Wednesday, August 7, 2013

First Day of School at My House

For the first time in 25 years, this is my back to school picture.

In the first years, gap-toothed kids beamed with excitement, and for the last few years, grudging teenagers have paused and given a "c'mon Mom, hurry up" smile at the front door.  But this year, no one was rushing off wearing carefully chosen first day of school clothes.

I remember crying when I sent off our first daughter to kindergarten at Show Low Elementary.  Little did I know that it was just the beginning of all the letting go I would have to do.  No one properly warns you of these things when you are a new mom.  There should be a cautionary tattoo on your sweet new baby that says:

This child will grow up if you are lucky, 
and then will leave you if you are lucky,
and still, you will probably cry about it

There are some things I definitely will not miss about having children in school: 
  • the hassle of packing nutritious lunches with sandwiches carved into swans nestled in tissue paper and baby carrots wearing little hats made of olives - along with inspirational quotes hand lettered on papyrus
  • Daily coordination and encouraging communication with teachers to make sure that my child is getting the best education possible
  • Constructing homemade backpacks out of environmentally friendly handwoven linen
  •  Latin lessons around the kitchen table
(Okay, so I never did any of that, 
except maybe the occasional olive hat on a baby carrot)
Today, I am feeling lucky but not sad
Because the last one is still here until 
she's off to college in September.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Kate Plus Eight Minus Seven: Mothering Advice

Excitement is mounting as Kate's baby bump has grown into a lump and very soon will emerge as a plump little royal waving a sterling silver rattle.

Dear reader, as you well know, Larainy has given valuable insight and advice concerning the royal family.  I look on it as my way of healing old wounds inflicted during the Revolutionary War.  Most of those wounds are pretty well healed, but are currently in the horribly itchy stage which can drive you absolutely bonkers.

So, as a soothing world-peace-anti-itch balm, I give my valuable "experienced mother" advice to young Kate and her husband, semi-young William.

  1. You probably can't go more wrong in the naming department than Uncle Andrew's girls, Beatrice and Eugenie, who have spent their whole lives searching for hats that matched their outrageous old fashioned monikers.  But stay away from 
 as they have all been dubbed by Prince Harry as reserve names for his royal progeny, should he ever settle down.

2. Take Queen Elizabeth's mothering advice with a grain of salt. She is ahem getting on in years and we've come a long way since a brimming spoonful of castor oil cured every childhood ill.  Also, ignore her advice about leaches as a thumbsucking deterrent.

3.  If you have a boy,  your father in law, Charles will try to pass down a trunk full of his old dresses.  Stand firm and tell him that your son is going to wear pants.  He will tear up and talk about kilts and tough Scottish warriors, but stand your ground.  Little Will Jr., will be laughed off the playground wearing those lacy hand me downs.

Good luck kids, you're going to need it.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Let's Get Metaphysical

 This building used to house a music store where we bought
the tall boy's cello, strings and rosin.

It is nestled cozily next to a Circle K
(where you can get a thirstbuster for $.79 in an insulated cup)
but now it fills a higher calling.

I get goosebumps when I drive by...
just like I used to when I went in the music store 
and heard the brand new violin students
sawing away on their screechy E strings.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

If You've Got It, Flaunt it Arizona!

If Adam and Eve had been kicked out of the Garden of Eden into my Arizona spring, they might not have noticed...until Eve sat on a cactus and Adam tried to pet a rattlesnake.

Soon the Ocotillo spears will burst into red flames at the tips for a few glorious days.  

Inevitably though, the Arizona sun will burn brighter and hotter
and I will move indoors to hibernate during the long hot summer.  
Today I am enjoying my own desert garden of Eden.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Smash or Splash... That is the Question

You poor little darlings.  
Did you set your DVR to record

and end up with

TV-land is tough to navigate 
when this season alone
you have to choose between...

  • SPLASH!  A flock of jobless celebrities are trained by   jobless and aging Olympian Greg Louganis to see who can do the biggest belly flop wearing the most inappropriate diving costume ever.  Think Louie Anderson in a Speedo
  • SMASH  The cutthroat world of Broadway where something ludicrous happens every second and everybody sings about it at the top of their lungs with their heads thrown back til their necks crack
  • HASH Competition heats up in a diner in West Virginia where 8 toothless hopefuls vie to create a champion hash using only ingredients from the dumpsters in back of Piggly Wiggly
  • GNASH  Documentary filmmaker Lars Leukensnout films a young boy named Toby night after night to show the devastating effects of teeth grinding.
  • HEAT RASH Competition heats up as the football teams of Arizona State University and University of Arizona practice through the summer heat to prove who is the itchiest
  • HOT FLASH Ladies in Purple Hats with red feathers go to lunch and fan themselves with laminated menus
  • STASH  A fascinating look into the life of of pack rat in the high Arizona desert juxtaposed with a revealing look under the mattresses of high school sophomores in Beverly Hills, CA
...and coming next season

Monday, March 18, 2013

If Spring Ain't Broke, Don't Try to Fix It

It is a strange feeling to be running out of children.

In the harried, hairy, hair-raising middle of raising five children, sometimes the days seemed longer than the years, and the years of mothering stretched down the highway into infinity with no bathroom breaks.

Now, in a blink, it is almost over.  Our fifth child is in the last few months of her senior year, ready to go to college (BYU Idaho), determined to go on a mission (only the Lord knows where) and suddenly each day is gone in a blink and I can see an end to what seemed like endless years of everyday mothering.

Which is how I convinced my husband that we needed to have a fun fling during our last spring break this year.  Work kept him from leaving for the whole week so Corinn and I bit our lips and soldiered on without him.  GIRL TRIP!!!

We hopped a boat in Long Beach for a trip that you could probably paddle in a canoe, but that stretches out for 4 days by putting along at 1.2 nautical miles per hour.  But then, who cares when you're not driving and cheesecake is available 24 hours a day.

 Catalina Island was foggy and mysterious.  
The spirit of Marilyn Monroe lives on here.  
Especially on coffee mugs.


My little mermaid grew legs on the rocky shore

The flora was succulent, the fauna  was mostly noisy sea lions

About 30 minutes out of Ensenada, Mexico is a zip line at a place called La Canada.  Surprisingly, no one spoke Canadian, but everyone was fluent in Spanish.  I became bilingual as I yelled "Aye yi yi yi when I was shoved off a towering platform to zoom over a lake protected only by a diaper made of straps and a fisher price helmet
This is not me.  I refused to be filmed in case I peed my pants.

The series of zip lines actually turned out to be quite fun, but nobody told me that this course involved five, count em, FIVE swaying, crazy trembly suspension bridges that left my mouth dry and my stomach clenched.  I only traversed them because I did not want my daughter to see me trudging  the dusty "walk of shame" through the ravine while she agilely crossed above me.

I want my daughter to to leave home 
believing that she has a brave mom.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Larainy, Where Art Thou?

So sorry to concern all you dear Larainy readers who have been worried 
about my long, unexplained absence. 
 First of all I need to put to rest some wild internet rumors.

a.  A golf ball size chunk of meteor from Russia ricocheted off an unnamed peak in the Ural Mountains, pinged skyward into a satellite where it zinged off back through our atmosphere and knocked Larainy off her bike while she was riding around the block spying on the neighbors.

b.  Larainy was on the red carpet at the Oscars taking photos and making notes so she could make herself feel better by belittling beautiful starlets in outrageously expensive designer gowns when she caught sight of Hugh Jackman, forgot to breathe and spilled her cherry Icee on George Clooney after which, was beat to a quivering pulp by the Cloonsters date/bodyguard, who proved she can body slam while wearing Dior

c.  Due to the "sequester", Larainy's daily ration of government cheese has been severely cut back and she is too weak to write.

d.  The outrageous ending to Downton Abby, season three sent Larainy on a wild journey to find and throttle Julian Fellows and when that proved too difficult, sent her to bed with a malady called "Downton Depression" which is treatable only by a Maggie Smith movie marathon , 4 lbs. of butter cookies and a bone china tea cup full of Earl Gray.

 The truth is much more outrageous.

a.  I had the flu for two weeks, coughed up a lung, stuffed it back down through that tube thingy that goes down the middle of my neck, coughed up the other lung, rinse, repeat.

b.  I have been working on my novel, feverishly revising, slashing, burning, fine tuning and communing with my characters. You can't wait to read it!

c. I had a small chunk of precious Larainy-part removed for study under a microscope to make sure it wasn't toxic.  Had it been toxic I would have been able to take this blog a whole different direction with brave posts about my hair falling out and radiation.  I would have been courageous, humble and witty throughout the whole ordeal, but turns out I don't have the big "C" after all so this blog is going to keep going the same direction it always has...straight downhill.

Which is exactly the direction I went hiking with both my lovely daughters.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Quoth the Forty Niners: Nevermore

It's the Monday after the Super Bowl and 89% of Americans are going to work with nacho cheese hangovers.  For my nonAmerican readers, and for the unAmerican readers who just pretended they like football so they could get invited to a neighborhood Super Bowl party and chow down  free on Lil' Smokies wrapped in bacon; here is a Super Bowl wrap up.

The Game
The epic match up was between the Baltimore Ravens
  and the San Francisco Forty Niners.

Of course, this was a mismatch from the start because a Raven can just pick up the football and fly into the end zone, scoring at will while the husky Forty Niners (gold miners in Spandex) ineffectually throw pick axes at the sleek black Ravens streaking through the air above them.  As a last resort, the San Francisco Forty Niners brought out their secret weapon, a gold panning pan that they threw spinning at the elusive ravens like a lethal frisbee, but to no avail.

It was an exciting game with black feathers drifting softly through the air and the smell of forty niner sweat mingling with the robust scent of super bowl kielbasas on the grill.

 I can't wait until next year.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Jeepers Al!

Aaaaargh!  I barely made it through January and already I am breaking the only New Year's resolution I ever make:

I, Larainy, solemnly resolve 
that I will not comment on the troubled life and times of
 Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr.

This lofty goal has crumbled so many times (like  here and here and here and here ) but still I persevere, valiantly vowing year after to year to leave Old Double A alone.

But so help me people, I heard his voice on the radio yesterday and suddenly I found myself ripping apart a decorative pillow cushion with my freshly brushed teeth. Big Al's voice has always reminded me of that kid, universal in every elementary school class that points out your humiliating zits with the voice of a pompous old fart, has a twinkie in his lunch every day, wins the spelling bee because he knows how to spell "Renassaince" and smells like gorgonzola.

And the hits just kept on coming.  Old Double A has been hitting every talk show across the fruited plain promoting his new book
Of course Big Al isn't worried about the future now that he has sold his 100% certified green television conglomerate, "Current Television" to 100% oil based Aljazerra. 

Hey Al, 
is it getting warm in here or is that 
a permanent oily sheen on your prodigious forehead?