Friday, February 26, 2010

Olympic Parenting

One of our countless responsibilities as parents is to teach our children history and love of country.  The Olympics is an amazing vessel to use for these teachable moments, while getting to enjoy some fantastic sporting events.

To watch the Weasels cheer on Team USA, fills my heart with joy.  I take this time to teach them about the rules of hockey the sports that we are watching and throw in a history lesson in the form of explaining why it's always fun to watch the Russians get beat and how it's a shame that we won't be meeting up with them on the ice about the Cold War and how the only good thing that came out of it was some really exciting sporting rivalry and the fall of the Iron Curtain.

I continue the history lesson by showing them video clips of Team USA taking home the Gold in 1980 and how amazing it was to watch and tell them how we are going to repeat that performance this time around.

This is a great opportunity to teach them how to trash talk properly and that screaming instructions at the TV screen really is productive even though Eldest Weasel keeps reminding me that the players can't hear me and that screaming out loud with pure joy and excitement with every goal Team USA scores is the equivalent of saying the Pledge of Allegiance.

They get to see my eyes fill with pride and emotion every time Old Glory is raised and The Star Spangled Banner is played.

I am using the opportunity to brush up on their math skills n the form of explaining odds and wagering on the events.

All in all, the Olympics is a great learning experience.  Covering history, patriotism, math, and sports in one, two week learning experience.

To entertain yourself further *click here* to see with your own eyes what my Canadian used to be friend, Big Bad Daddy has done with Flat WeaselMomma after reading about the wager that friend and fellow blogger, Huckdoll have riding on the Men's Hockey Gold Medal.  Also, don't forget to head on over to check out Dad-Blogs FatherHood Friday.
Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

I Went Out Last Night.....

Or at least that is what I feel like I have been saying all week.  Most of the regular readers around here know that my regular routine involves getting up early (4am) and going to bed early (8pm).  This week has been very busy and thus I am becoming very sleep deprived, so I am going to to offer you some tidbits that help sum up my week.

  • Sunday Night I stayed up past my bedtime watching an AMAZING hockey game between the USA and Canada.  It was worth the lack of sleep to witness the USA's 5-3 win.
  • Monday evening Mr. Weasel and I had an incredible meal with a dear friend who was in town briefly.  The company was terrific, the food delicious and the night memorable.  Due to travel times and train schedules, I didn't get home until about midnight.
  • Harry Reid showed his propensity for sticking his foot in his mouth by stating the out of work men are becoming violent and beating their wives.  My Weasel stated to me that if he ever starting beating me, it would have nothing to do with his work status*.  I think that NukeDad would agree.
  • Tuesday night Mr. Weasel and I went to a comedy club to watch a friend perform.  The show was great and afterward we all came back to Weaselville.  During a brief skype call with my dear friend, Dear Mr. Man, it was revealed that Mr. Man is friends and colleagues with our friends father.  It's a small world full of serendipity.  I didn't get to be until around 1am.
  • Yesterday brought Olympic Hockey to dominate the day in Weaselville.  Team USA beat the Swiss in one of the oddest games I have ever watched.  I fell asleep around 10pm,  after watching Team Canada beat the Russians (7-3, I think was the final- I was drifting off by the end) in a game that the Russians didn't seem to realize they were supposed to be competing in.
  • Yesterday also brought with it twitter trash talk between my Canadian tweep Huckdoll and myself about who would bring home the Gold in Men's Hockey.  A small friendly wager has come about.  When Team USA wins the Gold, Huckdoll will sing the Star Spangled Banner on video and post it.  *IF* Team Canada pulls of a miraculous win against the red, white and blue, Huckdoll will send me a Team Canada Jersey to don while I humiliate myself on video stating that Huckdoll was right and I was wrong.  Stay tuned for the fun.  The Gold Medal game is to be held on Sunday afternoon.
That should have you all caught up on the goings on Weaselville.  Come back soon to find out what happens next.

*Mr. Weasel, nor NukeDad would never lay a hand on a lady or even me for that matter, but anyone who knows me realizes that they have extreme powers of self control.  Domestic Violence is no laughing matter.

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Go Wash Your Face!

Anyone who has ever stood downwind of a 7th grade boy knows that personal hygiene isn't at the top of their priority list.  Until someone comes up with a video game that can be played in the shower, I don't see that changing anytime soon.

So the other day, Boy Weasel came into the kitchen to grab some breakfast before school (food being the #2 priority behind video games).  I took one look at him and said "Boy (because that's what I call him), go wash your face before you stuff anything in it".  He trudged off to the bathroom and returned 2 minutes later to continue his quest for food, with dirty face completely intact.

Boy Weasel is easily distracted by anything shiny, so this didn't surprise me.  "Boy, I told you to go wash your face".  "I just did.", was his defensive response.  I sent him off to go do it again, "Use soap this time".

Grumble, grumble, grumble as he shuffled back to the bathroom, only to return with his face still coated in a thin layer of grime.  "Dude, come on!  Bring the wash cloth to me".

I packed the sandwiches into the lunch bags, dampened the wash cloth and attempted to clean his face like I used to when he still sat in a high chair.  I held his face under the light and began to wipe away.  It wasn't coming clean.  I squinted and looked closer.  No good.  I put on my glasses and look closer still.

That's not dirt, it's facial hair!  When did that happen??????? Obviously this happened overnight.

"Ummm, sorry Boy.  I guess your face was clean.  Now grab some breakfast".

Maybe, I should adorn my glasses and take a better look at that shadowy area above my own lip.

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

What Would You Do With $500?

The wonderful, sweet, talented and generous Melisa with one S of The Suburban Scrawl and now The Suburban Scrawl Reviews is giving away a $500 Visa gift card!!!!!!
Seriously, how awesome is that?

Being that she and I are tight, I was hoping that she would just cut to the chase and just award the prize to me right off the bat, but alas, The Great 1 S is far to honest and clean cut for that kind of shenanigan.  I am in the pool with everybody else on this one.  Although kissing up certainly can't hurt me.

The only thing left for me to do is day dream about what I will do with the 500 smack-a-roos.  Decisions, decisions.......

There is always the responsible choice of putting it all toward the household expenses and alleviating the tightness of the budget.

I also would have the option of splurging on a fantabulous Brazilian Steakhouse dinner for the entire family with enough leftover for the mani/pedi of my dreams and some mad money to spare.

I could always put it toward the orthodontic needs of Monkey Weasel or Boy Weasel for that matter.

I could have an awesome day of playing Black Jack at the casino.

Then again, it could quite a long way toward new spring and summer clothing Weasels that are growing at ridiculous rates.

More than likely, it would be used to cover the Vet bills to prevent Matilda The Hun from ever going around singing Hey Big Spender to the neighborhood pooches.

I could always go on a wild book buying spree and pick up these bookshelf must haves.

The one thing that I will continue to day dream about but couldn't bring myself to spend the money on when there are too many other places that it's needed is this.

So whatever you do, don't go enter this contest because you will dilute my chances of winning !

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Friday, February 19, 2010

My Poor Parents

*This morning at 10 EST/ 9 Central (7 Pacific) is the next Suburban Wow broadcast! Join Melisa and I for a fun filled hour of laughter and spontaneity*.
Here's a door prize, just for stopping by:

Just pick it up, pass it on and link it to the show! Sorry, that I couldn't have it autographed for you.

Now onto some FatherHood Friday! Brought to you by Dad-Blogs. Head on over there after the show for some post links on everything and anything Fatherhood/Parenthood related.

As for me, the older I get the more appreciation I have for my parents. As the Weasels get older the challenges of raising become more, well, challenging. Be it school work or social interactions, chores or scheduling, they put us through the wringer.

I think back to my teen and tween years and wonder how my parents managed to resist the urge to kill me where my parents found the patience to deal with me and persevere through those years. I now completely understand how their hair became so gray, so quickly.

They say that kids growing up now have it so much harder. They have so many more pressures and exposure than we did. They are more connected and savvy and thus grow-up faster than we did. I don't doubt that this generation of teens have tremendous pressures to deal with, but I really think that my parents had it harder.

When we left the house as teens, we were out on our own. We could be doing anything, anywhere and 'call when you get to so-n-so's house', was an easy hurdle to get around. My parents had to trust that we had good heads on our shoulders and would make good decisions. This often did not work out as well as they would have liked.

When this generation leaves the house, they are still connected to home. They carry cell phones, that we can chip with GPS and track their every move. We can speak to them on a moments notice and verify location through picture messages.

There are cars on the market that will limit how fast the car can go and how loud the radio volume to go when a teen is driving.

If they run into a problem of any type, Mom and Dad are just a phone call away. Thirty years ago, if you got a flat tire, you found yourself walking in search of a pay phone and hoped that you had a dime in your pocket. Now that phone is already in their pocket.

As parents, we can monitor everything that they do on the internet and even set up security blocks of unsavory websites. The same goes for the television.

Yes, I know that teens can still find plenty of ways to get into trouble and work around these roadblocks. The Weasels are Waaaayy better than I was some pretty good kids and yet I still find my hair getting grayer by the day. I can't imagine the heart palpitations my parents must have had every time I left the house, let alone if I wasn't home by curfew.

Sure, being a teen is still hard and so is raising one. I just feel like I have a much larger safety net to catch them in when they do fall and a much deeper admiration for my own parents.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

We Need To Talk

You know I love you and the special time that we get to spend alone together. I cherish your company and affections, but when I am tired and heading off to bed, I am ready for sleep.

This is not the time to start fooling around. I am at the end of my day and usually exhausted. When you follow behind me and playfully plant yourself onto my side of the bed, with that come hither look in your eyes while I am getting changed, I just get annoyed. I'm not in the mood.

When I climb into bed and you start pawing all over me, you really test my patience. You ignore me all through the day, when I have the energy to offer myself and my time to you. You are never around when I'm ready to spend time with you.

I don't find it nearly as endearing or cute as you do when you stick your butt in my face or start rubbing yourself all over me. It's not attractive. Really.

Not only does NO mean No, but 'leave me alone' and 'get away from me' should be pretty clear cut instructions. I am not your plaything. Don't expect me to be welcoming of your advances when I am tired. Let me rest.

Don't get me wrong. I still love you, but if you continue to torture me at the end of the day, you will find yourself out in the dog house.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Smallest Weasel, Romance Coach

This past Saturday afternoon, prior to getting ready for my Hot Date with Mr. Weasel, Smallest Weasel and I had a good, long, heart to heart talk. Actually, it was more like a dissertation on how to be romantic and Smallest Weasel did all the talking while I listened, asked follow-up questions and took copious mental notes.

Smallest Weasel actually had some seriously awesome and gut-busting funny advice. I don't know where she learned this stuff, having not quite reached the age of 6 yet, but this girl has a serious consulting career ahead of her.

How To be Romantic According To Smallest Weasel

  1. You have to pick out pretty & fancy clothes like a dress to wear.
  2. You can't wear sneakers. They are not romantic. You should wear high heels.
  3. You should pluck at your eyebrows (as she looked closely and ran her fingers over mine).
  4. She examined my hair and informed me that I should straighten it.
  5. Being the consummate, full service, expert, she would help me to apply my make-up, so I didn't mess it up.
  6. Her services would also include helping me to pick out my jewelry, as I needed to wear prettier earrings than the ones that were currently in my ears or so I was told.
  7. You should smell pretty too.
  8. Don't be romantic and kiss before you leave the house, because we (Weasels) would be all eewww.
  9. For dinner you should have steaks. Steaks are romantic.
  10. And you should sit at a 2 person table in the middle of a big private room.
  11. You can't drink beer. You have to drink wine. Wine is romantic.
  12. You should kiss two times, but not until after the waiter leaves. This is why you need a big private room. So other people don't have to see you kiss and say eewww.
  13. You should have flowers and a heart box of chocolate, but the restaurant might not let you bring groceries with you. guess where we buy our flowers.
  14. No candles. How are you supposed to eat you dinner if you are holding a candle?
  15. For dessert you should have chocolate in the shape of a heart. That's romantic & you have to share.
  16. After dinner, stare at him in the eyes. You can't blink. If you are doing it right, he will tell you you look pretty.
That's How You Be Romantic!
I was also informed that we had to stop being romantic before we came home, because the Weasels could still be awake and would have to make barfing sounds if they saw us being romantic.

After dressing and prepping with the assistance of my little expert, I asked her if she gave Mr. Weasel any tips on being romantic. Alas, she was too shy. I asked her, "What if he doesn't do it right, because you never told him how to be romantic? What if the whole night gets ruined? You should go tell him, to make sure I have a wonderful date". "Don't worry Mom, he's already wearing the right clothes all by himself".

Oh, What I would give to have this entire exchange on camera.

Thanks to these wonderfully helpful tips and Mr. Weasels knowledge and efforts to make the night special, we had an incredible and romantic evening.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

It's All About Us (This Time)

Valentines Day is quickly approaching and any of you with school age children knows what that means. Valentines for the classroom! Decorating shoe boxes to become makeshift mail and candy collection boxes. There are treats to be sent in as our contribution to the classroom parties and the Weasels will return home from school all hyped up on sugar and carrying sacks reminiscent of Halloween loot.

Mr. Weasel and I usually don't celebrate Valentine's Day in a big way. We make sure to have miniature heart shaped boxes of chocolate for each of the Weasels, but never really go all out with gifts.

We typically mark the day in small ways. I may make a favorite dinner. He may bring me coffee in bed. We will try to steal a few moments for us in the middle of our busy schedules. Last year I send Mr. Weasel roses, but only because I won them for free in a blog giveaway and Mr. Weasel organized the gang and did something very special and love filled for me.

This past year has been an excessively busy and stress filled one for us. Long hours of work and long hours taking care of the Weasels and all of there transportation needs, along with all of our other obligations have left us too often like ships passing in the night. If not for stolen moments, we would have very few.

This year, the love of my life has taken the initiative to make dinner reservations for us. He has planned a special evening on Saturday (to fit into the hecticness of our schedule) and is taking me to one of my absolute favorite restaurants where the only food that I will have to cut up is my own. My meal will be hot and my beverage will be cold. That alone is a huge treat for me, but it's just the beginning.

Mr. Weasel has planned out an entire evening of surprises. All I know is that he has other secret plans in place for after dinner. After a particularly harrowing week, I can't begin to explain how much I am looking forward this.

Although the day is just an excuse to force sometime for ourselves, it's so very important to make the time for each other, to nourish each others souls and our relationship with some time alone and special. We become better parents and better spouses when we take the time to be good to ourselves. This year, Valentine''s Day will be all about us and not only will we benefit from it, the Weasels will too.
Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Shook Me All Night Long

Well, not really all night. Actually, less than a minute is more accurate. It was quite exhilarating but an incredibly disturbing way to wake up. Not knowing what was happening, Mr. Weasel sat straight up in bed "WHAT THE HELL!" as the bed violently shook and the dressers rattled, reminiscent of a scene right out of the paranormal.

Clueless myself, "An earthquake?"sputtered from my mouth, as thoughts of Armageddon rattled through my brain. Stop laughing at me! I wasn't all the way awake & this kind of thing doesn't happen here! I listened for the sound of a snow plow possibly rumbling down the street as Mr. Weasel checked to make sure that Matilda The Hun wasn't scratching herself at the foot of the bed, even though neither of those things could rock the bed like this did.

It stopped as suddenly as it had started. I headed immediately to the best source for immediate information that I know, Twitter, and received confirmation that it was indeed an earthquake and had registered a 4.3 magnitude (It's now been adjusted to 3.8.).

It's not unheard of to have a n earthquake in IL. We do sit on a rather large, mostly inactive, fault line. A year or 2 back, there was a small one that was I awake for and still didn't feel. The neighbors did and it registered somewhere like 1.8. It made the news top story because it is such a rare event and I never would have known about it otherwise. So you can really stop pointing and laughing at me because I have never felt one before & it's not like I am vacationing in Los Angeles at the moment.

So, all in all, it made for a few minutes of excitement and with no damage involved, I can say it was kind of fun. Now to hope for aftershocks!

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Help Me, Help You

This blogging thing has really been a great addition to my already full life. It has brought me much joy and entertainment, new people in my life that I consider to be real friends and audience to listen to, and surprisingly be entertained by, my Weaselisms.

Unlike the elite few and in solidarity with the masses, blogging does not generate any income to speak of for me. Sure, there is the odd ad sale. Yes, with a book review I receive a copy of the book so that I have some thing to review. The same goes for Christmas cards or most any other reviews. I don't mind doing the occasional review, I just want to do a review of something that I could really have fun with, entertain my readers and positively contribute to the Weasels way of life.

Let's face it, most reviews are kind of boring. I want to do some reviews that would not only be of benefit to me (if the product is good) but also be beneficial and entertaining to my readership and honest at the same time. Needless to say, I have some fun ideas in mind.

Just this morning as I was shoveling the driveway before first light, I thought to myself, "Ya know, if a company wanted me to review their heated driveway system, I could make a video of myself standing in my cleared driveway, pointing and laughing at my neighbors at 5 am as they break their backs shoveling before going to work for the day".

I've also thought thought that an electric fencing company would be a good fit for World of Weasels. Having a soon to be 140 lb Mastiff, many people have told me that an electric fence isn't strong enough to hold one back. If you really believe in your product, you install one here and have me review it! I would make a video having all kinds of fun testing the fence! I could start by testing it myself, with Mr. Weasel holding a cold Coors Light just on the other side of the fence. Then I could allow the dog to play in the yard and see what happens. Next, I could hide the collar in Mr. Weasel's pocket as I hold a plate of stuffed cabbage rolls just over the border! Last but not least, we let the Mastiff and her best buddy, the St. Bernard that lives behind us, play in the yard together. If your product is up to that kind of honest testing, what could be a better advertisement?

With a family of 7, including 2 teens, 2 adults and a ten year old who hogs the hot water like Cleopatra ate grapes, one of those continuous hot water heaters would be a perfect item to review. I am always the last one to get into the shower as everyone else has to be ready to head out for the day before I. You can only imagine the video I would come up with for this one!

Makers of adult beverages can count on me to give honest gut reactions of their libation to my readership on camera!

As long as you are willing for me to be honest, rigorous and fair I would be willing to allow you to use my videos for PR.

Not only could your company benefit from the review, if your product is truly as rough and tumble as my family, but I too would benefit, if it is, and so do my readers who trust me to be honest, funny and entertaining.

So PR people, help me, help you!

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Weasel Super Bowl Highlights

This past Friday on Suburban Wow, (you can watch the re-run ad nausium here) it was requested that I post about the traditional Weasel Kids Super Bowl party. It really consists of eating and drinking in the living room, while enjoying the commercials and making enough constant noise to not allow me to actually watch the game.

In preparation for dealing with the onslaught of insanity that I knew would come after hopping up the gang on junk food and soda, I decided to review the moonshine that John Cave Osborne was kind enough to have sent me a few weeks ago.

Alas, I was then all set to watch the Big Game with The Weasels.

Amazingly, no food or drinks were spilled during the free for all.

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Saturday, February 6, 2010

SIDS Research Breakthrough

Major news broke nationally this past week that researchers have found a biological cause for SIDS. While this is very good and exciting news in the SIDS community, it is also being sensationalized in the media as a larger informational breakthrough that will impact our children's lives immediately.

To bring you information on what this research means for parents of infants and expectant parents, I went to Pam Borchardt, Executive Director of SIDS of Illinois, an expert and SIDS Mom, who can break down the information, explain what it means to you as a parent and inform you what you can do to to lower your child's risk to fall victim to SIDS.

I personally have worked closely with SIDS of Illinois since the death of my daughter, Claire, on July 2nd of 2002. Although hers was a heart related cause and not SIDS. I have met countless parents in extreme grief who never thought in a million years that SIDS would happen in their family. I implore you to get educated (visit SIDS of Illinois' website) and practice safe sleep with any baby that you care for. SIDS of Illinois is an organization that is not only involved in research but also offers bereavement services for parents and families that are grieving the loss of a child, offers education to parents, childcare professionals and to first responders, so that they can thouroughly peform their duties and avoid causing damaging nightmare scenarios, like Mr. Weasel and I experienced on the day our daughter died.

Visit the SIDS if Illinois website. Educate yourselves, your families and anyone who cares for your baby, in the belief that every baby should live and if you decide to make a donation, feel free to make it in the name of Claire Weasel and I will give you a heartfelt thank you and a link love shout out on World of Weasels.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Recipe For A Successful Morning

Let's face it, mornings aren't always smooth and easy no matter how well prepared we think we are for them. This is where experience is key. Luckily I, with 16 years of mothering experience, have come up with some helpful & handy tips to make life a little easier and today I shall share them with you.

  • Make sure that you wake up at 4:30am fully aware that the 4th grade Invention Convention project that you only found out yesterday is due today is only 1/2 complete. Wake crabby husband and groggy 4th grader. Work on it together.
  • Elicit the help of 6th grader to make and pack lunches while you continue work on the project. She is the most logical choice, in that she only ever does 1/2 of what she is expected, no matter the request.
  • Have husband volunteer to make up a can of soup for 2 of the lunches and then forget, so that when you open the microwave to extract the soup, it's not there.
  • Make sure to be fresh out of dog food so that the 75lb puppy can request a meal by jumping on you repeatedly over the course of 2 hours.
  • Have cats climb all over the tri-fold presentation board as you are trying to work on it.
  • Have 7th grade boy empty the dishwasher after he eats breakfast. Have him move like molasses so that this tasks takes so long that he can not be asked to finished making the lunches that the 6th grader only 1/2 completed.
  • Be sure to have the 5 year old wake up channeling Adolf Hitler, having missed his nap on D-Day.
  • Stir with a cranky, attitude filled teenager asking for money and a husband who must rush out of the door to get to work.
  • Listen to the news that the glorified rat Punxsutawney Phil claims to have seen his shadow and think to yourself, "He can't tell his shadow from a hole in the ground!"
  • Remember that it is primary election day and listen to a bombardment of commercials with all the candidates pushing a platform of "cleaning up corruption in Illinois and try to refrain from wetting your pants while laughing that hard.
  • Go wash up and change clothes because those fools actually expect you to buy what they are selling and that Illinois politicians are easier to bribe that a 5 year old with a sugar addiction.
  • Pack everyone and all of their gear into the car to head to school for the drop off. Bring a granola bar for the 5 year old, who didn't eat breakfast because she was busy throwing fits and getting wrestled into clothes, knowing that she will not eat it even if it was a Hershey Bar, because that is her mood. Warn them "There are to be no phone calls today".
  • Hit the store and buy dog food.
  • Head back home and realize that your system for doing busy mornings could help the world be a better place.
I should write a book.

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