Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!!

Happy Halloween to all you boys and ghouls!

Halloween.  The day when mothers try to take credit for awesome costumes purchased on Etsy and we celebrate by sending our children around door to door begging for candy.

Truth be told, however, I LOVE Halloween!  It's fun to see how far my kids have come...

Benji, 2012

Carson, Benji, Drew and Hunter, 2011

Drew, 2010
Josh, 2010

Benji, 2010

Josh, 2009
Frightfully yours, 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

I shaved my legs as the Royals lost the World Series... and other nonsense

Yesterday was a bunch of randomness... busy day doing nothing.  I was present as the handyman retextured the upstairs bathroom ceiling... this was caused by the "Great Water Heater Episode" bedack in late September.

Around two-thirty, I picked up Benji.  Good report at school.  (This means, he hadn't hit anyone.)  Bonus.  You think I'm kidding.  I'm not.

I drive towards the elementary school.  I listen intently as Benji sang nonsense nonstop as we jettisoned toward the carpool lane.  My friend Manny likes to call me "super carpool mom."  I'm not sure if it's an insult or a compliment, but it is what it is.  No, I don't wear a tie.

Photo Credit

I scoop up one kiddo.  Immediately the annoyance began.  Channel changing.  Screaming.  Whines.  Punches.  Did I mention that around Drew, Benji ONLY speaks "Whinese" and it DRIVES... ME... BAT... SHIT... CRAZY!  He doesn't even know how to carry a proper conversational tone, he only whines... Drew loves this.  I think they're trying to send me to the psycho ward... then they'll start on their father and eventually take over the world one Pokemon card at a time!

And then it happens.  Just as soon as Drew plants his glutes in the seat, I get, "What's for dinner?" 

It's 3:00 p.m. and he's asking me what's for dinner.  

If you know me, not that you do, but if you did, you know that I'm a planner.  You would think I would have a plan.  Usually, I have a plan.  This week, I don't.  I mean, I didn't get the title "super carpool mom" for nothin'!

You know, something else... EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT. before bed -- EVERY NIGHT -- he asks me what's for breakfast.  It wouldn't be such an issue but if I have to wake him up in the morning because he just happens to wake up, walk across the room, shut off his alarm, get back in bed, and go back to sleep..... he asks me again.  I'm thinking it's one of those things that he's just in the habit of saying so he just asks it.  

I know that I should be the good June Cleaver mom (showing my age here, aren't I?  If you don't know who she is, you're young... enjoy it!) So, I should be the doting, ever patient, matriarch who answers lovingly, "Why dear, you know, I just haven't decided yet.  Why not get a good night's sleep and the delicious aromas will waft up the stairs in the morning and awaken you from your peaceful slumber."  

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But I'm like... "Dude, I don't know.... go to bed. MUAH!  Night!"

So, this afternoon when he asks me what's for dinner, I just give him the "Are you serious, Clark?" look and continue driving to the middle school to scoop up one of our carpool kiddos and head for home.  If you don't know the "You serious, Clark?" look... refresh your memory.  It's a constant source of laughter in our home.

On the way home, he asks again about dinner and so I tell him that because he has baseball practice, it's nothing fancy:  sausage, Halloween mac and cheese, pears, cucumbers, fresh cornbread.  That seems to satisfy his curiosity - for the moment.

Detox for about an hour and then head back to the school to scoop up an athlete.  He hobbles out wearing a bag of ice on his hip.  Nice.  I could write an entire dissertation on why I think high school pushing athletes to compete, run and go all out when they're clearly injured is STUPID, but that's a rant for another day.  Some things you can't "push through" because HEY JACKASS... MY SON IS HURT.  But yeah.  I won't go there right now.  They don't care.  I do.  They don't.  Grrrrrr

I do get to exchange pleasantries with one of my best friends, Jennifer, and give her a hug before her surgery (taking place today).  That was one of the best parts of the day.  Truth!

I drop off an extra athlete at his home (mom favors, we are all awesome!), head to the house and give Drew exactly 6 minutes to get ready for baseball practice.  Benji decides HE wants to go and starts putting on his shoes... without socks... on the wrong feet.  

When I explain that he won't get to stay and play because he needs a good night's sleep ... much to his chagrin... because his Halloween party was the next at school, he promptly threw his shoes in the pile and declared he was staying home with Josh.  

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(Oh, hey, Josh, watch Benji for me while I run Drew to practice!  Mkay?  Mkay!)

Drew is my source of ADD randomness.  The man-child is Cliff Claven incarnate (again, if you don't know Cliff, your childhood must have sucked).  

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As we are driving down the road to baseball practice he asks me, "Mom, you know how you said earlier you were going to make Halloween macaroni and cheese?"  

"Yes?'  I reply.

"How do you make **Halloween** macaroni and cheese?" (major emphasis on the Halloween)

"Ummm.... like I always make your macaroni and cheese."

"What makes it Halloween macaroni and cheese?  What do you put in it?"

Finally understanding where he's coming from, I tell him that it's just regular macaroni and cheese but the pasta is shaped like ghosts and pumpkins and stuff.  Then I ask, "Why?  What did you think that Halloween macaroni and cheese was?"

"I thought you'd put stuff in it."

"Like what?  What would you put in macaroni and cheese to make it Halloween macaroni and cheese?"

He thinks for a second and then questioningly replies, "sprinkles?"

I sat at the red light and contemplated that for a second and looked him square in the eye and just said, "ewwww."

His only response was a gut busting laugh.

Hey, Kraft, if you put sprinkles in, we want a cut!  Ya here?  Drew thought of it first!

I dropped, ran, returned, cooked.  Everyone filled their plates and then began the great after supper kitchen clean.  Bleh.  Kenmore really needs to invent a self-cleaning kitchen!

Then, it starts... the final game of the WORLD SERIES!  Exciting stuff, right?  The previous game was a complete shut out by the Royals.  

That's a good thing.  Why?  Because I was rooting for Kansas City.  

Not because I'm a Royals fan, but since they haven't been in a World Series game since 1985.  Frankly, I think they were due.  

Plus, Drew plays for the Dodgers, and they and the Royals both wear blue... (I'm reaching here.  Work with me.)

and I like that song... Royals...

That's a good enough reason to root for them, right?  Well, and I'm from Texas and we have the Rangers and that starts with an "R" so it all makes perfect sense now.

(and I have to throw this in there because I hold no punches!  ha!  That's my Rangers!)

But, honestly, my reasoning is mostly because I really don't like much of anything that has much of anything to do with any California sports teams... other than the Dodgers...

but that's just because I support my son...

as he happens to play on the Dodgers...

but make no mistake, it's the KELLER LA Dodgers that I support... not the "LA" Dodgers.  

Anyway, back to the game... It was a 3-2 game going into the 8th.  SanFran was winning. I was getting nervous so I did what any normal person would do at 10pm.  I took a shower.  I can't stand what games like that do to my nerves!  I'm not cut out for this.  Just make things a shut out or at LEAST more than a one run lead so you don't stress me out over it all already!

But... I couldn't leave it alone, I had the SportsCenter app up on my phone and was watching the play-by-play.  While I was in the shower.  Well, I mean, the phone wasn't in the shower with me, but it was on the ledge right out the door... which I kept opening to keep the screen from going to sleep.

Royals were last at bat.  

I couldn't STAND IT and was like...forget it so I just decided to shave my legs since it's not full time yoga pants weather yet here in Texas.  

(Just kidding, the never looks like that.  I'm not an albino!)

Anyway, back to the game... The run to tie it up was on 3rd base

Two outs... 

aaaaaaand, they lost.  (Insert sad face here.)

But, my legs are smooth and that counts for something, right?

I won't lie.  I solaced myself by breaking into the Milk-Duds.  Yay for Halloween candy that my kid with braces can't eat!

There's always next year... and the Rangers as far as baseball.  But well, yeah, there's also the Cardinals.  Cardinals football.  Not Arizona.  I'm talking high school football and certainly not MLB from Missouri.  

Not that there's anything wrong with that (and I'll say lots of prayers for you if you don't know that reference because you really have had a sad existence to miss the pure comedic genius of that show.)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Howl at the Moon

The Howling (1981) PosterWhen I was nine years old, my dad took me, my sister, his girlfriend and her kids to the movies.  Sweet huh?  In theory, sure.  In reality, notsomuch.  I was taken to see... The Howling.  

Before we delve into the creepy factor, I have to address the blatantly obvious "you were not old enough to be in an R-rated movie" or perhaps the "that was not appropriate for children your age" or maybe even the "what an irresponsible dad you must have had" crap!  

I will agree that you are right.  Not only was I not old enough to be in an R-rated feature film but it also contained content that was not appropriate for an adolescent my age.  I'll be completely honest, however, I loved the horror genre.  That notwithstanding, it was still highly inappropriate.  I can still vividly remember the nudity and sex scenes.  Folks, I'm 41... I was 9 when it came out.  Do the math.  Parents, do NOT act like these things don't "stick" with your children... they DO!  They'll remember... they'll remember the nudity... the sex... the violence.  There are some things they simply can not "un" see.  Once the damage is done, it's done.... However, my dad wasn't irresponsible... just made a bad judgment call.  Live and learn.  

...but I digress.  Let's talk about the creepy factor.

Simply stated -- this movie scared the shit out of me.  Granted, like I said, I loved the horror genre. As a kid, I used to watch horror and sci-fi movies with my grandmother's brother, Uncle Leon.  He liked them too.  He used to call ANYTHING weird from either genre "voodoo" movies.  We had a time.  For me, the creepier, the better... but something about that movie really scared me to death.  I mean, I slept with a flashlight for MONTHS after... 

... with the bathroom light on

... and I probably would have had a revolver full of silver bullets if I were given the option... 

... stored in a box of garlic... 

... that had been blessed with Holy Water.

And you know that a film has topped your creep factor when long after it's gone from the theaters it's still fresh in your mind.  

You see, my best friend, Shannon, lived 5 houses up the street from me. This meant that from time to time, I had to walk home from her house... 

after dark... 


Are ya following me here?  (Yeah, I thought you were, too, and that's why half the time I would RUN!)

You see this short journey home was far worse in the fall when the ground was covered with dried leaves.  We lived in an established neighborhood FULL of mature trees.  Once fall had crept in, yards were covered with them.  These were deep blankets of leaves... the kind you could rake into a pile  and jump in.  We didn't have lawn crews bagging everything up and blowing it all into the street to be carried away with traffic.  We had the yards that everyone played in... covered in a crispy blanket of terror!  

You see, those leaves -- while fun to play in during the day -- made me fear for my LIFE when I was walking home at night.

I had always been told that your senses become more acute when one of them has been removed... so think... nighttime... dark... moonless... alone... walking.... and then... the rustle of leaves... which obviously meant that a werewolf was about to attack and so you would RUN RUN RUN HOME as fast as you can!  If I ever heard a rustle (which was probably from a neighborhood cat running away FROM ME), I would run so hard because I knew that if I had turned around (like those idiots in the movies) I would have tripped and I would have been a gonner.  I know the werewolves would have been chasing me down Woodoak Drive.

With Halloween upon us this Friday, I'm thinking we'll stray from the macabre and watch Hocus Pocus instead after binging on candy corn.