Sunday, November 23, 2008

Real Moms...

My friend Shana at So Not Zen tagged me with this meme. I have never done a meme and am not really sure what one is.

Sooooo, instead of figuring out how to tag others right now, since I really have to go pee, I'll just put this one on here, having added a link to one of my posts at the bottom, or number 10. I hope you'll enjoy taking a look at all of the posts linked in this meme.

If you are sad I didn't tag you, I'm sure I'll learn more about these things as time goes by.

1. Real moms don't flinch when they talk about boobs. They do make you laugh your brains out.
2. Real moms go on vacation and learn to play traffic cop.
3. Real moms brag about their kids.
3. Real moms do not mince words when they present the truth.
4. Real moms juggle.
5. Real moms "resist the guilt and embrace the journey."
6. Real moms don't give a damn to media generated Mommy Wars.
8. Real moms creatively modify discipline techniques.
9. Real moms give good advice. Really, kids, you should listen.
10. Real moms get unsolicited fashion advice from their off-spring.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Mother of All Compliments

Tom is a bit quiet and shy, so he’s not the most demonstrative guy in the world. Even with me. Before we got married, at our church's 3 hour mandatory communication class (yeah, we rocked that thing!), we had to write down our wants and needs for after marriage.

Here’s my list:
I need to sleep in until 9 a.m. on Saturdays.
I want to be told, on occasion, that I look good.

After 5 years of dating, I knew that I was marrying a morning person, who might be tempted to seize the day and drag me along with him into it, and I suspected he might also need a little nudge when it came to complimenting his wife.

I’m not a prima dona, or at list not too much of one, but we had experienced more than a few ill-fated attempts at compliments in the past. I had read somewhere that men want our needs spelled out for them, which is why I was so blunt. I was looking for-- “You look good. You look nice. You look pretty.”

You see, this is the guy who told me he was attracted to me for my personality. This is not sought-after information when you are 21 and as hot as you're ever going to be. This is the guy who, upon seeing me in my new floral, drop-waisted dress (it was 1992!) said, “You look HOMELY in that dress!”


“Uh, it’s just so soft and pretty?”

“Okay, so are you trying to say I look “HOME-Y” in my dress? And if so, is this a good thing?”


Here’s Tom’s List:

I am not the enemy
Clean counters

Since Tom does not have a blog, and therefore a voice, we will not need to delve too deeply into the first item on his list, except perhaps to posit that w/ five years of dating me he knew that he might, perhaps, be my closest target when I got a teeny bit grumpy.

As for the second item, I guess he desired clean counters. We will not dwell too much on or judge him too harshly for the fact that he answered his questions in a non-standard fashion that deviated from the clearly established I want/ need format.


Soooooooo last night, with a newfound resolve to try to improve my self-image, or get some pre-Thanksgiving action, Tom took a deep breath and said, “Kids, you have the most beautiful mother in the world.” He looked uncomfortable, but he got it out just fine.

Molly: “No she’s NOT, I saw a newspaper picture of the best mother and it wasn’t her.”

Tom: “I never said BEST mother, I said most beautiful.”

Gee thanks guys. Kind of makes me what to go smear raw chicken all over the counters.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Slow to Warm Up

Let’s just say your microwave breaks and even though it’s probably just a little fuse, you don’t want to shell out the 100+ bucks to have a pro come in to take a look at it. You don’t think you use it that much anyway except to check out your hair in its door before leaving the house and to use the timer to tell the kids, “two more minutes!” before time to leave for school.

After a few days in a microwave-less state, you and your husband decide it might be better to start over with a new microwave, rather than pay for repairs, so you take time off work to buy a new one.

You have done your research. You are armed with product reviews and Consumer Reports that basically all say the same thing. Over-the-stove microwaves are, in general, crap, and will most likely break the day after the warranty wears out. You will then be forced to shell out hundreds of dollars to get one fixed, when a brand new countertop model would probably only set you back about 80 bucks.

Sooooo, depressing info in hand, you hit Sears on a weekday morning and see what’s available. At first you start looking for the best price and key features you like, but after a while you just ask whichever one is available to fill the gaping hole above your stove by Thanksgiving Day. Ding! Ding! Ding! You’ve got a winner. For only $692 you now have a new microwave that will be installed on Friday.

You leave Sears and realize that $692 is almost 2 weeks salary at your important new high-powered job. Your husband, thinking he’s making you feel better, says, “Don’t worry, I’ll just put in a couple of extra hours at work this week to pay for it.” Somewhat deflated, you slink off to work.

Now your old microwave sits at the curb ready to be picked up with all of the computer monitors, printers, TV’s, digital cameras and other detritus of our wasteful, throw-away society.

You feel dirty and more than a little guilty as you wonder whether your new gadget has a popcorn button.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

You Say To-MAH-to, I Say Please Don't

Anyone who has ever been married for any length of time can talk about the ups and downs of marriage. The rhythms. The times when you are in sync, and the times you’re in the weeds.

I can tell it’s overdue for Tom and me to reconnect when everything that comes out of his mouth makes my skin crawl. Anyone else could say the same things, and I’d extend an inch of grace (or more!) but not to him.

Let me give a few examples. We’re looking for a new microwave, and today he suggested we choose “A-MAH-na.” Ugh. Who says Amana like that? A few minutes later he asked me where the “tape measure-er” was, before finding it the drawer where it has lived happily for the past 5 years. I don’t know what bugged me more, that I prefer to say either “tape measure” or “measuring tape,” or the fact that he couldn’t find it all by his lonesome.

Don’t even get me started on how he says “Hyundai.” Think about every possible way to say it in your head. Then screw it up more. Then make a weird shape with your mouth as you utter it. Drag it out over about 7 seconds. Okay. You get the picture.

Now, many things bug him about me, too. But he doesn’t have a blog, so there’s really no need to delve deeply into them here. My sighs and eye rolls would probably make the list, as well as the way I literally bite my lips shut to avoid saying something mean. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail, but I look like a pointy nosed shrew either way.

I also utter seemingly innocent phrases, which my shy husband thinks sound sexual. I usually do this at parties. You see, I come from a long line of women who are pretty sheltered, perhaps naive about the ways of the world. I remember cringing when my mom dropped off a bunch of “pussy willows” at our neighbor’s house and called them by an embarrassing derivation of that name that I will not type here for fear of unwanted search engine hits.

Sooooooooooo, when I complain at parties of that I’ve “shot my whole wad” at the thrift store lately, my red-faced husband claims that what I am saying is not what I think I am saying. Got it?

I know I am irritating. I even irritate myself sometimes. I just wish certain other irritating people were as self aware.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Barbie Without a Beach Blanket

Jake: “Mom, if Molly’s naked Barbies were in a movie but they were real people, like teenagers, and instead of being in the tub, they were like, at a beach, would the movie be rated R or X?”

Mom: “Um, X, I think.”

Jake: “I thought so.”

Note to moms everywhere: if you have a pile of naked Barbies in the house because they are marketed to girls who are far too young to have the dexterity or follow-through to dress them in their teeny tiny clothes, you may want to think twice before you leave them lounging around in the family bathtub.

If you’ve, ahem, gotten so sick of the little shoes and wetsuits and hotpants that you threw them all away in a cleaning frenzy, you may want to get off your rear and dispose of the dolls themselves, too. What may look innocent to a little girl or her mom could scream X rated movie to others in the house. And if you have Bratz, go ahead and toss them, clothed or unclothed. I’ve heard those girls are hussies.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Just Wondering

Did you ever start writing a blog because it was a creative outlet, kept you from watching too much tv, and helped you document your family’s life?

Did you then start to read a lot of other people’s hi-larious, riveting blogs, stay up too late, ignore your family, and get an icky feeling that your blog was really lame by comparison?

Did you start out writing for yourself not even knowing what comments were and then find yourself feeling a little twinge-y about the huge number of comments other people were getting?

Did you get really busy with kids, work or life and quit blogging as often as before and wonder if everyone would stop reading?

Did you remind yourself that this whole blogging thing was really supposed to be for you in the first place and that it shouldn’t ever make you feel crappy, un-creative, and “behind?”

Yeah, me neither.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Give Me A Staple Gun, Part 2

Here's a closer pic of a zebra print chair. I was too cheap to get enough material to cover them all in it, so there are only 2 of these. Ever see any brown and white zebras running around?

Give Me a Staple Gun, I'll Give You a Chair

A month or so ago I bought a run-down 60's or 70's dining room set at my favorite thrift shop. I was initially pumped up by this awesome score, but I got bummed out when I realized they reeked of cigarette smoke and "old taxi cab." Ick.

A lot of Murphy's Oil Soap helped cut down on the stench, and replacing the foam seats helped, too. They either smell much better now, or we've just gotten used to it, much in the way we don't smell the dog anymore.

Tom stained the table dark brown with gel stain that was a vast improvement over the old orangey color. I spray painted the chairs and made new seat pads and covers with my glue and staple guns. I did a pretty crappy paint job, but the overall effect looks pretty decent. The nice thing is, with all 3 leaves in, and using a hodge podge of chairs, this bad boy will seat 10 people!

Here's the tab:
Table and 7 chairs: $44
New Foam: $15
Zebra Fabric: $18
Blue Velvet: $0 (already had)
Gel Stain: $0 (already had)
Spray paint: $40

$117 for the whole shooting match seems like a pretty good
Here's an "after" shot:

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It's SNOT Okay

I’ve got nothing, nothing to give to this blog today. I have a vicious cold. My head feels like a giant ball of snot. I sneezed all over my co-worker today and I feel awful about that.

A new jewelry store opened down the street in the hollow shell of the old one despite my ardent desire that the a sweet little man from Mongolia NOT pour his hopes and dreams into that miserable, blighted strip of pavement thereby forever ruining his family’s chances of ever making it in this country.

Now he’s taken to putting key merchandise on a table in front of the store and standing next to it, hour after hour, hoping this will attract customers. No chair, he just stands. How am I supposed to handle this?? It’s enough to make me cry. Okay, I am crying. Why must he do it?

There’s a new neon sign up, attracting NO ONE. NO ONE. Neon isn’t cheap. Did he not realize this store has been 8 different things in 8 years? Why did he think he’d be any different? I just want him to run. Cut his losses before it’s too late. Why pull the scab off slowly, when quickly would be so much better?

I put a silver chain on my Christmas list so Tom can throw this guy a bone, but I can’t even bear to go in there myself. What will I see in his eyes? A ray of hope? Aargh.

So many businesses and restaurants are going to fail in the next few years. I just don’t think I can take it. Too many broken hopes and dreams. Truth be told, the new “Pet Spaw” down the road is more likely to make it than this jewelry store.

I need to go blow my nose.