Sunday, March 08, 2009


I should have told you this long ago, but I have given up on my most of my recreational time on the computer is spent on Facebook! Keep up with our family on my Facebook page. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Errand Ends in Hostility

We went to see Santa last night. It was just fine--short line, the boys were cooperative, good picture, etc. We head back to the car in the rain and dark (it's now about 6:30). The boys are buckling their belts and Jeff starts to pull out of the spot. We hit something. I look out the back window of the van and don't see anything. He stops, pulls up a bit and gets out.

We collided with another car backing out of a parking space--a Miata (aka jelly bean), which is why I cannot see it out the back window. Jeff comes back to the car and collects paper and a pen. He writes down all of his contact info--name, phone, address, driver's license number, insurance company name, etc.

"She was on the phone," he said. She told you that?! "Yes," he said. She apparently said she was on the phone to her insurance agent because she had an accident earlier in the day. Then, she said to him, "didn't you hear me scream?" Is she serious?!

We had no damage to our car (except maybe a little bumper pop out, which may be more from when I hit Jeff's police car last week than anything else). It was late. The kids were hungry. It was cold and dark and raining. He goes back out to hand her his information and I see him take hers. Then, he stays back there and I see him get a little "animated." He comes back in the car and says she won't let us leave and she says it's our fault. He reminders her that this is considered a "no fault" situation.

She won't listen and won't even move her car out of the parking isle (her totally drivable car with a dent). I can see her on her cell phone. I get out to find out what the problem is. "I am calling the police," she says. "You hit my wheel." I told her her car is most certainly drivable and that we have exchanged information, have a car full of three hungry children and it is late--and raining--and cold. She is shaking with angry. "Yes. Yes." she says to the 911--yes, I said 911--dispatcher. I said, "Seriously, the police have real business to take care of tonight, this is silly. Please move your car." No.

We were stuck. "If you leave, it's a hit and run," she threatened. "How is it a hit and run if I gave you all of my contact information?" Jeff asks. "I want the police to take a picture." "The police don't take pictures," Jeff said. "Yes they do," she said. "Trust me, they don't," he said.

Jeff tried to get out and she wouldn't let us out. Then, the car in front of us left and we pulled through the spot. We leave. I ask Jeff if he is confident in the law and he said yes, he knows what he did was legal. He had met his obligation. I asked him what he would do if he showed up to a run for a parking lot fender bender. He said he would make sure people exchanged information and then tell them to go.

We did all of that. No one was hurt, no one was hiding their identity, no one's car was not drivable. It's a dent in her jelly bean, people. A dent--from a parking lot collision. Andy, the whole ride home, was worried Jeff was going to get arrested. We kept reassuring him Jeff had done nothing wrong that he followed the law. Jeff emailed our insurance agent when he got home to tell him what had happened and give him a heads up, but said we had no damage to our car (which we didn't). Jeff never disclosed to this woman that he is a police officer. Never once showed his badge or challenged her with his authority--nothing.

So, today he is at work and guess who walks in to the police station? She does. She tells a supervisor that she "Googled" Jeff and found out he is a police officer and now wants to file a complaint against him. Is this fair? Should we track her employer down and file a complaint about her combative attitude and the fact that she confined us in a parking lot? I would never even consider doing that to someone.

What do you think? Is it fair that because he is a police officer she can go file a complaint about something that happened when he was off-duty, with his family--something where he wasn't even wrong?

Friday, November 28, 2008

She Scores Again!

This time, it was french toast with sweet potatoes in it. MMMMM, they couldn't get enough of it!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Deceptively Delicious

Today, I was preparing to write a post about Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious cookbook. It wasn't going to be pretty, but now I have changed my mind.

I bought this cookbook in an effort to try, once again, to get my kids to eat healthy foods. Actually, I would settle for not even that healthy, but just something outside of the standard three-meal rotation in our house: peanut butter & jelly, pizza and pasta with butter and Parmesan cheese.

Phillip won't eat meat, with the exception of McDonald's chicken nuggets, which he reminds me "don't really count." Other than that limited amount of meat, he is a self-proclaimed vegetarian. He has been having dizzy spells and the doctor is pretty sure (given the information he provided) that it has something to do with the fact that his diet is almost all carbs.

Sam refuses food most often simply to be difficult. And Andrew just does whatever Sam does. As I usually start preparing dinner (often with Andrew's help), he immediately starts asking, "we aren't eating that, are we?!?" No, most often they don't eat what I am cooking. I make up to three meals. Ours (the adult meal), Phillip's and then Sam and/or Andy's. I decided long ago (and I have written about this before) that I would not let food become an issue at our table. So, I don't argue.

Our latest tactic is they have to try one thing on the table and if they don't like it, they can politely ask for something else--but only after they try something. Usually this doesn't go great. They might try, but never decide to eat what we are having (of course not, because they know they will still get what they really want to eat).

So, enter the cookbook.

I spent Saturday creating the purees (the basis of her meals--kid-friendly food secretly containing servings of veggies). I made two dishes. One was meatball soup. Who was I kidding. They won't eat soup to begin with, what made me think they would like this I have no idea (I think one of them said they thought it looked good). I also made something called rice balls. Rice, pureed chicken, squash and cheese rolled in ground crackers and cooked in a bit of oil. Nope. Didn't fly. I asked Jeff if he thought Borders would take it back if I told them my kids wouldn't eat anything out of it.

The pureeing was just like the baby days. I made all my kids foods. Squash, pears, apples, sweet potatoes, potatoes, everything...I steamed, cooked, pureed and froze almost everything they ever ate. I made tofu nuggets and served them kiwi rolled in wheat germ. They loved avocados and almond butter. What happened? Where did I go wrong?

I have no idea, but tonight--tonight I claim a small victory. Sam wanted pancakes for dinner. Wait! There are pancakes in the cookbook. I whipped them up and guess what? They loved them--even with the 1/2 cup of sweet potato puree, which of course I didn't tell them about!

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Mother's Love

I just returned home from a funeral of my husband's friend's four year old daughter. I wept and wept. The funeral was sad and the little girl so sweet. But, I wept most for the mother.

If you have kids, you know the love I wept for. If you don't have kids, you really truly cannot image how deeply you could love something.

A mother's love is impermeable. It is sweet with smells of baby powder, dirty diapers, purple dinosaur shampoos and tempera paint. It is sour with tastes of funky looking self-made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, way too chocolately milk and kisses that are far too wet. It is loud with the sounds of laughter, tantrums, screams of fear in the night and 1,000 calls a day for mom throughout the house. It is blinded by images of eyes like yours, smiles with secret messages and wonder so deep you wish you could go along for the ride. It is touched by grabbing and grouping hands, little people hanging on your legs, hugs that last for days and high fives for amazing accomplishments.

It is like nothing else in the world. A mother's love is truly indescribable. It is something you must feel to truly understand and it is the greatest privilege I know--to feel that love, to be a mother and to share int he life of my children.

Each one of us plays a part in defining our family: we are a family of five. If you have three kids, your arms only feel half full with just one hug. If you have two kids, your lap is only half occupied with one child resting comfortably. Your children define your fullness--there is just enough for everyone. So when one leaves, I cannot image the void a mother must feel.

There she sat, just two feet away from her daughter who was tucked neatly in her pink casket, resting peacefully. Her arms, oh how they must have ached wanting to hold her, to pick her up one more time. My arms ached wanting to hold my children. I know she will go on, people do and they find a way to start again. Slowly life--although a different life now--will go on. But the mother's heart will never be the same.

The funeral was sweet and the photographs told the story of such a happy family--an involved father and a devoted mother. Two little girls who would laugh and play the days away. Now just one, there will be a sense of emptiness.

But, the family is surrounded by love. More than two dozen police cars in the parking lot. Three full rows of uniformed officers. This truly is a brotherhood like no other. We are part of a larger family, in which no one is forgotten and no one is left to stand alone. No matter my struggles with believing in God over the years, I have always believed in eternal life. For that, I am grateful. I know Katie will be back. I know Leslie will heal from this hurt, but I hope she always remembers she is a good mother and was blessed to experience the love of her children. That love truly is the greatest gift of all.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Smells I Love

Okay, so I am a smeller. I have a great sense of smell and stamp my memory with smells. I have noticed Andrew is the same way. "Let me smell it" he always says, and I let him because I totally understand. He loves to smell things while we are cooking and I see him breath in and taste from the smell alone. The nose is a powerful piece of the puzzle for creating opinions, assessing scenarios and, creating memories.

Here are some of my favorite (and, you are going to think I am nuts) smells from childhood and what they mean to me:

1) Skunk and Cow Manure. Ahhh, the smells of the country. What is so great about those smells? When I grew up in Carmel, it was mostly cornfields. Today it is one of the fastest growing communities in the country. Skunks and cow manure bring back images of wide open fields, flying kites in the corn fields and playing flashlight tag after dinner in the summer. If it was warm, if you could smell cow poop, we were outside. Riding bikes at dusk, fishing in the lake, buying fresh sweet corn from the farm stand up the street and writing on the driveway with chalk. Those smells were the backdrop of my summers.

2) Vick's Vapo-Rub. I am probably not alone in this one. All warm and menthol-y. Whenever I was sick (which I seemed to always have strep throat or some bad cold), my mom would rub the good old goopy kind on my chest at night and lay one of my dad's handkerchiefs over it so it didn't get all over my nightgown. I loved that.

3) Fresh Drywall and Saw Dust. My dad was a builder and our house was forever under construction. I woke up most Saturday mornings in my childhood to the sound of a saw blade out my window and the smell of fresh sawdust. Progress--it always meant something new at our house. If not at our house, then I smelled it at my dad's jobs. I would sometimes ride around with him while he checked on each job--my favorite Saturday pastime.

4) Boiling Potatoes. Don't think they smell? They do. I could always smell them just as the water started to boil. It meant one thing--hot mashed potatoes were on the way. I love comfort food and just the smell of it gets all my memories flowing. Chicken and noodles at my grandma's house, the bacon for the green beans, yeast rolls.

5) Snow. You know that smell? The smell when the air is crisp and damp? You know snow is coming and the clouds grow heavy and gray. I love the smell of the air and the anticipation of watching the flakes fall. We used to play in it for hours, building forts, digging tunnels, sledding at the Butcher's house then when we came in drinking hot chocolate and sitting by a fire.

What are your favorite childhood smells?

Don't Talk Politics

"I don't want to talk about politics," is what Jeff said as we pulled up to our friends' house for dinner last night and saw the signs in their yard proudly demonstrating their upcoming split-ticket vote. What?! I said, "Oh, I am gonna ask." He didn't want to talk about it Friday night either when we had friends at our house.

Why not? Well, I think I know. He cannot just talk about it. He gets all worked up and angry. Which, in my opinion is one of the biggest problems with the Republican party right now: their inability to listen and consider the opinions of others. Am I a Republican? Yes and no. Yes, I most often vote that way, but I am not afraid to split my ticket and the splitting can go as deep as it needs to. I can only think of a time or two when I voted straight ticket. Almost always, it is about the person--not the party.

I voted for Clinton twice. I voted for Bush--twice. I always vote for Evan Bayh (Democrat). But, I won't be voting for Obama. However, I think he is going to win and my big problem right now is I no longer think McCain is the right choice either. So, I am stuck. Do I not vote for president or use my vote as a vote against Obama instead of for McCain?

Maybe I should write someone in, someone I wish was running for president, but that brings me to my other huge disappointment with the Republican party. There is a significant lack (on the local, statewide, national levels) of up and coming stars. Why? Because for YEARS and YEARS the same old white guys thought (think) they know all the answers and they have silenced and squashed any new young thinkers who may be able to expand the parties horizons.

So, as far as hope is concerned--the theme for this year's election--I have little in the future of the Republican party. I hope this election creates a new path for Republicans--a kinder, gentler, smarter path that is more in line with modern day America. And, I hope when you read this you read it for the sake of discussion and not a political statement. "I don't want to talk about politics," well maybe we need to talk about politics a little more often and listen to others ideas and thoughts and give consideration to new and different possibilities...just maybe.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My Little Travels

Because Susan was bored, she did it. Now I did it (although I wouldn't necessarily say I am bored. It's just barely 5AM and I should be working!).

visited 5 states (2.22%)
Create your own visited map of The World or determine the next president

For some reason (perhaps because they are so small), my Caribbean countries are not showing, but been there.

visited 26 states (52%)
Create your own visited map of The United States or determine the next president