Saturday, June 30, 2007

Feeling the love

Michelle at Scribbit gave me some props today:

Aw, shucks. Thanks!

I get bestow the honors next...stay tuned.

ahem....meme, me me me

Ms. SusieJ tagged me. I can't resist. Here's my one word meme:

Where is your cell phone? purse
Relationship? funny
Your hair? longer
Work? work? unpaid
Your sister? here
Your favorite thing? life
Your dream last night? forgot
Your favorite drink? chai
Your dream car? subaru?
The room you’re in? family room
Your shoes? dansko sandals
Your fears? pain
What do you want to be in 10 years? healthy
Who did you hang out with this weekend? family, good friends
What are you not good at? housekeeping
Muffin? vegan
One of your wish list items? housekeeper (there's a theme building)
Where you grew up? Sandy
Last thing you did? Meet pet snake
What are you wearing? white t-shirt, capris
What aren’t you wearing? lipstick
Your pet? Sophie, Snickers, Timmy and fish friends
Your computer? hp pavilion
Your life? full
Your mood? calm
Missing? sleep
What are you thinking about right now? 4th of July
Your car? fun
Your kitchen? adequate
Your summer? beginning
Your favorite color? red
Last time you laughed? minutes ago
Last time you cried? Thursday
School? love
Love? books

Ok, I'm running towards you...Lori, Irene, Bad Mom, and Tara. You're it.


I got tipsy last night. For the record, I can't remember the last time I had to concentrate to walk to a bathroom at a restaurant.

Jack Daniels, I thought I knew thee. I guess we have drifted apart.

I'm a lightweight these days.

Lexi and Zack spent the night with my parents last night so we could go to a wine tasting. We had a great time.

We hung out with friends, drank up and laughed a lot.

Hurray for summer.


I posted some shallow thoughts at MtMS too; alcohol is calorie free, right?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Not fair

Late in the afternoon the third installment of 'let's bug the crud out of Mom by needling each other' broke out and I sent both kids to their rooms. Where they wailed. Could they be anymore dramatic? I ask in my very best Chandler voice. It's hard to say. But they get an A for effort.

They reappeared, meeker souls with dirty tear-streaked faces. The three of us decided to pick out some flicks, while Greg is out of town. They hopped on their scooters and I trailed along behind them up to Blockbuster.

After a minor miracle (agree on one movie my pretties), we came home with Everyone's Hero.

Now, I didn't have high expectations for this baseball movie and let me assure you, it stunk.

And I hate that it stunk. I kept this to myself - the kids didn't complain, eating popcorn, curled up on the couch with me. But it was Christopher and Dana Reeve's pet project - one that Christopher began and Dana never saw completed. Their friends finished it for them.

I can't write about the Reeves without tearing up. They faced tremendous, daily struggles, but came across as calm, peaceful, joyful. I can't dress myself somedays without pitching a fit; I whine about my husband being away, about my kids being twits. I'm sure they had bad days too. I just want a little more of what they had going on.

I remember the last interview with Dana, when it appeared she was winning her battle against lung cancer. She lit up the room. I was stunned when they announced her death, weeks later.

It wasn't fair. That's all I kept thinking. She was young, her son is now an orphan. It's not fair.

Not fair. Not fair. Not fair.

It's not very useful thinking, but I've had a serious case of wanting life to be fair. When I think about my little neighbor boy, D, and his meth-addicted Mom. When I think about life with a special needs child. When I watch the news.

Point your finger anywhere on the globe, and you'll find heartache - and it makes me feel helpless.

But I took something away from the corny little baseball movie Superman took under his cape:"No matter where life takes you, you keep swinging."

Can't hurt to keep trying.

Runaway Rodent

That's my happy girl, with her furry friend, MIA for days. So glad he's back.

Wordless Wednesday, get your fill.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Eat at Joe's

Last night we dumped left the kids with my sister and we headed for the river for dinner. The host seated us on the deck; he seemed amazed and genuinely impressed that we were celebrating 13 years together.

(Because we are so youthful.)

Because marriage is tough sometimes.

I stand with the host tonight - amazed, thankful. Greg gets me and I think I understand him. We laugh, we joke, we still like to hang out.

I am blessed and lucky.

The kids didn't share my sappy feelings when we arrived to take them home. They grumbled and growled and begged us to go away just a little longer - the trampoline was almost assembled in Aunt Lori's backyard and we were ruining their evening.

(Their evening. Those little darlings.)

But the roses were mine.

13 roses

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Superstitious (not really)

13 years, gulp

Greg and I got hitched 13 years ago. Happy anniversary, honey.

You're the best.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The rodent returns

Friday morning began with big, sloppy tears - tears on my pillows, tears on my robe. I came out of the shower and Lexi was sobbing.

Her beloved hamster, Snickers, had been officially missing for 24 hours, and her optimism had turned to despair. He hadn't returned. We couldn't find him.

{And I worried, privately, that our dog Sophie had scored a warm meal.}
She cried all morning.

Brushing her teeth reminded her of the 'cute way he yawned'.

She pondered what kind of syrup Snickers would choose for his waffles, if he was around, if he had waffles.

Sad, sad, sad.

She pulled it together long enough to play with friends and ride her bike. She started looking forward to the next pet. She was picking out names.

Then dinner came and there was more crying, more misery.

She finally fell asleep on the couch.

That's when we saw Snickers scooting across the floor, on a grand adventure. I cornered him in the bathroom while Greg ran to get his pet carrier.

There was jubilation! Cheers! Excitement! And that was just the parents whooping it up.

Welcome back little critter. Now turn in your passport; you aren't going anywhere.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Rat- tat - tat

My brain is empty, with little to offer. The few, the proud, my brain cells, were sacrificed to the end-of-school gods; the ones that beckon with Awards and Assemblies and Parties. Oh sure, a couple of lines would blaze through my mind this past week, and I would start forming a Post. But then I would come to and clap while the trophies were divvied up.

It was a week of paying attention.

Zack and Miss Holmberg
Zack and his teacher on the big day

the boys (Aunt Lori)
Zack and Austin on Father's day (Aunt Lori too).

Lexi bridges up
Lexi bridges to Junior Girl Scouts

Greg, father's day
Greg on Father's Day


I'm off to get groceries. With proper care and nourishment, I hope to boot up my brain and reclaim my status as a superawesomerocking reliable blogger.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: AARGH

They're at it again: Wordless Wednesday

Wanted: Help for hookers

My, my. You do have a dirty mind. Here I am, trying to rally support for a good cause, and well, I chose the naughty title.

Shelly at This Eclectic Life is seeking crocheted squares for the Happy Hookers to assembly into afghans for Camp Sanguinity - a camp for kids with cancer and blood disorders.

If you are handy with a needle (are they called needles?) or just want to pimp (couldn't resist) the project, head over here now.

{Maybe my Mom can help Lexi make some...}


I am reworking my template today, so I imagine it is going to look wonky. Like Willy Wonka, but wonky.

My brain is somewhat scrambled. Please forgive.

Ok, back to the trenches.


Gee, who am I anyway?
another 37
I imagine that depends on who you ask. I'm a Wheeler girl from a small town, Greg's wife, Lexi and Zack's Mom, and a woman that loiters at the elementary school. I'm a bookseller, a ministry major, a friend. I'm the wanna-be gym rat; I'm the one caressing the laptop. I'm the one with the worn out library card.

I've got me some different hats.

My closet is filled with my little sister's hand-me-downs.

I haven't read Harry Potter.

I'm obsessed with pumpkins.

I miss Buffy.

{I'm bound to rewrite this. Stay tuned.}


Zack & Lexi. They call me 'Mama'.

Thanksgiving 2006

Thanksgiving with my side of the family.

Before the Silent Auction

Mr. Hubby and me.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Need a lift?

I'm headed to the school for Field Day. (Yes, Virginia. We are STILL in school.) I don't do Idol anymore, and well, typically this stuff gets on my nerves. HOWEVER. I was moved by this footage from Britain's Got Talent. Hope it does the same for you.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

One Brassiere to Rule Them All

For the record, I never threw up last week.

But I am starting to wonder if that would have been the better plan. The other inhabitants did their business and recovered, lickety-split. I took the tidier route - no mess, extended belly ache.

Whine, whine, whine, and not a drop to drink, because it isn't friendly to the gut.

But it explains a lot. I am a better mother and saner woman in the absense of pain.

I helped in the classrooms, got the groceries, did what I said I would. But I was grimacing and grouchy with the kids. Snappy. Impatient. Using crappy parenting skills because I just couldn't or wouldn't summon up the energy to do the good mother thing.

Oh, and did I mention Greg was out of town?

By Tuesday, I was hustling out of my scuzzy homebound clothes into Proper Parent Volunteer Attire when I had a meltdown. At 36. Because I couldn't find the neutral, buff colored bra that I wear under light shirts. The bra I can wear with anything. The one bra to rule them all. It was missing.

My cheerful disposition was seriously in jeopardy.

But I managed to get dressed, like a big girl, and spent the afternoon helping 3rd graders through the writing process.

I'm feeling better today; I'm turning the corner.

And I am stocking up on the Holy Bras, just in case.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Threats and false accusations

Zack: Blah, blah...kills me. Blah, blah...I'm going to kill. Kill. Kill. Kill.

[Methinks my son has settled on a favorite new word. He does not watch The Sopranos.]

Day after day...

MM: Zack, I don't want to hear you say 'kill' all day long.

MM: I said stop saying 'kill'.

MM: Please say 'live' or 'resurrect'.

MM: Hmph*^#$@@!

This morning...

MM: I've made it pretty clear that you need to stop threatening to kill things/people/villains/invisible friends. Even pretending. 'We' don't threaten people.

Zack: What about Corbin Bleu?

MM: What??? Why would we want to hurt him?

Zack: You threatened to kill Corbin Bleu on Sunday!! Remember?

I know I was sick Sunday, but rest assured, no casual threats were coming from my lips while my rump was planted on the sofa.

Not in front of the kids anyway.

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Bye-bye Tony. We'll miss you.

I spent the morning with my fingers lodged in my ears, hoping to avoid the inevitable chatter about The Sopranos' series finale. I failed. I now know how it ends.

This is the price we pay for being cheap and waiting for our favorite HBO shows to come out on DVD. Maybe I'll forget by next year.

I called Greg, on the road this morning, and we deconstructed the show, sight unseen. Leave it to us to analyze something secondhand.

Then again, I hear pundits do all the time.
picture courtesy of iflipflop.com

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Try, try again

I am entering another amusing post in This Eclectic Life's 2nd This Blog Blows My Dress Up Contest.

{All Skate, Reverse Direction}

Do you make your readers chuckle? Well, send in your own entry silly. The deadline is June 15th.

Go to it.

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Put down thy pencil

I finished reading a short book on meth this afternoon. It was a self-published memoir riddled with small errors.

I could get past the mistakes; I got wrapped up in the story. I saw the iUniverse logo.

But the previous reader tried her hand at editing and did a poor job.

[There were snarky remarks penciled in the margins.]

It took some effort, but I resisted correcting her corrections.

It was just rude.

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Conversations with God

It is summer - time for parks, hikes, BBQs and camp. I don't watch TV this time of year. AND YET. Studio 60 had a ALL NEW episode last night, just when I thought it went the way of the dodo. It brought out the ALL CAPS in me.

I stink at reviews so I will spare you all but this: Studio 60 is the only primetime show I can think of with a Christian woman that prays on the show, talks about her faith that can't be quantified, without acting like she is just off the prairie or dons a bonnet. I'm not issuing a fatwa against prairies or bonnets - if they work for you, fine. But I need a Harriet. I need to see a Christian living in the city, with a sense of humor, a belief in God; a woman that loves the people around her and doesn't build a wall around herself. I need a Matt. (He looks a lot like a Chandler to me.) I need to see a man struggle to understand the woman he loves and the beliefs she holds.
I need Studio 60.

In last night's episode, Harriet stopped to pray during a crisis. It was awkward. My eyes felt the urge to roll. But I wonder why. I struggle with prayer. I feel like an idiot when I lead a prayer, even among friends. I struggle with how to pray when I am alone. Friends ask me to pray for them, their love ones. And I try. I do.

Yet, I wonder: Am I doing it right?
Did I miss the prayer portion of the ministry program?

I try to quiet my heart. I think about those in need. I ask God to help. I thank him.
I hope it is enough.
Oh, I almost forgot. As promised:

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Let's talk about books (it's better than 'let's talk about puke' anyday.)

We made it through 2 hours of soccer practice before Pukefest 2007 began; first Lexi, then Zack. We have been spared by the Vomitgods until recently, nothing for years. Yay, lucky us. Then over Memorial weekend, Lexi redecorated our friends' bathroom in the middle of the night. (Such a resourceful girl, working the late shift.) Zack treated his bed, his room, my room and the bathroom to a makeover that took all morning to make right again.

Poor babies.

Can you smell the Lysol?

So, we are watching Star Wars, waiting for Aunt Lori to run some popsicles to our doorstep.

While I am charming you with tales of gore and wretchedness, let me tell you about some books I just read: Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey and Blindness.

I began Rant shortly after going to the Palahniuk reading in Portland, but couldn't get past page 30. I was disappointed. I don't fancy this style of writing - different characters 'tell' the story in turn - it feels disjointed. I took a break, read Blindness, and came back to it. Leave it to Palahniuk to come up with some crazy things like a health crisis from a Superspreader of a drug resistant form of rabies, or a fella that uses black widow spider bites to bring about priapism, a natural Viagra of sorts. Then days later, the news was crawling with the Andrew Speaker story and this tidbit about spiders in Chile. Palahniuk seems to be 2 steps ahead of the headlines. I hope the next title is written in good ol' prose.

Blindness was a turn-off at first glance. The translation from Portuguese to English comes with long paragraphs of dialogue with nary a quotation mark in sight. It hurt my head. It's a dark allegorical tale (couldn't resist) about a blindness that sweeps a city, leaving the inhabitants desperate and starving. I wish I could say that it was heavy-handed, that rape and murder and government tyranny wouldn't happen during a widespread crisis, but I am too cynical today. (Remember, I am not feeling groovy on the inside.) It is a worthy read, worthy of the Nobel prize it garnered. I picked up the sequel, Seeing, from the library. I'll let you know how it goes.

Still feeling happy? Rent Hannibal Rising; it'll bring you down. Rising did not meet critical or commercial success, but I thought it was better than the brain-eating Hannibal . The childhood story of Hannibal Lecter of Silence of the Lambs fame is horrifying. Think World War II famine in Lithuania, loss of family, loss of hope. There was a part of me that felt pity for him early in the movie, watching him lose his humanity. But at some point the young Hannibal becomes the monster that taunts Jodie Foster in later years, and how he got there fades away.

That's all the grimness I can muster in one sitting. Tomorrow I will turn to unicorns and pastel pink lollies, for your reading pleasure.

Edited to add: Blindness is being brought to the big screen.

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

My dark heart

I get choked up sometimes. When I saw Zack searching the crowd for my face at church on Mother's Day, to give me a daisy, my throat burned. When someone outside the family unit whoops and hollers for my kids playing soccer, my eyes have been known to get misty.

[Between you and me, I shed a tear when the irreverent former vengeance demon, Anya, died fighting the good fight in the Buffy series finale. Did I just say that?]

I can be sappy.

But then I have the audacity to be all tough when it's least expected.

My friend, Carey, cried when our preschoolers finished school last spring. I stood on the sidewalk, calm and reasonable, which is usually her job.

And then my friend Tara posted this today.

Some friends have expressed concern that I will be bereft when Zack goes to school all day next fall.

And yet I feel ready, more than ready - is that wrong? Time keeps moving forward. I'm just going along for the ride.

[In other news, I have grown fond of Mr. Squarepants. This may be a sign o' the times - make peace with your Maker, y'all.]

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Yikes! Stripes: A Cautionary Tale

A rapid application of sunscreen before two soccer games = white stripes.

A rapid application of self-tanner, you know, to cover up said stripes = brown stripes.

[Fool-proof? Mwahh ha ha. Yeah right.]

I'm a mess.

I'm headed to the zoo this morning with Zack's kindergarten class. I shall blend with my zebra kin-folk.

At least it is supposed to rain this week.

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

Using God against me

Zack, 6:01 am: Mama. Mama, I'm so hungry.

Mama, always teasing: And I guess you think I will feed you.

Zack: Yes, because you are my Mommy.

Mama: And Mommies feed kids???

Zack: Yeesss. It says so in the Bible.