Monday, December 31, 2007

Frozen Frog and The True Spirit of....

Just a quickie as I am off to the O.R. for some long, drawn out, gory procedure:

As we were on our way home last night from Christmas #3 (my family, very relaxing and nice) the kids were in the backseat fighting sleep. It's so amusing to listen to them have their own private conversations.

We were driving by a house with a big inflatable snowman in the front yard that had face-planted into the snow due to high winds. Lulu observed, in her usual dramatic style, that, "Dat snowman had too many beers and fewl down bweedin' and died!"

Plato was quite offended, and chastised her, "Lulu! That is not showing the True Spirit of Christmas!!"

JeepMan was trying hard not to bust out laughing. He mumbled to me, "No, but it might be showing the True Spirit of New Year's."

Well, ok, except for the dying part.


This morning the kids were eating breakfast. Because we are such wonderful time-managing and attentive parents, the kids eat breakfast (JeepMan fixes it) by themselves while JM and I get ready for work. We put on CDs or the radio for them to listen to and they chat it up and have sibling bonding time.

This morning, Lulu started yelling, "MOM!! MOMMYY!! MOM!!! COME HEWE!!!"

I ran, in only my towel, into the kitchen, half-expecting blood or some other horrible scene. All looked well. "What? What is it?"

"Mom! The wadio guy said there's a fweezing fwog outside!! Can I see it?"

I looked outside. The sky was misty and the trees were beautifully frosted.

Freezing Fog.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

MIL Musings #1

My MIL will never be described as the sharpest knife in the drawer. Most days I believe she isn't in the drawer at all, and the knife part is debatable too.

It makes it hell to watch movies with her, because she can't follow a plot. That in itself is not a crime. The fact that there appears to be no filter between her brain and her mouth is the real problem.

This weekend we brought Knocked Up to christmas. You might think this would be a no-brainer movie...which is what we thought, which is why we chose this particular movie to share.

Five minutes into the movie my MIL plops down on the couch. "What movie is this?"

It's called Knocked Up.


(On the screen are the two main characters, the guy and the girl.)

She opens her mouth: "Who gets knocked up?"

I decide to ignore this comment as I am sure she can't mean what I think she means.

But she won't let it drop. "Does the guy get knocked up or the girl?"

(silent forehead slap and silent Homer Simpson "DOH!")

Well I think generally when someone gets knocked up it's the girl....


Be assured there will be many more posts on this subject. It's an endless resource of blog-fodder.

'Till next time...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Done For Another Whole Year

Every year our little family does the same thing for Christmas: we do Santa at our house, then travel for the day to either my folks' or my in-laws'. I have been married for 11 1/2 years, and we have been doing this routine for 14 1/2 years. We live smack in the middle of either of our families: mine is an hour west, his is an hour east.

14 1/2 years. That's a long time. Apparently it is not enough time, however, for my MIL to figure out that there Might Be some sort of pattern here. Every year (generally the day after Halloween) she calls JeepMan asking if we are going to be at her house for Thanksgiving. Every OTHER year, the answer is, "No, we will be at your place for Christmas; we did Thanksgiving at your house last year," spoken slowly to encourage understanding. And every year, without fail, there is silence on the other end of the phone, then a dramatic sigh, and then a, "Well, I don't know when we will be able to get everyone together, then..."

Let me illuminate what "everyone" means: MIL, FIL, JeepMan's G'ma R (who lives 6 blocks away from the in-laws), Uncle Mike (who scams disability off the government and has no actual job), and us - our family of four. That makes four besides us and two of those four are the host and hostess of the shindig. Now G'ma R is not a traveling motivational speaker or international bonds trader. Her occupation entails sitting in her apartment chain-smoking and wallowing in the despair that she has created for herself through 78 years of her own nastiness. Uncle Mike (who I like to call "UnClue Mike" as that is how he signs his name - oh yes, did I mention that he is an undiscovered candidate for Mensa?) only comes for the free meal, scavenged leftovers, and some doobie if his own drug-dealing son decides to show up....believe me, Unclue Mike will be there whenever.

What it boils down to is that JeepMan is an only child and that after nearly 15 years of us being together it still burns my MIL's biscuits to have to share him or her grandkids with anyone else ("anyone else" being my family).

This year it was Thanksgiving at my folks' and Christmas at the in-laws'. And so it was that yesterday we packed up the posse and headed out. Christmas is never great at their house...we expect that. But this one really took the cake.

We got there and there was the usual: MIL and FIL in the kitchen, cooking. Good smells. The incessant yapping of two ill-behaved Shih-tzu's. The tree so covered with ornaments and tinsel that I couldn't swear that there even IS a tree under all that stuff. No place to put our presents either since each of my kids has between 15 and 20 from the in-laws. The kitchen peninsula covered with appetizers - easily enough for 40 guests. Not sure where the other 32 were coming from but hey, that just means lots of free leftovers for Unclue Mike. The entire buffet table in the adjacent room is always dedicated ONLY to cookies and candy - interestingly it is always placed at a very convenient height and in a relatively secluded location. Perfect for carbo-crazed polysaccharide-plundering 3 and 6 year olds. Unclue Mike with his feet up in the sunroom watching football, snarfing free appetizers and soaking up the free heat.

When what to my wondering eyes did appear? A suprise Christmas guest, holding a beer.

Yes, Grandma R had decided to fly her other son from Phoenix to Iowa for Christmas. Yippy. Skippy.

This is Unclue Tim. He is referred to in a previous post: Quiet House/MIL Rant #2 as the father of LT. He is still a drug dealer, though obviously out of jail. Turns out his parole officer had to be petitioned to get him up here for the holidays (call me discriminatory, I take this as a bad sign).

He and Unclue Mike are still embroiled in a mostly passive family feud stemming from at least 20 years ago when allegedly someone sold someone else's trailer out from under someone and didn't give someone the money.

LT is doing as well as can be expected up here in Iowa. He hates his dad. I can't blame him when I hear about his sucky childhood.

MIL hates Unclue Tim because he is steadily sponging "her" inheritance money away through loans from Grandma R.

So here he shows up and all of a sudden a tolerably crappy Christmas just morphed into a Jerry Springer Christmas. No there were no fistfights - although the day might have been more entertaining for it. We got stuck at the loser table (which one you might ask? - the one with Unclue Tim and G'ma) listening to G'ma R regale us with, no, not "tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago." We got to hear how many of her friends have died or are dying, and how she fell off a chair onto her butt bone whilst trying to reach something heavy from a high shelf.

Why do old people do that? Remind me when I am old not to climb on anything higher than my floor. My grandpa was seventy-something years old and my Grandma came home one day to find him on the second-to-top rung of an extension ladder that was leaned up against a flagpole. On a hill. Well, the flag was wrapped around the pole and not displayed properly! What was any self-respecting WWII vetran expected to do? Mayhap 'tis honorable to die adjusting a flag...

While you're at it, remind me to not talk constantly about who died and how. But I digress.

LT got the honor of sitting across from his beloved father while G'ma R badgered him about how many times he was going to be able to come visit before his dad left in a week. The rest of us ate in silence. My kids didn't eat squat. Just bounced around uncontrollably having binged on the refined sugar extravaganza on the buffet table in the next room.

In the end, gifts were exchanged and my kids reaped a sickening amount of Crap-They-Will-Never-Miss-If-We-Can-Get-It-Straight-To-Goodwill. My MIL has been aforementioned as a compulsive shopper; Christmas is the ultimate showcase of her...ah, disability.

We had planned to do a White Elephant gift exchange, but as only 4 of the 8 people participating had gifts (me, JeepMan, MIL, FIL), and as we KNEW what we had brought and what my MIL probably wrapped up, we decided to skip it. So we are a $25 gift card to Buffalo Wild Wings and a $25 gift card to Menards richer, when we could have been a pair of earrings and a pair of pajama pants poorer.

After Unclue Mike scrounged all his leftovers and Unclue Tim slithered silently out the door to G'ma R's, we said our goodbyes. We forced the trunk of the Focus down on that great pile o' crap, and hit the road.

JeepMan headed straight to the fridge for a beer when we got home and flopped exhausted into his recliner. "Well, my white-trash Christmas is over for another year, thank God."

Note to self: Next year is Thanksgiving with the MIL, Christmas at my Folks'. Don't know when we are going to get "everyone" together for Christmas....but I am sure we'll figure it out.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Toddler Logic

Lulu is now 3 1/2: going on 14. I swear. My mom points out that she is a lot like me when I was 3 1/2. If that's true (and I am sure it probably is), my mom is certainly a candidate for sainthood.

You can't argue with this kid. Actually, you can't even have a conversation with her. She argues with EVERYTHING. She has elevated quibbling to an art form, disputing topics that can't technically be argued. I guess that's a perk to toddlerdom...being unfettered by the shackles of grownup logic. Neither of my kids have truly transcended this stage. The fact is this: children under a certain (still unknown to me) age gleefuly hurtle about in an alternate dimension that is governed only by the laws of "toddler logic."

Take today for instance. I gave the kids their baths. Baths at our house follow a predictable course: laments about bathwater temperature, whining about water in the eyes, griping about having to actually be washed, warnings about keeping our hands to ourselves, forcible retraction from the offending bathtub, and wailing about how COOOOOLD it is while drying off. Finally, they were both dried, greased, dressed, and combed.

Then Lulu sneezed.

First example of Toddler Logic: I will never understand how a kid who eats her own boogers for between-meal snacks can have a snot phobia.

Here''s the scene:



What?!? What, for goodness sake??


Well. go get one! They're right over there!

Crippled by mucous, she hobbled over to the toliet and the next thing I knew I heard onetwothreefourfivesixseveneight kleenexes being pulled out in ambidexterous rapid-fire succession. Accomplished (in true toddler fashion) in the exact amount of time that it took my ears to connect to my brain and process what was happening.

I looked over and my lovely child was two-fisting enough kleenex to last me three months. Wearing a deer-in-the-headlights-look, she was desperately trying wipe her nose.

Now, I am not an environmentalist or anything, but my first thought was how many trees sacrificed themselves for this miniscule droplet of sneeze juice. My second thought was what a waste this was of good kleenex. Because they're sooooo expensive. Yeah.

Like most parents of toddlers, my compulsive reaction was to ask a question that I already knew the answer to:

How many kleenexes do you have there?

Now, come on. What did I really expect her to say? "Well, mother. I have acquired eight kleenex." This is a kid who thinks five is the biggest number that exists. She naturally responded with the standard toddler answer to dumb parent questions:

"I'oun know."

Arrogantly snubbing Toddler Logic, I dispensed this profound insight:

Well, you don't need eight kleenex. It only takes one. You use it up, throw it away, and then you can have another one if you still need it. You only have one nose: you only need one kleenex.

Disgusted with my debilitating stupidity, she pointed indignantly at her nose and deftly countered:


Duh mom. No arguing that. End of discussion.

Score? Lulu - 1, Mommy - 0

Friday, December 21, 2007

MomInScrubs is back...

Last published...August 23. So pathetic! I have no excuse other than my own laziness and lack of time. Mostly the laziness part. But I've been INSPIRED!! Thanks to my friend Monnik and her inspiration Travis, I have decided to publish my version of the classic: "My Favorite Things."

Best Day of the Week

Saturday morning and I get to sleep in
Snuggle my hubby and keep on a-dreamin'
I hear soft footsteps so I sneak a peek;
Saturday morning, best day of the week.

Sleep-touseled toddlers in warm footie PJ's
Lift up the covers to invade my bed space,
Nudging me over with grunts and a squeek;
Saturday morning, best day of the week.

Curling their fingers around in my hair,
Whispering, giggling without a care,
Cuddled beside me, warm breath on my cheek;
Saturday morning, best day of the week!

When it's Monday
Such a Glum Day
Wanna stay in bed...
I know Saturday is just six days away,
And then I don't feel