Monthly Archives: December 2013

That word…

… I do not think it means what you think it means.

Sufficed to say, not every word that rhymes with “Tigger” by replacing the first letter should be said aloud. The key is to not say the word yourself, but explain in a short enough and stern enough manner that will ensure it never is said again.

As an (former) English teacher, I have a relationship with words that is schizophrenic inconsistent. (I avoid official words of diagnosis– it just ends up offending people.) There are some slang terms that irritate me intensely; others, I embrace wholeheartedly.

Vacay= no.
Cray-cray= yes.
Noms= blech.
Fo’ shizzle= heck yeah.
Feels*= stop.
Fail= go.
Adorbs= only when applied to children…MY children.

I will say “brb” (pronounced burrb) but I will not speak the word that corresponds to this: #. Spelling out “L-O-L” is ridiculous but I crack up when I say it as a word: “LOLL!”

This is not something I would talk about very much; in fact, I may never bring this up again. Trouble is, I know a lot of people who use these words, and I have no reason to be critical of them for doing so. That would make me a hypocrite, and I’ve seen that happen often enough to know that’s not what I want to be. I enjoy being consistently inconsistent, but not making judgement calls based on it.

Here’s to the English language: long may it live and change and grow. For realsies.Image.

EDIT: I totally forgot to write the footnote indicated by the (*) above. I wanted to toss in an anecdote.
I’m not the only person who has expressed disdain for the word feels as it replaces the word feelings. But when I mentioned this to another person, he broke out into a rendition of a classic song: “Feeee-eeeeels….Nothing more than FEEEEE-EEEEELS!” I don’t think typing it does it justice, but hell– I’m laughing.


Sitting in the nosebleed section

When I was a kid, I thought it was a good idea to run my face into a director’s chair. For years afterward, if I ran too hard or the air was too dry, I’d get a nosebleed. Good times.

A condition like that shouldn’t be hereditary. I seem to have gotten over it, as though scar tissue had finally healed. But somehow, Toughie seems to have acquired this problem. And that’s a shame, because he’s a stoic kid and doesn’t like to show his pain. Blood belies his stoic nature.

Tonight, Toughie and Pint Size Genius were playing hide and seek with Buttercup. I’m not sure what happened next… All I know is, Toughie walks to the bathroom with his head tipped back. Pressure on the bridge of his nose, a few minutes with an icepack, and he’s all better.

I’m seriously re-thinking this “playing in the non-padded bedroom” thing.

Oh, Universe… why you ackin’ so cray-cray?

Like most moms, the default answer to a lot of my kids’ requests is ‘no.’ We’re all intellectually aware that we say it more often than we should, but it’s a very easy answer to give, and darn it, we’re not often wrong to say it.

“Mom, can I download a questionable file on our only working computer?”

“Mommy, I’m going to walk on the road instead of the sidewalk when I’m behind you, ok?”

“Mom, I bet my baby sister bounces if I throw her. Wanna see? For scientific purposes.”

The Regulator found a bunch of glow sticks that Grandma had given them last summer. We had way too much rain while on vacation to play with them outside on the beach, and they subsequently got shuffled away. Of course I didn’t want them to take them out, especially when they got all giddy thinking what great light sabers they would make! But then I said to myself, “self– they’re quite mature. They can handle playing with them. Besides the room is clean, so they can play in the dark without losing teeth by falling on something. What could possibly go wrong?”

(mimicking Jimmy Fallon) Thank you, glow sticks, for showing me EXACTLY what could go wrong.

After several minutes of giggles and thuds that were not immediately followed by crying, The Regulator made his way to the bathroom laughing about how he “glowed up his hands.” One of his sticks cracked (I guess the plastic goes brittle after 6 months) and the stuff oozed onto his hands. I figure it wasn’t the biggest problem, so I just let him go to the bathroom and clean himself up. But then…. ohhhhh, THEN!! He goes back into the bedroom and freaks out: 

“What did you do?!?!?! It’s EVERYWHERE!!”

Well– that will get your butt in gear! I go into the room to see little glowing spots all over the room. Toughie thought it would be a good idea to splatter the glowing stuff around the bedroom. It looked like the beginning of a rave. Or a planetarium. Either way, I was not pleased. 

Thankfully, the stuff doesn’t last very long outside of the tube, and the rest I washed off with plain water. But that was not fun, not in the least. And I’ll thank you to notice that I never threatened the boy with the Naughty List. He was sufficiently sorry, so I didn’t have to force the point.


On a serious note, someone I love dearly who says “yes” to life better than anyone I know is suffering a loss. To be forced to answer the question, “are you having a baby?” with “no” when the answer was “yes” so recently… it hurts. But she is blessed with family and friends who are there for her. Who knows: she might have chance to say “yes” once again. Either way, she will carry on. So we support her in that.

I wasn’t dreaming of this…

I couldn’t care less about having a White Christmas. But we’ve had three snow events already, and the winter solstice hasn’t happened yet. Unless there’s another storm next week, it’ll be more of a, “dingy, crusty, dirt-and-tar-streaked Christmas” anyway.
So far, the boys have had a delayed opening, an early dismissal, and one full-on snow day: that’s today.

Last night, we got the call that it was a delayed opening. The boys were already in bed, and the hubs and decided to stay up late watching TV (he already had the day off). So we posted a note on the door telling the boys to let us sleep in a little.

Would you believe it worked? Granted, the only one who didn’t heed our note was the one who doesn’t read. Buttercup let me sleep in a whopping half hour. But the boys were in the living room, reading and playing with the rubber band loom. The Regulator made me a ring, and wrote a note to go with it.

I should be cleaning, sorting, decorating, baking. But I’d end up crabbing, nagging, grumping, and sassing. Not a way to spend the day. If it so happens that I can get any of the former accomplished without the latter, great.

My grown-up Christmas (play) list

(NOTE: “My Grown Up Christmas List” does NOT make the cut! I dislike it muchly…)

In an attempt to counterbalance my Grinchy-ness about Christmas, I thought I would share the songs that I do want to hear; however, I refuse to make myself a playlist or CD: it has to just happen.

“Christmas Wrapping” The Waitresses
I don’t know why…I just love this one and it’s not the holidays without it. Maybe because it’s relatively obscure.

“O Holy Night” Josh Groban ONLY
I can sing it one octave up and feel like a freaking opera star…and let’s face it: Josh is pretty!
“God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen/ We Three Kings” Barenaked Ladies w/ Sarah McLachlan
Seriously…my favorite band and they do such a great job with this song…it’s fun and funky
“Do They Know it’s Christmas” by the stars of Band Aid.
Because nothing screams Happy Holidays like starving children in Africa! Whatevs, it’s still a good song. My sister in law’s fave, so it needs to be on the list.
“Little Drummer Boy” Pentatonix
…because wow! This a cappella group is the bomb diggity!
“The 12 Days of Christmas” Straight No Chaser
How can you go wrong with an a cappella group of men who reference Toto’s “Africa”?
“You’re a Mean One, Mister Grinch” by Thurle Ravenscroft.
You read that right…the guy who sang it in the original animated feature. A couple of other guys have done an okay job of it– but there’s nothing like the original.
“Better Days” Goo Goo Dolls
Don’t tell me this isn’t a Christmas song! It gets played on the pop stations all year, but it’s about baby Jesus and gifts and resolutions and shut up your face…Christmas!
“I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” but I don’t know who sings it
…but with a title like that, who cares? It’s adorable.

“Dominic the Italian Christmas Donkey” Lou Monte (thanks, hon!)
At least no one had been stupid enough to remake it and muck it up.

“Wonderful Christmastime” Paul McCartney
It’s just nice to hear. And hello! Paul McCartney!
I think that’s pretty much it…I’ll add more as I remember them.


EDIT: fixed typos, added Lou Monte and Paul McCartney, and I also wanted to mention that I actually heard BNL w/ Sarah McLachlan today on my way to pick up the Christmas Cards! I call it an ‘organic’ listening experience: it just started playing on the radio– I like to think I was rewarded for taking the long way ’round to the store.

Too Shy

(hush hush, eye to eye…Yeesh, this is getting weird!)

We had some photos printed this evening. (Couldn’t beat the price: a16x20 on stretched canvas, 8×20 banner with a silver finish, and a 5×7 mounted photo…all for free! I just had to pay tax.) They look gorgeous; obviously, since my kids are the subjects. (I’m dead serious– the Hubs and I aren’t the only ones who think my children are downright breathtaking. It’s a real ego boost.)

One of the pictures we had made into a 5×7 was of my grandmother (God rest her soul) with Buttercup at her baptism. It’s one if the last major events she attended before she passed last February. On our way home, the Hubs and I were talking about how great it was that we had a nice picture of a loved one who has passed. That’s when it occurred to us that we don’t have pictures of many family members at all, let alone any of folks we want our kids to remember. We need to do something about that. Those lovely folks who deserve a visual memorial were the type to hang back, not be in the picture. I feel like that happens a lot.
These weren’t people who geared the camera, who were somehow ashamed…they were just busy. They were up getting someone what they needed instead of sitting with the folks in the shot. They were in the kitchen, out in the car, or off at the store.
I want to be that person: the one who helps. But I also want to be visually present as well as emotionally present. Here’s to striking the proper balance.