Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Being A Source Of Embarrassment To Your Kids

BIG post photo here, right? Well, you'd swear that's the size of the embarrassment I make my oldest son feel, just by my breathing and being generally alive.

My beautiful firstborn son, who long ago and in a galaxy far, far away, couldn't get enough of me to the point where my husband had to hold this little 3-month-old baby boy up so he could still see me every time I showered, this little baby of mine who I'd have to hold on my lap when I had to go to the bathroom because his world would fall apart if I was out of his sight ... this same little boy now D.I.E.S. that someone might realize that oh my gawd I am his mother. And how many teens actually DIE of embarrassment anyway? (well, yes, I know I did go out to get the newspaper in my nightgown and boots that one time, but it was only once).

The cause for this knife straight to my heart? Three words: He Is Sixteen.

Sixteen-years-old, when everything is about you. Everyone is talking about you. The whole world only notices you. It all has to do with you.

I am no physical monster. Last time I checked, there was no one-sided hump on my back, my eyes were evenly sized and equally spaced upon my face. As the joke goes, when I walk down the street, people do not hang out of their cars shouting, "Is it Halloween already?"

I have always taken care to not embarrass my children. BUT this? Embarrassing them by just being alive? What can I do with that?

There are so many new rules that are spit out by my son at school drop off time now that he is sixteen. Rules like bullets--they come at me, "don't say good-bye, don't say my name, don't wave, don't get out of the car, don't wait to see that I get in, don't shout at me if I forget something in the car, if I fall down flat on my face and my brains spill out, just.keep. going ..."

It's not like I break into self-choreographed interpretive dance moves upon hearing Adele's Rolling In The Deep -- no matter how much that women slays me -- when my son is with me. I save that for when I'm alone in the mini-van. I may think about swaying my hands all over my head like that, but I don't do it.

Not with him - I try not to think about how he once was my bald-headed dance partner in the kitchen, 3 a.m.

He makes me wince as I remember how much embarrassment I felt about my own mother as a teen. She had come another ther country. I was embarrassed, but there was reason for it, right? Or so I thought. I mean, she had an accent, and dressed funny, and acted like she wasn't even in America. She would try to imitate the movie stars of the time. I knew back then, as a teen, that any children of mine would never be self conscious that I was their mother! I had too much going for me -- I spoke perfect English, I didn't dress in the costume from the old country *blackdressblackdressblackdress,* and I never thought to try and imitate Elizabeth Taylor. What kid wouldn't be proud of me as their mama? I was cool, with it, American, and had no delusions of grandeur.

You can see how knocked off my feet I am by this new role in my life: that of social pariah of the village.

Our morning drives to school now go like this, my son reading to me from his How To Be Invisible Manual: "don't drive right up to the door, mom. Just slow down, and I'll get out and DO NOT say good- bye to me so loud the world hears it. You're so loud. I mean it. I MEAN IT."

To which I meekly ask, "c-c-c-an I look at you? for a minute? can I just l-l-l-l-ook at you? I promise not to make eye contact ..."

"No. See? SEE? This is what I mean. Just drop me off.

He might as well have said, "Go back to your door built into a tree house on the swamp, Fiona, go back from whence you came."

I do as he instructs and drop him off far enough from the school's front doors, per his request. I slowly creeper-drive away, sunglasses covering my eyes, so he can't see that I'm still watching him, watching my handsome, tall boy walk away from me ... without even one glance back in my direction.

He walks away, taking my heart along with him. I breathe deep, and pat myself on the back, congratulating myself on my verbal restraint. How badly I want to screech on the brakes -- good and loud, roll down the window and SHOUT, "embarrassing? you want to see embarrassing? How's this:  "BYE HONEY I LOVE YOU AND DON'T FORGET TO WEAR YOUR CUP AT PRACTICE TODAY BECAUSE IT'S IMPORTANT TO PROTECT YOUR TESTICLES!"

You know, I think I might just call it his nutty buddy, for good measure.


Monday, May 30, 2011

Remember Those Today

In Loving Memory
On every soldier’s tombstone
should be a message of honor, respect and love:
"In loving memory
of one who loved his country,
who fought against evil
to preserve what is right and true and good.
In loving memory
of one who is a cut above the rest of us,
who had the surpassing courage,
the uncommon strength,
to do whatever had to be done,
persevering through hardship and pain.
In loving memory
of one who was brave enough
to give his life, his all,
so that those he cared about
would remain safe and free.
In loving memory
of a unique and treasured soldier
who will never be forgotten."
By Joanna Fuchs

Though Memorial Day has become a day of getting caught up with yard work, family picnics, and an extension of a long weekend, I ask that you take a few minutes today, with your family, to remember the 2,500,000 U.S. Soldiers that have died or been wounded in battle for our country, beginning with the Revolutionary War.

Thank you

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I Was a #Senior Hottie

Liz, from A belle, a bean, and a chicago dog, has this fun thingy going on: link up with your #seniorhottie pix.

Who can resist, right?

Not me.

Were you the most smokin’ hot  senior year of high school?

In her post, Liz casually asked if anyone was interested in doing a photo link-up to show off their high school hotness.  She was completely overwhelmed by the confidence and awesomeness of her blog friends because more than 50 people said they’d love to do it.

And, so: the first official I Was a Senior Hottie photo link-up kicks off on Wednesday, May 25th!

What: Link up a post with one or more photos of yourself taken some time during your senior year. It could be from Homecoming, Prom, Graduation, a senior trip, your official senior portrait session or any other time during that year.

When: The Linky opens on Wednesday, May 25th and stays open through the end of Memorial Day (May 30th).

How: Liz will host a linky for the posts.  You can come here, link up and grab a super glamorous #SeniorHottie button for your post and blog.

Please note: It doesn’t matter what year you  graduated as long as you are impressing us with your senior style!  

Hear that? DOESN"T MATTER WHAT YEAR...that means my picture is a shoe-in as an entry:

The Empress Alexandra Goodday, Class of '18

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Best Thing About Blogging

[This post prompted by Motherese  --a fabulous blog. Thanks for the food for thought, sweet lady.]

I used to think that I had to be what people wanted me to be, in order to have friends.

If I sensed an eyebrow starting to raise, or heard a mouth escaping gasp from someone while I told a story from my life, without missing a beat, I'd change it up so it would become a harmless, less serious tale - one that would lessen the risk of disapproval. One that would keep the silent judging and labels that don't tell the whole story, away.

I learned, from the reaction of others, that opinions are formed quickly. Assumptions are made, and blame is doled out. I'd  see them whisper and nod my story to someone else, as I'd walk away from their small circle. So, I learned.

I learned to not share details of what wasn't pretty, to keep things light and fluffy, and play to what people preferred to hear. I told stories that people liked. Ones that when they'd repeat them, it'd bring more people over, wanting to meet me.

People liked to hear what was happy, funny, and especially what was not different, life lite. 

But, what can happen, when you safeguard your real stories inside, is that though you may end up with 20 friends who like the "safe" you, you may not have a single friend with the "real you", who knows who you truly are.

That's what happened to me.

I was in a life where I had no real friend. To lay no blame on them, they thought they had a real friend in me. They had come to like the woman who was an instant show, always with a way to make them laugh. Someone once said to me, "I tell everyone, when you feel down, call Alexandra. She's always up."

The pretend me was always up. The real me was saying to herself, "just make it through today." Again, all my fault. It was me who had decided to keep things hidden, because I had seen how people don't like the messiness of life.

When you are known only to yourself, it's hard to not see others through the mask you wear. They may not see it there, but it's on. Everything you see and hear and participate in, can feel false. It's not the real you with these people, it's the acceptable you, that they are with.

Then I decided to start blogging last year.

Through the incredible gift of all of you who come here to read, I have--for the first time in my life-- spoken, out loud, of who I am, to you. It was here, on this blog, where I typed words out loud-- truths that make up me: my depression, my PPD, my insane overhovering unbalanced love for my children, my father's suicide when I was six, my mother's emotional neglect to her six children, my hilarious attempts at trying to fit into this small town, my dependence on all of you.

I slowly showed you who I was, through a tale or two here and there, sticking my toes in first to check out the water, and no one turned away. No one left. You came back...it was OK that I did not come with a perfect tidy life.

Yes, I used to think that I had to always provide some welcome diversion, a clever anecdote, a memory that would make people laugh, a charming snippet of life in the flesh, entertainment for overworked, under rested moms and parents and people.

I have opened up my baggage to look through, to be inspected. There is nothing to hide anymore.  What choice do I have? Open my bags, look through them, and see...I am the person here. Basic human curiosity wants to know who writes these posts. It's just me-- no longer hiding behind words that I think you'll like--so that you'll like me.

I used to be entertaining, to try to get you to like me...so I'd have friends. But, like I said, I'm over that now.

I am the woman who writes this blog, who did not come from a sparkly clean beginning, who isn't always up, who is in love with her family, and who is in love with her readers.

I don't need to offer anything further anymore, I've been made to feel safe, by you.

I stand erect now, I can look you in the eye, confident, because I know you know me, fully. You know who you're talking to.

And I laugh with delight inside, in anticipation, because I can't wait to share all  the stories with you that have been waiting inside, finally able to be told.

Stories I've prayed to have someone to tell.

And I can never thank you enough.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I'm Gonna Kill Him

We have a lot going on in our house this week. We had a lot going on in our house last week, too.

I oversighted and undercelebrated our 17th wedding anniversary.

I am determined to bring this part of my life: my marriage, to a Grand Opening Find Out All About It Here This Week type status.

Last week, I ran our engagement story.

Today, we shall spill the tale of The Honeymoon.

But, ours was not made of honey. Why would it have been? The engagement was a tip off, wasn't it?

I almost killed my husband on our honeymoon.

Erin, of I'm Gonna Kill Him, generously offered her space as the site to spread my cautionary tale.

And this couldn't feel more appropriate.

Aside from her obvious slick site that features an ANIMATED HEADER (which is truly a thing of beauty--or envy), and her polished, perfectly chosen words for each post, she is FUNNNNEEEEE.

Erin is brilliantly comedic, obviously in love with her family, and blows off steam with how our favorite people on the planet, can make us go crazy.

Her About Page explains the purpose of her blog: to cover the ugly, the ridiculous, the insane, that can sometimes rear its head in our lives. If we don't laugh about it, we just might take it seriously.  If you can still laugh, then it's all good.

Please join me, at Erin's I'm Gonna Kill Him, and find out how I almost had to kill my husband, to save my own life. I couldn't make these things up.

So good to see you all again!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Just What I Needed

What made me smile in only 31 seconds this morning: these two.


Did you click on this? In only 31 seconds, these two took what was a gray day, and made everyone in our house smile.

I followed these two after I heard them interviewed on NPR. I loved the idea of what they wanted to do.

What they do: they find a tweet they like, and put it to their sweet music.

What I think they do: they lifted my spirits in such a much needed way today.

IN THEIR WORDS: What if we picked tweets we liked from people and made them into songs? Would it be easy? Would people like it? We could call them "sweets"

A social experiment in music. A way to highlight tweets we love from people we love to follow. You tweet it, we sing it. Songs in 140 characters or less.

We Sing Your Tweets is a social musical blog experiment run by Kevyn Smith and Jeremy Johnson, band members of Dave Hates Chico.

We feel like we are onto something and are building something that makes people happy and that is something we are really passionate about.

THANK YOU, Kevyn and Jeremy. You really did make me happy. xo

Comments closed here today, follow @wesingyourtweet and see how they'll make you smile, like they did to us today.

Thank you, so much, K and J. So very much.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Engagement Story

With all the hullabaloo (yes, that's how you spell it) with the Listen To Your Mother Show, my husband and my anniversary slipped by. I'm making it up to him here.  Happy 17 years, Mark! 

Bended knee at dawn on the beach? Serenaded by your love after having pebbles thrown at your bedroom window? Perhaps this was your story, not so mine. In true I can't believe this is my life style, here is my side of  our Engagement Story: and, yes, it had destiny nervous for a few moments....

My not-as-of-yet husband and I had been dating for a bit over a year, and the subject of marriage hadn't been brought up. This was fine with me, as he had made no promises nor given any hints regarding a possible future together, so I couldn't claim to be misled or disappointed. He just wanted to date, and he was a polite and affable enough fellow that that would be alright.

He had a lot of gold stars in my book. He was: 1. well employed 2. always sober 3. smelled nice 4. had all his teeth, and they were in good condition 5. didn't have to purchase 2 airline tickets for himself when he flew. So, given all that, continued dating with no end in sight would be fine for the time being.

It was my birthday, and he had called to ask me out for dinner.  I knew he'd have something special planned. At the time, he was traveling a lot, and our times together were mostly spent doing nice things at nice places with nice food. We all remember those days. When we existed only for ourselves.

Since I knew he'd have a spectacular dinner date set up, I let my mind wander to anticipating a romantic, pleasant evening. He was to pick me up at 6:30 p.m. As I sat and waited for him, I thought of how I was ready to be wined and dined and flattered and toasted to.

He arrives, and I immediately note that his face has such a look of concentrated concern, as if he's lost something. He is also unusually quiet tonight. I ask if everything is alright, he answers yes, but doesn't do much else to assure me. He is 20 minutes late, which is unlike him, but not wanting to start things off on the wrong foot, I say nothing. But, it's not a good start: his quietness, his late arrival, his short answers, his furrowed brow. Not good. As we drive in his car, I promise myself that I will nip this in the bud; he has to call if he's going to be late. Yeah, not the best thoughts to be having, I know. But it was all about me back then.

We are on our way to a restaurant, and he is quiet the entire ride there. I attempt conversation, but I feel as if I'm in the car with a coyote; all I hear is "yup. yup. yup." in answer to any question I pose his way.

"Oh, well, perhaps he has had a rough trip," I think to myself. I don't know. I'm hungry, I have to go to work the next day, and the dress I have on is new and adorable. With the pre-baby waist in it to match. I just want to go out, enjoy my meal, and celebrate my birthday.

We arrive at the restaurant parking lot, he parks, and then asks me to get out of the car and wait outside for him. I give him my Eddie Murphy face and just about say, "whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis.." but I refrain. Unusual request, to get out of the car by myself, but I do it. He usually gets out and opens my door...I'm now at the point of making my mental list entitled "Possible Red Flags...get out while the gettin' is good."

I oblige, and step out of the car-- and wait. I see him jostling around in his pockets and you don't want to know what I'm thinking. You just don't.

He then steps out of the car and begins to walk quickly, with the continual furrowed brow leftover from when he first picked me up. I quickly catch up to him, and try to walk along side--I attempt to take his arm, which makes him jump 20 feet in the air. Okaaaaaaaay...the mental list is now growing by yards, and has rapidly advanced to bullet point #3.

I let his arm go and just walk with him. We enter the restaurant, lucky for him, he does hold the door open. But when the hostess greets us, his tone is quick and hushed with her. He asks me AGAIN to wait a bit of a ways away. What in the world is going on? I'm starting to make my Eddie Murphy faces again. He and the hostess whisper back and forth, we're shown to a table, and seated. He keeps his hands in his pocket, I attempt to reach for his hand and he jumps again as if I'm giving him electric shocks.

He suddenly and abruptly gets up from his chair and says he needs to check something in the car. I have now entered "whatever" land. I have mentally checked out. I can no longer enjoy my meal, and start thinking, "OK. nice guy and all, but I just can't see what is going on between us...I'll just cut my losses, I'm still physically attractive and fertile enough to re-enter the dating game."

He returns, still with the hand in the pocket. I eat a silent dinner---he picks at his food. I feel so sad. I ask to go home early, since it's midweek, and his just returning from a long trip. This surprises him. Ooooh, so not good. We are that off sync? Worse yet, I think, "I can't believe he is HAVING A GOOD TIME???" All I can see is red flags. Red flags all over my brain.

He tells me he wants to drive to the lakefront. I say yes, thinking this is the least I can do, since I have decided this is the last time I'll be seeing him. We drive there, and the first thing I see is a white horse and buggy waiting. "Awww, this is so very sweet..." I say, knowing it must be my birthday treat and perhaps there's still hope? We climb in, I move to sit closely to him, and take his hand out of his pocket, in one last ditch attempt to convince myself his madness is just a case of jet lag.

No dice.

He jumps out of his skin. Again. Alright, he's turned a bit "A Beautiful Mind" on me, that's alright...I can deal for a few more minutes. I'll be home soon, and then I know I'll have to give him "the call" tomorrow, for I'm on bullet point #7 at this time. I mentally prepare myself for the coming weekend of me by myself and Ben&Jerry's Death by Chocolate along with every single Love-Gone-Wrong video I can rent from Blockbuster. I've lived through life's disappointments before. I've had practice with those kinds of weekends-- I know I'll be alright.

He continues with his pocket patting fetish and I am ready to jump out of the horsecab by now, but it's going a bit too fast. It's also getting cold outside, kinda dark, the pavement would hurt, new dress, pretty shoes...etc.

I take a deep breath, close my eyes, and try to save the evening by relishing the sound of the clip clop of the horse's shoes on the quiet street.

And this is where it gets even stranger than it's been all evening.

He suddenly pulls out a small, white box. Just like that. With no announcement of  "I got you something." I see the small white box, "Earrings!" I think. "For my birthday! And I'll bet they're super nice, too!" I am so excited, he just came back from Europe and maybe he picked up something there!

I smile and take the little white box and snap it open it and can't wait to see what is inside. Beautiful golden hoops? He knows I love hoops. But there are no golden hoops inside the box, because there is, instead, a perfect diamond ring sitting up high in the middle of a black velvet cushion. A ring, in a box, where a pair of birthday earrings should be. I am looking and trying to understand why I see a single, solitaire diamond ring in a box, in my hand.

All the weirdocities of the night now quickly make sense. All the perverted pocket padding this poor man did to ensure the ring hadn't fallen out, all the up and down and walking ahead so he could check to be sure the ring was still in the pocket. The poor guy probably filled his underwear at least 5 times that night from all the planning and the stress. Poor thing.

The rest of my memory takes on a surreal cast. I remember staring at the ring in the moonlight (really..it was a full moonlit night) and being so very surprised, and marveling at all the planning and secrecy keeping and THE CHANCE he took. What a chance, we had never discussed marriage, I could've said no, it was a risk.

I asked him later, to tell me the reason he had decided to propose in that way, with me not suspecting a thing. His answer was "if you knew it was coming, where's the romance in that? I wanted you to be so surprised, whether you said yes or no, I wanted you to be surprised."

Which I was, in more than just receiving the ring, but in him, and who he was, and how he made this plan of marriage more than just a proposal, but a memory.

And this reason is why this picture exists, showing me as a Mrs., when earlier that birthday evening, I had thought that he would be returning me home, vowing to stay a Miss.

My response, through grateful tears of relief:  "Oh, thank god, I thought you were crazy." Which is, kind of, a Yes.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Never Told This Story Before

A story I've never told is online today.

I have a wonderful, funny, kind, intelligent, supportive bloggy friend whom I just adore--and she is celebrating her Second Blogoversary this entire month.

Deb, of Truthful Mommy fame, is the woman I'm speaking of.

Two years of blogging is an accomplishment to celebrate. Think of the hours, no...don't. You'll close up your laptop and pull away from the computer and never go back.

So, back to Deb: I am pleased and so very honored that she has asked me to contribute to her website this month in celebration of her accomplishments online.

She has asked for a post about the truths of motherhood.

The Real Deal.

No Downy Fabric Sheets commercial spots, but the realness of it all.

I promised her I would.

Today, with my post at Deb's TruthfulMommy, I am talking for the first time online, about my Post Partum Depression.

Yes, I have the PPD button up on my sidebar, but I have never written of my story here, on my site.

This period in my life, at the same time, a very long ago, but also still feeling as fresh as yesterday, was HUGE in making me who I am today.

I am someone with a heart for anyone with PPD. I will never close my door to anyone who cries out on twitter, or in an email, or in a post: "Help. I'm barely hanging on today."

Because, I remember; when you are barely hanging on by your fingernails, how do you ever forget?

I hope you stop over, read my story, then keep your eyes, ears, heart open for anyone who your gut tells you is just barely making it.

I love you all.

Monday, May 9, 2011

What I Read At The Listen To Your Mother Show Madison

On Mother's Day, I was blessed with being given the chance to have others hear my words on the HUGENESS that my grandmother played in my life, by being part of the Listen To Your Mother Show in Madison.

It's a wonderful feeling---I'm still buzzing--to have ears listening to something that is pivotal in my life.

I thank Ann Imig for that. Her encouragement, and kind words, there's no way to thank someone enough for providing such a life changing opportunity. I wish this kind of an experience for everyone.

Thank you, Ann. Forever.

If you'd like to see the piece I wrote, The Reach of a Small Moment, in yesterday's incredible show, please click here.

And, thank you, for all your thoughts and love... I felt all of you there with me.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

But The Hours, The Time, The Work....Oy Vey

We've all thought it, read about it, posted about it, tweeted about it: the WORK.

The WORK that blogging is.

You work on your own posts, you guest post, you visit, you comment, you read, you engage, you interact, you SPEND HOURS.


We're not getting paid. We're not getting book deals. We're not getting any more buff or richer from the hours sitting behind this computer.
People ask us, "So...you do, this, this... airquotes blogging for free?"

Yup. I do.

Because there are some things that are worth it all. All of the time, hours, preparation.

Today, I received over 50 emails wishing me well with the May 8  Listen To Your Mother Show that I am honored to be a part of.

And I received these......

So, do I do this airquotes blogging for free?

The answer depends on what you hold dear.

Thank you, to all of you, for your wonderful, amazing tweets, emails, and well wishes.

I do believe I am the luckiest blogger in the world.

I love you all!
*Thank you, Kpugs, I don't know what to say...you've left me deeply touched. Thank you for your love.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Listen To Your Mother On The Radio

I was  part of the LTYM conversation on community radio on 5/3. You can listen to the podcast and hear  some of the  glorious writing from this Sunday's show, as well as hear  poignant words about motherhood and community.  


Link up your Motherhood-related writing for  LTYM: Mother's Day link up here!

Hope to see you at LTYM shows TODAY in NW Indiana, and tomorrow in Spokane as well as here in Madison at 3pm at The Barrymore.

Happy Mother's Day!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Yes, I am.

I'm at Shell's place, today, as her BFF Feature. Which is a wonderful thing. Shell, from the very fun blog, Things I Can't Say, does this every Friday, feature a blogger she has come to know, and we have come to know each other very well, over the past year. Shell is honest, fun, faithful, and a GREAT resource for anything related to social media.

We share lots in common: especially a love for blogging, and a love for our readers.

I hope you pop over, and visit, and read what I said to my new neighbor, when she came knocking and asking, "what do I do? I'm getting OLD!!"

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bring It

Finding The Humor

Without sounding too allthat, I am so happy with the rep that Bring The Funny? She Can, is getting.

Seriously. There was a fantastic tweet last week that had me beaming: "Sold. I will follow all your recs from now on."

Thank you, and oh, yeah, how I appreciate that.

To do a feature on another blogger takes me a little over 2 hours of solid time. I read their posts, I skip around, I see what the comments say, I scour their tweets, I rearrange the info back over here.

It's solid time. And to know that people are really liking it, and really enjoying meeting bloggers they may not have come across, it's worth the time for me.

And blah blah blah, with all that, to say, Welcome! To Bring The Funny? She Can.  A Thursday feature where I highlight a blogger I've been following that genuinely makes me laugh out loud. Not computer acronym LOL, but real life Funnnnnneeeee.

Today, please meet Melinda, from Finding the Humor.

Here, let Melinda tell you about herself: "I talk too much. Since everyone I know is tired of listening, I have turned to the internet to find a new audience. Feel free to turn the volume down if I'm too loud.
I began following Melinda about a year ago. What makes her so fun, just like what makes things funny, is the unexpectedness there. Her blog looks so sweet, and then you read her posts and it's stuff like this:

Soul Train Dancer Wannabe

Growing up during the exciting emergence of old school hip hop, I fondly remember the very first 45 record I bought with my own money: Double Dutch Bus. Hold on, I have to sing a few lines…

…There’s a double dutch bus comin’ down the street
Movin’ pretty fast, so kinda shuffle your feet…
Good times.
I looked forward to Saturday morning’s Soul Train and danced around the living room and down a pretend line of observers cheering me on.

Yes I have done break dancing…sort of

Ok not the spin on your head kind. A close friend of mine was (and still is) a rockin’ DJ who was a dancer in the only white break dancing group I knew of in the area. We’re talking the Grandmaster Flash days! There is a lot of pressure when your dance partner is that good, so I actually learned enough of the robot, cabbage patch, and running man to spoof them along with 2 other girls for a church youth group talent show. Strangely enough that never came up as a required skill in a job interview.

My kids wonder why I score so high on those moves on the Kinect dancing game. Shh…secret.[READ MORE HERE]
A woman as dorky as me. I love it.

Twitter? Need I even say ANYthing? Of course, look at this:


Sometimes the stars line up just right and a friend sends you a Wonder Woman swimsuit. Can't wait to horrify the kids!!
30 Apr

Every post is a good one. On twitter, @findingthehumor, Melinda will crack you up. 

Add Melinda to your reader, follow her on twitter. What good is it to be alive if you're missing out on even one funny person?

Right? I thought so.

And, you're welcome.


You guys are the best!  Happy Thursday! 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Never Act Irresponsibly In Front Of Family Members

It was a hot and humid 97 degree day last summer. I had an hour's worth of driving to do in 30 minutes time. I had just picked up my 15 year old sweat soaked son from his soccer practice, and we were on our way to his swim lesson, with three stops in between. He sat, shirtless, next to me, while I was my own Garmin "recalculating" my way between two small towns amid all the summertime construction and road repair.

Wisconsin has two seasons: construction, and winter.

We were in construction.

Earlier that day, with a string of errands before me, I had run out of the house barefoot, jamming two twenties into my front pocket. With just my housecleaning clothes on, I grabbed nothing on the way out except for my lemonlime Powerade. Before hitting the community pool, I had a  planned quick stop at MickeyD's for dinner to make tonight work, (I hear your gasps, and I know, and I don't care) and then a run into the grocery store--which he'll have to do for me--sans shoes and all, AND all the while knowing that I had 20 minutes to make it to pick up Baby E from his soccer practice.

I guess I must've been going too fast, because as I looked in my rear view mirror, I saw the cherries go on behind me.


In the front seat, sitting across from my impressionable teenage soon to be driving son, I glance into the rear view mirror and say, "shysters."


Now what.

And, this is just what I need.

"Mom!  Is that the cops?? Are they after you?"

Holy frijole. "Yes. Yes. They are after me. And what's worse? This is never quick. Never."

"Mom? How do you know it's never quick?"


"Well, I mean, you know, they have to check all your information...and...CRAP! I left the house WITHOUT my purse! Oh, they are going to nail me to the wall."


OK. Inner dialogue, going like this: the role parents play in the lives of their children coming into sharp focus. This is truly a defining moment.  One my son will not soon forget. Great example. High expectations. Awesome role model.

I look across the seat at my young, morally developing teen son. I take a deep breath, and say, "You know what we do now? We pull over. And then we stay in the car and wait. He'll walk to us here."

"Then what happens, mom? Do they take you to the police station right away? We're going to be so late."

"Yes, yes, we are. And I must've been doing something. And the sign somewhere must say what the speed limit is, but I didn't even see it."

The police officer walks over to my rolled down window. "How are you this evening? May I see your registration and license?"

Me, extending my palm out: "Officer? Please give me a ticket."

My request was earnest.
I continued, "my son is at an impressionable age, and he needs to see what happens when a person breaks the law. Please serve me with the maximum allowable for breaking the law in a residential area----NEAR A CHILDREN'S PARK YET--- in this obviously quiet, residential street."

"Is that your son here?"

"Yes, officer. This is my son. And I want him to see what happens when a person breaks the law. Please. Do everything allowable by penalty of law for speeding while driving." I feel the need to have this ticket.

He peeks into the car, and looks at my son: "Hello, how are you? Ma'am? how's your driving record?"

"Perfect, officer."


"Yes, officer. Perfect."

::son whispering:   "mom! don't lie!"  me whispering:   "I'm not lying!" ::

"Let me go check, if it's "Perfect," we'll decide from there."

The officer walks away with my registration information, we wait, a tense 10 minutes we wait. And don't think there was quiet in the car: "See, son, because of this now we're really messing the whole night up. I should've noticed the speed limit. Look, there's a kid's park, and it's a single lane, all CLUES, honey...all CLUES..."

The police officer returns, "Well, your driving record is perfect. I'm going to give you a warning. Pay attention to the speed limit. There's a kid's park here."

"Officer, I really need you to give me something. Like a ticket. My son needs to see this." There is such an affordable lesson here, I want this ticket.

Officer: "ah... I gave you a warning." 

"Officer, I think my son needs to know that I should have gotten a ticket for speeding NEAR A PARK." I will plead my case.

"Ma'am, I did do something. I gave you a warning. You have a perfect driving record for 30 years. A warning is what you got for going 6 miles over the speed limit. Don't do it again."

"Officer, can you tell my son that speeding is wrong while driving? And that he should not do as I did, and he should pay attention to the speed limits posted?"

"Ma'am? I think he's gathered enough information from our interaction here. I think he gets it."

"Well, thank you, officer. Thank you. And this was a wonderful lesson. And God bless you. And I won't speed again and I'll make sure that I talk about this with my son some more and thank you for doing your job and pulling us over. This was a time appropriate opportunity, thank you so much. I'm so happy you pulled us over. This couldn't have been more perfect --he'll be driving soon, and this was just wonderful. Thank you..."

"Well, you seem like a very nice woman. And I think your son understands what happened here."

"Officer. I know I should really leave this alone, my husband tells me this all the time. But, I just have to ask you one more time, can you give me a small ticket? Just like, a little bitty small one? You know, to show this is wrong...for my son to see..."

::son hissing: "mom!! you should just go, dad is right. just.go".::

"OK, then officer, thank you, again...this has been such a wonderful, wonderful night. Thank you!"

::son eyerolling: "mom, you are so crazy. You know that? So. Crazy."::

"Yeah, well, honey, I may be crazy, but you won't forget what it feels like to see cherries going in your rear view mirror and looking back at your own face reflected in officially issued regulation aviator mirror sunglasses anytime soon, will you?"

*This is a true story that happened last summer. I hear my son tell it to his friends, still, as in,  "man, that was the scariest thing. I hope I NEVER get pulled over."

I will never understand why I didn't get the ticket, I wanted my son to see what happens. I think, pretty sure, it's because of my 30+year perfect driving record.

Monday, May 2, 2011

If You Stand With Your Shoulders High Up It Makes You Look More Buff

Me and my big brother
It's Monday, I love Mondays because it's Baby E Post Day. As always, he's ready to talk your ears off. Thanks for loving on this little guy, you all  are awesome.

Hi. It's me. This picture is of me and my big brother, Alec. We have birthdays close together. But my mom still has us do our birthdays on separate times. She says her mom made her share birthday parties with her sister, and she never liked that.

My mom brought me home when I was born on my brother's birthday. We have pictures of me inside the blue bucket they'd carry me in, with a bow on top, like I'm my brother's present.

My brother teaches me tricks. He taught me that if you stand with your shoulders high up, you look more buff.

It does work.

I learn other tricks by just watching people, though.

Like, here are 3 tricks to look smarter:

Three Tricks To Look Smarter:

1.  Hold your chin with your hand. It looks like you're thinking. Try it in the mirror. It works.

2.  Squint your eyes before you answer a question. Ask someone to do it so you can watch. See?

3.  Stand with your hands behind your back, holding them.You look like a professor.

*You should do #1 and #2 together to work the best. I wish you could see me show you.
*#3 works really good if you do it while walking around. I'm doing it now.
*I learned these tricks from TV shows. If you do them, watch how they work.

Haircuts are Crazy:

We had to go get haircuts. My dad makes my mom take us. She likes us to just let our hair be long, but my dad goes crazy and then one day he bursts out and talks in all capital letters "when are you going to get their hair cut!?"

And then we go.

When I go, they always do this:

First, they make me look like an old lady with curly hair.
Or, they make me look like an old man with curly hair.

I hate new hair cuts. Sorry, I mean I don't like how I look with a new hair cut. I don't at all.

With my brother, the middle brother, they always make him either look like a girl, or they make him into an old mullet man.

We both come home so mad from our haircuts.

I like to do this stuff now: I like to do a cow face and chew like a cow, round in a circle, whenever I have salad.

It goes like this: just chew slow and real slow and go around with your mouth.

My mom laughs but my dad and brothers say, "not funny everytime, you know."

My mom says it is.

Things I Have To Do:

I have to hurry up and grow up because I need to start on my plans before I run out of time. My mom says time goes fast in life. So, I want to get started:

1. I want to go around the world in 3 stages: first, I want to walk around the world in 5 months, then I want to run around the world in 5 days, and then I want to fly around the world in 5 hours.

2. I need to do time travel to stuff I want to do. I have to do time stopping, too, so my greatest days don't end.

My greatest days are easy to know: they're the ones I say I seized the day.

For me to seize a day, in order for me to say a day has been seized, I have to do 3 things:

1. Three amazing things have to happen.

2. I have to do three amazing things.

3. It has to feel like a great day.

Sunday was a Day that I seized: I had my friend birthday party with my friends, and it was a Tae Kwon Do party, and I got the Nerf gun that I really wanted.  That day was seized.


Next week I will tell you about the new book series I am laughing about. And soccer started.

Meghan, from Phase Three of Life, has an awesome Q&A for her 50th follower. Who is me, pretty great, hmmm? Hoping you'll stop over, say Hi,  and help Meghan feel welcome in the blogosphere.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sunday Best - Love in the Chaos

If you ever need a cure for house envy, come to our house. You'll leave feeling that your house is the best organized, most tightly run ship on the planet. A visit here is good for that. With 4 males in the house, the level of noise is beyond what some would find comfortable. The same can be said for the level of activity, as in indoor soccer games, and football tossing.

There is someone always either playing the piano, shooting the Nerf gunS (yes--S-- as in PLURAL, as in MANY to choose from), or seeing how many paper airplanes can be flown off the upstairs balcony at once. [Hmmmm....maybe they'll fly better if we tape pennies to them!]

Snacking is always going on, there is PlayStation being played, more boys from the neighborhood, a Wii game started upstairs. The lemonade pitcher will be spilled, and someone will leave their unfinished popsicle to melt on the kitchen island. There are shoes to be tripped over, and Lego pieces that will spike the tender arch of your foot.

This is our home, with love in the chaos. 

I grew up in a silent home. My mother didn't like noise, and didn't encourage interaction. She preferred quiet solitude. This was a good thing, in part, it turned me into an insatiable reader. But, my memories of what it was like growing up are often accompanied by the sound of the quiet ticking of the clock in the dining room that I would hear daily.

I knew, that when I had my own family, that I wanted our home to be a boisterous home, bursting at the seams with family life, much like my  grade school friend, Stephanie, had. That's what I wanted.

Life is so good--I am now blessed with exactly that. I am the mother of three sons.

And, within the sound of yet another vase breaking, a dish being dropped, or the sound of experimental aircraft being thrown off the upstairs balcony, you will hear love among the chaos. The sounds of a full house, and my own full, satisfied heart.


This post originally appeared at Stephanie's,  The Drama Mama, Scoop on Poop. Click over and meet her, she is a lovely woman.


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