Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Titanic

Did you know it took 3 years to build the Titanic Boat?  And on the first trip it's over.  Scary. 

And people laugh at me when I say I'm scared to fly.

Stopping Traffic

What recession? The malls are packed.

Out of nowhere all these people that had all year to shop, decide to come to the same mall. (Of course I was there because my kids wanted to see Santa and I did need one more gift!)

On the way out I was right between 3 cars backing out at the same time. A angry-rushed man in his 50's, a lady who must have slept with the devil and an old woman well into her 90's and probably shouldn't have been behind the wheel of a car let alone outside in the holiday shopper chaos.

My kids were behind me as I stopped them and at the same time screamed to halt a triple car collision. The drivers all looked at me as if I was crazy and then the angry man, seeing the other cars stop, took his chances to get out first. I stopped him. "Hey!" I held up my palm and stood in his way as I directed the older woman (I swear she could barely see above her dash) to back out and drive off first. I chose her because she needed the most help and at this time in the world, we should really be treating older people with massive amounts of respect.

The man grumbled, the lady started swearing at me and the little older woman took a good 3 minutes to back out and pull away, rolling down her window (another 30 seconds) to say, "God Bless you dearie..." before she pulled off.

My kids watched with wonder as their mom directed the last two cars out of the parking lot and get the finger from the nice lady showing her appreciation.

My almost teenager son saw the mean gesture and was embarrassed, "Mom, why do you even bother?"

"What do you think would have happened if I didn't?" I said to him as he turned and then finally smiled up at me.

Yes it was none of my business, but by screaming, I stopped a massive accident, insurance rates going up, someone going to the hospital and maybe someone even dying. Yes, it wasn’t my business, but I did the right thing. And that is worth the trouble…even if I got people mad at me.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Holiday Weeping...

My kids don't want to leave my side during the holidays.  Maybe they think they'll miss something fun, maybe they don't want to get lost, maybe they're afraid I'll leave them on purpose?

Today I dropped my little ones off at my gym's babysitting.  When I turned to hug them and say, "Be back soon, I love you!" another little boy, about 2, looked up at me and stretched his arms out for a hug. 

I went with it.  Someone wants a hug, I do not deny!  I bent down and hugged him, telling him (laughing to myself) "I'll be back soon..."  Instantly I had two kids crying.  One of my own (mad I was giving attention to a total stranger his size) and the kid I hugged who was now screaming with his arms raised trying to get me to pick him up and hold him. 
Oh boy...I thought as I looked around for help.

The gym babysitters glared at me like I just ruined their day (maybe I did...nothing worse than a crying kid)

I held my youngest child calming him down promising I loved him and wasn't trading him in for another kid.  Meanwhile the other kid was so unhappy, they had to call his mom.   Before I could create any more drama, I headed for the bikes happy Christmas is only days away.

Something about the holidays makes everyone super happy or on the verge of tears.  Be careful out there!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Lovely Nurse

Last night I met a 33 year old beautiful lady who said she is a pediatric hospice nurse.

What?

I had her repeat it. One more time? She laughed and sadly I understood: This woman is a nurse to children that went to their own home to die.

It took everything I had not to burst into tears. I couldn't imagine anything more horrible than being a nurse a dying child, yet alone be that mother.

I studied this brave girl; she was blonde, oh so pretty and beyond full of life. In just a few sentences I understood she 'got' the fragility of life as she daily gave of herself to children that would never see puberty or adulthood.

My heart ached as I wondered how one approaches such a meaningful yet heart wrenching job? Did she cry often? Did she feel sad? Did she think about these children at night as she lay in her own bed?

I told her I hoped I never saw her working in my house. She laughed her contagious laugh and I knew the families that saw her in their homes were lucky to have such an angel.

I then went home, let the tears bust and hugged my children. Sick or not, hugs yours. Tight.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Messy Car?

Here are the facts: I'm a mom of three kids (4 if you add the husband). For survival, we must eat and drink in our car....often. Today after school my son runs up to the car in a panic, "John is coming with us! Can you please CLEAN YOUR CAR!!"

What? It wasn't that messy? It was....disruptive...? Papers from school, backpacks, kid books, magazines for the gym, unused coupons, articles of clothing from the kid’s sports and playground activities. What's the big deal? It's not like I had sour milk soaked in the carpet (that happened many times before, and even I don't want to get into my car) So I did my best cleaning up everyone’s things. In a car with no cabinets to hide stuff, I piled the crap nicely into sections.

My son and his friend climbed into the car. My child had an embarrassed attitude. I waited 5 minutes before I asked our guest, "Hey Johnny? Does this car smell funny to you?"

My son went into a zesty vent, "Mom! You can't ask him that! He's not going to tell you! I was with Mr. Maren and he asked ME the same question and I said, 'no, your car smells great!' But in truth his car smelled like CRAP."

My ten year old was behaving like a bitter sensitive man of forty. I wanted to laugh, I wanted to argue, instead I let the silence lay there.

"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion," I told my ten year old later. "If you help an do your share all the time consistently, it's only then you can complain about the lack of others helping."

Course I said all this to him as we stood over his dirty clothes 3 feet from the hamper. He said, "Okay" turned and stepped over his clothes on the floor as he walked away. "Excuse me?" I pointed back to his clothes. "Oh..." he said as he bent over to pick up his things.

Really? It’s true. I’m raising a man.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Homework Hell

I hate homework.  I hate the idea.  I hate the word. 

When my kids get home from school and sports, I want family time.  Since they've been gone all day, the last thing I want to patrol the kitchen yelling things like, "Can you sit down?!"  or "Focus people!!"  or  "If you have to pick your nose, don't wipe it on your homework, use a tissue!"

When I was a kid I had homework but it wasn't much and it was easy.  (not cause I was smart, but cause the world was easy).  "Fun" is all I remember...playing outside for hours. 

I try to make their homework fun or worldly...like when learning complicated boring spelling words, every word with a letter F, you have to say "fart." (doesn't work with PH!)  It's fun, ridiculous, but at least I can break from being police lady and have a giggle too.

Any more creative homework ideas to cease the inner-yelling-boss?

Bad Santa

My four year old has been talking about Santa and what he wants for Christmas.

Last Sunday we went to a party where Santa comes and brings a gift for each child.  My four year old opens the gift, runs to me and shouts, "I didn't order THIS!"

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Whoa to the Holidays!

Nothing like a death in the family to make you wonder why relatives have to die around Christmas.

Can't they wait a few weeks?  Don't they realize we have crap to do?

Grandma always compared her life to Jesus's...maybe this was her way of saying, "Ha, told you!"

Either way, a death at the holidays reminds us this visit is short.  So...go hug those you love and as you do tell them how much they mean to you.  In a blink of an eye, you may not get another chance, and if they check out early, you'll know, while they were here, they knew they were loved.

laurie mcdermott is a comedian, host and commentary.   

Thursday, December 02, 2010

At the Mall...

My husband came home from the mall and was excited, "Hey I saw Doug and Judy at Starbucks!"

"No way!?  How is their daughter?  What were they doing?"

"...oh...I didn't talk to them.  I said I saw them."

(And that is the difference between Men and Women.)

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Man Talk....

Last weekend we went to a party for my middle child's grade. My husband, on cue, complained the whole way as if trying to convince me to turn around and go home, "Who will I know?" "What is it for anyway?" "Why are they doing it on a Saturday?"

When we arrived I sent him into the wolves to get us drinks. He comes back fifteen minutes later and said he met a really cool guy and we should have them over for dinner soon. He then goes back outside to finish their conversation.

An hour later, he's still talking to this same guy, laughing and having a great time. I then see who he is talking to....oh no....it was Tom Bradey. The Tom and Jane who with all their kids are moving to Georgia in two weeks. Everyone at the party as well as the school knew for months...except my husband.

On the ride home, after my husband spent the whole party talking Tom, he was so happy, "I had such a great time. That guy, Tom, reminded me of all my friends back east."

I asked him if he mentioned where they lived. "No..."
Did you talk about how many kids he had? "No..."
Did you talk about where he was from...? "No..."
What did you talk about? "Football...mostly...."

I couldn't even bare to tell him his new friend was moving across the country and would be gone before our next gas bill arrived.

So I didn't. I just said, "See what happens when you listen to me? You will always have a good time...."

He's such a man.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Why Glass Coasters Suck...

"Don't put down the glass! Get a coaster!"

It was just a cup of water. But I guess the 'sweat' from the ice and water can make that forever staying ring. And if you own the table, I get it, go coaster crazy all you want!

I grabbed one of the pretty glass coasters. Then I set my plastic cup on the glass coaster…in the middle…just in case.

When I looked back, it was as if my glass went to the bathroom....the glass coaster was covered with water and the table, the precious wood table was now home to a puddle my sweaty glass created.

Quickly and quietly I grabbed some tissues, pretended to sneeze and nonchalantly mopped up the flowing 'sweat.'

I then stared down the glass coaster with evil eyes, wondering why it failed to do its job! Then I realized….Dah. It's GLASS. Glass doesn't soak. Glass looks nice but it won't protect a table.

So therefore dear people, I put upon you to answer: "Why use glass coasters?"

My second question: “Why even have a fragile table that makes you weird ‘Coaster Enforcer’?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

IHop Pancake House...My Love Remains Solid

While on vacation, if you gotta choose to one meal a day to eat out, don't be stupid.  Pick "dinner." Dinner is the hardest to prepare, while breakfast is a snap: cereal, pancakes, sausage, oatmeal....all require little effort and mini cleanup. Which is why we rarely even think of going out for breakfast...that is, till we've eaten everything and have no choice but to find food outside.

Restaurant of choice? IHop. Why? Three reasons: Pancakes. Pancakes. Pancakes.

The pancakes are heavenly and their skinny link sausage (you are either a sausage: fat link or skinny) are so divine I begin to calculate how late the kids would be to school if we added IHop into our daily routine.

Today, ohhhh, when I ordered the cheap boring 2 eggs, links and hash browns...I was offered a seasonal extra!  A choice; and let me tell you people, our mouths, eyes and stomachs ached at the sight and value.  I got to add, for FREE, um hm, free, one of the following: an apple crepe, banana bread French Toast or Pecan pancakes.

Cheap & Delicious?  I think I died.

I chose the middle and all five of us fought over who got to put their fork into the delight next.

Thank you IHop for keeping a pancake so delicious, I refuse to even try to make it at home.

Flying Again...

I used to fly all the time. Had top privileges on two of the best airlines for a few years before I packed in the suitcase for three kids. Today, when I fly, no one remembers my once great 'loyalty' and I'm back to being just garbage.

Thank goodness all my flying happened prior to 9-11. Every time I fly now, I think of that day and how trying to keep us safe is making people stupid. My kids weren't born or don't have a memory of what flying was like before and I guess that is good...so they don't feel the need to roll their eyes when a TSA person asks something they believe to be ridiculous.

Not a fan of country unless it's about some lover that got revenge with time or death. But if you are flying soon....this Buck Howdy guy gives a nice view on what's to come before your flight. And if you aren't flying but into some success on YouTube, do something like this and people like me will notice and share.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9a8jGVXOMsw&hd=1

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Why I Love Thanksgiving Week

Ever since our school system decided to close schools for the week (cause with families going awol early on long vacations, the schools lost too much money) this has become my favorite week with my family.

Beause it's not long and hairy like Christmas break or the when-will-it-end Summer Break, Thanksgiving week is perfect. 

While I know we should be packing it in to travel somewhere hip and exotic...I kinda like being able to enjoy the nothingness of the week. 

And I do mean nothing.  Daily we get up and stay in our jammies till noon or even (I know) the next day.  (that's a great day).   We eat when we feel like it, snack when we feel like it, shower when Mom says, "You smell." 

Best part:  No rushing to school, no driving to a zillion practices, no playdates, no missed appointments, and my personal favorite; no homework.   It's a chance to be together and remember how much we love each other and relax in our own home, play with toys we had to have but never touched, open that paint kit we forgot we had, have 'game night' five days in a row...and talk and laugh and just hang out as a family.   

Ahhh....

Then just at the point when I begin to pull at my hair and wonder who raised my children to be so annoying....it's time to go back to school.  Everyone agrees it's was a great HOME vacation!  And the timing?  What a perfect break!  

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thanksgiving...seat for one?

"I have a serious question.  Be honest."

I was intrigued and nervous.  I hoped she wasn't going to ask me if her butt was too big because it wasn't.... and just to be funny, I'd have to lie.

My dear friend, Sadie, started to talk about Thanksgiving, a holiday I dread since we live in an area with no "built-in" family and each year, wondering what we're going to do on the big holiday (Will we be invited somewhere?  Will someone want to come to our house for dinner?) is sad and depressing. 

This year with no invitations and a fear of cooking/burning a turkey, Sadie suggested she'd make a turkey and her family would just come to our house.  I was so happy.  We'd have guests and I wouldn't need Dominos-Pizza on speed-dial.

Since then, I've invited other friends who felt empty and lost at the prospect of being alone on Thanksgiving.  Which leads me to Sadies phone call and her request, "My friends don't have family in town and I was wondering--"

I didn't let her finish, "Do you want to invite them for Thanksgiving?"

"Well, I don't want--"

"Sadie!  Do you want them to come to dinner?"

"Well...if you are okay--"

"What's her phone number?"

"Are you going to call them?  Oh no, let me call her first...."

"Sadie, she'll be coming to my house, I want to make sure she knows she's invited and what better way to do that then call her myself.  What's her number?"

I hung up and called this new friend and introduced myself and then invited her to our home for Thanksgiving dinner.  She said yes, her family would love to come.

Next, I called my husband and told him about our added guests.  He operates like me, "Hey, what's a few more?"

All this reminds me of Thanksgiving dinner 1996.  When I asked a relative, "Hey, that nice lady on your corner didn't her husband die?  She's all alone this Thanksgiving.  Why don't we invite her to come down for dinner?"

I will never forget the response she gave me, "My table only seats 8.  I don't have enough chairs."

In truth, we could have pulled up a stool or (don't gasp) a 'different' patterned chair.  All people care about on Thanksgiving is that they feel loved and accepted.  It's so simple and easy. 

And in our home, there will always be a seat at our table for anyone wanting to come be thankful with us on this holiday and all holidays. 

I hope you are the joyous light for someone else this holiday.

Husband Duty

The past 2 nights I promised my husband, who goes to bed early, that I'd wake him up when I climbed in.  Being too tired and well lazy, I haven't. 

Tonight is our weekly 'date night' and laying in bed this morning, I had a hilarious idea! Before dinner I'd take him to a remote place and have a little "sex in the car." I was excited for him in my plot to surprise him, smiling as I mentally mapped out all the acrobatic things I would do to him. 

Then I climbed out of bed.  Walking to the bathroom, the after-effects of almost being 40 reminded me I'm no longer in shape to perform in Cirque du Soleil and that my body, when able, likes bending and stretching in comfy places, not the car, not the floor or sometimes not even a gym mat. 

So...maybe I'll just share with him what I was thinking over dinner.  The mere fact I was thinking about such out of the box adventures has gotta give me some points!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Be The Better Friend

Ever have a friend that did something rude or awful to you that was so shocking instead of going to them with, "Ah...did you know you behaved badly and really hurt my feelings...?" You kept it inside, hoped it would go away, worked itself out or moved to a foreign city?

Last week, after a big 'Rah-Rah" from the husband, I met face to face with a lady who once took my heart and smashed my feelings through a meat grinder.

Why did I reach out to her for peace after she hurt me? 1) Because life is too short to worry. 2) Our kids are friends. and 3) if I have to keep seeing this woman without a heart-to-heart, I'm destined for cardiac arrest.

Was it hard to meet with her? "Horrid" is better than "hard." Conflicts suck. But if you face them head-on with an open mind and heart....no matter what the result, you win because you cared enough to try.

How did it end? My internal organs thanked me, as did my husband who saw what that stress did to my usually happy demeanor.

What will be of the old friendship? My goal was to clear the air. Now that it's cleared, there is room for the start of a new friendship...one that will start with two people now carrying fresh secret tools to unlocking the wisdom of how to live life honestly.

And if our friendship doesn't blossom....it'll be her fault!

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Reason to Have A Party

"I can't have a party...I need new curtains...the walls need new paint....or maybe we just need a new house..."

The holiday season is upon us and so are the fun parties.  Every year a dear friend of mine complains she wants to have a party but can't because her house is a mess.  Really?  No one cares what your home looks like.  (unless it's a distaser in which case you'll make them feel better about their own place)  All people care about is that you chose them to be on your guest list! 

If you keep thinking of all the reasons why you can't have a party...you'll never have one.  Mabye start thinking of all the reasons why you CAN.  Here I'll help:

1) Four walls, a floor, a bathroom and a refridgerator.

2) Fiends you like but never see or have time to talk to cause you're so busy.

3) People will come to your party because they want to see you...not the house, the curtains or even the dog stained rug.  They come for you.

Odds are, fifty years from now you're not going to be around anyway....so make sure you have fun before it's too late.

In the meantime....get planning.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The Dangers Of Voting

I dropped off all my kids and headed straight to my voting location.

I parked my car, chatted with the local neighbor volunteers, voted, chatted again and returned to my car.

I opened the door, sat in my seat, closed the door, put my keys in the ignition when I noticed a book on the floor.  Funny.  How did that get there?  Then I looked at the passenger seat and saw a stack of items I knew I didn't put in my car. A tingle of fear began to settle in me as fast as I realized,
"OHMIGOSH...I'm in someone else's car!"

I quickly opened the door and jumped out, embarrassed someone would run from the polling office screaming, "That's my car!" And I'd end up in jail for not paying attention.

No one saw.  In fact I kinda wished someone played witness to this hilarious scene.  But I had a giggle realizing I can't remember where I parked my car but I can tell you the times, activities and everything my three kids ingested into their bodies the past three years.

Ah, the dangers of voting.
If you go out there...be careful.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Call Me Paranoid

I guess I am overprotective.  I do worry about my kids getting abducted or stolen....pretty much....um.....every time they aren't in my eyesight.

I give them more freedom than the average mom, but when it comes to walking solo to a store or a friend's house, I nix the idea unless they have an escort and even then, I still worry.

Another mom once laughed at me, "Laurie, you are so paranoid."

Yes.  It's true.  I laugh.  I joke.  I poke fun at everything.  But my kids' safety is high priority.

Then her next comment, "Only 1 in a four million get stolen every year."

I looked at her.  "Yes.  But what if it was YOUR kid?   That one.  What if it was yours?"

I don't care if it was one in a trillion, this is one lottery I do not want to win.

"Little Kids Are Annoying to Who?"

I was at Starbucks and two mothers and their three little girls were sitting next to me.  Not a quiet bunch, I ignored them for the first ten minutes.  Suddenly the girls started running in circles, first around their table, next around all the tables.

It was funny to immediately see heads turn looking to judge and blame the owners of these loose wild kids. 

Then I saw an older couple looking at the children with eyes of wonder and compassion.  They smiled and laughed each time the girls passed their table.  At one point the older woman started clapping, almost cheering them on.

Because they get it.  The older you get, the wiser you become.  (Don't get me wrong, there are a ton of wise old crabby people...but they have a choice.)

The next time you see children playing loudly, maybe instead of being the negative crab who judges and sneers....think of the moment as a gift to try and remember a time when you enjoyed your own life as much.

This is life, you only get one.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mom, Is God in there?

My littlest kid, Roc, said to me as we were driving by the church we go to on Sunday, "Is church over?”

I said, “Yes…”

He leaned forward as if trying to see and said, “Is God still in there?”

I wanted to tell him God is everywhere but thought he'd start nervously looking around like you do in the big chair at Disney's Haunted House when that green ghost sits next to you at the end. 

So instead I took the opportunity and said, “Yep, that’s his house…and when you go there he wants you to be quiet."

Roc said, "Yeah, I'm not quiet."

Working Mothers Deserve Sainthood

The list of daily activities seems to get longer and longer and it's only 2 of my 3 that I'm escorting around. And then somewhere in-between all these activities, someone says they are hungry and I do the math on what they ate that week and should this 'fix' be a crap snack or healthy snack and how long is it till dinner and (by the way) who is fixing dinner. Oh, yeah, that would be me...the lady glued to the car lacking the strength and mentality to muster trying to put feed everyone.

What will happen to my brain when that third kid starts the "after school activities?" Will I power through with a coffee pot strapped in, brewing in my back seat, shouting at slow, tired kids to "MOVE! MOVE!" or will I have a complete breakdown with hospitalization for six months and have peace and quiet in a white room with no complaints, food requests or argument breakups. Um.... That second one sounds kinda nice.

Then I think about those moms that work....and my heart aches with stress for them. Whether they want to work or have to work, I don't know how they do it.

I have a few little jobs but they don't even compare to my friends working those serious jobs (with a boss and yearly reviews) from 9 to 5 or 7 to 7. My family struggles a little, but for my full time working mom friends who work and then come home and have to do everything that I do (yes, okay, some husbands help...but really, truly, if a husband does anything....it's only because a Mom has organized and told him to do it), I bow my head to them.

So if you are a working mom, this is me bowing and telling you that you are a truly amazing woman. Here. Do you feel that? It's a pat on the back.
Now go plan your next amazing vacation. You deserve it.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Escalators....

Everytime I'd see an escalator I'd be reminded of shopping and beauty surrounded by businesses in the business of making me look good.

Now, with three kids under ten, whenever I see an escalator, I turn into this crazy lady convinced someone will miss a step and fall to their death while I watch stuck myself on a level I can't get off, because the escalator going the other way is clear on the other side of the mall!

So I shut commands like a veteran drill sergeant:

Tie that shoe!
Don't lean!
Hold the side!
Look straight ahead!
Stop licking the rubber!

Everyone hates me till we are off the 'ride' and safely on the next floor. One time I was so mad at them for goofing around, I told them the story of the kid who got his shoelace stuck and the escalator teeth ate his shoe and his foot and to this day he can't run or play. I didn't care if it was true or not, they were petrified. For like three more trips, they were the perfect little soldiers on the escalator. Two months later, my story went into a distant memory that I'd bring up now and then and they'd just roll their eyes.

Till last week, when we witnessed an older woman mis-step getting on the escalator. Not only did she end up riding the escalator on her backside, (upside down with her panties showing) but she had a gash on her knee that looked like the escalator bit her. My kids mouths were on the floor and we watched the paramedics come and the lady being taken away to get her knee repaired.

Later we spoke again about the dangers of being careful on the moving stairwell, but there is something annoying about a Mom having to tell and tell and tell. Cause when kids watch, witness or see with their own eyes. It's in there. And they get it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Why PrePackaged Meals Are So Popular

After hours of going to the store, then cutting, slicing and cooking a great yummy meal...using only ingredients you know each and every single person in the family likes and eats on a regular basis...you prepare this massive meal out of goodness and love only to hear:

"Yuck!  This sucks.  Can I have something else?"

Teaching kindness and manners is unlikely when all you really want to do is hit them in the head with an egg.

Why I HATE Car Salesmen at Carson Toyota

I went by Carson Toyota in California, to check about a light on my dashboard. A salesman outside helped me and then suggested I could turn in my 2008 Sienna for a 2011 Sienna (the same model) for the same monthly price.

We did this song and dance thing for four months, until he convinced me "I have all the numbers solid, no drive off fees, no nothing, and your payments will stay the same."

What do you think happened?

After visiting the dealer twice, I emptied my car (kid seats, toys, things I never knew I had hiding in there) and returned to Carson Toyota to discover I was a victim of 'bait and switch.' This five year veteran salesman lied to me. Lied to ME. An on-the-ball girl who crossed her t's and dotted her i's. I was so mad I cried for days. (comedy is humor plus time...I haven't had enough time, so this may come out kinda angry) (sorry loyal readers but you must know this horrid Toyota story)

I was so mad I told this salesman, who commented he'd never seen two credit scores as high as my husband and I, that the reason we had such high credit cores was that we were honest people who paid their bills and Toyota would be lucky to continue to have us as loyal customers.  (OK, I did swear a few times) and left. They didn't expect that. They thought even though they changed the deal on me, the deal we agreed on over the phone over and over and over, that I would still do this new deal because I wanted this new car so bad.

Ha.  Nope. I walked.

I walked with my story about a corrupt dealer that opened my eyes to the ugly side of car buying, that in this day and age of Toyota trying to win back loyal customers, is still going on. They all should be ashamed of themselves. (and other nasty words)

Bottom Line: Do not be a victim of car salesmen, playing you against some Wizard of Oz, hidden 'big' man behind a partition that's about to control your financial future.  What are they talking about in there?  It's your car?  How can they negotiate without YOU?  Help end this fifty year old game and be wise.  Know your price and before you go to the dealer, negotiate over the phone. And then be SURE to get EVERYTHING in writing...or they will play dumb, "Oh that car wasn't even here..." "Oh we thought you wanted the fuchsia colored car...." Do this all before you waste your time and patience.  Then email me your hero story!  laurie@lauriemcdermott.com

How Old is Ok to Die?

"I'm really sad, my Grandfather died last week."

"Oh, no..." I said, "How old was he?"

"98...it's so sad."

I wanted to laugh.  But instead I hugged my friend trying to hide what I thought was hilarious.  Every grandparent on both my parents side died when I was a kid.  I never got to see them at birthday parties or share memories with them or hear stories about their life and the valuable lessons they could have taught me from sharing their life with me.  Nope.  I got nothing.  Now here was a friend who had all of those wonderful things for so long and instead of appreciating it, she was mad and upset.

Since I do "funny" for a living, I made sure to remind her to remember how lucky she was to have had him in her life all these years as well as the funny things she loved about it.  Within seconds she was laughing.

Member when you were ten and hearing someone who was 40 meant they were deathly old?  Then at 40, 60 wasn't that old.   I bet at 80, will 90 still look young?  Then at 100, what are you thinking?  Can I make it one more year?  Ten?  Twenty??

Bottom line:  When someone dies, we are reminded of how short life really is.  We only get one life...don't screw it up.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Short and Sweet Emails or Texts? Don't Take it Personal

By email I invited a friend to coffee, this was after I praised her efforts on a benefit we had just closed and also answered several of her questions on how to get in to see a certain doctor.  This was her response:

"Can't today, crazy."

Oh.

My first reaction was, "Really?  I wrote 5 paragraphs and all she said was three words?  Couldn't she have noticed my efforts in responding and done the same back to me?" 

My second reaction was, "Have I angered her?"

My third reaction was "She's out.  She must be using a blackberry or be in a store or pushing a grocery cart." In which case....I'd like you all to know: Stop using emails while you are out in the world.  Emails should not be done in the car, while you pee or standing in line at Disneyland where it's so loud and distracting you spell words like 'know' (no) incorrectly and people begin to think you have a mental problem.  Wait till later to respond. 

I will not die if I do not get a reply within one to seven days.  (By day eight, yes, maybe.)

Also, don't ever answer any email with the words, "not going to work for me’ or ‘ it doesn’t work for us.’

What?  Really?

How about ending every email with, "Thank you so very much for taking the time to email me today."

No one will be wondering if your words were genuine or not.  They'll just be so happy to see the one person online who still has manners happens to be their friend.

http://www.lauriemcdermott.com/

Monday, October 11, 2010

Need a Job? This is What NOT To Do

I was standing ordering a icy jamba-type drink when I heard a voice behind me interrupt.

"Are you hiring?"

I turned.  Wearing ripped jeans, flip flops and a smirk, the girl speaking asked her question while looking down at her blackberry. 

The kid taking my order stopped talking to me and answered her, "Nah...we're full."

I watched her walk away as the kid said, "Tough market out there..."

My brain was on fire.  So many thoughts I didn't know where to start:
1) Who did this girl think would hire her if she doesn't look at the person she's speaking to?
2) Did she think anyone would hire her if she can't put her blackberry down for ten seconds?
3) Didn't someone tell her to dress for success, even if it's boring retail?

I wanted to run after her, to help her, advise her, tell her how to smile, what to wear, to ditch that electronic contraption controlling her eyes to look at only it.   I watched this girl walk into Starbucks and again get denied.  She wasn't even trying, her head still looking down at her blackberry.  She could have asked another question, the one about if anyone knew if anyone else was hiring.

Collecting all the balls in my body, I was just about to walk over to her when a car pulled up and she climbed in.  Okay, so my regret today?  Not reaching out and blowing her socks off on how to get a job.  But if you have kids....share this story with them and see what they would have done. 

http://www.lauriemcdermott.com/

Sunday, October 10, 2010

HealthCare Problem; The Rising Cost of Doctors That Think Everyone is Rich

I drove an hour to see this doctor.

Constantly fearing the next earthquake (aka "The Big One") is moments away, I avoided the 6-story parking 'thing' and circled the building for twenty minutes looking for a street spot..

Defeated, it took another 10 minutes to find an open spot in the "death lot".  Walking to the elevator I heard a lady complaining on the phone that every time she came to this building it cost her $30 in parking. Guess her doctor didn't validate. Once in the office, I was horrified to hear the front desk lady tell me, "Well, it's only $2.20 every fifteen minutes."

Only? Really? She must be making close to ten an hour to believe her salary was good enough to cover parking in her building for an hour. I asked if they wouldn't mind if I filled the paperwork out in the room and was told, "Well, you are late and there are four people ahead of you."

I looked at the clock. I was six minutes late because of the parking problem (which no one thought was American fraud but me). So I said, "How many people would have been ahead of us if we arrived six minutes ago?"

The assistant shrugged. Maybe I was the first ever to have answered one of her obviously routine nasty remarks.  So I spoke again, "How long will it be...an hour?"

She responded without looking at me, "No. At least an hour and a half."

I took my family by the hand and turned, "Okay, Bye."

The assistant was shocked, "You're leaving?"

I didn't respond. I just wanted to get out of there....vowing to myself the following:

1) This one is too nasty to mention.
2) If I ever become a doctor, a good doctor, understanding the mind-blasting costs of health care and the difficulty family members undertake to invest in proper care, I will honor and value their pocketbooks and never, ever, ever, ever take residence in a building where my dear valued patients (driving hours because they have chosen to come see ME) are forced to pay hefty embarrassing rates, just to see me.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

"Mom Lies to a Cheaper Path..."

Let's be honest.   I’m a mom…I lie. 

To friends when they ask if they look fat, to my kids when I say I don't have a favorite, to my husband when I can hardly utter that I'm tired.

It's survival.   Which is why I can barely breathe when I hear the cost of a single kids ticket is $68 and an adult ticket (do we even want to ride any of the rides?  Can't we just be an unpaying chaperon?) is $76.  

I know kids under three are free.....so I plot. “I know my son looks 10 but he’s really 2, it’s a growth mutation…shhh don’t talk about it...he's so sensitive.”  

The movies?  Did you know where I live in Los Angeles, it's up to almost $12 for 1 ticket?  I pick up my two youngest (3 and 7) and carry them in, “They’re blind….”  

At Taco bell I buy one small coke for my family to share, because the serving machine is on my side with a nice sign that says, “free refills!”  

My one friend who joined me at Taco Bell said, “that’s so unsanitary…” 

I’m responded with, "You kiss your dog on his tongue and let him lick your lips.  I just saved $4 by sharing a coke and germs we all have anyway."

I take my kids to happy hour in bars.  Not cause I'm there to drink, we're there to eat!  Some of those food items are $2!   Are the people at the bar happy I brought kids in to eat their food?  No, they want drinking customers cause the profits are huge. 

Bottom line:  Times are tough.  Keep your money in your pocket, by thinking outside the box.  Thank you Taco Bell!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

"Skinny Jeans Make My Fat Move Up"

They were having a sale.  Skinny Jeans.  The "in" thing compared to the baggy Levi's I practically wear to bed.

My sister begged me to make my butt look like it arrived into the 21st century.  So I went to the sale where the saleswoman tried to convince me (or squeeze me) into a pair of jeans two sizes smaller than what I normally wear.

"Suck it in!  Pull!  Great!  Look at how good your butt looks!"

My butt?  Was that my waist?  Having trouble intaking air, I noticed the fat on my lower half was squished so tight it had nowhere to go but up over the top of the jeans! 

Trying not to faint I grabbed the saleslady.  In my old loose jeans, my fat evenly melted into my body.  In these jeans, I looked like I just ate a buffalo.  And felt like it too.

The saleslady giggled, "Oh, everyone has waist fat, just wear a loose shirt to cover it."

Really?  I'm to give up breathing so I can fit into skinny jeans only to be forced to cover my spillage fat with a big shirt which will hide the view of my nice butt which was the very reason I bought the jeans in the first place?

It was exhausting.  But yes, I did buy the jeans.  Why?  Cause I have a husband that never gets to see my butt, even in bed (cause it's dark).  I owe him that. 

Who cares if I change to my big jeans in thirty minutes.  How long does he need to see my butt anyway?

Friday, October 01, 2010

"High School Girls..."

Yesterday I happened to drive by our local high school with my soon to be 11 year old son who, after we passed the school, asked, “Mom, why do teenage girls wear shorts that high up on their legs?”

I said, “They just want to look hot.”

Ty said, “I think they look cold.”

http://www.lauriemcdermott.com/

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"Don't Judge a Mom..."

Yesterday I was at my son's gymnastics class when I saw a mom with three kids walk in. One of the kids was crying, the other was so mad his face looked like one of those balls you squish to get out frustration.

I didn't know what had happened but it was obvious the crying kid needed to be held and the angry kid needed an attitude adjustment. Then something occurred to me like a light bulb going off or one of those "Ah-ha" moments Oprah is always talking about. Forget the kids, look at the mom. She was a ball of stress. Battling different feelings, opinions and attitudes...and all she's trying to do was get someone to gymnastics because she loves her kids. Kids don't get that. But Moms do.

The one that really needed a hug was that mom. So, I stood up, walked past the kid chaos and gave her a hug. I didn't know her, but I knew what she was going through and her quiet tears proved to me she needed that hug.

Next time you want to judge a mom, get in her shoes and maybe you'll reach out to hug a stranger too.

Monday, September 27, 2010

"A Single Call..."

There should be a phone number you can call, any time of the day and night, to ask a question.

1-800-Tell-me....

The internet is no good because there is so many other distractions that by the time you've clicked on 18 other pages, you remember why you went on line in the first place.  And after 2 hours you still don't have your answer.  But you did buy a new dress, connect with an old friend on facebook, and even found a photo of your dead grandma's house on Google Earth.

Then it's dark, 10pm and we ask, "Where did the time go?"

Which leads us back to the beginning:  There should be a phone number you can call at any time of the day and night to ask a question.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

"Why Soccer is Painful"

I suppose if you have a superstar, watching your kid play soccer can be fun, even exciting as you see your mini-you fly pass the other kids, interested, focused and enthused on kicking the ball or trying to win.

Not me.  I watch my kids watch the other kids run by.  I watch my kids stare into the sky at some plane, bird or balloon they happened to notice.  I watch my kids watch me watching them as they mouth, "Is it over yet?"

Most parents scream, "Go!"  "Keep running!"  "Great job honey!"

I scream, "Focus!" "Stop biting your nails!"  "We can look at the ants at home!"

But really, over time, I kinda like not having the pressure of having a kid that has to do well...that the team expects to score so that the team succeeds.  Yep, now my husband and I relax and enjoy the game.  We giggle when he misses the ball.  We laugh when he sees a gopher and instead of playing the game, he follows where the hole leads.  Cause we realize, one day, twenty years from now, when he's not in professional sports, we'll laugh at these moments of enjoying our kid and letting him be just our kid.

http://www.lauriemcdermott.com/

Friday, September 24, 2010

"What IS that Little Voice I Hear?"

I was driving alone on a four hour trip to a gig in Vegas. Four hours just me. Then I heard it. It was small and quiet. What is that noise? It was so familiar but so distant. Then it came to me....oh! That voice I hear...is ME! Talking to ME.

My long lost friend, my mental guide! My inner self having a conversation with me. I was so excited I didn't know what to think/talk about...so much had gone on since we'd last been in contact!

"Where have you been?" I asked. Oh.....I was too busy listening to my kids, my husband, my friends and my world to remember or notice that the "Me" was getting lost. Am I doing what I wanted to in my life? Am I going in the right direction? Taking the right trips? Seeing what I wanted to see in the world? Was it was time to slow down?

I decided to have a conversation with me every day. First thing. Before the kids wake up. It would be hard, cause I love to sleep. But instead of thinking about everyone else for those precious few moments in the morning, I would have a conversation with me.

I once met an older woman who said she woke up one day shocked to see she was 67 and hadn't done any of the things she wanted to do. I told her it's never too late, do it! Go for it! She said what woke her up was her husband passing away too young.

I now love listening to me....and older wiser people. They remind us all what we need to be doing today.

Don't wait. Listen to you....do it now.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"Guilty At the Gym....No More"

I once heard a therapist on the radio say, "Only selfish moms take her kids to the gym to dump them off with strangers, while she works out." (Selfish Moms with nice butts.)

What was the therapist's suggestion? "Exercise at home; Run with your stroller, do sit ups next to your baby, do jumping jacks in the living room."

Hmm....? Nope. That'll never happen. Dropping the baby off with the stranger while I get 60 minutes of undisturbed challenging workout peace....now we are talking. Specially when Mom accomplishes her goal to keep healthy. (happy wife/happy life)

My one friend struggles with the guilt of taking her four year old to her gym and now uses the building as a landmark when she drives by, "Oh, hey, that's my gym!" Course she's sixty pounds overweight with a whole home-gym set she purchased to use but has never touched.

Having a kid hold you back from the gym is great fodder till they are in college and your excuse is....?

http://www.lauriemcdermott.com/

Sunday, September 19, 2010

"Disney Souvenirs....What Gift Not to Buy Any Child Under Age 10"

You are at Disney, waiting to see Ariel, thirty deep in 95 degree weather, and your six year daughter is so excited she has to go poddy. You arrive back and out of nowhere 80 people have joined the line.

When you get to Ariel, what are you going to do to capture this speical day and mere moments with Ariel?

a) Take a photo of your daughter and Ariel?

b) Ask someone else to take a photo of all the kids and Ariel...and you?

c) Spend $7 to $12 on an expensive book full of empty pages to fill with signatures she can't read or won't care about in a few years, all while taking precious time away from others waiting in line behind you (ready to take a single simple photo) while Mickey (or other character) gets their fingers in order inside their sweaty costume to grasp a pen and try to write a fictitious name no adult can decipher later either.

Please say a or b.

Bottom line: Disney started selling the Autograph Books because they really do havebrilliant marketing prodigies that figured out there was a need and why not make Disney richer. Yet for others, in the hot sweaty line behind a pint size autograph asker, most will all agree.......unlike a photo your child will be able to show their own kids fifty years from now, the Autograph Book will be in the trash or used as grocery-list paper within a year.

Bottomer-Bottom-line: Save your money, take a photo.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

"Skype Scared"

Have you tried using Skype?  Or are you one of those people that know it only as "The way Oprah speaks to celebrities that can't fly to her show."

When we went away to Aruba, I thought it was the perfect way to keep in touch with my three kids who were all staying at different families.  Wrong. 

One family was afraid installing Skype would slow down their computer, another family said, "Skype compromises the security of their life and just opening an account would cause the world to see their finances, data, and birthdates."  (I thought Russian spies or any decent hacker spent time focusing on how to break into BANKs' security systems, not one sole computer, with a family bank account?).

The other family wanted to use my computer at home..  Which was a great idea till every time my oldest son would be standing in front of the camera, my husband would comment about the background behind him, "Wow, those pictures on the wall look fantastic," or "Ohmigosh...did you see how cool that paint looks in the light?"  So much so my son stopped answering Skype and would only speak to us by phone.

But on the bright side, Skype does work and work well!  My 65 year old mom in Chicago figured out how to use it and we had a lovely time chatting...and she still won't plug in her answering machine cause it's too complicated.

So there's hope for the rest of you. 

Sign up.  It's free.  Call me.  http://www.skype.com/

"You Know You Are in a Foreign Country....?"

You Know You Are in a Foreign Country....?

I asked a lady in English, "What time is it"

And she responded, "No ablo Espanol."

Thursday, September 16, 2010

"Dear Lady With Annoying Babies...."

"Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa..." 

It was loud and annoying.  Both my husband and I stared at each other like "How did we choose a nice restaurant that lets parents ignore their kids and let them freely scream and cry."

It's different when the parent stands up embarrassed, panicked and sweaty trying to calm the baby.  It's another if they pass baby a hunk of bread and look the other way and I try and think about how long I'd go to jail if I stood up and attempted to choke negligent momma.

I'll give her some slack....maybe she was tired, maybe it was her birthday, maybe she is divorced, this is her first date with match.com and needs a free meal.  With her kid?  Hm... Maybe not.  I have three; 10, 6 and adorable, out-of-control, 3.  They are beyond perfect.  Sometimes I call them "walking monsters."  (But never in their presence)  But if given the choice: 

1) go to a nice dinner w/attached needy, crying, disrupting little people or
2) not.

I take not.  If you have babies, you should too.  Stay home.  Enjoy your mini-yous in private without all the stares from people like me.  Or get a sitter.  Heck I'll come over and sit w/your kids.  Well, no.  How about McDonald's?  It's loud there, inexpensive and when your kid cries, you may even get free ice cream.

Good luck.  Stay away from me.

Monday, September 13, 2010

"The Doctor Bills..."

If I have an apt at 9am to see a Doctor, and he is so busy I must wait till 10:43am to see him.....

...should he pay me for my time?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

"Leaving..."

I had to go out of the country for a few days. I was excited till a few days prior. Then...I was sick. I didn't want to go. What if something happened? To me? To my kids? (These are my same thoughts moments before I get on a rollercoaster at Disney....) "What if I don't come back? What will they do without me?"

But I was going out of the US. Out of a "planes aren't flying, so I'll just rent a car and drive home" area. And what if there was another terrorist attack?  A hurricane? Tornado? Some freaky mud slide? Or avalanche...that trapped me for days? (I was pretty sure it didn't snow in Aruba, but when you mix kids with mom-panic, anything is possible.)

AND...I was going to Aruba....isn't that the land of the Van Der Sloot/Natalee Holloway?  Not like I was going to hook up with another man, or that I looked like something anyone would want to hook up with...but a tragedy happened there once and ...well....what if?

Alright...okay....it's true. I watch WAY too much "Dateline NBC."

Saturday, September 11, 2010

"Best School Ever..."

I wear a really cool grey university sweatshirt that says, "McDermott University."

Everyone asks where it is.

When they ask, I give them the location....my home address. Cause that's where McDermott University is.

Yes, they go to school to learn all that stuff they need but will never really use...but we all know Moms are the true teacher of life, love and how to be a good human.

And these lessons are FREE.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

"Home School Option..."

My son wants me to home school him.

I entertained the thought of having him at home with me all day, teaching him lessons of the world, teaching him math, teaching him fractions, teaching him calculus, reminding him to pay attention to me, asking him to stay focused and do his work, begging him to sit down and finish his assignment, yelling at him to complete his reading, screaming at him that if he didn’t finish before midnight he was going to have to move out.

Yeah. Home schooling is not for me.

Yet, the real answer I gave him was simple, "Sweetie, I would love to home school you, but if I did and there a school shooting, one of us would go to jail."

He didn't even blink. He just nodded, "Oh, yeah..."

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

"Book Club Loser...."

I'm trying....I really am.  I joined a book club 3 years ago.  Two actually.  One stopped emailing me cause I kept forgetting to go.  (truth was I kept forgetting I was in the club, to buy the book and then to READ it).  The other I am in I DO go to......not cause I read the book...but because I like the girls and people actually bring delicious snacks they make.

I like to read...but there's so many other things to do.  By the time I have all my kids in bed, the idea of trying to fall into a story that never seems to be as interesting as the choas in my life, seems pointless.  And of course sitting under a light, trying to reorganize my eyes that will never see 20/20 again is painful.

One good thing...I've convinced my book club to do a "movie night" once in awhile.  Maybe I can change the whole book club to "Movie Club."  That involves only 2 hours of my life...and hot popcorn.

Who's with me??

http://www.lauriemcdermott.com/

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

"The Perfect Chopper...."

I love to cook.  I hate to prep. If I could have little people cut all the pieces and measure all the spices in those cute little tiny bowls....I'd cook all day long.   For my wedding someone gave me a huge Cuisinart.  Scared the crap out of me.  Then 8 years later I had some chopping to do and broke it open.  We've been in love ever since. Hands down one of my favorite time saving gadgets in the kitchen.  Course the clean up part with the machine isn't so easy....but I do have one of those dishwashers.  He's 5'10" and good in bed.

If you don't have one....get one!  Thank me later...
http://www.cuisinart.com/products/food_processors.html

"The Reader..."

Last night after a battle trying to force my children to start their nightly reading ritual, my 10 year old said to me, “Mom, can you do something to make me want to read?  Like pay me?”

Great, he’s a republican....

(http://www.lauriemcdermott.com/)

Monday, August 30, 2010

"Summer Makes Me Dizzy"

What a blast of a summer!  Utah, Chicago, Palm Desert and a whole bunch of days hanging at home, not screaming to get in the car to rush to a sport or finish homework.  But it's almost over.  School starts September 1.   Two days left....tick-tock.  I'm ready to cry.....

Freedom....even if it's only 9 full hours a week.  Whoopie!!!!!

I'm back. 

Did you miss me?

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

"Walking...."

I love easy parking.  I will even pay to have closer easier parking.  Then I'll go to the gym and walk for 50 minutes. 

You'd think I'd just learn to park father away on all my errands so I could get my exercise through-out the day, right?

Then again when I climb onto the treadmill at the gym....I'm not first waiting for three kids to find their shoes, get their shoes on (who knows why they take them off on the three minute car ride?), find their jackets, find the toy they had to bring, get out of the car, get back in the car cause what they had in their hand is now gone.  Then once each of them have finally gotten out of the car, they argue who is walking next to whom, who isn't waiting for the other, who isn't holding someone's hand, who hit someone, who looked at someone weird, who almost touched someone but still has that look in their eye.

Yeah....me too.

The gym.

Monday, August 02, 2010

"Gas...."

I was going to talk about the other 'one.'  But then my husband called with news he ran out of gas 300 yards from Costco's gas station for the second time in 2 months.   Shouldn't one learn from the embarrassment the first time?

Ha...or maybe not.  Living on the edge...."I can make it...I can make it!"

I live on the edge by pressing snooze on the alarm clock.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"Yes I am...a host..."

I've been hosting for years and years....this is the last you'll hear of it from me here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XsmNgEuCFQ

My kids have seen clips of me and don't bat an eye.  Yet on this one, they stare and ask, "Who is that talking..."  I said, "That lady your dad is married to."

"What Does a Girl Want?"

The other night I met a man who literally said, "It's horrible....I just never know what she wants!"

I said, "And have you asked her?"

He looked blankly at me, so I kept talking. "We'll tell you, you just have to ask."

I quickly added, "Oh!  Then don't forget to act like you really care what she's telling you."

Hmm...do you think I speak from experience?  Don't we all?

Monday, July 26, 2010

"Mini-Van Lover Forever..."

Ford's CEO revealed their new SUV on the Today Show this morning.  Better fuel efficiency, better safety.....   my mind drifted to thoughts of my own family in this new SUV till the gave me the side view again.  Doors.  Basic doors.  Basic manual doors that my be user open and operated.

I imagined my younger kids, a 3 and 6 year old screaming at each other as they struggled to close the cars' back door as I waited to back out of the driveway.

I sighed. 

My current minivan's automatic doors that open and close with the single push of a button are my sanity, my lifestyle.  I can open the doors from 50 feet as my kids run ahead of me to the car.   I can open the doors from afar if the car has been sitting in the sun and will be too hot and the car needs to air out for a few minutes before we climb in.  With an arm full of groceries, kid crap or a sleeping child, no need to struggle to open a door, I just push that single easy button and the door slides open.

Nope. I'm not switching.  I can't.  With all the uncontrollable craziness in life, I'm grateful for a simple easy sanity-saving gizmo on my current van.

http://www.lauriemcdermott.com/

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"Catalogue Purchases..."

When buying a dress from a catalogue or online model photo, I always forget....

I'm buying just the dress...not the body it's on.

Sigh....

Monday, July 19, 2010

"Gum..."

I was driving last month and the gum I was chewing was disgusting. I went to throw it out the window (very bad, I know) and as I was throwing it, it stuck to my finger and ricocheted somewhere inside the car.

I searched EVERYWHERE for that gum. It had vanished. Gone. Two weeks later it’s a hot day and my Mother In Law is visiting, in the car with us. When she goes to get out, she screams that someone has her hair. It's GUM. MY gum. Course my husband starts yelling at our three kids, “How many time have I told you kids, no gum!”

I put on my supportive face and nodded with him.

(Secretly giggling knowing I'll share this with them when they are 30)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

"Weird Potty time..."

It's social hour when any of my three kids need to go poo.  At 10, 6 and 3, when one sits for the job the other two will wander in and a nice kind chat or game will ensue. 

In the bathroom.

Every time it happens I advise the others to give the 'sitter' privacy but the sitter says, "No, it's okay, I want them in here."

I want to break it up and declare it weird and offensive, but it seems to be the only long chunk of time my kids are actually quiet, thoughtful and nice to each other.   So I let it be....carefully surveying from a room or two away.

Of couse as soon as the flush happens, it's business as usual.   Someone starts yelling at someone or acusing someone else of something and life is back to normal....till someone has to poo again.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

"Walking Shorty..."

I like being short.  (5'4")

Except when walking with friends.  Every time I plan a 'walking date' with others, they are always 5'8" or taller.  What am I thinking?  I must walk two to three steps for everyone one of theirs.

This morning:
They walked, I jogged. 
They talked, I gasped.
They laughed, I left.

Tomorrow is a new day. 

Monday, June 28, 2010

Reading for Who?"

How I long to dive into a book on a towel under the summer sun. 

Yesterday I tried.  I made sure my kids were all fed, safe and happy.  I made sure my own towel was flat and rid of wet sand from kids' feet and butts.  I laid back, put on my hat and opened my brand new Barnes and Nobel book. 

Ahhh....

I was at word number 3 when I heard, "Mom, he's throwing sand!"  "Mom, she's pulling my hair!"  "Mom, your left boobie is hanging out!"

Yes.  Children are lovely.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

"A Real Man"

A real man is a woman's best friend. He will never stand her up and never let her down.
He will reassure her when she feels insecure and comfort her after a bad day.

He will inspire her to do things she never thought she could do; to live without fear and forget regret. He will enable her to express her deepest emotions and give in to her most intimate desires. He will make sure
she always feels as though she's the most beautiful woman in the room and will enable her to be the most confident, sexy, seductive, and invincible.

No wait... sorry... I'm thinking of wine.

Never mind.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

"Wrinkle Cream..."

Anti-wrinkle cream?  Ugh....sooooo many choices.  So, which is the best product?

I hate wrinkles.  For a week I said, "No more smiling."  I lasted 4 minutes.   For a week I said, "No more frowning..."  Then my two year old barfed on my lap.

I've been using the same anti-wrinkle stuff since I was 18, perscriptives Line Preventor. (Cause even at 18, I knew I'd done damage to my skin by stupidly 'baking' in the summer sun)  Then my beloved Perscriptives disappeared.  I still don't understand what happened but they are gone...along with a product I can't remember ever not using.

What do I do?  I need a new anti-something.  I went to the mall to find a new anti-wrinkle thing. 
What? Who? How?

I posed the question to each beauty counter:  "What's your best anti-wrinkle cream?"  For the next hour my face was covered with cream after solution after goop.  Each one came with it's own I'd-die-for-my-product sales pitch. 

All I want to know is....why do they make anti-wrinkle creams that must be applied to your face by deep rubbing, causing more wrinkles than when you started???  Anti-wrinkle cream should be light, fluffy, applied on gently without skin moving in any way. 

I'm on the market....anyone use anything they like?  I'm listening.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

"Vampires.."

I never understood the "Twilight" bug.  These middle aged married ladies screaming at a movie and it's young male actors was just ridiculous.  Even on Oprah, when the cast and all these obsessed ladies couldn't stop talking about the movie....I just rolled my eyes at the whole scene.

Then I saw "Twilight."  Three times in two days.  With my kids and husband (who kept uttering, "Who is that girl? She's adorable.  Isn't there a sequel?")

Within days we rented the 2nd one (saw that twice) and now the husband just said to me, 'June 30th....let's go see the next Twilight movie."

Hilarious.  My husband likes a chic flick....haha.  Who can I tell?  Oh...everyone!

"Car Travel With Kids..."

Don't.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"The Morning Wake up....."

People with kids wake up because their early risers jump in bed with them.

Not me.  At 3:30am the alarm begins going off, snoozing all the way till a final 5am, nagging me awake each and every time till the husband finally resets it for me and climbs out of bed. 

Peace.  Till the husband walks out of the bedroom and lets the cat in.  Normal cats meow.  Our cat yaks.   Sounding like an old man hobbling to a sink to spit out that 'thing' in his throat, "Aaayk!....Aaayk...Aaayk..." 

I lay there thinking, "Just one more yak...please....only just one more."  It continues.  I climb out of bed, boot the cat from the room, and snuggle back in bed till I hear the birds (yes we have two lovebirds) began their morning quacking.  

Okay, they don't quack, but what they do is high-pitched, loud and annoying either way.  Under a sheet that is supposed to keep them quiet till you take if off, ha.  Baloney.  They do what they want, when they want....cause taking away "TV privileges" won't work on them.

It's 6am...I'm up. 
Good-morning.

I

Monday, June 14, 2010

"Being Too Nice..."

I'm at Borders sitting at a smallish table.  For some reason, people think I'm nice and always ask to sit with me.  Of course I smile and happily go out of my way to move my stuff, chairs or large furniture to make room for them.

Today a seemingly nice lady asked to sit at my table.  I said, "Oh, of course," making room for her.  Oddly, out of the three empty seats, she chooses to sit in the seat RIGHT next to me, puts on headphones and blasts her music so loud I can hear it word for word.  

I've got two columns due tomorrow and I'm listening to Borders music, her music and her breathing.  I kindly motioned for her to turn her music down a bit and she gave me a dirty look with some weird type of growl.

I again asked her to turn it down a bit more and she takes off her headset and says to me in some thick Argentine accent, "It's a FREE country!"

Wow.  Okay.  Am I too nice?  I refused to get up, so I began to make the 30 phone calls I was waiting to do till I got home.   Boy she was happy.  She ended up moving two tables over (I can still hear her music) on the way banging my table so many times it almost broke.

I'm done with sharing my table.  Next time I'll first screen them, make sure they aren't going to be listening to music or talking on the phone.  But I think it's better to go drastic, like start crazy coughing and barely be able to say "I have pneumonia  and still contagious."   Or I'll start picking my nose and without looking at them say "My imaginary friends are already sitting with me and they don't like company."

"Shopping Hell"

"Mom I need new pants...these are too short."

While most women love having any excuse or invitation to go to the mall....I don't.  These words put me into a panic.  A sweaty, add something else to my neverending to-do list panic.

Mall shopping takes so much time.  Trying on, hanging up (out of respect and fear of dirty looks from store employees), hearing repeated complaints of 'it itches!' or 'nothing fits!' or 'I'm hungry!' send me over the edge.

Online shopping is supposed to be easy but in the end, I'm on a single nerve after an hour of hearing, "Click another, don't like it, click another, ew!"  Also, it's ridiculously expensive...specially returning everything no one liked. 

Then some kind soul saves me, "Hey, Laurie, I've got a box of kid clothes...need any?"   A box of hand-me-downs is like a life raft floating to me after the boat went down.  I respond with a gracious hug and a sigh, "Yes.  Please. Thank you."  The clothes arrive and my kids go through them picking what they like, giving the rest to another family.

Ahhhh....an easy hall pass from shopping hell ....

For now...until that next growth spurt...

Friday, June 11, 2010

"Tie Your Shoes.."

Is it bad I'm hoping my son trips and falls so that he will see the importance of tying his shoes?

Only once would be fine.

Daily he'll snidely tell me, "See Mom?  Didn't fall once!"

Dear God,
If you can make it happen..soon.
Only a little blood please.
Mom

Thursday, June 10, 2010

"Say Hello..."

My husband comes home, "I saw Bob and Suzie at the mall..."  I perk up, "No way!  How are they???"  He says, "Oh...I didn't talk to them.  I said I saw them."

In every marriage there is the social one and the one that hides under the couch when the doorbell rings.  I grew up under my Dad's teaching; "Saying hello to people validates them and makes them feel special." Even if that means shouting from one side of the room to the other, "HEY SUE!" a huge smile is always returned and I know, even if they were embarrassed, for a second I made them feel like they mattered.

How can that ever be bad?  Well maybe when I do this and the husband finds a couch to be under, and while climbing down, rips his shirt and shoulder on the metal under-springs and bleds on the carpet.  That's bad.   But my kids have learned well from me.  How proud I am as we leave a friends' home to hear them all saying genuine good-bye's with each friends' names included.

My little one (he has no friends yet) has even resorted to rolling down his car window and yelling "HI!" to anyone that will listen...and while my husband shakes his head, I watch the riders in the other car pass by smiling.

There's your lesson:  Don't be shy....Just say "HI."

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

"Too Many Kids for Friends..."

"Did you see me wave to you at Costco?"

I looked at the beautiful dark-haired woman smiling at me demonstrating the wave she must have given me days earlier as she drove by me in Costco's massive parking lot.

Frustrated at not remembering if I did or I didn't, I stupidly asked, "No...where was I..?"

"Well you were walking with your little one.."

Ugh.  I must not have seen her, returned her glances or even waved back.

I was sad I may have hurt her.  I really like this dark-haired woman.  She always looks into my eyes like she really cares every time we talk.  And she always seems to be 'present' and relaxed in our conversations...not like me, with one eye wandering now and then to see who is doing what to whom and where. 

With my children around, every time I try to talk or even look at anyone resembling an adult, my children fall, disappear, hit each other with hockey sticks, roller scooter into pools fully dressed and get stuck in Pepsi machines.  And that was just last week.

One day, and I hear it's soon, I'm told I will miss these days of not being able to hold a conversation for longer than 6 seconds.

Then again, I'm kinda looking forward to it.

Monday, June 07, 2010

"Earthquakes Suck..."

Am I really too old to scream like a child and run from a building every time the earth shakes in California?

It rattles me to my core to feel and hear the gound move.

Give me Hurricane's, Tornado's and even wind, rain and hail....cause there are advance warnings they are coming. 

Earthquakes are like a massive surprise parties in your honor (even while you are sleeping).  Only you have no idea if the party house will start dropping dressers, celings and walls as you cling to your children and your life praying it will soon stop.

That's when I do the sanity test and ask myself, "How stable am I to moving to location and build a house on ground that sometimes moves and could knock over our house one day?"

But everyone else who lives here isn't worried.

For the moment anyway....

"Listening..."

Ever notice people are just too busy to listen? 

They'll even ask a question, and as you answer them, you notice their eyes glass over, a single finger pressing their blackberry as they stare into your eyes and give a general reply, 'Oh....yes...' "

I'd say, "Hey...are you listening to me?" but by then it's not worth bringing it up.

Now it's been happening online.  People don't read

Here's an example:
a) Can you email over a photo for the party video?
b) I did.  I sent them over from my other email - ceolaurie@yahoo.com. Did you get them?
a) Did you leave it at the office...?  If so I'll pick it up today.
b) No...I emailed photos to you from my other email ceolaurie@yahoo.com.  20 of them...Did you get them?
a)  Can you only email me a 3 by 3?

A 3 by 3?  It's like I'm speaking Chinese and she's politely responding.

Oh...maybe I pushed the Chinese button on my computer and that is what I'm sending out, and her computer isn't translating it properly.

My bad.

This is why I still like the phone.  The dial one ....the one with the finger you have to insert and then swirl around the whole circle.  And the operator that helps you connect to the person you are praying is home when you call.    I wasn't alive when they had that...but ahhhh....how much easier life must have been back then....

Saturday, June 05, 2010

"Party Kid..."

Have you ever had a party where a kid went up into your bedroom and when you found him in there and reminded the five year old that no one is allowed upstairs as well as in your bedroom....he runs past you shouting, "You can't tell me what to do!!"

Then during the same party a ten year old decides he has to see what's in all my kitchen cabinets, opening each and ever drawer when I'm not looking and every time he sees me near the kitchen he asks for water, food or to see in a cabinet he can't reach. Like I'm his maid or god forbid, his mother. Later I find him upstairs in the hallway because, "My dad said it was okay."

If my kids ever behave rude and/or disrespectful in someone else's home at a party our family was invited to, I will ground them till they are 30.

I love parties. I can take people that are drunk, spill stuff, or even don't think to say thank you. But rude kids? They send me over the edge cause I work so hard on manners with my own kids.

I'm now hiding in my bedroom in my pajamas in revenge.

This party was my husband's idea.

Tomorrow I will forgive him.

Tonight is for sulking.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

"Is Anyone Listening?"

I speak.
I speak again.
I speak a third time and he stares straight ahead.

Sometimes I give a direction, "Can you go to the silverware drawer and grab me a spoon...?"
He'll walk toward the drawer where the silverware is kept and open a different drawer and start playing with something he sees....a baggie...a pen...a paperclip.

He'll ask a question, "What is this?"
I'll get sidetracked and want to answer till I realize, "Hey, where is that spoon?"
He looks at me..."Oh." 
He's back to looking for the spoon.

Not even a teenager, this kid is 10.  I've had his hearing tested, I've had his mind analyzed. 

Tonight my husband walks in the door, kisses me as I say, "Babe, don't worry about finding the tissues anymore, I found them.  They were in the cabinet all along."

Without saying a word, he walks back out the door and is gone for 10 minutes.

He comes in, "I can't find those tissues anywhere!"

Oh boy....maybe it's genetic?

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

"The Stinky PayBack..."

It's a daily experience where my husband will walk near me and expel gas from his intestines outward.

Not a worry of me passing out. No concern for my clean air. Nor my contented breathing or oxygen comfort.

Nope. He just lets them go wherever he feels....in the kitchen, in the car, while we are eating. No warning, no mention, just out it comes.

I guess he is just comfortable...with me....in his home...as we all should be.

Yes...all of us.

Last night I let one go in our bathroom with my oldest standing next to me. I rarely do this. I hold them tight till they suffocate into mere nothings. But on this night, I had a tummy ache and didn't care. This one was nasty. (You know how yours always smell good to just you. Not today, I almost choked.)

My son shouted, "What is that horrid smell?" He ran out of the room and tears almost fell out with my intense laughter. But I stopped quickly because in a few moments my husband was in the room with the other kids and suddenly he stops and says, "Who pooped and didn't flush?"

I watched him walk to the toilet and see it was empty as he commented, "What is that smell?"

Trying not to laugh (it's a dead giveaway when I'm guilty of anything) I put my face in a towel and said, "See! You do it 80 times a day and we all suffer! Now you know how it feels."

Not even thinking it was me, he doesn't think women do that, he leaves for two minutes coming back with an 80lb can of Lysol from the garage and starts spraying the bathroom. I didn't even know we had that can!

It was all too much...I was going to blow (no pun intended) my cover....so I laid down with my face and stifled my laughter in the pillow.

Did I ever tell?
Not yet.
Maybe not ever.
(Tee Hee)

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

"Zombies at the TV..."

After a comedy show or a crazy day with the kids...I don't want to talk to my husband, I don't want to read a book or think about my crazy schedule for the next day, I just want to sit down and watch something someone else has done for ME.....effortless, mindless, and always (when you TiVo it) entertaining TV.

Educators tell parents, "TV is bad...TV turns brains into putty."

And why is 'putty' bad for a little while?

Today, after a single request to drive by a tree my three year old likes to look at, I was starting to turn around when he began to kick and scream.  I then told him I was not going back because of his behavior, which only made it worse. 

That was battle #27 for the day.  He was tired.  I was exhausted...and so glad to be home.
I turned on the TV I only use for Mommy-breaks (be honest everyone) and my little guy melted into a quiet zombie-ish state.

Speaking, singing, or even Quacking like a duck doesn't interrupt my kids when the TV is on. 

And if I'm completely honest, a thirty minute rest for all of us makes a much happier home for the rest of the day.

Thank you TV.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Husband Diet...

Every since I saw Dr. Phil on Oprah talking about men, diabetes and how an oversized tummy can bring it on, I've been a little aware of my husband's growing middle.

He's like a kid...as soon as dinner is over, he's at the pantry (with the gang of people we call kids) searching out cookies.  They moved on to ice cream till I stopped buying both....but he's a big child...that can drive.  To go buy his own snacks!'

I had Ti-voed that episode of Oprah and sat him down to show him he only has one body and he must take care of it.   I think it scared him.  Yesterday at dinner he said, "No...I'm not having potatoes any more..."  Course an hour later, his friends came over to watch the game and he drank three beers and ate a bag of chips.

Is this the time to ask for more life insurance?

"Mommy Dress..."

Every morning I go to the gym for an hour.  I"m not a big sweat monger so for a few days in a row I pretty much wear those same clothes...ie my gym 'uniform.'

Do I care what Moms at school think of my repeating-never-matching 'ensamble?'   No.  Never.  Who cares?  I'm going to the gym.  If anyone wishes to judges me...that's their problem.  I'm confident and don't doubt what anyone thinks.

Till my three year old says to me this very morning...

"Why you were that all the time Mommy?

Oh...

Hm..

All day long I've tried to blow his comment off...but it's not going away.  I found myself looking at what other people wear at the gym....I found myself at the mall looking at new 'matching' gym clothes....

All starting from a kid who can't even wipe his own butt yet.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"Remember Indian Guides?"

Did you know Indian Guides are no more?  Yes, my husband and oldest son are in what is now politically correctly called, Adventure Guides.

There are many rules now...about drinking, names and even what you do at meetings. 

When I was little the dad’s would make their own fun…they’d drink, smoke in front of the kids and even name the kids such names as, “Little Eagle” and “Spread Eagle.”

To this day some of the old dads still laugh about the time they tied a black tail on a long fishing pole and told the boys as they chased after it, “Come on boys, catch the beaver! Catch the beaver!”

Not necessarily P.C. but it is hilarious.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

"Tight Pants..."

While my daughter while protest and complain when I ask her to wear something, sometimes ending in a fall-to-the-floor wrestling match, my oldest son just does what I ask….


Today I laid ‘nice’ shorts for him to wear. Later he walked up to me and sweetly said, “I feel blood stopping, can I not wear these?”

I did the dog-head-tilt curious why the shorts were so long and tight on him till I realized he was wearing his brother’s PANTS (his brother is three!).

It was my mistake, but I couldn’t stop laughing. He is just so easy going…we all should be so relaxed in the world.

"Ear Cancer"

It was hard.
It was black.
It was a milimeter below my pierced ear hole.

I went to the dermatologist in a panic. This is it....I'm dying....I have ear cancer.

The dr came in and investigated. Turns out my terminal cancer was....ready? A blackhead.

She laughed and said, "I'll just get it out...it'll take two seconds."

While I paid my co-pay of $20. Later I got the bill that my insurance paid....called, "acne surgery" and my doctor’s office charged my insurance $160!

I called my Heath Insurance company to tell them they'd been 'cheated.' They responded with, "Well, she did work on you..." Yes, she popped out a blackhead that my husband was mad he didn't get to pop. (He loves doing that and I never have any for him to tackle). Bottom line, my insurance company didn't care. So, then, why should I? They paid...I should shut up.

And we wonder why health care is such a mess.

Monday, May 17, 2010

"Whoa Is The Parent Day..."

Did I tell you I spent Mothers Day watching my son play baseball...?????

I like watching my son do anything but on the one day a year the people I birthed should be giving me my choice, the last thing I'd choose is sitting in the cold, hard stands watching ten year olds catch and hit a white ball for three hours.  But I did.  And I did it with a smile.

Last night at dinner my baseball hero announced, "Dad!  I know what I'm getting you for Father's Day!  Baseball tickets!"

I looked at my six year old daughter and asked, "Don't you have a five hour ballet performance that day?"

While she didn't know what I was talking about since she quit ballet two years ago cause the outfit made her itch, the open jaw on the floor reaction I got from both the husband and the child were priceless.  I'll probably still be sitting in the stands again somewhere, but my attempts to prove a point still make me giggle.

Father's Day should be BEFORE Mother's Day so Moms could set a good example of what should be done on this honorable day.  We go all out for them on Father's Day and then by next year Mother's Day...if they even remember it's Mother's Day again....they forgot all about what we did for them last year.  But like a faithful loving pooch that wants to make the world happy....that won't stop me from trying....year after year.  Spoken like the voice of a true mother.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

"Burp For Fun..."

I still live my life where when I hear someone burp or fart I can't help but laugh uncontrollably then shout out a number, rating the explotation from 1 to 10.

People tell me, "You need to teach your kids manners!"

And ruin a great opportunity to laugh and judge?!  I do tell my kids as long as they promise to only do this with our family, and to always say, "Excuse me," when they are in public, we'll keep the tradition going.

Did I tell you I average an 8 or more every time I have a coke?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

"Life Tip...."

"You should come to school and see mom...then you'll get it."

I did get it. 

Driving down the highway, my ten year old had been sharing with me his frustration of situations at school he finds unbearable.  Wanting to share with him how quickly life passes, I began a funny five-minute-speech about life, happiness, loving yourself and how quickly school goes by.  And that, later he'll feel like he blinked and grade school was over.  On the second blink, he'd be out of college.  And that he should just be nice and kind and laugh and try to have fun every day and be thankful and happy he is a great kid (and has very cool parents)

I ended my mini-speech with..."What do you think?"

Without a beat my boy shouts, "8!  I counted...only eight more exits till we have to get off."

Oh well.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

"My Boy-Boy"


When you have a big sister who thinks she's a celebrity stylist, you're going to end up with photos like these that your mother will hide for use and hilarity at your wedding.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

"Why I Love My Toyota Sienna"

I used to know I was in a parking spot when I heard a light, "Bang," and my car jolted back and forth.

Now I know I'm in a spot because I can SEE out the back end of my Toyota.  It's like there are two of me and while one of us is driving, the other is showing me how much space is left as I back up perfectly.

Sometimes people behind me freak out seeing me backing up while not looking in the places one would think I'd be looking.  I get honks and "Stupid driver!" all the time.  When actually, I'm smarter than all of them as I no longer worry when I back up that I'll run over toys or god forbid, a child.

The other thing I love about the Toyota Sienna is the automatic doors.  One click, doors open and all my kids climb in or out.  They never have to touch the door allowing me comfort knowing a finger isn't going to get stuck.  If it did, the sensors in the sliders, open immediately.  I accidently tested this when my ten year old shut the doors not knowing my head was in the way.   It closed gently on my skull (nice huh?) and immediately opened so I could bolt upright unharmed and yell at him for not warning me before he clicked the close button.

I also like the fold-down seats, the DVD and the navigation system (which by the way, I've tried them all from other car makers, and Toyota/Lexus hands down have the best navigation system I've ever tested.  So user friendly (I'm location-direction-retarded) that once you get used to having one (this one)...you'll never want a car without it.

Some Moms laugh at me as they drive off in their 'Cool SUV's."

When in reality, who's the smartest Mommy now?


Written By
Laurie McDermott
http://www.lauriemcdermott.com/
Invite Laurie to speak/perform at your next event.

Monday, May 03, 2010

"Missing Hampster.."

He was gone.
He was there and then he was gone.
He was found 5 days later in an empty fish tank in the garage. 

We all looked at the 3 year old who looked back at us and shrugged, "Maybe he climbed in there all by himself?"

Maybe. 

Now when he goes missing, guess where we find him?

Sunday, May 02, 2010

"Weekend In Sports Hell..."

It's Sunday.  Family day!  It was like that when I grew up.  My parents and the kids would find something local or not local to see do or discover. 

I try that in my house.  "Do we want to go to the local school fair?"

No, we can't.

"How about, why don't we go to the Aquarium for the day?"

No, we can't. 

Why?   My husband coaches my sons' baseball and football teams and although the weekdays have their own challanges, usually on Sunday, we face the following schedule:
9:30 - church
10:30-12noon - baseball batting practice.
1-3:30pm - baseball game.
5-6pm - football practice before his game.
6-7pm - football game.

Meanwhile I also happen to be a parent to two other childen, 6 and 3 who get dragged to the other child's games all weekend, watching their dad from afar and missing him, wondering why they can't stand with him during any of the day's activities.  All the while I'm soothing ruffled feathers and negotiating battles trying to watch any part of what I can see of my oldest playing.

If I was a boring mom, or maybe one that loved sports, this entry here would be different...but I"m a fun, creative mom who loves taking her 'family' - (that means everyone; husband and kids!) outside their city block on weekends to experience the amazing things the world around us has to offer.  But I can't cause 1/3 of the family is constantly stuck in these activities that repeat themselves every weekend.

If my oldest was 16 and off to a great college under a school scholarship, that would be different, but he is not sports savvy and part of me thinks he only plays because of his dad. 

So, the family day together fun will have to wait.  And wait.  And wait.