Archive for the ‘Taylor’ Category


February 18, 2010

Reagan has a friend, S., that is a foreign exchange student  from the Ukraine.  Yep, poor girl came all the way from the cold Ukraine to the cold mid-west.  One of S’s friend got sent to Hawaii.  I’m sure she’s not jealous at all!

S. has a really good grasp of English.  Occasionally, though, you have to explain a word or phrase  to her.  Like “spazz” or “ditch” or “back door virgin.”

Is it wrong that I’ve now nicknamed “S.” as “BDV?”

Reagan and BDV are both going to prom this year and I have the joy of taking them both shopping later this  month.  Prom, already?   But Rea’s still my baby!   In honor of the upcoming prom I’m trying to start a new slang phrase:

ON like a PROM DRESS!” 

As, in “Boy, I can’t get the lid off this jar of pickles.  It’s ‘ON like a PROM DRESS.”   Or, wow, you are WWAAYYYYY  too young to have sex.  That dress better stay ON like a PROM DRESS.”   

All joking aside,  Reagan and I have been talking about sex and relationships a lot.  Her boyfriend’s parents have set up some  rules, such as they are allowed to hug goodbye, and he can put his arm around her shoulders, but “NO TOUCHING” and “NO sex before marriage.”

Reagan told me about the birds and the bees convo they had with E.   Then she told me that everyone at her school already thinks they are having sex.  I asked “WHY???!!!”  And she said, “you know, because he’s a junior.” 

I guess ALL juniors have sex?  (At least that’s what the kids think.  Of course, as an adult, I think they all think “EVERYONE  BUT ME IS! HAVING! SEX!!!”)

Which, of course, logically means “NOT EVERYONE IS HAVING SEX!!”

The hardest part of the conversation is getting across the idea that I simultaneously think she’s wonderful, responsible, smart, etc, but still NOT READY to have sex.   It seems that every teenager thinks he/she is the most mature teenager ever.   (And, as such, is READY to have sex.  Because, you know, all the other LESS mature teenagers are doin’ it. ) 

Ironically, the mere fact that they think they are ready to have sex is PROOF that they aren’t ready to have sex!

Luckily, Rea has said that she is too young when I’ve broached the subject of the pill (She responded “Geez, mom, I’m only 15!  I”m not going to have sex anytime soon!”)  Which is a relief.  I’ve stressed to her that I don’t think she’s ready, that she couldn’t support a child, and I’m keen on reminding her of her goals -going away to college, travelling, lots of fun life experiences-which are a lot more difficult to reach with a baby in tow.

I should know.  LOL.  Not that I regret having my kids, they are wonderful.  But as a returning student, it’s WAYYYY harder (and less fun) attending college when you are simultaneously dealing with a job, a spouse and kids.   For example, this last week I had a test, a project, multiple writing assignments, a quiz and I had to chauffeur kids around town, celebrate Valentine’ day, bake cookies (okay, I will admit that was a “want” rather than a “need” but it’s how I relax)  and I had to take Taylor to the doctor.

Speaking of Taylor, he gained 7 1/2 pounds!   Very good news.   I really think this whole weight loss thing was a way for him to grasp for some independence and autonomy.  It was something he could control.   (And his parents, in his mind, could do nothing about.)

Luckily for me, he hates going to the doctor.  (Which, isn’t pleasant when you are with him at the doctor’s office and he’s sighing and rolling his eyes and grumbling about how stupid this all is.)   His hatred of going to the doctor leaves him with two choices:

Lose weight and go to the doctor more, for more invasive tests


Gain weight and stop going to the doctor (other than for normal check-ups.)

This puts, as they say, “the ball in his court.”   I feel a little manipulative in that  by making those the only two options, I’ve pretty much made it certain he will chose option 2.   However, I also think that option 1 is not punitive, but a natural consequence if he continued to lose weight.

(He, of course, thinks there should be an option 3, in which I leave him be, but I just can’t do that.)

Anyway, the 7 1/2 lb weight gain makes me think it’s working.  I’m also working on addressing some familial issues within our household.  My husband has been kind enough to start a new routine in which he makes breakfast for the family every weekday.  Chris works long hours, which makes a family dinner every night impossible.   (The kids and I eat together, but Chris gets home a couple of hours later) Breakfast together is more do-able.    Chris and Taylor have been going out to eat together on Tuesday nights (Chris is off at 6 pm on Tuesdays.)  And I have been making Taylor chat more, even if he doesn’t seem to enjoy it, LOL.  

I also hope to get Taylor more involved in grocery shopping and food preparation.   I think it’s important that he has healthy eating habits and I do worry that the focus has now become “get him to eat as many calories as possible!”  Which, while it may have been necessary at the time, is not the healthiest eating pattern.    (As evidenced by my 20 lb weight gain, LOL!)

Anyway, I think the situation is resolving itself and, hopefully, will end up being a positive, due to a renewed emphasis on family.  Thanks to all who have shown concern; I was really fearful posting about it, that people would think my son has horrible issues and that I am a terrible parent.   -Jennifer

February 9, 2010

Over the last few months my son Taylor has lost a lot of weight, around 25-30 lbs, going from 155-160, down to 130, a pretty low weight for someone that is 5’11.”     Once I noticed (sadly, I didn’t notice until he’d lost about 20 lbs, because I’m a terrible mother unobservant like that), I scheduled a doctor appointment for him and he’s had a battery of tests.  He’s not suffering from Krohn’s, irritable bowel syndrome, gluten intolerance or any of the common causes of weight loss.  

It’s odd  because he hasn’t been ill or  even had any symptoms outside of the weight loss. 

He’s been to the pediatrician 3-4 times, the hospital for blood work and the pediatric gastroenterologist, who “threatened” him with more invasive tests (e.g.  a tube down the throat or up the bum) if he didn’t keep a food diary for the nutritionist.  Which is our next stop  in the unexplained weight loss tour.  

Last night he showed me his food diary; surprisingly, for someone that protested that “this is stupid,” he did a really good job of writing down the foods that he ate. 

Unfortunately, in the “amount” column for each item he wrote “ALL.” 

Yes, somehow he thought the nutritionist could figure out the calorie count of fried shrimp, spaghetti, or an omelet, based up on the amount of “ALL.”

Which begs the question, is my 16 year old exceptionally dumb, along with frighteningly thin?  

No, really, he’s a smart kid, but the common sense, well, it’s lacking.

I honestly don’t think there’s anything wrong with him.  Well, at least not physically.   Part way through this process he did say that he had “wanted to lose the weight.”   But, when your son HATES going to the doctor, well, it’s a little hard to discern the motivation to a sudden confession that he likely feels would get him out of some blood work.  (He’s a needle hater, that one.) 

Plus, it’s odd in that he wasn’t overweight to begin with, and he’s not a vain child.  He wears blue jeans and t-shirts every day.   Cares about good hygiene, but not overly much about his appearance.  He’s the kind of child that plays chess, carries a rubik’s cube and wears shirts with science puns on them.

Nevertheless, he’s also the sort of child that likes a challange.  That worked really hard to solve that rubik’s cube in less than a minute; who becomes mildly obsessive about something (right now it’s Dr. Who) until a new obsession comes along.   

I fear the weight loss falls into that catagory.  For awhile, for whatever reason, he decided that he wanted to NOT eat very much, to see if he could do it.

Or… maybe it’s a rebellious thing.  He has a squeaky wheel for a sister.   She’s wonderful, but she DEMANDS the attention, and would tell me, from the time she was three or four, that we shouldn’t have any more babies because she “wouldn’t get enough attention.”  Reagan is a loud, vivacious child that makes friends (and enemies) easily.  Taylor is quiet; he has friends, the same friends for years, but is rarely the center of attention.  (He definitely seems to prefer it that way.) 

He’s always been an obedient child, my “easy kid.”

And maybe we’ve taken that for granted.  Maybe this weight loss was a “pay attention to me” ploy, especially since food is a big deal in our house. 

My husband has been getting up and making the kids breakfast every morning.  I’ve been cooking dinner most nights (and per doctor’s orders, I’ve been serving “all the bad stuff,” lots of protein, lots of fats-plus a side of veggies and a fruit, thank you very much. )   And he hasn’t lost any more weight.  But, he hasn’t really gained any either. 

(Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for myself. LOL.)

It’s a mystery, and while I love to read a good one, I hate dealing with one in my personal life.  I just want this to be over (even if I never have a “real” answer) and for everything to be okay.   A mere “okay” has never sounded so great.

Soda Wars

May 18, 2009

I rarely buy soda.  We aren’t health nuts, as evidenced by my frequent baking, but the orthodontist recommended “no soda,” and when you’ve shelled out $10,840 for braces, it seems prudent to follow her directions.  My kids, of course, LOVE soda, and, when I bought some this Saturday, they actually had a “Soda War.” 

It was like “The War of the Roses.”  Over a carbonated, lemon-lime beverage.  


First Tay took the case of Sprite (which I only bought because it was a REALLY good deal) into his room, joking that it was “all mine!”  (Yes, that was accompanied by a chuckle of glee.)   

I think the kid needs to get out more.

At lunchtime Rea realized the soda was missing, so I told her to go ask Tay for one.   He gave her three.

Which made her quite self-righteous.  “Only three?  Three isn’t half of twenty-four!” 

Good to know her math skills are on par, but, really, how many sodas does one need with lunch?  Especially since, when soda is “in stock,” the rule is one soda per DAY.

I needed to study and reminded the kids of the another rule: “Do not interrupt me unless you are bleeding heavily or the house is in flames,” and headed to the solitude of my bedroom and my astronomy textbook.

Meanwhile, Reagan plotted a soda retrieval expedition and stealthy stole the cans from her brother and hid them in her room.   Taylor, discovering her devious ways, masterminded a counterattack, and, in the process, broke her door frame.

Reagan called her dad at work to complain about Taylor’s trespass and destruction; of course, she conveniently left out her role in the shenanigans.

Taylor sincerely apologized and attempted to fix the door.   All was good. 

Then Chris arrived home from work and, failing to consult me about subsequent developments,  read Taylor the riot act.

Then told me, “You shouldn’t buy soda.  We don’t need soda in the house.”

The soda wars were this close to turning into their floral namesake.

May 14, 2009

I took my son Taylor to apply for a job for the first time.  On the way to the nearby grocery store, I turned to him and said “Did you brush your teeth?  Because it’s very bad to apply for a job with stinky breath.” 

Taylor: “Why?”

Me:  “Well, it’s just gross, but, more important, when you apply for a job the clerks have a secret code.”

Taylor:  “What is it?”

Me:  “Well, for example, no one wants to work with a ‘stink breath,’ so if you had halitosis, the clerk would write an ‘SB’ at the top of the app, that way the person that does the hiring wouldn’t call you for an interview.”

 “Another code is ‘SH'”

Taylor:  “What does that stand for?”

Me:  “Super Hot.   That’s usually good, but you definitely don’t want to be labeled a ‘BBT.'”

Taylor:  “Why?”

Me:  “It stands for ‘Bugs Between Teeth’ and no one wants an employee with flies and shit between his teeth.”

Taylor:   “I think you are making this up.”

Me:  “Okay, I made that last one up, but the rest is true!”

I hope he gets hired to I can clue him in on “first day of work” etiquette, which, as we all know, includes a lot of  arm flapping, foot stomping  and  frequent use of the phrase “Sir!  Yes, Sir!” without regard to the sex of the fellow employee.

If you don’t want to know the answer, then don’t ask the question.

May 7, 2009

My son often (jokingly, of course) refers to me as his “2nd favorite” (parent.)

Lovely, since he only has two.

I asked him why his dad is his favorite and he said, “because he’s a dude.”   The obvious question arose, “Why are ‘dudes’ better?”  

“They’re just easier.”  

My mature response?  “So maybe you should MARRY a dude!”

Yesterday Taylor and I made plans to drive and to go to his favorite Mexican restaurant, Vallerta’s.  He was thrilled and said “I love you….  

2nd favorite.”

I was all,  “Whoa, which parent is taking you to Vallarta’s?  Let’s start over!”  

“Tay, I love you.”   “I love you, too, favorite.”

Good job!

Glancing at the TV and totally pressing my luck, I asked, “Now, who’s prettier, me or Lorelei?”  (Gilmore, played by the lovely Lauren Graham)lorelei-gilmore1

Without a thought he responded, “Lorelei.”

“Um.. who is it you wanted to take you to Vallarta’s?” 


April 22, 2009

I think my supposedly fifteen year old son may actually be a really tall eight year old. chris-and-tay

Not because he’s dumb.  But because of his complete lack of social skills.  For example, Monday he drove (DROVE!) in driver’s ed and when he got home he realized he didn’t have his permit.   I told him to ask in the office of people that willfully ignore you to see if his permit had turned up and to look in the driver’s ed vehicle.    

Yesterday I arrived home from work and asked “Did you find your permit?” 


So I told him to call the DMV and ask what ID is required to get a new permit, and, based upon his outrage, this is terribly taxing.   Looking up a phone number is the teenage boy equivalent to climbing Mt. Everest while hula hooping (or maybe the pain in the ass equivalent of parenting a teenage boy.)

Enabler that I am, I googled the number.  Then he didn’t want to call and ask the question.  Sick of the wimpiness, I demanded, “call or we are not going.”

He called and did fine.  He was polite, asked his question.  Thanked the employee for the info.  

So, what’s the big fucking deal?  Why all the drama?   Seriously, when he has to interact with others he’s charming and sweet.  But he hates to do it.

We got in the car, I drove (due to his lack of permit, LOL) and chatting, on the way to the DMV, I mentioned, “Crap, I was sure your permit would be in the driver’s ed car, did you look between the seats, on the floor, etc?”  

“Oh, I didn’t look in the driver’s ed car.”

Holy Fucking Shit Wonder Woman.

He literally was ONLY in the driver’s ed car, then my car (we searched its highly literate, incredibly hydrated, habitat-for-a-homeless-family interior with no luck.)  but he didn’t think it was necessary to search the ONE place it would likely be found.

Or rather, he was too reticent to ask his teacher if he could look in the vehicle.

Steaming, I queried, “Did you at least ASK in the office if anyone had turned in your permit?”

“No, I had to go in the office to turn in my schedule for next year and if someone had found it, they would have given it to me.”

Yes, because the world revolves around him.

Honestly, I think he just chickened out and didn’t ask.

I get it, I’m naturally shy.  Yes, really!    But as a young adult I read the following quotation by Andre Dubus:

   “Shyness has a strange element of narcissism, a belief that how we look, how we perform, is truly important to other people.”

And it struck me as totally true.  Honestly, other people really don’t give a flying fuck what you do or say.  They aren’t judging your every move.    (Unless they are assholes. Or internet trolls.  In either case, why would you care what they think?) 

Plus, at a certain point you just have to suck it up.   Shit needs to get done and it often requires communicating with others.    I worry I’ve babied the kid too much and am now unsure how to undo the damage.   Should I not have driven him to get his permit until he asked at the office and searched the car?  Even if it resulted in him not being able to drive today?  

It’s hard for me to let him struggle.   To push him when he’s uncomfortable.  And there is the little part of me that still views him as four, not fifteen.  But, alas, in three short years he will be an adult and really needs to be able to converse with others.   Preferably about topics OTHER than Halo3, or solving a Rubik’s Cube.

Random Tuesday Thoughts

April 7, 2009


Has anyone else noticed that baby carrots keep getting bigger and bigger?  They really should be renamed big-ass toddler carrots. 

I am beginning to think I hate Cindys.  “Cindy’s what?” you might be thinking, but I am referring to anyone/everyone named Cindy.   That might sound harsh, and an odd prejudice, but think, honestly, when was the last time you met a Cindy that you liked?    (Of course, Cindy, if you are reading this I don’t mean you!)

Taylor, my fifteen-year-old boy, was talking about his love of  Rubik’s cubes (he can solve one in about a minute, no matter how much you mix it up) and Halo 3 and chess and how it’s, oh, “not dorky at all.”   I told him that I think he’ll be like our good friend Coyote, a late bloomer, and go to college, get a good job (I didn’t mention that Coyote is currently unemployed, LOL), work hard and, once he’s a catch and all the girls want him, he’ll marry a nice girl like Lemur.  

Taylor’s response:  “Lemur’s NOT a nice girl.”

(How does he know about her anal sex fetish?)

(Just joking Lemur!)

Me:  “Taylor?!”

Taylor:  “She’s a GROWN-UP!”

Apparently he misunderstood and thought I was advocating him dating a thirty-year old?  Dude, only if she’s really hot! 

Speaking of Lemur, we ran a race on Saturday.  And by “run” I mean, “got beat by a 70-year-old man wearing khaki’s and a dress shirt, who was walking with his five year old granddaughter.”

Lemur and I are also doing the moonwalk.  Not that moonwalk. moonwalk  But an actual walk to and from the moon.  Wait, not “actual” as in “really walking to the moon” but as in an event in which you walk the distance to the moon and back.   Not having read the details, I asked Reagan “How many miles do you think it is to the moon?”   She said “maybe 100?  Hmm… I think it’s farther than that.  “Maybe 300 miles?”

Chris googled it and said it’s about 240,000 miles one way.  Rea and I were WAYYY off.  Panic set in.  That’s a lot of miles over a ten week period. Luckily, it turns out that our whole team combines mileage to equal the distance.  Whew.  Thank goodness I don’t have to walk  6,857.14 miles per day!   

The other day Rea and her friends were talking about religion.  One is Catholic, one is atheist, another Methodist and so on.  Til they got to Jessie, who said “I’m Mexican.”   Rea said, “um, that’s not a religion.”  He insisted that he is Mexican AND that is his religion.    Rea told me this whole tale, how she insisted it was NOT his religion, but then asked me “It’s not really a religion, is it?”

Hope that was random enough for you’all, and please take the time to visit Keely at The Un Mom for more Random Tuesday Thoughts.

“Of all the animals, the boy is the most unmanageable.” (Plato)

March 19, 2009

After my son turned in his biology project he was complaining “I didn’t learn ANYTHING making that cell”

I told him, “Yes, you did, you learned that your mother loves you enough to ride your ass to get it done.”

Taylor replied, eye-rolling and sighing huffily “But I ALREADY KNEW that!

Boys. They are wonderful, mysterious creatures.

Sometimes mysterious and not so wonderful.

For example, last night we attended Taylor’s National Honor Society ceremony.   The freshmen  were called up on stage one-by-one to receive a certificate.    I had a moment of panic when I noticed his name was NOT listed on the program, but remembered that he had attended a practice session that day, so surely it was just a typo.  

They asked the parents to rise when their child’s name was called and I breathed a sigh of relief when, last alphabetically, they called out “Taylor Wood”

followed by:

Child of

Chris Wood.

Yes, just “of Chris Wood.”

It was awkward.  Chris rose.  Then sort of pulled me up.

We returned to our seats, thinking, “Gosh, they are incompetent, first leaving his name off the program, then not listing his mother.”   Until the mother sitting in front of me turned and said, “H. (her son) told me Taylor FORGOT to list his mother.”

Forgot?   Am I not the person driving him to school everyday?   Making sure his homework is done?  Picking him up from chess?  Forcing him to attend the ceremony?  (While wearing a tie, no less!) national-honors-society-2009


And there is that whole “having given birth” to him business, too!  Plus breastfeeding, waking up with him EVERY NIGHT for two plus years, changing his diaper, for longer than he would care for anyone to know!  (3+ years of that, seriously!)

Today I also found out that Taylor not listing his mother was a topic of much conversation at the practice.  Other kids noticed and mentioned it to their parents (who mentioned it to me at work today).  Taylor could have easily requested a correction during the practice, but did not.

And Taylor didn’t think to mention any of this to me before the ceremony.  So I was totally blindsided. 

And left feeling bewildered and upset.

Partially from embarrassment, because I am sure the other parents in this small town are wondering WTF is up, that Taylor would choose NOT to list his mother, but mainly I’m left wondering if my child is just truly terribly thoughtless or if he really is that big of a jackelope.

Shouldn’t it really be “Approximately Pi Day?”

February 23, 2009

Last night my son sprung it on me that he has to make a t-shirt and poster for Pi day. Pi day isn’t until  March 14 but the project is due THIS FRIDAY.  Crap.

Why do children do that?

Anyway, the theme is…..


Wait for it… 



 “The Pi is the Limit.”

I love math teachers.  They are so willing to be silly. 

I guess I should be glad that it isn’t “Ruby in the Pi with Diamonds,”  or “Slumdog Pionairre.”  

“American Pi” might be interesting.   (I heart Stifler’s Mom.)

Anyway, I’m seeking any and all t-shirt/poster suggestions , because  Taylor’s and my brainstorming session was more like a brainovercastday.

TWD #5: World Peace Cookies

February 3, 2009

This weeks Tuesday’s with Dorie recipe is “Word Peace Cookies.”

They are quite delicious, no matter what my son with the unsophisticated tastes says. He thought they were “too salty.” But then again, he doesn’t like guacamole or grilled cheese. He’s a weirdo.

Poo on him!
And on my boss who told me recently that she “leaves the salt out of most recipes.”


I love salt.

In fact, a world without salt would be quite tasteless. (Heee heee)

I made the dough on Sunday, sifting the flour, cocoa powder, salt and leavening into one bowl and beating butter til light and fluffy in another. Granulated and brown sugar were added to the butter, followed by vanilla and then the dry ingredients were briefly beaten in and the chopped chocolate was mixed in via wooden spoon.

For the chocolate I used a mixture of Nestle semisweet mini-chips and Scharffen Berger 70% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate that I finely chopped.

At this point the dough looked like small pebbles so I was a bit worried. Nevertheless, I scooped it out into two piles on seperate pieces of waxed paper, picking up the edges of the paper, sling-like, I used the paper to press the dough into shape, easily forming two cohesive logs.

I sliced the chilled dough into 1/2″ rounds and baked it, a cookie sheet at a time, for 12 minutes. I did end up with a bit of crumbling during slicing, but the dissassembled pieces were easy re-attach, nevertheless, I ate most of them!

Upon removal from the oven, the cookies were sprinkled with salt. I couldn’t find the recommended fleur de sel in my area, so I used large grain sea salt, sprinkling four to five grains on each cookie.

You can see the salt in this picture:
Oh, and make sure you note the terribly “ungreen” foam plate.

Yes, these are salty cookies-in a good way. Very chocolatey with a wonderful sandy texture. I can see why they are named “World Peace Cookies.” Thank you so much Jessica of cookbookhabit for your excellent selection.