Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Kid #2 with Glasses!

Unfortunately for the kids, the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. At barely six years old, Ian is the proud owner of a brand spanking new pair of glasses. Funny thing the way genetics works - he looks just like Max with his glasses on. He's a handsome dude regardless, but with his glasses Sam said that he looks like a science teacher. He he he...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Old Men - LEAVE ME ALONE

Oh, I hope you weren't coming here looking for something sordid, because that's certainly not where this is headed. But I do need to take a minute to apologize in advance to all those nice old men who AREN'T attempting to micomanage my life this week. You guys are great - smiles, frowns, whatever, as long as you aren't telling me what to do - we are kosher.

So not once but TWICE this week I've had an old man tell me what to do. The first time it was a grocery cart in the store. I had all the kids with me and we were getting muffins. You know, the big giant muffins that have those great tops on them that you just rip off and devour? Well, my family eats them like they are going out of style. So there we were, standing next to the muffins. At our grocery store they have the muffins displayed behind clear plastic doors - so you need to open the doors to get your muffins. And when we pick out muffins, we stand back from the muffins so we can see them all, and each kid tells me what kid to get as I grab them. But before we are grabbing our muffins we park against the freezer opposite the muffins so as not to block traffic (four kids and you do end up blocking traffic occasionally, so we do our best not to when we can). The little boys were debating which muffins were which and so we were all five standing there (Lucy in the cart) and basically minding our own business. So this old man come up behind us and and says to me "Are you really going to stand there in the passing lane?" Looking around to make sure that he's talking to me and not someone else, realizing the slight insanity of his statement - a passing lane in a grocery store aisle???!!!, and attempting not to just laugh at this guy in front of the kids, I simply said "Yes. We are going to stand here." He grumped at me and continued on past me in the NON-PASSING LANE, or whatever the heck you call the other half of the grocery aisle. That was my first micromanaging old man.

Today I ran across my second old micromanaging man - he was telling me how to drive. This time I was in the van, and it was barely drizzling. You know on the road (at a stoplight) when someone signals to roll down the window? Well, in my experience it's either because you've left the coffee cup or briefcase on the roof, or they are lost and need directions. Since I can't really reach the roof of the van, and I was minutes away from home I figured that I would easily be able to help this old guy get to where he was going. So I roll down the window and he says to me "It's illegal to drive without lights AND wipers on in the rain." HUH? After seeing that I'm a bit confused, and noticing that I had my wipers on, he yells at me "It's against the law to drive without lights on - and your van is NOT visible from the rear." "Uhm, OK thanks." I say, still not sure what just happened. It was drizzling out lightly and I did have my wipers on. But why on earth did he pick me, and why couldn't he have said that I should turn my lights on so I don't get a ticket or that if you have your wipers on VA requires that you have your lights on, or NOTHING AT ALL? If he was trying to warn me he could have done that so much more easily (and I would have caught on much quicker). But no, he basically accused me of a criminal act - an INTENTIONAL criminal act at that, and then drove off on his not so merry way. And did he stop at the next light, roll his window down and tell the driver in front of me to turn their lights on? No, he didn't. And he didn't seem to care about the other 11 drivers around me (I counted) that DIDN'T have their lights on. And who knows how many didn't have the lights and/or wipers on! His head must have exploded right then and there with all those non-compliant drivers.

And before you go and scold me for being mean to old men who are trying to be nice - it wasn't just what they were trying to do, but it was also the way in which they said it. Old men gets lots of leeway in my world - they are generally the folks that you look to for all kinds of cool stuff. I grew up with some very cool Grandpas, and in my mind old men are fantastic and great to have around. But when they tell me to turn my lights on or move my cart, BACK OFF BUDDY.

You are going to drive me nuts - and trust me - that's not something you ever really want to see. And you know what? Tomorrow I'm going to drive in the rain without my lights on, and I'm going to park my cart in the passing lane at the grocery store just for you two.

Polite Dinner Conversation? Nah...

In our house we rarely have polite dinner conversation. It usually revolves around things that any polite person wouldn't dare share at the table. Then again it was always three little boys. Now they spend their time split between the potty humor, and making their sister laugh:


video

Friday, March 27, 2009

"Gimme that Fish"

This commercial always cracks me right up:

And I'm not really sure why.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Total Self Indulgence

Everyone has their vices, and this one is mine:

For years Baskin Robbins has brought out my favorite ice cream flavor in the summer, but the rest of the year it was nowhere to be found. But now, much to my delight, I can find my favorite flavor in the aisle of my local grocery store. And the bubble gum pieces are just soft enough that you can eat them, but not the right consistency to actually chew them as gum. Just perfect. And mine - all mine.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

If I were to leave

This is one of those weird little things that you never really think about. What happens to your online "life" after you die? I recently suffered a "loss of my family" as it were - the scrapbook company that I've worked for for the past four years went under, and our online message board was going dark hours after the announcement was made that they were shuttering the company. A plea went out to the higher ups, and fortunately they heard our call. They left the forums open for several more days (instead of five hours or so) and we were able to connect again elsewhere - where we could exchange offline contact info.

So what happens when you just up and disappear from your online life? Do your online friends hunt you up, or do they have a way of contacting you? For the most part mine don't. When I leave I left folks know, and when I return they welcome me back. But if I were to leave suddenly that would be it - I would just disappear into thin air. There would be no more online Suzie, and no way for folks to contact me. I would simply vanish. My husband doesn't know all of my passwords, but I'm sure he can figure a few out. But the bigger question is can he find out where I've been online - can he hunt up those sites that I regularly post at / participate in to let them know that I'm no longer going to? My mom had the benefit of knowing that she was going to pass away in advance of her actual death, so she let her online friends know and they all said their good-byes before she left. But aside from sharing your login info with a trusted friend, or registering for one of those sites that send out a message upon your death / when you haven't checked in / if you were to really disappear, how would your online world know that something happened to you?

"MOM!!!!! Sam said the P WORD!!!!!"

Good lord. I get this all the time now - really - all day - every day. They are testing boundaries big time. They complain about The P word, but also the S word, the D word and now the middle finger. Yes, the middle finger. But first let's talk about the P word. "Pee" - you know, the stuff that your body doesn't need - the pee that goes into the potty? Yes, for some reason my kids think that it's a bad word. So, today we talked about the difference between impolite words - pee, poop, etc. - and words that I never want to hear from their mouths. After briefly explaining the difference and getting some acknowledgement that they were not only listening but that they understood, Max says "So I saw in the dictionary - at least I think it was a dictionary. You know the one where it has the words with the same meanings?" "You mean a thesaurus?" "Yes, so it was right next to the word for donkey. And it starts with an A." "Well, Max, the only time I want to hear that it when we're at the zoo and a grown up is saying it. But never from you - coming out of your mouth - that's a bad word." We are supposed to hit up the zoo over Spring Break, and you wanna take bets on whether or not he tells his brothers what that word is?

Sigh...I'll tell you about the middle finger another day.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

WAAAAY back in the 90's...

...I graduated from high school - 1990 to be exact. It was the year of big hair, cool music, Seindfeld, the Simpsons, NC-17, the Hubble, GoodFellas, $.025 stamps, and the end of Jim Henson, master of all things Muppets. It was also:



And now, we are approaching my 20 year reunion - the planning has begun. Weird. Twenty years out of high school. Does this mean I'm officially a grown up?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Let's Blow Someone Up

If you live in the Washington DC area you know how bad traffic can get. One of the ways that officials here have decide to ease those painful commutes is to create High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes. Over the next bazillion years they will be tearing up and moving/replacing/reconfiguring roads, bridges and overpasses, and ramps. They are also removing tress, shrubs, and other vegetation, but that's another story.


We were driving home from the bus stop - across one of these bridges that is now under construction (our bus stop is outside the beltway and we live inside the beltway). Ian, one of my 6 year olds, asked why they were doing construction. I explained about the new roads to ease traffic, the idea of the toll lanes, and explained how many folks you had to have in your car to not have to pay on those lanes. He piped up and said "What if you blow someone up in the car?" At first I thought he meant that he would blow folks up - you know - make them explode, and this concerned me greatly. So hoping that he meant something else completely I asked him - did you mean blow them up like a balloon? "Yes, if you had a blow up person then you could ride in the lanes for free." Ahhh..yeah. We immediately went on to discuss the ramifications of breaking the law and what not, but I really thought it was funny that at six years old he is already trying to find ways to break the rules...sigh...

No. He. Didn't.

"Can I take off my shirt and be dirty?"

No, this didn't come out of Tom's mouth (I know - shocking isn't it!). It came from...

wait for it...

Ian.

Yes, my six year old. And I have no idea what he meant. I didn't ask, and after I stopped laughing I told him no. As did his dad. And no - he wasn't allowed to take off his shirt and be dirty either if you were wondering.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sad News

For a few years now I've been following the blog of a woman who was married to a man who has fought brain cancer for the past 12 years. Yesterday he lost that battle and left behind his wife, two young boys, plus loads of good memories. She took a few minutes to reach out to me when I wrote about the anniversary of my mom's death, so please take a minute to read some of their story here. And if you have some spare change lying around, click on the image below to contribute to the boys' college fund and help support Angie as she goes through this.


Teaching your little sister how to make zerberts

And about 20 seconds in all the boys' hard work comes to fruition:

Monday, March 16, 2009

How to make your sister laugh

Maniacal laughing from Sam apparently does the trick:

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Little Miss Pigtails

Check out Little Miss Pigtails! She is sitting up, looks absolutely adorable, and even comes after the camera (then laughs as I almost drop it)! Smart kid - goes right for the electronics!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ian the Soccer Monster

Indoor soccer is so very cool, and Ian is ROCKING it this year! He was all over the court and he loves every minute of it. He's all about defense in outdoor soccer, but he's really turned it up indoors and he has scored a few goals in these games! He's here in the green striped shirt - watch him take out their goalie who is a whole head taller than he is (I promise no opposing goalies were harmed in the filming of this video):


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My new PINK website!

Well, the scrapbook company that I've been with for four years now has gone under (as have a bunch of others in these tough economic times). So, i took this as an opportunity to create a new, fresh website that's ALL ME! There are no longer any branding requirements, no rules or regulations on what content I have on there (or don't have on there), so I ran with it! Right now I'm in transition, so this is just a page that mainly has contact info, and it will be updated as I decide how to move forward, but here it is: ScrappersEdge

Take a peek and tell me if you like th style - it's all me!

Monday, March 09, 2009

It's the BLOB - and it's taking over my car!

Not really the blob - but it did take over my car! We got the boys three bright red bean bags, but we also had a van full of strollers, car seats, and family members, so the only place to PUT said bean bags was on top of our eldest! And you can see from the picture that he was suffering greatly:

And now the boys can sit/drape/plop/relax/lean/flop on the bean bags instead of the floor. But we did have to institute Bean Bag Rules:

1. No hitting your brother over the head with the bean bag.
2. No throwing the bean bag.
3. No smothering your brother with the bean bag.
4. No kicking the bean bag.

Otherwise, they are free to bean bag!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Baby Girl Hat Hair

Take one baby, add lots of curly hair, a cute winter hat, then take it off. What you end up with is this:

One happy little girl!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Go Charlie Brown!

Known around these parts as Sam, Sam, the Football Man:>


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

SNOW!!!!

IT SNOWED...and snowed...and snowed...and snowed...

Over the course of two days it snowed between 6-8 inches. All in our yard, of course. Seems like the rest of the world just fell off and disappeared. I love that feeling - it was beautiful, quiet, bright, and cold. And I was so excited that when I dragged out of bed that morning at 6:45 I couldn't go back to sleep. I took pictures, watched the trees bend under the weight, watched the plows run by, watched the snow fall silently on the landscape, and most of all just took it all in. There's something so peaceful about snow, and this is the most I've ever seen all in one spot as far as I can remember. I'm sure that at some point in my life I've seen more - as a kid visiting NY I did - but this was light-years cooler than any snow I've seen as a grownup. I just couldn't wait to take it all in. And neither could the kids:

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Great Stroller Chase

Right before Lucy joined our family, we received a lightweight stroller from a friend for free, and we were very thankful. I also have coveted one of those cool Jeep Strollers that has the steering wheel on it since when the little boys were born, but because there were two of them it just wasn't possible. So, I hunted one up on Craigslist and we were good to go - or so I thought. I have been using the big heavy Jeep stroller (it's almost a jogger but not really) because the strap on the lightweight stroller was so hard to undo that Tom wasn't able to get it unhooked. So he took a file to it and fixed that problem, and all was well again. But the first time I used it I ran into walls, took corners so badly the police came after me (and we were INSIDE the elementary school), and poor Lucy was jarred around so much that she even protested the stroller too. Seems that the way it was built was not conducive to a smooth ride, or even a slightly unbumpy ride - and that's on a flat surface like linoleum.

So our free stroller suddenly is a little less attractive (well, a LOT less for me but still holds something in Tom's mind - the free part is still there), and we are not on the hunt for a replacement stroller. But I can't just go out and BUY a new stroller - not after this score on the Jeep ($50 for a $120 stroller) and getting this little one for free. Oh, no, that's not true. I found the stroller I want, and I found it for a reasonable price (don't read that as good - it's just not free), and I'm getting it. But I still feel slightly guilty about the whole free stroller thing, so I'm going to pass it along, as it was passed along to me - for no cost. Maybe someone who isn't as picky as me will make good use of it. There's nothing wrong with the stroller itself - lots of folks have them, but I'm just a picky stroller mom I guess. So, I'm sending this stroller on to a better home. And over the next few days I need to decide if I want to pay $10 more for the cute animal print that is less likely to show dirt, or just to take one for the team and get the plain green and black version that I'm not particularly fond of (but costs $10 less). Sigh...big life decisions...

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Drawing the parenting line

Do you catch yourself parenting other parent's kids? Do you ever find yourself in a situation where you are the only responsible adult in the area and feel an overwhelming need to correct another child? Well, I was. TWICE this past week, and a few assorted times over the past month (all at the same place). the first was when a little boy, maybe one or two, came up to my 7 month old and visited with her. Then he touched her shoe - cute with butterflies and all so I said "Those are butterflies," looked up and continued watching the soccer game. Ian and Sam were mid-game and I wanted to watch. Most kids get that message - after the grown up finishes polite time they wander off. But this kid chose instead to kick my daughter in the foot - an attempt to knock those butterflies off, perhaps, or an attempt to get my attention once again. I assume that the mom or dad of this critter would come over and apologize, but no. So I said "We don't kick babies. Do not kick my baby again." Not sure if he understood or even spoke English, but he got the message that the mommy of the baby wasn't happy and wandered off. Then a few minutes later a man came around with little critter in hand asking if I was his parent or if I knew where his parents were. Nice. Not even watching your 1-2 year old in a big huge indoor soccer facility. He was eventually returned to his folks and all was well. But it was my turn to parent him - no kicking babies.

The second incident was at the grocery store as I was walking out. There was a three year old little man climbing up the wall of water bottles at the front of the store as his mom was checking out. I had to walk past him to get out so I simple said to him "That's not a good idea." It wasn't loud, and it wasn't anything offensive, but ho chose to ignore me, freaked his mom right the heck out, and had the cashier walk away from her open cash drawer to make sure that he didn't hit the floor. In the span of the three or so seconds after I walked away, he climbed part way down and then all the way up. Seems that he did kind of listen and waited until I turned my head, then chose to head back on up because I was walking away. Should I have told the mom - she was about 8 feet away and I assume that she was paying attention to her kid, but no. I had to tell him - don't climb the big stack of water bottles.

The third incident that happened on and off over the past few weeks. One of the three year olds at the boys' gymnastics place has finally figured out how to open the door that leads out to the parking lot - all thanks to his six (or so) year old sister. She took the time one day to show him how to open the door, which was a very nice, thoughtful thing to do. The mom was right there when she did it and even complimented her on how nice she was being. Since then I have found one or both of them out in the parking lot of this gym about three times. Sometimes it's the little man all by himself, proud that he made it out there. Sometimes it's both of them standing or wandering around, the mom nowhere to be seen. So this time it's me telling the mom "I found your kids out int eh parking lot again." While she looks displeased, I'm not sure that she's taken any steps towards correcting this. The last time I saw the older sister outside I told her that she was not allowed outside without her mom, and that since she's older she needs to not let her brother out as well. She looked surprised by this info as if the mom never really mentioned to them that parking lots were dangerous. So it was my job to tell her - don't play in the parking lot.

At what point is it NOT my job to parent other people's kids? These were all safety related incidents, but I'm completely hands off on the politeness rules - that is unless I know you - then I demand it from you. None of these parents have gotten mad but it has happened in the past and at some point people need to stop being offended about other parents correcting their children - if someone sees my kids doing something unsafe I'd expect them to speak up. But I guess not everyone takes that approach. Oh, well, I was beginning to think that it did take a village, but apparently it's only a few folks in the village who need to be concerned - everyone else is on vacation.