I have nothing interesting to say, so instead i'll post my children's artwork, because that's just the kind of annoying mama that i am

Not sure what this is? This is a barn. And in the middle there is a cat. Yes, a cat with only two legs, a rather puffy tail, and a humongous head.

And there, on top of the barn, are three weather vanes. Because really, you never now when one might be wrong.

Yes, I am raising a little artist. Two actually. No doubt their work will hang side by side in The Louvre one day.

Just like on my refrigerator.

Miles to go before I sleep.

When does it end? When do you stop being busy and just get to relax. Because seriously, the weekends aren't even safe anymore (i.e., soccer games.)

I used to think I was busy when the boys were babies. Oh, I need to feed the baby. Oh, I need to change the baby. Oh, the baby needs a nap I guess I'll take one too.

Yeah, whatever. That's not busy. That's just babyhood.

Busy is when you have to get the kids to their soccer games, and you also are having a garage sale that same weekend, and oh yeah there's that second grade family heritage project that you need to "help" your child research, and your husband's out of town so you have no help, and the dog just pooped on the rug...again, and don't forget that you volunteered to chair Earth Week at school.

That is what I call busy, people.

But I'm not complaining. I love my life. My life is just...busy. And sometimes busy and blogging just don't...mesh.

Yes, my postings have been few and far between lately. But I've been busy, yes busy playing Supermom lately and trying to save the world one PTA meeting at a time.

But I've also been busy with this...

And this...

{ Spring Break field trip to the Noah's Ark exhibit at the Skirball Museum }

And this...

Yes, to top off all of the business, we are in the midst of a big patio and backyard remodel. And don't think that I'm about to start complaining because I'm not. We know how blessed we are to get to do something like this. But after 7 weeks of having people at your house 6 days a week for 12 hours a day, it starts to wear you out a little. But like I said, I'm not complaining.
Nope, certainly not complaining.
(Don't worry--I will do a lovely photo montage once it's complete.)
And now I'm off to do something else because that is what busy moms do.

Let's play dress up.

When I was around 4 years-old I went through a period of time when I only wanted to wear dresses. I informed my best friend Bradley that he needed to wear a suit. I'm pretty sure that Bradley never wore a suit during any of our playdates. I can't say that I really blame him (he most likely thought I had lost my mind), but if you asked my 5 year-old to wear one, he'd be thrilled.

The Monkey is currently into wearing collared shirts--particularly polo-style golf shirts much like what his daddy wears on a daily basis. I understand why he loves them so much, and certainly it isn't a bad thing to want to wear every day.

I just never thought I'd have to fight my son about not dressing up.

:: A collared shirt even on the beach ::

Because let's face it, there are times, especially with little boys, when dressing up just isn't a good option. Like going to the park, or playing outside, or just hanging out at home. A collared shirt just really isn't required.
But try telling that to a preschooler who has his heart set on a collared shirt. Every day. No matter what.
I guess there are worse problems to have with your 5 year-old.
And what is he wearing today as he eats pretzels and plays gold on the Wii? A collared shirt and two socks that don't match. Because that's his other new thing: wearing socks that don't match--on purpose.
Don't ask me why he does that. I have no idea. And honestly, I think it's kinda cute.
Now if he would just put on his red satin cape, his outfit would be complete.

The Over 30 Crowd.

Okay, so I didn't write this and I'm not about to take the credit for some stranger's awesome creativity, but I had to post this because it was just too funny not to. My friend, Niki (or Ninni as she is known by those who love her most) sent it to me in an email. I was about to forward it along to the 5 people in my contact list, but instead I thought I'd just post it here instead for the masses to enjoy. (Or at least the 8 people to read my blog on a semi-regular basis.)

I especially like the parts about Atari, car seats, and Caller ID--classic.

And if this doesn't make you laugh on a Monday morning, nothing will.

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were. When they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning.... Uphill... Barefoot... BOTH ways yadda, yadda, yadda.

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on my kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it!

But now that I'm over the ripe old age of thirty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today. You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a damn Utopia!
And I hate to say it, but you kids today, you don't know how good you've got it!

I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have the Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!!

There was no email!! We had to actually write somebody a letter - with a pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox, and it would take like a week to get there! Stamps were 10 cents!

Child Protective Services didn't care if our parents beat us. As a matter of fact, the parents of all my friends also had permission to kick our ass! Nowhere was safe!

There were no MP3's or Napsters or iTunes! If you wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the record store and shoplift it yourself!

Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio, and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it all up! There were no CD players! We had tape decks in our car.. We'd play our favorite tape and "eject" it when finished, and then the tape would come undone rendering it useless. Cause hey, that's how we rolled, Baby! Dig?

We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called, they got a busy signal, that's it!

There weren't any freakin' cell phones either. If you left the house, you just didn't make a damn call or receive one. You actually had to be out of touch with your "friends". OMG!!! Think of the horror... not being in touch with someone 24/7!!! And then there's TEXTING. Yeah, right. Please! You kids have no idea how annoying you are.

And we didn't have fancy Caller ID either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your parents, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, the collection agent... you just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

We didn't have any fancy PlayStation or Xbox video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games like 'Space Invaders' and 'Asteroids'. Your screen guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination!!! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen... Forever! And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE!

You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off your ass and walk over to the TV to change the channel!!! NO REMOTES!!! Oh, no, what's the world coming to?!?!

There was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I'm saying? We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little rat-finks!

And we didn't have microwaves. If we wanted to heat something up, we had to use the stove! Imagine that!

And our parents told us to stay outside and play... all day long. Oh, no, no electronics to soothe and comfort. And if you came back inside... you were doing chores!

And car seats - oh, please! Mom threw you in the back seat and you hung on. If you were luckily, you got the "safety arm" across the chest at the last moment if she had to stop suddenly, and if your head hit the dashboard, well that was your fault for calling "shot gun" in the first place!

See! That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled rotten! You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980 or any time before!

The Over 30 Crowd

Books are better than movies

©Stephenie Freeman

A week ago I bit the bullet, paid my thirty dollars plus extra for popcorn and Skittles, and took my boys to see the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" movie. Cute movie. Lots and lots of silly humor that little boys love. Apparently I do too because I laughed just as much as my boys did.

What I didn't expect was to be so touched by one of the movie previews. Movie previews aren't supposed to be touching. They are the commercials that are only there so you will absentmindedly eat your entire tub popcorn, forcing you to run back to the candy counter for another treat before the real movie starts. Or so I've been told.

But this movie preview was a delightful surprise. This was a movie trailer that I stopped eating my popcorn to watch and was so excited to see that I didn't want to end. It was for the new movie, "Ramona and Beezus".

"That will be so good! It's based on a book that I read when I was your age," I whispered to the Cheese. "And I'm pretty sure I have a copy somewhere at home. We'll read it together!"

I'm fairly certain that the Cheese didn’t hear a single word I said, but it didn’t matter anyway because suddenly I was back at Monroe Elementary in Mr. Lynn's fourth grade classroom. I was the new girl who had just endured her parent's and a move to a new city. I carried a fashionable red purse that was just big enough to hold a tube of Bonnie Bell lip gloss, a yellow Mrs. Pac-Man coin purse, and a few of Mrs. Grossman's stickers. It was 1983 and I was doing my best to survive the jungle of pre-adolescents.

My new friends were all reading the "Ramona" books. “Have you read the ‘Ramona’ books yet?” they would ask me. I tried my best to say, “Sure, of course I have!” even though I hadn't, but I was the new girl with divorced parents who carried a purse, and didn’t want to stand out any more than I already was.

But truthfully, at this point in my life I was not a reader. The only chapter book that I had read was Are You There God, It's Me Margaret by Judy Blume, and I had only read that because my older cousin Lori, who was wise beyond her 13 years, told me that if I wanted to know about being a real woman I had to. A young girl’s survival guide if there ever was one.

So on my next trip to the school library I checked out Ramona and Her Mother, pretending that I loved it so much that I was giving it a second read. And to my surprise I loved it. Suddenly a whole new literary world had been opened to me. Before long I was reading all of the classics. There were stories about mice on motorcycles and magical chocolate factories and vampire bunnies. I had discovered that the world of books was a great world to live in. Some of my favorites were books like Charlotte’s Web, James and the Giant Peach, and Stuart Little—ironically all books that would one day become movies.

As I sat there with my children watching a movie that is based on a best-selling book, something dawned on me. Movies based on best-selling books are never as good as the books themselves. No matter how superb the acting, no matter how sweet the storyline, the movies are never as good.

I realized that I didn’t want my boys to watch Wilber cry as he discovers that Charlotte is dying. I wanted them to read about it in a book, experience the emotions inside the pages. Having the memory of watching a movie together is nice, but not nearly as special as the memory of sharing a good book.

And wouldn’t you know it, as we walked out of the movie together I asked the Cheese, “So, did you like the movie?” To which he responded, “Yeah, but not as much as I liked the book.”

Enough said.

Our Easter 2010

:: Jesus in the Palisades ::

:: more trouble than fun ::

:: sizing up the situation ::

:: an Easter action shot ::

:: I agree ::

Best quote of the day...

Monkey: "Are we in God's belly?"

Mama: "I don't think so."

Monkey: "That's too bad."

I suppose it is.

Bunny Questions

"Will the Easter Bunny come to our house," The Cheese asked.

"I don't see why not," Mama said.

"But have I been good?" he questioned.

"Pretty much," I replied. "But the Easter Bunny isn't like Santa. He doesn't keep Naughty and Nice lists."

"So, then...why does he come at all?"

"Because he just does." Mama answered.

And being the smart boy that he is decided not to question it any further.

Here's hoping the Big Bunny makes it to your house this weekend and fills your basket full.