Why Do They Do This Anyway?

Posted by ZenMom Friday, September 25, 2009 6 comments


OK.  I have a bone to pick with Hanes or Fruit-of-the-Loom or whomever else makes those cute little kid undies.  Why the heck do they put the best, the funnest, the coolest picture on the back? 

Our Little Stinker is none too happy about this.  For the last two weeks, he's gone around with his undies on backwards in protest.  And this just can't be comfortable!

There's no talking him out of it.  No way.  After all, how else can he see his good friends Bob or Thomas or Scooby?  Certainly not when they're camped out on his backside. So he's taken matters into his own hands. That's my boy.

Now, if a mom had designed these, I'm sure we wouldn't be in this situation.  She'd have thought this through, examined all the possibilities and designed accordingly.  Function would definitely have come before form. Instead, we have a drawerful of underwear now destined to be worn backwards. No wonder the little fellow's been so cranky these days.


My Car Will Go Where?

Posted by ZenMom Monday, September 21, 2009 1 comments




Yesterday we did the unthinkable.  The unimaginable.  The seemingly impossible.  As the neighbors lined the street and cheered -- OK maybe not actually cheering, but I'm sure they thought about it -- we began cleaning our garage.

Now, if this was a cutesy kind of thing, I'd post sweet before-and-after photos of the big day.  But believe me when I tell you this mess was way too gross for even me to document.  So, you'll just have to take my word for it.

Then again, I'm taking a bit of perverse pride in the whole situation.  After all, it took years of very hard work to morph our supposed car parking area into a mess of this magnitude. That's quite an accomplishment if you ask me.

I have to say I was amazed by all the crap we found..  There were bags of clothes from when my oldest was a toddler.  Boxes of books that I think were from the '80s.  Then there were the mystery objects -- the ones that even CSI would have a hard time identifying. 

But what took the cake lay inside an old trunk.  As the flimsy lid squeaked opened, I saw an old doll that was mine when I was a little girl.  But instead of the pristine, well-kept kind you will find on a shelf (in someone else's home perhaps), this one had matted hair, no clothes and divots in the arms.  There was one other thing.  It appears that over the years, the plastic around her neck wore a bit thin.  The result?  My old friend was now headless. Yep, it was pretty traumatic.  I'm still reeling from the experience.  I may actually be scarred for life.

Broken up, I pronounced her DOA and tossed into a pile with the rest of the trash.  The end.

So imagine my surprise when I pulled out of my driveway that night to pick up my daughter.  There she was, her headless figure shining brightly in my headlights.  Like she'd been waiting there...in the shadows...just ready to exact her revenge.  If any of you every watched a Chucky movie, you can understand my horror.

I finally managed to calm down, but as I drove away, my overactive imagination reared its ugly head again, this time with one of those perverse thoughts.  You know, the kind that you don't want to admit you had.  You see, all I could think of was those neighbors again.  Oh and the police.  And a late night arrest for the seemingly headless baby sitting in our driveway.  All because we decided to clean the stupid garage.  That'll teach us.
 


Critters, Critters EVERYWHERE

Posted by ZenMom Friday, September 18, 2009 1 comments

Did I mention I have a strict catch and release policy?  I had good reason for it and was standing pretty firm.  Until yesterday.  Unwittingly I gave in.  And today I pay the price.

The afternoon was another crazy one.  I had back-to-back meetings at the house as distractions abounded.  Phones rang, doors knocked and dogs barked.  So my son, being the smart, opportunist type that he is, saw an opening and ran with it.

With everything going on around me, its no wonder my son scurrying up the stairs went unnoticed. So did the hint of green sticking out of his pocket. I have to admit, I didn't even see the aquarium, sand and other accessories go up the stairs.

After the guests were gone, I started putting two and two together (yes, I'll admit I'm a little slow).  When I finally made my way up to his room, what should I see?  The biggest, greenest frog you've ever seen staring up at me from beneath the pond-watered aquarium set-up.

So after some high pitched screams, I did the unthinkable.  I acquiesced.  It WAS dark and obviously too late to return the creature to his natural surroundings. Tired from the day, and in a moment of weakness, I allowed him to stay the night.

This morning, screams were heard yet again.  Seems our amphibian guest decided the accommodations weren't to his liking and flew the coupe -- or hopped it I should say.  So right now we have a renegade frog loose somewhere in the house.  He's probably visiting with the caterpillars that the Little Stinker freed yesterday.  They're yucking it up, having a party at this very moment -- I just know it! 

I just hope his little bash isn't his last.  There are way too many dangers around these parts.  He'd need to make it past the cat (given her aversion to mice that probably wouldn't be too hard). Then the dogs -- the old one's pretty easy, but our young pup, well, he's a different story. And, let's just hope he didn't hop into the guinea pig's vicinity.  That creature has some sharp teeth!  The last immunity challenge would involve our Little Stinker.  Let's just say, he doesn't mean to torture animals.  He just likes to play with them.

Worse yet, I'm really not up to finding a shriveled up pond creature sometime next week.  We already went through that with the tackle box incident, and believe me, it ain't pretty.  So, today I'll spend my time cautiously creeping through the house, not wanting to be surprised by our little friend hopping out from under a bed.  Maybe if I just yell, "Uncle" the little sucker will take pity and this perverse game of hide and seek will end.



Its Been a Backwards, Inside Out Kinda Day

Posted by ZenMom Wednesday, September 16, 2009 4 comments

It started the moment I woke up.  Groggy as usual, something just seemed off.

As the morning progressed, I realized I wasn't the only one out of sorts.  The kids were grumpy, so was the hubby, and as for me...I was slow.  Way, way slow.

We had one girl upset about her outfit. And when a tween girl is not happy with her outfit, believe me, nobody's happy. Then our oldest boy was in full mope mode because he was "way too tired."  No amount of pleading or prodding could move him along. As for our youngest?  He was just downright ornery.

We literally had to fight to get the kids out the door.  One mishap after the next meant we left the house nowhere near to on time --  and it was our turn to drive!  Petrified of being kicked out of our lifesaving carpools, several remorseful calls of apology soon followed. 

The fun continued even after the kids were safely in their classrooms.   With the little guy in preschool for only two and a half hours, I have a very structured itinerary for my "free" time. Foiled again, I was plagued by non-working laptops, stores that didn't open on time and dogs that were none to shy about asking to be fed.  Topping off my day, I put my shorts on inside out...not for the first, or the second, but the third time this month!  This finishing touch came when I realized I had them on backward as well.  Thank God I caught it before I left the house.  I haven't been so lucky in the past.

Its just one of those days.  So here it is 11:45 in the morning and I'm wishing for a Do Over.  Wouldn't that be nice?  Since I'm pretty sure I have a snowball's chance of that happening, I'm left to watch the clock -- waiting desperately for this nasty day to end.




Why Is This Getting Harder?

Posted by ZenMom Monday, September 14, 2009 Comments

When I first started this blog, it seemed inspiration was everywhere. I found myself stealing away every chance I got to recapture moment after moment. I was cracking myself up.

Then came the school year. All the kids gone, hours without interruption. So why is it, I can't seem to find the time to write? Or even worse, anything to write about? It makes no sense. But then again, having an uncanny knack for doing things a tad differently than most, I shouldn't be surprised.

I have several theories forming at the moment. First, we've all been sick, and boy, nothing kills creativity like the flu. Then there's the fact that now that I'm here by myself, I'm noticing all those pesky projects that have gone unnoticed for a very, very long while. They keep calling me like some sick stalker.

I've also had the fleeting thought that maybe, just maybe, I'm just losing touch with my creative side.  Fleeting is the operative word in that last sentence, 'cause I'm not ready to go there yet.

Of all these ideas, the one that keeps coming back to me is material. Let's face it, with four kids under foot this summer, we were swimming in it. Chances were good that at any given moment there was someone doing something that was worth noting. Now, with all the peace and quiet, all I seem to have left is,,,peace and quiet.  And while this might be the road to personal fulfillment, it sure can be boring. So what's a girl to do?

Right now, I'm going to enjoy my moments of solace.  A rarity in these parts,  I liken them to those days of youth.  They'll be gone before I know it.

Then, I'll start tackling some of my projects.  Knowing my luck with power tools, or tools of any type actually, I'm sure the material will present itself quickly enough.  And then those creative juices will flow.

In the meantime, I'm just going to lay my head down for a quick nap....Ah, you gotta love peace and quiet, don't you?.




Being Sick Ain't What It Used To Be

Posted by ZenMom Thursday, September 10, 2009 1 comments


Here we are, two whole weeks into the school year, and already our household has been hit by its first bug.  I'll warn any of you living nearby, its a whopper.  It all started last week, when my oldest son woke up complaining of a stomach ache and headache.

Mind you he has a knack for falling ill right around the time he needs to leave for school.  Then, like a faith healing in action, he miraculously takes a turn for the better when he hears the car pulling away. So being the sympathetic (but not born yesterday) mom that I am, I promptly sent him to school anyway.

Later that day, when a routine visit to the allergist led to a throat culture and the dreaded Strep diagnosis, those all-too-familiar pangs of guilt set in.  And as living proof that karma does exist, my head began throbbing the very same afternoon.  One week, a ruptured eardrum, and a self-diagnosed case of the flu later, I'm just now able to muster up the energy to type.

It wouldn't have been so bad if I were the only one down.  But ours is a generous family, and over the course of the last seven days each of my children passed this little bug down to the next in line.  It even took down my husband.

This was, of course, in direct violation of  The Pack. You see, long, long ago, along with love and honor, we pledged never to be sick at the same time.  At the time we had a surprisingly realistic vision of children running around the house unhindered by the likes of adult supervision. Lets just say it was ugly. That's why, in our 15+ years of marriage, The Pact has only been broken once -- that is until this week.

While my husband and I tried to take turns being the grownup, there were still too many times when we were both down for the count. And that's when our ghoulish nightmare came to pass, with amazing accuracy I might add..

When I finally assessed the damage, reality hit like a ton of bricks.  Looks like there was ice cream for breakfast (possibly dinner too) with leftovers on the counters.  Snack wrappers were scattered here and there.  It was kind of hard to see exactly how many because they were being hidden by the dirty clothes.  Oh and then there was the Gatorade spill on the carpet being conveniently soaked up by the cracker crumbs. Needless to say, I was shocked into recovery.

So here I am today, trying to wade through the mess, afraid of what I might come across next.  All the while I'm having flashbacks to those sick days when I was young.  My mom bringing me soup, crackers and ginger ale.  And me, able to just lay in bed until I got better.

Ahh...those were the days. Nowadays all I can say is, "I WANT MY MOMMY!"


Did You Know...

Posted by Accidental Expert Saturday, September 5, 2009 3 comments


...if you shine a flashlight into a frog's eyes at night, he'll freeze in his tracks, allowing you to catch it easily? Its kind of like the deer in headlights thing.

Now I understand this may go under the I-didn't-know-and-frankly-don't-care category for most folks. Who wants to catch those slimy creatures anyway?

Our very own Pond Boy, of course. He talked his dad into a night-time excursion (on a Friday night, no less) down to the water to test his latest theory. One hour, three laps around and five frogs later, he made the following conclusions.

1. You have to shine the light directly into their eyes or it won't work.
2. It doesn't work if you go in the water after them. His shoes, pants and muddy legs can attest to this little factoid.
3. This was way fun!
4. He's none too pleased with Mom's strict catch-and-release policy.

I, however, am very thankful that this little field experiment didn't net us five new hopping additions to our brood. In the meantime, a few good lessons were learned. Pond Boy unwittingly put his school work into action -- and liked it! He also is gaining valuable skills in building persuasive arguments. Dad enjoyed a nice bonding experience with his son. As for me, I thoroughly enjoyed one hour of peace and quiet. In my book, it doesn't get much better than that.


Cleaning for the Cleaners

Posted by Accidental Expert Thursday, September 3, 2009 3 comments

Does anyone else out there do this?

First, let me say that, yes I know, I'm very blessed. We have a cleaner/miracle worker that comes over and makes my house look decent-- at least one morning a week. Unfortunately, my organizationally challenged clan can undo all her handiwork faster than a speeding bullet. Fearing the inevitable, I've actually been known to well up a bit when I see her making her exit.

Its because of our unkempt ways that I do the following: I run around the house like a madwoman on cleaning mornings. I scoop up toys, round up laundry, gather clean sheets and basically do everything in my power to clear a path so as not to hinder her glorious efforts.

All the while my family watches. Actually they watch and chuckle. Then again, most times its more than a chuckle -- mass hysteria has been known to ensue. In part because of the irony of my actions, and in part because they take some perverse pleasure in watching me scurry to and fro in a frantic state.

Even the cleaner has been known to sport a smirk or two when she's spied me in action. Why? Either because she's in on the joke with the rest of my family. Or maybe she's secretly thinking, "Give up lady. This place is never gonna be neat."

I tend to think the latter is the most plausible explanation. But either way, why is it I care how my house looks when the cleaner comes over? Or the refrigerator repair guy or the plumber or whatever worker enters our humble abode. My husband doesn't. My kids sure don't. So what is it about me that feels instantly judged if it has that, shall I say, lived in look? I'm not sure, but here I am, the night before cleaning day, already mapping out my strategy for tomorrow. Some habits are too hard to break I guess.

Zen and the Art of Motherhood

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