Music Meloncholy

Today I put all of our CD’s in storage.

Music CD’s not Money CD’s in case you were confused. (As if.)

I found it really hard to do. 

But I’m on a quest for de-cluttering my house before the holidays start. Those babies are nothing but dust collectors and space taker uppers. 

But they also symbolize over twenty five years of Grant’s and my life together. 

When we first met I think we were both still listening to the occasional cassette tape. I still have two huge cases filled with cassettes including some of my favorite mixes that I had recorded in high school using a recorder sitting NEXT to the RADIO. You had to totally pay attention if you wanted to cut out the commercials. The Walkman was the greatest invention of all time and pencils were not just for writing with: they were, with their erasers, the trick to winding messy mayhem back into crucial life tunes. 

We also both had (and still have) an extensive collection of records that we combined with our vows of ‘till death parts us unless you decide suddenly you don’t like music-then you’re OUT’. I have known a couple of really nice people in my life who don’t care all that much about music but I would NEVER have married one. 

Did you KNOW that the invention of the compact disc is mostly credited to James T Russell who was born in Bremerton Washington in 1931? He lives in MY STATE! Who knew?! In 1965 he joined Pacific Northwest National Laboratory of the Battelle Memorial Institute in Richland Washington. He is still alive as of right now but I’m not sure where he is living. I’d like to write him a thank you letter. Anyhow, that is your history lesson for the day. You’re welcome. 

Putting the CD’s away I was filled with melancholy. There were SO MANY homemade playlists: ones we made for our kids and ones our kids made for us when they got tech savy. “Stuff Mom Will Like”. Hundreds of purchased CD’s, used until they skipped from the scratches. Thousands of songs that would take a book to list, because of the memories they bring to the light.

When I was working in Montana for a week, super pregnant with Maria, I came home to a major event: Grant had traded his beloved truck in for a fifteen passenger van, later named The Rambuski. It was the ugliest thing I had ever seen and I honestly thought he had lost his mind. “I just thought it was time to show you that I’m ALL IN with this kid thing. I’m down. But I also spent two thousand dollars on a stereo system with six speakers.”

That van rocked Spokane and we filled it up with kids, their friends, football teams, soccer players cub scouts and there was NEVER a time when the stereo was not playing full blast, little heads and big heads bouncing up and down to request of the minute. Oh those memories, they just fill my eyes. Every kid remembers that rocking van, and the white one we bought later, the Whitebuski, that was traded in this year, with a Tom Petty CD still stuck in the player, for Grant’s dream truck. It took fifteen years to come full circle, complete with Bluetooth to play songs on his phone. 

We can put the CD’s away because now we have a family Spotify account. I lied about the Walkman being the greatest invention of all time: it’s second. To be able to listen to any piece of music on the face of the planet with a 4 second search? 

An epic gift from the universe. 

I can climb into history, take myself to a life moment that comes back in full color and smell from a song. Or into the minds of my children when then send me a song they love via text. I love to try to feel what they feel when they listen to a song. 

I will put the CD’s next to the box of records and cassettes and we will play them for the grandchildren and they will be in AWE of our ancient and strange artifacts.   

Plus, just in case there is a zombie apocalypse we will still have music to listen to, provided there’s gas for a generator. It’s good to be prepared. 

It’s Not about the Size of Your Pants but How you Play the Game

It’s our anniversary and so we start the day with breakfast and mimosas to toast 25 years together.

Grant: Did you notice our waitress has bitchy resting face?

Me: Her lipstick is really bright so I was mostly just looking at that. Are you getting a bad vibe? I’m just worried she’s not gonna ever bring us another mimosa. One doesn’t seem like enough to celebrate such a long time. It feels like a miracle. Though my parents were married 26 years before they divorced so we should be careful about celebrating too loudly.

Grant: You have to take off their separation time. So really, we have already beat your mom and dad.

Me: Yes! We’re winning. I would toast to that but I’m empty.

Grant: Crap. I forgot to take a stomach pill.

Me: Let’s for sure buy some stomach pills. Otherwise we won’t be able to have snacks, lunch, more snacks and then dinner. With drinks in between all of that. Good stomach health is important today.

The waitress brings us our check. She does indeed have bitchy resting face. But I overhear her talking about her three little boys to another customer. So we tip her well even though she was slow to bring us our second mimosa. Little boys can cause bitchy resting face.

We stop at Walgreens for stomach pills. I get completely paralyzed in the mascara section. My GOD: do I need long, thick, plump, or voluminous lashes? Very black, kind of black, ebony, brown-black, or brown lashes?  I buy mascara MAYBE once a year and always find myself so torn. I find Grant in the aisle where they sell things like orthopedic socks and bedside toilets and we make a few discoveries. For $18.99 you can buy a fork, spoon and knife with a red handle that apparently helps increase eating for people with dementia. We giggle at something to help relieve strain in the scrotal area. It helps with fatigue “down there”. It’s important to stay in tune with the latest medical aids. Especially Grant who is in his 50’s now. I myself am only 49, so it will be a few years before I need scrotal aid.

In addition to stomach pills and mascara, I find a wooden G & H to decorate. Maybe for our 26th anniversary celebration. Go big or go home on this day I say.


Grant: Where to next wife?

Me: I could use some work pants. I don’t have a single pair of pants that I can button and I am tired of wearing moo-moos and cute boots. Cute boots are a lame attempt to try and mask the fact that I am wearing a moo-moo. Plus one of my boots has a hole in the heel and little rocks keep getting in there.  It’s rattly when I walk. Embarrassing.

Grant: So we should look for new cute boots?

Me: No. I can duct tape the hole. I need pants. Winta’s comin. It just seems so NON anniversaryish, buying pants.

We go to the mall with the intent of finding pants to fit my bigger than last year’s butt and a new Seahawks hat for Grant. While he stops at a sports store with hats in it I wander into the most expensive store in the mall just to touch a few things and try and get an idea of what today’s fashion is. A twelve year old sales girl swoops in on me and pretends to be my new best friend. “Whaty up to today?” I just don’t feel like explaining to her what I’m up to, mostly because I’m just not sure what I’m up to, so I put down the $200 pair of black pants I am looking at and mumble something about needing a snack before I find the perfect pants. The music was just too loud anyway.

I turn into the store next door for women who have “real butts and such” thinking maybe this will be my mecca land. But if feels fraudulent in there because all the pants are cleverly folded backwards to look like size two pants when they are really size twenty or more, like the pants should be ashamed for being a bigger size. I can not support hypocrisy.  Plus I’m mostly NOT a size twenty and I don’t want a repeat of six months ago when I went to the thrift store and bought a bunch of size twenty clothing, explaining to Grant that I was “planning ahead”. Hence the moo-moos. That I thought I could make cute with boots.

I walk out and see Grant sitting on a bench. No hat. So far shopping is a bust.

We walk further down the mall.

Me: Maybe I should buy a new bra. My favorite one is falling apart.

Grant: There’s Victoria’s Secret! We could go in there!

He is suddenly interested in shopping.

Me: No. I hate those people and always will. Ever since I wanted to buy a cute bra when I was gigantico prego with Daniel and asked if they had a 42 triple D and that awful brat sales girl just turned her nose up at me and said “we don’t carry sizes that big”. I wanted to DIE. And when I turned to leave the store, my big belly and boobs knocked over a stupid skinny mannequin.

Grant: She was just jealous of your giant boobs. But NO. Let’s not go there. They are bad, bad people at Victoria’s Secret.

He is saying these words but his body is steering us both toward the store. We laugh and I tug him in a different direction.

Me: Now THIS looks promising! I like some of these outfits!

Grant patiently sits back down on a bench and I walk into the nice, dignified quiet store and start looking through what I think are wonderful styles. FINALLY! I have about ten items in my arms to try on when I look up and around me and realize that the only people in the store are women in their 70s and 80s. I’m not kidding. There is NO ONE under the age of 70 in the store. Granted they were all very lovely and well dressed women but the moo-moos have been bad enough on my ego. Not only am I not a size 20 I am not even CLOSE to being eighty and so should MAYBE not dress this way. I put the clothes back on the rack, quietly exit the store and sit down on the bench next to Grant with a dramatic sigh.

Me: I don’t fit ANYWHERE. I don’t know who I AM anymore. I belong NOWHERE. God I hate shopping.

Grant: Then why in God’s name are we here? We should be drinking our second breakfast.

Me: Yes! Let’s get the hell out of here.

We walk through Kohl’s on our way to the car and I am practically knocked over in shock by the most perfect, cutest little dress I have ever seen and it is only $29.00! I grab a size large and hold it up for Grant.

Me: Look!!!! Finally a dress as cute as my nightgowns. OMG I’m so buying this! Can I buy this?

Grant: Sure. But that IS a nightgown. Though I bet it would look great with your cute rattly boots!

I look around and realize we are in the pajama department

Me: Well who the fuck would put the pajama section right at the entrance of store. Everyone knows it’s supposed to be in the BACK of the store!  I’m so pissed! I was in love with this dress until I found out it was a nighty. The world is a cruel place.

Grant: Yes it is. I have yet to find the perfect Seahawks hat so I feel your pain. Let’s go drown our sorrows.

Though I DO actually find some new pants before we leave the mall. I buy two different sizes of the same style: one sort of snug and one sort of loose. Because I just don’t know which direction I am gonna go right now in terms of butt size. And GOD only knows when I will go shopping again.

But then we go to Jack and Dan’s for a beer. We hunker up to the bar and I see this brick with the initials G H S engraved in it.

Me: OMG! It’s our initials! It’s a sign that we ARE winning! And that we are FINALLY in the right place!

And we clink our drinks to further proof that we are winning. Even though we both know the initials stand for Gonzaga High School, the private high school four of our six kids have attended so far.

We are both just happy to still be playing the game.



I’d Make a Great Socialist if I Wasn’t Such a Brat: Part One

The other day, my four youngest were all kind of flopping around staring into their technology like sweaty summer sloths so I challenged them to find the presidential candidate that they liked the best and write down at least three reasons why they would vote for that person.

Their first question was “Is this for your blog?” A couple of them were frowning.


“It might be I’m not sure. It’s just that since the GOP debate I am wondering what your thoughts are, so just be completely honest. There are a lot of candidates from multiple parties. so do your research. Just don’t pick Hillary Clinton. Bahahaha.”

At first they were all chatty and smack talkish. But then there was this delightful pause while they used their iPods, iPhones, iPads for research. Life has changed so much with technology and it can be quite fantastic when it is put to thoughtful use.  I could just feel their witty wheels turning.

My children have a lot of things to say about a lot of things. One evening we were sitting around the pool, our feet dangling in the cooling water and the conversation went from what an existential crisis was to Irish slavery to an asteroid scheduled to hit the earth in 2029 to the idea of Hillary Clinton being elected president to how many water bugs might be in the pool to should we save the bee floating toward the filter to the question ‘is all life valuable?’ and so on. Until someone splashed someone and then intelligent conversation turned into screeching and more splashing and then water got in my wine so I left. Mostly because my brain hurt and I needed to go google a few things.

I am always torn between delight and pissed-offed-ness when my children prove to be smarter than me.

But I like to think I am wiser.

I like to let them tell. And then ask questions.

So I am at LEAST more annoying than they are. Mitchel may have been wrongly accused as being the biggest “ask-hole” in the family.

Now. It was requested that I put “in verbatim” what my children wrote down about their choice for president. And so I have done this.  But I did not say that I would not comment on their words. Or make them dig deeper. SO there will be a part two to this blog when they have answered my questions. Or commented to my comments. There are no rules except that a thought out response is required.

Or else they won’t get dinner.

Dinner that their dad cooks. Just to clarify that it would be punishment.

I’m sorry my beautiful smart children. Your mother is a socialist-want-to-be who loves a good chat. And you are each up to the challenge of a brat. That rhymes!

Daniel (14) was finished first. He likes to be the fastest. His choice was Ted Cruz for the following reasons:

  1. educated from Harvard and Princeton
  2. former advisor of Domestic Policy to former President George Bush
  3. US Senator from Texas
  4. Against Planned Parenthood
  5. Appointed to four Senate committees
  6. His middle name is Rafael Edward, that’s cool
  7. He’s really funny in the debates
  8. Lastly he was born on December 22nd, three days before Jesus, that’s cool


  • How does an education at Harvard and Princeton make one better qualified to be president? Were you hoping to go to Harvard and Princeton? Crap. You better start mowing some lawns.
  • Which George Bush was he an advisor to?
  • What things was he “for” when it came to domestic policy? What IS domestic policy?
  • In what ways is he against planned parenthood?
  • Are you saying we should have given you a cooler middle name than Arthur?
  • I agree that one would need a sense of humor to be president. You might stand a chance even WITH a boring middle name. But you COULD change your name to Daniel Jesus Siwinski. That would be cool.  But I think you have to wait until you are 18.

David (12) was next to finish. His choice was Jeb Bush. He wrote only the required three reasons and with briefness because I am pretty sure he wanted to get back to some important game he was playing on his iPod. And that’s okay. He’s twelve. I think. David: are you twelve?

  1. Instead of dividing the country he wants to unite it
  2. Let businesses express religious freedom against gays
  3. I like the other Bush Presidents


  • Do you think our country is divided? How so? What ways would Jeb Bush fix this?
  • Do you think our family is divided, considering the fact that we disagree about something every four minutes?  If so, what are some ways you would unite our family?
  • How would you rephrase number 2 to explain your thinking in a more loving and careful way but not compromise your own beliefs? 
  • Wait, were you even born when the other Bush’s were president? Why do you like them?

Maria (16) chose Rand Paul and wrote a front and back dissertation as to why. In pink pen.

  1. Helped find an anti-tax organization in his years serving Kentucky, will hopefully do the same with our country
  2. Extremely intelligent and well spoken at the debate (during the parts I saw)
  3. Strong faith
  4. Pointed out why Hillary Clinton sucks
  5. Performs well in Colorado, which is an important saving state vote against Hillary
  6. Wants to end surveillance on American citizens, in other words believes the importance of our privacy
  7. Wants to end “crony-ism” and that means wrongfully appointing friends or relatives to positions of authority
  8. Wants to reduce national debt
  9. Wants to “preserve” the social security system for seniors who have worked long and hard and planned their lives around that system
  10. Wants to repeal Obama Care
  11. Stern with the media, sometimes angry


  • Explain the anti-tax organization in Kentucky. Do you think it is possible to fund necessary social programs without taxes??
  • In what ways does Hillary Clinton suck?
  • Wait, are we being watched right now? Should I put on some lipstick?
  • So are you saying you wouldn’t appointment me as queen of something cool when you are president? Well what the hell is the point of being your mother then?
  • How would YOU reduce our national debt?
  • Do you think there will be social security when you are at retirement age? Or will you get to retire 10 years after you are dead instead of 2 years, like me?
  • Do you think that being stern/angry with the media will harm his chances of winning in the primaries? Does stern/angry help anything?

Mitchel (10) chose Hillary Clinton. Yeah.

  1. One reason is that it would be good is because she went to Wellesly College. And because it would be cool because she could be the FIRST GIRL President!!!!
  2. Hillary Clinton is a young 67 year old Democrat and she was born on October 29, 1947. So she would be a young president.
  3. Everytime she does something in government, she talks to people about it so she can have good advice before she does it
  4. She is a former secretary of state and she was first lady at one point


  • Where is Wellesly College?
  • Can you tell me three things that a “girl” would do better as president than a “boy”?
  • There is another “girl” running in the primaries. Tell me her name and how she is different from Hillary?
  • I am so GLAD you think 67 is young! Why is being young a good thing when you are president?
  • Do you think it is important to ask the RIGHT people for advice when you are making important decisions? Can you give me an example of when you asked the WRONG people for advice?
  • What does a first lady do?
  • What does a secretary of state do?
  • Which of these jobs do you think is the most interesting?

So. This is a lot to mull over for my kids and I look forward to hearing what they each have to say from their own unique perspective of place and time. Stay tuned for part two.

Or a post on life without dinner.

Either or.

I, myself, have been pondering the possibility of a utopian world where every person is able to look outside their current set of circumstances, past their own fears and hang-ups and contribute to the world with free will (it can not be forced by the government) using their time, talent and treasure, each according to his or her own ability without any kind of distinguishment between race, gender, religion, pants size, physical/mental ability, income level, hair color, sexual orientation etc.

How about we use the fact that we are all breathing as our common denominator? We all want to keep breathing right? How about for each breath we take IN we savor ourselves for who we are and when we breathe OUT we delight in all the other breaths taken in at the very moment of our selfless exhale.


What’s Five More Minutes? (A Creative Reenactment)

Heather had thought there would be some breathing space (a.k.a. time to get some of the work done she was PAID to do) once she dropped the kids off at school.


Within 20 minutes of dropping the three little boys off at school the phone rings.

Its the school. The one she was just at.

Her littlest one is on the line:  “Om. Un oth th thinth fel owt oth iy outh”

“Um, what?”

“I udent urt ut ad’s anna e ad.”

It sounds like he has marbles in his mouth which makes her think about the musical “My Fair Lady”…Audrey Hepburn…she was so beautiful…the rain in Spain…one of her favorites…she drifts off for a second.


“Oh. Sorry sweety. What’s wrong with your mouth? Slow down and quit talking like a weirdo.”

He clears his throat dramatically and continues slowly: “A iece um i outh a a orfaoanis ut in ame ow.”

Now she understands. The orthodontist put a metal expander in the upper part of his mouth to begin the process of getting his constantly moving little jaw aligned better. Something must have broken on it. “Did you sneak Laffy Taffy again? Is this why you are calling me and not your dad? Orthodontist stuff is a blue job. You know that.”

There is a long pause which means he is guilty.

“Is it giving you pain or are you just worried you are in trouble?”

“I’m worried dad’s gonna kill me.” It’s a miracle, the drama boy can suddenly speak clearly.

“Okay. Good. Go back to class. We will deal with the broken part and your dad later. No kid has been killed to date so you’re probably safe on this one. But NO MORE chewy stuff dude.”

“K. Love you mom.”

“K. Love you too.”

She hangs up only to see that there are three texts from her one and only daughter.

“I forgot to take my face medicine this morning!”

“What should I DO?”

“Mom! This is a crisis! Why are you not responding?”

Heather sighs. The medicine is crucial to her daughter. It’s getting her beautiful face clear so she can worry about other important things like when her braces will come off and how soon she can get contacts and pass her driving test so she can get her license and not need her mother anymore. Heather turns the car around to head back to the house to retrieve the miracle pill, dictating to SIRI a text:

“I will bring it to you after my 10 am appointment.  If you take it at lunch you will be fine.”

“Thanks mom. Loves ya.”

Heather gets back to the house to find both dogs guiltily lounging on the couches. The old yellow lab thinks she is in big trouble and starts coughing. Stress makes her cough more than usual. Then she starts shaking and needs some comforting. There was a time that couch lounging did get her in trouble but not now during her last days. But as Heather strokes and soothes the old girl she glares at the dopey black lab which is enough to make him shamefully creep off the couch and get in his $80 luxury dog bed.

Dog soothing accomplished she puts daughter’s pill in a baggy and TRIES to ignore all the dishes that have been left on the counter from breakfast but then does them. What’s another five minutes?

Dishes done, floor swept, pill baggy in hand Heather calmly heads downtown to her ten o’clock appointment. When she is almost there she receives yet another phone call from the younger boys’ school. This time it is from fifth born boy child who tearfully says he has forgotten his band instrument. Band is after lunch and he will get a bad grade if he doesn’t have his $50 pawn shop cornet to blow badly on. Seriously? Their school was four blocks from the house. But twenty five minutes from downtown. “Shit” she thinks but doesn’t say out loud. If she even speaks sternly to him he will cry which is embarrassing when you are at school.  Luckily she is still in dog soothing mode. “I will drop it off at the office before lunch sweetie.” and she hears her blue eyed blondie son sigh with relief.

Heather finishes her downtown appointment by 10:45 am and zips to the high school and meets her daughter at the bench and does the drug deal. Back to the house by 11:10 am she finds the band instrument under a pile of dirty clothes which she throws in the washing machine. The dirty clothes. Not the horn. What’s five more minutes?

When she drops the horn off at the office she sees that the littlest one is sitting outside the principal’s office. Again. She considers walking away but figures she will be late to her lunch appointment anyway.

“What did you do now buddy?” His teacher doesn’t understand his creatively rambunctious spirit and Heather is pretty sure the woman follows him around waiting for him to do something stupid.

“I was flicking my origami football across the room. A lot.”

“And THAT’S why you’re here? That’s seems like a silly reason to be sent to the principal’s office.”

“Well. When I got in trouble for that, my teacher told me to erase the board as punishment.”


“Well, I erased the board like she told me too…”


“Well I guess I wasn’t supposed to erase the stuff that had been up there all year, just the stuff from the day.” He is smirking.

“Sooo…I have an appointment at noon…you got this?”

“Oh yeah. I’ll be fine. There’s only eight weeks left of school. I won’t let her break my spirit mom.”

“Well. Maybe you should tone your spirit down for eight weeks. You erased the whole board on purpose, yes? What would happen if you did something like that at home?”

“You’d threaten to beat me but then send me to my room.”

“Yeah. Okay. Well.  We’ll talk more after school. I gotta go. It will probably be  an early bedtime for you tonight. Stop being dumb. Be respectful to your teacher. Eight weeks dude.”

“K. Bye mom. I love you.” His chubby cheeks face is all serious at the thought of how hard it will be to not do stupid things for eight whole weeks. Fourth grade is hard.

She drives away feeling kind of sad for him. But his teacher WON’T break his spirit. That’s the five siblings’ job. And so far they have only made him stronger. SIRI informs her lunch appointment that she will be five minutes late.

Heather enjoys a nice lunch with a long time customer/friend trying to ignore her phone that is vibrating and beeping in her purse. If it’s work it can wait till after lunch. But the way the day has gone so far she figures she’d better make sure there were not any more kid issues. “Will you excuse me for a minute?” She says to her friend. “I just need to figure out why this thing is so active.”

Sure enough, in addition to a whole bunch of work stuff, number two son is at job number two with excruciating shoulder pain. There are five texts from him:

“I have serious pain in my shoulder…”

“Hello? Are you there?”

“Is there anyway you could get me one of those warming pain patches and bring it to work?”


“Ummm. Does this mean no? Thanks. Thanks a lot.”

And the school has called again. Number four son has left a message to remind her that he has his incoming freshman Honors English placement test at the high school at 3:30pm today. As though she would forget such a thing. He has major trust issues.

“Shit. I completely forgot about that” she whispers. Her friend asks if everything is ok. She grins. “It’s kid emergency day. It typically comes in sixes and usually happens when there is only one parent in town. There should only be one crisis left but number six son had two in one day so I might be off the hook.”

“What were you thinking having so many kids?” her friend asks her with a smile. He knows how much she adores her children.

Her phone beeps again. It’s her oldest. A simple text:

“Just wanted to tell you I love you mom. Hope your day is going good.”

She shows her friend the last text, beaming. “Too much thinking gets in the way of the creative spirit, don’t you think? I’m so glad I wasn’t thinking.”

FullSizeRender (13)

Yes Mom, We WOULD be Grossed Out

Grant asks me the other day: “Why are you saving these containers?”

Dog Food1


(Please try hard to ignore my 1960’s counter-top. But of course now that I have pointed it out you are totally noticing. So I will point out that there is no sense updating my house until my children and Grant all move out. They will just wreck it.)

I say “For the kids’ lunches. They keep throwing away my good containers.”

He looked at me funny and then asked “Have you asked them if it’s okay?”

“No. Why would I do that? Who cares? It’s about helping the environment. And I am tired of buying new containers. They’re perfect for yogurt or pudding or left over ravioli.”

“Well now they will throw away the container AND the food. They are going to be totally grossed out.”

“Oh they will not! They probably won’t even notice.”

“You should ask them.”

So I asked them: “Would you be grossed out if I put these in your lunches?”

David: “Would you take the wrapper off the outside?”

Me: “Yes.”

Dog Food2

David: “Yeah, I’d probably still be grossed out.”

Maria: “OMG Mom! Please don’t do that to me.”

Me: “But it would be sanitized and I would take the wrapper off.”

Maria: “But it still says Beneful on the lid. People would KNOW there used to be dog food in there.”


Dog Food3

Dillin: “You don’t PACK ME lunches any more but I think that would be totally funny.I wish you would pack me lunches still.”

Duncan was not available for feed back. Because he moved out. OMG! We are practically empty nesters!

Dan: (He just shut his bedroom door on me. Weird.)

Mitchel: “Would there still be dog food in it?”

Me: “No.”

Mitchel: “Darn.”

Minus One for Talking

Parent teacher conferences were this week for the three little boys at our K-8 school. Last year I was conveniently out of town for these conferences so my husband had to go it alone. Which sucked for him. This year it felt like he might have been threatening me when he said “You better f’ing go this year or I am leaving you.” I’m not sure.

I personally think that if your kids have a 3.6 GPA or higher you should not be required to go to conferences.

It should be a national law.

I thought up this law after our first two mostly passed high school. Those two don’t count on the Siwinski GPA average. They were the test kids. An experiment to prove that being a helicopter parent (hovering over them while they do their homework, to the point of learning Spanish and re-learning Geometry and memorizing Robert Frost poems) doesn’t improve your child’s grades if they TOO are not engaged in the process. 2nd born actually called his mid-quarter math grade a ‘healthy F’ his senior year. Both are now doing fine. Going to college. Paying their way. Mostly getting it done. So whatever. I could have saved myself a lot of effort. But I do love Robert Frost. So there is that.

My daughter, whom we have rarely every helped with homework, would literally have an aneurism if she had a Healthy F. I had to talk her off a cliff when she got a B. In P.E.

For the record Maria, I got a really healthy F in P.E. in the 8th grade for non-participation. It was the P.E. uniforms. They showed sweat and made me look fat. I was chubby and sweaty back then. You could not pay me enough money to be a teenager again .Its way funner being chubby and sweaty in your forties.

Maria did get kicked out of choir in the 8th grade for talking. And she had to write a lot of apology notes to the school librarian. For talking. Now that I think about it, she talks a lot. But her GPA has always been good.

Daniel and David, the next in line, I’m not sure what grade they are in, have pretty much just breezed through school. Both are very competitive so thank goodness this first quarter they had the exact same (very good) GPA. It stopped a lot of heckling, which can be annoying. These are two more children we have rarely helped with homework. The only constructive thing their teachers had to say about them is that they both talk a lot. Weird. Do you see a trend? Those two never stop talking.

So when Mitchel came home with a sucky report card, this quarter, the first year that he was given a GPA instead of checks/plus/minuses or 1s, 2s, 3s we knew that both of us were for sure going to need to be at his conference. For moral support. And so that we wouldn’t be able to blame the other one for what ever bad stuff the teacher said about him.

This test score pretty much summed up the conference:

Minus One for Talking

In case you can’t read that it says minus one for talking. I don’t remember actually signing this. He got in trouble in the third grade for forging Grant’s signature, so it MIGHT be a forgery. I should maybe be setting aside a little each month for bail money. But I probably signed it.  

Both Grant and I just kind of nodded at each other and knowingly said “Ahhh. Yeah. He does that at home too. A lot. We will work on this.”

Mitchel has pretty much been banned from talking until he gets his grades up. Talking is clearly a distraction for him. And our helicopter is in the shop.

I Can’t Stop Blowing Bubbles

I remember when having two pieces of Hubba Bubba bubble gum in my mouth was just the BEST.

That was when I was 12.

I just now put a piece of it in my mouth: Hawaiian Punch flavor and it’s bringing me back to my childhood a bit. It used to be my favorite flavor and I continuously got in trouble with Mr. Lee, my very incredible sixth grade teacher, for having gum in my mouth. I KNOW my mouth was a lot smaller when I was twelve. But now my mouth feels completely stuffed! How did I ever chew two pieces? One piece is kind of making me gag. I suddenly have a different perspective on how Mr. Lee must have seen his obnoxious students with their mouths stuffed full of contraband gum. You can’t learn when you are busy trying to be cool with a giant, pink slimy, sugary glob in your mouth.

I for sure can’t write with it in my mouth; I can’t take myself seriously. Plus it’s hard to blow manageable bubbles with that much gum.

So I just took half of it out of my mouth and pressed it into the bottom side of my desk. For old time’s sake.

OMG! Seriously? I would never do that!  Never in my entire life have I ever done that.

If you are the kind of person to stick your gum under desks and restaurant tables, I’m sorry we just can’t be friends. I think you need to seek help because there are probably other really awful things you do as well. I bet you had a booger wall when you were a kid. I bet you STILL have a booger wall. (Siwinski children: you KNOW who you are!) I think I just coughed down a little bit of throw-up.

As far as I am concerned there are only two ways to dispose of gum: swallow it or spit it into a garbage can. (Please make note, boogers have different rules.)

Sometimes I am a gum swallower. I do not completely believe what all our mothers used to say about swallowing gum:

“You will never digest it and it will stay in your stomach until you are so filled with undigested pieces of gum that you won’t be able to poop for the rest of your life unless you have an operation.”

Wait. Your mom never said that to you? Oh.

But the Hubba Bubba? There is no swallowing this big old piece of rubber: it would for SURE would stop me up for at least a few days.

I don’t think spitting your gum out your car window, or on the sidewalk, or into the bushes, or on your bedroom floor is proper either. Other people STEP on that shit! Just sayin.

If you honestly can not find a garbage can and are afraid of constipation, stick it behind your ear until you can properly dispose of it.

FYI: peanut butter takes gum out of hair quite efficiently.

I’m not sure how to get it off glasses. I’ve never had that happen before today.