Thursday, December 31, 2009

The best line of 2009, bar none

We spent Christmas night at my parents' at their traditional "dinner on Christmas."

(No, not Christmas dinner ... dinner on Christmas. It's different!)

Anyway, it's a big-deal event they put on every year at their house that basically reciprocates every social obligation they have for the year. And for the last couple of years, they have asked Wonderhubby, Z-man and me to sing some holiday songs to entertain the crowd.

Last year, our opening act was a 911 call for an elderly man who was unresponsive at the dinner table.

Yeah. For real.

This year was, thankfully, a little less dramatic. We began our five-song set (three of our own plus two sing-alongs) after dessert, and then the doorbell rang.

One couple was a little (!!) late, it appeared, but at least they brought a gift! We waited while my mother graciously took it and opened up the front-hall closet door to put it inside.

There was a little bit of conversation around us, and then a guest's voice cut through the buzz:

"Who's in the closet?"

I swear to God, I think Wonderhubby actually snorted.

"No one in our house," he quipped.

Really? The best line of 2009. Without question.

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

From my planet to yours, we wish you a very Happy New Year!

May 2010 bring you nothing but happiness and joy.

Monday, December 28, 2009

It is much easier to become a father than to be one

The time has come to speak of my boys' father.

I have spoken often of my daughter's -- the proverbial he-who-shall-not-be-named -- but not so much of the man with whom I raised my boys.

Yes, they are different. I was married twice before I got it right 6 1/2 years ago with my Wonderhubby.

It is easy to find the evil in my daughter's father. His sins are legendary -- and obvious.

It is less simple to pinpoint the problem with my sons' father.

I saw the problems from my up-close-and-personal position as his wife, and as his adversary in a contentious custody battle, but I never was quite sure that other people would see what I saw.

Perhaps they would just view him as a well-meaning jerk in his own goofball way. Maybe no one else would think he was a bad influence, making poor decisions based on flawed judgment.

I was gratified when a family court judge granted me sole physical AND legal custody, based on a two-day trial. Sole legal custody is unheard of here -- especially when you don't even ask for it.

I tolerated his nonsense silently from afar, always providing the boys for their court-ordered visitations in a timely manner. Occasionally, I contemplated taking him back to court over some of his ridiculous choices, but as long as my boys remained safe and -- for the most part -- under my watch, I stayed in the shadows.

And I said nothing to my three sons.

As it turns out, I didn't need to.

Following our traditional Christmas morning movie, we sat around chatting at the mall for awhile, and the topic of their father came up.

And again, I said nothing to my three sons.

Because they have figured it out on their own.

My Drummer Man -- who has not a mean bone in his body -- still heatedly defends the man, but Drama King and Z-man decline to speak to him and unceremoniously hang up on him when he attempts to call.

In fact, they feel so strongly about him that both of them decline to use his last name as their own. DK has long played with other surname options, but only recently I discovered that Z-man has changed his Facebook profile to use MY maiden name, rather than the last name he was given at birth.

So the leopard has not changed his spots.

It's just that, for the most part, the cubs see those spots for what they are.

Cross-posted at Mid-Century Modern Moms

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tradition! Tradition!

It is a family tradition.

Every year, in November or even as early as October, the debate begins.

What movie should we see on Christmas?

You see, as Jews, we don't have a tree or stockings hung by the chimney with care. Our holiday -- Hanukkah -- is a movable feast that changes dates every year because it is based on the Jewish calendar of 28-day months, with an occasional leap month thrown in for good measure.

In fact, the joke is that Jews NEVER know when Hanukkah is going to be in a given year until a Christian friend asks us the question and we have to go look it up.

Many years, like this one, Hanukkah is well over before Christmas arrives, leaving us with the question of "What do we do with our day off?"

And so ... we go to the movies.

As a family.

It makes my heart fill with joy to listen to my kids debate the topic of which movie we will see. Even the older boys -- and their significant others -- voice heated opinions.

And what it means to me is that this family tradition of all of us gathering on Christmas morning for a cinematic treat is important to ALL of us.

This year, the Roo-girl was victorious in her lobbying for "Sherlock Holmes" (Drama King was pushing for "Alvin and the Chipmunks: the Squeakquel," and yes, I'm serious!). So tomorrow when little boys and girls everywhere are dancing with the joy of new toys, we will be watching Robert Downey Jr. and eating popcorn out of buckets bigger than your head.

It makes us happy.

What ALSO makes me happy was to listen to Roo talk to her friends as I drove them home from their tumbling class on Wednesday night.

"Don't you feel bad when all of us are celebrating?" one of the girls asked her.

"Yeah, don't you feel like you are missing out?" another chimed in.

Roo laughed.

"Oh, no!!" she exclaimed. "We have great traditions for Christmas Day. We go to the movies as a family, and then we go to my grandparents' for dinner."

"Oh, so you have your own special celebration then," the first girl said.

"Yes," answered the Roo. "I love Christmas!"

And my Jewish mommy heart was proud and glad.

So to all my friends, may you receive nothing but joy from your holiday traditions -- whatever they may be.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Silence is golden. Sorta.

My mother always told me that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.

Most of the time, my philosophy is ...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Weekly Winners: December 13-20

'Tis the season, of course, and here at Casa de Planet, we celebrate in the usual way.

Light the candles:

Our Hanukkah menorah in full bloom

Silver bells ...

No, this is not our tree (we don't have one!!),
but I do enjoy the one in the lobby at work. Purdy!

Orange bugs:

Our fave-rave Chinese restaurant serves up dessert oranges
as ... um ... grasshoppers? scorpions? crabs? Bueller??

My beautiful baby:

Competition season is in full swing.
No airborne photos yet, but it's early!

Eye see you:

Thanks for visiting ... Now go see the lovely Lotus for more photos and Weekly Winner participants.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

In which I demonstrate my emotional incontinence

It's official.

I am a dork.

Yep. No question about it. Not to drag out the celebration of my birthday into its second week, but the present from my daughter is proof positive of my dorkitude.

You see, I knew what I wanted her to give me for my birthday. In fact, I set the machinery in motion just to make sure it happened.

"Oh, Wonderhubby," I said about a month and half ahead of time. "There is something that I want for my birthday from Roo, and I need you to make it happen."

"Uh ..." he said, looking a little pale.

"It will require you to be just a little sneaky," I continued. "Do you think you can handle this?"

"Uh ..." he repeated, looking a little panicky.

"Because it's something I could very easily buy for myself, but I want it to come from her," I explained.

"Uh ..."

So I told him what it was.

"How do I make THAT happen?" he asked. "Why would she ask me for ideas?"

"Easy," I chirped. "Just go to her and ask HER for help with picking out something from YOU."

"Uh ..."

"And then you can offer up an idea that you just KNOW that I would like from HER."

"Uh ..."

So I waited.

And waited.

Until ...

"Hello, birthday grrrrrl," Roo chirped on first thing in the morning on the day in question.

I smiled at her enthusiasm for my birthday even at 7 a.m.

"Wait!" She disappeared briefly into her room and reappeared with a little package, wrapped in purple ribbon, in her hand.

"Here!" she said, pushing the package at me with a giant smile on her face. "Open it!"

I did.

And I pulled out a little megaphone charm.

The same one the varsity cheerleaders wear.

And in spite of the fact that I knew it was coming ...

In spite of the fact that I had, in reality, manipulated the entire affair ...

I looked at my daughter's shining, grinning face as she happily and lovingly bestowed upon me a symbol of my importance in her world ...

And I cried.

I am a dork.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Birthday dinner: the mama-san edition

You knew it had to happen.

It was my birthday, after all. So did you expect anything less than birthday dinner chez Planet?

J-bear was absent (a dirt-biking accident delayed her arrival until after), as was Fabulous Girlfriend, but the rest of the bunch were in rare form.

Evil Mother: You know what would be really funny? If Roo went to Starbucks and gave her name as "Mary Kate" ... and then watch what happens.

*You must admit there is a certain resemblance to the Olsen girls. People tell her this all. the. time.*

The Roo-girl: Bwahahahaha! Yeah, that would be cool.

Z-man and Drama King: *joining in the laughter*

Rocky: Really?

Evil Mother: Yes, but she looks like what they would have looked like if they weren't all coked up and stuff.

Rocky: I must admit I don't really know what they look like.

Evil Mother: *grabbing her iPhone and Googling for an appropriate Olsen girls photo* Like this ...

Rocky: Ohhh, yeah, I can see it.

Drummer Man: *leaning over to look at what Rocky is looking at* Oh, is that a photo of Roo-girl?

Everyone else: *hysterical laughter*

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

A trip down memory lane of things the kids used to watch, sing or play led to this exchange about the original "Peter Pan" with Mary Martin. (It's available on Youtube in multiple parts. Look it up. It's a classic.)

Evil Mother: Remember when you guys saw it? It was rereleased on TV, and I brought a review copy home. The TV critic reviewed it, and I wrote a story about how my boys watched it and -- even in the age of "Star Wars" and special effects -- they still loved it.

Drama King: I remember that. You could see the strings when they flew.

Evil Mother: That didn't stop you from clapping your hands and saying, "I believe in fairies!"

*pregnant pause*
Drama King: *patting Rocky on the head* I DO believe in fairies. And here he is!!!

Evil Mother: Snort.

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

Drama King: *stands up to leave the table*

Evil Mother: Where ya goin', huh? Huh? Huh??

Drama King: To pee. You want to come with me?

Evil Mother: Ah, no thanks.

The Roo-girl: You've seen it before.

Evil Mother: It's been a long, long time, and I'm ok with not seeing it again.

The Roo-girl: *snicker*

Evil Mother: *continuing our trip down memory lane* He potty-trained really easily cuz he watched his big brother and wanted to be like him.

Drummer Man: Yeah, I remember we used to cross streams.

Evil Mother: You did WHAT? Never mind. I don't want to know.

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

And for our last trick, we have Drama King's parting words to Drummer Man as he reached out and pinched his brother on the chest.

Drama King: BOOBIES!!!!!!

Evil Mother: Please tell me you didn't just do that.

Rocky: Oh yeah, it's what he does. Trust me.

The Roo-girl: What? Why?

Evil Mother: Just as long as he doesn't do it to YOU.

The Roo-girl: Uh ... yeah.

*The end*

Monday, December 14, 2009

The gray in my hair is totally earned

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

I was 39, in LURVE ... and pregnant.

(Continued at Mid-Century Modern Moms)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Weekly Winners: December 6-12

Hi! Miss me? I have been absent from Weekly Winners for almost a month. Why? Who knows. My camera and I were on a bit of a hiatus, I guess. But the start of the holiday season -- and the beginning of Hanukkah -- brings me back to the fold.

So without further ado, here's a little bit of this, a little bit of that ... starting with Hanukkah chez Planet of Janet.

Latkes in the oven:

Seriously, people. Trader Joe's latkes. I'll never grate or fry again!!

... And onto the table -- YUM!!

Roo lights the lights for the first night:

Please notice the fine china for dinner on Friday night! Heh.

It's raining! WHOOHOOO!

Even in winter, a little piece of spring appears:

The first official look at Roo's "new" room:

Look very carefully on the left and you'll see her collection of "Twilight" hardback books.
And yes, that's a pretty close approximation of the real color of the walls!

Competition season has begun:

What? You thought I was done with cheer photos? HA!

Roo in the jump-off:

Thanks for visiting ... Now go see the lovely Lotus for more photos and Weekly Winner participants.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Happy birthday to ... ME!

Today is yet another anniversary of my 21st birthday.

(And yes, that does mean there will be birthday dinner in a few days. Let the rejoicing begin. Heh.)

Now for my present ... just leave me a comment. I only ask twice a year -- my blogoversary and my birthday. So please delurk and wish me happy birthday ... or just say hi.

I like to know you're out there.

Love n kisses ...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Everything always comes out ok in the end

Z-man underwent a little medical procedure yesterday. Its genesis goes back to this, so you can figure it all out for yourself.

It reminded me of that old Jewish joke that a minor surgery is surgery that happens to somebody else.

But mostly it was just a pain in the butt.

Anyway, when all was said and done, everything was fine.

Which is why I can share this story of the aftermath.

Z-man: What are those drugs you gave me? That is some good stuff.

Nurse in recovery room: Propofol.

Z-man: I gotta write that down ...

Nurse: It's the stuff that Michael Jackson was taking.

Z-man: Ohhhhh. This is goooooood! Now I understand why he did that!!

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

Nurse: You might pass a little air. That's normal.

Z-man: You got THAT right!!!!

Evil Mother: *snicker*

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

Nurse: Now you can't drive or operate heavy machinery ... or power tools.

Z-man: Aw, hell, I was gonna see if Wonderhubby could lend me a chain saw.

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

In preparation for this day, Z was on a liquid diet for about three days. Can you say STARVING?

Z-man: *pulling a piece of paper out of his pocket* So I've put together a short list of what I want to eat right now.

Evil Mother: Bwahahahahahahaha!

Z-man: *reading* A big bag of Ruffles potato chips, an omelet, turkey bacon, bagel and cream cheese and edamame.

Evil Mother: Ruffles?

Z-man: Oh yeah. I've been dreaming about them for two days.

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

Evil Mother: *TOTALLY earning her name* I suggest you don't put anything up there that ... uh ...

Z-man: Well, DUH.

Evil Mother: No zucchinis or ...

Z-man: Jeez, mom. You know you can get toxic shock from carrots ...

Evil Mother: *totally choking with laughter* No, I had no idea. Where DO you get this stuff?

Z-man: *smirks*

Evil Mother: Never mind. I don't want to know.

And no, we really don't. Really.

Monday, December 7, 2009

It's music to my ears

We sing.


Just call us the singing family.

(Continued at Mid-Century Modern Moms)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

All talk and no action. Except for the good vibrations

It is only fitting that over a four-day weekend when I have a combination of the creeping crud and back problems that Wonderhubby and I should watch the home shopping network.

Erotica style.


It was an entire show dedicated to ... um ... playthings. Some of them were kinda cute and playful. Some were reasonably artistic. Some of them looked like Long Dong Silver meets the silicone valley. (Ok, you have to admit that was reasonably clever ...)

Others were just outright scary-looking. John Holmes would have been jealous.


We were snuggled together in the dark, watching, pointing, giggling, wondering.

And then it happened.

It was a blue silicone thingy, with a silver bullet inside. What the saleswomen were saying about it, I don't know or care.

But Wonderhubby was suddenly alert.

"Look!" he yelled. "No, really! Look!"

I looked ... and didn't see anything but a blue silicone thingy with a silver bullet inside.

"No," he insisted. "I swear, you can see the face of Jesus in it!"

It has been more than three days, and I have not stopped laughing.

It's not nice to do that to someone with a hacking cough and a bad back.

All Rights Reserved. Planet of Janet, 2010.