Friday, September 29, 2006

Most Quotable Friday

More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren't so busy denying them.
- Harold J. Smith

When solving problems, dig at the roots instead of just hacking at the leaves.
- Anthony J. D'Angelo

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.
- Herm Albright

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
- Margaret Mead

There are two kinds of people: those who do the work, and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there.
- Indira Gandhi

To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.
- G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Thursday Blurbs

1. Wow, it is THURSDAY already. I have not been posting much. I have not been making it to most of my regular blog reads either. I'M SORRY! I know you all miss my witty comments. Ha!
Please forgive me / Please enjoy my absense while it lasts (you pick whichever applies to you!)

2. I was in a panic last Friday. My oldest son mentioned, casually, earlier in the week that he "might" pick up the kids from school on Friday and take them out. I didn't think he'd actually follow through. When he says he "might" do something it usually means that it sounds really good at the moment but when the time comes to do it, doesn't sound so great anymore.
So imagine my surprise when Friday afternoon he calls and asks me if I remembered that he was going to pick the kids up from school! Did I remember? Um, yeah. Did I 100% expect that he would follow-through? Not so much.

3. So, I get off the phone with him and realize that I have nearly 3 hours free! To myself! No kids! What should I do? That's where the panic set in. I didn't know what to do. I really need to adopt an emergency plan for these type of situations.

4. After I ran an errand I went shopping at Target. Alone. Of course nothing looked appealing. It only looks appealing when I don't have the time to stop and look at it or try it on. So, I bought hubby some deodorant and some snacks for his (and Woody's) drive the next day to a soccer tournament and went home. Alone. WooHoo! I am so exciting!

5. Saturday's soccer news: Buzz's team won, 7-1. He scored two goals! After his game we immediately jumped in the car to head up to Woody's tournament which was about an hour-and-a-half drive away. I was hoping to make it there in time to catch the last 10 minutes of his second game.

6. I was foiled, however, by traffic. I passed three accidents and when traffic slowed down for a fourth, I decided the "powers that be" were urging me to slow down and not be part of a fifth accident. Fortunately, one of the moms was calling me every few minutes with game updates.

7. I apparently missed a fabulous game. At one point she called and while on the phone the referee had called a penalty kick (against our team which means the other team would be shooting on Woody). I got to hear the cheers live as he stopped the penalty kick! Then, seconds later he was faced with another penalty kick because the referee said that he moved off his line and the other player would get a second kick. This was all explained to me much, much later because all I heard was cheering and yelling as he saved it a second time! They won the game 5-3.

8. Why won't anyone/anything let me sleep? Our automatic sprinkler system has decided (on its own apparently) that it needs to turn on and water the yard at 2:00 am. The garbage truck has (on its own apparently) changed its regular pick-up time from 7:30 am to 6:00 am. WHY?
And Nico Po-Po has (on his own apparently) decided that waking me up once during the night (to go outside) isn't all its cracked up to be, so why not do it twice? AAAARRRGGHH!

9. On an extremely sad note: my neighbor's daughter died Saturday night. She was in her early twenties and had a 16-month old son. We came home Sunday and there was a flood of people milling around the neighborhood. My husband, who came home before I did (I was about an hour behind him), went over to find out what was going on and the mom (our neighbor) told him her daughter was out with her boyfriend and they think someone put something in her drink and she went into cardiac arrest. That is all they knew at the time and we haven't heard anything further. I went over, too, to offer my condolences and, as you can imagine, the grief was overwhelming. I only spent 5 minutes over there, but came home and cried for 20.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Help! My child is an addict...

Please help me internet because I don't think I can keep it together anymore. My son has a problem, an a-d-d-i-c-t-i-o-n. And I am an classic enabler. I even unknowingly gave him his first "taste." And now I am also his supplier! OMG, that is the first time I have ever admitted that to anyone. It is a relief just to say type it out loud. I know it doesn't make it go away, but now it is out there and no longer a dirty secret.

It is a common story, one that you've heard many, many times. The first time was just to make him feel better after he had gotten a "boo boo." You know, take the edge off. Take his mind off the searing pain associated with a scraped knee. The reaction was incredible, as he relaxed immediately and went into an almost semi-trance.

Then one day, out of the blue for no reason he asked for it again. "But you're not even hurt or in pain." I said. So he made up some phantom pains that he felt "all over." I even thought at the time that it was a little like an addict inventing symptoms so his doctor would re-fill his prescription.

After he saw how gullible I was, he got demanding.

If he doesn't get it, he gets upset. "But mooooommy, I need some now." He'll complain. He has actually sent me out in the middle of the night (in a not so safe neighborhood) in order to replenish his supply. And, I have to admit, I'd probably do it again.

It is a daily thing now. Sometimes it can be two or three times a day. It is out of control. We both ignore the stinging reality that it is a full blown problem. He pretends everything is normal, but I know it's not when I see the remnants of his usage left carelessly on the table or on the floor. Sometimes I even find evidence of his addiction when I'm cleaning his shower. And that is when I lose it, and cry for the little boy my son used to be.

Hubby insists he goes cold turkey and stop his using immediately. But then when he sees the quivering lips and the perceived trickle of tears he knows I don't have the strength to do it. So he pretends too. That everything is okay. He enables my enabling. We are a sick family.

I am faced with the very real possibility that if this doesn't stop before he is 18, that I will have spent nearly the equivalent of a year's college tuition, just so he can have his daily fix.

Tell me what to do internet. Should I take a second job to pay for his supply?

Friday, September 22, 2006

Most Quotable Friday

When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail.
-Abraham Maslow

The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your state of mind.
-Dr. Wayne Dyer

Courage is not the towering oak that sees storms come and go; it is the fragile blossom that opens in the snow.
-Alice Mackenzie Swaim

You can tell more about a person by what he says about others than you can by what others say about him.
-Leo Aikman

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.
-Albert Einstein

To err is human; to refrain from laughing, humane.
-Lane Olinghouse

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Thursday Blurbs

1. Soccer notes from last weekend: FABULOUS! Buzz had a morning game and his team won 4-0. On a sad note one of the boys scored his first goal (ever) and neither of his parents got to see it. They were crushed! The mom was late and missed the first few minutes (she came from her daughter's game which ran late) and his dad (the coach) was talking to another parent whose son had come late to the game. I was a little frustrated that two kids from the other team were slide tackling and neither the referee or their coach was telling them not too. These kids are 6, 7 & 8 year-olds and are not allowed to do that until they are much older. Fortunately no one got hurt and the coach is going to send an e-mail to the league.

2. Woody had a late afternoon game and all I can say is WOW!! They were losing 3-0 at half-time (not one of Woody's best performances at keeper) and came back in the second half to win 5-4! It was incredible! The parents were so excited. We were all screaming, jumping and high-fiving eachother. Oh, and the kids enjoyed it too. LOL!

3. Back to school night went well. I met both of the boys' teachers and both seem as excellent in person as their reputations have led me to believe. Buzz's teacher in particular is so enthusiastic. This woman spends an allotted amount of each paycheck for her classroom supplies. 80% of what is sprinkled around her classroom she purchased with her own money.

4. Woody has three other boys in his class with the same name! One of the three has the same last name. I walked in and the teacher asked me whose mom I was and I said "Woody."
"Which one?" She asked. "I have four!"
"Oh, Woody 'Clark.' " I said, just before recognizing the other Woody 'Clark's' mom sitting at one of the desks.
"Er, the other Woody 'Clark.' " I added quickly.
"Oh, it's nice to meet you." She said.
Apparently they now have to differentiate by middle name. So Woody is now known as Woody "J."

5. Ha Ha Ha! I was messing around with the kids and we were figuring out how many months-old they were. Woody is 135 months. Buzz is 96 months. Then they asked how many months old I was...482. Then I got really, really depressed (((sigh))).

6. "He sold the Cadillac and bought a WHAT?" My dad. The most habitual creature still roaming the earth at the tender age of 84 has sold his 1976 Cadillac (that he actually bought brand new in 1976) and bought himself a fully loaded 2002 Ford Mustang. GO DAD!!

7. The car apparently, aside from being fully loaded, has ridiculously low miles and a 6-cd changer. I don't think my dad owns 6 cd's. Time to trade in those 8-tracks.

8. It is like having a newborn all over again. My poor neglected dog that is. The second most habitual creature to walk the earth holds out every day for someone (me) to take him for a walk so he can do his business (poop). During the week it is near to impossible to find the time with our schedules. I let him outside (in the back yard) multiple times every evening to relieve himself and he stubbornly refuses to poop! He is waiting to be be taken out properly on his leash! So now, anywhere between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. when he can't possibly hold it in any longer, he scratches on my door so I will get up and let him out. I tried ignoring him (once) but had the unfortunate experience of finding his poop on the bathroom floor the next morning and him hiding under Woody's bed. Refusing to come out. I love him and his little quirks are endearing, but he needs to start sleeping through the night!

9. One of my soccer-mom cohorts and I are planning a coup to take over the team management of Woody's team. We are doing all the work anyway, we might as well have the title as well. Which isn't the point. The point is the current holder of said "title" is sadly incompetent and we suspect know for a fact at times has willfully tried to undermine the team, the coach and the over all success that the boys have been building.

10. The man is negative, full of excuses and nothing is ever his fault. He knows how the league and the club work. He has been coaching/managing for 15 years. Hmm... or has he? I will have to research that considering all the other mis-information we have uncovered. He knows what forms need to be filled out and how to check when tournament applications are due. He knows how to get a player registered and how long it will take to get his player pass. He knows the team currently has 12 players which allows for only one sub (if all 12 kids show up). So, why if you are an experienced manager and know it takes 5 days to process a new player's paperwork and you have that player's completed paperwork in your hands on Thursday evening, would you wait one whole week to turn it in to the registrar making the new player not eligible to play the following Saturday? Why would you be taking your own son to tryout for other teams when you are supposed to be recruiting for the team he is already on? Why would you tell the team parents the team will be in a tournament that you never applied for? Why would you sit on the sidelines with a sour face after the team has won a game?

11. So many questions to be answered. So for now we have been following up on every administrative detail to make sure things get done and the season is not compromised or jeapordized. We decided to stop complaining, wallowing in his ineptitude and do something about it. Yesterday we signed papers with the league to become team managers. The coup is on.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Someone is turning 8 today...

...It's Buzz!

On this very special day in the Babaloo household I would like to share some memories of my youngest, whom I gave the blogging psuedonym of Buzz, so that you can get a better idea of what makes Buzz, well...Buzz!

It all started back in early 1998...Hubby and I were enjoying a rare dinner out alone. I ordered a cocktail and as I was perusing the menu I blurted out to hubby that I had been feeling weird lately, but couldn't quite put my finger on it. "What do you mean?" He asked over his menu. "I don't know, I feel like I did when...oh."
"Oh, what?" he asked.
"Um, like when I was pregnant with Woody."
"You can't be pregnant." He said matter-of-factly.

Well, he was wrong, of course and thank goodness for that. Just like he was wrong that I wasn't going into labor 11 days before the baby's due date. "Go back to sleep, you aren't in labor, it's too early." Hubby pleaded desperately at 3:30 am, exactly eight years ago today.
"No, I'm pretty sure these little waves of 'crampiness' I'm feeling every 10 minutes is labor."
By 6:00 am they were every 5 minutes. "Okay, let's go." He said. "But I have to stop at my work and tell them I'm not coming in."
"Can't you call?"
"No, it's Saturday. No one answers the phone."

So we went to his work. He parked the car and left me sitting there. Alone. In the parking lot. With contractions only 5 minutes apart!

Buzz loves hearing the story of how he was almost born at daddy's work.

Buzz also loves the story about how he never cried when he was getting his immunization shots. Honestly, I don't even think he felt them through his multiple layers of baby fat. He was the
chunkiest thing you've ever seen. Of course, the story is only good when it is mentioned how his older brother had the very opposite reaction when getting his shots. Especially when it is explained how I regularly had to blow on his face to get him to breathe. But not Buzz!

Buzz never crawled. He went strait to walking at 10-months old.

At two years old, just before Thanksgiving, Buzz got seriously ill. He had pnemonia caused by the RSV virus and was hospitalized for five days. For the first 12 hours they did not know what was wrong with him and he was less than an hour away from having a hole cut in his throat so they could place a tube inside to help him breathe. Fortunately a diagnosis was made and they were able to begin the proper treatment. He was so brave through out the whole ordeal and because of it, became one of my heroes.

In pre-school Buzz had two little classmates, both named Justin. He called them "Justin and the other Justin." I'll never forget picking him up one day and saying "goodbye Justin" to one of the Justins as we were leaving. When we got into the car Buzz told me very sternly, "Mommy, that wasn't Justin."
"Oh? Who was it?"
"That, was the other Justin."

I never made that mistake again.

Buzz was one of those kids who could not wait to start school. In fact, he insisted that his first day of kindergarten he wear his "sharp" clothes because he wanted to look nice his first day. He definitely knocked the socks off of everyone wearing a shirt and tie to public school!

It was in 1st grade that Buzz made the announcement that he knew who he was going to marry when he grew up. Her name was Tiffany and the reason Buzz knew he was going to marry her was because she had the same exact birthday as Buzz. How can you argue with that?
That year as a regular exercise Buzz's teacher would have the kids write letters to each other that said at least one thing they liked about that person. Buzz got a letter one day from Tiffany that said, "Dear Buzz, I like you because you want to marry me. From Tiffany."

I still have it.

Buzz, unlike his brother, is not what you would call the most athletic or agile of kids. He can be physically awkward and clumsy. His fine motor skills are hugely lacking compared to the average child. But, I see that slowly changing as he gets older. He loves to play soccer and has gone from the slowest kid on the team two years ago, to one of the fastest. He loves the challenge and loves the competition. His confidence in himself is overwhelming to me. In fact, what he lacks in raw athletic skill he more than makes up for in confidence.

Buzz, since that unexpected wave of nausea announcing his presence in our lives, has never conformed into anyone's time frame or anyone's mold, nor has he ever tried too. He does things in his own way and at his own pace much to the chagrin and amusement of those around him. You can never rush him, nor can you slow him down. He'll get there...eventually...when he's ready.

He has an absolutely infectious laugh and a smile that will melt your heart. He wakes up every day happy and usually with some countdown to an upcoming event. "Two more days mommy..." he'll say before even opening his eyes. "...till the first day of school...till we go to the Sharks game...till my first soccer game...till we go to the movies...until the new 'Zack & Cody'..." You name it, if we have a plan to go somewhere or do something, he is counting down the days.

He has surprised me with something new almost every single day for the last eight years and I look forward to each and every new surprise headed my way.

Happy birthday beautiful boy. Your mommy loves you.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Most Quotable Friday

Part of being sane is being a little bit crazy.
- Janet Long

One who knows how to show and to accept kindness will be a friend better than any possession.
- Sophocles

People who matter are most aware that everyone else does, too.
- Malcolm Forbes

Yearn to understand first and to be understood second.
- Beca Lewis Allen

People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost.
- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Thursday Blurbs

1. Opening day for Buzz's soccer team went well. They won 5-0. Buzz scored the fifth goal and had three heart stopping saves in goal during the second half. Did I mention that the team's jerseys and socks this season are white? Yeah, it puts a whole new meaning into "stay on your feet."

2. Opening day for Woody's soccer team was last month when they played in a tournament. But, they did have their first "league" game this weekend and it ended in a 0-0 tie. The other team was happy with the tie because Woody's team was definitely the stronger of the two. They had soooo many chances, but nothing wanted to go in the net. They have a lot to work on, but also a lot to build on. Woody's goalie jersey is black, all black with a couple of orange stripes on the sleeve. He can fall all he wants.

3. WHAT? Did I pick out Woody's goalie jersey? Of course I did! But, I did it in a way that it made him think it was all his idea (his shoes are black too, *ahem*).

4. The throbbing in my head goes, throb throb throb. Hmmm, much to the same rhythm as
THE DAMN CONSTRUCTION GOING ON NEXT DOOR AT EBAY!! Somebody. stop. the. pounding. Please! That place better be no less than a royal shrine when they are done. This is week four. "POW-POW-Pow-pow-pow-pow..."

5. I spent a lot of Monday and Tuesday reading (as many of you did) through the 2,996 project tributes. While they were all amazing, poignant and often sad, I would like the opportunity to share a few of the extraordinary tributes that I read. If you haven't read these, please do yourself a favor and read them now.

6. The first one I'd like you to visit was posted by Joelle who honored Jeffrey Hersch in a tribute entitled Dear Jeffrey. If you are like Joelle (and me) don't be surprised if you get seduced by Jeffrey's smile.

7. The next one I'd like you to visit is Missy who honored David William Nelson. Missy came up with the wonderfully clever gesture to time stamp her tribute to the exact time that Mr. Nelson's tower collapsed on September 11th. Oh? And by the way, Missy is 12 years old. Please read it and be amazed.

8. Please also go and visit Dayngr Girl's tribute to Vincent Litto. Scroll down a bit and read his daughter's poem, you won't be the same after you do. As you open the page to her tribute there is a song that plays so please turn up your sound and grab some tissues.

9. Finally, if you read only one tribute from the 2,996, please go on over to Kate's tribute to Ruth Magdaline (Clifford) McCourt. This was the most compelling story I read. The tribute honors Ruth and her life but also tells the story of Ruth's daughter Juliana and how they both were on flight 175 while Ruth's best friend Paige was on flight 11. The three were going to meet up in L.A. for a mini-vacation. Not only that, but Ruth's brother Ron, was in the lobby of the WTC when flight 11 crashed into it and helped an injured woman to safety. Please go over and read the whole story, you won't be disappointed. Oh, and BTW, Kate is Missy's mother.

10. If you have any "must reads" from the tributes or any other 9/11 posts that really struck a chord with you, please share them with me. In fact, why don't you all send me at least one link (you can send more) of a 9/11 tribute or post that you admired and I will put them together in a post for everyone to see.

11. Many of the images from 9/11 were grim and disturbing, but not quite as disturbing as this photo of three dogs viciously attacking an alligator... courtesy of ;-)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Remembering 1... Of The 2,996

**updates at the bottom**

Today, thanks to the 2,996 project, I am remembering Richard Peter Gabriel. Richard was one of the 64 passengers who perished on flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

Richard Gabriel was from Great Falls, Virginia. He was a decorated Vietnam War veteran and had been awarded a Purple Heart after losing a leg during Operation Meade River in November 1968. Richard was a native of New York and a graduate of Manhattan College. He received a master's degree in business from Columbia University after the war and worked for General Foods and other companies before starting his own company, Stratin Consulting Company.

Richard was en route to Australia on business for his company, via Los Angeles, on flight 77 when the fateful events of that day ended his life. He was 54 years-old. Richard was survived by his wife, Ann, his daughter, his four sons, his mother, sister, brother and five grandchildren.

Richard's daughter, Patricia, was working in midtown Manhattan that Tuesday when the attacks occurred. When she heard that they involved a flight to Los Angeles, the first leg of her dad's trip, she said, "the first thing I thought of was my father."

His colleagues at Stratin Consulting have these words up on the company website in memory of Richard:

"The Stratin family mourns the loss of co-founder Rich Gabriel, who perished in the hijacked airliner that crashed into the Pentagon on September11, 2001. Rich was far more than a colleague. He was a friend, guide and mentor to us all. Many remember his quiet but effective style, his strong belief in high principles, and his dedication to important values. We will miss his steadfast commitment to our goals, his total professionalism and especially his wry sense of humor."

Other people who knew Richard had these words to say:

"It was in 1979-80 that I knew Rich at general Foods and I will never forget the care he gave me as a kind and patient boss to a former fellow Vietnam Marine. In 1992, as GF "alumni", we explored a possible business arrangement..., a good memory & a road not taken." - Dick Frankovich

" Richard, may you rest in peace. What a horrible tragedy this is. My husband Stephen and Richard were friends years ago, and both men served valiantly on behalf of our nation in Vietnam. I'm sure if they could, they'd rush to serve our country once again." - Dana Charlton

"All members of Hotel Company 2/7 would like to extend our sincere condolences to all members of his family. Semper Fi Brother Rich. You will be sorely missed." - Jon Peterson

"Rich was a super guy and person and you all must miss him dearly. I know I will think of him always when I recall my childhood."- Bruce Sabin

This is a security camera image of the moment that American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon.

Just as the friends and family of Richard Gabriel will never forget their father, husband, son, brother and friend, we will never forget the events of that day and how they changed our lives forever. Richard was more than one of the 2,996 people that died on September 11th. He was one of us.

* Rest in Peace Richard * Richard's "United In Memory Quilt" can be seen here.

A special thanks to Dale who put together this project. Please go visit his site for links to more tributes and a little insight into his vision and all the tireless work that went in to putting 2,996 bloggers together to honor the victims of 9/11. It has been a privelege to be a part of this truly inspirtational idea.

Thank you!

***update*** Dale's (D.C. Roe) site seems to be down. I imagine from the high volume of traffic. But if you are interested in reading more tributes, you can find some linked here, here and here.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Most Quotable Friday

Often the difference between a successful marriage and a mediocre one consists of leaving about three or four things a day unsaid.
-Harlan Miller

Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.
-Maurice Setter

Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward.
-Vernon Law

It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them.
-Agatha Christie

Pain is only bearable if we know it will end, not if we deny it exists.
-Viktor Frankl

An ungrieved loss remains forever alive in our unconscious, which has no sense of time.
-B.G. Simos

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Thursday Blurbs

1. Today will be the day. Today will be the day. I will not eat my Lean Cuisine Pizza to soon and burn the roof of my mouth. Today is the day. I can feel it. Just be patient. Just wait a little longer...What? It's not a Lean Cuisine Pizza? It's a Lean Cuisine Panini? Oh, that's different! Bite...Crunch...OOOWWW! Groan, not again... :-(

2. tap tap tap... "hello? Is anyone there? I think I'm trapped in here. Can you please help me get out?" tap tap tap... "hello? I can see you! C'mon! Please?"

3. Heard on the radio after a news blurb about the recent downgrade of Pluto to a dwarf planet... Apparrently there is a new slang term for when you are in a hot and heavy relationship for a long time and everything is all passionate and sexy, then after awhile the attraction wears off and the relationship is downgraded to being "just friends." The new word for that is "plutonic."

4. Have some courtesy when making things convenient for me, please! If you (my local big chain grocery store) are not going open any checkout lanes and force me to use "self-checkout," (which is great btw if say I'm buying a pack of gum and nothing else) then please have the courtesy of making sure all of your produce codes are updated so your convenient self checkout computer doesn't freeze when I input the code for peaches and red plums before telling me the code is invalid.

5. Oh, and? What is with the attitude when I put something in the bag before ringing it up? Ya don't have to get all "uppity" with me with your "UNEXPECTED ITEM IN BAGGING AREA!" I'm not trying to steal anything, sheesh.

6. Three signs that I am slowly losing my mind: 1) I totally space that one of my kids is not at home and that it is 5 minutes past the time I am supposed to pick him up 2) In my rush out the door I realize I forgot my phone inside 3) Go back from the car to the house, try three times to open the front door... with my car's remote key (yes, actually aiming the remote at the front door and pushing the "unlock" button).

7. Note to self: ask IT guy at work if it is possible to hook up my car and my front door to the same LAN.

8. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha.... I got picked!

9. I need to find a new "happy place." Would it be wrong if my new "happy place" involves a visual of me kicking a certain aquaintance (as in not a family member or friend) in my life repeatedly?

10. dreamy music... one, two, three, KICK. one two, three, KICK. Harder. one, two KICK. one, two KICK... record scratch. Oh, Hi! You still here?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Three reasons why 3-day weekends should be "permanent"

1) Saturday- Kids and I spent all day at local them park with my friend and her two kids. Stopped for takeout on the way home, watched a movie and crashed around 12.

2) Sunday- Spent all day in the house impersonating a vegetable. One of the cable channels (TBS? USA? AMC?), I can't remember which had a "Women with Issues" movie marathon so I burrowed under a blanket and watched. Yes, it was a beautiful day outside, but c'mon! Women with issues? All day long! I also watched at least 4 episodes of "Crossing Jordan." I'd never seen it before. I actually at one point started to get up to do something productive, but another show started and sucked me right in. Before I knew what happened it was 6:00 and the kids wanted to know what was for dinner (Pizza, of course.)

3) Monday- I got up early, made a grocery list and planned the menu for the week. I started laundry and cleaned the kitchen (top to bottom) before the kids woke up. I mopped all the floors, cleaned the bathrooms and did 5 continuous loads of laundry(throughout the day). We went grocery shopping, I cleaned the garage and the back yard. We took the dog on a nice long walk and then came home and made dinner.

Monday, September 04, 2006


A road map to the deterioration of male communication skills.

We are a busy family. No busier than most, but busy nonetheless. We bought a house a few years back in the eastern suburbs of our fair city while the remainder of our lives (except for the kids' school) remained approximately 20-30 miles away (work, soccer, friends & family).

Hubby works as a technician and has the early morning shift from 6am to 2:30pm. I work as an office manager and have very flexible hours as long as I put in at least 8 each day (i.e. I'm not on the clock). We have worked it out so that I take the kids to school in the morning and hubby picks them up in the afternoon. On a regular "no activity" day they all stay home and I join them around 5 or 5:30 when I get off work. I check homework, make dinner, they take showers and everyone is in bed by 9:00.

Okay, that never happens. Why? Because something is always going on for someone. I've mentioned the 5 practices a week schedule we are on now. I've mentioned hubby's bartending job at HP Pavillion and, oh yeah, I don't think I've mentioned the small business (45 minutes away when there is no traffic) that we opened several months ago. In all fairness, we have an employee that manages the place and runs things on a daily basis, however, hubby's presence is required a lot of the time. Anyway, fortunately my job (with the flexibility) is also a convenient meeting place for hubby to bring the kids so he can dash off to his bartending job or tend to the business. At my work I have my own office with lots of room and a door. I can have the kids come in and there is room for them to do homework, read or draw until it is time for us to leave.

Wow, this is a lot of background information, but hang in there. I will eventually have a point.

On the days where somone has to be somewhere (read: almost every day), hubby will pick up the kids from school. He will take them home, feed them and get them started on their homework. Somewhere between 4:00 and 5:00 he will bring them to my office. From there I will either take them back home, take them to practice or wherever else they need to be.

Okay, we're almost to the point of the story. Whew!

When we started the dropping-the-kids-off-at-my-office-thing the communication went like this:

1) phone call from home saying they just left and would be there soon.
2) phone call from the freeway exit saying they were 4-5 minutes away.
3) phone call from the parking lot (which I can see from my window, did I mention I had a window too?) announcing their arrival and could I please meet them downstairs?

Communication Deterioration Phase I: After awhile the phone call anouncing their departure from home was dropped, but I would still get the the "we're getting off the freeway" call and the "we're in the parking lot now" call.

Communication Deterioration Phase II: Then there was a fateful day where nothing was going right for hubby, the kids were not behaving, his car was acting up and he was running very late to work. I got a very distressed call from the exit of the freeway basically demanding that I be waiting outside the door of my building by the street so I could catch the boys as he nudged them out of the moving car he could drive by and drop off the kids quickly because his last nerve had been stepped on and he was L-A-T-E! Even though it was later chalked up to just a bad day, it set a precedence.

After that, I got only one call. From around the corner. Asking me to meet them outside.

Communication Deterioration Phase III:
Then hubby got the brilliant idea that he didn't need to call me at all! No time! He would have Buzz call! So I started getting "happy boy" calls from Buzz (he giggles when he talks on the phone). i.e.
"Hi mommy!"
"Hi Buzz, how are you!"
(giggling) "Fine!"
"How was school?"
"Good. (giggle) What's for dinner?"
"Not sure, what's up?"
"Oh, (giggle) daddy says we are around the corner from your work, can you come meet us downstairs?"
"Okay. bye."
"Okay, love you."
(giggle) "Love you too. Bye."

Communication Deterioration Phase IV: "The Game"
I used to love those calls. So sweet. Anyway. Soon hubby got an even more brilliant idea and made a game up with Buzz to see how short he could make his calls to mommy (our cell phones show the length of each call as soon as you disconnect). My next phone call went like this:

"Hi-mommy-it's-me-Buzz-we're-around-the-corner-can-you-meet-us-downstairs?-okay-bye-love-you-bye." Click.

WTF? Did my son just drive-by phone call me?

After the "game" was explained to me the drive-by phone calls went on for a few days with each one getting faster and faster so he could break his "record."

Communication Deterioration Phase V: The Game Gets Serious
Then one day I got a very serious phone call from hubby telling me that it was very important to answer the phone "right away" because Buzz was not getting the best "times" for his phone call and that he really wanted to break his record. Apparently the phone's timer for length of calls begins once the call is placed and not when the other party answers. So, I was instructed to answer on the first ring, only say "hello," and that's it.

These guys take their drive-by phone calls seriously. Alright, whatever.

A few minutes later my phone rings, I was on! I quickly picked it up and heard:

"Mommy-we're-around-the-corner-meet-us-downstairs-love-you-bye." Click

Apparently it was a new record! 16 seconds! He was thrilled when he got out of the car.
Again, whatever.

From there it went to:

"Mommy-we're-around-the-corner-bye." Click

Communication Deterioration Phase VI: The Final Phase
Two days later I get another very serious phone call from hubby explaining the absolute importance that I answer the phone as quickly as possible because Buzz was going for the all time drive-by-phone-call record (Alert the Guiness people, as in world records, not beer).

Twenty minutes later the phone rang, I picked it up before the first ring even finished, said my quickest "hello" and I heard:

"Corner!" Click

It has been like that for the last 3 months. From severeral phone calls with endless opportunities to catch up, talk about our day, you know actually communicate? To one call consisting of one word. (((sigh)))

Deterioration of Male Communication Complete.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Most Quotable Friday

The art of acceptance is the art of making someone who has just done you a small favor wish that he might have done you a greater one.
- Russell Lynes

We must have the courage to allow a little disorder in our lives. - Ben Weininger

The U.S. Constitution doesn’t guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself. - Benjamin Franklin

You don't get harmony when everybody sings the same note. - Doug Floyd

Everything works out in the end. If it hasn't worked out, it's not the end.
- Unknown

Learn to pause ... or nothing worthwhile will catch up to you. - Doug King