How Smart Are Bears Anyway?

Posted by Accidental Expert Friday, July 31, 2009 Comments

My son tried to sneak something by me yet again. I found him, his mouth full of chocolate chips, unable to speak. This was right before dinner, mind you.

"Don't have anymore," I said.

In response he tried to covertly shove just one more handful in before putting the bag away.

"You know I saw that."

"Saw what?"

To that I launched into one my famous long winded explanations on how us moms have a sort of super power ability to see and know all. He may have bought it at 5, but these days its just one of those, "blah, blah, blah, Ginger, blah, blah" moments. The glazed look in his eyes told all.

Then, feeling rather witty, I explained, "You know bud, I'm smarter than the average bear."

Clearly not getting the reference (yes, I'm dating myself WAY back here), he looked at me very seriously. "Mom, that's not saying much. Bears are pretty dumb."

And so went my evening. Once again, outwitted by a ten year old.

Surprise Photo Op

Posted by Accidental Expert Monday, July 27, 2009 Comments

This weekend we started a major clean up job brought our own Flood of the Century. In between wringing out carpets and diverting newly created waterways, I was charged with salvaging the family photos.

Now I need to tell you, I love our family pictures. I'm the resident photographer at family gatherings and events and take my job seriously. Unfortunately, I'm not a big scrapbooker. Oh, who am I kidding – I’m not a scrapbooker at all. Ive tried those cutesy crops, but I can never seem to finish more than one page of any album I've started. The task is just too overwhelming for my scattered mind. All my grand plans have amounted to is a sizable collection of paper, stickers and blank sheets sitting in a pile in the basement. Actually its now a big soggy pile.

As a result, we have LOTS of prints sitting around. Some are stored in boxes, but many are not-so-neatly kept on countertops and shelves. These are the ones that were hit the hardest.

Trying to salvage what I could, I spread out all the old pictures on any table, shelf or other flat surface I could find. With years worth of shots, we had pictures everywhere. There were those of my husband and I when we were dating, my oldest as a 4 yr old fairy on Halloween and many, many pictures of the twins from birth to present. There was even a group of our Little Stinker still in the hospital.

Recently I've been feeling like my life has been one mishap after another. But looking at these images, I realized how much genuine fun was woven in -- the parties, the vacations, the goofy poses. Too bad this tends to get obscured in hindsight.

So today, I really love my cheap little camera and the diary its kept. On this day in the life of one stressed out mom, it brought a healthy dose of happy reality. Maybe its time to dust off all that scrapbooking stuff to show off all the fun we've had along the way.

Water Woes and Peaceful Places

Posted by Accidental Expert Friday, July 24, 2009 Comments

It was a nice dream. A pleasant dream. A peaceful dream. The details are kind of fuzzy, but I do remember being on vacation -- I think it was the beach. Oh, I love the beach.

Then, like a tsunami hitting the shore, I was jolted out of my fantasy world by my oldest daughter.

"Mom! Mom! The dishwasher's leaking and there's water all over the kitchen."

Still in my relaxed state I tried to ignore the interruption.

"Mom! Mom! There's water everywhere. Its dripping from the basement ceiling."

That got my attention, but I was still a little slow.

"Moommm! Did you want all those photos? They're all wet."

That did it. I love those photos. I had them safely tucked in a corner of the basement so the kids wouldn't get to them. Now came panic time.

Running down the stairs my daughter turned to me and said, "By the way, did I tell you there's water squirting from the washing machine too?"

Its official. I hate my life.

Our dishwasher woes started a few days ago when the old one broke. We couldn't afford a brand new one, so we bought a new-to-us dishwasher off of Craigslist. Never one to pass up a bargain, I've been a big fan of the online marketplace. I'm now rethinking my position. The new dishwasher ran fine last night -- no leaks, no worries. Too bad the water supply never turned off. Water ran all night as we slept. No wonder I dreamed of the ocean.

As for the washing machine, we sprung for a front loader a while back. With six people in the house, it made total sense. There's just minor one problem. Our particular model has this pesky habit of eating socks and other small objects, eventually lodging them in the water pump. Every month or so, my husband is enlisted to drain the pump and rid the washer of all the odd items so we can enjoy clean clothes once again.

Flash forward to today. I've spent most of the morning on the phone trying to figure out how to rid the basement of the 6 inches or so of standing water. My husband tackled the washing machine and we've got towels everywhere soaking up the spill. All the while, I've been trying to steal away for a little nap. Maybe, just maybe, I can get back to my dream. And then I can have some peace.

Survival of the Fittest

Posted by Accidental Expert Wednesday, July 22, 2009 Comments

You have to be one tough animal to make it in our house. Let's just say, with all the comings and goings, things like food, water and clean living environments tend to get overlooked a smidge. But so far, our passel of pets has turned out to be one hardy bunch.

Most impressive is Tiger the salamander. He's a living experiment on how long a creature of his type can go without the prescribed diet of crickets. I'm afraid to admit, he's even been known to go without water for awhile.

Now before you contact the local authorities, please know we do try our best. And for the most part our pets, especially the dogs and the cat, get fed on a semi-regular basis. We're just not one of those families who dotes on their animals.

In our home you'll see no jewel encrusted collars, designer dog houses or specialized "human" diets. We simply don't have the time for this kind of thing.

You'd think we'd go through pets faster than Kleenex. Nope. These critters seems to possess amazing longevity. Tiger is going on three. We had an aquatic frog -- you know, the kind you get as a tadpole in the mail -- for six whole years! Even our old Lab Beau is over thirteen years old and still ticking. Come to think of it, the only ones to meet untimely end were the hamsters. My poor Soccer Girl went through five in a year -- and we fed them and everything. Go figure.

Our home is home to some amazing research. We have proved once and for all that survival of the fittest is more than just a theory. Long live our amazingly tough pets!

In Search of My Happy Place

Posted by Accidental Expert Comments

First I have a confession to make. I'm definitely not the picture of calm. Blame my Mediterranean heritage, but I'm not exactly what you'd call even-keeled. That doesn't stop me from trying though. In the crazy, mixed up world that is my life, I keep searching for a place where peace, calm and tranquility rule.

This is a challenge because of confession #2. I'm no Super Mom either. Organizationally-challenged is more like it. I leave the house without makeup, am not the best housekeeper on the block and am often afraid to look in my purse for fear of what might be growing inside.

Pretty pathetic, I know. But I do have one thing going for me. Four kids, two dogs, one cat, a guinea pig and a salamander -- and whatever pond creature my son happens to bring home -- make our house a source of constant amusement. Not always ours, but someone's.

With entertainment like this, who needs perfection? Join me in my fight against chaos and hopefully my crooked journey will offer some humor, fun and inspiration along the way. After all, if I can find my Happy Place in this life, I'm pretty sure anyone can.

Zen and the Art of Motherhood

Twitter Updates