Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday, Monday.....

It's Monday. Today is a bit of a foggy Monday- interrupted sleep last night. Quite a patch of weather tore through the Heartland last night, leaving many uprooted trees, fences, lots of shingles and various items littering the streets.
I found out later that a tornado was actually sighted in our subdivision. It tore up some roofing, facia and playsets. We spent a good two hours picking up tree limbs and restacking our wood pile. On the bright, it could have been so much worse. We could have lost homes or worse yet, friends or family. So maybe it's Monday, maybe I'm foggy, but I'm still here, happy, healthy and basking in the sunshine of the day.

Yours, focusing on the bright side,


Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Fun- I Have Seriously Thought About These...

It's Friiiiiiiday. It's been a very long three weeks at the B house. First there was the week with three snow days. Not bad in and of itself, until that week was followed by a week with Z1 home for another three days with a tummy virus. He went back on Friday, alas, to a half day. This week, we had President's Day off, and Z1 has been home ALL. WEEK. with the flu. The real, bonafide, doctor tested and confirmed flu. Temp of 105.5. And on his birthday, too. The child looked like a train wreck.

All of this to say, I'm a little tweaky today. Tweaky as in ready to get in the car and lay down some serious rubber in the driveway. Momma need a day (or 8) off. So let's laugh a little, shall we? My girlfriend sent me this email, and I feel it is my humor-filled duty to pass it along. It's Friday, let's laugh!

Questions That Haunt Me:

Why do you have to 'put your two cents in'... but it's only a 'penny for your thoughts'? Where's that extra penny going to?

Why is it that people say they 'slept like a baby' when babies wake up like every two hours?

If a deaf person has to go to court, is it still called a hearing?

Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?

Why is 'bra' singular and 'panties' plural?

If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?

Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are getting dead?

Why do banks charge a fee on 'insufficient funds' when they know there is not enough money?

Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?

Why do they use sterilized needles for death by lethal injection?

Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?

Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest, but ducks when you throw a revolver at him?

Why do Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

Whose idea was it to put an 'S' in the word "lisp"?

Why is it that no matter what color bubble bath you use the bubbles are always white?

Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will have materialized?

Why do people keep running over a string a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it down to give the vacuum one more chance?

How come you never hear father-in-law jokes?

And my FAVORITE........

The statistics on sanity is that one out of every four persons are suffering from some sort of mental illness. Think of your three best friends -- if they're okay, then it's you.

Yours, awaiting all your answers to my questions,


Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Who knew, when Melissa and I met, that our boys' birthdays would only be 2 days apart? So her son's last day of being 9 was on Monday, and my twins' last day is today. Tomorrow they will be 10. Double digits. 20 if you add them together, as one of my friends pointed out! (No, I can't even think of that.)

Part of me is weepy over the seemingly fast rate at which they are growing. But part of me is loving how they are becoming more independent and more mature. I love watching the process and imagining the men that they will become.

And yes, part of me is longing for the days when I can actually leave the house and not have to worry about being home for the bus! Or planning a night out with the hubby without (gasp!) hiring a babysitter. But I realize that with those privledges for me come all new problems of the pre-teen and teenage years. Ugh!

So for now, I'll just be wistful, remembering the 1-digit years of my boys' lives. **Sigh**

Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday, Monday... His last 9 Day

It was 6:18 AM. I was putting coffee on and heading downstairs to my workout when he came downstairs with a confused look on his face. I thought it was a little odd for him to come down without his robe. Clearly he was intent on finding me. I was struck by the smallness of him, standing there in his skivvies, and I held my arms out to him. "You okay, baby?" I asked.

"I had a really bad dream, Mom," he replied. "Okay, honey," I said. "Come sit down with me and tell me about it."

We went into the living room. It was still dark outside, so we cozied up in the easy chair and ottoman. Long and lanky, he fit onto my lap perfectly, draping the rest of himself however he could. He took my arm and wound it round himself so he could stay wrapped and warm.

He tried to tell me about his dream. All the while, I'm thinking, (complete with guilt, thank you!) "I need to help him process quickly so I can get to my workout." After three attempts, he said,"I just can't phrase it right. Can we just sit here for a few minutes?"

"Sure," I said. He laid his head back and closed his eyes. Soon I felt his breathing begin to even out. Stroking his hair, I remembered holding him as a baby and thinking how fast ten years have gone by. This was his last morning as a 9 year old. Sigh. The other day when I remarked to someone he was turning ten, they told me his years spent with me were more than half over. I wanted to yell,"Don't! Say! That!" and push them away. But it's true. They are. He's so excited to get to be in "double digits". And already talking about driving...

He moved his head a bit, and I broke from my trip down memory lane. "Honey, I can carry you upstairs if you want. I'll put you in my spot in my bed and you can snuggle up to Daddy."

"Can we just stay right here? It's just that, well, I'm at peace right here and it's just not the same with Daddy."

Knowing how quickly the last ten years have passed, and that the next eight will be even faster, I didn't hesitate. My hips and thighs could wait. I hugged him a little tighter and relaxed.

"You bet, baby," I whispered. "We can stay here all day if we need to."

Yours, relishing the moments,


Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Fun- Almost Marilyn

It's a beautiful day in The Lou. Yesterday it hit 72 degrees. Quite a change from our ice storm two weeks ago. Today is a breezy 65. Breezy being the key word, here.

Yesterday was so lovely that when I was getting dressed this morning, I could bear closed toe shoes no longer. Which lead to the short sleeved tee with the, of course, silk sarong pants. A perfectly ingenious and logical conclusion, one would agree, particularly when going to work on a Friday. So off I went, completely happy in my comfy choice. I went to work taught my class, and after visiting with a few people began to make my way to the parking lot.

Currently, due to construction, it's a 10 minute hike. No worries. I put my briefcase and purse on my shoulder, grab my coffee mug and start for the lot. Beautiful sunny morning, I'm enjoying my walk. Nothing like a sudden gust of wind to break my Friday reverie. You see, my pants, since they wrap, are a bit billowy. And today I discovered that when the wind catches them just right, not only do they billow, but the legs separate. I also discovered that if your arms are full, it's difficult to catch your pantlegs before they blow sideways. All the way up your leg.

I'm currently reconsidering which undergarments I will wear with these lovely pants throughout the Spring. Especially on breezy afternoons. Particularly when walking past construction.

Yours, hoping we all keep our pants together,


Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Sometimes we just need to stop fretting about the small stuff (Did you notice I said “fretting” and not “sweating?” No copyright infringement here!) and count our blessings. Thesethoughtful past couple of weeks have become one of those times for me.

In short, a 41 year old neighbor was shoveling his walk and suffered a massive heart attack known as “The Widow Maker.” Sends chills up your spine, doesn’t it? Thankfully, he is one of the few who will survive this.

Another neighbor is losing her almost 4 year battle with cancer. She will probably not be able to see her youngest daughter graduate high school in May, her one goal throughout her illness. Hospice was finally called in yesterday.

Late last week I visited the Alzheimer Association with my friend from high school and her father, who is like a father to me. Knowing the journey he is beginning is depressing for him, and for my friend and I also.

So when Melissa asked me the other day what I want to do when I grow up, all I could do is say, “I want to help others.” And I don’t mean it in a Save the World, Mother Theresa way. (After all, I am Jewish!) I mean, I want to start visiting my “Dad” more often. I want to cook dinner for my neighbor. I want to walk rescue dogs.

volunteer handsI want to become a better person, I guess. But this isn’t for completely selfless reasons. I want to feel better about myself. So if helping others is the way to accomplish this, then Way To Go, Karen!

So what do you all do when you want to become a better person? Do you volunteer? Help a neighbor? Give me some suggestions please!


Monday, February 14, 2011

Half Day vs. Full Day

Today, Dear Readers, I am departing from my usual, uhm, wit and humor (HA!) and looking at something parents debate across the nation. In some states, it's not a question. But here in The Lou, we have the option. And let me tell you, some parents can take a serious stance on it.

That being the case, we have guest bloggers, Ms. Kathleen Thomas and Ms. Emily Patterson. Check out their thoughts below:

Does Half-day Preschool Really Make a Difference?

Even though parents want to freeze time, childhood flies by. Your child may be in the dreaded "terrible twos" stage and it might seem like it will schooling is light years away, but this in fact is prime time to consider preschool and day care options. There are many factors to be considered and they include but are certainly not limited to the type of education, public, private, or Montesorri, as well as selecting the actual school they will attend. As there are so many factors to consider, many parents do not think of the full or half-day pre-school attendance question until it is in front of them. According to basic principles of early childhood development education, preschool is an integral time for children to learn proper socialization. There is significant early childhood development research dedicated to the question of full or half-day preschool. The information below can be highly beneficial in your decision making process.


Many researchers, scholars, and educators argue that a child can begin building a solid social and educational foundation by attending a half-day preschool program. Children in half-day preschool programs are introduced to proper ways of socially interacting with their peers as well as gain exposure in appropriate behaviors for a classroom. Children enrolled in half-day preschool programs gain invaluable educational and social experience, while slowly introduced to the idea of attending school for a full day. Half-day preschool programs make the transition from preschool to kindergarten much easier. Many neurological researchers believe that the attention span and learning capacity of a 3-year old child is better suited for attending half –day preschool.


One of the largest disadvantages of half-day preschool programs to consider is the disruption that a child will experience as they leave their classroom half way through the day. This is a factor to be considered especially by parents who will send their children to a preschool program that runs the full day, but plan on sending them only for a half-day. From a socio-educational stand point the child may miss out on many activities and opportunities to interact with their teachers and other students, if taken out of the classroom earlier than other students. Your child’s complete classroom experience might contain a gap between their daily experience and one of your child’s peers who remained in the program for the entire day. Many children who remain in preschool program’s for the entire school day receive a more whole and complete social and educational experience.

The Decision:

The choice of sending your child to a full or half-day of preschool is very personal. While it is important to take into consideration many of the advantages and disadvantages listed above, the final choice must also reflect the personality of the child as well as the lifestyle of the family that the child comes from, as well as the needs of the parents. It is important to keep in mind that whatever route you select there is going to be a large adjustment period for your child and yourself. Keep in mind that fatigue, crankiness, and difficulty separating from the family are all normal reactions to beginning formal schooling. Some children adjust smoothly while others struggle. There is no normal reaction and each child should be parented as an individual.

Co-written by Emily Patterson and Kathleen Thomas

Emily and Kathleen are Communications Coordinators for the Atlanta day care facility, a member of the AdvancED® accredited family of Primrose Schools (located in 16 states throughout the U.S.) and part of the network of day care preschools delivering progressive, early childhood, Balanced Learning® curriculum.

Yours, hoping this helps with your decision,


Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday, uhm, fun. Right.

It's Friday, and usually that means I'm ready to let my hair down and kick back and have some fun. Today, I'm just glad it's Friday. Yes, I'm having a personal safety day. You know those days- the kind where you simply should remove yourself from civilized society for everyone else's personal safety? Well, I'm there. It usually passes quickly, but I always feel it's fair to warn people. It's like I tell my kids,"Love, if I tell you to duck, and you don't listen and you get hit, I can't help that."

But ANYway....

Z1 has been home most of the week. He's a pretty cool little boy, so I didn't mind it much. Until he gave me whatever he had. I still love him, of course, but whatever this is living inside my stomach and entrails, it's GOT to go. On Wednesday, we were playing double solitaire. It's fun and it's sorting, so even in my sleep deprived state, I can manage it. We were moving along and I finished just before he did. It upset him. "I'm NEVER going to be as fast as you!!!!" he wailed.

"Oh, honey," I replied,"One day you will beat me. You'll be much faster than me."

Still insulted he whined,"Yeah, but only because you'll be old and wrinkly!"

I didn't know quite how to take that....

Yours, wishing you a lovely, non-personal safety weekend,


Wednesday, February 9, 2011


On the off chance some of you haven’t seen my rantings on Facebook this week, let me fill you in on my experience that began Sunday evening. My AT&T U-verse went out. At halftime. During Super Bowl. With a small party going on at my house. During Super Bowl. There was no picture on my TV. During Super Bowl. (Did I mention it was during Super Bowl? Sorry.)

So we missed all of the halftime show (although I understand we didn’t miss much) and part of the 3rd quarter while we kept resetting our cable box. Then it worked, then it didn’t, then it did, and so on for the rest of the game.

But here’s where it gets worse: I call AT&T the next morning to set up a service call. When I finally get to a real live person, the first thing she does is repeat my phone number back to me and asks if that’s a good call back number in case we get disconnected. Yes, it is, I replied. She asks for an alternate number “just in case.” I give her my cell number and think how thorough she is. We talk, she agrees I need a service call, she puts me on hold to set it up, and I wait. And wait. And wait. All the while, listening to very loud music. When suddenly, the music stops, and there is silence.

Hmm, that can’t be good, I think to myself. Nope, next thing I hear is clicks, and I know it’s all over. So I hang up and wait for her to call me back. Because, you know, she has TWO phone numbers for me, right? So I wait. And wait. And wait. And guess what? NO PHONE CALL!!!

So I’m getting REALLY PISSED! I pick up the phone and call AT&T back. The little electronic man recognizes my phone number and says, “I see you have a service appointment today between 4 and 9.”



What am I missing here? What happened to good old fashioned customer service? If you’re going to ask me for my phone number, then USE IT! Otherwise, just tell me that if we get disconnected, too bad, I’ll need to call YOU back. Then I won’t expect anything from you. And hey, if you schedule an appointment for me, then TELL ME!

Whew, okay, it’s time to let it go, Karen! The technician came, he fixed, he left. Hopefully my cable will work now. Next year, I’m going to Melissa’s house for Super Bowl!


Monday, February 7, 2011

Somehow, I Wasn't Expecting You, Monday

It's Monday. Really? Because my days have started running together and I'm not sure which week it is, let alone which day. Seriously! After three snow days in a row, everything getting adjusted toward that, and the fray of trying to catch up, yet stay ahead, because we have another snow system moving in on Tuesday night (or is it Wednesday? I have no idea!) even my daughter thought it was Valentine's Day today.

And 5 minutes into my drive to work this morning, the school nurse called. Rats! I had even thought yesterday,"Hmmm... maybe we dodged the winter bullet this year." Nope. (Think I jinxed myself?) Now I'm simply hoping that whatever Z1 has 1.) passes quickly and 2.) does not get the rest of the family. We'll see, right? Because honestly, I don't have the time to be sick. I'll never catch up then!!!! So I went to work, gave the scheduled exam, because after the snow days last week, my students are all screwed up timewise. Flew back to the elementary school where the world's best school nurse kept my child in her office for me, ran by my other job to set up the desk for lessons tonight and am now awaiting the sitter so I can go back to work. Nothing like a little running around, right?

Also, posted are a few more pics of Z1's winning tank. I didn't feel like the Friday pics did it justice, and after all the work both guys put into it, I felt like it deserved to be seen. (Yes, sometimes I am THAT mom. I'll own it.)

Yours, hoping you all are well and dodging that yucky winter mess!


Friday, February 4, 2011


If you've ever had a boy scout or been involved in Boy Scouts, you know that Pinewood Derby is a big deal. I mean, bigger than big. When I went to Home Depot to pick up supplies, the gentleman helping me find the appropriate item waxed nostalgic."Oh wow! Pinewood Derby! I LOVE the Derby." He went on to explain that he had been a Pack Leader for 5 years and that was always the highlight of the year. He began telling me about his cars. I thought for a moment I saw a tear in his eyes. For real.

Everywhere I went, it I even uttered the words "Pinewood Derby", grown men would catch their breath and sigh. It was a little unsettling to me, as in the B house, we just kinda went with the flow.

Except this year. Last year, Dad and Z1 worked on a car together. They had a good time, and it was a good experience. They learned about working together and planning ahead and thinking things through and crafting the car with their bare hands.

But not this year.

When Dad said he really wasn't interested in the whole ordeal, I decided it was time to go to the master. This time, Mama wasn't playing. I decided to go to The Yoda of all Pinewood Derby car creations. Yes, I went to Karen's husband, Kent Berg.

Kent graciously guided us through a long process of choosing and designing and painting. He was fabulous. Zach put in his time in painting and sanding and finishing. Zach walked away with not just first place, but Judge's Special Trophy for Best Overall.

I don't think Zach's feet have touched the ground yet. He carries the trophy around the house everyday. But what I loved the most was the thank you note he wrote to Mr. Berg.

So I still contend, (Karen :-), it's still about the boy! Of course, we don't define the ages of the boy, so we can both agree, it's still about the boy.

Yours, grateful for good friends,


Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Truth be told, I was going to take the easy way out today andweather report blog a Wordless Wednesday, showing you all the beautiful sights covered in snow (even though most of you can look out of your own windows and see them for your yourselves). But NOOOOO, here in St. Louis, instead of the predicted 10-20 inches, we get about 1-2 inches. Seriously! Yes, we did get the ice first, they got that right, but WAAAAAAY off on the snow accumulation.

How does that happen?

With all that sophisticated technology at their fingertips, how can our meteorologists get it SO WRONG, SO OFTEN???

Here’s my theory:  Mother Nature can be unpredictable (obviously). She likes to do her own thing. And being a woman, I’m sure that she changes her mind just to piss people off sometimes. She’s thinking, “Haha, they think I’m sending the storm due North, so I’m gonna just tweak it a bit and change its direction to the East a little tiny bit. BWAHAHAHAHA!!!!!” (That was her evil laugh, because to her, a tiny bit is super bowlhundreds of miles off course.)

She’s a terrible mother!

Oh, and this week, she’s especially evil. Just because SHE doesn’t like football, she’s making it horrendous for everyone involved in the Super Bowl by giving Dallas cold weather and ice right before the big day. Really, Mother Nature? Just deal with the fact that football is here to stay. Give them some heat to melt your stupid ice!