Monday, September 6, 2010

New beginnings

I sent my oldest child off to middle school the other week. It was a big step for him, and for me. As parents, we know that our purpose is to raise our children to become successful and independent, yet each stage they reach is difficult for parents.

My kids (except Arissa) are out of the snuggly stage. Tyler won't hold my hand in public any more. He says, "What if someone I know sees me holding your hand??" Yes, being a parent is difficult at times, seeing your child need you less and less, yet at the same time, it makes a parent proud to see what their child can accomplish.

Hunter was pretty scared about starting middle school. He was very scared of his locker, scared of the new people, nervous that he'd get lost, and VERY nervous about dressing out for P.E. Yet, 2 weeks later, he has his schedule down pat, can get his locker open, and, although he isn't crazy about it, dresses out in the boys locker room (which, by the way, he has informed me that the boy's locker room REEKS- and I have to wonder, coming from an 11 year old boy who we have to nag to take a shower and change his socks, if he thinks it smells that bad, it must be BAD). Middle school is teaching him to be responsible on his own.

Nobody said being a parent was easy.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The chaos of a school morning

Why do I love summer so much? Maybe it's because I love flip flops and shorts. Maybe it's because I love the pool. Or maybe it's because I don't have any kids I have to drag out of bed and get out the door by 7:05. Seriously, mornings are my LEAST favorite part of school. My middle child, Tyler, is SO NOT A MORNING PERSON. He drags his feet half the morning and is grouchy. He doesn't want to eat. He just wants to stare at the wall. (Gee, where did he get that from??) I adore my kids, but he is a bear to get ready in the morning, no matter how prepared we are the night before. You can drag a kid out of bed, but once he's out of bed, the only thing you can do is nag, nag, nag them to get ready. I can't say I blame him. I hate mornings, too. I take that back. I detest mornings. Summer, I may complain about how hot it is when you are around, and I may complain about the kids being in my hair all. day. long. But I miss my lazy summer days already. Getting up at 6:15 is for the birds.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Pity Party, and ode to Sarah

This is my pity party, because it's my blog and I can whine if I want to.

I find it hard to make/keep any close friends. It makes me feel like a loser. It's *always* me who has to pick up the phone to call. People don't typically call me to check and see how I'm doing, if I'm still alive, etc. It makes me sad, because after a while I feel like I'm harassing them. I always thought I was pretty fun in a social setting. I'm shy sometimes. Other times I talk a lot. I have ADD, so I tend to be socially awkward, but I don't want to put myself out there any more, because I usually wind up getting hurt in the long run. The *one* person in my life who knew the phone worked both ways, well, she's living in another country, going to vet school, and more than likely she's never going to live here again. Sometimes the kids and the husband just don't cut it, KWIM? But socially awkward me only manages to go out with friends every 2-3 months, and it's usually *me* who has to instigate anything. Sorry if anyone is pissed from this post, but I'm really, really sad right now, because I'm realizing that, in general, I'm merely an acquaintance to most people I know.

I miss my BFF. She's the one person who loves me and accepts me, with my socially awkward personality, negativity and all. Sarah, thank you for being my best friend through thick and thin, through good times and bad, through all my mental times, through my pregnancies, my childbirths, hormones and all. Thank you for listening to my crying through all my teenage drama, for being in my wedding (and helping me plan through the madness), and being an aunt to my children. I <3 you, dear, and I miss you so terribly.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Secret vault of words rejected by the Oxford English Dictionary uncovered

I don't know why some of these were rejected...

Earworm – a catchy tune that frequently gets stuck in your head
("Ca-li-fornia girls, we're undeniable, daisy dukes, bikinis on top"...yeah, you're welcome).

Espacular – something especially spectacular.
Hmm, I can see that being used for sarcastic purposes. Like, when I say something is awesome; for example, "My daughter woke me up 4 times last night. Awesome." (Sarah got me hooked on that word. Thank you, Ms. Janney)

Furgle – to feel in a pocket or bag for a small object such as a coin or key
Yep, been there, done that. Although I have to wonder when the object rolls over from the "small" category to the "regular" category? I have 4 keys and 2 keychains, so is that still considered small?

Headset jockey – a telephone call center worker
I like that MUCH better than customer service rep!!!

Optotoxical – a look that could kill, normally from a parent or spouse
Oh yeah, my kids have gotten those looks before. Husband, too.

Polkadodge – the dance that occurs when two people attempt to pass each other but move in the same direction
This is the perfect description for what Lesley and I do every time we work together. It is inevitable that, at some point in the evening, we'll almost run into each other, and polkadodge in order to avoid a head-on collision.

Spatulate – removing cake mixture from the side of a bowl with a spatula
I don't have much of an opportunity to do this. Usually, my kids just ask to lick the bowl.

Sprummer – when summer and spring time can't decide which is to come first, usually hot one day then cold the next.
Welcome to Virginia, home of sprummer.

Whinese – a term for the language spoken by children on lengthy trips
Do the trips have to be lengthy? Because my kids speak whinese on a daily basis, regardless of the length of the trip we're taking.

Giving credit to for the use of words in their article

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Childhood and summertime

Being a kid today is WAY different from when I was a kid. And I'm not talking about the "I had to walk to school in 6 feet of snow" kind of way. (Although, on a serious note, I *did* have to walk in the snow to catch the lie. My dad's gravel driveway was almost 1/2 a mile, and the bus stopped at the top of the driveway. When it snowed, which "back in my day" it snowed a lot- hellooooo blizzards of '93 and '96- we had to walk to the bus stop, or miss school. And in order to miss school in my house, you had to be near death). When I was a kid, we had more independence than kids today do. (Again, more in the "mom locked the door for the entire day" kind of way). Not that I don't allow my kids to have independence, but I think it's no secret that the dangers of the world are more frequently in the media today vs. when I was a kid...anyway, that's a different subject for a different time. I have some special memories of summertime from when I was a kid, and I'd like to take this opportunity to share some with my 2 blog readers :)

-Honeysuckle. Oh, how I loved walking around picking honeysuckle off people's vines. (Today that would be called trespassing). I loved the smell of honeysuckle, too, and I got so excited when that tiny bit of honey came out!

-Ice cream trucks. Yup, our neighborhood had an ice cream truck that came by, and buddy, he was a busy ice cream man. I loved standing in line with my 2 quarters in my had (yep, .50) eagerly pondering which frozen treat I'd pick. Most of the time my choice was the "bomb pop".

-Roaming the neighborhood all day. My mom was a lucky one. We could roam the neighborhood all day, with all the kids in the neighborhood. We'd come in when the street lights came on, or maybe the couple of random times when we got hungry or needed to go to the bathroom. Sometimes Mom would lock the doors, so if we were hungry or had to use the bathroom, we were out of luck. (What would the neighbors think if I locked my kids out of the house today? I'd probably go to jail.)

-Lemonade stands. My mom worked, so we stayed with my grandma during the day, which meant a whole other set of friends. I distinctly remember setting up several lemonade stands during the summer. Our lemonade was made of the instant powdered stuff, in an empty gallon milk jug with some paper cups, and we made a stand out of some random cardboard box we found in Grandma's basement. The 2 or 3 people that walked or drove by would have pity on us and pay the .25 for a cup of warm lemonade, which meant that we consumed most of it.

-The beauty shop. My grandma ran a beauty shop in her basement. She permed and cut little old ladies hair day in and day out while her grandchildren were under her feet. I loved hanging around the beauty shop, watching my grandma giving perms and manicures to her lady friends, while they sat under those hair dryers and read the plethora of magazines on Grandma's table. When it came time for Grandma to trim my hair, I'd pretend I was one of her customers.

-Cooking lessons. Staying with Grandma meant lots and lots of cooking. My grandma is the reason I know how to cook. Mom says she remembers every time Grandma would get out her pots and pans, I'd drop whatever I was doing to come running in the kitchen to help out. My grandma had a garden, and I'd help her "snap" and "string" the beans, cut cucumbers and squash, and bake whatever it was she was about to put in her oven. She did a lot of baking, too. By the time I was 10, I could crack eggs and scramble them, make a salad (not the bagged stuff, either), and put together a basic spaghetti dinner.

-My friend Erin. We went to different schools, and she lived in my grandma's neighborhood, so I mostly only saw her in the summer. I guess you could say she was my "summer BFF". We roamed my grandma's neighborhood (which I would NOT advise doing today), picking grapes off the neighbor's grapevine (again, trespassing today, but he loved the company), ran through the sprinkler...and on and on.

Of course, I have a *lot* more memories of summertime, but this is what has come to mind so far. To be continued?...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

You can't make this stuff up

My most recent conversation with my 6 year old daughter, Arissa:

Arissa: Mom, can I cut my bangs off?
Me: WHAT?!?!?! Why on earth do you want to cut your bangs off?
Arissa: (In her best sarcastic, "duh mom" voice) Because I made a unicorn horn out of paper, and I'm trying to tape it to my head, but it won't stick because my bangs are in the way. So I figured if I cut my bangs REAL short, my unicorn horn would stick to my forehead.
Me: no ma'am, you are NOT cutting your bangs off. They will take months and months to grow back.
Arissa: -sigh- I guess I won't be a majestic creature, then.

At least she asked for permission first...right?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Salem, the mystical city of time warps

I admit it...I got a new cell phone. My new cell phone is uber-techno, thanks to my husband. I wanted a nice, normal phone...he wanted me to get a smartphone. My phone uses Android. Yeah, ostentatious as it is, I love it. I admit it. I miss my QWERTY keyboard, and I can't text as fast as before, but I can check Facebook, my e-mail, play games, browse the ' know, because I'm not connected enough as it is.

Anyway, I had an appointment in Salem the other day. I was in the waiting room and checked the time on my phone. 11:30? What the what? My appointment time was at 1:45. I was pretty sure that I didn't accidentally leave the house super early (I'd be more inclined to leave the house super late), since I fed my kids lunch when they alerted me when it was noon. (Actually, their stomachs did. Their stomachs have built-in alarms that go off at noon when they haven't had lunch, and they complain to me that they're starving to death). I looked at my watch...2:30. Hmmm. Did I go back in time? I fiddled with my phone. It recognized that I was in Salem, which is in the Eastern time zone...yet each time I go to Salem, my phone goes back in time 3 hours. Boggles the mind. And should make things interesting, because I work in Salem.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A time-saver of an idea

The other day, I let the kids play outside in the sprinkler. Actually, they came home begging me to let them run through the sprinkler, and since just looking outside made me sweat, I said OK. The kids came out in their bathing suits, and I sat on the porch, er, supervised them, while they played. A few minutes later, I found a bottle of my Bath and Body Works hand soap on the porch.
Me: Guys, why is this soap out here?
(Crickets chirping)
Me: Guys?
Arissa: Well, Mom, I figured I'd go ahead and get my bath out of the way!

Hmm, it IS an idea for the next time we're in a hurry...

Thursday, April 8, 2010


There's something about a simple, easy-going day that makes me happy. Yesterday, I took the kids to Troutville park. We loaded up the picnic basket with sandwiches, cookies, fruit, bottles of water and such, spread a blanket under a tree, and had lunch. Then the kids ran off to play while I lounged on the blanket (to keep it from blowing away, hee hee) and read a book. I helped Arissa see-saw, then we came home and had ice cream. Ice cream makes any day awesome!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Apparently I have too much time on my hands

Why is it that moms are supposed to know where every single item in the house is at all times? I can't tell you how many times my kids (and the husband, too) have asked me, "Where are my shoes? Where are these shorts? Where is my backpack?" Supposedly, moms have some sort of detector built into their brains that make them able to locate anything in the house at any time. Well, mine apparently is broken. So, of course, when I can't find what they are looking for, somehow that is my fault, too. Don't ask how that works. Maybe they think that I get bored and hide things? "Oh look! A pair of shoes! I think I'll take them out of this closet and hide them somewhere no one will find them! Because I LOVE hunting for shoes 5 minutes before the bus is supposed to be here!" I guess I take their homework out of their backpacks and put the papers in the middle of the floor. "I don't know how my homework got THERE. *I* didn't put it there!" Sure, son, sure.

Monday, March 22, 2010

10 Things I Like About You

My kindred friend, Sarah, posted on her blog "10 Reasons why my husband ROCKS" (her husband, not mine) and posted a challenge for her blog readers to do the same. So Sarah, this is for you.

10 Reasons I <3 My Hubby

10. He's easy on the eyes. I think he looks like Chris Daughtry. Chris Daughtry wasn't famous when we were dating. Oh well. He didn't look like Chris Daughtry when we started dating, anyway :)

9. His eccentric taste in music. I don't know anyone else who has loves country, I'm talking Johnny Cash and Hank Williams (Sr., not Jr.), along with music that's so heavy metal, I can't even understand what they say unless you look up the lyrics to the song.

8. His knowledge of vehicles. I'm not gonna lie. The man knows his cars. And he's saved us about a gazillion dollars in mechanic fees over the past 11 years. How can you not love someone who saved the family a GAZILLION dollars? He probably thinks the same thing about me when it comes to the kids' birthday cakes. Right, babe?

7. His love for peanut butter. Scott isn't much of a candy man. He can't stand chocolate. Mix the chocolate with some peanut butter, however, and you've officially won his heart. You can't be a Graham and not like peanut butter.

6. He's a great dad. He takes the kids fishing. He does a movie and pizza night with the kids every Friday night while I'm at work. Who cares if they don't clean up the dishes afterward?

5. His family. Seriously, his family ROCKS. Come over on family game night. They'll make you laugh until your cheeks hurt while simultaneously questioning your sanity. Just ask my father-in-law about Grandmas with Tongue Amputations. Or my mother-in-law about gypsies/pirates. Or my sister-in-law and my niece about those dang Chihuahuas that live in your walls and steal shiny things. Graham family + Balderdash = stories to tell for years.

4. His ability to recited lines from movies that he hasn't watched in months, even years. He did that to me the other day. He LOVES the movie Dumb and Dumber. Hasn't seen in in I can't tell you how long. Yet he can recite half the movie, and act out various scenes.

3. His love for the oddest movies. He's a self-proclaimed movie buff. Yeah, he likes gory movies. He loves action movies just as much as the next guy. HIS favorite movies include UHF, with Weird Al Yancovich, the Evil Dead series, Dumb and Dumber, Bubba Ho-Tep, or Cabin Boy. Yes, he's weird and goofy. We already covered that.

2. He loves a psycho. OK, I wouldn't call myself a psycho. I wouldn't call myself easy to live with, either. I have my moments, and I have my moods. Yet, he's been here for 11 years, and for some reason, he still kinda likes me.

1. His persistence. I first dated his friend in high school. When Scott pursued me, I resisted dating him. I resisted telling him "I love you" when he professed his love for me. I resisted when he announced he wanted to marry me one day. Man, I was a pain in the butt.

So, there you have it, folks. I'd love to hear some of my blog readers (do I have any??) Top 10 lists, too :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Seriously slacking

It's amazing how life with 3 kids makes it difficult to do things like update your blog on a regular basis. So, I get the pleasure of trying to do about 6 months of updates in one blog post.

All 3 of my kids are in school now. Hunter is in his last year of elementary school and Arissa is in her first year. They are all doing great. Hunter had a rough start to the year-he got his first C's on his report card. Let's just say that long division is NOT his friend. Arissa is starting to read, and she's lost 2 of her bottom teeth.

This winter has been a BRUTAL one. The Farmer's Almanac said to expect a particularly cold one-what they didn't mention is that we have had more snow this winter than in the past 5 winters combined. Even my kids are asking, "Mom, are we going to go back to school soon?" You know it's bad when the kids are asking to go to school. I'm looking outside my window right now and all I see is a fresh blanket of snow and sleet coming down.