Friday, August 31, 2007

Frequently Uttered Phrases

Sussanah posted recently about the phrases we frequently say to our children. And has a brilliant idea about recording them so they can automatically played back.... saves time and sanity. I think we should also record the phrases our children say most often. Around our house these words are:

1. Mom/Mooooooooooommmmmmmmm/Moooooooommmmmmmmmmmmyyyyyyyyyy!
2. But Mom/Mooommmm/Moooooooommmmmyyyyyy!
3. Please, Can I _____________?
4. But He/She started it!
5. I had that first!!
6. Just five more minutes?
7. Have you seen my ______________________?
8. That's not fair!
9. Come see what Abby is doing to/on/with eggs/crayons/markers/Vick's Vapor Rub/yogurt/peanut butter/cream/dishwasher detergent/water/toilet paper OR some combination of these items.
10. Where's Dad? (because he's the softie)

The repetition, frequency and combination of these phrases has consequences for Mommy. Should I take two Advil or three? One glass of wine or two? One bottle of wine or two? Do we have any spirits? Are there any narcotics in the medicine cabinet? How many would be too many? Mixing pills and alcohols is bad, right? Really bad.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

pink floyd the wall 1982 - Another Brick in The Wall -

J.T. is home today, recovering from the earache. And I am at work feeling blue. I just hate it when one of the kids is sick... they seem so fragile and I just wish I could wave a wand and make them feel better.

My son is in first grade this year and will be seven in January. His teacher says he is very, very well-behaved (He is always so eager to please), but he has trouble staying on task, struggles some with reading and has horrible hand-writing. I feel overwhelmed. Rob and I have read to our children since before they were born. We spend lots of time with them, playing inside and out, teaching them the basics and asking them questions to encourage them to think. But I feel like J.T.'s problems at school must be my fault.... even though I hate the way they structure school now (worksheets, worksheets, worksheets) and I feel that is part of the reason he has trouble staying focused. Who wants to spend all day doing worksheets?!

J.T. is a daydreamer. He can spend hours imagining stories and events and creating whole new worlds for himself. He thinks about things, asks good questions and is very, very bright... yet the simple task of completing a worksheet from start to finish is nearly impossible for him. I don't know what to do! I don't want to quash his creativity, but I don't want his self-esteem to falter because the other kids get it and he doesn't. ARGGGGHHHHHH! Right now, I just want to curl up in a ball and let the world scream on by without me for a few hours. Or maybe I should have Rob go get that wine?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The MeMe

I am accepting Tracey's challenge, though I doubt I'm as good a liar as she is.... she did have help, the cheater. There is momentary calm at the Cannady house, so I have time to play. There is one lie in each of the following categories about moi. You have to find them. Rob and Angel will have to be banned from playing since they know me too well.

Four Things you Might Not Know About me:
1. I suck at grammer. I dangle my participles and splice my commas. I capitalize words that I deem important, rather than use the proper noun rule.

2. I'm adopted. My parents have three children older than me and decided they wanted an even number of children.

3. I love a good argument, debate or philisophical discussion on almost any topic.

4. I love to watch sports, particularly American Football.... and I am very, very vocal in my support or my opposition to a particular team.

Four Jobs I've Had:
1. Babysitter.

2. Martha's Gift Shoppe (Why do people do that? Shoppe.) Worked on Saturdays while going to GSU. I was in charge of everything: cleaning, displays, gift wrapping, bridal registries.... my boss kept her records on manila file folders, old envelopes, etc. Yes I said ON file folders, not IN them.

3. Professional Organizer. Helping people pare down their junk and get their closets, cabinets and offices into order.

4. Secretary. AKA Everything to everbody. A job I have really enjoyed. Having an office all to yourself and working independently.

Four Movies I watch over and over:
1. Philadelphia Story. That Carey Grant is just a lovely, lovely man.

2. Halloween. Love a good horror movie.

3. Love Actually. Okay I'm stuck on the Grant's. Hugh is so wickedly funny. I can forgive him his one indiscretion back in the nineties.

4. Star Wars. This is actually more of a requirement at our house.... so it's a good thing I like it.

Four favorite TV Shows:
1. Top Chef. I don't know why. I love to cook, I have dozens of cookbooks and I like a little drama, as long as it isn't under my roof.

2. The Sleuth Channel. I like mysteries. And they show lots and lots of Magnum, P.I. reruns.

3. Barney. Can't resist that song. I love you, you love me...

4. What Not to Wear. I keep hoping I'll pick up some tips... or better yet, figure out how to apply them to my wardrobe. Not working so far though.

Four Hobbies:
1. Reading, reading and reading. When I have time.

2. Baking. I love to make cookies. Tea cakes (think simple, lightly sweetened, crispy) are a speciality.

3. Crafts. I can sew, cross-stitch, knit, quilt and scrap-book with one arm tied behind my back. I was the star of our 8th grade Home Economics class. You should have seen the beautiful shirt I made and wore to school.... the stitching alone was a masterpiece.

4. Blogging. Also considered a diary/psychiatrist's couch. I can vent all my frustrations and get a laugh from the comments.

Four Places I have Lived.
1. Atlanta. Can't get enough of that city living. Who doesn't enjoy 8 lines of highspeed traffic at rush hour?

2. Metter, Georgia. Where "Everything is Better!" Population almost 4,000 people.

3. In a mobile home for almost 6 years while Rob and I saved for a down payment on a house. Sold it for a pretty good profit, too.

4. Iron Horse Road. Our first true house (and we plan on only) right next door to my in-laws. My dining room and kitchen are Mediterranean Red and my den is Nantucket Grey (actually mossy green).

Four Places I'd Rather Be:
1. Anywhere Hugh Jackman might be. Just so I can stare at him, in all his masculine glory.
2. Reading on my couch... while the kids are at Grandma's.
3. On a date with Rob. Just the two of us enjoying some intelligent conversation, a nice meal and maybe a movie.
4. On the observation deck of the Empire State Building, enjoying the lovely view of New York City.

Four Foods I love:
1. Absolutely anything sweet. Cake, chocolate, cookies, fruity desserts, pies....
2. Corn. I will eat it anywhere, Sam I am, on a plane, in a train, on a car, at the bar.
3. Peanut Butter. I add it to raisin bran, put it on my toast and love a good PB & J. Somethings you never outgrow.
4. Italian. Spaghetti, pizza, Alfredo, crostini.... Low-carb is for pansies.

Can you spot the lies. Some are obvious, some not so much. I'm not tagging anybody, since most of my blog readers have already seen Tracey's post and may choose or not choose to take up the gauntlet. Be kind in your comments please. Because my children have not been gentle with me and do not seem to desire my happiness that much at the moment.

*****Edited at 6:55 p.m. on Tuesday, August 27th. Why is it than when one says something absolutely stupid like: Things are quiet around the Cannady house.... that it becomes a jinx on that statement being true??? J.T. came home from school with an ear infection. Didn't complain about it to the teacher, but was in tears an hour after school got out. I get to spend tonight up with him as ear infections are of course, most painful at night. And the next five days struggling to get his antibiotics past his gag reflex (which is very very strong -- just like his mother who can't brush her teeth without gagging). It's a horrible, terrible, no-good, very bad day, to quote Alexander.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Scrambled Eggs

What should one do when one's toddler opens a brand new carton of eggs, takes them to the den (whose floor is covered in carpet) and proceeds to crack them... seven of them (but I'm just making a cake!)?

Make scrambled eggs, of course. Even if no one wants to eat them and it becomes a feast for the family dog. The happy result of the scrambled eggs is that mommy decided to add wine to the grocery list for next week. Good wine... maybe two bottles.

Friday, August 24, 2007

But Can He Moonwalk?

Flashback Friday - Rob, circa 1984 in his Leather pants, leather jacket and aviator sunglasses (now back in style). I know he was going for the cool rock star look, but now, he just looks adorable (and reminds me of J.T.). It was apparently Christmas morning, judging by the pile of presents behind him. And (you knew I was going to bring this up, Rob)it might even be the year he got the Atari. When they cost $300 (I know this because I found the box in his parents attic with the price tag still attached)!!! Must have been nice being an only child.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

For a Super Princess

Flowers for Ava Rosemeyer on her Fourth Birthday. Please keep Sheye, Crayton and family in your thoughts and prayers today. Ava got under my skin and into my heart when I read about her. Sheye has a way of writing that makes you feel like you are experiencing the things she describes first-hand. Nothing on earth will make this day anything less than hard for the Rosemeyer’s. But hopefully, the beauty of Ava’s life and the fact that so many, many people have been, continue to be and will be touched by it provides some support for them. Please click on Ava’s name to go to her website and light a candle for her.

Things I have done that I might not have had it not been for Ava:

*See earlier post pictures of two very, very muddy children.

*Painted my own nails pink with glitter to make Abby laugh after I did hers.

*Sat on the back porch and just watched the kids play while the dishes were piled high in the sink…. And truly not worried about it.

*Stopped to feel the breeze on my skin, the sun on my face, notice the smell of honeysuckle in the air and not give a thought to what is next, just focused on taking in the moment.

*Tried to quit rushing head-long into the future and stopped to enjoy what is now: Two laughing, beautiful, wild children wrapped in the innocence of childhood, a great love, good friends and friendships, the wisdom of my parents, and the bonds I have with a loving sister and brother.

Thank you Ava. To use your mother’s words: You are Beauty Full.

Please spare a thought and a prayer for the Rosemeyer’s today, and for all mother’s who have had to let their children go…my own mother included.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Best Friends

My dear friend Angel turns 32 on August 20th. We have been friends almost our entire lives, ever since we were in nursery together crawling around on the purple carpet and playing with the oversized cardboard bricks. We have shares joys and laughter and endured our sadnesses together. Together we spent hours playing and pretending at her house and mine. We snuck into the kitchen for late night ice cream and stayed up late sharing our thoughts. I have even made many a trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night (you have to have the world's smallest bladder) because our long, dark hallway was too scary to make the trip alone. We experienced the bad 80's perm, the mean high school French teacher and first boyfriends. We have cruised the streets of our hometown in the family sedan singing along to the radio as loudly as possible and dreaming of "the one". Rob swears my voice changes when I talk to Angel on the phone. It does. We have our very own dialect.

We aren't exactly alike. And I have to say I am insanely jealous of her ability to take something inexpensive and make it look tres chic, whereas on me it would just look cheap. I would give my right arm for her gorgeous thick hair and I hate, hate, hate that she can eat one bite of something and put it down with an: I'm full.

For my children, the thing I wish most for them in life is A) the courage to follow their dreams and B) a great love and C) a best friend. Happy Birthday Angel. I loves you! (The picture above is of Angel holding a freshly hatched J.T. for the first time. The quality is crap... it is an old picture that was scanned. I found a new one, but can't get it loaded. I'll post it later.)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Bumpy, Bumpy!

Abby comes into the bathroom just after I finished my shower this morning while I am attempting to both hang onto towel (because every parent knows that bathrooms are very rarely private) and brush my teeth. Of course the towel, ahem... gapes a bit in the back, exposing some tush. Abby gives me a pat on the bare bottom and says:

"Bumpy! Bumpy!"

Thankyouverymuch, Abs! And unless you find someway around being female... you too will be gifted with cellulite someday. And you did your part to contribute to the bumpiness my dear. Don't children have a way of completely squashing your ego! I may have to get in touch with Jennifer and find out where to find the tush cream.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Some Things NEVER Change

Kids and Mud Puddles. The wonderful benefit of a two hour thunderstorm is lots and lots of mud. I started to threaten evil things upon them when they first discovered the puddle.... until I remembered what absolute fun it is to slather yourself in mud and feel it squish between your fingers and toes! (and throw it at your sibling).

It entertained them for over an hour... and the clean-up was surprisingly easy. A few minutes with the garden hose got the worst of it off. I did have to spend 15 minutes pre-treating their clothes before laundering, but it was worth it. Someone remind me why we spend so much on Christmas and Birthday gifts? It seems like the best toys are free.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Silly Picture Fun

We had a horrible thunderstorm last night that lasted almost two hours. In order to distract ourselves from the very scary (but beautiful) display of lightning flashes and thunder crashes, the kids and I played a game of taking silly pictures. We even let Abby have a turn! Note J.T. has a half-eaten peanut butter cracker sandwich in one hand while he flexes and that Abby's wild face is actually not too far from her normal expression! Abby took the off-center picture of J.T. and I and he took the pic of Mommy and Abby. It really was fun. We have been having a solid week of 100F/38.8C (how kind am I to convert for my Aussie friends!) Tomorrow's forecast calls for 102.... so outdoor play is very limited.

Some more married dialogue fun:

After we had the horrible family portrait day.... Rob and I had the following exchange:

Rob drops a jar of mayonnaise on the floor and the tightly screwed-on lid pops right off (luckily the jar was plastic) and spews mayo all over the floor. He requests my aid in "what do you use to clean something greasy off the floor?"
He sighs while I get the dish detergent and a warm wet cloth and I offer:
"Gosh, hon. The whole Universe is against you today!"
He says: "Gee Thanks. I was going to say the world was against me. I really don't need the whole Universe against me. It's nice to know when I hit rock bottom, you're there with a jackhammer."

Yep, babe! I'm here for you. For better or for worst. Even when the whole Universe is against you!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Artist and Mr. Reward

Our Abigail is quite the artist. Above you see her latest composition: "Circles and Lines. A study in geometry and the an exploration of the colors purple and orange on blue canvas. The Artist eschews the use of paper, preferring to create her masterpieces as murals. Crayon, Pencil and Marker are her favorite mediums... though in a pinch she will use peanut butter in very, very creative ways. She is determined in her drive to create new, exciting pieces.... dodging the efforts of the despots (Rob and Melinda) to deny her access to crayons, pencils, and markers by locking them away. She hordes her tools under couch cushions and behind beds.... awaiting the moment of inspiration... when she must obey the desire to create.

Her brother is not interested in her artistic efforts. He scoffs at her art and pursues more capitalistic endeavors. He has discovered the reward system. A perfect 21 out of 21 score on a spelling test should mean a tangible reward. The despots have told him that: "Your reward is the good feeling you have for trying hard, doing your best and scoring 100%." HA! He laughs in the face of this feel-good philosophy. He wants Transformers and he wants them now! Future academic success hinges on the application of the reward system. He has the despots where he wants them.

How will our story end? Will the despots triumph in their efforts to control the Artist and Mr. Reward? Or will the cunning minds of the gruesome twosome gain the upper hand? The scale is swinging in favor of the younger generation... the despots are currently huddled together discussing strategy after futile strategy. Stay tuned..... our saga continues.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Excuses, Excuses!

I find it very interesting that when my siblings and I get together we spend more time reminiscing about our childhoods than we do discussing our current events. Sigh, if only we could have enjoyed it more in the moment instead of being in such a hurry to grow up!

Whenever we have these discussions about the "good old days"... the topic of crime and punishment usually comes up. As the youngest of four children and with an age-gap of six years to my nearest sibling, I have very little to contribute to this conversation. Either I didn't get into trouble or my parents were too tired to worry about it. My brothers Sidney, John and sister Christie have always had plenty to say on the topic though.

Some of MY favorites are their very creative excuses for bad behavior. For example, my sister came up with the following after she threw a chair at my brother John, missed, and punched a hole through the door: "It wouldn't have hit the door if he hadn't moved out of the way." And Sidney once blamed Christie for something he had done "because she wasn't here to stop me." I think he set the record for grounding at 3 months. The funny thing is: nobody remembers what he actually did.

Happy Anniversary to my parents who have been married 44 years today. 43 of those years with children.... which has surely earned them each a sainthood. I think they will be the patron saints of tired, tested, and trodden-down parents.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

My Baby Started School Today!

Okay. It is just two days a week from 8:30 a.m. until noon.... but there is something about holding your child's hand while they have a death-grip on a Dora the Explorer lunchbox and a favorite stuffed animal and walking them in to school that makes your heart squeeze and your eyes well up.

She was being very brave and the only thing that gave away her nervousness was the attachment to the Dora lunchbox and the tight neck squeeze on Mr. Moo Cow. The only time she faltered was when the room was full of parents and kids and it was very loud. Then she looked up at me and said: "Can you take me out of here?" I assured her that Daddy would pick her up at lunchtime and that she would get to play on the playground and have her banana and juice out of her lunchbox. She thought it over for a few moments and then said: "Okay." and I was able to sneak out...wiping my eyes a little in the hallway and fighting the urge to run back, snatch her up and take her home with me. Believe me... I was just one of many mothers walking a little fast and avoiding eye contact with anyone in case I burst into tears. Sniffle. Sniffle.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Family Portrait Nightmare

Above is a picture of our dear Abby having a pure screaming fit about having her Christmas picture taken this past year. This fit and her brother's antsiness resulted in a 45 minute torture session to get one usable photo for our Christmas card in which the little tyrants weren't even looking at the camera!

Today.... we topped even that nightmare by attempting to have ALL of our pictures taken together - the family portrait. I spent hours selecting reasonably matching outfits and paintstakingly pressing them into wrinkleless perfection. I combed the tangles from Abby's hair through much protesting and threatened J.T.'s life if he so much as crossed his legs in the car and damaged all my careful pressing. I remembered to take a hairbrush, extra panties for Abby, a wet washcloth for any last minute facewipes and lipgloss for a last minute touchup.

We arrived ten minutes early for our noon session and discovered that the photographers were running behind. Now, we all know that with each SECOND that passes our picture-readiness was decreasing. Precariously pinned hairbows were in danger of being ripped out, crisp shirts were threatened with rows of wrinkles as their wearers became more and more antsy. A reluctant husband rapidly lost his ability to smile as we took turns keeping (or at least attempted) the children from running WILD! The mother (suffering from a bad head cold, by the way) was turning into a sweaty-faced lipgloss-less, brow-furrowed harrigan as the window for beautiful family picture rapidly closed.

The resulting picture has all four of us looking at the camera with grimaces on our sweat-mopped faces and our hair a little on the woolly side. Rob immediately took the kids to the car while I previewed our digital (NOT film) portraits on the computer, ordered and paid.

I think he's still stewing that our Nightmare Photo Session cost him $58.50 for two 5X7 photos for each of our mothers. I asked him if he wanted some tea when we got home and he said he wanted a beer. Maybe more than one.

I don't think we'll be doing the family portrait again in the near future. Maybe when the kids are teenagers... maybe.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Six Degrees of Wikipedia

I am in love with Google and Wikipedia. I use Google for virtually any info I need: Phone numbers, how-to information, and just fun. And hasn't everybody googled their own name to see what comes up?

I like Wikipedia... though I am suspicious of it being super-accurate, so I take everything I read there with a grain of salt. After reading Tracey's blog and seeing cyclone Tracy mentioned... I decided to do a google search to learn more about the event that inspired songs and even a band name. I read up on Cyclone Tracy and, being the ever-curious person that I am clicked on Tojo -- an article about the WWII Japanese leader -- which had me clicking on light rail transportation -- which lead to more clicking for an article about Bordeaux France and ended 15 minutes later with a click to read about a Roman emporor named Gallineus.... and had me thinking.... "How on earth did a google search for Cyclone Tracy end with Gallineus? I think one Wikipedia Search (and many months of reading) could take you through every article posted on Wikipedia without you every having to start a completely new search.

Most of my google/Wikipedia searches end this way.... and I think... Poor Rob. What must it be like being married to a person with the attention-span of a Hummingbird? And he wonders why he can never find the hairbrush or nail clippers when he needs them. Hmmmm.... I'm off to google hummingbirds.... and who knows where that will lead.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Being Mom

We braved the wilds of Wal-mart Monday afternoon as our cupboards were almost completely bare (in other words, I was out of diet coke, chocolate and cheese). Rob and I split up with a shopping cart and a child each. He, of course, got the calm, somewhat reasonable J.T. while I took the Diva. And they did good, until they were reunited in the check-out line. Then all bets were off and the evening had nowhere to go but down. By the time we got home, there was some serious whining and pestering going on. Rob and I unpacked groceries while the kids ate, betwixt and between more whining and pestering.

After the 15th request for ice cream and the 14th "In a minute. Wait until I finish putting things away." Rob finally breaks. He says, "Sit down, be quiet, and WAIT UNTIL I AM DONE!"

Abby looks at him with her eyebrows raised and asks, "What are you doing?" Because Rob virtually never scolds her. Frustrated Rob says, "I'm being the daddy, that's what." J.T. in ever droll older brother tone says: "That means he's being Mom."

Can you tell who the disciplinarian is at our house? And ka-ching goes the change as it falls into the Therapy Jar.

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