Come play in my world for awhile!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Making lemonade

What can I say about this week?

I sent the kids back to school, which is so bittersweet. I'm eternally frustrated by this cycle that I seem to be in where I miss my kids when they are gone and then have to restrain myself from throttling them a fair portion of the time they're with me.

I had a junior mid-life crisis on Wednesday by posting about the lack of direction in my life, and I fielded three phone calls from concerned friends who thought I was depressed. I need to work on developing facets of my personality that extend beyond the scope of silly. The silver lining is that I've been doing some hard thinking and spending some time on the Duke and Chapel Hill websites. I might have some ideas :)

And the icing on my proverbial cake was the root canal that I endured yesterday. No elephant tranquilizers like last time. No silly story to share. This just has not been a funny week in the world according to me! It was me, myself, and I valiantly fighting to keep from having a complete nervous breakdown in the face of my irrational fear of all things dental. The procedure wasn't as bad as I'd feared, but the events that occurred afterward were worse: I started shaking, almost uncontrollably, on the way home and got really cold. This lasted for awhile until I threw up. And then I had to go pick up the kids from school.

So what can I say about this week?


I also got an award and I thought this was the perfect day to showcase it. The award is for making lemonade out of lemons, and right now I am making lemonade like nobody's business. Thanks for thinking of me faemom. And if you haven't already done so you really need to check out her blog. She has single-handedly taken conversations about penis' to a whole new level. Curious? You know you wanna click... go ahead... I promise there's no porn.... Really... it's clean!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Remember that snow we had last week?

Well, this is all that's left of it!

One of my enterprising children made a small snowman and stowed it in the garage freezer. I guess it was a bit slushy when she-who-shall-remain-nameless stuck it in there. It's hard to know what exactly happened, though, as no one is claiming responsibility for stashing a half-melted pile of snow in my freezer. My new snow-friend is officially, and permanently adhered to that Red Baron frozen pizza box.

I use those frozen pizzas for days when things are out of control/I haven't made it out to pick up groceries/I didn't get off my royal thrown was just too busy with the kids and all of my volunteer commitments to cook dinner. It should be interesting to see what transpires when the day arrives and I actually need to bake that pizza for dinner.

Me thinks this won't end well...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Not the television show.

And before any of my smarty-pants family members jump out of lurking status, let me just say that I am not referring to my abysmal sense of direction. So cork it!

I'm talking about being lost in the sense that I don't have direction in my life, and it's seriously starting to freak me out.

When I was young I felt as though my life was governed by expectations. It was expected that I would do well in school, make the right decisions, go to college, get a good job; and I did. I didn't mind those expectations, but I felt as though I was working from a list and checking boxes.

After I checked all those boxes it was my turn. I got to set goals, and I did. As a result, I got a job, a marriage (which is ironic because I'd sworn myself to the single life), a graduate degree, a consulting gig with a big name company and all of the travel and perks that went with it, pregnant, and then pregnant again, and again...

And then it all changed. I was too old to be saddled with expectations. And goal setting? Most days my goal was to make it through without being carted off to the loony bin. If I had to label this phase I guess I'd call it my fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants phase. I'm still flying by the seat of my pants on a fairly regular basis, but change is in the air. The kids are in school all day. I sleep through the night. Every night. I have enough down time to easily manage the home front and still have time to spare.

And herein lies the problem: My free time is only going to continue to expand as the kids grow more independent. Don't get me wrong, I know there's still a lot of mommy-ing left to do and I'm up for the challenge, but what about me?

I don't have a play book for what comes next. I had so many kids so fast that I never really thought beyond the immediate demands of caring for them. I have no expectations to fulfill ... no goals to achieve... no idea what to do with myself... I've been aware of this for some time and thought that by letting it fester subconsciously that I would come to some sort of conclusion. And I haven't.

I casually mentioned this to a friend the other day and the helpful person to whom I was speaking offered me this, "You are in the most enviable situation in the world. You have your whole life ahead of you and you can be anything you want." I walked away from that conversation with a spring in my step. What's not to love?

My future is wide open.

Except somewhere along the way a little bit a huge chunk of myself went missing. I'm so tied to my family that I no longer know what it is that makes me happy. I tell myself that I relish this because I have a closeness that can't be achieved without this level of symbiosis. And yet...

I think I'm lost.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Love notes

The other day I went into my closet to change and I found two little sticky-notes on my shirts. Please do not comment on my closet. I know that my shirts are arranged by sleeve length. And by color. Light to dark. It's a sickness. And mom (posting always as anonymous), don't you dare mention that mess on my closet floor (of my own making that took the better part of a day to clean up). I have a blog post in progress to cover that.
I was immediately curious and bent closer to see what the notes said:

Emily received these sticky notes in a goody bag from a birthday party and used the entire package of notes writing "I love yous" and leaving them all over the house.

I wish I could bottle the warmhearted feelings of love and affection that washed over me as I wandered through the house collecting these tokens of Emily's affection. Then I could've opened the bottle and drunk in that magical feeling when all four kids were driving me crazy yesterday and I went ballistic and deteriorated into a hollering, irrational shell of my usual self. It was a good one. My husband walked in from the gym in the midst of my melt-down, and even he was trotting around trying to appease me.

Exhibit 2

After I fell into the pool I dashed into the house and quickly changed out of my pajamas lest I turn into a human Popsicle. At this point in the story I was still blissfully unaware of the conspiracy unfolding around me, and the rest of the day played out uneventfully (except for the golf cart sledding, but I already told you about that).

The following morning the sun was shining, the snow was melting and the pool sweep was buzzing about doing it's job without any intervention on my behalf. Life was good.

The kids and I were having friends over for dinner that evening. Mid-afternoon I decided to take a pass through the house and make it sure was orderly enough for company. I entered the master bath to give it a quick check and, of course, I entered with a slide. You know what I mean... you've got socks on, you walk a little faster, throw your weight into it, and slide across your non-carpeted floor. And I know you do it too, so don't even think about rolling your eyes at me.

My enthusiastic slide had just about lost momentum when I unexpectedly hit a patch that was so slick that I almost lost my balance. Thank goodness this floor is travertine and not wood. I think the groove of the tile is the only thing that slowed me down. One of my daughters was in the process of getting out of the shower and watched me nearly fall. She started giggling, and then ducked her head back under the towel when she caught the look on my face. What in the heckity-heck was on the floor anyway? I didn't think too much of it as I grabbed one of the used towels, dampened it, and mopped at the area until I was convinced that the slippery stuff was gone.

A couple hours later I went to double-check the bathroom to be sure subsequent bathers hadn't carelessly thrown wet towels, bathing suits, or dirty clothes all over the place. Music was pumping happily and I was feeling particularly energetic so I rounded the corner at top speed and geared up for a big slide. You must know how this ends... I started my slide, hit another freakin' slippery spot, watched in horror as my feet flew level with my head, and then landed with a dull thud on the floor. Seriously? This has never happened before and now twice in one day?! As I sat rubbing the sore spot on my hip I could appreciate that something was clearly amiss but I'll be darned if I could figure out what.

Later that afternoon the final child was emerging from the shower and hollering for her sister. I was folding laundry nearby and I watched, almost in slow motion, as she came out of the bathroom wrapped in a towel, clutching a bottle of Suave Detangling Spray for Kids. The light was shining through the window at the perfect angle as she continued her rather loud conversation with her sister in the other room. She began to spray her hair. She sprayed A LOT (they've been doing swimming twice a week and their hair is already suffering the effects of the chlorine), and I could see the mist of the over-spray as it floated benignly towards the floor. I made a visual note of the spot in question, waited a bit, tested my hypothesis and, sure enough, slick as ice! I kid you not. Whatever conditioners are in that spray are slippery on the floor.

And so I offer Exhibit 2:

A normal person might blame their children for creating random slippery spots of death throughout the house. But in the world according to me my children are brilliant and beyond reproach and, frankly, perfect.

Therefore no other conclusion can be drawn. It is Suave Detangling Spray for Kids, in conjunction with the pool sweep and the universe, conspiring against me. The good news is that four days have passed since the last mishap. I'm assuming that by shining a spotlight on the brewing conspiracy in my household I have forced the evil forces underground. At least for the time being...

But keep your fingers crossed. This IS the world according to me, and strange things seem to happen here. I don't know how long I can keep the forces at bay...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Conspiracy theory

I've wiped-out two times in two days.

I consider myself to be a coordinated person. This isn't something that's usually a problem for me. So with the infallible and inscrutable logic that can only be found in the world according to me I hereby declare that the world is conspiring against me.

Exhibit 1:

I previously mentioned that it snowed here, and it's unusual. I was worried about the pool with the super-cold weather we're experiencing. I peeked out the window to see if everything appeared in order. I honestly don't know what I thought I'd see -- a giant iceberg maybe -- but I checked regardless. And it's good that I did because the pool sweep had gotten hung up in the corner and was hopelessly tangled. This didn't seem good so I determined that an immediate investigation was warranted. Immediate investigation means that you ignore the 6 inches of snow and proceed outside in your pajamas and tennis shoes to assess the situation. After all, you just have to poke the thing with a stick and it'll self-correct. What could go wrong?

I was worried the pool sweep was going to put itself into reverse to un-stick itself (which is what it's supposed to do in these situations so that you don't have to go out in the freezing cold and mess with it) and when this happens the sweep often shoots a long jet of water out of the pool in protest. Of course the pool sweep is governed more by Murphy's Law than by true engineering so when the water jet shoots it usually hits anyone standing in the general area; especially if their back is turned. I was watching the sweep carefully and gingerly picking my way through the snow in anticipation of the shooting water. I was not in the mood to play games.

I was just...about... reach when the sweep tried to shoot me. And I was ready. I anticipated just this chain of events. So, bring it pool sweep.

I leaped away from the sweep's angry tail and was just beginning to smile in self-congratulation when I realized something was horribly wrong... and the next thing I know I'm in the pool. It was really only one leg and it was in the shallow end so I was only soaked to the waist, but that doesn't change the fact that it was 17 degrees outside, the water was god-only-knows-how-cold, and I was scrambling in the snow like Bambi on ice to keep from going all the way in.

How could this have happened?!

In retrospect I've deduced that the pool sweep was merrily squirting water all over the pool decking throughout the night where it then froze into a solid sheet of ice that was covered by a blanket of fluffy, innocent looking snow so that unsuspecting mothers trying to do the right thing would be lured out into the trap and slip and fall into the pool.

Therefore the pool, in conjunction with the universe, was obviously conspiring against me.


There's more too. The second wipe-out involves Suave Detangling Spray for Kids. I don't want to divulge too much at once, though. If the government gets wind of my genius logic they might shut me down... That and we have swimming, basketball, and at least one child who needs to be dropped at a friend's house. And I'm out of wine. If explain the Suave Detangling Spray for Kids conspiracy now something on that list isn't going to be accomplished. And I'm really looking forward to my glass of wine.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


What do my wondering eyes see?
Something that's cheap, it's almost free!
It's the perfect thing for a yucky day.
Kids will be content for hours to play.
What is this magic? What could it be?
I'll tell you now...

It's P.O.P!
(plaster of paris)

(Yes, the snow is still lingering in the background)

I kid you not... this stuff is brilliant! All you need is:

  • Plaster (you can purchase a giant tub of it from Home Depot for $5.00. It's enough plaster to make 20-30 molds depending on size)
  • Water to mix it with (2 parts plaster to one part water)
  • A plastic mold to put it into (you can buy them online for $2.00 or less) wait 30 minutes to pop the semi-dry plaster out of the mold and 24 hours for optimal dryness.
  • Acrylic paints and paint brushes.

My sister brought this mold when she came to visit at Christmas and got us started. We even put the kids' hand print on the back of the snowman before the plaster was set.

Recently one of my daughters had a birthday party and sleepover at the house. Rather than going to one of those Paint-a-Pot places (you know, where you paint your own ceramic stuff?) and paying $10-15 per kid I made these plaster pieces at home for the kids to paint:

This one is incomplete, but you get the idea...

One word of caution: Watch out for the acrylic paint. If a person were to, say, allow that paint to dry on the kitchen table it would be permanent.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Golf cart sledding

I was going to try to do one of those "Wordless Wednesday" posts, but I think I am physically incapable of not writing at least a little something. Not to mention, I really feel as though these pictures require some explanation...

For those of you who don't live in North Carolina I should tell you that yesterday it snowed! Snow itself is quite rare in this area but what's even more unusual is what we did in the snow: golf cart sledding!

Two neighbors have golf carts and they attached toboggans to the back and towed the kids and adults around. I know this sounds tame (and the kiddy rides were tame) but the roads turned quickly from slushy to icy... and golf carts don't really have great traction on icy roads... and maybe I should say that our neighbors flung the adults around behind the carts? No, that's not quite it. Maybe hurled us around behind the golf cart? Eh, still no good. How about our neighbors tried to slingshot us into the next subdivision while making tight corners on icy roads and towing us in a toboggan behind a golf cart? Yep, that about sums it up.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


There's the good kind of dork. You know, like Steve Jobs. Enough said.

Then there's the other type of dork. The type that turns mountains into molehills, is technologically challenged, isn't savvy to the latest trends until they're fairly run of the mill. That's me.

I got another blog award (I know, two in one month. I'm a legend in my own mind! Woot!) and this one threw me into a tailspin (because I'm a dork).

Here are the instructions to accompany the award (I’m also including a quote that came with the instructions because there are some academic powerhouses here and here who occasionally read my blog, and I don't want to appear unedumacated. Oh, that was fun-- I couldn't resist!)

“Yes, that does say ‘for the coolest blog I ever know,’ and yes, everyone else who’s gotten it . . . has commented on the bizarre (ok, wrong) grammar there. Whatever.”

1. Put the logo on your blog.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.
3. Award up to 10 other blogs.
4. Add links to those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message for your awardees on their blogs.

It seems straight forward, but I couldn't come up with 10 blogs, mostly because all the other blogs I read regularly already received the award (Hmm... what does that say?!) and partly because I don't read a whole heck of a lot of other blogs, either. Then I wasn't sure how to properly post the logo on my blog...was it a button that I would have to code (Code! Ack! Last time I tried to tamper with my template was at Christmas and I wanted to add some festive snowflakes. It was supposed to be a simple cut and paste and instead I spent 2 hours praying to the bloggy god and frantically trying to get my blog back to it's plain, old self)... would I look like a dork if I didn't have 10 blogs to list (Note to self: I probably already do!)... would people think it was a really boring post (I've never really worried too much about what others think of my posts, and this is what makes me go and get all self-conscious?)... and on and on.

Fortunately, Gibby from Lost in Suburban Bliss (who gave me this award and started this whole nervous breakdown in the first place) gave me a virtual whack upside the head (which I clearly needed -- thanks Gibby!) and reminded me that this is the world according to me, and I can do whatever I want.

So without further ado I present you with my ten three blog recommendations:

Country Fried Mama - when my blog grows up it wants to be polished and fancy like this one.

The kids did WHAT? - this blog is hilarious! If you do nothing else, you MUST read her "Not Me Mondays."

Minxy Mimi Unplugged - this blog is honest and fun and worth a check!

I was going to add them to my blogroll but then, if I ever get tagged with an award again, who will I link to... can I give the awards to the people on my blogroll... will I look like I play favorites... will my readers think I'm lacking creativity... and on and on.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I'd sure hate to clean that up

Yesterday we were watching the Cardinals in their dramatic, clinching drive to secure a spot in the Super Bowl. My husband was glued to the action, I was reading a book, and the kids were kinda-sorta watching while doing various other things.

The game concluded and celebration erupted on the field with a blizzard of red and white confetti. One of my children looked up from the kitchen to see one of the players being interviewed in the midst of the chaos. He was overcome with emotion and was obviously crying. "What, is he crying?!" she said with obvious shock in her voice. She appeared confused. I was collecting my thoughts and before I could even begin to respond, she shook her head slightly and said with disgust, "I guess I'd be crying too if I had to clean that up. That confetti is a mess!"

My heart swelled a little. This child clearly got an extra large serving of my DNA.

Photo by Jamie Squire, Getty Images for USA Today

Friday, January 16, 2009

Part II

Yesterday I promised to tell you about my google research. Well, guess what?

My name is KathyB! and I will be your cruise director

Behold the proof from cruise (CC):

CC: "First, I'll tell you that cruise directors, if they're going to succeed, need to be self-assured and assertive leaders who can multi-task. Thin skins (taking things personally) are a detriment."

KathyB!: We're off to a good start! I can multi-task like nobody's business (well, except for that day when I blew up the eggs) and my skin is tough. My skin has to be tough. Every night I make dinner, and every night someone looks as though they're being forced to eat rat poison. A thin skinned person would have dialed for carry-out a looong time ago.

CC: "Some folks think that a position such as cruise director is a fluff job, one that people do for fun. It can be quite fun, mind you, but there are tremendous responsibilities."

KathyB!: Hmmm. Sounds suspiciously like the eternal debate between working moms and stay at home moms. I am so not going there.

CC: "The cruise director must have full knowledge of ships' safety procedures and security measures, and keep staff informed of appropriate behavior and conduct."

KathyB!: Oh, Cruise Critic! You know just how to talk to me. Nothing makes me happier than having the proper rules in place. What kind of household, or should I say ship, would I be running without rules governing, say, the release of bodily gases... or limiting nudity in the backyard.

CC: "Exhausted yet? The cruise director must organize schedules for a staff of special guest performers and on-staff entertainers for regular onboard programs. The position requires a professional with... confidence in working with large numbers of people, and an ability to keep their cool in even the most trying circumstances."

KathyB!: Why yes, I am exhausted. Thanks for asking. I, too, have to schedule birthday parties, play dates, sleepovers, and an endless succession of activities and trips when the kids are out of school. As for working with large numbers of people, well, I have four kids. If they each have one friend over, or better yet two, we are talking large numbers of people. This means that I must coach etiquette, keep sisters separate during conflicting play dates, and create wondrous art from plaster of paris (I'll post about that next week.).

As for keeping my cool in trying situations, well, I made it past that embarrassing situation with the police. It's all been downhill from there.

CC: "It's also important that cruise directors have a distinct personality -- whether it is strong and irritatingly sweet, or painfully patient and aggressive."

KathyB!: Fabulous - my personality is absolutely distinct. I have no concept of how to categorize myself: quiet, sarcastic, shy, witty, busy, caring and patient. I may defy easy labeling, but my personality is, without a doubt, unique.

CC: "No two cruises have ever been the same."

KathyB!: Sigh. That sounds about right. No two days are ever the same. It's truly a labor of love here on the Love Boat.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Part I

As I was lying in bed this morning and contemplating the day I had an epiphany:

I am no longer a mother. You see, the term mother conjures a picture of a woman caring for young children, and meeting their basic needs with love. My children are old enough that they no longer need me to meet those basic needs, and they know I love them. Hypothetically, I could stay in bed all day and they'd be fine. Except I already finished the Twilight series and I don't have any unread books in the house, so what would I do all day?

So, if I get out of bed (and I really don't want to because it's COLD and even though the furnace is merrily pumping out heat there is still a chill in the air) and my mothering services are not required, then what is my role? And that is how, as I sat propped against my fluffy, warm pillows on a frigid January morning, the epiphany came:

I am no longer a mother. I am a cruise director.

I was seriously weighing the pros and cons of taking the day off, but the epiphany was just what I needed to get moving. I vaulted out of bed and googled cruise director so that I could validate my conclusion, and what I found was, well, shocking.

I'll be back later to share my discovery. Once I got out of bed reality kicked in and now I'm off to the YMCA for swimming...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The best thing about living in the South

We moved to North Carolina about a year and a half ago, and I could assemble a fairly substantial list of things that I either love or find intriguing about living in the South. There are obvious things to love such as beaches with warm, ocean water and seashells, and then there are subtle things such as asking my children to do something and having them reply with, "Yes, ma'am." But there is one thing that I adore. In the South there is a code phrase, "Bless her heart...," that precedes an insult at worst or an unflattering reference at best. So, whenever I hear someone say, "Bless her heart..." my ears perk up and I take it as my cue to look for the zinger.

The first time I heard this phrase we had just moved to North Carolina and were staying in a hotel for a few weeks until our house was finished. I dropped the kids off at school and then proceeded to get completely and utterly lost trying to run a few errands in a blinding rain storm. I found a gas station and got out to ask for directions (to this day I have no idea where I was. It was raining that hard.). I stepped inside and before I could even open my mouth the woman looked me up and down and said, "Bless your heart woman! You look as lost as a goose in a snowstorm." And that was was okay because I felt like a goose in a snow storm. And it really wasn't an insult as much as an accurate assessment of my mental and physical state. I didn't think much of it at the time, but as the weeks passed I began to see a trend with the whole bless-her-heart thing.

Monday I was in Target waiting for a prescription refill. The line was long and there were several customers milling around. I was lost in my thoughts when the woman next to me inched closer and stage whispered, "Umm, emmm! Bless her heart, would you look at that child? If she were an inch taller she'd be round."

She was referring to the overweight woman (not child) shopping a few aisles over.
I didn't know what to say to the woman in Target and, frankly, I'm still speechless. Usually, I mull things over for a bit and then come up with -- something. This time, though, it took me so long to even figure out the whole if-she-were-an-inch-taller-she'd-be-round-thing that the woman had been called for her prescription by the time I got my head around it.

I'm just thankful she gave me a head's up by saying "bless her heart." Otherwise I might have thought she was being mean.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

For me?

Aw, shucks. An award for me?!

Ahem. First off though, I want to thank the esteemed members of the Academy, who looked deep within their hearts before giving me this fantastic award. And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention my family, and the hard-working crew that made this blog possible...

Except I don't have a crew (well, I guess I could be a crew of one, but it seems silly to thank myself), and I'm sure my family wishes I'd blog less (although no one would dare tell me that!), and I don't think the Academy is fully aware (yet) of the brilliance that is the world according to me...

But it's fun to pretend, right?

I did, however, receive an award from Court at Kaiya's Laughter Heals for showing great attitude and/or gratitude. Yay me! As part of the award it is requested that I recommend other blog(s) that exemplify wonderful attitude and gratitude. One blog immediately popped to mind:

C jane Enjoy It

This woman and her family have been stalwart and brave and happy and even thankful in the midst of significant family tragedy. I don't think I've ever seen a better attitude, or more gratitude, for all that is truly important. I don't know her personally, but her family's story is touching and inspirational.

Thanks for the award, Court!

And before I go... I specifically remember requesting a search party if things got too quiet around here. Um, helllooooo! I've been waiting and no one has made any effort to save me! You better be careful or I'll think you all don't care :)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Desperate housewife

More like desperate mommy.

My kids are on a year-round school calendar. They are in school for 9 weeks and out for 3. Except when the 3 weeks coincide with Winter Break. Then they're home for 5+ weeks. We are currently in the midst of this 5+ week hiatus from school. I look forward to these breaks, but they are always carefully orchestrated to achieve the optimum mix of laziness, friends, and excursions. With the kids being close in age this takes a heck of a lot more social engineering than one would think. Either that or the problem's with me, but this is the world according to me so clearly the problem can not be a result of anything related to my doing.

We've been busy with the holidays and guests up until today. The plan was that we would have a quiet weekend and then leave on Monday to tag along with my husband on his business trip to D.C. This was quite literally the perfect plan. We'd spend the week visiting the monuments and the museums and reveling in all that vibrant cities have to offer, and then return to a week or so of fun around the house before the kids return to school. Except the plan got cancelled. Or at least the business trip did.

And so now I sit. With 18 days of break spread before me like a blank canvas. Oh, crap.

There were camps and opportunities and invitations. I turned them all down. Now all the other kids are booked, and we're on our own. And did I mention that it's cold outside? Not frigid, but cold enough that I don't enjoy being outdoors (alright, I'm from California. It's cold, but I'm definitely part of the problem here).

I figure I have two days to get this resolved. Two days is my magic number. It's the amount of time my four kids will co-exist harmoniously and peacefully. After that I expect they'll be swinging from chandeliers. I seriously need a plan.

If the blog goes quiet the world according to me is in serious trouble. Please send a search party...

I'm the head piggy in charge -- on the middle chandelier

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Talk about getting caught with your pants down!

I promise I'm going to stop posting stupid news stories about rumpologists and such. Soon. But it's just so hard to resist when there is such blatant stupidity and ridiculousness running rampant in the world.

Usually I try to relate the story back to the world according to me, but I can honestly say that nothing even close to this has ever befallen me. Well, I can think of a few times in high school when I felt this way, but that was an emotional reaction rather than a function of fact. Maybe that'll be tomorrow's post!

"A skier at Colorado's ritzy Vail resort was left dangling upside down and pants-less from a chairlift last Thursday morning." Source: The Smoking Gun. Follow this link for the explanation of how this came to be as well as pictures. Yep, some enterprising soul took pictures. It's not enough that this poor schmuck got pantsed (spell check claims this is not a word. I beg to differ) and hung upside down from a chair lift; some heartless person actually photographed him. So I guess that's my way of relating to the world according to me. In my world folks would be compassionate and concerned and would not take pictures of this man in his moment of weakness.

Of course in the world according to me, and this is the part I'm really struggling with, I wouldn't have laughed out loud while reading the story and viewing the pictures.

I guess my world still needs a little polishing around the edges.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Apocalypse now

Signs of apocalypse typically include war, famine, pestilence, crime and disaster.

In the world according to me apocalypse is preceded by four children who spend two and a half hours at the kitchen table. Of their own volition. Without fighting. While cooperating with each other. And thoroughly enjoying themselves.

Doing educational workbooks.

The whole thing started with a throw-down over the Mini-Page. The Mini-Page comes once a week in our local newspaper. It's a section for kids with word searches, puzzles and educational news written at an elementary level. And it's like gold in the Belinski household.

On this particular day A&E came down together in the morning and the first thing out of Abby's mouth was an inquiry about whether today was the Mini-Page day. Before anyone could even answer A&E both shrieked in unison, "I get it!" They then proceeded to squabble about who, in fact, would receive the page.

To make a long story short the page ended up torn into sections so that multiple kids could work on it. Everyone was happy, so I casually left the scene and returned with some workbooks. Educational workbooks. I mentioned, offhandedly, that I had these other books that were full of all sorts of fun activities and puzzles, and that they could give those a shot if they were interested.

I didn't expect them to do more than glance at the books. I certainly didn't expect them to work on them for more than two hours. And I would've laughed in your face if you told me that Hannah would ask me to teach her long division.

And so it is that I must conclude that either a) hell has frozen over, or b) the end of the world is upon us. I didn't hear any loud cracking that I would associate with a massive freezing of the earth's inner core so I'm eliminating the first option and assuming apocalypse. I'm going to go upstairs now. If the beds are made, and rooms are tidy, and yesterday's underwear is not thrown haphazardly into the corner, then I will come back to apprise you. You'll need to prepare.
Because the end will surely be upon us....

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Now I know why I'm always so happy

I'm one of those people. You know, the chronically happy type. The optimistic type. Sometimes I get frustrated, but butt I truly believe if you create a well-framed goal and attack it with vigor you'll find success in whatever you're pursuing. Yep, the glass is half-full for me. I've wondered periodically over the course of my many years (yes, I'm still stinging a little from my recent b-day), what it is that makes some folks pessimists while others are optimists. Well, behold the answer:

"A survey by YouGov found 57 per cent of women wished they had a smaller behind. But would you still want to downsize if you knew a round bottom meant you were truthful and faithful?

Rumpology, the art of reading bottoms, involves looking at the lines, crevices and folds of a person's buttocks in the same way a chirologist would read the palm of the hand. According to the country's only rumpologist, Sam Amos: 'A round bottom indicates a person is open, happy and optimistic in life. However, a flat bottom suggests the person is rather vain and is negative and sad.' "

Source: -- Read the full article here.

All I can say is thank goodness I didn't resolve to lose 10 pounds this year. In addition to providing safety from a frigid death apparently my chubby butt is also the reason I'm happy and optimistic.

Cue Sir Mix-a-lot if you please....


Monday, January 5, 2009

Double the fun

Growing up I always wished I was an identical twin. I envied the bond I assumed identical twins would have. I fantasized about letting my "smarter half" take my trigonometry test. When I discovered I was pregnant with twins I was thrilled when I discovered they were identical. If I couldn't be an identical twin then the next best thing is to be a mommy to identical twins, right?

As a result I have always been welcoming of comments and curiosity from strangers. As my babies girls have gotten older (they're closing on 7!) strangers notice their similarities less frequently. The older they become the more they become individuals -- different personalities, different facial expressions, different tones of voice.

So when I was out with Abby and Emily the other day and a stranger stopped to comment on my daughters I was especially patient. After all, it isn't like the old days when I couldn't leave the house without answering a barrage of questions about "the babies." I hardly even remember all of the "advice" that was more of a personal attack on my parenting style. Or the one lady who happened upon me at a bad moment in the park when the twins were screaming and needing to be nursed.

I was trying to sort through the logistics of nursing twins in the park without getting naked from the waist up. Hannah, barely two, had stumbled into a fountain on a 50 degree day, and was moments away from realizing she was freezing. Rachel, barely four, was having the time of her life on the monkey bars, and was just old enough to realize that the situation had reached near-calamity stage. I could tell by her angry posture that she was bristling at the idea of being taken home prematurely.

It was at this moment that the "lady" passed by on her power walk. She quickly sized up my situation, looked me straight in the eye, and said, "This is why they make birth control. You should try it." She never even broke her stride. The worst part is that I was too sleep deprived/shocked/furious/hurt (just pick one -- they all work) to zing her back with a snappy retort. Anyway, I was not thinking about those days. I'm completely over it. Can't you tell?

The stranger made some initial conversation. She was polite and considerate, and I enjoyed talking with her. As the conversation continued to unfold she asked if my girls were related. The conversation went like this:

Lady: "Are the girls related? They really look alike! It's actually amazing..."
Me: "Yes, they're twins."
Lady: "Really?!? Gosh, they look so much alike I would've thought they were sisters."
Me: "Um. They are sisters. But they're also identical twins.

The beginning of this dialogue was clearly a harbinger of bad things to come. I tried to explain the concept of identical twins, but sometimes conversations just run in circles. The more you try for clarity the fuzzier the lines become. After a few moments of this circular conversation the nice lady was looking at me as if I wasn't the brightest bulb in the chandelier. I'm fairly certain I wore a similar look on my face as we went our separate ways.

I never realized how entertaining my twins would be.