The boy has a point

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DS2 and DS3 have pushed the air hockey and foosball tables together and covered them with all manner of blankets to make a fort.  Where they hope to sleep tonight (on the floor… yes, that should go well) and where they begged me to let them do their homework last night.

Anyhoo… they just got home and it was straight to the fort.  Last night I heard them talking about it as a ninja something… I couldn’t remember.  So I ask DS3, who was standing nearby, “it’s your ninja-what?”.  “Ninja Hideout” he says with a conspiratorial grin.

DS2’s voice comes from ‘the hideout’ “Well, it’s not much of a hideout if you tell everyone.”  Right.  Because without him telling me I never would’ve noticed the blanket covered structure that is about 4 ft x 6 ft in the middle of a 10 x 13 room.

100 Things: 33, 34, 35 & 36

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33 – Inspired by my new bag of Don Pablo coffee. The smell when you open a brand new bag of really good coffee beans.  The way the smell stays in the kitchen after you grind them.  Pretty sure the actual drinking of coffee (particularly with my hazelnut flavored creamer.  The new kind, with the real cream) has already made this list.  Probably top 5 but I’m too lazy to go look.

34 – Coffee as a sample.  That new bag of coffee?  I bought it because it was one of the samples  @ Costco a couple times and I thought it was really good.  I’d been waiting to buy it till we used up the other 2 (costco-sized) bags we already had.  So the anticipation had been building for some time. But this item is about samples. While they make my boys happy, they generally kind of make me twitch when I’m trying to shop with them (usually in a hurry) and they have to hit all the samples. Then there’s the sales pitch, the arguing over whether it’s good or not.  One refusing to try it the other begging me to buy it (again, Costco-sized.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve done this only to have them decide they now hate it and it’s not fit for human consumption.  Nothing like having a 64 oz of mango jelly in the fridge that no one wants.)

But coffee as a sample?  Yes, please.  But only if they’ve got some 1/2 + 1/2 or real cream(er).  None of that powdered crap.  Kind of counter-productive to the goal of selling more coffee, dontcha think?

35 – A clean kitchen.  (Inspired by the contrast in the state of my kitchen when I arrived there this morning vs. its current state. ) Even though I probably not actually the *furthest* thing from a neat freak, I am far enough down that spectrum that you can’t see it from here.  Nor can you really get there from here, I don’t think.  But one’s outlook on the day and life, even, can certainly be dramatically changed depending on whether the counters are wiped down, dishes washed, put away, etc.  Not to mention the clearing of the high counter where all the paraphernalia and debris that makes up a life (or 5) seems to gather. Not that I’m too keen on doing it (which is why I chose to blow it off last night and lay in bed having a long conversation with a friend, instead) but in the absence of that wand that went missing…

36 – Clean floors.  Sadly, this item was not inspired by observing freshly-cleaned floors in my house this morning.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  And it is only *newly*-cleaned that count here since, with the 2 small, 1 medium and 1 large two-legged boys and 1 medium-sized 4-legged boy clean floors only last about 25 minutes anyway.  Or 6 hours if they are in school / at work / napping in the doggy bed.

In any case, if the floors are clean, the house feels clean (even though that may not necessarily be is almost certainly not the case).  Note to self: get those boys trained in proper vacuuming technique and implement a schedule where they regularly do it.

100 Things: #31 & 32

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31 – green lights in my Gmail

32 – Lost friends found and the friendship renewed

This is kind of a two-fer.  I use Gmail on my phone and have it open in my browser all day as I work.  In the contacts list, for anyone who is also on Gmail, there is a little Google Talk icon that is either gray (offline) orange (idle) or green (online).  Now I don’t actually use the talk that much but seeing those green lights and knowing that I can talk to my friends (these are all people I ❤ but who are all over the continent / world so I don’t get to see them at all or much, otherwise) makes me happy.  Every single time.  Just knowing that I can talk to them – seeing that green light feels like a virtual equivalent of running into them @ the supermarket or mall or library or something.  So the green light of any of my good friends makes me happy but thanks to the web and Facebook I have gotten back in touch with a number of people who were very dear to me years ago. These are people I had completely lost track of and would definitely never have found again if not for Al Gore (<- it’s a joke, people).  There are 2 such people who have green lights in my list, as above.

Again, we don’t *actually use it* to chat much, but there a whole ‘nother layer of happy in just seeing the green light next to those names because it’s a reminder of friends found and the opportunity to write the sequel to a friendship from a different era of our lives.

100 things: #30

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Eavesdropping on my kids’ conversations while driving. It is endlessly entertaining to listen in on the conversations these boys come up with while we’re driving here and there (which seems to be the what we’re doing quite a bit of the time).

This mornings conversation was prompted by DS1 reading some trivia facts from I’m not sure where. The fact that started the discussion was the exact number of Hersheys bar squares it would take to stretch from the earth to the moon. After the sharing of this tidbit of vital information, DS2 proceeds to explain how he was going to go about eating that long string of chocolate. This led to a 3-way discussion of all the logistical problems with the plan and various solutions and brainstorming for solving them.

Shame the ride to school is only 20 minutes because I’m pretty sure that discussion could’ve carried on for quite some time yet. Perhaps it will be revisited.

The unsustainability of MST

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I have a tool in my parenting survival toolkit that I call MST.  MST = Mommy Standard Time and, basically, involves me moving the clocks in the kitchen (the only ones my boys look at) ahead by whatever amount of time I deem necessary (but still within the margin where it’s plausible) in order to unilaterally enact an earlier bedtime.  MST is used sometimes because they need it and sometimes because I need it.

Now all the time I’ve used it I’ve known that it’s days were numbered if for no other reason than that eventually someone will wear a watch.  They have already been through watch-wearing phases.  Fortunately, they were always kid watches that never stayed accurate either and we could hardly figure out how to set them.

Now there are 2 looming threats to the ongoing use of MST.  Its imminent demise is a bit sad for me.  First, we have DST.  When it doesn’t get dark till nearly 8, making 7:15 be 8:00 is a bit tricky.  Fortunately, the whole daylight thing has, so far, evened out by the time it’s actually time to go to bed (on MST).  (8 is bathtime)  Of course, we still have 2 months of day lengthening to go yet so…

Second, and more troublesome, is DS3’s newfound obsession with the Miami Heat.  Has memorized the schedule and knows what times games start.  And he is enough of a planner to actually get himself showered and ready for bed on game nights before 7:30 so that he can watch the game until bedtime (when he would otherwise be showering etc.)  It’s great that he takes this initiative himself.  But, it’s a problem when the 7:30 game isn’t on @ 7:30 (on the kitchen clock) because the whole rest of the world – which is not on MST – is @ 6:45.

I would appreciate it if the Heat would adjust their schedule in the future to make games fall on our soccer nights when MST is not an option anyway.  I don’t suppose they are likely to do that for me, though.  Luckily tonight, when I became aware of the Heat game after MST was already in effect, there was a fascinating Pokemon battle raging with DS1 so DS3 was distracted enough to forget to get his showering etc. done ahead of time.  He still got to watch some but not till the game actually started.  And he failed to notice that even though, at our house, it was 8:15, the game had just started.

But it’s only a matter of time before the gig is up.

He speaks Beagle-ese and understands English

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Rex the beagle (who I may also refer to as TDD or TFD from time to time) usually stays in his bed while I’m home during the day working.  But now and then (and always when there is a thunderstorm approaching) he decides to come into my office and resume his strenuous napping under my desk or in the nook created by the wall, my file cabinet and the daybed that is  in my office.  (And no, I can’t recommend having a very comfortable bed in one’s office but… there wasn’t really anywhere else for it.  And given my husband’s spectacular capacity for snoring, my wedded bliss (/husband’s welfare) depended on keeping it.  But I digress…

So, he wandered in here a bit ago and plopped himself down and quietly took up his napping again.  Then he starts with the licking.  And goes on with it.  I’m trying to compose something that requires a bit of concentration and his licking has surpassed the kids-chewing-with-their-mouths-open level of crazy-annoying.  And that falls pretty high up there on my personal make-me-crazy scale.

I finally snapped and say “OMG, will you stop with that or leave.  You’re making me crazy.”  He looks up at me, looks at his leg where he was so strenuously self-grooming (or whatever he was hoping to accomplish with that) looks back and me and gets up and slowly walks out of my office.

Funny.  When I tell my kids that they don’t even hear me.  And English is their first language.