Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Picture Of Determination

The big (big!) round bed came with our dog from the rescue organization.  She loves it dearly and it will be a sad day at our house when it finally needs to be replaced.

Had to vacuum the family room rug yesterday.  As is my habit, I picked her bed up off the floor and balanced it on top of the upholstered tea box that sits next to our entertainment center to get it out of the way of the vacuum cleaner.  However, I forgot to put it back after I was done cleaning, and THIS is what I saw the next time I walked into the family room!

Cracked me up.  "Okay, Mom...if that's where you're going to put my bed now, I can roll with it."  Funny dog!

Friday, September 19, 2014


Watching a show about Spain on the Travel Channel and feeling an almost uncontrollable urge to crawl into my TV, away from the world of backpacks and soccer and domestic drudgery and into an infinitely more appealing one of siestas and tapas and exotic accents.

Then, of course, my husband burst my bubble by pointing out the 24% unemployment rate and ongoing economic protests.  Guess a girl can't even dream anymore!  Time to renew my passport,'s been way too long since I used it and there's a lot of the globe yet to see.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Counting My Blessings

The man's comment stopped me in my tracks.  He'd been unlocking his office door as I passed it; he paused to tell me that my smile was beautiful and that it made his day to see a happy woman walking out of the building holding carnations.

One of the bigger breast imaging facilities in town is one floor up from his office.  I was there this morning for my annual mammogram, just a routine checkup.  I hate them with a blinding passion, as do most right-thinking people who dislike pain, but that doesn't mean my butt isn't in there like clockwork once a year anyway.  Every September...a back-to-school gift to myself and my family.  This place does a good job of making an unpleasant experience about as pleasant as it's going to get: among other things, lovely employees, nice warm robes to put over the thin and ugly hospital-gowny shirts, a coffee and tea machine in the lobby, and a bucket of flower bouquets in the changing area.  When your appointment is done, they ask if you'd like to choose a bouquet to take home, a very nice touch.  Anyway, since I had the telltale evidence in my hands, the man knew exactly where I'd been.

He added that he sees a lot of women with flowers passing his office door, many of whom are sobbing, or who break down as soon as they reach their cars or the curb outside.  I was happy to have the whole experience over with and be leaving, but I hadn't taken time to be grateful for my good fortune.

The next time I leave that building, if I am smiling I will NOT take it for granted, I promise you that. Reality check received, loud and clear.



Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Good Day For Thing One

So, today he won the election for Homeroom Rep, and also found out that he made his middle school's soccer team as a 6th grader.  Pretty cool.  Of course this means that he will have either a practice or a game right after school every weekday between now and Halloween, followed on Tuesdays and Fridays by his travel team's regular practice.  Good thing he likes soccer: he's going to get a lot of it this fall!

Middle school has a reputation for being tough on a lot of levels.  This kid is starting out with both social and athletic affirmations, though...eases some of the worries in this mother's heart.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sweet Flavor Of Victory

It tastes like vanilla soft-serve ice cream with rainbow sprinkles.

Thing Two's soccer team won a game today for the first time since he started playing travel last December!  His team was egregiously misflighted last spring, so they got killed every game.  No fun for anybody and seriously the end of the season the only thing getting him into his uniform for games was the promise of going out for lunch or dinner on the way home.  We had to promise to let him play spring rec league baseball too (yes, both sports at once) to even get him to try out for this year's soccer team.  He's a decent player, and we really didn't want that bad experience to be all he got.

Today was the first game of the new season.  Thing Two, God help me, was the goalie for the first three quarters.  He hasn't had much training at the position, but he's the best they've got: he's big and quick and he has absolutely no fear.  (A a side note, from a spectator standpoint I am firmly convinced that the only thing worse than being the mother of the goalie is being the mother of the quarterback, and only because the opposing players in soccer aren't generally trying to kill the goalie on each play.)  Anyway, the kid flat-out rocked it.  Two tough goals got by him but he kept a lot more out.  He had a couple of booming corner kicks in the fourth quarter, too, one of which was tapped in by a teammate for an assist.  When final whistle blew, our boys were up 4-3, and they were absolutely beside themselves with joy.

Of course we stopped for ice cream on the way home...some milestones are meant to be savored!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

It Really Does Take A Village

Our kids' birthdays are in July, August and September respectively. This means that we have to choose between holding their parties over the summer when people are on vacation or at the beginning of the school year when weekends are crazy with fall sports.  It also means that, whatever we choose, we have three birthday parties to organize very close together.  (Bad planning.  Bad, BAD planning.)

We held Petunia's party today.  Unfortunately, since many other parents had the same idea, it was only one of THREE birthday parties on the calendar today: a friend of Petunia's at 11, a friend of Thing Two's at 1, and Petunia's at 2:30.  Thing Two had to ride with a friend to get to his party and even with that, the logistics were crazy.  Once again, so grateful to be part of a community where I feel comfortable asking for help...having one more kid than we do drivers and cars occasionally makes things a real challenge!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

I Need To Stay Away From The TV

Went to the gym this morning to get some cardio in before taekwondo class.  Spent half an hour on the elliptical in the weight room facing the bank of televisions, all but one of which were tuned to programs relating to 9/11: the memorial service, footage from that day as it unfolded, commentary on how 9/11 changed our foreign policy; you name it.  I was 20 miles from Ground Zero on that awful morning and I don't need to rehash that day every year to remember it, thank you VERY much, but I guess some people must derive a benefit from it.  Anyway, when one of the girls reading the victims' names aloud started to cry, I looked away in sympathy and my eye happened to fall on the only TV in the room displaying alternative programming--ESPN on some sort of news segment.  The words below were front and center on the screen at that moment, and of course relate to the ongoing domestic abuse nightmare that is the Ray Rice situation.

"Roger [Goodell] is not a liar," said the owner, who asked not to be identified. "He's a good man who always wants to protect the NFL. He's respected and liked by every owner I know. I believe Roger and the league. I trust them."

The words "wants to protect the NFL" leaped off the screen at me as if they'd been highlighted.  Of course he wants to protect the NFL.  It's his job.  Never mind that Ray Rice knocked his then-fiancee unconscious in a public elevator...let's just play it down for the benefit of the NFL.  Two-game suspension, then business as usual.  All of a sudden, months later, the video becomes public (did the NFL have it at the time or not?  If not, why not??  Let's say it all together now: Legal tactics!) and then, strangely, he's suspended indefinitely FOR THE SAME ASSAULT.  The only difference is that now people can actually WATCH him dropping this woman with one vicious punch.  What did they think it looked like??  Jesus.

Two things I don't understand:

1) Why the HELL this woman married him after he beat her unconscious??  I'm guessing $$.
2) Since WHEN is our employers' job to investigate and punish us for criminal acts??

Oh well.  It's clearly going to be one of those days...It's never good when I find myself thinking in all-caps.  I'm just going to put my head down and keep going till it's over.