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. 

 

 

 

 

 

All You Have to Change is Everything.

Hooking up with Kate Motaung over at Five Minute Friday today.

Today’s word:  Change.

 

0002321_0

 

I take to change about as well as Red takes to having a band-aid .  There’s a lot of shimmying and wailing  A couple fan kicks.  Some pathetic bargaining.  Some snot.  A bit more of the wailing business.  Sometimes there’s even a frantic bit of hopping around on one foot which usually leads to, you guessed it, another band-aid situation.

I don’t like change.

That’s like saying I don’t care for strep throat.

Good golly, when I decide to bake cookies, I start three days early by setting out flour and some bowls.  I have to commit slowly to cookies, because it’s such a monumental task.  It is too much change, I tell you. Day two, I set out some vanilla.  Maybe a spoon.  Perhaps even the cookie sheet.

Day three – we conquer softening butter.  And so on.

Anyhow.  About three years ago I decided to basically change everything about my life.  It’s like I woke up one day and said, “I think I’ll try to get through this day by standing on my head and speaking French.  Should work out all right.”

It was the kind of change that made my whole world feel like I was in one of those fun houses where all the furniture is on the walls and you walk on a sloped floor, leaning and laughing and trying to find a door.

Except I wasn’t laughing much, and I had a lot of doors all around me – most were big ones with nice pretty labels on them labeled: Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Pinot Whatever, Merlots and lots… etc.

But I made it through one day.  I basically stayed in bed (for real) because the whole house was all tilty and getting up meant I could head for a door.  Bed was easier.

Day two, much of the same.

And so on.

And after a while, after a long long while of shifting and shimmying and hopping around on one foot and WAILING and pleading – I pretty much realized that I have changed just about everything.

 

My soul was awful back then.  It was tired and sick and sad.  I couldn’t imagine a world without drinking, but I couldn’t stand the thought of continuing drinking.  I was trapped.

And therefore today I will sing and shout and cry out from the rooftops with a big fat Amen:

CHANGE IS GOOD.

I AM FREE.

 

 

 

Screenshot 2014-08-28 08.46.02

 

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.    Psalm 51:10

 

Well here I am at the dentist.

 

visit-to-the-dentist1

 

Lately I have been practicing something called “metacognition.”  That’s a big word for being aware of my thoughts.  Like, acknowledging (even out loud) how I’m feeling.  See that mosquito hovering around my face?  I would say, “This mosquito is annoying me.  I am rather annoyed.”*

Or how at least twice a week I find out my fly is open and I wonder, “How long, oh tired out zipper, have you betrayed me?   Oh, I am feeling, um, rather pathetic and crummy.”

That last one is a bit embarrassing.

This is all supposed to help me be “in the moment” and to “process my feelings”  when I’m “feeling a bit like I want to take a chainsaw to my day.”  It also helps very much if whenever I use the metacognition thingy that I go all “quote fingers” on you.

I had to go to the dentist today.

Metacognition to the rescue!!

 

So, I’m sitting in the chair, and the dentist has me basically reclining so far back that my feet are above my head.  I can feel my cheeks (the ones on my face) start to slide up towards my eyes.   “My feet are above my head.  I think this could be some sort of yoga pose.  It probably is good for my back.  I am feeling fine.”

Then, she puts that gigantic piece of pink rubber in my mouth and kind of thwacks it around, shoving it in with tenacity and skill.  It tastes just like a pencil eraser. “My dentist has a lot of tenacity and skill with that pointy metal thing.  This rubber feels all sorts of unacceptable.  I am feeling like this is unacceptable, really.  That’s how I’m feeling.”

I start to concentrate on the poster of the Colorado Rockies that is stuck to the ceiling.  Smooth move, dental workers.   This poster is riveting.  I could stare at it for, like, three whole minutes and just feel the rapture of that mountain stream casca-

GOOD GUACAMOLE, SHE IS POKING ME WITH THE GIGANTIC NEEDLE THING I AM GOING TO DIE.

“I am feeling like I am going to die.  The gigantic metal needle thing is poking all around in my mouth.  This is, I think, pretty much just the worst thing ever.”

Mountains.  Stream.  A bit of tape at the corner that is falling off.  I think there is a stain on the ceiling that kind of looks like Ronald Reagan. Breathe.

“Yep.  Pretty much still think I’m going to die here.  Right here in this chair.  They would feel pretty bad, the dental community, wouldn’t they?  I bet they would.  This is just awful.  I hate everything about this.  The world is just a terrible place, that there are people who put needles in your mouth and say things like, ‘Now, you’ll feel just a pinch.’  That’s like when you go to the ladybits doctor and she says,  ‘Now just relax.'”

I count four corners on that poster.  Yep.  Counting.  I can also count how many tiles are up there, but I have these Blublocker glasses on and and everything is this trippy gold color.  For some reason this makes counting hard.Screenshot 2014-08-25 22.13.51

I wonder if my husband will miss me, after I’m gone.

AND THERE’S THAT DRILLING SOUND.  I HAVE SEEN MARATHON MAN.  I HIGHLY REGRET IT, BUT IT HAD DUSTIN HOFFMAN IN IT AND I JUST LOVE HIM.  HE WAS SO YOUNG IN IT AND HAD THAT GREAT 70’S FEATHERED HAIR AND ALLBUT REALLY, JUST A TERRIBLE MOVIE.

“I feel like I’m going to die again.  It’s a good thing I didn’t wear my workout clothes to this appointment.  I am in clean underwear.  This is a bonus.  But yes, I am still sitting, looking at my toes and pretty sure Jesus is calling me home.  No drama, here.”

Holy cannoli, my dentist just said, “Uh oh.”  This made me tense up so much my entire backside basically levitated me out of the seat.  It seems I have a fractured tooth.  More work to do.  More drilling.

“So, I am still sitting here. My appointment is lasting way longer than I thought.  This is just awful again.  I am feeling, uh, scared and fearful and frightened.  And yes, I know those all are synonyms but you can’t expect me to come up with better word choice at time like this.”

This dental dam thing is really starting to get all slimed up.  So that’s just gross.  Have I mentioned this is just awful?  It really is.  Wal-Mart on a Saturday morning kind of awful.  Chucky Cheese has nothing on this.

“Ok.  What am I feeling?  Yep.  This is pretty much just awful. Still awful here.  Nothing new to add.”

I am convinced at this point that this appointment has gone on far too long.  In fact, I think it’s time to just disentangle myself from the rubbery grip of the dental dam and storm out of here.  But not before I give a perfect exit speech, indignant and powerful. This is just cruel, I tell you.  Medieval quackery!  Hocus pocus!  I’m calling the news channel!  This is ENOUGH!

In my mind (a lovely, green place, I tell you) I see it:  The moment plays out as eloquently as the final courtroom scene in To Kill a Mockingbird.  It would be an  “In the name of God, do your duty” kind of epic speech.

But, as most of my life tends to go, what I envision is not reality. (Oh that it were!  My life would be so much more fabulous if it just would actually match the rock and roll show with a side of A Room with a View slide show in my head!!)

Alas, no.  Reality would be me, wobbling to a standing position, half a pink bit of rubber thing still sticking out of my mouth, and my hair all bunched up wacky from all that reclining, saying something like this:

“Ib da mabe of Dod, do you dooby  Id da mabe of DOD.  BELIEB HIB!”

And from there, history.

Thank you, metacognition, for saving the day.  Because, right prior to my speech and introduction into that dental office’s hall of fame, metacognition piped up with:

“Dude.  You are one dial short on the rotary phone of nutball.  Just sit here.  It’s awful.  But you, my friend, have bad teeth.  And also, you are NO Gregory Peck.”
“So here I am.  At the dentist.”

 

grumpy-cat-did-you-smile-today-no

Perhaps it’s because he didn’t floss.

*One of my dear friends once told me that a mosquito landed on her face while she was in the car and she promptly slapped herself in the face.  Did she actually kill the mosquito?  I never found out because once she told me that story I was so overwhelmed with gratitude that there was actually someone else out there who functioned like me that my synapses stopped firing for a minute.

 

Toddler Opera and #NetflixKids

amesbooks

Cherry Ames! This is the type of nursing I can handle.

 

 

I have become nurse again because Red is sick.  Again.  I know, I know, he just was sick but any of you with children might know this interesting bit of news:

Children are walking germ buckets.

 

Anyhow, he wasn’t bad sick or anything.  He had a low fever and a bit of a cough and I think also just plain old tired out-edness.  I wasn’t too concerned.

Except for one small problem (cue scary sharknado music here):

HE WAS GONNA MISS HIS FIRST DAY OF PRESCHOOL.

I KNOW.  IT’S SO AWFUL I EVEN TEXTED HIS TEACHER IN ALL CAPS. I FELT ALL CAPSY ALL AFTERNOON.  HE WAS GONNA LOSE HIS EVERLOVING TODDLER STILL DEVELOPING MIND.  WE’VE ONLY BEEN TALKING ABOUT THIS FOR 12 MONTHS.

And once he was actually informed about this whole thing, he started wailing with operatic intensity.  There was vibrato, folks.  We’re talking bel canto.  I applauded when he was done, whilst wiping snot and trying to cuddle without getting that snot all over me.

Ok, I am going to interrupt here.  I am a mom, right, and moms should be able to cuddle and not worry about snot.  I know this.  But, in the interest of full disclosure (somewhere the lawyer is again rolling his eyes)  I am going to admit something to you that I have never admitted to anyone:  I don’t do snot.  I can do *tics off on fingers*: pee, poop, pee mixed with poop, barf, the fakeout barf (barf that doesn’t happen when you are sure it will) and even exploding barf.  Also some straight up saliva but that’s a whole other post.  I don’t do snot.)

Once the wailing turned down to a small two-part aria in the key of despair, I figured I would pull out a few of my sick-day tricks to lessen the sting.

“Red, hows about some popsicles?

“No.”

“Wow.  Even the ones that aren’t homemade that you love? The ones with Red #5 that make you nutty?”

“NO. I quit Red#5.  Dat stuff is awful.  Whaddya trying to do, get me sick?”

“Oh. Ok.  I’ll call my therapist later.  Wanna color with me? We can color some rockets! Or, wait, Kitties and Rockets?”

“I am over rockets.” sniff  “Not kitties though.”

“You wanna just draw kitties with me?”

“No. I’m going to make this as hard as possible.”

“Ok…  Hows about we have our own school?”

“Wait, WHAT? We can do that? Like, have school HERE?”

“Well… yes.  It’s actually a real thing.  People do it all the time.  Their children are usually scary smart and well adjusted.  But as for us, we’re gonna do it just this day.  Not every day.”

“This is ALLOWED? I canna do school HERE.  In our HOUSE?”

“Stop speaking in caps. It’s too dramatic.  Yes.  It’s called… *whisper* homeschooling.”

“HOMESCHOOLING!?  BRILLIANT!!”
“SHHHHHHH!  Just today!  Only TODAY?  OK?  Don’t get any ideas.”

 

So, we did school.  Fitting, I guess, since the poor kid was dying to get at some markers (kitty pictures did occur) and the alphabet on a chalkboard, and something with pipe cleaners that ended up looking like a lower intestine (I was going for art class – Abstract impressionism).

To cap the day off, we watched this classic:

Screenshot 2014-08-20 22.59.23

At this point, Netflix was, again, ready to save the day because Red was fading fast, but he simply had no idea how to turn himself off and just… rest.  The kid does not do rest.  I don’t do snot.  He doesn’t go naps.  Really, this is horribly unfair.  If we could just somehow trade

Anyhow, Emily’s First 100 Days of School, inspired by the author Rosemary Wells, was adorable.   Red, my little bunny, curled up next to me and was entranced.  I was too.

 

Here’s hoping the next time Red is sick it isn’t during his beloved VBS, or the first day of preschool, or some other huge thing, like Royals opening day (which is during school, I know…  but someday I have a feeling his dad is gonna make this a “thing.”)  I hope, actually, the sweet kid is never sick again, of course.  But I’ll take a good long cuddle with him on the couch, watching my beloved throwback television anyway.

 

Netflix_StreamTeam_Badge

Disclosure: I’m a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam.  Netflix comp the service we were previously paying for in exchange for my monthly posts and ramblings about movies and family viewing.  I love this.  I watch movies and then chatter about them.