Tuesday, September 22, 2009
It started out as a group of co-workers getting together once a month for dinner. A few dropped out early on and a few were added a little later. But for the past several years it has been the same 9 friends and former co-workers getting together. Only 3 still work at the same company. So now the evening gives us a chance to keep in touch with each other.
The "Club" started out very official. We rotated homes, had a spreadsheet of who was bringing what and when, and exchanged "Ooh, that was SO good" recipes. As friends, we have been together thru marriages and new homes and divorces and remarriages and babies. LOTS of babies.
So many babies it has changed our club over the years. We no longer get together at someone's home - that would mean one of us would have to clean for a month. We no longer bring dishes - that would mean juggling food prep along with school and ball and dance.
We do however, still get together choosing a different restaurant each month. We meet for good food, great fellowship, and most importantly, a night of no picking up sippy cups thrown to the floor, OR taking a pre-schooler to the bathroom just after your meal has arrived, OR asking the waitress for another red crayon because the kids are fighting over the one, OR eating at a particular establishment just because they have chicken nuggets on the menu or arcade games in the waiting area.
Better yet, we get to lose the sweats, play dress-up for an evening, and carry that cute little bag you just bought from TJ Maxx minus the baby wipes, the extra diaper, and the cell phone you purposely left in the car so daddy can't call and ask what time you will be home.
At our latest meeting, we decided to go "family" style. No, that doesn't mean we met at Golden Corral and had huge bowls of mashed potatoes and country style steak. We decided to get together and include husbands AND children! The end result was 16 kids under the age of 7!! (Two girlfriends were not able to attend and one other child was sick.) So it would have been 20!! WOW!!
The kids had a lot of fun playing together and at the end of it all, we moms were so happy that only one band-aid was required. Our next change of venue? A girls weekend AWAY!!
Monday, September 21, 2009
Top 10 potential dangers associated with this photo:
10 - No helmets or elbow pads or knee pads.
9 - Bungee cords as tow gear.
8 - A covered swimming pool.
7 - Night-time scene lit only by the occasional flash from the camera.
6 - No brakes on the scooter.
5 - Roller blades a little too close to the grass.
4 - Non-attentive "I'm in my own little world" 4 year old behind the wheel.
3 - Mischievous "what's he gonna do next?" 3 year old riding shotgun.
2 - Imaginative "what's his next bright idea" 8 year old on the scooter.
and the number one potential danger in this scene...
1 - Fearless "hey ya'll, watch this" 10 year old on the roller blades!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
The one thing that stayed constant about our afterschool television viewing, was that the Guiding Light was on from 3:00 - 4:00. Because we lived out in the country, had no "cable", and CBS was the only channel we could pick up without fuzz or speckles or wavy lines, we really had no other choice. On most days we could get ABC. NBC, however, was a trickier beast and was dependent on the weather. And just forget about anything on the UHF dial.
Like most people 30 years ago, we had a "console" TV, which was more like a piece of furniture. On top of the TV you would find a lamp, a candy dish, a plant, and this plastic box with a big round dial that resembled a compass in the middle. For those of you who were too young to remember or too city-fied to know (because you had cable), that big round dial helped you get your picture less fuzzy. You would turn the dial to the correct direction - NNW, or maybe SE, or maybe just to E, and wait for the Chi-clunk, chi-clunk, chi-clunk as the lightning rod antenna on top of your house turned to just the right spot. Bringing back memories?
Anyway, I got a little distracted. Back to the Guiding Light. My brother and I would sit and watch these characters day by day. A lot went on with their stories, but not a lot changed. People loved, they lost, they died and came back, they were born on a Tuesday, went to boarding school three weeks later, then returned in another month to run their daddy's corporation or perform brain surgery at Springfield General. My affection for the show carried over to college when I watched it along with the other soap favorites - The Young & The Restless, The Bold & The Beautiful, and As The World Turns.
So, I was very disappointed to learn that after 72 years of story-telling, the Guiding Light would end this coming Friday. "Ohhh, that's so sad!" I thought, "What a shame." So, for nostalgia purposes, I decided to use modern day technology and DVR this entire week of the show. Last night (after the kids were finally in the bed) I turned it on. I was pleasantly surprised to recognize 75% of the characters. And honestly, the story hasn't changed much. Vanessa and Billy are getting married again. Alan Spaulding is in the hospital - don't worry, I don't think it's anything serious. He didn't have an IV, or an oxygen tube, and was wearing Ralph Lauren navy pajamas. He was also sitting up in bed talking to some lady that I didn't recognize while she introduced her, er, life partner, to Alan. OK, so the story lines have changed a little bit in 20 years.
The character recognition, however, is where my pleasure ended. The show looked as if it was filmed in the producers backyard, and in a local grocery store parking lot, and in front of a run-down country club. All the while being recorded with a hand-held video camera. The actors weren't wearing the glamourous Lillie Rubin costumes from days of old. They all seemed to be sporting their own "duds." And what about the other 25% of the characters that I didn't recognize? I believe they were all high school students that had just been picked up at a nearby bus stop. Seriously. It was that bad.
As bad as it was, I will still be watching on Friday to see how this one ends.
Look everybody. It's Phillip Spaulding. He's still there, looks exactly the same, and I believe Princess is developing a quick crush on him just as her mommy did back in the 80's.
Look closely in this photo. The woman pictured is Jeanne Cooper, aka, Mrs. Chancellor from the Young and the Restless. She is 90+ years old. You should remember her, she (and her character) had an actual face lift on the Y&R. Apparently, she is making a guest appearance for Guiding Light. She's still going strong after all these years! Bless her heart!
Monday, September 14, 2009
Later (after bribing him with cookies, donuts, and Skittles), he gained his composure and we were able to capture this sweet shot.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
As I said, we have not used the lock. The boys use it all the time. It's so cute how they think they are locking me out of the room so they can secretly jump on their beds. Or how Big Sticky will "lock" Little Sticky out so he can play with the trains all by himself. Tonight, Little Sticky used it on me. I was reading Big Sticky a story before bedtime. Little (who took a late afternoon nap and was not interested in going to sleep) came in, interrupted the story only to announce that he was "going down-tairs to be wif da-ye." On the way out, he locked the door, and then slammed it shut. Just like in prison.
I kept my cool and finished reading to Big Sticky. Once he fell fast asleep I started thinking how I was going to get out. I didn't want to bang on the door or scream call out to my husband only to wake Big Sticky (and most likely Princess). I recalled predicting this scenario to my next door neighbor. I warned her that if she ever heard me yelling or saw me hanging out from the second floor window that I probably needed assistance in getting loose. But it was dark out. What were the chances that she would actually be out working in her yard? Although she does live so close that I could probably throw a HotWheel (or two) at her windows. I then remembered that I had "hidden" a wire hanger behind one the boy's headboards. Ah Ha! It was still there. I poked and poked, and poked and poked, (and cursed) and poked, and turned the hanger around six different times, and poked (and cursed) and poked a few more times before it finally popped. Whew! That was a close one. I felt a little like Andy Dufrene from Shawshank - minus the digging thru miles of stone walls, and swimming thru sewage, and the weeks in solitary confinement, the clever framing of Warden Norton, and of course the escape to a peaceful, white sand beach somewhere in Mexico.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Reasons I dress them alike.
Safety Reason #1 - It is easier to train my eyes to look for one outfit. With two boys, they will dart off in a milli-second.
Safety Reason #2 - If one were to get away, when asked "what was he wearing?", I can always show the exact outfit.
Timesaver #1 - I only have to choose one outfit in the morning.
Timesaver #2 - I only have to choose one outfit when shopping.
Copycat Rule - Little Sticky will do anything that Big Sticky does. I always dress Big Sticky first, then I do not have to worry about Little deciding he doesn't want to wear something. To keep Big Sticky from not wanting to wear what I pick out for him, I give him a choice, Red Shirt or Blue Shirt. He has yet to respond with Green Shirt.
The next question I get is, "But can't Little Sticky just wear his brother's hand me downs? It seems like you are wasting money."
Defense #2 - I buy almost all of their clothes at Target, KMart, & Wal-Mart. I also hit the sale and clearance racks at Old Navy, Children's Place, and Gap. I can buy CUTE stuff at these stores for sometimes less than consignment prices.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
As soon as I opened the dishwasher, Princess toddled over in her walker. Miss Curious needed to see what was going on. She immediately started pulling out all the colorful plastic forks and spoons. Before I could get them out of her hands, she started putting them in her mouth. When I finally pried them from her tiny little fingers, she began wailing her head off started crying. I closed the dishwasher and set off to find her an appropriate "chew toy." After searching thru the playroom, I finally found a gi-normous plastic spoon that came in an egg & spoon race game. That should keep her busy for a few (and its big enough she can't gag herself or poke her eyes out.)
Back to my task. I slide out the upper basket and start pulling out the tons of sippy cups and lids and bottles and nipples and tiny plastic bowls. While the three blue Lightning McQueen sippy cups with twist on lids look identical, they are actually ever so slightly different. If you don't get the right top with the right bottom, they will leak - everywhere. Keep this in mind the next time you are out purchasing sippy cups. Either buy enough at the same time and better your chances of them all being made from the same lot - OR - risk it and buy more later only to find out they were made in three different plants somewhere in China and have the slightest difference in the groves around the lids. While screwing and unscrewing, I am distracted by Big Sticky who has found an old Lightning McQueen push button night lite (do we have enough Lightning McQueen stuff?) that he insists needs new batteries. I reluctantly replace the 4 AA batteries. I say reluctantly only because I am sure that after running off with the night lite, he will turn it on, immediately put it down (with it still on), and forget about it. I will then find it (with the batteries now burned out), hide it, only for him, or them, to find it again later.
Back to dishes. I finally get the upper drawer unloaded and move on to the bottom when Little Sticky announces that he needs to go pee-pee on the potty. I am ecstactic to assist him as this gets me ever so closer to having only one baby in diapers. He asks for privacy on this trip (which sometimes indicates a #2) so I linger around the hallway waiting for him to finish. When I return to the bathroom, I find half the roll of unused tissue all over the floor. I guess since he can't read magazines he needs another way to occupy his time in there. So, after getting him cleaned up and the floor cleaned up, I return to... oh yeah, the dishwasher. It's been so long now I forgot what I was doing.
Forty-five minutes later, I finally get the dishwasher unloaded and all the dishes put away in their rightful spot.
Now, to reload with all the stuff that has piled up in the sink. Get your stopwatches ready...