Thursday, May 23, 2013

Turning the Tables

When Kole acts out I have some pat answers from Love and Logic I give.  ("pat" can be interchanged for "Patty" given the circumstance.)
So my patty answers are:
"Bummer.  ______ is over now."  (Usually dinner.  When food starts a-flyin.)
"Uh-oh.  I feel sad when I break my things." 

Or for when he gets hurt or is in trouble or time out:
"Oh rats. Something like this never feels good." 
"I love you.  This must be hard." 

Now.  Koley-Pie, like all 2 year olds, needs something every time I'm on the phone, or feeding the baby, or going to the bathroom, or doing my makeup, or trying to be on time, or carrying groceries, or making lunch.  Basically anytime my attention is even slightly shifted, there's an emergency.  So, I started implementing Love and Logic.

Kole:  Mom!  I need you to fix this tire on my truck.
Me:  (arms full of grocery bags):  Oh bummer!  I'm carrying these bags right now.  I can help when I put them down.  Maybe you can try to fix it while you wait.  You're smart.  I know you can figure it out.

And, yeah.  I do talk like that. 

Kole:  Mom!  I need this monkey next to that bear.  Can you move it for me?
Me:  (giving Joey a bottle):  Bummer, man.  I want to help you!  But, I have to give Joey this bottle.  Maybe you can show me how to do it.  You're really good at solving problems.

Kole: Throws truck at Joey.  Nails him.
Me:  Bummer.  No more trucks.  I love you.  This must be hard.

It's been working for a few months.  I was so pleased with my success I put the Love and Logic book on the shelf for the first time in 2 years.  Thinking... I've so got this.

And then...this occurred:

Me:  Hey, bud!  Will you grab your sippy cup and put it in the sink?
Kole:  Bummer, Mom.  I'm playing right now.  I can't do that.  But you're smart.  You can do it, Mom!

The first time I laughed and thought, That little squirt is so smart. Then second time it happened I just shook my head and thought, Too smart.  Not good.  We're on like the 50 or 60th time it's happened and I'm furious.  I want to smack those little chipmunk cheek-ers and tell him he can't talk to me that way!  because he can't!  I'M the mom! Not him.

Without referring to The Book, I sat Kole down for a talk.  A heart to heart about who exactly is in charge around here.  He sat on my lap and we talked about everyone in our family and what they do.  I put a special emphasis on what Mom does and what Koley does.  After we were done, I summed it up.
I said, "So, I'm the mom.  And I make the rules."
He sat there for a minute not smiling.  Just nodding.
And then that little stink-butt Koley put his arms around my neck and put his forehead against mine and said, "Bummer, Mom.  You didn't figure it out yet.  I love you.  This must be hard."

I take it he's not conceding.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Text Books are Different than Real Books.

I've successfully completed one week of school.  76 more to go!  Piece of cake.  Piece of crumb cake.   Name that movie.
The first week was not hard.  Mostly posting an introduction of myself and answering questions like... "What's the first thing you think of when you hear the word "Psychology?"  I put "Dr. Melfi from The Sopranos."
According to the syllabi I've received...the semester will be reading text books and taking weekly ten point quizzes.  Open book.  Ground me if I don't get all As this go round.
I like to read. My big reading fault is I read what people give me to read even when it's bad read.  I've learned you have to find a "reader match" if you want to book swap.  For instance, I probably wouldn't take a recommendation from a Twilight fan.  Because those books are horrible.  Now would I read from one who suggested A Thousand Splendid Suns, Twelve Tribes of Hattie, Squirrel Meets Chipmunk, or Life of Pi.  I still read anything anyone hands me... yeah.  All talk there.
This past week I shelved my good reads and switched to.... Text Books!  Whether I like it or not I put on my glasses, pop open a Coke and some Doritos* and smudge up those pages.  Every night.   I'm liking the Doritos; not liking the text.
They're horrible!  Aside from zero excitement (love interests, funny lines, character epiphanies) they are incredibly hindering to read.  Text books don't use normal words to say... anything.  Instead of saying "People use their mouths to talk."  A text book might say, "Communicating homo sapiens utilize the movement of labium superius oris, lengua, and inferior maxillary bone for the articulation of speech."
Jigga what?
It reminds me of this Friends snippet:

I will recede and say after awhile the synonyms and wordi-ness become second hand.  After reading 375 pages last week, it just started to flow.  Or it would have if it weren't for all the misplaced asterisks.   In my experience you place an asterisk after a word when there will be a side note at the bottom of the text.  In my blog-o-sphere I use the asterisk to put one more extra jolt there at the bottom.  These cray cray text books though... PSHT!... They put them on the easy words.  Example (from the actual text):

"blah blah blah.... but not so open that they are gullible*.

*gullible:  easily fooled or cheated.

Yeah.  Got that one.  How bout throwing me a couple asterisk for a sentence like:

"Instead of an electrical charge, the vesicles at the end of the axon contain molecules of neurotransmitters, and the surface of the dendrite next to the axon (the postsynaptic membrane) contains ion channels..."

Oh!  Instead of an electrical charge.  I thought it was because of an electrical charge. I get it now.  I get now.
No I don't.  Eleven of the words in that sentence could benefit from an asterisk.

These issues may be enough to deter one from reading the text.  Perhaps cause one to just use the chapter summary.  Buuuuuut- the words there are just as hard.  Wert.    And if I used the chapter summary I would miss all the mid-sentence citing that occurs.  I suppose it's probably "copyright law" or what have you but these texts are a little obsessive about it.  It wants to credit each scientist or doctor that discovered these axons and dendrites and electroencephalograms. 

So with all these blunders the text might read:
"Communicating* homo sapiens (Bradley 1980) utilize the movement (Spirigo, Spirigo, Et al 1952, pp. 65-71) of labium superius oris (Bronowski, 1978a, p. 546), lengua (Bremmer, Lin, Yates, et al.b 1998), and inferior maxillary bone (Granger, Weasley 2007 pp.46-97) for the articulation (Philadelphia 76ers 2001) of speech*."

Communicating: Talking.
Speech: Talking.

It's exhausting... and it's making my brain hurt.  Growing pains I'm assuming.  *wink*
And!  It makes Kole's dumb Scamp Saves the Day book really really good.  I always hated it because it was such an easy read and the plot just fell out without any building or explanation.
I didn't know how good I had it.

*Running low on Doritos.  Will accept charitable, munchable donations of any salty snack.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Boys Flourished!

Right before we left.  Kole was running around telling us to "Get Out of Here!"

Koley:  Hey!  We made cookies last night, Grandma.
Grandma Ginger: we didn't.
Koley:  Oh!  Then we better make some now!

And then they made peanut butter oatmeal cookies.  The kid can play a card.

Grandma Ginger was explaining to Kole that she is my mom.  "Patty is my daughter.  I'm her Mom.  And now she's your Mom.  But first she was my daughter."  Apparently, Kole took at her with disbelief and then said:
"Yeah.  I had a daughter, too.  But she died."

So many shockers in that sentence. 

Joey wouldn't drink a bottle the whole time we were away.  But he didn't go hungry....

And Kole didn't cry the whole time we were gone.  But he got a little "defensive" on Thursday.  Telling my mom that this is his house and she should leave so Mom and Daddy can come home again.  Mom said he kept giving her a hard time and telling her to leave so she suggested they all go to the store and get a treat!  Good move, Grandma!  Kole of course loved this idea and yelled, "Yeah!  Let's go the gas station and get Cow Tales!" 

He gives away all my secrets. 

I loved that every time I called (twice a day) no one was crying.  No one was screaming.  Every one was giggling!  That made vacation more vacation-y. And my Mom kept telling me, "It's a vacation for them too."
Kole got a lesson in pic-a-nic-ing.  Aaaaand wants to have one everyday now.
Me too. I guess.

Popsicle WHILE riding his horse.  Talk about a perfect day.

Aside from absolutely no worrying, the best part was coming home and my house was super clean.  The dishwasher was empty and there were no dishes in the sink.  That... has not happened in my married life.  Then I kept finding little surprises around the house.  Our bed was fixed really well and the covers were tucked in so tight...  I love that.   A couple cans of fruit cocktail (which I la-HOVE) were in the cupboard.  I'd open a drawer in the kitchen and it would be all organized.  There were plug protectors where they hadn't been before.  Where they needed to be.  My shower drained super fast because mom took the drain off and cleared all my hair out of it.  Anytime I opened something up I was like, "Oh!  Mom did that!  Wow!"

And!  Best part.  There was a candy bar in my nightstand drawer.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Las Vegas

Day 1:  I overdosed on Motion Sickness medicine and was zonked out from before we took off and far after we landed.  I was dizzy and woozy and for the second time in my life thought, I get why people are into prescription meds.  We stopped at our room just long enough to drop off our bags and we were off again.
Highlight of the day?
Dinner at Bouchon. (Boo-shawn.)
Ken had the adventurous Leg of Lamb and I had a Steak with Pommes Frites.  (aka Frenchie Fries).  I enjoyed a large salad with goat cheese, multiple pieces of braided bread, seeing how many sips of water I had to take before the waiter came over (answer:2), having the table cleaned with a razor/butter knife looking contraption when I dropped crumbs, and dining with other people who would have ridden First Class on the Titanic.  It was incredible, to momentarily, think "I've made it.  This is the good life." It was double hands slammed down the best food I've ever had.

Daily winnings: $5.

Day Two: I was flying solo.  Ken had meetings all day and I was gonna hit the strip.  All by myself.  Could not have been happier about that.  I love my Kenmo but it's been YEARS since I've been totally alone. It felt good to take a long shower and enjoy an full hour of getting ready while watching back to back episodes of Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
I took this picture even though I'm really bad at taking food pictures.  It felt so classy.  Eating crepes at The Paris while reading in a cafe.  But... one bite into my crepe I wished I would have gotten the caramel apple one.  And... since I was on vacation (not to mention a bit of a winning streak)... I threw this savory French cheese and ham one in the garbaj (<--- note the French pronunciation) and ordered me-self the Caramel Apple one.  THEN (!)  I sat there and read in the cafe while eating a really good crepe.

That night we were taken to dinner at The Palm.  Which is where Don Draper has dinner. And even though his in New York...I ordered an Old Fashioned in his honor.  And... Ken cancelled my order.  Weenie.  That night I had another steak.  What?   I'm a meatie! Steaks are delicious!  We ate with Ken's boss and I laughed so hard from stories he was telling us from college my sides hurt. And I had flourless chocolate cake... which should have been called, "Cake-Sized Piece of Fudge."  Wonderfully over the top.
Daily winnings: $9.25

We rode to the top of The Eiffel Tower.  460 feet about the strip.  Ken stayed insanely close to the inside edge and he worried I was insanely close to the outer edge.  It was gorgeous.  And the Fountains from that viewpoint were worth watching twice.

We saw a scandalously funny musical, Rock of Ages.  All power ballads and Journey and You should've been gone!  Knowing how I made you feel. I sang my heart out and left with a sore throat.  I could have been the only one singing... but I heard Ken's boss sing a bar here and there.  And I should've been gone!  After all your words of steel.  I was the first audience member up on my feet making fist pumps though.  I started something incredible.  It was fantastic.  Highlight.  Definitely.
After-Show Me...singing.... Here I go again on my oooowwn. Ba Dum BA DUM!

Going down the only road I've ever knooOOOWN!

This was walking back to our hotel (The Paris) on our last night.  We watched the fountains over and over.  And noticed that a little family of ducks lives on the 8 acre lake outside of The Bellagio... and when the fountains power up and the music starts those ducks are in a frenzied panic.  They are paddling around going Uh!  Oh! Uh! Oh! What do we do?  Where do we go?  This is getting scary?  Hold on little duckies!  Swim over here.  Oh no.  Not there.  It's too wavy.    They just panic.  And it's really cute.  But does distract a bit from the water show, unfortunately.  
Friday we slept in, knowing it was our last opportunity... for who knows how long... and lounged by the pool... and picked up some swag for the tikeys.  We ate huge salads and big cookies and read books and talked about how easy it is not having kids.  It was heavenly.  Like a drifter I was born to walk alone.  And I made up my mind.... I ain't wastin no more tiiiiime!  Those songs stick with you.  And resonate with you!  I was missing my vacation before I even left.
When we got to the airport we both started missing Koley and Joe real bad.  Ken more than me.  Wert!  I guess when you're heading home that's your only choice, right?  Look for something to look forward to.  Because there are some harsh realities in coming home:

Bathroom at The Venetian before our show.

Bathroom at The Airport before our flight.

Tomorrow's post?  What happened with Kole, Joey, and Gramma Ginger while we were away.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Dream Woman

There are some things I wished I liked.  Things that upon liking would (in my own mind) make me cooler.  I know I'm already topping the cool-o-meter with my ....  ....  confidence.  I like me and that's something.  But I think I would be a more rounded individual if the following fit in my repertoire.

1.  Iced Tea.  I was walking out the gas station swinging a bottle of Iced Tea for my father in law and I just felt so cool and trendy.  I felt summer-y and relaxed.  When I realized it was the Iced Tea that made me feel that way I was totally bummed.  Because, I've tried Iced Tea, and I hate it.

2.  Regular Tea.  Ken downs herbal tea all winter long.  It smells so good.  And sipping tea, while reading?  Why can't that be me?  Because tea tastes like dirty water.  So I have to drink hot chocolate whilst reading... which is harder- because I load that mother up with marshmallows and then it's more a dessert you need to sit and eat.

3.  The Office.  Such a hit, hit show.  So many references are made to it/from it.  And... after Season 2... it lost it's fizzle for me.  And I lost some fizzle with society.  Wert.

4.  Gladiator Sandals on me.  I love gladiator sandals.  They are sexy and fun and look great with pants, leggings, skirts, shorts, dresses, bathing suits.  But when I wear them I looked like an actual gladiator.  With disproportionate muscle-y manly legs.  I look like Goliath.  I thought maybe it was just the black ones... like the color chopped in a bad spot... but the gold looks pretty bad on me too.  Am I wearing them wrong?  Is there something more than just putting them on your feet that I don't know about?

5.  Greek yogurt.  Trendy.  Healthy.  A little snobby.  All things I'm aspiring to be.  (wink!)  But Greek Yogurt makes me gag.   Even the smell.  Egh.  *shoulders up to ears cringing*

6.  The ability to kill spiders.  I've texted my neighbor and offered her $5 to come kill a spider for me.  I've trapped them under bowls or cups and put Post It notes on top saying, "There's a spider in here."  I've stood staring at them holding the vacuum tube for 30+ minutes.  But I just can't kill them.  And I wish I could.  Because I really look up to (and depend on) people who can.  It would just make me a little more self sufficient. Ya know?

Funny thing here.  After reading this list- I can't bend on any of them. If these 6 things were part of who I am... I would consider myself near perfect.  I guess I'm just 94% there.  And, hey, 94%,  That's a solid "A."  I'm pleased with that.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Double Duty: Dentist and DMV

I had to go to the dentist yesterday.  Cavities love my mouth.  I mean, I love candy, cakes, cookies, pop, caramel, taffy, pop tarts, brownies... so maybe one (Kenmo) would think I have it coming in the cavity area.  But my defense is, doesn't everyone love those things?  And I am the only who gets cavities all the time?  I guess if I have to get cavities so the rest of the world can enjoy sweets so be it.  I've always been the martyr-ing type.  So there were the cavities, and that root canal I never got crowned.  That chipped.  Mostly.  Off.  It was way in the back and I was thinking along the lines of... $1200 for a tooth no one even sees is such a waste.  So I told Ken I was just going to have it pulled.  And he told me I wasn't a hillbilly. 
I married up. *wink*
So, yesterday I spent an hour and forty five minutes in the dentist chair and although I've always considered myself a good sport when it came to dentistry, I felt severely beat up afterwards.  He filled two cavities, and... laser-ed off part of my gums that had grown too far down.  I didn't know that happened or that it was bad (or that it was legal to put a laser in someone's mouth).  But I do know what melted flesh taste like now.  So, win win.
Here's the kicker to the story.
In order to qualify for in-state tuition I had to have a Utah driver's license by May 1. 
Yesterday being such date, kids already at a sitter, I plotted over to the DMV after I finished up at the dentist.
Not yet realizing the complete stupidity.  I just figured it would be kinda a sucky morning.
I pulled into the DMV and whipped out my lipstick.  I pulled down my mirror and went to put on my lipstick and....Werrrrrrt.  Couldn't really stay in the lip lines.  I was numb.  Half my face was numb. 
This is when it hit me.
I'm completely numb on 50% of my face.
The good outfit I picked out isn't going to cover the fact that I look like Two Face.
Typical Patty Move.
I laughed which looked ridiculous and made me laugh even harder.  And drool.
After I wiped the lipstick off my side chin I went in and the first thing they wanted to do was take
my picture.
I figured- just go straight face.  Serious... and Mysterious.  Perfect.
But the little DMV lady said, "Why don't you smile?"
So... I did.
Well half my face smiled and the other half Quasimodo-ed.
Her eyes got real big and she said, "Oh!  You don't have to if you don't want to."
I started laughing again and told her I came over from a dentist appointment.
She laughed and told me I was dumb.  Which made me laugh harder.  And drool more.  Old people can just say that stuff.  She handed me some Kleenex and said she'd try a couple shots until we found a good one.

Yup.  That's the good one.  It doesn't even show my cute sweater or killer necklace.  I tried talking her into letting me have the one where I really Quasi-ed it up- but she said that would be inappropriate. Claiming "SANCTUARY!" only confused her.  God Bless The Outcasts.