30 Jul 2006 02:12 am
By The Wiz
OK, so I didn’t techincally write this post, it was sent to me in an email, and I apologize if you’ve seen it before, but since my son is currently walking around in pink shoes now, (turns out his obsession is with shoes in general)it’s pretty apt.
BIRTH ORDER OF CHILDREN
1st baby: You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as your OB/GYN confirms your pregnancy.
2nd baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible.
3rd baby: Your maternity clothes ARE your regular clothes.
Preparing for the Birth:
1st baby: You practice your breathing religiously.
2nd baby: You don’t bother because you remember that last time, breathing didn’ t do a thing.
3rd baby: You ask for an epidural in your eighth month.
1st baby: You pre-wash newborn’s clothes, color-coordinate them, and fold them neatly in the baby’s little bureau.
2nd baby: You check to make sure that the clothes are clean and discard only the ones with the darkest stains.
3rd baby: Boys can wear pink, can’t they?
1st baby: At the first sign of distress–a whimper, a frown–you pick up the baby.
2nd baby: You pick the baby up when her wails threaten to wake your firstborn.
3rd baby: You teach your three-year-old how to rewind the mechanical swing.
1st baby: If the pacifier falls on the floor, you put it away until you can go home and w ash and boil it.
2nd baby: When the pacifier falls on the floor, you squirt it off with some juice from the baby’s bottle.
3rd baby: You wipe it off on your shirt and pop it back in.
1st baby: You change your baby’s diapers every hour, whether they need it or not.
2nd baby: You change their diaper every two to three hours, if needed.
3rd baby: You try to change their diaper before others start to complain about the smell or you see it sagging to their knees.
1st baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics, Baby Swing, and Baby Story Hour.
2nd baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics.
3rd baby: You take your infant to the supermarket and the dry cleaner.
1st baby: The first time you leave your baby with a sitter, you call home five times.
2nd baby: Just before you walk out the door, you remember to leave a number where you can be reached.
3rd baby: You leave instructions for the sitter to call only if she sees blood.
1st baby: You spend a good bit of every day just gazing at the baby.
2nd baby: You spend a bit of everyday watching to be sure your older child isn’t squeezing, poking, or hitting the baby.
3rd baby: You spend a little bit of every day hiding from the children.
Swallowing Coins (a favorite):
1st child: When first child swallows a coin, you rush the child to the hospital and demand x-rays.
2nd child: When second child swallows a coin, you carefully watch for the coin to pass.
3rd child: When third child swallows a coin you deduct it from his allowance!
God’s reward for allowing your children to live!
By Heather O.
Dear People Who Make Movies for Kids,
I just want to thank you for your recent movie “Curious George”. I recently saw it again with my 4 year old son at a special “Summer Movie” screening in my town. It is possibly one of the silliest movies ever made, and I mean that in the best sense of the word. When you have an entire theater of 4 year olds laughing because George puts a sandwich on his head instead of the yellow hat, well, you know you’ve hit gold.
Please make more movies like this. And stop making movies like Chicken Little.
Chicken Little is, in a word, lame. And I don’t mean that in the best sense of the word. I mean it’s lame in the sense of “Who on earth thought that kids under the age of 6 would find a movie about scary aliens really fun?” And you know it’s the kids under the age of 6 who are watching it, because the older kids have already figured out that it’s lame.
And what’s with the whole complex family relationships you’ve got going in that show, huh? Like 4 year olds care about “closure” with their fathers, or can identify with deep seeded needs to prove themselves to fathers who just don’t ‘get’ them. Again, those are issues that older kids are dealing with, and again, older kids ain’t watchin’ ’cause they’re hip to your lameness.
Please stop making movies like “Robots”. It’s a seriously creepy world with adult innuendos and constant jokes about a woman’s robot butt. And the message of “You can shine whatever you’re made of” just doesn’t translate very well to a kid under 8. Refer to the above discussion about lameness regarding why kids over 8 aren’t watching. And seriously, there ARE other actresses besides Joan Cusack who can be a character’s voice. Besides, every time you use her, it confuses the kids because they keep saying stuff like, “Hey, it’s Jessi! Is Bullseye in this movie, too? I want Woody!” And since there is nobody even half as cool as Buzz Lightyear in “Robots”, you can see the mother’s dilemma.
Please note. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO ENTERTAIN ADULTS WHEN YOU MAKE A MOVIE FOR KIDS! I am not offended when my kid is laughing at something I recognize as inane humor. I do not attend animated shows because I personally find them inspiring and uplifting and I’m intrigued by the computer graphics. I buy animated shows to keep my son from driving me up the wall. I go to theaters because it’s too friggin’ hot to take my kid anywhere else and the neighbors are tired of him knocking on their doors demanding to know when their kids will be home. I park him in front of the TV so I don’t have to play lightsabers with him for the billionth time that day. These are my goals. Notice that “entertain myself” is not among them.
And please don’t make another movie where I have to explain why the Cat in the Hat says “Awkward!” when the boy tells him that the woman that made the kitty go “schwing” is his mother. And that was just from a preview.
Curious George Fan
How Bizarro is That?
26 Jul 2006 07:43 pm
By The Wiz
Today, when I got the mail, there was somebody’s cordless phone in the mailbox.
What am I supposed to do? Call my neighbors and ask “Did you misplace your phone? Because I think you mailed it to me by mistake.”
Of course, if I have their phone, they couldn’t really answer now, could they, which means I am leaving one strange message on their voicemail. “Um, hi, is the reason you’re not answering because you don’t have your phone? Because I seem to have an extra.”
Hopefully it’s not some criminal tag I don’t know about - “Dude, we’re hitting the house where I put the phone.”
On a side not, I clearly do not know how criminals talk.
What do I do now? Stick it somebody else’s mailbox in some twisted version of phone tag? Give it as a white elephant someday? Let Toddler-Man destroy it? Put ‘dear neighbor’ letters in everybody else’s mailbox? Just let it sit in the mailbox, so as to confuse the mailman?
I could put some stamps on it, I guess, and just let it roam free in the world of dead mail, but I don’t think the mail man would take it, which would result in some sort of bizarre power struggle between me and my mail man, and as fun as that sounds, I’m not really into that. Although I do have a working theory that he is the one who put my husband’s name on the Victoria’s Secret mailing list, since DH has no idea why he gets their catalogs. I laugh every time he gets a card announcing a sale.
Maybe I should just plug it in, (since my own cordless phones are pretty weak), call it a gift, and hide it every time a neighbor comes over. Or maybe, when it comes time to tip the mailman at Christmas (which I’m never sure if I should tip or not, is there a specific etiquette on this?), I should just wrap up the phone and give it back.
The Mystery of the Mail Phone. Doesn’t it just sound like a really crappy (I mean RIVETING) Nancy Drew novel?
Morning for Mama
26 Jul 2006 12:34 pm
By Tracy M
Her children are laughing, but she cannot discern from where the laughter comes. Sleep has a deep hold on her, and she struggles to find the surface, swimming through her subconscious toward the light. The humid jungle of dream, thick and oppressive, closes ranks behind her as soon as she moves, and insects are mercilessly biting her legs. The sun beats down through the canopy of trees, and sweat trickles down her chest as she reaches to scratch away the incessant bugs from her tormented legs…
The laughter comes louder, and she is confused, looking for her children- but closer to the surface now, she suddenly wakes. Huh… wha…she startles and tries to shake the dream clouds from her mind.
She is lying in a bright beam of sunlight, tangled up in her bed-sheets. The heat pours in the open window, her brow already beaded in sweat, and her tangled hair stuck to her cheeks. Her children are laughing at the foot of the bed, and she groans as she lifts her tired head to see their bright apple cheeked smiles. They are beside themselves with giddiness… and her naked legs are covered in Post-It notes.
Crawling from bed, laughing children dancing around her feet, she trudges down the hallway towards her day, a trail of Post-It’s fluttering and falling from her legs like a queen bestowing kisses.
By The Wiz
Have you ever been just drifting off to sleep in your new, cost-too-much-but-it-was-worth-it king size mattress that feels like you are sleeping on a cloud, only to be rudely interrupted in your journey to sleepland?
Of course you have! You have children! But what if I asked you if it was your husband that did the interrupting, and not your children? And the interrupting was not for any kind of fun reason whatsoever, but because he SNORES?
If so, WHAT DID YOU DO ABOUT IT?
By Heather O.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, you all are saying, “How can you hate that book? It’s a classic! Eric Carle is a genius! Counting, days of the week, healthy lifestyle, that book has everything!”
I used to think that way, too. And then I saw the light. And I’m here to expose the truth.
That book is part of a VAST, RIGHT BUTTERFLY-WING conspiracy to DESTROY ALL THE PLANTS OF THE WORLD!
That book is not only pro-insect. It is ANTI-PLANT!
Seriously, haven’t we all grown up charmed by these little creatures? Oh, the magic of it all–a caterpillar eats some good food, makes a cocoon, and emerges as a beautiful butterfly. Oh, look at the pretty butterfly! Pretty, pretty, pretty!
Not once did it mention the untimely DEATH OF PLANTS that is necessary to support such pretty activities. Does Eric Carle put a disclaimer on his “book” about how many innocent vegetables were harmed in the making of his “classic”? Of course not! He’s right there, in the inner circle!
To date, these “cute” little creatures have completely destroyed our broccoli crop, in a matter of 2 days, I might add. Yeah, nice green leaf, my *&^%. Also, we found more of the gross, disgusting creatures burrowing into our squash, and it’s just a matter of time before we lose most of our squash as well. These fiends hid themselves so well that we didn’t notice the damage until it was extensive. Stupid insects.
And did you know that these insects are so revered, they even get a special name for their excretions? Yes, it’s called “fress”. Why everybody just can’t call it poop is beyond me.
And the visual propaganda is just appalling. I mean, everybody goes for something that looks like this, right?
Would you sell as many books if you included THIS, a TRUE IMAGE?
Not exactly cute and fuzzy, eh?
And yes, those are exact creatures that are inhabitating MY garden! Did I invite them to the party? I don’t think so.
Join with me friends, join with me to end this conspiracy, to reveal the truth about these creatures. They are foul, evil, squash and broccoli eating fiends who are not to be trusted. And I’d like somebody to figure out how I can recover damages from these guys. They owe me some vegetables, dang it!
Maybe I should call Eric Carle. He looks like a guy who could be easily extorted, right?
21 Jul 2006 06:43 pm
By The Wiz
Let me tell you a little bit about my ward:
It has 15-20 kids in the Primary. No scouting program whoatsoever. I hope this improves by the time my boy is old enough for scouts, but I don’t feel that strongly about scouting anyway, so it’s not that big a deal for me.
It has no young women. As in zero. I hope this improves when my girls get big enough for the program, but I have no guarantee of this.
It has 4 young men. It is very common to have an elder or a high priest give you the sacrament. My husband is often up there, and my kids love to get the sacrament from him. They try to make him laugh as he stands by our pew.
We have 2 full time missionaries out in the field.
It is a small ward, and I love it.
I live in Utah.
I would really appreciate if people would stop bashing Utah, as if every ward here is overflowing and filled with made-up callings, intolerant people, and people who don’t know what it’s like to live on the same street as Jewish people, non-denominational Christians, and a black Baptist preacher. (That is my street).
I am just sooo tired of the phrase, ‘well, of course it’s not like this in Utah, but…’ I’m just tired of it. I’m tired of people who feel they are superior than I am because they live in the ‘real world.’ So, I’m removing some of my anonymity (which is possibly all blown to hell anyway) and saying I live in Utah. And… I am tolerant, loving, and understanding of diversity, damn it!
I have lived outside of Utah in humongous wards - wards where nobody would know if I stayed or went, and frankly, didn’t care. Several, in fact.
I never thought I would settle here or raise my kids here. And it’s a long life, who knows, I still might move someday. But chances are, if I move outside of Utah, I’ll be moving to bigger ward than the one I’m in now. Maybe they’ll even have scouting, who knows?
21 Jul 2006 06:05 am
By Tracy M
Conventional wisdom would dictate, putting a 4 (almost 5) year old boy full of boundless energy and a will of iron, in a class to learn how to fight would be a bad idea. You would think. When DH suggested we put our rambunctious oldest boy in a martial arts class, I cringed, imaging his poor younger brother, who is already tormented and pestered with Jeff’s ninja stylings. My first answers was a dead-on “NO WAY”. It just goes to show what I know about martial arts…
We signed him up for a mini-session of karate at a local martial arts studio, with the caveat that this would only continue if he could be responsible. I was swayed by it being only $29, and you got a free white karate outfit (called a gi) with those three classes. His first class was solo, just him and the instructor (Mr. Tong, Sir!), and he tried to hide behind my back. The teacher, obviously having dealt with this before, was stellar in getting him out, and commanding his attention. After about 20 minutes, Jeff was listening and following directions with a rapt attention I had never seen. At the end of class, Mr. Tong (Sir!) sat him down and told him what was expected if he wished to earn his first belt. He gave Jeffrey a checklist of all the things he had to do during the week, and told him his parents had to sign it when it was complete.
The list had things like cleaning up after himself, personal hygiene, helping family, promptness and showing respect- nothing we don’t try for anyway, but as we looked it over, Jeff piped up “Don’t remind me of anything, mom. I need self-discipline and to remember myself.” (!)
So all week he had been just awesome. He has been helping his brother, been kind and respectful (most of the time), been very helpful to me, cleaned up after himself, used manners, and he has practiced. He has been practicing his stances, his defensive maneuvers, and his kicks. But not on his brother.
Tonite, DH took him to his next lesson, list in hand, checked off and signed. I wasn’t there to see it, but he earned his first belt, a white one, buy listening, learning, being respectful and practicing. As part of his test, he broke a board with a kick. Broke a board. Real wood! (Probably better I wasn’t there) The board is sitting on the kitchen counter, with his name and the date on it. We are going to frame it. I think my baby may have found his groove.
So if you have a rambunctious, or even wild, little boy (or girl)- you might want to think about martial arts- I had no idea how much self-discipline, respect, structure and strength these little kids are taught. I guess instead of soccer, I’m a karate mama. It’s what my kid needs, and I’m ok with that, Grasshopper.
By Heather O.
I recently met up with an old friend. I love this woman. She’s fantastic. She’s the type of woman who has planned her entire life around being a wife and mother, and it’s awe inspiring. She has entire file folders full of decorating ideas for her house, things she has been collecting for literally years and years. She bought all the Disney shows when they came out as “Limited Editions”, just so her kids could know and appreciate all the classics. She has boxes of recipes, ready at a moment to be used for her family. She is, in all aspects, the perfect wife and mother.
There’s only one problem. She isn’t a wife, or a mother.
She is nearing 40, and is single. And she’s not pleased about this. As you can imagine.
It’s been interesting to watch what this woman has done with her life. She studied something in college that would come in extremely handy as a mother, but has virtually no economic value at all. When she graduated, husbandless and childless, well, she was a little stuck, I think. She sort of bounced from menial job to menial job, trying to figure out what to do. She eventually pulled it together and got a decent job with good pay, benefits, etc, but again, it wasn’t something on a career track. It was definitely something where she could pull out at any moment, should that family opportunity suddenly arrive.
7 years later, she is finally starting a career. And doing extremely well, I might add. But part of me sort of feels like muttering, “What took you so long?”
I also know several women who took similar paths, but they did get the husband and the children. They felt prepared for motherhood (or as prepared as you could be–I mean, can anybody possibly prepare enough for the poop?)but feel ill prepared for anything else. Sometimes they express discontent, and I have asked them, “Well, what did you want to do before you had kids?” The answer, of course, is, “I wanted to have kids.” I have also asked women this question, “What DID you do before you had kids?” The answer: “Prepared for a family”. Well, they got the kids–now what?
I am in no way suggesting that women shouldn’t prepare for motherhood and family. I wish I had prepared better in so many ways, and had to learn the hard way some of the lessons that could have been learned easier and under better circumstances. But I think so many women could be better served, especially in the church, if there is a message somewhere that says, “You may not get the family that you want and expect. Then what?”, or “You may get the family that you want, but when you need time for youself, what skill will you fall back on that can fulfill you as an individual, separate from your mothering duties?”
I’m not even only talking about something specific to earning potential. There are plenty of things that can be fulfilling to a mother beyond her family that may or may not be economically viable. But in my friend’s case, economic stability was a crucial factor for her as she struggled to support herself financially. So money, or lack thereof, can definitely be a part of the equation.
So I would love to see the motto “Be Prepared” be taught not only to the Scouts, but to the Young Women too. Be prepared, little ladies, for an awesome, exciting, tiring, joyful ride called motherhood. Be prepared, young maidens, for a time when you wonder what there is beyond this wonderful ride, when you want to remember what you liked to do before you entered the land of diapers, car seats, car pools, and ballet lessons. Be prepared, little mommies to be, for a time when you want to follow the Lord’s commandments to be sealed to a worthy priesthod holder, but that priesthood holder just isn’t showing up, and you are on your own for the forseeable future.
And above all, be prepared, O ye daughters of God, to follow His will and stay on your knees when all you have prepared for gets completely shot to hell, and you have no idea what is coming next. Those are the times that will try you the most.
And always bring a dry pair of socks.
19 Jul 2006 02:06 pm
By The Wiz
My friend’s son is turing 3 next week. She is having a Dora birthday party for him, because, like many his age, he is obsessed with Dora. She gets a universally similar reaction when she mentions she’s having a Dora party.
“Dora? Or Diego?”
It’s like they’re trying to make his party more ‘manly’ or something. Did I mention that he’s 3?
Definitely Dora. Her son’s never seen Diego. He loves Dora. (My son loves Dora too.) I see no problem with having a Dora party for a 3 year old boy, but that’s probably largely in part because I have one. (Well, he’s almost 3).
What’s weird, though, is that everything Dora related has butterflies, flowers, ribbons, etc, or is totally pink. He wants Dora shoes, but cannot find them without said accoutrements, or even in a normal sneaker style, just sandals and such.
Note to Nickelodeon merchandisers - just because Dora is a girl does not mean only girls watch the show! There is a lost money making opportunity here!!!!
That is all. Carry on.
Mommy in a Mustang
17 Jul 2006 11:05 pm
By Heather O.
Today, as I was coming home from shopping, my car full of groceries
(most notably the eight potatoes I had to bake for the swim meet,’cause that’s what every kid under the age of 8 wants in the 101 degree heat after swimming 3 laps–a piping hot tuber), a convertible Mustang with 3 young women turned left in front of me. These girls could have been in a commercial, they were just that typical. Young, tan, beautiful hair that was flowing just right in the breeze, you know, instead of all messed up and tangled from the wind, like that scene in “Terms of Endearment” when Shirley McLaine goes to lunch with Jack Nicholsen (has that guy ever NOT been creepy?), and they drive in his covertible too fast and her hair piece is all torn to shreds. I sighed just a little as I watched them. I was reminded of a time when I, too, had that carefree look. Ok, so my hair always turns into a rat’s nest when I’m in a convertible (which, you know, I’ve managed at LEAST half a dozen times in my life!), but still, I FELT carefree, even if I did look like Shirley McLaine without a wig.
It happened when J was still quite little, and I was doing per diem work for my old company. One of the speech therapists was on vacation, so I was covering for her for the entire week. Of course, this happened when our car was in the shop, so my only choice was to rent a car to get to work. It was a beautiful spring day in Boston, you know, the kind that almost makes up for the dreadful New England winters (almost). I went to rent a car, and the guy said, “For 10 bucks more, I can get you into that“, and he pointed to a silver Mustang convertible in the parking lot.
As I stepped into the Mustang, I felt like I morphed from tired Mommy who spent her life with spit up on her clothes into Hey there, sexy Momma! And, looking back, J was so young that it was the first time I had been really dressed in probably a month.
Work was about 30 minutes away, in Concord, which is a beautiful place to be any time of the year. I drove along Route 2, breezy and excited to be free of mothering duties, just for a minute. And then, wonder of wonders, I even got honked at by some leering guy in a Pontiac. Not that I’m partial to creepy, possible rapist types who honk at strange women, but I do have to admit, it gave me a boost.
I roared into work, still feeling happy and carefree, and did what I had to do. I drove home, still smiling, and then went to pick up my precious offspring at the babysitter’s. The illusion of the day was only slightly spoiled by me strapping my small child into the carseat in the back, and I did stop speeding, just because I was terrified of what would happen to a little child in a convertible if we had a wreck. And I should point out that from the babysitter’s to the rental place was, at most, 1.5 miles. Please, I’m no Brittany Spears. (Although you do have to feel sorry for the girl. I’d hate to have the papparazzi judging every mothering move I make.)
I returned the Mustang, and the illusion faded completely when I got the car seat out of the car, pulled the stroller out of the trunk, and proceeded to drag the car seat while simultaneously pushing the stroller with my small child in it down the street the mile or so back to our apartment. Sweating, tired, with a screaming child in the stroller, I trudged back home, thinking, Well, at least that icky Pontiac guy won’t get me. There’s absolutely no way he would know I was the same person.
I returned to my apartment, fed my son, and we all went back to our lives. Ok, and the point of this rambling post? I’m glad I had the experience, and others like that–bright spots that remind us who we are, why we do what we do, and then let us be better mothers for it. We need Mustang Moments! I’m sure that if I hadn’t been living in the land of non-stop nursing, no sleep, cleaning spit-up and poop 24 hours a day, I wouldn’t have enjoyed the day nearly as much. It would have just been another day with the perk of having a different car. But as it was, I got to laugh and think, Wow, the rest of the world has no idea! This isn’t really me. I’m just a Mommy in a Mustang.
I really got to get me one of those.
17 Jul 2006 07:30 pm
By The Wiz
Toddler-Man has a new obsession. He won’t take of his shoes. Little blue crocs which my husband says are a “girly blue.” No way, “baby blue”. Of course, one might argue that the flowers are a tad girly, but hey, whatever.
He sleeps in them. He strips down to his diaper and crocs and runs around the neighborhood. He won’t wear pants, but hey, at least his feet are covered. He wakes up and puts them back on if you take them off while he is sleeping. His feet have smelled better in his short lifetime. He pitches a fit when I try to take them off to change his clothes, and only his shoes make it better.
Well, at least he’ll grow out of them at some point. In the meantime, I guess “no shoes, no shirt, no service” won’t stop us.
You say Tomahto…
15 Jul 2006 08:17 pm
By Heather O.
I say I LOVE SUMMER FOOD! Yes, this is a picture of a tomato that came from our garden. It isn’t the first one–the first one we ate yesterday, too excited to be finally eating the fruits of our labors to take a picture of it. There are two more coming right along on the vine, if you will. And now, I am going to tell you the most delicious way to eat fresh tomatoes, even if you don’t have them growing in your garden.
Ok, cut them into thin slices. Put the slices on a platter of some kind (I just used a casserole dish as well as a platter I have–a 9×13 will work ok too), pour some balsamic vinegar and olive oil over the tomatoes. Then slice up some mozzarella cheese, and put the slices on top of the vinegar/olive oil soaked tomatoes. Top them off with some chopped up fresh basil, and voila! You have a delicious, fresh, very healthy snack or side dish that looks incredibly fancy.
Ok, your kids probably won’t eat it, but that leaves more for Mom, I always say.
Also, we went blueberry picking today, and I learned something about freezing summer berries: Freeze them on a cookie sheet to keep them from sticking together. I told my SIL this tip today, and she basically said, “Um, duh!”, but hey, I thought I’d share for those of us who are frozen-berry challenged.
I may have mentioned this before, but I love iced mint tea. You take some fresh mint leaves, put them in a cup, and pour boiling water over them. Just let them seep for a while, and then pull the leaves out or strain the water, add sugar to taste, and you’ve got a lovely drink. Stick a large portion in the fridge, and in a few hours, you have a lovely, refreshing drink that is fantastic at the hot pool. You can also add mint leaves to lemonade for the extra something special.
Any other fun summer food tips? Recipes, things you love, yummy drink concoctions? Liesl, if you are reading this, I want your watermelon slushie recipe. That stuff rocks!
13 Jul 2006 10:15 pm
By The Wiz
Just some things that drive me incredibly crazy. Peeves of the pet variety, if you will.
1.Knives blade up in the dishwasher. No good. It’s like “Are you trying to kill me? Is there something I should know?”
2.When the dishwasher door is left open, and you are walking by and bam! Bruise on the leg.
3.Not a pet peeve of mine, but my friend Goochie here hates it, and I mean HATES IT, when people drive in the left lane with no intention of passing.
4.When you are walking around your house in socks, and you go into your bathroom, and you don’t know it, but your bathroom floor is wet, and then your socks get wet, and you have to go find another clean pair, and yada yada yucky.
5.When your windshield wipers are getting old, and they don’t quite wipe off all the rain that’s coming down, and leave that mushy fuzz in the middle of your windshield which is almost worse than if you hadn’t turned on your wipers at all. Ew.
6.When people assume that Utah Mormons are somehow inferior/superior to non-Utah Mormons.
7.When you go the whole day without spilling a single thing on your white shirt/pants, having braved enchiladas, poopy diapers, and the ever-staining Spaghetti-O’s, only to spill toothpaste on yourself when you’re brushing your teeth that night. I now only brush my teeth in jammies.
8.The phrase- “Can I ask you a question?” Um…I think you just answered yourself there.
9.When people say “I hate to say this, but….” Then DON’T say it! I don’t want to be the recipient of gossip that you “hate” so much that you must spread it around.
10.Menus that don’t explain what’s in the food. I do not like ordering something that I’m really looking forward to, only to have to endure an evening of picking out, or eating around, the demon weed of cilantro. I’ve learned to ask if it’s in anything beforehand. It bugs me that I have to do that. Restaurants should be clear on their policy of adding demonic herbs to food.
That’s mainly it. I am sure I can think of others as the night wears on, but I’ll let MMW readers take it from here.
By Heather O.
Ok, this has nothing to do with motherhood, but I need a little bit of input, so I thought I’d ask y’all. And I know I said that I wouldn’t blog about PKD on this blog, but like I said, I need a little bit of help and advice, so, here I am.
Here’s the deal. The PKD Foundation has a walk every year, around the country. (Check out www.pkdcure.org for the walk in your town. It is held around the country on September 16th or Sept 17th. Yes, that was a shameless fundraising plug. Sorry).
Anyway, our chapter here in Virginia is pretty new, and we are planning only our second walk this year. I sat in on the meeting, not having much to say, and finally I asked, “How long is the walk? Is it a 5k?”
Everybody looked at me for a second, and then burst out laughing.
“Oh, you can tell she’s in good shape!” somebody said. “Girl, if you expect me to walk 5 miles, you’re gonna hafta bring a coffin out with ya, ’cause I’ll be dead!”
“5k isn’t 5 miles. It’s 3.2″, I said.
“Well, I’ll still be dead after about 2 miles!” he said, still chuckling. Everybody continued to chuckle as they explained that the walk was less than a mile.
Less than a mile? Who’s gonna show up for that?
So, I was talking to DH about it, and he agrees that more people will be likely to come to a 5k that is on some running club’s schedule and pay the $15 registration fee if they can actually run a race, as opposed to some little walking event. I think it could be a fairly successful event, really, if we combined a 5k with a “fun run/walk” for people who wouldn’t really be able to run 5k. Dh and I got all worked up about the details, things we could do, etc, but we have one problem.
I have no idea how to go about putting together a 5k. Not a clue.
I’ve only actually run in about half a dozen of them in my whole life, and yes, I worked for Rick during a couple, but in all of those instances, I basically just had to show up. I’m not part of a running club, and if you asked me run a 5k right now, I’d probably do it, and then just not call you the next day as I moaned in inexpressible pain every time I moved.
So, are there any runners out there who can tell me how I could possibly put this together?
I’ve asked other people, of course, and I’ll do some more research on my own, but I thought I’d throw out this question to everybody, in case there was somebody who can say, “Yes, I’ve planned one, and this is how you do it!”
Thanks very much. And I promise that after this, we’ll return you to our regularly scheduled program.
By The Wiz
Recently we went miniature golfing as a family and yes, we let everyone behind us skip ahead. My girls took the endeavor fairly seriously, and Toddler-Man figured out quickly how to get ahead in the rough and tough world that is putt-putt golf. He has graciously allowed me to share his tips with you, the novices of the world.
1. Forget the tee thing. You are far more likely to get the ball in the hole if you set it down 3 inches away from the hole before you hit it. If you’re really serious, you can forget the club altogether and just throw the ball in the hole.
2. If you pick up your sister’s golf balls and throw them in the water, you are likely to get a better score than they do. As an extra bonus, the screams elicited by your sisters are priceless.
3. Sticking to one hole at a time is a waste of time. Find whatever hole looks the best, and/or has the most water, and throw your ball there.
4. Whatever you do, do NOT use the hole marked ‘18.’ You will never get your ball back, and crying a lot and hitting whatever’s nearest to you, amazingly, will not help.
5. Tunnels are fun, and as much time should be spent in them as possible.
6. If the hole is one those where you hit the ball one place, and it comes out in another (as in down the hill or out the door or something), this is prime real estate. Stand right where you drop the ball, you can watch it come out the other end, scream, and get the ball for a repeat performance. I don’t think there’s anything better in the whole wide world. Seriously, I could do this for hours.
Which brings me to my final tip…..
7. Go with somebody who will let you do this for hours. Time should not be an issue when golf clubs are place in the hands of two year old boys.
These are just a few nuggets of wisdom that he has acquired. His first book should be on the shelves shortly. Mention this blog and get 10% off.
By Heather O.
I love gardening. I love everything about it. I love tilling soil, I love planting, mulching,weeding even. One of the things I like best about our new house is that we finally have a front and backyard we where can cultivate some of the skills we learned last year about having a garden. And we also finally have a lawn. That needs to be mowed. Often. After all, like DH said, living in the South is a bit like living in the Degobah system with Yoda. Times two.
I actually like mowing the lawn. The first time I did it, I was a wussy girlie man and needed DH to start the dang thing for me. When I asked in frustration why it wouldn’t start, he said, “It senses weakness”. He gave it one swift pull–vroom, it revs to life, and he impishly grinned at me, leaving me to the task.
Annoying, I know. I love him anyway.
Last week, I was determined to mow down our rapidly growing mini-forest myself. And you know what? I DID! I got the thing pumped full of gas, I gave it some swift manly, calmly assertive pulls, and whaddya know, it came to life, and I mowed the whole lawn. I felt strong. I felt powerful. After all, mowing the lawn was typically a boy’s job, and here I was, in my swimsuit and shorts (of course we had just come from the pool, our second home these days), my straw hat and sunscreen, sweatin’ to the oldies, as it were, mowin’ my lawn in the Degobah system. A liberated, strong, self-sufficient, self-reliant, lawn-mower-butt kickin’ gal. And, if I do say so myself, I did a fabulous job.
Well, it’s been a week or so since my power trip, and it definitely needs to be done again. And heady with my success of last week, I decided to tackle the grass again.
The lawnmower will not be moved.
I can’t get the stupid thing to work. At all. I’ve primed it, I’ve pulled and pulled until I swear I pulled a muscle in my neck and in my back, and I called DH swearing at him about the *&$#@ lawnmower. He calmly asked, with a laugh in his voice, what I thought he could do from his office, since he hasn’t developed that certain ability to apparate from the office to home to fix all of my daily problems, and he does actually have to work for a living.
Slacker, I know. I love him anyway.
But clearly he doesn’t understand the war that is underway, this battle of wills between me and the lawnmower. That the inanimate object is not just a piece of machinary that is simply malfunctioning, or a piece of junk that I simply do not know how to work properly. It is a sinister minion of Satan who is laughing at my feverish attempts to own it, to have a girl operate it. He is telling me, “You may have won last time, missy, but don’t bet your little spandex clad bootie you can claim full victory. Victory, lassy, will be mine!” And I don’t know why the lawnmower is talking to me in a vaguely Scottish accent, but, there it is.
I don’t want to admit defeat this time, but I may have to. But watch out, lawnmower. This day may be yours, but this isn’t over. Not by a long shot. Summer’s not even half over. We’ve got a looong way to go. BWHHAHAHAHAH….
(The guy in picture isn’t me, by the way, nor is it DH. It’s just some random guy who appeared in this short film which captures the event perfectly. Enjoy!)
By Tracy M
Oh, low about these parts, there’s the legend or Her. She is whispered of in breath-ey tones from podiums in stake conferences, She is touted from the pulpit in many a testimony, She is written of in articles in Church News, She is the mother of every general authority, and She makes unruly boys into apostles. Mention of Her makes normal women hang their heads in shame and humility, wondering what they can do to capture Her elusive secrets- Shhhhh… Women never speak aloud of Her- Who is She, we wonder? Where do I meet Her? Is She my visiting teacher?
She is The Mother Who Never Yells… And I’m here to tell you, ladies, like Sasquach and the guy in the backseat with an ax, SHE IS AN URBAN LEGEND!
There are lots of things in this life that are hard as rocks. That is part of why we are here, right? To make it through the hard parts, hopefully with our faith in tact? Motherhood is on of those hard things. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of lovely things about being a mother, and I wouldn’t trade my pile of rocks for anyone else’s passel of troubles, but still, it’s hard.
So when we hear, over and over, about this Mythical Woman Who Never Yells, it only serves to magnify our own shortcomings. We make it harder on each other than it is already. Seldom do we knock a sister on purpose, but we all have been in situations where we can feel the looks, or someone makes a comment about our parenting-egad, is there anything worse?? Mothering is riddled with guilt- we are all keenly aware of the stewardship we hold over our little ones. Many of us have willingly given up careers, put our ambition on hold, stepped back from things outside the home, and willingly made sacrifices in finances and personal desires to be at home with our kids. We have done so out of love for our families, and don’t expect any commendation for our choices.
But cut a sister some slack! I will be the first one to stand up and say, I Yell At My Kids sometimes. And you know what? They are fine, happy, well adjusted, bright kids. There may be ways I am a better mom than SHE. Maybe She never yells, but I’m creative, and I let the kids paint on our windows, and pour a bag of flour on the kitchen floor and play in it- maybe that’s good too. Maybe you are a bibliophile or drama student, and while you might occasionally yell, you expose your kids to fine art and literature and theatre- and maybe that’s good too. Maybe you are a passionate person who expresses themselves in colorful ways, and maybe your kids are ok because of that passion. Maybe that’s good, too.
So, maybe there are lots of good ways to mother, and maybe not yelling is just one of them, and is not really the yardstick of good mothering we have been led to believe. Maybe I’m a Good Mother, too.
By Heather O.
I’m going to share one more thing with y’all about Rick that I bet you didn’t know. And I can say y’all now because I live in the south and drive a pick up.
Rick’s a Mormon.
He was baptized in September 1997. A golden investigator if there ever was one. When he told me that he was thinking about becoming a Mormon, I thought he was joking. I turned his wheelchair around and looked him right in the face and said, “Are you serious?” Indeed he was.
I arranged for the missionaries to give him the discussions. He cruised through them, and was baptized not long after his first discussion. One of the missionaries who taught him had a disabled brother, and he said that Rick was one of the most important people he had met on his mission. The missionary said, “Rick, you remind me of my brother. I like being here with you.”
The doctrine that brought Rick to the church was the idea that when we are resurrected, our bodies are perfect. No more cerebral palsy. When Rick heard that, he started laughing, smiling, grinning, snorting, moving all his limbs around, all the things Rick does that means that he is happy.
His baptism was the biggest I’d ever seen. The chapel was completely full, and I’m pretty sure Rick didn’t know most of the people there. But they were all there for him. It was a good day.
Rick has told me that he feels like he has a good relationship with God. And there was one incident that occurred around the time of his baptism that confirmed his faith.
Rick does not have a PCA at night. He sleeps alone in his apartment. He used to sleep on a waterbed, to avoid getting bed sores that are so common with people who can’t move themselves around in their sleep. Rick can move somewhat, but he still needs a special bed.
One night, his waterbed broke, and he was lying face down in it. It was in the middle of the night, and Rick was in serious trouble. He told me that he prayed to God to help him. Soon thereafter, there was a knock on the door, and then somebody entered the apartment. It was the night maitenance man who was on duty, and although he didn’t speak English very well, he was aware enough of the situation to get Rick out of the water, and somehow get him safe. As far as I know, that guy has never done something like that before–enter a resident’s apartment in the middle of the night with his master key. But that night, something prompted him to check on Rick, and he saved Rick from a potential scary situation. That must have been some prayer.
Rick also has a firm faith in his own mission, that God has put him here for a purpose. He is to be the voice for people with disabilities. Ironic, really, since Rick can’t even talk. And yet he has found ways to reach thousands of people, letting them know that people with disabilities are people too, and that really, there are no limits to what you can do, disabled or not.
If you want to know more about Rick and his father, please visit his website. Be sure to click on the part about stories inspired by them, especially if you are in the mood for a really great cry (in a good way!) There is a book about them that you can order from the site, and you can even donate to the Team Hoyt Fund, which is used to help various programs for individuals with disabilities. You can also run with them in Virginia Beach in September. Well, you’ll have to be in pretty good shape, as I think it’s a half marathon race, but you can come and hang out with us as we cheer them on from the sidelines.
It’s guaranteed to be a party. With Rick, there is never, ever a dull moment!
The Hoyts prepare for 25th Boston Marathon
Team Hoyt misses the Boston Marathon due to surgery
Tribute to the Hoyts (includes SI article about them)
By Heather O.
I broke Rick’s nose once. Not intentionally, mind you, and it’s not like it was perfect to begin with. But those horrible moments I was talking about? Yeah, that was one of them.
It happened on a day I took Rick to work at Boston College, where he was helping them develop a new augmentative communication device by tracking the movements of the eyes. They were basically trying to come up with something where they could eventually use a person’s eyes like a mouse. Cool stuff.
The day in question was after he had recently gotten a new wheelchair. His old chair was huge, red, and sort of metallic, and it didn’t fit completely onto the lift of the van. It sort of hung over the edge, so you couldn’t lock the small gate on the edge of the lift designed to keep the wheelchair from falling off. It was with this chair that I was trained with, and, well, old habits die hard.
Once he got the new chair, of course Rick trained all the PCAs to lock that little gate. For that matter, a good, conscientious PCA should always lock a wheelchair’s breaks anytime she can not be physically holding on to the wheelchair. It’s basic safety, and I’ve since learned how necessary it is. It was a hard lesson, though.
As I was loading Rick into the van that day, I got him all the way up to the top of the lift, and he was about to roll back into the car. Well, somehow I got distracted, whatever, and he didn’t roll backwards. Rather, he rolled forwards.
I have seen the moment a thousand times replayed in my head and in my nightmares. Brakes unlocked, Rick rolled forward, pitched over the edge of the lift, where I had, per previous habit, not locked the tiny fence, and he landed face first onto the concrete sidewalk below, falling about 3 feet. I don’t remember much about the rest of the moment–somehow I was next to him, somehow we were both covered in blood, and somebody, who knows who, asked me if he could do anything for me.
“Yes, call 911″, I said, and somewhere in the back of my brain, you know, the part that doesn’t actually do anything but just records things, said, ‘I can’t believe you just said that.’
Again, I don’t know how events transpired, because I was so terrified about the extent of Rick’s injuries, and seriously, how would I tell Dick Hoyt that I had killed his son? But somehow an ambulance got there, a nurse materialized out of nowhere to mop up the blood and figure out what we were dealing with, and we somehow got Rick to the hospital.
When all was said and done, Rick was basically ok. He had suffered a broken nose, but no deviated septum. You can thank the fact that he fell literally flat on his face for that one. His pinky on his right hand had been sort of squished in the fall, but the X-rays showed no broken bones. He was bruised, bloody, and was in some significant pain, but nothing he wouldn’t recover from. And he was even ok enough to crack a few jokes. When I told him I was certain that he had suffered brain damage, he said, “That’s ok. I already have brain damage.”
And hey, I guess he can’t complain too much. In the hospital, to shrink his swollen nasal passages (Rick is an obligate nose breather, so having a plugged up noggin made him pretty anxious) the doctor’s gave him some cocaine. Seriously. Nothing like sanctioned illegal drug use to lift the spirits, I always say.
Like I said, that was a horrible moment in my life. I relived it over and over, both awake and asleep. My roommate at the time said that I was thrashing in my sleep once, and she said I started yelling about Rick. If Rick were reading this, I’m sure he’d be trying to make a crack about being the man of my dreams. Sorry, guy, you were more like a nightmare!
But Rick never held that moment against me, nor did his father. Or if they did, they both hid it pretty well from me, and we all moved on. Sure, Rick once joked that if I was ever looking for a second profession, I should really consider becoming a mortician, and he did say that I had completely given up my shot at the title of ‘BEST PCA EVER!’
“Good PCAs don’t break other people’s noses”, he said. I guess he does have a point.
But all in all, they accepted my profound apologies, and Dick even made me feel better by telling me about the time HE dropped Rick, getting out of the car on their way to a wedding. Blood all over the tuxedos–not a pretty sight.
So of all the lessons I have learned by working for Rick, this one is paramount:
Always lock the brakes.
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