Sunday, March 28, 2010

Are You Kidding Me?

(click to read)



I know I live in an Ikea $300 dollar kitchen table world, my couches have been scribbled on, my curtains are STILL on extension rods due to the fact that I have two boys who like to try to use my draperies as capes. And these days with very young children I don't strive for "haute couture" and probably never will. I'm mostly prone to functional and fun and with that said, I may be biased.....BUT this spread really took the cupcake.
Real Simple is a magazine I do enjoy. I've said it before, I've gotten great ideas from their soothingly toothed pages...like using an empty 6 pack to store plastic ware (glamorous I know). The pages themselves are relatively simple as opposed to, say, the ADHD layouts of Glamour. But this $35,000 dining room makeover....wow, how simple. Simply mystifying that is....I wonder if that's a look of contentment on her face or one of resignment.....because we all know that once the cameras are turned off, it's Superman time with those $500 curtains...UP, UP AND AWAY little dudes!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Fromage


All right, all right, I give up and I promise, promise to be good.
Dear cheese, I will miss you. Maybe you can come and visit sometime this summer and you can even bring one of my other friends, yogurt and even better bring that bad girl, ice cream! But for now, I'm saying mercy, uncle, I give up, I can't eat you anymore even though I've tried to get away with it.

It's pretty pathetic how much I love cheese. I can pass up cookies, cakes, chocolate and many of the other infamous "c's" but cheese...seriously you could melt a nice colby on a long haired Persian and I would eat the whole thing (sorry cat lovers). This love of cheese can be traced back to when my mother would melt cheddar on salty saltine crackers and my sister and I would scrape it off with our little kid teeth and pretend it was forbidden gum. A ha....the forbidden gum.

I've been trying to think myself into NOT being lactose intolerant. I've downed so many pink bottles of Pepto that my kids think I am sneaking something sweet....countless times I have said to them, I know it LOOKS like it should be yummy but trust me, it's not. The other night (and I can't believe I'm writing this) I couldn't get off the floor next to my son's bed as I read him a bedtime story, gasping for air, stabbing pains in my back, he thought I was dying.....OH, NO kid, I just ate TOO MUCH CHEESE. Yes, when that happens it's time to say goodbye. Colby, cheddar, munster, provolone, I love you but alas but hit the road Jack....mmmmmm...monterey jack, okay, okay, I'll stop. Really.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Get Thee To A Nunnery

 (From the book Exploring Children's Interests-1951
there are some gems in this "pamphlet")



I told my oldest son last night that I was going to give him to gypsies. I didn't mutter it under my breath or make light of it, I was very, very, very serious. He didn't flinch. He called my bluff. Did I feel better saying it? Nope.  I used to console myself with the idea that when he was young I shouldn't worry too much about specific threats that I have made. I mean, how many of us actually remember when our mothers threatened to give us to the neighbors or sell us to the circus?

 Sometimes I have a really hard time with defiance (reason for the gypsy threat), I didn't experience it much as a child.  I was a good kid.....I was a REALLY good kid, painstakingly good and extremely terrified of getting in trouble. It wasn't fear of my parents or teacher just fear of doing something wrong itself. I never even talked back to an adult until high school and then. whoa nelly, sorry Mom, the floodgates were open...maybe it was all of that repressed "bad" coming out. In fact, I tend to wonder.....do extremely (I mean extreme) good kids turn out to be "bad" teens/adults? Do "bad" kids end up better off since they don't need to vent quite as much? It's an interesting theory. Don't get me wrong, I am not divulging anything inflammatory about myself on a blog that both my mother and probably some of my students' parents read but I'm sure there were times when my mother's hand was one step away from rotary dialing a nunnery or the gypsies for that matter.

Monday, March 22, 2010

BINGO! No?


Played 20 rounds of Bingo the other night at my son's school. I brought both boys (4 and 6). It was 20 rounds of complete torture. No one won at BINGO. There were no prizes. Until I heard my name called out for having won the raffle (out of like 300 people). "I won!" I exclaimed. My boys looked increduously at me. Huh? "I won the raffle!" I said. "That doesn't count Mom, that doesn't count as winning at BINGO." (shucks). But then the older kiddo perked up, "Well," he said, "what did you win?"
"Two tickets to the next PTO event." I explained. (To an auction at a local winery).
"Yep, that's not winning." he confirmed. (shucks again).

PS-I did collect all of our used BINGO cards to use in my collages. They were so "retro" looking. Each having it's own LOSING story.
I couldn't help it. I know I looked a little odd doing it but I simply explained to another mother after she glanced at my hoarding, "Scrapbooking." A nod, recognition. I won, I did.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Delete, Repeat

 (Old watercolor I found when cleaning out my basement circa 2000)




I heard on the radio the other day that although we have got a lot of efficient technologies and life conveniences, people don't garner as much free time because of them as we would think. A digital camera which seems so much more quick and easy is actually more work than a big ole' 35mm since there is no pop- the- film- out- put- it- in- the- mail, instead there's the hook- it- to- the- computer -with crawling- download- speeds (at least in my case) and THEN you have to go through the selection process to even send the files to the photo lab....and of course, pick  them up. The steps to get from A to B are plentiful.

It certainly has me dragging. I've got over 10,000 pictures on this computer/typewriter and I've got to find the time to get them off and onto a flash drive or something. They are "supposedly" backed up on my little removable Porsche super drive but I can't find them when I go to look. It seems so simple. I'm pretty technologically savvy why can't I back my files up and then (gasp) FIND them. I think I need to pay someone to clean up my Mac and then while they are at it, clean my house too...now there's a service.
My husband says to me the other day, you should just buy a laptop at some point....and then when I fill that up where will I go? I'm like a snail outgrowing his shell.....I've just got to learn how to hit "delete".


PS. Just finished David Lynch's Catching the Big Fish (it's about meditation and art making)....think I'm going to try me some meditation....meditation that is, in some other form than going to the bathroom and enjoying the 30 seconds of quiet before one child figures out where I am. Bang, bang, bang, MOM!!!

PS. I caught my four year old son playing Wii Resort with his eyes closed, fully laid out on the couch, his one arm was waving with slicing motions while holding onto the Wii remote...I asked him what he was doing, "Relaxing sword fighting, Mommy." (Of course)

PSS. Refrigerators are REALLY expensive.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Small Change

(Jamie (6) made these collages yesterday when all three of my kids were in my "studio" 
making art-I had to pinch myself, it didn't last long)


You always hear the saying that change is good. And after becoming a mother it is completely inevitable-not something to side step or choose not to put on one's plate. Change happens so rapidly in a parent's life, you have to adapt or be, let's say, miserable. I think I have been miserable at some point in the past six years....I think I have learned some too, let's hope.
My son-is a profit of things should stay the same. He doesn't like different, he'll take a side order of same pair of pants everyday, thank you very much. He's happy in his ways. And me, I've getting too complacent....now I am getting kind of squirmy. I already did drastic diet change and now I am looking for some smaller life changes.....
I recently finished Gretchin Rubin's Happiness Project-which was frankly, just okay. Let's say it didn't make me happy reading it...I had to make myself finish it which did not make me happy (you get the drift). A cute cover with funky handwriting lettering gets me every time. The writing seemed to jump all over the place and I think if I read one more thing about her little "gold stars" of self congratulation well....that's not a happy thought.
  I did take a few things from it though after I figured out what she was talking about. I think I am going to try some small new things and I am sure I'll post know how they turn out-I know, I know, you can't WAIT! But I've got to do it.....a little challenge, a new veggie, a new view etc, it may be a few times a week or maybe only once. It could be a silly as a living room picnic with my kids or daring myself to do something, like go to a new church (not having been in years-I am thinking Episcopalian which shares many of my views), or trying to get up before my kids (that means 6am).....just little adjustments.....fine tuning.....
For my first trick, I am going to buy a new refrigerator all by my little self...I know this sounds silly, but I think I have said before that the Fullers are notorious for making do, if our front door fell off, we would find a way to live without it and I am really bad about spending money on "big" ticket items. Our fridge right now will be banished to the basement, only the fridge part really works to hold beverages....we've been living with a leaking fridge (freezer part) for longer than I should state.......so although it doesn't seem like much-it is for me....I can spend months pouring over Consumer Reports and polling people about their kitchen appliances and ultimately I am going to have to make a decision (my husband is leaving it to me and promises not to complain unless I do first) all by myself and by April 1st. 
Item #1: Don't think too much, just buy it.
Wish me luck.....

P.S-I know it's blasphemous not to enjoy a book about happiness, I did like parts of it and I wish the author no unhappiness. If you want a better book (in the same vein of "self-help" and humor) full of more original writing check out Jennifer Niesslein's Practically Perfect in Every Way. Of course, she is one of my dearest friends and so I may be biased, nah.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Darn Dora

 You may have noticed that I haven't been posting as frequently as I used to. Most of this is due to having a part time job and my two year daughter (need I say more) but mainly it's because of a little cartoon character called Dora....yes, you heard that right, Dora. She's cute and educational and my four year old is quite adept at pulling her website up and going on adventures with her. Alas, we are a one computer household right now (well there are a couple of  unplugged outdated candy colored IMacs taking up closet space) and I have been "bumped". Now, you say, be the adult and kick the kid off but my he is pleasant enough to let me get on every once in awhile...like say, the 3 minutes I am getting to type this up, thanks kid. For example he is telling me right now that he is being polite and sweet and that he really. really likes me....but mom, when will you be done? Oh butter me up kid, I am a softy for that kind of talk. Okay, Ola Dora.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Quote

Heard this on one of the kids shows this morning....(Martha Speaks)
"A little public humiliation should never stop anyone from having fun."
A lesson for everyone.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Oink



I've been eating a lot of bacon lately. And really, it's not really something that I am apt to eat. Oh, I'll eat it if it's cooked and on a plate but I don't regularly buy it. I'm not knocking it either...it's just that since I've been on the WORLD's MOST RESTRICTIVE diet I've overindulged in the naughty things that one should not be eating in the pounds. I've found myself saying "Yipee! That cajun inspired extra fat beef round is Gluten Free!" I'll buy it....just because it is.
Listen closely people....diets stink....there are two different kinds-self inflicted and I had no choice diets (diabetics, heart conditions, Celiac etc). Me, I am on the no choice as you know. I didn't choose Celiac disease, it chose me, ahhhhh shucks how sweet of it but I've been getting used to it (day by day). So take my good advice self inflicted dieting people...just eat what you like/love in moderation because the alternative (not eating it at all) is plain not fun and you never know when you're going to have your last Giovanni's....see next sentence......
( it really does stink when one is at a birthday party where one's favorite kind of non gluten free pizza is being served and one did not eat ahead of time, oops....that makes for a cranky Beth)

So all of this has gotten me thinking.....yes, this is a big wake up call to eat better. I did need it. I just didn't want it served up like this. I wasn't a bad eater before but just because I am able to bypass Mc Donald's doesn't mean I am a true vision of healthfulness.

Soooo....this summer (June through October) I finally bought a half share of produce from one of our local farmers. Each Tuesday, I am going to take the kids to farm and pick up our fresh veggies and fruit. We can pick berries or whatever is in season too, visit the animals.......and I promise, promise to stay away from the pig.

(PS.The art above has nothing to do with pigs, bacon or the such....)

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Coffee, Tea and Me and You and Your Kids and....

On Sunday I had the pleasure of meeting up with a gaggle (yes, that's a real number) of girlfriends at a local coffee shop. The shop is located in a historic district and had moved into a vacated shoe shop that had been there for egons (yes, another real number). Inside, it was wonderful, mismatched chairs, odd sized tables, floor to ceiling bookshelves, it was not unlike an eclectic thrift shop only with really, really scrumptious soy lattes (my new drink). However, the whole time I am thinking...could I come back here? Answer:Yes....But could I come back here with young kids? Answer: Uh, probably not.....And that got me to thinking, BY GOLLY...someone should open up a kid friendly coffee shop....no, I know there are a few "options" around here in Northern VA but you have to PAY to have your children "USE" their facilities.
No, no folks, this coffee shop would be a real coffee shop ONLY the coffee tables would have no sharp corners.....READ: Kids are welcome. There would be no hip goateed movie blogger on his laptop in the corner.....unless, or course, the kids didn't bother him. We aren't discriminating it's just that people should know, this is no ordinary coffee shop....your New Yorker may end up with a new type of cartooning in it-3 year old style.
We as mothers and fathers would not have to worry that little Johnny might dump a soy latte on your laptop rendering it completely useless and you an apologizing mess. Oh no, families rejoice, because our coffee shop would have plenty of open space, furniture that would actually look better if little Suzy got creative with her 24 colors....the walls would be painted with that chalkboard paint and there would be plenty of bookshelves full of donated second hand children's books. Would it be relaxing with that cool jazzy vibe-heck no! You can go to that coffee shop without the kids. But if you are like me right now, I'd kill to bring my kids somewhere fun, where I could meet my other mother friends, enjoy a tea or coffee, let our kids pull out ALL of the books and color on the walls. Surely this place exists right? Ah, maybe only in my dreams.....my padded corner dreams.....