Friday, May 29, 2009

Dumb and Dumber

It is scientifically proven that having bear cubs makes you dumb.  And by "scientifically proven" I mean "see my own life as evidence".  

Before I became a Mama Bear, I heard many other Mama Bears discussing that having children lowered their IQ.  I didn't really get it.  I thought that perhaps it was a bit of maternal hyperbole.  Then I had bear cubs.

When Brother Bear came along, I noticed small changes.  Like, for instance, I would interchange names, or return the peanut butter to the fridge and the jelly to the pantry.  Nothing big, or life threatening.  Just small nuances that only I might notice.  

But it seems that when Sugar Bear exited my body, she sucked every single brain cell I had left right out with her.  I'm literally now hovering 2 IQ points away from being a vegetable.  Not only do I interchange names, I down right forget the name of my most recent born.  I'm constantly saying, "the baby cub" because - for the life of me - I HAVE NO EARTHLY IDEA WHAT HER NAME IS.  I walk into rooms with purpose, but have no recollection what that purpose is.  I begin driving, and find myself going the opposite direction from my final destination.    

If that isn't enough, I had 2 instances this week that prove without a doubt that I have become dumber.  


Brother Bear had a birthday party at The Place Where They Teach Children to Jump Properly.  It is a really fun place.  Interestingly enough, it is also down the street from another party location - The Place Where They Allow Children to Jump Wildly on Inflatable Play Houses.  Due to scheduling issues, Papa Bear had already dropped off Brother Bear at the appropriate birthday party location, and I was to follow shortly.  Sugar Bear and I headed to the party.  We arrived and parked.  I then schlepped the stroller out of the back, unpacked it, unshackled Sugar Bear from her car seat, buckled her in the stroller, grabbed the 18 bags required to go anywhere with bear cubs and began my march into the party.  At which point I realize that - you guessed it - I was at the wrong location.  I had gone to The Place Where They Allow Children to Jump Wildly on Inflatable Play Houses.  Sooooo, I marched back to the car, threw the bags back in, unbuckled Sugar Bear from the stroller, shackled her back in the car seat, wrestled the stroller closed, threw it in the back, loaded myself back in the car and drove 50 yards down the street to The Place Where They Teach Children to Jump Properly and unloaded all over again. 

Sounds like an easy mistake, right?  Well, it would be if I hadn't spent 10 minutes that morning explaining to Papa Bear where exactly this party was located.  I was explicit in my details so that he wouldn't go to the wrong place.  Apparently - while I was attending the lecture - I wasn't listening very well.


I was in carpool line recently and when I tried to let Brother Bear out, I discovered that we were locked in the car.  Now, those of you who still have brain cells are probably asking, "how in the world do you get locked in the car?"  Well, I tell you.  There was this button  and apparently in my state of being, this button is very tricky.  You know, I should give you a visual of how incredibly tricky said button is.  Look.  I'm sure you will agree:

Seriously, isn't that the most confusing button you've ever seen?  Every time I pressed it in an attempt to allow Brother Bear to exit the vehicle, things started beeping and the door wouldn't open.  After several excruciatingly embarrassing minutes stuck in the carpool line, I finally had to ask Brother Bear to climb up to the front seat where I could allow him to exit the front of the car manually.  

I finally realized - after the fact - that I WAS PUSHING THE LOCK BUTTON EVERY TIME I TRIED TO UNLOCK THE CAR.  Now, it's not like I just pushed this button once and figured it out.  I must have locked the doors at least 10 times in my efforts to extricate Brother Bear from the car, and I never once figured out what I was doing wrong.  I was certain that the car was broken, and needed to be fixed immediately.

So, clearly,  I have all the data I need.  Scientific proof that having bear cubs lowers your IQ.  I think someone should study this phenomenon, don't you?  Yes!  Good Idea!  I'll submit this report to all the scientific journals and The Smart People Who Don't Yet Have Bear Cubs will discover a cure for this unique form of stupidity!  

I'll do it!  But first I have to remember my name and where I need to go, find the right location, and then unlock myself from the car.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Subtle Changes

Can you see the subtle change between this:

and this?


I sure can.

Lately they're have been lots of subtle (and not-so-subtle) changes in our eldest Bear Cub.  Brother Bear is becoming a Big Bear Cub, and I didn't get a say in the matter.  After overhearing my reaction to the above milestone, Brother Bear repeated my words to his Sunday School Teacher the next day,  "Yeah, and next year, I'm going to be going off to college!"

Maybe not.  But it sure seems like it!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wanna Know Wednesday

This week at the Four Bears Den, we've answered the following "Question Box" questions:

  • Does pepper grow on a tree or a plant?  It's actually a flowering vine!  The "fruit" on this vine is dried which becomes the peppercorn which is then ground into the pepper we use on the table.  
  • What is the word for "toes" in Spanish and French?  Despite having a former French Major and a quasi-Spanish speaker (he says:  I can give a loan in Spanish), we admit to having to "use our resources" as a refresher.  Seems our language skills need some dusting off!!  The answer:  Spanish - dedos, French - orteils.
Don't you feel educated now?

So now it's time, yet again, for MY question!


I was recently talking with My Mother Bear about how frustrating it is that I run out of time/energy these days for consisting "giving"  (by giving - I'm not talking financial).  I've always found great joy in volunteering, or helping others in need, but these days, it has become a real challenge.  Either I just can't find the time (with all my Mama Bear responsibilities) or worse, I find myself drained of desire because of all the "giving" I do as Mama Bear.  As Mama Bear, I find it particularly frustrating, because I really want to teach my children how important giving is.  But, how can I teach it, if I'm not always living it?

So, my question is:

Are you challenged with this  as well?  If so, have you come up with any creative ways to weave giving into your life right now?  

Feel free to comment in the comments section.  I'm hoping this will spark some great ideas from my Internet Bears, as I sure need them.  A follow up post at the end of the week will give a synopsis of some of your great thoughts/solutions.  

Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Robbery

WANTED: Ice Cream Bandit

LAST SEEN: Slowly driving large decorated van, laughing maniacally 

CRIME: Highway Robbery

That's right bear friends.  I hate to ruin your holiday spirit but, I was robbed.

Last night, as we were outside enjoying the last few hours of sunlight, I heard yet another sign of summer.  In the distance, was the tinny sound of "Do Your Ears Hang Low" and moments later, we saw it:  the infamous, "ICE CREAM TRUCK (which is actually a van these days)".  Seeing multiple bear cubs about, this entrepreneurial fellow whipped his van down our merry little lane and parked directly in front of our crowd.

I was immediately transported back to my bear cub days, where we would hear the bells, dash inside to beg a quarter (or, if we were lucky, fifty cents) and then dash back outside in pursuit of a cold afternoon treat.  Ahhhh.  Memories!

Since it was a holiday (plus, I'm a nostalgic sorta bear) I decided to buy the bear cubs a round cream.  I dashed inside to retrieve my wallet.  When I returned, I thought it was odd that the Ice Cream Truck wasn't moving.  I should have known something was up.  In my day, the Ice Cream Truck only stopped if you were running after it at full speed waving your money wildly.  The bear cubs and I bellied up to the ice cream bar and put in our orders.  

"Two Bubble Gum Snow Cones, please!" I said with delight.  By this time, the bear cubs were giddy with excitement, and I was thrilled to be passing along the time honored Ice Cream Truck Tradition.  

"That'll be $7.50."  


"Yep, $7.50."

There you go, folks.  I was robbed!!!  Three dollars and seventy five cents for one bubble gum flavored snow cone.  

Is anyone else shocked by this?

I ever-so-casually mentioned to the Ice Cream Bandit, "Wow, prices sure have gone up since I was a bear cub. Ha ha ha!"  At which point the Ice Cream Bandit began a monologue that he had clearly done before.  "We only buy quality ice cream!  This is new van!  I used to pay $20 for gas, now I pay $45!!


So beware bears.  He's out there somewhere looking for his next victim.  Slowly rolling down your streets, plying you like the Pied Piper with his sweet music and yummy treats.  But do not be fooled.  This man is a THIEF and should be behind bars.  

Until then, I'll make myself feel better by spending this holiday making Brother Bear eat every single last lick of that Snow Cone.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Wanna Know Winners

It's here!  I know you've been willingly waiting for Wanna Know Wednesday Winners.  I had to cull through a record amount of postings, but I finally made it!

The 1st ever Wanna Know Wednesday Question was:

What is the "sign" (are the "signs") for you and your family that summer has officially begun?

Here are some of the sure signs of summer - straight from the internet bears:
  • Jilly G says, "When the kids get 'shoes where I can see my toes'"  (Even if they aren't school approved!)
  • "When my baby runs around in a diaper 24/7 and does not want to get dressed" says MH.  And, I might add, that's one cute diapered bear cub!
  • Some, like GA, say it's a specific event:  "the Boulder Boulder 10K followed by a Memorial Day BBQ with friends."  Save me some bbq Big Brother Bear!
  • "Popsicles in the driveway" are a sure sign for SR.  Funny!  We too just enjoyed our first popsicle of the season last week!  And I, too, was very clear that popsicles were an outside treat!
  • KI says that summer has arrived when she tells her bear cubs "only hot clothes from now on!". 
  • My Mother Bear, who spends a good part of the year in Deep Bear Country/The Witness Protection Program, heralded the start of summer with 2 simple words, "Tick Check!".  Ain't that the truth! 
And, finally, our 1st Ever Wanna Know Wednesday Winner:
  • Our FIRST RESPONDER, The 5 Aces, had several entries.  However, 1 entry gave me the giggles, and kept me laughing.  Summer, according to her daughter, is when "she can no longer get away with wearing my black, faux-fur lined Hello Kitty boots everywhere".  No more fur lined clothing is surely a sign that summer (or a reasonable Mother Bear) prevails!  Congratulations 5 Aces!  A bottle of Burts Bees Natural Insect Repellant is headed your way!!
Thanks so much for responding!  I don't know about you guys, but this was fun!  I look forward to more fun questions with you all!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wanna Know Wednesday

We recently instituted a "question box" in our household.  You see, Brother Bear is full of questions.  Most of the time, I have been able to answer these questions on the fly - without resources.  But lately, these questions have become more challenging.  Thus, the Question Box.  We write the question down, then I find the time (find the time...ha ha ha!) to use my resources (read: internet) to find the answers.  

Why don't you just say, "I don't know" you ask?  Well, I may possibly - on one or two occasions - inferred to Brother Bear that Mama Bear knows everything.  And, I might possibly want to keep it that way as long as I can.  Ahem.

Thus, the Question Box.

But I digress.  I decided to introduce a similar sort of idea on this blog.  Hopefully, we can have some fun with this.  I'll ask a question, you answer, and then I'll select my favorites from the mounds of responses and feature them on the blog.  Perhaps, who knows, I might even give prizes..  

So, without further adieu, I introduce to you...... 

Wanna Know Wednesday!!!  

Here's how it works:
1.  I ask you (internet bears) a question
2.  You answer via the "comments" section of the blog.  (Confused as to how to comment?  Just click "anonymous" and you don't have to sign into anything.  Just make sure to identify yourself in the comment area)  Comments must be received no later than 11:00 p.m. on said Wednesday.
3.  I'll post my favorite answers/winner by the end of the week.

I'm excited.  Hopefully you are too!  The questions may be funny, crazy, easy, hard or just plain interesting.

So here's my question:

Brother Bear's last day of school is today (eek).  So, come 3:00 p.m., it's officially summer in our household.  But I find that there are other ways than the school calendar to know when summer has officially arrived.  For instance, we unpacked the "Slip-n-Slide" and let Brother Bear and his Bear Cub Friends play on it the other day.  Slip-n-Slides are a sure sign of summer.

I digress...again.

Wanna Know Wednesday Question:  

What is the "sign" (are the "signs") for you and your family that summer has officially begun?*

Remember, respond via the comments section on this blog.  And, who knows, you might actually get your response featured on my blog!!!  And, since this is the FIRST EVER WANNA KNOW WEDNESDAY, one lucky responder will receive a bottle of Burt's Bees Natural Insect Repellant (it is summer, you know!).   How fun!

Looking forward to hearing from you!

*note: this question is seriously easier than the current question in our Question Box - "how did God become God."  Be thankful.  Very, very thankful.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bear Awareness Week

I did not make this up.

Last week was National Bear Awareness Week.  


I was reading one of our magazine subscriptions, State That Produced Papa Bear Wildlife, and learned this very interesting fact.  Apparently, this holiday (if it isn't a holiday, it should be!) was started in 2001 by Defenders of Wildlife.  

The article advises everyone to "become bear aware". 

It seems that this blog is not only for entertainment anymore.  It also offers life saving public service announcements*.  Just doin' my part, bears.

Also, according to the folks-in-the-know, "if you see a bear, the best thing to do is back away slowly, especially if it has not seen you."  Most people who've met Mama Bear would probably agree with that.

From the Four Bears in the Bed Family, we say thank you for visiting this blog and becoming more "bear aware".

*This public service announcement is in no way connected to any legitimate, worthwhile causes.  Nor is it endorsed by or endorsing anything (other than visiting this site again).  

Monday, May 18, 2009

The "X" Factor

I consider myself a fairly liberated bear.  I might even categorize myself as a feminist bear.  While I live a rather old-fashioned model of life, I've never really given much weight to gender and role, or how your chromosomal make up affects your behavior.

Until the X joined our family.  And then, things changed.

It seems that Sugar Bear's second "X" chromosome has already blessed our lives after only 8 short months.  

How, you ask?  I'll tell you.  

No, wait.  Call me on the phone at any hour of the day, and SHE'LL tell you.  

That's right.  The bear cub has discovered her voice.  And I'm not talking about some sweet bear cub babble voice.  I'm talking about ear-splitting, dogs running for corners, fingernails-on-a-chalkboard-screaming-at-the-top-of-your-lungs kinda voice.

When she sees Papa Bear or me, she lets out a panting, squealish sort of scream.  Brother Bear elicits a happy monkey scream.  Take a "no-no" item from her drooly little paws?  Get a Wailing Wall type scream.  Can't get dinner on the table fast enough?  Barking squirrel scream.

And, God forbid, you show that baby lovin' cub another baby cub -or better yet- a mirror image of herself.  Watch out!  Windows shatter, ears bleed, and the dead roll over in their graves.  

My ears can't take much more.  And she's only 8 months old.  

Who knew that my sweet, precious Sugar Bear would try and change my feminist bear view of things?  The next thing you know, I'll be hitting every Wal-Mart in town looking for the newest, must have....gulp....Barbie.

God help me.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Jill Went Over the Hill

There once was a girl named Jill
who thought she was over the hill
But what she didn't know
is her friends planned a show
to reminder her she has life in her still.

So at a quarter past three
Her Fair Godmother she did see
She was serenaded and roasted
And, now her friend has posted
The proof of how embarased was she!

Happy 40th Bear Friend!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Oliver Twist

I'm not sure, but I think I might have broken child labor laws last week.

You see, I had guests coming over one evening.  And Brother Bear was bored.  Veryvery bored.  So when I offered the solution of "helping Mama Bear get ready for her party" my incredibly helpful cub was thrilled!

But I think I might have broken child labor laws.

It's just, he was really enjoying himself.  And, he was so helpful and persistent.

It wasn't when I allowed him to mop the living room floor.  Or, clean the windows.  Neither was it when I let him clean the half bath, toilet and all.  Nope.  It wasn't even when I allowed him to scrub the bathtub, or stand on a paper towel on the cleaned countertop and clean the mirrors.

But it was when he'd asked me for the four millionth time, "what ELSE can I clean?" that I crossed the line.

In a moment of poor judgement and sheer maternal desperation, I handed him and old comb and asked him to comb and straighten the tassels of the oriental rug.

I think I might have broken some child labor laws.  

But my house looked fantastic.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Cleansing Prayer

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I'm so tired that I might weep.
I need one thing before I wake:
I pray the Lord my laundry take.
'Cuz come dawn if the pile's still there,
I might just pull out all my hair.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

What I Love About my Mother Bear

Brother Bear returned from Pre-K on Friday with a few Mother Bear's Day gifts.  First, he presented me with this:
Then, he handed me a card entitled "What I Love About my Mama Bear".  Together with his teacher, he had come up with a list of reasons why he loves me.  Here is what he said:

  • She helps me clean the house
  • She fixes my breakfast
  • She picks wildflowers for me
  • She lets me have breakfast in bed when I'm sick
  • She loves me
I know.  I hear the collective, "awwwwww" across the land.  

Inspired by his precious list, and some blogging friends who recently wrote about Mother Bears (this one and this one), I decided to create a list myself.

Here goes.

What I Love About My Mother Bear

  • She has always been there for me.  No matter what the occasion, My Mother Bear is there.  Dance recitals (even when SOMEONE had to realize that this was not my thing), piano recitals (whether I fell or not..), soccer games, drama performances (all 11 high school productions), bear cub births (even if she had to make a mad dash for Sugar Bear!).  You name it, she is there.  Her presence was/is  a gift.  It isn't necessary.  But it demonstrates to me that she loves and supports me entirely.  
  • She puts up with me.  And, Lord knows, I wasn't always a perfect little cub.  My strong will.  My passion.  My sass and independence.  My knack for opening my mouth when I should just keep it closed.  Yep.  She has put up with a lot.  And, now that this blog is here, I think she's going to have to put up with a lot more.  She has showed me that love is unflinching - unfailing, even if the one being loved doesn't always deserve it!
  • She taught me about "chocolate and vanilla".  When it comes to opinions, My Mother Bear has always said, "That's why God made chocolate and vanilla".  In other words, every one is entitled to their own opinion.  With that statement, she gave me the freedom to express my opinions without fear.  I knew that I could develop my own thoughts and ideas, and she would support me.
  • She nurtured my unique qualities and taught me to be myself.  She saw the "sparkle" in each of her bear cubs and used her maternal magic to make that sparkle shine.  She realized early on that I had a "flair for the dramatic", and encouraged that by putting me in classes and giving me opportunities to express myself.  She never flinched (okay, maybe not in front of me) when I wanted my hair cut uneven (short on one side, long on the other) or wore the most unsightly combination of neon colors to school one day.  She danced the delicate balance of allowing me to grow into a responsible bear while retaining my most unique self.  I can only imagine that she probably rolled her eyes behind my back a few times, but I never saw it.  I knew that she saw what made me "me", and loved me for it.
  • She loves her family.  Above anything, this I know:  My Mother Bear loves her family.  She is fiercely loyal and protective.  She taught me that family is of utmost importance.  There hasn't been a day in my life that I didn't know the depth of My Mother Bear's love for me and my sibling cubs.  
  • She taught me everything I know.  Her magnificent mothering has made me the Mama Bear I am today.  She taught me to trust my instincts as a Mama Bear, but when my instincts don't always kick in, I have her example to follow.  And I'm a better Mama Bear for it.
So, as My Mother Bear celebrates her 42nd Mother Bear's Day (ahem, Big Sister Bear!), I take the time to say a small, "Thank You" and an even bigger, "I Love You".  You are the best Mother Bear I could ever have.  Those are some pretty big paw prints in which I get to follow.  

Thank you.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Hope and Foolishness

My main goal behind starting the Four Bears blog was to offer some humor in your life.  I hope you've had a laugh or two so far (at my expense).  As this blog evolves (since, it's a mere babe in blog land years) I figure that I might occasionally litter some real thoughts here and there.  

Today will be one of those days.  I tried to come up with something funny last night.  But it just wasn't working for me.  Really.  I tried.  But it seems I was overpowered.  And the following post won out.

This week I made a heartbreaking decision.  I decided not to join my church's final organized mission trip to Kenya.  Many of you know that I've been on this trip 2 times already.  Many of you also know that my experiences in Kenya altered my life.

Altered.  Literally.  The definition of the word alter is:  to make different in some particular; to modify.  I believed that this mission altered - made different - modified - my spiritual DNA.  I returned the same jovial Mama Bear on the outside, but with my insides - my spirit - literally turned inside out.  

I intended to go back again.  And then Sugar Bear blessed us.  Pregnancy came and went, and I thought I might be able to go on our December trip this year.  Due to multiple reasons, the church had already cancelled at least 2 trips, and our 3 year commitment was quickly coming to a close.  However,  I was still sure I could make it back.  This spring the church announced that the August trip would be our final organized trip.  "Drat!" " That's 3 months sooner!" I was thinking.  

Ever the optimist, I actually began to ponder the possibility of going in August.  And then reality hit me like a ton of bricks.  I would have to wean Sugar Bear earlier than I had planned.  Brother Bear would start kindergarten 12 days after my return.  My MOPS group (that I'm co-leading this year) would be in full planning mode.  And, of course, the cost.  Clearly, there were some mighty obstacles.  Still, I delayed the inevitable.  I ignored the clear signs saying, "not this trip".  I just couldn't face it.  I didn't want to admit to the reality that I just couldn't go.

Finally, this week, I said the words I was unable to form - unable to utter.  I said, "no."  

And then my heart shattered into a million little pieces.

As I told you, this mission altered me.  And I knew that in saying no, a door to a time in my life that was a significant part of making me the woman who sits here and types today was gently closing behind me.  I'm mourning that closure.  But I recognize that, while I'm watching one door close, there is another swinging wide open that I don't even see.  I can't wait to see it and walk, no, run towards it.  Because - so far - life has taught me that forward is better.  Forward is where I'm supposed to be.

But, for today, I'll mourn a little.  And I'll open my heart a little to let you see.

I'm currently reading Phillip Yancey's, Prayer - Does It Make Any Difference?  I came across this passage last night.  As I question God's logic in letting me fall in love with these children who are just too far away, I was at a loss after this.  I'll end with this passage.    

Franciscan Benediction

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships.  So that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.  

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make an difference in the world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.

To bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.


Her name, translated, means HOPE.
This is the HOPE and FOOLISHNESS that altered my life.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Last, Last Word

I just read this article in Newsweek by my favorite columnist, Anna Quindlen.  


Great article.  Great point.  But I must admit, I'm a little sad.  After 9 years, I'm really going to miss my bi-weekly Anna fix.  I know, I know, she's not retiring completely.  She will continue to write novels.  But, it is her column - her Last Word - that I really treasure.

What is it that makes me like her so much?  Well, I think it's multiple things.  One, she is a fabulous writer.  She crafts words like an artisan makes bread.  She takes the thoughts running around in her head, measures them just right, kneads and pats them, lets them rise, until she's created a masterpiece.  

Two, I like her view on things.  She's a liberal, and isn't afraid to say what she thinks.  If only I could do it as eloquently as she.

Three, she's a mom.  She loves her kids.  She has been exasperated by them, and has learned from them.  And while she is a mom, she hasn't been willing to be defined by just that one thing.

I'm sure there are some that think I'm crazy.  It's just a column, after all.  True.  But I, for one, will really miss that column.  It will be interesting to see who her replacement is (I'm praying it isn't more George Will.  His columns make my head hurt)...

Congratulations on your last, Last Word Anna!  Job well done!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Crying "UNCLE!"

There have been numerous articles discussing how we as Americans have become a “fast food nation”.  Pediatricians, psychologists, economists have all opined on how and why this phenomenon has occurred:  laziness, busy schedules, dual-income families.  You name it – they’ve suggested it.

I believe I’ve found the real answer.  Allow me to explain.  (who, pray tell, is going stop me?)

Menu planning for children is, well, a challenge to say the least.  Doctors, nutritionist and dieticians tell us to follow the food pyramid, eat our fruits and veggies and limit sugar.  Hello! Have these people ever had to actually FEED A YOUNG CHILD?  Brother Bear could survive on bread, cheese, lolipops and bubble gum, and not bat an eyelid.  (Not that I’ve tried that, or anything).  Then, we have well meaning friends, neighbors, and bloggers reminding us to buy organic, free range, pesticide and antibiotic free foods.  The challenge to find healthy, non-life threatening meals from one grocery store – THAT MY CHILDREN WILL EAT is, um, difficult, to say the least.  And I didn’t even begin to address sticking to a budget.

But then I started doing some calculations – and that is when it started getting interesting (Mom, Dad…I know…math!!  It’s your proudest moment!).  Look and see:

I’ve been Mama Bear for almost 6 years now.  I provide all of the daily meals for our bear cubs, and 1/3 to 2/3 of the daily meals for Papa Bear.  Let’s make it simple (as many of you know, I’m mathematically challenged) and say I am responsible for 3 meals per day for 6 days a week.  That’s 18 meals a week.  No biggie, right?  Right…let’s do some more math. 18 meals per week for 52 weeks comes to 936 meals per year.  That’s an impressive number.  But wait.  If I’ve been Mama Bear for 5 years, that means I’ve already planned the menu for OVER 4,680 meals SO FAR.  That does not include the additional 18 years I have before my children leave the house.  Yep.  Let’s calculate it.  Ladies and gentlemen, I have approximately (GASP!) 84,240 more meals to plan before Sugar Bear heads off to college!!  (notice there is no mathematical assumption that they stay at home after high school.  Nope.  nuh uh.  NOT AN OPTION!)

I have 84,240 more healthy, economical, child-friendly meals to make?

That’s right.  The sheer numbers would make the weakest crumble, but to take into account good nutrition, healthy living, COST and TASTE just overwhelms me.  AND I LIKE TO COOK!! 

You want to know why we’ve become a fast food nation?  Huh, do you?  I’ll tell you.  Because the “meal planners” of the world did the same math as I did,  cried “UNCLE”, then hopped in the van and headed to the nearest fast food chain.  It’s enough to make people write songs, like this guy did.  (warning:  you'll be singing that song the rest of the day!)  Truly, what could be better?  A meal planned and prepared by someone else, adored by your children, with the added bonus of no dishes to wash!  Oh, yeah.  It’s full of fat, grease, and calories.  Picky, picky.

I know, I know.  You’re saying to me, “Big deal, Mama Bear.  Just come up with 6 meals and repeat them”….For 18 years?  Yeah.  Um.  Tried that.  It worked for 2 weeks.  B-O-R-I-N-G.    Try planning your meals for a month, and then repeat.  Uh huh.  Tried that too.  Broke the bank and had lots of rotten produce.  Maybe I should try cooking in my crock-pot every day for an entire year, like this crazy girl. Maybe not. Sneak veggies into things like macaroni and cheese or brownies?  Blech!  I’m here to tell you:  spinach brownies are AWFUL!   Meal trading?  I can’t please my OWN family.  How am I going to please someone ELSES?  

Each week, I sit down at the table with pen, paper, family calendar, grocery store flyer, coupons, and my budget.  I take one look at the whole mess, and have a mini-nervous breakdown.  Papa bear arrives home with me huddling in the corner repeating, “sale on chicken thighs..must..find..good...recipe!”

So, I present to you today, the REAL reason we’ve become a fast food nation.  You see, friends, menu planning has taken our proverbial arm, twisted it around our back, and pulled as tightly as it can.  And we have cried a weary, exhausted, beat down, “UNCLE!” - and then ordered take out. 

Can I get an, Amen?

Or, at least a side a fries?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Rx for Torture

Ever wondered what it’s like to have a Staph Infection that has been surgically lanced and drained and then endure the ensuing prescription (torture) of taking care if it? Me too.

Let's imagine “a woman” as she walks through the process....

Prop a full length mirror at an angle in front of the toilet.  Sit on said toilet facing mirror.  Put one leg barely on the floor, and lift the other leg as high as age and weight will allow.  With leg precariously placed in the air, find wound (read: gaping hole) in upper thigh (read: lower rear end) area.  

Darn.  Forgot sterile gloves.  

Put leg down and put on sterile gloves.  Repeat above gymnastics and find wound again.  With leg still dangling in the air, open sterile container of "iodoform gauze" and with no prior medical training other than serial ER and Grey's Anatomy watching, cut appropriate length of gauze with previously sterilized scissors.  

Realize that said acrobatic procedure has now awakened the beast that is your bowels due to massive antibiotic treatment.  Make quick sacrificial prayer that you don't poop all over sterile environment.  

Take q-tip and shove gauze into gaping hole.  Resist urge to curse God.  Wait for sight to return and searing pain to subside.  Repeat until all gauze is stuffed into deceptively large hole.  Hold gauze in place - lest it all come shooting out and you have to start over. 

Reach over (leg still precariously dangled somewhere near ear) for "dressing pads" and tape.  While doing so, wonder if you should apply for "America's Got Talent" or "Cirque de Soleil".

Place "dressing pad" 1 over stuffed hole.  Careful not to allow gauze to escape like a coiled spring.  Question your choice of non-medically inclined (read: worthless in this situation) husband.  

Tape "dressing pad" 1 over hole.  Place "dressing pad" 2 over "dressing pad" 1.  Tape.  Get at least 1 strip of tape mangled and useless in process.  

Tape again.  Do the hokey pokey and turn yourself around.

Curse "sensitive skin" tape and precarious locale.  Regret your decision to put money into kids' college fund instead of receiving laser hair removal.  Check to see if pads and tape will hold with movement.  Correct if necessary.  

Of course, correction necessary.  

Lower now numb and useless leg.  Hobble to bed and collapse, exhausted. Try to remove images of gaping, seeping hole in rear end and contorted body currently burned on your retinas.  


That’s what I would imagine it was like.  IF I ever had staph, that is. 

Which I don't.  

Because, if I did, I CERTAINLY wouldn't write about it on the internet and humiliate myself for all to read.  

My Mama taught me better than that!