page contents

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Dog is in the House

It's now been over a year since a scruffy, stinky terrier, living a vagrant life, cautiously accompanied us home one day. 

How does a dog, who’s not supposed to be in the house, come to have a luxury bed, smack dab in the living room?  How does a dog–who still smells like a bad fart–get away with putting his dirty paws on the breakfast table? (As we all giggle and dote on his cleverness.) And why in the world would we put up with a dog who barks throughout Glee when that unforgivable train passes through. Because Percy's indomitable spirit is as contagious as a cold.
What kind of animal can weave themselves into a family’s life so delicately and yet so forcefully at the same time? Certainly not a fish! No, not a cow. Ooh, a lizard you say? I do waver on cats. If they could only smile.  Methinks, without a doubt, a dog. Our entire family can be sad. We can be spitting mad. But it takes one small act from our pet. Like a lick in the face from his big wet tongue. And we are all saved from rage or gloom. (No, we don't like to consider where that tongue has been.)

Percy. He's still the smelliest of them all. But there's no dog that can dance like the Perce. Oh Pup. What would we do without you? Probably vacuum less. But life wouldn't be near as fun.

Percy, sitting on his butt and dancing.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Note from the Teacher

I love getting emails like this -


                I hope everything is going well.  Yesterday, Cole had a really good day.  He was very creative.  While the students were working on their Fire Prevention Posters, I was letting them listen to music.  Cole asked to listen to TickTock by Kesha(spelling?).  I told him we couldn’t play that at school and he goes it’s okay I can sing it.  He started free-styling for the class.  It was one of those moments that you would be proud of your son. J


Yes, Cole's teacher is fresh out of college. And her creative spirit is delightful. (I'm just trying to imagine ANY of my grade school teachers allowing us to get up and moonwalk or breakdance.) Anyway, someone told me that my last blog post was tilted toward the negative. So, I thought I'd do an about face and focus on the positive aspects of the up and coming generation. I love love LOVE how imagination and entrepreneurialism seems to dominate the attitudes of our youth. It could take us to infinite heights someday. No one should have to clean toilets by hand. Someone will have revolutionized laundry (again.) And most importantly, no one in the world will be starving.  Let's hope. In the meantime. I'll listen to my son hip hop. (Even though his sister might cringe.)

Can you find the sister?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Bad Parent

This week I decided that I will definitely never win the mother of the year award. Never. As a matter of fact, if I were to grade myself in a number of areas, here's how it would go:

Assignment of Chores:  C-
Comments:  I often start off Gung Ho on some sort of chore routine, thinking that the kids will zoom off on their own laundry folding schedule without my direction. But their sense of responsibilities continue to be under-developed.  They never smell an overflowing sink of dirty dishes or see the dog needing fed WITHOUT A BRASH AND OVERT LIST. And sometimes that doesn't even work. Poor dog. No wonder Percy has to beg all the time.

Ability to Say No: D 
Comments:  No, I don't let them play with matches or anything like that. But all of the sudden I've noticed an overwhelming sense of entitlement in the Kramer children. When I was a kid, going to McDonald's was a huge treat. Nowadays, it's an expectation. (In our household, Applebee's has become the new McDonald's.) Last weekend, I let my children talk me into taking them to the city for a "fun" little shopping trip. Fun? What was I thinking? It took me approximately thirty seconds to regret the idea. Spending money on clothes for my kids that I don't like feels like stuffing money down the garbage disposal. You see? The problem. My money. My inability to say no.

Nutrition: C+
Comments:  I wish we ate less frozen pizza, less red meat, less Oreos, less frozen waffles. I wish we ate more asparagus, more watermelon - more real food in general. I do. I really, really do wish that.

Homework: A
Comments:  My allegiance to academics prevail here. Only when the kids pull one over on me with the "I don't have a test tomorrow" bit, do I fail in this area...much to my chagrin.

Hygienic Instruction: B- 
Comments:  How long are those toenails? Are you really using shampoo? No! That's the body wash! You can't wear socks two days in a row...three days you say? You have no clean socks in your drawer? Really?

Oh sure, they're cute. It's part of my problem.
My kids are happy and there's something to say about that. But I also want ensure that I'm raising functional, contributing citizens of society. So my parenting style...could it be described as lazy?  Maybe even lacking of courage? I don't spend much time with them by the time I get home from work. So, every moment I have with them is used in the name of efficiency. I have no aspirations of being a tiger mom. Love, obviously, is the non-negotiable. But perhaps I need to, at the very least, show some fang to my cubs. Parents out there? What do you think? What advice do you have to make these kids show a bit of responsibility...clean rooms, music practiced, shoes put away, etc.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A Room of Whose Own?

When we built our house nine years ago, we chose a floor plan that was fluid and adaptable, so that we could easily make functional changes as our children grew up. No. That's not quite right. We chose a floor plan that we could afford. In the process, we ended up with a house that could "grow with us." Today, as I was walking through the chambers, collecting laundry and Nerf bullets, I realized that many of our rooms must shed the descriptor of "traditional."

If you choose to visit the Kramer residence, you might find behind the plain vanilla exterior, an unconventional living space inside.  Oh no - not of the George and Judy Jetson mold (I wish!), but a home of a seeming increasing lack of logic. One room might boast a tread mill, a Nerf gun arsenal and a picture of New York City.  Apparently this space is dedicated for basic training and mission planning. Another room fuses elements of an office, a tropical bedroom and a leg massager to give you that Apple Store in a spa feel. (I'll admit, the ambience isn't quite there yet.) The laundry room - my most interesting place - now boldly houses a refrigerator and a gigantic safe. (You'll never find the safe. It's in a fairly hard-to reach closet.) We most recently rid ourselves of that extra toilet in favor of the fridge. Talk about a fluid floor plan. Don't think the wash room is lacking of decor! Doug just asked me, "Why do we have a cafe latte picture in our laundry room anyway?"

The most disturbing area in the house, hands down, is the great room in the basement. I doubt my writing skills can possibly describe the level of disorganization. It's not even chic. It's just cheeky. I had Alex go downstairs and start yelling things she saw. Here's what she came up with:

Christmas trees. Antique dresser. A book shelf with overflowing children's books (time to donate). Broken easel (time to toss). Alphabet cards - strung across the wall (I think they got it now). Floral couch (UGLY). Baby blankets (ahhh, will keep forever and ever). TV the size of a small car. Workout videos (an exercise room!) Guitars. Piano. (a music room!) Laptop setting on a card table. (a Facebook room!)  Jedi toys. Jedi toys. Jedi toys.  Okay, it's really just a room to duel with light sabers. George Lucas wins again.

When it comes right down to it, I love our messy, eclectic and wonderfully simple house...because we Kramer's have certainly made it our own.

One of our more traditional rooms-notice light saber?

My dream room- currently sold at the IKEA store.