Sunday, February 28, 2010


 Every year on my kid's birthdays I write them a letter.  When they turn 18 I plan on giving them their yearly letters.

                                                 Andrew's Birthday letter #11

Last week while sitting next to your friend Russ at your school's church service you leaned over and said to me,“Why do we have to sit with YOU! Why can’t we sit with Russ’s parents?” Then you proceeded to roll your eyes and cross your arms over your chest the same way I used to you when I was about your age. I am officially uncool. I arrogantly thought this day would never come. I believed you would always think I was cool. I am younger than the other parents. I don’t drive a minivan. I don’t listen to cheesy music like Celine Dion or country, and I sometimes allow you to watch inappropriate movies.

I guess it doesn’t matter. I am a mom, a figure of authority, therefore by default I am lame. I realize that I need to get used to your snubs. I need to grow thick skin and acknowledge that you are changing. Soon you will no longer be my little boy-child. Within a year or two, your voice will change, you will get taller and start sprouting arm pit hair. I can already see the changes. You are more independent and secure in your skin. I am thankful that you still let me in. At 11, you're still confiding in me. I hope that continues. I hope that at 16 you still trust me enough to tell me what is really going on in your life. I didn’t do that with my parents. By 14 I shut them out completely.

5th grade has been a good year for you. You joined the swim team and the basketball team, you have finally learned to keep a clean desk, and you have started spending a lot more time with your school friends. On the weekends you are almost always with Russ or Jordan. Also you have taken up the annoying habit of talking on the phone with your friends.

You have developed the greatest dead-pan sarcasm of any 11-year-old I had the pleasure of meeting. Nearly everything you say is dripping with cruel hilarity. This year it has gotten you into a bit of trouble. Your teacher doesn’t find you nearly as hysterical as your classmates do. Last week when a preschool student was forced to sit in an unoccupied desk in your classroom (your teacher is the principal of the school) for biting another student, you shouted to him “run for your life little man!” He got up from the desk and fled for the door. Your sarcasm was over his head. Mr. Walker was not pleased with you. I have had to have countless conversations with him over your humor. He is not a fan of what he refers to as your “constant need to distract the other students.” . I wish you would tone it down a bit.

It is insane that you only have 7 more years before college. It scares me to think that one day, not too far away, you will have your own life apart from us. I don’t even want to consider that.

This year you told me you saw the girl you were going to marry, a blonde brown-eyed girl from the neighborhood. You saw her once at the grocery store and again at the Awana youth group our neighbor brings you to. “Why don’t we have any pretty girls at my school?’ you wanted to know. I find this new interest in girls a little troubling. I am certain that it will get worse with age. Have I mentioned that I am so not prepared for you to grow up?

Happy Birthday Andrew.  I love you more than you could ever imagine.  

Friday, February 26, 2010

Some of my favorites

Websites that make me happy


Art meets Fashion

Greatest TV/Movie reviews

Makes me Laugh

I wish I were as cool as her


I am not a team player

It was Monday when I was accosted by the mom crew at my kid’s school. They were standing near the picnic benches in their yoga pants and mesh hoodies. The short one with the thighs that could split my body in half asked if I had plans Thursday night. I hesitated. She swooped in “We need moms for the mother daughter basketball game. We are short a couple of players. Sally has a back injury and Kris had knee surgery. We are doing it for the kids.” There was no getting out of this one. I buckled under the pressure. The next day I saw Emily, my car pool partner, wincingly agree to play as well.

When Thursday rolled around I put on my tennis shoes, grabbed a water bottle, and headed out for what I imagined would be a humiliating night. My family is not a sports family. We are outdoorsy people. We hike, camp, and swim. We enjoy beach trips but when it comes to team sports we are a mess. My husband and I are the parents hiding in the back row of the bleachers as our kids’ day dream on the court or field while their teammates sweat it out.

Upon arriving at the school I joined my fellow moms to practice shooting hoops. I was alarmed when after 15 minutes of attempting a basket I had yet to make a single one. Spectators began arriving. My friends David and Grace took a courtside seat and began heckling us through fits of laughter “slam dunk it Siobhan.” David shouted. I was starting to sweat.

When the game began Emily and I cowered in our seats hoping to go unnoticed. She was called in first since her daughter was on the opposing team. When she got the ball it looked promising, only she headed in the direction of the wrong basket. I laughed so hard I nearly cried. Then I was called in. I was told to guard a lanky 6th grader who was about my size. I was surprised to find that this 11 year-old was quicker than me. I stumbled around the court not sure where to go. My teammates kept passing me the ball and I would throw it in the direction of the basket. It never came close to going in. Collectively the moms would groan. I could hear David chuckling. I was a disaster out there.

By the fourth quarter most of the moms were breathing heavily, there were ice packs and complaints of sore limbs. One of them was limping. Emily and I were once again put into the game. She got the ball and made a basket, a beautiful nicely executed swishing one. I was impressed. Not wanting to be one upped I stole the ball from a pig-tailed 8 year old. I dribbled it down the court and threw the ball up towards the basket. It didn’t even come close to getting in.

Despite being against elementary school children the moms were determined to win. It was a very close game but we won!

After the game Little Sophie, a classmate of my daughters, skipped up to me and said “I saw you miss all the baskets. You need to practice,” wise words from a four-year-old.

This morning when dropping the kids off I was high fived by three different moms.  "Great playing out there!"  Lindsay's mom told me.  "Liar!"  I replied. 

Thats what i love about our school.  It is so small that the day after our mother daughter b-ball game everyone already knows that Emily almost scored a point for the other team and that I can't shot to save my life.  It's like a tiny slice of the midwest right her in sunny San Deigo. Our little school with it's polite parents, reminds me of a Norman Rockwell painting.  It's a 1950's timewarp.

Friday, February 5, 2010

I want to see this

I think the idea behind this movie is genius!  Hopefully it's as great as the trailer makes it appear to be. 

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My least favorite person of the day

School is making a crazy person. I feel like I don't have enough hours in my day. Everything is piling up. I am worried that I won’t succeed, that I will not be able to keep up with math or Spanish, and that I will never get the hell out of Mesa. I tanked my first spanish test mostly out of laziness.   I am concerned that I may end up the only person alive to not make it out of community college. I fear that I am in idiot.

I have been short with the kids and generally disgruntled about life. I have tons of homework and the kids are in activities that require me to drive all over the place. There are bed time routines, and lunches, and dinner to be made, laundry to do, cleaning of bathrooms, and dishes, and the bathing of little stinky people. I feel like I cannot keep up. I need an attitude adjustment.

To make matters worse Aaron is currently my least favorite person EVER. I wish more people had been brutally honest with me about marriage. Why don’t people put it out there that their spouses can be the most excoriating pains in the asses? Why do people pretend that marriage is some 24 hour 7 day a week love fest?

I love Aaron. He is great and we laugh and have fun but there are moments when I don’t even want to look at his face. THIS IS NORMAL. Normal people are incapable of being consummed with love every moment of every day.  I am under the impression, that you cannot have a healthy marriage without some angst. Right now I am angsty with him. His voice annoys me, the way he gulps down cold beverages, how he can finish a meal in a minute flat, and the fact that he watches Glen Beck, irk me beyond belief. It really has nothing to do with him and more to do with the fact that I have too much on my plate and am taking it out on him.

I am thankful for this angst. Without angst we cannot grow into happier better married people. At least I realize that it is misdirected. Tomorrow I will get over it and he will once again be my favorite person. As for right now I will wallow in my grumpiness.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Oh my grammy

I don't usually watch the Grammys. I love award shows solely for the decadence of the dresses and the red carpet moments. At the Grammys people try too hard to look cutting edge, or rocker, or whatever, and end up wearing stupid stuff. It's disastrous and depresses me almost as much as people over the age of 30 that sport rainbow colored red and blue streaks in their hair. I thought I would highlight some of the very worst 2010 Grammy fashions
Katie Perry needs a bra intervention.  She is too young to look so saggy

 Glitter in hair should only be reserved for strippers. Also I don't like that there is a zipper in the front of her dress or the overall space aged pattern.

  Why Britney?!  Why!!!


500 days of summer

  Aaron has been out of town a ton lately leaving me to fend for myself with a house full of little people that demand things like food and water. The boys had a basketball tournament this weekend which required me to drive back and forth all over the place and attend a handful of their action packed games.

My boys play in a Lutheran league at their school. By nature Lutherans are a very proud and unassuming group of people. Where most babsketball games have a high sprited crowd, lutherans like to keep things low key, so much so that at times all you can hear are the grunts of the players and the sound of the ball being bounced.  There is only one parent who frowns in the face of Lutheran etiquette.  I make it a habit to take my seat right next her at every game. 

 Andrew's teammate Russ has a mom who is so tiny I swear she could fit in my pocket. She is by far the most hilarious person to be around at a sporting event. She screams and yells the entire time. It's absolutely hysterical. The gym will be dead quiet and she will be screaming "No! What are doing? Pass the ball!".  The best thing she does, that always makes me laugh so hard I almost cry,  is that when the other team misses a basket she screams "Yes!" and claps madly while people from the other team stare at her with their mouths gaping open.  Her husband calls her a screamer, which kind of creeps me out. 

All of this is normal behavior at a sporting event but amongst the parents of ten-year-old Lutherans, with their midwestern calmness, it’s rare to find anyone as cut throat and enthusastic as Russ's mom.  She definitely sticks out.  You should see the looks the parents from the other teams give her. I love the inappropriateness of her.

Anyway, apart from the basketball stuff we have had a low key weekend. I watched three payperview movies. The invention of lying (so dumb!), Harry Potter (good!), and 500 days of summer (fantastic). I love Zooey Deschanel. I think she is adorable. I wish i could steal her face and plant it over mine.  She has this jazzy little singing voice and she makes me laugh more than any other cast member in Weeds.

500 Nights of Summer was awesome. It made me remember those young love moments where a guy totally crushed my heart into tiny little pieces.  It reminded me of those times I wallowed in a pathetic hole of post break-up grief dissecting to death what personality flaw of mine my ex-boyfriend hated so much. 

It was funny and cute and not too sugary-sappy like most romantic comedies. But most of all I loved it for Zooey Deschanel's clothes. I want every single thing she wore in that film. I want all her vintage dresses and cute hair bows and headbands.  I feel like going out and adding way more pale blue pieces to by wardrobe! Also I want Aaron to wear old man cardigans and vintage ties paired with pumas the way Joseph Gordon-Levitt did.