Monthly Archives: April 2013

Are You a Parent Fighting the War on Electronics?

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funny-cartoons-electronicsElectronics, machines in general, and I do not always see eye to eye.  This was never more apparent than in my article about the onset of my war on electronics in the fight for control over my kids – I Am Woman (Ode to Chris the Caveman).

However, there was also the showdown with the nasty smoke alarm in Woman vs. Machine.  And don’t even get me started on my nemesis – the vacuum – as portrayed in The Day I Killed the Vaccum.

The thing is, I was recently lulled into a false sense of security when I found a way to make my big time enemy – electronics – into my unwitting ally.  Or at least, I thought I had found a way.  Today, on ParentSociety.com, I share my story of underestimation and slippery deception.

Are You a Parent Fighting the War on Electronics?

Here is something you need to know about the enemy!

Go Here! Quick!!

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Irreconcilable Differences – A Marriage Made in Heaven

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Feet Untucked

Wouldn’t you want to hide those feet?

My husband and I have irreconcilable differences.  We do.  I have always known it to be true.  I suppose for a time, I thought there were reconcilable solutions (i.e. he quits being stupid and sees the light of my way).  But after several years of marriage, I have finally given up the notion.

For 17 years, my husband and I have had a cold war standoff over differences of great import such as where his muddy shoes should go, how big a pile of dirty laundry can get before going into the hamper (big enough to lose the dog?), the necessity of closing a door if you are going right back through it (personally, I don’t see the point), and whose job it is to clean up the trash after the dog has strewn it all over the yard. But, the deal breaker to, I fear,  finally bring down our wall is the pivotal “tucked” or “untucked” issue.

You see, my husband subscribes to the sheet and blanket “untucked” – free to be you and me – feet flapping in the breeze philosophy while I, on the other hand, am a sheet and blanket “tucked” –  fully covered  – feet tightly bound & gagged – extremist of the most radical kind.

I mean, really, when you take this difference into consideration,  how did we ever get together, anyway?  The reality is, when you are dating everything is all “schnukems” and “peanut wuvs monkey” – so who cares if your feet freeze (me) or can’t move (him).  But when the honeymoon is over – i.e. once you have washed his dirty underwear for the umpteenth time and he has cleaned up everyone’s puke after stomach flew (including the dog’s) – these issues begin to take on a whole new level of importance.

And thus, the cold war began.

So now, when I make the bed, I wrap the sheet and blanket tightly, all the way around to underneath the mattress.  When he makes the bed, he leaves the sheet and blanket untucked, and then surreptitiously hides the evidence with the bedspread.  Upon going to sleep at night, I will secretly check all bedding to make sure they are securely tucked.  However he, in the middle of the night, will dislodge the bedding with a hefty kick of his feet. When I am awoken by the disconcerting feeling of my cold and flapping-in-the-breeze feet I, while resisting the urge to clobber him with the bedside lamp, get up and securely re-tuck all bedding.

And so it goes – which makes me crazy and not a little bit pissed off.  The thing is, I know now beyond a shadow of a doubt, for the whole of our life together this tucked vs. untucked Cold War will continue.  Neither of us will ever raise the white flag (nor well, sheet) of surrender.  It is an issue that cannot be reconciled, ever.

But on the other hand, he does take out the trash…and can fix most anything…and never complains when I spend money…

And the truth is, I just kinda love the guy (and doubt anyone else would put up with me)

So, tucked or untucked, I guess I will keep him.

But, he might want to learn to duck in his sleep…

Thought For the Day

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For those of you who live in places where seasons are practically non-existent, you can just tune out right now for you may  be perplexed (and possibly horrified) by what I am about to say.  However, for those of you in  other parts of the country or world where winter just does not seem to want to leave this year, allow me to express my thought for the day:

If spring/summer does not come soon, I will be compelled to begin painting my house all colors of the rainbow.  My kids will hate it,  but may gain some ground for their “Mom is off her rocker” defense”.  My husband will love it because his motto in design is “go to the point where it is almost gaudy…and then go one step farther.  And I will regret it once I have a chance to stand back and admire the purple beaded board with green trim in the kitchen. 

There, I said it.  May the best man win.

RAINBOW-5

Thanks For the Memories, Mexico

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Taxco

Taxco, Mexico

I love Mexico.  Not for the obvious reasons, the beautiful beaches and coastal resorts, but rather for the fact that if it wasn’t for Mexico, our future family traveling experiences would have been vastly different.  You see, my kids cut their teeth, in a travel sort of way, by experiencing the historic, rustic and colorful country that is Mexico.

Starting when our kids were 4 and 6, between the years of 2004 and 2007, we took several trips to Mexico.  On each trip, we would map out a section of the country we had not seen before, fly in & rent a car, have on hand a slush fund for “extras” (aka payments-for-tickets-while-traveling- in-and-out-of-Mexico City-that-made-no-sense-whatsoever-but-satisfy-police-officer-so-could-proceed-on-our-way), and start driving.

We would go on the cheap – staying mostly in rustic and often historic little hotels as opposed to chain options and eating at the home cooked local street stands (we were never revenged upon by Montezuma).  We would carry throw-away clothes that could be left behind in order to make room for all the cool hand-made swag we would accumulate at markets along the way.  We would seek out colonial towns and cities, ruins, eco adventures, beaches, waterfalls, cathedrals and oddities of any kind (the mummy museum in Guanajuato filled with actual mummies excavated from a nearby cemetery a long remembered fave).  We looked for local festivities and parades (they can carry a saint through town like nobody’s business). And we would travel for as many days as we could afford to be away– usually between 14 and 16 days.

After several years of experiencing Mexico’s culture, sites, language, people,  colors, my kids (and myself) were officially hooked on the whole idea of foreign travel and discovery.

For this reason alone, Mexico will always hold a special place in my heart.

But honestly,  it is so much more than that. For when I go back and look at all the pictures from those trips, it is as if my kids at 4 and 6 (ish) are somehow mysteriously still there, forever fixed in time at that age and in that place.

As if they are forever standing underneath the colorful hand crafted banners

Puebla

Puebla

Forever chasing pigeons in the historic squares

Guanajuato

Guanajuato, Mexico

Forever climbing the pyramids

The pyramids of Ek Balem

The pyramids of Ek Balem, Mexico

Forever exploring the wilds of Mexico

Casa de Cortez

Casa de Cortez, Mexico

And when I want to find them,  laugh with them,  be with them…

Bernal, Mexico

Bernal, Mexico

I  always know just where to look.

For more Sweet Spot Travels: Go Here!

A Trip More (or Less) Ordinary

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A trip is a trip.  From where I stand, any trip is a good one.  The minute I board a plane, there is the excitement of unknown adventures and happenings ahead. The longer I go between trips, the more I begin to feel like a bird with it’s wings clipped – or, just really bored.

But the truth is, not all trips are created equally (although in the interest of hurt feelings, we try not to talk about it – we like our trips to feel good about themselves).  Where some trips are about adventure, unique experiences, seeing new places, or lounging on beaches – others are about spending time with family.

Over our spring break last week, I grabbed my kids, jumped a plane (well, walked onto it) and headed out on one of  those spending time with family types of trips – fun and enjoyable, but in a more sedate, ordinary kind of way.

For example, every morning, we made coffee,

Desperation is the mother of invention.

Desperation is the mother of invention.

We regularly walked to the store and hijacked stranded shopping carts,

Look out, here comes the "po po".

Look out, here comes the “po po”.

Played hours  and hours of backyard wiffle baseball – that is until all our wiffle balls had been lost to the bushes, trees and neighboring backyards.

Anyone for lemon ball?

Anyone for lemon ball?

Watched Manuel the cable guy climb a power line pole to fix the internet connection, (I swear he is up there, somewhere…I think).

Can you see any of the wiffle balls from up there?

Hey Manuel, can you see any of our wiffle balls from up there?

Went to a museum.  But before we could enter, we had to be briefed by Obi “Sean”…

May the force be... whatever.

May the force be with Billy Dee Williams?

…be reminded that Billy Dee Williams was in fact in a Star Wars movie…

I must have blinked while watching Star Wars.

I must have blinked during that scene in Star Wars.

…and battle the dark force before we could proceed into the museum.

I think I can take the guy behind him...

I think I can take the short guy…

Oh and by the way, once we did actually make it into the museum, we sensed there was something  amiss…

I sense a problem.

I suspect conspiracy.

So, aside from picking up some new one liners from the movie “The Amazing Burt Wonderstone” like

“He put a puppy in my pants!”

“Your skin makes me cry” 

“He has more urine in him than blood…he should be dead.”

And the guy who passed out on our airplane and had to be escorted off by police and paramedics.

Paramedic: “Sir, have you done any drugs today.”

Passed out guy:  “umm, nooooo.”

Plane erupts in laughter.

This is probably what the guy looked like the night before boarding the plane.

This is probably what the guy looked like the night before boarding our plane.

It was just an ordinary trip… more or less.

For more Sweet Spot Travels: Go Here!