Momma T's Mighty Murphys

Sunday, May 13, 2012

I did not buy my mom a gift this year.  She understands.  It's going to be a tough week.  We move on Friday.  My house is full of half-labeled boxes of stuff, at least a third of which we'll likely never touch again.  I'm distractible under the best of conditions and highly distracted this week. 

Anyway, I had intended to give her a different sort of gift - to relay to her two memories I have of her as a parent that have given me a powerful roadmap for the kind of person I want to be.  Instead, I called her today and complained to her about something that might or might not happen over the next week or so.  She listened patiently, but we both know it was three minutes of her life she can't get back.

So here's the two stores, so I don't forget to tell her how important these moments were to me as a child, a spouse, a parent and a human being.

First, I was in fourth or fifth grade, and I walked in the house after school wearing a black armband.  My mom glared at me and asked me where I got it and if I knew what it was for.  I told her my teacher put it on me and said I didn't know what it was for.  She ordered my brother, my sister and me to get in the car.  She made a quick call, and we were off.  Next thing I know, I was sitting in the waiting room of the office of our school principal, a stately and formidable nun who scared student and teacher alike.  I overheard my mother saying something about how her children were not to be used as "billboards for church propaganda" or something to that effect.  The lesson I learned, not then but as I reflected on it many years later, from this moment:  don't be someone else's billboard - think for yourself.

Second, I remember asking her, after I had ended my first marriage and shortly thereafter become very serious with my new boyfriend and now husband, if she was worried that I would serially make mistakes in my relationships with men.  She said no, that she knew Ryan and I would figure it out.  She also told me she wasn't going to worry about it because there wasn't much she could do about it anyway.  I was my own person and entitled to make my own mistakes and to learn from them.  The lesson I learned, again not until much later when I became the parent of a headstrong 8-year-old daughter, was that sometimes you're just the spectator in your kids' lives and sometimes you're a participant - the good parents figure out when to be what.

I love you Mom.  Happy Mothers' Day.  Thanks for everything.

Love always,
Momma T and the Mighty Murphys

Friday, October 21, 2011

We Tech Therefore We Are

We went through a technology purge at our house a month or so ago.  Ryan and I got lazy toward the end of summer, and the kids had far too much access to TV and the "i"s that dominate our household (iPhone, iPad, iTunes etc.).  As part of the purge, the kids get a certain amount of "tech time" during the week but, once it's gone, it's gone.  The purge has been a good thing - highly successful.   

Post-purge, I synced my iPad and found evidence of some creativity and ingenuity, which was further proof to my theory that I'm not totally dulling any sense of fun left in my kids' right brains by allowing them access to the "i"s.  

Here's what I saw...
Picasso-like art?



Gannon yawning?



Gannon as Rodin's thinker?



Gannon or Ronan - guess?



The nukkie solves the riddle.



Ronan and, along with his sister, one of the two best babysitters in the world - don't even bother asking for his number because we don't share him.



Maguire?  Pretty sure Maguire.



Definitely Maguire. 



Pretty sure this is Gannon's eyeball, but I'm making no guarantees.


This stuff is pretty darn cool.  The sad part is that none of my kids are willing to use their tech time to show me how to do it.  

Love,

Momma T.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The post to be named later....

I was taking the kids to tennis today when Gan suddenly said, "Hey Mom.  Wheeeeeere's Titty-Toes?!?"  I asked him what he said, and he repeated it, in the same voice, like some game show host.  I asked him where he heard that word, and he said he just used his "noggin'" to think it up.  

I laughed my pants off, and then I had a little talk with him about how "titty" is not a nice word.  We clarified that it's not actually a swear word, but that it's not a nice word and he's not allowed to use it.  He asked me what it meant, and I told him it was a crass word for breasts.  He said, "When you say 'breasts,' you mean boobies right?"  I could tell I was really reaching him on the "don't use crass language" speech.  Maguire drove it home by saying, "It's really insulting to women."  Gan gave her the blank stare.  

Maguire then asked me if she could say it just once, considering Gan got to say it once.  (I guess her feminist ideals went out the window when the chance to use a pseudo-swear word popped up.)  I told her to go for it, and she used the same game-show-host voice and belted it out.  



The talk died down as we approached tennis lessons.  I told the big kids that I was going to miss them when they stay with Grandma and Grandpa for two nights because they make me laugh so much.  Gan said, "Mom.  Dad will still be home.  He can make you laugh."  I told Gan that Dad's not as funny as they are.  His face totally lit up and he said, "Mom.  I can teach Dad how to say 'Wheeeeeeere's Titty-Toes' and that'll make you laugh while we're gone."

Awesome.

Love,

Momma T and the Mighty Murphys

P.S.  Here's a pic of the only child I have who does not enjoy using crass language.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Man Time

Since Gan was born, I have been the center of his universe.  As a baby, he'd cry if anyone else tried to hold him.  I was, somewhat unfortunately, his favorite servant.  We still joke about how, whether it was tying his shoes or wiping his butt or getting him a snack or whatever, whenever someone would offer to do it for him, he'd respond, "Mommy do it." 

The upshot of all of this is that I was also his most trusted confidante, his favorite playmate, and his first choice for snuggles and hugs.  He'd never turn down a trip to anywhere with me or helping me make dinner or even cleaning toilets with me.  Whatever I was doing, he wanted to be doing it.

My Gan is quickly approaching age 5, which he told me the other day is getting "pwetty gwown up, almost as old as a dad."  During the past month or so, I've noticed him seeking out time with Ryan more and more.  The other night, he turned down reading "My Father's Dragon" with me for watching hockey with Ryan.  Two nights ago, he told me he didn't want to run to the store with me because he was watching basketball with Dad and then they were going to wrestle.  Last night, when Maguire was practicing her storytelling for the big Second Grade Storytelling Night, Gan chose to sit on Dad's lap.  

As I was looking through some old pictures the other day, I noticed these.  




Man time.  It's hunting me with a vengeance.  Next thing I know, we'll be buying a house with a man cave for these guys.  

I would feel a little sad about losing a part of my Gan, but truth is, that guy's got a huge heart.  There's always room for more.  Well, that, and he told me the other day that he didn't feel like going to school because he loves me as much as his blanket and just wants to hang out with me.  That's devotion.  

Love, 

Momma T.  


Monday, February 21, 2011

Dear Old Man Winter

Dear Old Man Winter,

We have done our best to enjoy you this year.  We applauded when you arrived before Thanksgiving, ensuring that we had a white Christmas; we celebrated you at the holidays, decorating homes and churches and streets; we rejoiced as we went sledding more times than I can count; we wore crazy hats inside and outside; we retreated to the playroom in the basement when you threatened us with frostbite.











BUT NOW IT'S TIME TO STEP ASIDE. SERIOUSLY.  

The baby is getting really, really bitter about having to wear a coat all the time.  





His face could get stuck like that.

I've gotten to the point where I can barely even drag myself outside, even to go to the mall, even when Gan promises me he'll win me a prize, which he always does.





We've done it all.  We've done winter up right.  So why, oh why, are you dumping feet, yes FEET, of snow on us today?  Last week, Spring tried to kick you out with her 45 degree temperatures.  But you are not going quietly into that good night.  You are seriously pissing me off.  I cursed you as I was shoveling out our driveway after the snowplows plowed us in.  

I know I live in Minnesota, and I know it's only February.  I know I have months, not weeks, left of snow.  But I figured begging couldn't hurt.  

Sending no love to you whatsoever,

Momma T.  

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Tech Support

I run a small business out of our home office.  As a result, I am the family tech support person.  It's a dubious honor.  

I am a die-hard Mac user.  If I had my way, I'd never touch another pc again.  1-800-MY-APPLE has been  my go-to number for all of my tech support issues.  Considering I'm not actually a technologically gifted person, I call that number a lot.  If ten or so days go by without me calling them, they call me to make sure I'm okay.  It's sweet.

The other day, my printer stopped working.  The paper feed part would only feed half a sheet of paper, so it'd get all crumpled up and nothing was printing.  I considered calling my APPLE friends but figured I'd better do a little research on my own before asking them to fix a machine manufactured by someone else with a weird little, what appeared to be non-software, glitch.

So, I searched the net and found a few people who recommended turning the printer upside down and banging on the bottom.  I figured what the heck so I gave it a shot.  First time, nothing happened.  It didn't work any better than before - still no paper feed.  Second time, I heard something come loose inside the printer.  I figured that I'd busted it, until I tipped it back over and this fell out:



It's a multi-colored swirl pencil...in my printer...that I need for work...huh?

I hate to point fingers, but I know who's to blame for this.  It's my copy boy.  He can't help himself when it comes to things like printers and dishwashers and the like that make noises when you hit the buttons.

GUILTY AS CHARGED

Here he is trying to dispose of the instrument of destruction.



I may have to fire him.  I'll probably call the APPLE people first and consult with them because it appears to be a tech issue.  Plus, I want them to know that I solved this one on my own.

Love,

Momma T.  

Monday, January 3, 2011

Body Language


Gan came home from preschool today, his first day back after Christmas vacation, and said he had something to ask me.  He said, "Do you know what body language is?"  I answered, "I think so."  



Gan said, "Well, it's like, if I'm a guy who lives in Minnesota and I want to tell a guy who lives in Florida to come here, I can just curl my fingers like this, so he knows, because those guys in Florida don't speak Minnesota.  That's body language."

I'm giggling just thinking about it now.  Still giggling.  

Love, 

Momma T.  

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I'm a 36-year-old mother of three (one girl and two boys), lover of fashion, chocolate, and red wine, ex-lawyer about to become a lawyer again to fund the fashion, chocolate and red wine habit. I revere the sisterhood of moms.