A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.

Monday, June 30, 2008

At The End of The Day He's Thrown Under the Bus

I used to work with this L'Idiot who came back to life for me today when I read this article in Slate.

I swear to you, this guy uses the phrase AT THE END OF THE DAY ad nauseum. I have never in my life EVER met anyone using a catch phrase to no end in this fashion. We'd take turns, sitting in meetings, tallying the number of times in one day that this douche would say "At the end of the day XYZ".

I ran the winning tally on my planner one day, he used it over 40 times in a two hour meeting.

I'm a huge fan of the catch phrase, but I really only like the old outdated ones that no one uses. Phrases like "COOL BEANS", or "Peachy Keen Jelly Bean" really "melt my butter."

Phrases that use food references are superior - in my opinion.

There were some excellent ones from when I lived in Kentucky that I like to keep alive. "I ain't got no dog in this fight" is more of an EXPRESSION than a short little catch phrase but I still like it. My favorite though was the phrase of disgust "You Believe". This would be said derisively to anyone who had just said something foolish or naive.

Example: Person A - I bet we don't have to work mandatory overtime this Saturday.
Person B - You Believe.

In Tampa there was a phrase "Lemme find out" that had to be tacked onto the front of sentences for your urban Tampa cache. "lemme find out she's dating another guy" "lemme find out I need a coke". I'm not sure where it came from, but it was the rage.

It didn't even make SENSE most of the time. But it was fun to throw around.

My husband and I have a catchphrase we want to catch on. We think it'll be a lot of fun for all those tired of "jumping the shark" and "throwing person X under the bus." We encourage you all to Open the Volcano. Or point out when others do so.

And mock them for it.

It should sound like this "BOY he really opened the volcano."

The Weight of Silence

Today on a family outing, as we approached a manicured rose garden I wanted to see, my husband declared NO MORE TALKING UNTIL MOM TALKS!
And we walked, holding little hands, in silence through the roses.
As I gazed on the blossoms in silence my mind flew back to the other day at the Atlanta Zoo, and a statue outside the toddler's play ground.
It was a boy and a girl, elementary school age. Very sweet, both of them playing with animals.
Their names and dates of birth were both listed.
Along with their date of death.
The same day.

Somewhere, a family doesn't have their children to bother them any more.

Somewhere, a mother is surrounded by deafening silence instead of endless dinosaur babble and twin jibber jabber.

And I declared it was too quiet, and that everyone should talk.

Because the noise they make, I can never replace.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

My Umbuh-rella

First off I hate that song.

This post is not about that song.

This post is about an umbrella. One I lost this week.

In 1996 my dad and I went to the Indy 500 together. We went with a couple of my friends and despite the fact that it rained, it was one of my favorite races I ever attended. My dad and I were just hanging out, having fun Indy 500 style and I remember it clearly, during one break of the race bcse of the rain - we were just sitting in the stands - getting wet - and he went to go to the refreshment stand.

He came back with two black and white Indy 500 log umbrellas. We sat under them and laughed about how much they cost - I think they were like $20 a piece in 1996! And we talked while we waited for the race to get going again. Sitting under those umbrellas with my Dad was one of those rare moments you get with your parent once you grow up. Talking to him like he's just a person and he's talking to you like you're a person and it's just good.

It was a great, if rainy day. I have no idea who won the race.

Since then I've carried that umbrella faithfully.

On Thursday, I set it down in the break room while pouring my morning coffee and walked into my office without it. By the time I realized I didn't have it (much later in the day) it was gone.

I was inconsolable.

I cried all the way home from work.

Over an umbrella.

The next day I put up SIGNS at work, begging for the return of my umbrella, pledging not to be angry that someone picked it up on a rainy day (secretly vowing to note that the person was a THIEF once I had identified them) and desperately hoping against hope that it would come back.

By 4pm I had given up all hope - and had decided that losing the umbrella wasn't the end of the world, it was just a material thing and the memory was what really mattered.

While pouring myself my end of day cup of Joe in the break room, our cleaning lady wandered in and said."Oh hey, I've been looking for you all day. I found your umbrella the other day and put it in the janitors closet so that no one would take it."

Thank you cosmos. Thank you very, very much.

Friday, June 27, 2008

What Are You Gonna Do With Your Life?

Just a little something for your Friday night.
Rock on.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

It's Official, He's a Dad

I came home yesterday and my son asked me if I knew that the elephants from the zoo in Tampa used to work at Taco Bell?
I caught the scent of a daddy story.......so inquired about this further.

Turns out, all the elephants in the Tampa Zoo used to have jobs at Taco Bell rolling burritos or some such stuff - as no one wants to work for Taco Bell.

At least this is what I hear.

"It's TRUE Mom. Dad told me!"


And my grandpa told me that the people in the American Gothic painting were my Aunt Margaret and Uncle Willie.

I wonder where I can get a photoshopped pic of an elephant with some Taco Bell?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The One Where I Am Tired

So I've been slack about taking my Zyrtec. Mostly because about 30 minutes after I take it, I'm DONE for the night.
Peace out - bed time.

I used to take them every morning, back in my pre-kid days with no ill effects. Something changed though and now they do a great job but they make me unbelievably tired.

Last night, at like 11pm I took one.

I slept like the dead.

But today, I can't wake up.

I went to bed EARLY last night, before midnight (this is early for me.) So I got plenty of sleep. Yet all day I'm exhausted, almost feeling drugged.

Is it the Zyrtec? Am I low in iron? I took a damn multivitamin, and am considering NOT taking my Zyrtec again except that I've got a sinus infection and could USE the decongestant. Is it my antibiotic? I should look up if levaquin can make you sleepy.


Somebody, go to work for me tomorrow so I can sleep.

Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin Died

I used to watch him
on the Johnny Carson Show
Rest In Peace Motherfucker

(a modified Haiku - but I think Carlin would have insisted I use Motherfucker even though it doesn't fit.)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Family Values

You hear that term bandied about a lot lately. Mostly by Christian fundamentalists who want to stop stem cell research or some other ridiculous bullshit.

This is not what I am talking about.

I'm talking about the REAL family values. The ones that probably really only apply to YOUR family - the things which bind you together and that supersede all the other needs and wants of the world.

For instance, my husband and I have been a family a long time. Much longer than we've had children. Before we had children, even before we thought we couldn't HAVE children, when it was just US together we were a family. We did FAMILY centric things, such as 4th of July parades, festivals, coloring Easter eggs, carving pumpkins etc.

And when we had kids, we never stopped - in fact we just did more.

This is 99.999% because of The husband.

He works so hard to make special things special.

But one of the most remarkable things, to me, is how he never makes presumptions about our children. Most people would shy away from choosing an exhibit from the Louvre as their father's day outing. After all, busts by Houdon are not usually the cup of tea for the 5 and under set. But he doesn't assume that they won't like it.

He also decides, upon learning that Lil Satchmo thought the big COOKIE at the mall cookie shop was just decoration, that a BIG COOKIE is just the ticket for his father's day treat.

Because while father's day is the day we take time to say WE LOVE YOU DADDY - in fact, when practicing real Family Values - we say it every day.
And he shows he loves us every day. From special ordering a book he loved from his childhood - Norbert Nipkin to share with his own boys, to taking us to local landmarks so we can learn and appreciate the local culture of our new home. And yeah, the Varsity rules - omg chili burgers yum. Ask me how many gallons of Orange Pop we consumed........

But I digress.

Being a family, means focusing on the bigger YOU - the YOU that is five people, not just one.

It means finding the strength to hike around the Zoo Atlanta for 4 hours when in fact you probably only have two hours of energy in you - because the bigger YOU really wants to spend lots of time there.

It means buying your wife a new bra in every color they come in vs.
just ordering her one or two like she was expecting. Yes.....he really did that recently. I now have more beautiful lace bras than I have probably owned in my entire life.

It means staying up till all hours of the morning researching potential houses, checking for predators, comparing all of the houses features so we don't waste our time looking at houses we won't want.

Being a family, and practicing the art of being a family, is what true Family Values are.

And my husband, is a Master.

He asked me to conclude the post I wrote about our Zoo Trip by saying that THIS was his favorite thing he saw at the zoo. He still makes me blush like a teenager sometimes. I love that man.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Girl, That's So Ghetto

I never divide my friends into race or ethnicity.
You know some people do, you KNOW you know people who do. I'm not claiming superiority on this issue, I just never actually THINK about our "differences" much - most likely because I'm rather inattentive to things in all aspects of my life.
But I hate it when the differences, and the things you CANNOT SAY pop up.....such as..........

Baby names.

Now, black people do not have a strong hold on stupid baby names. Not by a long shot. I know plenty of people of various races who gave their kids straight up retarded names. And if a WHITE friend tells me she's going to name her baby girl Ellie Mae......I wouldn't hesitate a giggle and a Clampetts joke.

Is it rude to tell people their baby names are stupid? Yup, it is. But I heard it a lot when I was carrying all of my kids - everyone has an opinion of your baby name. So, I tend to not hesitate to say something - while stopping short of telling you that Leia Organa is right out CRUEL as a name for a boy........I might tease you a bit about it.

Unless you are black.

Why is that?

A friend recently told me she was going to name her baby the equivalent of Shanaynay.

I swear. It was that bad. Not actually Shanaynay but you get the picture.

Yes, she's black.

And I turned into this politically correct person who said "Oh that's pretty, where did you find that name?"

Because while I might be able to tell her that wearing knee high hose with short skirts is straight up ghetto and we'd both laugh......I can't touch that baby name. Not even in jest.

I think that's going to be my litmus for when race relations have truly resolved themselves.

When I can tell you your baby name is ghetto.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Blogher 08 In Second Life - Some Things To Know

One of the FIRST things you'll do when you set up your AVATAR - your character - is pick a name. Second Life gives you a lovely RANGE of last names,and yeah you'll probably find that the surname WRITER is still open to choose.

And there is nothing geeky or weird about picking it, totally pick the last name that you like. But keep in mind.....the name you choose for your FIRST name is going to be what we all call you IN WORLD. So it might seem funny to choose TheBest as your first name and WRITER as your surname......until you get into world and people call you THE, or THEBEST, or worse - with typos - Thebeast.

You follow?

Doesn't have to be your real name but it can be. You like being Jane? So be JANE!

And why does that even matter? Well.....because some people who came last year STAYED! You really won't want to start all OVER with a new avatar once you build one (you might, but most people don't.)

Because there is a lot to do, and it's FREE.

What is there to do? Well......you should think of it as a chat room or bulletin board with a pulse - with a fashion sense.

Example: Ever been to a geisha show?

Ever attended a party dressed as a cupcake?

The creative side of SL is limitless. Want to make art? Share your poetry? Build, design clothes? Want to be a wildly popular SL Fashion Blogger? Want to indulge your inner rocker?

There are live concerts, there are sports. There is a whole Sim where they role play Star Wars (yeah I attended a party at Mos Eisley there once).

There is everything that exists in the real world - only without the boundaries and constraints of the real world. If you'd like to take a look at some of my in world pics of all the possibilities of a pixel social community, you can find them here.

Feel free to email me or I'll see you during office hours In World! See you soon! (You can Also IM me any time in world - I'd be glad to say hi any time!)

Welcome to Second Life!

Karmic Payback

My husband is forever handing out the good karma. Giving our left over ride tickets to people when we aren't going to use them. Giving our prize tickets at the Chuck E Cheese to another family when we've decided we REALLY don't need to stand in line for a roll of smarties etc.
He does this all the time. And every once in a while - the universe pays him back.

This time, the universe paid him back in the form of a Chinese couple with tickets for their family to the Atlanta Zoo - which they didn't have time to use on their vacation. So they asked, would we like them?

Atlanta Zoo.........here we come!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

More Protein Than Chocolate

The Husband was sitting at the computer the other night, eating a Ding Dong when a piece of the chocolate coating fell off and landed on the top of his foot. Being occupied but you know, not wanting to let a tasty bite of Ding Dong chocolate go to waste he reached down and popped it into his mouth.

It was a beetle.

Not chocolate Ding Dong coating.

Apparently, they taste nothing alike.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Strike 2 Ball 3

So we made an offer on THIS HOUSE.

And we really really really like it.
But you know, we're into the counter offer - counter offer of the counter offer.


We also really like this house.

However, we might end up going with a player to be named later.

House hunting is great and also sucks.

A lot. Better to not love any of them, I swear.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Blogher 08 Returns to Second Life !

First of all, I am clearly the Mascot of Blogher '08 as I showed up to the orientation area wearing the official Blogher Colors this year - totally unplanned by the way.

Second of all - BLOGHER is going BACK to Second Life - so if you can't attend the premier blogging conference of '08 in person this is your chance to attend for free in Second Life!

What do you need to know?

Well, pardon me while I hijack ALL of the information from Queen Tureaud who already WROTE it all down so nicely.
You can find all the pertinent schedule info HERE.

What do you need to do?

Go download Second Life.

Make sure your machine meets the minimum specs.

The specs unfortunately aren't optional - you can't be CLOSE and enjoy the conference. You'll crash constantly be unbelievably annoyed. And you WANT to enjoy it and not miss keynote speakers etc because your machine won't handle the requirements.

Next, you need to spend some time in Second Life learning how to move, see and enjoy the conference! You wouldn't go into space without a little training at NASA - and going into Second Life is traveling into a different world.

Office Hours are set up at these times
BlogHer in Second Life Office Hours: (all times Pacific)

Monday 10-2pm and 8-10pm
Wednesday 10-2pm
Thursday 5pm-8pm and 8-10pm
Sunday 4-7pm

Once you get SL all set up on your PC you can just click on THIS link during office hours which will take you to the CNN iHub area. One of your mahvelous Blogher 08 Volunteers will be there during this time!

Can't wait to see you there!

- Gidge Uriza Second Life Resident and Blogger.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I Can't Talk To My Mom

Not because she doesn't understand me.
Or because we don't get along.
But because of this.

And this.

Natural disasters do not care one whit if you have talked to your mom at least once a day every day of your adult life and you're about to climb the walls because she doesn't have phone service. If you're worried even if you're relatively sure she's OK. Natural disasters do not care at all.

And here is a little sentimental something, which means nothing to anyone but me, and possibly my mom.
See this bridge?
My Grandpa Drake opened this bridge when he was the mayor. It used to have (if it is not washed away) a little brass plaque with his name on it and the date the bridge opened. This bridge is now destroyed, a great testament to the temporary state of the works of man, eh?

I wonder if the plaque is still there? I wonder if they would give it to me before they tear down that silly old bridge. I have no idea what I would do with it. I just don't like the idea of it being trash.

Vain and pointless, I know.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Perhaps This Would Help.....

My Aforementioned Problem.

My man likes my SWEET LOVE.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

A Pain In The.......(spoiler alert - I'm gonna talk about my period so boys be warned!)

They say that smell can bring back memories stronger than any other sense. You smell something and poof you are transported back to that magical day when you were six and X Y and Z happened.

But what I think, after last night's incident, is that PAIN is actually what brings back a memory.

For instance last night-
I'm sitting at the PC and the Husband is sitting at his PC and I've been having a fairly crummy period. Ankles swelling, PMS mood swings, constant unshakeable headache - in general I've been a bitch with issues. But we're having the grand opening of our new SL business "Don't Ask" and hosting a huge party and I certainly can't LEAVE.

Suddenly, out of the BLUE I'm nearly blinded with a pain. In my lower abdomen/girly bits.

The last time I felt pain like this - someone was saying "PUSH 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10!" I'm not kidding. If I could've pushed something, ANYTHING out, I'm sure I would've felt better. How grotesque is that? Like I was thinking at one point "Jesus am I miscarrying? Am I about to have some 4th month miscarriage I didn't know I was carrying?" It just isn't possible I'm pregnant with the periods I've been having, but seriously I was wondering if something very horror show was making it's way out.

And then it would go away. It got worse and worse and as the night wore on. Settling a bit on the left side. It happened repeatedly - coming on stronger each time, then rolling away and leaving only a hint of discomfort.

I was pulled to another memory, of when the husband and I were first living together and I about stood straight up in bed one morning from pain in the same region. We ended up in the ER where it was decided I was experiencing a ruptured ovarian cyst. At that time, I had no point of reference for that sort of pain. It was simply the worst pain I'd ever felt.

I guess it's one of the products of being a jaded matron - that you feel blinding, ridiculous pain and your mind just goes "Oh this is like childbirth." But you don't go running off the ER. You just sit there and think about it, digesting the sensations and wondering what is going on. I had another drink, and it helped.

But by bedtime it was unbearable so I had to pop a pain killer before settling into bed. Which did the trick - in about 20 minutes I was comatose. But this morning, I can feel it - just under the surface of my self - discomfort, something not right. I'm supposed to go house hunting today. God I hope it stays away while we're out.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Sound of Silence

I work in a call center. I listen to a room full of people talk all day. I specifically MONITOR people talking on the phone. I have meetings about people talking on phones.
I come home, and I have three little boys who jabber nonstop and a husband who is happy to see me and HE wants to talk to me.......

And well. There's just a lot of talking in my life.

I sometimes crave silence, then - understandably I think.

I had this GREAT idea for today.

I'd get up early (I was going in late so early was relative). I'd sit and relax, and read the news, in silence. I sat down, got about halfway through one story........when I hear "Mom! Can I get up with you?"


Of course you can get up with me.

Silence is over-rated anyway.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The World For Kids

My five year old has been constructing plans for a world for several months. A world just for kids.

It started out as a kids restaurant - where everything would be kid sized, prepared by kids, and free to kids who had no money. Kids who needed money could WORK at the restaurant if they needed to earn some.

Since that first idea, it's morphed. There is a city, there are hotels and stores. There is a railroad which takes you places in the REAL world so you can get on the kid sized railroad and go visit people who live far away. Your parents don't need to take time off of work for these trips, they can just drop you off at the kids railroad and you'll arrive safely at your destination.

He imagines kid hotels for these trips - where kids are safe and the rooms have comfy beds and the hotel restaurants serve pizza.

The stores will sell things for kids made by kids.

And the best part, as he always tells me, is if they don't have money - these kids can get what they need and do what they want for free.

I've been listening to the never-ending mental construction of this pint sized Utopia for what seems like months. Listening with a smile, and some parental pride at the creativity of it - and the kindness in my child that he would think of people with no money and include them.

Then it hits me last night that what my blond love is actually doing, is working out his frustrations with the world as it is when he constructs his Utopia. It must be frustrating to be five in a world made for adults. Everything is "no" and "later" and "not today". In Kid World, it's going to be on his schedule. It's going to be on his terms.

To be fair, the boy isn't denied much. But, I'm sure looking at the world of adults, it looks like we have it made. We have control over everything - including him. I'm sure it's frustrating.

Personally, I always sort of thought my house WAS a kids world. You'd think it was - looking at my living room.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Go Tell It On The Mountain

Stone Mountain, of course.

My company picnic was yesterday, and once again they showed how much they VALUE their employees. They paid for everyone who attended to receive a full days pass to Stone Mountain, which included all of the attractions (except the duck boats). For a family of 5 - this would have been a REALLY expensive day out.

We absolutely had a blast.

How do you know your daddy loves you? Anyone? Anyone?
When he is terrified of heights - and especially of cable cars....

and he rides it anyway, to the top of the mountain, because it means the world to you.

We had a great time. We had no idea there was so much stuff there to do.
It was a perfect family day. Fresh air, mountain, train ride, pedal boats etc. We missed the food at the company picnic which was a drag (they put it up a bit early) but the day was still just lovely.

And to top it off, after the kids went to bed, The Husband made strawberry daiquiris with pineapple rum (yummy) and put on a romantic comedy for us to watch together.
He picked Barefoot in the Park.

Is there any wonder that I love him?