Wednesday, November 30, 2005

It's Official

I'm an idiot.

Today I:

-Fell down the stairs and landed with a splat on the tile floor at 6:45 a.m.

Okay, to be fair, we only have two stairs in our house, but I fell down both of them. And I have the bruised knees to prove it.

-Thought I was brilliant when I found a Flat-Rate envelope in the drawer and decided to use it to send Hawaii leaves to my niece in Michigan for her leaf collection.

For less than $4 I could mail all the leaves I wanted AND I wouldn't have to make a special trip to the store to buy a mailing envelope.

So, when I got to the post office to mail the leaves (along with several other packages), I grabbed a mailing label and filled it out while trying to keep one eye on Destructo. Half my attention was on him and half was on the clerk who totaled up my packages, asked if I needed more stamps, took my credit card, and wished me "Happy Holidays".

When I returned home I realized that the mailing label I filled out was for Express Mail, and I had just paid $13.65 to mail a bunch of leaves to a six year-old.

My brother is going to wonder what the Hell I was thinking.

-Finally, my last brilliant decision of the day was to clean my oven.

We always cook our Thanksgiving turkey in a disposable aluminum pan because the cleanup is so much simpler. This year, the pan had a crack in it and dripped all over the bottom of the oven for five hours, leaving behind a big, crusty mess. Thus, the oven cleaning.

I totally forgot to wipe out the oven before putting it on the "Clean" setting. Within an hour, the kitchen was filled with smoke. Not just 'smoky', I'm talking can't-see-your-hand-in-front-of-your-face smoke.

I had thought enough to open a window, turn on the vent, and make sure the doors on each end of the kitchen were closed, but that wasn't enough. I made two trips in there to set up a fan and point it out the window - once to take the fan in and a second time to plug it in. The smoke was too thick to do it all in one trip.

My entire house now smells like a burnt-out campfire.

I'm such an idiot.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Don't Try This At Home

Some recipes should come with warnings, especially for the kitchen-impaired.

Like the gravy recipe I tried yesterday. Sounded simple enough, and it received raves from those who reviewed it.

Toss a few vegetables in the roasting pan with the turkey....(I can do that).....when the turkey is finished cooking, place the vegetables along with several cups of the liquid in the blender.....(no problem there).....blend until smooth....(this is where the warning should go).

WARNING: When you turn on the blender, it is possible that the lid will fly off and scalding hot lava/gravy will splatter everywhere, including the right side of your face, neck, and chest.

I really shouldn't be allowed in the kitchen.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Friday Imperfection

Blonde One: How far do you think I can walk with my eyes closed?


Apparently not far, especially when there is a concrete pillar directly in front of you.

Monday, November 21, 2005

And the Oscar Goes To......

The Wildcard has always had a vivid imagination. It was never a problem for him to entertain himself for long periods of time (ie. in church) with random items. Usually those items were things he just happened to pick up off the ground as we were going somewhere.

A paperclip and a pebble could easily become a robot and a bomb, and he would act out multiple battles using his paperclip and his pebble. Each item would have assigned powers, different attacks, and their own special defenses. The possibilities were endless.

Anyway, his problem is that he cannot turn that imagination off when it's bedtime. He used to wind up in our bed several times a week because there were monsters in his room or he had a bad dream. It's gotten much better, but he still has his visions.

Like last night.

He stalled and stalled at bedtime, and I knew he was waiting for me to tell him to go sleep in my bed. (I had just changed the bedding, and there's nothing like sleeping on freshly washed and bleached sheets.....) Finally he headed off to bed, in his own room.

Five minutes later he was back.

Wildcard: MOM! I just saw a big giant ant crawl across my wall!!

Me: There's no ant on your wall. Go back to bed.

Wildcard: But there was! I saw it! It was huge and it crawled right next to my head. Can I sleep in your bed?

Me: (Thinking of sweaty 10 y/o on my clean sheets...) No. Go back to your own bed.

Wildcard: But I cannot sleep in an ant infested room.

Me: Your room isn't ant infested. Go back to bed.

Wildcard: (near tears) Would you be able to sleep in a room that was overrun with crawly bugs???

Me: Show me. If there's no ant, you sleep in your bed.

We headed off to his room where he used a teeny, tiny flashlight to examine the walls for ants. (Note: One wall is half covered with a mural that I let him paint - monsters everywhere. That doesn't seem to bother him a bit.) We don't find any ants.

Wildcard: It was there. I know it was!! I can't sleep in these conditions!!

Me: I'll tell you what.....go get a fly swatter. When you see the ant, smack it and bring it to me. THEN I will let you sleep in my bed.

He rushes off to get the fly swatter, grabs his teeny, tiny flashlight and takes up position in the center of his bed.

I return to whatever I was doing.

Three minutes later I hear a "Swack!!!" followed by the pitter-patter of 10 y/o feet in the hallway.

Wildcard: (Waving a dead ant in my face.) SEE!!?!?!?? I TOLD you!! They're everywhere, I tell you!!

Crap. So much for freshly washed sheets.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Subtlety is (Not) His Strong Point

Today we were in the video store, the Wildcard and I, when his former soccer coach walked in.

With his daughter.

His daughter who is in the Wildcard's class at school.

His daughter, the CuteBlondeGirl.

So, the Wildcard spotted CuteBlondeGirl and immediately turned his back on her.

Wildcard: (whispering) Mom, that's my soccer coach and CuteBlondeGirl.

Me: (whispering back) I know. Why don't you say, "Hi"?

Him: I can't do THAT!!

He continues to hide from her, while her dad (the former soccer coach) and I exchange that "He's just being shy...." glance.

So the FormerSoccerCoach and the CuteBlondeGirl move to the back of the video store, while the Wildcard and I wait in line to check out. The Wildcard is desperately trying to avoid CuteBlondeGirl and asks if he can wait outside.

I tell him he can, and without thinking he rushes out the exit with a movie still in his hand.

Smooth move.

The alarms go off, he rushes back to me, hands me the movie, and hurries out the door before CuteBlondeGirl notices him.

I watch him out the window as he paces back and forth in the courtyard, hoping to not be noticed by CuteBlondeGirl. The guy in front of me has two overdue movies, but swears he has returned them. The video clerk takes her time searching the displays for the movies, then finally finds them.

Meanwhile, FormerSoccerCoach and CuteBlondeGirl leave the video store. The Wildcard pretends not to notice, and even decides that pretending to examine the contents of the trash can is better than saying "Hi" to CuteBlondeGirl.

FormerSoccerCoach and CuteBondeGirl approach him, and FormerSoccerCoach says "Hi" to the Wildcard. The Wildcard diverts his attention from the trash long enough to acknowledge FormerSoccerCoach, but not CuteBlondeGirl.

As I watch out the window, CuteBlondeGirl is standing, hands on her hips, admonishing the Wildcard for ignoring her in the video store. She makes a few dramatic gestures to the video store and the sky above, then is done.

She walks away just as I leave the store.

I ask the Wildcard what just happened, and his reply is, "I don't know what you are talking about."

End of discussion

Friday, November 11, 2005

Happy Birthday, Marines!

In honor of the Marine Corps 230th birthday, last night we attended the Marine Corps Ball. It is an annual event and ours was held in a hotel ballroom in Waikiki, with hundreds of Marines, spouses, dates, and other guests attending.

So......with all those people, what are the odds that the first person you see at The Ball will be wearing the exact same dress as you?

Yeah, totally identical.

What's really eerie is that she and I always joke that we're living parallel lives. Our Hubsters have similar backgrounds, work in the same field, and are of equal rank. She and I also have similar backgrounds, and we live on the same block in identical houses. We even drive identical MomVans. And last night we stepped out of our separate MomVans at the same time, wearing the same dress. Our Hubsters, of course, were dressed alike as well.


The Ball was nice, yet slightly odd by Marine Corps standards.

In addition to dinner and dancing, The Ball is big on ceremony. There is a brief(?) history of the Marine Corps, presented as a pageant of uniforms throughout the years. There are also guest speakers and a cake-cutting ceremony where the oldest Marine presents a piece of cake to the youngest Marine. The formality of the Ball varies with location, and thankfully nothing in Hawaii is very formal.

Last night, our guests of honor were several foreign diplomats, local political figures (including a borderline insane former mayor), and Gomer Pyle.

Fortunately, none spoke, sang, or otherwise entertained the crowd.

Then there was the cake-cutting ceremony.

Unfortunately, during the cake-cutting, it was discovered that the styrofoam cake was just that. Styrofoam. Someone had forgotten to replace one section of the styrofoam with actual cake.

But the band played on, so all was well.

Dinner was very good, although a bit rushed. The wine flowed, as did the conversation with our table-mates. It was actually one of the most enjoyable Balls we've ever attended.

But we were still home by 10 p.m.

Semper Fi.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Vacation After-Action Report

Lessons Learned:

- Never snicker when the rude, obnoxious man in line in front of you isn't allowed to upgrade his seat. He WILL end up in the seat next to you, overlapping into your seat and he WILL be both a snorer and a leaner.

- Toddlers are better travelers than most adults.

- Ten days is not enough time to visit family, yet it is too long to be away from home.

- When making detailed lists for the Hubster and the kids, make sure to include things like "Clean the Kitchen", "Beef Jerky is NOT a Meal", and "The Diva Has a Curfew".

- Twelve (unused) diapers equals one pound.

Mahalo To:

- The man in Honolulu who took my suitcase through Ag Inspection for me.

- The ticket agent in Detroit who said, "Close enough" when my suitcase was over the weight limit.

- The man in Dallas who saw me with a toddler, stroller, carseat, backpack, and camera bag....and grabbed the carseat from me, told the gate agent that I was with him (allowing me to cut in line), then carried Destructo's carseat onto the plane for me.

- The waitress at Brew's who made sure my large Coke was always full. (I must have had the Give-Me-Caffeine-NOW!! look on my face.)

Oooops - Sorry!! to:

- My sister for dropping her dinner on the sidewalk.

- The guy in seat 38C who spent 7.5 hours having wet pacifiers dropped on his arm.

And Finally, Just to Clarify:

The toddler WAS saying "beach", not "bitch".