Monday, March 31, 2008

Crocs really ARE for everyone!

You know what Crocs are, right? They're those ugly shoes everyone's been raving about for the last couple of years or so. Come on, you don't really think they're good-looking shoes, do you? I honestly don't think they're the least bit cute (or handsome??? if you're a man), but I guess they're somewhat fashionable and I know they're comfortable because I now have a pair of my own.

Yes, I broke down and bought some of those ugly shoes. My kids have the "original" Crocs and they love them. My husband has a pair of Croc flip-flops and he loves those. For heaven's sake, my parents have Crocs! I was feeling left out.

You see, my feet sweat (I know, TMI!) and I don't like the closed toe Crocs for that reason. I also cannot... I repeat, I CANNOT tolerate anything between my toes, therefore flip-flops of any kind are totally and completely out of the question for me. So I was looking for a pair of Crocs that were basically an open-toed slide. I found them over the weekend at Dick's Sporting Goods.

I actually went online to check out the various styles of Crocs now available and I was amazed! One can choose from a variety of styles - collegiate, sports, etc. I especially like the collegiate Crocs. Why, if you had a team playing in the Final Four of the NCAA Basketball Tournament, you could own a pair of Crocs to support your team. Check it out...

And of course there are those little shoe charms called "Jibbitz" that they sell as well. My boys had some of these, but I guess my guys are hard on shoes because the charms kept getting lost or broken. We don't buy these anymore, but they are cool, and since I'm on a basketball high right now, here are the basketball Jibbitz...

These new shoes are so comfortable and they'll be great for wearing on the beach this summer. Now I'm no longer the odd man out around here. I have my OWN Crocs, I'll have you know, and yes, I believe they really are for everyone, even if they're UGLY.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Wednesday Folders

I've been unable to blog for the last couple of days due to the fact that I've been very busy being my children's secretary/bookkeeper. The boys bring home school folders on Wednesdays. These folders are generally full of upcoming event information, and boy, howdy, were they ever full of information this week - class pictures, White House field trip, spring carnival, book fair, etc. Lots of trees were cut down in order to send home all the paperwork parents received this week. I need my own secretary to keep up with it all!

There were not only forms to fill out and send back, but there were checks to be written as well. Of course I can't write one check for everything. How silly! I must write multiple checks, 7 to be exact, totaling $104. I feel as if I've somehow been robbed and I now have a raging case of carpal tunnel syndrome after filling out all those forms and checks.

I understand why all this information comes home on one day of the week rather than "slow-leaking" everything. It's easier for the administration to compile it all at once, however, it can be TOTALLY overwhelming for unsuspecting parents at home. I either need a nap or a stiff drink after sifting through the stuff that comes home on Wednesdays. Calgon, take me away!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Beast... doesn't mean what you think it means

There's a new word being used among the fifth graders at my sons' school. Oh, it's not really a "new" word, but rather an old word with a new meaning. It's the word "beast."

Oh, like the beast in one these pictures?

No, sorry. Any other guesses?

I didn't get it and I'm not sure you will either, so I'll just tell you.

"Beast" means something along the lines of "cool, groovy, neat, rad..." My son will say, "That's SO beast!" or simply, "Beast!" Get it now? See, it's not easy!

I suppose every generation has a whole new lingo of which the rest of us are completely ignorant. I'm only learning...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Let the games begin!

We're venturing into new territory around here. For the first time since our boys were old enough to start playing organized sports, they are participating in two different sports. They've always played spring baseball, however, the oldest has decided baseball just isn't his game, so he's going to try soccer. We asked him why he feels negatively about baseball this year and he says it's because he's not very good.

Hmmmm... let me make sure I understand this. He doesn't want to play baseball because he doesn't think he's very good. He does, however, want to play soccer, a sport he's played only one season and that was about 4 years ago. So the fact that he knows virtually nothing about the game and the other kids are likely to be more experienced, and therefore "better" than he (at least initially) doesn't bother him at all?

He says it won't bother him at all.


Soccer requires more running, stamina and finesse. It also means he'll get kicked in the shins and pushed down from time to time, not something he'd normally be too excited about.

He says he won't mind.


We'll see.

This means I'm going to be running taxi service to and from both baseball and soccer fields this spring. This spring ought to make for great blog fodder! Let the games begin!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

How long does it take to cut a guy's hair?

No, this is not a riddle. It's a complaint really. I took the boys to get haircuts during spring break, which was, by the way, NOT something they really wanted to do, but I'm still "somewhat" in charge, so that's what we did.

Anyway... we went to the boys' usual barber shop and there were only two haircutters working that day. Two men were already sitting in chairs, haircuts in progress, and we were the only other people in the shop, so that meant the boys would be next. I thought to myself that it would be a quick deal. The boys would be in the chairs and have their haircuts finished in no time.

That's what I get for thinking!

Those haircutters were absolutely the ssssllllllooooowweesssstttt (That's "SLOWEST") people I've ever seen! I couldn't get over it. I mean, HELLO! You're cutting hair on a guy who is practically BALD! How long could that possibly take? Evidently quite a long time because we waited and we waited and then we waited some more. I swear, I think my haircuts take less time than these guys', and I usually have mine washed, cut and styled. Come on people, step it up!

Yep, going to the barber shop is a lesson in patience for me.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Visiting the Fountain of Youth

Don't we all, from time to time, wish we could turn back the clock a few years? I know I do. I used to have a decent figure and was definitely in better shape just a few years ago. Yep, visiting the Fountain of Youth is certainly something I dream about every now and again, and as luck would have it, I feel as if I've actually gotten to do just that this week, only not in the way I'd hoped...

I think there might be some negative things about turning back the clock. For instance, my face has broken out like I'm a teenager once again. What's up with that? Is there such a thing as "delayed acne?" Please tell me there isn't!

My youngest son asked me just yesterday, "Um... Mom, have you looked in the mirror at your nose?"

"Yes," I said. "I am well aware that my face is broken out. Thanks for noticing!"

If visiting the Fountain of Youth means I'm gonna get zits, just forget it!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

What a day!

Today has been busy and full of unexpected events. First, I was asked to fill in for one of the nursery workers at church, which was fine with me. There were three of us in the nursery with five kids (Yes, 5 kids) and four out of the five cried off and on the entire time. One little boy attached himself to me and would not let me put him down. At one point I was rocking two kids at the same time. Let me just say that I totally admire and appreciate the people who commit to working in the nursery week after week. I'm here to tell ya, it ain't for wimps!

I forgot my Starbuck's travel coffee mug at church, which isn't good. I love that mug! Maybe this is God's way of telling me I need to stop drinking coffee, especially since it doesn't help with my old lady acid reflux.

The boys and I went out to lunch after church (The hubby is still on a trip) and it was nice and relaxing. When we were leaving the parking lot of the restaurant, I managed to get into a fender bender. It was a case of both parties backing out of parking spaces at the same time and backing into one another. I didn't see her and she didn't see me. Luckily it wasn't serious and I doubt there'll be a need to involve insurance companies. The poor girl in the other car was 16 years old and had three other friends with her. She was beside herself!

After having spent the morning in church with crying kids and the afternoon in a fender bender with a crying teenager, I was almost afraid to go anywhere else. You know that "What else could happen" kind of feeling? I really felt like I might just need to go home and stay put, but I don't happen to be superstitious, so we ran a couple of errands and checked out books from the library before calling it a day. Now I'm at home and strangely enough, I find myself wanting to either lie in a fetal position and suck my thumb or break open a bottle of wine. Hmmmm....

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Don't I wish...

Swimsuit season is approaching and I know this because I received a Newport News catalog in today's mail, one that features... you got it - SWIMSUITS! Our family is moving this summer and we'll be living close to the beach. I'm nowhere near ready for the beach, and Lord knows I really don't want to subject myself or the rest of the world to my body in a swimsuit.

Swimsuit models just make me ill! Have you seen how perfect they look? I realize photos can be retouched, but I'd be willing to bet these ladies look pretty doggone hot, retouched or not. Let's just say I wouldn't be willing have my photo taken with them. Here's just a glimpse of what I saw today...

This photo is on the cover. I would sooner die than wear a suit like this! Of course I can only imagine the tan lines one would have as a result of wearing this to the beach, but hey, if I had the body I really wouldn't give a hoot about the tan lines.

Again, can you imagine the tan lines after having worn this suit to the pool or the beach all day? Someone might think aliens had visited and left you a little memento. You know, like the pictures we've all seen of corn fields where it looks like someone has made perfect circles.

I guess I'd be hoping the little rings in the center of my suit don't snap. That could be slightly embarrassing, huh?

I think I'll refrain from anything with an animal print for fear of being mistaken for an escaped zoo animal. That, too, could possibly be embarrassing for me.

Not at all sure I'll be ordering from the Newport News catalog this season. I don't think there's enough material in any of these suits to cover up my "multitude of sins."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

They're growing up...

My boys are 11 and 8 years of age and they're growing up entirely too fast. They have decided they're old enough to walk to the bus stop alone, therefore I no longer accompany them. I did get the privilege of walking my youngest to the bus stop on Friday, but that was only because his older brother had been driven to school and dropped off for an early field trip departure.

There is an upside to my kids walking to the bus stop without their old mom... I get to stay inside in my jammies where it's warm and cozy!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

So many prayers!

Do you ever feel completely overwhelmed with the number of prayers you need to pray? I do. It seems there are so many of my friends who are in need of prayer these days. I have friends dealing with cancer, going through challenging fertility issues, grieving the loss of a loved one... I hardly know how to pray effectively for each and every person.

I think the older I get, the more I realize the fragility of life and how quickly our time on earth passes. Our world is filled with complications and challenges, sometimes too much for us to handle alone, so we ask for prayer. Sometimes prayer is all one CAN do, but it's always the BEST one can do.

I believe in the power of prayer, but I also find that I can easily become disheartened and feel burdened over the sheer volume of prayer requests that come my way. Who else feels this? Please tell me I'm not alone. How do you deal with this feeling?

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Can you hear me now?

This afternoon the kids and I took my husband to the airport since he's traveling yet again. Sidebar: I'm beginning to think it was something I said because he's been on the go a LOT lately! :)

Okay, so back to the airport excursion...

We dropped off my sweetie and started to head home, but made a pit stop at a McDonald's because we hadn't had lunch and it was approaching 2pm. I decided to just run through the drive-thru, which is probably my first mistake to begin with seeing as how there are frequent language barrier issues I seem to have when attempting to communicate with employees working the drive-thru window at fast-food eating establishments in this area.

Please know I'm not bashing those who work the drive-thru window, nor am I discriminating against those people for whom English is obviously a second language. I'm impressed by the fact that there are people capable of speaking more than one language. I am not bilingual and, just for the record, don't know that I'll ever be bilingual. That being said, going through the drive-thru today was simply frustrating and yet completely and utterly hilarious for both me and my boys.

I pulled up to the "Order Here" menu and the attendant inside asked if she can take my order. I proceeded to tell her I'd like two Mighty Kids Double Cheeseburger Meals and could I please get those without onions (per my boys' request), which is my second mistake. Here's how it went down after that...

She said, "Hold on a minute."

I wait.

She came back and said, "May I take your order?"

I reply, "Did you get my Mighty Kids Meal order?"

She replied, "Yes, what would you like to drink?"

I then said, "I'd like Dr. Pepper and sweet tea to drink with those and I'm ordering for boys. (You know they have toys in the kids' meals and you have to specify whether you need boy or girl toys.)

The drive-thru lady then said, "What would you like to drink?"

I told her once again, "I'd like Dr. Pepper and sweet tea."

She replied, "Dr. Pepper and Sprite?"

Again... I said, and this time very slowly and rather loudly (because I don't know if she can hear and/or understand me), "DOCTOR... PEPPER... AND... SWEET... TEA!" By this time the boys are laughing uncontrollably in the back seat and I'm starting to get tickled myself.

Then the drive-thru lady said, "Would you like anything else?"

I wish I could have answered in the affirmative and that my order would indeed be complete, however, I hadn't ordered what I wanted for myself, so I continued with "I would also like a #8 (I don't remember the actual number now, so I'll just use #8) with a sweet tea."

The drive-thru lady asked, "Grilled or crispy?"

I said, "Grilled, please."

The lady told me how much I owed and to pull around to the pick-up window. All the while I'm wondering if our order is going to be correct and thinking it'll surely be jacked up somehow or another. I had little to no faith that I'd drive away from McDonald's with a warm, fuzzy feeling, however, much to my surprise, we received EXACTLY what we'd ordered.

It wasn't a rude exchange in that neither the McDonald's employee nor I used inappropriate language in any way, but I did have to raise my voice and speak as if I were talking to a child in order to make myself clear. That made me FEEL rude. I left McDonald's feeling exhausted, disappointed in myself for expecting the worst, and frustration over the fact that it really shouldn't be this hard to communicate something so simple.

Saturday, March 8, 2008


... Have you ever noticed this one word, said alone without any other words, can speak volumes? I'm not talking about the kind of well where you find water or make wishes, nor am I talking about the state of one's health. I'm simply referring to the use of the word "WELL" by itself. Allow me to elaborate, if you will...

"WELL!" can mean "What a surprise!"

"WELL!" can mean "Oh, how sweet!"

"WELL!" can mean "I couldn't help it!"

"WELL?" can mean "Are you ready? I'm waiting!"

"WELL!" can mean "I'm appalled!"

"WELL!" can mean "I can't believe that!"

"WELL!" can mean "I'm thoroughly irritated!"

"Well." can mean "My life stinks and nobody loves me."

"WELL!" can mean "*%@$*!"

You can tell the kind of mood a person is in just by the way he/she says the word "WELL." It's all in the inflection and tone of voice. I'm telling you... this one word speaks volumes! VOLUMES!

Friday, March 7, 2008

I say a little prayer for you...

Today my oldest son's entire grade level (100+ kids) is going on a field trip to the Science Museum of Virginia, which is at least a 2-hour drive from here. I am not chaperoning because they were leaving at 7:30am and I still have my little man to get on the bus. Sure, I could have asked my neighbor at the end of the street if she'd mind my son coming to her house at around 7:00am this morning, but she's got her hands full with her own son as well as a newborn. I decided to forego the field trip chaperone notion altogether this time.

Can you imagine being on a field trip ALL DAY LONG with 100+ fifth graders? I can imagine it, and frankly, I think I made the right decision in not going along for the ride. Besides, PMS and 100+ kids just aren't a good mix, wouldn't you agree? I'm sure I couldn't have been held accountable for my actions today. It's just best for all concerned that I stay at home and just hear all about the field trip this afternoon.

When I took my son to school this morning to meet up with his classmates for the field trip, I walked him in and chatted with his teacher for a brief moment. I told her I'm praying for her today. I said it jokingly, but I really will say a little prayer for her, the other teachers, all the kids, chaperones and bus drivers. I pray for their safety. I pray they'll have fun. I pray they'll conduct themselves in as much of a dignified manner as possible. I pray no one forgets their lunch. I pray everyone is dressed appropriately for the weather. I pray everyone gets along and that there won't be any drama. I pray the teachers, bus drivers and chaperones have loaded up on patience and Tylenol. Thank you, Lord, for people willing to take a bunch of kids on a field trip. Amen.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Pick me! Pick me!

One of the many perks of living near our nation's capitol is the awesome field trip opportunities my children have. They've been to some great places in the year and a half we've been here - the Kennedy Center, Jamestown, Yorktown, Gunston Hall, Frying Pan Park, etc. There's so much history and culture for our kids to experience in this area!

Of course when field trips are planned, that means parents are invited to come along as chaperones. It seems to me parents of younger students (kindergarten through probably 2nd grade) are more apt to want to chaperone a field trip than parents of older elementary students. Little kids are always excited about mom or dad joining them for anything, and they're usually pretty compliant and very manageable. Older students don't seem to require mom or dad's presence as much, and let's face it... they're generally loud and obnoxious on field trips, or anytime for that matter. Both of my boys still want me to accompany them on field trips, which is a nice feeling, even if my older son's class makes me want to go on a drinking binge halfway through any event.

Both boys' classes are going to be visiting the White House sometime before school is out, however the date hasn't been set yet. My boys have been on the White House lawn before, but never inside the White House. They're really excited about going and I'm equally excited for them to go. I only dreamed of visiting the White House when I was a kid! Okay, I'll spare you the details of how deprived I was growing up, unable to go anyplace as cool as the White House.

Now that the White House is the destination of this upcoming field trip, how many parents do you suppose are volunteering to chaperone? I have no idea of course, but I would imagine there will not be enough slots for those wishing to go along. In fact, my younger son's teacher has already informed the parents of her students that those of us who have already participated in a field trip this year "need not apply" for the White House tour. I understand it's only fair to offer up the opportunity to parents who have previously been unable to participate, but that's before I knew there was a possibility of going to the WHITE HOUSE! Had I known they were going to the WHITE HOUSE in the spring, I wouldn't have volunteered to go to ol' Frying Pan Park in the fall. Duh!

I feel like Horshack on the "Welcome Back, Kotter" 70s TV show. I just want to yell, "Ooh-ooh-ooh! Pick me! Pick me!"

Perhaps the fact that both of my kids' classes are going on this field trip will mean my chances of being asked to chaperone are doubled. I have to think positively, don't I?

Saturday, March 1, 2008

We didn't win, but we had fun

Last night our Cub Scout Pack held the annual Blue & Gold Banquet. The theme was "Chinese New Year/Year of the Rat," thus Chinese food was the chosen cuisine for the evening, which I think was brave of the adults considering how picky kids can be. I know when I was a kid I wouldn't have touched Chinese food, but then I was raised in the boondocks where we didn't even know what that stuff was. I have grown up and become a little more adventurous in my selection of food items, and I very much enjoy an occasional Chinese meal.

But I digress... so let's get back to the B & G Banquet and the point of this post...

A dessert contest was held at the banquet and participants had the choice of two themes: Chinese New Year/Year of the Rat or Scout Spirit (always an option in any Scout dessert contest). The last time our family participated in the dessert contest it was around Halloween time, therefore we chose to enter a witch cake. This time I opted for Scout Spirit, preparing sugar cookies that I tried to make in the image of the Cub Scout Wolf (the den in which our youngest son currently belongs).

I am not a pastry chef and I didn't really know what on earth I was doing, but this is what our entry looked like and I thought they turned out okay. What do you think?

There were 1st and 2nd place certificates for winners of both categories in the dessert contest. Alas, we did not walk away with a certificate nor any bragging rights, but we still had fun and enjoyed looking at the other creative dessert entries, a few of which I have posted here for your viewing pleasure. Check them out...

The boys weren't disappointed that we didn't win, especially after they got to sample the various desserts. They were both on a sugar high they wouldn't come down from for several hours afterward. I wouldn't know, for I was fast asleep when my hubby put them to bed, dreaming of sugar, lots and lots of sugar...