5 Stages of Grief (when going out without the kids..)

Years ago, in my college course called  Death and Dying, I learned about  Dr. Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross And The Five Stages of Grief - I never thought, many years later, I'd apply it to my kids' reaction to my night out on the town.

Once in a blue moon, an opportunity arises that gives us a night off from the parenting gig.  Sometimes, this is a night out with the girls, or date night with our spouses.  When you're in the thick of it, these opportunities don't happen very often, so they are appreciated and savored as much as possible.  Don't get me wrong,  I love my kids dearly - and like being around them, but let's be honest, we all need a night out to recharge and enjoy the taste of food that is still hot and adult conversation that is even hotter.  This night out does not involve taking a friend to the restroom every 10 minutes, asking a friend to get out from under the table, or taking a straw wrapper to the eye when a friend's Shirley temple arrives and she blows the straw as hard as she can at your face.  No - this is a night off for laughs and story exchanges, mostly about our precious kids and the silly things they say and do.

If you're anything like me, you find that these nights off are met with resistance and protests from the wee ones.  Maybe they do it because they love us so much - or perhaps they do it to torment us into leaving the house with a purse full of guilt and regret - not sure - but either way, there IS definitely a pattern I've observed before I go out.

I've used to illustrate my issues.

(you can click on it to make it bigger)

Denial - This is when they don't really want to believe that you would even think of leaving them and going out with someone else.  Silly Mommy, you aren't really going out, you're just tricking us! hahahaa!  At this stage, it's all a big joke. 

Anger - Once they realize you are, in fact, serious, the gloves come off and they start with the kidney punches and low blows.  Prepare to hear the laundry list of gripes and wrong doings they've suffered at your hands.   THAT'S NOT FAIR YOU'RE GOING OUT WITHOUT US..YOU NEVER DO ANYTHING FUN WITH US..ALL WE EVER DO IS BORRR-INGGGG.

Bargaining - Be careful - this could be tricky.  They smell fear and guilt and prey on it.  They could easily convince you that staying on the couch in your comfies, while cuddling with them and watching the Goonies would be 100x more fun than wine and cheese with friends.   Mommy if you stay home with us we will cuddle and snuggle and we won't insist on Cartoon Network OR Star Wars! You can pick whatever you want to watch!  You can even have some popcorn - we won't eat it all!
Stay focused - they are getting desperate.

Depression - At this stage, they have just about lost all hope and will try tears, leg grabbing, and tantrums to keep you home.  Daddy gets water and soap in our eyes..he doesn't know how to rinse like YOU do...what will we do without you at bedtime??? Wahhhhhhh I need you mommy!!!    Then it gets just plain old pathetic when they have the after-cry tremors and give up, saying,  Just go...leave us here...that's fine.  We'll be okay.

And then - somewhere between Depression and Acceptance - while you are poking your eye out while rushing to put a coat of mascara on because you are running so late from dealing with their shenanigans that you have approximately 6 minutes to get ready, they are banging on the bathroom door to let you know they've made a deal with the sitter or Dad or Grandma or whoever is watching them and they no longer need you.  We move on to Acceptance with excitement and glee.

Acceptance (of a better deal) -  -------(fill in blank) said as soon as you leave, we could have ice cream for dinner and skip baths and watch Uncle Grandpa on Cartoon Network!   It's gonna be the BEST NIGHT EVERRR. WHEN ARE YOU LEAVING???  GO MAMA, GO.

Please tell me I'm not alone in this charade?

Until next time, I have to go get ready for girls night out  - right after I pick up some ice cream and toppings for the kids,


Adult Education Funnies...

As I looked through my mail over the weekend, I noticed the local community college sent a flyer with their Adult Education Summer class list and saw some fun courses like Hula Hoop Fun,  Fly Tying, Golf, Reiki, Mah Jongg,  Knitting & Quilting, Dog Obedience, Sign Language, Tai Chi,  and  Dance Party Exercise...and I couldn't help but think hmmm those are some interesting little classes now aren't they?  So I said to myself - if I could teach an Adult Education class - or better yet, if I could make some suggestions on Adult Education courses that should  be offered in this crazy world, what would they be?  So here's a fun look at some basic skill courses maybe some people should be required to take or get continuing education credits for.  And I'm curious - what class would you like to see offered in the Ideal World College?  Lol...enjoy...

Ideal World College of Basic Life Skills
Continuing Education Course Schedule
Basic Internet Etiquette 101 (also known as Scrolling for Dummies)
With an emphasis on resisting, refraining, and restraining, this course will walk you through basic ideas on how not to get in fights on the internet. Simple skills like scrolling with your mouse past things you disagree with and avoiding conflict will be the focus of this course. We will spend much of the time doing basic finger strengthening exercises to give your digits the strength they need to scroll fast through temptation. You’ll also learn how not to make vague statements that anger other internet users, and shy away from any type of internet bullying.

Don't know how to scroll past something you see on the Internet? This course is for you!  Sign up NOW!

Bathroom Cleanliness BC100:
This course introduces the student to the toilet paper roll holder, the location of stock of toilet paper, and the paper towels and Lysol wipes in case of missed deposits. Through selected class projects the student will learn fundamentals of setup and of operation of toilet paper holder as well as toxic waste clean up with an emphasis on safety and proper clean up. Upon satisfactory completion of the course the student will gain, at the discretion of the teacher, a certificate in Toilet Paper Changing and Bathroom Cleanliness. Some fun topics like which way to set the roll - over or under, as well as fun with toothpaste globules will be discussed.


Coping with PMS - for men: PMS2013
PMS can be a scary time of the month for everyone! Once you know and understand what suffering from PMS feels like and entails, you will be able to sympathize with her during that time of the month. In this course, you will experience severe cramping , headaches and/or backaches, we’ll show you how it feels to be bloated and nauseous. You’ll experience lightheadedness and a general intolerance for everyone and everything around you.  You will engage in dialogue scenarios and how to answer or comment properly so as not to anger or engage the person sufferering from PMS.  Basic survival and instincts will be taught and practiced.  Learning when to stay quiet, walk away, or tread lightly will be a strong focus of this course. Not for the faint of heart or health. 

Silence.  Shh.  Quiet.  Don't Speak.
Introduction to Household Appliances: HA104This course is a thorough introduction to several large household appliances and their uses in day to day life. Students of this course will be taught by using hands on applications such as preparing and loading the dishes into the dishwasher, pouring in dishwasher soap, and pressings the correct button for several different situations such as China and Stemware, High Temperature settings, Pots and Pans settings, etc. Several other machines such as washing machines, dryers, and vacuum cleaners will be explained, used, and fully explored during this course. Proficiency in emptying a Dyson bin or vacuum bag will be taught as well.  The final exam will involve one full day of housecleaning, using and demonstrating proficiency of least three household appliances.

We'll Teach You!

Intramural Laundry Basketball: LB100This fun course tackles the problematic issue of missing the laundry basket and clothes ending up on the floor just outside the bin. Special drills for aiming, technique and bending over/picking up missed attempts will be the focus. Have fun and get fit during this 3 -week course. Basic objectives will be learning the basic skills needed to get dirty clothes into the laundry basket.

Finding Your Inner GPS Locating System: GPS 101This is a helpful course to experience if you or someone you know has trouble locating things in general. We guarantee after taking this course, you will stop and think before asking someone where something of yours is. Throughout this course you will use objects in the classroom, put them away in a specific place, and then go find them in the place you put them at a later time. Basic as well as Critical thinking skills will be implemented to teach self-reliance and accountability for personal items. Have fun with this course! And always pay attention! The instructor has been known to take car keys and cell phones left on desks and hide them on students who don’t put them away when they get to class! Fun activities such as learning to look with both eyes open and scavenger hunts will be on the syllabus!

Never ask where something is again.  Ever.

Driving for Dummies: DFD200 This informative course will refresh your basic driving skills using the Jim Morrison Philosophy of Keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel. You will be forced to understand the difficulty and danger of driving while drinking a scalding hot Latte, answering incoming texts, and changing the radio station while steering with you knee during a simulated driving course. You will also be required to parallel park while chewing gum, use a rotary, and deal with angry and or clueless drivers at a four- way stop. By the end of this very useful course, you will never use your cell phone while driving again, you will know when to wave in thanks to another courteous driver, and you will be fluent in the art of merging. The course goal is to teach people the art of just driving from point A to point B without distractions, road rage, verbal outbursts and temper flare-ups.

The Morrison School of Thought

So You Want to be a Runner: JOG 101 This brilliant, somewhat pain-free series of classes will do whatever it takes to help you learn to run using several proven methods such as  The Zombie Chase (one of our faculty dresses up as a zombie and chases students through the school hallways in the dark!), the Wine-at-the-finish-line school of thought, (each participant will have their choice of Red, White or Champagne upon finishing the run of the day), as well as several other very successful training courses using a variety of chocolates for positive reinforcement while counteracting negative attitudes toward running with shock and awe methods never before used outside of our classrooms.

Take JOG101 and find out how strong YOUR survival skills really are! 
Acting and Drama BS100:  This award winning class also known as Fake it Till You Make It, teaches the pretend-like-you-know-what-you're doing method of life.  Are you one to panic when you have too many things going?  Can't seem to get your kids' schedules right?  Have a hard time getting organized?  This class is for you.  We will teach you the fundamentals of procrastinating, how to just get by with the bare minimum while making it look like you exerted lots of effort into your projects, and how to be the envy of those around you with minimum exertion.  In this course you will learn how to smile through anything, how to make it appear that you  have it all together, and how to project success even when there's a hot mess going on.

Sign up now! Space is limited!

Cheers and Love,
~Professor DG



Superheroes in Mirror are Closer Than They Appear...

I'm on year 14 with boys.  They are now 14, 7 and 6.  Over the years, I've seen, heard, read story after story about, made and bought costumes of, and endured countless conversations about every hero they've cycled through from Anakin to Zorro.  The other day, as I was reading yet another rant about either Miley or the Biebs and how they are awful role models to kids these days and blah blah, and I asked myself who my hero was growing up. I was trying to think back to who I looked up to when I was a kid.  My family immediately came to mind.

My mom.

No matter what my tortured teenage drama or tweenage moody phases brought me, one thing remained constant and that was my mom's unconditional love and endless supply of confidence in me even when I didn't believe in myself.  She was beautiful and kind and never uttered a bad word about anyone.  She always had a smile on her face even when she was exhausted from making sure my dad, brother and I were taken care of from the start of the day to the finish.  Even now, she is still that person to me.  She wore the cape in the family without even knowing it....and even now, as she pushes herself to take care of my aging grandparents, and her grandchildren - and everyone in between, that cape is still on - slightly faded and tattered, but still full of superpowers.

And I thought of my dad.

My dad was the silent hero.  His powers were different.  He had the power to get up every day and go to work to provide for us.  He sacrificed to give us what we needed.  He educated us and he raised the bar high so that we could aim for better in our lives.  He worried about everyone and everything so that we never had to.

My brother was my idol, too.

He was the big brother everyone wanted.  He was handsome and smart, funny and easy going.  He looked out for me, not with hawk eyes but with gentle charm.  With love and trust, he carved out a path for me and encouraged me often.  He was always there to help with anything I needed.  My brother was the role model that never let me down.  Even when I had nightmares that the Wicked Witch of the West was flying around my room trying to get me, he let me sleep in his room and gave me a blanket and told me there was no such thing as witches.  He helped me conquer my fears.

Over the years, without even knowing it, my family taught me to wear the cape.  When I struggled with a failing marriage and the birth of my first born, they told me I could do it and to stay strong.  I fought the kryptonite with everything I kryptonite was the struggles  I would soon face being a single mom, the fears of leaving a marriage, and admitting to myself and to the world that I was unsuccessful in saving a marriage.   I fought the kryptonite that weakened me in the knees from the intense fear of facing the world alone with a baby.  But I did it.  The cape was on. The cape was the love of my family and friends who supported me unconditionally telling me to look forward, and to believe in a better day - and it worked.  It gave me superpowers.  The power of forgiveness, the power to love myself, the power to live life again without regret.  It was even this power that gave me the courage to love my husband and believe that I was worth a second shot at a beautiful marriage. Wonderwoman had nothing on me.  I was now my own Superhero.

I realized while pondering all of this the other day, that even though my kids have been obsessed for years with all of these characters, the real superheroes have been my husband and me.

Who taught them to be brave while getting a shot at the Dr.'s office even though we, too, were crying inside thinking about their pain or fear? And the times they needed tests run and blood drawn when we were worried about what the outcome would be but played it cool and told them it was going to be just fine?

We did.

Who held them late at night and told them stories of superheroes while we nursed their fevers and silently prayed that it was just a passing virus and nothing more serious?

We did.

Who choked back tears when they begged us not to leave them on their first day of pre-school when really we just wanted to tell them they didn't have to go and scoop them back up in our arms to take them home?

We did.

We are there for them when they have nightmares, when they have a bad day, when they don't feel well, and when they are scared. We have the power to make everything better, to right the wrongs, to lighten the load, and to brighten their days.  We are there for them on the good days, and when they reach what seemed like an unreachable goal we celebrate with them and tell them we never doubted that they could do it  for even a minute. We're teaching them to wear their  very own cape and we are sewing it together with laughter, encouragement and love so that one day they will fly  - no -  not just fly - but soar beautifully and with confidence.

We wear the capes.  Every day.  We smile and laugh and encourage them through so many difficult trials. Things that would be so much easier to not have to do, but we do it.  We use what we have.  We give them our all.  We. Are. Superheroes.  WE are the bright light in their lives. We are teaching them to light their way, too.

We fight against the strongest forces of evil, terrorism, shootings, hurricanes and disasters.  We are brave for our children and tell them about the good guys, even on the days when we ourselves are terrified.  We battle depression and worry and show courage to our kids, even when bravery and courage are the last available emotions we can find.  We look for the good.  We have hope.  We have promise.  We believe that everything will be okay.  We have to do this for their sake.  We become strong for them.  They make us strong.  Because of them, we are superheroes.

We have the power to be the most positive role model our children can have.  We have the ability to be the idols - the superheroes - the superstars.

We wear the capes.

In a world where it seems so rare to find a role model who won't let you down, it's comforting knowing the real good guys are right here in our own home.  Look around you.  Who are your real superheroes?  Girlfriends who get you through even the worst of times?  A teacher you had?  A boss or coworker who is always there to cheer you on or to comfort you or catch you when you fall?  Your spouse? Your kids?  If you pay attention, you'll see the real superheroes are closer than you think.

To the countless teachers who go the extra mile to the kids who might not have someone at home - thank you.
And...To the soldiers who leave their families behind to fight for our freedom - thank you.
And...To the people who stand up for others, help the underdogs, give their time to those less fortunate - thank you.

To all the real 'good guys', near and far...thank you.

Finally, to Superman, Batman & Robin, Luke Skywalker, Harry Potter, Spiderman - and the countless number of fictitious superheroes...thank you for being a pleasant distraction.  I, for one, am grateful my kids have the best of both worlds.

And let's not forget of the greatest superpowers you can possess. 

Cheers, Love and Gratitude,


Coffee Talk: Crimes I've Committed Against Coffee Pots

Let's talk about something no one wants to talk about...Crimes against Coffee.

Most of you know by now I am one of the last dinosaurs that uses a coffee percolator.  Yes, I'm 90 years old stuck in a 40 year old body.  I can't help it.  They make the HOTTEST, most delicious coffee.  My grandmothers still have theirs from their weddings.  (kidding)  The older models lasted for YEARS unlike this crap we buy now that lasts maybe a year if you are lucky.  But seriously, I've tried the rest - all of them - and the best cup of coffee hands down is made by a percolator.  It's too late to turn back now.  I'm committed.

In my morning rush to get my caffeine fix, I may tend to be a little rough with my coffee pot-especially the top with the crystal peep hole where you can see the coffee popping up and making that soft percolating noise that sends excitement through my body in anticipation of my first sip.  The other day, I was getting the pot ready when I noticed that part of the top was wiggly.

Dammit!  Another one bites the dust!  Stupid cheap parts made in China! (I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that I yank that sucker off with the might of a gorilla).

I ignored the warning of a possible future malfunction and made the coffee anyway.  It came out fine, no problems.  The next day, it was a little more wiggly, and again, my addiction led to poor choices.  I chose to percolate once again and ignore the fact that my pot had finally suffered enough abuse at my hand.  It was planning its revenge.  Quietly percolating, and plotting at the same time.

Let's take a side step here and discuss the one thing I hate about percolators.  There is no auto-brew timer. This means one has to actually wake up, go make the coffee and...gasp...wait.   No emotional Folger's commercials are played out here where I actually smell the fresh brewing coffee while I'm still in bed and take a long, dramatic stretch and smile in excitement of waking up to Folgers in my cup.  No.  I have to trip down the stairs, fumble through the Lazy Susan, and then - get this - I'm expected to accurately count scoops to get it ready to go.  Gawd these people want so much from me!

So a few days ago, I made my morning pilgrimage to the coffee pot, prepared it successfully and went back upstairs to get ready for the day ahead.  I came back down just a few minutes later to see if it was ready yet and saw my very own coffee geyser exploding in my kitchen.  Hot...steamy...semi-brewed coffee blowing out of the spot where the wiggly crystal top once lived atop of her stainless steel castle.  The coffee continued to spew with force - covering my kitchen cabinets, counter tops, and floor with coffee.

Another one bites the dust.

I was tempted to open my mouth and just start trying to drink any of the coffee that was flying through the air, but I happen to like my face the way it looks without 3rd degree burns from coffee gluttony.  I held back my tears...because believe me, this mess and loss of morning coffee was worth crying over, and I began to clean.

As I was cleaning, a flood of memories came back to me of coffee messes of mornings' past that I endured. So many relationships with other coffeemakers, like bad old boyfriends you never forget.  Mr. Coffee was one of them.  What an asshole that coffee pot was.  I made more coffee errors during my sleep deprived newborn baby days with that thing than you can imagine.  Once I even scooped formula in it instead of coffee.   He was very unforgiving for that mistake.  Then there was the time I had the Cuisinart with the timer I talked about earlier - only I forgot to put the carafe under it so I woke up to a flood of coffee on my floor instead.   What?  I left it right next to the coffeemaker - didn't it have the sense to will it over to the hot burner where it belonged?   For the record, I did cry that day.  I also recall grabbing the glass coffee carafe too hastily one morning and smashing the glass into a thousand little pieces before I had my first cup. Maybe I am a coffee pot abuser.  I have committed too many crimes against coffeemakers.

How are we supposed to function if we haven't had our coffee yet?  It's not our fault!
Everyone thinks I should own a Keurig.  I don't want one.  We had one where I used to work and I swear to you every single time I went to make a cup of lukewarm coffee, the water fill indicator light was one.  What the hell people??? When you work with a bunch of guys, however, this is what happens.  They want a second or third cup in the morning, but catch a glimpse of the blue light and keep walking, hoping someone else will fill it.  The coffee is terrible if you ask me - but that's just my opinion.   I like my Percolator.  I'm ruined for life.

Lazy.  But I totally get her complaint.

I drove over to our local Kitchen Collection and went straight to the coffee makers to get a replacement.

There were no percolators left.

The saleswoman asked if she could help me find something.

Please tell me you have a percolator in stock? (panicking)

She scoffed and answered, "yeahhh, nooo...we are not carrying those anymore - there's just no demand for them"

I'll show you demand!  

I choked back the tears as I thought about having to order one online and WAIT for it to ship.

"Could I interest you in a Keurig??"

I left skid marks.



Until next time, it's time to stand up against pot abuse...
Let's get it percolatin' while we're waitin'...
Cheers and Love,