Thursday, May 29, 2008

Preconceived Notions about Drug Dealers

Here’s a typical conversation I have with people when they learn that Anthony is a pharmacist:

Person: “He’s a pharmacist? I’ve thought about being a pharmacist before. Where does he work?

Me: "CVS."

Person: "Oh, are they hiring?”

Me: (pause) “Well, generally speaking, pharmacists are in demand.”

Person: “Really? I should get an application. Do you think he could get me on at CVS?”

Me: “You have to earn a specific degree, like, in college, in order to be a pharmacist…”

Person: (looking all confused) “Just to count pills?”

Me: (trying not to sound offended) “He could kill you, ya know.”

Ah, the humble pharmacist. Much is expected of them, yet they expect nothing in return (besides a bunch of money). Do you know how many times they have NOT killed you or your loved ones? Every time you haven’t died after taking a prescription drug—that’s how many times.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

To Be Clear...

In my last post, Marmzie made a silly comment (actually, 2 comments) that I made her and Popsicle sound like "petty parents who traumatized our kids by denying them milk, places to sit, the use of any writing materials, etc. etc. and punished them brutally for any minor infraction of the oppressive rules! I sure hope Health and Welfare doesn't get a look at these blogs!!!"

First, I wanted to say that health and welfare does look at my blog. They've had their eye on me for years. However, making a child write an essay when they break a rule is not "brutal." It is a creative and effective alternative to spanking or grounding (<--those punishments were all the rage in the 80s). If I thought making a child write an essay was "brutal," I would not implement it in my home. Doy.

Second, anyone with kids would totally get the "don't sit in that chair" rule, the "milk for breakfast only" rule, the "downstairs bathroom is for guests only" rule, etc, etc, etc. The chair will get trashed, there will be no milk for breakfast in the morning, one bathroom needs to be clean for surprise visitors, etc. Those rules aren't petty. But they are funny, because, to kids, breaking one of those rules was devastatingly serious, right up there with robbing a bank.

So, Marmzie, don't be a ninny. So sensitive.

By the way, although I don't have a "special" chair the kids can't sit in, I wish that I did. If I had a chair like the one below, I wouldn't let anyone sit on it.


I do have a "no toys downstairs" rule, and a "popcorn and water are the only foods allowed upstairs" rule. Anyone else care to share their unreasonable house rules?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Essays from a Rebellious Child

Most of you will not be surprised to learn that I was a rebellious child. I broke almost every rule in our house, from sitting in that one chair in the living room that you weren't allowed to sit in, to using the downstairs bathroom that was for guests only. I sometimes drank milk in the afternoon, ate raw spaghetti noodles outside of the kitchen, and didn't put the Betamax video tapes back into their regular, numerical order when I was finished watching a movie.

Here's a picture of me and my sister Sara when we were kids. Look at that side-ponytail. It says, "I'm a rule breaker. I'm putting my ponytail more to one side on purpose, regardless of how asymmetrical I look."



If any of us Morgan kids broke the rules (well, got caught anyways), our parents often had us write an essay on what we did wrong.

So (fast forward to adulthood), when all three of my boys burst into my office, talking over each other, tattling, crying, and arguing about who "started it," I said, "OK! That's it! If you guys can't get along today, then you're all writing essays!" That threat worked like a charm. They were completely horrified by the idea.

I pulled out some of my old essays (yes, my mom saved them and passed them along to us when we got married) and read them to the boys. The mood was very somber.

Here's one of my essays (with most of the spelling corrected, or else you won't be able to comprehend it) :

"Dear Dad, I will never not put away the pens again when you tell me that I have to. Me and Sara were playing a game that we shouldn't play in the house because we could get pen, like, on the carpet or something like that. That is why I have to, and SHOULD have to, write a one hundred word essay. I will listen and do what you say for now on because you know what is best for our house. And I will try not to sit on Sara anymore. I love you a lot, Love, Jenny... and it is 100 words right now."

After I read that one, Cord said, "You did that? You didn't put the pens away?" I was like (in a very serious voice), "No, Cord, I didn't. And that's the least of my bad behavior." Then I read him my essay about what the brown laundry baskets were doing in my room, when they belonged downstairs in the laundry room. I'll share that one with you next time...

Happy Birthday Calvin!

It's my nephew Calvin's birthday today! He was the sweetest baby--never made a peep, the strong-silent type. He grew up to become his older brother's right-hand man. In fact, it was hard to find a picture of just Calvin, without Bailey in it. He's devastatingly handsome and will probably have to beat the girls off with a stick when he starts attending those church dances! We miss not seeing him grow up! Happy birthday Calvin!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Kid's Mix...



We took the boys to this outdoor event (Kid's Mix) sponsored by a local radio station last Saturday. The radio station came up with a heavy advertising campaign, bombarding the airway with Kid's Mix ADs set to an upbeat party track every 10-15 minute. We totally played into their little plan, drove all the way across town, and opened our wallet. That's right, sometimes even the Playa gets played.

$6.00/each to get in--under 3 free ($24 total).



But that included a free petting zoo...



Yeah, just the one horse. But the entry fee also included free Celeb. Photo Ops...





Yeah, just a stranger in a suit. But they also had free water games...



Yeah, those are squirt guns. They got to play with them until they squirted out all the water, then it was another kid's turn.

They also had a rock wall, mini golf, train rides, fair rides, carnival games, blow-up jumping things, food, drinks, etc, but all that you had to pay for, starting at the low low price of $4 per child...

(Oh, we don't have any other pictures.)

On the way out, we got a sweet video of a groundhog digging his hole...

video

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Next Election... Help!

I am all confused about who I should vote for in the upcoming election. If any of you can offer some advice, I'd appreciate it. The littlest thing can sway me at this point. Please help! I am also not above taking bribes. Monetary bribes.

*Please note, I need to know by 8pm (9pm central).

UPDATE: Voting closed at 1am last night--please, stop bombarding me with comments. I was swayed by their performances last night, and ended up voting for David Archuleta 8 times. Then I felt bad for David Cook, imagined his sad little Puss-N-Boot's face he sometimes makes, and voted for him 8 times. So, it'll likely be a tie.

SECOND UPDATE: Told ya.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Chroni-WHAT-cles of Narnia: Prince Whatshisface


We took the kids to see the second Chronicles of Narnia movie, and I highly recommend it. It made me want to read the series--something the first movie didn't accomplish. The kids loved it--as we were leaving, Cord looked at me and said, "You know what? I think that was the best movie I've ever seen in my life." We see a lot of movies, and he's never said that before.





It was really fast-paced and action-y, with lots of interesting battle scenes, so if you have one of those kids that suddenly turn all ADHD at the movies, or if you are one of those parents who turn all ADHD at the mention of going to a kid's movie, you both might do all right at this one. Homer is not even 3 yet, and he sat through the entire thing without a peep. Well, he did get distracted at one point when he spotted a huge, brown recluse spider on the wall. He stared at it for about 30 minutes, and reported to Anthony every so often, "Dad, it's moving." He missed the climax of the movie! Ah, well.





One of our favorite things to do (me and the kids) is go to the movies. Anthony used to stay home with Homer because he wouldn't sit through an entire movie. The last few summers, Cord, Gus, and I would see a new movie every Friday. Good memories. It's a great time for family movies--there were never this many choices when I was a kid. Now, Homer is starting to love going to the movies too. He's loved the last few movies we've taken him to. I think it's so cool we can finally go as a family, but Anthony's not as into movies as the rest of us (ADHD parent).





Something else that has changed: at the end of the movie, when "Susan" kissed the prince, Gus slapped his hands over his eyes as usual, but Cord didn't. He watched. Then he leaned over and whispered to me, "I had a feeling about those two from the beginning. There was a spark between them." Kissing isn't gross anymore. And it begins with a "feeling" or a "spark" between a boy and a girl.



When we got home, Cord told me an "embarrassing" story, with the condition that I would not post it on my blog. I lied to his face and he told me. He was walking down the hall at school with a girl and he smelled something. He said, "I smell something." She answered, "That's my lip-gloss." and he said, "Good job." He hadn't meant to say that, but when she said, "That's my lip-gloss," he got all nervous and that's what came out. Then he told me, "Mom, don't think she's evil. She's a German, but she is NOT a Nazi."

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Be Cool, Go To School...

Here's my annual inspirational post/lecture, with pictures.

I went to my school today and filled out my graduation paperwork. In a matter of weeks, I'll have my AA in History. I always sort-of felt that earning my Associates degree was no biggie, just a step toward my Bachelors degree. But I have to say, today I felt an overwhelming feeling of reward, like when you decide to clean out your closet, and you pull everything thing out, and then you realize there's way more stuff in there than you initially thought and this is going to take forever, but then you make some progress, and you start to believe you can finish it if you can just get through those last few stacks of junk, and then you finally finish, and you look at the clock and realize it took you eight hours to do it, but you have this overwhelming feeling of accomplishment, and you keep going back in your closet to see how much more space there is, and you sit on the floor, and you just want to hang-out in your closet?

That's how I feel, times 100.



I do have quite a bit of work left to do to finish my ultimate goal, but I'm halfway there, and I have something that can't be taken away.

I have a new appreciation for learning that I didn't have before I went back to college. I honestly thought there wasn't anything useful I could learn by going to college, or anything that I needed to learn that I didn't already know from my own life experiences. I think some of my perception came from Anthony's experience, trying to find a job after he graduated with his Bachelors from BSU. It was a shock to learn that his degree held little-to-no value to perspective employers. When Anthony decided that he needed to go back to school to get the kind of job he wanted, we both believed those previous four (plus) years of schooling were worthless, a waste of money and time. I now believe differently. I gained a new perspective on the value of formal education, beyond what kind of income it will provide for you.



So, to all those moms out there who haven't finished college (and I'm speaking to this group because I am part of it), consider going back! It has been one of the most fulfilling and rewarding experiences in my life. It is nothing like my college experience after high school. Then, my focus was really on having fun and meeting boys. The actual classes were just annoying interferences, only necessary in that they provided a geographical location in which boys assembled. Now, it fulfills me like nothing else in my life. It completes me. YOU complete me. You had me at Hello.



I already know all of your excuses because I had the same ones: I don't have time; I have young kids at home to take care of; I don't have time; I don't want to get a job outside the home; I don't have time; my husband makes enough money; I don't have time; we have an excellent life-insurance policy; I don't have time; I'm scared of college kids; I don't have time; do you know how many rapes occur on college campus's every year?; I don't have time.

Of all those excuses, the lamest one is "I don't have time." I don't know anyone who spends 100% of their time doing things they HAVE TO DO. Trust me, you have time, you're just doing something else with it.



There are so many options out there for "time-challenged" moms like ourselves. It's the 21 century. There are online classes (they rule!), distance education classes (just down the street at the library, or the nearest high school campus), night classes (risk of getting raped may be involved), cable broadcast, cell phone classes, classes via text message, etc. I completed almost my entire degree online, and did most of my work at night after the kids were in bed. I didn't have to put Homer in daycare--which would have been a deal-breaker for me--and, for the most part, I was able to take care of my house/wife/mother responsibilities, although, if I ever felt like blowing it all off, I had a totally legit excuse.



To those of you with a sugar-daddy/husband, it may be especially hard to find the motivation to go back to school because there isn't a dire need for you to contribute to your household income. "Preparing for the worst" was never a strong enough motivation for me. But what I never realized was that college can be so much more fulfilling for moms without that "dire need" to contribute income. You don't have to worry about future income when you choose your degree. You can be totally self indulgent. Thus, my History major. But take, for instance, my sister, Erin, who is a hard-working single mom with two hungry kids to feed. She really wants to take a jewelery making class, so she can carry around one of those plastic Caboodles with different kinds of beads in each tiny compartment. Her dream career is to sell boondoggles and things door to door. But little-to-no income is not a luxury she has, so she's reduced to getting a degree in Special Education.


But you moms out there with no pressure to bring in income are free to make all your wildest dreams come true, just like Deb from Napoleon Dynamite.



Take my advice; go to school. I'm no dummy. I'm an associate historian.


Huh?

My face looked exactly like Simon's (2:56) as I watched this.

Where am I? Because this is completely unintelligible to me. I just want to say that I never voted for her in Season 3 (aka Season Bore Me). Her dancing brings this to mind. (Sorry, Sara)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Ah, Mother's Day

Sunday night, I was looking forward to reading my book without interruption. Anthony put the kids to bed, and I was deep into my book (The Host) when Cord came into my room in a panic. He suddenly remembered that his invention/science project was due Monday morning. He hadn't even started it. It was 10:20pm.

Anthony ran to the store to get some supplies, and the three of us stayed up until 1:00am finishing it.

His invention was a device that dunked cookies into milk for you so your fingers don't get wet. Very complicated invention. Too complicated to explain.



He had to have either pictures or diagrams on his display, so we took pictures and printed them out--much faster than drawing. We took the pictures last, at about 12:30am, and Cord looked confused in every picture. "What's this? A cookie? Where am I?"





Here's his display. He called his invention "Dunk You Very Much." That's a giant cookie on top.



TEAM ESPLIN RULES!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

We're Pretty-Much Rich...

See the picture below?



Do you know what that is? Here, I'll post another picture.



Now do you know? That's right, it's a mini-fridge, in my office, stocked with Diet Cokes, Slim-Fast, and energy drinks. Last I checked, only rich people have mini-fridges upstairs. You do the math.

It's my mother's day present from Anthony. He's been wanting one for, like, EVER. He is SO excited about it. He told me he almost got me a mini-microwave too, but he didn't want to spend that much, so he'll save that one for the next holiday. I was like, "Cool. Then we can get a mini-oven, and a min-stove, and a mini-table, and we'll have an entire mini-kitchen in our office." He said, "Sweet." And I was like, "I'm never eating in the kitchen again. I'm taking all my meals in my office-kitchen." And he said, "Yeah. It's cozy in here."

As you can tell, I wasn't crazy about the idea of having a fridge in our office. It just seemed tacky. But I have to say, Anthony had this one right. This fridge is the best thing that has happened to me in a long time. I know now that walking all the way downstairs has prevented me from drinking as many Diet Cokes as I'd like to drink. When I think about all the Diet Cokes I might have had if only I had had a mini-fridge in my office sooner, it makes me sick.

Look at the sweet empty-coke-can pyramid I started yesterday.



Thanks, Anthony! You know me better than I know myself.


Mom



Happy Mother's Day! I love you!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Birthday Bones!

Today is my sister Erin's birthday! Some of you may not know this, but she LOVES high-pitch songs. The higher the better. She also LOVES batteries (see video at 1:18)--in case you need an idea of what to get her. Happy Birthday Erin! I'm 28, so that means you just turned 30. Yikes.

video

Friday, May 9, 2008

Happy Birthday Teddy!

My nephew, Teddy, is 5 today! I can't believe it. We don't get to see him as much as we'd like to because we live so far away, but--as you can tell by these pictures--he does not change much in appearance, which is helpful if you ever have to spot him in a crowd, but makes it hard to put pictures in chronological order. Happy Birthday! We miss you.


Monday, May 5, 2008

Our 911 emergency

Our doorbell rang at about 10:00pm last night. It kind of freaked us out because it was so late and we weren't expecting anyone--keep in mind that we live in Las Vegas. Anthony tried to see who it was through the peep hole but the porch light was burnt-out and it was too dark. We decided to just ignore whoever was at the door, assuming they would go away when we didn't answer, but that didn't happen. They started pounding on the door, so hard, it sounded like they were going to break the door down. We sneaked upstairs, looked through the blinds, and noticed there was no car parked out front which made us more suspicious. We definitely were not going to open the door. About five minutes passed and the pounding on our door and door-bell ringing became louder and more insistent. The boys were getting out of bed to see what was going on and I was trying to get them to stay in their room. I was really freaked out, but trying to stay calm. Then I noticed someone was in our backyard with a flash light. It was time to call 911. I ran into my room to grab a phone, and when I passed by the high window above our front door, I saw one guy pass beneath a street light as he circled our house and realized it was a cop. I told Anthony and he ran down and answered the door.

There were four cops at our house, two in front, and two about to break down our back door. They said someone from our house had called 911, then hung up, and when the operator called back to see if everything was OK, someone at our house answered the phone, said "hello" amid chaotic nosies (translation: three boys), and quickly hung up. I was totally shaking as the cop was talking and I kept saying "nobody called 911, you must have the wrong house. I'm sure my kids didn't call 911--I would have known. They never play on the phone." I'm sure we seemed suspicious because we wouldn't answer the door, and I was totally stumbling over my words. He made us check our caller ID to see if the 911 operator number was on there and it wasn't. We also checked the last three numbers dialed from our phone, and 911 wasn't on there. They eventually left but I could tell they really didn't trust us.

We went upstairs to question the boys, who were awake by this point, and Gus had this petrified look on his face--it was kind-of sad, but we were too mad at the time to notice.

After reassuring him that we weren't going to hurt him, he quietly told us that he was playing with the "old-fashioned" phone in the kitchen (we keep it unplugged, but he had plugged it in)--this is why it didn't show up on our caller Id, and Gus must have answered the call from the 911 operator before it rang, because we also never heard our phone ring.



He said he didn't know he had called 911 so I couldn't really be mad at him for not telling us about it earlier, but I was stressed that I had been so insistent to the cops that nobody from our house had called 911, when clearly someone had. I'm probably on some list of suspicious people who lie to cops, or on a list of houses that may have fishy activity going on. I can't lie to a cop! That's breaking some serious rule and I'm not a rule breaker.