Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Magical Minivan Tour

We have already determined that I don't listen to kiddy music in the car. Even if Kiddies are present. I can't do it and the bleeding in my ears that radiodisney causes is distracting.

Many time when I run errands I put on the radio ( not XM, just regular free radio) sometimes my errands are about as long as the commercial breaks. If I ever need a tanning salon, weight loss program, botox, hemorrhoid repair or cheap car insurance-- I know where to go. Sometimes I catch a few songs. Usually the same ones I heard on my errands the day before. Wanna talk giving me hell?

Yesterday I had to drive Bekah to confirmation at church. Ordinarily we carpool with another family so that we only have to drive one direction ( 12 minutes from our subdivision). Said Child had strep, so it was me and my own children in the Mystery Machine.

After our customary preflight 15 point check, I flipped on the radio expecting to hear the creepy Celsius Tannery commercial ( someone MUST tell me how skin damage is supposed to be sensual) or how the Voice on the Radio didn't need to shave anymore. But no, there was actual music! And not a song I had heard on my morning school run. My top 40 station is going outside the play list. Hope no one loses their job!

As the first song ended, just a couple of miles from home, I heard something that caused me to flashback to college. Joan Jett? JOAN JETT? No, this must be some remake.. Did the Faux Bros do a cover of I Love Rock and Roll? Please say no.. but there she was…. In all her chick rocker glory belting it out just like she did when I was in college :

I saw him dancin there by the record machine
I knew he must a been about seventeen
The beat was goin strong
Playin my favorite song
An I could tell it wouldn’t be long
Till he was with me, yeah me, singin

When I say flashback, I mean I was dancing and screaming along with Joan and the Blackhearts just like I would have at the college bar… I mean, you know, if I had gone to a bar in college. Like I did in my dorm room. All alone. On a study break.

I also mean real memory flashback: I remembered my friends from that time-- some I have kept up with-- some are eternally 21 in my head. Images of my life at that time flashed before me as well. The clothes, the foods, the activities were as vivid as if they had just occurred. I felt the emotions of the stressors then, the uncertain future but the wonder that anything was possible.

The lyrics, which usually fail me, were right there at my disposal -- front of the brain ready to be belted out. And belt them I did.

Before you give it to me for dancing while driving, I was at a long traffic light when I did the serious headbang/hairflip move. I think competitive car dancers get extra points for that since it requires not only a high degree of difficulty but you must be able to banish all modesty. It is not a move for the shy and inhibited.

None of this behavior would have occurred if the normal carpool scenario was in place. The kid we drive is really nice and I like her a lot. We generally talk about LOST and I put on K-LOVE since, well, we are driving to church. Yeah, this is a little two faced of me. I’ll own that. But I do have it preset and listen to it often. Well, sometimes.

In the back seat 4 yr old Noah was catching on to the chorus and singing along. And apparently he learned the hairflip/ head banger move too. Love that kid .

In the front seat, 12 yr old Bekah did not slide low in the seat. She did give me a perfunctory eye roll, but her heart wasn’t into it. She LIKED the music. MY music. When I started a quick history of the Girl Rocker who is Joan Jett and the implications she had on the music scene in the early ‘80’s. How she was mainstream but gritty. I got a “ hush I’m trying to listen”. I love that kid.

And how was she rewarded for tolerating a mom who was channeling her inner party girl? The very next song was one of her all time favorites-- and it’s not on the top 40 lineup right now.

SQUEEEEEEL! “It’s Taylor Swift, Teardrops On My Guitar! They never play this and it's the song that made me a fan!” Usually a declaration like this would be followed by “ turn it up!”. But, it was already Rocking The Minivan loud.

Miraculously, just as we arrived at church her song ended. PERFECT timing.

As we pulled away to head home, the radio began to play a song that is currently in the top 10 lineup. I do adore it because it reminds me of my gal pals. Beyonce’s Single Ladies. As we drove home I sang and danced along to this current favorite song. One that I know I will hear in 20 years and flashback to memories of the women that shared my life with me. To a time when my kids were young and we spent hours shuttling them back and forth. I will remember the times I spent messing around with the kids in the car. I wondered if they will hear it and have it remind them of me. I looked in my rearview mirror at Noah. He had his eyes closed as he sang along.. To every single word---- bopping his head to the music.

( For Bekah: my source of estrogen inspiration)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Have you ever seen The Perfect Storm?

It never happens. I am never Captain of the Remote. I always pass the controls over-- to DH to the kids.. and even if I insist we watch Dancing with the Stars-- somehow the actual channel changing power goes to someone else. This creates a Flip Scenario. " Oh, I’m just going to flip over on the commercials to check the score." yeah. right. THAT is how I miss half of a Samba. Or- heaven forbid- a Jive. Don't mess with the Jive, People !

The other scenario that occurs I call the Voice Over Strategy. Let's just say - for some bizarre reason- I can actually watch LOST on the living room TV. How this would occur- I don't honestly know-- but maybe it was an all star break. Or Nickelodeon went off the air. Whatever.. I have decided that tonight I am going to watch LOST in the living room instead of on the tiny screen in the Master bedroom. As soon as the show starts the dialog starts: " who is that?" " Don't ask.. it's LOST I can't explain it, you won't get it." " Well this is stupid."

Either of those could be any family member. If it is my husband as the opponent ( because, yes, this is now a battle) he goes into " it's not real you know, like sports. THAT is real.. this is just actors saying things writers tell them."

If it's the Mom vs. Kid all they do is repeat over and over again " I really don't think this is appropriate for me. Is this appropriate ?I‘m going to be scarred. Are you SURE this is appropriate?"

Either way,ultimately I give in, toss the remote to them because I know that even if I can't appreciate Jack in all his hunkiness on the bigger downstairs TV-- I can hear the dialog upstairs. Alone.

Forget watching movies. I never get to pick what I want to see. Ever. That's ok. I had many movie watching years before kids- I'll get them again. One of these days. When I am too old to be able to appreciate them...

The other night was like a Perfect Storm... only without the big wave at the end that killed everyone. My 12 yr old daughter and I went to spend the night at my mother in laws. MIL was going to be out late, and didn't want to come home to an empty house so we volunteered. The perfect part was the Mother in law has 2 decent size TVs. Rebekah went to one to watch i-Wizard and Cody and I got the other. The living room. With comfy sofas. With pay channels.

Now, allow me to backtrack -- we do not have pay channels at our house. My husband gets enough tiers up to get all his ESPORT crap and no more. Even with no pay channels- there are several dozen channels to choose from. Even skipping over those in a language we don’t speak, selling something or news channels-- anyone should be able to find something to watch. If they can’t they should be reading a book. No pay channels at our house.

But Father in Law… he appreciated a good TV lineup. Unless it’s dirty -they have it.

So there I was-- master of the remote. By odd coincidence the HBO movies are starting. I don’t have come in mid movie and try and figure it out. Jumper? That looks good. So I watched it . And you know what.? It wasn’t good . It was AWESOME! Really great, I Can’t Believe I Almost Passed This Up awesome!

When Hayden Christensen does his last jump it’s still early in the evening. Mother in law isn’t home. Rebekah is content . I am going to ride my perfect movie night. If everything has lined up like this I can’t go wrong. I flip through my options and make my decision. A comedy. And it has Jason Segal, Paul Rudd and that cute brunette from That 70’s Show in it. Wohoo! I am Master Movie Picker!

My Perfect choice movie: Forgetting Sarah Marshall. I vaguely remember seeing ads for this a few years ago. That is all I knew.

You know the part in A Perfect Storm when Captain Hottie George Clooney decides to go out farther when all the smart captains are heading away from the storm? Everyone watching screams “ NO Captain Hottie! Go the OTHER WAY! “? If my Perfect Movie Night was an actual film-- you all would be screaming “ NO Susan! Pick Golden Girls! GO QVC!! ANYTHING! NOT Forgetting Sarah Marshall!”

But you all were not with me, I was alone, remember? So I’m watching, and it wasn’t too bad. Maybe a little sophomoric and a bunch of guy jokes but I have some guy in me so I laughed. Then Mother in law come home. I tell her I’m watching a funny movie, go get your jammies on.

While that sweet woman was slipping into her flannels.. My movie changed. Gone was funny, present was two guys demonstrating sex with oversized chess pieces on the beach. They were dressed, I guess it wasn’t so bad. And then, just as Mother in law walks into the room, the guys and the chess pieces are now an actual couple. Neckid.I pretend to be all grown up hoping that was the end of the graphic sex.. “ Oh my! “ I say trying to joke the awkwardness away “ didn’t see that coming.’

Let’s put it this way: The big wave was about to come smacking down on the SS Comfy Sofa. Just as MIL says “ This movie is funny?” TWO ,not one but ,TWO couples are going at it. No secrets. No artsy camera angles. No softening through fluttering curtains. No music, or soft sighing. LOUD AND MESSY sex in 52" of blazing HD glory. It’s like porn-- or, ahem, what I have heard porn must be like. I scream and dive for the remote. Rebekah hears my screams and comes running. I fumble and drop the remote as I am desperately trying to block my 12 yr old from seeing the screen while unsuccessfully trying to convince MIL that it had been a funny movie.

Nobody actually died, but I do believe I wanted to for a moment. The big wave hit and the SS Comfy Sofa didn’t stand a chance.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Shameless attempt to Win

I will make this brief:

I have entered a contest for Mommy Bloggers to win the use of Chevy Traverse for 8 weeks, gas money and some activities thrown in. In exchange I get to blog all about the experience. I see no downside to this.. none... total Win/Win!

On the application there was room for one blogsite and 50 words as to why I should be chosen. I'm going to take advantage of my own space here to add a few more words as this was the blogsite I directed them to. If you are a decider, thank you for checking me out. If you are someone else, just go laugh your butts off at my pathetic groveling. I MAJORED in pathetic groveling in college ( I think they called it Public Relations, though).

In addition to this site, I also blog on a fairly regular basis on I also am a VERY regular contributor to that sites message boards. So regular, in fact, that I am the number one poster on the site since it's debut November 2007. I am proud to say that I am generally considered fair and humorous by the moms on the site. Go check me out-- my screen name is sahmiam43.

In addition to participating in the fun on the site, I am a member of the Moms Panel . This elite ( I told you you would laugh, girls) group of moms have become regular faces on the Monday Moms Page in the Kansas City Star. It doesn't sound like much, I know, but I have actually been recognized for this around town. The ladies at the bank and the pharmacy are VERY impressed. I also have gotten rather odd phone calls from old women in the KC Metro area who see the page and hunt me down. While I handle the calls with respect, I won't deny the first one creeped me out a little bit. One call which began with a discussion of the genealogy of my name was rather lengthy. She didn't buy my usual answer of " it's a married name. You have to love someone to take that name."

If I didn't convey that I really am coveting a Traverse in my 50 words application..well, no offense, but maybe you should go reread it. I really have talked about it quite a bit. My mother in law thinks it might be her next car. I kid you not! I have been sold on this car for quite awhile. My husband however isn't. Dang.. this would totally push him over the edge. He's close. We are a Chevy family... having owned SEVERAL Cavaliers over the years and currently he drives a Trailblazer. See the picture? That is him STILL not being sold. See what I'm dealing with? I know...

Ok, so it wasn't as brief as I intended- I never am. Thanks for reading. Hope to talk with you soon!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My Biggest Mistakes... Part One

Admitting mistakes seems to be kinda popular these days. Michael Phelps, Bachelor Jason, Bush, Obama.. just google " admits mistakes" and see what comes up. It's trendy. " My bad. Do over!" Four words! That's all it takes and you have a clean slate!

Well, I'll take a few more than 4 words:

Allowing my 2 year old child to dictate her menu.

The headaches this has caused in the 10 years since she was 2 is astonishing. I THOUGHT I was doing a nice thing--that it was just a phase and eventually the child would eat whatever I put in front of her.
WRONG! Now she eats even fewer foods than when she was 2. We have had to do some serious brain work to overcome this. She has always been right on target for both height and weight. She has matured properly, careening into womanhood at 11 . But the mental anguish it has taken to get her here is mind boggling!

She is now old enough to make her own dinners when she doesn't like what I am serving. She knows ( and I monitor) that she needs a carb, protein and fruit/veggie at each meal. She knows to take her vitamins ( plural: multi and calcium since she does not drink milk) and is very good about it. But at what cost? What could I have done with that time and energy? The world may never know.

Family Movie Night

On the surface this sounds like a great family bonding experience. Only our choices of movies has been less than desirable.

By the time we figured out that Meet The Fockers was not as cute as the original it was too late. The damage was done. Yes, in retrospect the title should have warned us- but we just were not that bright. Ditto Dodgeball. Ditto Napoleon Dynamite. The latter has my now 4 yr old screaming " Tina! Eat the Friggin' Ham!" whenever the word "Ham" or "Tina" is used in daily conversation.

I thought that watching Almost Famous with my 10 yr old wanna be rocker would be fun. I even sent him out of the room at the de-virgining and overdose scenes. Sadly, all he got from it is the quote he screams whenever he finds himself standing on something like a ladder or step stool : " I'm on drugs!" Then he jumps.

Listening To Top 40 Radio in the Car

Other moms warned me to always listen to Barney, or Radio Disney, or Mr Stinkeyfeet...The Wiggles.. ANYTHING kid. But my ears can't take it. They started to bleed by the time the first child was 18 months old. My choice would have been Album Oriented Rock.. or Rock of my generation. But I needed something bouncier, so I flipped over to top 40. Here in KC that is Mix93. I justified it by saying that I am a Sr High Youth Leader and Sunday School teacher-- I NEED to know what those kids are listening to.
Because of that choice, my kids could rap along with Eminem at a very young age. Jr Rocker was headbanging in his carseat to Everclear and Lenny Kravitz before his second birthday. We switched to the CDs of our own youth when the littlest guy came along. Because of this, instead of bringing Barney's greatest hits to show and tell-- it was Journey's Greatest Hits. The kid knows all the lyrics to his favorite song " Wheel in the sky." He does not know all the lyrics to Wheel on the Bus.

As mistakes go this is probablyh one I would make again--ok, am still making. I just can not tolerate kiddie music ALL THE TIME. A happy mommy makes for a safe driver. That ear bleeding can be really distracting!

AT THE TIME these all seemed like good choices. When we weighed the positives and the negatives we came up with with our decision. We have to stand by them, of course and we have to repeat the words of Maya Angelou: " When you know better, you do better." Which basically says " My bad. Do Over."

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

So.. what have you been up to?

I have been absent lately. I don't have any one excuse except to say that life has gotten in the way with my best intentions..again.

This seems to be something that has happened to me quite a bit of late.. and really, I am so ready to figure out why and learn my lesson! Isn't that why we keep having Groundhog Day episodes ( the movie, not the quasi-holiday)? The same thing happens over and over to us until we learn the lesson? I'm not being philosophical or theological here- it's just been my observation in life. Maybe because once we learn the lesson we can prevent the incident happening again.

Let's see, what has been going on? I got thrown off of facebook. That was fun. Not.If you are on there, just a word to the wise.. do not use the message feature in lieu of the chat feature ( even if you can not chat with more than one person at a time and you can message more than one person at a time). The great and powerful Oz.. I mean Facebook Program will think that you are a spammer. Apparently grade school teachers and minors can post pics of them doing illegal acts but a mom can't have a conversation with her peeps about pimple removal. So it goes. Where ya been SusieQ? ( don't call me that, by the way.. I'm not a fan)Lots more free time, right?

No. It got sucked up. First by my kids. They grew quite a bit when I turned my back for just a second. Then there was some more real life opportunities that presented themselves. Like helping to organize a fundraiser that I was ( again) not able to attend at the 11Th hour. I was doing a good thing.. but no... couldn't go. A wonderful time was had by all, and the primary recipient of the event was most grateful.

Why couldn't I go? Oh.. another kid was sick. Don't get me started on that topic again..please. My 4 yr old is still healthy but living in a house with a mom and a sister who are not. Sister has confirmed strep. Mom has some crud and a fever but not a sore throat so she is taking two tylenol and toughing it out. The 4 yr old probably won't go to school tomorrow because I would feel TERRIBLE if he was the reason a strep-ademic started in preschool.

I also have been under the spell of The Bachelor. I know, it's not entirely real. It's cheesy. It objectifies women and makes a mockery of marriage. But I am a sucker for it so I will own it. I like The Bachelor.

At the end of every season of The Bachelor or Bachelorette I end up screaming at the TV the same things. Same monologue. It doesn't matter if I thought the guy was a yutz and only watched the first couple episodes-- 'cuz I ALWAYS watch the finale. Every season with the exception of Trista and Ryan and then I bawled like a baby. I'm not proud.

" I was manipulated by this show!"
" If he really wanted marriage he would NOT have picked her!"
" What a farce!"
" I used to like him but now--ugh.. they deserve each other.. the idiot and the 'ho!"
" Which one is trying to get an acting career? This sucks! So stupid!"
" I am NEVER watching this show again! I will not be played with like this EVER AGAIN!"

And yet, a few months pass, I see the ads and think.. oh, maybe this is the season.. this is the guy who makes the fairytale work. And oooh, ABC heard me because they got the most sincere- but ultimately messed up guy ever. And he had a young son! Who would put their kid through this unless they were sincere. AND he had his heart broken last season so he is definitely in this for the right reason.

If you watched like I did, I won't recap it-- and if you didn't-- well, good for you. It's not an easy show to watch. Let us just say I was screaming the same thing that I always do at the finale. Word for flipping word.

If anyone knows anyone at ABC, perhaps they could pass on this idea: a DOUBLE bachelorette season. Jillian AND Melissa. 50 guys. Maybe they will both be attracted to the same guys, maybe not... maybe just a little overlap. It could be very entertaining.Cut down on the time fillers they have to use to fill those 2 hours a week.

Most importantly it will double my chances of liking at least ONE outcome. Doubles the chances of ONE outcome being the fairytale that we know, in our hearts, isn't real but still each season wish for.

It was just announced that Jillian ( yay! LOVED her--was ready to move to Canada and marry her myself) is the next bachelorette. But unless the filming is done.. is it something to think about.

These are some of the deep, life altering events that have kept me from here. yeeeeaaahh... maybe that is the lesson I am supposed to be learning : GET A LIFE!