Saturday, August 28, 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010

Here's Your Clue

How To Know That Your Housekeeping Isn't Quite Up To Snuff

  • Your kids ask, "Is someone coming?" when you tell them to clean up the living room.
  • After you spend the better part of a morning vigorously scrubbing your wooden kitchen table, your 8-year-old exclaims, "I didn't know it was that color!"
  • You don't let the children open the refrigerator when company is over, for fear of public shaming.
  • Your teenager assumes someone has vomited when he sees you removing the sofa slipcover for a shaking-out.
  • You use a throw rug, strategically placed in front of the fridge, to break the fall of the jars and bottles that inevitably tumble out.
Feel free to add your own, dear readers...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I Love Lucy

Larry's away at yet another management retreat, and I'm in charge in the evening.  Apparently he's been letting the little ones stay up until all hours, because Rachel was shocked - shocked - when I had her turn out her light at 8:30.

"It's boring with the light off!" she shrilled at me, repeatedly.  Well, yes, it is...

I obtained the entire first season of I Love Lucy DVD's from the library this month.  I've found that I can get the kids to do almost anything with an I Love Lucy episode dangling before their little noses as an incentive.  And it's better than candy - lasts longer and doesn't rot their teeth.  Why didn't I see this valuable tip in any of those lousy parenting books I read all those years ago?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Knife To The Heart

So!  Our first day of vacation Larry and I took the three youngest down to the little riverside beach on base.  The children frolicked (albeit with a touch of trepidation) in the jellyfish-infested waters while I sat in my beach chair and immersed myself in yet another memoir.  And then...

"Look, Mommy!" said Rachel. She was pointing at another middle-aged woman energetically digging a hole in the sand with her son.  "There's a mommy that plays with her kids!" 

I'd like to say that her wistful tone goaded me away from my book; but I'd be lying.  I harbor absolutely no desire to play in the sand with my kids.  That's what siblings are for.

Just keeping my Idle Parenting credentials fresh...

[Photo credit: thundafunda]

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Why It's Important To Follow The Rules

We just got back and I am currently employed in emptying rotting food out of my refrigerator.  I don't know why I thought it would be easier to do it now than before we left for the week.  Maybe I was hoping the refrigerator fairy would come by and clean it out for me.  Although she sure didn't take care of the zucchini last year...

My favorite part of the vacation occurred at the very beginning, when we arrived at the lodging we rented on a Navy base. There was a list of rules posted, and one of them read

No pets allowed.  If a pet is found in rental unit, a 100-dollar extermination fee will be charged.

As Theo said, "Wow - they don't mess around here, do they?"

Sunday, August 15, 2010

On The Run

We're headed out for a week, and - due to the birthday party yesterday, house guests since Thursday, and other vagaries of life with kids - our house is no where near presentable enough for our possible demise from a freak travel accident or act of God.  Ransacked is the word that comes to mind as I survey our erstwhile lovely home.  As if our family of 8, in imminent mortal danger, were swept away by the Witness Protection Program to parts unknown....

Back next week, then...if the Feds let us...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Of Mice And Mosques

Oh, man, I have so much to say and no time in which to say it.  2 birthdays this week and a family visit are making me pay attention to real life for a bit.  Anna has turned 17, Rachel turned 8 today, and we still have Rachel's b'day party Saturday to prepare for. I'll be back tomorrow to complain about the rodents who have been scampering inside my bathroom vanity and my silverware drawer.  Important tip:  when your husband adds "mousetraps" to your shopping list, don't ask for details.  Is there really anything he could tell you that would make you feel better?

In the meantime, how about going here, where you can find a full explanation of how the "Ground Zero Mosque" isn'tNot Ground Zero, not a mosque...and fully approved by the local city council.  Odd how politicians who want Big Government off our backs and who laud the virtues of local gov't are crusading against this particular local decision, isn't it?  I smell demagoguery in the air...

Oh, what the don't even have to bother to click.  Here's the meat of it, written by someone who actually lives/works in Manhattan, as opposed to a lot of the carpetbaggers we're hearing on the news lately. 

Ah, the “Ground Zero mosque.” Well, for a start, it won’t be at Ground Zero. It’ll be on Park Place, two blocks north of the World Trade Center site (from which it will not be visible), in a neighborhood a jumble with restaurants, shops (electronics, porn, you name it), churches, office cubes, and the rest of the New York mishmash. Park51, as it is to be called, will have a large Islamic “prayer room,” which presumably qualifies as a mosque. But the rest of the building will be devoted to classrooms, an auditorium, galleries, a restaurant, a memorial to the victims of September 11, 2001, and a swimming pool and gym. Its sponsors envision something like the 92nd Street Y—a Y.M.I.A., you might say, open to all, including persons of the C. and H. persuasions.

Like many New Yorkers, the people in charge of Park51, a married couple, are from somewhere else—he from Kuwait, she from Kashmir. Feisal Abdul Rauf is a Columbia grad. He has been the imam of a mosque in Tribeca for close to thirty years. He is the author of a book called “What’s Right with Islam Is What’s Right with America.” He is a vice-chair of the Interfaith Center of New York. “My colleagues and I are the anti-terrorists,” he wrote recently—in the Daily News, no less. He denounces terrorism in general and the 9/11 attacks in particular, often and at length. The F.B.I. tapped him to conduct “sensitivity training” for agents and cops. His wife, Daisy Khan, runs the American Society for Muslim Advancement, which she co-founded with him. It promotes “cultural and religious harmony through interfaith collaboration, youth and women’s empowerment, and arts and cultural exchange.”

[Crown image credit: MSR Wholesale Balloons]

Monday, August 09, 2010

I Heart VBS

Roman Catholic Church
This week, for 3 glorious hours every single morning, I will be able to clean the house, plan dinner, blog, and otherwise GET MY WORK DONE without someone saying, "Mommy?" every 3.5 seconds.  And no - I haven't duct-taped anyone's mouth shut (well, I tried, but it didn't work).  The girls are happily ensconced at our local parish's vacation bible school, where they are being playfully indoctrinated with the tenets of the Catholic faith.   These tenets, I believe, include love for thy neighbor (Catholic or not) and an acknowledgment that we are all God's children, no matter our religious tradition.

The Great Synagogue - Sydney

I'm just kicking myself that I didn't think of this sooner.  I mean, we have at least 10 churches within a 5-mile radius of our house.  (There's a synagogue, too - but we Jews aren't down with the VBS scene, for some reason...)  If I had just thought to plan it out, I could have probably had the girls in someone else's care every morning all summer.

Islamic Center in Washington, DC

We've got an Islamic center nearby, too.  Do you think Muslims have vacation Koran school? Oh, look!  Here's a picture of a mosque in Washington, DC!

Hmmm...that's odd...this mosque doesn't seem to have precipitated terrorist attacks or a Muslim takeover of America, which some fearmongers would like us to believe is the inevitable result of allowing Muslims to practice freedom of religion in this country.  What's up with that, anyway?

Thank goodness there are those among us who have kept their heads in these confusing times and refuse to traffic in fear.

"Whenever there has been bloodshed allegedly in the name of one tradition or another, it's necessary to say, 'That's not what that tradition is about,'" Rabbi Arthur Waskow, of the Philadelphia-based Shalom Center, said.

Thank you, Rabbi.  Indeed, the bloodshed represents not Islam but a tradition of hate, a tradition which the protesters down in Tennessee seem to be intent on perpetuating.

That goes for you, too,  Anti-Defamation League...

[Church photo: TurboPhoto]
[Synagogue photo: Sydney-city blog]
[Islamic Center photo: worldpress]

Friday, August 06, 2010

7 Quick Takes: Post-Beach Edition

It would be a good idea to inventory your purse before traveling the 3 hours home from the beach.  Because the next morning is way too late to wonder what happened to the key fob that will cost you 300 dollars to replace.


BlogHer attendees?  We don't want to hear about the great time you are having.  Sorry.


The other day Rachel said, "I wish there were a money tree we could just pick money off it!"  I told her, "We have one of those.  You call him Daddy."


Husbands!  When your wife eyes the kids' beach chair with the intent of sitting on it, do not say, "Well, that would totally finish it off!"  As Larry can attest, there is no way to backtrack from that statement.  Believe me, he tried.


We keep hearing that America has an obesity problem, but nothing drives that home like a day at the beach. 

Considering the above, and the fact that 6 pregnancies have not done my vein-covered legs any favors, I'm thinking that there might just be a place in my wardrobe for the attractive yet modest burquini.  My skirted swimsuit bottom just isn't cutting it anymore.


For more 7 Quick Takes, check out Conversion Diary - she'd look great in a burquini (although she certainly doesn't need one).

[Money tree: WealthWinners]
[Burquini: Hey Hijabi!]

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

And They're Off!


It was in the 90's. 

Humid as heck. 

With mosquitoes.

In fact, it was just like it's been EVERY DAY FOR THE PAST 6 WEEKS.

But that's okay, nothing a little clever planning can't handle.  We visited the blessedly air-conditioned library and picked up the entire first season of I Love Lucy on DVD (educational, right? History?) .  Then we used the summer reading program coupons to forage a free meal from the not-air-conditioned-enough pizza place nearby.  Finally, in desperation, we escaped the unremitting sun by taking refuge under our town's splash pool fountains. 

Lather.  Rinse.  Repeat.  We've been doing this sort of thing all summer.  It's getting old. I mean, I'm bored just reading that.  Do you folks come by just to be reminded how exciting your lives are compared to mine?

And now?  Sandwiches made, towels packed, kids abed...we're all set for our belated day trip to the beach tomorrow.  This involves our riding 3 hours in the car each way, with Susie talking the entire time.  Pray for us. Theo is coming also, so we might even be able to lug all the requisite beach-going paraphernalia from the parking lot to the sand before it's time to turn around and come home.

Knitting at the beach?  Discuss.  Too sandy?  Windy?  Maybe I should keep an eye on the children instead?

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

A Little Lightning Never Hurt Anyone

Me: I'll have Theo make our sandwiches tonight for the beach tomorrow.

Larry: But we're not going tomorrow.

Me: You said we were going on Wednesday.  Wednesday is tomorrow.  Ergo, we are going tomorrow.

Larry: I saw the weather report and there's a chance of rain.  So I assumed we weren't going.

Me:  There's always a chance of thunderstorms in the summer.  When should we go instead?  November?

Our conversation went downhill from there.  Anyone know what I should do all day tomorrow with 4 kids who were counting on going to the beach?  Because, really, I don't have a clue.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Murder, She Wrote

According to Larry? No.  It certainly does not.

But Wikipedia tells me that "Centipedes are predators, and mainly use their antennae to seek out their prey."

Prey - as in, say, myself, sitting alone in the living room at night, unaware of the imminent danger posed by these disgustingly large, hairy creatures.  Gah.

I'm thinking Larry needs to take out additional life insurance on me.  Or, wait a second - maybe he already has...

Sunday, August 01, 2010

So Big

A very large centipede just interrupted my peaceful, pre-bedtime blog-reading interlude.

How large was it?  It was so large that I heard it drop from the ceiling to the floor behind me.

That shouldn't be possible, right?

But I heard it.

Do I dare to search for a centipede image to accompany this post?

I think not.

In fact, I think I'll just go to bed.  It's hard to type, perched precariously atop this desk chair as I am.  Good night, y'all.

[Image credit: ChildSafetyAustralia]