Hold up

Linking up with Five Minute Friday today!

The word is:

HOLD

 

images

Red is approaching me. He’s wearing a creased red cowboy hat, tipped waaaaaaaay back on his head.  He kinda reminds me of James Dean in Giant. Except for two things:

Red is not, nor will he ever be, a brooding kind of guy. It’s impossible for him.

He is only wearing his underwear, along with the red hat. Oh, and a cape. There’s a cape there too.  So really, not so James Dean after all. It would have definitely been below Dean’s artistic sensibilities to do the whole cape thing.

 

Anyhow. Red is currently pointing a popsicle stick at me.

“Stop. Wight. There.”

“Dis is a hold up, mister.”

I mention that he has no handcuffs. For it to be a proper hold up, don’t I need to be handcuffed? (Now, I do realize that those of you who are actually paying attention to this might interject that noooooo, that would be an arrest. But it’s 8:37 am and I have not had enough coffee to get my criminal behavior ironed out.)

Red also solves the whole handcuff issue by telling me he tried to put them on the cat, but his paws were too small. So der under Steve.

It’s 8:38 am. I need to:

wash things

clean a bunch of stuff

maybe sweep up some floors, like all of them

wipe down the stickiness that is on every conceivable surface

try not to fall back asleep while making my bed

not slip into despair

brew more coffee

 

Instead, I stop and hold up my hands. I am going to play with Red. I might even teach him the finer points of silliness – the cat can be kidnapped and we can work on a ransom note. Steve’s up for it as long as he has a surface on which to sleep and a square of sunlight.

My sons keep me in the squares of sunlight.

I hold up my hands to You. Help me to remember what is important, what to hold up to you. What to give over. What to give up.

 

And thank you, Lord, for coffee and this house and all its stuff that I clean. I am grateful even for the sticky linoleum, because that means maple syrup happened, and it’s only by your grace we are able to afford the stuff. It’s like 400 dollars a bottle.

 

 

 

11So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed. 12But Moses’ hands were heavy. Then they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other. Thus his hands were steady until the sun set.    Exodus 17:11-12

6153262_f248

 

Thursday Throwback and Netflix Streamteam – Wonderfulness

I have an addiction.

To school supplies.

I have a straight up, no chaser, hold my credit cards, holy cow MORE POST-ITS PLEASE addiction to anything office related.  Every fall, you might find me deeply inhaling the sweet pink rubbery goodness of a handful of bubblegum erasers (and yes, I KNOW that sentence sounds rather… wrong. But I stand by my statement. I’m not ashamed.)

Pink Pencil Erasers

I mean, look at them.

As some of you know, this was the first year for school for Blonde. It was epic. But really, every year in June  (or is it late May?) when the great television gods start up with their JC Penny and Target ads and even, I think, Sharper Image gets in on the game, I get all goosebumpy and happy.  It’s a glorious thing, School.

We should just skip all this summer nonsense and school all year long.

SORRY.  NO, I DIDN’T MEAN IT.

I was breathing in my erasers rather heavily and got a bit dizzy there. What I MEANT to say is:

One month, preferably July = Summer

All the other months= School. Because, pointy new crayons!

Except for December, obviously, because, well there is a lot to do.  Trees to decorate. Santa to contend with.  And baking all those cookies, ya’ll. There’s cookies just exploding outta everywhere  in December.  And I gotta try to figure out how to wrap a bike, usually, or maybe a new kitten.  Oh, yes, and the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Sometimes I forget that one. It’s busy.*

Oh, and also February. No school in February because that is just an awful month and we should all just go away in February to some place that is as non-February as possible. Even a new Trapper Keeper isn’t gonna dress up February.

Oh! but yes, School in February 14. Of course! Because these:

611ARBXTH6L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

And we get to decorate a box to put them in! Which means? Glue! Markers! Maybe even… GLITTER.

 

 

Ok, so I’m getting a little confused here myself. I think I need to make a calendar. I know! With new Sharpies! And A RULER!

 

Since I have the honor of being a Netflix Streamteam blogger, I was thinking of what kind of shows would pair well with my back-to-school fervor.  And immediately, this gem came to mind:

 

the-wonder-years

 

Kevin is adorable. Winnie is just… winsome. The Wonder Years was a simply perfect show.  It had depth and also humor, and some episodes could give you a knot in your throat the size of Toledo, unless you were heartless or just completely unmoved by Kevin’s brown-eyed earnestness.

Do you remember the episode where Mr. Collins, Kevin’s beloved teacher, just.. he… I CAN’T EVEN. I CAN’T EVEN TELL YOU.  It was the best ugly-cry, cathartic, I don’t need therapy I just need to watch this, kind of show ever.

And don’t even get me started on the soundtrack.

I binge-watch shows that are about angry dragons and angry politicians and REALLY angry ex-science teachers…  I’M GONNA BINGE THIS ONE.

It’s … well, it’s just wonderful.

 

Netflix_StreamTeam_Badge

*No. I don’t ever forget that one. I promise.

I Can’t Stand It

IMG_3057

 

I have a confession to make:

My children are absolutely adorable and I love them like crazy, but sometimes I would like to go mail them to Quebec. Or at least Wisconsin. Just for a few hours. I understand the post office won’t allow us to mail fireworks or bleach (I cannot understand how anyone would need bleach mailed to them. How does that situation ever occur?) but maybe… toddlers? Bubble wrap? Proper postage?

(PLEASE I AM KIDDING REALLY I WOULD NEVER.)

Case in point: (please add the “doink doink” from Law in Order here. Whenever anyone says, “Case in point” it’s kind of required)

My children feel it is their toddlered obligation to stand on things. Namely, things that were never meant, in any basic capacity, to be stood upon.

ITEMS MY BOYS LIKE TO STAND UPON:

or, if you wish to be grammatically correct but hopelessly bungled:

ITEMS MY BOYS LIKE ON WHICH TO STAND:

(And yes, you better believe I’m devoting a whole blog post to this. This is important, people.)

 

Candyland (box and all assorted items inside)

Hi Ho Cherryio (lid only – I don’t know why)

any of our other mangled game boxes that now are held together with duct tape and grim resentment

my purses, especially if my glassses are in them

my glasses

glasses. Like drinking glasses. Why? WHY?

the cat

the firm foundation of our Lord Jesus Christ (now, true, yes, but I just threw that one in there to see if you were paying attention)

Legos!   (karma  AND comic relief at the same time)

laundry, folded and waiting to be placed in the laundry basket

unfolded, strewn laundry accompanied by yelling from Momsie

my feet. MY FEET. Almost every day, my feet get smooshed by toddler feet.

 

Why, oh toddlers? I wail and beg of you, with my best Nancy Kerrigan:

WHYYYYY MUST YOU SMOOOSHE MY FEEEEET?

It hurts.

And I KNOW, in the grand spectrum of things, that my pain level from a daily smoosh from fat little toddler feet is not epic or anything. It’s not kidney-stone, baby birthing, appendicitis, tax season kind of pain.

It’s just paper cut pain. Or, listening to Caillou’s voice pain.

But, I am taking a stand. (SEE THAT? SEE WHAT I DID THERE? I KNOW, RIGHT? YOU’RE WELCOME.)

No more, fat-footed toddler, shall you smoosh on me. I know it’s some sort of inherent need, wee one, to hoist yourself up those one and a half inches to, you know, get a better vantage point of the world, but CUT IT OUT.

And no longer will I respond with a gentle, “Could you please not stand there? Those are my feet. They aren’t for standing on. They’re for… um standing. You get the idea sweetie. MOVE IT.”

I will, instead, spray you with the water bottle that is labelled “BAD CAT.” Hopefully, this will cause you to skitter off with one backward glance and a flared tail. If you start using the litter box? All the better. LESS MESS.

 

*the lawyer has interjected here to inform you that no toddlers were actually sprayed with our BAD CAT bottle.

** But I have to add that parenting along with the BAD CAT bottle actually sounds kind of tempting.

 

And, dear readers, I leave you with this. Cats and the theme from Law in Order. Never gets old, I tell you.

I need to listen to spam more

 

blogging

Linking up over at The Extraordinary Ordinary today!

 

Every time I post a blog I get lots of spam*. It’s part of the deal with blogging. You accept it, like mosquitoes. It’s just part of the blogging package.

I delete the spam with a clever button my WordPress site called, you guessed it,  “Delete Spam.” It’s a wonderful thing – I just click it and whoosh! Spamola is gone, flushed away.

I wish sometimes I had a Delete Spam button for after dinner dishes. Or whining. Or bills. Or alarm clocks. Or tv shows that involve people sitting at desks yelling at other people.

But today, as I was cleaning up my spam with the zeal, I noticed something:

“Great job here!”

“This site is amazing and wonderful!”

“I am in awe. This is the best information I have read all day. I must tell my brother.” (I don’t really understand how spammers are always talking about their family, but I imagine they just must be really into their kin. In a robotic, electronic way. I guess.)

The thing that caught me is that, as silly as all those messages might be, I couldn’t help but smile at the compliments.

Lately I have found myself in that darkened room that is walled by negative self talk. The conversations that I have with myself are binding. They keep me in the room, as much as I hate it there. It’s gloomy, and honestly? Rather boring. But yet, here I sit:

“You are not a good mom.”

“This is just awful.”

“I am embarrassed. What kind of parent am I? Other moms are so together. You are all apart. What’s wrong with you?”

And so on.

 

Today I am going to learn from the spammers.  If I can’t say anything nice about me, I am going to say something illogical and strangely endearing, like, “This blog is the image of perfection and has meticulous learning in it!” This, I know makes no sense, but thank you anyway, robotic spammer from the interwebs. If I can’t be kind, I’ll try to spout enthusiasm at least.

Or perhaps I could just focus on some words:

“Great.”

“Here.”

“Amazing.”

“Tell”

 

I cannot be great, but I can try.  I am here now and with my God. And yes, you know that rest. He is amazing.  And every day, all the time, He tells me He loves me. 

 

So, go forth, bloggers. Listen to the spam.  If you get a message like this today:

“Wonderful news here! This news is important and  forthcoming. I will return entirely!”

Take it for what it’s worth:

 

You are wonderful. 

You are important.

Return to Him, and to that, entirely.

 

 

*These spam remarks are copied directly from my spam comments. I know, right? They’re kinda whackadoodle.

canofspam

 

 

 

 

 

Whisper Louder, Please?

Screenshot 2014-08-28 08.46.02

 

Linking up with Kate over at Heading Home today for Five Minute Friday.

Today’s word:  WHISPER

 

 

IMG_2630      Red likes, very often, to whisper in my ear.  There does not need to be any sort of secretive attempt.  His     whispers can be about a daily commentary on the weather or his underpants or the fact that his eggs are too hot.  He just really likes my ear, it seems.

It all goes something like this:

Red: Mom, MOM, mom mom MOMMA MoTHER MOMMMM commere I gotta whisper sumthin in your ear.

Momsie:  Ok, go for it.

Red: warms up to the intel by breathing heavily into my ear for a few seconds.  This is strangely pleasant but weird.  It reminds me of when my hubs and I were dating and he was trying to be cute and seductive and all I really wanted to do was wipe my ear off and tell him to stick to kisses.

But again, weird.  Because, you know, it’s my son and he’s four and Ok,we’re moving on here because he has started the dialogue.

Red:  shesiwhissiisppesishiommicharliiesand ? Hisspppshehhriirr stevieandhwhenscanwegopweeasssssshhhh? OK?

Momsie:  Um.  Ok?

 

Yep.  That’s about it.

Red has the concept of the whole “this is just between you and me” thing down, it’s just the delivery that needs work.

And by delivery, I mean: I can never understand a darn thing he says during all this hot whispery breathing cuteness.

But I still love it.

 

I think sometimes this is how we talk to God.  We have intentions, and a whole lotta desires, but our delivery is… muddled.  I get shy sometimes with God. I feel fearful or even ashamed to ask, to cry, or to pry at Him.

Not all prayers should be whispery laments or trembled attempts at putting together our thoughts, I know.  But when they are? Pray them, anyway.  And have confidence that He hears and understands when we tug on him and want to share our long, tangled stories.

He loves to lean down and listen to us whisper in His ear.

 

10108178d46a0fb2afc175e780bb301c

 

B is for Brevity. For the love of Pete. And Pete’s mommy. Move Pete’s point along.

I’m on the throwback Thursday bandwagon today with this post; one of the early ones.  Enjoy!

Screen Shot 2013-08-29 at 1.43.35 PM

Scene:  Momsie is muttering to herself and attempting to fold laundry, scrape up burnt oatmeal, and load  a backpack for the blond one’s preschool.  As the viewer notes:  Momsie is frazzled because she is attempting The Multitask.   Last time she tried it she injured herself.   It is a tricky maneuver that takes power and precision.   It’s a Mary Lou Retton* kind of thing.  If Mary Lou was a brain surgeon.  On crack. Massive skills, yo.**

Sooooo.  We have Momsie who is desperately trying to fill in an emergency contact form with something besides an orange marker (not really a mark of sophistication, the orange washable), while thinking it might be good to put on a bra before she takes the boys to preschool.  She is considering that if she just kind of crosses her arms and sort of… clutches at herself during the walk into the preschool, or brandishes the blond one’s Spiderman backpack as a shield… maybe no bra?  Right. No bra.  It should work.  She makes a mental note to avoid eye contact and hopes for the best.***

Meanwhile.  There is this conversation occurring AT her:

“Da wipey thing?  I was trying to wipa da table off and it is SOOOOOO sorta ummmmm  sorta ummmm.  Well mommah,  it is very very SUPER slippy and der was all this SUPER SUPER sticky stuff on da table?  I think it was some honey or maybe… DA SYRUP!  I think it was da syrup!  MOMMAH DER WAS ALL THESE SYRUP CIRCLES ON DA TABLE.  ALL OVER IT!  Did you know? Did you know that?  The sticky stuff makes CIRCLES?  AND DEY ARE ALLLLLLLLL OVER.  I am wiping wiping at da circles but…” (lots of circling with arms here and some additional sassy kick steps, which is part of wiping tables off, evidently–at least in our house).

(Deep breath from blond one)

“… da sticky parts?  Dey were on da table really HARD and I said to them, come OFF circles, but I got really really super tired.  It is hard work, wiping things.  Mommy?  Did you know that it is hard to wipe down da things?  All the time?  And den I squeezed da wiper and it kinda, well, made more of dis mess on the floor and I thought I better ask for help but then I…MOMMIE?  MOMMIE?? MOMMAH?  MOTHERRRR? ARE YOU LISTENING?  I had to wipe REALLY down hard and den, and DEN (dramatic pause–thank God)  the WIPER FLEW AWAY!”  (Hands chop at air ninja style with each word because ninjas do kitchen chores too).

“Mommah.  IT.  FLEW.  AWAY.”  (Blond one  is now channeling Captain James T. Kirk*  because. This. Is. Serious.)

At this point, Momsie stops whatever mind sucking chore she is doing, and pushes her hair out of her face.  She then takes a breath and says,

“So.  You’re saying that you dropped the sponge?”

Blond one:  “Yep.”

Boom.

Post script:

* Yes,  I realize all my cultural references are from the 80’s.  Or further back.  It’s a delicate subject, aging, and we will have another post all about what it is like being forty-ish and trying to be hip without breaking a hip.  I am sticking with Mary Lou and Kirk.

America’s Sweetheart:

west-virginia-mary-lou-retton

And, my sweetheart, Kirkie:

Look into my eyes...  I am a perfect human being.

So, we are all caught up now?  Mmmm K?

** See?  Here I am utilizing this kind of talk because I am totes hip.  Yo.

***  No preschool children or parents or teachers were harmed during the making of this post.  I ended up taking the bike and trailer to preschool.  When I ride the bike, well, a bra is imperative.  Safety first.

Child Labor Day

This post is dedicated to my father.  The man had us picking up sticks in the back yard before we could even walk, ya’ll.  We crawled ‘em over to the bag.  I swear.

 

a204898845948ca1c69ff3614a52b4c588c8e14034d02943630925acc20e135b

Do you really want to know why we had children?

Because child labor. 

 

I know, there is a flaw in all of this because the input of labor by the first party might be a bit more than say a drooling 3 month old can provide (it’s really hard to get them to sit up and fold towels at three months.  I have tried) but  I tell you my friends, there WILL BE A PAYOFF.

Here’s the plan:

Three years old:  folding towels (let’s be realistic – folding is not quite the correct term.  Towel origami is more like it, but hey, extra points for creativity.  Once, my son made an entire family of cranes out of  daddy’s underwear.  It was lovely!)

Four years: sweeping da floors and putting away der silverwares.

Five years old:  managing our taxes and tackling our retirement plan.

 

And from there…

vintage-cleaning-ad

It is clear that the girl in the picture above might have some resentment towards her mother, I know.  She seems to be… gritting her teeth a bit and I am wondering if she would like to take her vacuum attachment (with the extra long handle!) and whack her mother over the head with it.  We’ll never know…

And as for the boy? I have no idea.  He really seems excited about that floor, though.

 

Anyhow.

It just so happens that as our Labor Day came and went I realized there was a tiny flaw in my child labor plans for our household.

Namely, my children are totally incompetent.

 

I told Blonde to sweep up after lunch.  This is his usual chore and yes, I KNOW he has not graduated on to the family accounting yet but he refuses to wear the uniform (white shirt, pocket protector, harried expression, etc).  Always flexible, I am now readying him for landscaping and lawn care.  He just can’t quite see over the handle of the lawnmower yet.

At any rate, I think he has caught on to that unwritten law that every disgruntled worker has learned:

ACT AS IF YOU HAVE NO CLUE HOW TO DO ANYTHING.

My husband does this every time I ask him to make the bed.  He stands there, and sort of lifts the sheets up and then puts them right back down again as if they might hurt him.  Then he pats at the bed apologetically and skulks away.  I think he muttered something about OSHA regulations at one point.  If there was an award for half-asszerdry with the bed-making he would win it.

ANYHOW.  I ask Blonde to sweep the floor and this is what happens:

1.  Blonde cannot walk.  He is unable to walk at all. He is sooooo tired.  The tiredness has affected his legs but not his mouth.

2.  Blonde obviously has been brushing up on his classic French literature because now he is lurching across the room like Quasimodo.  He is incapable of holding a broom in his lurchy hands.  He is still just sooooo tired.  But not his mouth.  His mouth is totally awake.

3.  Blonde is now LAYING ON THE FLOOR attempting to WILL the crumbs to come to him.

4.  At some point there is an actual sweep of the floor.  Unfortunately this is so feather light that all crumbs have now scattered to the four corners of the room which might as well be the universe for all Blonde knows because this is soooooooo  hardddddddddd.

5.  Blonde has now resorted to blowing the crumbs into the dustpan.  When Momsie points out that this might actually take more energy than, you know, actual sweeping, there is some grunting from the floor.  I do believe I heard “Give us free!”  and bonus points were awarded for quoting Amistad.  It is an excellent movie but in the context here with a small blonde toddler vs. a broom and a Momsie – it is a bit mismatched.

6.  Blonde has now resorted to actual sweeping, although at this point it looks more like some sort of modern dance routine entitled, “Gloomy Toddler Tries to Avoid Chores.”

7.  Big finish.  Blonde does the splits and I point out he missed an entire corner that is the “Cheerios section” of the kitchen floor.  He collapses with Martha Graham fervor.  I throw a big grey scarf over him and we call it good.

Martha Graham in Lamentation

Martha Graham in Lamentation.  Nobody can do the scarf thing better.

 

After the applause has ended, I go to check on Red who I had assigned the SIMPLE task of folding wash cloths and napkins.  He only has to fold SQUARE THINGS, ya’ll.   It’s mindless labor, I tell you.  I LOVE doing stuff like this because it’s therapeutic.  Soothing.  My brain can just fuzzle along all it wants with the napkins and I start humming tonelessly and before you know it, I am at one with the universe because of a napkin!

Red does not need to be one with the universe.  And since it’s pretty clear his head is on “fuzzle” ALL DAY LONG he doesn’t need a break with a napkin to give him some peaceful alone time.

 

So this is what happened:

photo

I have Spiderman underpants on my head. I am so ashamed.    Red could have at least picked Batman.

 

 

The lawyer would like me to add:

No toddlers are being put behind lawnmowers and such.

No toddlers were actually made to be an accountant.  That’s just cruel. 

And the underpants were clean.