29 May 2013

Yellow Belted

I've been trying to drown my rejection by eating far, far too many chips and re-reading my favorite books, but ideas for improving my manuscript keep encroaching on my pity party.  That's the problem with brains.

Besides, I can't give it the proper maudlin concern because twice a week I get to put on a YELLOW hapkido belt.  That's right.  We took our belt tests and my kids and I all passed.  We are no longer whiteys, and all those stripes I worked so hard for have gone the way of most other pieces of used tape.

Against the backdrop of the black hapkido clothes, the yellow belt is especially bee-like.

It was a lot of fun to watch my kids.  Their attitudes during the evaluations reflect their attitudes in general.  My oldest did everything that was asked of her with smiling determination and a disinterest in detail.  My middle child put all his considerable energy into doing everything perfectly with an intensity rivaled only by a few other members of my family.  My youngest viewed the whole thing as a game and played joyfully.

To tell you the truth, I'm not sure where I fit on this spectrum.  Probably pretty close to my middle child.  Always have to do my best.

And this time at least, my best was good enough.

20 May 2013

D.O.W.N. Down

Just got word back that my latest manuscript wasn't accepted for publication.

It stinks.

It's hard.

I think I'll go drown my sorrows in a big bag of Doritos.

Can a woman drown in synthetic cheese?

15 May 2013

He Shall Have Power to Crush Thy Head

As a kid I used to pick up snakes all the time.  There was a family in our ward when I was six that had frogs and snakes in their irrigation ditch and we'd go crazy there.  I used to love the way they felt. (Before you ask, yes I had warts.)  Right about the time I hit puberty, I decided I didn't like snakes all that much.

Today, I picked my son up from Kindergarten and because we had to drop something off at a friend's house, we walked a different street than usual.  I was pushing the stroller with my niece in it, my son was holding my hand and telling me about the teddy bear picnic they had at school today.  Suddenly, he stopped.

"Mom, look!"  Except he says it "Mom, wook!"

Sure enough.  In the grass was a garter snake.  Harmless, small, and fascinating for a five-year old.  At first, it was so still that my son said, "I think it's fake."  I touched the tip of the tail to prove him wrong.  Being a homeschooling Mom at least some of the time, I had to tell him everything I knew about garter snakes, which boiled down to "It won't hurt you," and "see its tongue poking out?  It smells with its tongue."  We watched it for a minute and I nudged my son with my elbow.  "Pick it up."

"No, Mom.  You pick it up... please?"

I'm a sucker for a cute face and a please.  After gathering up my reserves of courage, I darted my hand in and picked it up.

It felt eewier than I remembered.  It twisted and pulsed and had the misfortune of feeling scaly.  My son and niece each poked it a few times to see it squirm.

About that time, some kids from my son's class came up and saw us (me) holding the snake and wanted to be part of that party.  The little girl dared take the snake from my hand, and that made my son think maybe he'd like to hold it too.

I noticed some yellow slime on the tail end of the snake while my son was holding it and thought, "I bet that was some protective secretion the snake has on its body and we're rubbing it off."  So, being a natural idiot, I had my son put it back in the grass.

That's when I looked at my own hand.  The yellow slime had indeed been some kind of secretion.  Poo.  While wiping my hand off repeatedly on the grass I remembered why I stopped liking snakes.

13 May 2013

Mom Upside Down is Wow (aka The Day After Mother's Day)

I'm sure a lot of you out there have heard of "Kid President", but this is my first encounter with the genius.  Thanks to my sister for sharing it with me and giving me a good laugh.  I feel it only appropriate that I do that same for you, after my downer of a post yesterday.

Whether you're a mum or not, this clip will entertain.  Enjoy.

12 May 2013

Mother's Day Makes Me Melancholy

Aside from the great alliteration in the title, it's true.  Mother's day makes me melancholy.

Try having my mother and sisters and then NOT feel second-rate.

I even wrote a really depressing poem about it once, but it's too depressing to share.


Happy Mother's Day.

07 May 2013

Stripier Than A Ninja Tiger

For the record the word in the title is Stripier, not strippier.

The last month or so, the kids and I have been going to martial arts, specifically, Hapkido.  It's a Korean cousin to aikido.  It's all about defense and truth and family.  I really like their philosophies.

After their first day, my kids each had a stripe on their white belts.  It was a white stripe for energy.  After only a month, they each have five stripes signifying things like breathing, holding, and protection.  You wanna guess how many stripes their mom had?


I wake up twice a week at 5:30 in the morning so I can jog to my dojong and take an hour class.  Then I jog home again.  I think that takes more than enough energy to earn me a little white piece of tape on my belt, don't you?  I am the only woman in my class of five to six men and I have to expend lots of energy just to compete with them.

I realize that for kids, they need the visual pat on the back for their achievements that a stripe gives.  It helps motivate them.  But I could use a little motivation too sometimes.

It's one thing to be older, bigger bummed, and sleepier than all my kids, but to have my five year old tell me that I didn't have any stripes on my belt because I wasn't trying hard enough was the outside of enough.  I had to remind them who was still toughest.

Then, Master Christopherson redeemed himself.  After repeatedly throwing my opponent to the ground using some complicated wrist lock, I was summoned to his office after class.  I went in his office stripeless.  Wanna guess how many I came out with?  Five.

Oh yeah.

I came home and woke my kids up by rubbing it in their faces.

01 May 2013

My Little Tease

On Monday I went to an awards assembly for my Kindergartner.  Even though I have two children older than my youngest, this was my first Kindergarten assembly.  They do things a little differently in New Zealand.

Anyway, my son sat on the steps to the stage right behind the school principal.  Right in everyone's line of sight.  Soon after the Mr. Principal began speaking into his microphone, my son began picking his nose.  And eating it.  Eew.  I looked around like I was wondering who that disgusting child belonged to.

There were quite a few awards being given out, so to expedite the process Mr. Principal told everyone to save the applause until the end of each segment.  Then he started reading the names for the awarded students.  My son, being my son, pretended to clap after each name.  Not a big problem, except the little girl sitting next to him wigged out.  She threw herself onto his arm to stop him from making noise.  She grabbed his hand closest to her and yanked on it.  My son thought this was hilarious and continued to pretend clap after every name, just to get a reaction.  I wasn't the only one watching the drama behind the principal.

It turned out that my son, the one causing the ruckus, got a citizen of the month award.  Supposedly, that's the best award to get.  It encompasses hard work, scholastic improvement, obedience, and good behavior.  Hem.

When the awards had all been given, Mr. Principal asked all the awardees to take a bow as we applauded.  My son, hand to heart, flopped forward like a rag doll.  Then, with all the aplomb of a concert soloist, continued to nod his head at the audience for the next two minutes straight, taking accolades for his recent behavior, I'm sure.

I would have scolded him, but I was laughing too hard.