Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Lunch with Old McDonald

Wi & Wa think that the man who owns Old McDonald's farm also owns McDonalds. Granted the Kroc family has tons of moola and might just own a farm, but it's funny when they ask if we can go to Old McDonalds.

Actually it is not funny. My Mom made a comment a few weeks ago that my boys had been to more fast food places in their short three years than we (her own children) did during our whole time at her house. She did not mean it as an attack, nor does she think of it as a negative. They had less money and less access than we do now.

Still, I never wanted to be one of those parents. And yet lack of planning on my part means that I am swinging through a drive-thru grabbing grub.

A few months ago E and I made the decision to cut back on our fast food. This isn't the first time we have revamped our eating habits. Partly because eating out wastes money and partly because eating out adds pounds really quickly. This time we added a new reason, and it has me viewing eating in a different light. The reason started when Wa tried to get a drink of my Diet Coke. And I refused, causing him to through a gigantic fit. Then I realized, I was drinking something that I wouldn't let my kid drink. Why? Shouldn't I feel comfy that the things I am giving myself are things I can give my kids?

So the other day when the boys asked if we could go to Old McDonalds I immediately said no. Here's the thing, they did not want to go there to eat, but rather to play in the playland. I'll refrain from a tangent on the massive marketing ploys that are directed at kids, but since I gave into going this time, I cannot.

I packed PB&Hs, juice boxes, and treats and headed to the golden arches. I went knowing that I was going to buy apples there, since we didn't have any fresh fruit at home. I figured I would still be a 'paying customer' but on my terms but then allowing us to use the playland.

It worked. The staff at McDonalds said nothing to me. The boys at their food and played on the playland. In fact they ate their sandwiches better than they have ever eaten their chicken nuggets.

Then again, it didn't work. The revolt that I was expecting from the staff came from a place I wasn't expecting. The other moms. I say moms not because I am sexist but because on this day at this time, it was only moms. I was absolutely surprised by how many moms, having said nothing to me during our other outings to McDonalds, spoke to me. And there was only one subject 'Are those peanut butter sandwiches?'. To be fair, I'm not sure if the comments stemmed from the moms wondering why they'd never hatched such a plan or if they were judging me. It felt like the latter. Especially when one mom, who was clearly judging me, picked up her food from our table and said that she was moving tables because she 'did not want to make my kids jealous'.

At some point I'll blog on the 'mommy world' which is sometimes worse than high school. But for now I think I'll need to say is:


That's ok. If she doesn't want my kids to be jealous of her kids' death meals that's fine by me. I will say that in my head I wanted to walk up to her and tell her kids that Ronald McDonald killed Old McDonald's chicken and cows in order to make their food.


Now playing: Chicago Public Radio - #339: Break-Up
via FoxyTunes

Monday, August 27, 2007

Oh the places I'll go...

I'm feeling overly wanderlusty today. Not sure what the reason is. Maybe it is because we've traveled a lot in the past few months. Nothing far but travel nonetheless. For my high school graduation my Mom gave me this book:

The reason for the gift had more to do with the adventures that I would have and the life experiences I was about to encounter than actual places to visit. Regardless my parents have always done a good job of providing us with adventures of exploring new places and peoples. That foundation has led each of us to have a hunger for travel and exploration. Some of us kids do it more than others...

Looking at this map of all of the states that I have been makes me realize how much more there is to see. It's funny though because my desire is not just to 'travel' to the various places I haven't been, but to really experience the places I go. That was the best part of Chicago this last trip. My sister and I were in no rush to do the touristy things...but rather to breathe in the city itself. For a moment there I felt like I belonged. That is how I prefer to travel. Not a quest to see the things that others have deemed important, but rather to find myself in the places that others have built and sustained.

Unfortunately my next trip, via Megabus will only fuel my desire to be moving...not my desire to explore.

Time to start planning a trip!

Now playing: Priscilla Ahn - I Don't Think So
via FoxyTunes


This song captures so much for me. The music video is like the song, simple and innocent.

I'm ready fly.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Intestinal Fortitude

Being a Mom has introduced me, even just in three short years, to many experiences and subjects that I'd rather have died without knowing. And this summer has involved my most hated of subjects:


I hate poop.

I hate talking about poop.

I hate knowing that people have to go poop.

I even lied to my husband the first year of our marriage by telling him I never did. I wish that were true. I'd be first in line for the surgery if there was one.

So when you are a coprophobe or a rhypophobe (who knew there were actual poop-phobes!), potty training your child is not a easy thing to do. You have to talk about poop A LOT! And you have to deal with poop A LOT! On the floor, on their clothes, on their bodies, and sometimes, in the toilet.

'Sweetie do you need to go poo-poo?'
'Oh what a big boy! You did a poo-poo in the potty'
'Honey, we do not poop on the kitchen floor'

I know, I know. I am strange. You probably come from the Taro Gomi school of bodily functions. The land where everyone poops and gas is something we pass. In fact, I know one friend of mine, in his college days, even had a poster, something like this. He thought it was hilarious and asked my opinion is one even supposed to respond? My sister-in-law will go on and on about the importance of regular bowel movements in order to have overall good health. Or you at least realize it happens, accept it, and do your thing without much thought or consternation (or is it constipation!).

This is not my world!

However, today something magical happened. It is impetus for this post and for my overall happy demeanor.

Wi, my oldest, pooped in the potty. I wasn't sitting there with him, hoping it would happen, reading stories. He walked into the bathroom, put his potty chair on, and did his thing. I went in and he was standing, looking into the potty. His face lit up with glee! We stood, the two of us, staring at the offering he had given the porcelain God.

And I haven't talked about anything else all day.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

My Many Colored Days

I think it is the nature of being human that we have days that range in emotion and mood. I tend to be more emotional than the average Jane. I realize that and accept it. Dr. Seuss hit it right on the head when he wrote "You'd be surprised how many ways you change on different colored days".

Lei has a really good blog called 'my many colored days' - and it helps to remind me that I am not alone in my emotions in this world of ours. Not to mention that most of my friends, especially those that are moms or dads, share stories from the days they label with all colors of the rainbow.

Today though, at least at this moment, feels very blue. In fact, I feel much like this:

Now I know we all prefer it when our friends, loved ones, or bloggers are 'pretty and witty and gay' - and on most days sunshine yellow is the crayon I'd color my day with.

Today started out optimistically enough. E and I awoke early. E headed to work and I got the boys ready for a visit to their Aunt P's. E and I were meeting later at the DMV. Now right there you can probably guess why my day went from a blank canvas to a blue day. However, despite the long line to get into the building, my initial two hours at the DMV went really well. We had our two vehicles inspected - not at the same time but by the same wonderful employee*. E and I both got our personal license plates ordered. (At one point in time I would have thought personalized plates were for rich folks...but they are only $8 more than the standard)

It really wasn't until I was informed, by the incredibly nice desk worker*, that we would need to pay the state 'use tax'. Granted this was posted on the website, right on the checklist I was working from (though I am loathe to admit it) and I should have realized this.

Needless to say after a move, a summer of trips, expenses we did not plan for (life!), and the purchase of a was-at-one-point-new car...the $1300 'use tax' was not in our plans. Now, since they know we are here and need to register we are between a rock and a hard place. If we register late, we incur a fine.


This, combined with the potty training we are attempting at home, has made me reach into Crayola land. The only real question is whether the day will be cornflower, aquamarine, denim, or midnight.