Friday, July 31, 2009

Haiku Friday: It's a teen thing

Have you commented on my blogoversary post? There's a gift card at stake, so what are you waiting for?

Haiku Friday

Roo-girl, my Roo-girl ...
What's up with you, my Roo-girl?
Are you just a teen?

You giggle, you cry
in just the blink of an eye.
It makes my head spin.

I was where you are
when dinosaurs roamed the earth,
not so long ago.

Times are diff'rent now
but yet they are just the same.
It sucks to be us.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My blogging natal day!

Today -- July 29, 2009 -- is a special day on the Planet of Janet.

Not only is this my 600th post (!), but two years ago at this very moment, I poked my big toe into the blog waters -- and promptly fell into an ocean of amazingness that is the online community.

My own beginnings were humble. I didn't have a writing "voice" yet. I didn't know how to turn a photo rightside up.

And I certainly had no idea that the words "birthday dinner" would make grown women weep with joy.


I have loved every minute of my blog life -- the friends, the community, the fantasy football, the Plurkiness, the Scrabulous/Lexulous, the craziness -- and wouldn't turn back any of it.

So what would I like as a blogoversary gift?

Well, truly, the only thing I desire is a comment.

If you are a lurker, please delurk and say howdy (I can hear you breathing, ya know).

If you are a passer-by, then pass by with a noisy shout-out.

If you are a regular, just do your regular thing.

In return, the random number generator and I will select one lucky commenter to receive a $25 gift card. I couldn't decide which card to give, so the winner will get his or her choice of:

* that fabulous French boutique, Tar-jay

* the lovely morning saver, Starbucks

* the online shopper's dream,

There could even be some surprise prizes, depending on how creative I get in the next several days.

One comment per person, please. The contest will close on Saturday, August 1, at 11:59 p.m. PDT. I will announce a winner on Monday.

Meanwhile, I'll just sit back and enjoy the pleasure of your company.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My lips are sealed -- unfortunately

I'm so sad.

I really have the best ever teenage-girls-are-from-Mars-and-the-rest-of-us-are-from-Venus story.


I can't tell it.

Not because I don't think it's hilarious, or because I think it's too embarrassing, or because I finally found something that even I wouldn't be comfortable talking about.


It's because the Roo-girl -- for the first time in my two years of blogging -- told me not to.

Let's back up just a smidge. She still does NOT know about my blog. I made the conscious decision to blog on the sly on July 29, 2007.

In the first year, however, she told me repeatedly that I SHOULD blog. That our family is hilarious and I should share our stories. In fact, one day she tried to hijack my laptop and set up a blog FOR me.

My answer to her was: You hate it when I tell stuff to my friends. What the heck would you do if I was telling the internet?

Her answer: I don't KNOW those people, so it doesn't matter.

So when we went to the AT&T store last Friday night to replace her severely malfunctioning phone and she did something that was so laughably hilarious that even the store manager was giggling, I was quite taken aback by her response:

"If you tell your blog friends about this, I will find out and I will hunt you down and KILL you!!"

Ah, so what changed?

Although she does not know about my blog, she DOES know that I read other blogs and therefore have developed blog friends. A community. People who send me stuff. People she actually has met in real life.

So now? You, my blog friends, are in the same category as my IRL friends. You KNOW her.

And I must respect her wishes.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

And speaking of July 29, 2007, that means that tomorrow is my actual bloggy natal day.

Be sure to come by for a special contest spectacular.

Or something.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Weekly Winners: July 19-25

Take a high school cheer squad, add water, stir vigorously with a dash of goofiness ...

Bucket head:

Chicken fight!!!!!

And she's up!
Yes, even in the pool, she flies ...

Bathing beauty:

Varsity girl:

Part of a performance for the parents. I have no idea how
her head is still attached to her body.

Ok, enough of THAT nonsense. We now delve deeply into the weirdness that is "birthday dinner, the photographic evidence":

Behold the edamame:

One, two, three, BLOW!

The co-birthday people are attacking the sushi cake.

No, really, there is no excuse for Drama King's dinner-table behavior ...

Group nonsense:

... Or his after-dinner-table behavior

Go --->here<--- for weekly winners.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Have a little Nosh!

Post featured on Blog Nosh Magazine

See that banner? I'm sooooo excited today because Mr Lady has selected MY post to feature on Blog Nosh magazine.

Seriously, go look! Is that way cool or what? What a great way to celebrate my almost-blogaversary (two years next Wednesday)!!

If you are visiting for the first time from Blog Nosh, welcome! Pull up a chair (well, maybe a floor -- the chairs are most likely occupied by rat dogs) and make yourself comfortable.

There's beer in the fridge. Oh wait ... I don't drink beer. Well, there ARE wine coolers.

There's also corn.

And crazies (birthday dinners are our specialty).

I also take pictures.

We do get serious here. If you read the post on Blog Nosh, then you know I have a gay son. Well, actually, I have TWO gay sons. Seriously, what are the odds?

Anyway, I am excited to be part of Blog Nosh magazine. Please do sign the guest book (leave a comment), and thanks for visiting!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Oh yeah, he's such a stud!

I knew something was up when Z-man came in the door facing backwards.

That is not normal.

Neither was the cute little dos-si-dos he did as he maneuvered himself toward the stairs without actually turning to face me.

"Um," I said, showing off my college education with my sparkling repartee. "What is going on? Turn around."

So he did.

A little sheepishly, I might add.

And there it was: a tiny, shiny stud stuck through the right side of his lower lip.

It was all I could do to keep my eyes from doing a Roo-like spin around their sockets.

"Why?" I asked, once again calling on my massive vocabulary.

"I've wanted to do it for awhile" was the best he could come up with.

(I have no pictures yet because it's hard to get him to pose, but have no fear. It'll happen.)

The funny thing is, I didn't have my contacts or my glasses on, and if he hadn't come through the door hind-end first, I probably wouldn't have even noticed. It's that delicate and small.

I have explained my lack of thrilled'ness with facial piercings before when J-bear rammed what looks for all the world like a roofing nail through her lip.

So yeah. I'm unthrilled once again.

At least he doesn't have a tattoo to go with it.

I think.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Birthday dinner: If you knew sushi like I know sushi ...

Oh ... oh ... oh ... what a night.

Yeah, so it was birthday dinner time. The Roo-girl (Miss 7/11) was cheer-camping on her actual natal day, so we put off the festivities until we could all be present.

Unfortunately for Miss I-Don't-Want-to-Share-My-Birthday, the night we selected happened to be ... Rocky's birthday as well. The exact date, in fact.

So we couldn't exactly have a Roo birthday dinner without acknowledging the Drama King's significant boy toy, could we?


This put everyone in a right festive mood (not) as we danced around her royal Roo requests.

She wanted SUSHI.

Just for the record, that's not always so easy to do on a Sunday night. Many sushi restaurants in the area are closed, and those that are open? Don't open till 5:30 ... a little late to make a reservation for nine people at 7 p.m.!

But never fear! Your intrepid Evil Mother was up to the task, and we found ourselves at a lovely intimate table for crazy.

Z-man: *pushing the logo from his t-shirt in Drama King's face* Do you recognize this?

Drama King: No.

Z-man: You don't? You seriously don't?

Drama King: No.

Z-man: What kind of gay man ARE you???

Drama King: A classier one?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Drummer Man: Hedwig? What's Hedwig? Isn't that from Harry Potter?

Drama King: Bwahahahahahahahahaa ...

Evil Mom: No, that's Hogwarts.

Drama King: Bwahahahaahahahaha ...

Drummer Man: No, isn't it Harry Potter?

Z-man: Yeah, I guess.

Evil Mom: *completely being a moron* Yeah, isn't that the character played by Robbie Coltrane?

Drama King: Bwahahahahahahahaa ...

Z-man: No, Mom, that's HAGRID. Hedwig is the owl.

Evil Mom: Oh. Yeah.

Drama King: Bwahahahahahahahaha ...

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

My hands were sticky. It's tough work eating sushi and edamame and staying clean, ya know?

So I absentmindedly reached for my water glass and rubbed my hand up and down on the outside of it to dampen my fingers.

Drama King: Mom. Please. Never do that again.

Evil Mom: Huh? What? ... Oh.

Wonderhubby: Hmm. Depends on where she does it.

Evil Mom: *slugs him soundly on the shoulder*

Monday, July 20, 2009

Oy. I just really have to say ... OY!

There are moments when you wonder where the heck you went wrong.

Like Saturday morning, when Z-man came to me for advice.

(Continued at Mid-Century Modern Moms)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Weekly Winners: July 12-18

My girl was the focal point of my camera this week. Cheer camp was an exciting, exhausting, exhilarating experience for her, culminating in the HUGE honor of competing for "Spirit Star." She cheered herself into the finals -- the top 10 -- of a competition at the championship camp she was at.

Proud much? Why, yes, I was/am! There were about 500 girls there, and only 10 finalists. Plus she was the only cheerleader from her team to compete in the finals (beating out the seniors and everyone else with more high school experience than she has)!

Being in the finals meant that she had to lead the crowd (all the campers and their parents!) in a cheer -- all by her lonesome -- and include a demonstration of her cheering, tumbling and flying skills. She could have a stunt group to help her, but no one but Roo could speak.

No, she didn't win, but she ROCKED. And it really was an incredible honor (and a testament to her skills) to be selected.

I have about a billion photos, but I narrowed it down to my favorite three:

Come on, crowd! Help me out! Go! Fight! Win!

She was all alone in front of the campers and parents. Go, Roo!

(Back) tuck me in:

She'll hate me for this photo -- even though it's cool -- because her form is pretty nasty.

And for the finale ... a scale:

What you don't see in this photo is how she "tick-tocked" on the way up,
meaning she went up on one leg and switched to the other in mid-flight.
Waaaaaay cool.

I'm still basking in her reflected glory, so go --->here<--- if you'd like to see more weekly winners!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Haiku Friday: the dead-to-the-world edition

Haiku Friday

Today's confession?
I am a terrible mom.
Just witness my sin:

Z-man's bedroom door
is always left open when
he leaves the house.

In the morning, I
am glad to see a closed door.
Then I know he's home.

Some moms can't sleep
until their children are all
tucked in for the night.

Other sleeping moms
wake instantly when they hear
the key in the lock.

I? I sleep soundly
as my kids wander around.
No mother's ear here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ask not what your hearing aid can do for you ...

We're alone in the dark.

I am playing Beweled Blitz. Wonderhubby has rolled over and is snuggled up to his favorite pillow, preparing for sleep.

The TV is on.

And the cast of "Law and Order: SVU" has stopped for a brief word from our sponsors.

As the commercials wind down, we hear John F. Kennedy giving a speech.

Suddenly Wonderhubby sits bolt upright in bed.

"Three Jews go to the moon??????????"


"Three Jews go to the moon," he repeats. "That's what he said!!!"

I think not. We pay dearly for DVR and the ability to back up live television just for this very reason. SO BACK IT UP, DUDE!

So he does, finding the beginning of the speech that President Kennedy gave in 1962 at Rice University, apparently with the express purpose of selling Omega watches in 2009.

"We choose to go to the moon ..." the president intones in that familiar New England cadence.

And I wake up the neighborhood with my hysterical cackling.

Monday, July 13, 2009

A father. A dad. A daddy.

Crossposted at Mid-Century Modern Moms

I wasn't going to write about Michael Jackson.

Really, truly. I wasn't.

But there is one thing about the whole circus that was the life and death of Whacko Jacko that simultaneously touched and broke my heart.

His daughter's speech at his funeral.

The simple words, spoken through her tears and sobs, spoke volumes to many. It did for me -- but those volumes had nothing to do with Paris Jackson.

It's about MY daughter.

My member-of-the-Dead-Dads-Club daughter.

The Roo-girl walked into my room the day after Jackson's funeral just as the "Today" show was running the clip of a sobbing girl telling the world how her daddy was the best father in the world.

Roo stopped dead in her tracks. Transfixed. Unmoving.

Because Roo-girl's father died when she was a few months shy of 4. She really doesn't remember him much. She remembers that he loved her. But her memories are tempered with the knowledge that he was unspeakably cruel to her mother and her brothers.

I feel dreadful about this, but there are things about her father that cannot be forgiven. She doesn't know it all -- and right now, doesn't need or want to know.

Meanwhile, she is fortunate to have a stepfather who loves her and treats her like his own. She freely acknowledges that Wonderhubby is her dad.

But she watches a friend run across a room -- crying "Daddy, daddy, daddy!" -- and jump into her father's arms ...

And she wonders what that is like.

So Paris Jackson tells the world that her daddy was the best father in the world and she loves him so much.

And I die a little inside.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Weekly Winners: July 4-11

I only have one winner to offer you this week (and you should be grateful, because the rest of the photos in my camera are of J-bear's snake -- stalking his supper).


This is my daughter.

This is why my hair, underneath the lovely reddish tone, is severely gray. And why I will bake cookies for the girls in the back of the stunt who have their arms in the air.

Yes, they caught her.

And then I started breathing again.

Go --->here<--- for weekly winners that don't make my heart stop.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Happy birthday to my baby girl

From this ...

to this ...

... in the blink of an eye.

Happy 15th birthday to my baby, my shopping buddy, my dancing queen, my snuggle girl, my partner in crime, my Roo-teeny.

I love you from the bottom of the ocean to the top of the sky and all the way around the world.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Putting the squeeze on

The Roo-girl has had some problems with back pain.

This is probably inherently obvious, considering the kinds of things she does to her body on a regular basis.

But after a foray with a chiropractor (I know people swear by 'em, but I was weirded out by the whole thing), therapeutic massage (worked REALLY well!) and, ultimately, a visit to an actual primary care physician, we have determined it is basically muscle strain.

And she was referred for physical therapy.

A few exercises and some tricks on how to get out of bed in the morning were the first order of the day.

Interestingly, she was told that one leg is a little shorter than the other -- because her pelvis is slightly tilted out of alignment. Wonder how THAT could be?

Ah well, anyway, the guy in charge of her treatment explained a simple exercise that she could do to untilt herself on her own, plus a few other things to strengthen her core.

I had been sitting off to the side, quietly minding my own beeswax.

Until he described yet another exercise.

"Squeeze your muscles together like you are stopping the flow of urine," he told her.

And I promptly fell out of the chair laughing.

Yes, my daughter has been instructed to do Kegel exercises.

I do have to say that it took ALL my self-control not to tell her that her husband would appreciate it later.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Too kool for skool

When you're in the midst of raising teenagers -- and dealing with how embarrassing they find you -- it's hard to get perspective on your worth as a person.

Granted, I don't feel I have done my job as a parent if I haven't embarrassed at least one child every day, but really, it can be brutal on your self-esteem to have your VERY BEING squashed by those little pishers.

So imagine my surprise and delight to find Danni, one of my colleagues, who is not quite a year older than Drummer Man.

And who finds me cool.

I talk about the Roo-girl and all my efforts for the cheer team on her behalf.

"Coolest mom ever," whispers Danni.

"How do you make Lady Gaga cry," I ask all my co-workers. "Poke 'er face ..."

"Coolest mom EVER," Danni says to no one in particular.

My phone rings. It's Wonderhubby. This is his ringtone.

"COOLEST MOM EVER," crows Danni.

I usually shrug and laugh. It just tickles me that this 20something finds me a cool mom.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

During my staycation last week, I had lunch with an old newspaper colleague -- actually a longstanding friend of almost 30 years. The girlfriend who made this.

I told my friend about being the named the coolest mom ever. As the mother of a 17-year-old know-it-all daughter, she could definitely relate, and we laughed about how clever we are when we embarrass our girls.

She asked about my family -- about my mom. We talked about how active my parents are, how they are going to be 80 next year, and about the pole-dancing grandma and her CFM shoes.

She laughed as I recounted the horror of my siblings and my children over the shoes and the g-string.

And then she grinned at me.

"Coolest mom ever," she said.


Monday, July 6, 2009

Cheerleading -- just another word for drama

There is always drama in cheer.

Let me say that again.


(Continued at Mid-Century Modern Moms)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Weekly Winners: June 28-July 4

An eclectic mix for my staycation week. I am nothing if not well-rounded.

First, I went to the Roo-girl's cheer practice and annoyed the crap out of her by bringing my camera and taking many, many pictures.


That's my girl in the air on the left (yes, the half-naked one).

Over, under, around and through:

My friend Secret Agent Mama says I should embrace the blur. And so I do.

And then I went on an early-morning nature walk ...

The dewy decimal system:

And then we spent the REST of the week at the men's barbershop international competition, where I enjoyed having a zoom lens very, very much. The chorus competition was amazing. Absolutely amazing. Here are some highlights:

Up and over:

Look carefully -- there is a guy in a wheelchair doing a headstand!!

Charlie and the chocolate factory:

Look carefully here, too. The little boy is on Willy Wonka's shoulders
taking a final bow!

Ambassadors of Harmony from St. Charles, Mo., gave an incredible performance and won the day. Here is a little non-audio version of how they put on a show:

First you look good all in black:

Then the director and front row secretly change clothes:

The sparkle-farkle factor begins!

The the rest of the chorus rips off the black to reveal gold and blue sparkled vests of their own:

Plus a little dude with a tuba!

And that's how I REALLY spent my summer staycation!

Go --->here<--- for more weekly winners!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Anatomy of a staycation day

6 a.m. Alarm goes off. Up and at 'em, Adam Ant! Why? Because I am my daughter's personal alarm clock. Wakey-wakey, Roo-girl!

6:02 a.m. Crawl back into bed and log onto Facebook and Plurk. And maybe email and my reader.

6:03 a.m. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

6:32 a.m. Second alarm goes off. Why? Because I knew what would happen at 6:03.

6:33 a.m. Look through bleary eyes at laptop screen. Plurk pathetically and bemoan the lack of coffee at my bedside.

7 a.m. Oops. Grab a pair of jeans, throw a jacket over my t-shirt and run ... calling for Roo-girl as I go.

7:10 a.m. Finally get in the car and frantically drive through massive traffic to take a certain teenager to summer school.

7:11 a.m. Fight the desire to dropkick my suddenly sullen kid through the goalposts of life. Get a clue, girlfriend. It's really not all about YOU.

7:25 a.m. Boot sullen child out of my car and drive directly -- do not pass go -- to the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf for a much-needed vanilla latte (half-caff, nonfat, no foam).

7:40 a.m. Aaahhhh, half-caffeinated bliss.

7:50 a.m. Home. Home. Home. Yay! Vegetate.

8:05 a.m. Field first text message from the Roo-girl ("I thought of something else I maybe want for my birthday"). Seriously? During biology? Get an A, for gawd's sake!

8:06 a.m. Think about blogging. Play Bejeweled Blitz instead.

11:15 a.m. Wonder where the time went.

11:16 a.m. Remember I have an eye appointment at 11:45. Grab some deodorant and clean clothes and hustle hustle hustle.

11:18 a.m. Leave the house! (Man, I'm good.)

11:45 a.m. Get to eye doc on time. Score!

11:46 a.m. Ace the eye chart, thereby solidifying the prescription for my contact lenses. It's only been a six-month odyssey.

12 p.m. Leave eye doctor, think about drive-through.

12:01 p.m. Resist.

12:o2 p.m. Resist.

12:03 p.m. Resist.

12:04 p.m. Aw hell.

12:20 p.m. Regret not resisting.

12:21 p.m. Lose track of time until ...

1:03 p.m. Text the Roo-girl to see if she wants to be picked up from school.

1:04 p.m. Answer: Im not sure yet.

1:04:30 p.m. Answer: Actually can you come pick me up??

1:05 p.m. Fight even nastier school traffic to get to Roo-girl, who at ...

1:10 p.m. ... is standing on a street corner.

1:25 p.m. Rescue Roo-girl from street corner and query her about lunch options before her 2:15 cheer practice.

1:40 p.m. Continue to navigate bad traffic. Decide on shortcut. Oops.

1:50 p.m. Arrive at supermarket for possible lunch options. "HURRY, Mom. I have practice at 2:15!"

2 p.m. Head back to school for practice. Significantly less traffic now, but WHY exactly did I pick her up again???

2:04 p.m. Boot varsity cheerleader out of my car. Blink a couple times when she actually says thank you.

2:05 p.m. Consider options for the 2 1/2 hours before I have to return to school for cheer practice pickup. Decide to not decide.

2:06 p.m. Waste time until ...

4:39 p.m. ... Z-man approaches. "Mom, can you give me a ride to work soon?" Why certainly!

4:40 p.m. Field ANOTHER text from the Roo-girl: "im dun. can u com get me?"

4:41 p.m. Bemoan my child, the product of public schools.

4:42 p.m. Drive, drive, shlep, shlep.

I'm almost embarrassed to tell you how the rest of the day went ... because it ended at the mall looking at possible birthday presents with the Roo-girl.

I really am a soft touch.
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