Friday, January 29, 2010

Only Crazy People Talk to Themselves

Are you at all surprised that I happen to be one of them? I thought not. Here is a tiny sampling of some of the recent silent monologues that have inhabited my cranium.

  • I have this gift of being able to tell myself to wake up at a certain time, and then actually doing it. If you tell me to wake up at 3:33AM--I'll wake up at 3:33AM, no alarm necessary. It's a pretty sweet super power to have actually--much better than throwing cobwebs all over the place. The problem lately is that even though I'm awake and aware that it's 6:45 and that's the time that I said I want to get up--I've since grown quite comfortable in my snugly warm bed. So I open my eyes, see the clock and then debate if I really do need to get up now. What if I have cold cereal instead of oatmeal? That will buy me 10 minutes. Oh and I could check my email while the kids' waffles are cooking, that's another 5 minutes. I'll put my shoes on at the stoplights--yep. I can totally sleep for another 20 minutes.

  • Often I will spend 15 minutes trying to talk myself into putting forth the effort and time it takes to dry my hair. Which is quite sad when you consider that with the new awesome hairdryer I got for Christmas, it only takes 10 minutes to dry and flatiron my hair.

  • I bargain with myself all day long. Me: "Laura if you unload the dishwasher and plan your menu for the week, you can then have 25 minutes of quality blog reading time. You know how you enjoy peeking into other people's lives--especially that Kayla Aimee who is hilariously clever and is the one who gave you the idea to do this list in the first place." Other Me: How about if I unload the dishwasher, plan the menu, and make my grocery list for 45 minutes of computer time?" Me again: "Don't push your luck missy."

  • My spelling is and always has been atrocious. It is so bad that sometimes the word that I am trying to write doesn't even show up on spell check's list of suggestions. At this point, I usually start mumbling under my breath about silent consonants, homophones, foreign language origins and the lack of help that the i before e rule really provides. Then I thank Google for almost always knowing what word I meant. It's why Google and I are BFFs.

  • This morning I needed to get gas. I hate getting gas. Sincerely. But that's another story.There I was standing glove-less in the arctic air trying to find my American Express card with my useless, frozen fingers. I knew it was in my wallet somewhere, but I have this horrible habit of shoving it haphazardly amongst the appointment cards dating back a year and the inch thick stack of store reward cards I never remember to use. As the frigid air continued to make my fingers burn, I promised myself that since my AmEx is my most oft used piece of plastic, I will put it front and center in the first slot as soon as I am finished with it. Every time. I really mean it. Fifteen minutes later, I'm at the grocery store digging through my wallet again looking for that darn card.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Conversation to Stimulate Your Digestive System

Overheard at lunchtime:

Chase: Mama, how do you spell cantaloupe?
Mama: What's it start with? CCCCCantaloupe.
Chase: K!
Mama: Close, C. C also makes the Cah sound.
Chase: That's a tough one.

Chase: Amaya's licking my plate.

Chase: Mama, how do you spell bread?
Mama: What's it start with? BBBBBread.
Chase: B!
Mama: Right!
Chase: Bcdefghi--Underpants!
Mama: I don't think underpants is right.

Chase: Mama, remember when Amaya pooped in the bathtub?
Mama: Can you remember to ask me that again when her prom date is at the door?
Chase: Amaya's a tough one.

Monday, January 25, 2010

December 1980

From left to right: Shelby, Nikki, Mandy and me.

Today while doing a quick search to find a baby picture of myself, I came across this snapshot of my cousins and me. It just makes me smile. The pink cheeks of Shelby and Mandy. The wide eyes of Nikki. My own possessive clutching of the dolly. I just have to chuckle really.

I am 2.5 years old in this picture--so pretty much right between the ages that my children were this Christmas. I remember that raccoon that Shelby is holding, and I remember him not being happy about having to hold it for the picture. If memory serves, he threw what I like to call a "hellafit" over the whole thing. He'd probably throw an even bigger fit if we tried to get him to cuddle with a stuffed mammal today. Maybe we'll try that sometime?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Bullseye Missed its Mark

What is this?
It surely can't be Target--at least not the Target that I know, love and worship. No this--this is a misguided plan carried out by some profit obsessed executive thinking he had the magic answer to what consumers want. According to this article, the idea was to compete with the Costcos of the world--a perfectly reasonable endeavor. I think the execution lost something in translation though since I was so distracted by feeling like I'd been transported to a dilapidated lower tier discount store that I couldn't even bring myself to actually consider looking at the wares stocked there.

I don't begrudge a company wanting to enter the bulk market, but why must the display be so cheap looking? Was there something wrong with the standard shelving or was this some marketing ploy to make us believe that the deals are even greater because money was saved on the display? Though I'm not sure what shopper would be gullible enough to buy that line since even an elementary student knows that using something you already have is far cheaper than paying to manufacture something new. The Target brand has always been linked with giving customers a shopping experience--a place that feels higher end, but still has prices that are within reach. That was the reason for recruiting all of those top designers to do lower priced fashion lines. That's the basis for the slogan "Expect More, Pay Less." A hodge podge of items scattered around in bins next to cardboard tables does not fit that image. Not even close.

Even my 18 month old daughter knows that something about this picture just doesn't gel. Frankly Target, we expected more.

It's a good thing--Mellon style

When plasma TVs first came out, I was so excited. Finally, you could hang the contraption on the wall so that you didn't need to have an entire piece of furniture taking up precious floor space just to hold the squawk box. Even though I know that most aesthetically leaning ladies detest TVs above fireplaces, I was actually quite happy to have it placed above mine. Now, I could watch my favorite show and a roaring fire at the same time--perfect!

Well perfect until I realized the decorating dilemma that formed: what to put on the mantle under the black rectangle? It had to be something low, but still appropriate for the scale of the room. It was a conundrum that plagued me for the 2.5 years we've lived here, but it may have at last been solved. Behold:
And do you know what the best part is? This entire display cost less than $7.00. Seriously. I found the four frames at a thrift store for $.59 each and then made the monograms from scrapbook supplies I had on hand. The votive holders were part of the Martha line sold at Macy's but I found them untouched in their box at another thrift store for $4.50. Quandary solved for a bargain price--that's what I call a good thing.

Now if I could just find a way to hide that blasted speaker the man thinks he needs to have...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

All the Whos in Whoville

Amaya has decided that she wants to be in the movies. So she's working on her audition piece where she plans to channel Cindy Lou Who from the live action Jim Carrey Grinch vehicle, not the cartoon one.

Cindy Lou Photo:26 June 2001 © 2000 - Universal Studios

Pretty close resemblance, yes?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Gimme a G!

It seems that the new year has made me want to open up my soul and bare all of my secrets in a gush of hastily typed posts. I'm not sure what's gotten into me, or why I seem to be feeding on the cathartic power of disclosing my faults, but I can't stop sharing with you the inner workings of my mind. If it gets too scary for you, just imagine what it must be like to actually be someone as unbalanced as me.

Anyway, one of the Mama blogs that I read is called Cop Mama. Anytime I feel like I'm being overwhelmed by the joys of motherhood, I think about how she spends her days enforcing the law and wrangling bad guys then comes home to raise two little munchkins of her own. Somehow having to take out the trash and unload the dishwasher doesn't seem so bad after that.

One of the things I like about Cop Mama's blog is that she does Mama Guilt Mondays. Every Monday she writes a brief little post about what makes her feel like she's not doing the best job she can do as the Mama. I love this. It's ridiculous for any mama to feel that she isn't a good mother because raising a healthy, happy child automatically raises you to Super Mom status. Yet, no matter how absurd they may be, we still have those feelings of failure for not doing enough despite the mounting evidence to the contrary. We're always comparing our choices and actions to that image in our heads of the perfect mother figure. Then we beat ourselves up when we imagine we've fallen short of that ideal.

So why am I supporting writing a weekly post outlining all the ways that we believe we've failed? Because once you've put it in black and white for the world to read it loses that hold that it has on you. You can free it and forget it instead of repeating the tired track in your head. And probably when you go back and read it in a year, you'll have a laugh over ever feeling so guilty about something so silly.

So here's my Mommy Guilt for the week. Chase has Show & Share at school, but I still haven't figured out the schedule for it. I think the reason for this is that he only goes 3 days a week so we miss the day before reminders to bring something in. So every week, the teacher goes through his backpack looking for something for him to share. Well, the only thing that she was able to find for the past two weeks was his monster toboggan. Here's a picture of it:

Which yes it's cute, but two shares worth of cute? No. So my poor kid has had to stand up and talk about this hat twice while all of the other kids probably share dollies, trains, books and trophies. All because I couldn't seem to get organized enough to send something more interesting than winter wear to school with the child. I think this may have brought about some Daddy guilt too, because when I went to put some cars in Chase's bag I found that someone had already put some in there. So either Drew put them there or my little man realized that he might need to take matters into his own hands if he doesn't want to have to talk about that darn cap again. G-U-I-L-T

Friday, January 15, 2010

These boots were made for displayin'

Oh my goodness! Not only is the weather outside deliciously spring like, but on my quick little jaunt through the thrift store today I found these little gems:

They look like so much like real little wellies that at first I thought someone had placed them in the the wrong department. But they're not real boots, they're ceramic vase-like creatures. My heart goes pitter patter just looking at them. Yes, I'm a dork, but that was already established a few posts ago so no need to rehash that whole business.

Now, I can't decide if I want them to go in the mud room or take them to the lake. I'm thinking I should keep them here because when real spring comes they will look adorable holding a bouquet of tulips on my kitchen table. I also got that vintage banker's box that looks a little like a tackle box. That's what made me think the lake might be a good place for them--you know a little fisherman's vignette. Decisions, decisions.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Rituals of the Sun Cult

Look! Up in the sky! Is that what I think it is Mama? It is the sun, it is! Let's not squander this miracle. We must begin our worship rituals at once!

First we do the dance of the beaten up push car. Amaya will assume the seated princess role while Chase becomes the serf who pushes her to and fro. To and fro means into the fence and piles of leftover snow.

We must also offer drawings to the sun. Chase decided a row of H's to represent a heat wave would be appropriate.
Amaya agreed, but thought the presentation could use a bit more of her favorite color--equal opportunity obsequiousness.

I sure hope all of this homage paying means that we'll have a few more days where we can venture out without needing those extra 7 pounds of outerwear in order to create some semblance of warmth. Maybe we'd better draw one more picture, just to be on the safe side.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tuesday Confessional

I love my Woman's Day magazine. I know that admitting to having a subscription to it will make me seem like a complete dork. But, you know what--I don't just seem like a dork, I am a dork and everyone already knows it. So why not share another little fact that supports argument with you? It's stage one of my plan to becoming more open, so as you can see I'm totally on top of that New Year's Resolution.

Anyway, the point of this little confession is to share with you my utter delight over a regular feature in that magazine. Woman's Day asks it's staff a question every issue and then posts some of the answers on the roll call page. Stuff like "What's your best money saving tip?" & "How do you find time to exercise?". It makes that page more than just a list of names I flip past without a glance. Those little speech bubbles scattered amongst the text makes me notice that there are actual people who work hard to put out that periodical so that I can sit back and leisurely peruse it with my coffee. I savor reading it all the more. So yea I'm a dork, but I'm a dork who appreciates the small touches.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Why Hello Little Fella

Recent Chasisms:

Chase while holding a doll: I'll be the daddy, Amaya will be the mommy, and Mama you'll be the brodder.

Andy while noting some of the adult friendly humor in Phineas and Ferb: You get the humor Mellon?
Chase: I'll get the hammer.

Chase at McDonald's: What's the chipmunk name I got?
Mama: I'm driving now. We'll find out when we get home.
Chase leaving McDonald's: Which name I got?
Mama: I'm driving now. We'll find out when we get home.
Chase on the ride home (repeatedly): I have 2 many chipmunks. Which one I got now?
Mama: I'm driving now. We'll find out when we get home.
Chase pulling in at home: Now which chipmunk I have?
Mama: Please child for the love of all things sane just wait a minute.
Chase: Ok
Mama as she digs out the chipmunk: Look it's Alvin.
Chase: ALVIN! Awesome. Now I need Simon. And Theodore. Let's go get them at McDonald's.
Mama: Eat your nuggets kid.

Chase while passing signs as he rides in the car: Forty-Five! Seven! Twenty-five!

Mama: It's time for bed Chase.
Chase: Five more minutes.

Chase looking at my clock screen saver: There's a 54 on your payder. We need the 3 and the 7 to come back.

Mama suggesting we do anything Chase doesn't want to do.
Chase: No, I did that yesterday.

And my personal favorite.

Chase while looking in the toilet at his #2 creation: It's just a little fella.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Have tots, will exchange gifts.

The week after Christmas saw not one, but two gift exchanges hosted at the Mellon house. First up, Chase's playgroup.

Out of 10 shots Andy took, this one is the big winner. Speaks more to the wiggling nature of the subjects than the photographer's ability I'm sure. (wink,wink)

Amaya's party was the following evening.

This may be one of the last photos of Amaya with her humungo pacifier. We took it away January first. Now she only gets it at night and nap. It was a much easier transition than I expected. Overall, I'd say I'm adjusting pretty well.
This photo just cracks me up. Emma looks like she's too cool for school, and Amaya's not sure she understands why. Funny.

Who'd a thunkit?

All that mess from one little Oreo.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Critically Acclaimed! Outing of the Year! Oscar worthy!

We took the kids to see Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel today. Drew was a bit worried about how Amaya would do as this was her first movie. So concerned was he that he tried to drop Chase and me at the door with a promise to pick us up later. Ha! Nice try Drew. If I have to sit through the rodent film with a squiggling kid on my lap then so do you mister.

Besides his worries were wasted as the littlest loved the movies. First, we hung out by the giant chipmunks while daddy bought the popcorn. Both children were as excited by these plastic characters as they were about anything in Disney World. Then, Chase and Amaya held hands as we walked down the hall toward our theater. It was the cutest thing ever, and if one of my hands hadn't also been holding Chase's hand I would have taken a picture. Both kids were completely absorbed in the show as they crammed handful after handful of popcorn into their mouths. Amaya was swiveling her torso all around dancing to the music so much that people three rows back were chuckling at her antics. Some lady passing us on the way out commented on what an adorable little movie patron she was.

The reviews of our outing are in: A rip roaring success. Two enthusiastic thumbs way up!

Also, I broke down and purchased one digital download from the Disney photo pass. I want to really get my money's worth, so I'm sharing it here with you. I might also send it out for holiday cards next year. And the year after...$15 is a lot of money for one sub par photo ya'll.