Archive for November, 2009

Mini-Me….

November 24, 2009

This is Mini-Me(this photo was taken in the UK last year), the second child in the Jenkins Brain Trust.  He was in rare form this morning, which I suspect is from the Thanksgiving dinner at my mother’s house yesterday, which he was ecstatic about. I think he woke with the joyful lingerings of yesterday’s food coma. He’s in a great mood for rising at oh-dark hundred.

First he came out in his gym uniform, which was fine except for my bright orange ankle socks he was sporting, which are definitely not part of the dress code.  “Uh, what’s up with the orange socks?” “I don’t have any clean socks”, he says. I laughed because he had done his laundry.  He disappeared, came back, and then said, “No one has mentioned anything about them so far today, so I think I’m good.”  Hunh??? “Except me, nut! Go change your socks.”

So he changed to white ankle socks.  I had to ask if they were clean.  He smiled a sly grin and replied that they were.  Normally, one would think I wouldn’t have to ask such a question, but after experiencing sheer mortification a few years ago, when Mini yelled across the gym one night after basketball practice that he’d worn the same socks three days in a row, quite pleased with his declaration, I ask. Often.

We brought leftovers home from dinner yesterday and Mini wanted to take them for lunch, so I told him to pack his lunch in his bag. “Mom, they don’t fit?” “What do you mean, they don’t fit?” I turned around from the dining room table to see my son trying to fit a 6-cup container that was half-full with dark chocolate mousse in the bag, on top of a 4-cup container full of mashed sweet potatoes and was about to put in a side of brisket in to round out the meal if he could have jammed it in there.  That’s my boy. After I stopped laughing, “Uh, son, perhaps you should use smaller containers and not try to take meal for a family of six for lunch. Just a thought. “

After we got that sorted, he was sitting in the living room, waiting for his oatmeal to be ready, whistling, whistling, at 6:15 in the morning, and loudly, never mind the three other people sleeping in the house.  Really????!!! “Dude, how about a little louder, I don’t think our neighbors can hear you.”  He flashes me his pearly whites.

He loves to make me laugh by hugging me and shaking my belly, which I remind him often is the fault of he and his sisters.  He gets me this morning and we both burst out laughing. He gives me big hugs and kisses me. So much for being quiet.

Mini-Me is my first true foray into motherhood. I had cared for my younger sister, and taken care of my step-son, but this was truly my first.  I remember the moment when he and I met for the first time.  I mean really met.  The delivery room was quiet.  Everyone had cleared out; no nurses, no doctor, no family (the crowd that had assembled for his arrival had by then dispersed). It was just him and me, staring at one another. It was like nothing I had ever experienced nor ever would again. He is my first.  We smiled at each other.  In love.

Mini will be twelve in a few months, is 5’2″ and 125 lbs. My own personal sumo wrestler.  His voice is starting to change, he has the beginnings of a mustache, and it seems like every time he wakes up he’s taller and his shoulders are a little broader. He has always been an affectionate child and I relish in those moments because I think someday perhaps he’ll be too cool to show me any love.

I take him to the bus stop.  As the bus pulls in, he opens the door and gathers his things. “Love you mom,” as he closes the door.  I roll down my window, “Have a good day.”  He turns to look at me, runs around the front of the truck, puckering up as he rounds the headlight, gets up on his toes, and kisses me, not caring about the other kids watching. “I love you, infinity to the infinitieth power mom!” He turns to get on the bus. I smile.

Pure Joy…..

And We’re Off….

November 23, 2009

The holiday season has begun. Halloween is one of my favorites as are Thanksgiving and Christmas. It does drive me crazy to see Christmas decorations up before Halloween. Joseph and Mary didn’t do that much pre-planning for the arrival of Baby Jesus. They hadn’t even made reservations at the Inn. It’s offensive, really.

Being the modern American family, we have dinner with my family the Sunday before Thanksgiving and then head to my in-laws in Connecticut for actual T-Day. So we get a double dose of tryptophan and indigestion to start the season off right. Woo Hoo!

Neither my children nor Big Daddy have spent Thanksgiving any place else other than Connecticut for their entire lives. It was in the bargaining agreement when we got married. My peeps get Christmas day.

My children start talking about Thanksgiving right after they finish all of their Halloween candy on November 1st. They talk about their cousins that they are dying to see and hunker down with for some serious video game playing (Connecticut in November, need I say more?!), Shopping with “Ma,” and Thanksgiving dinner.

I picked my youngest son up from the bus stop the other day and all he said when he got in the truck was, “stuffing,” which took me a minute to process. My eldest starts to run down the menu from memory on a daily basis like he’s getting ready for a pop quiz; Turkey, stuffing with chestnuts and sausage, mashed potatoes, candied yams, mac n’ cheese, collard greens, green beans, mashed turnips, homemade cranberry relish, and canned cranberry sauce, because, really what is Thanksgiving without ridges on your cranberry sauce? To top it all off, there is red velvet cake, and a selection of pies and ice cream. This has been the menu since I don’t know when. Any mention of deviation from said menu is met with everything from quizzical looks (Has mommy hit her head or something?) to angry glares (Surely you jest, woman!).

I’m looking forward to the car ride with my family oddly enough. Our truck is basically a moving Best Buy with all of the electronics on board-mp3 players, ipods, DVD players, Gameboys, DSs, and laptops. But we’ll also talk and laugh, retelling family stories that get bigger and funnier every time they’re told. On the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, without fail, one of the girls will ask, “How much longer?” My husband will sing Frank Sinatra’s greatest hits at the top of his lungs, followed by a little Earth, Wind, and Fire, Marvin Gaye, Corrine Bailey Rae, and Laura Izibor. After one pit stop for food, bathroom, and fuel, we trudge our way up the Jersey Turnpike. I’ll take the wheel after the Turnpike, and bring us on into Connecticut.

I love Thanksgiving because it is a time to, get together, eat and just be. We don’t have to worry about whether someone will like their present or if it is the right size or color. It’s time to reflect on the year that has swiftly gone by, to reminisce, to love, be loved, and to laugh.

It is a time to be thankful for the richness of our lives.

Fond Mammaries….

November 19, 2009

Imagine my surprise, when I got ready to leave the hospital after my third child, aka Glamour Rays (GR), was born, and not being able to get my own bra on, was told by the lactation nurse, who had just measured me that I was now a bra size H.  Hunh? Come again?  “Pardon me,” I say, “I don’t think I heard you correctly. Did you say, H???!!!!” (They actually come in bigger sizes than that. Who knew?) The lactation nurse smiled and promptly took my $70 for said garment, which looked like a double-barrelled catapult, while I cussed my husband for knocking me up again.

 My kids often ask me why I wear my pants so high.  I have to explain that it’s not that my pants are high, it’s that my boobs, which are tucked in my socks, give the illusion that my pants are at my arm pits.  On occasion, I have let out a little yelp after one of them has managed to get caught in my blackberry holster.

I remind my children that it is entirely their fault that mommy’s girls are pointing due south, leaving out the part about failing the pencil test way back in fourth grade. I could probably pass the pencil test now, but that would require some jerry-rigging and a whole lot of duct tape.  Besides, then where would I keep my cordless phone while putzing around the house?

 At one point, I did consider a boob job after an unfortunate run-in with our trashcan.  In full mommy mode, rushing around doing twelve things at once, I was trying to tidy my truck a bit so that a new layer of kid crud would have some place to play on our next outing. With my hands full, I figured I’d use one elbow to quickly lift the trashcan lid, and drop in the collected muck and mire.  I flicked the lid up and got the trash in, but apparently didn’t clear the can fast enough before the lid came crashing down, catching my nip in its wake.  A wave of pain shot out from my nip and radiated through my entire body. Benjamin Franklin couldn’t generate power like that. My yard went black for a minute and stars began circling overhead, as I tried to process what had just occurred.  Did I REALLY just slam my boob in the trashcan lid????? No, I couldn’t have.  But when I tried to step back from the trashcan, and felt the pinch, the truth was there in all its glory.  Ivy League educated, former college athlete, mom extraordinaire, stopped dead in my tracks by a big blue boob eater.

I extricated myself from the can, and thought I should call the trash company because there should really be some notation in the trashcan-operating manual about this potential hazard to women.  When I explained my remarkable feat to my husband, who burst out laughing, I thought better of making that call because really, how do you explain to some stranger that you managed catch your boob in the trashcan lid and be taken seriously. So I changed the family chore chart instead.

My son takes the trash out now……stupid can.

What’s in a Name……

November 16, 2009

I knew when I decided to start my blog that I would need a catchy name to draw in readers.  Since nothing was popping off  the top of my head, I decided to go to Google and search for some name generators.  I went to a couple, but nothing leapt off the page, though “Fantasia Heavenridge” is my new stripper name. I started thinking about words to describe the insanely, frenzied pace at which my family functions on a regular basis.  CRAZY definitely fit.

I went to the Blog set-up page and typed in Crazy, but it was already taken.  After a few other iterations that were also in use popped up, I decided to just try putting my initials in front of “crazy.” If using my given name, my first initial would be an”R,” but I normally go by a nickname that begins with a “B”. Tried “BCrazy”, no dice; tried “BeeCrazy.” Already taken.  So I decided to throw the first letter of my last name in the mix.  Success! That name wasn’t taken.  I then completed the rest of the sign-up page and was just about to hit the button that would have sealed my blogging fate forever. Then I saw my new blog name staring back at me,”BJCrazy.”…… My husband like it.

edgeofcrazy it is.

Expectations……

November 16, 2009

While at church today, I was sitting behind some visitors that were there for a baptism.  There were two teenagers along with their mother.  At one point early in the service, the mother handed the son her cell phone, while he was holding his own.  He got on his myspace page on one phone and began texting on the other.  This continued through the entire service.  In fact, the young man almost missed taking pictures of his relative’s baptism because he couldn’t put the phone down long enough to hold the camera with both hand.  His sister made faces, and talked and laughed with her brother and mother at various people in the church-the Cantor, singers in the Choir, people going up for communion.  And though they were at church to celebrate this baptism, and the mother was dressed for the occasion, neither of the teens seemed to be concerned about their appearance:  jeans with rips and holes; underwear and bra straps hanging out; sneakers; hair uncombed, you get the picture.

I get that the Lord doesn’t care what you like when you come to church,  but I found myself shaking my head.  If the teenagers’ appearance and behavior weren’t appalling enough, the fact that their mother sat right next to them and allowed it was even more tragic.  That they didn’t know to dress appropriately for the occasion (even a nicer, unholey pair of jeans would have been better), to NOT be on the phone, and to not talk through the entire service was disheartening.

I’ve heard people say that kids have no respect for anything these days; neither their elders, nor themselves.  But if we, as a society, do not TEACH them to respect themselves and others, then we can’t have the expectation that they do so. We must, while they are in our presence, however brief the moment, teach them what the expectations are, demonstrate the expectations through our own behavior, and hold them accountable. I believe if we teach our children the expectations and work with them until they get them, the children will rise to meet those expectations.

I had a student in my three-year old class some years ago who would cuss every other word and it was clear that she was getting it from home.  Every time she swore, I would let her know that our classroom was not the place for that and how to express herself in a more suitable manner.  It took a while, but she finally understood that it was unaaceptable for her to swear in my class, regardless of the language that was being used at home.  She learned that there was another way.

Parents in many cases, rather than discipline their children, want to be their friends.  My hubby and I tell our children that we are not here to be their friends, we are here to be their parents and our job as parents is to raise them to be independent, productive members of society who are kind and considerate of other people. My sons know that they are NEVER, EVER to hit a woman, they are to hold the door open, and to take their hats of when they come inside.  They know because we have taught them and my husband demonstrates it everyday. My daughters know that it is not appropriate for various body parts to hang out of their clothes. Our children know to say please and thank you, and to not address their elders by their first names, and to treat people the way they want to be treated.  Household Rules: #1-Don’t lie; #2-Don’t embarass the family; #3-Give 100% in everything you do.

Hopefully, the work that we put in will pay off and our children will be examples to others……and then our jobs as parents will be done.

The Whirling Dervish in all Her Glory

November 15, 2009
The Whirling Dervish

Pit Hair

My eldest daughter’s superhero name is the Whirling Dervish(WD).  She is a bundle of big curly hair, crazy blue eyes, and energy that could light a small city. She is 9 going on 35 and started wearing deodorant a few weeks ago after she twirled by me with her arms up in the air and melted my eyelashes with pit funk.  Her  older brother that is closest to her in age (he’s 11), superhero name: Mini-Me, at times can peel paint with what he’s got going on in the pits and for a minute I thought he had come in. When I realized that in fact, it was my eldest daughter two things happened.  I sent her on the express train to the shower to bathe along with a brand new stick of her very own deodorant, and my stomach dropped as I realized that puberty was pulling up in the driveway to take up residence and I wasn’t sure I was ready.

To be sure, we have already been having conversations and reading about what will eventually be happening to her body.  But I was happy just having the conversations without the live demonstrations.

So this week, we were flipping through “The Care and Keeping of You” By American Girl and got to the section in underarm hair and I realized that I hadn’t actually looked in her pits to see if there was any hair there.  So, I asked her if she had any and to let me see.  She told me that she would be right back.  I’m thinking she’s going to look herself to see if there is any hair under there before she shows me.  A few minutes later she comes out with her tank top on and a piece of orange string across her chest, and says she’s ready to show me her pits.  She raises her arms and I almost peed my pants. She had taken all of the hair out of the 15 hairbrushes we have in our house and made herself some arm hair.  After I finished crying and laughing, I told her that was a good one.  She responded, “Yes, that was very creatful wasn’t it?…hunh?????  “Oh,” I say,”The word is creative, not creatful, ya hairy armpitted nut.” She smiled and gave me a flash of the pits.

That’s my Whirling Dervish.

And So It Begins…..

November 13, 2009

It’s a rainy Friday afternoon and I decided to finally stop fartin’ around and start my blog.  It’s a scary sort of committment, but I’m all in, ’cause I’ve got something to say and am vain enough to think others might want to read about it.

So, a little background information.  I am happy to say that I turned 40 last month and have earned every one of the gray hairs I have recently found.  I have been with my husband for 15 years, married for 13 of them and have four beautiful and wonderful (at this moment) children, not including the 4th grader that I am carrying around my midriff. 

I am wicked stepmother to a teenage son (Number1), an 11 year-old son (Mini-Me), a 9 year-old daughter (Whirling Dervish), and a 6 year-old daughter(Glamour Rays).  I work full-time, and according to my husband, volunteer too much.  We are scheduled to the hilt with activites out the wahzoo and have the usual concerns; work, money, school, money, home, money, discipline, money, stress, money, health, etc… To round out the fun and merriment, we have a fantastic network of family and friends, and a very well-stocked bar.

Needless to say there is quite a bit of fodder in all aspects of my life and I wanted to share in hopes that someone might get some amusement from it all. And so, I blog.


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