I'm a fun mom

I just wanted that stated for the record because there are plenty of times I am not considered to be a fun mom.

Seriously though…. how many moms do you know that are willing to jump off the furniture in order to humor their children? That’s right. I jumped off the living room chair because my daughter wanted to play around with action shots on her camera. I climbed up on the chair and I sailed right off of it.

I got yelled at too .  “HEY! WHAT’S GOING ON UP THERE?”

The kids were in hysterics when they shouted back, “IT WAS MOM!

Mark’s voice suddenly lost its disciplinary tone and he asked me what I was doing.

“Duh! We’re taking JUMP shots! You have to do one too.”

And he DID! (Somewhat reluctantly, but he didn’t want to be the only non-cool parent in the house….)

The kids are REALLY good at this:

See what extreme temperatures do to people up here?

Not yet

Shelby

She’s almost fourteen years old and I’m afraid she doesn’t have much longer. The signs have been appearing in the last year or so and seem to be increasing by the day. She can’t hear, her legs are growing weak and and it’s obvious she has some pain. Sometimes it’s all she can do to get herself up the steps. She sleeps an awful lot. Sometimes in the morning she acts like she still thinks she’s a puppy, but not long after that, she’s sacked out for most of the day again.

She grew up alongside my kids. She’s been the best dog I could ever ask for. She never barks. She’s never bitten anyone. She’s friendly and so loving. She never leaves the yard. In her younger days she was a spectacular bird dog. She has a special love for Mark’s dad and he loves her back just as much. Somehow a dog found her way through his tough exterior.

I have so much guilt for all the times I felt irritation with her, for all the times I complained about the constant shedding and how no one else thinks to feed her or let her outside, give her her medication or clean up the yard behind her,and for all the times I yelled at her for getting underfoot.

Mark went to pick up a prescription for her the other day. Later, while sitting at the table, he tossed a folded up piece of note paper at me. I opened it up to see prices for certain services written on it. Prices I didn’t want to think about. He said, “We need to talk.” With tears in my eyes, I told him I couldn’t have that talk just yet.

She vomited twice today.

I’m worried about how the kids will handle this. I just want her to hang on, at least until Brad is home for the summer.

I’m not ready to let her to go yet.

How cold is it?

It’s pretty damn cold! Check this out:

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In junior high and high school, we used to say, “It’s colder than a witch’s tit!” I’m sure that lovely little phrase would have shocked my mother back then. Well, it would probably still shock her today. It kind of makes me cringe just putting it in writing!

It is so cold here that we made the NBC Nightly News! (I know, I know… just yesterday I said that I never watch the news and while it’s true that I am generally grossly underinformed, this evening, I was not in control of the t.v. remote and so I had no choice but to absorb some newsy information. I also said I am not watching Idol this season, yet here I sit in front this evening’s episode. It’s not really considered watching if I’m really blogging and simply happen to be in the same room as Idol.) Anyway, while watching NBC Nightly News, there suddenly appeared a reporter standing right in front of Minnehaha Falls, which is in my near vicinity and he was reporting on national t.v. about the cold snap we have going on here. Apparently those falls don’t normally freeze solid. Go figure!

Before I left the house today, I thought I’d leave the kids a post it note just giving them a heads up about leaving the house prepared for the cold. I wrote out a note. “Very, VERY cold today.” Then I thought of something else and wrote another. “Wear jackets AND gloves. Bring hats if you’re not going to wear them.” (Yes, it’s true I have to tell my kids to wear jackets. They don’t grasp the idea that cars sometimes break down and they may actually have to spend time outside and that a jacket WILL be necessary.) This then led me to write yet another note. “Ten minutes in these temps = FROSTBITE!” One final thought occurred to me and I added a fourth note. “Watch the dog if you let her outside. Don’t let her stay out too long.” I stuck all of these up in a purple post-it note procession on the kitchen door frame.

When I left for work this morning it was 13 below with a 36 below windchill.  The funny thing is, this weather isn’t all that unusual in Minnesota. Oh, it’s not like we get long stretches of this kind of weather, but it is fairly normal to have a few days of this now and then in these parts. Besides, I know my Canadian friends are probably looking at this and saying, “Wusses!”

And I am a self proclaimed wuss! I don’t like to be cold. I like the heat. I love the sun and shorts and tank tops. I’m a sun worshipper. I make it a point to avoid exposure to these kinds of elements at all costs. I have three layers on today. I have a down jacket. When I go to bed, I wear sweats and a sweatshirt and bury myself under an electric blanket, a down comforter and a fleece blanket on top of all that just for good measure.

And when I leave the office, I don’t walk outside to get to my parking ramp. Which brings me to a complaint.

(I know. Shocker.)

Last week I was talking with a customer in New York. Most of our customers want to just get to the business at hand but this guy was quite charming and talkative. (Forty-five minutes worth of talkative!) He was asking about the weather here and comparing it to what’s going on where he lives. He said to me, “I hear that Minnesota has these conduits.” I hesitated for a moment, not sure what he was talking about, before he said, “They connect all the buildings downtown” which is when it clicked. Yes, we have skyways. I am eternally grateful for skyways. The skyways allow me to stay cool in the summer when it’s too hot to walk outside and they allow me to stay warm in the winter when it’s colder than a….. well, you know. But sometimes walking through the skyways makes me crazy.

I’m sure you can imagine, but in case you’re not clear on this, a skyway is like a hallway between the buildings. It doesn’t provide a massive amount of space and walking the skyways requires a little bit of common sense, which apparently for some people is sucked dry by the extreme temperatures. The skyways are wide enough for about four people to walk side by side. Now anyone with half a brain and any amount of common courtesy should realize that if you’re walking in a party of more than two, you might need to make some adjustments to allow walkers coming from the opposite direction to pass by. If you’re walking with more than one other person and you all are, shall we say, carrying a large load and just strolly-strolling along, you might need to move to the right and allow faster travelers to pass. But there are ALWAYS those oblivious people who just don’t grasp the concept.

I am a fast walker due in part to the fact that I have long legs, and one stride for me is the equivalent of two strides for some others who are less vertically endowed. Add to that the fact that I spent many years taking daily walks as a form of excercise and thus am not in the habit of seeing this as a relaxing activity. Also, come 5:00 pm, I simply can’t get out of downtown and on to more enjoyable pursuits fast enough.

This evening as I left work, I ended up behind a couple of wide loads, one of whom was carrying, in addition to her own weight, a purse, a shopping bag, a tote bag and a lunch cooler. Next to these two ladies was a maintenance worker walking a trash barrel on wheels and chatting it up on his cell phone, all in an extremely leisurely fashion. And this particular combination made it impossible for me to pass by, along with a bottleneck of others who were jamming up alongside and behind me. Finally we reached an intersection in the skyway and we all zipped passed the offending parties like Dale Jr. in the final lap of the Daytona 500 with his hair on fire.

Now I was tempted to toss a few choice remarks to the rude yahoos or at the very least, shoot a couple of evil eyes their way, but it’s just not in me to do such things. But apparently I have no problem putting all my ugly thoughts up on the blog, and good thing, because I feel so much better already. And also, traffic, for some odd reason was much lighter than usual and I was able to fly down the freeway like Dale Jr. in the Daytona 500 with his hair on fire enjoy a nice smoothe drive home and my nerves were calmed considerably.

And tomorrow, I’ll walk the skyways again. Because I am a wuss.

I'm an idiot

I am the most uninformed person I know. This might be because I NEVER watch the news. And watching the news is important if for no other reason than to stay on top of the weather. When living in Minnesota, it is important to be aware of the weather. But I am not aware of the weather because by the time I go to bed at night and turn on my t.v., I’ve usually missed all the important stuff, like the weather! And then there are more important things to keep up with, like Law & Order, The Closer, or House.

So, this morning, I was having one of those mornings. Women know what I’m talking about here. I chose some clothing to wear today, then decided I didn’t like the shirt I had on. So I found another. Decided I didn’t like that. Then I went and got a new shirt that I just bought, and decided it would look better with the new dress pants I just bought. So I changed AGAIN. Now, being satisfied with my outfit, I headed off to work. Now the thing to remember about dress pants is, they are generally lightweight. The thing to remember about Minnesota winters is, they are generally not WARM. But we’ve had a little warm spell the last few days, which is why I decided to forgo the usual uniform of jeans and a sweater and this is where my lack of informedness comes in.

As I am tooling down the freeway totally enjoying not freezing my butt off and bouncing around to a new (to me) Collective Soul song, the radio d.j. suddenly announces that our little heatwave is over and we can expect temperatures with wind chills in the thirty below range by the time I head home tonight. I believe I heard the words, “winter weather advisory.” I came down from my little weather-induced high in about 3 seconds flat.

My irritation is mildly tempered by the fact that downtown is full of skyways so that I can walk from building to building without ever being exposed to the elements. But I still have to enter the parking ramp, which is open, and NOT heated. And my car will warm to an acceptable level by the time I’m about five minutes from home. Remote car starters should come standard on cars sold in Minnesota.

Lesson learned? Don’t trust the weather in Minnesota, and watch the local news for crying out loud! (If anyone wants to earn a few bucks, I’ll gladly pay you to go start my car up and crank the heater to the max around, say, 4:30 CST!

I’m going to have to keep this song playing to keep my mood on the upper end of the scale today:

 

Getting stupid

Allow me to introduce you to stupidtom:

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Now, I’m not being rude and disrespectful by calling our stupid friend here, “stupidtom.” Stupidtom CHOSE that stupid name for himself! And stupidtom did something stupid today. He challenged me to a stupid blog fight! (In one of his RARE appearances in my comment section, he CHALLENGES ME TO A BLOG FIGHT! The stupid NERVE!) Now take a good look at that stupid picture up above. I’m sure you’ll agree with me that a guy wearing such a stupid mad bomber hat can’t compete with the likes of stupid ME! Of course he can’t. I could out-run him! That stupid hat eliminates all of his stupid aerodynamics!

You really must go have a look around over at stupidtom.com. It is full of stupidity. Approximately every other blog post is stupidly categorized as “cranky.” Stupidtom writes about such stupid things as the time he stupidly peed in his own face, how he names his own stupid manly parts, and my ALL TIME FAVORITE stupid post about the time he ran into a rather, shall we say, voluptuous woman, (to put it kindly) in the stupid Speedway store where he purchases his daily six gallon allotment of stupid Diet Coke and was so entranced by the size of this woman’s stupid breasts that he was moved to document his stupid feelings in writing: “These things were huge and loose and I was locked in like a fat kid to a bakery window.”

If you haven’t caught on to me by now, I should tell you I’m not really writing this to fight with stupidtom. Stupidtom is one of my favorite stupid sites and I really just want you to go on over and check out the daily stupidity. Stupidtom’s blog is so stupid, he even got a stupid cartoon designed in his stupid honor. I can’t promise you G-rated material or warm fuzzies, but if you want to laugh until you pee your stupid pants, it’s the place to go.

(P.S. Hey Tom? My blog had a visit from someone named BobBible today. I’m guessing he’s not going to be back after this!)

Definitely not ever going to be ready for the big time…

All the cool kids were doing it, so I had to do it too.

I don’t even have a real video camera. This was taken on a little Nikon CoolPix digital camera that also takes video. It’s really poor quality and there’s an odd clicking sound in the audio, probably from dropping the camera one too many times. So here you go…. that’s a full blown Minnesota “accent” there…

Are you a player or a spectator?

As many of us do, I often joke about my blogging addiction, but the truth is, it really has become my passion. Oh, I don’t proclaim to be a GOOD blogger, but I do love to put my thoughts out there and experience the high that comes from knowing someone read my words and really thought about them. I feel that connection when someone GETS me and cares enough to leave a comment telling me so. I have not often felt so affirmed in my life as I have through my blogging.

So when I recently became aware of a couple episodes of unrest between some blogger circles, it really unsettled me. I may be naieve, but I’ve never experienced anything but acceptance, support, and some mild constructive criticism. Maybe that’s because I’m not a big-time blogger. Maybe it’s because I don’t take a stand on any really big issues and I simply write about the small world I live in. I am happy to have the smallish circle of friends I’ve found in the blog world and that I have the time to visit those friends and keep up with them on a daily basis. I have no desire to earn money from my blog and so the stakes aren’t high for me.

I hold nothing against those that strive for more from their blogs. I admire those that can articulate themselves in a way that strikes the very hearts of others. I am in awe of those who can come up with something profound or hysterical or that draws heat from their readers. I experience pangs of envy towards those who are writing actual books and who are on the road to being published. To be honest, I’d love to be on that road but the truth is, the talent is not there or I’ve yet to dig it out from deep inside.

If you really knew me, you’d know I avoid conflict at all costs. Is that a fault or a strength? I guess it depends on the situation. But it IS the reason this unrest gives me so much discomfort.

My world is not all sunshine and roses and maybe that’s why I strive for only that which is positive in my blogging experiences. This internet is infinite and it’s my prerogative to connect with like-minded people, just as it’s anyone else’s right to take us outside our comfort zones. I wouldn’t dare ask them to stop, but I can choose not to step in the ring. I’d prefer just to stand back and watch in wonder, amazement, discomfort and sometimes admiration. This world is full of players and spectators. I think, at least for now, I’m going to stay back here behind the safety glass.

How about you?

Can you do me a favor?

You might remember that if you’re reading my blog here, you’ve arrived at a redirected page. This is not my real blog. I really miss my real blog. So….I want to ask you a favor. If everyone who reads this would go over here to Paul’s site and leave a comment saying something like,

Terri says you promised to look at her blog this weekend and try to fix it. And by the way, you ROCK and she’ll really, really, really appreciate it if you fix it and did I mention that you rock?,”

then I will give everyone who leaves him a comment some special recognition. “What kind of recognition,” you ask? I don’t know yet. Obviously this is not a well thought out plan. I’m open to suggestions!

Oh, and maybe you should leave me a comment if you participate so I don’t miss anyone when I figure out a really great way to recognize anyone who tries to help me out.

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You’re my only hope!

Thanks!

Kids' sports & politics – enough already

Kids’ sports and politics…. Why????? 

Kacey was invited to join an independent softball team this year. This means she won’t try out for a team with the local association as she normally does. She (and we) decided to accept the invitation.

Here’s why. Let me recap last year:

  • 1 “head” coach who was too busy with other commitments to actually attend most practices, ANY regular season games and most of the weekend tournaments.
  • 3 assistant coaches doing the best they could to field a team that could compete in their division, without the assistance of the “head” coach.
  • 1 “head” coach’s wife and her buddy (also a player’s mom) who sat behind the backstop at every practice and game last year, undermining the assistant coaches and telling their daughters to do the exact opposite of what the assistant coaches asked.
  • Endless emails from the “head” coach to his assistant coaches, (and copied to all the parents) berating the the assistant coaches for making the girls run during practice. (Making softball players run! The nerve! Like they’ll need to be in condition for running the bases or something!) The berating stemmed from multiple “complaints” from parents insisting that the girls were being overworked and that there was fear that the girls would get sick or injured.
  • Players’ parents talking to each other after these scathing emails only to find out no one was complaining except for “head” coach’s wife and her buddy.
  • Head coach having a team meeting after the team got knocked out of the state tournament, berating the girls for playing poorly, except for HIS daughter, to whom he announced in front of the rest of the team, “You are too good to play with this team. I’m putting you on a club team next year.”
  • “Head” coach is now the president of our association and doesn’t play well with others.

So, it seems most of the girls in the 14U age level in our association are choosing not to try out for the association but moving on to independent teams. We had a team meeting tonight to get everyone up to speed on how we are going to pull this off. The meeting was held in the banquet room at a local grill and bar. We have several options for getting an independent team together, free of control freaks and their wives.

After the meeting was over, we moved out of the banquet room and into the bar. We happened to be sitting with one of last year’s assistant coaches, Doug.

As we were sitting and excitedly discussing how nice it will be to have a team of players and parents who just want to see the girls improve their skills and have fun, Doug’s phone began to ring. He answered it, only to discover it was the wife of last year’s “head” coach. The conversation went something like this:

Ring, ring!

Doug: “Hello, this is Doug.”

“Head” coach’s wife: “Doug! I know you guys are having a meeting about forming an independent team! You CAN’T do this! There are barely enough girls left to form a team for our association! You BETTER tell me what’s going on there!”

Doug: “I’m sorry. I think you have the wrong number!”

MAN, I am looking forward to this year’s softball season!