Friday, January 29, 2010

New to Me...

About 2 years ago at my first Matilda Jane conference, I roomed with the one of the sweetest woman you will ever meet. Having not roomed with a woman in many years for many reasons I was intrigued to see the many accoutrement's in her toiletry bag - the make-up, the lotions, the beautiful products, but mainly the intriguing flat iron.

In high school, I rose by 5am every morning to burn the shit of my hair - to curl it and tease it and aqua net it until it stood a good 6 inches above my head in glorious 80's style. I would then plaster my face with Maybelline liquid base and blue eyeshadow with occasional streaks of pink.

I graduated to college and it was there that I threw away all of my products - and my hair hasn't seen a curling product or my face a base product since. My toiletry bag became one of lotion, deodorant and toothpaste and my hair was held in a ponytail.

Upon unpacking the flat iron I asked "what is that? what is that for?" My sweet friend laughed at me and said "why it is a flat iron - you have never seen one?" She then proceed to make her hair as smooth and beautiful as a baby's bottom and I was impressed with this new technology.

For two long years I have thought about that encounter and the beauty that flat iron made, so on Monday while making my Target $100 store run, there was an end cap of beautiful bubblegum pink flat irons that caught my eye.

Could I do it? Do I need it? It's had been 22 years since I owned my last hair product..would it seem obsessive and just a wee bit silly? Could I tell anyone?

I sheepishly put it in my cart and hid it under the paper towels like a man shopping for feminine products and made my way to check-out.

Upon unpacking the bags, my girls exclaimed "oh Mom, what is that?" I said "I believe it is something you can straighten or curl your hair with."

"Can you do ours?" They exclaimed loudly like I had brought home the best party game ever.

As I did their hair and they smiled in approval at the results - I had forgotten how a simple item can make you feel so beautiful. I am not sure this will ever be used on my hair, but the beauty gained from this purchase has been worth every dime.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Astrid 6 months...

Dear Astrid at 6 months,


..except now you also lay there on the floor and go "eeehhh eeehhh" and if no one is shaking a toy at you. Thank God for the older toy shakers in this house.

Love, Mom

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dear First Grade...

I would like to start by saying that I appreciate your challenging curriculum for my daughter, as I want to start this note as passive aggressively as I can and butter you up before I tell you how much you suck.

Her first report card was so wonderful and just about perfect except where you said that "she needs to work on her presentation skills." I beg to differ. She is in first grade and I really don't care about her presentation skills nor will I make her practice.

Now I know that it is our fault for signing her up for the gifted and talented program and all, and I know she is brilliant. In fact just yesterday when I left her for a few moments by my running car, I came back to find her behind my car breathing in the "pretty smoke" - brilliant I tell ya and gifted on top of that.

When other parents at this school share about 6 year old Johny's 5th grade math brilliance, I first throw up in my mouth because I don't care, and I don't share her 6th grade reading ability - I share the exhaust story...because that is FUNNY and I really don't like talking about my kid in a gifted way. That is weird and wrong.

So, first grade, when we received in December, the "Culture Heritage" project that said:

"Research and write a report and prepare a 10 minute presentation about something special about your ancestry, a family custom or story. Be creative and make sure the student does the research and writing."

..I became unglued. First Grade??? Research? Report? Presentation??? And furthermore, I can appreciate her fellow classmates that are 2nd and even 1st generation Americans and I want to listen to their reports...but for us mutts with kids who have like 14 countries of origin, I am grasping at straws here to get 10 minutes of interesting content. But why should I worry, it is not like I have to do the work or anything.

"We" chose Scotland as that is where we were married and we both have some Scottish back there...but really we are no more Scottish than the Pope is Chinese. Really.

This is pretty much how the student directed report went:

Me "Okay Eloise, here are some Countries and family stories that you can choose from to write about.."

Eloise "How long is this going to take?"

Me "Until we are done. I was thinking about Scotland and you can talk about your last name and when your parents were married."

Eloise "Do you think I will have time to still ice skate today?"

Me "So, here is how I am thinking we will assemble the poster board."

Eloise "Can Esther do the gluing?"

Skipping to the end of a LONG day...
Me "Now I have all of the content prepared - you just need to finish assembling the poster board, copy what I have written in your own script and practice and learn what I did here."

Eloise "Why does Morrison have 2 r's. Is the 2nd one really necessary?"

In conclusion, First Grade, as much as I appreciated this lesson and all, and in as much as I know my child is brilliant and in as much as I know that we signed up for this, it sucks and they are NOT ready for this and as a parent - I went to school already and I don't want to spend my Sundays doing this when there is a perfectly good ice rink out back for me to perfect my waltz jump. Olympic trials are coming soon.

Warmly in brilliance,
Eloise's Mom

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Sins of my Mother...

There are many things that I forgive of my mother...
- her lack of baking skills
- her voiced opinions
- her lack of knowledge of Monet
- her tenacious personality that only a person barely passing 5 feet tall can have

I see in my own motherhood that I need to also be an advocate for my kids - whether they want me to be or not - and with everything a Mother does, we do from our hearts.

There is only one thing that after now 35 years I still could not forgive of my mother.


...not just the haircut that was forced upon me - but wow all of a sudden with this new short "do" I should also be dressed like a boy to match my brother. Really?

I would like to now publicly apologize and forgive my Mom, as now here I deal with brushing out 2 girls long hair with knots and having to deal with crying and screaming and fights every.damn.morning. By 8am I need a stiff drink.

My mom was a pretty smart cookie to cut it off and end the morning madness.

Sure, I still wish I had long locks...but all is now forgiven.

Sorry Mom.

Moms are not really superheros, we just play one at home. We sin daily with our shortcomings and trials and errors. But we succeed daily with our love.

Anything you need to forgive of your Mom today?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

In Time...

When Eloise was a baby, we would go to ECFE classes and daycare and see these babies getting teeth at 4 months, crawling at 6 months, walking at 9 months.

Eloise sat on our laps - toothless and motionless. She would bury her head in the crook of my arm and hide and not play with other children.

I started wondering if she would ever get a tooth, sit-up, crawl, walk, play.

We bought books like Ruby in Her Own Time and Leo the Late Bloomer.

Unfortunately we did not focus at the time that she talked by 10 months and turned out to be an early reader, and one of the best friends you could ever have.

...and in time at 10 months she sat, 13 months got a tooth, 14 months crawled and 18 months walked.

So now we wait for her teeth to fall out. 7 seems like the magic age for her as she has now lost 3 teeth. She is so proud..and we are now in no hurry.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

You Never...

You never let us have fun.
You never feed us what we want for dinner.
You never let us stay up late.
You never let us order books.
You never help with our homework.
You never play with me instead of HER.
You never let me wear what I want.
You never wake me up on time so I am not rushed.
You never take my side.
You never pack my backpack right.
You never brush my hair gently.
You never let us watch TV like our friends do.
You never say yes.
You never are nice.
You never let me do ANYTHING.

Things that I hear every day, that I wish I never did. I cannot imagine how long this list will be when they are teenagers.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Big Plans

Esther told me yesterday that she is never going to college as she could never leave home. She wants to live with us forever, but still have 18 kids and another mommy(Sister wife?) to help her.

This will never happen - she will leave home, no way are 18 kids living here, but I do admit - there are many days I would do anything for a sister wife.

I wanted to go to college, have a big career and a house decorated in mainly white where no children were ever allowed.

Eloise is very much the same - she talks of college already and lists the careers she wants and isn't too partial to babies. They are messy and kind of gross. I do agree. I tell her that when they are your own babies - none of that bothers you as you let them give you sloppy kisses. She still keeps her distance from Astrid's.

So I have started making Eloise feed Astrid dinner while I cook. Eloise squeals for help when there are pears on Astrid's cheeks to rub off. But Astrid LOVES it. Having never had a younger sibling, it is so endearing to me to see how much Astrid adores her big sisters.

And her big sisters pretty much love her to pieces as long as she is not too gross. I pretty much feel the same way about them.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

So Busy Here..

So sorry to be a bit lax in my blogging of late.

I am so busy dealing with very important family matters.

For example:

Yesterday, the big girls come running to me yelling "Mom, Mom we both have to poop really badly but we can't decide who should go first!!! Tell us, who should go first!!! Quick!!!"

Me "Well, why don't one of you use the bathroom down here..and one of you go to the bathroom upstairs, that way you can both poop first?"

Eloise "Great idea!"

I love being needed - and by the way, my children are brilliant!


Sunday, January 17, 2010


I have little to no technical capabilities. And I do not even try. My computer dies..."hey Jed!" The TV isn't working..."hey Jed!" My phone is acting up or I need an App for that..."hey Jed!"

I worked for a high-tech company for almost 15 years and was a marketing manager for a techie product that I had never used because it scared me.

I have never downloaded a song. The thought of it makes me queasy.

So in lies my stress tonight. Looking at the TV listings - I see that 24, Desperate Housewives and The Golden Globes are all on at the same time. Poor planning. All day I have thought of the pros and cons of watching each one. You see, because of my lack of techno knowledge, I also don't own a DVR or tivo, or cable for that matter. I do have a VCR, but have never been able to figure out that record feature.

I am so lucky - my biggest stress today is what to watch and what will I miss.

There are so many mothers today wondering how to feed their children, to keep them safe, to provide them with shelter. They weigh heavy on my mind today.

I am thankful to have choices today. Who knows what tomorrow brings.


Friday, January 15, 2010

Brownie Smile....

I volunteered to be the Cookie Mom for Eloise's Daisy Troop since I didn't have enough going on in my life.

I am actually enjoying it though - because it gives me the opportunity to tell more people what to do - other than my own family of course.

I miss being a boss. I like being a boss. I like having power. I have control issues.

Cookie sales start tomorrow, January 16th and my thighs are very excited.

Because I am a whore for sales, and Eloise wants to desperately win the damned stuffed panda bear - email me at tracymorrison[at]comcast[dot]net and Eloise will hook you up with cookies. I am happy to mail them to you, or you can ask for them to be donated to our local food shelf.

Have a great weekend.


p.s. My lovely friend Michelle has organized a group of ladies to auction some of our girls clothing on eBay. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to charities helping in Haiti. Please search eBay auctions for LOVE FOR HAITI and bid! You will see more items going up for sale over the next week..and/or please join us with your own auctions also.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Glamorous Life..

I found this t-shirt yesterday from Paperlili while searching for Esther's perfect birthday outfit.
Unfortunately, they are sold-out of her size. It is so her. I am stressing about her birthday outfit because A. she actually requires some special outfit and B. her instructions are "a big 5 in pink bling on her belly with a weawy weawy twiwly skiwt." I am having a rough time of it finding this set.

How did she get so glamorous?

Eloise and I and safe creatures. We care too much about what people think, our clothing is conservative. I hear too much from Esther "Mom, why do you wear black everyday?"

Our clothing matches and we don't accessorize. We wear the same, comfortable shoes every day. We don't like to stand out, be noticed or my goodness have someone talk about us. My face is turning red just thinking about it.

Esther likes to be the life of the party. The loudest, the silliest and the most fashionably dressed.

Nothing matches, hat on backwards, a ponytail on the top of her head, layers of beaded necklaces.

And in as much as I am looking forward to Esther going to school all day next year...I am already lonely for our lunchtime party everyday together. I will miss her if even for the pure entertainment value. I like to use my kids that way.

I always try to set a proper and glamorous plate for her - and make it pretty and colorful just like her. Or I stop buy a few trays of sushi for us to share. Esther loves her food as colorful as she is. Tan is overrated.

Esther colors my world, my soul and my heart and I worry that my days will be quite unglamorous next year without her company each day.


p.s. ..and because Esther is the biggest American Idol fan I know - I had to share this clip from last night. I love this man and totally agree with him, and have been singing it

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I had a post full of the usual drivel ready to go today - you know, me complaining either about a bitchy baby, high maintenance primary student, fashionista preschooler, crazy/better off dead cat, my awful hair, or my hard to figure out husband.

But the tradegy happening in Haiti gave me pause. It is all I can think about today. And how we all can help.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Night of a Mother...

(Please note this picture has nothing to do with my post - I just didn't have one to share. It was my centerpiece at Christmas. The picture is of me and my brother - we were 1 and it was our 2nd Christmas.)

(Also, just for the record my hair is still as stick straight as usual. The curls were just for fun that day to freak out my kids. It worked.)

The Night of a Mother...

6:35 pm Baby's asleep
7:15 pm Girl's are asleep
7:16 pm Mom pours a glass of wine, flops onto the couch and opens her computer
7:17 pm Channel surfing for reality TV
7:30 pm Hubby joins - pours beer, flops on chair across the room and opens laptop
(we are very romantic that way)
8:00 pm Hubby sleeping/snoring loudly in chair. I throw cat toys at him to make it stop
9:30 pm Baby wakes - screaming
10:30 pm I go to bed
11:30 pm Baby wakes - screaming
12:30 am I wake to the noise of the cat puking - get up, find cat, clean-up cat puke
1:30 am Oldest daughter yells out for a drink of water after a bad dream
2:00 am Cat paws at my head and sneezes at my face and starts sniffling to let me know he has a cold and then snuggles under the covers with me.
2:30 am Baby wakes - screaming
3:30 am Husband wakes with HUGE coughing fit, waking the whole household up
4:30 am Cat jumps on me wanting his breakfast
4:35 am Get Up
5:00 am Baby wakes - screaming

And so it goes...

Monday, January 11, 2010

I am where I should be...

Everyone is talking about the weather this week.

Below zero in Minnesota.

Snowstorms in Kentucky.

Ice in Florida.

Storms in Germany.

We could escape to the only warmth in California, but there is that pesky earthquake to deal with...

I only complain about the weather when it is too hot. I hate to sweat and cannot keep cool enough to be comfortable in heat and humidity.

When we go home to Indiana - even their July heat keeps me indoors in the a/c most every day.

We keep our home heated to a maximum of 59 degrees - even in the dead of Winter.

I like it cold - very cold.

I am also so glad we live in Minnesota where we can enjoy an ice rink in our own backyard.

I am right where I should be.


Friday, January 8, 2010

When your Stylist goes to Rehab...

Esther was brushing my hair last week when she said "gosh Mommy, I like your new silver hair - where did you get it?"

This was my subtle clue that it had been 5 months since my last hair appointment and "color adjustment."

I dread getting my hair done - taking the time, spending the money and crying after the results.

The past 7 years have been good to me though, with a stylist who makes house calls, who has amazing vision during his meth-induced state, with cheap prices and fabulous results.

Sadly, he is no longer available - something to do with men in white coats, speeding vans and the State of Nebraska - I will never know for sure what happened.

So I have sat near the phone for 2 months - knowing I need a cut and color and not knowing where to call, talking myself out of making the call and considering a drug store box and some fiskars.

Panicking - how long will it take, can I leave the baby - the baby who hates everyone. She won't take a bottle, what if she needs to eat? Is gray hair really that big of deal?

But I don't want anyone to mistake me for being her Grandma.

So I called a salon to make an appointment - he asked me when I wanted to come in and I said "whenever it works for you all" and he said "how about tomorrow?"

Tomorrow - that soon??? Really - not like 2 months out or something.

So I went, left the baby - she screamed uncontrollably and inconsolably for 2 hours.

But I didn't hear her as I read my People magazine and took a brief nap under the dryer and sipped tea with no one under the age of 18 in sight.

..and I have my natural brown back - and a little extra Moxie.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Stupid Is..

I made meat on Christmas. I don't make meat much or much meat for that matter, as I don't eat meat much or much meat for that matter.

Most people, or just me for that matter, struggle a bit cooking foods they don't eat.

We cannot tell by color, texture or flavor and we worry about killing our families. I am a taster by trait in my kitchen and that is impossible to do when meat is involved.

Thus, the invention of the meat thermometer.

I had one, but it must've ended up in the organizational pile of "items rarely used in my kitchen" - thus tossed at some point along with the cookie dough baller, lemon zester and garlic press.

Not wanting to buy a meat thermometer to toss again in 3 years, I sent Jed on a mission to borrow one from the neighbors.

Mission accomplished.

Problem is, I put it in the meat and put the meat in the oven. Upon checking the meat after 15 minutes, a large drip of plastic was hanging off the face of the thermometer.

Plastic on a meat thermometer? I always had glass. How do I use such a device and holy shit I have now ruined it. Now A). How will I know when the meat is done and B.) How will I tell my neighbors that I turned their thermometer into a shrinky-dink and admit that I am so stupid that I put plastic in the oven.

I ran to google - and found their thermometer and found out it is called an "instant thermometer" - that doesn't go into the oven.

How stupid. How stupid to measure the temperature of meat that is cooked in the oven, outside of the oven. How stupid to make a meat thermometer out of plastic. How stupid of me not to notice it was plastic and ruin a thermometer and meat on Christmas.

What is even more stupid is that I was so embarrassed by my minor kitchen catastrophe that I didn't want to tell my neighbors about it, so promptly on December 25th FOUND the exact thermometer on amazon[dot]com from an ace hardware store in Brooklyn, NY and have been impatiently awaiting it's arrival.

For nearly two weeks now, I have avoided talking to my neighbors, making eye contact with my neighbors and promptly ducking inside my house if I spied them walking in front of our home, just to avoid admitting my thermometer shortcomings.

How happy I was when it finally arrived yesterday and I could open it and return it to them unscathed and apologize for only its tardy return and not its demise.

What is more stupid though - than the fact that it is plastic, the fact that I ruined it by putting it in the oven, and the fact that I was too big of a coward to admit it happened, is that it only cost me $3.78 on amazon, and it shipped for free in this HUGE box.(using wine bottle as measuring tool/comparison - as I don't carry rulers if you are wondering how big Astrid is now, she is about 2 1/2 wine bottles long...).

AND that they put on the back of the packaging the use instructions. See, now I was never given those!


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Date with Daddy...

I decided that Jed needed to start a tradition of taking his girls out on a date every Christmas.

This year, I decided it should be the Nutcracker.

He mentioned that Motocross was in town.

I told him the girls didn't own Levi's jeans, or sweatshirts with hoods and kangaroo pockets, or white tennis shoes.

Not to be disrespectful to those who do.

He asked if he could buy them their first motorcycles this year - you know for under the tree.

Esther said "as long as it is pink and I can wear my tutu."

As long as she doesn't end up in a future sexy motorcycle magazine ad, that is fine with me.

Jed is the dad to girly-girls, so he can embrace it and endure the Nutcracker at Christmas, pink in their closets and Angelina on TV.

He just needs to know how important it is to spoil his girls sometime.

Well, all of the time.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Just Breathe...

I cannot relax.

I am one of those people who loves yoga, but when they do the deep breathing/meditation part - I act like I am doing it, but instead look around the room and watch other people really doing it, analyze how my ass and boobs look, AND at the same time make my to-do lists.

I am one of those people that when I have gone to church or before a meal when they say "let's pray" - I don't close my eyes or pray at all - but look around the room watching other people in silent prayer as I pick lint from my skirt and make my to-do lists.

I am a morning person and as Jed so eloquently says about me "you get more done before 6am than most people do all day."

My parents made us go to bed by 10pm even as a senior in high school. This was mainly so we could get up by 5:30 to start our days.

We should've lived on a farm.

When I watch people "do nothing" or as they call it "relax" or "take a nap", I admit that I get angry. As I can think of about 5 million other things they could be doing.

I am out of my pj's by 6am every morning and expect my kids to quickly follow suit.

Watching people lounge in my home is very stressful to me.

So imagine my surprise during these 10 days of Winter break when we had nothing on our calendars. No travel, no appointments, no expectations, no structure, no lists.

For once in my life I actually cherished it. My kids stayed in jammies until 10am. We had picnics in the living room, we ate popcorn for dinner and if my kids wanted to watch TV and movies all day - so be it. We played board games, did art projects and made appropriate messes.

It was snowy and subzero and we just enjoyed the laziness and comfort of home.

Even me. I even read a book.

I do admit I was looking forward to yesterday - up by 4:30, school bus at 7:30.... but for 10 short days I actually enjoyed some easy breathing and lazy days.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Crawling out of my Corner...

After all that moxie talk, my world ended when my Internet went down 3 days ago.

I am not suited to be a pioneer.

I had reached the point this morning where my kids found me sucking my thumb naked in the corner of the office.

I had just hit refresh for the four bazillioneth time and there was still no network connection.

I have called Comcast 2900 times and sobbed to them. It is Winter Holidays and I am not dragging 3 kids in the below zero cold to sit in a cafe with WiFi. I am desperate, but not insane.

But close.

When the repair man came last night, I ran out into the -20 temps with my bare feet and hugged him and offered him a beer...until he said he couldn't fix it, then I sobbed some more after putting snow down his coat.

There was a time I lived before the Internet, and at that time I enjoyed hiking and camping and backpacking and writing paper letters.

But I don't poop in the woods anymore and I want my Internet back.

xoxo, t

Friday, January 1, 2010

Getting my Moxie on...

I don't have a resolution for the New Year.

Mainly because I fell over this morning when I realized that I have been alive during SIX decades now. SIX.

That is a lot.

So I have decided to have some Moxie this year - courage to try new things, to speak my mind and to take care of business, and to let things GO.

Top 3 Moxie projects - to overcome my fears of baking with yeast, cooking with phyllo and sewing with that order.

Oh yeah baby, my life is full of excitement, intrigue and mystery.

Then my honey-do list just got like HUGE and my new moxie macho is going to kick some asses in gear and I am going have me a damn front door finished STAT. - or perhaps after my MacBook is repurchased thankyouverymuch.

..and I want to get back to doing Yoga 3 times per week. Mainly to eliminate the roll of skin/flab/gross as all get out thingamabob hanging like shelf over my c-section scar. Help me here ladies - especially those of you with 3+, this thing on my belly did not exist after c's 1 or 2 - but holy hell it is there now. Is this normal? Is it removable? Will I never wear a bikini again? Okay, at 41 I don't need a bikini anyway, but a girl can hope? Help!

I also need to realize that with the moxie I can do just about anything I want to do and be - except being a stripper. That window has thankfully passed.

I would also like botox to remove the number 11 from my forehead. Can you put botox on a Christmas list now. I am thinking that is very 2010? That is a huge big ball of moxie just waiting to happen.

Getting my Moxie on.
Related Posts with Thumbnails