of patience and immunities, as well as diapers. I actually am so used to diapers at this point, they really don't even bother me or my olfactory senses much....and I still love watching my husband hack and gag everytime he gets to do a doozy.
I guess it comes down to this: parenting is the hardest, best job in the world. It has to be if enduring all of the above is well worth all that you get out of it.
My hardest days are still the best days I've ever known.
For kids, however, this absolutely rocks.
Dad Rocks Paperweight
1) Choose a rock that is about the size of your palm. It should be heavy enough to weight down a few papers and not be blown away.
2) Wash the rock with warm, soapy water and a scrub brush; be sure to get into all the crevices. Wipe off water with a towel.3) After rock has completely dried, paint the entire rock with acrylic paint. Let the paint dry and then paint on a second coat.
4) Paint the entire rock with a thin layer of glitter glue and then let dry.
5) Use a squeezable glitter glue bottle to carefully write “DAD ROCKS” on the rock. Let dry overnight.
7) Spray the entire surface of rock with acrylic sealer spray.
- Instead of writing the words with glitter glue, try a paint pen. They write like a pen but go on like paint. You can find them at your local craft supply store.
- Some glitter glues dry puffy and some dry flat. Experiment with yours first if you like to see how it will turn out.
- Instead of just one rock, paint two and put “DAD” on one and “ROCKS” on the other for a matching set.
Monday, May 19, 2008
"May I have some Italian Ice?"
"Yes, as soon as you finish your dinner"
"May I watch a show"
"Of course you can, when it's time for Mommy to start dinner."
"May I put a boogie on Daddy's pillow"
"As often as you like."
But, there are some occasions when nothing works better than a direct, no nonsense, "no".
"No, you may not paint the refrigerator"
"No, you are not allowed to go get Bama*" (Bama lives in Virginia)
"No, you may not put Joseph in the washer or dryer."
Unfortunately, my inventiveness in using and not using the word "no" may have rubbed off on my daughter. Yesterday, I asked her is she would "please stop climbing on the coffee table".
"No. With a no, no, here; and a no, no there. Here a no, there a no, everywhere a no, no...".
I think my mother's long standing wish that I have a daughter just like me is now starting to materialize....
Two weeks ago I devoted two lengthy posts to the discussion of Mother's Day gift giving for the fathers who were either at a loss, or were in need of some direction. In those posts I included lovely gift ideas such as a cleaning service, jewelry, gift certificates, and a host of pampering ideas. In contrast, I also devoted some time to a list of gifts to avoid. These included household appliances, awful home decor, and the like.
Ironically, my own Mother's Day was....memorable; and that is the story I have been meaning to tell. Some of you will see me as ungrateful, while others will see me as merciful. But no matter what your reaction, "the people, the event, and the drama are real..."
Before I begin what may be my most memorable Mother's Day so far, let me begin by issuing this disclaimer: my husband is a pretty amazing man. He is a great father, a wonderful husband, and an all-around nice guy. He also has a history of extending some very thoughtful gifts to me in the past. These gifts include the camera of my dreams, spa gift certificates, and other surprises that simply took my breath away. Unfortunately, this post is not about those gifts.
My third Mother's Day was a natural disaster from the beginning. Tornadoes buffeting the southeastern United States kept me stuck in the Jacksonville airport for hours as I desperately awaited my return home to my husband and children. I was in Florida for the First Communion of my niece, the beautiful Grace, and this trip also marked the first time I would be away from my little man overnight....all the more reason I was anxious to get home.
With each new flight delay, I became more and more sick at heart for my family and my fleeting Mother's Day. When I did eventually board the plane, I was seated in front of a mother and child who read books and sang songs the entire flight. I was definitely wallowing in some Mother's Day melancholy.
My travel weary self finally found its way home at 5:30 PM, where I was greeted with hugs and kisses before making it into the door. I breathed a sigh of relief as it seemed my emotional day was coming to an end; I listened as my little girl jabbered on about all she had done in the 36 hours I was gone; and I held my little guy as he just stared at me in happy contentment. I passed out souvenirs and described the exciting airplane and the beach. All was as it should be...for now.
As the greetings came to a close, my beaming husband scooped up both children and with barely contained excitement said,
"Should we show Mommy her special gift??"
"Yes!" Olivia shouted, while Joseph smiled and drooled an assent.
They began jumping around in joyous anticipation as my husband cheered: "Follow us!".
I can honestly say that, given my day and my demeanor, I had completely dismissed the occurrence of any kind of Mother's Day celebration and so, when a gift was mentioned (and boy do I love them), my soul felt a momentary lift.
I followed the party parade into the kitchen where the great reveal would take place. I sucked in a deep breath as I turned the corner and let go an audible gasp as I took in my present in all of its shining grandeur.
There it was....positioned atop our island to enhance the effect of its glory and assembled and polished for immediate impact:
The Mother of all Mother's Day Gifts: The Hoover Floormate SpinScrub Widepath Hardwood Floor Cleaner
I turned to see their eager faces trying to read my reaction, a reaction I was trying so desperately to conceal.
"What is this?" I smiled as I my attempt at a giggle sounded more like a gurgle.
"I know! Isn't great!? It cleans hardwood floors, and also vacuums, and even picks up wet spills!!!!"
I am dreaming. I am dreaming. I am dreaming. I am dreaming.
"Not only that...it comes with a special attachment for cleaning grout! It got the best consumer reports...but wait, let me just show you!!!"
Where are the cameras? Ashton, I know you cancelled the show and all, but I am being punked? Right? Someone? Anyone?
"Now don't worry, I already assembled it completely and even put in the cleaning fluid that is made especially for hardwood floors. See...".
My head is spinning as I watch him wrestle it down from the island (no easy task....this cleaning contraption appears to weigh a great deal) and he turns it on using the "control finger" feature he also feels compelled to expound on.
"Wow!" I manage to sputter, "What made you think of this?".
"Oh, your mom!"
Why, Barbara, why? Was I that horrible of a teenager? I swear it was Paul who broke the lamp.
"No, I mean, you said you'd like an electric broom like your mom's since you are always sweeping up after Joseph's meals" (my son is a one man Old Country Buffet) "so I figured I'd just get something that did it all!!!"
Reeling. My mind is reeling. I thought I did have something that "does it all"....her name is Diana and she comes ever other Thursday.....
"Let's check it out! Plug it in! Plug it in!"
I contemplate making a quick job of wrapping the chord around my neck, but decided against scaring the children and found a close socket.
With a magical "whoosh" the floor cleaning phenom came to life, shaking the house and my last few grasps of sanity.
My husband danced about with handle in one grip and the baby in the other...no doubt to show how I would use it. He swivelled under chairs, pirouetted around the table, and shimmied under my desk.
As the show began to wind down I made a mental check of everything he had ever done for me, how I must not reveal my surprise / horror / surprise, how he loves me, really, deep down, he must have looked at this and said, "yes, that really shows my love."
I must focus.
He flips the switch and spins to face me. The baby had clearly enjoyed the ride, and Olivia is now dancing around on the newly slicked floor, made perfect for spinning.
"So, what do you think? Great, right?"
Don't cry, don't cry, don't cry.......
To be continued......
Illinois State Police Sgt. Brian Mahoney says the truck's driver was traveling from Chicago to Morris on Interstate 80 around 4
a.m. Monday when he fell asleep at the wheel and slammed into the median.
Though the state troopers have most of the mess cleaned up, the effects on traffic are still pretty disastrous. As expected, the usual occurrence of rubbernecking has resulted in serious clogging, as has the spontaneous parade of people marching along the road's shoulder, clutching what appears to be gallon containers of milk.
Name: Mommy, Mama, Momda, Margaret, Marg
Mother of: Connor (31 mo), Caitlin (11 mo)
What You Did Before You Were Someone’s Mommy: Worked in the insurance industry and couldn't wait to get pregnant so I could quit. Worked out all the time. Read profusely. Hungout with my girlfriends on a regular basis. Enjoyed some quiet time with my husband.
What You Do For Yourself Now: I don't really get the chance to do much by myself, but I do enjoy taking the kids for long walks. I know this is insane, but I find cleaning theraputic.
What is your favorite thing about being a mother? Everything is new to Connor and Caitlin. I love seeing things through their eyes as if I'm seeing them for the first time myself. Being loved unconditionally.
What is the one thing you wish you’d known before you had children? How difficult it is to take care of two young children while trying to maintain your sanity.
What would you do with an extra free hour in your day? Work out.
Who are your go-to people when you have a parenting question? My Mom.
What is the one thing your child(ren) do that always makes you smile? Getting Caitlin up in the morning, she welcomes me with a huge smile every day. Listening to Connor explain something he did or something someone else did. Watching Connor give Caitlin kisses or pat her head when he thinks no one is watching.
Who is your favorite fictional mother? Claire Huxtable.
If you could be someone you know for a day, who would it be? I don't think I'd trade places with anyone. The grass isn't always greener.
If you could ban people from doing something, what would it be? Putting other people down just to make themselves (or their children) look better.
If you could make one mixed CD that would be the only music you could listen to for the rest of your life, what songs would you put on it? "No Woman No Cry" Bob Marley, "Blood of Eden" Peter Gabriel", "Black" Pearl Jam, "Watershed" Indigo Girls, "Long Black Veil" Dave Matthews Band, "No One" Alicia Keys, "Take my hand" Dido, "Solsbury Hill" Peter Gabriel, "All through the night" Cyndi Lauper, "Return to Innocence" Enigma, "1979" Smashing Pumpkins, "Suddenly I See" KT Tunstall, "Crazy Love" Van Morrison, "Crush" Dave Matthews Band, "Summertime" DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. (I could go on forever).
**Join our parents by sending your answers to the above questions, along with a picture to: firstname.lastname@example.org
This versatile Mediterranean dish is easier than most people might think because it can be prepared in one skillet and works best when served over rice.
RATATOUILLE - Makes 4 servings
½ cup yellow or white onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups eggplant, peeled and cubed
1 small zucchini (or yellow summer squash in season), halved lengthwise and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices (1 cup)
1 cup tomatoes, chopped
½ cup green bell pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable broth or water
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped (or ½ teaspoon dried basil, crushed)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1) Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
2) Add onion and garlic to hot oil and cook until tender.
3) Stir in vegetables, broth, and basil.
4) Reduce heat to simmer. Add salt and pepper.
5) Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes or until tender.
6) Remove cover and cook 5 additional minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. (Sometimes just letting it sit will help it to thicken).
Source: Art Smith, Yahoo!
The trouble comes in determining what I enjoyed more: (1) the kid's ability to stay on the beat, or (2) the fantastic staging.