Saturday, September 29, 2007

Cancel My Subscription

Lately I have been receiving opportunities through the mail for magazine subscriptions at a super low rate. For eight dollars I signed up for two magazines one of those being Redbook. They call it a market research discount. I have no idea what that means. Typically magazines pile up around my house since I prioritize writing over reading but when given a moment of time, and since I am not a lover of novels, glossy mags suit my impatient reading style.

The October issue of Rebook Magazine arrived in the mail recently and I stuffed it into my nightstand for a future flip through. One particular evening I was perusing the pages and happened upon a section of their magazine titled, "How She Does It." The question they ask, is "How do you make life work?" and usually is about a working mom juggling kids and family while volunteering for a local hospice or something of that nature which should be commended.

I thought about submitting my picture and story about how I use Fun Dip candy to entertain everyone at home while I jog or how chocolate donuts and seven kinds of snack foods end up in my shopping cart since I am talking on the mobile phone while grocery shopping. I could tell them about setting my little ones up in the living room with a bag of popcorn, ice cream sandwiches, and soda so that I can steal an hour on the computer. I could, but I won't.

Their last "featured reader" caused me to cancel my eight dollar subscription. It's a matter of principal. She is a working mother of five children. Crazy! She is a novice pool player. Impressive! She moved from an apartment to a home after her divorce so the kids have their own rooms. Nice! She has her boyfriend, who is twelve years younger that she is, living with them. (she is 36 and he is 24) Not good! She has a 15 year old daughter who is closer in age to her boy toy than she is. Pathetic! AND insists that her toy and the kids "get along so well that it puts a smile on her face." Right! Three of the five children in the picture are NOT smiling. Does that concern her? How fast will that smile fade when they are all in failed marriages and therapy for her stupid decisions? Selfishness is ramped. Selflessness rare.

I cannot believe they feature this women as someone whom we should applaud. My subscription is cancelled. I'll stick with Real Simple, Today's Christian Woman, and The Writer. Their moral compasses notably stay the course.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Vet

I need to preface the fact, before I begin, that I love my dog. There. I said it. He received a blood test last week to determine his thyroid count. Good-bye $60.00. I picked up the necessary medication. Good-bye $20.00. His medication changed as per the blood test. Good-bye $10.00. He needs another blood test in three weeks. That will be another sixty dollars. His medication will need to be re-prescribed. At the low end, it will cost $30.00. That was just this week.

Our dog is fifteen. He is deaf. He eats well, sleeps well, walks, and does what every normal dog does. Why oh why all of the tests? They tried to rope me into a "senior panel" which I chose to opt out of, but they did the test by mistake. I refused to pay for something my dog did not need.

A girl and her boyfriend were picking up "Pumpkin" their bill was $191.00. It had to do with some cleaning and a suggested anal cleanse...ooh.

A gentleman today was picking up "Amber." He purchased a dog tooth brush, ear cleaner and a few other items that he probably did not need. His bill was over one hundred dollars also.

My neighbor adopted a dog from her grandmother who had passed. Five days into the adoption, she discovered that the dog had some problems which would cost her $3,500. Thankfully her father and aunt pitched in to cover the cost otherwise Lola would be...well...sleeping alongside Grandma.

Growing up I wanted to be a veterinarian. I planed on attending UC Davis and receiving the necessary credentials. I then found out how much math was involved. I don't do math. I went into teaching and only had to master fifth grade math. I can do fifth grade math as long as the Teacher's Edition is close by.

Dogs are great. I love dogs. Dogs are expensive. Vets are expensive. I am in the wrong business.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Man Spray

My house wreaks of "man spray" which is much better than having it smell like a hamster's cage or feet. Recently we decided that since our big boy was participating in P.E. two days a week, complete with real uniforms, he needed some deodorant and, well, man spray to be sweet smelling and fresh for his teacher and those around him. Consideration is key.

The genesis of man spray was man soap. In a fatal lapse of consciousness I agreed to purchase an over priced bottle of Axe snake peel with desert minerals plus cactus oil shower gel. Let's just say it is a bottle of yellow soap with sand inside for optimum exfoliation.

My younger two have decided that they too need man spray and man soap even though they are at least eight years from having any pungent smells emit from their pits or other sweat areas and won't touch a P.E. uniform until the fifth grade however, when I buy for one, I must buy for all, regardless of the need. Hence, I also purchased four sets of baseball cards since my thirteen year old daughter is suddenly into collecting the cards but she opted out of the man spray purchase.

We are now the proud owners of four regular sized bottles of body spray and one trial sized bottle to be placed in the P.E. bag and three bottles of man soap. The other day I needed a vacuum cleaner hose to point toward the ceiling and suck up the cloud of man spray hovering in the boy's room. After hearing the "PSSSSTT" sound way more than necessary, I opened the door to find my two little ones and the two neighbor boys with shirts off and each child armed with their own personal can of spray. After choking from the hazardous air, I asked them what they were doing. They replied, "We are playing mans." I believe that this is much better than discovering them playing "ladies."

For now the man spray has restrictions. They are only to apply the scent before school, before a family outing, before church, and after their shower. Setting restrictions on body spray for my four and six year olds was something I never thought I would be doing, However, it could be worse...right? I'll be begging them to use man spray when they are thirteen, or at least one of them, the other boy is fastidious about cleanliness.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Toe Hair

For fifteen dollars I can get a 45 minute pedicure complete with a leg massage, nail trimming, cuticle clipping, and beautiful polish application—money well spent. I am sure to shave my legs prior to my session since I do not want the Vietnamese ladies talking in a language I do not understand, babbling on and about me and my hairy legs while I am trying to enjoy the moment.

I frequent the same salon for my pedicure pleasure ride and before “picking a color” (nail polish) I grab a cup of coffee from the grocery store. I am low maintenance when it comes to coffee. I can catch up on my magazine reading and listen in on a few conversations around me, solve the discussed problems in my head, and then return to reading. Wonderful.

One day my girlfriend and I decided to visit a different salon which was known for their unique polish designs. For your birthday, you could get little candles painted on each toe, for Christmas baby Jesus and an entire nativity scene, (okay, maybe not a nativity scene, but they do paint Christmas trees complete with lights) and for fancy, party toes, you can get rhinestones glued on for extra added bling-bling.

As we sat, waiting for our toes to dry (I had rhinestones applied) we flipped through photo books with pictures of all the different designs that they offered. The pictures were taken after women had their toes painted so the entire photo was…toes…painted toes. Not only are toes gross, pictures of toes are gross even when they have pretty polish applied to them. The grossest part however, was the number of toes with small patches of hair on them. The hair was dark, nasty, long, and took away from the pretty paint job. We shut the books at once, and lost our impending appetites.

The moral of the story: If you are going to get a pedicure, shave your legs. If you are going to shave your legs, by golly do not forget to shave the tops of your toes. You never know when they are going to land themselves onto the glossy pages of a nail salon scrapbook.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Conversation with a Four Year Old

(Driving in the car to McDonald's)
"Mom, that guy just threw his smoker (cigarette) out the window."
"Yea, that is littering."
"That's bad!"
"Yes, people should not litter."
"Cool mans and ladies smoke."
"So I guess that I am not cool since I don't smoke, right?"
"Yep what? I'm not cool."
"Well then, I guess I should start smoking because I want to be cool."
(nervous laugh) "No mom, your just cute. Moms don't smoke right?"
"Some mom's smoke."
"Oh, but that's not good. Cool! Look! A really blue car."
(Instant conversation change) "Yes, that car is very blue."
"I like blue."

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Prepare for Random Miracles

I saw this on the back of a car today while I was jogging:
Prepare for Random Miracles

I absolutely love it and wanted to share it with you. What a terrific outlook on life, to prepare for random miracles. Praise God!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Three CD's

I bought three new CD’s from my list of seven which I would like to purchase by Christmas. Actually, along with my Vespa, TNIV Bible, and lap top computer, I am adding them to my Christmas list. One can never be too early on creating a Christmas list.

As a side note, I caught a glimpse of twinkly lights in the windows of the garden area at Target. My two little ones shouted, "Christmas trees!” while my daughter and I rolled our eyes and she commented, “That is ridiculous mom, Christmas trees in September?” I had to agree although I am not even sure that they were in fact Christmas trees, but they probably were.

Since I teach a mommy and me class through the city, where music and games are played, I found it necessary to play music that is pleasing to my ears as opposed to music which appeals to those under the age of five. Call me selfish. If I went around singing Sesame Street songs, or those produced by Raffi, my brain may turn to Jello and I would drive away any living creature within a ten foot radius as well as be sentenced to a loony bin for mothers who cannot get children's music out of their heads.

For MY listening pleasure I have chosen, Earth, Wind, and Fire Greatest Hits, Chicago Greatest Hits, and Casting Crowns Lifesong. Still to be purchased, or received as a gift...hint, hint, are Journey Greatest Hits, Cars Greatest Hits, Casting Crowns The Alter and the Door, and Boston Greatest Hits. In case you haven't noticed I am a child of the seventies and eighties. The mothers who attend my class with their little ones will appreciate my music choices I'm sure. Last semester I played disco music and repeatedly caught moms dancing and singing along.

I will continue to add to my Christmas list as the day approaches. When I hand it to my kids and husband I'm hoping that they feel generous, otherwise, I will have to make a trip to Target to purchase the forgotton and over looked items for myself - riding my Vespa of course.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Elimination of Two

There are two things that I am never buying again. Legos, and baseball cards. These are the two items that I pick up from the corners of every room, every day.

My kids love to have Legos, but are too young to assemble them alone. I, the one who hates putting together puzzles, gets stuck orchestrating the building of 200 piece boats, trucks, and rescue vehicles. Three days after they are complete, they fall apart, get thrown into a Lego catch-all bin, and are completely unrecognizable within seven days. To me this is complete waste of money. I vow to never spend another dollar of my money on Legos, the toy you can look at but not touch.

Baseball cards are cheap, clean, and no assembly is required…whew! When you step on them in bare feet, instead of leaving gaping, open sores, like Legos, they are smooth and painless. However, they pile up in every area of my house, get thrown in a plastic, zip-lock bag, never to be looked upon again. Although they generally run only $2.00 per package, they are a complete waste of money. I vow to never spend another dollar of my money on baseball cards.

Personally, I am saving my money for a Vespa scooter. My husband doesn’t think that I need one, or thinks that the minute I get one will land myself in a heap of road rash coupled with a visit to the ER. I beg to differ. A Vespa would be perfect for a grocery store visit, quick drive through the dairy, or trip to Target. A helmet would be a must. I think they are cute and I am a safe diver. I am going to ask Santa for a red Vespa this Christmas, but I an NOT sitting on his lap.

As far as the Legos and baseball cards, I wish that I could get back every dollar spent on those items from the last 5 years. Oooooh, I would have a significant wad of cash in my wallet - for at least the day.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Seriously, Joking

Were you able to catch the jokes from my previous post?

~Vacation in Death Valley, CA in August
The temperature in Death Valley in August tip toes over and around 120 degrees. The lizards run for cover. I love the heat, but vacationing near the sun's eyeball requires too much sunscreen.

~Traipse to Vegas to see Celine Dion in concert
Please do not take offense to the fact that I would rather vacation in Death Valley, in August, for three weeks straight than see Celine Dion in concert. However, I would like to see Train, Jack Johnson, John Mayer, or Casting Crowns...just to name a few.

~Invest in the Pooper Scooper Company
The Pooper Scooper is a fantastic contraption and having a Poop Butler visit my yard to remove the waste sounds wonderful. I'm sure that when folks in the O.C. start cutting back on their expenses, due to the high cost of living, the Pooper Scooper guy will be the first in line looking for a new job. I'll take my investments elsewhere.

~Purchase a Llama
Dogs are great, llamas--not so much.

~Sign up for badminton lessons
I have always wanted to learn how to execute a perfect Russian jump
and pop a wheelie on my bicycle. Badminton lessons are for birdies. Get it? I thought that was really funny. I do that a lot though...think that I am funny when no one else does.

~Tattoo my back with a portrait of my family
My tattoo, if I had one, would be small and discrete. I'm thinking about getting my husband's initials on my ring finger, under my wedding band. I know a guy. Can you believe that I know a guy?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

What Would You Do?

If Bags of Money (coins not dollars) Were Dropped on my Doorstep Every Week I Would:

• Send my youngest to preschool three days a week instead of two
• Go on vacation with my husband to Palm Springs
• Get a new veneer on my front tooth
• Buy a new car
• Vacation in Death Valley, CA in August
• Have expensive coffee beans delivered to my home
• Purchase a laptop computer
• Traipse to Vegas to see Celine Dion in concert
• Have the bulging vein on my leg sucked dry
• Take a writing vacation and write, write, write
• Invest in the Pooper Scooper Company
• Take my nieces and nephews on a shopping spree
• Adorn my sister-in-laws with new wardrobes
• Treat my mom and in-laws to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse
• Order new couches and carpeting
• Eat out more often
• Purchase a Llama
• Pave my brother’s driveway with cement
• Pay for my mother’s new roof
• Send my mom to Ohio to see my brother and his family
• Take everyone in our family to Hawaii for two weeks
• Sign up for badminton lessons
• Send my big kids and husband on an African missions trip
• Tattoo my back with a portrait of my family

Can you spot the jokes?
I could go on and on…for real!
What would you do?

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Panty Lines

I need to know. When did panty lines become so offensive? With the age of thong underwear in full swing I tried to recall when the cross over from underwear, which profoundly covered the private places, was replaced with the ever-so-comfortable, exposing the private places—thong.

I admittedly adhere to the fashion phenomenon. (Did I just call thong underwear a phenomenon?) I think that people who tell you that you get used to them, and the way they feel, are…well…liars. Which part of having a small patch of synthetic, elasticized, material shoved up your behind, shouts to the world, “Ooooh that feels great!” On the other hand, with the panty perfectly placed in the crack area, any and all seat picking is eliminated.

Since I am a mother of small children I have been “walked in on” by my little friends while dressing myself. If I am midway through pulling on my jeans and have not yet had a chance to cover my hiney, the youngest will curiously bend down, and looking into my butt with a confused stare ask, “Where did your underwear go?” I choose not to go into much detail and quickly change the subject to clear the mental picture he recently developed. I then offer him a piece of bubble gum. He loves bubble gum. My proposal works.

Personally, I think we should all go back to wearing brightly colored “granny pants.” At least then we could forget about pants entirely and just wear a matching bra. People would just assume we were sauntering about in our bathing suits, and there is nothing wrong with that.

I always go to Target in my bathing suit. That's okay, right?

Friday, September 7, 2007

Idiot: Round Two

As I mentioned previously in, “My Last Drink” post, I am officially an idiot and the idiotic ways continue, which is very scary.

Most women dream of pedicures and shopping all morning when they have all of their children in school, and are finally alone and free. On the other hand, on my first day alone in thirteen and a half years I signed up to work in my Kindergartner’s classroom. I can’t even lie and say that it was a mistake and I signed up on the wrong day. I have no excuse-none.

After dropping all of our happy faced children in their appropriate classrooms at 8:30 I walked to the school office to sign in as a campus visitor and don the proper name tag. I walked back to the Kindergarten room and sat until 8:40 when the teacher was ready to put me to work.

The class was studying the letter “C.” Each child was part of a group that rotated to a different station every fifteen minutes. My instructions were to play, or lead my group in playing “Candy Land.” After ONE HOUR AND TWENTY MINUTES of Kindergartners and Queen Frostine I left the school with visions of lollipops dancing in my head. I went for a 45 minute jog, then went to my mother’s house to shower. She lives close to the school and I was running out of time.

Upon finishing my shower and dressing, I had exactly nine minutes until it was time to drive back to school and pick up the two youngest children. Wow. Can you even handle my exciting day with all four children in school?

I sat on the bar stool and mentioned in a sullen voice, “Six minutes and counting.” My mother looked at me, without a stitch of sympathy and said, “It’s your own fault.” I hate when she exposes the obvious so blatantly.

Yes, it is official, I am an idiot, but I have very grand plans for next Tuesday. I am getting a pedicure, sipping Starbucks coffee, and reading magazines with more pictures than words, for exactly three and a half hours. I may even run around barefooted and pop a couple of chocolate bon bons. My plans also include being very far away from any and all Kindergartners.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Oh Happy Day!

Leaping across the sidewalk like a wild gazelle left me breathless, so I stopped. I closed my eyes to savor the moment and take a long deep breath.

If I let my mind wander over to lists of "to-do's" and things that needed cleaning at home the beauty of the moment would vanish. I stole one last look, as I watched my LAST child line up for his first day of pre-school. After thirteen and a half years, I have all my children in school, but who is counting? ME!

Oh Happy day indeed. If I sit long enough I can hear the ants crawling because the silence is so apparent. I am not complaining. I am grinning from ear to ear.

I have exactly three and a half hours of peace. I relish the thought!