Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bottoms up!


So...how did your day start?

....Yep, that's great and all. But let me tell you about mine. All in the span of 45 glorious minutes:

The little guy wants waffles for breakfast. No big deal. Leggo My Eggo is our morning mantra around here. So I head to the basement to check out the waffle situation in our chest freezer.

I open the lid and promptly yell, "$hit!"

Everything was a dandy, lukewarm tub of goo rather than a frozen block of goodness. The $50 pork loin in the corner? Done. Bags of frozen veggies? No longer of the frozen variety. Ice cream? Gone. Steaks? Gone. Waffles? Gone. Everything gone, gone, gone.

Great. Just great. I slam down the lid and go back upstairs.

I break the news to my son that Eggos are a No-go. He takes the news WAAAAY better than I did. Didn't even yell "$hit" or anything. It's a testament to his fine upbringing.

He then asks for yogurt of the SpongeBob variety instead. Yeah for SpongeBob!

Five minutes later? I hear, "MOM!!!!!!"

A quick look reveals said SpongeBob yogurt plastered all over his shirt. It's blue. The yogurt, not the shirt. Not that it really matters. Just trying to paint you a picture....

So I think, $hit. Screw you, SpongeBob. And how in the hell does a 6-year-old boy spill yogurt?! Did he have a stroke? Forget where his mouth was? To quote John McEnroe: "You CANNOT be serious!"

Somehow I get the shirt off over his head without creating a bigger mess. Throw everything into the kitchen sink. And that's when I see the ants. Tiny, little bugger bugs walking all over my counter as if they own the damn thing.

Oh.

I don't so.

So I proceed to slaughter the ants with a shoe, taking no prisoners and yelling "$hit" over and over and over again while I tell my son to go put his own shoes on because we're late and Mom doesn't have time for a nervous breakdown today.

He returns, shoes in hand and I shove them on this feet. He then has his OWN nervous breakdown because the shoes aren't tied the way he wants them.

OK. So he wants to be cool like the big kids and tie the strings in a knot near the ankles, shoving the remaining length into his shoes so he can just slip them on without tying them.

Problem? The sneakers always feel too loose on his feet. He takes one step then has a meltdown 'cuz they don't feel right.

Newsflash, Kiddo: SNEAKERS WERE NOT MADE TO BE TIED THAT WAY! GET OVER IT!

I grabbed the sneakers, tied knots that would have impressed the world's best sailor (whoever that is), picked up my son and threw...er...placed, I mean gently placed...his SpongeBob-loving self in the car.

Today. Today is the day I start drinking.

Monday, June 27, 2011

A not-so-Nobel Prize


So my just-turned-six-year-old son tells me yesterday, "I'm gonna be a scientist when I grow up." Curious, I asked, "And what will you do as a scientist?"

He quickly answered, "I'm gonna switch a person's DNA with a dog's."

OK. Putting aside the weirdness factor of that planned project, I was enthusiastically WOWED to learn my soon-to-be first grader even knows what DNA is.

I'm a little fuzzy on the details myself. But moving along....

"Wow!" I high-fived my little guy, envisioning the day when I see my son standing on stage to accept the Nobel Prize for...well...you know...whatever category "DNA mutant switching" would fall under.

But before I could get to imaging the acceptance speech where he says, "I owe everything to my mom...." I stupidly asked, "How do you even know about DNA?"

He shrugged and said, "From watching Johnny Test, Mom. He's awesome."

And - POOF - there went the dream.....

Friday, June 24, 2011

Where the bodies are buried


So this was our yard after the Slip-and-Slide incident.

Fortunately, it's been a couple of weeks and the grass has begun turning green again and my husband found his sense of humor. Recently overheard during a conversation with our neighbor:

Neighbor, (pointing to The Spot): What happened there?

Husband, (chuckling): I've got to tell Kelley to stop burying the bodies in the back yard.

Funny, funny man.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mexico. Mexico sounds good.


It might have been the glorious color of bright, golden sunshine and promise hours of summer fun for kids of all ages, but it was - without a doubt - an instrument of the devil tossed out of hell to land on our sunny yard one hot June day.

“Son of a b----!” I yelled then quickly looked around to see if my husband had heard my outburst.

So far, so good. ‘Course, he hears me yell that particular phrase about 67 times a day, so the luster’s probably worn off.

I reached down and continued to peel back the yellow Slip-and-Slide, which revealed a rectangle-shaped piece of brown, withered grass underneath that not-so-coincidentally matched the size and shape of the plastic piece of you-know-what dangling from my fingertips at that very moment.

Ignoring the heat rolling in waves off the plastic, I quickly and roughly balled it up, threw it back on the ground and yelled, “Son of a b----!” again.

The Sherlock Holmes in me quickly deduced that during the time it’d been set up for our son to play on, the heat from the sun had soaked into the plastic and scorched the grass below like it took a direct shot from Marvin the Martian’s ray gun.

I closed my eyes in prayer. Dear God, if you love me....even just a little bit...you’ll make this disappear.

I slowly cracked open my left eyeball, peered down and said, “Holy crud.”

Remember my husband? He’s like - OBSESSED - about the yard. If even a tiny, friggin’ dandelion has the nerve to raise its little golden head somewhere in his magical green kingdom, he has a minor stroke. So how will he react to this?

I’ll tell you how - a mushroom-shaped cloud will suddenly appear over 1013 West Edwards Street and my next column will be dictated from the Other Side.

So I quickly contemplated potential courses of action, which were as follows:
  1. Run.
  2. Run far and never look back.
  3. Mexico. Mexico sounds good. They drink margaritas all day. I can live with that.
  4. Be responsible and admit I fried the yard.
  5. Laugh hysterically at option #4.
  6. Keep my mouth shut. Wait until he notices, then play dumb. I can blame the six year old, the dog or aliens.
So it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to determine what option I felt proved most worthy that day.

***

My son, after spending the day playing with his good buddy on the aforementioned Slip-and-Slide, walked up to me, put his arms around my waist and gave me a huge bear hug.

Either he broke something, stole something or ate something he wasn’t supposed to. Before I could begin narrowing down the choices he said, “I love you, Mom. I’m gonna hug you forever and never let go.”

Oh. A Dear Diary moment for sure. I reached down to hug him back and answered, “Forever is a long time, kiddo. What happens if you grow up and get a girlfriend. Won’t she be jealous?”

He thought for a moment and replied, “OK, I’ll just hug you until I turn 7.”

I nodded in agreement and said, “That sounds good.”

But before I could begin to bask in the glow of the knowledge that our little boy loved me above all others, he quipped three seconds later, “I’m hungry. I’m gonna get something to eat.” And off he went.

Just like that.

So much for forever. Kid couldn’t even make it five seconds.

That’s a man for you.

***

“Did you see what happened to the back yard?”

I was reclining on the couch and reading a book, thus pretended I didn’t hear him. Come on. As if that surprises you.

A tap on my shoulder followed my non-response.

“Hey, did you hear me?”

I jumped in mock surprise. “Oh, hi. Didn’t see you there.” I paused. “Have you lost weight? ‘Cuz, really, you’re looking great!”

I gave him a huge smile and a big “thumbs up” and returned my attention to the book in hand. 

He grabbed the book, snapped it shut and asked, “You wouldn’t happen to know anything about the huge dead spot of grass in the yard, would you?”

Quick as a cat I answered, “Nope.” Pause. “But I think your son might.”

That’ll teach the little bugger to choose his stomach over love.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Honey Bear

Out of heartbreak comes happiness. It's been 11 months since we brought Bear home with us. She's like Chaser in so many ways, but she's completely her own puppy.

She's SO affectionate. It's true what the experts say: Rescued dogs never forget.

Bear wasn't abused in any way at her first home. Her owners gave her to us because there were just too many other four-legged friends vying for attention. So I guess that's why she's such a lover. No 70-pound Golden Retriever should aspire to be a lap dog...but she is.

As my husband said this week, "She has so much love to give. She just doesn't have room for it all...it has to go somewhere."

If there's room in your heart and an animal shelter or rescue organization close by, stop by and find a Bear of your own. Unconditional love of an animal that will always see you as a hero, never judge you and adore you until the end? It's a pretty sweet ride.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Almost a year ago...

At times it's hard to believe that just a year ago we were dealing with this. At the top of the photo you can see Chaser's right paw and the tumor that took her beautiful life from us.

Other times? Feels like she's been gone forever. Years since I've heard her boof at the birds or roll over on her back to sunbathe or chase a tennis ball. I still miss her as much today as I did the last time I saw her sweet, gorgeous face. 

There are so many things in this world we can't change. But give back the opportunity to have loved this beautiful creature rather than face the pain of losing her? Never.

Opening our hearts to love is a choice and a chance we take. Life would be pointless and unremarkable without it.