C’mon baby, light my Kindle.

I’ve never been much of a book person.

Granted, over the past 6 years, I’ve read plenty of books.  But most of those have been picture books, board books and, generally, anything impervious to teethmarks or drool.  With a little Tikki Tikki Tembo thrown in there as well.

But the other kind of books?  The ones with actual words targeted at audiences over the age of 8?  I’ve never taken much to.

There are so many other things I want or need to spend my free time doing.  Working on websites.  Playing Words With Friends.  Facebooking or aimlessly surfing the internet.  Important stuff like that.

To my husband, the ex-literature teacher, this is baffling.  There are few things he’d rather do than sit around and bury his nose in a book, or his Kindle.

So when the reading fever struck me earlier this week, I don’t think anyone was more shocked than he.

Or sad to see his Kindle go.  And he knew it would be a while before he got it back.

Because I started reading The Hunger Games trilogy.

If you haven’t started reading the books yet, I highly recommend that you don’t.  Because they are positively addicting.  And that’s not necessarily a good thing.

Housework has been neglected.

We’ve gone out for dinner 3 of the past 4 nights.

I haven’t gone to bed before 1 am since I started reading the books.

I might be just a wee bit obsessed.

But here’s the thing I’ve discovered.  Even if I let everything else slide around the house, there’s still the small matter of those two little munchkins that need me.

Kindergartners aren’t very sympathetic to I’LL-MAKE-YOU-BACON-AFTER-I-FINISH-CHAPTER-10’s.   They want their breakfast now.

Toddlers don’t like it when you say, “I’ll come play with you after I find out who gets picked from District 12.”  Hungry Hippos wait for no one.

And you really don’t earn brownie points with the husband when tell your son, “Go ask Daddy to change your diaper, honey.  Momma needs to see whether Katniss makes it out of this one.”

I’ve discovered that it’s really, really hard to finish a book when you have kids.

The good news for my family is that I’m burning through the books at an alarmingly fast rate.  After a couple days of reading, I’m on number three in the trilogy.

My husband, who’s already read the books, has been humoring me while I satisfy my obsession.

Secretly, I think the ex-professor in him is glad I’m finally reading an actual book.  One that does not have pictures in it.

Or perhaps he knows that, at the rate I’m reading, the end is near.  In another day or so, The Hunger Games will draw to a close.  And he’ll have home-cooked meals, and semi-clean house once again.

And, if he’s lucky, he’ll also get his Kindle back.

Purls of love

This weekend, I decided to undertake Mission Impossible.  Otherwise known as, “Operation Get Rid of the Stuff We No Longer Need.”

I started with baby bottles, nursing accessories and bibs that were no longer needed.  I found countless pacifiers sprinkled throughout the house.  My son hasn’t used a paci since he was 9 months old but I just couldn’t bring myself to part ways with them until now.  I tackled Chip’s overflowing dresser, which still contained clothes for 0-6 months.  Then I moved on to the toys scattered throughout the house.

I cleaned.  I purged.  I filled huge, Goodwill-destined garbage balls full of clothes, toys and baby paraphernalia.  Some bags were earmarked for the trash; others for family members of friends.  Mission Impossible was off to a good start.

But when I got to my daughter’s room, I came to a screeching halt.  Because there, nestled in the back of her dresser drawers, I discovered the neatly folded pile of The Sweaters.

The Sweaters are all that remain of my brief foray into knitting a few years back.  And as I took each tiny garment out, I quickly forgot about the organizing and purging.

Instead, I ventured down memory lane.    And I realized each sweater, poncho and tiny little hat held special significance for me.

Like the first piece of clothing I ever made for one of my children.  My first knitting project, actually.  I still remember ripping out rows upon rows of laboriously knit stitches and redoing them until I got it right.

Or sweaters knit for special occasions.  Like Valentine’s Day:

Or Christmas:

Or ones that were just used for doing yardwork:

Really kid? This sweater took me months to complete, and you're wearing it to mow the lawn? Really??

And probably a dozen other creations that I forget to get pictures of when they still fit her.  Yeah.  When I got to the stack of The Sweaters, all of my good intentions to purge and get rid of things no longer used just flew out the window.

I don’t need them anymore.  She’s long since outgrown them.  But I just can’t bear to part ways with them.

They symbolize late nights curled up on the couch; the quiet only being interrupted by the clicking of two needles together.  Well, that and a few choice swear words thrown in here and there when a mistake was discovered.

They are mementos of a pigtailed little toddler who actually wore skirts.  And who still let me dress her.

Clearly, they are reminders of just how much time I had on my hands when I had just had one child.  (Hello!  I haven’t picked up a knitting needle since Chip was born.)

They are labors of my love.

So I created a new bag.  One especially reserved for The Sweaters.   It lies in the back of her closet.

Waiting.

For just the right person to give them to.  Or for a day when I get particularly un-sentimental and decide to finally send them to Goodwill.

Or maybe they’re waiting for the day when they’re finally worn again.  By a niece, perhaps?  Or maybe, if I’m lucky, by a granddaughter?  I can only hope.

For the time being, though, the bag sits in the back of my daughter’s closet.

It is special.  It contains sweaters.  And a lot of love.

A play-by-play of how I got lucky last night.

I got lucky last night.  Very, very lucky.

I know.  This is a family blog.

But I haven’t even gotten to the juicy part yet.  I got lucky with KLZ.

C'mon, people. What did you think I was talking about?

It all started last week, when she alluded to her love affair with words.  Given my own obsession with all things app-related, I was immediately intrigued.  So, this weekend, I tried to woo her into a challenge.

I started the game by throwing down the proverbial gauntlet.  I set the bar high, just to show her what she’d be up against:

She answered in kind, reminding me of who she was:

I wasn’t intimidated.  I tried to taunt her by hurling juvenile insults in her direction:

The reply came back.  Far more eloquently stated than me with my silly, childish jabs:

And so the tit-for-tat played on.  While I picked one of these…

…she was busy coming up with words that have no meaning or equivalent in the English language… but are, in fact, playable Scrabble words:

“Damn that woman and her wiles,” I thought.  Or is it wyles?

When I saw this last one, I knew I was outmaneuvered.  And soon to be outplayed.  Heck, I was already outwitted before the game even started.

But, just when I thought all hope was lost, a gift from the Scrabble gods fell from the heavens.  An 8-letter, 63 point monstrosity that literally landed into my lap to end the game.  I have no idea how it happened, but I know I got extremely lucky.

This morning, though, I’m seeing things in a different light.  I think it was KLZ that got lucky.  After 3 days of putting up with me and my infantile heckles and jeers, the misery ended.  And she was set free.

You might even say, she was liberated.

Yep.  I may have scored.  But she got lucky.

I luv u, Steve. But ur products r evil.

To: “Steve Jobs” <[email protected]>
From: “Booyah’s Momma” <[email protected]>
Subject: A plea for help.  And possibly a free Apple TV.

Dear Steve,

You simply do not know what you are doing to me.

My infatuation started innocently enough.  A while back, I decided to get an iPhone.  My old Motorola was dying a painful death, and I figured it was a good time to trade up.  Plus, I figured I could check my work email from my phone.  Extra bonus!

I didn’t realize how quickly I’d get sucked in.  Me. The person who used to despise cell phones with a vehement passion.  I never thought it would happen to me.

I had became the very person I used to scoff at.

The woman who took her phone with her to the ladies’ room so she could catch up her blog reading.  Who found herself madly texting her technophobe-40-some sister at midnight.  Who gave her kids her phone at the grocery store, so they could entertain themselves with Elmo’s Monster Maker and she could shop in peace.  The woman who found comfort in hearing the middle-of-the-night “Duh duh dum!” when her phone told her she had a new DM.

And that was only the beginning.

Because when I got my iPad for Christmas, it took the craze to a whole other level.

I admit, I poo-pooed the iPad when it first came out.  I giggled every time I heard an advertisement for the things… maybe because I thought they always sounded like a feminine hygiene product.

Once I took it out of the box, though, I had to admit: it was pretty genius.  A slippery sloped sort of genius.

I blame it on the apps.

Those glorious apps have rocked my world.  I can’t go a day without checking my Smurf Village to bake Smurfberry muffins.  When I’m in the kitchen, I pretend that I’m a Fruit Ninja, slashing up culinary delights for my kids.  Ironically, I no longer even use it to check my work email.  I now have Words with Friends.

iPhone.  iTunes.   iPad.  iObsess.

All because of you and your evil plot to take over MacWorld.

My doctor thinks Apple just might be detrimental to my health.  Because, when I went in to see her the other day because of this strange swelling in my thumbs, she actually diagnosed me with something far more serious.

I think she said it was Appleitis.  Which I’m pretty sure is like Elephantitis, only much worse.  I’m sending you a picture so you can see what it looks like.

Sorry for the bad picture quality, by the way.  I took it on my iPhone.

Make it stop, Steve.  Please.  My kids, my husband, and my over-sized pile of dirty laundry implore you.

Sincerely,
Your Biggest Fan

PS: Is the new Apple TV really as cool as it sounds?

Sent from my iPhone.

*****

Edited note: I read this morning (after this post was already scheduled), that CEO Steve Jobs just announced a health-related leave of absence from Apple.  Obviously, my timing couldn’t have sucked worse for a tongue-in-cheek post like this, but I decided to publish anyways.  I wish you a speedy recovery, Mr. Jobs.  And I mean that in all seriousness.

Confessions of a former sports widow

For the first six weeks after we got married, I was blissfully happy.  I basked in the newlywed glow.  I had a doting new husband.  Everything was just peachy.

But on week seven, something came along that put the kibosh on all of that. 

That something?  Football.  Little could I have known that a little pigskin and 22 grown men in skintight pants could turn my formerly attentive husband into a raging, all out football fanatic.

I became a sports widow.  At least on Sundays.  And Monday nights.  And, sometimes, Thursday nights, too.

Initially, I did not take my newfound widowhood gracefully. 

But after a time, I realized that my attempts to win my husband’s attention on the weekends were somewhat futile.

After the first few seasons, I even became resigned to the fact that, at least for 16 weeks out of the year, I was a sports widow.  At least on Sundays.  And Monday nights.  And, sometimes, Thursday nights, too.

But my husband sensed my growing discontent.  And, in an effort to put a kibosh on my incessant whining and pouting, did something that changed the character of our marriage.  Somehow, he convinced me to join his fantasy football league.

At first, I wasn’t sold on the idea.  I hated football.  I knew nothing about the sport.  But at least it gave us something to talk about on the weekends.  And, surprisingly, I was pretty lucky when it came to picking my players.

As it turns out, apparently Jay knew me better than I knew myself.  Because for as much as I despised football?  I hated losing even more.

Partway through the first season, I realized that, in order to win at fantasy football, I actually had to know something about the sport.  And so, I started watching.

And, slowly, a transformation occurred.  I actually started to like it.  I began poring over the stats.  I agonized over which running back to start.  I rejoiced alongside my husband when the bad guys fumbled the ball.

My husband says that introducing me to football may have been the best thing he did for our marriage.

I don’t know if I’d go that far.  But I can say that I now look forward to Sundays.  And Monday nights.  And, sometimes, Thursday nights, too.

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The WoW is kibosh.

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