Tuesday, June 19, 2012

nectar of the gods

I eat one of two things for breakfast virtually every morning: (1) oatmeal cooked with a banana, which kind of melts the banana in there and sweetens the oats (and which totally grosses David out), berries and almonds, OR (2) greek yogurt sweetened with agave nectar with berries and almonds. I switched to agave nectar after buying a huge container of it at COSTCO<---- (this will become important momentarily) a couple of years ago; honey is too . . . honeyish, too strongly flavored, for my taste, whereas agave has a very neutral sweet taste.

When we were leaving the pool the other week I asked David if he would swing into Publix to pick up a couple of things on the way home. We are NOT fans of the family trip to the grocery store, so David kind of groaned, but I assured him that it was way more efficient than driving all the way home and then one of us driving back out again for four things. I told him that I'd wait in the car with Caroline, and I handed him my list of four (4) items:

agave nectar

So David headed into the store with Jacob and Elizabeth, and I waited in the car with Caroline. And waited. And waited. After a while, Caroline said "mommy? what is taking them so long?" I told her to just hang on, they'd be back in just a minute. After another ten minutes passed, I told her that if we weren't in our swimsuits we'd go in to look for them. I couldn't figure out why it was taking so long to grab four things. And then it hit me:


I told David that it would be with the honey, and it should have been with the honey, but I knew that that had to be the problem. I didn't have my phone with me, so I couldn't call him to micromanage the situation. We were just stuck there waiting.

Finally, after like 30 minutes, they emerged from the store. Jacob and Elizabeth started in on me immediately: "Mom, we HATE agave!" And then David began:

D: Yeah, the problem was your elitist sweetener.
C: WHAT? My liquid sweetener is not elitist! I buy it at Costco! Wasn't it with the honey?
D: No, it wasn't with the honey.
C: Where was it?
D: Well, after wandering around aimlessly looking for this stuff for 20 minutes, the big friendly woman in the meat department took pity on us and said "what you looking for, sweetheart?" and I had no choice but to say "agave nectar." And she said "honey, I ain't never heard of that." And then all of a sudden this little mom in her visor and tennis whites appeared at the end of aisle 12 and said "Did you say agave? I can help you." And I thought: "of course you can." So she led us to the organic section, where we finally found it.
C: Huh. They must have moved it.

The kids have been teasing me relentlessly ever since. Whenever I say we need to stop at the grocery, they say: "Do we need . . . (dramatic pause) . . . agave?" Well, they can laugh all they want -- love me, love my smooth, mild-tasting sweetener.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Oh The Onion, you totally get me

Middle-Aged Woman Angrily Demanding Price Check on Rice Pudding was Once Carefree Youth, Onlookers Speculate

"Onlookers guessed that in those blissful days, before two decades of adulthood stresses had beaten her into submission, she never would have become so emotionally invested in the price of a 4 ounce snack cup, especially if what she was saving amounted to little more than pocket change.

"Whatever did this to her, I suspect happened in the past 10-15 years," said local resident Erica Mayfield, noting the presence of a small child tugging at the woman's arm and pleading for a sleeve of green apple Mentos.

"It really makes you stop and appreciate the precious youth you've been granted," he continued. "Because one day you could wake up and half your life is over and you've become this person who is stirred to passionate argument by rice pudding."

Read the rest here

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I hear the ticking of the clock . . .

I checked Facebook as we were driving down to the beach, and noticed the status update of our friend who runs a popular 80s blog. Apparently she is getting ready to interview Ann & Nancy Wilson of Heart, so she was asking for ideas for interview questions. Her readers left some great ideas in the comments -- "How did you get your hair so big and awesome?," "Was it really nothing at all?," and, of course, "How do I get you alone?"

I looked at David:

C: Did you ever notice that with certain songs, it is almost physically painful to hear the song and not sing along, loudly? Alone by Heart is one of those songs.
D: Please try.
C: I'll try, but I make no promises.

I downloaded the song (it has its drawbacks, but one thing I LOVE about this Kindle/iPhone era that we live in is the instant "think of song. buy song." gratification) and proceeded to listen-to-but-not-sing it, which was excruciating. I made up for it the next time I was in my car . . . alone. Haha. Anyway, here it is -- go ahead: close the door, turn up the volume and belt away. You know you want to.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Weekend getaway

We took a quick trip to the beach last weekend. The weather was not perfect, but nobody seemed to mind.

On our last night there were torrential rains in the late afternoon; in fact the Facebook feed of James Spann, our local weatherman {who is something of a rock star in these parts} showed scary images of flooding in Pensacola (another Florida panhandle town that is . . .5? 25? 50? 100? miles from where we were staying), but because (1) I really had no earthly idea how far away Pensacola was and therefore could credibly tell myself that we weren't anywhere near the zone of danger, and (2) I really wanted a decent grouper sandwich before we left Florida -- we decided to brave the elements and venture out for dinner. And I'm so glad we did, because the sun actually broke through while we were out and the kids had a great time playing on the beach after dinner.

The kids' meal plates are actually frisbees, and David and Jacob threw one of them around after dinner:

Caroline is always willing to strike a pose these days:

Monday, June 4, 2012

Tug of war (literal and metaphorical)

I got slammed at work right at the end of the kids' school year, which is always extremely busy with numerous end-of-year performances, parties, conferences, field days, etc. I managed to make just about all of it, but David had to take my shift at Elizabeth's May Day Play Day (that's "Field Day" if you went to elementary school in the late 70s/early 80s). Now lots of dads volunteer at May Day Play Day, mostly chasing the kids and squirting them with water guns and such--but I was signed up to do the girliest of the PTO mom activities: filling Dixie cups with goldfish at the snack station. But bless him, he covered for me, and my friend Greta (who was in charge of the snack table), texted me to tell me what a great job he did cheerfully handing out little snack cups. He's a keeper alright.

The following Friday was Jacob's field day, and work was somehow even busier, but I didn't want to ask David to cover yet another PTO shift for me. So I pulled something close to an all-nighter (which I am definitely too old to do) and made it to my shift at J's field day. I was a "class escort," which essentially meant that I had to walk Jacob's class from one activity to the next without losing anyone (which was easy given that I had both a map and Jacob's teacher with me).

I didn't realize how easy my job actually was until I observed my friend Anne in action at the tug of war station. As head of the tug of war activity, Anne had to come up with 30 minutes worth of different tug of war team variations. Class versus class. Boys versus girls. Alabama versus Auburn fans (because the assumption here is that you are clearly a fan of one or the other). Those combos got you approximately 8 minutes worth of tug of warring, so Anne still had 22 minutes to kill before the kids moved to the next activity. I would have crumbled under the pressure, but Anne dug deep and showed what a pro she really is: odd class numbers versus even class numbers. Fourth graders versus fifth graders. East coast versus West coast rappers. Etc. Meanwhile, I kept busy tending to the numerous tug of war injuries (mostly just water and TLC needed).

After not sleeping the night before and then spending several hours in the hot sun with a bunch of tug o' warring tweens, I was as bone tired as I've ever been that night. Jacob and Elizabeth were off at sleepovers (that they begged to attend) so I crashed into bed by 8:30, and shortly thereafter my cell phone rang.

I thought I heard Elizabeth's sweet little voice saying "Mommy? I think I'm a little homesick." I mean I heard the words, and I had a vague understanding that that was my child on the phone, but I just.couldn't.put.it.all.together. So in one of my proudest mom moments, I said: "Huh? Let me find Dad." I stumbled around to find David and tossed him the phone (I later learned that somewhere in this process I actually hung up on Elizabeth and she had to call back - awesome.) David apparently told Elizabeth that he'd happily come and get her, but that he didn't want to drive across town to pick her up only to find out when he got there that she changed her mind and wanted to stay after all. She told him that that was exactly what was about to happen, thus sparing him the trip, and she went on to have a fun and uneventful sleepover.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Lessons from a rolled ankle

I haven't been blogging because I've been insanely busy at work, and because our computer is having motherboard problems, and because this rendered me cranky:

and let's face it, who really wants to read someone complain?

Guess how I sprained my ankle?

(a) Tripped over a root while on an early-morning trail run.
(b) Failed attempt at toe stand during a Bikram class.
(c) Returning shopping cart at Publix while wearing not-unsensible wedges.

If you guessed (c), ding ding ding! you are correct. As soon as I went down I knew it wasn't like one of my "usual" falls (oh, I'm a chronic faller). I had to will myself to get up and hop over to my minivan, where Caroline was buckled in and waiting for me. I could not put any weight on it for the first couple of days, but I felt like it was probably a mild sprain, because it really didn't swell much at all. And sure enough, by day three I was able to hobble around a bit, and it's gotten progressively better -- still sore, but it feels steady. I haven't tested it yet with a run or yoga, but honestly, I really think my biggest danger is just walking around in the world.

While I was out of commission (over Memorial Day weekend) I read that certain widely-discussed trilogy that is, ahem, not The Hunger Games, so now I can join the important national conversation about who should play Christian Grey (although it is very hard to see how these books can be turned into movie that is legally permitted to play at The Rave). I haven't decided who should play him yet, but I can tell you which of the frequently-named contenders should most definitely not: Robert Pattinson, Zac Efron, Ryan Gosling. No, no, and hell no.

One thing I learned about myself in being immobile for even a short period of time is that a lack of exercise turns me into a complete bear. I had just about decided that exercise does nothing for me, but apparently it exorcises actual demons, so I guess I'll keep it up. And it did make me realize all that I take for granted, like, oh, being able to get from the den to the kitchen without hopping on one foot. So I have a renewed sense of gratitude for my health and ability to move, and I hope I remember that the next time I'm cursing the alarm clock at 5 a.m.