May She Rest In Peace!

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Laura, a stay-at-home-mother passed away from exhastion while working on her mission impossible which was to make sure that the entire house was clean and organized for at least one moment in time.  Although she worked very hard, and came very close to meeting this mission, her battle with the vicious dust bunnies has left her defeated.  Even her arsenal of magic erasers, swiffer mops and special micro duster thingies didn’t make a difference.

She acquired her special agent status as a stay-at-home-mom in 2007 after 18 years in the workforce.  Since then, her prideful accomplishments have been completing the climb to the top of Mt. Clean Clothes, finding her way through Clutter Forest, and endured Scum Desert under the hot oven. 

Unfortunately, she was unable to crack the code to hard water stains, and where the heck the house flies were coming from.  May her family continue her quest to find the answer to those questions.

She is survived by possessed toys that seem to come alive when nobody is looking and land right in the middle of the living room floor, dirty laundry that multiplies to full loads within 24 hours time, throw rugs that make their own carpet crap to vacuum, and of course the vicious dust bunnies that hide under not just the couch.

May her family deal with the dirty stove, grubby refrigerator, scummy toilets and unmade beds with ease in her absence, and may she rest in peace!

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All I needed to know in life, I learned from taking kids shopping

My need-list was getting long and there were time issues with it too.  It was time to bite the bullet and get up and go shopping.  Getting the kids together and just running to the store is not as easy as it used to be as the big one-stop stores are at least and hour and a half away for us.  The trip there was uneventful thanks to the glorious invention of portable DVD players.  Even Garmin didn’t mess me up this time, as she made the same demands as she did last time… I was not falling for driving into a field again!  The actual shopping at the store was the exhausting part, which is no surprise to me, but I thought that I should warn others who have not gotten to that stage yet.  Here are my warnings:

  1. It is deeply embedded in children to ask the question, “are we done yet?” not more than two minutes after walking through the front doors.
  2. The other embedded question will be asked at least 200 times during the whole event is, “can I have this?”
  3. Yet another question that you will be asking at least 200 times is, “why on earth did I think this was a good idea?”
  4. Don’t ever, ever stop to talk to the lady who gives out free yogurt samples, because the two year old boy that is supposed to be buckled in so tightly that his ribs protrude over the straps will still manage to wiggle out and will hang (yes, literally) from the cart’s handle!
  5. When your kids figure out that they can shock the heck out of you while walking around the store, it is time to get out!  They will turn on you with their newly found power.
  6. Don’t sic the electric-fingered kids on the escape-artist two year old.  It seems like a good idea at first, but it doesn’t help.
  7. When you have had enough of the screaming from the two year old about wanting to get down out of the cart, and whining from the oldest about letting him down, don’t.  I repeat, don’t let him down and into the care of the oldest child!   If there are any sort of Disney Channel products displayed around to distract the older child, it will give the two year old plenty of time to run like a bat out of hell. 
  8. Make sure to put the word, “chocolate” on the list, because you will be too frazzled to remember it without it being written down.  (Waaaa!  I need chocolate!!!!)
  9. The most important warning… REMEMBER TO GO TO THE BATHROOM BEFORE LEAVING.  As I found out, it doesn’t count if you go in the middle of the shopping trip.  It has to be directly after you are done.  If you forget, the news will be broken to you in the middle of the freeway going 70 miles…eh-em, um 65 miles an hour… “I have to go to the bathroom… real BAD!”  Do you know the real reason why people speed?  It’s because they have a kid in the back screaming that they have to go potty… I’ve been there too many times.  I have actually been known to say, “sweetie, I know that you have to go, but I can only go around the corner so fast!”
  10. Finally, don’t be surprised if you have to spend the rest of the day resting in bed.  Shopping with kids is a full day’s work!

My Dear Old Friend

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Let me introduce you to my dear old friend.  We came together about 20 years ago.  She has seen me through many many miles and several life changes.  We have both changed a bit over time.  We have gotten old and don’t work as well as we used to, but still, I think we work well for our ages.  Our frames have changed a bit, as that’s what happens when kids come into the picture.  We may not look as pretty as the new spangled young gals, or go as fast, but I think we still do okay. 

In the old days, as I call it the B.C. era (Before Children), we traveled 50 miles from Salem to the Coast.  We explored the entire perimeter of Crater Lake together, and we rode 100 miles on a Cycle Oregon trip.  Those have only been a few out of many trips that we have enjoyed together.  Our friendship is almost always exhilarating, there have only been a few times when we haven’t gotten along.  Like the time on the bridge in Independence when she didn’t like riding on the narrow sidewalk.  She bucked me right off like an angry horse.

I don’t blame her if she is mad at me now.  I have ignored her for a very long time.  I just got her out for the first time this summer.  She has been sitting in that dark, scary garage with nothing to do.  There have been no hills at the coast, no flower filled fields in the Silverton hills, no ferry rides across the Willamette River.  I have been too busy, and maybe a bit lazy.  I dusted her off and filled her tires with fresh air.  She must have been happy to be out because she didn’t seem to hold a grudge.  We got along perfectly despite her ground down old gears, and a chain that needs new oil.

We flew around corners and chugged up hills together, enjoying every second of the ride.  We explored the town a bit, getting to know each other over again.  The weather was perfect, not too hot and not too cold.  The sky was a brilliant blue, just like her.  All sorts of wonderful memories came rushing back as we rode together.  When the ride ended, I felt extremely dumb.  Why on earth did I ignore her for so long?