A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Jumping Jacks - Who Knew?

I nearly pee my pants every time I get to watch the 4-6 year old set do jumping jacks at soccer.

So I thought I'd share.

Mine is the one with the AMAZING lack of coordination!

Can you find him?


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Here Is Something I Bet You Didn't Know!

So, did you know, that if you have a really runny,snotty nose, and you are a small child, and you rub that snot onto your hand and then rub your eye - that you in fact just gave yourself conjunctivitis and now you have pink eye?

Did you know that kids with pink eye can create more snot in their eyes than some adults I've seen blow out of their noses?

These are the lessons learned over this fine weekend.

Class dismissed.
(oh and I was asked for evidence of the demise of the Papasan......so here you go!)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Best Phone Call Ever - Well, Almost


Sitting in your new bosses office and your cell rings, and you glance at the number - don't recognize it and of course don't answer it. (Obviously you don't answer it - you're in your NEW BOSSES OFFICE!). But then later, when you have a moment you check your voice mail and it's a head hunter.

They say they have a great opportunity for you in the Atlanta area and to please call back if you are interested.


Seriously, I just had such a good day that I'm considering taking my resume off of Monster.

For the first time since 1998.

I said it on twitter and I'll say it again. I am sick as a dog - but happy as a clam.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Fireplace Situation

I bought this house on an acre of land, including woods with requisite woodland animals. Also included, according to the details of the bill of sale - is a wood burning fireplace.
I love a wood burning fireplace.
I'm my father's daughter in this respect. My dad is a big fire maker from way back and I totally got the gene. My dad will build such raucous fires that my Grandpa Drake used to say that if you wanted to test your fireplace, have his son in law over to build a fire.
A good firebox will take a lot. :)
So all this aside, I've been building fires on my own since I was about ten. I've got technique. I like to build up a roaring blaze and then have it calm down to a nice even burn that lasts.
My Aunt Suz and Debbie are in GA and it's gotten chilly here. The other morning before they stopped over for brunch, I thought it'd be nice to build a little fire (just a little one!) for ambiance and to knock the chill off the living room.

So I ambled over to the firebox to just check the flue and other assorted things one does before building a fire. The previous owners had left some charred wood, ash etc in the box which I thought was kind of dick headed but whatever no big whoop I was gonna build on top of it.

I pushed back the screen, and encountered THIS.....

Now you can see ash, and soot.....and evidence of a REAL fire.....but do you see that on the RIGHT? See it?

Here, take a better look......

Yes boys and girls. THAT is a GAS LINE.


Now I don't wanna say that I'm totally fucking so pissed off at this that I can barely speak. Because, that was days ago. But I'm still miffed. Because now I'm in this situation. I don't know if this pipe is hooked up to anything - like the MAIN GAS LINE - I've got no basement so I can't run downstairs and follow the pipe. Did this pipe COME with the fireplace and they just never hooked it to the gas main? Is it hooked to the gas main and the previous owners were so stupid that they burned wood fires in this fireplace and got LUCKY that they didn't burn down the house?

My questions are myriad but my anger is legion.

So, we've emailed our real estate agent trying to get her to get in touch with George and Martha (ever since I met them they've become the characters in Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolfe? - but they're the Georgia edition).

And I'm at a loss as to how to proceed. I should have a chimney sweep out to clean the chimney and inspect it.

Ideas? Call the gas company? We hate the gas company, so that's a problem? Maybe our home inspector?

I am so pissed off.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Turn, Turn, Turn

Okay so, I got a new job.

Yes, I got ANOTHER new job. This one is immensely better and will allow me to call this one OVERLORD. I don't think that they will actually require I call him that, but I'm gonna think it every day when I report to work.

For sensitive reasons, I can't divulge which division of his empire I'll be working for but I start tomorrow and life is good.

40 is working out really really really well.

(and yes I'll tell you all about the job and which division etc.....soon. Very soon.)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Date-A-Versary 11.0

11 Years ago today, I met a boy in a Greek restaurant for lunch. He met me before he went to work, wearing jeans and sneakers with holes in them.
He kept me waiting 45 minutes while he tried to get the new contact lenses in - that he'd bought just for our date.
I had spent forever getting ready, doing my hair - doing my face.....not too much make up it was broad daylight I couldn't count on bar lighting to hide any over doing it.

11 years ago today he told me I was beautiful over plates of hummus and gyros.

And then after our date he walked me to the curb where I was parked, kissed me five times and walked down the street to go to work.

This morning, I woke up next to him.

Our children running around like monkeys, our house cold because for some reason it's COLD out now (isn't this the south, isn't it supposed to be warm here)......and as I snuggled into his arms I couldn't help but think....

I'm so glad a cook once asked me out.

He changed my whole life. And mostly, I feel something like this.....

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Surrogate Sisterhood

When I was little there were two little girls I wanted to play with so bad it hurt. They were each significantly older than me - 6 or 8 years or so. There was a point, when I was REALLY little that apparently I was cute enough to play with sometimes and that was enough addiction to make me desperate to play with them ALL THE TIME by the time I was about 4.
But by then, they were pre-teens......and didn't want to PLAY with me anymore. Such was my desire though, that I'd do anything to play with them.
They tried strategy to get me to WANT to go away. Such as, they'd pick hard games that they thought I couldn't learn, such as Stratego or Monopoly or Life. This failed because I earnestly learned how to play to such a degree that I could WOMP their butts by the time I was six. They'd make up rules that if I couldn't memorize the words to all of a new song, then I couldn't play with them.
So I learned to memorize.
We were playmates of a sort for years and years. Most days, I'd end up running home crying because eventually they'd get bored of trying to make me GO away and would just tell me to, or would say something to hurt my feelings and I'd run sobbing home.
The worst thing they would do, when summer came, was they would walk to Standard Grocery to buy candy. This was bad for two reasons. I wasn't allowed to go out past the gardens, and you had to go beyond the gardens and across a field to reach the Standard Grocery. So this in itself was a great way to get rid of me. But the other thing they'd do is buy a bunch of candy, and stand JUST far enough away that I could SEE what they got - but that I couldn't come to them because it was beyond my limit. And they would stand there and eat their candy, smirking in that crappy way only little girls can.

What is odd though, is that when I think back about Sherrill and Martha Leigh, I don't think of those times as bad. And I remember other things that were so good. I remember going nightcrawler hunting with flashlights at night, pulling the huge worms out of the gardens after a fresh rain for fishing the next day. I remember how we were only allowed to burn those little black pellet snakes on a specific part of the sidewalk that had been destroyed years before by the selfsame 4th of July firework. (Dude I love those snakes.)
We used to lay on the ground (in the forbidden field but with adults this time) and sing WHERE OH WHERE ARE YOU TONIGHT? at the top of our lungs, until the fireworks started.
We would sneak back to the school playground after a rain and play in the mud around the merri-go-round and then sneak back home and use the hose by the garden to wash our feet so we didn't get caught.
We went barefoot all summer, as a point of pride we felt we didn't need shoes. We listened to Wings, and Barry Manilow, and KISS and read Tiger Beat magazine and cut out the pictures. We made shrinky dinks and creepie crawlies.

And I sometimes think now, that none of us had sisters, but that this must be what it would be like, to have a sister. To fight and bicker and be mean, but then to hold a dog wedding one afternoon because you realize one of you has a boy dog and one of you has a girl dog - and if you have a dog wedding you can have puppies and then I COULD HAVE A PUPPY.

I mean, how could my parents refuse?

I miss those guys. Last time I saw them, one or the other was having a wedding, and we sat at a table eating cake and howling and giggling at other people's expense. I hadn't seen them forever, but the spiritus was still there. They were teasing me asking me if I still at brown sugar by the spoon (hello I was 4 when I did that) and then we turned the conversation to other doofuses we used to know.

Sherrill's dad caught wind of our wicked conversation and giggling and snarked at us "Can I get you cats a bowl of cream?" and we again howled with laughter.

And that was when it hit me, I was finally big enough.

I wonder where they are now? And if they'd like a spoonful of brown sugar.......

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Death Knell for the PapaSan

Ah, PapaSan Love Seat. You've given us weeks of slightly less discomfort than the floor. I generally gauge you at about 20% comfortable on a good day. You might have given us sweet scenes like this......

but the writing was on the wall the day your hideous self showed up in our home. After all, it's not 1978 nor do I have a tiki themed living room. You simply cannot stay.




Three days PapaSan. And then you're PapaToast.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Boot To The Head for Hollis Gillespie

Sigh. You know, I don't follow many columnists. Or any. Except for one or two.

One being Hollis Gillespie. She makes me laugh, I'm amused and intrigued by her adventures and anecdotes and frankly I just like her.

Don't get me wrong, now that I'm an ATL resident we don't hang out but STILL.........I'd check the yes box that I like her in a girl-crush-non-gay way.

I've been here in the ATL for just over a year and I've struggled to FIND a place to regularly pick up a copy of Creative Loafing to read her column. The last place I worked was so anemic and ridiculous that 90% of the employees had never HEARD of Creative Loafing much less READ anything like that. I contented myself with reading her books (sorry I read them from the library because I'm broke) to get my fix of insanity spun out by my favorite essayist.

The real problem has been, for the past year, not that there aren't enough places in ATLANTA to get the Creative Loafing, but that I was simply in some bizarro world version of a suburb that borders on hell - and apparently Creative Loafing was smart enough not to bother to drop off papers in that area. They'd probably just be used to sop up blood anyway.
Additionally, no longer being bar whores (all these kids just suck the bar whore right outta ya), we weren't in clubs that might have ye old Creative Loafing at the exit.

So here I am, new job, new life, new world and I stroll across the street to get something to eat a Chinese restaurant and the clouds parted and the sun shone rays of goodness down .....the restaurant carries Creative Loafing. HOOHOOHOO! I'm in! I've scored a new source for my addiction! I tucked it under my arm, smug in my happiness and excited to be able to catch up with all those zany kids from Creative Loafing. Truly, Jughead and Betty were never as captivating at Hollis and Andisheh.

I crack it open when I get home for the day (hey I'm a busy professional I've got no TIME to be reading Creative Loafing while I WORK! )


Ugh. I clearly sinned in a past life and this is my payback.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Happy Birthday, Bunny!!!

Hi all, no Gidge today, it's Frank AKA The Husband.

40,huh? Wow, what should I say? What could I say? That you look more beautiful today than yesterday? Too true. That you are the most vibrant person that I know? Too obvious. That you are a wonderful mother and wife? Everybody knows that. That I want you so much that I can't bear when you leave the room? Too personal. That you drive me wild every minute of every day? TMI. This is hard.

How about this: At 40, you are more sexy than any two 20 year olds? Or that everyone who knows you loves you so much that when you hurt, they hurt? Or that you make beautiful children? That you are great at any job you do? That you sing like an angel? That you bake with the best Grandmas around? Or that any day with you is a better day for anyone that hears your voice or sees those stunning eyes of yours?

Nope. I guess there's not much that I could say that the world doesn't already know. Oh, well. I guess you're just a better version of Gidge at 40 than 39. Gidge 4.0.

Happy Birthday, Bunny. I love you more than life itself. Have a most wonderful day.

P.S. I can't wait to see what Gidge version 4.1 is like!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

How's The New Job?

It's kinda like this.

Now add in a corner office, executive parking, pool tables, foosball and pingpong in the break room.

Yea, I'm tired. But it rocks.


Sorry if you emailed and I haven't emailed back.......I promise your note isn't lost......I'm just wiped out. I've been on summer vacation you see.......

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Guess Who's Back? Back Again....

Sorry, I've been listening to Eminem and Shady's Back is stuck in my brain - but in a good way.
If you didn't hear the news......

I might not be online as much starting tomorrow.

Because I'll be at WORK!


Thank you again to everyone who helped and supported my family through this amazing trial. We couldn't have made it without all of you!


"How do you motivate people?"
I've been asked this multitudes of times recently. Standard interview fare I suppose. I always say the same thing - I learn why they are here, why they are doing what they are doing.
It seems like such a simple answer but people are always surprised.
I'm not surprised, though. Not knowing why people are doing what they are doing can be damaging.
Take Wilbur for example. Wilbur was a girl I knew in middle school. She was fat, frumpy, wore thrift store clothes despite living in a nice condo community. Her mother gave her an unfortunate home-haircut that made her look like a boy trying to wear a Dorothy Hamill cut. Plus, obviously Wilbur wasn't her name. Her name was Stephanie and the kids all called her Wilbur - as in Wilbur the pig.
Which is unbelievably unkind - and worse, she was so desperate to be included she answered to it.
She was so desperate for attention - and to be part of the group that played together after school, condo kids all of us, that she'd do anything.
Eventually we learned - she'd even steal.
Now, we didn't KNOW she was stealing. She'd just say she was going up to the drug store and did we want anything. I even remember the first time it happened - some of the kids just joking said a bunch of stuff. Candy, hair bobs, etc.
She came back with them.
It happened a few times - she'd come back with Lip Smackers tubes, and give everyone one of them.....or other things. It wildly increased her social standing - but it always made me a little nervous.
Don't get me wrong, I ACCEPTED her lip smacker or coke or box of candy or whatever it was. I wasn't SUCH a little angel that I was "ABOVE IT" but, it was the first time I'd ever watched anyone behave this way.

Then she got caught.

And the drug store pressed charges.

She got into big trouble.

That was my first experience at understanding what motivates someone.

She wanted to us to be nice to her, and let her play TAG with us for christ-sake. And she was willing to risk getting expelled, risk time in juvie to do so. Because we were such little jerks that we made her feel that she wasn't good enough.

Making her feel like that made us feel superior - better than someone - that was our motivation.

After she got back from "being in trouble", we didn't call her Wilbur anymore. She wasn't allowed to hang around with us - her parents felt it was all our fault. They probably didn't understand WHY it was our fault though.

We didn't send her, but we also didn't stop her.

I'd watch some of the other condo kids wave, call her Stephanie and try to engage her - and I could see the need in their eyes. They'd lost their someone who made them feel good about themselves. But she wasnt biting - and I was always proud of her for that.

So yeah, when I manage people.....I like to know why they are doing what they are doing. Because not knowing can ruin lives.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

All That Spartacus Crap Was Just Peer Pressure

So I'm at the school doing a kids and parents learning thing. One of those "we're going to show you that we are actually teaching your kids" events. It was actually quite nice, in fact. It happened to fall on the day that everyone on the Earth was reading the book CORDUROY apparently.

I wasn't AWARE it was International Read A Book I Don't Know day......but apparently it was. Okay fine, that's all good - books are good, I've go no beef with books.

But this was also a "bring your teddy bear" sort of night event, so there I sit with my Teddy Bear, and the big boy took Dog (little red dog he's loved since he was 18 months old or so). Toward the end of the night, the teacher asked us the names of our animals. We tell the truth - my bear is Teddy (not original so what SHUT UP!) his dog's name is DOG (SHUT UP HE NAMED IT WHEN HE WAS A BABY!) and the little boy next to us told us his teddy's name is Jeff Gordon.

Then however, the rebellion started.

Apparently every OTHER bear was named Spartacus Corduroy. Yes that's right. EVERY other bear was named Corduroy. Some seemed to be named "Also Corduroy" but that might have just been five year old miscommunication.

Quite frankly.......they were making me a little nervous with their herd mentality.

Nice to see peer pressure alive and well and running the show in Kindergaten. Hey kids, it's cool to dress like this. ----------->
Tell your folks all the other kids are doing it too.