Friday, October 30, 2009

Rather Blustery Day, Today

So we did have some very beautiful and perfect autumn days, and Praise God for those! The babes had a glorious time running around and enjoying the leaves that had been falling in our yard. Actually, the yard was carpeted with leaves! Iain is always amazing us with his memory of things, and as I got out the rake, he was talking to me all about leaf piles and jumping. Fiona was just a small nut last year, so this was her first experience with piles of leaves and she was timorous in her attempts to experience the full joy of jumping and rolling in leaves like her older brother. She tries desperately to be just like him, but the itchy, sticky, stinky leaves were too beneath her. Iain was quick to grab a broom to help out with the leaves, but the real chore was being saved for when Husband was home to offer the physical strength needed to complete the project. At points, the leaf raking seems futile with the cascade of leaves still dropping from the treetop.The flowering crab tree is called Prairie Fire.
We didn't know what that meant until we saw the leaves.
Today, I was happy to report almost a completely naked tree, so this should be our 2nd and last weekend to rake the yard. Oh wait! We will probably have another weekend, but it will be because of our neighbors and their poor work ethic. Husband is always cursing "Communists!" under his breath while we are raking huge Sycamore leaves, which hail from two houses North, and jamming their yard excrement into our purchased lawn bags. I grew up in a truly Communistic city, so the idea of bagging leaves seems ridiculous to me when we know that there are city leaf-sucker-uppers that just come and suck in all of the leaves each week for those who rake their leaves into nice piles along the curbside. I am sure the garbage fees are more money over there, but the convenience factor is almost worth it! Except for those people who don't have leaves to be raked; they would definitely feel that we are all Communists.Iain already takes good photosAnd he is peddling away! This is so cool to not have to be pushed by Mama anymore.

With the earlier nights setting in, we are using our Netflix account to its fullest advantage. Jake decided that he was bored to tears with my repertoire of films (I don't even know where I hear about some of these films, but the queue has been established months in advance when I go through and just click everything, AND THEN I am totally surprised to find something I wasn't expecting in the mail box. Part of our film education.) so he went through the queue and has updated to reflect his taste in movies. So every other one in the mail is something that Husband has ordered. *Rolls eyes* I am all about sharing and watching what he watches, but I can't stand some of these films!! We got Transformers II last weekend. *gag* I started watching with him, since I had been forced to watch the first Transformer movies, and made myself scarce when he was watching some huge boxed set of Transformer cartoons after Christmas last year. There were about six DVDs worth of episodes and it seemed as though he would never get done with watching those. So I patiently sat and started to watch this horrible film about mutating machines that are (apparently) part alien as well as part machine that can morph into different pieces of equipment on planet earth, but they are (of course) secretly trying to take over the world. *Knit, purl, knit, knit...* This time, there is some human that might have accidentally touched some sort of Kryptonite that is allowing him to...OK it was ridiculous. I give it a huge capital F with boogers on the side, and yes, I did not finish watching the film because it was erasing important brain cells that I need for the rest of my life.

Moving on! Husband really "owed" me a serious chic flick for the 40 minutes that I watched of Transformers, so it was a good idea that he told The Proposal to come in the mail next. The only bad thing about this form of revenge is that Husband, secretively or not, enjoys chick flicks!! It was a great little film, and the only part of it that is similar to our own story is that I was Husband's "boss" when we met. Sandra Bullock needs Ryan Reynolds to marry her so that she won't loose her fabulous editor job to be deported back to Canada. Husband knew the landscape of most of the film taking place in Sitka, Alaska, where he was taken on some of those seriously spoiling cruise trip vacations as a child. There were some parts in the film that were a bit of a stretch, but overall it was a good giggle of a film and worth the rent. I would give it a solid B.

Iain and Fiona have been frequently asking to watch Olivia "the pig show." Olivia is an adorable pig that walks on her back legs and has a younger brother named Iain. Everything in the two little episodes we have is so mild and appropriate, however, my little Iain has started to pick up on little things in "shows." My heart was shattered when he asked for a kiss goodnight the other night, and proceeded to say, "YUCK!" and wipe his hand across his face. Where would he have picked this up? Then I remembered that when the Grandma pig comes for a visit, she kisses Iain and he decides he is too old for kisses so says, "Yuck!" after the kiss and wipes his snout. *sigh* It happened again today when tucking down for a nap.
Did I forget to mention, that we like to fish in our yard?

Husband and my ears perked the other morning during Sesame Street when we heard a little nutrition segment about eating your carrots, and broccoli, and this list of vegetables, when all of a sudden we heard "You gotta eat your TOFU!" WHAAAAA?!!! We freaked out simultaneously, and rushed in to turn off the boob tube. We had just turned it on, not two minutes before the tofu propaganda, so there was great confusion amongst the small fry and so we danced about eating chicken embryos, dead cows, and dead chickens, fish, shrimp, get the idea...but followed up with "TOFU IS POISON!" OH yeah! We felt empowered trying to undo the garbage on public television, and we are trying to ween the TV more each day and stick to a movie. They seem to love anything with pigs, so it was Charlotte's Web that they chose yesterday, and even though there is a plethora of immense words and extensive vocabulary in that film, we have the vegetarian pig who is desperately afraid of becoming morning bacon.
On a completely unrelated note, but again using this space to document, Husband was on a walk with the babes the other night while I was being converted into a cosmetic genius. The moon became hidden behind some clouds and Iain exclaimed, "HEY! A moon go?" Husband had to tell him that it was behind some clouds and would come out again, but I could only picture this perfectly crisp and quiet autumn evening, with the babes all tucked into the stroller and all of a sudden "HEY! A moon go?" like, Hey! who hit the lights?

Friday, October 23, 2009

They are double-teaming me

I used to love fall. The weather telling me it was time to switch to a light sweater, and then slowly suggesting a hat has never bothered me. Watching the leaves fall like confetti from the tops of the trees, flashing the vibrant hues of autumn used to be my favorite time of year. I also used to love rainy fall days. The chill in the air and the wet pavement, littered with puddles has always reminded me to say "It's a Scotland day" and I could be whisked away to wonderful memories of touring the British countryside with my mother and sister.Now "I have kids." (I have always hated it when people have used that excuse with me in the past, pre-baby, and now I cringe everytime I say it or think it. Because it is actually true!) We are going crazy over here, cooped up in our house! My opinion of the rain is that it has robbed my children (and me) of some beautiful fall days to be enjoyed outside in our yard, playing in piles of leaves or collecting the prettiest leaves we can find. How on earth can I take them outside when it rained, literally, all day?! We got close to 3" of rain all in one day, and the grass seems like it would slide right off of the dirt if we even thought to walk on it. The dogs don't even want to go outside, so unfortunately, I have crazy canines in my house as well. Grrr! I do think the dogs have officially received their cue to begin hibernation, which unfortunately leaves them as unsuspecting prey for the aforementioned cloistered children to tug on ears, tails and skin. I have never heard these beasts growl so much at the other little beasts: those with two legs.Fiona thinks it is much more fun to color on her body or to suck on markers or crayons.

In my former life, a nice cup of tea would hit the spot, and here are more complaints because I can't seem to eat or drink anything hot anymore! I have become conditioned to eating hot foot in the cooled off state and cold food in the warmed up state. I am completely pathetic! Just the other day, I caught myself intentionally letting some cream cheese warm up to a more palatable temperature, and this morning the babes were telling me to sit down and eat my eggs with them...but I kept trying to find other things to put away or grab before I could sit down because I knew that my eggs were entirely too hot to completely enjoy them. Husband reminded me of some ice cream that he had scooped for me the other night, and I snapped at him with "Can't I just do anything in my own time!" masking the fact that the ice cream was entirely too frozen at the point of him reminding me to "dig in!"

I feel as though I hit a new low last night by trying to entertain the children while Husband was working the late shift. I + F had been throwing toys like cars and dominoes all over the play area. I had just spent the last two evenings, desperately trying to get my desk (a.k.a. command central, computer station, and the portal for grandparent communication) cleaned off and under control. I found interesting things that served absolutely no purpose, so I pitched lots of things and reorganized the rest. The low part, was after not having had a shower in several days, being surprised by a scheduled visit with a friend in my not bathed state, having changed pee accidents and poop accidents, having cleaned the kitchen window that was covered with food and dog drool, and still waiting to have my Husband come to rescue me from our children sucking the life right out of me, I reached into the garbage can and pulled out an envelope filled with temporary tattoos. "Oooo Iain, look at this! A frog! a parrot! Look Fiona! Do you want to wear a tattoo? How about a toucan for you and oooo a lady bug!"This little adventure in temporary tattoos bought me almost an extra 30 minutes before I declared martial law and "IT'S TIME FOR BED!!! NOOOOOWWWWW!" My son was sent bed with a yellow frog on his leg and a parrot the full length of his forearm and this parrot actually had a red mustache on his beak in lieu of the fact that this parrot was from a Captain Morgan Rum ad campaign of some kind. My daughter went to bed with a sparkly Toucan Sam on her hand and a very cute little lady bug on her foot. She didn't want to wear her slippers to bed because she couldn't look down at her ladybug.

The rest of my autumn is going to be long, and the winter even longer. I could usually get an hour or so to clean the kitchen and get myself out of my pajamas during a morning show or movie, but with the potty standoff, Husband has decreed absolutely not a minute of TV until that little man of ours drops something into the potty. There has got to be someone we can pay to potty train him/them.I caught Iain licking up Romano cheese off or my desk chair. One of his favorite pastimes is to dump things in shakers out! I have lost 2 bottles of chili powder, 1 huge bottle of garlic powder, but never has he dumped cheese out so that he could lick it up. This was after a night of him refusing to eat the meal we had, so he helped himself into the refrigerator and took the cheese shaker out of the door to have his own, personalized dinner.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Professional Football

For a girl, I guess I like football. I am not a die hard anybody fan. I don't own any jerseys of any players, I have never worn a face tattoo or painted my body in team colors. I enjoy the game for the game's sake. I like to look at strategy, I enjoy the amazing passes, the crushing hits, and the surge of the fans during those intense moments on the gridiron. I have watched my younger brothers play six years of high school football, and the two years that they overlapped were great with two football games back to back on Friday nights. When the older one moved on to college football, our weekends were absolutely consumed with football: leaving work early to get the H.S. game, and then packing up to drive to Ames for college football. When I was at ISU I did have a season ticket my last two fall semesters, and before that I would try to get in free at half time.

This past weekend I learned, that my love for football does have its limits! I don't care for professional football. It doesn't trip my trigger. I can watch it with Husband on a lazy Sunday or Monday night, while I am knitting. I don't typically roll my eyes when Husband is terribly excited to turn on the Green Bay Packers, and I do get a good football fix when there are those amazing runs and exciting points during the game. OK let me just get to my list of things that bug me about attending a professional football game:
  • The price for the ticket (even though we were taken to the Chiefs game as a smoozy effort by Husband's ad agency) is disgusting!! $90 for an average football game is just totally ridiculous.
  • It is exciting to follow your school and showing that school spirit during athletics is what gives us all a well rounded education. There is no school, college, or university behind a professional football team.
  • The fans...well...I just felt as though we were scraping the barrel! Now I realize that not everyone attending a college football game has attended college, and I DO REALIZE that I am being EXTREMELY ELITIST here...but the grammar, the smoking, the drinking, the fashion statements of these Chiefs fans...I was just terribly disappointed. I know that I am having a double standard here, but seeing a bunch of drunk students is not as disturbing to me as seeing a bunch of drunk old men. Yes, I have seen drunk men and drunk women at college football games as well, but I am just comparing my own percentages here. I did my fair share of drinking during football games while I was in college but there does come a time when it is is time to GROW UP and be a bit more respectable. I probably just sound like a stuffy mother already.
  • I missed the marching band!! The blaring redneck music was no substitute for the wonderful fight songs that a good marching band can just belt out. As much as we all make fun of the marching band nerds....
  • The half time show...was 100+ women from Jazzercise. Yeah. I was not impressed!!
  • The cheerleaders? Umm I should rephrase and call them erotic dancing, scantily clad women. I don't typically get uptight about cleavage and the way other women are dressed. It is their business, plus Husband thinks I'm hot and I am just fine with his feelings. Since we were in row 13, these hussies were pretty hard to ignore. I was probably more distracted than Husband was, but the hair tossing, the pelvic thrusts...there was nothing cheering about it!! They each had three outfit changes, and they came out with less and less clothing each time. Well, at least they kept on their thigh high, white patent boots on. We wouldn't want anyone to see their calves, but by outfit #3 that was boy cut "underwear" most of the hair flipping, breast implanted females should have been more worried about the cellulite that was visible from row 13.
  • In addition to the "cheerleaders" there was a "sexy" cowgirl that rode out on a real horsey before the game and after each touchdown. Thankfully we didn't see her very often, since the Chiefs only scored twice while we were there.
  • Back to the alcohol, I like that there is no alcohol served inside of a college football game. There is something more "football" more "sports" like when walking through the concourse there aren't bars about every 5 feet. Margaritas here, beer there, there...and there, and hard liquor over there. How can people afford to even drink at these events? A nasty looking bottle of beer was $7.75.
  • Concession stands are typically very expensive, and the professional arena is no exception. Arrowhead stadium was the only place I have ever seen popcorn and pop cost more than at a movie theater.Husband, with, beer. Not purchased by him, or at the game.
So here I am, thinking, how do these fans do it? How do they afford the ticket, the food, all of the paraphernalia including the jerseys, the tailgating gear, the parking fee or the stadium parking pass? do some of the fans actually drive farther than we did and then rent a hotel room the night before? I couldn't do it. I couldn't afford it!! What do these people do that they can afford to go to a professional game, buy all of the crap and do it 8-10 times a year! Or are there more games than that? I sincerely hope that these "fans" are still putting food on the table, shoes on their feet, and they had all better be able to afford health insurance! What kind of country can complain about universal health care and the state of the economy, when they will take a Saturday to spend at a professional sports event, going broke to line the pockets of a bunch of old men. Would they have they get the same amount of pleasure playing in a park with their buddies? or do they have to have all of the glitz, glamor and money in order to feel worthy?

The only name I recognized on the field was Eli Manning. That was kind of cool, watching a really good quarterback play, but...he didn't connect that well with his receivers. I don't know. I wasn't impressed! I guess I am a tough customer. I would rather sit on the grass, freezing my butt off at the Little Rose Bowl in West Branch, Iowa, watching the young Bears I have never met play the big rival of the West Liberty Comets for $6 instead of leaving Des Moines at 6:30 in the morning after a hellish night spent at my in-laws, risking my life in a vehicle with a bad driver at the wheel, to sit and watch a slow moving professional football game. #10= Eli Manning

The best part of the day was the 9:30am stop at L.C.'s BBQ in K.C. By far the very best ribs I have ever consumed. I truly enjoyed this Fred Flinstone tailgate.

I am ready for this Bret Farve to be done playing football. It seems as though he is ready also...only sometimes, but seriously! Over the weekend, I decided that I am not impressed by these "old" men playing football. I realize they are making serious bank, and they could care less about ruining their bodies and all of that. Those high school and college boys play their hearts out, for the love of the game. They don't need disgusting paychecks. They are faster, more intense and technically they should be paid when they are in college! The real task is going to class everyday, and then going to practice every day. Beating up your body and then trying to get your brain to perform on a chemistry test. The true talent is with the college boys.

The silver lining was spending the day with Husband, even know...the hellish night at the in-laws didn't put me in the best frame of mind. Oh yeah, and the all day headache spawned by the hellish night at the in-laws in a nasty bed, spurned by the horrible and dangerous 85 miles per hour driving going down to K.C. and then coming back set me up for a complete meltdown once we hit our own driveway 12 hours later. It is true that I need to keep my mouth shut during football games, and I should not discuss coaching strategy or plays during the college bowl season so that my football knowledge can just be all silent and folded up in my head until the day comes when my little Iain will want to play football and his mother will scream her head off in the stands while Fiona flips around the grass cheering her brother on with ribbons in her ponytail and a skirt that covers her bottom.