Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Practically Practical

Remember when you were young? The ultimate insult was that the shoes on your feet or the clothes on your back were KMart bluelight specials. Somehow having parents who were thrifty was a social gaffe in the highest degree. (as if you had even the slightest control over where your parents shopped) Getting a good deal was a curse and if people found-out it could somehow impugn your character and even worse your popularity. There was even a major hit by a superstar of note who no one would ever confuse with the mother of Christ boldly titled "Material Girl". It was an age of consumerism.

Though there have been many groups of teens who avoided this materialism (punk and grunge spring to mind immediately) it has steadily grown. The kids who would ridicule each other in the school yard became the parents who bought $50 Air Jordans for their 1 year-olds and frequented toy boutiques because everyone knows "it" is better if you spend more. But, then came the dollar stores, warehouse stores, and discounted and outlet stores. Steadily a change began in the most consumer population known to America - the teens. 

No longer are there clothing allowances that rival the GDP of a small country. Teens need to learn to budget their money and the value of their purchases. Teen, who never cared much about the label on her clothes handy since it wouldn't have made a bit of differenece in my shopping habits, went shopping for her friends' gifts. There was no mad dash to the mall, no $25 t-shirts that shred to bits in the first load of laundry, and no need for me to supplement her savings lucky - since I wouldn't, I'm just evil like that. She and her friends exchanged gifts purchased largely from the dollar store. They loved giving and receiving odd items that made them laugh. And when the time came for Teen to purchase pop for class parties etc. she told me not to worry. She would buy no-name pop or pick it up at the Dollar Store where there is the "cheapest price for name-brand 2 liters." A victory for practicality! Now, if we can just get them to see the folly of a $4 cup of coffee...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

It's About the Dress - Isn't It?

Teen used to put on a dress with glee. She would look at dresses in her closet and choose one to wear almost daily. Often times she could even be found adding a hat to complete each outfit.

Then something changed. Whether it was living near her boy cousins, who wouldn't be caught dead in dresses, or the fact that she found it increasingly difficult to dig for dinosaur bones in a skirt, at about 4 years-old she was put-off dresses. Oh, she could still be subjected to the occasional dress, but once yearly has been pretty much the maximum and really topped out with her 1st Communion dress in 2nd grade. So, when the time came to order an orchestra dress I was intrigued.

We attended the high school winter concert with the whole crew, including cousins and Grandma. Hey, this dress thing was really exciting! The concert was captivating I know because even Boy and Youngest sat still and quiet throughout.Of course in typical teen-fashion we heard about every mistake after the concert, but being no Mozart myself I will have to take her word for it.

Next on the concert tour was Youngest's performance. On the way to the show Youngest could be heard talking almost endlessly to herself. The thought flow here was interesting, to say the least:
"Mom, you can tell S-- that there is such things as Sea Cucumbers. I told her, but she didn't believe me and laughed. It hurt my feelings." then without a breath she continues..
"S-- thought I was making fun  of her cause I asked what that cat looked like. It is black and white. She said a tuxedo cat and I hadn't heard of that before. So I asked and she got mad at me. Hmmm. I wonder what S--'s dress will look like. I hope it is beautiful. I think she will like my dress, but I just really don't know. I'm so curious to see everyone's dresses."

Not kidding, this was all done in one breath. We are not looking for Youngest to give-up dresses anytime soon.
(the red dress)

Of course the concert was adorable. Really, who can see a kindergarten concert and not think it is at least cute well aside from Boy who wasn't too impressed. She was the sun, which of course set Boy and Teen into giggles because, let's face it the child already thinks the world revolves around her. Did we really need to fuel the fire?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Just say Thanks

Most everyone has them. Those little pet peeves that just get under your skin and nag at you. Maybe you don't even realize it until days later there it is in your mind again. That is how it is with me and appreciation. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not looking for appreciation if I were I definitely wouldn't work with 90+ middle schoolers everyday.

The appreciation I am looking for is more in the Col. Nathan Jessep, A Few Good Men style. I was listening to a news story about heroin abuse in Russia. It is a huge problem that is devastating the population. At this point they have my sympathy. It is difficult to live this day in age without knowing someone whose life was affected in some way by an addiction issue. So, I'm driving along feeling badly for the country.

And then, some guy is translated blaming the US for the problem. It seems in his view our country is not doing enough to stop the drug proliferation from spreading out of Afghanistan. Are you kidding me?

How can it be the same countries that miss no opportunity to criticize and harass the US for being "where we don't belong" are also the same countries that want us to fix all their problems? Do they not know we can't even fix our pharmaceutical drug issues let alone street drug problem? If you want the darn poppy field destroyed - contribute more men to the cause! Work as allies instead of waiting on the sidelines. And if you can't do that, then by all means as Col. Jessep suggests, "Say thank you and be on your way."

Now, it is Fatherhood Friday! So, scoot on over to DadBlogs and read some great stories and thoughts!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

*raging loudly at the world*

I had planned to write a lighthearted post about the wonderful things to be enjoyed in life for today. Sadly, that will not be happening.

A child at my school committed suicide yesterday. A preteen who has barely had a glimpse of the wonderful and exciting things life has to offer decided to exit before she could even grasp what she was leaving behind. Sympathy and sadness do not begin to convey the feelings I have for her parents and family. Please keep this family in your thoughts and prayers. I can't begin to imagine the suffering they are facing and I am sure they need all the strength they can get.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tuesday's Tidbits

Life has been hectic, but I have picked up a few odds and ends to share.

~ In reviewing Christmas lists Hubby wanted to know what in the world Teen would want with Star Wars action figures. He specifically pointed-out to her that half of what she wants is on   Non-pulsed she looked up and said, "I am your daughter."

~ We all have those moments. Mine came on a rainy car drive in a crowded area. We were rushing to get to the roller rink to have fun. Boy was beside me, using fritos to make tusks and becoming a walrus. When pressed to look I mumbled something about letting me drive. It hit me like a ton of bricks - I was so focused on getting to the fun, I was missing it. So, I looked over and said show me. He replied, "I already ate one of my tusks." After much giggling he donned a new pair to do his walrus imitation.

~ In a hectic moment I was busily trying to tidy the kitchen. Youngest came up to let me know she had to change her clothes. (seems the bus was later than normal and though she ran home, she needed to make a change) She modeled her new outfit and explained, "I observed you cleaning up before, so I knew just what to do." Now if I can only get the rest of the family to observe me on cleaning day.

OK, I have to rush off for Teen's Christmas orchestra concert! Have a great week!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Boys are Different

Having a 5 year-old in the house is an exhausting amazing prospect. The world transitions from hands-on exploration to cognitive deduction and reasoning, at times I swear that you can see the gears turning in their heads. This was certainly the case this past weekend.

We were blessed with the opportunity to care for my 18 month-old nephew for the practically sleepless night of Thanksgiving and the following day. After a morning filled with mom & dad shopping activity, it was time for lunch and a well-deserved nap. While preparing Nephew for his rest, Youngest came in to gloat say good night.

I was just changing his diaper when she took a good look at him. (apparently the first look she has taken in the 5 months he has lived in Sunnyville) She looked to me with questions clearly ready to spring from her lips. Watching her confusion settle into a controllable flow, I completed the diaper change. Youngest then asked, "Is that long circle thing gonna be stuck on his bumm forever?"

"Yup," was all I could manage without bursting into giggles.

After a few moments of gear turning she asked, "So all boys have that kind of bumm?" In response to my second "Yup" she replied "Oh." In a voice better fitted to finding a smashed bug on your shoe.