Sunday, December 23, 2012

Celebrating the Season

I love the holidays and I cherish the time with my family and friends.  During the month of December, we try to stuff in as much festivities as possible.  Things never go as planned and this December was no different.  This year we didn't have a schedule of activities, just a list, which allowed us to adjust as time would allowed and things went much better.   

Mr. Man found an ingenious way to clean the gutters before he hung the lights. 
While Mr. Man hung the lights we delivered the neighbor gifts of poinsettias. I love driving up the street and seeing poinsettias on everyone's porch. 
Mr. Boy is obsessed with Ding Dong Ditching this season, but the family rule, is that you have to leave a treat if you are going to ring and run.  Mr. Boy got caught delivering poinsettias and ran back to the house with the plant. We learned that Poinsettias are delicate and aren't really made for a football hold or a running prop. 
We celebrated Hanukkah with the Neighborsteins who we love so much.  I am so grateful for this house, the hillside, and the neighbors.
We attended lots of parties, but the kids favorite is my company party where they can order unlimited drinks and desserts. 
This party had a Marionette show, and I learned that I'm super creeped out by puppets.  It might be more that the puppeteers are the ones who give me the heebee jeebees.
We spent hours playing by the tree, 
watched lots of holiday movies in our holiday jammies while snuggled with our pets.
We tortured the dogs with silly costumes, 
and I dressed up the kids in matching dorky sweaters and bribed them to take holiday photos.  One day they will laugh at these pictures and ask me, "Ugh, Mom! What were you thinking?"
We spent way too much time doing this. 
And even more time visiting places with the name "Respiratory", "Pulmonary" and "Clinic".  Mr. Boy missed 10 days of school to asthma, because he couldn't go more than a few hours without a treatment. Asthma is this boys kryptonite.
The upside is we got to spend lots of time together and did things like trying to catch fake snowflakes on our tongues. They turned out to be bubbles and tasted like soap.
We attended a special screening of the "The Grinch"
And the actual Grinch showed up to watch the movie with us.  Mr. Boy hated it, pulled down his beanie over his face, and told me I was the worst. He isn't a fan of characters. 
For church one Sunday, we came up with a contest to see who could be the most festively dressed, Mr. Man won.  We looked extra cheesy and I think it needs to be an annual tradition.
We ding dong ditched some of our friends with festive flashlights.
We played in the snow.... 
One day I will have to take my kids to real snow, right now they think snow comes out of a machine and is used as a movie prop.  

The kids trimmed the tree over and over again, and I treasure the decorations done in clumps and lack of symmetry.  I love to see what my kids think is beautiful.
Joyeux Noel to you and yours.

Friday, December 14, 2012

On a day like today

Mr. Man called me, "What is going on? There was a shooting at an elementary school?" So I read him the news and then I said, "How on earth do we keep our kids safe?" Mr. Man sighed and said, "I'm not sure we are ever safe."
But for today I'm grateful both kids are home sick with me safe in my bed. I am taking the time to snuggle with my kids and savor these quiet moments. If there is anything I have learned over the past few years, each day is a gift.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Faux-Prah Winner and my ramblings

We have a winner for our 2nd Annual Faux-Prah giveaway! In reality you are all winners in my book and I will happily send out autographed pictures of Rupert or Jane as consolation prizes to all of those who request it.  
Our winner this year is..... 
 Jody from Me and My Three Boys who loves driving around and looking at lights with her family. I'm dying to know what she decides to buy from
Do you know what the Amazon delivery man brought me today? Fashion Plates!  Did you have them as a kid?  I loved them and obviously I still love them because I ripped open the package and played with them right away instead of putting them aside for AK for Christmas.  I feel like a terrible mother, but I've decided that I need to order another set so that we can play together.   My friends and I were talking about fashion plates the other night (it was their idea to get them) and I remembered that after I would make my fashion plate creation, I would think, "Wow, someone dial Bob Mackie, this is the worlds greatest dress and it deserves to be put into production!"   Today when I was playing with them I thought, "Wow, I missed my calling, I'm not an accountant... I'm a fashion designer!" 
On a totally different note, Mr. Man and I are having a heated discussion about eggnog in our house.  He and Mr. Boy are passionate about eggnog.   It's one of the best part of the holiday seasons for them.  Mr. Man has made the argument that eggnog is a man's thing and he has never known a woman who likes eggnog.   I can't think of a single friend of mine who likes eggnog and I'm wondering if he's right.  So tell me your thoughts on eggnog... Love it, Tolerate it, or Loathe it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Last Day of Faux-prah: More favorites

Today is the last day to enter my "Faux-prah's Favorite Things" giveaway.  Your odd's of winning are way better than the slots at the Indian Gaming Casino.  
Be sure to enter by leaving a comment on THIS POST.  

My other favorites that should have made my giveaway, maybe for next year! 

A backyard full of deer! I love my deer more than any human should.  I'm fully aware that one day I will be the cooky crazy lady in the neighborhood who think the deer are her kids. My deer bring me such joy, but I can't decide if it's really the deer or just the fact that I live in such a serene place with a home I love so much. 

Next up would be my Keurig.  
I love tea and my kids love having hot chocolate in the morning.   This is the perfect appliance for a lazy mom like me.  We received this as a gift and I wasn't sure what I thought of it.   We aren't big coffee drinkers, but still this thing is used daily at our house.  My kids walk into school almost every morning with their commuter mug chatting with their friends about who just signed a big movie deal and what they think the stock market is going to do today.  (or maybe they are telling fart jokes, you decide!) Psst... Word on the street is that the best place to buy these is at Kohl's with a %off code. 

GoGoSqueez is a staple at our house.   It is all fruit and all natural, and has been a victory in the battle over junk food.  My kids love this stuff and I know it's good for them.  My kids want junk in their lunch every day, and I feel like I'm constantly telling them no.  They happily eat their GoGoSqueez every day and I know at least one thing in their lunch will be consumed that's healthy.  My kids lunches often come back partially eaten, but the GoGoSqueez is always gone.   They just came out with new flavors and my kids are crazy for AppleCherry and AppleMango.  

Can I confess something?  Shhhh... I have very fine hair.  Which means getting volume in my hair is a feat even NASA couldn't work out.  Do you know who has thick voluminous hair?  My brother!  Of course, my brothers stole all the good genes and I got the leftover mutant genes.  
I read in some beauty magazine that 'Dry Shampoo" is great for adding volume to your roots.   I used to use a fancy product to try and achieve that, but realized my $3 buck bottle of Suave Dry Shampoo does the same thing.

 It soaks up the extra oil, but there is something about it that gives my hair a little lift and makes me look less like a drowned bald rat and more like a normal girl with normal hair.  Normal is good...  normal doesn't happen around these parts very often, so even if it is just normal hair, I will take it!

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Yes Project: Yes takes me on a getaway

Part of an ongoing project called, "The Yes Project", where I resolve to say YES more to opportunities that come my way.  Click here to see the other posts.

Also, two more days to enter my "Faux-prah's Favorite Things" giveaway.  Your odd's of winning are way better than the slots at the Indian Gaming Casino.  
Be sure to enter by leaving a comment on THIS POST. 

Mr. Man is a saint, he puts up with a lot of nuttiness living with me full time.  He knows that I feel like I've lost a little bit of spunk because of the demands of motherhood.  Getting my spunk back was part of the reason I started the "Yes" project.  No was the easy answer, if I said "No," I didn't have to work out babysitters or logistics.   It was lazy and I wasn't living my best life.

Last Sunday Mr. Man asked me about my schedule for the week and after I told him my plans, he took both my hands and said, "I have an early Christmas gift for you, but you are going to have to rearrange your week a bit.  It's up to you if you want to do it, you just let me know Yes or No."
Mr. Man tries to take our portrait.
I couldn't resist, I said, "YES!" and cleared my calendar for the dates Mr. Man requested and Mr. Man unveiled his gift.   A mini-getaway to a concert of two bands that I love and babysitting provided by Mrs. Mother-in-Law.     

During a previous "Yes" trip this summer, I was reminded of just how much I love live bands.   I had heard about this concert at a small venue and I really wanted to go.  Tickets sold out right away and I missed my chance.  I must have have lamented one night at dinner that I was disappointed at how quickly things sold out.  Sometimes I wonder if Mr. Man is listening to me, I know I yammer on, and my children have learned to successfully tune me out.   When Mr. Man showed me the tickets, my first thought was, "Oh my goodness, you love me and you really do listen to me!"
We saw Imagine Dragons and Garbage at a Casino outside of LA.  We had amazing seats, and I'm still not quite sure how Mr. Man scored tickets, but he is magical like that.  I loved that when I walked into the casino, the officer thought I was underage and pulled me aside to check my ID.  I actually blanked when he asked me what year I was born...oops, but I pointed out to him, "Look, I'm old enough to know my kids birth dates better than my own." 

When we were first married, we listened to the band Garbage a lot.   It brought back a ton of sweet memories of our early days as broke newlyweds.  When I looked over at Mr. Man, I was reminded that he is so much more than just the husband, father, and provider.  He's my friend and we have a lot of fun together.  I know we both get so bogged down in the details of our family  and we forget, "Oh hey, I really like you!" 
After the concert, we hit the casino to earn some holiday cash, but luck wouldn't have it that way. When we were leaving the casino,we were walking arm in arm laughing so hard we couldn't walk straight.  I can't remember what was so funny, but it doesn't matter now.  The thing I remember now is that Mr. Man is also Mr. Person-I-Love-Spending-Time-With.   I'm a lucky girl, so glad I said Yes to him.
And if you haven't started listening to Imagine Dragons, I love them. Check out the video above!  What was your favorite concert? 

Thursday, December 06, 2012

My Other Favorite Things

All this week I'm featuring my favorite things as part of my "Faux-prah's Favorite Things" giveaway.   
Be sure to enter by leaving a comment on THIS POST

This week we are talking all about favorite things on Bon Jour Qwendykay!  Here are a couple of other things that are my absolute favorite.  
Such as our sweet little puppy from the streets of South Central Los Angeles.  This little dog is a mellow sweetie pie and fits right into our family.   Our vet is convinced this dog is part vampire, because her ear shape is most commonly found on bats.  There is nothing in the world like puppy love, and if I had my way I would jump up and down and scream, "You get a puppy! You get a puppy!  And YOU!  PUPPIES for Everrrrrrrrrrrryone!" and pass puppies out to my imaginary audience. Unfortunately, that's not really responsible pet ownership, and Mr. Man would frown upon me giving away our pup.

I am so grateful for Best Friends Animal Society and their mission to rescue pets.  If you are looking for a pet, this is the place. It's an amazing facility, an amazing network of volunteers, and I will forever be grateful to them for introducing us to our missing family member. 

I love my oldest brother (in spite of him hogging the good genes and the dimples) and I love that he is a musician.  His current band King Loses Crown is one of my favorites, but I could be a bit biased.  (My brother is the one on the far right.)

They just released a music video, directed by Jim Mitchell and it is pretty intense.  I love it, especially the ending.  I didn't know my brother could act! Which means, he hogged all the acting genes too, I bet I would have had three Oscars by now if it wasn't for him.  I am stoked for my brother and his success, so I can't help but brag. 

Pinterest is also one of my favorite things because it makes me look good.  It's the best place to steal  borrow talented and creative folks best ideas. It's basically a giant bulletin board where you can pin all the things that appeal to you.

Remember in the old days you would rip out a magazine page and store it somewhere, then you could never find it when you needed it.  It's just like that, but digital and you don't lose it.   Anytime I'm looking for a clever gift, I can find an idea there.
Such as these stockings which I made for Mr. Man and a recent college grad who got his first job.I made them using an old pair of Mr. Man's dress pants and Mr. Boys old white shirts and ties.  Genius, Right?  I look like I'm so crafty, yet I totally stole borrowed the idea from Pinterest. They encourage copying and pinning, people want you to steal borrow their ideas!  It's crazy and it's awesome, but fair warning it's addictive.  Here's a link to my Pinterest Profile. 

What's your most recent favorite discovery?  

Monday, December 03, 2012

Faux-Prah's 2nd Annual Favorite Things Giveaway

Oprah! That lying fool!  She swore that she was all done doing her "Favorite Things" episode and I positioned myself to become the next Media Cajillion-aire by declaring myself "Faux-prah".  Then Oprah brought back her "Favorite Things" episode as a special.  She is a total liar, but of course, I'm a total sucker, fell under her spell, and I watched the special.  I cried, cheered, and screamed right along with the ladies on the TV.
This lady loves Faux-prah! 
My absolute favorite thing about Oprah's Favorite Thing show was watching the ladies get whipped into a frenzy about everything they were getting.  Then I would call one of my friends who absolutely hates the show but watches anyway and we would go over the details.  I would tell her all the things I just HAD to have and she would tell me how many ladies fainted clutching their free loot. 

Even though Oprah brought back her show, I'm still going to carry on building my "Faux-prah" empire.  Which, lucky for you, includes my annual "Faux-prah's Favorite Things" giveaway.  I pick a handful of my favorite things and you get to win them! Hooray!  You can see what was on last years list here, and details on how Faux-Prah got started.

I had the best time coming up with this list and a hard time narrowing it down.  

#1 - The Our Best Bites Cookbook by Sara Wells and Kate Jones
I've made some terrible meals in my lifetime, I come by it honestly, my mom was a mediocre cook.  She tried and we were always on some crazy diet that the latest medicine man or village healer was prescribing my family.  Oh the stories I could tell just on that subject alone.  I also find that I just don't really have the enthusiasm to plan and cook a meal every night, especially if it's just going to be ho-hum.

Then last year while shopping at Costco in LA, I stumbled upon a cookbook called Our Best Bites:  Two Mormon Moms in the Kitchen.   I picked it up and had to think for a moment, "Wait, am I in Utah?  Idaho? No... what in the world is this book doing in Los Angeles?"  I bought it, just because I was curious to see why these Mormon Moms were in Costco.

I tried the Spicy Honey Chicken (page 119 and on their blog) and my family cheered!  We grilled up the Pineapple-Ginger Flank Steak (page 136) and my family raved about it.  One day I made these ladies homemade breadsticks to go along with their Lemon-Zucchini Fettucine and Mr. Man said, "Wow, this dinner is great!  Where did you order it from?"  He was taken back when I said, "I made it all myself!"

This Thanksgiving, I tired Kate's Thanksgiving Turkey, and it was the best Turkey I've ever tasted.  It was out of this world.  When people asked about our Thanksgiving, my family would chime in with, "The Turkey was my mom's best EVER!"    Mr. Man is probably the "Our Best Bites" ladies #1 fan.   I haven't made anything that my family didn't love and I haven't been slaving in the kitchen for hours.  I love it when I come out looking like a champ and I didn't have to put in much effort. 

Even better, the food tastes fancy, but doesn't require me to hunt to the top of a mountain during a snowstorm to retrieve 2 quail eggs from a white dove like Mrs.Mother-in-Law's cookbook.   (In the off chance you already have this cookbook, I'll happily supply you with their 2nd Cookbook, Our Best Bites: Savoring the Seasons.)

#2 Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm
Lip Balm?  Yes, really.  This is more like a "lip experience" than a lip balm.   It's no secret I've been getting what my dermatologist likes to refer to as a "35,000 mile tune up" on my skin.   I have had some laser treatments done to my face to remove sun damage and erase some fine wrinkles.   People can tell something is going on because every other month I seem to channel Jackie O for a few days while I heal.
One of my favorite compliments I've received was, "Madamoiselle, tell me... did you have your lips done?"  I haven't had my lips "done" but I have switched to this fabulous lip balm.  I don't know what it is about this stuff but it makes your lips look just a bit plumper, smoother, and gives it a subtle hint of color.  I have given this to all my friends and said, "I love this.. try it!"  They all love it and I'm pretty sure you are going to love it too!

#3  $25 Gift Certificate

Amazon is a repeat offender on my Faux-Prah giveaway.   I just didn't see how I could do the list without it.  With my prime membership, everything from applesauce to the worlds best screwdriver is delivered to my door.   I rarely have to leave the house, thanks to Amazon and now the Amazon delivery man and I are BFF's.   Amazon has really enabled me to become a crazy recluse who talks to deer as though they were actual friends.   My only beef with Amazon, is the fact that I have unsuccessfully been able to bribe the Amazon delivery man to pick up bread and milk.   If he did that, I swear I'd never leave my house. With the gift certificate, you'll be able to qualify for free delivery and maybe you might use it to pick up some of last years favorites.
 Like Mr. Seven Hands...  who I just can't keep my hands off of.

#4  The Book Thief 

This book was one of those books that once I got past the first 25 pages I just couldn't put down.  Then after I was done with the book, I missed the characters like they were friends.   It is narrated by the Grim Reaper during the Holocaust and gives such an interesting point of view.  I don't really want to say too much about it, other than I loved it.  It was my favorite book I've read this year, and I'm dying to discuss it with someone.

#5  The Snap Leash  
*Dog not included
This leash is my new favorite because of it's versatility.   When I have one of the dogs with me at the park, I usually end up tying them around the bench or a tree while I help a kiddo on the equipment.  This leash is a snap! I can adjust the length of the leash to any length and I can wrap the leash around any size tree or bench.   Miss AK likes to walk Zoey, and I can make the leash super short for her to have a short lead.   It's been super handy and it's the leash I always leave in my car because I can use it anywhere.  

To enter the contest:  All you have to do is leave a comment in this post.  You can tell me your favorite things or favorite holiday activity.  To receive an additional entry, you can share this giveaway on Facebook, just leave me a comment below that says you shared it on Facebook.

The contest runs until Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 11:59pm. The winner will receive all five of the items listed above.   Winner will be picked via and will have 48 hours to respond. The winner will be announced Thursday December 13th, 2012.

*Disclaimer: I received zero compensation for this post or any of the items in the giveaway.  All opinions are my own, and this giveaway is not affiliated with any of the companies listed above or Oprah herself.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

I won! I won! A major award!

Flashback: I'm a "whoops" baby in my family... "The Caboose" "The Surprise Baby" aka "The Accident". I came along after my parents were done having babies. My brothers not only hogged the good genes, they used up my parents. They went to the circus, had lavish themed birthday parties, and they have baby books that are  filled in with details of their firsts. I have a post it note with the date and time I was born, and it's not a momento, but more of a reminder of my birthday, which they forgot ... twice. Did they ever forget my brother's birthday?  Of course not.  (Well, in all fairness, my Dad forgot my brother's birthday this year, which is pretty par for the course this year.  My dad is pretty focused on his new life.)
When I was 11, I was looking through the family photo albums and noticed my brothers had learned to ski, chopped down a Christmas tree with my dad, and had their pictures taken with Santa every year. Where was I? My mom said sheepishly, "Oh, you were so much younger so we left you at home with the sitter." I felt like my family had been living a secret life.  While I was watching Sesame Street with my babysitter, my brothers were out with my parents having an All American childhood.

One of my big beefs was that my brothers had a real Christmas Tree that they got to help pick out.  We always had a fake one and my parents would pack away mostly decorated.  My brothers strung popcorn while listening to Christmas Music, and I helped my parents fluff and adjust ornaments in three sections on a fake tree.  

My mom was sympathetic and tried to make it right.   My mom and I went to a cut your own tree farm and brought home a beautiful real tree to the tune of $50 bucks.  We decorated it and I felt like my childhood was more complete.  Until the very next morning, I woke up BLIND!

My eyes had swollen shut and I had hives all over. I was allergic to the tree!  Once we got my allergic reaction under control, we moved the real Christmas Tree on the patio.  The fake tree was brought down and that whole Christmas Season, my dad would see the real tree on the patio and remark, "Well, that's $50 bucks we'll never get back."

Flash Forward to the Present:  While attempting to Black Friday shop, I hit the local mall.  I've mentioned that I'm fearful I'm becoming a hermit, and seeing all those long lines made me literally run for the hills.  I went home and hung out with Rupert, Jane and the rest of the deer instead.  I did, however, take a moment to enter the Mall's Holiday Contest and I got a phone call that I WON!  Not only did I win, I won the Grand Prize!   Visions of vacations in far off lands and closets full of shoes filled my head as I drove to the mall to collect my prize.  No joke, I actually emptied my trunk just to make sure I had room to haul my loot.

I skipped and danced my way to the Mall Security Office and told them I was here to collect my prize. They said, "Oh yes, you won the Grand Prize!  Well, one of the 12 Grand Prizes, it's a real live Christmas Tree, where did you park?"
Bonus Activity... can you spot the kitty?
Moi:  Wait, the Grand Prize is a Christmas Tree? Are you kidding that is a Grand Prize?  I mean, I don't want to be ungrateful, but really the grand prize?  Is it 20 feet tall?
Mall Cop:  No, it's about 5-6 feet tall and we can help load it onto your car.
Moi:  This feels vaguely reminiscent of my first year of college,  "Hey Baby, come here, I'll give you a prize.  Next thing you know I'm stuck with an itchy rash."
*crickets*  (oh come on, that was hilarious! Really? I didn't even get a courtesy laugh. And for the record, that wasn't really reminiscent of my first year of college . )
Mall Cop:  Where are you parked?  We have other things we need to do today ma'am..
Moi: I'm not taking the tree, I'm not kidding, I'm allergic.  Let me see if I can gift it to a friend. Also, just out of curiosity what were the other prizes?
Mall Cop:  Oh, the 2nd prize was $25 gift cards.

Are you kidding?  I'd rather have that!  Oh well! My prize went to Aunt Cinnamon and looks lovely in her place.  Even better, my kids can visit my "Major Award" when they are hanging out with her, and I'll spend the holiday season rash free.

Psst.....Winning was such fun, I want you all to be winners too.
Anyone remember Faux-Prah?  Good news it is coming back for Year 2! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Happy Birthday Mr. Man, here is your dang cake.

Dear Future Daughter in Law,
For Mr. Boy's birthday, he likes the cake from a box mix, preferably whatever is on sale. I kept the bar really low, you are welcome.
Much Love,
PS. I want one million grandbabies, s'il vous plaƮt.

It's Mr. Mans birthday and we adore him so much. I still am not quite sure what he sees in me. He puts up with a lot of crazy being married to me. We are lucky to have him in our lives.

Mr. Man has one glaring flaw, he was spoiled rotten growing up. When I was growing up, my mother, bless her heart, she could not cook nor bake. Even worse my younger years were spent rice free, gluten free, and vegan. Oh did I mention sugar free as well?  Mealtimes were not pleasant and my mothers food tasted like sawdust. It is was the 80's and eating vegan or even gluten free wasn't as popular as it was today.  My family's diet made me a social outcast.  Case in point:  At my birthday parties, my mom would pull out a pan of vegan sugar free jello with candles on it instead of a cake.  No ONE wanted to come to my birthday parties.   This is my 10th birthday "cake." Notice how I'm pretending to blow out the candles, as we weren't allowed to blow out the candles.  My father felt that was the equivalent of spitting on the cake, I mean Jello, so we just had to pretend to blow them out. 
Mr. Man on the other hand was blessed with a mother who was an amazing cook and baker.  When he was growing up dinners would be balanced...protein, carbs, fruits, vegetables and dessert. For special occasions his mom would make lavish deserts from scratch, in other words she spoiled him.   At my bridal shower she gave me a cookbook of all her recipes, and it is one of my most prized possessions and biggest thorns in my side.

The first year we were married for Mr. Man's birthday I asked him what he wanted for dessert on his birthday, he said, "Oh, make my mom's chocolate cake, it's my favorite."   I opened up the family cookbook and looked at the mile long ingredient list.

4 oz bittersweet chocolate from the East side of the Andes Mountains
1 cup goats milk from an unspotted calf
2 quail eggs from a white dove
1 cup fine powdered sugar (so fine, that each granule is the size of an atom)
3 cups pre-fluffed cake flour
1 tsp Madagascar Vanilla (*preferably Northern Madagascar, Southern tends to have a bitter aftertaste)
And this list goes on and on.  You have to fluff and fold things into the batter and the pans have to be airbrushed with fairy dust.
I slaved away for six hours making "Mom's Chocolate Cake" and when it was done it was a lopsided disaster.   Mr. Man ate it with a smile and when I asked him how it tasted he said, "I really love how much effort you put into it."   We will give 10 points to Mr. Man for being polite, but we all know it was a failed attempt.

I have tried since to master the chocolate cake and it's never been a success.   Since my mother in law is a saint and loves me,  she has taken over the duties of baking the "6 hour chocolate cake" which she claims only takes her less then an hour to make. 

Since Mr. Man knows my skills are limited he requests a simple dessert with three ingredients. Only problem, those cookies are like the holy grail of ingredients. 
The Holy Grail of Cookies (not pictured powdered sugar)
I went to seven stores trying to hunt them down and after store number three, I started to get bitter.   "Mr. Man and his fancy family...with their fancy ingredients.  I would just be thrilled to have something that had real sugar in it."  I lamented to a friend how unfair it was that Mr. Man had been raised with fancy taste, and my friend, ever the optimist, said, "Oh, but just think... Mr. Boy's wife won't have this problem.  You set the bar.... real low.  I mean... really looooooow."

Happy Birthday Mr. Man!  I have serious envy of your gourmet upbringing, thanks for tolerating my mediocre food all these years.   You are a trooper and today I will spoil you by taking you out and letting someone who knows what they are doing feed you.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Where does YES take you? Yes makes me a football fan.

Part of an ongoing project called, "The Yes Project", where I resolve to say YES more to opportunities that come my way.  Click here to see the other posts.

 I detest football. I loathe it, and have spent every single Superbowl party in the kitchen trying to avoid talking about football. Mr. Boy has been dying to play football, even pointing out that he could play football in college, because he knows college is my weakness. I'll say yes to almost anything if it motivates Mr. Boy for college.  I have said, "No Football, I love your big beautiful brain too much."
During the summer Mr. Boy's former baseball coach called and said, "We are putting together a flag football team, come join us."  And I said, "No!"  even though it's the year of "Yes."   Here's the thing, Mr. Boy's baseball coach is persistent and wouldn't take no for an answer.  She knew Mr. Boy wanted to do it and that he would love it, and talked me into it. After all it's just flag football, it was only for 10 weeks, the coaches would be amazing, and "his brain will be safe, and you know, it's just for fun."  She said, "Just come to the parent meeting.... "   I went to the parent meeting and next thing you know I'm writing out a check and picking out his jersey number.  I caved, I said, "Yes."  but I still think she used a jedi mind trick on me.

I somehow thought Mr. Boy would hate flag football.   I didn't think Mr. Boy would be good at it and I didn't think he'd like the early morning practices.   I kind of figured, he'd do a season and decide, "Meh, it's not my sport."
Then during the first game, Mr. Boy intercepts the ball, runs the whole field and scores a game winning touchdown.  I knew at that moment, I was wrong. Mr. Boy was going to love flag football. I knew that flag football was the gateway drug to tackle football, and I just had begun a long battle of trying to keep him out of tackle football.  I declared at that moment, "This is fine, but NO TACKLE football EVER."

With every game, I felt my disdain for football starting to wane.  I learned the basics of the game and with every interception, every flag that was pulled, every touchdown by my beautiful boy I could hear a little voice in my head saying, "Oh, maybe just a little tackle football. Maybe just in high school.  Maybe some in college.  Maybe a football scholarship."
Mr. Boy, Zoey the Lion (Team Mascot) and AK
Mr. Boy was into watching every football game on TV, and the boys would break down each play.   Mr. Man confessed one night, that watching football with his son was something he had dreamed about when we were adopting Mr. Boy.   For him it was one of the joyous parts of fatherhood.   

Then there was the football coach... Coach Glenn who was kind, encouraging, commanded respect, but was calm and even tempered. He was encouraging and did wonders for Mr. Boys self esteem.  I would find myself in the middle of a fight with Mr. Boy, taking a deep breath and channeling the zen calmness of Coach Glenn.  
 I wished I'd channeled a little bit more of "Zen Coach Glenn" at this moment, but that is beside the point. 
Mr. Boy loved Flag Football this season and even though I was reluctant and even somewhat defiant in the beginning, it turned out to be something I loved too.  In the beginning I brought a stack of magazines and would hardly look up to watch the game, pretty soon, I started leaving the magazines in the car and found myself cheering on the sidelines. (and maybe yelling at a ref...just that one time)
This became an unintentional "Yes" project for me.  Instead of reminding myself that I am going to say, "Yes" to opportunities that come my way, I got talked into this one after saying no several times.  But this is exactly the reason I'm doing this project this year...  to learn and do all the things I would normally be missing out on, because "No" is the easy answer for me.  I'm so glad I said, "Yes" to Football.