Monthly Archives: September 2007

A Wrinkle In Time

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Uncle Doug called this morning to chat with the birthday boy. Here’s a telling excerpt from their conversation:

Uncle Doug: Sam, did your sisters wish you a Happy Birthday this morning?

Sam: I ignored them.

Uncle Doug: But buddy, they are your sisters and they love you. And you love them.

Sam (deadpan): No, I hate them.

Big Kid Birthday Alert

Cuteness Overload Warning: Sam turns 12 (12???) tomorrow, so I’m feeling a bit nostalgic.

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UPDATE: He also informs me that he will be setting his watch alarm for 11:55 PM this evening, so as to fully enjoy his birthday.

Sick Kid Update

The relapse arrived only slightly off schedule, at 4:25 PM EST yesterday. “Mom,” she moan-screeched. “My throat hurts so much, I can’t even talk.” I didn’t tell her that her energy level and impressively high vocal volume betrayed her story just a tad.

This morning, she gave the extra sick-day ploy one more try, as she crawled into bed with me, proclaiming that she was still very, very ill.

“I don’t feel good.”

She threw in a last-ditch, mournful request. “Please… feel… my… head.” She used her very best, wide-eyed croak, mustering every sad and downtrodden facial expression in her theatrical repertoire. She raised a little handful of crumpled kleenex and blew her sore nose. She blinked. She looked pathetic. All in.

I declared her fit for school.

She sighed.

Then, she dropped the act and requested a bowl of Rice Krispies and a banana, while planning her outfit for the day and fighting with her sister over who would get to bring the jump rope to school. Also, Mom, how about a turkey sandwich for the snack bag, hold the mayo?

Yep. I think we’re on the mend, here.

Of course, my paranoid mother-guilt side is just a tiny bit worried that my little blonde wasn’t kidding about the throat thing, and that I sent her to school when I shouldn’t have.

*keeps fingers crossed and cough drops at the ready*

Hannah’s Guide to Sick Days

1) Wake up snuffly and stuffy. Exhibit just enough genuine misery to convince your mother that you really do need to take the day off.

2) Repeatedly declare your love for those extra-soft, lotion-infused tissues, even while steadfastly refusing to blow your nose, since “it will make the cold worse.”

3) Miraculously recover by 10 AM. However, continue to run a low grade fever so that your mom doesn’t drag you off to school for the rest of the day, which would be totally humiliating.

4) Ask if you can go shoe shopping, since you feel much better now.

5) When #4 fails, learn all the words and dance steps to “All for One,” from Disney’s High School Musical 2, then… shake it!

6) Take a break from the dance-a-thon long enough to inform your mom that you won’t be talking for “quite a while.” Write notes to express your needs, thoughts and questions. When asked why you have decided to stop talking, explain that you “just don’t feel like it.”

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7) When offered lunch, request (in writing) a trip to Dunkin’ Donuts.

8) Settle for a homemade turkey sandwich and a glass of milk.

9) Once you decide to start talking again, ask to call Uncle Doug, since he will feel sorry for you and he’ll make you feel better.

10) Take full advantage of the Sick Day TV Rule Exemption and watch back-to-back-to-back episodes of Hannah Montana.

Special Note: No later than 4 PM, begin to show signs of a Serious Relapse, just in case mom might maybe possibly give you another day off tomorrow.

My Current Lunch Obsession

Hm, I haven’t written a food post in a while. And dang it, I’m hungry!

This time of year, as a rule, I consume far more than my fair share of tomatoes. They are everywhere, and those big-mama beefsteaks are gooooood. By all rights, I should be all lycopened out by now, but nope, I could eat them every day, and never get tired of their garden-tomatoey goodness.

I made this up for lunch yesterday, and thought I’d share it here since I’m obsessed with it on a level that would do Homer Simpson proud. And while it’s not exactly a reduced-cal offering, it can be. A little cheese goes a long way, since the flavors are so strong. I used maybe one tablespoon total per slice of bread, and did not feel in any way deprived. Of course, I could (and often do) go the Homer route and pile it on, and um, that’d probably be pretty tasty, too.

Open-Faced, Toasted Tomato and Basil Sammich with Dijon Mustard and Cheeeeeeeeese

1) Lightly toast one or two slices of bread

2) Slather toast with dijon or other mustard (my current favorite is Jack Daniel’s Hickory Smoke flavor)

3) Cover with a layer of cheeses — I used baby swiss and crumbled goat cheese for a nice strong *pop*

4) Arrange fresh garden tomato slices on top of the cheese. And not just one measly slice in the middle — go for Maximum Tomato Coverage!

5) Top tomatoes with a bit of shredded or shaved parmigiano-reggiano and fresh, chopped basil

6) Toast under broiler until cheese is melted and slightly brown (but don’t walk away — the difference between “perfect” and “incinerated” is approximately 20 seconds)

7) Eat with a knife, a fork, and a smile

8) Enjoy your food coma

Mini Me

I am extremely late in reporting this, but a month ago, I promised my mom I’d post a side-by-side picture comparison, since this post freaked her out.

It rattled me too, but for an entirely different reason. One of my babies, my oldest daughter, is growing up WAY too fast. Well, okay, they all are, but I digress. At age ten, Abby is looking more like a young adult than a child.

Never mind. Been there, posted that.

(I promise, I do have a point. Watch out, here it comes!)

Rather than focusing on the current picture of Abby looking all grown up in high heels, my mom reacted to the first picture in the post. The one of Abby in preschool, taken seven years ago.

Because she thought it was me.

We were on the phone that day, and she pulled up my blog as we talked. She paused. She sounded confused.

Mom: Where did you get that picture?

Me: It was on my refrigerator.

Mom: It was? I thought I had the only copy of that.

Me: Huh?

Mom: That’s you, Kathy.

Me: No, Mom, that’s Abby. When she was in preschool.

Mom: Nooooo. Holy crap!

That’s Abby on the left; me on the right.

(I swiped the old picture from Mom and scanned it.)

Lil’ freaky. Or maybe that’s just me.

Crack! Kiss! Duck! Ship!

Sam discovered computer animation this summer.

I posted his incredible, illustrated, homemade elevator animation to YouTube.

So, proud and fascinated published animator that he was, he poked around and discovered that other kids, also interested in elevators, also post cool, obsessively-interested-in-elevators elevator videos to YouTube.

(Here comes the part where I admit that I’m a terrible parent.)

In the moment when my back was turned, probably while I was preparing a healthy and delicious, balanced dinner, he discovered — well — other stuff on YouTube.

Crap.

Because then, he discovered swear words. Lots of them. Lots and lots of uncensored, unmonitored, unencumbered by FCC standards, bonafide, internet-approved, genuine swear words.

This newfound special interest in forbidden language continued and intensified throughout the summer. During family car rides, Sam would entertain horrify us all by listing all the obscene and censor-worthy words he knew. Then, he asked me to classify them, according to level of relative severity.

Sam: Mom, are some swears worse than others?

Me: Well, yes, bud, but they’re all inappropriate.

Sam: F%#$, sh!% and @$$h0&e… those are all Extremely Bad, right?

Me: Yep. And I don’t ever want to hear you say those words again.

Sam: What about the others? Ass, damn, and crap… those aren’t really swears.

Me: Well, sure they are, Bud. They’re just not quite as bad as the Extremely Bad ones.

Sam: No, Mom, they’re not swears.

It was at this point that I started to picture Sam in the principal’s office. A lot. He was due to start middle school this year — new teachers, new principal, new everything. People who didn’t know him. In a place where ALL of the kids begin experimenting with new adolescent habits, language, and attitudes.

I would really prefer to keep him out of the principal’s office.

So I spent much of our summer making it clear that while I knew he was curious about all of these words, he could NOT, under any circumstances, say anything like “PISS” or “SHIT” or “ASS” at school.

Sam: Mom! “Ass” and “crap” and “dammit” are NOT swear words.

Me: OK, Sam, but they’re still inappropriate.

Sam: No they’re not. Not swears, and not inappropriate. But I’m not supposed to say them?

Me: No. Do not say them.

Sam: But I have heard you say them.

Me: (shitshitshitshit, d’oh!) I know, and I shouldn’t say them either. Let’s both stop, okay?

Fast forward to NOW.

Sam is frequently reported, by his sisters and other alert passersby, for his potty mouth. However, the amazing truth is that Sam has cleverly mastered the art of how to enjoy the satisfaction of *shock* value, while maintaining his innocence.

For example.

Hannah: MOM!!! Sam called me an “ass”!

Sam: Nope, I said “as.” Which is NOT a swear word.

Abby: MOM!!!! Sam said “bullshit”!

Sam: No, I didn’t. I said “bulls sit.” Which they do.

Yesterday, he came home after school and whipped open the kitchen cabinet, looking for snacks. To his chagrin, he did not find his beloved Pop Tarts. Exasperated, he looked in my direction and said, “Geez! What the helly?”

I attempted to cover my laughter with a Stern Look of Disapproval.

And he said, without missing a beat, and with an impish glint in his eye, “What’s the problem? It’s short for ‘helicopter.'”