Sunday, January 30, 2011

How addicted do you have to be?



So, on my way back to my computer after a pit stop, I glanced into the living room to find hubby on the PS3 playing a baseball game AND on his laptop playing a computer game. It's not a huge big deal that he is doing this. It's after the boy's bedtime, on a weekend and it's not like he has to be up in the morning but I couldn't resist, so I asked him, 'How addicted to video games do you have to be, that playing one a time doesn't cut it?" I giggled and wandered back to my computer. Smug in my superiorosity.

So, I get back on the computer and I hear a snicker. I hadn't heard him follow me back to my room.  "I knew it! So, how addicted to your computer do you have to be to have two browsers open with multiple tabs at the same time? And, do I see more than one program open?"

Doh! Totally busted!

I had one browser open to Lian's school, putting together a lesson plan and the other open to my personal email account so I could catch up on some correspondence.  It's not an uncommon occurrence when I have a lot to get done. It doesn't take much effort to switch back and forth. I have to admit though, it could be a sure fire sign of addiction and more likely the desperate need to get a life. 

 So how is your weekend going?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

KMART should not be a scary place to shop

You just never know!

We were at Kmart this week. We were walking kind of stretched out with hubby a few aisles ahead and Lian  dragging his feet behind getting distracted by the toy section. I knew where he was but I let him wander a bit, calling him a few times to come to me. Standing near the end of the section was this guy. I noticed him in passing and didn't really give him a second thought, at the time. I waited for the boy to catch up with me and we caught up with dad. All the while Lian was complaining because he couldn't find the $5 iron man toys. Hubby wanted to look at posters, (I don't know why, we haven't bought a poster in twenty years), so I finally gave in and let Lian go back to the Iron Man section. He took off and I let hubby know we were going.  I turned the corner into the aisle a few steps behind him and see that guy  coming to a stop just at the Iron Man section.  He looked up at me then kept walking out of the aisle to stand by the end cap facing away from it. Passing strange. 

We found the elusive toys, which were $7 now and walked back to dad. Meanwhile this guy is still just standing there not really looking at anything. Though according to hubby, later, he kept glancing at us as we walked away.

So I tell Morgan this guy is creeping me out, the way he just appeared there where my son said he wanted to go. We hadn't passed him again on the way back to the toys, so he had to have come from the other end of the aisles. I kept the boy close as we moved on to the food section and just let him worry over the creepy guy. That is his job.

We shopped some more and then the boy asked if he could go get cheese crackers.  I left him with his dad discussing soup flavors and went two aisles overs to get the crackers and guess who is right next to the exact brand we were talking about. He turned and walked out of the aisle and back in the direction I had just come from. So now I was really freaked out.

I got back to the cart and hubby was showing some serious signs of stress. He motioned for me to take hold of the kid and then took off around the corner. He was back in just a moment. Apparently this guy had turned to come down the aisle where they were, then stopped, backed out and continued down the action aisle. By the time hubby went after him he had disappeared again.

I can think of a hundred legit reasons why this could happened. Yes it was strange that I never saw him actually looking at or holding merchandise. He could have just been killing time while his wife was shopping and he just didn't like hanging around others and we just kept getting in his way. He didn't have to be a child predator who noticed a child unaware of his surroundings and parents who seemed distracted by shopping.  We still mentioned it to the customer service desk. They said they would keep an eye out for him.

 What scares me is that Lian never noticed him. Never even knew he was there, had no idea who we were talking about. He passed him twice and shared an aisle with him twice and he never realized there was anybody else there. A long time ago I wrote a post about when he unlocked our deadbolt and actually left the safety of our apartment to go be with an interesting stranger he saw in our courtyard. He has come a long way from the toddler who would wander off with anyone who smiled at him. Still, with his social delays he is far too trusting when someone shows him attention. 

I realized that in those few moments a predator would have been able to glean his name, maybe ours as well, his interests and his favorite snack. Would my son, unaware of his presence in the first place, be savvy enough to protect himself against a stranger who "knew" so many little things you don't expect a stranger to know? It takes just a moment of hesitation to change a life forever.

Whether or not this guy was actually doing anything sinister, it was a great opportunity for a teaching moment. We were able to show Lian how his pushing at the rules we lay down for him, can put him in danger and that mom and dad are NOT the enemy for having so many rules. I know as he gets older he is wanting more freedom from his mom's constant hovering. Especially when he sees other kids his age being so independent. He says he understands it's to keep him safe from a danger he isn't even aware of. I can only hope he believes it. I do want to give him kudos for responding to the possible-threat codeword I gave him and sticking close by until he got the all clear. He handled it well even though he never saw anything that seemed threatening to him.

I get the all over chills thinking what could have happened if I had let those apron strings out just bit more. 

Monday, January 10, 2011


I have known hubby's birthday was coming for a whole year now, as it does every year right about now. One could argue I have known about it for the last eighteen years even.

As always I am caught a day late or a dollar short. In this case, the dollar. A check I have been waiting on since the fifteenth of last month still hasn't arrived. With the usual bills I couldn't even scrounge the change to buy a cake mix. Hubby is, of course, fine with it. We had agreed to wait until the  money gets here and do a cake and  his favorite dinner, later. We did not take our son into consideration. He also has been waiting since last year for this day. He has a list of all the holidays tucked away in his brain. Daddy's birthday is the second holiday of the year. It is immutable. The child had been waiting for mom to coordinate, to tell him what to make for decorations. Even the rule that there were to be no presents wasn't going to fly with him.  It is a birthday, there must be a present. He would wait for mom no more, time had run out. It was time to make a party.

So, I spent my day improvising.

Some things were easy. Construction paper makes great party hats and even a spiffy birthday card. Other things were a little more difficult. A cake is almost impossible to fake. I had about half of the ingredients on any from-scratch recipe I could find. I gave a thought to making cookies. I was still missing a few ingredients. The present presented another problem altogether. Usually in a pinch the boy can be counted to on to come up with an art masterpiece. Not today. "I always give him a picture, he doesn't need another one." Raspberries!!!

 A call from MIL got DH out of the house for a few hours. I set the boy to making party hats decorated with left over Christmas bows and other assorted craft supplies. Then I started on cookies. I had only margarine and no shortening, no vanilla, no baking soda, baking powder or cream of tarter. All ingredients the various recipes I found called for. I also only had brown sugar.  I did however have half a bag of stale chocolate chips, some marshmallows left over from Halloween (yikes!) and an envelope of powdered hot cocoa.  I threw it all in the bowl and hoped for the best. As I was hunting for a cookie sheet it occurred to me that one big cookie would look great with a candle on it. I dumped the whole thing in a cake round. (Note to self: It takes longer than the recommended 10 minutes, to cook a cake round size cookie) As I was putting the 'cake' in the oven the boy decided to remind me that dad still needs a gift. 

What to do? A mixed tape... er CD... umm playlist? I am so old!

I decided to fall back on the old second grade standby; a pencil holder. What dad couldn't use a colorful cup to store his flash drives in? I consolidated the Parmesan and Romano cheeses, scrubbed the empty container with clorox and prayed the left over noxious cheese fumes wouldn't melt the pencil erasers. I found some old wrapping paper scraps in the craft bin, a large paint brush and our dying jar of mod podge, perfect for a quickie paper mache covering.  I showed the boy how to glue the paper strips one at a time. I then remembered that I had a cookie/cake in the oven and it had been way more than ten minutes. 

I saw the cookie was still a bubbling goop and then I hear the bathroom door slam open and the water turn on. I had forgotten that the slightest bit of glue on the hands of the boy would, of course, herald a melt down of huge porportions. After getting him cleaned up and calmed down, we managed to get the pencil holder finished. He painted the glue and I stuck the strips (and got the icky feeling stuff on my fingers instead) while he oohed and ahhed over the cool patterns and colors that emerged as we added each layer. 

Finally, I smelled the delicious fragrance that announces more clearly than any timer ever could that the cake was done. I had to find a stand to hold the gluey mess that would eventually become a cool desk accessory. I had visions of it sticking permanently to whatever surface I set it on to dry. I frantically found a  tall thin flash light to act as holder. I pulled the cake out of the oven moments before it became statistic.  I popped it onto a plate, inhaled it's aroma and mentally patted myself on the back for quick thinking.  Then I proceeded to clean the gluey mess from our art project. It was during the housekeeping efforts that I became aware of the silence that, all parents know, means some rule somewhere is being broken. The boy came around the corner with a slightly guilty look in his eyes and chocolate on his face. 

"what 'cha up to?"


Yeah right!

There was a child size hole in the center of my cake and the edge on one side was eroded. Hmmm?

"Mom, you were worried how it would taste, so I wanted to make sure it was good." 

"Okay, and you had to eat all of that to taste it?"

"It was really good."
 I had party hats that would fit only on the heads of leprechauns. I had a gluey pasty mess that once dry would be quite pretty but dry was a long way off.  I had a birthday cake with a hole in it and I had a birthday Honey due in the door at any moment.  (Did I mention day was filled with the usual Monday school stress and that I also cooked dinner while all this was going on?)  I could have had a melt down of my own, but flattery impresses and I was grateful to know it tasted as good as it smelled. I still had a cake to cover up and no frosting ingredients to do it with.

I improvised... Again!  I had just a dollop of Dove's dark chocolate ice cream sauce left over from a gift basket from MIL. 45 seconds in the micro and voila, chocolate glaze. 

All in all, it turned out great. Hubby celebrated another anniversary of his eighteenth birthday, all the while holding the party hat on his head. The cookie cake rocked my diet to its core. I have to try remember what I actually used as a recipe because it was perfectly crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside and super rich. Hubby loved his pencil holder, once he figured out what it was. He politely ignored the semi dried rivulets of glue that had yet to turn clear. Tomorrow it will be gorgeous. He was only a little disappointed to not get his annual Lian Nathaniel original artwork. 

So how was your day?


What People Are Reading