Showing posts from July, 2011

Sporty Fresh

Ever heard of NaBloPoMo ? The community effort to post every day for one month? I tried it back in November of 2009, and I came darn close to posting every day. Close, but no cigar. I'm giving it another go for August 2011, in which the theme is Fiction. (From what I can tell, you can choose to write on the theme or not. The daily posting is really the thing; the theme is a structure you can use if you wish.) Anyway, I think a little blog posting muscle flexing is in order, as I've not been the most disciplined writer of late. So I'll use the writing prompt provided by NaBloPoMo for today, for their July 2011 daily bloggers, to get me started. Here's the prompt: "What was the last thing you bought?" The last thing I bought was a stick of Right Guard Sport deodorant. Because someone in my family was leaving the house for a music lesson, and someone else in my family suggested to the young prodigy that he apply a health dose of deodorant to himsel

If She's Not on Etsy, She Should Be

Entrenched as we are in the electronic age, we have lost the joy of sending and receiving actual mail, something we can hold in our hands and physically open up. Delivered packages are treasures indeed, am I right? I am right. And did I ever get a delightful one this past week! Thank you ever so much to Mama Mama Quite Contrary , for the wonderful care package I received this week. I entered a giveaway on her blog, and contrary (no pun intended) to my luck in pretty much every other area of my life (Exhibit A: Tallulah), I WON! People, look what I got: Items included • a lovely, handmaid tote -- I completely adore this bag! • the book One Day, by David Nicholls -- can't wait to read it • earplugs (ooo, it's like she read my mind and heart) • tea • a humorous handwritten postcard from Mama Mama (who by the way, has lovely handwriting) • a gift card to, allowing me to give $25 to a worthy organization of my choosing This goody package kicks the ass of every o

Obama Spoke To Me In a Dream Last Night

Well, actually, he didn't, which is precisely the point. We got iPhones a few months ago, and I have to admit, they are fairly miraculous. They have made many things easier and more fun, and I am thoroughly enjoying having one. But when my husband asked me the other day if I like my phone, I gave him the honest, if hard to admit, response: "I do like it, but I need to have a different relationship with it." Apparently, Obama and my subconscious agree. Last night, I dreamt that I was watching my daughter play in a soccer game against a team on which played one of the Obama girls. This was the coolest thing ever! There we were, on a great expanse of green grass, on a lovely sunny day, watching girls play the Beautiful Game, and there was Mr. President, looking casual, jaunty and charming, watching his daughter as well. I was so excited! I might get to talk to him, to shake his hand, to ask him why John Boehner is such a tool! But first, I thought, I have got to

7 Quick Fruits and Vegetables: Volume 32

Friday day is in our grasp So long as we have hands to clasp. Clasp your hands in thanksgiving that another Friday has arrived! For today's 7 Quick Takes, I am glorifying the fruits and vegetables in my garden, because I need to eat more of them. I am locked in a dysfunctional relationship with carbohydrates, and I'm trying to create corrective eating experiences in order to change that state of affairs. Maybe these photos will inspire me to eat some green. Maybe you too! ~1~ ~2~ ~3~ ~4~ ~5~ ~6~ ~7~ * * * I'm just happy that today's 7 Quick Takes got me out of the house and into the lively, bright, fragrant, sunny garden this morning with my camera. Happy Friday and weekend, everyone! * * * Please visit our 7 Quick Takes host at Conversion Diary and sample the links of other Quick Takers! * * *

Life's Persistent Questions

(with a nod to Guy Noir ) One Mother's Persistent Questions about Life 1. Why. Are. Children. SO. Loud? 2. Is calm, detached parenting even possible? Do the "experts" who recommend it have children? 3. Will a pre-teen truly die of embarrassment if someone sees the traces of un-rubbed-in sunscreen on his face? 4. Is screaming at kids really all that bad? Isn't it possible, what with the way parenting advice evolves, that a generation from now, the new best practices in parenting will include screaming early and often, thus demonstrating that I was way ahead of the curve back in 2011? 5. Do I have the kind of kids who will grow up to be geniuses, who will make important contributions to the quality of human life, in spite of spending way too much time in front of TV and computer screens? Oooo, let's hope so. 6. Is it fair to characterize the parent-teen relationship as one of mutually perceived intentional torture? 7. When four of my kids suddenly ne

Thank you Pia, Abby, and the entire WNT!

On the eve of the World Cup Final, I'd like to take a moment to say thank you to Pia Sundhage and all of the amazing women who are getting ready to take on Japan for the Championship tomorrow. You have thrilled and entertained us, you have kept us on the edges of our seats, you have, literally, brought tears to our eyes with your fabulous victories these past few weeks. I have five kids who play soccer, three of them girls who watch you play and see themselves in 15 years. You are showing them how to be the toughest, most committed athletes possible, and you are showing them the true meaning of teamwork, sportsmanship, dedication, and perseverance. You are raising them right! I shamelessly used you the other day, when I was cajoling and coercing the girls into cleaning the living room. After pouring on the commands pretty thick, I heard one girl say: "Why are you pressuring us so much?!?!?!" My response was, of course: "Pressure makes us." And then P

7 Quick Delights: Volume 31

Seven things have brought me delight this week, so I thought I'd share them for today's 7 Quick Takes. Looking for a pick-me-up? Seeking some inspiration? Try these! ~1~ Powerberries. Grabbed these on an impulse buy and they are sooooooooo good. Yum. Get some. You'll thank me. ~2~ Midnight in Paris . Knowing nothing about this movie except that it's a Woody Allen film that is getting good reviews, we went to see it the other night. What fun! I'm pretty sure I missed some of the great cultural references, but the ones I got tickled my fancy. Do you ever wish you lived in some better, more golden, or simpler time? Go see this movie! ~3~ Massage. Oh my. A huge thank you to Nicole for treating me to a fabulous afternoon at the Claremont Spa yesterday. We had hour long massages, we enjoyed the nine-head showers, the deluge shower, the steam room, the whirlpool hot tub, the cucumber-spiked water, the comfy robes, the quiet halls, the mini-vacation

Storm Before The Calm

A storm is raging in my house today, the storm of cleaning and laundry and trying to make my house a comfortable place to be. The occasion? Usually, the only thing that motivates me to really get this place in shape is the threat of having guests over. This time, the motivation is quite the opposite: starting tomorrow, we will have a kid free home for almost three days. It's not much, but we'll take it, after almost 13 years of non-stop kid care. I do not want to spend my kid-free time cleaning or doing laundry. Neither do I want to try to relax in a house that needs to cleaned, amid laundry that needs to be done. So, today is the day. The day to make a difference. So I'm cleaning, and writing haiku, and ignoring Lady E and Little T. Haiku and coffee will get me through to freedom. * * * Hard and lousy work To make home a pleasant place Let me get there soon. * * * Grabby hands bind me, Keep me from my busy day. Wait: it's just laundry. * * * Small thi

Moms Help Each Other Get Through Some Tough Situations

Like packing children for a trip. The other day, a college friend of mine sent me a text about how difficult it was to get her son packed for a week away at camp. This friend and I text frequently, often to vent about how much the kids we love so much are driving us crazy. I have only recently become a texter: i'm late to the game, but making up for lost time. How did I live without texting? It keeps me connected to my peeps! I get dating updates from one friend, trade parenting woes with another, and make plans with people on the fly. It's awesome. (I know, everyone knows this already: like I said, I'm late to the game.) And as for my college friend, many a text conversation with her has made me laugh enough to get me through a difficult evening. Here's the one we had tonight: My turn for packing hell. Excuse me for a moment, nut Joey seems possessed and out of control. :) He's screaming and hitting his sister. niiiiiiice. Packing up 6 people wi

Three Items

I can't believe it's already Thursday the 7th! It's a good thing I didn't sign up for NaBloPoMo this month: it would have been an epic fail if I had. So today, I have three items for everyone. First, check out KIDS BOWL FREE . I just signed up all my kids for free bowling coupons for the entire summer -- through October, as a matter of fact. We could go bowling for free every day if we wanted to. That's a lot of funky shoes and stale air right there! My kids are going to looooooooooove this. Go ahead, sign up. It's really free. We start today. Second, a command. You MUST find a way to listen to This American Life's episode entitled Act V. It just might change your life. You can listen to it here (it's 1 hour long), or download the MP3 from TAL's website . And third, a shout out to Mama Mama Quite Contrary , whose response to my last 7 Quick Takes made me laugh out loud. Here's what she said in response to my wondering why I

7 Quick Takes: Volume 30

7. Quick. Takes. Here we go. ~ 1 ~ My sister has a friend who is a breast cancer survivor. This women, when comparing having teenagers to having cancer, said that having teenagers is definitely harder. No wonder I feel like barfing most of the time these days. ~ 2 ~ If I didn't have my little ball and chains (two balls, three chains), this is what I would try to do this Fall: The Transom Story Workshop . But I'm not bitter. Really. Even though Ira Glass and Elise Spiegel are living the life I'm supposed to lead. Enjoy, guys. Do great things. Which, of course, you are already doing. ~ 3 ~ Saturation : the point at which a substance cannot absorb any more particles, matter, liquid or additions of any kind. I reach that saturation point earlier and earlier these days. When I get there, I eject small children from my lap like I'm launching missiles, I swat small hands away from my face like I'm battling horseflies, and my threshhold for MOMMY MOMMY M