Nov 21, 2005

Pet Peeves

11/21/2005 — cori
There are four things in this world that drive me, quite literally, insane. Surprisingly enough, Bennett already is quite adept at two of the four items. Coincidence? I think not. Here is the on-the-edge-of-your-seat, nail-biting list that you cannot possibly wait a moment longer to hear.

1. The Quiet Talker. Don't even think about talking quiet around me or while we're talking on the phone. If you can't speak up, I don't want to hear you. Pretend I'm an elderly lady with a faulty hearing aid. Bennett accomplishes this effect by sitting in the farthest seat away from me that he possibly can in the back of the van. Then, while the music is playing and all my efforts are focused on trying to get from point A to point B as safely as possible, he decides to start giving me a brief history of Batman. He asks me a gazillion questions and will end up in tears if I don't answer him. I'm doomed. Not that Bennett is a naturally quiet child, oh contraire. But in the car his mission is to personally sabotage his mom's peace of mind while trying to concentrate.

2. Not Calling Me Back. Oh boy - instant rejection here. Remember, I'm 'worse case scenario' girl. If someone I love hasn't called me back - well, let's just suffice it to say that my fatalist mentality gets the best of me.

3. Parking Your Cart in the Middle of the Isle. Also called: inconsiderate. If everyone would just be the tiniest bit more considerate, like scoot your cart over to the side of the isle, the world would be a happier place. That's my soapbox.

4. Picking. Last - but definitely not least! This is actually the all time worst pet peeve for me. Chuck loves to pick. He does it without even knowing - his nails, his hang-nails, his toes, his feet, any excess or random skin flaking off his or anyone else's body (especially delightful while a sunburn is peeling). For whatever reason, I can't stand picking. It makes all the nerves in my body instantly cringe at the same time. Well, guess who else has a pension for picking - yup, Bennett. Not only does he pick - he LOVES to pick. And I personally think he loves it because he knows how much I hate it. I often overhear him saying "I love to pick". I know he's trying to break me down, play with my mind, some kind of torture tactic I suppose. Then, his icing on the cake routine is when he comes and announces to me, "Mom, I've got some pickin' to do", like he's falling behind his quota or something. I can't stop him from picking, but thankfully, I don't have to be in the same room to observe this ritual he and his father find as fun and productive as say...blogging. :)

Nov 15, 2005

Why Not Exercise?

11/15/2005 — cori

My husband and I have asked ourselves this age old question many, many times. And to our delight, we always come up with doozy answers that inevitably keeps our butts securely in place on the sofa. Truth be told, we're actually anything but couch potatoes. We're always on the go (that reason was on the top of our 'Why Not Exercise' list, by the way). We feel justified in the fact that we keep our bodies so busy that we don't have time to exercise.

Despite our justified reasons, we decided to give it a try....don't knock something till you've tried it, right? Well, I'm knockin' now. I've 'exercised' for two whole days now, so I feel I have a leg to stand on here, that is, if it wasn't so wobbly from all that exercise. Here are my top five reasons NOT to exercise....

1. After doing multiple sit-ups, I find that I'm perpetually stuck in the 'crunch' position. This does not bode well for carrying around little ones, making lunch or dinner or pretty much doing anything in a vertical position.

2. My legs are too wobbly to make it up the 16 steps I already climb 15 million times a day. I have instead resorted to an upstairs and downstairs time schedule so as not to needlessly waste valuable leg energy. In the mean time, until I regain secure footing, I climb up the steps on my hands and knees like Chloe and come down on my bottom. My daughter has had to reteach me the tricks of the trade - but I'm a quick learner.

3. It wastes valuable time that I could otherwise be playing. And in this house 'We Must Play' is our daily battle cry. Who knows, one day some scientific study might be released that informs us that playing 8 hours a day with your kids is the best exercise. Then, I will suddenly turn into some health guru because I have prescribed to that idea for years.

4. Exercising sends too much blood to my brain and I end up getting woozy. The last thing the kids need is a woozy mother. That wouldn't be a very good role model of me to walk around holding onto the walls and every piece of furniture just to keep my balance. My children would surely mimic my every move. Then CPS might get a hold of our story and blame me for being under the influence while mothering. That's the last thing I need. Of course, this is a prime example of how I always imagine situations out till the absolute worst case scenario.

5. If I never exercise, I never feel guilty. However, if I say I'm going to exercise and then miss out on a few days of it, well then, the guilt feelings are more than I can bear. I walk around in utter depression heaping loads on condemnation upon myself for ignoring the one activity that is supposed to 'keep me going'.

Which brings me back to the premise of my story. My children keep me going. Trust me - they are ALL the exercise I need. Which reminds me, if you'd like training in my new workout regime, I'll be starting my new class entitled: Mothering...Exercise For Life . Unfortunately, I don't think anyone could make it because it is 16 hours a day with an occasional 6-8 hour break at dark (and that's not even guaranteed).

Nov 14, 2005

Happy Thanksgiv

11/14/2005 — cori

Does that title bother you? It should. It did me. Let me explain how it came to be....

Some very dear friends of ours are moving before Thanksgiving. So we agreed to celebrate together with an early Thanksgiving instead. The plans were made, the date was set, we each knew what we were to make and bring. Then the actual day rolled around...

Can you say 'catastrophe'? It didn't help that I woke up in a horrible mood. So bad, in fact, that I had a meltdown around 9am. I locked myself in my room and had a good cry. Everything in the world was wrong - at least that's the way it looks when you're in the middle of a pity party. It also didn't help that I had two very rambunctious boys running everywhere and a very clingy and whiney little baby girl following me everywhere while making sure I didn't forget what her voice sounded like.

I'm feeling a little pressure about the whole turkey thing - you know, so as not to be perceived as a bad cook. I need advice and who better to turn to than my Mom. So, I call Mom for the turkey prep advice and ask when I should put my turkey in if I'm planning on a 6pm dinner. Mom informed me that noon would work well, but be sure to keep the oven temp at 325 so it doesn't cook too fast. Check. Item one marked off my mental check-list.

Oh yah, before the meltdown, I was trying to prepare a new pumpkin tart dessert for which I found out too late that I did not have all the ingredients. I call my Mom again, " Mom, how important is pumpkin spice, really?" I did not like the bluntness of her reply, "Very important, honey." Oh great! Now I'm in the middle of making a pumpkin recipe that's not going to taste like anything pumpkin because I forgot to buy a tiny $3 bottle of the magic ingredient. I may as well just serve tofu with Cool-Whip on top. I call my friend who's coming for dinner and ask her if she by chance has this insignificant little ingredient.

Meanwhile, I decided I would also bake a Thanksgiving cake. That was actually rather selfish of me. You see, I'm probably the pickiest eater on the planet and since I'm not a fan of pumpkin anything or many berry pies, I thought I'd make the cake so I too could enjoy a dessert. I decided to write with frosting on the top. We couldn't just have some random cake for dessert, this is afterall, a pre-thanksgiving celebration. There has to be some momento touting the event. So, ever so carefully, in my neatest cursive handwriting, I begin to write Happy on the top line and Thanksgiv on the bottom line. Apparently, I'm too dense to know how to space my letters out properly while writing on a cake. So, in my stubbornness I decided to leave it just that way. We would no longer be celebrating Thanksgiving...we would celebrate Thanksgiv. There, problem two solved.

Thankfully, my friend stopped by to drop off the coveted pumpkin spice and noticed that I appeared to be, shall we say, a tad bit upset, weepy, red-nosed, with a slight twitch in my head. I confessed about my break down and we commiserated together. What a difference that made - to have a friend who was genuine enough to sit and listen as I spewed my frustrations and in turn, listened to hers. I could sense the day was about to change. My biggest frustration was that this was supposed to be a happy day, why then, could I not be happy?

I decided to put the turkey in 15 minutes early, just in case. I didn't want to cut it too close. Thankfully, I didn't have to worry about that because our Thanksgiv turkey was done precisely at 2:30 - a full 3 1/2 hours early. I am so not Martha Stewart! I call Chuck and my friends and ask them if they could possibly make it to dinner an hour earlier. Everyone was sweet to comply. I was expecting my 14 lb. turkey to shrink down to the size of a Cornish game hen. Luckily, we had slightly more than that to consume.

This day was the test to the old saying 'your feelings aren't dependent on your circumstances'. I obviously failed the beginning of the day. But by the afternoon, I just had to concede and laugh it off. It's typical of me. What can go wrong, most often will go wrong. And since I'd already had a good cry, I chose to laugh the rest of day. Laughter truly is good medicine.

We had a great dinner, dry turkey and all. Gravy does wonders! Luckily, I'm not the gravy maker in this family. So, Chuck saved the day for all of us. My hero. :)

Nov 8, 2005

Strange Bed Fellows

11/08/2005 — cori

Although its been nine glorious years since we were first married, I have to admit that my husband and I still make very strange bed fellows. Like most husbands and wives, we are opposite in every way. He's hot at night, I'm freezing. I'm sweltering in the morning, he's an iceburg. Many a night has commenced with Chuck strategically posing the question, "Should we sleep with the fan on or off tonight?" No one ever really knows the answer to that question until the moment is upon us. And surprisingly, I alone, hold the key to that mystery. Because it's all about me, right? :)

Another matter is the whole alarm clock issue. For some reason, my husband continuously buys the same faulty alarm clock year after year. Every morning he swears he set it the previous night, yet surprisingly, no noise or music escapes from it at the pre-determined time each morning. I should have told him to save his money. My body clock is as reliable as Walmart being open 24 hours a day. I ALWAYS wake up before my alarm and turn it off so as not to wake my sleeping husband. And then I remember - "wait, he's supposed to be at work right now". So, I ever so gently give him that little nudge, with my knee, then my foot, then harder, then the nudge becomes a shove. I can't stand to be late. I can't stand if I know other's are going to be late. Poor guy is hardly ever late to work - thanks to me.

And finally, the story behind this entry. My husband has serious sleeping issues. If at any point in the night I happen to wake him and ask him for something or tell him I think I heard a noise...he never really leaves the zen state of sleep he was in. Now, he still communicates (if that's what you want to call it) - he can talk and walk, but his actions and/or answers to my questions or comments don't always make sense. Between my talking in my sleep and his doing whatever anybody says to do while in his partly awake state, we are a sitcom waiting to happen.

Take last night for example...Chuck has been plagued by a tickle cough and your basic cold for about a week now. Conveniently, the little fake cough is more severe at night. So, after both of us laying there for 45 minutes last night trying to sleep and pretending to not be at all annoyed by the fake cough every 3.5 seconds, I just can't take any more. I blurt out, "Why don't you go take a teaspoon full of honey. That should help coat your throat." Where I got that one from, I'll never know. It must have been either Mary Poppins or my Grandfather, I don't know which. Evidently, I'm still handing out advice in my sleep - poor Chuck. But being that he is Chuck, he feels the need to respond to every and anything I say or do at night. I could tell him to go make a sandwich in the middle of the night and he would do it - no questions asked. He's so sweet, he feels that he's being rude if he turns his back to me at night. Anyways, back to the story at hand.

So, I'm assuming after he got out of bed he went and ate some honey. I fell to sleep the instant he got out of bed and we never really talked about the incident all day until tonight. When he was like, "What was that whole honey thing about last night?". And I was like, "Did you actually go do that?". To which he responds, "You could have told me to go drain the oil out of the car and drink it and I probably would have because I just don't think at night." Then I'm like, "why are we so crazy at night?". And it just now dawned on me that I'm writing this like I'm some kind of teenager - or do teenagers even talk that way anymore?  Okay, maybe I'm reverting back to my 80's teenager days. :)

Just so posterity gets this story straight, this is a nightly occurrence. There are just too many stories to tell, that I could not possibly relate them all. If any of our off-spring find themselves in this same predicament -you know who to thank. It's in the genes.

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