Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Almond Joys and Shooting Stars

Mimi and I were laying in bed recently, chatting before she went to sleep. We were talking about what we loved about being Girlie Girls. I told her I loved my friends and it's important to me to make time for them. I told her she should always make her friends a priority because girlfriends are what makes your heart happy. Being with girlfriends is a time to be yourself, Little Kelly if you will. Not a Mom, or a Wife, or anything else...just yourself. I explained to Mimi that it is so important to always find time to just be yourself, otherwise it is hard to play all the other roles in life that you have to.

Just two weeks ago, we went to Nantucket with 2 other couples for our annual Dark & Stormy Weekend, to not only be alone as couples but also have Girlie Girl time...and I suppose Boyie Boy time too. We arrived on the island, checked into our Inn, and immediately regressed to 12 years old. One couple hadn't arrived yet so we went into their room and stole the candy the Innkeepers had left for them, Almond Joys (we had stale Hershey kisses in our rooms), and at the last minute, decided not to turn their heat up to 100. We headed off to lunch at Lola Burger, which was yummy. We had always wanted to go and just decided to do it. Why not...we were right there afterall. Only on Nantucket can you find $20 burgers. What makes a burger so incredibly good that it is worth $20? We aren't sure, actually, but at least we can say we tried the burgers there...and they were very good.

We picked up our Jeep (of course) and immediately rode out to the beach. If we had our kids with us, they would have complained the whole time..."It's too windy...why are we at the beach when we can't swim...when are we leaving?" But we didn't have any of that. Instead we searched for beach treasures while overlooking Tuckernuck Island, sipping beers, enjoying just being ourselves. The girls walked together and chatted. The guys stayed behind and probably talked about inappropriate things. And then we had great laughs as friends.

Couple #3 arrived shortly thereafter, we picked them up, and headed out to Cisco Brewery. Last year, at this time when we were there, we had a Weekend at Bernie's experience. There was a guy, who looked just like Bernie, who was dead in a chair. We took pictures of ourselves with him until his wife came up to us and said he was not actually dead, but rather an ER doctor and had been on call for 48 hours and needed a nap. Oh. Sorry. This year, while we played left, right, center and tried some Pumple Drumpkin (can you say that 5 times fast after a few beers?). we met a newlywed couple from Philly and their new friends from Central Mass...otherwise known as Metrowest because they lived in the next town over from us. Jeepers...(Timmy, like the jeep reference?)...you should know what county you live in, people. The next few hours are fuzzy at best. We went back to the Inn, had some apps and too much wine, and got changed for dinner. Was it an hour...or several hours? Does it matter? We laughed a lot and left for dinner ready for fun.

We started out the next day with a nice long walk on the beach. Correction. The boys started out the day with one leg on the jeep bumper, drinking coffee, and talking about boy stuff. The girls went for a nice long walk on the beach, collecting beach treasures, and talking about everything from broken dishwashers to our dreams for the future (enjoying the Island Life on Nantucket). Suddenly it was time for lunch, which was yummy at Centre Street Bistro, and then we went on a Jeep Rescue, led by Timmy of course. Then we were off to the beach again to hunt for treasures and watch the sunset. We took silly pictures of each other, laughed so hard that our old bladders were ready to tinkle, and toasted to many more weekends like this...just being us.

For dinner we went out to celebrate my friend's Cori's birthday at Black Eyed Susan's, which was very good. We drank too much wine, acted well below our ages (Timmy ordered his Caseser salad with a lisp...and I almost spit my wine out on him across the table), and then headed off to dance. What's better than a dance party? A dance party with videos! We busted out some classic moves to songs and videos by the likes of Chaka Khan, Rob Base, and Alicia Keyes. At one point I was found on the dance floor, not dancing, with my mouth hanging open, just watching the videos. I felt like I was in 8th grade again, watching MTV. It was awesome!

On the way home, we someone got on the topic of shooting stars and I confessed I had never seen one. Am I the only one that has never seen one?! So, we immediately went to the beach, led by our friend Scott, to try and find one. We stopped, first, to hit the loo (this will be a key factor later in the story) and then headed right for the beach. Cue up the shooting star. Literally, the second we laid down, we saw one! What are the chances?! We decided to really push our luck and wait for another one but after almost falling asleep on the beach, we decided to go home. Not before taking a turn on the swings tho....to see who could swing higher. Swings just totally transport you back to being a kid again. Take advantage of the swings when you can.

We were all melancholy the next morning....sad to see the weekend come to a close but very happy to have had such fun. I felt recharged though and ready to face the week and all the adult challenges and opportunities that were ahead of me.

When I got home, Mimi asked what we did. I said, "We laughed a lot, danced, watched the sunset on the beach, and played on the swings." She was quiet for a minute and then said "You always have fun with your friends." I hope she realized that no matter what age you are, you can still act like a kid and have fun. You are never too old to let loose and take time for yourself. And if you find yourself saying that you don't have time to spend with your friends, it's obvious that it is exactly what you need to do.

Oh, Those Babies...

Practically everyone in my office was sick last week. Some people had a full blown cold, while others had bad sore throats and the chills. On Day 3 of the epidemic, I woke up with a bad sore throat that persisted for 3 days. I knew it was only a matter of time before someone in my house got sick too. We made it all the way through the weekend, with delusions that everyone had escaped The Sickness. On Monday morning when I went to wake up Jack he was already awake...had been for a few hours, because he had a horrible stomach ache and sore throat.

Usually when my kids are sick, they come in during the middle of the night, stand close to my face and say things like "Mom, I feel like I'm going to throw up." I've never understood why they just don't go into the bathroom and throw up. Why must they announce it to me and then barely make it to the bathroom. This usually leaves me cleaning up vomit at 2 in the morning...which usually makes me vomit. Timmy usually sleeps through the whole thing and is surprised to find out when he wakes up in the morning that anyone has been sick.

Since Jack hadn't come in, and didn't need to throw up, I was completely taken off guard that he was sick. He was as hot as my electric blanket...and yes, I am using it already. I gave him an Advil and tucked him right back into bed. I happened to be working from home so I was a little giddy with the prospect of having a sick child at home. I know...sick thought, right?

I love a sick kid. Not one that is sick with a life threatening disease or some crazy scary sickness, like the time Mimi got some crazy virus in her eye, was rushed to a hospital in Boston, and almost needed brain surgery. No, not that kind of sick. And not the diarrhea, throwing up kind of sick. That just makes me want to be sick. I also don't like the little kid I'm-Sick-So-I'm-Going-To-Cry-All-Day-Sick.

But I do like the kind of sick where your child just wants to curl up with you and snuggle...and have you rub their heads...and have you make them toast with the crust cut off, loaded up with butter. I like to dote on them, heap blankets on them, and kiss them often on their hot little foreheads. I love that I make them feel better just because I am their Mom. No offense or nothin', but Dads just don't make the cut here. Kids want their Moms when they are sick. And Moms want their kids to want them. It's how we all roll.

Tim and I have always talked about having more kids, but we have never been in agreement at the same time. Our deal was we would have to agree we wanted another baby at the same time for at least 6 months. It's never happened. As a result, we are crazy for babies. Seriously goo-goo for babies. Put one in front of us and we talk in high pitched voices and fight over who gets to hold the baby. This usually results in the baby frantically looking for its mother and squirming to get away from us. Lucky for us our families are still cranking out little Goo Goo Babies so we get our fix on a regular basis. I understand why people have Duggar-size families. Ok, wait. I didn't mean that. I understand why people have up to 6 kids or so...not 19. They want that baby fix. And when those babies grow older and independent, the only time they get that little snuggle baby fix is when they are sick...so then they have another... which gives them the fix they need for a few more years.

I could never have had more than 2 kids. The reason we have never agreed on having another at the same time is God's Way. He knows I am a Virgo...he's kinda responsible for that. I need order, I don't like chaos. Multiple kids = chaos. There are only 4 of us in the house and by Wednesday, the disorder of our lives is enough to give me hives when I come through the door after work. Oh, and this week we moved the bunny inside and there is hay all over my floors again. AAAAHHH!!! Another reason I won't ever make it on a farm....

Anyways, I digress. Back to my sick boy. I was a little disappointed when he got up on Wednesday feeling better and went back to school. He's a pretty affectionate kid but he has gone back to not needing me. Just the night before, I rubbed his forehead for half an hour. I can't get near his head now...because it has a headset on it and it's playing some shoot em' up video game.

Secretly I am hoping Mimi goes down like a ton of bricks any day now. Then I'll have someone else to dote on, snuggle with, make toast for, and get my little sick kid fix. They grow up so quick, don't they?
Every day this week I have been eagerly looking forward to my train time because I am reading a book I really like. It's yet another book about a city girl who moved to the country to start a farm, and the realities of that hard life. This one is called "Sheepish: Two Women, Fifty Sheep & Enough Wool to Save the Planet" by Catherine Friend. In this book I got an education on the history of sheep herding, an understanding of sheep behavior, and learned the benefits of wool. That was all wrapped up with the common theme of You-Are-Crazy-To-Live-This-Lifestyle-On-A-Farm. Okay, okay, I'm beginning to get the message....living on a farm isn't about petting baby animals and making a yummy homegrown salad for dinner every day.

So, I get on the train and about 4 seats in there is a giant piece of luggage in the aisle. So big in fact, that you have to hoist it out of your way to get past it. The girl sitting in the 3-seater obviously doesn't understand the rules. You need to lug that giant piece o'luggage into the seat next to you. Not only will people be able to get past you, but then you won't have to sit with any crazies. In hindsight, this was probably one of the single biggest life lessons this girl learned today.

I'm totally absorbed in my book but vaguely hear a woman behind me say to Luggage Girl, "Thanks for saving the seat for me!" Naturally, I assume they know each other and go back to reading as the girl's "friend" climbs over the luggage, the girl, and the seat to get inside. It's not long into the ride when I become annoyed that Luggage Girl's friend is incredibly loud, which is distracting me from reading how the young ram on the farm, a teenager if you will, got loose and impregnated half the herd at the wrong time of year, meaning that 12 sheep would have lambs (singles, twins, and triplets) in the dead of winter instead of the spring. Oh the calamaties of farming! (It really was a disaster.)

The train conductor starts coming closer and I heard Luggage Girl's friend say "Hey, how are you?! Can I get a hug?" She stands up and tries to make a move for the conductor over Luggage Girl and the giant suitcase. Huh. Kinda weird. When he ignores her she says "Oh, I get it...you don't want to lose your job...I understand. Okay then!" I assume they hook up from time to time and he doesn't want everyone to know.

I go back to reading until I hear, "I used to take pictures of statues. I love them. Then I showed my friend the pictures of the statues and I'm not positive but I'm pretty sure she told the guy who owns the store down the street because now he has a calendar with statues in it. He stole my idea." Pause. "I don't take pictures of statues anymore. Now I'm going to make baskets. Womens love fragrances. Especially passion fruit. I'm going to put a bunch of passion fruit smelly things in a basket and sell it to people. I will sell them for Christmas."

"I live in Worcester. I love the train station there...and all those stairs. Have you seen the movie Titanic? I think the stairs in the boat were actually the stairs of the Worcester train station. I'm almost positive." Hold. Up. The Worcester train station stairs were the model for the stairs in the Titanic? The model wasn't the actual Titanic?

"I just had a dentist appointment. I have to go every 6 months because my teeth are yellow because I smoke. Then my gums started bleeding like crazy and got very swollen. There was a lot of blood. I went home and gargled with Epsom Salt." And by the way, should you be putting Epsom Salt in your mouth?!

It was at this point I realized that Luggage Girl had not spoken a word. Suddenly there were a few more clues that they weren't actually friends. Like "So, where are you from?" Luggage Girl replies that she is from Germany, with her obvious broken English. The good news is that Luggage Girl probably really doesn't understand most of what Cra-Zee Girl is saying. Until she says "Oh, Germany! I love Germany! It's so beautiful."

Luggage Girl asks "Have you been there before?" to which Cra-Zee Girl says "No". She then quickly rambles on with "German accents are so beautiful. They are very similar to English accents." . Hold. Up. Right. Now. The-Cup-O'Tea Accent is nothing like the Guttenstadt accent. Nothing.

Wait for it. "I am bi-polar. I take medication." There we go. Thankfully that is her problem. Don't get me wrong...I am sorry she is bi-polar. I really am. But I am also really thankful that she is a diagnosed Cra-Zee...rather than just some freak riding the rails. Because, quite frankly, there are enough of those already.

"Today has been a nice day because I have someone to talk to." Correction, you are talking AT someone who doesn't speak English. "I am very friendly but not everyone is as friendly as me. Talking to people helps me pass the time. I love the train." But does the train love you? That's what you should be asking yourself."

"I like pasta a lot. All kinds of pasta. Angel hair. Linguine. Elbows. Thin spaghetti." Okay, WE GET IT! You like pasta. "I like sauce too. I also like tuna fish sandwiches. And I like fruit. I really like to eat. It's what I do. I also like dairy. Cheeses. Milk. Yogurt. All kinds of dairy." Hey, Rainman, enough.

"I'm almost 50." Luggage Girl pipes up with "Wow, really?" You really shouldn't encourage her. "My hips hurt though. I do alot of bending." Leave it. Just leave that one alone.

"My cat is waiting for me at home. Her name is Angel. She rips up all my curtains and furniture though." Ah, shouldn't her name be Devil? But wait, there is more, "She looks German. She is reddish and looks like a fox." No, you didn't. German people look like red foxes? Oh, please stop. No, there's more. "She has very clean teeth." Apparently she doesn't smoke.

Phew...my stop is next! Cra-Zee Girl looks out the window and says "I love these mountains." What mountains do you see in Ashland?? "I just love how the mountains are in nature." Perhaps, you can take your Germany foxxy kitty and live in the mountains....

As I got up to leave I wanted to apologize to Luggage Girl for this experience. She had no idea what she was getting into when she got off the plan, but she handled it quite well. I would have probably gotten up and pretended it was my stop, but gone into another cab. But then again, she did have that big piece of luggage to contend with.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Jeep Hoarding

Last year, Tim bought Mimi her first car. A 1960- something preppy yellow Jeepster. Mimi was 11 at the time. Yes, that's right....5 years before she was due to get her license. It was "an incredible deal". Last month, Tim rolled in with Jack's first car...I mean, Jeep...a black 80-something Jeep Renegade with royal blue stripes. Jack is 13 but Tim "couldn't pass it up". I'm no dummy. My husband is a jeep hoarder and I know it. These two new additions have joined "our family" of a 1950 something jeep wagon, a 1957? CJ 7, and a 2009 Jeep 4-door. Oh, I should mention I drive a GMC Arcadia. Let's just take a moment to count....that's 6 cars and only 2 drivers....for the next 3 years.

Is my dream car a Jeep? Nope. I would love a 1970's bug....preferably light blue with white walls and a black top, although honestly I would take any color. What's cuter than that? But, when you fall in love, you often find that suddenly the things your spouse loves inevitably becomes part of your life....like Jeeps. I can spot one in an overgrown backyard going 60 mph down an unknown road. I've gained some skills over the years. While on a weekend visit to Nantucket this summer, home of the coolest old Jeeps, Mimi & Tim walked ahead of Jack and I and I heard her utter the words "Tell me about the history of the Jeep, Daddy...". She ended up with a few treats that weekend....she also has gained some impressive skills over the years.

But, I'm not looking for treats....I'm looking for space in my garage....to park my car. I'm looking to only have the same amount of cars as licensed drivers in my house. Don't get me wrong....it's great to have a hobby and a passion. And in all honesty, if all I have to deal with is Tim being crazy for Jeeps, I have it easy. And I will give Timmy credit for planning ahead for his kids. But for the love of God, Timmy, stop bringing the Jeeps home.

I thought this was the end of the blog but Tim came home tonight weaving the story of the new "treasure" he found that would be perfect "for us". I'm not kidding. I heard him trying to convince Mimi it was the car for her. Uhhhmmm...she already has a car, remember?!