Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Domestic Goddess

Tragedy struck at our house tonight. Jack has this stuffed bear chair and he found a hole in it. He came to me and showed me the hole and then a major freak out ensued...

Jack: "Momma, you have to fix it. You HAVE to!"
Me (being lazy): "Nah, it's fine Jack. It's just a little hole."
Jack (sobbing): "Please Momma.... plllleeeeeaaasse????"
Me(still being lazy): "Not tonight Jack."
Jack (trying to compose himself): "Pretty, pretty please... with love on top?"
Me (thinking- with love on top?? How sweet is that?):"Ok fine. Let's go get my sewing kit."
Jack: "Yeah!!!"
Megan: "You have a sewing kit???"

And therein lies the problem. The sight of me sewing anything is about as rare as spotting a Black Rhino. Megan has a pair of pants that are ripped at the knee and the other day when she asked me to sew a patch on it, I honestly looked at her as though she just spoke to me in Mandarin. So tonight I went to get my sewing kit to make the repair on the bear chair. And when I say sewing kit, I mean a tiny box with the following contents:

-about 20 buttons (none of which I would actually use even if I needed a button)
-a pair of scissors
-some safety pins
-exactly 4 spools of thread (Red, Black, White and Cream)
-about 6 needles
-velcro (not sure why I got the velcro, or why I'm keeping it for that matter. But it is causing problems with the other items in the "kit" sticking to it)

I settled in to fix the chair and started threading the needle. Then I noticed my children. They were watching me closely- watching my every move. I felt like an animal in the zoo. Then Megan spoke. "I didn't even realize that you know how to sew!" she said. I thought to myself, "Yeah, you and me both sister!"

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Fat Birds

As I looked out my sliding glass door this morning, I saw what might be the biggest Robin I've ever seen. I mean it. This bird was absolutely enormous. I called to Megan to come and see it, "Megan, get over here. You have got to see this Robin. It is so fat!" Megan came running and peered out the window for a moment. Then she looked at me, shrugged her shoulders and said, "Eh. I've seen fatter birds in the rainforest movie." I looked at her for a moment because 1) I don't believe there is such a thing as a fatter bird than we saw this morning and 2) What rainforest movie is she talking about?

I decided not to fight her on #1 and instead asked her, "What rainforest movie are you talking about?". She looked at me annoyed. She sighed and said, "The rainforest movie... we are watching it at school... you know... the rainforest???? We are studying the rainforest, you know!"

Uh,yeah. Thanks for the clarification. I refrained from turning into a six year old myself and responding, "Gee- sooooooorrrrry!"

Sushi anyone?

From time to time, Megan likes to put on a cooking show for me. She's only six but one of her favorite television channels is the Food Network. In particular, she enjoys Paula Dean, Emeril,sometimes Bobby Flay and a show called Unwrapped. When she's putting on her cooking show, she wants my full attention and so today's show involved what she called "Asian cooking". She has a miniature sushi set that she plays with from time to time. We got it for her about a year ago when her, um... minor obsession with Asian culture began. We aren't sure where the obsession began. We've never been to China or Japan or anywhere else in Asia Pacific for that matter. No one in our family is Asian so we still aren't quite sure where this obsession came from. Also, it's anything Asian in general. She's not quite clear on the fact that there is, in fact a difference between Japanese and Chinese people. At six, I think that is probably okay since she's still sorting it out but if she's 16 and not clear that there is a difference then well, that will probably just be rude. I remember when I was in grade school and a friend of mine was Korean. I called him Chinese one time and he got very angry and made it very clear that he was not Chinese and that yes, there was a huge difference. I still remember the embarrassment I felt because even at that age, although I didn't fully understand why, I realized that what I said was offensive and I felt bad.

But Megan for some reason LOVES anything Asian. For Halloween this year, she was a Geisha. She is fascinated by the stories about feet binding. She enjoys eating with chopsticks... a LOT. She always asks when we are going to China; she's read a number of books on China etc. You get the picture. So this morning when we had our "Asian cooking" show. I sat quietly and watched. She took all of the parts and was mashing them together and she asked, "Doesn't this look tasty?" I replied, "Well, not really. It's all mashed together." Megan rolled her eyes at me and said, "You just don't appreciate the Chinese culture!"

Saturday, April 26, 2008

In the company of men

Sometimes when I'm talking to someone, I have those moments where it is as if I can see a few steps ahead. I can see where the conversation is headed and as much as I'd like to, sometimes I can't seem to stop some of the things that come out of my mouth.

Earlier this week while on my latest business trip, I was sitting in a conference room with a few co-workers waiting for a meeting to start. As we waited for other people to filter in, we made some small talk. A couple of the folks in the meeting were new to our company. This was the first time I met them face to face so the small talk centered around what I consider to be "getting to know you" topics such as:
"Where do you live?"
"What hotel are you staying in?"
"When do you go back?"

The conversation was going just fine until we started talking about kids. We did the usual exchange- you know, I have two kids; a son and a daughter. They are 4 and 6. blah blah blah. One of the guys started talking about his kids and we agreed that the ages that our kids are at are fun ages.

This is when it started to go downhill. Essentially, this is what I happened:
Me: "Oh yeah. The ages my kids are at now are GREAT. They are so much fun at this age."
Guy #1: "Every age has good things about it, I think."
Me: "I agree. Good things and bad. Like when my kids were really young, it was great before they could move around and put things in their mouths. They would be right where you left them when you came back."
Guy #2: "Yeah, I don't miss those sleepless nights when they were really young."
Me: "Me neither! I handle a lot of situations well but sleep deprivation is not one of them. I just feel like now that both my kids are older than 4, we are kind of over the hump and I just enjoy them so much more now."
Guy #3 (half joking): "So you didn't enjoy your kids before?"

It was at this point where I knew what this guy wanted to hear but you know what? After fighting my way through some post partum "issues" with both kids, I feel it is my duty on some level to tell it how it is (even if it is in a room with 3 guys and I can SEE it on their faces that they are thinking "Gee I hope my wife doesn't feel that way about our kids.")

So I ended up having verbal diarrhea of the mouth that sounded like this- "Well, I've always loved my kids. Don't get me wrong. But they just aren't that engaging when they are really young. I felt like I was just punching the clock with them. You know, give them a bath, change them, burp them etc. There wasn't a lot of interaction and you don't get much back from them emotionally very early on. Well, at least I didn't. And the lack of sleep. Oy, don't get me started on that. So anyway, I always loved my kids. But yeah, I guess I would have to say it wasn't until they were about 3 or so that I really started to like them and really enjoy spending time with them. Because like I was saying, when they were babies there isn't much to actually do with them. I'm not what you would consider to be an "artsy-craftsy" kind of girl and there's only so much TV you can watch. You know what I mean? I can tell you don't know what I mean. Guy #3, I see the way you are looking at me. I can tell you are probably thinking I am the worst mother on the planet (insert my uncomfortable giggle here). But I'll tell you what. I'm just saying out loud what a good chunk of mothers out there are thinking in their heads. And that's the truth. Boy this meeting is getting started a bit late, huh? Should we go ahead and get started?"

So, anyhoo- If you are ever looking to make a group of men feel uncomfortable, just memorize my paragraph from above. I can tell you from experience it works like a charm.

Friday, April 25, 2008

That's just wrong

So I am emailing this from the plane I am sitting on...still in Austin, sigh...

The flights have been grounded due to weather in Chicago. I don't mean to sound whiney but, I just want to go home. They conveniently shut the airport after we were already on board. So here I am on a plane that is conveniently parked so the sun is beating in the windows. A couple more degrees and it will feel like a sauna in here.

The lady behind me keeps groaning and sighing, complaining she's going to miss her flight back to "Heathrow". What she doesn't seem to realize is that every time she is sighing, her breath is floating up between my seat and it smells like she had something with garlic for lunch.

At least I am sitting here complaining silently about the fact that I am sandwiched between a guy who obviously forgot his deoderant and a woman who clearly forgot her shower this morning.

And P.S. In case you are wondering, it IS rude to pass gas while you are stuck in a metal tube with no fresh air!!! The various aromas are KILLING ME!

Bugs, bugs and more bugs

I'm still away on a business trip but Jay sent me an email yesterday that Jack had some, um... "issues" while they were outside playing. The weather is getting nice in Chicago and hopefully, it will stay that way until mid-June when it will become unbearably hot and sticky and the kids will be banging on the door to come back in because they are either, thirsty, hot or tired. Apparently, we may need to add "saw a bug" to the list of thirsty, hot or tired this summer.

The kids were playing outside and a large fly was buzzing around the tower of our swing set. Jack apparently freaked out. I was wondering how much of last summer's Cicada infestation would linger into this summer. Last summer in Chicago was the 17-year Cicada fiasco and it totally put a wrench in our lives on a number of levels. We couldn't go anywhere outside without the kids frantically looking around in a very Schizophrenic manner trying to find any indication that the Cicada was going to dive bomb their head. When Jay tried to take the kids for a nice afternoon at the zoo, it turned into a disaster. The Cicadas were screaming and one flew into Megan's head and she took off running and screaming. Jay decided enough was enough so he took them back to the car and a Cicada happened to fly into Jack's shirt. He started screaming and Jay took off Jack's shirt in the middle of the parking lot and as he did this, a drop of condensation from his drink fell on Megan's leg. She mistakenly thought it was a Cicada and started screaming. So there is poor Jay, standing in the middle of the parking lot at Brookfield Zoo holding two screaming, crying children. Ah, good times, good times.

But I digress, back to the latest... so after the "bug issue" at the swingset, Jack strolled into our room in the middle of the night and announced to Jay, "I don’t want to go outside anymore. I want to sleep with you." Jay got up and started walking him back to his room Jack then announced, "I'm scared of bees." As they entered Jack's room he asked, “Are there any bugs that suck your blood?” Jay said,“Yes, mosquitoes.” Well this sent Jack over the edge. He started freaking out again and Jay had to calm him down to get him to go back to bed. It obviously had lingering effects since the first thing the following morning that Jack brought up were the blood sucking mosquitoes.

Jay lovingly told me this series of freak outs were obviously my genes. And to be honest, I have to agree with him. I have a severe phobia of bees. I mean, I'll save my kids from a burning building, a speeding train, a falling piece of debris from the sky but if the are swarmed by a bee... sorry kid, you're on your own!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

An untimely departure

It's been a while since I've cried. I haven't felt the need, really. But yesterday, I got a call that a friend/co-worker passed away. It was quite a shock and I still haven't fully processed it. When I got the call yesterday, I ended up doing a combination of acting normal (making the kids dinner and helping Megan with her homework) and alternated it with rushing to the back room where the kids couldn't see me and bursting into tears. I don't normally cry in front of my children. I don't think that there is anything wrong with crying in front of your kids but I think at some point, you need to make the conscious choice that you either do or you don't. But if you decide to cry, I think you need to turn on the waterworks with some degree of frequency so the kids are accustomed to it. My problem (if you can call it a problem) is that I'm not a huge crier to begin with so my crying jags are few and far between. So, when I do cry- it's a BIG deal. This ends up freaking my kids out. Case in point- Megan's first day of school when she didn't get off the bus at the bus stop and I spent 15-20 minutes trying to figure out where she was and who could have potentially abducted her. When Megan saw me cry that time she freaked out so bad I found her hiding in a closet. So right or wrong, I tried to hide it from them and after they were done eating dinner, I shoved them outside to ride their bikes while I tried to compose myself and pack for my upcoming business trip.

A while later, I went outside to call them in for bed. Megan commented to me, "Your face is so red. Why is your face so red?" I decided to be honest with her. I told a friend of mine got really sick and I was sad and I had been crying. She looked me up and down and said, "Hmmm. I didn't see you crying. I don't think you were." Oh well so much for being honest. I just assumed she didn't get it . That is until I put her to bed. She again asked why my face was so red and asked why I had been crying and I gave her my same response, "Baby, Mommy's sad." I shut the door to her room and walked down the hall. A moment later, her door opened, she ran out and just threw herself on me. She hugged me tight. Tighter than I think she ever has. She didn't say a word. She didn't need to. She hugged me and that is what I needed.

In hindsight, I probably should have canceled my business trip. The day was extremely emotional. As I was driving to the airport, I received a request to write my thoughts about my co-worker- a eulogy of sorts. I knew I needed to do this but I also knew it would be sad for me to recollect. I had visions of me sobbing on the plane freaking out the person sitting next to me. Lucky for me, I was assigned to an exit row (which is always a bonus in my book) and lucky for everyone else on the plane, there wasn't anyone sitting right next to me. As I wrote, I cried. I noticied the flight attendant nervously pacing back and forth giving me sideways glances. At first, I thought she was feeling bad for me and then I thought, "Oh man, she thinks I'm crazy and here I am sitting in the exit row, all alone with no one to stop me should I decide to pull the latch on the exit door at 30,000 feet." It was then that I realized, she probably wasn't concerned about me but rather the rest of the passengers with the crazy, weepy lady in the exit row.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The sweetest revenge

Every morning we drive to the corner and wait for Megan's school bus to arrive. The bus stop is only at the corner from our house but we always drive to the bus stop because after Megan gets on the bus, I drive Jack to his daycare/pre-school. I do realize it seems extremely lazy to drive to the corner, but there is a method to the madness. At any rate, Megan got bored in the back seat and wanted to climb up front with me. Jack had a couple Bakugan's sitting on the arm rest and I didn't want her to step on one and break it because that would cause a whole series of events that would cause our vehicle to implode.

Me: "Megan, be careful of Jack's Bakugans."
Megan: "Why?"
Me: "Well, I don't want you to step on it and break it."
Jack (from the back seat): "Yeah Megan, don't step on 'em."
Megan:"Why not?"
Me:"Because Jack will be very sad if you break his toy."
Megan (teasing Jack):"I am gonna do it. I'm gonna step on it and break it."
Jack (wailing from the back seat): "NOOOOOooooo Megan!!!!"
Me: "Megan cut it out. Quit teasing Jack. How would you like it if he broke one of your toys?"
Jack: "Yeah Megan. If you step on my Bakugan, I'm gonna pull the heads off your Barbies!"

Friday, April 18, 2008

In the name of the Father, Son, Holy Spirit... Amen

One of my absolute FAVORITE things in the world is to watch Jack very closely when we say grace before dinner. Before and after grace, we start and end with "In the name of the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, Amen." In saying that, we bless ourselves. We've been doing this forever and it cracks me up that Jack still can't quite seem to get it. Every time we do it, I am reminded of a third base baseball coach giving the player signs. In order to best describe it visually, I found this video on YouTube.

Jack's thoughts on God and death

Jack on God- "God wanted people to live on a place called Earth (side note, when Jack says "Earth", it sounds like "Urff"). He wished it and made it came true."

Jack on death- "A cemetery is where you put people in the ground when they... um, Mom can I say it??? (whispering) When people die. They put those stone thingy's by them and write words on it and say their names."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Megan at her finest

Megan tends to be slow in the morning. And by slow, I mean 9 times out of 10 we end up arguing in the morning about 1) Why she isn't dressed yet 2) Why she hasn't combed her hair or brushed her teeth yet 3) When she is going to pick out her outfit to wear 4) What is wrong with the outfit she's actually picked (I think she has a bit of Punky Brewster in her) 5) What she wants for breakfast 6) Why she's not done eating her breakfast 7) Where her shoes are located 8) Why she needs to wear a coat and most recently 9) Why she can't wear shorts to school yet. Whew.

I'm not sure what happened yesterday but I believe we may have been in a parallel universe. She came in dressed (appropriately), hair combed, teeth brushed, knowing what she wanted for breakfast and I have to be honest, I wasn't sure what to do with that situation. Never in all of her 6 years have we ever had a morning like that. I commented that I couldn't believe she was ready so early. She stood there for a moment, put her hands on her hips and gave herself a once over glance in the mirror. She then turned to me and said, "Yeah, I know! It kind of seems like I'm 7 already doesn't it?"

This morning was a tad bit different. In an attempt to recreate the serene situation from yesterday morning, I made her exactly the same breakfast (French toast popped in the toaster. Oh yeah, I know what you are thinking- Mother-of-the-year! A hot nutritious frozen breakfast. MMmmmm mmm.) Megan came down, looked at the breakfast and said, "You are feeding me toasted bread with butter and syrup? What kind of mother are you?"

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The chicken or the egg

One of my larger parenting mistakes (so far) deals with clothing. Bottom line- Jack doesn't like jeans. He's definitely a sweat pants kind of guy. It's like he's a miniature George Costanza and his life's ambition is to be draped in velvet. When I say "doesn't like jeans" that is a bit of an understatement. It's a battle I'm just not willing to fight. It usually turned into a wrestling match with me yelling at Jack, "Just put them on! Come on now. Stop, Stop! Don't you DARE take those pants off. No, Jack. That's ridiculous. The jeans aren't too cold and they are not too itchy. Just leave them ON! Because I said so!" As an outsider looking in, one might think I dipped the jeans in some type of acidic solution prior to chasing Jack down the hall and cornering him to put the jeans on.

When Megan made the astute observation that Jack doesn't like jeans, I mentioned that I didn't think Jack even had a pair of jeans that fit anymore. "Why not?" Megan asked. I thought for a moment and said, "Well, he grew out of all his jeans and I didn't bother to buy him more. He doesn't like to wear them. He only likes sweat pants. So, it's kind of like the chicken or the egg. I'm not sure if he doesn't like jeans because he doesn't have any, or if he doesn't have any because he doesn't like jeans."

Jack then weighed in with his opinion. "I'm the egg and the chicken is the jeans. Isn't this a crazy conversation?"

Monday, April 14, 2008

Let me guess

This morning as I was packing Megan's lunch for school she asked, "How come you don't write notes on my napkin like all the other mom's do?" Huh? Apparently I missed the boat on this one. I didn't realize there was some unwritten rule that notes on napkins were mandatory. I started to feel guilty for a moment and then stopped myself. I had set the correct expectations this past weekend with Megan about winning "Mother-of-the-year" status. When she told me after our cleaning binge that I wasn't going to win Mother-of-the-year, I retorted, "Well, it's not my life's ambition to win Mother-of-the-year." (lie). So I thought for a moment, and came up with this response to her question, "Um, hmmm. Uh, I don't know." As my co-workers from London would say, Brilliant!

As Megan wandered out of the kitchen to go get dressed, she said, "Let me guess, you are probably going to write a note on the napkin now, right?" That is her new phrase "Let me guess" and she uses it as a way to get around being vulnerable and directly asking for what she wants. So for instance...

Let me guess, you want to tape this = Please video tape what I'm doing.
Let me guess, you want me to show you my artwork= I want to show you my art.
Let me guess, you are going to go get Daddy to come out here and see this= Go get Daddy, I want to show him what I am doing.
Let me guess, you are going to write this down= I want you to put this in your blog.

You get the idea. So, of course I wrote a note on the napkin. How could I not? But knowing me, laziness will prevail and I'll probably stop putting a napkin in her lunch so I don't have to keep figuring out what to write on a napkin. I'm sure wiping her mouth on her sleeve will be just as effective. ;)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Mother of the Year? Maybe next year.

Today our entire family went on a cleaning binge. Spring cleaning in the most literal sense. When I get in the mood to majorly clean, which isn't very often, Katie bar the doors as they say. Anything is fair game. Megan usually senses it and follows me around explaining why she needs the various items (aka crap) that have made their way into my garbage bag. Inevitably, some type of negotiation ensues and some items are removed from the garbage bag. My favorite from this morning was Megan explaining why she needed a headless Polly Pocket doll.

Jack's role is usually to pick up a few items and then sit in a chair for 20 minutes explaining to me why he is cleaning just as much as Megan, or why he doesn't need to clean as much as Megan or some variation there of while I end up screaming something along the lines of, "I don't want to hear about how much you are cleaning, I want to see you cleaning!"

While cleaning this morning, Megan came across some glasses she decorated. One of them was very cute. It had some decoration and she wrote "I love Mom" and "You are the best" on it. "Oh, Megan" I said. "That is so great! I love it thank you very much." Her response wasn't quite what I had expected. "Yeah, well you still aren't going to win Mother of the Year."

Friday, April 11, 2008

Play it again, Sam

Megan doesn't like her name. She's on this huge kick now where she repeatedly tells me that she doesn't like her name. She has mentioned this to me in the following ways:

"Can someone change their name?"
"How old do you have to be to change your name?"
"How do you change your name?"
"How do people know if you change your name?"
"Do you have to tell everyone when you change your name?"
"Why did you name me Megan?"
"I don't like my name."
"I want to change my name."
"If I could change my name, I would change it to Sam."

Now, when she actually had a name picked out was my first indication she might be serious. It's like when you are buying a new house and you start picturing where you will put your furniture.

My second indication she might be serious were her American Idol songs. While she was playing at a neighbors house, they "wrote" their own songs. Megan sang one to me when she got home last night. I didn't think much about it until I looked at the papers today they had the words to the songs.

Song 1 (exactly as written)
"Your so dear to my heart"
By Sam Wachtel

Oh babby can't you see.
Your so dear to me.
Why you havt to go
and so you know
Your so dear to my heart
That's why I say Babby ok
It's over your so dear
to my heart oh yay
It's trew.
Your so dear to my heart

Song 2 (exactly as written)
What If
By Sam Wachtel

What if she was hert and
you didn't know and it was all
your fallt
What if
What if you were rong.

Song 3 (exactly as written)
For my mother
By Sam Wachtel

I wood becom a waxeser
Just for my mother
I wood becom a sergin
Just for my mom
I wood wack to China
Just for my Mom

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The call you don't want to get from pre-school

I just dropped Jack of at school less than 30 minutes ago. Suddenly my phone rings and I notice on my caller ID that Jack's school is calling. This can't be good. My mind starts racing thinking of the possibilities. He seemed okay this morning so I would be surprised if he got sick within 30 minutes of being there. Then I started thinking perhaps he had an accident. Yes, that must be it so I grabbed the phone and here is what took place:

Me (frantically): "Hello?"
School Spokesperson: "Hi, Jen? It's me, XX from the school."
Me: "Hi there..."
SS: "Everything is okay. Jack is okay but I wanted to call you to tell you about an "incident" we had this morning with Jack."
Me (thinking- Oh man, he did have an accident. I wonder if there was blood.) "OK..."
SS: "Jack was up in the loft area this morning with another boy..."
Me (thinking- OMG he must have fallen off the loft. Surely there is blood and lots of it. I wonder where the ambulance took him.) "Uh huh..."
SS: "And the boys decided they wanted to pretend they were going potty."
Me: (thinking- ok no accident so that is great but I have a feeling the rest of this conversation is going to be somewhat awkward) "Uh huh..."
SS: "So the boys pulled their pants down and started to pretend to go potty and the teacher saw them and stopped it."
Me: "Um, wow. Sorry about that."
SS: "No, don't be sorry. I'm sure it was innocent. But we sat them down and discussed how you only go potty in the potty..."
Me: (thinking- Great. Now she thinks we are a bunch of savages that let Jack pee willy nilly all around the house) "Right."
SS: "And that you should keep your pants on at all times."
Me: (thinking- And the hits just keep on coming. She apparently also thinks we let Jack run around here like we live in a nudist colony. Even if I was open to walking around naked, Megan has definitely humbled me in that area since she makes a point every time she sees me in my underwear to tell me it's "disgusting") "Sure..."
SS: "So we just wanted to call you to make you aware of the situation because we are sure it will be a topic of conversation at your house tonight."
Me: (trying to get off the phone as soon as possible) "Great. Thanks for calling. I appreciate it."

So there you have it. Definitely one of the top 5 calls I never want to get from Jack's preschool and it happened. I'm sure it was innocent just like the school said but I can't help but be left with visions of those two little boys, half naked, probably standing way too close to each other and the teachers look of shock on her face.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Scolded by a 6 year old

One of Megan's favorite activities is to look through her grade school yearbook and to point out the people she knows. As we paged through the book tonight, one of the pictures in particular caught my eye. Now, it is common knowledge around here that parents have the option to have their kids re-take the picture if it doesn't turn out quite right. So I was somewhat surprised about one of the photos I saw. I had a moment of weakness, I admit it. I pointed to the kids picture and heard myself saying, "Uh, what's up with that kid. Can you say RE-DO!"

In my defense, the kid in the picture wasn't even remotely looking at the camera. In fact, I have no idea what the kid was looking at. Additionally, he seemed to be in mid-sentence and his mouth was hanging open. Megan looked at me, sighed and scolded, "Mom! Stop it. I'm pretty sure that kid is in some type of Special Ed."


I do realize I'm not Emeril, thank you very much

Tonight at dinner Megan announced that she didn't think we should buy chocolate milk anymore. In her words, "Jack is the only one in this house that likes chocolate milk any way so we shouldn't buy it any more. I mean, it has chocolate in it so it has to cost more money."

I thought for a moment and came up with what I believed to be a brilliant retort. "Well, Megan you are the only person in our house that likes Barbies. Maybe we shouldn't buy Barbies anymore." And for added emphasis, I added, "Bam! How about that for a plan???"

As I turned back to the sink, I saw Megan look down into her spaghetti and shake her head at me. I'm sure there was an eye roll in there somewhere. Then I heard her mutter under her breath, "Bam? It's not like you are Emeril."

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Random thoughts from a shopping cart

We took another shot at finding Bakugans at Target this weekend and I'm happy to report victory was mine! Lucky for us, there were restocked shelves of Bakugans. Megan had no interest in the Bakugan review so she stayed in the cart while Jack and I scoured the aisle picking our top 3 favorites to purchase. We picked the top 3 and then greed got the best of me. I started thinking, "What if this is the very last of the Bakugans?" and so I caved and told Jack he could get 4 instead of the originally agreed upon 3. Megan overheard me caving and announced from the cart, "Looks like somebody is spending some money!"

Megan decided she wanted some new hair accessories so in the interest of fairness (and in avoiding a whole meltdown riddled with "It's not FAIR! You like Jack better!" etc. etc.) we strolled over to the hair aisle and this time Jack stayed in the shopping cart while Megan and I reviewed our options amongst all the head bands and barrettes. Megan pointed to some barrettes that were shaped like bugs and butterflies. "Eh, I don't think you would wear those Meg" I responded. Jack piled on with something a bit less tactful... "If Megan got that, it would look gross on her."

The opposite of Heaven

I was driving to lunch yesterday with Megan and Jack. As we drove, I flipped through the radio stations. Megan got a bit annoyed with me because I switched the station when a commercial came on. Her annoyance led me to believe that at some point, she will be an avid listener to NPR or AM talk radio. She informed me, "You know Mom, you don't have to change the channel if there isn't music. The radio commercials can be very interesting and they give you a lot of good information!"

I, of course, ignored her and changed the channel again. I settled on a song and Megan, the girl who has always been a stickler for the rules, informed me, "Uh, Mom we shouldn't be listening to this song. They say a bad word in it. In fact, I don't think they should play that song on the radio at all."

"Really?" I asked. "What is the bad word?" Megan replied, "It's the 'H' word that is the opposite of Heaven." I sighed and told her, "Megan here is the thing. You are always going to hear bad words. The key thing is to not repeat the words. And actually, that is one of the great things about living in our country. People have the right to express their opinions. It's called Freedom of Speech."

I looked back in my rearview mirror and saw Megan processing this while looking out her window. Then Jack chimed in with, "Yes, it's also called Freedom of Happiness and Freedom of Good Moms and Dads!"

The Spelling Bee

Megan: "How do you spell Tiger?"
Jay: "T-I-G-E-R."
Megan: "How do you spell Tigger?"
Jay: "T-I-G-G-E-R."
Jack (chiming in): "How do you spell Tiger Puss?"

Chocolate milk side effects

Tonight Jack asked for chocolate milk. That was no big surprise since he always asks for chocolate milk. It was getting quite close to bed time and Jack asked, "Can I have some chocolate milk, please?" I told him, "No. I'd rather you have some apple juice if you want something to drink." I was expecting a bit of push back on this but instead he said, "Oh, okay because too much chocolate milk makes my poops get hurted and it makes them get too big."

And I know I've raised him right (A.K.A brainwashed him) because he not only answered the question of why he couldn't have chocolate milk (which by the way, the difficult poop is essentially why I wouldn't let him have it- not that it was too late for chocolate), but when I brought him the apple juice he provided me with the canned response I taught him... "Thanks Momma. You're the best Momma!"

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Bakugans have taken over

The most common word around our house these days is "Bakugan". It is Jack's new obsession. And I don't use the word obsession lightly. I mean it. He's obsessed in a way that reminds me of my "mini obsessions" where it is all I can think about and talk about. Examples:

1) Before I had children, I was on a crocheting binge. I crocheted about 12 or so blankets over the course of a few weeks. I even took yarn and a hook with me when I went into the car. The main thing that stopped this obsession was my cat. He couldn't stop attacking the yarn so I was in daily fights with him and ended up drop kicking him a number of times to get away from the yarn (in hindsight, not the nicest way to treat your pet which is why I am pet-free today).

2) While I was pregnant I had an obsession, okay it was actually more like an eating disorder, with Haagen Daaz Vanilla Swiss Almond ice cream. I constantly planned for when I could eat my pint in peace and fretted running out so always ordered another pint as a back up from's delivery service. The main thing that stopped this obsession was getting caught by Jay. I didn't realize that he was getting copies of the grocery list in email until he confronted me with it one day. Quite embarrassing, I must say.

3) After Megan was born, I had a bit of an obsession with scrap booking. I felt this urgency to scrapbook every moment of her entire life to a nauseating degree. Alas, once again this obsession didn't last. I'm not sure what killed my motivation. I sometimes joke that if we disappeared from Earth at this moment due to, oh I don't know...the Rapture or Nuclear War, and people were sifting through our house to piece together a puzzle of our lives, the conclusion would be that Jay and I are the parents of an 18 month old daughter and our son doesn't even exist. (Yes, the guilt over this eats away at me and became much more pronounced the day that Jack saw Megan looking at her scrapbook and asked me very sweetly, "Momma, where is my book?")

I'll leave out the example from High School when I really liked (read between the lines- was totally and completely obsessed with but didn't quite stalk) a guy who never really ever made it to official boyfriend status. At any rate, I mention these examples to demonstrate that it's not Jack's fault that he's coo coo for Cocoa Puffs over Bakugans. I'm convinced it's genetics.

Bakugans have taken our house by storm. There are cartoons of Bakugan recorded on our DVR. Jack is aware that he can also see additional episodes on line (Thanks and constantly requests access to them. Then there are the toys, oh the toys. They are these tiny little balls that roll onto magnetic cards and when they do, they pop open into these little creatures. Jack has about 10 of them but he wants MORE, MORE, MORE! As a fellow obsesser, I can appreciate this and spent the weekend at no less than 4 stores trying to find more Bakugans. But they were SOLD OUT! Even online they are out of stock; If you can find them, they are crazy expensive (law of supply and demand). So until the craze dies down and Jack weans himself from Bakugan, I will be content to hear him play Bakugan with himself (and his imaginary friend Jake) in the other room and smile as I hear him say, "Bakugan BRAWL! Bakugan STAND!"

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Come and see our, um "assets"?

I work in Marketing in the Internet software industry. Given this information, there are two things I can state as fact:
1) A large percentage of people I work with are of the male variety.
2) There are trade shows and events for everything you could possibly imagine related to this industry.

I always receive emails related to attending/sponsoring certain events but this one definitely caught my eye as it is fact #2 from above, influencing fact #1 from above (for the most part).
Dear Jennifer,

Join us in New York and you will have the opportunity to see Playboy’s ‘PAM’ (Playboy Asset Management System) live in action. Mary Yurkovic, Manager – DAM & Distribution at Playboy Enterprises, Inc will give an exclusive demonstration of Playboy’s corporate-wide initiative to digitize and catalog an on-demand library of all of its assets.

Mary will share with you how Playboy, one of the World’s leading brands, is maximizing asset profitability by leveraging assets across media platforms.

Join Mary and a host of leading industry speakers at Henry Stewart’s Digital Asset Management and Marketing Operations Symposium, May 12-13, 2008 at The Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York.


Save $100 and Register today!
PLUS register two people and every third person goes for half price!

Henry Stewart New York takes place May 12-13, 2008 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York. DOWNLOAD the full event brochure here.


What a fantastic Marketing tactic to get people to the Henry Stewart show… Let me ask - who wouldn't want to see a live demo of Playboy’s Asset Management system????

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Errors in Pronunciation

Both Megan and Jack had words or phrases that they struggled to pronounce. As a mother, in many instances, I found it extremely endearing. As much as I used to love when Megan would call pizza "zeezop" or girls "grills" (that was my favorite... "Look at those Grills over there."), I felt it was my motherly duty to correct her. Because, as cute as I might think it would be for her to walk up to her friends in the hall in high school and say "Hey grills! What's up? Want to head out to the mall for some zeezop?", I've been there. I know how evil teenage girls can be and so as best as I can, I want to give her the best foundation to be the one doing the picking, if necessary vs. being picked on. And yes, I do realize how evil that sounds but hey, that's the way life really works.

Jack has a bit of a competitive side to him so everything is a competition. Everything is a race and he has two favorite phrases when it comes to competition. He either screams, "I WINNED!" or "YOU LOSED". I can't get enough of it. It cracks me up every time.