Friday, August 29, 2008

I'm in love.....

Not "in love" in the traditional sense, but "love" in more of a "How the Grinch stole Christmas" sort of way. Does that make any sense? Let me explain.... Do you remember, near the end of the movie, how he was leaning against the mountain, having stolen all the Who's toys, and boxes and ribbons and bows?

He took everything out of every who's house, and even stole the last crumb -- too small for the mouse.

And that bastard, he took all of the food for the feast.
He took the Who hash and he took the roast beast.

And then there he was, leaning against that mountain top, grinning his nasty little grin, just waiting to hear the cries of anguish from those Who's down in Who-ville -- the tall and the small -- when they realized that Christmas wasn't coming at all. But those Who's, they came out of their homes undeterred. They held hands, and they sang, and they had hope and happiness. And that Grinch he just couldn't get it -- until he GOT it! Hope. Happiness. And then his small heart, 3 sizes too small, actually grew 4 sizes that day! Remember? Remember how it got so big it broke the heart-measuring thingy?

So I guess I'm not really comparing myself to the Grinch -- with all the thieving and grouchiness -- except to say that my heart, made so hard and cold and tiny by the unbelievable arrogance and incredible ineptitude of our current administration, grew four sizes last night. Because last night, Barack Obama stole it. This is not to say that I didn't always like him. I did. But now I love him. He has renewed in me a sense of hope and optimism for this country that I haven't felt in a long, long time. And for the first time in almost a decade, I actually think that yes, we can.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Our day yesterday

Lookey here who started Kindergarten yesterday! Real, true, this-is-the-year-that-we-really-mean-it, kindergarten.

It's going to be a good year.
I can tell already.

I know it, because when they did the intake testing they asked Gibson all kinds of questions. Questions like "Do you know when your birthday is?", and "Do you know what your name is?", and "Do you know how to spell it?" To which Gibson replied "JULY 6TH!!!", "GIBSON!!", and "G-I-B-S-O-N!!!!!" I think they also checked to see how many letters and numbers he knew, and frankly, he has a much better grasp on all of that than he did last year. His self-confidence just got a major boost, and I can't even begin to tell you how proud he is of himself. He positively glowed as he recounted his testing questions and showed us his "homework" at the dinnertable.

Oh yes. It's going to be a good year.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Regardless of what he thinks, there IS a difference.

We're Baaaaa-aaack!

Back from our fantastically glorious week-long trip to the Outer Banks. (Sigh......) The perfect weather, the scrumptious seafood, the fabulous laziness that comes about from reading for hours in a chair while you dangle your toes in the surf and your children scramble up and down the beach....... it's all so hard to peel yourself away from. But alas, all good things must come to an end eventually, right?

So here we are, back in Charlotte (Ha! I just typed "Charloote" and it struck me as very funny. Charloote. Ha ha ha......) As I was saying, here we are back in Charlotte, ready to kick off another school year. We came home to a clean house -- thank you very much -- and were able to get most of our necessities done on Saturday; Lawn mowing, grocery shopping, battling with all the other half-assed-slacker-parents scrambling to get their hands on the last of the school supplies.

And seeing that we were fresh off of vacation, Mike suggested a Sunday afternoon trip to Carowinds. You know, sort of a last-hurrah before school officially starts. So we went. I was expecting crazy crowds, but amazingly enough it was pretty reasonable. We were able to walk right onto lots of rides, and any wait we had was relatively short. So even though we hadn't planned to, we closed down the park. And as our evening was coming to an end, we were trying to decide which rides to ride as the last official rides of the summer. Of course, the boys were arguing about who wanted to ride what, what order we should ride them in, and which way we should go. Gibson was vying for the action-adventure theatre (which I will admit is pretty cool. You get to watch a spongebob movie in huge red 3-D glasses while the seats move around underneath you. It really is like being in a pineapple under the sea.) and Landis was rallying hard for Boot's Balloon Race. I personally don't mind Boot's Balloons, but Mike......... Well, let's just say he calls it "Barf's Balloons". Apparently he can't go around and around in flying circles anymore. And I think he's officially apologized to my parents for making fun of them when they wouldn't ride the Merry-Go-Round. But me? I can take it. In fact, I like it. So I stepped in with a brilliant plan -- I am, after all, THE MOTHER. "How about this?" I proposed. "What if daddy goes to the action-adventure theatre with Gibson, and mommy goes on Boot's Balloons with Landis? Then..." I said, addressing Mike and Gibson, "when your movie is over you can come and meet us in kiddie-land." Everyone agreed that I was indeed brilliant, and before they walked away Mike gave me a look of gratitude that said "You are the best thing since sliced bread, and I promise you a 30 minute foot rub this week, since you have selflessly saved me from an inevitable meeting with the bushes". OK, actually he just turned and left with Gibson, but I know that's what he meant and I intend to collect.

So, Landis and I got over to Boot's Balloon Race, and lo' and behold, there was almost NO LINE! And you know what this means, don't you? It not only means that we got on the ride immediately, it also means that we rode it MULTIPLE TIMES! As soon as the little buckets would come back down to earth from their dizzying flight, Landis would exclaim "LET'S DO IT AGAIN!!!" and we'd run around and get back on. The funny thing was, Boot's Balloon Ride had a funny smell about it. One I couldn't quite put my finger on. Though after we'd been slung around a few times, I decided that it smelled a little bit like a sewer. Like, perhaps the building next door was a bathroom that had seen a little too much use that day.

"Gross." I thought. "I wonder if that bathroom always gives off such a funky smell..? How can the people working here all day stand it?"

And then Mike and Gib showed up, and since Mike had to wait in a shop next door so he didn't even have to watch(*) the balloons go 'round and 'round, we thought it best if we headed over to our very last ride of the evening. It was a huge swingy-platform-thingy, and the four of us sat side by side in our own little row. We buckled in and away we went. It swung us up and down, and back and forth, and then up and over and up and over. It was fun. And then it stopped. And then I smelled that funky sewer smell again.

"That's weird...." I thought. "It smells a little bit like a sewer over here too..... It's almost like that smell is.... following..... me......around......."

And then I understood. That smell was following me around. In the form of my youngest child. I sniffed the air as I looked down into the smiling crystal clear blue eyes of SeƱor-Stinky-Sewer-Pants sitting directly to my left.

My child who gambles and loses.

God love him.

Please, please tell me that one day he'll be able to tell the difference between a fart and a turd.

(* Wimp, wimp, wimpy, wimpy, wimp)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Don't drink the water

Last year I wrote a post about my mother-in-law, and her insane ability to torment herself with disturbing thoughts. In that particular post, I did my best to explain her train of thought as I understand it; How she creates these scenarios in her mind that are indeed disturbing, yet highly unlikely. And also to explain that as improbable as they are, she believes in them whole-heartedly. Like somehow whatever "worst-case-scenario" she can conjure up is not a remote possibility, but instead the most likely outcome. And this weekend I had a conversation with my husband that proves that the proverbial apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Let me explain.......

We'd gone over to western North Carolina to take the boys rafting. We were planning to camp, but if you've ever been near the Nantahala, you know that it can cost upwards of $30.00 for a 5x5 piece of dirt with loud (and sometimes drunken) neighbors occupying the 5x5 pieces of dirt on either side of you. Being that we were only planning on residing there for an evening -- and realistically didn't have to pitch a tent since the weather was going to be so nice -- we opted instead to "stow-away" on a piece of property near the put-in. I don't want to give too much away regarding this little gem we found, except to say that there was a building on it. And due to a small light left burning, once it started to get dark you could see in. There was an office on the top level -- with a kitchen in it.

Now, one of the problems with stowing-away is that you have to do some primitive camping -- and by that I mean there is no access to water and/or bathroom facilities. But we're fine with that. Our breakfast (cereal and milk) required no water, none of us have any issues with whizzing in the woods, and (if you'll pardon my crassness) any other "bizness" we had could be taken care of in the morning at the put-in. (A put-in with flush toilets I might add.....) But you know, I was thirsty. And I'd forgotten to fill up my water bottle before we left civilization. So we walked down to the previously mentioned building and scouted around. Guess what we found? Water spigots! Two of them. One on the west side of the building, and one on the front. Hooray! This meant I wouldn't have to ration what was left of my water. I knelt down and started to turn the spigot.

Mike: "I wouldn't do that if I were you. How do you know that water is potable?
Me: "There are spigots -- coming out of a building."
Mike: "So? That doesn't mean it's drinkable."
Me: "Ummmm.......Mike? I don't really consider myself an expert on the subject, but I'm pretty sure that they don't waste time and money on plumbing for non-potable water."
Mike: "It could be coming from a well you know......"
Me: "So what if it's coming from a well? Lots of people get their water from wells. Most of my family grew up on a well."
Mike: (Pause) "Well.... it could be coming from a well that hasn't been tested......"
Me: "Mike, they have a kitchen. I highly doubt that there are 2 separate water sources coming into this building. Clearly, they use the water. I'm sure it's fine."
Mike: "I'm just sayin'......"
Me: (Sigh)

I bent down, filled up my water bottle, and took a swig.

Mike: "You're drinking poison water."
Me: (Nodding) "Spoken like a true Kafsky."

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Guessing Game

  • Me: (Filling Gibson's plate with food.) What else do you want buddy?
  • Gib: (Pointing) I'll have some of that Gopher.
  • Me: (Pointing) Is this what you're talking about?
  • Gib: Yeah, that.
  • Me: Why are you calling it "Gopher"?
  • Gib: 'Cuz that's how you eat it. (Imitates eating motion.)

So, just for kicks, let's play a little game. The rules are easy:

100 extra-credit-super-sized-bonus-points (and maybe a small prize) go to the first person* to correctly identify the food item he was talking about.

(*No fair guessing if you were standing in the kitchen when this conversation went down. Mom, I think this means you.)