Wednesday, June 16, 2010


You know when you see something that makes you laugh? You see some clever t-shirt or an outrageous headline on some tabloid (not that I would ever read such refuse....;o)) and you think to yourself, "I wish so-and-so was here so he/she could see this!"

Sometimes it's possible to whip your camera phone out and snap a shot, but other times, there's no discreet way to take the picture; no way to mask the cacophonous shutter sound most cell phones produce. That's why I take a point and shoot camera so many places with me, nestled in the cavernous depths of my unwieldy purse. Just because I'm not a Boy Scout doesn't mean I can't adhere to the motto: "Be prepared." It is for this reason that I carry everything I could possibly need from a 72-hour kit to jumper cables in the aforementioned purse at all times. Okay, maybe I don't generally have those items on hand, but I did wind up carrying a meat thermometer for a couple of weeks. Why? I have absolutely no recollection. It would have made a great weapon though, had the need arisen. (Ever seen A Perfect Murder?)

This state of perpetual preparedness has come in handy more than once. I consider the greatest benefit of always being prepared is having my camera constantly at the ready. To capture the fleeting moments of joy life brings my way? No. I love having it with me to take pictures of people at their weirdest. I think you'll enjoy a few of these memorialized on my SD card.

Shirt? Check. Shoes? Check. Crap, I forgot my pants again. Seriously? Is people coming in without anything on their lower half really enough of a problem that it merits having a sign in your business' window? And more importantly, are any of these scantily-clad patrons hot men? Oh no she didn't! Oh yes, I did.

So here's the question: Is the author of this charming graffito stuttering? It is a questioning stammer? Are they unsure as to whether or not the food is good? If so, why not wait until one reaches a greater level of certainty regarding the cuisine before scribbling on some random wall?

Or, as I suspect is far more likely, are they completely unaware of the fact that the word is, 'yum,' not 'um?' Or maybe it's supposed to be 'mmmmm.' Which is almost worse as there's really absolutely no way to misspell a word that consists of the repetition of one letter. Really?

I think this has a typo. Clearly it's not referring to children at play. I think "Elves Playing," would be more accurate. Unless, perhaps, you and yours are often found sporting lederhosen and fur-trimmed caps, then this might refer to you as well.

No, in answer to the question you're undoubtedly on the verge of asking, this is not a Victoria's Secret store window. Oh no. Much better. This was some store I saw in LA from the confines of Rick and Kath's (my parents) Buick rear window.

The store clearly caters to the older set carrying such hot items as geriatric lingerie (that has to be the loosest interpretation of the word, 'lingerie' ever) And I love that there are two versions of these sexy support undergarments for the ladies and even one provocative one-piece ensemble for the fashion-conscience gentleman.

Even if I was in the twilight of my life and in need of everything in this charming window display, I would shy away from shopping there due to the incredibly unappealing skivvies exhibited here. It's just...odd.

So I think you'll all agree with me as to the need to carry a camera with you at all times; to capture all the hilarity the world has to offer. Because in these days of a poor economy and a gulf steeped in oil, sometimes we just need a to take a break to laugh at ourselves. ;o)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Hitting a brick wall...

So I was rifling through the 600+ pictures on my phone (yes, I'm that bad at actually cleaning out my poor little SD card.) And I ran across some pics I love.

Here are my kids, Ali and MacDuff. And they're sitting before the eighth world wonder. I had always wanted to have a house with exposed brick--ever since I saw it on My Two Dads (wow did I just really date myself like that?)

So in a classic Hollie fit of rebellion, I decided if the Universe wasn't going to comply and grant me with said exposed brick, I would just make my own. So I painted an entire wall of bricks; an entire, fairly expansive wall. Mostly just in an effort to prove something to myself.

The second dumbest part? I decided, on a lark, to do it on Thanksgiving. Happy Holidays, Holl. (Hey, that's alliteration. Yay, me!)

The first dumbest part? After twenty some odd hours, I had finished and guess what... I didn't like it all that much. :o(

Do I have to learn everything the hard way? Apparently. Keep me in your prayers...;o)

Friday, June 11, 2010

California Girls!

So, we took a road trip. 'Road trips are fun,' you say. And they are....for the most part.

Ali and packed our much-beloved summer-themed garb into matching coal-black pilot cases and crammed them unceremoniously into the trunk--or boot for those British friends out there--and we made for the Golden State.

Riding in the back seat of my parent's sedan, (Yes, we went with my parents. :o/) we hopped onto southbound I-15 with palm trees in our eyes. Wedged into the rear confines of the car, we were unable to feel the air conditioning (though my dad insists that if he aims it at the ceiling, the air will ricochet and hit us square in the face providing us with a refreshing coolness. This does not work, which I consequently attempted to explain to him on numerous occasions throughout my childhood. All it serves to accomplish is making the fabric of the ceiling ice cold and making the rear passengers a wee bit testy ;o))

We sat surrounded by every essential item that either didn't fit in the trunk/boot or was deemed to be necessary during travel, such as Easy Cheese (I'm the one that determined the necessity of this particular item. :o))

Not twenty minutes into the trip, however, I realized I had left my dad's credit card at home. ( I had been in charge of booking the hotel and had left it on my desk beside my laptop. Oops.) This should have been a heeded omen. It was not.

Driving through seemingly endless miles of barren desert landscape, we finally arrived in Costa Mesa? (Yes, that's a question mark as I am not entirely sure where our hotel was.) We met up with my brother, his better half, Ashley and son, Kaeden, who all had the foresight to fly there; perhaps they're just less masochistic. ;o)

We spent a few days there, visiting my dad's old stomping grounds, showing the kids the ocean--which is almost as cool as The Great Salt Lake (insert sarcasm.) And all in all, enjoying being somewhere different; somewhere new. I got some darling new gladiators and purchased a matching pair for Miss Alixandra and got to eat the world's best fresh Mex at Sharky's.

We had a blast! And my dad, who usually eschews all things technologically advanced, grew to love the Google Nav app on my phone!

Ali and Kaeden at Balboa Beach. Note the aforementioned gladiators.

Then there was the ride home. It was a trial to test even the most tolerant of souls... Which--consequently--I am not. By the time we hit Vegas, the car was overheating and strangely enough smelled a lot like overcooked lasagna. Really, really overcooked.

Rolling into a mechanic's shop, we were assured we'd make it home with no problem. Lies lies lies. Between the omen at the beginning of the trip and the car smelling like burnt Italian food, you'd think we'd just have thrown in the towel. But no--we're Hoffmann's and we are nothing if not notoriously stubborn.

So we soldiered on; passing St. George and the southernmost portion of Utah determined to make it with little to no car issues. No one's gonna tell us we can't make it home.

Fast forward to Cedar City where plumes of pewter-colored smoke were to be seen billowing from beneath said sedan hood.

The damage? A new engine, which fortunately had been the problem since Vegas and hadn't resulted from our stubborn hope to arrive home before addressing the problem. We were just given poor advice by our liar mechanic. Jerk :o) In short, another day was added to our journey and the car took about five weeks to be towed and repaired. Don't even ask what the cost was. I didn't.

The moral: never take a trip in the back of your parent's sedan at the ripe old age of 32. What did I think the best-case scenario would be? No I'm kidding. It was fun and definitely memorable! :o)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hollie and her iPad: an ill-fated love story...

Some people fall in love easily. They flit from one person to the next plunging deeply, fervidly into passionate, reckless love affairs; offering themselves heart and soul to whomever has recently caught their attention. They pursue romantic attachments with feckless abandon full of hope--albeit naive hope--that this person is the ever-elusive, exalted, often dietized object of intense interest or perhaps more appropriately: obsession. They discard all rationale in pursuit of this ideal and then shatter with despair as the attachment fizzles and finds itself filed away into the dust-laden recesses of the person's heart until someone else arrives to garner that interest once again. While it's not a ubiquitous problem, we each know someone who suffers from this strange addiction to love.

I experience this with electronics. I love new toys and some of you may recall a prior post in which I referred to my phone as my boyfriend.(His name is David; an explanation for another day...) Well, we're still together, though there have been some rough patches in our relationship...

And then there's IchaPod, my iPod. He's pretty hot and sports an impressive 160 GB of storage, because let's face it: size does matter. ;o)

But, alas, my relationship with my iPad was not to be. As many of you know I suffer from a condition for which there is no known cure: I read FAR too much. And that's where the sexy iPad and I conflicted and were forced to part ways. Due to its LCD screen, you can only read comfortably for about an hour at a time.

Enter the latest in my harem of technological suitors: The Kindle, or Ken-Doll as I've christened him. (Ken was hot, even if he was a tiny bit gay. And he always knew when to keep his mouth shut. What's not to love? ;o))

We hit it off immediately. It's e-ink technology allows for endless hours of reading entertainment. We have a wonderful relationship and are madly in love....

I'm a lucky girl ;o)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Burger Tour 2010!

I have over the last week consumed more beef than I probably did in the entire two months prior. Aside from the visit to In and Out, we also made a pilgrimage to the new Smashburger. While I had been to both, I had never been to the ones that recently opened near my house. I will say this: I had forgotten how good a Smashburger was. It was almost a religious experience and, while I'm a lover of good food, I'm not obsessed with it. I opt for the mantra: "Eat to live, don't live to eat." But Smashburger could very well change that. It reminds me of why I ended a six and half year stint as a vegetarian; because life was meant to be enjoyed, not endured. ;o)

This burger alone probably should have accounted for my total calorie intake for three-four days and it definitely does not make you feel light on your feet, but it's a darn good burger with a better-than-average dining atmosphere. How good can the atmosphere at a burger joint be? Well none of the furniture was composed of the obligatory hard plastic McDonalds and the like have nor is any of it bolted to the floor. Imagine that. And, while the color schemes at such classy establishments as Burger King and Wendy's run toward the vibrant primary colors or tacky, 80's pastels, the hues employed at Smashburger are more urban with sultry shades of crimson and jet black being prevalent. (Yes I just described the color scheme as sultry.)

It's sort of like burgers for the chic.

So move over sushi--slaughtered, processed cow has never been so hot! ;o)

The above shot was taken by my personal assistant/photographer. "Mom," she called. "Rub your stomach and say, 'mmmmmm.'" So I did. Not the most flattering picture, but fun nonetheless... :o)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Couch Potatoes

The other day my nephew came to visit. I heard his arrival, but noticed the lack of rambunctious laughter and hearty guffaws that generally accompany his entrance. As any parent will attest, silent kids are scary kids. As much as we yearn for peace, it terrifies us. When you become so completely accustomed to the melee; the never-ending din of child rearing; quietude is something to be feared. It seldom, if ever, indicates a wholesome, preapproved activity is being embarked upon.

I don't want to say thoughts 'raced,' through my head. Let's say they, 'jogged,' or possibly 'sauntered.' Possible scenarios included an image of my nephew falling down the stairs that descend into the family room. I saw his tiny body, arms outstretched, grasping for anything with which to steady himself and my daughter vaulting across the room to his rescue; pinning his toddler body to her chest and rolling across the floor in some Matrix-inspired, suspended-animation move she saves him. (My imagination's impressive!)

Then there was the thought of my ever-inquisitive, terminally-curious nephew seeing something inedible and discovering it's size/shape are perfect to fit within his mouth. His face, turning every shade of purple from lavender to plum, exhibiting an expression of unadulterated horror. My daughter (ever the heroine of my insane, mental hypotheticals) charges to his rescue, attempting to mimic the life-saving Heimlich maneuver.

I knew better, but I'm a writer. A vivid imagination is a requirement! Or maybe it's just indicative of being a huge dork....;o)

At any rate...Upon entering the room, I spied them cuddled together on a family-room chair. No broken bones or charred remains of furniture were to be seen. No asphyxiation seemed eminent. They were fine. Imagine that. And when I beheld them nestled together I had to capture the sweetness of the moment on camera. There the two of them sat snuggled close, utterly spellbound by what they were watching on the television. After snapping the picture, I turned to the TV to see what had them so completely enthralled...


That's right--Oprah. My daughter and nephew have become mesmerized by day-time television. I never thought this day would come. Okay, so I knew it would come, but I just thought I had something close to a decade to prepare. I assumed it would correspond with later-life events like applying to colleges and having a first job, etc. I never imagined that as early as the fourth grade, Ms. Winfrey would already have indoctrinated yet another generation of loyal followers. That she'd have her diamond-studded hooks firmly embedded in the likes of my daughter. And how old is my nephew? Not even two. I gotta hand it to the woman; that's some effective media! That the two of them would opt for Oprah over Disney Channel or Nickelodeon says a lot about her incredible mass appeal!

To be fair, my daughter has met Oprah. She was even kissed by her following Ali's appearance on her show. So, I think that adds to Oprah's mystique in my daughter's eyes. And with Oprah's keen observation in proclaiming that my daughter was, "so cute," I have to say I find myself partial to Ms. Winfrey as well ;o)

Also worth mention, is the fact that Oprah's guests that afternoon were some of the funniest people on God's green earth! Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan (LOVE him) and Betty White. I'm sure that was appreciated by the younger set!

So, in short, the kids were hale and hearty and free from certain disaster and, as of April 6, 2010, The Queen of Talk had acquired two new followers. She couldn't have done better! ;o)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Movin' on Up!

I have a strong dislike for moving. I love what it represents: a fresh start--a do-over of sorts. But, like most people I suspect, I hate the physically laborious task of the actual moving. Because I have done it so frequently myself and have come to loathe it so, I have developed a structured, systematic approach utilized in all my own personal moves in an effort to mitigate the horrid strain of moving. I have attempted to apply these proven techniques when helping others-but to little avail. I feel like Super Nanny trying to offer people tough love and having them fight me tooth and nail. I just think moving is no time to get clingy with your stuff. It's time to purge, if not for yourselves than for the people helping you... ;o) But, I've learned that everyone is specific about how they like their things handled. There's an obvious and beautifully- human attachment we have to our possessions and what they have come to represent to us. Everyone has distinct ideas of how best to tackle the seemingly-insurmountable task of packing all their earthly belongings and moving them to a completely new locale. I just have this horrible frustration with things that are inefficient and because there's such a strong emotional pull involving moving, I struggle with it. It is for this reason that I seldom-if ever-volunteer to help people move. I know that makes me a bad person; but there it is.

Sometimes I'll even be in a conversation with someone who is patently and unabashedly hinting that they'd like help with their move and I, with a generally astute ability to pick up on subtle social cues, feign complete obtuseness. I play dumb. Do you know why I'd rather have someone think I'm slow than give in and offer to help them move? Because I learned a long time ago: if you offer to help people move, they will take you up on it. For some reason no one picks up on that social cue, the one that--to me-- seems to scream, " I don't seriously mean this, so please under no circumstances take me up on this pseudo-offer. I'm only being polite and filling the awkward void in the conversation that compels me to offer my services with every possible hope that you will never take me up on it, or that I will have time to change my phone number before you can."

How can someone not sense all that? ;o)

Despite all this prejudice I harbor about assisting in moves, I had the opportunity to help someone pack yesterday for a life-changing move. I actually refer to this 'opportunity,' with none of my charming, capacious sarcasm for which I'm so universally loved. (I tell myself people love it.) Maybe it's because I love her dearly and she has done SOOOOOO much for me. Maybe it's because she never so much as hinted that she'd like my help (I will concede that the rebel in me is far more likely to do something with little to no resentment when I feel I have a choice.)

So here I am in all my packing glory wielding not one; but two tape guns (I told you I was good!)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

In and Outta Here

There it stood like a beacon to the locals, drawing family after family of ill-mannered, poorly-behaved children in soccer togs and ballet gear led fearlessly by frazzled and--if we're being completely honest--somewhat clueless parents into the fray at the newly-arrived In and Out Burger.

Why do I refer to the parents as clueless? Because I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt. That's right I'd rather assume that they don't realize their children are being noisy, messy and disrespectful rather than believe the converse--that they know but just don't care. (I think it goes without saying that there are many outstanding parents out there, but the crazy ones always stand out.) Sorry to jump on my band wagon. Had to vent. Carry on.

In and Out in Draper has been open for a while. Maybe two months? Hitherto, the line in the drive through has been outrageously long; extending around the building, past the neighboring businesses and far into the reaches of a contiguous residential neighborhood. This has pretty consistently been the case since it opened, though I will admit it's diminished significantly over time. I truly believed that, until recently, if the hankering for In and Out were to strike, I would have had more immediate gratification had I driven to one of the out-of-state branches such as Vegas. Okay that might be a bit more of my trade-marked hyperbole, but I'm illustrating a point. ;o)

At any rate, we finally ventured forth into the melee of the local restaurant not more than ten minutes from our house. I braced myself for the inevitable squall of families with mismanaged children, obnoxious adolescents with something to prove and, more of the aforementioned blissfully ignorant. But...actually it wasn't all that bad. Don't get me wrong, we did have to contend with one woman who had parked her infant--car seat and all--in the center of a walkway from which she refused to extricate him. And then there was the mad rush for each un-bussed table as soon as it opened (I have a rather competitive bent so this wasn't too serious a problem.) And, of course, there were the obligatory insecure teenagers who desperately wanted to impress their friends by making loud, squawking noises periodically, but, we were so awash in fatty, fast-food bliss, we hardly noticed.

Maybe my strategic wait had paid off. Maybe the stars had aligned perfectly providing us that idyllic fast-food dining experience. Or maybe, I had just been a TINY bit cynical and should have given it a chance earlier. Yeah. I know. It's probably the cosmic alignment thing. That's the most likely. ;o)

Anyway, it had been nearly seven years since I'd had an In and Out burger and it didn't disappoint. I won't say it's the best burger out there, because it's not. It's good and it's a fun novelty but there are better fast-food burgers out there. (I like Five Guys, though they are lacking a drive through and have totally insufficient dining space.) I will say this- anyone who carries Coke in lieu of Pepsi is doing something right!

But what I think In and Out represents is the same thing Ikea represents; that in some way Salt Lake and its environs are finally on the map. I mean we certainly don't hold a candle to the real big cities, but there are finally some definite options. Gone are the days of having just Burger King and McDonald's. We now have In and Out and that symbolizes some choice, some options, and most importantly some status. First the Olympics and now In and Out. Look out world-- Utah has arrived! ;o) --insert sarcasm--

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easter--A Second-Rate Holiday

Every year, with great vigor, I approach each and every holiday. I spend what often times amounts to weeks and months preparing religiously for whatever upcoming holiday lies in the far-off future beckoning me. I know a year before what my daughter and I are going to be for Halloween (witch and vampire reign supreme as they are two of my favorite things ever!) Each Christmas I have everything--including stocking contents--determined weeks in advance. I listen to Christmas music year round. I purchase Christmas decor on December 26th in anticipation of the next year's Christmas.

Why, then, can I not resist doing all my Easter shopping the day before? Literally. It seems to be a perennial task of mine to dash from one store to the next just to find a pair of Cadbury Creme Eggs which become progressively more difficult to find as Easter approaches. (This year it took five stores and I finally was able to snatch up the final two left at the Draper Walgreen's, heaving a hearty sigh of relief.) Is it some undiagnosed, little-understood medical phenomenon that prohibits me from gaining any sort of perspective involving this spring-time holiday? Is it just laziness? (Hey, I hate that L-word, but I'm trying to be refreshingly honest, and truly introspective.) Is it a loathing of this particular holiday?

Why is it that my brain is so indifferent towards this holiday?

Maybe it's the time of year. I like spring--don't get me wrong--but I'm DEFINITELY more of an autumn person with winter (really just the beginning portion) in second place.

Maybe it's because it seems sort of lackluster. There are no Easter carols to sing. No piece of shedding, evergreen vegetation to hold a place of homage in the living room bearing symbolic decorations lovingly applied by the children of the household. And don't get me started on that second-rate mascot! I mean I don't see the Easter Bunny sporting a team of eight flying reindeer and possessing the super-human ability to descend impossibly narrow, perilous chimney flues. Which really, if you think about it, Santa not only accomplishes with unparalleled prowess, but manages to do so with nary a hint of lung cancer, COPD, or emphysema. He's as healthy as any sugar-addicted, obese, elderly, over-worked person could be!

I suppose Easter does have its merits: you get to apply long-dormant artistic abilities to the underrated art form of egg dyeing; constantly endeavoring to outdo last year's results. It's one of the few holidays that actually REQUIRES that you purchase a brand-new outfit and I am nothing if not an avid proponent of 'investing' in fashion. Plus there's always the excuse to gather with loved ones for a magnificent, traditional feast which, in our home, is replete with all the blessings of a holiday banquet not the least of which is an abundance of carb-laden comfort food lovingly created (or bought as the case sometimes is) by the talented women in my family.

So I guess Easter's not half bad after all. I love to see the look of excited wonderment on my daughter's face and watch as the kids run pell-mell for the annual egg hunt. This year my nephew even trampled me because I made the rookie mistake of not allowing all the children out the door ahead of me. This will become increasingly hazardous in the years to come as he grows in stature. Lesson learned. :o)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring is here!

So Nana and Papa took Ali and my nephew, Kaeden, to the park. The weather has been so mild it's been hard to resist these little outings and I find as the days progress that my case of spring fever is becoming increasingly exacerbated. (insert growl of frustration)

I will say this though: this is a major benefit of homeschooling. We cover A TON of information in a very brief period of time which leaves us a little more freedom to enjoy some of the finer things like the crazy giggle my daughter emits when she swings on swings. Or the way her hair looks like some crazy static-y science project after she goes down the tube slide.

Spring is here. Kids are cute. Life is good! :o)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Amazon: my favorite time waster

It's an illness. A horrible debilitating disease that robs me of my ability to reason. That draws every ounce of self control from me. It sucks hours from my life and is a significant strain on what little free time I have. What's this incapacitating illness?

I get on there and after what seems like only a few minutes, I find I have literally wasted over and hour, sometimes longer on that cursed website! Where else can you buy everything from a first edition copy of Middlemarch to a set of Tweezerman tweezers? What's not to love/hate about that?

Here is a brief list of some of the things I currently find myself coveting (in no particular order):

I have always loved vampires! Here's book ten in one of my favorite series!

There aren't many things more feminine than long, gorgeous lashes. This is something I'd love to try!

A pair of funky pumps to add to my collection of...over 180 pairs. (another illness)

Pro literature, anti-censorship, pro jewelry. This says it all! ;o)

The next laptop I'm getting? This gorgeous Mac book...(sigh)

A black lace parasol. Completely superfluous, but not without nuance. Gorgeous and pointless. But it does remind me of something Emerson said: "Tell them, Dear, if eyes were made for seeing; Beauty is its own excuse for being." Nothing like rationalizing a purchase with Emerson.

Okay, so this is a bit of a pipe dream. I'll likely never spend upwards of $1,000 on a hand dryer, but the germophobe in me is seriously lusting after this! I've had some real thoughts about marrying this Dyson guy...

New outfits for my phone.

My all-time favorite CD that I actually wore out! The need to replace is evident.

My favorite book in hard-back form. Not a feel-good book. More a deeply-relevant social commentary on the history of woman's roles in the western world. Excellent read, but can lead me to a slightly depressed state. :o(

Gorgeous and feminine, this would be perfect above my bed. I
am an avid proponent of all traditional overhead lighting alternatives and this seems like a lovely choice!

So there you have it! Time used planning how to spend money that should probably go into savings and wasting hours of my life I'll never get back. Shouldn't I feel more guilty? ;o)


Movie-ater. It's what Ali used to call the movie theater. An efficient hybrid of the words, "movie," and, "theater;" it was one of my favorite things about her childhood. We used to come up with questions that would result in her saying it just to hear hear it. "Ali," we'd say, "where do you go to see a movie?"

"The movie-ater," she'd reply. I loved it. It's definitely one of those things that you remember about your kids as they get older and it makes you sad and a little shocked at how quickly they grow and evolve. It's also something I remember having inadvertently said more than once while talking to grown ups. I got more than one crazy look from people. (This also happened when Ali used to call her dermatologist a derma toj o list, which quickly became a somewhat embarrassing habit I developed. And for some reason these are less adorable coming from adults than from children...go figure)

At any rate, back to the movie-ater...

So Ali's always loved movies and lately I've been systematically introducing her to some movies I really thought she'd enjoy. The best ones are the ones with a surprise endings. Her eyes were as big as saucers at the end of The Sixth Sense where Malcolm figures out he's dead.

And there was the end of Fried Green Tomatoes with its dual surprises. She was shocked to hear what was in the barbecue...;o) and even more surprised to learn that Ninny was Idgy the entire time.

So it's another rite of passage. It really is bittersweet, as I remember the little Ali with the love of movie-aters and watch as she becomes this awesome 'big girl,' who totally appreciates plot twists and dramatic irony. That's my girl! ;o)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A new adventure

Ali and I are embarking upon a new adventure. It's something I never thought I'd do and something she's been begging me to do for over three years. We have begun homeschooling. That's right. I just never imagined I'd be a homeschooling mom.

There are so many negative stereotypes surrounding homeschooling and a lot of presumptions that people tend to make. So I'll address those concerns now:

1) No, we are not polygamists, nor are we members of any fundamentalist groups.
2) No, Ali did not attend a horrible school. Actually her school was exceptional and we both had very positive experiences there. I was elected to the Community Council where I served a two-year term and LOVED it!
3) No, Ali had no social or disciplinary problems. She has a ton of friends and was well-liked, no--loved by her teachers!
4) Yes, Ali performed very well in school. She was top of her class and even tested into the gifted program twice.

The long and short of it is that it just seems to be the best fit for the time being. At some point in the future we'll revisit the issue of homeschooling vs. public or private schooling. It's only been a couple of days, but I have to say I'm loving the freedom, the control over curriculum and the flexibility. Not to mention not dealing with some of the crazy, frenzied parents who careen through the school parking lot at speeds in excess of 30 mph. (Had to vent that little pet peeve...)

I'll keep you all abrest of the adventures I'm sure we'll encounter on this harried and exciting journey we've embarked upon! ;o)

Forbidden love...

I have a new boyfriend. It's true. He's gorgeous, efficient, reliable, sexy and brilliant.... Is it sad that my 'boyfriend,' is actually my phone?

Broken wrist?

Yes, you read that correctly. As if the toes weren't enough, now we had to make another visit to the hospital for yet another x-ray. IMC now has a front row parking space specifically for us. We will probably have paid for our own hospital wing if this keeps up much longer! How did it happen? Ali was standing on my bed-even though I had just told her never to do so- and she fell. In an attempt to catch herself, she sprained her wrist.

See when we do sprains, we do them all the way!

Her darling little wrist, once delicate and feminine, was swollen and purple for days before we finally saw the doctor. I really think the hospital should just come up with some frequent shopper program. You know, a punch card that reads, "Buy five x-rays, get your sixth free!"

I'm seriously considering confining her to a bubble...

SK8.. .a badge of honor

Roller Derby Queens!!!

"Mom," Ali said, her voice hopeful. "are we going to skating tonight? It's free for our school..."

It's amazing what we'll do for our children. Truly, it is. I was willing, at the ripe-old age of 27 (okay so I haven't been 27 in a couple of years...), to don roller skates after more than fifteen years. But, it can't be that difficult, right? I mean these things just come back to you, right?

Famous last words...

There I sat on the bench tying the laces of my sweet, tan-hued, rental skates complete with four, orange wheels upon which I was expected to gracefully balance. I remembered frequenting Classic Fun Center somewhere in those lost 'tween'years . For the unbelievably low price of only $13.00 (you read that correctly) you could enjoy an entire summer-from Memorial Day to Labor Day-of all the fun Classic Fun Center had to offer! That bargain price included not only unlimited skating, but all the water-slide fun your little pre-teen heart could handle! I remembered how so many of my friends met their 'boyfriends,' at youth dances there. A lot of growing up happened there; hearts were broken, BFF's were made and-if we're being completely honest-mono was liberally spread.

But I digress... Classic was actually greatly improved from the last time I had attended all those years ago. Gone were the petrified gum wads clinging to the undersides of low-budget furniture. Gone were the carved proclamations of 'true love always,' that adorned lockers. And only the faintest whiff of lingering B.O. could be detected. This evening of roller skating was looking better and better.

And then I stood up...

Don't believe anyone who tells you, 'It'll all come back to you.' It's a lie. A huge conspiracy. I have the bruises to prove it. And I'm pretty sure a broken coccyx as well...

Here's hoping we're virus free!

So I posted a total of six posts that have somehow been absorbed into the infinite recesses of the great, cyber universe. Each and every one of them vanishing never to be seen again, so, here's hoping this post makes it where others have failed. Where are the other posts? Lord only knows... :o(

I have a beautiful, amazing, stressful, frustrating, and sometimes convoluted life and it has been all of those things recently to the extent that my all those people in my brain seem to be vying for some sort of consistency, but here's the plan:

I'm going to try and track down the missing posts and add them. There. That's it! They've got to be somewhere in this crazy computer that seems determined to make me suicidal! So, hang in there! You're about to be deluged with a torrent of posts! You love it, you know it! And you know what they say about being worth the wait...;o)

Monday, March 8, 2010

The darling girl with the aching toes...

Broken toes?

Sunday morning Ali arrived home from her dad's house. After a couple of hours, she announces, rather matter-of-factly, that she had a small mishap on Friday night. The "mishap," apparently entailed her kneeling on a chair which, by some unknown cause, was swept out from under her. This left her falling directly on to the TOPS of her toes. So her sweet little piggies were curled beneath her absorbing the entire weight of her body. :(

Sounds pretty painful,huh? When she took her socks off to show me, my jaw dropped at least a foot. Her two big toes were purple and swollen huge. Long story short: her doctor wanted her to come in and then she sent Ali to the hospital to get x-rays.

Fortunately, they turned out to be fine--fine being a relative term. Well no fractures were evident in the x-ray and that was something! She's clearly a very resilient little person.

The best part of the afternoon, was actually our arrival at the hospital. Sometimes as a parent you go into this sort of crisis-management mode where you become fully intent on mitigating damage and addressing issues and leading your charges into metaphorical victory. Sunday afternoon was that for me.

I got her to the hospital, but guess what the hospital looks like on a Sunday when everyone feels compelled to visit sick loved ones they're otherwise too busy to visit the rest of the week... it looks like a mall on Christmas Eve. It was insane. It was said insanity that led us to park in one of the only available parking spaces nestled on the FARREST reaches of the expansive--no behemoth--visitor parking lot; literally in the absolute last row of parking stalls. I'm convinced that had I had a copy of the hospital plat map from the county records, I could have proven that this parking stall wasn't even on hospital property.

At any rate, I took a deep breath and, upon squinting, was just able to make out the shape of the hospital in the very far-off distance. (Okay so there's perhaps a mild degree of hyperbole in this recounting of yesterday's events. I'll admit to being slightly dramatic, but in my defense it feels true!) So at this point I'm breathing a sigh of relief. After all I've succeeded in getting us to the hospital and even finding a pathetic excuse for a parking space. I am at this point mentally checking off every stage of this adventure. Now all we had to do was hoof it to the door and make our way to radiology. The only problem: Ali could barely walk. That's kind of an issue. "Do you think," I mused, "that I could pass her off as handicapped and park in one of those stalls?" (Yes, I do talk to myself sometimes as though I could partition different portions of myself into various individuals. I think the term for that is multiple personalities...:o)) I looked in the direction of the coveted handicapped stalls in frustration.

There was only one choice: I had to carry Ali three and half miles (more hyperbole) to the hospital entrance. After hoisting her on my back, I carried her into the hospital. Upon arriving at the main desk manned by some of the kindest, sweetest volunteers you'd ever come across, I lowered Ali to the ground in an attempt to not collapse from the sheer exhaustion of carrying my 80-pound daughter across hell's parking lot.

"Can I get a wheel chair?" I wheezed, sure that each breath would be my last.

"Sure, dear," a sweet, older woman responded. "You do know that you could have just dropped her off here with us while you parked the car? Maybe when you leave you could do that." Does it make me a bad person that I wanted to smack her? It was some misplaced aggression on my part, but for a moment I considered it.

The moral of the story? Don't be dumb. Well, technically that's a moral of a lot of stories. But specifically, next time you feel compelled to be focused and driven, take care not to become so focused that you overlook easier, more effective ways of doing things. I have an aching back to testify to that!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010