April Fool me once

Dick and I tried to think up some sort of April Fool’s prank to play with our blogs but couldn’t come up with anything original or funny. (Wait, maybe THAT could be our prank, because obviously we are original and funny, all the time, even when seriously sleep-deprived). And, we don’t want to be like the lame-o’s that are ridiculed by the internet lame-o police.

Sally is so excited that tomorrow is April Fool’s Day. I imagine her teacher will switch classes with one of the other first grade teachers or something equally shocking.

Here’s a great list of the Top 100 April Fool’s Day Hoaxes by the San Diego-based Museum of Hoaxes. They’ve also got fun quizzes like the Photo Hoax Test and Gullibility Test. (Does it make me smart or just cynical that I want to check Snopes.com for the non-hoax-ishness of the Museum of Hoaxes? Well, I won’t check. I’ll just have faith in the credibility of the internet).

My favorite hoax so far is #8, the Left-Handed Whopper:

In 1998 Burger King published a full page advertisement in USA Today announcing the introduction of a new item to their menu: a “Left-Handed Whopper” specially designed for the 32 million left-handed Americans. According to the advertisement, the new whopper included the same ingredients as the original Whopper (lettuce, tomato, hamburger patty, etc.), but all the condiments were rotated 180 degrees for the benefit of their left-handed customers. The following day Burger King issued a follow-up release revealing that although the Left-Handed Whopper was a hoax, thousands of customers had gone into restaurants to request the new sandwich. Simultaneously, according to the press release, “many others requested their own ‘right handed’ version.”

And here’s a cartoon to tickle you:

Makes-Me-Smile Monday: The best of times, the worst of times

I’ve been meaning to write this post since Christmas, when my mom asked Mary and me to write or say something to our 18-year-old sister Karen to reassure her that we do actually enjoy being mothers.

I have been a mother for two-thirds of my adult life, so it’s hard for me to even remember what it was like when I was just me. Often I long for that old self, or pine for the fantastic new self I will be once my days are filled only with those bodily functions and tantrums that are my own.

In the meantime, for the next 700 years or so, I get to be a mom, and I get to stay home with three of the cutest, stinkiest, smartest, dumbest, most guileless, most naughty girls in the whole world. Like you, my kids are WELL above average in both their triumphs and their catastrophes. I have no patience for people who think you can’t hate some parts of being a mother and still, overall, love being a mother.

I have a pretty long list of the things I love best and the things I hate most about my kids and about being a mother in general. For this post, I’ve limited myself to the best and worst of what I experience physically every day, or, in other words, my

Best of the senses and worst of the senses

Sound
Best – baby giggling or a child reading, however haltingly.
Worst – screeching pterodactyl impersonation, especially when you can’t escape it or fix it.

Sight
Best – sleeping kids.
Worst – anything involving poop.

Smell
Best – baby’s skin, which is to say Johnson’s Baby Lotion.
Worst – little girl panties that looked clean but WEREN’T.

Touch
Best – that plump, squishy, naked baby body.
Worst – snotty nose nuzzling my neck.

Taste
Best – cookies we’ve made together.
Worst – backwash in my drink.

And the best day ever would be a day without potty accidents, projectile vomiting, excess snot, runny poop that doesn’t know it’s place, or any other misbehaving excretions.

Why are moms so obsessed by what goes in and what comes out of their kids? Gross.

I hope this has convinced Karen that motherhood is the most holy, the most sacred of all endeavors in life and that she should rush to embrace it as soon as possible. Or, in other words, that she should marry carefully in about 10 years, and then start thinking about maybe having one or two kids, and start saving now for a mother’s helper.

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I’ve entered this post in MamaBlogga’s Group Writing Project ‘Savoring the season.’ I wrote it for my MMSM carnival, but my best of times and worst of times fits the theme so well! Maybe it’s a spring thing?

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I also hope you’ve thought of something that bests and worsts you. As Emerson said, consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. To participate in the MMSM carnival, leave your link or comment below. Any questions? Check out the MMSM link at the top of the page.

Here’s the original quote from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way . . .

http://www.blenza.com/linkies/autolink.php?owner=shannonj11&postid=31Mar2008

Because I could not strangle you in person

I must warn you: This is not a funny post. I don’t even try to be funny here. But I do gain Greek-tragedy-like catharsis, and so can you!

Someone made me mad at church today. Not an uncommon occurrence, though usually I just feel sympathy for the mis-opinionated. Unlike Giselle in Enchanted, I easily recognize and feel anger, and in the past couple of weeks I’ve felt enough anger for . . . well, for myself and for someone who hasn’t felt much anger for herself.

I bore my testimony (“testified”) today, and I talked about agency (“free will”) and about how my sister is experiencing a trial worse than any trial I ever imagined she or I would go through. I wasn’t trying to be melodramatic; I wanted to express my own hurt and my admiration for her reaction to this trial. Instead of wallowing in anger and destroying things (my natural inclination), my sister has responded by reading the scriptures more, praying more, and spending time with her kids and our family.

Maybe it sounded like I would be mad at God if something like this happened to me. That’s not what I meant; I’d be angry at someone whose clothing I could shred and valued possessions I could take a baseball bat to.

A few speakers after me, a prosperous-looking, attractive young man got up and did his spiel. He said we shouldn’t get mad at our trials, and shouldn’t even be surprised by them. They are, after all, what we signed up for in coming to this earth. We knew we’d be tried and tested, tempted and tribulated. Embrace the trial! Turn to God and all will be well!

Dude! Did he think I was talking about a hangnail that’s giving her some trouble?

If one believes in a literal resurrection, and in the atonement’s power to cleanse sin, then the worst possible thing to ever happen to someone is the refusal to repent (or to be affected by someone who refuses to repent). This is not to diminish the immense pain that accompanies death or miscarriage or disease, but just to say that they all CAN be fixed, eventually. If I refuse to repent, however, that can’t be fixed.

And, for those whose religious convictions are different, surely you would agree that to break one’s solemn promises, to refuse to even try to honor one’s vows and covenants, is pretty low. And that the people affected by such broken promises are facing real devastation.

The funniest thing about that young man’s testimony was that he was so sure of these things that he has learned through “my many years of experience.” Right. Because he’s 24 and single and childless and looks like he has suffered. Oh, how he has suffered.

My mom said that maybe we shouldn’t be letting our daughters watch these Disney princess fairy tales all the time. Because what are they learning? Happily ever after and prince charming and animals coming to help you with the housework.

I’d agree with her, and I did introduce my sisters and mom to Sara Bareilles’ Fairytale, which gets more clever every time I hear it. BUT, happily ever after, that people should get married and stay married, and that families are meant to be together forever is what we believe in. It’s not just a Disney movie, it’s what we believe.

I’m Jane, and I’m neither a size 2 nor 18-years old

First, I want to tell you that I have, after seven long years and much tedious clicking of links and inputting of my personal data, visited all those wonderful bloggers who commented on my Ultimate Blog Party post. At times I got discouraged had to take a potty break, but I tarried forth, because I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful, 100%.

I found a bunch of great women whom I would like to be friends with IRL, as long as In Real Life means I can read all about your exciting, Frump-less lives from the comfort of my dirty pajamas and the chair that Spot the dog my 18-month-old has been using as a rawhide bone.

(My mom came to our apartment yesterday and later took great pleasure in telling my dad and sisters how “busy” I am. You know, I used to clean frantically before family was coming over, especially my in-laws. Now? If the kids have been fed and are relatively the quiet, and I am on the computer? Dishes? Serious debris on the floor? Laundry? I don’t see ANY of it.)

(Also parenthetically, if by some strange, shocking confluence of events I missed your UBP comment, or have not been to your blog, please email me straightaway at Whataboutmom at gmail dot com, and I will rush to peruse and plight my comment troth. ((Don’t you hate it when people write their email addresses like that? What’s wrong with whataboutmom@gmail.com?))).

Next, I wanted to thank all those who have complimented me on my new header. I love it! Mostly because it is not actually ME in the header pictures. That would be my 18-year-old, size 2 sister, Karen, who is identical to how I would look if I were twelve years younger and 30 (40? 50?) pounds lighter and IF I could sew my own cool retro clothing. I’m afraid I’m more like Horton the Elephant, whom I have to say is looking mighty swingin’ up there.

The kids are mine and my sister’s (my other sister’s, whose fancy house this also is). Karen was a fantastic model, and Mary was a gracious host and photography consultant, and we had more fun than we have since Mary and I used to dress up ourselves and play Shipwreckt.

Oh, and Dick did the techie stuff to make it fit the theme’s banner thingie and all. Thanks, Dick. I owe you big — as soon as you put your laptop down and come to bed, I’ll show you just how grateful I am.

Finally, I wanted to shamelessly plug the Makes-Me-Smile Monday carnival. I know I’m not as cool as most (all?) other carnival hostess-es-ers, but I am . . . earnest? needy? dorky? Yes. So, please join me, by post on your own blog, or a comment here, tomorrow, Monday, March 31st, for the first re-installment of the MMSM carnival.

The “topic” is a quote from Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. So you could write about London or Paris (because as far as I can remember from 7th grade, those are the two cities involved), or about any two other cities you like, or about orphans, or Madame Guillotine, or about any time or event or experience in your life that seemed to be at once the best and the worst. Hope to see you there!

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way . . .

As long as you don’t do crack when you’re pregnant

Last night I was instant messaging Tara, whom I had not seen in eight months three days. When you’re IM’ing, you get a tiny adrenaline rush whenever you see the orange flashing thingie at the bottom of your screen indicating you’ve got a new message. (Dick says that’s the minimized window on the tool bar, but I think “orange flashing thingie” is much more descriptive.)

Even better is when you happen to be looking at the IM window maximized (see, I can do the computer lingo), and you see at the bottom that “Tara is typing a message.” Sometimes I see that message when I am typing myself, and then I hurry, hurry to get my message done first because I need the attention RIGHT NOW.

Last night we were both typing at the same time, and when the text appeared, hers was this long thing about being the worst mom, and mine was this long thing about being the worst mom ever. Twinner worst moms! Though I did manage to stake out a little more territory with that ever.

Then on the phone this morning another friend was telling me that she liked my post about complete strangers giving infant-feeding advice, because she gets annoying stuff like that from her mother-in-law complete strangers too.

That friend’s sister (who doesn’t even share the helpful mother-in-law), says that as long as you don’t do drugs, you are a good mother. But it was more specific that that, even. Apparently, as long as you don’t do crack when you’re pregnant, you are a good mother. Doing crack after they’re born is fine. Doing crack while you’re breastfeeding would probably be a gray area. (And here I had worried about the caffeine in one or, uh, four, Mountain Dews).

Also, we decided that we may not be perfect moms (even though we don’t really do crack, and would never, ever condone anyone ever doing crack, ever), but we are definitely FABULOUS moms, and that is way better.

This fabulous mom forgot to take the video camera to Sally and Susan’s Dance Class Performance tonight. I did drag their father there, which should count for something. Except, Dick really didn’t require dragging. He’s like the dad in those McDonalds’ commercials that ran in the early 80s — You deserve a break today . . . at McDonalds.

I left the videocam at home because I expected Sally to do fine and Susan to stand there like a post, as she did in every class the past three months. Not much scope for the imagination there. But Susan did the funniest dance which bore almost no relation to what everyone else on stage was doing.

I laughed so hard I snorted multiple times — usually after the first time I am self-conscious enough to cover my mouth or plug my nose, but tonight I couldn’t help it.

The man in front of me turned and asked, “Is yours the one off to the side?” I said, Yep, and he said, smiling, “She’s got some moves!”

I have to say that I don’t care if my kids are the smartest or the fastest or the best, as long as someone periodically turns to me and says, “Is yours the one off to the side?”

Yes. Thank you for noticing.

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