Thursday, December 29, 2011

the time toilet {AKA Pinterest}

I am not your typical bloggie.  I have no earth shattering specialty knowledge or skills, don't homeschool, have no culinary skills to really speak of, have no mantle much less an OCD habit of decorating it and redecorating it every fifteen seconds to reflect the weather, upcoming holidays or my stage of PMS ... so really if someone were to ask me what this blog is about I'd probably have a real genius looking moment where I sound as intelligent as Homer Simpson ... uuuuuuhhhhhhh ...

But I try.  Really I do.  Between swear words, bottles of wine or beer, and continued therapy fodder for my children I do try.  And like all mama's in the blog world I eventually had to cave and try crack.  Er, I mean Pinterest, I had to try Pinterest.  Haven't actually tried crack, but I imagine its similar only illegal.

So I have like seventy gajillion pins already and not a lot to show for it.  If I could become organized, cook well, or make cool shit via osmosis it would have happened already so I guess my virtual pin board is one part foolish hope and one part failure beacon.  At anyrate, I have never in all my thousands of pins jumped up from the computer and said "ohmigowsh I am so doing that now."  I have on the contrary said "ohmigowsh I so wanna do that ... someday ... eventually ... maybe ... better pin it JIC."

Then 20 minutes ago happened.

Yup, I pinned, did, then blogged.  This has to be some sort of freaking productivity record for me. (Note: St Paul has Thing 1 and they are grunting and being men looking at camouflage at Bass Pro while Thing 2 still miraculously snoozes in his car seat following a horrible, horrible trip to Walmart that had Mommy wanting to drink.  Not entering a store until February.)  Enough babble, we're on a time limit:

I can't get a picture of the original on here, so you have to go to a content housewife's blog post in order to see it.  Simple, yet all the cushy goodness that makes me keep up the pretenses!  The original is adorable of course, and no, I don't have any flowers and the yet-to-be-posted-tutorial has zilch to do with their absence.  They'd wind up looking like burlap poop in all likelihood if I tried, and with the boys and the dogs I can't help but develop nervous twitches at the thought of non-cloroxable-easy-to-dust-surfaces actually being present in my home.  I only had an 11 x 14 frame on hand, so mine is bigger ... but so is my family, so I am up for pretending that was planned and intentional! Shhh ...

I know, I know, you are just awed by the picture quality.
Camera phone.  Awesome.

Yes, I even happened to have the same exact scrapbook paper on hand.

So, there it is, finished product. Except that in my zeal to finally do something on Pinterest so I could pretend I am cool like that I forgot that St Paul made me get rid of all my teacher stuff in la purga (but no one can force me to part with my Sharpies dammit) so I have no vis-a-vis pens in the house.

Oh and I also have no idea where in the sam hick I am hanging this beast.

At least I have good intentions, right?  Right?!  {Sigh}

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

10 Mad Skillz

In my previous life, I was a teacher, and I loved it. But, I found myself annually praying for a job because adequate funding for education is about as likely as eating one pop tart and leaving the other one in the silver wrapper. Not happening. This meant that my resume was updated on an annual basis for a while.

But I always found that there were things that I just couldn't incorporate into my resume, stuff I am quite skilled at, stuff that can be dayum useful ... but really has no place in a “professional,” hoity toity resume. So here are ten of my top non-professional resume worthy skills so I can get my awesomeness out of my system. In no particular order ...

1. Skilled at creating new and much more amusing (though not always child-appropriate) lyrics for children’s songs.

2. Able to complete a wide array of tasks adequately and on time while concurrently winning several games of Words With Friends.

3. Competent in instant bathroom location at any locale, even when I have never been there before and the signs are in a language other than my own.

4. Able to covertly obtain an entire bed's-worth of blankets onto my half without waking sleeping partner. (Please contact my husband for confirmation and at least 5 minutes of whining on his part.)

5. While playing basketball with garbage I will almost never hit the can, but I am optimistic and hopeful enough to try every time.

6. My Momdar (mom-radar) enables me to know when a child in a five mile radius climbs on a surface higher than 2 feet from the ground, is in possession of a permanent marker, or utters the phrase, “this will be sooo awesome!”

7. Able to make dee-lish Mac n' Cheese without reading the directions on the box.

8. Loves reading historical romance novels but ruthlessly judges others for enjoying such drivel.

9. Able to make working models of things like motors and flashlights out of styrofoam, popsicle sticks and glue. Give me glitter and paint and they will look good too. (Remember – former teacher and a mom)

10. Knows all the words to “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” and can still fold M.A.S.H. notes.

There are so many other things I can do that fall flat on resume judgment day, but this small smattering gives you a glimpse into the amazingness that is me.

Careful, jealousy isn't a slimming trait.   

Monday, December 26, 2011

the turtle, part 2

So We lived through Christmas, I have a ton to post because while I am not a Christmas-crafty person I am a broke-enough-to-need-to-make-Christmas-presents-crafty person and I wanna share ... but before we get to all of that lets revisit the turtle.  You know, the one who has apparently decided she is part monkey?

St Paul came out on Christmas morning and told me "go look at your turtle."  Figuring this was some sort of sadistic way to not have to tell me she had bit the big one and really made Christmas all sorts of special for the kiddos this year I winced the whole walk back to see her.  Then this is what I saw.

I pulled her down, promising that the "season" was almost over and to just hang in there while checking for sharp objects and moving her house so that hopefully she can't climb it again.  I really would love to see her actually do it, no, not jump you sicko.  I would love to see how on earth she actually gets up there, I mean doesn't this like defy about 12 laws of nature???

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I suck at Christmas

Lets go ahead and clear the air now: If you are wanting a warm fuzzy I am in the spirit of the holidays BS caked post filled with cute crafts and ideas, go elsewhere.

I groan as Thanksgiving approaches, because this time of year does not happen to awaken a cozy, warm, happy feeling in me.  You could easily confuse me for Ebeneezer were it not for the fact I happen to not be a wildly rich, old, English dude.  Bah.

Since becoming a mom I have really, truly tried.  I can fool my kids.  Most of the time.  I think.  If not its just more therapist-couch-fodder, and I can live that with that.  But between the turtle trying to jump off of her house, the man cold's insistence on re-invading repeatedly, and all this Christmasy cheer I'd consider skipping milk and just make my breakfast cereal with tequila if I thought it wouldn't taste so exceptionally bad with Coco Krispies.

So when it comes to Christmas decor in the mommadeaux house we aren't exactly a regurgitated glitter and garland factory like so many of the blogs I see out there.  Elf on the Shelf?  St. Paul is already developing rules for what I am allowed to do with it because I plan to have one next year and he is scared that we will personally pay for the retirement of the previously mentioned therapist if he gives me free reign.  He's probably right on the money there though.

So there are really only three Christmas-ish things in my house right now, items that suggest the warfare I feel Christmas invokes and items that are manufacturally flawed.  I said I suck at Christmas, but at least I have a sense of humor about the whole thing.

A camouflage Christmas Tree Skirt.
Nuff said.

The applique should, of course, read "Ho Ho Ho"
but when sewn on upside down it says what we all are really thinking:
"Oh Oh Oh"
And yes, we bought the "bad" one on purpose.  So did my mom.
Merry Christmas and a Bah Humbug to boot.  Lets get to New Years, the holiday we all openly admit we have to drink to get through it!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

turtles & S.A.D.

the scene of the crime, later that day
Since we have had fairly typical-for-other-parts-of-the-country winter weather here lately we've all been a tad in the downy dumps.  Not being used to cold, grey, dreary weather has made for a miserable mommadeaux clan, and you know my feelings on my menfolk getting sick.  Thing 2 is genuinely sick, Thing 1 had to be picked up early from school this week due to illness, I can't get St Paul out of bed in the mornings without a lot of threats and the promise of coffee brewing and this morning he actually said he was "dying," and I have personally polished off more Christmas cookies than is reasonable for a gal who says she's watching her figure.  So I decided we all had the desert-region-version of Seasonal Affective Disorder, commonly called S.A.D.

But I misjudged the level of seasonal depression in our house apparently.  Why you ask?  Because yesterday morning I had the strangest wake-up-yelling I have had in all ten years of motherhood thus far.

"Mom come quick, the turtle climbed on her log house and jumped off!"

Yes, turtle.  The docile, slow animal typically associated with laziness.  She climbed up on her log tunnel, don't ask how, I can't quite visualize it myself.  This had to require a good amount of effort on her part.  Ultimately I guess she just couldn't take it anymore.  In her misery, she decided to jump off the highest area she could manage in an effort to end it all.  However, the highest area in her aquarium is like 3 inches tall.

As it turns out, she merely got herself stuck and scared the crap out of Thing 1 who awoke to the loud thud that resulted when her shell hit the side of the aquarium.

While this incident may leave you scratching your head don't be alarmed.  If anyone was going to own a turtle that was both acrobatic and klutzy, it would be me.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

bumper sticker warm fuzzies

Maybe I am just becoming more observant lately, but I have seen a lot of really funny bumper stickers lately.

While at Costco this AM I saw one that was unintentionally a bit humorous.  I should have snapped a picture, but didn't think of it at the time, but I had to share it here.  So here is my thought for the day for you ...

You know its time to remove the bumper sticker from your back window when the words "tasty food" have faded to the point they aren't really readable and all that’s left is "Love people and cook them."

Yeah, it gives you the warm fuzzies, don't it?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

an open letter to the jerk who stole my ads

Dear Jerktastic Buttmunch Who Stole My Black Friday Ads,

I just wanted you to know that I have spent the better part of my Wednesday wishing you a lot of misery.  If any of  my exes are correct, I am a witch.  If I am in fact a witch, you are really in for a rough couple of days because I have been focusing all my witchy powers your way this fine pre-Thanksgiving Wednesday.

First off, by now your hands should have turned into a bloody, pulpy mess given the number of paper cuts you acquired thumbing through MY ads.  Yes, I did that.  I hope that cheap newsprint glossy stuff feels like razor blades, you thief.  I started off hoping that each page gave you a paper cut but I realized that freaks as hardcore as you must go through them multiple times to price compare, so I amended my original curse to include a new slice with each page turn.

You may as well not bother staying up after gorging yourself on Thanksgiving to start shopping online at 12:01 AM because your computer will only explode right at that moment you click the button that says "Proceed to Checkout" causing you to not only not get any of the things in your cart but to also send a variety of embarrassing spam emails to those you are most concerned with impressing.  Family pictures? Passwords? Tax info? Internet favorites?  Yup, all gone too.

Imagine this, but times like a million.
If you decide to not heed my warnings and turn your computer into a nuclear wasteland after all, please stop there.  Because if you decide that you must physically go shopping, you will make the news.  You might get trampled or you might get buried alive under a mountain of those Lets Rock Elmo toys, but I assure you that you won't get a single one of the things you went out to shop for.  Not one.  You will be exhausted and have nothing but your frazzled, theify nerves to show for it.  And everything you go to buy this holiday season will be full price, and dang hard to come by.

For the record, had you asked me for the Black Friday ads I would have given them to you.  This is because I think that people who actually leave the house on this, of all shopping days, are either nuts or really nuts.  I respect some of the nuts, but for people like you, I got nuthin'.  At any rate, we are too broke even for Black Friday deals and all I wanted was the regular, boring grocery ads so I could feed my family.  Ass hole.

In closing, my temper is quick to rise but burns out quickly, so while I hope a lot of misery for you it will all be fine by Saturday morning and you will be healed but hopefully a valuable lesson will have been learned.   In case you missed what that lesson was let m spell it out for you:

Stealing is wrong, but stealing the ads from my paper? Really low and pathetic. Even without all the names I have spent today calling you and the misfortunes I hope befall you, I pity someone like you because karma's a real bitch and if you are so sad as to think you neighbor's ads are worth stealing I am willing to bet you have few friends and even less of a life.  Happy freaking Thanksgiving, you jackhole.


P.S. To all the peeps who didn't jack my ads, I hope you have a great Thanksgiving with those you love.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

lies I tell my children

just like candy
Given that a decade passed by between kids I often feel a bit like a first time mom all over again with child numero dos.  I don't remember all of it from ten years ago, and if we're being honest its not like I knew what I was doing well enough to make actual decisions then.  Its a miracle Thing 1 isn't already in rehab.

So when I was nearing the end of the prison term that is pregnancy I joined Baby Center and added myself to a bunch of clubs so I could read and get advice as needed.  I have found on this one website, more than anywhere else, the most concrete of evidence that women are singularly the most cruel beings on the planet at times.  The moms on this site rip each other to shreds at times over things like formula feeding and onsies with stupid phrases on them.  I am not much of a Judgey McJudgerson myself, because I am pretty sure I am doing it all wrong by someone's standard anyway, so I don't dive into these blood baths or partake in assuming I know a dayum thing about how someone else parents (unless you let your kid sleep with knives, then I think you're nucking futs, you sicko).

But a while back the concept of lying to your kids came up on a post and it got me thinking about the lies I tell my children.  As I am not the type of mom featured in parenting magazines I will admit I have had some fun at the expense of the minds I mold ... no, you really are the only person with a butt crack and its because I dropped you ... but one of my best ones came to light fairly recently.

When Thing 1 was younger I, like all good mothers do, warned him of the dangers of accepting candy from strangers.  It was probably a Halloween related bit of wisdom but I never do anything halfsies, so I went fully monty and told him about the crazy Tylenol poisoner.  I believe that whole thing happened the year I was born or so, so I have been raised with the pain-in-the-ass-bottles but none of the fear and stuff people who really lived through it experienced.  But I sure milked it.  And after I was done telling this innocent little three year old about it (see, I told you I was a bad mom) I proceeded to tell him that the crazy Tylenol poisoner considered spiking candy at one point too.  In my infinitely selfless willingness to show motherly love I told Thing 1 that it was best that I act as his royal taster and insure that none of his food was poisoned.

I know, you think I am sick.  But think about the possibilities.  I got the first taste of anything good for years!  That trusting little goober would allow me to take a sip of his chocolate shake, a bite of his cookie, a taste of anything that was appealing to me because I had the foresight to know what kinds of things crazy Tylenol poisoners would poison. Interestingly enough it was all the things *I* like.

But the funniest part about this story isn't that I was evil enough to say it, do it, and milk it for years, but rather that at about 9 Thing 1 finally realized that his mother was devious enough to hatch such a plot.  I got nearly six years of it!

But really, the best news of all: I convinced him to not tell his little brother.  Here we go again! =)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

sleeping with swords

I am a bad mom.  The worst in fact.  According to Milwaukee anyway.

As if all the other horrible things I do weren't enough, it seems that there is yet another travesty to add to the list of crimes I have committed against my children.  But this one takes the cake really ... and slices it into nice dangerous pieces ...

These ads recently came out, to much controversy I might add, claiming that sleeping with your child is just as dangerous as letting them sleep in a nice big fluffy bed, on their stomachs, with a butcher knife.

Say what?!

Yes, parents who sleep with their children are clearly all letting them sleep in beds like the one in the images and they may has well stick cleavers in bed beside them.

I will admit to this much, my bed is no where near that poofy/soft looking and I sure as hell would never own white sheets.  Oh, and yes, my kid sleeps with me.

There are plenty of resources that can outline how bullshaty this ad campaign is and how safe co-sleeping is when done properly (like this one, or this one, or even this one) so I won't bore you with that.  

But I will give you this....
Take that Milwaukee!

We are such rebels.

Monday, November 21, 2011

the *real* Story of Creation

Being out numbered three to one by males in my house I am quite sensitive to gender issues.  This is a nice way of saying that I am situationally bombarded with farts (which I mind), football (which I don't mind), and I find myself swearing at the Mars/Venus author a lot.

So when on Wednesday night Thing 1 said that his throat was bugging him a bit and his head was hurting I began bracing for the worst.  Sigh, the Man Cold was about to invade.

While the invasion is in full swing, however, it has led to a religious epiphany on my part.  Whilst reciting my version of the Serenity Prayer, I realized the Almighty's motivation in something.  I, of course, felt very blessed to have been gifted such an amazing bit of holy insight and had to share it here, with you.

Despite popular and biblical belief, God did not create Eve from Adam's rib following the realization that the poor guy was one lonely dude.  Rather, God looked down from heaven and saw that Adam was slowly starving to death and completely unaware of what the eff to do without someone there to hold his silly little male hand.  And it was then God realized once that poor fool got sick he'd just whither away and die.  Realizing that He could not allow his most prized creation to just die due to his overwhelming sense of self pity, God created Eve.

Then Eve went and served up some forbidden apples and they were cast out of Paradise ... and God, then and only then, created the Man Cold so as to punish woman kind for Eve's mistake.

Gee, thanks.

Friday, November 18, 2011

evidence that my child is a horrendous dictator in the making

Following a title like that I am sure you are either thinking "oh my gawd, she's horrible" or "Ha! Preach on sistah, I have one of those kids too!"  Your response of course entirely depends on your being a parent or not being a parent.  Or maybe you are a parent without a sense of humor ... good lord, how do you survive?!

Anyway, my child is only 7 months old and I am pretty sure he has all the makings of a horrendous, terrifying dictator in the making.  I already shudder to think about how the history books will portray his sheer mad brilliance, and I hope history doesn't look down upon me too harshly because, as you are about to see, his path was set long before I started to pretend I had control over this.

{Editors Note: I still pretended I had control of him as a human being from the moment the little line on the pee-stick formed right up until about a few weeks before my due date, when I realized I had truly zero control over anything having to do with this kid beyond incubating him.}

With no further adieu, the Top 5 Reasons My Kid Will Someday Be a Terrifying Dictator:

1. His nickname in the womb was Voldabean.  As in a morph of Jellybean and Voldemort.  Yeah.  At 13 weeks I had my first ultrasound, and it looked like a jellybean with a heartbeat.  I thought it was cute -- this kid hadn't given me any morning sickness or unpleasant preggo symptoms as of yet so I started calling the little gender-less blob my Jellybean.  Fast forward to the Jellybean turning into a Sasquatch sized member of Cirque de Soleil in my tummy who left me with horrendous heartburn, back pain, early onset of contractions, and thought his "due date" was merely a laughable suggestion of date he should avoid arriving on at all costs... I started saying I was going to give birth to Voldemort.  Voldabean was the compromise.

2. His little baby hands can out-do any Chinese Water Torture trial.  Oh. My. Gawd.  I don't care how short I trim those nails, they are daggers.  Maybe he is like Wolverine and can retract them, I don't know.  To add to this he has this adorable habit of squeezing his hands open and closed right as he falls asleep.  So right as he drifts off he starts slowly, delicately, gouging four small trenches in your arm and all you can do is put up with it, or wake him up.  Yes, I have scars.

3. He has a sick sense of humor.  Not all dictators have this, in fact many don't thus why they are so uptight and horrible.  But my kid?  He has already learned to apply his gasp of the ironic in order to manipulate me. Example: I am with this child nearly 24/7.  I am the focal point of his world, and nearly always there trying to teach him and help him.  Who did he roll over for first?  My mom.  When he learned to do the much harder back to belly roll over, who did he do that for first?  St. Paul of Bunyan.  After days of working with his slowly emerging and adorable ability to clap I was gone from his side maybe a couple hours only to return and find him perched on St Paul's knee clapping furiously.  When I excitedly said "he's clapping!" St. Paul replied, "oh he's been doing that for like an hour now."  Don't even get me started on how the little traitor babbles "Dadadada" constantly.

4. His sense of timing is flawless.  Timing is everything, everyone knows this.  And so does my baby.  Case in point: child holds off on a blow-out until just the right moment.  Like the I am running late wearing my favorite shirt and only clean jeans in the house, go to pick him up and put him on my hip and ... I'll spare you the visual.

5. He is so stinkin' cute and perfect he could convince you to do anything.  It has been said that the greatest, most horrible dictators of our time were, for all their tyrannical cruelty, still very good leaders.  This is how they were able to convince so many to follow them, no matter what.  I assure you, Thing 2 could make you do anything.  Anything.  Between his perfect little round-bald-baby-head, big blue eyes framed with perfect dark, curly eyelashes, and adorably chubby cheeks ... my kid could kick the Gerber kid's ass.  He sneezed yams into my eye the other day, and I am the world's biggest sissy with eye stuff.  The word "contacts" makes me shiver just at the thought of touching an eyeball, but there I was with globs of grainy yam in my eye sockets and he laughed, and I was okay with it.  That gummy little smile could melt Satan's heart.  This child can already convince you to do anything, so I can only assume that this skill will be honed and of greater threat once he practices some more.

So let the record show, someday when my child is trying to overtake a small country or is working at the Motor Vehicle Division, that I saw the signs and tried to intervene.  But then he gave me that cute little gummy smile and used sign language to either sign "mama" or "bitch" (they look really similar) and I know whichever it is, it refers to me, and I just melted.  Sorry world.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Yam in the eye and ten other things I learned this week

If life is about learning, then I am really living life up well this week.  Here are my top ten lessons learned in the last seven or so days:

1. I do not bounce well anymore, so falling is a really bad idea.

2. Second chances are a really good thing, especially on house security alarms when you are not paying attention and mess up the code.

3. My bank thinks I have a sense of humor about bill paying.  I don't.  Neither do the companies that expect payment.

4. Despite looking thoroughly non edible, and despite how many times the baby has tried, my dog proved that pacifiers are, in fact, edible.

5.  Pacifiers may be edible, but they are not, as it turns out, digestible.

6.  If I act like a big enough of an idiot and clap a lot, the baby will eat yams and will end his hunger strike.

7. Pureed yams that are sneezed into your eye make things a bit blurry for an hour or so.

8.  The laminate floors we bought at Ikea are really durable and can even withstand urine.

9.  Calling my phone as many nasty names and combinations of names as I can think of does not make it work better.  I'll keep trying.

10.  Christmas music in early November makes me nauseous and I apparently have developed a nervous twitch in anticipation of the holiday season.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

attacked by the bird in Dumbo

Oh look at that Corolla speeding along down there ...
You know in the opening scenes of the movie Dumbo where the patient Mrs. Jumbo finally and with much relief hears the stork calling out her name and is given her baby elephant with the massive yet adorable ears?  Okay I saw him.  Not the elephant, the bird.  It was huge, it was grey and was not wearing that smart little hat but it was a stork or a crane or something like it.  It was huge, it had a long neck with a floppy skin-pouchy looking area under its beak and it was apparently not at all afraid of my Corolla speeding down the street.  Scared the crud right out of me and between the startle factor and the fact that I have a nasty and otherwise unexplained phobia of birds, it aided in the unleashing of an impressive litany of swear words.

Problem with this story?  Both kids were in the back seat.

Now Thing 2 wouldn't have noticed anything given he is seven months old and mommy's forgivable time is still at hand.  The ten year old Thing 1 ... um, yeah. He's part nun and has been sniffing out swear words from a rather young age.  One of my friends just hands him a five dollar bill whenever she sees us so that she is "pre-paid" and doesn't have to worry about it for a while.

But rather than tell me that I didn't make good choices with my words like he once would have, he laughed.  He said that my word choice was funny.  I honestly don't remember how I combined words, but it is my art, so I am sure it was well done of me.

But it got me thinking about how I have some bad-mom tendencies of "do as I say not as I do."  Anyone who says they don't do this is either lying or not actually raising their kids, and I accept that I am not a fully conventional-mother-of-the-year-award-winning-Martha-freaking-Stewart-esk mom with as much grace as I can muster.  I read blogs.  I see the homeschooling moms who change their mantle decor every 15 seconds so that it can reflect the current season while sewing clothes for their children and making lots of cakes.  Not her, and won't be.  But I am open minded and think of me as a student of life.

So that big nasty bird that swooped over the street whilst I sped toward it and made me slam on the breaks and craft word chains that could have made a sailor blush made me also realize that I have not paid any attention to my list.  So I will be adding to it, and I will hopefully be marking some stuffs off of it soon.  And I am sure I will have plenty of sad, yet amusing, stories to share because failure is a part of learning.  And lord knows, when it comes to domestic skills I am bound to do both.

Friday, November 4, 2011

a hybrid like no other

Imagine a little halo hovering above its wand ...
Siting and typing this post out right now is not logical, but it is needed.  This makes exploding Smurfs look like nothing in terms of "you know its a bad day when..."

I have one of those Bissell Little Green miracles.  Two dogs, two kids, a husband ... a worthwhile investment.  Yesterday I lent it to my mother, who's beagle decided to pretend one of her large area rugs was a potty.

Given the atrocities I apparently committed in a previous life the karma fairy came by the house this morning.  To spare you the nastiest of the details I will give the circumstances to you via the text message conversation on my phone.  Before I do, please note the following: St Paul of Bunyan is a wonderful human being who can do a great many things including be a wonderful dad and make a fire using only string and draino while camping int he Arctic circle.  He is however a huge wussypants when it comes to vomit.  The man has the stomach of a 6-week-pregnant-woman.

Me:  Oh. My. God. I am so f***ing glad you are not home right now.

SPB: Why?

SPB: That's rude!

Me: {Insert dog's name here} just vomited a whole, completely intact, really smelly shit on the WHITE couch.  It was so gross that *I* got sick.  Can't f***ing imagine the mess if you had been home.

Me: Did I mention its on the white couch?

Me: Did I mention it still looked like a f***ing turd?!

Me: Did I mention the house smells like shit now?

SPB: Oh good   <-- we will return to this comment momentarily

SPB: What an ass

Me: Did I mention that my mom has my f***ing Bissell and I can't do anything to get rid of the stink?!

SPB: Oh hell, go get it

Allow me to take a moment to answer the most pressing question on your mind right now: WTF, you have a white couch?!  Um, yes, but not on purpose.  And really its not very white, more of a dingy grey now, but I am sure it was manufactured to be a white one.  It came with the house.

I can also assure you that St Paul and I will be having a little heart to heart about appropriate responses because he doesn't seem to have any.  "Oh good?"  Good?  What part of dog ralphing poop that can somehow simultaneously look and smell like both poop and puke is good?!  The part where you weren't home for it?  Yes, true. I agree because I would have been cleaning up after your puke too and been a lot madder, and really who wouldn't be grateful to have missed out on this fun?  But to say it?  Out loud?  Okay he didn't say it, but he had to type it.  At some point there should have been some attempt at filtering that could have happened.  I am imagining the robot with sirens blaring saying "danger Will Robertson!" only he says St Paul of Bunyan's name instead.

So, in order to get appropriate, make-me-feel-better responses, I spoke with my mom.

Me: OMG my dog just spewed.  On my couch. It was poop.  A poop vomit hybrid.  Can I please swing by your house and borrow my Bissell back for an hour?

Mom: OMG, no! You poor thing, I will bring it to you!

When you want to hear an appropriate response, ask a woman.

Monday, October 31, 2011

socks ... in the dishwasher

People say stupid stuff.  Some people, however, are overachievers.

I slept like a baby.

Who in the hell says something that dumb, unless of course its following an all-night-drink-til-you-wet-yourself-bender because that's what my baby does.  I actually put laundry in the dishwasher yesterday.  I blame lack of sleep.  I woke up with my left eye swollen and oozing green toothpaste, but I am not sick.  I think my left eye, rebel that it is, was just pissed it didn't get to stay closed that long.  The right eye was more understanding and merely was bloodshot and felt like it was holding a sandbox.

Apparently at about 6.5 to 7 months of age babies go through a separation anxiety phase.  Haven't looked that up on any milestone charts because I am living it and hardly need some PhD's confirmation that hell exists.  Thing 2 is learning that we are not one person, that I can actually be separate from him.  I think this is further evidence my child is a freaking genius because he can grasp abstract concepts because I don't think we have actually been physically apart since his birth, twenty-nine weeks ago.  At any rate, he sleeps for about an hour then freaks out and needs held.  He also should be about 6 feet long by the end of the week because he wants  to eat about every 20 seconds.  

But back to my point, "sleeping like a baby" is a phrase either first uttered by one sarcastic SOB or someone who has never even seen an effing baby.  Go ahead, embroider that shat on a pillow, I know you want to.

Now on to my day where I try not to appear narcoleptic.

Friday, October 28, 2011

MommyShorts made me do it

As a child, I admit, I was a bit of a girly-girl.  I loved dress up and anything pink.  I have moved far away from this as an adult but I will admit to a bit of pink-envy when I see little girl's clothes as a mom now.  I walk by the frilly-pink-sixteen-racks of dresses and hair bands that is the girl's section of most stores and glare a bit in envy of the moms who get to dress up their daughters while I retreat to the four racks of boys clothes and am busy calculating how many rocks my boys can fit into those cute little pockets and when a reptile will be brought home to me.

But an opportunity to play dress-up with my youngest (and least opinionated as a result) presented itself yesterday and I dove on it.  Not exactly the frills and flowery headbands I have dreamed about, but I am a flexible person after all.

If you don't follow MommyShorts, do.  Like start now.  Go ahead, just make sure you come back.  Cracks. Me. Up.  Love it.  Since discovering this blog I have wiled away my miserable prison sentence in Parent Pick-up reading entries from the past so I can catch up.  So when yesterday a request went out for anyone with a baby and a camera you knew I was down for it.

The end result can be seen here!  I can proudly claim both Popeye and Captain Morgan as my offspring.

And I learned a valuable lesson ... the threat I have made for a while now to my husband -- that I either get a frou-frou dog I can dress up, a daughter, OR I turn one of the boys into a cross dresser so I can buy me some pink shat -- I can make good on.  While the point was that neither outfit was very involved he was a pro with impressions   He owned the Cap'n pose so well I locked the alcohol up.  And the pipe?  Took him a second to get the hang of which end worked better in the mouth, but once he did he got pretty peeved at me when I tried to trade it out with a rattle.

Make sure you go to the MommyShorts entry to see the final images, but here are some out-takes that I will be submitting to the Mom of the Year contest.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

the Definition of Motherhood is ...

I saw something on facebook the other day that said something to the effect of motherhood = free labor and while I fully agree with this sentiment, it stuck with me and made me think.

The next time it crossed my mind was on my most recent 2 and a half hour flight.  You see St Paul and Thing 1 got up to pee twice each during the flight.  We had not followed the no fluids prior to the flight rule, I guess, because I had to go wicked bad too.  But did I go?  No.  Why not, you ask?  Well its simple: I was holding a sleeping baby.

You know, the sleeping baby everyone evil eyed while we walked down the aisle to our seats.  The baby that everyone prayed would sit very, very far away from them.  The baby that looked too young to bribe with fruit snacks or promises of presents once we landed.  That baby.  And he was sleeping.  We got on that plane, walked the four miles down that aisle with the tentative evil eyers and story tellers ("oh we flew once with my son at that age and never again, it was awful" -- really lady, gee thanks for that anecdote!) paying too much attention to us while some jackhole 50 people in front of us took forever to stow their carry-ons.  Once we finally poured our four selves, three backpacks, camera bag and jackets into those impossibly snug, funny smelling three seats I immediately set to work.  Got him as tired and hungry as possible and began feeding him so that he slept/ate through take off and beyond.

So while St Paul and Thing 1 got up for round two of the potty dance and my bladder was reaching the critical point, I looked down at the most angelic little sleeping baby in my arms and knew, just knew, that if I got up and handed Thing 2 off to St Paul there was a snowball's chance that he'd stay asleep.  Between my own waning sanity and the silent prayers of those around us I figured my bladder would just have to hold it.

And that my friends is the definition of motherhood:

Motherhood is holding it when you really gotta go -- even though your children ruined your ability to hold it to begin with -- because if you just wait and keep that kiddo sleeping then your family won't be material for everyone else's gripes on the drive home from the airport.  
"How was your flight?" 
"Oh there was this baby ..."

Monday, October 24, 2011

Holy heart failure, Batman!

Okay so if I was skipping around the room like a giddy five year old that I had gotten something published other than here where I chose to put it up (if ya missed that go here ;)) then I am really over the moon and about to get raccoon eyes from the tears of joy that are brought with discovering people have actually commented on my piece ... and liked it!

And I was actually worried that it was *my* parent pick up point-of-view that was the problem.  Ah, clearly not.  We all seem to wish we could drop houses on the soccer mom in line with us and steal that witch's shoes.

{Seriously, most of these women are richer than me and have absolutely fabulous shoes!}

So I have people reading me here -- I so heart you -- and people reading me there, and then I was listed as a "What We're Reading This Week" over at It Builds Character and I pretty much had a happy stroke right there!

Just had to share.  I have about a million things to do and this is not one of them, but it sure does make mama happy!

here I am!

Okie dokie, its been a while since I have posted anything because I was in Iceland, er ... I mean Iowa, and I needed to thaw my fingers back out so that they could type again.

This is St. Paul of Bunyan's and my version of star crossed lovers ... he, a boy from Iowa where they need things like chains on their tires ... me, a girl born an bread in the midst of the Sonoran Desert who's never even seen snow falling other than in movies and thinks that salting your sidewalks is foolish unless you plan to lick them before you shoot the tequila.

The weather was quite dead-of-winter-ish for me in the 50s and 60s until the last day when it was in the 40s, in the middle of the day.  Oh. My. Gawd.  My husband's family all had great fun commenting on how nice the weather was, or how chilly it felt all while quickly snapping a peak at my reaction. I was a big girl most of the time and never said things like "Holy shmidt its fricken freezing!" like I did the first time I went to Iowa.  Before we were married.  In front of his grandmother.  Oh, and no, I didn't say shmidt or fricken.  My brain was too stunned by the cold to substitute or even realize I was speaking out loud.  But we had a good time and I was a big girl this time about the weather.  They did find my shock at the size of their squirrels a bit amusing though.  (I swear it made badgers and house cats look small!!!)  

Anywhoo ... so I am back and in my absence I actually got some followers and comments.  Oh be still my little geeky heart!  Love it! Love, love, looooove it!  I will get back into the swing of things here soonish, I hope.  I have lots of little ideas and if I don't get them committed to blogland I will lose them to that wasteland in my mind the way I loose passwords and my kids social security numbers.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

feelin' a bit badass

Okay so I admit it, I'm feeling a bit badass today.

Yes, I mean more than normal.

After years of *saying* I want to be a writer I finally stopped being a wimp and sent something in to a site I soooo love ... and somehow I got lucky, or the bribes were well placed enough, because they liked it and I can now say I am {ahem} "published."

Check it out HERE :)

P.S. I think I might have figured out how to post from my phone, which is pretty rock star in my humble opinion. I'm having a pretty awesome day!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

when life hands you a broken door knob

You know the phrase "when life hands you lemons ..."?  I prefer the ever more practical variant which mentions salt and tequila because when did lemonade ever make anyone feel better?  But I found a new application for this phrase over the weekend.

For the last couple of weeks both of my bathroom door knobs have been biting the dust.  Both of them.  Seem fair? No.  Not fair, because the bathroom is about the only place I can guarantee alone time anymore and its not even a full guarantee.  Anyhoo, door knobs sent a little memo to each other and agreed to simultaneously have the little sticky-outy-part (I know there is probably a name for this part, but who cares) stay stucky-inny.  So the doors can close but not latch, much less lock.

So on Saturday St. Paul of Bunyan and I were furiously cleaning, storing, throwing out and swearing at stuff.  As we were wrapping it up I needed to "powder my nose" so to speak.  Go into the bathroom and do my business and was about to leave when it happened.

The sticky-outy-part that has been stucky-inny for like 3 weeks?  Popped out.

But could it pop out in a miraculous door-is-healed sort of way?  Hello, this is me we are talking about!  What are the odds that the exploding smurf, plastic wrap warrior will have the good luck to have something work in my favor like that?!

So the thingy pops out and I can't open the door.

I try turning the knob.  Turning it fast, turning it slow, pulling on the door, pushing on the door, speaking to the door nicely, calling the door a few names, smacked the knob a few times (not advisable, hurts you more than the knob) ... no change.  Finally I take a deep breath, try once more and I hear a strange clicking snapping type noise then feel the knob go slack.  I can now turn it in either direction with no resistance or effect.  Yeah, not good.  Fortunately, I wasn't home alone, or home with just the baby.  More fortunately I happened to have my cell phone in my pocket so I didn't have to yell myself horse until I was heard.

St Paul came back, starts running through the procedures I already did from one side of the door.  Then goes and gets tools. Lots of loud noises come through the door.  I sigh and realize I am not going anywhere for a little bit when the hubs has to go back to the tool box for some new tools.

And it hit me.

I am locked in a bathroom, alone.  As in by myself.  Just me.

And the shower.

And the clouds parted and the rays of sunlight shown down while the angelic chorus of "hallelujah" blasted through my brain.

That elusive beast that evades all moms, especially those of younger children, is mine for the taking.

I took a long, hot shower ... by myself.  Uninterrupted, if you don't count the loud noises resulting from St Paul eventually breaking the door down.  After 20 minutes I emerge from the steamy bathroom with my hair clean, skin scrubbed pink and moisturized, all relaxed and calm to a frazzled husband and crying baby.

So the next time you hear that tired old phrase about life handing you lemons just remember, when life hands you a bad door knob you can have yourself a somewhat peaceful shower.

You got a long, hot shower to yourself? You're welcome.

Friday, October 7, 2011

me n' Gumby

Lets go ahead and have a disclaimer right from the get go here.  Ready? Set. Go!

If you are one of those people who get freaked out at the thought of breast feeding in general (WTF are you doing reading my blog anyway) or don't like to depart from the happy, comfy, granola crunchy BS version of breast feeding where it never hurts or is awkward at all, read no further.  If you are, like, my dad, or someone who doesn't want to read something that is specifically about my boobs, you should also stop here.

That should cover us.  Its a little TMI, but I don't know of any honest breast feeding sources that don't crap hearts and rainbows and focus on anything other than the bondy happiness breast feeding is to vent my spleen here.  As stated in my last post or two about breast feeding I think it is all those happy unicorn things, but it is more.  So much more.

I have given up any hope or false belief I own my boobs.  He took them.  The ones I have now are not mine for all intents and purposes, nor are they the ones I had before.  I fear that in giving my child all the valuable wonderful (crapping hearts and rainbows) goodness that breast milk undeniably gives him I have also forfeited any hope of having human boobs again.

I have Gumby boobs.  At least Thing 2 thinks so.  He seems to think he can simultaneously eat and do some kind of Linda-Blair-head-turning sort of thing.

At least they aren't green.

Oh, and the baby is learning that my shirt is some sort of barrier between him and that which he loves most dearly.  Not me, just his food source.

So we can definitely add "my boobs" to the list of things my kids stole from me.  File it right after "my dignity" and just before "my peace of mind."

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

they call me *fart*

If beating myself up counted as I hobby, I could finally say I have a damn hobby.

I don't mean literally physically damaging myself, though with my innate sense of grace I most certainly do that as well, but I mean I can mentally tear myself to shreds in a mater of seconds.  I don't need help, I am quite skilled at neglecting myself, putting me on the back burner, taking care of everyone else ... then feeling like I am some sort of failure for the one, two, or ten things I failed to do or didn't do well enough by my abnormally and unfairly high standards I hold only me to.  Don't even ask me to address body issues, post- or pre-kids.  You'd be here for days hearing words like hideous, flabby, and Mr. Sunffelupagus and I would ruin the mascara I actually managed to apply this morning.

This said, I clearly have a low enough sense of my personal value.  But I still know, somewhere in the back of my mind, that my family needs me and couldn't run with out me.  Oh they'd survive, but they'd smell (worse) and be hungry(er).

This said, note the following conversation which just occurred and has happened in some form now twice.

Me: Can you say mama?

Thing 2: dadadadadadada

Me: Yes, yes, that's very nice, now say mmmmmma-ma!

Thing 2: Looks at me very seriously and says "DAdadadaDA!"

Me: *sigh* Ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma (all while making his toys dance in time with each syllable)

Thing 2: Leans to his right so that his left butt cheek is off the seat and farts. Then lets out a nice sigh.

So after he cracks one off by way of saying "mama" I think to myself, "Self, I am giving up!" only to see him lean in very seriously, probably having some kind of internal dialog that sounds a bit like this

Seriously, she wants me to say mama but she never lets me play with her phone once I figure out how to turn the stupid thing on ... wait ... holy crap, is she wearing mascara???

And he proceeds to yell at me, in his loudest most projected voice he can:


I sincerely hope that since this has now happened twice it is purely coincidence and the child eventually decides to call me something else.  Otherwise, those whiny toddler years which are so often punctuated with "mama? Mama? MAMA!!!" are going to be really gross at our house.

Someone pass me some Mommy Juice please.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

personal standards and life after children

With motherhood comes some strange gifts, many of which are useful but not exactly easy to brag about.

Particularly to your non-parent friends.

People without children -- also known as people who still have lives and some sense of a personal self -- don't get that your chin may seem like just a chin, until you become a parent.  Suddenly, you have a slightly less maneuverable, but still vital, third limb.

Eyes in the back of your head?  Not exactly, its sorta like Spidey Sense.  My Mommy Sense starts tingling every time a child holds a permanent marker, climbs anything taller than 2 feet off the ground, or speaks the words "this will be soo cool!"  We call it Momdar, as in mom radar.

I have one of the droid smartass phones.  They won't be asking me to do any plugs for them because "smartass phone" is totally the clean name.  I have more creative names, but out of respect for your possiblly delicate sensibilities I will spare you.  I think it has a personal vendetta out for me.  Works fine for everyone ... but me.  But even still, while it will turn off at random, change preferences, and (my personal fave) will have a touch screen that spontaneously takes a cigarette break and goes black, it is my only hope at maintaining my facebook life.

And yes, I hate the new facebook.  But I digress.

The point here (I am rambling, but you would aimlessly ramble your thoughts in a nonsensical-stream-of-consciousness way if you were a parent too) is that I accept all of this and live with it, and I would have never stood for that pre-children.  I would have had the time and energy simultaneously to go to the store.  I would have had to just get myself out of the car and walk into the store.  I would have had a reasonable, logical conversation with the salesperson in which I would appear to be a perfectly clearheaded individual who not once has to wonder if I am leaking on myself or if I only remembered to put mascara on one eye, and the person at the store would fix my issues or I would demand a replacement phone.  Ah, the good ol' days.

But in this reality, I chose to not pack up a diaper bag with stuff that I rarely use but will desperately need if I don't carry all 50 lbs of it, haul a infant carrier/sumo wrestler holder to the nearest cart which will always have a tendency to turn left, only to finally get into the store and have my smartasshole phone work perfectly fine for the guy in the blue polo who will look at me like I am some inept bafoon soccer mom who shouldn't be allowed anything more complex than the flip and just dial phones that were high end tech 4 years ago.  That stupid little hunk of glass and plastic always betrays me, and I usually lose Thing 1 for a while in those stores ("OMG Mom, they have the game/game system/movie/expensive thing I need to have now here on this aisle, can I show you please?!").

So in essence, parenthood has drastically lowered my expectations and personal demands because I prioritize a phone that works 100% of the time lower than my sanity and the little remaining energy I cling to.

It also falls way behind going to the bathroom with out having to yell "I will be there in a sec, just hold on," or showering, or sleeping for 2 hours consecutively, or wearing earrings without fear of having them torn out, or actually having a hair style, or ... you get the idea.

But the sick part isn't that you feel all of those things and more.  So much more.

The slightly sick part is just how worth it you think it all is.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

moments: I collect them

I once saw some cutesy crafty sign that said something really profound.  In its adorable fake-cross-stitchiness it stated:

Life is a collection of moments.

Wow.  That's deep.  Like pass the Doritos I am having a Dazed and Confused kind of moment deep.  Not the real "deep" where you have actually said something actually profound.

But I do agree, none the less.  Life is a collection of moments.  And they can be categorized thus:

Moments which are just funny.  Period.


Moments you have to find the humor in in order to keep the sane facade up.

For example, when Thing 1 was newly minted and only a couple weeks old I took him and Cindy Lou Who to a store which will remain nameless.  So while we were at the "bulls eye" store and I was still a new enough mom that I was bringing multiple pacifiers with me because I believed they needed boiled after contamination, Thing 1 in all his precious baby-ness had a melt down and started screaming.  Cindy Lou had a very autistic reaction to the shrill baby screams, so she had a meltdown of her own.  There I stood right in front of greeting cards with one baby screaming and one sister shrieking in response with everyone staring at us, mouths agape, and of course blocking the aisle so I can't drag the two out and make my escape.  So I had to find humor and said loudly, over the screams of the two little darlings,

Hi, we are a roaming PSA promoting the use of birth control!  Could you get the helloutta my way now please?

When a friend posted a facebook update recently stating that clearly her two year old had seen her opening a beer because she had pulled her shirt over the lid of her apple juice in order to twist it open I see that as a naturally funny moment, and damn practical.  Parenting fail?  I think not!

Thing 1 seeing me holding his brother while doing dishes one handed, child perched on  my upraised knee  stating that I am doing a, and I quote, "Captain Morgan?"  Um, fail?  Thing 1 played with an old  Copenhagen container that held three beer bottle tops and was sealed with glue as a baby.  At least it wasn't mine, that would have been really redneck.  As it is, it was classy.

Thing 1 also used to say "Whaaaazzzzzuuuupp?" just like the Budweiser commercials cuz we thought it was funny.  I'd like to say that all of this was because I was a really young mom, which is true.  But I am not that young anymore.  Kinda normal mom-aged I guess.  And Thing 2 is fascinated by beer bottles.  Clearly, its not the age but the person.  The me factor.

So life is a collection of moments.

Hopefully my kids won't need to spend too many of theirs re-living their childhoods on a therapists couch.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

the Battle of the Toilet

There are things one must accept when horribly outnumbered by boybarians.

Fart is a second language.

Showering can be seen as optional to some.

Chocolate, and Mommy's compulsive need for it, is not treated with the sacred respect it requires.

But the toilet seat?  Ah this is a battle I have had within myself because you see I am a fair person all things considered.  Being that there is only one of me, and two of them (two out of the three males in my house use the toilet, third one is too young yet) I kinda debated briefly whether or not it was reasonable for me to expect the toilet seat to be put down after use. 

When I say I "debated" it that means I thought about it for about forty five tenths of a second.  I asked myself is this a fair request when there is only one pee-sitter in the house and was instantly barraged with mental images too gruesome to share -- though I am sure some of you can relate.

I really have two toilet related issues:
1.) The seat is rarely down
2.) The pee rarely goes where it aught

When I bring up either of the two to the others who live in this house I get one of three responses.

St. Paul of Bunyan: That is sooo Thing 1's doing.

Thing 1: It wasn't ME!!!  I don't know how that happens!

Thing 2: Dadadada <-- he is only 5 months old but if you pay close attention note that he is blaming someone who goes by "dada" ... hmmmmm ...

In the front bathroom, which we all use, there seems to be a pee fairy that hits everything but the toilet, and no one claims to have been this person or had anything to do with it.  Since the baby can't walk yet and I generally know where I have put him we can assume he is not the pee fairy.  Since I would have to do some impressive acrobatics that would leave me severely injured I think we can rule me out as not being the pee fairy.  So that leaves two others.  The two who say they have nothing to do with it.  Strange.  In the other bathroom, the one St. Bunyan and I use, the seat is never down, but the aim does seem to be a bit better.

Odd, donchya think?

Ultimately, I have reached the conclusion that Mars vs Venus may be a way of life for us here, but its all about compromise.  Basically I accept that I will hear things like "no really, pull my finger, I won't do it this time" and will not interfere because really some lessons in trust and gullibility are necessary.  But I also accept that while I expect the seat to be down and there to be some attempt at aiming this this will not happen 100% of the time.  I will be lucky if I see it work out 30% of the time. But that's okay.

What's the phrase?  Revenge is a dish best served cold with a single red sock in a hot wash with all your white clothes?  Something like that anyway.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

answers to the name Lucky von Trapp

A couple of years ago I saw a sign for sale at a store that said something to the effect of

Lost Dog:
Three legs,
blind in one eye,
ear torn.
Answers to the name Lucky.

Sick sense of humor that I have, I thought that was hilarious.  Clearly a sign crafted to make you giggle, there was no missing dog, this is an old joke and it never really happened.

Or did it?

I submit to you the following image, which I took.  This isn't something I found on the internet, but rather a real sign, one of many that were posted around my neighborhood.  I actually made my husband stop the car so I could take a picture.


No, no, no, seriously?!

I couldn't decide really, was I horrified, or if I was horrified.  The italics on the second one point out that I was like really troubled by the sick, sad implications that would be true were there truly a pure white cat with bandages and a feeding tube loose.  On a scale of one to ten of survival chances kitty would be pulling a negative 50.

I don't know if it was a joke or not, but they were all over my neighborhood, which I take to imply it wasn't a joke but a really (understandably) desperate owner.  I nearly called the number to ask if it was, in fact, a bad joke.  I decided not too because I think ignorance is bliss.  I would rather function under the assumption that it was someone's dark attempt at bad humor or that this deeply bizarre situation had a happy ending if it were in fact real.  My mom calls them Sound of Music endings -- because rare is it that the entire family wholly could escape the Nazis over the alps and live in peace.  I wanted to hope for that remotely, randomly unlikely happy resolution if this was, in fact real.

But the other, darker side of me, couldn't help but wonder a great big what the focaccia?   It begs the very real question, assuming this wasn't  a joke, how on earth did a cat that presumably ill get away in the first place?!

Either way, I assure you, this animal lover and gullible chick kept her eyes peeled for weeks.  No cat.  But the signs went away a few days latter, I chose to view that as good news.

But I love the Sound of Music so what do I know?

plastic wrap and dry yeast - two deadly foes

In my valiant efforts to pretend I know what I am doing and am not completely worthless at domesticity I am plugging away at my little list. But to prove that I have the opposite of the Midas touch and remain ever the lucky gal I tried baking from scratch with a recipe* that called for bread flour (took me forever to find that in the store, they have special flour for bread?!) and dry yeast. 

I admit, never used the stuff in my life.  Baking experience up to this AM incorporated soley following "recipies" that were read off of the side of the box and said complicated things like "pour mixture into bowl with water and bake at 350 for 20 minutes." So the dry yeast was supposed to do one thing, but of course, for me, it did another. 

The recipie called for one amount of water, the yeast packaging another.  The yeast package also called for sugar, but the recipie said nothing about sugar.  I am sure actual cooks/bakers who know their shat and have done this before may read this shaking their heads and say something like "oh you poor dear, donchya know you just ..." (I do picture it with a Minnesota accent for the record).

The recipe says to dissolve warm water and yeast.  Then let stand.  Stand?  I do know what stand means, don't ask how because I am really not sure.  For how long?  How will I know?  Why in the sam heck did I pick a recipe that presumes minimal knowledge as my first foray into being a big girl?  After staring at the murky mixture for a few minutes I went to go google it ... ah, damn, computer is doing its dying swan act ... thank the techno gods I have a phone.  It says I'll know when standing is done because I will have a hella poofball of foam.  Okay it didn't say that, I am paraphraseing.  When no poofball happens I read that with some yeast you have to add sugar.  Now that makes perfect sense to me because I either need coffee or sugar (not together though) to get my ass moving in the morning. 

Its a blur what I actually did do here, but ultimately I got a foamy looking concoction in the bottom of the bowl that looked like the foam on top of a a beer you pour too fast.

{light bulb momen: beer has yeast in it!}

Mix in other ingredients ... yada, yada, blah, blah, blah ... its supposed to rise.  Baby wants fed, perfect timing!  Then I realize that my five month old, male baby seems to have an intuative baking sense greater than my own which both alarms and discourages me at the same time.  Moving on I feed him and return expecting dough that has risen, but I find dough that has maybe inhaled a bit.  Give it another 10 minutes, I think it looks a bit bigger, but that may be wishful thinking.

Then the story gets ugly and pathetic.  The beauty of this recipie is that I can freeze it.  This means I can make it and swear at it when only the baby, who can't talk and tell on me, can see.  Then all Betty Crocker punk rocker style I can whip a frozen dough ball out of the freezer and make something uber cool like homemade pizza.  But you have to wrap it all up.  I have gallon size freezer bags, but alas, I must wrap the individual balls in *gasp* cling wrap.

I hate cling wrap.  Ever fiber of my being hates it.  On the cellular level I hate it.  If you were to take a swab of my cheek, whip out a DNA sample, centrafuge the crap out of it you would see right there on the 14th chromosone I have the HatesPlasticClingWrap gene.  Right next to it would be the PlasticClingWrapMakesMeLookLikeAMoron gene.  Someday they will find my body laying on the floor wrapped in this crap like a mummy with a bowl of uncovered food on the counter and the coroner will conclude that I died via suffocation while trying to just cover the damn leftovers. 

In an effort to lesson the complexity I cut the !#$%ing wrap into sections so I would have all 16 sections ready and just needed to put the dough in them, wrap it up, toss it in the freezer bag and *POOF* I'd be done, right? Wrong! Wronger than the wrongest wrong.  Because guess what my lazy assed yeast decideds to do NOW?!  Now, after it has had nearly 45 minutes to rise but hasn't?  Now, when I have predetermined size of cling wrap to wrap the balls in based on their size?!

Yeah, the damn yeast finally gets the memo, and it rises.

Long story and half a box of cling wrap later, I have them bagged and in the freezer. 

Now the really annoying part of this fiasco if you ask me is this: the directions explain how to go about freezing the whole batch for use later.  So I freeze all of it once, I swear it into the too-small cling wrap packaging and proudly stuff it in the freezer while smiling thinking that I might have triumphed after all.  When I recall one little detail ...

Now that I have frozen all of the dough, what in the Sam Hill are we having for dinner tonight? 


* Found the recipe at Money Saving Mom, here is the actual recipe if you are a yeast whisperer or something.

it smells like death in here ... oh wait, its just the computer

I like to think that I am a good person.  I like to think that I am a nice individual who would have loverly things said about her were I not in the room. 

However, my karmatic energy sometimes suggests that I am a raving lunatic bitch who deserves to be punished in many odd and frightening ways. 

Need I remind you of the smurfacide in the garage?  Want more evidence?  Our computer seems to be considering death.  Not a I am going to run slow and be a PITA death.  No more like a Baby pictures?  You didn't want to be able to actually access those ever again, right?  type death.  It won't turn on except for a pretty blue screen while St. Paul of Bunyan tries to do something to convince it to not die.  I am still trying to be hopeful that the baby pictures that I haven't backed up in a while are not lost.  Or all the stuff I have been doing to try to start up my business.  Or my writing.  My book.  Did I back any of that up?  Nah, back up is for sissies.

Yeah, the good stuff always happens to me.

Its moments like this where you start to play Let's Make a Deal with the powers that be.  Thus far I have promised the Divine IT Guy in the sky that I will religiously back-up from this day forward and will not call the computer names that would make a sailor blush for at least a month.  Fingers crossed I don't have to promise more.

Friday, September 16, 2011

words with forking friends

I love Words with Friends. My darling husband and soul mate, sent me a request ages ago, got me hooked like he was some kind of freaking dealer.

He told me the names of everyone we mutually knew that played so I could request games with them. He fed my only slightly obsessive and competitive nature with the dark goodness that is this word wielding game. I was designed for this stuff. Words are my sole weapon. I can beat the crap out of someone verbally, with a smile on my face and walk away while 20 minutes later they finally wonder "Hey, did she mean that as an insult?" This is so my ace in the hole. My shit. My god-given-ass-kickin' talent. It’s all I got. I can't dance, the domestic skills fairy skipped me completely, and really I have no hobbies or skills to speak of that are any use to anyone.

And he knew that.

And then he stopped. He stopped playing me.

Yeah. Go ahead, call him names, I don't mind. I called him those names too. Mine were even more colorful I assure you.

And if that weren't assholey enough, he somehow coerced our mutual friends into abandoning me on the deserted Scrabble-like island.

No one wanted to play with me.

It’s not like I win every game. No it’s not like that. It’s just that if I don't win them all I sort of shut down and speak in tongues for a day or so. I think that is perfectly reasonable. It’s better than my reaction to Monopoly. My oldest child still gets big eyes and says "ohmygosh no my mom doesn't like playing Monopoly, please don’t ask her to play" after that last time ...
My saintly husband claims I cheat. I don't cheat. I want to, but I don't even know how the frickity frack you would cheat with this game (anyone who knows totally pass those goodies on). I don't cheat, I just rock. Recall a paragraph or so ago, this is my thing. I love it.

I am sure somewhere in our vows there was something about not abandoning your soul mate in the midst of an obsession you started. It was right after the “thou shalt give wifey back rubs every night you jerk” vow. He can't remember saying that one either, but clearly of the two of us I am wired for remembering the sappy emotional times in our life better because I have a uterus, therefore I recall our wedding with a great deal more detail and he should just trust me.
But ha ha, I found other friends. Friends who will play with me. Lots of them. And now I am furiously wording them to death. Like a junkie getting her fix.

But if my darling soul mate ever wants to stop being the jerktastic whineybag he has been for the past few months I will play him again. It’s not like I hold grudges or will attack him with a vicious vengeance with every word bearing a high pointed J, X, or Z that I can think of. Nah. Not me. Never. Trust me. I can let bygones be bygones – and I can slam the word bygones on a triple word square and soundly kick his posterior into word-loving-point-bearing-oblivion.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

how serial killers get their names

People in glasshouses are idiots when they start throwing rocks.

The saying goes something like that anyway, but ultimately the point is the same. I am not perfect, so its rare I throw judgement around. Especially about parenting. We are all blindly fumbling through this role that carries more responsibility than anything else in life and trying to act like we know what we're doing while not giving our children therapist couch fodder.

But sometimes, sometimes, you see something that you just can't help yourself but think maybe, just maybe, that person is even worse at this parenting gig than I am.

Case in point, Thing 1's swim practice.

Every week I dutifully take him to practice, and every week there is one particular family that provides the rest of us plenty of mouth dropping moments and times where we all pretend to be coughing rather than laughing. But this past week was a doozy.

Now Brian* and his mom are usually entertainment in that she is desperately trying to keep Brian as a baby even though he is about four now. Usually Brian is pretty obliging with this baby thing, even the week when she announced quite loudly that she had to come to the bathroom so she could "wipey your heiney" and help him. Brian's older brother has swim lessons while Thing 1 is at practice, so for 30 minutes I am a prisoner of circumstance. Brian often provides entertainment, but sometimes its entertainment in the same way nails on a chalkboard make pleasant music.

There was an older kid there (like 8ish) this week and I have no idea who he belonged to. He was just there, and he was actually a pretty well behaved kid. Its not his fault that he is apparently Brian-crack. Seriously, dunno what it was about this child, but the normally just obnoxious babyish Brian was in warp speed. He was running around, screaming, climbing stuff, trying to watch videos on other people's iPads (I am seriously the only person there without one) all while screaming "Look at me David!!!"**

Now while Brian is bouncing off the walls and annoying the crap outta the rest of us his mom is chanting in a sickeningly sing song voice "Gentle, Brian. Gentle." I remember thinking something along the lines of wanting to gently slam into her a few times like her little barbarian had me twice already. But I reminded myself, I am not a judgmental parent. I am not. I don't look down my nose at other parents. Hell, I am a mom of two boybarians, it would be pretty hypocritical to judge someone else I am sure.

About half way through swim I am grinding my teeth to the mental tune of "I am not a judgmental parent, I don't judge other people for how they chose to parent" mixed with shades of "Gentle, Brian. Gentle" in sing song tones with sweet little Brian screaming at the top of his sweet little lungs.

Brian tries to climb a shelving unit and mom comes over and plucks the now screaming Brian off of the shelves saying "Can you please not do that Brian?" When he scales the Everest shelves immediately after being set down she again asks him to behave and could he please lower his voice? Are we really asking him to not climb a dangerous shelf? Are we really asking him to lower his voice so the rest of us stop bleeding from our ears?

The tops of my teeth are nearly as smooth as glass from the grinding I am doing all while reminding myself that "I am not a judgmental parent, I don't judge other people for how they chose to parent" and Cindy-Lou Who (who just happened to be with me that day) and Thing 2 are both looking ready to duct tape sweet little Brian's mouth shut.

Brian also was bored with this routine though, because it was at this point the fan hitting ensued.

After running away from mom again Brain stopped and took a wide stance with his hands at chest level. He positioned his hands so that the strangely looked a bit like he was holding an uzi.

He then proceeded to blast David away with one big boom. David even paused here, and when you make an 8 year old stop and say "hmmmm" ya know you have accomplished something.

He then moved to mom, he blasted her with his invisible uzi. Twice.

"Gentle, Brian. Gentle."

Gentle? Gentle?! Your kid is pretending to bring the heat and you are telling him to be gentle?! Okay, deep breath, I remind myself that "I am not a judgmental parent, I don't judge other people for how they chose to parent." I know that not every family has the same gun stance we do -- namely that they aren't toys but rather a first amendment protecting my family right. But never toys. Never something to pretend with or play with. My children never have, and never will have "toy" guns, even of the spray variety.

But that is my choice as a parent. Mine.

But Brian interrupts my self admonishing thoughts when he steps in front of the little cluster of chairs that sit before the glass wall leading to the pool. Me and about five other families are sitting here, all of us trying to ignore Brian.

Brian proceeds to, quite authentically looking I might add, re-load his imaginary weapon all while glaring at all of us.

"Chick-chick" he says by way of preparing to fire.

Machine gun style, he swings his imaginary gun back and forth, peppering all of the parents and siblings with imaginary bullets. And sweet little Brian proceeds to make sound affects to match the volley of repeated fire he is imagining unleashing on me and about 15 others. After about 5 swings he stops, pretends to hold his gun up in the air in a victory pose while throwing his head back and letting out a massively creepy, maniacal laugh.

"Oh gentle, Brian. Gentle, please."

Seriously? You kid just imagined butchering all of us and all you've got is "gentle" while sounding like Snow White?! Screw this I am not a judgmental parent stuff, your child is practicing murdering people and you are asking him to be gentle? This would be an appropriate thing to say if Brian were, say, carrying a glass of water or wanting to pet a puppy. It is not the thing to say when your kid imagines blasting innocent victims away.

So Brain does the only logical thing he can do. He screams "NO!" and pretends to shoot his mom. In fact, he empties an imaginary clip into her.

And what did she have to say to that?

Can you please be gentle Brain?

Its not easy to render me speechless. But she did. I realized my mouth was hanging open and I was staring at her in shock when I noticed other parents doing the same out of the corner of my eye. Too floored to say anything, and seeing that Thing 1 was heading for the locker room and I would be leaving soon, I started packing my brood up and getting ready to leave. All the while sweet little Brian was standing on chairs and moving around the room still pretending to shoot at things and people. All the while, his mom chanted "Gentle, Brian. Gentle." in the same sing song voice, never once stepping in to actually parent him.

On the drive home I actually had "Gentle Brian, Gentle." stuck in my head. And my thoughts got carried away, as they often do, about the type of person Brian would grow up to be. Chances are he will be a perfectly normal, law abiding, well rounded citizen. A stand-up guy, great man, the type of dude who donates to charities, serves food at the shelter on Christmas, and always picks up litter. But ... if that dark side we saw at swim comes out ...

Well if you ever hear about a serial killer going by the name of Gentle Brain, you'll know who it is.

*Changed his name so the crazy little twerp can't come find me when he is a psycho adult.
**Changed his name because its not his fault that he is Brian-crack, he didn't mean for it to happen.
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