Friday, May 29, 2009

Miss Spider and Car Buying

When Ari was little her absolute favorite book was Miss Spider's New Car (the board book edition). I probably read that thing thousands of times!

Well, we are looking for a new car. Well, not new - used...and nothing too expensive, and it has been a much more difficult process then I expected. DH and I both have different requirements as to what we do and don't want and it's proving to be difficult. That's where Miss Spider comes in...because I read that book so many times the words keep coming to mind as we go through this I thought I'd share (this is all from memory so forgive me if I get a word wrong here or there :)

We need a car – just yours and mine.
It mustn’t screech or growl or whine.

Cha-hiss this speedster’s charged with steam.
Vroom slow down, I’m going to scream!

Squish Squash this snail car’s much to slick
Kerplosh, would froggy do the trick?

Ka-boing, a hop-rod fits the bill.
Sha-wosh, please land I’m feeling ill.

This matchbox dream has lots of zoom,
but look out for that tree…kabloom!

We’ll find a chuggy buggy yet,
putt putt this one will do I bet.

Beep beep, it’s ours and feels so right,
just humming softly in the night.
I keep saying over and over..."we need a car, just yours and mine, it mustn't screech or growl or whine"...DH tells me that he doesn't think Miss Spider is the best place to be researching cars however. If you have any better ideas let me know...ha ha ha.
(Oh, and for the record, I HATE car salesmen...and I'm not sexist, that includes car saleswomen as well.)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Birthmother's Day... all my fellow birthmothers!

Grab some tissues, click on this link and watch the video...more importantly listen to the song!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

10 Questions

I was reading an article the other day on CNN and I really liked the idea so I’m posting the article here. It’s 10 questions you should ask your mom, and since Mother’s Day is coming up I’m planning on asking my mom to answer them just for fun (do you see that mom…be thinking of the answers) although I think I know the answers to at least some of them…I think you should ask your mom too. I’d love for you to come back and comment on your question and answer session. Were your mom’s answers different than you expected? Did any of her answers really surprise you? Do you know your mom better than you thought? Have fun getting to know your mom a little more and don’t forget to let her know how special she is this Sunday!

Ten questions to ask your mother now
By Judith Newman

(REAL SIMPLE) -- "Mom, I have to ask you something," my seven-year-old Henry begins. He stares at me with those solemn eyes and I steel myself.

Considering our unique family, it could be any number of things. Why do you and Dad live in separate places? (We are married but never could stand to live together.)

Why is Gus so different from other kids? (Henry's twin brother is mildly autistic.)

Why does Dad look tired all the time? (My husband was 68 when our sons were born... You do the math.)

I'm ready.

"Do you think spit cleans better than water?" he asks. "You always use it to clean my face."

You know, it isn't a bad question. And, in a way, every burst of curiosity gives me hope that my boys will continue to quiz me about ever more interesting and personal things. Because, as adults, so many of us don't ask enough about our mothers. (Maybe we're scared. More likely we just don't get around to it.)

Yet there's no better way to become closer to a person, even if you've known her all your life. So, after an utterly unscientific survey of friends and acquaintances, I've come up with 10 queries to get you started. Try them out this Mother's Day. You may even learn something about yourself.

1. What's the one thing you would have done differently as a mom? Recently I had this conversation with someone I had considered one of the best mothers I know -- the kind who never missed a kid's concert or a PTA conference. Her children are grown now, and they are neither independent nor particularly grateful.

"I should have let them fail," she told me. "When my daughter forgot to do her homework, I shouldn't have done it for her. When the other one got caught shoplifting, I should have let her spend a night in jail." For better or worse, your mother has probably given this subject a good deal of thought.

2. Why did you choose to be with my father? "Look at him!" my mother says adoringly. "He looks just like Jascha Heifetz!" He does, actually. But Heifetz, perhaps the world's greatest violinist, was one weird-looking dude. And my dad doesn't even play the violin. (Which is a bit like an accountant being the spitting image of Mick Jagger.)

So was there anything else? "Well, he liked smart women," says my mom, who was in medical school when they met in the 1950s. "So many men didn't back then." Not a bad reason to marry someone. I'm glad I asked.

3. In what ways do you think I'm like you? And not like you? Accuracy is not important here; you want to know her perceptions. Does she think you share her best qualities or her worst? (And do you agree?) Are your similarities and differences complementary -- they make the two of you click -- or are they the cause of all your conflicts?

4. Which one of us kids did you like the best? OK, chances are she'll dodge this question. But you'll probably force a compliment out of her -- "You were the one who set the table when you were three" -- and get a little insight into how she viewed each of you. And if she gives a straight answer? Well, you'll all have something new to fixate upon.

5. Is there anything you have always wanted to tell me but never have? The woman who suggested this question had learned late in life that the "aunt" who had lived with her parents while she was growing up was, in fact, her father's lover -- an arrangement that apparently suited all involved. Your mom's secrets might be a little less stunning. But hearing something she has been holding back may take your relationship into (good) uncharted territory.
6. Do you think it's easier or harder to be a mother now than when you were raising our family? We might agonize about working more hours outside the home and competing with our kids' cell phones for attention, but our mothers had other battles. "My mom thinks that if she had had a career, she would have been less frustrated and a better mother," reports one friend. The two of you needn't have a "Terms of Endearment moment over this one, but by understanding what she went through, you may appreciate your own situation more.

7. Is there anything you regret not having asked your parents? In my informal survey, the list went on and on, covering everything from "Did you ever think about leaving my dad for someone else?" and "Did you ever want to just throw in the towel?" to "What music do you want played at your funeral?" People regretted what they hadn't asked -- never what they had.

8. What's the best thing I can do for you right now? My mother is not subtle: "Call every day. If you don't, I think you're dead."

Other friends who had asked this question over the years were invariably surprised. One mom wanted her daughter to teach her to use a computer; another wanted her son, a plastic surgeon, to give her a face-lift. ("I had a moment where I didn't exactly love lifting my mother's skin off, but I thought I could do a better job than anyone else," he says.)

The mom of a young colleague wanted to meet her friends. "I'd always thought she wasn't interested in them," she says. "In fact, my mom was just shy."

9. Is there anything that you wish had been different between us -- or that you would still like to change? This inquiry prompted one mother to plan a trip with her 30-year-old daughter -- their first ever. She and her husband had always vacationed alone when their children were young, and she had felt bad about it for years. Whether you're 25 or 55, chances are there is some dynamic between you and your mother that could be better. Give her a chance to put it out there.

10. When did you realize you were no longer a child? I know what the answer will be for me, and I was startled to hear my mother give the same response: "I knew it when my own mother died," she told me. "That's the last time there would be anyone in the world who always put me before herself."

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I had the opportunity to be summoned for jury duty this past Monday.

Some people might think I’m crazy, but I’ve always wanted to serve on a jury, but I have never been summoned before…well, I guess that isn’t quite true. I was summoned once while in college and I forgot to call in when I was supposed to…which if you know me it’s not like me to forget something like that…not to mention I’m pretty much a follow the letter of the law kind of girl so I was terrified I was going to be arrested or whatever happens to you when you don’t report for jury service. I called as soon as I remembered and the lady gave me a big long lecture about how I could be held in contempt of court and all types of fun things like that, but in the end told me it wouldn’t be a big deal…this one time.

So anyway, never having gone in for jury duty (nor ever having been tried for anything) I didn’t know what to expect. I’d never been through the Voir Dire process so it was all new to me. I have to say that I felt bad for the defendant who had to stand up in front of all 65 or so of us as potential jurors and have the crimes against him read, but that’s really beside the point. There were literally around 65 of us from which they would choose 13 or 14 jurors. They called up a group of 18 of us from randomly generated names (I was not in the initial group of 18) who were then instructed to sit in the jury box and handed a list of questions. A microphone was passed down the line as people rattled of the answers. The questions were:

• State your full name
• State your occupation and employer
• List everyone who lives at your residence who is over the age of 18 stating their full name and occupation.
• Do you have any children and if so how many and state their names and occupations if over the age of 18?
• Have you ever served on a jury before and if so was it a civil or criminal trial and without telling us the outcome, did the jury come up with a verdict?

After everyone in the jury box answered these questions then the attorneys were allowed to ask general questions to all of the jurors or to specific jurors if they had more questions. Then the attorneys in rotating order got to eliminate jurors one at a time, for no particular reason. The first round they eliminated probably 7 or 8 people and then those seats were filled with new potential jurors and the process started all over again with them. I actually found the whole thing quite interesting, probably because it wasn’t me that was about to be on trial. I get that they are doing this to try and come up with a jury that is most sympathetic to their respective sides cause, but I would really have liked to know what was going on in the attorneys heads as they were asking questions and sending people home at random. This whole process got me thinking. I was in the fourth group called up and once we had all gone through the spiel and answered any questions asked I was the first one to be eliminated from my group. It was the defense attorney that said “Your honor I would like to thank and excuse juror #2, Miss …” So obviously the defense didn’t think I would be sympathetic to his cause. But it got me thinking about the way we judge others and what type of a first impression I make that made him think that. I was not asked any specific questions by either of the attorneys. When stating my occupation and that I worked in the Development Office at the University the judged joked with me about being the ones that bring in all the money. Could my job have been the reason? I was the only one out of probably 70 people who was wearing a dress…did that have anything to do with it? Did the fact that I am white or seemingly educated (based on my job) make a difference to him? Was he afraid that I was racist or intolerant of those who are different than me (the defendant was Greek I believe, his last name was Krystos and he looked as though he could have been)? When talking to a co-worker she said that if that attorney had seen me either with my husband or my daughter the outcome might have been different and I might be serving on that jury right now. Maybe, maybe not...I'm sure that either way it doesn't really make much of a difference.

I get that when choosing a jury they definitely have to go off first impressions so I’m just curious as to what people’s first impressions are of me? For those of you who know me, what were your first impressions of me…try to be nice:)? What do you think people’s first impressions are of you? Just an interesting train of thought I think.

(Oh, and by the way, even though I’ve always wanted to serve on a jury, I am crazy busy at work so it’s really a good thing I didn’t get chosen.)