Saturday, April 28, 2007

My serenity prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Like lines at school carnivals and lines at the DMV,
And the wisdom to know that there is no difference.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Because you asked me to, and because I'm nothing if I'm not accommodating

Though I have no intention of making this a permanent change, I have to say that I am coming out of shock enough to admit that I actually don't regret doing this to my hair. I was sick of looking basically the same after several years and this seemed like a better remedy than tattoos, body piercings or botox. Plus it's cheaper than botox and less painful than the others. (But not to be confused for being cheap and easy 'cuz that's not what I'm going for either.) Whatever. Is there such a thing as a pre-mid-life crisis?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Family Night

Monday night at our house is what we call "Family Night", where we try to take a few minutes to spend quality time together and incorporate spiritual teaching moments with our kids. It is a concept I was raised with, and growing up with six siblings I have sometimes referred to it as "Family dysfunction that starts and ends with prayer". But our kids LOVE family night.

Last night I thought I put together a pretty decent meal of roasted turkey with mango sauce and baked sweet potatoes. The beholders of my DNA could not have disagreed more with the self-proclaimed brilliance of this meal, which is why Cory found himself offering this deal: "Drew, if you eat EVERYTHING on your plate we'll go to 'Cold Stone' for Family Night." Samantha shouted with glee until Drew shot her a look and said, "We're not gonna make it. I'm not eating this." Thus ensued her ten minute pouting session interrupted with bouts of prodding and attempted guilt-inducing tactics upon her younger brother. He remained steadfast in his commitment that he would not be able to finish his food, and Samantha obediently cleaned her plate and lamented that Drew's weak stomach was responsible for her plight of a non-visit to Cold Stone.

After leaving the dinner table we started our regular routine of Family Night. We began with a prayer and a song and then I whispered what I believed to be a brilliant idea into Cory's ear. He smiled in agreement, and began what was his turn for a lesson. He explained why Jesus is important, that he died for us because he was perfect and we are not, and that he did something for us that nobody else could do.

"Drew, you know how you couldn't finish your dinner?"
"Well, just like Jesus did something for us that we couldn't do for ourselves, I'm going to give Samantha the opportunity to do something for you that you couldn't do. And if she would like to finish your dinner for you, we will still take you to Cold Stone."

Samantha's eyes lit up at our offering, and she immediately got to work eating Drew's dinner. He looked on with great interest and we tried to reinforce the point while she chewed. We asked, "Drew, how do you feel about Samantha that she is willing to do this for you?" He looked at us and smiled wide. "So how do you feel about the fact that Jesus would go through so much suffering JUST FOR YOU?"

"Sooo, Samantha is Jesus?" he asked.
"Not really, but it's kind of like..."
"Hey Samantha, are you gonna eat ALL those sweet potatoes?"
"So Drew, why is Jesus important again?"
"Uhhh...I can't remember."
"Because just as...."
"Mom, do I have to eat the piece of turkey that Drew put ketchup on?"
"Yes, but..."
"Oh my gosh, If I have to eat one more bite I feel like I'll throw up."

For about twenty minutes this went on. Samantha got sick and Cold Stone no longer seemed like a good idea to her. Drew was forced to finish the last bite so we could at least say that they both tried their best. By the end of the night our "Awesome Parenting Moment of the Year" award had been tossed in a proverbial trash can while Samantha moaned and groaned on her bed. We have promised them ice cream tonight instead, which will go perfect with the snow that has rolled in today. And as for our effective teaching techniques, it looks like we'll have to leave that up to their Sunday School teachers.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Say it don't spray it

Cory used to share a wall of his office with a co-worker who has since moved to another area of the building. They had become good friends, but don't see each other as much as they used to, which is why when he saw Cory today he asked, "Hey, what's new?"

Cory's reply: "Well, I've fallen in love with a redhead."

How cute is that?

I got back into town on Saturday night and when I walked in Drew ran up to me, threw his arms around my neck and screamed, "Hi Mom! I missed you so much I could hurl!" Actually, he just hurled. But I think "I missed you" is what he was trying to say. So I guess it's official - mom is back on duty!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

"I see RED people..."

Famous last words at hair salons: "I'm ready for a change." I have been blonde all my life, but I uttered these words to my hair stylist today and I came home a red-head. Since my appointment this morning the words that have come out of my mouth the most, usually when I pass any kind of reflective surface and catch a glimpse of my reflection, is "Holy crap!"

Drew said I look like an "evil witch" while Samantha is offering words of encouragement whenever she senses that I might be close to sticking my head in the oven. This one is going to take a little time to get used to. My niece is getting married in Utah on Friday - I am flying out by myself to attend and so I will be making a major family debut where photographers will be present. Clearly, I didn't think this through!

Holy crap!

Monday, April 16, 2007

"We interrupt this program for an important message..."

Do you ever experience the urge to yell at your television? For example, last night I was watching the Discovery Channel when they broke to a commercial. I can’t remember the name of the product being advertised, but I DO remember that it was a remedy for constipation. There was an attractive woman holding a box and speaking in soothing tones, as if her voice alone might render one to become regular. And I began to yell at her as if heckling an umpire from the nosebleed section. “Hey lady, seriously, how DO you look at yourself in the mirror every day? Don’t you have a shred of self-respect? Are you at least getting paid well to furrow your brow and speak authoritatively to the uncomfortable and desperate of your target audience? And by the way, you should know that you’re not fooling anybody with that purple velvet backdrop. Really now. Have you ever at least considered a desk job?”

Then again, what do I know? I’m just a lady on a couch who apparently has nothing better to do than harass people who can’t hear me that probably drive nicer cars.

Why we might be making root beer floats for the next two weeks

[continued from last post...] So, Saturday night we went out to dinner as a family. Toward the end of our meal I reached over to take a sip of Drew’s root beer and announced, “Ooh, that’s A&W. You don't normally get that from the fountain." Cory stared at me in amazement and said, “You mean to tell me that after one sip of Drew’s soda you know that it’s A&W?” “Yep,” I replied with confidence. Then I went on to explain, “A&W is my favorite root beer, and it has a very distinctive taste from all the others.” [Enter: Cory’s sinister grin] “Wanna bet?”

He proceeded to explain his elaborate plan detailing that this would be a 2-part bet. First, we were betting on whether I was right about Drew’s drink. Second, on our way home we would stop at the grocery store, load up on several brands of root beer and conduct a taste test to see if I could detect A&W from the rest. “Cake walk,” I boasted. The waitress returned to clear some plates and I asked, “Excuse me, could you tell me what brand of root beer this is?” “Oh of course,” she responded. “It’s MUG.”

“NNNNNOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!” I yelled as my hands slapped the table and I looked at her in total disbelief. She was taken aback by my reaction and stammered, “Oh, sorry, um, I could go double check….” Cory was laughing his butt off.

After spending eight dollars on four brands of root beer at the store we came home for part 2. Cory labeled and lined up the cups and invited me into the kitchen. All I had to do was identify the A&W – if I could also name the others correctly, he agreed to cook dinner every night this week. I sailed through the first part, but failed in getting all of them correct thus squelching my dreams of a culinary bonus. Perhaps it’s time to put my gambling ways behind me for good.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Let's Hear It For The Boy

My husband and I have this game we play that’s called “Kristy Can’t Win A Bet Against Cory To Save Her Life”. I am rendered speechless when it comes to trying to explain this phenomenon, but my record is so staggeringly pathetic that it has become a running joke. While I have learned not to set the stakes too high on my part, there seems to be this unrelenting part of me that continues to bet him and goes on to think I will finally win.

A few weeks ago I came home and Cory was trying to explain an American Idol performance that I missed. “She sang a song called Dancing In The Streets,” he reported. “Oh yeah, that’s from the movie ‘Footloose’,” I said. “What? Nooooo,” he said. We went back and forth, and determined that perhaps the song that was sung on American Idol was not the one I was talking about, BUT! I maintained that there was DEFINITELY a song from “Footloose” called “Dancing In The Streets”.

An evil grin overcame his lips as he asked, “Wanna bet?”

OOOhhh, I’ve got him this time. “Footloose”? He’s going to bet me on “Footloose”? I mean, come on! Who knows the details of that movie better than someone who spent not very many weekends as a teenager going on dates but plenty of hours watching Kevin Bacon dance through the structures of a warehouse making residents of Lehi, Utah feel important?

“Heck yeah, I’ll bet you. I’m so winning this one Cory. This is the END of my losing streak!!!” I practically ran to the computer to do a search on iTunes to look up the results of “Footloose Soundtrack”. Cory stood over my shoulder, equally curious to see if he would lose and have to cook dinner all week. Because he doesn't even have to believe in the causes for which he bets anymore, this is just a game to him. The results came up and I scrolled down, “Here we go, Let’s Hear It For The Boy…Holding Out For A Hero…Almost Paradise…a-HA!! Here it is! Dancing In The…NNNNOOOOOOOOO!!!!”

The song from “Footloose”, in case you haven’t already figured it out from your own adolescent recollection, is called Dancing In The SHEETS. Unbelievable! How could I forget that? So the score of our betting history is now something like Cory - 427 and Kristy – 2. I remain undeterred in my quest and I swear I'm going to win one soon. You've all heard that if you want to win big, you first have to lose big, right? While that's really bad advice for just about any circumstance in life, particularly for compulsive gamblers, I'm still hoping that my big win is just around the corner. I'm just waiting for that perfect opportunity. Such as last night... (to be continued…)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Song and Dance

This morning while I was curling Samantha's hair in preparation for the school day Drew came in and asked, "Hey Samantha, how come you look mad?"
"I'm not mad," she replied.
"Well you look mad," he said. Then he started to dance around and sing to a made up tune:
"You look mad, you look sad, you look glad, you look bad, you look..."
He stopped in his tracks. "OOooh," he said. "Now you just look mad."

We're off to a good start.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

The force is strong with this one

Today is Drew's birthday and we are on our 3rd cake. He's had many celebrations, including a party with friends last Wednesday that nearly drove me to drink. I'm telling you, for someone who has never had alcohol in her life it is awfully tempting to start stashing for such occasions as entertaining ten 7-year-old boys for two hours. I later suggested to my husband that "maybe you need to wrestle with him a little more."

In addition to contemplating the serving of cocktails at future parties with young children in attendance, I was also amused with a short conversation I had with a mom of one of Drew's friends.
"So," she asked. "Do you have any gift ideas for Drew?"
"Well, lightsabers continue to be the object of his affection but I can't imagine that he needs more than the seven that he already owns. I saw a Sponge Bob blanket you could get him."
"It seems that Raphi is really intent on getting him one of those spring-loaded lightsabers. Does he have one of those?"
I started to chuckle and thought, do I tell her the truth? Oh well, why not. "Ummm...technically we DO have one, (pause)'s Cory's and Drew has to ask permission to use it." We both laughed, and Drew got not one but TWO such lightsabers for his birthday. He was thrilled, and it has been nonstop jedi duels ever since.

Keeping with this theme, I came across something today that I had written down from last year. I had been in the midst of creating bulletin boards at the school for each grade area and I tried to get Drew to be excited about his as I showed it to him.
“Look, Drew! The one for Kindergarten is going to be blue!”
“I don’t know, I just thought it would look good.”
“Is it because it matches my pajamas?”
“And because it matches my blue light sabers?”
“That’s exactly right. I wanted your board to match your pajamas and your light sabers.”
Satisfied, he turned and went bounding up the stairs.

Later tonight when I announced that it was time to go to bed my young jedi came over and curled up on my lap - he was asleep within minutes. His whole body no longer fits between my neck and my waist, but I relished the few moments that passed as his form grew heavier with deeper sleep. He may be a sword-wielder by day, but he is still my little boy at night. Happy Birthday little buddy, and may the force be with you.

Friday, April 6, 2007

I think I'm in love

If you have seen me lately and noticed the gleam in my eyes and the stupid grin on my face, you caught me. I’m having a love affair…with my bed. After nearly fourteen years of marriage with the same mattress that has resulted in a daily gift of morning back pain, we threw in the towel and finally bought a new bed. A really nice one this time. It was delivered on Monday, and I haven’t been the same since.

“It will be so good for you,” the salesman told us. “Your body will be so well supported throughout the night that you will toss and turn less, which means you will spend more time getting quality sleep, and you will feel much more rested in the morning and therefore be more productive during your day.” I looked around at the ads sporting beautiful women sprawled out on beds conveniently located near waterfalls and actually believed for a moment that I might lose weight and go on an exotic vacation if I would simply purchase this bed. But even the basics were better than our current situation. Support? Sleep? Rest? Productivity? Sounds good to me, sign me up for the King size (we’re upgrading mom, but I promise that we will still snuggle and that this won’t be the unraveling of our marriage) and show me the dotted line!

Since the arrival of this beautiful contraption, I can attest to the following. Support? Check. Sleep? Check. More rested and productive? Not so much. For starters, I don’t care if there is a lining of cashmere it would take a very special concoction that might require narcotics to make me more productive. But aside from that, my main issue is that now when I wake up in the morning all I can think of is, How long until I get to come back? As soon as I get up I fantasize about returning. I walk around in a daze and count down to the magical hour of bedtime. That pillow top alone, where have you been all my life? Anyway, so if you see me and wonder what’s happened, don’t worry. I just can’t wait to get to sleep.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Barnum and Bailey would be proud

Some have requested a picture of the ticket booth I spoke of a few days ago in preparation for Samantha's birthday party. Here's one of Samantha and one of her really tall friends!!

And here she is with her cake:

Happy Birthday baby girl. It seems like only last week that I was frustrated with you in the store while you sat in the cart - you were about three years old and giving me fits, so I bent down to your level and in an exasperated tone said, "What do you NEED??" You looked up at me with your big blue eyes and timidly replied, "Lovin' ". I melted at your request and scooped you up and gave you a big hug. You hugged me tight, and then leaned back to meet my face again and asked, "Can I have some juice with my lovin'?"
My birthday wish for you is that you will remember that getting older is not as bad as dad and I make it look, and that no matter how old you are, I will always be here to give you lovin'.