Tuesday, October 19, 2010

More from My Funny Valentines

Ian: (looking in the mirror) "Oh yeah, my style is looking gooooooooood"

Ian: "Mom you drive fast and I'll watch for cops"

Ian: "Oh yeah baby, chocolate...here I come"

Audrey: (disapprovingly) "You call this a REAL dinner"

Audrey: "I wasn't meaning to whine it just comes naturally"

Ian: "Mom if you see a woodpecker gun it"

Audrey: "Do you know what the best best best best Christmas present is......being with your family"

Audrey: "The most important thing to remember is NEVER to use the word handsome with me...I am not a boy and I don't do boy things"

Ian: What's that measuring thing?
Mom: It's a ruler.
Ian: What's a ruler?
Mom: REALLY???

Audrey: Mom you make the BEST pancakes!
Ian: They're not made they're bought...right mom.
Mom: Right Ian
Audrey: Well, you cook the best pancakes then!

Ian: Ooooo, I love this song...my Mommy used to sing it to me when I was a little baby
Mom: Who your OTHER Mommy? (knowing that I had not sung it)
Ian: Yeah
Mom: Okay then

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Meatloaf Madness

I love to cook! I get excited to cook. I know I'm a good cook. I can cook just about anything from country to gourmet, from Italian to French, from a recipe or from my own made up dishes. I love to cook! Unfortunately I cannot cook meatloaf to save my life.

Everyone has that dish they call their own. It's one of their signature dishes that always starts with a "My". "MY" Mac & Cheese, "MY" spaghetti sauce, "MY" meatloaf. And you know it's good because you always get a request for that dish at every pot luck or bring a dish to pass party. Bring "YOUR" baked beans, ooooo will you make "YOUR" pasta salad. Sadly I've never heard "how about making me YOUR meatloaf". No one wants MY meatloaf. And I am okay with this. I can and have and will continue to admit meatloaf mayhem.

There is only one teeny tiny problem with my inability to form meat and veges and spices into a loaf...it's that meatloaf is my husband's all time favorite dish. Of course it is. Why couldn't he just love linguine with a white-wine sauce, why couldn't he settle for seared scallops with a balsamic reduction, why can't he just be happy with vege burgers? Nope, he loves loves loves meatloaf and I am so thankful that he loves me in spite of my meatloaf inadequacies. Although I'm certain that if I ever serve up a perfect meatloaf I could convince him to buy me something shiny.

I've tried everything to make perfection in a loaf pan. I've tried countless recipes, I've tried making up my own mix, I've bought the very best meat combination, I've watched food network, I've scoured the Internet, I've consulted with friends & family and I still come up short. The key, according to Alton Brown, is don't over-mix the meat. (I'll pause for a moment while you make a joke about how I handle the meat). The key, according to Rachel Ray is to start with fresh ground meat from your butcher. (of course) Other less famous yet equally yummy foodies say "use your hands to mix it" (Um, ewwww) "try adding a little of this and less of that" (yeah, been there done that)

You can ask my husband he laughs every time we have meatloaf for dinner and he will tell me what is good about it and what could be better about it and sometimes he just tells me to order a pizza. On one of our date nights we made a list of what we loved about the other. He wrote "the way you always try to make me meatloaf". Key word here was TRY. It has become our thing...him loving meatloaf and me trying to satisfy that love. They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, I imagine I've broken his heart a hundred times over with MY meatloaf.

It has become part of my quest in life. To perfect this dish. My madness. My meatloaf madness.

Independence Day

June 9, 2010

I feel this summer will be what I call "The summer of independence".

My oldest started swim lessons on her own (no mommy & me) this year. The first class ended in tears and frustration and screams of "I'm never going back to the pool again". That was 6 weeks ago and now we can't get her to leave the pool. She likes to see how long she can stay underwater, she likes to prove she can do more in the water than her little brother, and she finally jumped in for the first time yesterday. A little trick that took her 2 full classes to muster up the courage and then it was into 1 foot of water. But she did it...she took the leap. So why am I the one holding my breath? Why do I feel like I'm the one jumping into the deep end?

In just days she "graduates" Kindergarten. I won't forget how she let go of my hand on that first day and marched into school like she was always meant to be there. I won't forget the day she let go of my hand to cross the road all by herself to board the bus. I won't forget how she clutched tight to my hand when we moved to a new school and I had to encourage her to let go.

These are not her first examples of independence. I remember a little part of my heart breaking when she was just under a year old and decided that she no longer wanted or needed to be rocked to sleep...so I put her in her crib and she put herself to sleep. Bittersweet indeed. Just months ago she wanted us to read her bedtime stories and now she insists that she will be the one reading to us...try as I might the nights of rocking her gently to Goodnight Moon are becoming too few and far between.

While it seems that this is the summer of independence I know it didn't just happen overnight, I know her Daddy & I are very big influnces to her finding her ability to let go and do it herself, I know it's hard to be the one letting go and I wonder if it's as hard for her as it is me to be the one to pull away. I also know that between now and adulthood a lot more examples of her letting go and finding her independence will challenge my instincts to hold on tight.

Yes, I will learn to encourage her to let go, Yes I will push her to try it all by herself, and yes, I will watch her take that first leap while holding my breath. I will praise and cheer from the sidelines and teach her to be first and foremost proud of herself before searching out the pride she will see from us. Yes I will celebrate this summer of her independence and I will allow myself to pull away and celebrate my own.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Quotations & Conversations

Direct quotes and real (I swear there is no way I can make this stuff up) conversations from/with my children. Audrey age 6 and Ian age 4. They make me laugh every single day!

"Mom, why do you always get to be the boss"? ~Audrey

Audrey: It would not be a very good idea to take a giraffe to the movies.
Ian: Why?
Mom to Ian: No one could see over his head
Ian: Ohhhhhh Yeah.
Audrey: But, we could sing him a lulluby and then he'd lay down and go to sleep
and everyone could see the movie.
Ian: But, we'd have to sing a very soft lullaby because we have to be very quiet
in the movie theater, right mom.

Ian: When I was a little tiny baby I used to live in your belly.
Mom: Yes you did
Ian: But how do you get babies out of mommy's bellies?
Mom: Well, you go to the doctors and they have special tools.
Ian: Does it hurt when they use their special tools?
Mom: Ian, LOOK CANDY!!! Want some!!

"I wish I could be lightening so I could be very powerful" ~Audrey after learning what lightening can do

"Mom, can you find me the air pump I need to blow some stuff up" ~Ian

Mom: Audrey stop whining and get ready for school

"You always make me want to throw up when you don't let me have what I want" ~Audrey

"Mom, you have to look at this with your eyes closed" ~Audrey

Audrey: My face hurts.
Mom: Why?
Audrey: From all this trying to stop whining.

"Mom, you're as quick as a rattle snake trying to catch a squirrel" ~Audrey

"Let me look in the mirror and if it's not perfect you can re-do it" ~Audrey as mom is doing her hair

Ian: Mom, what happens when you mix dirt, sand, and water all together?
Mom: You get mud
Ian: Oh, so you mix dirt, sand, and water and you get mud...AWESOME
Mom: (to myself) why oh why oh why would I give him that formula????

"Ice cream is French for yogurt" ~Audrey

"Ian that is not true that is just something moms and dads always tell their children" ~Audrey

"My brain is twisted" ~Audrey explaining to Ian why she doesn't want to play anymore.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Kid Quotes II

"I don't want to grow up, I want to stay this tall". ~Ian November 2009

"I'm so gravitated"! ~Audrey trying to express how AGGRIVATED she was 2009

"Ya know mom different makes difference" ~Ian March 2010

"Because fancy is just too fashionable don't ya think" ~Audrey March 2010

"Mmmmm, I sure do love the smell of that stinky garbage" ~My little stinker March '10

"Don't do that anymore it's starting to hurt my brains" ~Ian 4yrs upon listening to mom quote "Mr. Brown Can Moo". (note he said brainS as if he has multiples, LOL)

"Spring break is my favorite thing to do in the Spring" ~Audrey 6yrs Spring 2010 (Mom & Dad hope that when she's 18 this is her LEAST FAVORITE thing to do)

"I'm always ready for a birthday party" ~Audrey March 2010 (Mom & Dad are seeing a party trend in her future...time to put her in the tower)

Mom: "Ian do you want to wear shorts so you are cooler"? Ian: "No, see my pants have a hole in them so the fresh air can come in and keep me cool that way" ~March 2010

"WOAH!, I'm gonna have to work on that trick"! ~Ian our resident stunt man 2010

"Ugh, there is bless you everywhere" ~Ian in response to his sneeze while trying to eat a mouthful of hummus (you can imagine) April 2010

An Exasperated Worn Out Mommy: "Ian I just can't win with you", Ian: "I know 'cause I'm too fast" ~Nothing like taking everything literally. (: April 2010

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Why? Because. That's Why!

Like many survivors who have lost loved ones to suicide I find myself asking the age-old question, "why"? Why did my brother choose to kill himself? The experts say 4 out of 5 suicides are the result of depression and/or mental illness. Trust me when I tell you when you lose a loved one to suicide you don't give a rat what the experts say. It will be 3 years this summer and I still ask "Why"? Only now I have the answer...


Because if my brother had lived he would not have given a professional football player muscle & tissue to repair his knee so he could go on to fulfill his dream.

Because if my brother had lived he would not have given over 15 people a second chance at life through his generous donation of tissue & organs.

Because if my brother had lived I would still not be speaking to our other brother.

Because if my brother had lived I would not have become a voice for suicide prevention.

Because if my brother had lived I would not have met some wonderful people who share this burden with me...2 of whom have become my best friends, rocks of support, confidants, understanding innocent bystanders of suicide. I love you Cris & Linda S.

Because if my brother had lived I wouldn't have listened to the words in the songs or felt the music that remind me of him.

Because if my brother had lived he would have lived another day to drink another drink to drive another drive that quite possibly could have taken out the lives of many.

Because. Because everything happens for a reason and his death was not in vain. A death that saves the lives of many is not in vain. Of course I'll always wonder where we'd be if he had lived. Of course I'll always wish for one more day to ask him questions that he left unanswered. Of course he was loved and is missed and will always be remembered. We can't go back, he didn't live he died. Why? Because. That's Why!

My brother's name is Lewis R. Shortsleeve and his life was worth something...his death is now worth more. RIP Lew.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

From Yearbook to Facebook

"Where will you be in 10 years"? That was usually the question of the day in school. The answer, "Raising farms, fighting mafia wars, writing parking tickets, publishing stories, and busting gems". Ambitious students ready to face the world and make their teacher's proud? Nope just a few wasted hours on facebook.

Or are they wasted? In elementary it was "will you be my friend, check yes or no", in middle school it was "why won't you be my friend what's wrong with me"?, and in highschool it was, well it was highschool and I guess having one good friend meant you were surviving those awful years! Flash forward almost 20 years later and it's "you have a friend request" to which you don't dare deny because that is breaking the unwritten facebook code of conduct. I met a woman in the library last week and the first thing I thought of was "oh are you on facebook~I'll friend you". Followed by an internal "LOL" and when we parted I sent her a little <3 sign which made my hand cramp into a frozen 3 shape, making me look like a gangster which definitely would have come in handy in Mafia Wars.

I didn't have many friends in school. For reasons I'll never fully understand and will just chalk it up to school was dumb. But on facebook I have over 200 friends and ironically most of them are from my hometown school. I've "friended" some and some have "friended" me. 20 years ago we probably would have "unfriended" them with a rumor or a label or anything else that would have been filed under school was dumb.

I realize now that I love most of these people who I haven't seen, heard from, heard of, or talked to since those days in the hall. I realize that we were the same in school; we grew up in the same small town, we had families that worked or farmed or stayed home, and we all wanted nothing more than to get out of that small town and out of that school. And most of us did. A few of us from that small town are closer now via the powers of facebook. We share so much and we care about each other. Some are lost childhood playmates, some are acquaintances, some have become BFFs, some I've deleted & blocked.
And so we write on each other's walls as we did in each other's yearbooks. We no longer look at our yearbooks and wonder what happened to our LYLAS friend (for those who did not grow up in the 80s that would be Love Ya Like a Sister now it's BFF) as we now come to facebook and see when the last time said LYLAS friend peed.

No, I don't think facebook is a waste of time. I've not only reconnected with old and new, near and far, but I've formed some bonds that never would have lasted through 3rd period and I'm a better person and friend for it.

Oh and just for old time's sake...all of you who made fun of my family farming when I was a kid...who's got the bigger farm now? HA!