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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I Twiddle My Thumbs A Lot

This post is part of a Q&A series. Check it out here.

Andrea asked, "What else do you like to do besides blogging and being a great mom?" I'd just like to make a general announcement right now - Andrea is my New Best Friend. (Sorry, Canuck K, but a gal's gotta do what a gal's gotta do.) I feel slightly guilty, however, since Andrea left this comment on Friday and three days later I earned the title of World's Worst Mother. In fact, I am so evil, I should be arrested. Y'all, I submitted one of the Tongginator's creations for the World's Ugliest Mug Competition.

My shame is great. But... the mug is ugly. After all, it's a portrait of yours truly. I didn't provide the Tongginator with much to work with.

Now let's see? What do I spend my time doing? I guess it depends on who you ask. The Tongginator would say that I spend some of my free time "working," which sounds a lot better than "blogging," doesn't it? I have trained her well.

The husband might mention my absolute love of reading, crossword puzzles and all things Word Nerd related. For example, I love me a good game of Scrabble. Unfortunately, rarely will anyone play with me. I tell myself it's because my superior skills scare them away, but in truth it just might be the fact that I am a poor winner and an even poorer loser. When I win, I gloat. I strut. I even sing songs of praise to myself. When I lose... well... let's just not go there. From what I hear, one should never put Lisa Cairney, me and a Scrabble game in the same room together.

I'm just saying.

I also love learning more about China and Chinese culture. When the Tongginator was still struggling to attach to us after almost a year home, the husband and I started rethinking our priorities. We incorporated Mandarin into our home, hoping it would help the Tongginator (it did!) and, surprisingly, I fell in love with learning the language, too. My teachers describe me as "an enthusiastic student," which of course is code for "she stinks at it, but we love her anyway."

I also love hosting small gatherings in our home. I think this developed during the seven years that the husband and I hosted a weekly small group Bible study for young married couples. I got over stressing about my house. I got over stressing about my cooking. And I learned to appreciate the friendships that grow deeper when you do something as simple as practicing hospitality. That first small group led to another small group, this time made up of teenagers, then another young adult small group, this time with toddlers in tow. And now I try to invite friends or neighbors over whenever I can. It's been hard the last few months, what with all that's been going on, but I know I'll start back up again soon.

Some of our small group buddies... the husband took
the photo. And, y'all, Blue AKA Anne has a blog now!

Briana's Mom Lisa asked, "Who do you think is more exhausting - Briana or the Tongginator? I say Briana." I have to admit, Briana seems a handful, a mini-Tongginator in her own right. And she is DEFINITELY more work than the Tongginator at the moment, so I have a lot more free time than I used to. Sometimes I even find myself twiddling my thumbs.

Still... Briana is two, whereas the Tongginator is nearly five. I promise you, when the Tongginator was two, she was in a league all her own. For example, once Rosie called me up, from her house, asking if everything was alright. This completely confused me... until I realized that Rosie could hear the Tongginator's temper tantrum. FROM INSIDE HER HOUSE, Y'ALL. A house that sits more than 75 feet from our back door. Also, after a year of watching Toddler Tongginator in action, Canuck K, a former early interventionist, finally told me, "she's not just strong-willed. She is oppositionally defiant." And our travelmate Mrs. Fish last year called the Tongginator a zero to 10 scale breaker - she's either a 12 on the cuteness scale, or a negative three on the horror of horrors scale.

Yep, that's definitely my Tongginator. Now that she's nearly five, she's more sweet than tart, but that tart still lurks below the surface. However, when she was two... the Husband says I'm not allowed to provide more detail.

So, Lisa, you win. But only because of the age gap.

Janet asked, "What's your favourite (she's Canadian, y'all) thing to do when you have a night to yourself? (If you ever do...)" Funny you should ask that, Janet. When I have a free night, I love to chew gum. I just sit and stare into space, enjoying my two sticks of gum. (After all, one stick doesn't give you nearly enough bubble power.) I also enjoy reading a book, from cover to cover. I almost don't care what kind of book it is - as long as it has words. And as long as I have gum in my mouth.

On a surprisingly related note, Janet also asked, "Do you chew gum? What's your favourite (did I mention that she's Canadian?) brand?" Why yes, Janet, I do. And I love Orbit gum, especially the spearmint kind. I think it's because I identify with Spritzer Girl.


Rebecca Ramsey said...

I love learning more about my blogging buddy! And what a good reminder to not stress about the house and just GO AHEAD and have people over!
Now if I could just not stress about Tanner the Slobber Dog's ever present hair tumbleweeds all over everything!

Stefanie said...

Ahahahaa!! You've got me laughing before I've even drained my first cup of coffee :)
Good stuff, TM!!
P.S. I wanna get in on that Scrabble game. My husband and I can't play anymore because he's learned my secret strategy... and I am a poor loser as well... but I'll take you and Lisa on ANY DAY :)

Georgia Peach said...

Good Morning, my friend! I'm resuming my silent sustained blog reading time now that I'm coming out of the post-delivery fog. coming out, mind you...but not completely out yet. Here's my comments on this post. Love the small group photo. Couldn't make out your face behind the heart shape but it was good to see Field Mouse and Blue Fairy in the background. And, thanks ever so much for the detailed information on gum chewing and free time. Fascinating stuff, pal. ;0) Glad to be back in the conversation. Have a fabulous day.

Aunt LoLo said...

Again, hilarious! Maybe, when I have 98 followers, I can host a Q&A session - it's an awesome way to get bloggy fodder! ;-)

Blue said...

I will forever think of you as the Orbit girl now. =) Good pic of the small group. Apparently we'd ditched little G, since he doesn't appear in the picture like all the other babies!
Oh, and thanks for the nod to my blog again! I went a little nuts yesterday and posted twice.

McEwens said...

These are Such great and fun questions! INteresting learning more about you!

OH MY #6 said...

You are too, too, funny! And I love to spell your word favorite, favourite too! LOL!


PS. I love getting to know you better.

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

I love the 0-10 scale breaker.....that is classic!!

So funny, the kids think I am "working" when I am blogging too.....sounds good to me:)

Patricia/NYC said...

Love getting to know you better, TM!! And it sounds to me like we should be having a regular Scrabble Show Down one of these days! ;)

OK...so, Tongginator & Kiara...I SWEAR THEY ARE RELATED!!! lol!! I'm changing Kiara's middle name to Oppositionally Defiant!

I keep forgetting to add my question to your previous post, so off I go...

Marla said...

Hahaha, these are too funny. Keep the entertainment coming!!

Andrea said...

Thanks for answering my question. I love that you will sit and chew gum by yourself. HeHe!

Quirky Mom said...

Fascinating insights. :) I also love a good Scrabble game, and the invention of Scrabulous (now Lexulous) on Facebook did no favors for my productivity.

Meredith Teagarden said...

Hands down. you are the funniest blogger I read. I'm just sayin'

Lisa Cairney said...

Oh, TM...you are so good. And HEY GIRL! I'm READY!!!! Bring on that Scrabble board, lady....I'm ready for a Scrabble THROWDOWN. :) I'll come with gum and a book to read while I wait on you to use all seven of your tiles on one enormous word which, I'm sure, I won't be able to understand. :) No mandarin vocab allowed. Hao bu hao?

Sharie said...

I don't chew gum - but LOVE a good book. Just wish I had more time to read them.
I can see you chewing your 2 sticks of Orbitz and flipping the pages while the Tongginator waits to pounce on the bubbles:)

redmaryjanes said...

I love wordy nerdy games as I am an English major.
I love to read a good book. I love learning about Chinese culture too and hosting small gatherings....it looks like we are kindred spirits, but then you kept on talking about all that gum chewing and such and I found out we aren't.
But it's all good.

Briana's Mom said...

LOL! I have to admit no one has heard Briana inside their house from my house. Wait, unless they just haven't told me. ;) Ok, so I'll take the win for now due to the age difference. We'll compare notes again when Bri is 5, ok? :)

MoziEsmé said...

Gum on a night to yourself - wow! Sounds like a relaxing night... Wish I had those once in a while!

Colleen said...

LOL I am loving this...although I think my Livi could give the Tongginator a run for her money. At six years old my Livi is mostly sweet but the ugly that sits beneath...watch out!!!! When she blows it's huge!!!! LOL
You just crack me up..I love reading your blog!

Peanut said...

I'm so enjoying getting to know you better this way!
We too host a small group in our home and I have also found it great in helping me let go of worrying about the state of my home. My husband often says it's about the time together, not about how clean the place is or about what the food tastes like. I still get a little stressed about people dropping by, but more because it knocks me off my routine than anything. Maybe by the time we've been hosting as long as you guys, I'll have relaxed a little!
I'm all about word puzzles too. And books if I ever find time to read!
Keep up with the questions... this is good stuff!

Patty O. said...

I will play scrabble with you anytime! Is there a way to play online? That would be fun!