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Momo Fali's: June 2010

Monday, June 28, 2010

Eye Can't Hear You

When you have children, a quiet house is a thing of mystery. It is rare that both of my kids will be reading at the same time and even if they are, there is bound to be an argument. "Stop making so much noise when you turn the page! Gosh!"

Not to mention the fact that silence usually equals trouble. When my daughter was younger and playing quietly it inevitably meant she was cleaning her tea party set. Though it wasn't so much cleaning as it was pouring water all over the bathroom floor. To wipe it up, she would use every hand towel we owned.

My son is never quiet. He talks to his toys, to the TV and to me. A lot. So, when he was playing upstairs with friends the other night and I couldn't hear him, I should have known something was up. I'm just glad he used tape and not glue.

Notice the complete lack of facial movement. A smile would have likely pulled his eyelashes out.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

A Sudden Dispute

One of the best things about being a blogger is that I am my own editor. Some people may cringe (Hi, Amie!) when they see my run-on sentences, my poor punctuation and my-over-use-of-hyphens, but I don't have to type right if I don't want to. I realize this makes me sound like a child, but whatever. Nanny-nanny-boo-boo.

This doesn't mean that I don't cringe when I read other blogs (come on, people, use your spell-check) or hear people say things like, "a-whole-nother". Seriously. Kill me now.

Now, I need my readers to settle a dispute between me and two of my friends about a statement people frequently make. Here goes...

I say, "All of a sudden". Keep in mind, the "a" does not come out like a Canadian, "eh", but more of a Midwestern, "uh". One of my friends says this makes me sound not Canadian, and not Midwestern, but rather West Virgina holler-like.

My friend Bean, says, "All the sudden". I think this sounds Midwestern. We tend to leave out "of" and "to be". Instead we say, "The car needs washed". I am proud to be a corn-fed, Midwestern, but this just doesn't sound right to me.

My friend Amy, says, "All of the sudden". I still think it's wrong, but I will give her extra credit for putting an "of" in there.

We have spent hours debating this. Please, people, settle this for me.

Tell them I'm right!

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Reversing Karma

This is me and my friend, Piper. She may very well be the sweetest person I have ever known.

There is no doubt that Piper would do anything for me, despite the fact that she lives half a country away. I know I could count on her. Especially if I was hurting.

Things haven't been so great for Piper lately. She is a single mom of two boys who thought she had met the man of her dreams. It turns out, it ended more like a nightmare. However, even a devastating blow didn't stop her from going back to school. The day she swung that backpack over her shoulder and went to class, I could have cried with pride.

But, then her car blew up. Well, it didn't blow up, but it did catch on fire. Same difference. And, all Piper could do was talk about keeping her faith and trusting that God would take care of everything.

Dear God, I hope you don't mind, but I would like to help.

I am not alone. All of these great people on this crazy internet went and decided it was time to do something. Piper is an inspiration in more ways than one and we want to pay her back. It's time for her to have some good in her life.

Here's the plan. From Tuesday, June 22nd, until Wednesday, June 30th at midnight EST, we're holding a giveaway, the proceeds of which go completely to Piper to help with her car and her return to school.

Donation tickets are $10 each. Each ticket gives you one chance at winning one of the following prizes. Void where prohibited by law.

GRAND PRIZE (quantity = 1): 8 GB iPod Touch

LESS GRAND PRIZE (quantity = 1): 8 GB iPod Nano

FIRST PRIZE (quantity = 3): A signed, original print from Mishi, aka Secret Agent Mama

SECOND PRIZE (quantity = 3): A set of ten homemade notecards from Melisa with one S

THIRD PRIZE (quantity = 1): A signed and dated 16X20 framed copy of "Nobody's Home" by Lou Lohman

FOURTH PRIZE (quantity = 1): A personalized stamp from Angie at Good for the Kids

FIFTH PRIZE (quantity = 1): A handmade bracelet from Tara from If Mom Says OK

SIXTH PRIZE (quantity = 1): An original signed sketch by Avitable

SEVENTH PRIZE (quantity = 1): 15 sheets of handmade paper and six handmade folded cards from Lotus

EIGHTH PRIZE (quantity =1): A wooden moustache teething toy from Amy of Doobleh-Vay

NINTH PRIZE (quantity = 1): An oil painting from Kyra

TENTH PRIZE (quantity = 2): A custom-designed reverse tie-dye shirt from Kisha

ELEVENTH PRIZE (quantity = 1): An 8X10 floral print by Dory

TWELFTH PRIZE (quantity = 1): Any piece of jewelry out of Katie's Etsy shop

THIRTEENTH PRIZE (quantity = 1): A set of 10 notecards and a matted 5×7 print from the Painting Chef

FOURTEENTH PRIZE (quantity = 1): A copy of Grill Interrupted, the cookbook by Gav Martell

FIFTEENTH PRIZE (quantity = 1): A custom art piece from Lissa

SIXTEENTH PRIZE (quantity = 1): A $20 e-gift card to Flowerz In Her Hair

How can you help?

Buy some tickets. There are 23 prizes available, so you're chances are good!


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Monday, June 21, 2010

Love is Messy

This is the letter that my son wrote for Father's Day. Clearly, he will be a famous card-maker someday. Hey, me.

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Question of the Day IV

So, you know how your husband's transmission needs to be repaired and the bill is over $2000, and that same night you realize that your refrigerator stopped working, and then then next day your car won't start and you can't even get your hood open, so you have to wait for AAA to come rescue you, and then your dog jumps up to get a ball off of the mantle, because that's where balls belong, and she knocks down your big picture and a crystal candle holder, you know...the one that's part of a pair...and there are glass shards everywhere, but that's okay because you have plenty of time to pick them up since the refrigerator repairman said he'd be there sometime between 8:00 and 5:00?

Yeah. Me too.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Off Field Error

My eight year old son has, undeniably, struggled with everything he has ever tackled. Nowhere has this been more evident than in the sports arena.

We tried soccer, but he was only about the size of a three year old at the time. A 35 pound kid with a heart defect and reflux does not a soccer star make. When the coach would put him in, he would simply run across the field to where we were sitting and ask, "Can we leave now?"

Last year we tried t-ball. He liked it. Mostly, he enjoyed the free snow cone at the concession stand after the games and watching the trains that run on the tracks behind the field, but whatever. Progress is progress, people.

Now that he has reached the soaring height of a four year old he has moved on to coach-pitch baseball. This seems to be an ideal sport for him. There isn't too much running and sometimes there is bubble-gum in the dugout.

However, that doesn't mean it has been easy. Although he has a great swing he only had two hits in the first two games.

But last night he hit the ball every time he was at bat. He even had a double. Okay, it was a single with an overthrown ball so he was allowed to advance to second, but again...whatever.

During that inning, he scored his first run. The parents from our team were cheering so much when he reached home plate that he was positively beaming with pride. He waved at everyone as if we were his adoring fans and, at one point, I thought he was actually going to bow.

After the game, one of those parents congratulated him by saying, "Hey, buddy! You played great tonight!"

Then we realized that even modesty comes hard for him when he replied, "I know."

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Don't Forget the Beer

Two years ago a friend of ours with a self-employed husband, two kids and an ailing father who had recently moved into her home, made me feel like lazy-schmuck-mom when she decided to go back to nursing school.

About a month ago she graduated...with honors...and yesterday she found out she passed her boards. After two years of hearing, "I can't. I have to study" it was time to celebrate.

At the last minute I decided to throw together some dinner. A Mexican fiesta, if you will. Mostly because no Mexican fiesta is complete without margaritas.

The kids and I headed to the grocery store and my son got the coveted job of being the "list checker-offer". His tiny, eight-year-old self, which still fits easily into the seat of a shopping cart, called off the items. As I added them to the cart, he would mark them off the list.

Now, you can not deny that you look in other carts to see what people are buying. I do it. I know you do it too. Standing amid the produce section with a cart full of colorful peppers, lettuce, onions and tomatoes, I knew I was disliked by more than one parent with a non-veggie eater. I could hear them thinking, "How does she do it?" I may have puffed up my chest. Just sayin'.

But, as he usually does, my son brought my delusions of parenting grandeur to a crashing halt when he loudly stated, "Okay, the next thing we need is Triple Sec."

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

This Little Piggy

I like to run.

Don't get the wrong idea, I am not an athlete. I don't run long distance races or have anything that remotely resembles a runner's body. I have been away from running for many months and I look more like a blob than something long and lean. I want to get back to it.

But, in recent years I have dealt with a lot of pain in my feet when I take to the streets (or the treadmill, for that matter). I have spent many mornings hobbling out of bed, reaching for my dresser to lean on so I can stretch my calf to alleviate some of the tightness.

The best solution was to ice it, but if you have never rolled a frozen water bottle around under the arch of your foot, you don't know what uncomfortable really is.

A couple of months ago I read an article in the newspaper about running barefoot. It intrigued me. The proponents of barefoot running say that it's how humans were meant to run, which makes perfect sense to me.

When you run barefoot, you are forced to stop slamming your heel into the pavement because it hurts too much. You compensate for the pain and shift your landing to the forefoot. While researching it further, I read that the technology in today's running shoes simply hides the pain of a shoe-wearer's heel-strike.

I thought about it more. All of my friends who are distance runners have had injuries. Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles pain and aching knees are the norm. I even know someone who lost all of his toenails. Back in the 70's, when shoes were minimal, I never heard of those things happening.

So, I tried it. Not on the open road, but on my treadmill. My foot fell at a completely different spot, my stride was altered and I had a lot more endurance. After a while I began to feel blisters forming on the balls of my feet, so I stopped and put shoes on. And with shoes on feet, just like that, I went back to firmly landing on my heel.

After my barefoot run I was a totally good way. My calves hurt because I actually used them, but other than the blisters, my feet were in pretty good shape.

Now my husband would probably rather die than look like a barefoot hippie running down the road, but I don't care about what people think if it means I won't be in pain anymore. Unfortunately, I can't imagine running without shoes on outside. It's not the rocks that scare me, it's the roadkill. For real.

So I started looking into barefoot, or minimalist, running shoes. Something without the shock absorbing heel so I will be forced to land the way a human should. From what I read, the best shoe for this is called the Vibram Five Finger.

Only, it's not five fingers, it's five toes. Remember how I said that I don't care what I look like? Yeah. Scratch that. I just don't know if I have enough self-confidence for these.

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Monday, June 7, 2010

Dear Gram

Dear Gram,

Although you have been gone for almost twelve years, I think about you every day. I really miss you.

I miss the way you closed your eyes and threw your head back when you laughed. I do that too.

I miss how you welcomed the chaos that was a house full of grandchildren. I miss the taste of your spaghetti sauce and the way you would roll out and cut your own noodles.

I marvel at how you cooked huge, Sunday suppers in that tiny kitchen, with no counter space, no air conditioning and no dishwasher. I can barely get a meal made for four.

I miss you yelling at me and my cousins to get out of the trees before we break our necks, to quit jumping around in a house with old wiring because we might start a fire and I miss you giving us a grocery list and sending us on our way. We took so long to get back from the store because we stopped to pick mulberries along the way. I suppose you always knew that when we came back with stained fingers.

I loved how you would say, "Everyone needs to be quiet because my story is coming on!" and within five minutes of As the World Turns starting you would be sound asleep. I miss you glaring at us in church when we had the giggles.

I miss you letting us go through your makeup drawer and use your little, Avon lipstick samples. I miss the smell of the roses in your back yard. I miss playing kickball and using your azalea bush as home plate.

I miss watching you take care of Kevin with strength and grace. I am still amazed at the way you would wrap your arms around his chest and "walk" him from room to room. It was the closest thing he had to doing it on his own.

I hate that I was pregnant with my daughter when you died. I wish she had known you. I can't think of a better role-model, mentor, relative or human being than you. I am so proud to be your grand-daughter.

I know it was a gift to have you around as long as we did, but that doesn't mean I will ever stop wishing that you were still here.



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Saturday, June 5, 2010

For Only a Day

My son was sitting on my lap yesterday afternoon when he reached up and cupped his hands around my face. He said, "I love you super much."

I replied, "You mean so much. Now, why do you love me so much?"

He smiled a ridiculously ornery smile and said, "Because you are the best mommy in the world."

Looking to see if he could defend this statement I prodded him, "But, why do you think I'm the best mommy in the world?"

He rolled his eyes and answered, "Duh. Because, it's your birthday."

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

She's Super Freaky

I often refer to my eleven year old daughter as a "freak of nature". I mean that in the best possible way.

Let me start by saying that if I had stopped having kids after she was born, I would think the rest of you were horrible parents. I remember taking her to toddler storytime at the library only to be surrounded by children who didn't look as much like small people as they did drunken vagrants. Stumbling about, picking their noses, their shirts covered with a mixture of snot, chocolate milk and popsicle stains.

Some would put their fingers in the floor outlets, others would dump their crayons and some would run completely out of the room. Not my kid. If she had been wearing a halo she couldn't have appeared any more angelic.

Her pacifier, which had been an extension of her lips, was taken away when she turned two and she never asked for it after that. There were no tears or drama. She was potty trained in three days and never had an accident. If I told her not to do something, she never did it again.

So, I'm sure you will understand that I believed I was the best parent IN THE WORLD and the rest of you were a bunch of schmucks. Just sayin'.

Then my son was born. Someone got set straight. That someone was me.

Through all of my son's trials and tribulations and health problems and odd behavior, my daughter has never strayed from her original path of being a darn good kid. Sure she rolls her eyes at me. She talks back and fights with her brother too. I'm glad she does those things so I know she's human.

Despite having a brother with a lot of issues and despite being involved with Girl Scouts and playing soccer, basketball, softball and track this school year, she has managed to be on the honor roll every quarter. I never have to tell her to do her homework or study for a test. As a matter of fact, I have actually insisted she "put down her book" and "stop taking so many math practice tests".

She is a great kid and if she would start picking up her socks I would say she is extremely responsible. Also, I wouldn't mind if she cleaned under her bed. Maybe she's saving the old magic kit, the ripped-up foam hopscotch set and the single Barbie shoe stuffed with dust bunnies. I wouldn't be surprised if she put it all together and made something that puts MacGyver to shame. She's that smart.

Tomorrow is my daughter's last day of elementary school. She is growing up. Fast. I can't bear to think that someday she won't be around every day.

I kind of like being surrounded by such goodness.


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