Sunday, August 31, 2008

I'll Take Cheese With My Whine

If anyone knows me well enough...they know I am scared of the dark. I am O.K. if Mike is in bed with me (most of the time) but when he gets up super early and leaves me alone.....let us say I revert to my 10 year old self and start to see things that aren't there. NO I AM NOT MENTAL!! So, whenever he gets up and it is still dark, I have him turn the recessed light over the shower on. Last Sunday I get a wild hair that turning the light on is a waste of electricity but I needed it, desperately!
I decided to install a cool dimmer switch to use less electricity. You know the one with the little slide thingie by the toggle! Try and stay with me, I know these are technical terms. I turn off the breaker and begin my own personal DIYTV. Although I can feel slight tingles of current from the wires (leftover current?) I forge on hoping I have enough life insurance for my family.
Dimmer switch wired, breaker turned back on, Houston...we have power. I was so proud of myself that I felt I deserved a bath in the Jacuzzi. I don't usually take baths in the summer because it is so damn hot/humid but today was special. I had accomplished something.
I put Marshall to bed for a nap and Mike took Michael swimming.
Ahhhhhh, a quiet house. I begin to to fill the tub. I docked my ipod and turned it to the 'bathtime' heading. (Deep Forest, Portishead, Enigma, Dead Can Dance). I lay out my towel, bath salts, and Yahtzee game. I then go downstairs and pour me a glass of wine.
As I sink slowly into my bath, I lazily reach over to push the jet button. Instead of getting pummeled by 10 jets to relax away my every stress.......I GET NOTHING! I was upset but handled it like a big girl. I calmed myself with reason after I did the math to either buy and install a new tub or pay someone to fix this one. I went ahead and took my bath and rationalized that people take baths all the time without jets and love it. That was my solace after deciding to not spend any money.
I finish my bath, get dressed, and know a jet tub cannot hold a candle to a no jet tub. Now, I am upset all over again. I hate spending money.....first our irrigation guy says we need to move 4 heads and now the tub!!! I felt I was systematically getting nickel and dimed by an inanimate object. Suck it up, I tell myself. Some people don't have the luxury of a nice bath and green grass during an entire hot summer. I then tell myself to 'Shut The Hell Up'. I am going to feel sorry for myself if I want to. Free Country.
Then it dawns on me. "Hey, Angela. You are fairly handy, especially for a girl. Why don't you extend your electrical prowess and check out the underbelly of the hot tub."
On my hands and knees, I open the main access door to the tub. Hey, what do you know....there is a GFI plug under there with the right light taunting me......'You are an idiot!' Why did I not know the tub plugged into something. Don't they hard wire those things in or something? So much for my electrical prowess!!! I guess I tripped the outlet when I turned off the juice to install the dimmer. I reset the button, pushed the jet button, and heard the beautiful harmony of 10 super power jets. They were taunting me, you know. Damn those jets....they knew all along.

Always Mommy's Boy

The town we live in is small, however, we are the home of TTU. A public college known for producing some pretty darn good engineers. It is a semi-big school which has an enrollment of about 15,000, ( I think). So, to encourage new little minds....students and coaches from the athletic teams visit local elementary schools. Since the town is so small, all the kids hear about is TTU. So when someone comes to visit from the 'big college' is a REALLY BIG DEAL!!

Last week the basketball coach and a couple of members of the team visited my son's 3rd grade class. The players stood out, to say the least. Not only because they were both over 6'4" tall but they were also African-American. For those of you who do not know about this town, this ethnicity is small here. I think the last census taken was <2% in a county who's population is around 60,000. Most of the kids found this daunting, but not Michael. He does see color (I hate when people say they don't see color of skin, that is such a retarded thing to say. Are you color blind and we don't know about it? How about saying color does not affect how you treat people! But that is a different blog at a different time.) but he does not think any different about anybody. After they students and the coach gave their spill, they asked if anyone had questions.
Michael was the first and only one to raise his hand.

Michael: What is college like?
Student: It is fun but you still have to study hard.

Awkward pause waiting for more questions...........Michael raises his hand again.

Michael: During lunch, if you want to eat outside, does your mom have to be with you?

At this point the entire room began to laugh but not in a make fun of way. It was the cutest thing to hear and you would appreciate it more if you had been there. (As with most things) His teacher, whom I adore, told Michael..."I know it is hard to believe right now but your mom will not always be right with you all the time!"

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Officially Two

Well, the big birthday was Saturday and four of little Marshall's friends were there to help celebrate along with some fabulous family. They all had greater than a 1 hour commute to comae and party with Marshall and Barney the Dinosaur. God love them! Ah, Barney....a mom's final vestige of sanity. Although we are all in a moral dilemma as to how long our child should watch TV...sometimes this is the only way anything can get accomplished in the house. Well, my child is in love with Barney. It is amazing how many generations Barney has covered. Although he is Super de Duper annoying to parents, he somehow hypnotizes small children.
Sorry, off on a tangent. Big purple animals tend to do that to people. The party went well and lasted about an hour and a half. Marshall received some great books, balls, and trucks. The grandparents went in with me to purchase his big gift....the swing set. I know he received this over 2 months ago but it could not wait until now. There have been so many hours logged on that thing by both of my kids, you just would not believe.
I would love to blog more but I have just been sidled by my 2 year old and he smells rather suspicious, if you know what I mean.
Just a note, I have not been blogging much lately because I have somehow acquired a virus in my laptop. I could take it to the IT guy at work and get it fixed but am too lazy. So in order to blog, I have to use the computer in Michael's playroom which is not near as accessible as a mobile laptop! Yes, I can be that lazy. Please stick with the check ins. I promise I will become more diligent.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Lance Armstrong In The Making

Today was Sunday and absolutely beautiful. 85 degrees, light wind and no humidity. God love the South!! I skipped out on church this morning with more than a handful of excuses in which I always feel guilty for later on (Like Now). We ask Michael if he wants to go bike riding at the park or swimming and he wants to do both. So we decide to ride 5 miles at the park and end it with a dip in the pool. On our last lap at the park, Michael is distracted and bites the dust. Both of his knees are badly scraped and blood is almost down to his sock and the left leg. It was all he could do to hold it together. After we fixed the slightly bent wheel and turned the handlebars a full clockwise turn the bike was ready to rock again. He wheeled his way back and survived his first bike tragedy. We also used visuals of the Olympic games women's bicycling and Tour de France footage to demonstrate how people have bike wrecks but keep on pushing. He got it....and forged on. Blood running down the leg and all.....we finished the last lap.

I have attached a picture of the boys in their bike gear. It was taken in the garage...on Mike's side. He gets two bays to decorate, I get one....I think that is fair. Put up all the dead carcasses you want as long as it is in the garage!!!!

Come One And All To The County Fair

Well, it was early Friday morning, I was basking in the early morning "I don't have to work today" sun and Mike was getting ready for work. I casually asked him if he thought Michael remembered from last Friday that we had said we were going to the county fair this Friday. He quickly told me...the last thing Michael said before going to be last night was, "I cant wait until the fair tomorrow." So much for short term memory problems in 8 year old boys. At 6:30 pm we head to the fair. (On full stomachs mind you because most fair food is not only gross and full of every preservative known to man and deep is also incredibly expensive). Mind you, this is Marshall's first experience at a fair. I was nervous because 7:00 is his bedtime and was hoping this was not going to turn into a major meltdown disaster. Mike assured me all the lights and sounds would keep any attitude issues at bay. He was right.
The first area you pass at the fairgrounds is the "stadium". Lo and behold a Demolition Derby was in full swing. Sad as I am to admit it.....I enjoyed watching it. I was even hit on my leg with a clod of mud. My official is so nice to be welcomed into a sacred coven. We watched this loud and amusing display for 20 minutes and then it was off to the Midway. Marshall and Michael got their own ride bracelets and away we went. (By this time we have acquiesced another child from Michael's class) We split, I have Marshall on the kiddie rides and Mike takes the boys to the big rides. Scrambler, here we come. On every ride Marshall acted so unsure but once it got going he was good to go. He rode four different rides about 15 times. Approximately 45 minutes later Michael and Mike find us. Michael is looking a little green in the gills.

Michael: I don't feel good, Mom.
Me: How do you get sick riding the Scrambler and Tilt o' Whirl?
Michael: I also rode the Slicer (not the actual name but what he as dubbed it)

You all have seen this ride. It looks like two rockets on the end of a stick. and they spin around a mutual axis...upside down and all. Needless to say this did Michael in and we had to go home. En route to home, he threw up....luckily I had a huge bag of plastic grocery bags in the car to recycle and handed him one. AHHHHH the memories!!!! Crap...I did not even get my annual funnel cake topped with powdered sugar. Oh well, that saved me 48 grams of fat to burn off!

NOTE TO SELF: Make Michael ride the Slicer as soon as we get to the fair next year so we can go straight home and not hang out with a bunch of really scary people!!!!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

For The Love To Ride

I have never seen two children that enjoy riding bikes as much as mine. Michael has the perfect build for a bike rider....lean with long muscles. For his birthday last year we decided to splurge and get him a really nice Walmart bikes do get what you pay for when your child puts miles and miles on one. Anyway, there is a bike store in town and we bought Michael a Trek bicycle. It is a six speed and he changes gears by turning the right hand grip like one would a motorcycle accelerator. He looks pretty slick on it with his Giro helmet and cool sunglasses. Every Wednesday he gets to ride his bike to school with Mike. It is only 1.8 miles but it is hilly! He made it yesterday without a rest and he was excited to spread this news. So, Mike called me yesterday at 2:45 telling me he was picking up Michael (by bike) and taking Marshall with him. YIKES! I went into slight Mom panic mode. Marshall has a special seat on Mike's bike. It actually sits in front instead of the back. (Why any parent thinks their child enjoys staring at the back of their head during a bike ride is beyond me.) Mike acted a little offended when I voiced my concern for safety but after further explanation that it is not his skills as a is the idiot who just dropped his cell phone and starts to frantically search for it as he plows over my family! Luckily, this did not happen. Mike made it to and from school without incident. Marshall was in hog heaven. Might I say, he looks pretty slick in his bike seat, too. With his sunglasses and little helmet!! SOOOO CUTE.
Just a note, for anyone with a baby from under one to three years old...check out the Wee-Ride bike seat. It is the coolest thing ever for a bike riding family with a little one and is actually affordable!!! I know, hard to believe.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Happy 17th

Well, I have officially been married for 17 years. Mike and I celebrated our wedding anniversary yesterday with roasting bratwurst on the fire followed by s'mores. Not a lot of fanfare but we are not the gift swapping type of folk. Everything we want (not need) are expensive and things we want together. So a simple card does the trick! I guess this makes Mike and I officially old. How can anyone be married this long and not be considered old? I am sure it will only get worse and go by faster.
Michael received his Bible during church service yesterday. This will be followed by classes on the next 7 Sunday evenings to teach him how to use it. Mike and I were so proud when he went up front to get it from the priest. He stood up there holding it like he had just got an award. It is so funny what pleases kids.

Mike has his first men's softball game tonight and he is so excited. He is playing on the church league. For those of you who are not familiar with Mike, he is highly competitive. Yes, I know, so are a lot of other people but Mike is on an echelon all his own. Compounding that with the fact he LOVES baseball/softball......well you get the point. They play a double header at 8 and the other at 9. Mike usually goes to bed by 9! (You have to when you get up without an alarm at 3:30 or 4 in the morning, PSYCHO!) I hope he does not fall asleep on the field!!

Monday, August 4, 2008

A Whole Week Update

I am so sorry for the huge lapse in updates. It gets difficult sometimes to put things into words that your children do or say and it leave the impact with you as much as it did in person. Marshall is continuing to jabber like crazy with more coherency than usual. He is really starting to stand up for himself with big brother which is quite amusing. Michael has a knack to want to hold anything that Marshall is remotely interested in. (yes, I am aware he is 6 years older and have no idea what type of interest Michael has in a toddler toy) Now Marshall says, "No, mine!" and will jerk it out of Michael's reach. When Marshall gets his plate he now yells out "FOOD" and starts to clap his hands. He is also doing the most adorable animal sounds...he knows pig, cow, dog, cat, duck, and monkey. The monkey and duck are my personal favorites. I will get a video of that and post it. TOO CUTE!

Michael has his first week of school under his belt. He only knows one person in his class so hopefully this will be a chance to branch out his social circle. When I asked about his first day...the first think he said was "I really like my teacher." I am so glad because I think he will try harder if he feels the teacher has a vested interested in him. Michael needs that. He has an extremely hard time focusing and that can be hard on a teacher to constantly redirect him. I, too, am personally impressed with his teacher. I met her for 1o minutes on the first day of school and she had taken the time to learn the children's faces with their names. When we got there, she greeted Michael by name before we introduced him. Then....over a week later, when I walked to pick Michael up from school, she saw me and said....."Let me find Michael for you." That is a really big deal for me to see a teacher make that kind of effort. Hopefully, this is a strong start for a wonderful year.