A way with words

Pam here.

One night as I passed Gracie’s closed bedroom door I heard both of my children talking in there. They were discussing tomatoes. I listened at the door because I was incredibly curious as to my kids would be having a tomato discussion in the first place. It was that night I learned that there are good tomatoes and bad tomatoes. The good tomatoes are the ones you put in your salad. The bad tomatoes are the ones that blow hard and knock houses down. Now that’s one powerful tomato!

A few weeks later I learned that Gracie was writing down her most secret thoughts. One day Gracie was in her room with the door closed. I knocked on her room and asked if I could come in. She replied that she needed privacy because she was writing in her diarrhea. Luckily, when I opened the door it was her diary I found on the bed and not a pile of stuff that would require hours of clean-up.

I wonder if this is how it all began for the hairstylist who trimmed my husband’s hair one day. He had asked her whether he should do anything about the increasing gray in his hair. She shook her head and said that his gray hair made him look extinguished.

Where’s the spellcheck?

Holy Cannolis Batman.  Kae here. Just about the time I start feeling like I’m all hip and happening something comes along to remind me that I am techno-challenged.  I was really impressed with myself.  I was using a debit card on a regular basis, paying my bills online, e-mailing and adding computers to my network at work like it was my job.  Then comes Cookies for Dinner and this loon once again is thrown completely out of her techno depth.   Suddenly, I am supposed to set up a Facebook page and invite my “friends” to “like” the Two Loons and a Book Facebook page.  Yeah, I am a college grad and I do understand all the individual words but when they are put together in this context, I don’t have a clue what we are talking about.   I spent hours stressing over what to write, who sees what I write, how to comment or whether it is appropriate to comment on someone’s post.  Being me, I am stressed to the max trying to figure out the proper etiquette for Facebook.   Matt, Christi, and Jess keep telling me there are no rules.  You’re not supposed to worry about grammar or punctuation.  Just say what’s on your mind.   I have earned several “Mom, you’re ridiculous” from Jess and I make her read what I want to say or double check that I don’t sound silly.  Then the worst thing happens, Jess goes to work leaving me alone to update the status on my Facebook wall.   So with all the confidence of a teenaged boy asking for his first date, I wrote my first solo ditty.  Just as soon as I hit the “share” button, sure enough I realized I spelled something wrong.  That’s just perfect.  Here I am trying to promote a book I just wrote and I can’t even get the spelling right on a Facebook post!  Feels a little bit like coming out of the ladies room with the back of your dress stuck in your underwear.  All you can do is yank it down and hope not too many people noticed.

Thank Goodness for Hairdressers!

Woke up this morning in a great mood.  I had an appointment to get my hair cut and colored.  I’m not sure about you, but when I have a fresh cut and color, I feel like I’m ten years younger.  The euphoria may last one day or may last several weeks depending on how stressful the rest of my life is at the time.  But I always take time to bask in the buoyancy of my artificially created youth high.
Today is Christi’s 25th birthday.  I ordered balloons to be delivered to her at work.  (Never, ever miss out on a public opportunity to display your love for your child.  It makes up for all the times they have embarrassed the fool out of you in a restaurant or department store.)  I sent out the traditional “Happy Birthday” song text before I even got out of bed.  I got out of bed feeling like super mom.
When I looked in the bathroom mirror, hair askew and face puffy from sleep, it hit me like a punch in the stomach.  CHRISTI IS 25!!!  That is two and one half DECADES!  How did 25 years slip past me.  It seemed like as I slept, my daughter took her first steps, said her first words, went to her first day of school, had her first kiss, graduated from high school, went to college and moved four states away from me.  My heart didn’t understand where the time went, but the face staring at me in the bathroom mirror had seen every single minute’s passage.
I must have had some sort of emotional ESP when I made the hair dresser appointment for this day.  Not early, not late.  Just in the middle of the day.  Not too soon to not be appreciated and not too late to curb the emotional tide.  So I went to my appointment and came out feeling ten years younger.  My grey hair expertly masked as “highlights” with a fresh little cut that swings just slightly with my jaunty little steps.
I will never understand why my birthday doesn’t bother me at all but the kids’ birthdays make me stutter just a little.  Oh, well, all I know for sure is on October 25th 2013 I plan on being in a spa somewhere south of the equator drinking a fruity little drink with an umbrella in it.  This will be the day Matthew turns 30!

Cell phones, ipods and laptops, oh my!

Gracie will be turning 9 in July. It’s already a stressful event to plan her birthday because the days of pin the tail on the donkey and musical chairs are long gone. As a parent I have chauffeured my kids to lots of birthday parties in recent years and let me tell you… birthday parties aren’t what they used to be. In order to compete with some of the moms I would have to take out a loan to provide my children with the kind of party given nowadays.

When I was a kid, my birthday party consisted of having a few of my friends over to play games, eat hot dogs that were lovingly cooked on the grill by my father and then enjoy a homemade birthday cake. If it was a monumental birthday my mother would take the time to write “happy birthday, Pam” on it, otherwise the decorations would be limited to a handful of chocolate sprinkles scattered across the top.
Birthday parties now are held at special locations so the kids can either bowl, bounce, dance, skate, get a makeover or shoot each other in laser tag. At these parties the parent will also be expected to overpay dramatically for cardboard pizza and a birthday cake decorated to the nines in the current trendy theme.
So, as I am sitting at the dining room table one night thinking about how I’m going to break the news to Gracie that she’s going to have a very “retro” birthday party (i.e. inexpensive), she walks up to me and asks whether I’ve decided what I’m going to get her as a present. Foolishly, I was thinking Barbie dolls, a board game, maybe a new sundress or a music CD. Gracie has other plans. She has requested either an ipod, cell phone or a laptop.
This may just be the year I let my husband take over the birthday party planning.