Friday, April 8, 2011

Death-wish Frog

This may feel like a re-run, because the frog has leapt onto the pages of this blog before, but I tell you what...

He outdid himself today.

The backstory:
Said froggy currently resides in a second-hand goldfish bowl in our kitchen. For more of his murky history, you can read this.

Jack and I were emptying the dishwasher while I chatted on the phone with my sister.

Earlier that day, I had cleaned the frog's bowl and given him fresh new water to swim around in. The water was dangerously close to the top of the bowl, and the frog had even gone so far as to try to grab my shirtsleeve when I reached across the water's surface. For more sensible moms that would have been a signal to empty some of the water, but not me. I just said, "Stop it, you freak!" and moved on, figuring I had showered the frog with enough attention for one day.

So...talking on the phone, emptying dishwasher...I told my sister jokingly that one day that frog will jump right out of its bowl. As the words came out of my mouth, the prophesy came true: right before my eyes, that slimy little critter came up out of the water, scootching across the counter top towards me. He slid right off the counter, plinkoed around in the top rack of the dishwasher amongst the clean cups and dropped to the bottom rack, ultimately landing in the very belly of the dishwasher. I sprang into crazy-mom-ninja action, shrieking into my poor sister's ear and hopping around the kitchen. Jack vanished; who knew that kid could move so quickly?

The commotion brought the rest of the family running; I pointed at Will (the frog owner, ostensibly) and Justin and commanded them to retrieve the frog. Justin helpfully offered to shut the dishwasher and put it on the "pots and pans" cycle. Then he got a stadium cup to try to scoop the frog up, but the space was too tight.

There was only one way to get that frog out, and it was with your bare hands.

Justin, Will and I all simultaneously declared that we weren't going to touch the frog.

Well, someone has to touch the frog.

So Justin removes the bottom rack of the dishwasher and I get down on my hands and knees and go in after that blankety-blank frog. I have it in my hands once and it wriggles free, but I grab it a second time and Justin offers the stadium cup as a frog depository. He pours the frog back into the bowl and then scoops out enough water to render the bowl an effective prison once more. Will, who has the phone now, gives my sister the play-by-play.

After the excitement, I ask Will if he really still wants that stupid frog. He shrugs; the only way he would care about the frog at this point in his life is if the frog put on a Braves jersey and started batting .317. And could scores us tickets behind home plate at Turner Field. Justin and I look at each other and contemplate assisting the frog in taking a long walk off a short pier, but what stops us is knowing that Jack (our resident St. Francis of Assissi)would be devastated if we offed the frog.

Plus if we throw the frog in the creek, it would probably grow to be eight feet long and hunt us down and eat us (except Jack, of course).

Best to keep him in the bowl.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Many Faces of My Beloved

Justin turned 40 in March.  It was pretty anti-climactic, all things considered.  I had given him a surprise party last year that involved some pretty elaborate evasive techniques, and I wasn't up to the drama again. 

Italian Cream Cake with 40 candles.  Can you say "waxy frosting"?

I wanted to give him something amazing or take him on a fabulous trip, but nothing really came to mind.  Plus since we're a one-income family (and he's the one income), it would be like, "Hey, I got you this cool new elecronic gadget for your birthday!  I just put it on the credit card; I hope that's ok.  Love you! Happy birthday and good luck making this work in the family budget!"  So I got him a hammock, a day late, and made him shrimp, sweet potatoes, and broccoli, since his favorite seafood restaurant was closed on his birthday.  No, it's not Long John Silver's. 

What more could you want?  Oh and an italian cream cake, his favorite.

While I was preparing the birthday meal extravaganza, Emma was playing with the camera.  I'm so glad, because here is what she captured for all of posterity (and modernity) to enjoy:

  I love my husband.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


This morning, the power went out at 1 a.m. I know because the silence woke me up. It was silent inside the house, but very noisy outside the house. More on this later. My husband and I like to sleep in a wind tunnel-like atmosphere with a small portable fan on his side of the bed and then the overhead fan doing 90 mph just as an extra precaution. Not for the air flow so much as for the noise. When it's completely quiet, I can hear ringing in my ears. I'm not sure why that is, but I would never go to the doctor for it anyway, so it doesn't really matter.

The power went out because there was a thunderstorm raging outside. It was quite toasty in the house with no electrically-powered a/c to cool things down, and there was no sleeping with great crashes of thunder and flashes of lightning without all of our fannage to muffle the noise. Sleep eludes one in a hot and uncomfortably noisy atmosphere, I have found.

Justin and I both were awake, waiting for a child or three to show up needing comfort. Instead we got the dog (already not my favorite member of the household - see yesterday's post). She went to Justin's side of the bed first, and I heard him take her jangly collar off. Then she came around to my side and I could feel her chin on the covers as she stared at me intently. I pretended not to notice, but the motion of her wagging tail was coming through her body into her jaw resting on the bed and making the mattress sway slightly. Hard to ignore.

I got the extra blanket off the foot of the bed and spread it out on the floor for her. She promptly circled and got into the doggy equivalent of the comfy position, all curled up with her nose on her hind legs.

Jack, who is normally our go-to worrier, never even showed up. We all compared notes in the morning while getting ready for school and all the kids woke up when the power went out, but managed to go back to sleep by themselves. Jack had been up with us until close to 11:00 p.m., stressed out because at the lunch table earlier that day, the girls in his class said that ghosts were real and if you didn't believe in them, they would come and find you and haunt you until they did. Powerful incentive in Jack's mind. Justin asked him if he was going to believe a bunch of second grade girls or his parents, and I think he was a little bit on the fence, but ultimately he came around to the parental viewpoint. Still, we had to watch Charles Barkley on the David Letterman Show to distract him from ghostly thoughts. Sir Charles did the trick, and Jack trooped back upstairs to bed. Not even a thunderstorm could bother him.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Maybe Tomorrow

It is a beautiful day here in Sparkle City, South Carolina. The wind is blowing, and the birds sound like the soundtrack to The Masters Golf Tournament.

I read somewhere that when networks are showing golf and the birds aren't singing up to par (get it? Up to par?), they will pipe in additional bird chirps and tweets. Bird watchers all over America were up in arms one time because the birdsong that accompanied the golf broadcast came from a bird who didn't live in that region of the country. Evil TV networks. I totally side with the birdwatchers on this one.

Anyway, it's been about three or four weeks since last I blogged, and I was finally feeling inspired, so I came outside for a little time alone with my thoughts and the iPad. I had just formulated something brilliant which I would record for future generations when my daughter came out with the dog and said she (the dog) just threw up all over the rug.

So instead of blogging, I will now go inside the house and do what I And many other moms do best: Gripe while cleaning up someone else's mess.