Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Why Why WHY Do I Keep Saying This?

Today (and every day now that Audrey is in school), I take care of Nolan, who is three. He generally wants my undivided attention, because his usual playmate is gone, so I write only when I can sneak off to the computer (like now) when he's immersed in something (eating) or when we're outside in the back yard and I can sit with my laptop while he plays on the swing set.

We try to get outside at least once a day and I had asked him earlier if he wanted to go for a walk. Several blocks away from my home live some peacocks, but finding them is not always easy. So today (note the photo of the beautiful sky – can you see the moon?), I got out his clothes and asked him if he wanted to look for the penguins.

He was surprised and excited. "We can see penguins?" Normally I would have let that pass, because, well, kids often confuse words.

But no. Once again, for possibly the one thousandth time, I had told him we were going to see penguins when I meant to say peacocks. Why do I keep doing that? All the time! It makes absolutely no sense and it annoys me deeply!

I have already written about this problem HERE and HERE. What is it about my brain that CONSISTENTLY wants to call peacocks penguins? Can anybody help me out here? If brains are like computers, mine has a computer glitch with a "fatal error" notation that is in desperate need of repair. HELP ME before I start calling the psychiatric ward my home.

Excuse me, I have to get Nolan (who normally speaks very well but who today, for some reason, is having difficulty talking – oh, no, is he going to start calling peacocks penguins?) some pupcake pokey keggles after he eats his pubber jubby jamidge.

He was so flustered trying again and again to say Cupcake Pebbles cereal and peanut butter and jelly sandwich that he finally opened the refrigerator, pulled out some chicken nuggets, which he was able to pronounce very clearly, and asked if he could eat those instead.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Not ME!

See the arrow on the left, next to the box marked, RoseArt, which points to an empty bottle?

See the contents of that now empty bottle to the right of that arrow and the rest of the contents that are on the floor?

And now I would like to draw your attention to the final arrow that points to a set of foot prints.

The reason these arrows are significant is because they point to the point of this blog. Get the point?

When Audrey, 5, was at school and Nolan and I were home alone, I opened the door to the pantry, and this photo shows what I found. As I stood at the entry to the pantry, I asked Nolan, 3, "Who spilled the sand art in the pantry?"

His eyes widened, as he searched his repertoire of usable comments, and responded, "Not me."

His comment reminded me of a story my mom told me about the time I had just learned to write my name. My younger sisters, Cindy and Kathy, were still too young to attend school, and I was obviously too young to realize I could be caught in a lie.

I had written MY name on the wall, and when my mother asked me who wrote it, I blamed Cindy. (I chose Cindy, by the way, because she was usually the one who got in trouble, so I just chose the most believable person. See? I was smart, after all.)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Clean Up Time With Nolan

I had been trying to get Nolan, 3, to clean up his mess, but Nolan enjoys watching his mommy, his grandma (me), and his sister, Audrey, clean up his messes. He would rather go to bed than clean up, so I've been using that tactic to get him to take naps.

Just kidding, but the child makes messes faster than anybody I know, so cleaning up is a LONG PROCESS.

In the time it takes the average person to go to the bathroom, the entire house will be filled with every toy, game, and puzzle piece Nolan can find.

Today, while Mommy was out of the room, and after she and I had repeatedly asked Nolan to clean up his mess or he wouldn't be able to go to the pool, which is scheduled to close next week due to the Labor Day holiday, I tried to help Nolan understand how cleaning would benefit him and his mother.

"Cleaning up your mess would make Mommy really happy," I told him. "Don't you want to make Mommy happy?"

I don't know why I'm always surprised by the comments that come out of my grandchildren's mouths. You would think that by now I would be able to handle their comments without laughing.

Nolan (and the rest of my grandchildren) make controlling my laughter nearly impossible, because when I asked Nolan if he wanted to make his mommy happy by cleaning up his mess, he said, "No, I want Audrey to make Mommy happy."

(Blogger wouldn't let me upload the good quality movie of Nolan – I gave up after trying for six hours.)

Where to Take Grandma When She Visits

Knowing I would have only a couple of hours to visit my daughter and grandchildren after driving three hours to West Frankfort, IL, Keeley wanted to come up with ideas for how to entertain Grandma (me) during the time I would spend with her, Wesley, 13, and Jeremy, 10.

I've never visited her for two reasons – I'm allergic to all the pets she has owned and – I can't see well enough to drive at night.

Even though the animals are outside the home now, I still have to wait for the dander to disappear (allergists claim it can take sometimes up to a year) before I can spend the night. Until then I will have to drive back and forth.

Keeley decided we should go to the mall and have lunch. Great. I was starving. But what about after lunch? I could have stayed at the mall, but Keeley wanted to do something a little more exciting.

I know, Keeley thought! Let's take Grandma to the prison!

WOW! That really wouldn't have been my first choice, mostly because it would never have entered my mind to entertain myself at a prison, but I was curious and, like I've always said, it doesn't really matter what I do with my kids and grandkids as long as we spend time together.

But I had to wonder what would we do there – look at all the inmates in their cages like we would animals in a zoo? And that's when Keeley told me it was a jail museum, but it was kind of far and I had to leave soon, so we decided to save The Franklin County Jail Museum for another trip.

Maybe I should rethink the whole, "I don't care what we do as long as we're together" thing, but Keeley assured me that it was really interesting.

Next on our list of things to do was leave my signature on a check. Jeremy's school is selling popcorn as a fund raiser. And he was quite insistent that I sign his popcorn form. This kid is quite the salesman. He never let up. He carried that form with him to the car, and asked me numerous times if I wanted any popcorn.

Finally, after his relentless pressuring, I asked (in my most incorrect English), "Who do I make out the check to?"

Anybody who knows Jeremy knows that he can't help but laugh at himself. So the second he started laughing I knew something funny was about to happen.

"Oh," he laughed, "just make it out to my best friend, Cash."

(Photo is of Wesley, 13, and Jeremy, 10.)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Creative Tattoos Using a Birth Mark

I have a hideous looking birth mark on the back of one of my legs. One day, when I was around 4 years old, probably shortly after I noticed it (way back in the 1950's), I sat at my namesake's kitchen table.

There, on that table, was the answer to the question I had been dying to ask. The splotchy decoration that covered the middle of her white table looked EXACTLY like the birth mark on the back of my leg.

"What is that, Theresa?" I asked her, knowing I would finally, after four long years, discover the name for that hideous mark that covered the back of my leg.

"It's a grape stain," Theresa told me. (Back in the 50s, once a stain, always a stain.)

Hmm, so that's what I had on the back of my leg, a grape stain.

For my whole life, I have felt uncomfortable baring my legs because of that birth mark. I wanted to get a tattoo to cover it up, but because of its size, I had a hard time figuring out what I wanted to use to cover it.

A butterfly seemed to be the most obvious tattoo, simply because, turned sideways, it kind of looks like a butterfly, but I didn't want a sideways butterfly on my leg.

Then I came up with the idea of getting an angel with flowing robes. But instead of angel wings, my tattoo would have butterfly wings! I loved the idea and sent it to my family for their consideration.

That's when my creative sister, Cindy, stepped forward with her comments. At first, she said she was a little upset by the fact that her older sister, who was nearing 60, would even consider getting a tattoo at such an OLD age. Then she thought that since I had been through breast cancer, I deserved to do whatever I wanted to do to my body.

Her suggestion was quite different from mine, though. Instead of an angel with butterfly wings, she thought, because of the color (grape), I should have the tattoo artist draw a sandwich around the birthmark, and let the jelly drip off the sides. Cute, Cindy.

If I didn't like that idea, she had another one – drawing a wine bottle around it. Again – cute, Cindy, but if I decide to go with a tattoo, I think I'm going to go with my idea of an angel with butterfly wings.

Photo is what my birthmark looks like pre-tattoo (or possibly forever) – you have no idea how difficult it is to take a picture of the back of your leg, by the way.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What Happens When Cousins Protects Cousins From Little Brothers

I would like your empathy for a moment as I explain the following video to you before you watch it.

I was in charge of four of my grandchildren one night. We were in a 2-bedroom apartment that belonged to one of my daughters. Lindsey has no children, no toys, no games, no computers, and basically, nothing to keep them occupied, and she wasn't home to help out, so I had to rely on my creativity to keep them occupied.

After we played the Hokey Pokey and after we played Simon Says, I brought out my camera and asked them to PLAY so that I could videotape them.  Here is what happened (as you listen to the sound, remember, we are in an apartment where other non-family members live):

Explanation: Nolan got upset about the fighting and retreated to the couch. Zac scratched Audrey (can't see it in the video). Kaden wanted to protect Audrey (his cousin) from Zac (his brother) and demanded that Zac say, "sorry". Zac refused. Kaden got (shall we say) upset. In the end, Zac told ME to tell Audrey, "sorry."

I should have brought along a copy of the Preschooler's Busy Book. It might have taken me all night, but with 365 creative games and activities to occupy children between the ages of 3 and 6, I might have had a more peaceful outcome.

But then, maybe it wouldn't have been blog material.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Climbing Mt. Everest

Yes, it's another one of those disguised blogs. You know, one where I can't divulge the name of the person I'm blogging about because of the embarrassment factor.

Anyway, for this blog, I am going to call my blog victim, Kipsy. Kipsy and (I'll call her husband) QuaQua were traveling to Atlanta, Georgia for a vacation. Kipsy was looking forward to her trip, and one of the highlights of her trip was going to be climbing Mt. Everest.

Screech to halt.

Mt. Everest is in Georgia?

And now I'm blushing because, to be honest, geography was one of my worst subjects in school. As a matter of fact, when my son was in high school and wanted to visit Colombia (with his girlfriend at the time, whose family was from Colombia), I wanted to know where he was going to be staying. So I pulled out my atlas and searched for it. My atlas didn't show it and I was curious to know why.

Once I discovered my mistake (I had incorrectly spelled it C-o-l-U-m-b-i-a), I was able to approach the editor of the newspaper where I worked and ask him why Colombia was misspelled in the TITLE of an article, but Colombia was spelled correctly IN the article itself.

You know what he said? (I'm not making this up.) "Because that's the way some people spell it."

I wanted to scream, "YEAH, PEOPLE WHO DON'T KNOW HOW TO SPELL IT SPELL IT THAT WAY (people like me before I learned how to spell it)!

But anyway, getting back to the point of the blog, I had absolutely no idea whatsoever where Mt. Everest was, but I was fairly certain it wasn't in Georgia. I thought it was in Switzerland. Shame on me, I know. But how the heck can I disguise myself in my own blog?

So where is Mt. Everest? I'm sure most of you know, but for those of you who don't, I'll tell you. According to wikipedia.org, Mt. Everest  "is the world's highest mountain above sea level at 8,848 metres (29,029 ft). Part of the Himalaya range in Asia, it is located on the border between Sagarmatha Zone, Nepal, and Tibet, China."

So there you have it. And, in case you're wondering and in case you are as geographically  challenged as I am (though I'm learning more about the world through my son whose job as a U.S. Marine has taken him to various countries around the world), the mountain Kipsy and her husband QuaQua climbed, was Stone Mountain.