Tuesday, April 29, 2008

My kids didn't know, you probably don't either

It all started last night with a very simple question from Punx.

"Someone in my class brought a couple coins from another country to school today and showed them to the class and I told my teacher that you had some from The Netherlands and I asked if I could bring them tomorrow and she said yes. Can I bring your coins to school tomorrow?"

I thought of my Euro coins that I picked up in Holland in 2004 and keep in a little teacup given to me from my Dutch brother Wilfred on my dresser. (Quick background info. Wilfred was our foreign exchange student my senior year of High School. Dan and I went to Holland in 2004 for his wedding.) I saw no problem with Punx taking them to school and then thought of my stash and realized the kids don't even know about my stash or what I am. I have never shared this with them.

I am a closet numismatist.

I won't get all technical with that definition on how it goes beyond coin collecting and into the study of currency and the payment of debt. It means I am a coin collector. A baby one. I have some old American coins but what I really like are international coins. The more from countries that don't exist the better.

Here is stuff that I am working on. In the bag are international coins that I have not yet either cataloged or identified. I have run out of coin jackets so I am at a stop for a litlle bit. The other coins are some of my American coins, old half dollars, wheatheads, even a couple half dollar mistakes. One of my favorites is a 1908 Berber half dollar given to me by my Grandfather, my first coin.

These are my Iron Curtain Coins. The Soviet Union coin is one of four that I have. The CCCP is visible on the obverse of the coin in the picture. That sort of dorky history stuff gets me all happy. The other two coins are from Yugoslavia and Poland. One a country that no longer exists and the other one is from before they became a democracy.

Here are a few of my coins from The Netherlands, these ones are all my pre-Euro ones. I sent this book with Punx to school. It has about 50 or so coins from 30 countries. Inside are also a couple of Dan's coins from Italy from his mission that I stole.

Last one and this one comes with a funny story. Now these aren't just coins but I knew the kids would like them, too. I got these from my sister, Kaarina who served her mission in Brazil. They have the unfortunate habit of devaluing their currency every now and then. Notice the 5,000 and 10,000 denominations. When my kids saw these their eyes had that slightly buggy look to them, oh wow, they said. I tried to explain that they were worthless and when they were worth something is was less than a dollar. The next day, today, when Punx took them to school he showed the Brazilian cash. "Whoa, your Mom is so rich," someone yelled out. Punx let the teacher try to explain that they weren't worth anything when they didn't get it when he told them.

All the children have decided that they want to collect coins now. They want international coins like me. I had the great idea to ask Daddy to send us some from where he is. I will ask him when he calls next and when we get them I will show all you. I never thought my kids would want to do my dorky habit with me, it's so much fun. I am going to get them their own little book and coin jackets, and make them into little dorks. Isn't it so exciting?

Monday, April 28, 2008

A couple Bug related things

I am having this problem with Bug lately. Nothing I seem to do can get this boy to get dressed in anything less than 15 minutes. Send him upstairs on his own to get dressed and I better not be in any sort of time constraint. It can take him 5 minutes just for shoes and socks. The boy has like five pairs of shoes, but he always has to pull a Rainman on me and need a specific pair that day, "Mom, I need my Lightning McQueen shoes, or Vans or whatever." He also refers to his shoes by brand names, kind of freaks me out. I didn't tell him what kind of shoes they were. "Look at my new Airwalks." That's great, Bug, nobody cares.

Back on topic, if we are in a rush I will need to get him dressed myself to ensure speedy dressing. Not always so feasible on the morning rush with getting three kids ready for school. That's life.

This weekend, here in TN there was a tax free weekend on clothes, school supplies, things like that. I needed new workout shoes from having worn mine accidentally while doing yard work this past week and now they were all green and grossy. I am not going to the Y with green shoes that weren't meant to be green and thought I would check out any sales for summer clothes for the kids. Sales tax here is almost 10%, so no sales tax and any additional sale could be worth it. JCPenney was doing this buy one get another one for $.88. And I found a good deal on some shoes and some 50% off short pajamas for Bug.

We got home late and I wanted the kids to get dressed fast and right into bed. I told Bug, "Get your jamas on super-fast or I am going to take away your other new shark jamas." He took off up the stairs to his room. I took my time getting upstairs and when I got there, normally I would find I naked Bug doing some sort of tribal dance around his bed but instead I found a fully dressed in pajamas Bug. He came running to me with a big smile on his face proud of how fast he had gotten dressed and exclaimed...

"I got dressed faster than a hippo."

Huh? I ran with it, yeah, you did! That is so awesome! Of course, older, wiser, Punx tries to butt in, "If he only had underwear on he would be faster than a hippo." Not helping.

I have been trying to figure out how to capitalize on this and make this more habit, give him new fun exciting clothes everyday? I only have one more pair of new pajamas, then what am I going to do?

Onto the next thing. There is a slight possibility that I might be killing his frog, Kelly. I take good care of that stupid thing but maybe lately, not so much. Maybe I was supposed to clean the cage out a month ago, spray it everyday (I think I have been doing it every other?), feed it every night (if it didn't finish the crickets from the night before do I really need to bother?). Then I looked into the cage and thought, how long have those crickets been in there? How many crickets a day has it been eating? I don't have any idea. Then I looked closer and the frog wasn't moving. I poked at it and it still didn't move, normally it tries everything to get away. I picked it up and it was like, whatever. It even looks a lighter shade of green. I know it weighs like nothing but is it even lighter? Dude, am I killing my son's Christmas present four months later?

First that thing was not cheap. The frog was. The cage, the heater, the bedding, the water dish, the log, the travel cage, the cricket cage, and the crickets. All that crap added up. This thing is not allowed to die. If it died now, that thing would've cost me like $30 a month. So not worth it. Never mind that Bug sort of looks at him every once and a while. It's not like they play together.

Next, I can't look into that little face, your frog is dead. Why, cause your mom is too busy to think about a dumb pac-man frog.

I cleaned the cage today, really well. I guess we just have to wait and see if I can get it to eat tonight. I even left a gimp cricket in there, just in case it is too weak to catch a normal one. It's missing one of it's back legs so it can't jump, no I did not remove the leg, I just found one that way. Stupid frog, stupid mom guilt.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I figured it out

I know I am obsessing about the lawn mower but I have to share this last thing. I still had to finish mowing the lawn on Tuesday and I was still worried about starting it. I thought it had to be easy since in ran for two hours on Monday but you never know what that thing might do, it's such a tricky little blighter. And I was super-sore from the two hours of mowing and the not so smart of me trip to the gym before yard work of an hour and a half.

And wouldn't you know it? One pull, oh yeah! Who's the man? That would be me, if you are wondering.

I thought about this all the next day why is the mower being nice to me? Is he planning some sort of ambush for later? (Of course the mower is a boy) Lulling me into a false sense of complacency and then wham-o no more Mr. Nice-Mower? Then it hit me.

"The enemy of my enemy is my friend."

He knows that the lawn has turned against us both and has formed an alliance with me for this battle. He knows that he will never win without my help and so he has offered his help however short-lived it might prove to be while we fight the insipid yard and whatever vile thing that is breeding in the backyard (see last post's picture).

Now that I know what he is doing I won't be caught off guard when the lawn is back to normal and he revolts again.

Too far? That is what 6 hours of yard work in two days will do to a person. I am still not done. I started trimming the bushes, I got three of my 63 or so buses done on Tuesday. I didn't do any work yesterday, went to the Temple with some friends instead and won't get any done today, Punx is home sick from school and I have to take him to the doctor. Let's think this will be number three infection since Spring Break. First Strep now this is the second ear infection.

Back to that beast of a yard tomorrow but maybe I'll have something else to post about by then.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Cool Kinda Day

This was one of those days when cool after cool thing kept happening. I can't even begin to explain how bad one of these days was needed. To make sure this day was remembered properly, I took a ton of pictures. Get ready.

It started off normally enough, trip to gym, blah, blah, blah. But after I got home it hit me that I could no longer put off mowing the lawn. I went to my ward's fundraiser not too long ago and bought a few boys to mow my lawn but it has now gotten to that point where it would be cruel to make them do it, especially since it was an auction and I got them for cheap. I figure I need to do the first one and then they can maintain. It really wouldn't be fair I mean the backyard looks like this...

I don't even know what the crap that stuff is. If you look in the corner of that picture you can see my pathetic attempt to try and pull this weed. Around the time I realized it was one organism out to get me and my family, possibly the neighborhood, I gave up and called a professional. They start this week.

As I was saying, I really needed to do the first mow. One reason for hiring a bunch of teenager to do it? It takes me about three hours to do it myself. Remember DD praying about the Archenemy? Meet mine...

It takes my two and a half hours to mow and half an hour to get the beast started. I try for about ten minutes. Rest for another ten. Then maybe look helpless enough for another ten until a neighbor comes and helps. I have never gone and asked for someone to just start it right from the start, I just can't to do that. And I have only gotten it to start by myself about, maybe three times.

I am driving to pick up Bug from preschool knowing that when I get home, it is time to start, knowing that none of my neighbors are likely to be at home. I literally start crying at the thought of trying to get this mower to start after it has been sitting in my garage for what? Five months? I am falling to pieces at the mere thought of standing in my driveway facing this thing, pulling the cord, over and over again. Until I am so tired I don't have the energy to mow anymore.

I didn't even have the guts to pull the mower onto the driveway, I tried to start it in the garage. I couldn't face the humiliation of the mower beating me in front of my empty neighborhood. I had to do it in the privacy of my garage.

Three minutes. That is all it took. I beat that thing in three minutes. I even sat down and took a break to stare it down once, too. The last time I stood up I closed my eyes and prayed holding on to that stupid cord, "Please, Heavenly Father, I need this to start." Then bam, three pulls. I cannot express how cool this is to me. All last summer, this mower was such a stress to me. Thank-you.

Then I had to start the mowing. Ah man. I am still not done. While I was mowing, Bug brought in the mail, which brought in super-cool thing number three, to come later.

Also while I was mowing I saw a little Easter candy egg in the gutter, I was like gross. Just a little blue candy coated thing, whatever. Keep moving. Under a tree a see the same thing but only half, and I accidently stepped on it and it just crushed under my foot, it was a bird's egg. I look into the tree looking for a nest but can't see one. Just keep mowing.

When the kids get home, my brain finally clicks about the Easter egg in the gutter and I go and grab it...

Isn't that the cutest tiniest egg you've ever seen? So the kids and I decided we had to go on a nest hunt. We looked high with the binoculars in every tree and just couldn't see one. DD finally decides to climb the tree that I told them I found the other egg piece and there it was, right at shoulder level, in the crook of the branches. Another really cool thing for me. I haven't had a bird's nest in one of my trees before and one we could look into before...

Then I let the kids climb the trees, another first for me. It makes me nervous, I just sat back, after I took pictures, of course...

The last super thing to happen to me came in the mail today...

That is the Complete Jane Austen BABY! I couldn't help my brain. Once I realized that I had missed Persuasion there was only one thing to be done, go online and buy it. So once online looking at Persuasion, there were all the others right next to it and next thing I knew, click, click, click, and check out. And it came so much quicker than they said it would, bonus. Two movies were backordered for 2-4 weeks and they still came earlier than the original delivery date that they given me for the non-back-ordered ones. I got some of the movies last Friday and have already watched Persuasion three times. I know a little over the top, but I am so in love with Captain Wentworth.

So that is my long-winded super-awesome Rocking Cool Day.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Bug Flashbacks

After renaming Punx, I felt like sharing where Bug got his name from...

This is it. And that is the whole story. That picture and that t-shirt combine to make the whole reason on why I started calling him Bug. He was two and the shirt was by far my favorite and by the way, he still makes that face.

Once I realized what a short story it was I decided a trip down memory lane was in order so everyone could know why Bug is so appropriate for him. All these pictures are just a random sampling from a time period of June 2005 to December 2005(2 years old). I didn't even put in all the pictures that I could have, just some of the highlights.

He is such a picky eater, still. I now only put his veggies on his plate. And hold the rest of his dinner for ransom until his four green beans have been eaten. By the time they are Punx and DD have finished their entire dinners and maybe even seconds.

"Mmmm, ce-wee-o." That's the best I could spell phonetically the way he said cereal. He just climbed up onto the counters and rummaged through the cabinets, what a find, sprinkles.

Here he got himself a slightly more nutritious snack of cheddar cheese. See that massive honking bite he took?

This time he didn't choose wisely, trying to eat my rubber grapes. Eventually I was missing so many I just threw them away. To this day I don't know how many were ingested or just lost. Is it just me, or is he ever wearing pants?

Not all Bug fiascos are food related. I stepped in the house to go to the bathroom while the kids were playing in the backyard and came back out to this. He was about two weeks over two years old. This boy has always been my scary climber but being able to up and over the fence was a new thing to worry about for me.

The other thing he has always been good at is pulling a runner. Especially at this age, you could never let go of him in public, the front yard, a foot from the car, etc. The boy would just be gone. This is a picture of the time he pulled a runner and was returned by a stranger who was driving by and saw him do it. Knock, knock. "Is he yours? I just caught him running down the street." Just so all you know, I was not home, it was Dan watching the children. When I got home I let him loose so I could get a picture because that was what he was wearing for his escape, well, at least he put on some boots.

The runner story is last because that is exactly what he did to me again today. I am called out of Relief Society by a member of the Primary Presidency, "Um, we can't find Bug, he ran away, do you know where he might have gone?" There are like six adults scanning the church for this four year old. His class has two teachers. They were taking a bathroom break and he walked out of the bathroom and they were lined up to go back to class when, I guess, he saw his oppurtunity. And he made his wild dash for freedom. Then we all spread out, someone outside, down this way, down that way. I was turning the corner in the hallway when I saw the Primary President see him in one of the overflow sections that was closed up and say something to him and then all of a sudden dash in after him. Apparently upon realizing he was caught he did not take it lying down, he still tried to run.

I then had him sit on a chair in the foyer and he wanted me to sit by him, when I said no, he got attitude at me because that was when he started to understand he was in trouble. When I started to talk to him I said, "Why did you run away?'

"I couldn't help my brain."

I gave myself a second and then tried to explain to him all the whys and how comes to not do that. Then after church made him apologize to everyone I could find who had to go looking for him and his two teachers.

That is my Bug, at least now he almost always is wearing pants.

Friday, April 18, 2008


The whole house is quiet and I am sleeping alone in my bed, for once. There always seems to be one of those halflings trying to sneak in lately. When I am woken up by the house shaking. My first thought? That is a mighty strong wind. But then it kept going. By the time it stop, no more than two seconds. I had already realized that there were no wind sounds to go along with enough wind to get the house shaking like that. And for that long? What would make a house shake in TN? I know what makes houses shake in California, earthquakes. An earthquake here? I guess it's possible.

So what did I do? Go check on the kids? If it woke them up they might be scared, earthquakes can be scary. No, I did what every self-respecting trained born and raised Southern California girl would do.

I went back to sleep.

And figured I could research in the morning. I found it was an earthquake, The children felt nothing, so I will tell them nothing. One less thing they need on their plate.

After I saw a blurp on the local news I went here.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

All kinds of stuff

Alright where to start? I have been really busy with kid activities, scouts, various Army wife whatevers, Big Brother is getting to the end (yes, I watch that, blame homelessness and living with my sister), etc. I have all these great things in my head that I keep going, Oh gotta put that in the blog. But now it's gotten to too much. I only seem to be able to post every few days so all these tidbits in my head must come out so here it is in my very fond of list form.

1. Bug, today, as I came downstairs as we were getting ready to leave said, "You look very pretty in that black shirt, Mom." Then when we were in the car on the way to going out to lunch with some friends to a fancy-pants restaurant, I did what I said I would never do. I decided to stop and get Bug a burger to sneak in, I am not proud of myself but he ate lunch. I tell him my plan that I am going to stop at Wendy's before we go to the restaurant to get him a burger so he won't have to eat anything he doesn't like and his reply, "Wow. that's very nice of you."

2. Somewhere along the line, DD has lost all table manners. She has started chewing with her mouth open and making smacking sounds. I can ask her to please close her mouth but about three seconds later, I'll hear the smacking again and see whatever masticated gross is going on in there. If I told her to stop every time she did it during a meal, I would say it at least 25 times. But that would be less than she actually does it because by me asking her to stop she is trying to be better. If you say nothing at all, seriously, I could rip out my eyes and then jab something extremely sharp into my ears. Make it stop.

3. Punx made the Junior Swim Team at the Y. He practices with the team twice a week. The team, isn't that so cute? I can just sit there and watch his little strokes. His butterfly just makes my heart melt. I had to get a video.

Now, obviously that was freestyle. I haven't gotten a video of him doing butterfly yet. I got another video of him doing breaststroke but it didn't turn out so well. And after getting about four videos I thought maybe I should wait until another day for more shots so everyone wouldn't think I was just a little over the top. And just for clarification Punx is on his way back from his fourth lap and that was his first break. He is doing so great.

4. Ah man, I knew there was another one. Now I can't remember it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I have given this a lot more thought than it really necessitates but really that's what I do. I even used precious minutes of talk time with Dan to try and figure this thing out, he was no help, shocker. I asked the boy himself and took SuperCoolMom's advice on trying out his favorite superhero or tv show as ideas. What he brought to the table was the Suite life of Zach and Cody. I am not going to give him an alias that is just another boy's name, kinda defeats the purpose. The only other show he loves is Spongebob and that didn't give me that warm "that's it" feeling. Although I rather like the evil Plankton.

Needless to say, I am getting a little neurotic over this when we are having a discussion over it while I am folding laundry in my room watching a movie. I am a once a week laundry person and then I spend a couple hours watching a movie in a marathon folding session. The movie is Groundhog's Day. I feel a certain affinity to that movie right now and was trying to get some inspiration. He loves that movie because Groundhog's Day is his birthday and he loves the idea of being stuck day after day in your birthday. So I started to brainstorm from the characters from this movie and got my tingly feeling.

Announcing Punx. Short for Punxatauny Phil the famous Groundhog. I sometimes refer to him as my Groundhog and now this is just one more step closer. I also really like the how it sounds like Punks, which is something I call the children quite frequently.

This is a picture of Punx' first day of school. Look at that sweet little face. He is about to finish the third grade, huh? When I told him I was going to name him Punx he told me he liked it but he still likes Innie. That is my boy, such a sweetheart. We haven't called him that in years but at the thought of giving it up he got a little sad. I told him he would always be my Innie and promised to call him that to his Prom date. But for now he can just be my little Punx.

And a P.S. to my Father who turns 71 today. Happy Birthday Dad.

This is my Dad in Montana, his home at the time, in 1941, age 4.

My father the University of Utah Theoretical Nuclear Physics scholar, some time in the 1960's I think, I would have to make some calls to get the exact year.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Bloggy Award-Its so pretty

I have received my first blogger award! I would like to thank SuperCoolMom for giving this to me. She is my first never met blogger-friend.

I would also like to thank my children for suppling my endless material for post both humorous and mushy. I would also like to thank all my readers who put up with my rants, I'm sure sometimes mind-numbing travelogues, and the occasional too-much-informational pieces that I like to put out there to see who's reading. My most heartfelt gratitude goes out to those who leave comments. I base my self-worth as a human being on how many comments I get.

I will reaward this to SuperCoolMom, because I love her. Others I will share the love with is Nikki who helped me survive my time in the great white north with Killer Bunnies and who I miss terribly. And to my "new and newer" blogger friends Laura and Missy.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

My 100

I made it to my 100th post! I have been looking forward to doing this list since the first time I saw someone else's 100 on their blog when I was just a baby blogger. But no more, I have made it my 100. Enjoy all the random that has come spewing out of my head so that I could fill this thing up...

1. My middle name is Ina (Eye-Na)
2. Ina was my father’s half-sister that raised him after his parents’ death
3. I am the youngest of six children
4. We have 28 nieces and nephews
5. My children have 4 Grandpas and 3 Grandmas
6. I am a Stay-at-home Mom
7. I love being the boss
8. I am half-Finnish
9. My girl’s camp name was Flipper
10. I love Dolphins
11. Girl’s camp is where I met my best friend of 15 years
12. I have a million pet peeves wanna know some?
13. Pretty boys
14. People who tailgate me when I am going the speed limit
15. Old campaign bumper stickers
16. People who smack their lips
17. Who leave their mouth’s open
18. When my kids talk back
19. Fox News
20. I am not a morning person
21. I try not to talk for the first hour
22. I am cranky and not just in the morning
23. I have a bad temper
24. But a good sense of humor
25. I laugh at my own jokes
26. I can finish a Jane Austen novel and just start over
27. I would marry Captain Wentworth
28. I am constantly reading something
29. I love bad movies and disaster movies
30. My favorite TV show when I was a little girl was Inspector Gadget
31. Teenager- Quantum Leap
32. Adult- Gilmore Girls
33. Right now- Heroes, I wish I knew when it was coming back
34. Absolute news junkie, I can’t even get dressed in my room without turning on CNN
35. I miss the Air Force for Dan
36. But I am still mad at them for letting Dan go
37. I love being a military family
38. I can tie a cherry stem in a knot in my mouth
39. It takes like three minutes and I look like a clown
40. I have lived in two Olympic host cities, LA 1984, Salt Lake 2002
41. The torch went right by my Elementary school
42. We had our State Swim Championships every year in the Olympic Pool
43. I still swim every week, at least a mile
44. I never leave the toaster plugged in
45. A faulty toaster caused a house fire when I was seven
46. I am an Anti-pack Rat
47. I throw away/get rid of things all the time and then look for them later, oh well.
48. I love to organize and reorganize
49. I have quite a few OCD hang-ups
50. Especially in my night rituals, noise, pillows in the right place, water, etc
51. I now sleep with a pillow in Dan’s place
52. In High School I was in the play Annie
53. I was one of the orphan girls
54. I was a Senior the rest of the girls were Freshman
55. I am short and have always looked younger than my age
56. I am short but I have never felt it and I always forget it
57. I buy Ibuprofen in bulk
58. I have never drank
59. Never smoked
60. I don’t even drink caffeine
61. But
62. I deliberated this and these things almost didn’t make the list but
63. Naughty things I used to do as a teenager
64. I used to steal money from my mother, a lot
65. Streaking with girlfriends late at night
66. Steal people’s jack-o-lanterns and then throw them out of my car window into intersections on Nov 1
67. Toilet papered a lot of people’s houses
68. Showed way too many people my bum
69. My children don’t know that I have done these things
70. Yet
71. I think that the one to spill the beans will be one of my siblings
72. Even my father knows that I have done these things
73. I love my Father very much
75. I started playing the trumpet when I was five
76. Switched to the French Horn at Eleven, still play it
77. Played the Violin for two years, very badly
78. I had a “boyfriend” Freshman year for 2 weeks
79. His name was Fro
80. I forgot his real name, Mike, for three days
81. I couldn’t ask anybody cause it might get back to him
82. We didn’t speak during spring break, that was counted in the 2 weeks of our dating, I am still surprised it didn’t last
83. I once made out with my sister’s Home Teacher
84. Maybe it was twice
85. I lived in Provo for six months
86. The longest six months of my life
87. I met Dan the next month
88. In a fire I would try to save the kids and my Horn
89. If there was a way to grab a CD collection, I would
90. We own my dream car, a Toyota Tundra, although I covet the newer model
91. North Dakota was my favorite place we have ever lived
92. Negative 60 January and all
93. I got married when I was 19, looking back, man is that young
94. I hate crying in front of people
95. But cry at movies very easily
96. Only Dan knows how truly mushy I really am
97. And my children
98. Anyone else will only see glimpses
99. I am member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
100. My life revolves around that

Monday, April 07, 2008

New Alias

My oldest son is nine years old and we haven't called him Innie (In-ee) since he was about two or three years old. It is a very little boy nickname. We call him by his name, we don't have a nickname for him. Calling him Innie on the blog has been bothering me for a while now but last Saturday morning it hit me with full force, this boy need a new name.

It was Super Saturday and I was getting ready. The kids were basically ready but I called Innie to have him get a bag ready for Bug. The place that Bug goes to has requested that a bag with extra clothes always go with him just in case. I asked Innie to get Bug's backpack and put in a change of clothes in it so we would be ready to go. He tells me that he already did it and that it is ready. Every morning for school he is ready. He is dressed for church even before I wake up, church is at 11am. I am constantly blown away by this kid.

I think that a lot of this can be traced back to some sort of first born responsibility complex. I can't tell you how hard I try to not rely heavily on him. It is almost second nature for me to call him if I need something done because I know if I ask him it will get done. If ask DD, the success rate plummets. So I have been making a huge effort to call DD much more often and try to get more responsibility out of her. I refuse to make Innie the de-facto man in the house, he is my child, and he gets to have a childhood regardless of where Daddy is. The most humorous thing about this is the biggest thing I have to fight in this is Innie himself. I have to remind him that he is a kid, that he is not DD or Bug's Dad and to let me do my job. He so rarely gets in trouble but if we are going to butt heads it will be over this issue, him trying to force his siblings to do the right thing to make my life easier.

He is such a funny little thing. He is a tiny nine year old. DD is barely smaller than him even though she is two years younger. He is so smart, so reserved. We got him a bike for his fifth birthday, he looked at it, got up walked a circle around it with barely a smile on his face but we knew he was bursting with excitement. For his ninth, we got him a Star Wars Transformer that he had been asking for, his response was so uncharacteristic of him that it even surprised my sister because it was totally childlike, "Whoa, come to papa!"

Even though he rarely gets into trouble, he's not a total freak. He can still be a kid, laugh at a bathroom joke, play a prank on his little brother or sister. And when he wants to he can be very evilly manipulative to try and get his siblings into trouble or mess with his cousin's mind. So I am stumped, I can't think of a single thing to call my oldest boy. This gentle trying too hard tiny boy with his hidden evil streak that I secretly love. Any ideas?

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Economic Woes Rant

You can't watch five minutes of news these days without hearing about the economic horrors this nation is facing right now. Huge banks collapsing, home foreclosures, stock market free fall, the horrendous news just keeps coming. I have nothing but sympathy for the thousands of people facing a real financial struggle. I can't even begin to imagine the loss and fear associated with losing your home. However, yes, you knew there was a but coming, I am having a hard time getting too worked up about a lot of these "personal" stories that they bring you to put a human face on the numbers. So many of these people only deserve sympathy. Once you hear their story you wonder why anyone would ever think that they deserve any sort of governmental bail out.

For instance, the face of the attack on the middle class. CNN did a profile on a woman who was having a really tough time. She was laid off her mortgage sector job, a few months later her husband left, her mother moved in with her to help with the mortgage. She makes can't qualify for food stamps, she gets unemployment. She has started going to the food bank for help. All her money now goes to keeping a roof over her head. I feel for her, I do. This is where she lost me. And she is telling her story to get our sympathy she explains how when she gets ready to go to the food bank she removes her Tiffany bracelet and doesn't take her coach purse. Alright now I am just mad. Why is your bracelet not on eBay by now, why is your purse not up there with it?

I cannot take any more people talking about the attack on the middle class. Have we thought about the fact that maybe the middle class is filled with people who are actually faking it? People who shouldn't be middle class. Just because you are living a middle class lifestyle doesn't make you middle class. If in two to three months of hardship you might lose your home and you are out of money by the end of the first month, maybe you weren't actually middle class? I think we need to rethink the definition of middle class. Now huge, monumental catastrophe, that I won't argue. You know, through the roof medical bills, some sort of horrible legal battle followed by lawyers fees, that kind of stuff can kick anybody down, even the most avid of savers.

Here is a personal disclaimer. I don't consider myself middle class, too much debt. If Dan were too lose his job we would be like all these other people. We are working hard to remedy that situation. We are plugging away every month at our debt and trying to make that number in savings go up a little bit more. Just putting that out there.

Since when did being in debt up to your eyeballs, barely making minimum payments, but having your kids in soccer, dressing nice and owning a house all of a sudden make you middle class? What a sorry state we are in that keeping up with the Joneses has become drowning with them also.

The thing that is so sad about all this is that somewhere along the line the American Dream became the American Right Now with no money down with no work involved. It would be wonderful for every American to own their own home but only if they can afford it. I would rather it take hard work and sacrifice to own a home than it be all interest only loans and we all end up Zimbabwean millionaires. (Just for the record in Zimbabwe with all the political unrest there inflation is out of control and for about $2 you can get about $100 million dollars there but that is still not enough to buy flour.)

This whole economy right now has got me fired up. It has me a little scared but mostly highly motivated to get my financial house in order. If a long recession is in the works, I want my family to be prepared. I guess the spending fast was a really good idea after all.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

My number One insecurity

On a friendly blog there was this fun little thing to do. Simple really, all you have to do is type in your blog address and it will give you your blog's readability level. I didn't even think about the consequences it would have on my ego for days on end but hey look something fun and shiny, let's do it.

And so here is my results..

blog readability test

Movie Reviews

The second I saw it I laughed. Then I decided to hide the evidence, that no one would ever know my dirty little secret of my Nancy Drew of a blog.

I then decided to move on and pretend that this had never happened except that it did and I knew it and I am not one to let things go. Next thing I know I am doing the dishes dissecting this bloggy thing thinking what in my blog makes me a junior high school level. I hated junior high. Did it take into account the fact that I put in my blog address incorrectly at first, did it grade my typing skills before it checked my grammar? And it took like two seconds, how can check grammar that fast? What the heck is it checking? The amount of times I used the word like? I don't even use emoticons, shouldn't that go for my favor? What about sarcasm and irony, a computer can't check implied intent in two seconds, can it? Is it too many kids stories where I used what they said verbatim? Are you telling me that blogging about my kids is actually dragging down my blog IQ? I knew it, dang those halflings.

Then I thought about this post and mounting my defense to show how actually smart I really am and then putting down in list form all the smarty-pants things I really do. But lets get to the heart of the matter. Appearing to anyone at anytime to be anything less than intelligent is my biggest insecurity. Once in a while I know that I am a little empty-headed when it comes to my calendar but that doesn't bother me at all. Appearing to be laid-back, not a problem. The thought of anyone thinking that I am not intelligent is intolerable.

It started from childhood. The youngest of six children, I have been playing catch-up for as long as I can remember. In my house, grades were the ultimate example of your intelligence. It was compounded by an early marriage, early kids with a very young face accompanied with very impertinent remarks. And the postponement of my higher-education.

I feel like I have been compensating for my lack of college degree ever since. Especially when you are in the baby phase and all anyone talks about it mind-numbing baby things, and where did you meet your husband chatter? Don't get me wrong, I can dissect a pregnancy by trimesters with the best of them, tells you exactly how old each of my children were when they finally slept through the night and can continue ad nauseum. However, there are times when I just want to talk politics, literature, anything else if not to prove that I am intelligent than just to prove that I am an adult.

I didn't write this to get any comments about that I am smart, really. I am sending this out there to show one of my failings that I am trying to overcome. This isn't one of those things like a skinny woman who complains about being fat so she will get compliments on being pretty and thin. I am not stupid, this I know. I am smart. My insecurity is solely wrapped up in people not perceiving me as intelligent. On the other side of that coin, I also have problems with trying not to seem like a know-it-all either. I walk a wonderful tight-rope of insecurities.