Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Bar of Soap, Perhaps?

Today, the Husband and I have been married for 14 years. Woo-hoo, yay us! The 'traditional' gift for the 14th anniversary is ivory. Should I ask for an elephant? Loony Landlady would love that! A baby-grand piano? A bar of Ivory soap? Hmm...

I know that there are people in our respective families who probably placed bets that we wouldn't last as long as we have. I may have placed a bet that we wouldn't last this long. But we have. So take that, suckers!

As much as I give the Husband a hard time for well, being male mostly, he really is a pretty great guy. He's a terrific father, who loves Chickenhead with all his heart. They have a close relationship, which makes me happy. They do Scouts together, camp, goof around in the garage and just generally be guys.

For all his bluster, the Husband is a huge softy. He would do anything in the world for me, even if he complained about it a little. He's much more sensitive than he would want anyone to know, and that's part of what endeared me to him. He makes me laugh, and our ability to laugh at ourselves has been what's kept us going, even through some difficult times.

At times I'm impulsive, and the Husband will say something that will make me stop and take a moment to think things through. I may think he's acting like a know-it-all, but usually (it pains me to say it)he's right. I've had some really difficult moments dealing with my mom living with us. The Husband has been there and has been a voice of reason, who refuses to let my actions be driven by anger. He once told me that when it came to my mom, he would never let me do or say anthing that I would hate myself for later on. When I find myself driven to the edge by her antics, I think about that. And more than he knows, that has kept me from saying something that I know I would regret.

So dear Husband, I love you. Even though you don't exactly know about this blog, and even though I may grouse about you here every now and again, know that I could not imagine my life without you. You and Chickenhead are the very best parts of my life, and I wouldn't trade that for anything.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Men I Like- The 'Meh' Edition

Occasionally, a man that I like will over time fall from my good graces. It may be some incredibly stupid thing he does publicly, or maybe he'll make some asinine statement in an interview that turns me off.

What's so difficult for me to figure out with today's guy is, when and why did I fall out of love with him?

Let's go back about 20 years, when his career was first firing in to high gear-

Ah, Old Bono. 'Joshua Tree' Bono. You were the Celtic man of my dreams, and I found U2's songs uplifting and full of spirit and fire. I stuck with you, even when others left during the 'Auchtung Baby' and 'Zooropa' phase. I have to say it, though, you lost me with 'Pop'. The whole Mephisto thing? Sorry babe, didn't get it. It wasn't you. And I know, it was supposed to be a parody of a rock star, but much like Joaquin's slipped gear after playing Johnny Cash, you didn't quite come out right on the other side.

I'm sorry, I just have to say it- Would you take off those ridiculous sunglasses already?!

You started hanging out with Frank Sinatra, and bragging about it. You got a bit annoying in interviews. Edge and Larry and Adam were starting to look at you like, 'for the love of God would you just shut the hell up, dude!'. And then you started getting political. And there's nothing wrong with that so much, a lot of musicians do it. But I don't know. Coming from you, it was kind of annoying.

And I'm not knocking your humanitarian efforts at all. The work you've done for 3rd world countries is nothing short of incredible. But you know, maybe you could spread some of the work around a little? Do you have to do ALL of it? No, you don't. You can still be a humanitarian and not travel the planet saving the starving, the homeless, the sick and the rainforests. Really, you can. Take a hint from one of your own songs, and stop 'trying to throw your arms around the world'.

Look, I'll always be in to you. The music is first and foremost and I'll be buying that new CD when it drops next month. But really darling, I need for you to get over yourself just a bit. Get rid of the sunglasses, and just sing the songs. You'll feel better about yourself and maybe the Edge won't be giving you the stinkeye all the time.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Great Hat Incident

There's a scandal brewing here at the Casa. A scandal that will rival any juicy political story you've heard about in the past three months. It involves...a HAT!

But not just any hat, no. This scandal is all about this hat-

The Husband purchased this hat for Chickenhead at Tarjay a couple of weeks ago. The Husband thought it was cool-looking and Chickenhead likes it, too. A win-win, right? Wrong!

This essentially comes down to a difference of opinion over design and aesthetics. The ear-flaps have snaps on them, but not to snap together under the chin. The snaps are there only to secure the flaps in the 'up' position, on top of the hat. It was designed that way. I'm betting the designer was a mom who knows that you're never going to get that kid to snap it together under his chin, so just let it go, already.

But no. The Husband, who feels his life is driven by logic (ha!), demands that the flaps somehow be secured under the chin so as to provide maximum protection to the ears from the cold winter winds. Well why didn't he buy a hat that had flaps that did this? I don't know, either.

Don't worry though, because the Husband has the answer. At the fabric store, he had me purchase a plastic buckle and a length of nylon webbing. Apparently I'm supposed sew this webbing on to the flaps and then attach the buckle. I tried to patiently point out that the hat was not designed for this. The Husband, however, is certain that it was, but is somehow 'irregular'.

Chickenhead is against any buckle business under his chin, and I can't say as I blame him. Kids today are savvy. And he knows that he risks looking like a big dork if I sew this buckle on his flaps. Nobody buckles their flaps, is what I'm trying to say.

So, I have a plan. I know this is probably wrong of me, and probably goes against all laws of parenting, but I'm doing it anyway. I told Chickenhead that we simply had to get through the rest of January and February and maybe part of March and the hat season would be over. I will conveniently be 'too busy' to sew the buckle and webbing on the flaps. Over the spring and summer, the hat will lie forgotten in the hall closet. Come next fall, Chickenhead's sweet noggin might be too big to fit in it and he can get a new hat. Pretty smart, huh?

The Husband will probably catch on to my diabolical plan, but by the time he does, it will be too late. He really doesn't know who he's messing with.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ode To A Chickenhead

Sometimes I take a look at my little boy, and I catch a glimpse of the young man he will be in a few short years.

(I think I detect a slight bit of attitude going on there)

He's growing fast; he'll be nine this year and I find myself prouder of him every single day. I'm lucky that for the most part, he's a pretty good kid. He knows how to behave in public, is polite, and rarely picks his nose when people are looking at him. As a mom to a boy, I know it probably won't get much better than that.

He's not perfect, no child is, and I don't expect him to be. We tell him to do his best, tell the truth, and speak up if he needs help. For the most part, he does all that. He tries to lie on occasion, but he's so horrible at it, that he gets busted every time.

Chickenhead is multi-faceted. He likes Transformers and Spiderman. But he also likes art, and is interested in DaVinci and Norman Rockwell. He thinks Buddha is pretty cool. He likes the Jonas Brothers, AC/DC and the Ramones. Chickenhead is a killer on Wii, and kicks my butt on a regular basis. It's humbling to have an 8-year old beat you at Guitar Hero. We won't even discuss the regular whoopings I take from him on Rockband or Super Mario Kart.

I intend to keep on enjoying as much of Chickenhead's childhood for as long as he will let me. I know in a few short years, he'll be ashamed to be seen with me in public, won't return kisses, and probably won't tell me he loves me as much as he does now. That's OK. I'll be happy with whatever I get.

You're my best buddy, Chickenhead!

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Dream Is Still Alive

We've come a long way in our country-

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

We've come a tremendous way. We still have a ways to go.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Your Daily Affirmation

Whenever you're feeling a bit low, a bit blah, I have found that the Divine Miss M. will turn your mood around. I need to have a fundraiser to send my butt to Vegas so I can see her show.

Click the arrow and sing along- "I'm beautiful, dammit!"

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Eat This, Not That (and some random stuff thrown in)

In my ongoing effort to live a healthier, and therefore longer, life, I have decided that traditional 'diets' simply don't work for me. What I need to work on is portion control and consuming fewer processed foods that are filled with hidden trans-fats and sugars. I also needed help figuring out the healthiest choices I could make when we eat out. We don't dine out a lot, but for me knowing what I can eat before hand let's me plan in advance, which I like.

So imagine my excitement when I stumbled upon 'Eat This Not That'. A girl at work had the book, but you can go to their website and get a lot of great info on making healthy food choices. You can also sign up for a free newsletter. Some of the ETNT info has been eye-opening to say the least. Take for example, one of our families favorite restaurants, Chilis. Chickenhead usually wants a burger, but last time we went, I had him order the 'healthier' (I thougt) Chicken strip dinner from the kid's menu. Wrong! The kid's chicken strip dinnner, 3 breaded strips and fries, has over 1,100 calories and 82g of fat! Not to mention the almost 2000 mg of sodium. Next time, he'll have the comparitively healthy corndog, which clocks in at 440 calories and 28g of fat.

I know that when dining out, you can never get completely away from fat and sodium, but it's good to know that you can make choices that are a little bit healthier, and that you (or your child) will still enjoy. The ETNT site also has a great list of the best and worst at the supermarket, which I am finding really helpful.

I figured up last night that purchasing all of those things I miss from my youth will set me back a conservatively estimated $400 or so, and therefore shall remain memories.

My momma has been moaning and groaning for the past few days about there being nothing to eat, but the reality is that there's nothing that she wants to eat. We're trying to get her diabetes under control, but she's still testing at somewhere around 400-450 every day. The truth is she doesn't like to test, and doesn't really care what her blood sugar is. I'm not sure how much hand-holding I should do here. Do I keep nagging at her to test? She's an adult and knows why she should be testing, and the consequences of not getting this under control. Her apathy confuses me, to be honest.

The Husband and Chickenhead have both had a nasty stomach bug the past couple of days, and I'm doing everything I can to keep from contracting their cooties. Boys are icky sometimes, aren't they?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Things I Miss From My Youth

For the most part, I wouldn't go back and change a thing in my past. I recall most of my childhood and teenage years with mostly good memories (maybe I've suppressed the bad stuff). Looking back, there are a few things that I had back then that I wish I still had. For instance...

I just about wore my Spirograph out when I was a kid. I loved that thing. I found a new-fangled one at a garage sale not long ago, and bought it for Chickenhead. It sucked. It only had 5 or 6 discs and it wasn't near as cool as the original.

After playing with Spirograph for a few years, I was ready to move on to something else. My next art obsession was-

Fashion Plates! I was sure that with a few well thought out FP designs, I would be well on my way to a glamorous high fashion career in Paris. I still keep my eyes peeled at garage sales and thrift stores for this toy. I might be able to make it to Paris, yet.

As I got older though, I began to think about my own personal style. Yes, I was blossoming in to young womanhood. One of the first 'grown up' Christmas presents I remember getting was-

Yep, that womanly fragrance we know and love, Love's Baby Soft. I would love to have a bottle of this, not so much to wear, but just to take a whiff of every now and then so that I could briefly go back to 1981. (Is it just me, or is that ad a little skeevy?)

This was also around the time that I started begging, pleading, holding my breath and generally driving my poor momma batshit crazy for a pair of these babies-

I may have to break down and get a pair of retro Nikes, just for the good flashback feelings they would bring. My favorites were the purple ones I had. They were so rad! (sorry)

Finally, I'm looking around like crazy for Lip Lickers. You remember them don't you? The little tin of lip gloss that you kept in your jeans pocket, sliding the lid open and closed when you were kind of nervous (was I the only one that did that?)-

I recall having the root beer Lip Licker, and I think I had green apple, too. The Village Bath is still around, and I've emailed them about making Lip Lickers again(yes, I have no life). While they're not planning on producing them now, the appreciated my suggestion, and are sending me a $1 coupon to use towards any of their other products. Whatever. Anyway, these are the things from my youth that I would love to get my hands on again. What about you?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Men I Like- Sam Beam

You may not know Sam Beam at all by his given name. You may not even know him by the name he records under, Iron & Wine. But. You should know him, oh yes you should.

Some days, I like to rock out hard to Metallica or maybe I'm in an alternative mood and need to hear Depeche Mode. But sometimes, I need to take it down a notch. And when I want to get mellow, this gentle soul with his soothing voice is most welcome.

Doesn't he look like he would fix you a cup of tea, and maybe rub your feet, while asking how your day was? Maybe that's just me. Anyway, if you haven't heard Iron & Wine before, you don't know what you're missing. I found a fan-made video on that tubular website for his song, 'Resurrection Fern'. Go ahead and click on the play button and let yourself unwind. It's almost Friday. You've earned it.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wii (Un)Fit

Even though I had resolved not to make any resolutions about weight loss, I have come to the conclusion that I must do something. I've come to terms with the fact that I'll never again have the body that I had when I was 17 or so, and I'm OK with that. But I'll be honest here, my thighs are scaring the hell out of me, and they probably make small children cry.

So. I decided to start by keeping a food log. I've done food diaries a million times; every time I've done Weight Watchers as a matter of fact. But, a food diary is really a very useful tool when you're honest with yourself and faithfully and accurately record what you're stuffing in to your gaping maw. And after just a couple of days of tracking my grazing habits, the ugly truth is staring me in the face, and boy oh boy, it ain't pretty (which is why it's called the 'ugly' truth). I am totally, completely addicted to carbs. And not just the healthy carbs, no, I like the processed crap, too.

I'll be totally honest here. I like to eat. I enjoy food. I love cooking, baking, and all things food related. I don't necessarily like to overeat; I hate feeling stuffed or bloated, and I didn't think I did, but my food diary says otherwise. I don't like to exercise. There, I said it. When I get home from work, the last thing I want to do is move my ass. I have to make dinner, see that the Husband is still functioning and maybe help Chickenhead with his homework. Exercise is boring, and when I get bored with something, I simply don't do it. I excel at avoidance!

When Chickenhead first started playing WiiFit, he had an extra 10 or so lbs on him. He's a stocky kid, and while he doesn't look 'fat', he's solid. He began doing WiiFit, and in a span of about 2 months, he's dropped some of that weight. Chickenhead is looking good and feeling fine!

I wanna look good and feel fine, too! So I'm going to start doing WiiFit, also. It will give us something to do together, and hopefully, I won't get bored with it. I know that there will be days where I will fail miserably at this, and with a little luck, I'll be able to get back on the wagon. I'm not looking to win a beauty contest, just maybe live long enough to make everyone else as crazy as they've made me. If you have any exercise tips, I would love to hear them. And how do I kick my carb addiction? Anyone?


Well, not much is really going on around the Casa these days. There's a lot that needs to go on, believe me. I need to finish up putting away the Christmas decorations. I need to get started on the Great Closet Clean Out of 2009. The reason I've dragged my feet on both of these projects is that thinking about starting on either makes me think about other projects I need to do around the house, and then it just snowballs in to one HUGE, mind-numbing, overwhelming project, and then quite frankly, I just say 'screw it' and lie on the sofa and watch some nasty reality show on VH-1.

So my never-ending attempt to get organized and stay that way will continue. In hopes that I will stick to getting even half of this boring crap done, I'm going to list my goals here for all the world and the three readers of this blog to see. Ready? Here they are-

1. Put the Christmas junk away all ready.
2. Clean out the closets, starting with the hall closet. Ask the Husband if he really still needs that scuba gear that's been hanging in the closet since 2003.
3. Clean Chickenhead's bedroom. Yes, I know that he should be doing this, but his version of 'clean' and mine are vastly different. How long should one clean their child's room?
4. Re-organize the kitchen cabinets. I have desperate OCD issues about my kitchen. Since my mom has been living with us, she just puts stuff in any old cabinet, and then when she can't find where she's squirrled away say a box of tea, or a packet of crackers, she accuses someone else of taking them. I know a lot of what is going on with her is her illness, and no real fault of her own, but if I find another box of Ritz stuffed in with all my baking pans, my head will explode.
5. Clean out every stinking drawer in the house and toss any/all un-necessary, un-wanted, non-working, tacky, ugly items.
6. Possibly have a garage sale to make money on said un-necessary, un-wanted, tacky and ugly items.

OK. It looks like I've got my work cut out for me.

PS- I promise the next man I like that I share will not be quite as scary as Joaquin. I'm still not over that one myself!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Men I Like- A Special WTF Edition

Joaquin Phoenix first caught my eye as Commodus in 'Gladiator'. He proved to be just as talented as his late brother, River, and was easy on the eye to boot. Look-

Now I'm not certain, but I think Joaquin slipped a cog after he did 'I Walk The Line'. I think he got a little too in to playing Johnny Cash, and he didn't quite make it back towards the light, if you know what I mean.

Still, nothing could quite prepare me for the shock of seeing what Joaquin is looking like these days. Imagine my surprise when I was reading D-Listed the other day and saw this-

What in cocaine blues hell happened to this man?! Even P-Diddy/Diddy/Puffy/Puff-Daddy/whatever is looking at him like a scared little boy-

To top it all off, Joaquin went and got his hair did up all fancy for this event-

I think Joaquin was up watching late-night TV (I'm thinking that's the only kind of TV he watches), and saw the informercial for this.

Poor Joaquin. He's looking a bit unkempt, and he's got some issues that EZ-Comb can't fix. Let's hope that 2009 finds him cleaning up, both inside and outside.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Holiday Highlights

Yes, I should have posted this before my New Years Re-Solutions post, but I've been busy and extra-forgetful, so here we are. Better late than never and all that.

The holidays were fun here at the Casa. Chickenhead and I made a gingerbread train-

We put up loads of decorations and a tree-

Some of my very best friends came over for a cookie swap!


That's Carol. She loves cookies, and she's a pretty awesome baker!

Christmas Day arrived and Chickenhead got lots of gifts-

These are Star Wars blueprints, and after RockBand and Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party games for Wii, this is his favorite gift.

Wanna build your own Darth Vader? Here's the details-

And so, that was pretty much the month of December here at the Casa. We had plenty of family drama to be sure, and I'll get in to all of that later. For now though, I'm just going to enjoy my day off and work on getting all the Christmas decor taken down and put away.