Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Note to self: put up a Post-it in a permanent place to remind me how busy the last weeks of school are. There are permanent files to file. There are report cards to complete. There are field trips and assemblies to be had. There is testing to finish and there are parties to plan. There are lessons to plan that will keep kids' interest until June.

And then there are the things from the other side of the teacher's desk. There are teacher gifts to remember and thank you notes to write. There are permission slips to sign. There are registration papers to fill out. There are field days to attend and field trips to chaperone. There are lunches to be made, despite noses that crinkle up at the thought of a real piece of fruit. There are after-school activities to drive to, and if I can just hold on for a few more days, they will simply be activities peppered in between the boredom.

Boredom. What's that like?

Do you ever feel like you're drowning in a sea of never-ending stuff to do? Even when there's Nothing to do, there's always Something to do. At some point, I am not going to look tired. People are going to quit telling me I look tired. That will be nice. Today someone told me that I look like a certain, pretty local news reporter. That was very nice. I've seen her on t.v. and she never looks tired.

She's obviously not a teacher.

Or a mom.

P.S. Yesterday my husband turned 41, and concerned for his aging father, my 8-year-old son said "I hope your thumbs don't fall off."

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Happy Things

When I was a little kid, we lived in Heber City, Utah, which is where I currently work. One of my favorite things to do was to make the five-minute drive to Midway (which is where I currently live) and go to the Timp Freeze for an ice cream cone. The reason I loved their ice cream cones was because they always gave you a little toy surprise in the cone. Sometimes it was a sword. Other times it was a dinosaur. When we moved to Midway three years ago, I was a little disappointed to see that the Timp Freeze was nothing but a shell of a once great ice cream stand.

But then... there was a glimmer of hope. The Timp Freeze got a fresh coat of paint. Someone hung up a sign that said "Opening Soon." Well, "Soon" happened today. I took my daughter down the hill and we stepped into the shiny new place. I have to admit, my heart fluttered a little. If I ordered an ice cream cone, would it come with a toy? I was too chicken to ask. I just wanted to be surprised. I just wanted to feel like a kid for a minute. So I ordered a cone. My daughter was too overcome by the scent of cheeseburgers on the grill to think about ice cream, but me? I just wanted a cone. And with any luck, I'd get one with a toy. Thirty seconds later, the girl behind the counter handed me this:

Life is good.

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Glimpse of Things to Come

Last week our daughter turned twelve. We don't typically do birthday parties, but this year we caved in and allowed her to invite twelve giggling, squealing, sreaming 'tweens over for lemon cupcakes and a Wii dance party.

Things spoken during the festivities:

My husband was outside grilling hotdogs. He needed a plate from the kitchen. He said to me, "You go get it. Everytime I walk in there, they stop talking."

In hopes of joining the dance party upstairs, our eight-year-old son came downstairs and said, "Mom, check out these awesome dance moves I've been working on!" I quickly called a friend to come over and keep him company.

More than once, and from more than one attendee, I heard, "Taylor Lautner is so HAWT!"

Finally, as my husband and I were banned to the garage to enjoy our hotdogs and lemon cupcakes, he asked, "How did this happen? Why are WE the ones in the garage?"

I licked my strawberry frosting and said, "Welcome to the future. Get used to it."

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Little Self-Discoveries

I am quite adept, it seems, at putting on lipstick without the benefit of a mirror. My favorite lipstick? Baby Lips by Laura Mercier.

I am a horrible cheat. I decided to quit drinking Coke about six weeks ago. And then I decided to quit drinking soda all together. And then I discovered these yummy little cans of sparkling fruit juice at Costco. After reading the label many many times, I decided they do NOT count as soda. Nor does a green apple slush from our local burger joint. The verdict is still out on coke-flavored slurpees.

Speaking of burger joints, I will go to my grave defending an In N Out cheeseburger with a whole grilled onion as THE best burger in the universe. And it's just as good with water as it is with an icy cold Coke.

Speaking of the Universe, I am more than a little disappointed that the Space Shuttle program is over. That would be the nerd in me. One of my bucket list items was to go to a live launch. Hopefully something just as good or better will come along in the future. Until then, I'll be thinking up a way to be an extra on a Star Trek movie.

Finally, I like to drive fast. I've been driving my husband's little Imprezza RS for the last few weeks, and that car is happiest when going 75 or above. I'm planning to explain that to the officer if I am ever pulled over.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Conversation

The conversation at our house this morning circled around food. Before I even made it out of my bathroom, my daughter asked if she could have some certain cookies for her lunch.

"Grab an apple," I said.

"But I already have a yogurt and that has fruit in it."


"That's like having two fruits."

"And the problem is...?"

She went to the pantry and dug out a container of apple sauce, which had fermented. Thankfully we tested it before she got to school.

"There's a crisper drawer full of real apples," I suggested. She rolled her eyes at me.

A few minutes later, my son said, "Mom, I need a snack for my lunch." I repeated what I had told his sister. "But I already have blueberries," was his reply.

"So?" I know I'm asking for it when I say that.

"So NOBODY ever takes two fruits in their lunch. EVERYBODY takes at least two snacks - and you're telling me I can't even have ONE?"

My reply: "First of all, you're not Donald Trump, so quit speaking in superlatives. Second of all, fruit IS a snack. What kind of snacks does EVERYONE have?"

"Fruit roll-ups, fruit by the foot, fruit snacks, chips..."

I couldn't resist. "How sad for them. There is a fridge full of REAL fruit in this house. Aren't you lucky? And when you say 'snack' you mean junk food. So ask me for junk food."

"But if I ask for junk food, you'll say NO!"

"I think you're getting it, kid."

He rolled his eyes at me and opted for a cherry yogurt.

"Why don't you ever let us have junk food?" He asked in that very whiny, spoiled-brat kind of voice that gives me immediate desires to take away all happiness forever.

"I believe you enjoyed both jolly ranchers and a fireball after school yesterday. And what about that bowl of ice cream after dinner? You get plenty without me actually giving it to you on purpose. I want you to grow up and have a long, healthy life, even if it means griping at me forever."

A pouty look was all I got in response.

"If you want to grow up and be a famous scientist/inventor, you need a good, healthy, strong brain, and fruit by the foot is not the answer."

Being the typical mom that I am, I couldn't resist one parting shot before I left for work.

"I don't think Einstein ate a single Fruit by the Foot EVER!"

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Middle School Initiation

I'm old and I'm cheap. But that's okay.

A little background: my daughter, who is about to turn twelve, has had a favorite store for the last 2-3 years called Justice. I can't stand it. Their clothes are expensive, for the most part ugly, and poor quality.

Last week, she came home from school and announced, "I think I'm pretty much over Justice." I breathed a small sigh of relief. "I want to start shopping at Aeropostale."

"Why?" I asked.

"Well, Sophie's mom took her shopping there, and she got a ton of cute stuff!"

Thank you, Sophie's Mom, for what follows.

Yesterday, I was out and about, when I decided to pop into Aeropostale and check things out. I thought I'd do a little birthday shopping. I found "a ton of cute stuff," all from the clearance racks. I mean, why would I buy a $24 yellow polo when I could buy one in a slightly different shade of yellow for $4?

So I took my picks up to the register, where the sales clerks, who were half my age and who had half my wisdom, proceeded to ring me out. We chatted, and I learned that this was a favorite store of many middle-schoolers. "Yeah," said Clerk 1, "lots of middle-school kids shop here, but it's not a great place for moms like you to buy clothes." As if I would want to wear shorts that were made of nothing more than a waist band and a pocket (nor would I want my daughter to wear them - but that's another post).

Clerk #2 whispered to me, "It's also a great place for CHEAP people to shop."

Oh just wait girls.