Sunday, March 29, 2009

The One In Which It Sounds Like a Plan...

The little one has been asking some question lately...No - not the the average questions that most 5 year olds ask their moms like :

Mom, how come I have to eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day?
(doesn't your 5 year old ask you questions like that?)


My little one asks me deep and profound questions. Querries that spark philosophical debate and some that defy explanation. And I try to answer them in a way she'd understand, careful not to "lie" (overtly anyway, and notice the word lie is in bloggy air quotes) and I try to craft my words the right way as she is sure to repeat them sometime in the future (and hopefully not in an inopportune place either) like telling the cute guy at Starbuck's that coffee makes her mom farty. And not in the diversionary way some people do either: When you ask them "What time is it?" They build you a watch.

Here's a few doozie exchanges that occurred this weekend:

Rachel: Mom, what does 'get arrested' mean?
Me: Where did you hear that expression?
Rachel: Ella Enchanted (a disney movie starring Anne Hathaway)
Me: Well, when you're a bad guy and you get caught doing that bad thing by the police, it's called getting arrested.
Rachel: Do the bad guys go to jail for ever and ever?
Me: Depends on how bad the bad thing that they did was.
Rachel: Well, when I get arrested, I'll make sure the bad thing was only medium bad.
Me: Sounds like a plan, dolly.

***

Rachel: Mom, how do you get up to heaven? **
Me: When you die, your body doesn't go to heaven...but your mind, and thoughts, and spirit and heart and feelings go to heaven.
Rachel: What happens to your body?
Me: Well, say like when you eat an apple, and if you don't throw it in the trash, it sort of gets all brown and shrivelly and rotten? That's what happens to your body.
Rachel: Eeewww. So your heart goes up to heaven?
Me: Well, not really your actual heart...but the love it has in it.
Rachel: {thinking a bit} Phew, I don't want my love to get all shrively and rotten!
Me: Sounds like a plan , Dolly.

**She clearly wasn't asking what do you have to DO to get into heaven. Some kids don't get death and dying, but she does. Plus, in Judaism - everyone goes to heaven . There is no alternative place to go. So being a good person or a bad person isn't relevant. For us, heaven is where you go after you retire from God's waiting room, otherwise known as Florida.

********
In discussing the whole Passover holiday (think: Charlton Heston in The Ten Commmandments)...which she is learning in pre-K

Rachel: Pharoah and Fair start with the same letter but are opposites!

After a king sized breakfast of Captain Crunch encrusted french toast ....(thanks Dad)

Rachel: Mom, do you know what smells can do? Smells can s-l-i-t-h-e-r (said very deliberately slowly ) under the crack under your door and through the slits in your eyes and wake you up wanting syrup!

****


Rachel: Mom, do I bet you wish you were a kid.
Me: Nope, 'cuz if I was, I wouldn't have you or Sissy .
Rachel: And you wouldn't yell, or wipe boogers or bummies .
Me: That 'bout sums it up for me, Dolly .


This was all part of the plan.


Friday, March 27, 2009

Phriday's Phavorite Photo

** Editor's note for today: Look over there to the left...No over there to the other left. I got some new bloggy bling today from Sassy at Are You Sassified. She is THE coolest blogger who has become one of my confidants. Sassy only gives this out to uber cool bloggers (like me?). Not only did she read my latest stuff, but she also went back and read just about every post I've ever done. Now there is a gal with good taste (or she just has too much time on her hands). She so totally ROCKS! Now I feel enormous pressure to live up to her expectations...go forth and Sassify.
*************************************************************


I just don't know what to say about this picture. Hubby took the girls on one of his 'dadventures' while mom was 'shopping' with her friend Jami (never saw a store..not even one). You know those pin sculpture thingies that Executives keep on their desks right next to their miniature Zen Gardens where you move rocks and rake sand? Well, this museum that they went to had a life size pin sculpture thingy!

The girls walked, posed, flew, jumped into it several times, and Hubby (who never brings the camera) snapped this photo with his phone. It's almost disturbing, isn't it? Emily (the bigger one) must have had her arm across her chest (I hope) because the first thing I saw on the picture was her rack! She's only 9 , and I assure you ...she is rack-less.

Leave it to snarky me to notice that....My next comment had something to do with marketing this thing as a babysitting weapon assistant.

For more Photo Phun---go visit Candid Carrie.


Monday, March 23, 2009

The One About No-things.

Just wanted to say "hola" to anyone who is visiting from SITS today! Thanks for stopping by and don't think this post in indicative of what warranted the Shout Out from Tiff and Heather! I am usually much more charming and witty and snarky.


So this weekend was a lot of No. No ballet. No Softball game. No-things to do.

A few bloggable moments....



Friday was report card day in the Conejo Valley. Emily got ALL A's! (as if I expected anything less). She made honor roll again. I am really so proud of her. Even if she didn't get all A's - this kid really worries about her grades. And, granted it's only 4th grade - but I tell her (and I really mean it) that as long as she does her absolute best....whatever grades she gets - we'd be proud of her . (read: you better get all A's - I demand perfection...snark, snark)



To celebrate the achievement - we went to the movies on Saturday. We saw "Escape to Witch Mountain " or whatever it's called. We went to the new 'big-fancy- stadium -seating -marble lobbied-game room- bar" theater that just opened here. Despite what you may or may not have heard about economic downturn, apparantly these movie theater people don't buy into that. We won't pay our mortgage in April, so we can go see "Monsters v. Aliens" next weekend. We could live in the ginormous empty bag of popcorn for a while if we don't mind a few kernels intruding our nether regions.



The movie was okay. Despite getting to look at Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson (sadly with his shirt on...and I have seen him without it at my gym and it is goooooood) for almost two hours, and a cute remake of a 70's film ('cuz there really is nothing original anymore) there was an incredible amount of blowing up stuff and some mild peril that may prove too much for littler viewers. I caught a few boo-boos that their fact checkers needed to check. Like, what ATM machine spits out $100 bills? And, what slot machines in Vegas spit out wads of cash these days? Figures I focus on those things than the whole good over evil shit. Anyway - we all enjoyed the movie and the very comfy seats and the $285.oo of family fun.



Hubby and I watched "Rachel Getting Married". Not what I expected. Edgy. Not typical Anne Hathaway, I mean - it ain' t no "ella enchanted" or anything like that. I usually dig a good junkie flick, but this one slightly missed the mark. This one had- lots of scenes without backstory. Like, what's with the saris and mystic Indian cultural stuff? It all seemed a bit pedantic to have the soon-to-be-married-multi-racial-couple dress in saris and have a sitar and and a friggin' lute in the wedding band and relatives that sing Reggea and all that - and then they are moving to Hawaii? No explanation for all that. I obsess over those things throughout the whole film...so much so that I am still wondering what the connection is and why the screenwriter felt it necessary to go that way. And what is a good rehab story without a relapse or chance of relapse or even a beating down of the monkey on your back? This flick, albeit an Oscar nominated performance for Anne (who is just so doe-eyed and just darn adorable) was just okay.



You know when think you know something to be true and just live your life for years not even thinking that the fact could be disputed? Like, we know which hand is left and which is right. Just because. We know that shoes are worn over socks not the other way around. We know that George Clooney is just about the most delicious thing to grace Hollywood since , I don't know....since ever. We just know and accept these truths to be self evident.

{Okay, Swirlgirl - where are you going with this...}

Well, I've been watching E.R. , which sadly ends it 15 year run in the next few weeks. The 'where I am going with all of this' , aside from the fact that I had no life 15 years ago ...either - is that one of my favorite characters on that show is Archie Morris. He's been on for several years and although he started out to be a dick-head...he is the humanity of the show these past few years. The actor who portrays Dr. Morris is Scott Grimes. My point (in an extremely roundabout way) is that I always knew that I knew this actor from somewhere. And I KNEW that he was a contestant on Star Search (the original with Ed McMahon) in the early 80's and he was a young red headed boy who sang amazingly well. I can 'see' him on stage singing and winning something. When he first joined the cast of E.R. 5 or so years ago, I said - "I know him! He was on Star Search!" and I rattle that info off just hoping that someday I will have to answer the Million Dollar question on some trivia show....or offer a lifeline to someone on some trivia show. I would be the hero for having provided the winning answer to the question and that person would shower me with crisp greenery......{{oops, sorry . fantasy }} So...I google him. For like hours. I search every website known to man to try to find what year he was on StarSearch. And fail miserably.

I start to question everything I have come to know to be true. I check which hand I write with (yup, the right one)...I check to make sure that my socks are indeed inside my shoes (yup, okay there)...I sneak a peak at George Clooney to make sure he still makes my heart go a-flutter (yup, flutter-flutter-drool). So where do I know Scott Grimes from? Here. Anyone who is over 30 and from the Boston area knows Community Auditions. The original reality show. Scott Grimes was on this show (he is from Lowell MA) and I vividly remember him singing and winninng the lame ass trophy ...he was "star of the day, who can it be...your're vote may hold the key - it's up to you. Tell us who...will be Star of the Day" ( theme song that I still remember vividly). So I immediately have to call my sisterbestfriend and tell her. We watched that show every Sunday and even held our own versions making up contestants who did everything from set the table to hand springs off the chair in the den to full on Lord- of -Dance- in -tap -shoe routines!

I don't know why I feel it necessary to share this with you all. I guess I just want to let you know that just because you know something to be true - don't assume it is. And, when you have No-things to do....spend 4 hours googling it to make sure that No-thing is the real thing.






Friday, March 20, 2009

Phriday Photo Phiesta!

I got this Sisterhood Award from Cristin at Tiptoeing Through the Tulips a while back for being her 'sister from another mister'. And if I ever go back to New England for a visit Cristin, I will so meet you so we can share a glass of wine and make fun of our kids and get to know each other better. So this post is dedicated to Sisters.


These two cherubs are my babies. They are sisters from the same mister. They are my chubby bubbies from the Hubby. My Boopie Lips and Bubba.


Sisters...two very different girls with one very common bond. The big one is a bit tom-boyish and the little one is all girlie-girl. They are each other's best friends. And have been that way since the little one was born and the big one had a live action dolly to play with. There was no jealousy, no "she's getting all the attention". Just pure, unadulterated love.


My own sisterbestfriend and I took years to get this way. When we were little, she scared the crap out of me. She didn't play Barbies with me...she didn't hang with me or read to me wash my hair for me. She didn't do art with me, she didn't make up plays and songs and rehearse and act them out with me. She was bigger and badder. She was tough. I was a goody-two-shoes. About the only thing we did together was gang up on our brother and try to get him in trouble (which he never got , by the way) I could tell some stories that if these things occurred today - she'd be seeing the inside of a "scared straight boot camp" . Once, she had a party and broadcast on the CB radio (remember those?) that she was having a party and our parent's were out of town for a few days. . About 200,000 kids showed up and trashed the house. I 'ran away' from home. I don't even think she knew I was missing.
But then, some time when I was in middle school ..and she drove Greg Hamilton (I still remember his name)and I to the school dance (avert your eyes now Mom) and bought us a few beers and provided other unmentionables for our enjoyment - something changed in our sister bond. Call it our "Ya-Ya Sisterhood" or our "Travelling Pants" or whatever. But she became my friend at that point. And the stories go on - most of which I can not re-tell here , since some time my kids will actually read this and I hate to shatter the image of their mommy's innocence and perfection, not to mention - that our mom reads this and we don't want her to think that we did anything worse than she actually caught us doing ....
My point is that my sister and I are best friends now. We are very different beings...but unconditionally love and accept one another. We don't always agree or have the same values - but that's why Heinz makes 57 varieties of pickles and Baskin Robbins makes 31 flavors. And, my girls are already there with a lifetime of sharing and bonding ahead.


So I dedicate this to all of you out there who are blessed to have sisters whether bonded by blood or spirit. If you don't have a sister - I know where you can get one. And it doesn't cost a thing.



For more Phriday Photo Phun - click here and visit Candid Carrie


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Want These?

Scary Mommy is doing a give-away. For these. Don't bother doing all the things she wants you to do to win them, because short of sending her my actual ears - I am doing what I can to win.



Now, back off Jack - Diamonds are this girl's best friend.





Friday, March 13, 2009

Pride and Pre-juiced...**

** Because it is Friday - and I am looking forward to some major wine consumption about 4:00 later on this evening whilst Hubby and I watch something from Netflix ...I finally have an hour to catch you up. So here goes: {{pulls together all the little swatches of paper and used napkins from her purse}}

**Whilst sitting at a red light a few days ago, I turned my head toward the tell tale thumping of some serious base blasting from the car next to me. In the 'car' (and it was actually an old beat up pick up in Bond-O blue) there were two high school kids. Clean cut and almost ROTC looking dudes, I might add. The music was so loud the asphalt was literally shaking. I rolled my window down to hear what they were playing. One of the kids looked at me and smiled. "It's Death Metal, Ma'am" (Did he just Ma'am me? Oh, no he di-in't) Crap - I'm old. I never heard of Death Metal. This coming from a woman who's last CD was purchased from Pottery Barn or Starbucks (can you say Hootie and the Blowfish?) - I know nothing of this Death Metal. What comes after Death Metal? Funeral Dirge Metal??

**Whilst sitting outside watching the group of little 5 year old Tu-Tu'd darlings prance about in ballet class... "which one is yours?" I am asked. I point to the (cutest) one with the almost knee- length double braid and say "that one". "Are you her grandma? " (Did she just ask me if I was her Grandma? Oh no she di-in't). Crap- I'm not THAT old! I go back to listening to my Hootie on my Ipod and flipping through my Reader's Digest as I hike up my sweat pants and tighten the orthopedic shoes. Thanks, Bitch. And, by the way - your kid is ugly.

**The 9 year old has graduated from 4th grade Book Club with a Bachellor's Degree. 8 book reports with 3 to go for her Master's. The kid is a voracious reader. And, these reports are harder than my thesis paper at B.U. We have a project time line for due dates for which Emily has committed. We factor in the "I can't do this" and the fights with mom into the time line which as we have learned from experience...come regardless of degree of difficulty on each project.

Who knew 4th grade would be so challenging? In California, the entire 4th grade throughout the state studies California history. They study the Gold Rush, the California Missions (in which a styrofoam or sugar cube mission replica must be built repleat with real adobe roof tiles -no kits allowed and in which the local craft stores profit immensly I might add while the kids and their parents pull their fucking hair out and have even more fights with the kids who would rather play with the glue gun and their daddy actually said to the child "Don't be an asshole" while she was waving the Exact-O knife around trying to cut the whispy stringy thing of molten lava glue that was flying around the garage - and I quote that 'cuz he actually said it ...not me this time) They went on an overnight field trip to live and work on board a replica sailing vessel called the Brig Pilgrim (which cost $125 and the parents were hoping the kids would come back after working like slaves hoisting sails and swabbing decks and gathering hides with a greater appreciation of how lucky they are to have what they have when in actuality they came back thinking how cool was to learn the song 'What Can We Do with the Drunken Sailor').

Emily also was tested for the G.A.T.E. program . Which stands for Gifted and Talented Education. While mom sat through a two hour lecture and parental IQ test to see if their child is indeed a GATE kid...without coffee , I might add. The last IQ test I took was on-line and I got a 137 which I think is pretty good (and anything over 140 is near genius she says as she puffs and buffs fingernails on shirtsleeves). They gave us parents some sample questions that the kids were doing - I sat there with my chin on the table and was all "duh....".

She is also participating in the Women and History program in which 5 amazing women in history are presented and represented by various 4th and 5th graders to every class over the course of a week. Funny, my name wasn't on the list. Women like Harriet Tubman, Golda Meir, and Sally Ride - and maybe when my little one is in 4th grade ...Swirl Girl.

** The 5 year old is officially a reader. We have been reading to both girls since they were in utero. And, as most kids do ...she has been memorizing the books so she can recite them along with us. But in the past few weeks, the lightbulb has switched on for her and she is starting to put the sounds together to form the actual words - and not from memory.

Whilst at Starbuck's the other day, I am jotting down simple words on a napkin . Rhyming words like : Hop, Pop, Slop. Rachel is sounding out the letters (really loudly I might add) while I am reminding her that the end sound are all the same, and the beginning sounds are different.

I write Wall.
Ball
Tall

She says " Whu - ah- uhl- uhl , Wall:"
"Buh-ah-uhl-uhl, Ball"

she gets tripped up on the last one...I help out with "It rhymes with Ball and is the opposite of short."

She says - loud and proud - "PANTS"!

Bwaaahaaaahaaaa! Near genius #2 in the making.

- and they say drinking while pregnant impairs cognitive development. Now pass the Pinot and shut the fuck up.


** And I leave you with this rare clip of mommy doing what she loves most. Enjoying her vino and some snicky snacks on a gorgeous Southern California afternoon. Turn up the volume for this.... my new favorite nickname for my kid. P.I.T.A....'cuz that's how I roll.

video






Thursday, March 5, 2009

The One About the Edit Button


Totally stole this from Em at Life, Liberty and the Pursuit. That's right ...stole it outright. Usually these kind of things are bestowed upon bloggers who somehow characterize the essential qualities of the award. But in this case - I just stole it. Maybe that is why I don't qualify for a real award. I am a 'wild card' performer...maybe my post will garner the votes of millions of adoring fans so that I may actually get to be the Next Top Model. I mean the Next American Idol. Oh hell, I just want to be a good mom. I never want my kids to say "my mom is such a bitch." or the dreaded 'H' word...EVER.


Here are the details of the award, and how it works:


1. Admit ONE thing you feel awful about involving being a mom. Get it off your shoulders. Once you've written it down, you are NO LONGER allowed to feel bad. It's over with, it's in the past. Remember, you're a great mom


"Ready, Shoot, Aim". That is my problem and has always been. I say things. Mean things. And, I can't take them back. I swear at my children. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with having a potty mouth - because words are just words. And, 'sticks and stones can blah, blah, blah' - but sometimes I throw some pretty hefty sticks and stones at my kids. I really need an edit button. I don't want my girls to have deflated self confidence. Sometimes I hurl completely awful boulders and spears at my kids. Then I feel horribly guitly afterwards.

I also don't like most other kids (or adults) for that matter. So because of my intolerance for others, they don't have a lot of playdates or much of a social life. It has nothing to do with their busy 'extra-curricular' lives, really...which they do have. It's because of my anti-social behavior and, to an extent, my unwillingness to change that.


2. To remind yourself that you ARE a good mom, list SEVEN things you love about your kids, you love doing with your kids, or that your kids love about you. These are the things to remind yourself of EVERY DAY that you rock!



-Everyone tells me what special kids I have. Teachers, relatives, friends, clergy. They are both amazingly creative, bright, well mannered, kind, sensitive, loving, funny . I take 50% if the credit ... even though sometimes I am the only one who doesn't see it. {{sigh}}


- I love to listen to my girls play together. Their giggles and imaginations just floor me sometimes. The other day they were in the tub together (truly the greatest way to bathe) and playing with the rubber ducky, naked barbies and other toys and I hear "Be Quiet Bitch!" I go running in and say , in a completely-not-so-shocked-cuz-they-heard-the-word-from-dear-old-mom kind of way "What did you just say?" to the 9 year old. She answers (with naked Ken who is being the king of the ocean in hand) "I said -Be quiet FISH"....because Ariel and Flounder were talking trash about my crown and trident." {mom skulks away snickering for assuming the worst}


- I love that they are good sleepers and always have been. Since about 3 weeks old ...they sleep through the night. (don't be jealous - much) If they don't get at least 12-13 hours of sleep a day, they are a mess. Yay for me!!!


- I love that they love to be with one another. They are truly best friends. My sisterbestfriend and I weren't always that way. I love that my girls are from the start.



- I love that each one of them has their own individual special talent. The 9 year old has could be the next JK Rowling. I'm telling you this kid has a pentiant for writing . She has won awards and national contests. She writes songs, poems, stories - what a gift! I never discourage this behavoir or hobby. In fact, I wish she would write things down more, and actually finish a few of these stories. (of course, instead of saying that in a nice and encouraging way- I snarkily roll my eyes and say it. See? No edit button)

The 5 year old, on the other hand, is an amazing artist. Her fine motor skills are so amazing for her age. The child will pose a still life on the table and have at it. Clearly she did not get that from me. She is a lefty...and I googled that and found that many of the world's great and famous were lefties. And, my mom and MIL are too. (of course, instead of saving everything...I make some snarky fricking comment about we should sort though the paper for recycling and rotate the fridge-worthy pictures so as to keep it fresh )


- I love that my girls have a ravenous appetite for learning. And although they watch a good amount of mind-numbing blather ...they would rather learn new things than catch up on the latest mediocrity on TV.


-I love that I have girls. I have a 48 year old penis that I am not sure what to do with...what the fuck would I do with a baby boys'? One of them is totally girly-girl and the other one is more hip and funky. I totally let them pick out their own clothes...within reason of course. I figure there will be bigger battles to fight than whether they are wearing matching colors.


- I love my girls and don't want them to grow up to be just like me. I want them to learn that using the edit button is a good thing. I just wish I could make mine bigger and easier to find.







Monday, March 2, 2009

The One Where Dr. Suess writes a blog

If Theodore Giesel were to author a blog, would it sport pictures of a three legged dog?
Or maybe he'd celebrate in such a new way, that he'd blow out the virtual candles on his cake made of hay.
All the children would come to school , dressed in jammies right quick, to offer their finger for a mouse's right click.
With thousands of followers ready to rhyme and recite, and check out the animules the Dr. has created that delight.
If Dr. Suess had a blog, would it have been much like mine? Often heavy and saddled with mood swings and stuff...so much so that he'd say "Take a break, that's quite enough!"

Oh the places you'd go that good Dr. would take us - Swirl Girl's back from her bloggy hiatus!

Happy Birthday Dr. Suess!