Friday, July 31, 2009

The Frog Whisperererer

Another summer. Another frog. Little boys love frogs.
I don't think that changes. I love that about little boys. It's kind of comforting to see when you're watching your sweet baby boy get older. It's like watching a plant grow right before your eyes. He likes girls and has a tendency to talk trash, he tells me he's going through puberty, yes, tells me, he can moody, he won't get his hair cut, he has two pierced ears and will talk back at times. On the other hand he now likes to watch the same movies as me, will make himself breakfast and can have long discussions about past lives.
I love my children this age but there is something so hard about seeing time pass right before your eyes.
I am a huge proponent of change. I love change. Changing rooms around, a change of scenery, changing my outfit, changing gears, changing my tune and changing my toothbrush.
I just sometimes find it hard to see my sweet little angel changing into a adolescent.
I do have a constant though. A variable that has not changed. A couple really. He still will scream, "Mom! Mom!" from far away. When I yell back, "WHAT?" He'll say, "I LOVE YOU."
That and frogs like him.
He is the frog prince.
And mine too.

some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. delicious ambiguity...
-gilda radner

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Phantom and A Dream

I love both those words so much.

Although I didn't like the Phantom of the Opera very much. Is that a bad thing to say? The truth is, I'm not all that good at big plays. I want to see them all. I love the stories, the music, the costumes, the whole feel of it. I just wish they could wrap it up in one act. I get fidgety. I can't sit still. It seems to take to long.

I also like the more current believable story lines, like The Lion King. I actually am not sure if Lion's can talk in real life but the costumes alone made the whole thing worth it. And that Timon and Pumba! I could have watched them all day long. I saw that twice. I still can't believe that Scar would do that to his brother.

My own brother and I have a long history of seeing shows together. When I was eleven years old my brother took me to see the movie Fame in an old movie theater in Narberth park. I will never forget that. I loved it. There were parts that seemed so grown up to me and I felt lucky that he took me. In more recent years we have seen additional shows like The Boy From Oz. With Hugh Jackman. My brother got us front and center seats. That was one show I wanted to last all night long. These are things that will last forever for me. Memories of time spent with someone I dearly love, just like a dream.

"This fleeting world is like a star at dawn, a bubble in the stream, a flash of lightening in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a phantom and a dream"- The Diamond Sutra

Friday, July 24, 2009

Wedding Crashers Vs. The Hangover

Warning: Don't bother reading this if you haven't seen these movies or find them stupid. Check back tomorrow for my Siskel and Ebert revue of Shakespeare Vs Chaucer. Who was the bestest?

Yes, I'm a bit late to the game. I know the Hangover came out a long time ago, but I just saw it last night. Before I saw it I heard talk of how funny it was (which it was) and conversations pertaining to the argument of which was funnier, The Hangover or WC. I don't think there is even a competition here. WC was way funnier. It's not the The Hangover wasn't funny, it sure was but come on Vince Vaughn in the morning at the breakfast table scene after the night with the brother? Will Ferrel asking his Mom for meatloaf? these are things that just never die. I still giggle to myself when I picture the opening scene of WC in my head with Rebecca De Mornay in it. I laughed from start to finish in that movie. Come on.

The Hangover was good. I laughed a lot. I think I laughed at parts that wouldn't be funny to anyone else. Like when Bradley Cooper was leaving his teaching job and told the kids to beat it totally struck me as funny and when Allen came out in that t-shirt with the murse. I couldn't stop laughing at that. There were some good parts. I think I'll have to see it again before I know any particular lines. Cept one. You know what I mean.

I will say this, whoever casted that movie did a pretty stellar job. Jeffrey Tambor is so funny, even when his role is small. I totally love him. I get crap all the time for liking the movie, "Meet Joe Black," Jeffrey is in that too and he is one of the reasons I like that movie. Bradley Cooper was great. I didn't really like him before cause he was such a jerk to Owen Wilson in WC and I thought he was mean (Wait, characters in movies are just like that in real life, right?) In this movie Bradley was funny. I liked how he was nice to Allen after a while. And Allen! Allen rocked the house. Who is that guy? I didn't recognize him at all. When he roofied them and then didn't like curse words and dared Stu to pull out his tooth and was the rainman at blackjack and then sang the 'Best Friends' song, God, he was a little slice of heaven. Am I right or am I right? And Stu's chick, what a bee-yotch. That was funny too though.

And those pictures at the end. Oh. My. God. That was priceless.

So overall, I give it a huge thumbs up. Mike Tyson? Who does that? I like it. I will see it again. I did love Wedding Crashers more though if for no more than the line, Mom! The Meatloaf! ....
What are you doing? I never know what you're doing?
That just doesn't get old.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mommy Swap

This is the first week both my kids are home for the summer. And as I write this they are gone again. But we had the week. We played in the quarry and saw Harry Potter and then Chase got sick. Poor baby. Luckily I have medical degree that I found at a garage sale and extra antibiotics so I was able to squash it before it really got going. Yesterday he was so illin' though. I called the professionals and took him in to the 'doctor that talks to much'. We came home with a fresh batch of meds, I dosed him up, put the lime in the coconut, had him drink them both together and he feel asleep.

Meanwhile downstairs Saige was just begging me to help her with a puzzle. "Fine!" I said. So I sat down and started piecing it together.

She was watching 'Wife Swap'. This is the craziest show. They put these polar opposite Mom's in each other's houses and try to live the other's life. Like an Atheist and a Son of a Preacher Man, I mean wife of a Preacher Man or a Pig Farmer and a Belly Dancer. It's whack. Saige just loves it. She said to me, "You know why I love this show Mom, cause they're so different from each other." They sure are.

By this time we were on a second episode, it was a Wife Swap Marathon! Chase had woken up and was watching with us. As I was standing on my head trying to shake out the missing puzzle pieces or earrings or whatever else there was I said to them, "Do you guys think we should do this show?" They both yelled, "No! Never!" I said, "Why? Who do you think you guys would get instead of me?"
"Someone ugly," Chase said.
"That's not nice, really, what would she be like, your new Mommy? My replacement? The ying the my yang."
"The what?" Chase asked.
"Nothing, tell me what she would be like."
"She wouldn't like puzzles!" said smart ass Saige. I only have a slight addiction to my puzzle, I don't think it's anything to make fun of. I don't know where she gets that from.
"She'd have short hair," said Chase who has made it crystal clear to me many times that neither him or I would be cutting our hair in the foreseeable future.
"She'd make us go to church," Chase said. Insert me cringing here. To my credit, we do sing along to Mason Jennings and Jack Johnson sing, "Oh Jesus I love you and Buddha too! That and we cross ourselves when we see dead animals on the road. So we have that going for us.
"She would wear rags," said Saige.
"She would never play with us," Chase chimed in.
"She wouldn't be a show off on the diving board," said Saige. Hey shut up kid, who asked you?
"She would stay in all the time," Chase said, "and she'd be cheap."
"She would never laugh about stupid things," said my little wiseass girl.
"She would live on a farm," Saige added.
"But she would hate dogs!" Chase said.
"I wuv my widdle Micken so much. Don't I Mickerboy?" I baby talked to my furry white creature some call a dog.
"Why do you always use that crazy voice with the dogs?" Chase asked.
"Cause they like it, duh."
"She would be so mean," my angel daughter finally redeemed herself with.

Well that was a fun game. Not. So I'm looking for a mean, short haired dog hater who wears potato sacks and old cleaning rags, who can't do a trick in the pool to save their life and spends a lot of time in Church. I just don't want to stay at their house though, that sounds beat. I don't think I really want to trade at all.

Monday, July 20, 2009


That's a title of an old Van Halen song. I once heard that old Van Halen is completely underrated. I'm not sure whether I like or dislike this statement. Perhaps it's not a matter of liking so much as agreeing or disagreeing but I do enjoy deciding if I like or dislike something. It makes things very clear.

Clear like the water in this quarry. This is where my babies played today. This totally cool big log was floating around in the middle of it. To play on. Genius. Apparently it was part of the old quarry place, the boom. That's what it was. One day this guy who worked there got fired. He went out and had a few drinks and then came back and chopped it down or something and the quarry filled with water and now we can play on it. Do yoga tricks and back dives off it. I'm pretty sure that was his intention a gazillion years ago. He was smart. Smart as a whip.

Saige practiced until it was like walking on the ground. It's not easy either. It's slippery and it spins when you are on it, That Cradle Will Rock. She didn't give up though. It's a good thing there was no Loss of Control cause I would have had to ask Somebody Get Me a Doctor. My Little Dreamer yelled Bottoms Up right before she Jumped. When Chase got up there with her it was a little battle we called When Push Comes to Shove she was On Fire though my Beautiful Girl. Could This Be Magic? I Had To Call the Icecream Man named Big Bad Bill is Sweet William Now for my kids cause Everybody Wants Some. Now they're Dancing in the Street.
Happy Trails...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Picking Up From Camp

Usually driving to camp to pick up children is a routine kind of thing. I get it together at home, put the address in my nav (because it doesn't matter how many times I have gone to this camp, I still don't know how to get there), and get on the road. Nothing all that unusual happens. Well, last week I did get lost in a parking lot because of a detour. That would probably be considered slightly unusual for a different person, me... not so much.

Yesterday however my friend Ashley was kind enough to go with me. This made the whole trip an adventure. There is nothing "normal" about driving an hour and a half with her. She even told me ahead of time that this was a road trip and it was going to be fun. She packed herself a "snack pack" for the car. I have actually never seen someone fit so many fishies and pretzels in a zip lock bag at once. It bordered on impressive (or piggish) depending on how you look at it.

She activated her safety harness as the law states and we were on our way. We were barely out of PA when she spotted a groundhog! She notices everything. This groundhog was way out of any line of vision I had but she saw him right away which started the whole, "Well hello wittle groundhog. I yuv you so much, cute widdle cwitter. Hey, do you see the critter Amy?" Yes, I see him. I love him too. Let's see if he's there on the way back, perhaps we can get you a date.

Driving through Maryland it started to rain, the sky turned black, it started to pour, buckets of pounding rain. There were moments we couldn't see the road or even through the windshield. Ashley kept insisting it was a tornado. She started spouting off some sort of storm nonsense and how she could see the "devils fingers" of the tornado and that it was possible that our car could be picked up and whisked away at any second. I was hoping if all possible, perhaps it could drop us off at camp. Finally the rain stopped and the sun started shining and that was when what seemed like the drive through the safari part of Great Adventure started.

"A fox! Did you see that gorgeous fox! Oooooh so fluffy and regal was he."
"I didn't see any fox," I muttered. I like foxes. She gets to see everything as she sits there and stuffs her face with cheddar gold fish.

"Look at the cows! Take their picture! Stop the car."
I stop on the road and get my camera per her instructions. At that moment a particularly big guy decides to try and get a "date" with a pretty girl cow. She rebuffs his not so suave advances and waves to us with her paw. I mean foot. Or what are they called? Her flipper! The cow waves to us with her flipper. I take the picture and we start rolling again.

"Oh, it's a veal farm," she says morosely.
"I don't know what that entails but I don't like the sound of it, please stop talking," I say.
Of course she doesn't. Asking Ashley to stop speaking is like asking a small child to put down their sweet, sticky, sugary sucker.
"See all those little shacks over there?" she asks.
"Yes, I've seen them before. I think it's nice they each have their own little bed," I say. I actually did think this. I pictured them each having their own little home with a night table and their special things on it. Their nighttime eye patches so the early sun doesn't disturb them and their ear plugs so those pesky roosters don't wake them at the crack of dawn. I actually thought they were lucky cows to be so well cared for. Apparently I was wrong.
"Yeah, no, it's......." she starts explaining what they were really for.
"Stop it. Stop it. Stop it," I beg. "I can't stand it. Shut up."

A few minutes go by.
"I'm hungry," she says.
"Me too! I'm starving!"
"I could eat one of those cows," she says.
"Yes! A baby one would be nice right about now."

"Stop the car! Stop the car! I've got to move the turtle before you just run over him."
"Stop the car!"
I stop the car. She jumps out and goes around the front and picks up a little turtle that had been in the middle of the road. She whispers to him closely and moves him safely to the other side of the road. "Make sure you put him in the same direction he was going," she informs me. "Or else he will turn around and end up in the road again."
Good tip. I'm going to file that away.

"That's so weird, cause last week there was a turtle in the middle of the road too!"
"Did you move him," she asks me with squinty eyes.
"Um, no. I didn't kill it though. I drove over him but he didn't get smooshed."
"You did kill him!" she yells at me.
"I did not. I saw his head pop up after through my rear view mirror," I say.
"He died a miserable death."
"Shut up."

"Oh my God! Look at all those bucks!"
"Oh my God! Look at that female deer trying to intimidate us!"
"Oh my God! Look at the baby bunny!"
"Oh my God! Look at that osprey nest!" "We're stopping at that on the way back. Did you know you can fit a volkswagon in an eagle's nest? You should see the talons on birds of prey!"

We only have a mile left to go and then the whole ride home. I'm hoping to see a kangaroo, a crocodile and perhaps if it's not to much to ask, a polar bear. Anything is possible.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Growing Up

"Sometimes really little things make me so happy," Saige says to me completely out of the blue as we were driving down the road today.
I have said this a million times. Little, seemingly ridiculous things give me unbelievable pleasure. So it delighted me to hear her say this totally without warning.
"Really, like what?" I ask.
"Well, the other day I was with Amanda at her club and they made frozen drinks," she said.
"That sounds nice."
"Yes, well I got a Pina Colada and Amanda got a Strawberry Daquiri and we had the new issue of Teen Vogue and we just lied on the lounge chairs in the sun and drank our drinks and read our magazine."
"That sounds like the perfect afternoon," I say.
"It was," she said smiling with a faraway look in her eyes.

What's that saying about the apple not falling far from the tree.

We spent the day at the beach with one of my friend Colleen and her daughter who I have loved since she was born. I even picked her name, Jordan. She was the first baby I knew. She was the reason I wanted a daughter so much. She's 14 now. Gorgeous and sweet and such a great kid. Watching her and Saige talk about boys and scope out the cute ones was amusing.
Until I saw this...

Yeah, I will be, Lifeguard With the Ponytail. You betcha.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

One More Session

My little angels have been gone for two weeks. They have been excited to go back to camp since they came home last year. They love it.

My friends and I discuss this sometimes, right Kathy? Camp people Vs. Non Camp People. It seems that if you went to camp as a child and you liked it you are the first one to sign up your own kid. Let's be honest. It's nice to have a little free time but the real reason you send them is because you know how awesome it is. Two weeks (or more) where you get to do whatever you want. Your life is pretty much run by teenagers. Every day without a thought in the world you get to socialize with tons of kids your age and older and younger. You get to sail and water ski, there are dances at night, you eat in big huge groups. You have 14 consecutive sleepovers. Yeah, that must really suck. :)

This is their third year. Before they left they could barely stand it. They packed and checked the list and reminded me of the things that aren't on the list that they need, like water balloons and oreos and important things like that. I got a couple really cute letters from my daughter. The only thing I got from my son was a call saying he maybe could of broken his wrist. It's like Groundhog day with that kid. Luckily he didn't, just a sprain. It didn't matter anyway cause he flat out told Marc that even if it was broken under no circumstances was he coming home.

Today I got another call from the camp. This time it wasn't about a trip to the emergency room. It was my little boy telling me he wasn't ready to come home. He wants to stay another session...