Wednesday, June 18, 2014


There is nothing more entertaining then two eight year-old boys in the car.  My son has been begging to play with a friend so after 10 text messages, three phone calls, and a couple of emails we finally scored!

We picked up his buddy and we are driving home when we pass one of their friends houses and this is the conversation that I hear.

"There's Griffin's house."
"He's moving."
"He is?"
"Yep next to Brody, Brody..."
"Brody Black?"
"No the other Brody."
"Brody Jones?"
"Yeah him."
"Where does he live?"
"Over by school, you know that dog that always gets out when we are at recess, you know that place we are suppose to run through the fence in case of an intruder in the school, that place."
"Yeah - I want to buy his house. I wanna live there alone."
"I'll live with you."
"I think we would destroy the place."
"We'd party every night."
Giggle, giggle, whoop, whoop, fist pumps
"Yeah we'd play Duck, Duck, Goose!"
"We could chase each other around in circles!"

Ok this is where I was trying so hard not to laugh out loud that I thought I might start snorting so instead I started "coughing" and missed the rest of the conversation that had something to do with underwear. That's eight year-old boys for you.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Why is summer so hard?

Why is summer so hard? The boys are on edge and seem more stressed than they did the last month of school.  My rational, read 1/2 a parenting book brain tells me that this is developmentally appropriate and comes from the lack of routine.

My tired mommy brain however only recalls summer being the greatest time of the year - second only to Christmas morning.  There were no rules, we played tag until dark and then played Ghost in the graveyard.  We rode bikes for hours and would chase the "fogger" down the street.

Oh those were the days...nothing like sunburns, red Kool-aid, and DDT.  What are my kids complaining about? Their chore chart, summer reading program, or sports leagues.  Jeez!
The reality is that I am floundering also. 

My mother-in-law arrived the day after school was out to live with us for six months. When she stays with us I don't have to worry about cooking or cleaning.  This is a perfect time for me to dive into much over due projects but the only thing I've dived into is the couch.

It's hard to punish the kids for playing itouch for two hours when I sat staring at the TV waiting for another grocery list.  I keep telling the boys, "Read a Book! Make something! Play a game!" Then I wonder around the house for a half an hour myself looking at things thinking-I should be doing something!! but I don't. Man, why is summer so hard?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Judgement Day

Growing up Catholic this was not an unfamiliar term but as I have grown older this has taken on a whole new meaning. Going to the pool for the fist time each summer in a bathing suit - is Judgment Day.

Why do we women feel the pressure to be perfect? To look a certain way? And ultimately to take down those women who make it happen!  I am not talking about a commentary about advertising today, magazines, or reality TV. I think women have always felt the need to be something that we are not - for someone else.

My poor eight-year-old son, always analyzing everything and I say to him don't over analyze life, just have fun. yet here I am.  "Hello Apple" Secretly happy for the sudden cold snap so that I can delay going to the pool a little while longer.  We've been to the pool just twice but I have been able to avoid the whole bathing suit thing thus far.

But what did I do was giggle at the family that walked into the neighbors pool the other night.  It was hard not to it's Saturday night at a pool in the Midwest and 85 degrees outside.  The wife is in a Maxi dress perfectly coiffed hair, make-up ,and heels! The husband is in a polo bathing suit that does not look like it has ever been washed let alone swam in and a crisp white long sleeve polo dress shirt. untucked. leather loafers. The children following behind a boy and a girl look like models right off the front window of Abercrombie and Fitch.

The irony is I do not want to be judged in my bathing suit, but here I was giggling at Barbie and Ken....and whatever it was they named their kids. The more insecure we feel, the more we need to take others down there with us to Insecurville.  I guess if you can't beat 'um - join 'um right?

I don't think that Judgment Day will be the end, the last, the finale. I think it is every day that we are given the opportunity to choose.  Do I tell my child I told you so, do I berate myself in the car when I miss the turn, do I make a sarcastic comment to my husband, do I talk about someone at the pool?

A very wise women wrote "I Didn't want my level of self-love to limit how much I could love my children or my husband.  Why? Because loving them and accepting their imperfections is much easier than turning the light of loving-kindess on myself....I know I can talk to myself in ways that I would never consider talking to another person." Brene Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

Judgment Day is everyday and I am going to choose to start but not judging the woman in the mirror - not even in her bathing suit!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Teaching Gia Gia

Wouldn't that make a great film title?

I am watching my eight-year-old teach his Grandmother (Gia Gia) who speaks very little English how to play Monopoly. This is the funniest and cutest thing ever. He won't let her go twice for rolling doubles and he has already bought up half the board so she has landed on his property three times and she hasn't made it to GO yet.

Every time she has to pay him she pretends to cry and he laughs. Every time he counts back change from a $500 bill she shouts "Bravo!" and beams like he just graduated college at age 8.  He is helping her with her properties and money and the Free Parking pot because she has landed on every tax on the board already.

I think I am taking Gia Gia down to a casino - she has rolled doubles almost every turn. But of course she was not allowed to take two turns because he had not rolled doubles.  When he rolled doubles he wanted to take 2 turns but Gia Gia was on it. She said "Why you go two and not me?" Busted! There is a new rule now.

Gia Gia has three properties now, but my little real estate mogul has 10, of course he is also out of money and desperate to land on Free Parking. He did not. He landed on Go To Jail. Gia Gia rolled another double and landed on Free Parking. I wonder how long this game can last??

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The suitcase

After the touching moments with my older son and his Gia Gia I was thinking that the youngest must be the strong stoic silent type. Until the suitcase came out.

"What's in there for me Gia Gia?" So there it was, she could have handed him her laundry bag and he would have been happy.  As it was he was excited to come away with a new t-shirt and a chicken key chain that crows and lights up.

Because of the language barrier my son at first walked away with a t-shirt that fit him, and one that would take him three years to grow into, a pair of sock that he probably wouldn't fit until he had his own children, and a bottle of perfume.

I had to intervene and tell him that Gia Gia was asking him to pass out the gifts - not take all the gifts.

God love him!

She's Here!

It's been too long and after waiting "forever" according to the boys Gia Gia has arrived! Gia Gia is grandmother in Greek. Yes, my mother-in-law is living with us for the next six months and I am OK with that.

Especially after her arrival last night.  My eleven-year-old son was the first to see the car and ran outside at 11 o'clock last night. He is now taller than Gia Gia who obviously no longer stands above 5 feet tall.  He hugged her and started to cry - "I am so happy to see you!"

As I was tucking everyone in last night he said to me, "Mom, I can't tell you how good it is to see her here." But the best was this morning.  The last time Gia Gia came to live with us the boys felt compelled to talk to Gia Gia with an accent.  It wasn't even a Greek accent really - they sounded more like Mario and Lugi. It was too cute to correct.

This morning my son took Gia Gia under his wing.  Helping her make her coffee, sharing his prized Churro that he saved from yesterday just for her to taste, and telling her all about Minecraft.  The most precious was when she said "I go shower" and he jumped up.

"The shower can be tricky Gia Gia. I will help you." He walked her upstairs and shower her everything in the bathroom and explained it - shampoo, conditioner, soap, towels.  Then he explained that the shower nozzle is reversed so hot is cold and cold is hot.  He explained how to run the water and test it first, then turn on the shower and finally how to turn it off.  He even told her "I will stand outside the door just in case you need me."

Then I heard the water - and I heard him yell
είστε καλά
"Are you OK?"
I am sure she is now ;-) What Grandmother would not swoon over being taken care of like this by her Grandson. I know I am smiling like the Cheshire cat right now my chest swelling with pride.
Although- I should get upstairs quickly because she has a bad heart and I heard him get his Saxophone out while she was in the shower. I do not want him to blast it before she sees it.  Having lived through two wars the poor women may think we are under attack!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

School's Out!!

School is out - I have my kids back - let the fun begin.

It has been a while since I've written and when I look back at my calendar it's no wonder. We've been crazy busy.  I think that's why I am just as ready as the boys for summer to start. After living through the Polar Vortex...I wonder - What do Frozen things do in Summer??

I plan to catch up with the kids, and Olaf, and my Blog, So stay tuned!!!