Friday, November 26, 2010

Five Question Friday: Thanksgiving!

1. What is your favorite part of a Thanksgiving meal?

Sweet potatoes.  Yum. 

2. Are you a host or a guest for Thanksgiving this year?

Guest this year, though we have hosted.  We went to my cousin's house about an hour away.  There were 20+ in attendance.  A good crowd of aunts, uncles, cousins and significant others (and kids).

3. When you think of one Thanksgiving tradition, what comes to mind?

Pie.  There must be pie.  My grandmother was famous for her pie, and her recipe has been handed down.

4. You have two pieces of pie in front of you and you HAVE to eat you choose pumpkin or pecan?

Probably pumpkin.  We rarely have pecan pie at our Thanksgivings.  Always apple and pumpkin.  This year we also had some pumpkin cheesecake pie -- that was my choice!

5. Are you a Black Friday Shopper?

Never ever ever.  I have an extreme phobia of crowds.  No, it goes beyond phobia;  I get extremely anxious and angry in crowds.  I tell others it is for their safety that I stay home.  No one would want to die, right?  Just kidding.  Kind of. 

Online shopping is my friend, but I haven't even done that today.  Cyber Monday maybe.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Thanksgiving table

Every Thanksgiving since I was a babe, my family on my mother's side has gathered for a traditional Thanksgiving feast. When I was young, my grandmother presided over the feast. After she passed, the aunts and uncles took over the reins.

As the families grew, tables were added. The kids table. An extra card table -- AKA the "losers" table. Some kind of unofficial pecking order was unwritten. A cousin moving to the "adult" table was a rite of passage.

Then one year, we all arrived at my uncle's house, and there were no array of tables preset. As the aroma of turkey wafted, he called in all the strapping boys to help him assemble something in the front room. Something large.

My uncle had built a table. A huge, long table. A table that a sole purpose: fitting everyone for Thanksgiving dinner. For the first time in many years, we all sat down for a Thanksgiving meal at one table. No kids table. No "losers" table.

For me, this is what Thanksgiving is all about. Family, gathering together. I am so thankful that my uncle wanted to make that table so that we could enjoy a few years where all of us could sit at the same table together.

Who am I kidding?  We don't look like that!

Now, as the cousins have grown up and married, and had kids -- this table has also been outgrown. In fact, our Thanksgiving gathering has outgrown most of the houses that used to host the celebration.  But, I'm looking forward to another Thanksgiving to gather with my extended family to catch up, laugh, and eat... together.

Better.  Not quite, but closer.

This one works, too.  Depends on who is hosting!
Let's hope no one's Thanksgiving turns out this way.  Brains! Brains!
This post was brought to you by...

Mama's Losin' It

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: My little martial artist

My son just tested for his first belt in Tae Kwan Do.  Very proud momma and daddy!

Post-it Tuesday: Rock of Ages!

*I just saw Rock of Ages over the weekend, and it was AWESOME.  RAD.  And Constantine Maroulis' hair performance was amazing!

**Have I mentioned I have a "thing" with men's hair?  Constantine gets an A+.

Only Parent Chronicles

Friday, November 19, 2010

Five questions: I don't know it's Christmas

1. What Christmas song do you loathe?

I really, really loathe "Do they know it's Christmas?"  And, yes, I know it raised millions of dollars for aid in Africa.  But, I hear the lyrics and think -- this is patronizing and stereotypical.

There's no rain, no snow, and no rivers in Africa? 

Just starving children that need "our" help? 

And they all need to know it's a Christian holiday? 


I'm so glad it made lots of money, but it just turns my stomache.  Apparently, I'm not the only one who feels this way.

2. Do you and your significant other cuddle at night or sleep on opposite sides of the bed?

We cuddle, arm-in-arm and spoon -- nestled up close.  Every night.  All night. We've been married for 13+ years. Do you believe me?

3. Have you ever had surgery?

I had my ruptured appendix removed when I was 21.  Two week stay in the hospital.  Two months of IV antibiotics. Fun times.

I've also had tubes put in my ears as an adult (always good when the doctor tells you he does his surgeries by order of age -- and the person before you is 8).  And I've had my wisdom teeth out.

4. When do you typically have your holiday shopping done?

I'm usually pretty close to done about a week or so before Christmas, though there's always something pick up last minute.   I do a lot of shopping online.

5. If money were not an issue (and you HAD to pick something), what would your ultimate luxury item be?

I would vacation for 1/2 the year.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

O Captain Kirk...

O Captain my Captain! I fear your career is nearly dead;
The Enterprise has boldy left, they've called 911 ahead;
Ready to be beamed up, but Priceline is free falling,
Your new show bleeps and reels, but you keep on smiling?

But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of redshirts,
Where on the stardeck my Captain lies,
Fallen from the Enterprise to Bleep My Dad Says.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the communicator tweeting;
Rise up—for your phaser is on stun—for you the Romulans cloaking;
For you Trekkies wear their uniforms — for you the geeks come a-crowding;
For you they come at warp speed, their eager ears a-pointing;
Here Captain! dear father!
This hand starts a mind meld;
But the results are most illogical,
You've fallen from the Enterprise to Bleep My Dad Says.

My Captain does not answer, his lips still a-swearing; 
My father does not see my tricorder, the Klingon enemies replaced by poor writing;
The Enterprise is dusty now, the final frontier is closed and done;
He came from space, where no actor has gone before;
Then he set phaser to kill.  No!  It was supposed to only be stun!
But I, with futile resistence,
Walk the stardeck where my Captain lies,
Fallen from the Enterprise to Bleep My Dad Says.

...With pardons to Walt Whitman.

This was prompted by Mama Kat's writing workshop.  I combined the poem for someone who has made me smile, and a letter to a celebrity!

Mama's Losin' It

Wordless Wednesday: You know you work in IT when...

I was dropping off my recyclables at work, and found this.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

People are not for hitting, but take-downs and zombie double taps are A-OK!

As a parent, I'm not overly strict with my kids (or maybe I just think I'm reasonable...).  My son is allowed to jump on the bed (if he asks first).  My daughter can stay up ten minutes past her bedtime (to finish reading her book). 

Would you like a hit?  No, thank you.

However, there is one thing there is zero tolerance for in our household: aggression. By anyone. Pretty obvious, yes?  Nobody likes aggressive people, right?

Well, I think a definition is in order here: aggression is any behavior that is intended to cause pain or harm (Source:  Wikipedia). 

Guess what?  There is no hitting or spanking in my house.  While it might "work" as a punishment/behavior modifier, I do not want to teach my kids that aggression is an answer to problems (spanking is aggression -- it is intending to cause pain). 

We also work very hard to ensure there is no verbal aggression as well.  Even when I'm disciplining one of my children, I try my best to use an even and calm tone of voice.  I don't feign that I'm successful all the time (oh, how my children try my patience!), but this is my goal.  Yelling is often aggression.

By doing these things, I hope -- I intend -- to teach my children to not see aggression as acceptable... for any reason. 

Fortunately (and I'd like to think because of the way we parent), we rarely have had to deal with aggressive behaviors from my children (3-year-old boy and 6-year-old girl).  However, recently my 3-year-old son bit his friend at preschool.  While the exact circumstances will only be known to a 3- and 4-year-old (they were out on the playground playing with a ball), my son's teacher guesses that my son was tired of the brutish/bullyish behavior from the older boy, and after a long day of preschool, my son acted out and bit in retaliation.

By the time the teachers arrived "on scene," they thought that my son was the one aggressed upon because he was crying and extremely upset.  Meanwhile, the other boy was just acting surprised.  When my husband and I had "the talk" with my son, he was ashamed by his behavior.  We did not have to even explain to him what he did wrong;  he knew and he made no excuses.  He apologized and said it will never happen again.  I believe him.

But what about...

Now -- I take you to a different aspect in our household.  The ironies you might call them. 
  • My husband is a 5th degree black belt in Tang Soo Do.  He can break 5 bricks with his fist.  Cool, huh?  He has stacks of forms and sparring trophies.  And he loves mixed martial arts (also called ultimate fighting). 
  • My son and husband's current favorite game is "Karate." My son attempts to jump on daddy, and daddy mocks "taking down" the 3-year-old. Occasionally, my daughter joins in for a few submission attempts. 
  • I love me a good zombie or horror flick.  My husband and I are currently obsessed with AMC's The Walking Dead (and I just heard they picked it up for a second season!  Yay!).  We also just watched the latest Saw movie for a recent date night (Cary Elwes ROCKS!).  
She's a hypocrite!

Ha! You caught us! My husband the "ultimate" aggressor.  My kids play aggressive. And I love me some aggressive entertainment.  Mixed signals.

  • True martial arts are not aggressive. (If you practice you already knew that.) Martial arts teaches to avoid fighting, and fight only in defense. Sparring is used as practice. 
  • Rough-and-tumble play -- without intent to cause harm to each other -- is very positive interaction. 
  • But, my love of all things zombie?  Well... just cause I like a little violence and gore doesn't mean I'm gonna eat your brains.
This post was prompted by Working Mom Wednesday's "non-negotiables."  I was supposed to come up with ten, but it looks like I have one big one.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday fill ins: Homophobic stalkers, Heathers, and Glo Golf! we go!

1. When pigs fly I can eat bacon for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

2. "Assistant attorney general Andrew Shirvell was fired Monday for using his work hours to make attacks on an openly gay student leader [Chris Armstrong] at the University of Michigan, violating office policies, engaging in borderline stalking behavior and lying to investigators." Source: Detroit Free Press

...Mr. Shirvell was fired by his very conservative, Republican boss who -- after reviewing the facts of the case -- realized his employee was going way beyond First Amendment free speech rights and was stalking this young college student.  

...And yet Mr. Shirvell -- a 30-something "grown-up" -- still claims his actions -- which included hiding in the bushes by Mr. Armstrong's house at the wee hours of the morning and videotaping a college party -- are protected free speech about uncovering Mr. Armstrong's hidden"homosexual political agenda."  


3. Call me crazy, but I think this Mr. Shirvell has some serious issues.   I recommend calling a shrink ASAP!

4. J.D.: Wanna go out tonight? Catch a movie? Miniature golf?  
Veronica Sawyer: I was thinking more along the lines of slitting Heather Duke's wrists open, making it look like suicide.  
J.D.: Ah, now you're talking. I can be up for that. I've already started underlining meaningful passages in her copy of Moby Dick, if you know what I mean.

5. The most entertaining person in my life is a trick question because anyone I put down would eliminate all the other entertaining people in my life. 

6. I'm ready to call it a day -- who's next?

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to playing glo golf with my hubby, tomorrow my plans include yoga and Sunday, I want to sleep in!


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