Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Tuesday Random 5: Of Children, Diets, and Game 6

1. As I type this, my stomach is in knots. I’m not a die hard sports fan, but I do enjoy it. The World Series is giving me ulcers. Arthur Dent calls it the “World Serious,” and I am with him. Serious stress. The Royals down 3-2, but returning to Kansas City tonight. It doesn’t help that we are early to bed, early to rise in the Intrigue house, not by choice, but by necessity. Games that don’t get over until midnight make for long days. Anyway, I’ve got my blue lights up outside and my new Royals cap on. Hopefully it will be a rally cap! I’m sure the Royals will be glad to be home at The K- after all, the fans who make Arrowhead Stadium the loudest in the NFL will be the same fans cheering on the Boys in Blue tonight! (Update: as I finish this, the Royals are up 8-0 in the top of the fourth inning. I'm glad being the home team gave them a boost!)
2. I mentioned last week that I had the privilege of bringing dinner to a new mom and a mom who was suffering a miscarriage. This morning, I received an email about an old friend who is pregnant. Her child is not expected survive past infancy. I also received a text from a friend who was headed to the hospital in labor. It’s strange, in this day and age, we tend not to think so much about infant mortality, but I know more than a few mamas who have buried children with only one date on their headstone.  Heavy stuff for the random five, but this dichotomy of birth and death seems so pronounced to me lately. The realization that, what you thought was so simple when you were young, being born, is really a bigger gift and harder action than we give it credit for. 

3. On a MUCH lighter note, Halloween is upon us. Usually The International Man of Intrigue and I have very creative costumes. This year, I’m phoning it in with a pair of orange scrubs and a double dose of black eyeliner and red lipstick. I’m going as a character from “Orange is the New Black.” Speaking of orange, I can neither confirm or deny that I am currently trying not to get my keyboard messy from breaking into the trick or treat bags of Cheetos I bought to hand out. Speaking of crunchy, cheesy junk food, the Little Explorers think Pirate Booty is hilarious. No matter how many times I’ve explained what the definition of “pirate booty” is, they insist on calling it “Pirate Butts” and laughing hysterically. 

4. Why am I shotgunning tiny bags of Cheetos? Because, starting Saturday, I’m on a team of four in a “mind, body, spirit” challenge. It’s focused on weight loss, but has components of spirituality and kindness as well. I’m sure there will be a few rough days as I detox from junk food, especially Diet Coke, which is legal, but costs me points. I’m really ready. The Developing Nation Diet went to crap when we moved back to the states. I gained it back plus some. I’ve done a little on my own, but I need a jump start and some accountability (like motivation not to guzzle Cheetos). I recently purchased a glider type rowing machine which will allow me to work out in the evening while still bingeing on Netflix with The International Man of Intrigue. I’m working up a meal plan, and I’m ready to fit back into my clothes. Here we go!

5. Last, but not least, my joy. Laura Ingalls Wilder turns 11 months old tomorrow. The time has flown by. Allow me to gush about that curly haired, long eyelashed, beautiful, sweet baby girl. She is such a happy little thing. She giggles with joy when she spots herself in her carseat mirror. Every time. We should all be so happy to see our own reflection. When I go to get her out of her crib in the morning, she giggles with pure joy. Recently, a friend was watching Laura Ingalls Wilder and Arthur Dent for a few hours so I could, you know, scrape a layer of disgusting off the floors and bathrooms. When I walked in the door, my friend was holding Laura Ingalls Wilder’s little hands so she could stand up. When Laura Ingalls Wilder saw me, she literally jumped for joy and shrieked with delight. This teeny tiny for her age child was so happy to see her mama that she bounced, tigger style, and squealed with happiness. Oh, my heart. My joy. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tuesday 5: Be Royal Edition

1. Who’s Dorothy Gale rooting for in the World Series? Yes, I lived near Monterey Bay when the Giants won the Series in 2010, and I LOVE the Bay Area. The answer is easy: the Royals, of course. I have said it before, and I’ll say it again, most of the time, it’s really tough being a fan of professional sports when you cheer for Kansas City. Once, my mother and father bought The International Man of Intrigue a new Chiefs shirt for Christmas. They were kind enough to include a paper bag with eye holes cut out as the perfect accessory. So, even though I’m not the biggest fan of baseball, I am super excited for the World Series, “‘Cause it’s root, root, root for the home team!…” I also have a special place in my heart for the KC team that last won the World Series back in 1985 because superstar George Brett and I share a birthday. That led to a chance meeting between yours truly, Dorothy Gale, and the superstar Brett once at a Kansas City Chiefs Football game. That’s a story for another day, though, Fellow Adventurers…

2. Every morning, on the way to school, I lead the Little Explorers in a prayer. Everyone gets a chance to say a little something and then we pray the “Angel of God” prayer together. This morning, Arthur Dent’s prayer was classic. He was attempting to put socks on as he prayed. “Dear God, thank you for this awesome and cool day. Thank you for cool stuff. AND THANK YOU FOR THESE STUPID SOCKS! AAAGH. AMEN.”

3. This week I have had the opportunity to take meals to friends who needed a little help. One was joyous, the birth of a new baby, and one was sad. One thing I’ve learned over the years is to bring meals in disposable containers if you can afford it. The couple of extra bucks to take things in foil and cheap ziplock containers is worth it. The last thing you need as a new mommy or someone dealing with illness or loss is to have to wash and keep straight a bunch of dishes and then figure out who to return them to. What’s your go-to meal to take to someone? I have a couple. This time it was Santa Fe Soup with chips, cheese, and sour cream, and a pan of dark chocolate brownies. Sometimes I make baked ziti or enchiladas. 

4. Someone asked me recently how I have so much time to read with four Little Explorers running around and a messy house. I told them the truth: I once read that kids who see their parents reading are more likely to become avid readers themselves. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it, even though I have, at one time or another, pulled a book out from underneath the head of a sleeping Little Explorer. They are all voracious readers, well, almost. As Arthur Dent reminds me every time I tell him to go read a book for a while, “MAMA, YOU KNOW I CAN’T READ YET!”

5. Tomorrow is Diwali. It’s the Hindu festival of lights. I want to go dig up the blue Christmas lights from the garage, because, hey, Diwali and the Royals in the World Series. On that note, Trisha Yearwood just finished doing a lovely job singing the National Anthem. I have to go watch the game. #BeRoyal #BlueOctober

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Tuesday 5: Take Me Home...

1. Yesterday was Columbus Day. I can’t stop laughing over one of those silly e-cards I saw. It read, “The horror of a deadly virus being brought into America from overseas reminded me to wish you a Happy Columbus Day.” I don’t know why. There’s nothing funny about comparing Ebola to measles, smallpox, tuberculosis, and all kinds of nasty other diseases. Nothing, except when you mix it in with Columbus Day. Speaking of Columbus day, I blogged about it two years ago as well. Here is your walk down memory lane. 

2. Speaking of two years ago, I always meant to blog about Sri Lanka and John Denver but I don’t think I ever did. Sri Lankans LOVE the song “Country Roads” by John Denver. LOVE it. LOVE LOVE. I was once on a full bus. Half of us were Americans and the other half Sri Lankans employed by the Embassy. On the way home, the Sri Lankans apparently started having flashbacks to their days of summer camp and started a bus ride sing along. They mostly sang songs in Sinhalese, but they added in a rendition of “Country Roads” that was perfect. They knew every word. Not proof enough? Once, The International Man of Intrigue and I attended the end of some big conference. It was a cocktail party and dinner. During the cocktail party, there was a Sri Lankan mariachi band. They were wearing sombreros and the whole get up. Weird? Yes. But it gets weirder. They played, you guessed it, “Country Roads.” From talking to other Fellow Adventurers who’ve lived around the world, apparently there is just something about that song that speaks to the human condition. Maybe it’s the waxing poetic about where you came from. Have any of you heard that song in a place you didn’t expect? Can ANYONE EVER beat hearing a Sri Lankan mariachi band play and sing it?

3. Laura Ingalls Wilder is on the move. She pulls up and is starting to cruise around furniture. She does a one legged hitch crawl which is blessedly slow enough for me to keep track of her easily. She’s also discovered finger foods. Like we did for the rest of the Little Explorers, we often sprinkle a few Cheerios on the coffee table for her to snack on. Somewhere along the line of rearing Little Explorers, the Cheerios that inevitably end up on the floor got the name “floorios.” Floorios are ubiquitous. Laura Ingalls Wilder puts everything in her mouth. I vacuum every day to lessen the little bits and pieces she can find to put in her mouth, but there are still floorios. According to the tradition of The Intrigues, floorios are fair game for snacking. If you’re horrified by this, perhaps you keep your house too clean and you’re not doing your part to build your child’s immune system. Dorothy Gale has never, ever, been accused of keeping her house too clean. 

4. Speaking of things kids put in their mouths, there was a recent discussion on a Facebook page I belong to about the super gross things kids put in their mouths. It reminded me of that time Arthur Dent put a tropical roach in his mouth. Remember? When we moved back to the states, he once picked up a half eaten jolly rancher from a bench at the pool and put it in his mouth. He has a mighty fine immune system.

5. Back to music. I heard the new Toby Keith song on the radio this morning. It’s called “Drunk Americans.” Now, I have an appreciation for Toby Keith. The International Man of Intrigue met him and got his guitar autographed by Toby Keith while Mr. Keith was doing a USO tour in a war zone. That being said, I seriously wonder if the man can sing about anything besides drinking and being American. Try a ballad, maybe, Toby Keith? How about a cover of “Country Roads?”