Wednesday, July 27, 2011

when good moms go bad

Wrapping up la purga and the house is finally getting to be more like what I want it, but I am a bit stir crazy and sick of cleaning. This is not a good combo for me as being a domestic goddess does not come natural to me. It is not a gene I inherited. So I am acting the part for the time being, fooling no one who actually knows me, and today the facade cracked a bit.

I took Thing #1 and Thing#2 to Bed Bath and Beyond the other day and in between telling T1 to not pop wheelies with T2's stroller and praying they didn't knock over any displays we bought a $40 box of Space Cubes. I knew I had reached a new low in my adult life as I was actually excited for this purchase. Sigh, and to think I used to have that reaction for actual fun things. Anyway, I digress, I bought the bags that claim to be part of a storage evolution and promise to save me space while protecting my crap, um, I mean my really important things.

So when I finally get around to pulling the Jumbo Cube out of the box today I am busy marveling at the sheer size of the thing. Its a giant ziplock baggie. And I think to myself:

Dang this thing is so big you could, like, fit a body in here!

I wasn't really envisioning any particular body, merely commenting that it is substantial enough in size that a person could fit in the thing. But the sudden scurrying down the hallway alerted me to the fact I had apparently made this morbid observation out loud and Thing #1 had overheard me and possessed the good sense to abandon ship and go hide in his room for a little while.

So subtle suggestions about body disposal do not escape his spidey senses apparently. Good to know.

Filing that useful knowledge away for future reference, I proceeded to stuff a bunch of blankets into the Jumbo bag and feel that even though I may not be a domestic goddess appearing to be a potentially homicidal mother keeps the older kids in line.

Cindy-Lou Who and DVD menus

I grew up watching Disney movies and was as much a princess lover as any other little girl as a child. But back in the day we had VHS tapes. You put it in the VCR and it started playing and you either waited or could fast forward to get to the good stuff if you so chose.

But in the relentless march toward betterness the DVD was born. When I first commented that I needed to "fast forward," Thing #1 (oldest child) said "you need to what?" and was appalled when I explained how tapes worked.

"You mean you couldn't skip to the chapter you wanted?!"

No darling, back in the dark ages we had to watch the whole thing or slowly fast forward to the right part (but if you had a really cool VCR and no patience you could hold the FF button down and it would go faster. I know this because the whole beautiful Swiss Alps scene at the beginning of Sound of Music was just too freaking long to be patient for. Cue Maria spinning and singing man, I am not here for the scenery!)

But then Disney realized that we were all skipping past their damn previews.

Fast Play is on some DVDs, a gift here you can either say "play everything, previews then the movie" or you can skip to the menu and select to just have the movie played. But some do not have this gift. Some, you must watch the previews and wait around for the main menu to pop up.

I know this is not an issue for the normal person, but I am not normal, I'm a mom.

It has always annoyed me as a mom, so I taught Thing #1 ASAP how to do it himself so I could wash my hands of having to wait through all the "Coming soon to Disney DVD"s ... Thing #2 will be taught ASAP as well (little early as he doesn't know about DVDs, buttons, or even his hands yet).

But then there is Thing #3 ... my sister. Now in all honesty she was around first, so she shouldn't be #3 per say, so instead we will call her Cindy-Lou Who in keeping with the Dr. Seuss theme. CLW isn't interested in only watching actual Disney movies. She loves the Plan Your Vacation DVDs you can get for free from the Disney website and the documentaries about Park history.

Welcome to the world of autistic tendencies! We hope you enjoy your stay, cuz you're gonna watch this DVD 47 times in a row! Today. That is just today. Chances are we'll do it again tomorrow.

Did I mention that these DVDs have multiple menus, and you cannot skip anything on them? You have to wait, and watch them. I challenge you to find a Disney historian who can out-fact-spew any member of my family given the number of times we have to hear these things and wait for the !#$%& menu to come up.

I know this isn't relevant to most people; most people, IF they want to watch a Plan Your Vacation DVD, do so once, maybe twice, and they enjoy it and are busily planning away. Since I can get lost driving around (and I have lived in the same place 20+ years), but can navigate Disneyland Park with my eyes closed and no map you can probably assume safely that we don't need DVDs to plan a trip to Disneyland as we have gone there a *ahem* few times. I don't watch these movies for fun. Quite the contrary.

But they make CLW extremely happy, and if she is happy the household stands a chance at being happy for the day. Happy is good. Happy keeps mommy/big sister closer to sane. Happy makes it so I can get things done ... while listening to information about the "happiest" place on earth ... over and over ... and over ... while clicking "play" over and over ... and -- well you get it.

Friday, July 22, 2011

they call me a crap-hoarding, Sharpie junkie

Hi friends, my name is Chrissy, I am 29 ... and I ... I am ... well, hells bells I am addicted to Sharpies.

Don't laugh, its actually very serious addiction.

After spending a few years being a teacher I have inherited the ability to hoard all sorts of random stuff (read that as crap) and file it mentally under the moniker of "I could use that later!" Granted I never fully envision what I will use it for, but I feel better knowing I have it IF later ever comes and I randomly happen to need, say, 36 foam magnet frames I don't have to go buy them. Because, really, you never know, right? And I really do feel better knowing that it is in a box somewhere, waiting for me to discover its purpose in life and use it. Michelangelo once said that he could see statues in the marble, he simply had to free them. Same idea, only a lot less cool and artsy on my part.

But I married the anti-crap-hoarder and we are rehabbing me. La purga, as I have grudgingly called it, is going well and I have parted with not only the garbage I was holding on to for no reason other than some stupid sentimental moment -- careful I have turned into a bit of a hard ass in the name of obtaining more storage space -- but also with a lot of my teaching goodies. They all went to a good home, a new crap-hoarder, er, I mean they went to a nice young lady who is becoming a teacher. To prove that she is already taking on the mantle of teaching ever so well, when she saw the 14 boxes of stuff I was giving her she actually cried with joy, bless her. My husband was crying with joy while he loaded it in her car, but I don't think it was joy for her per say...

Anyway, back to my addiction problem: Sharpies. Really I have a permanent marker thing because Bic makes these markers that I have a *ahem* few of in my collection too. Here I can specifically blame teaching for exacerbating what was probably a silent and controllable problem to begin with. Not only does the teacher's silent creed include a pledge to accumulate "stuff" for various projects, but there is also a very important rule about permanent pens. Namely, don't let kids have them. As an elementary school teacher I knew this because they would accidentally use them on my whiteboards (for the record if you draw over the permanent pen with a dry-erase pen it comes off, no need to freak). As a middle school teacher I knew that I had to hide my permanent pens because I didn't want the kid sitting in the principals office looking like Kat Von D to say they got the pens from me. So I learned to protect my pens. Hide them. And with all the labeling I did those pens were so important to me ... and thus my issues began.

Okay, maybe I had issues before then, but the point is that I am not ready or willing to give up my habit. I am a Sharpie junkie, and proud dammit. I will admit I have a problem, but not seek help for it. They are dead useful. I can label anything you want, and in a wide range of colors to boot! They are consumable, so really if I have 6 hot pinks its only because I am planning for the future when I may use up five in one sitting and need that last one. You never know!

This said, like any addict I cannot avoid obtaining that which I crave, and so if you see me sneaking down the office supply aisle in the grocery store you know why. I also like to go to the craft like stores unsupervised because my husband hasn't realized yet that they have a wider variety and I tend to come back with more there than anywhere else. I already have a solid no-book-stores-unsupervised rule so I gotta be careful he doesn't cotton on and start imposing more rules in the name of protecting me from my bad habits.

Yeah, books and sharpies. I am so hard core.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

kenneling mini-Bond

So you know how I posted earlier about how I am cracking up living with mini-Bond? Yeah, so I snapped a little.

Now before you get all uppity thinking I kennel my kid, I want it noted that *he* actually put himself in there. He also locked himself in.

I might have given him the idea in a moment of dark, gleeful inspiration, but I did not actually do the caging.

Anyhoo, as it turns out this unleashed some creative juices on the kidlette's part. The next thing I know, while i furiously scrubbing my kitchen (it was vile) I hear the words that have made me shudder all week, the words that if I got a penny each time I had heard them in the last month I would be able to retire both the husband and myself to a remote tropical island that we own ...

Mom, you gotta come see this!

Sigh. I asked if it was something that could attack, involved body fluids, or would make me want to cry. The answer was no, so admittedly I took my time getting back to his room. By the time I had finished scrubbing what I had been scrubbing and strolled back there his little idea had blossomed into a little project. He asked me to take a few more pictures of him then he sat on his computer for a solid 30 minutes working.

The end result? This.

So I guess we found a cure to some of the summer boredom. Rather than just writing stories he had a ball making one with pictures. I told him to bust out his own camera (this way mom can get some stuff done too) and see what he can do ... can't wait to see what the little mad genius comes up with.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

boobies and world records

My boobs don't get a lot of glory. They are not particularly fabulous, and honestly more of a nuisance to me than anything with my risk for breast cancer, but as a breastfeeding mom I think they deserve some props occasionally (note I said "they deserve props," not "they need propped up"). So I decided that Thelma and Louise should be part of a world record.

There aren't many records the three of us are up to, but if you add in the baby and make it a team of four, we are up to this one:

The Big Latch On is one way to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week and get to be part of a world record. On August 6th at 10:30 AM lots of mothers will be latching their babies on at a variety of locations world wide for at least one minute of breastfeeding, thereby trying for a world record of the most women breastfeeding simultaneously. You must be part of an official location in order to be counted, and lucky me one is walking distance from our house! While I may take a slightly sarcastic approach to breastfeeding in general, it is something that I am proud to promote and believe in the value of greatly.

You don't have to be a breastfeeding mama to help (though clearly it would be creepy if you tried to participate) by spreading the word or checking with an official location to see if they need any help on that day.

Creepy dudes hoping for a free show need not apply. Please.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

why James Bond lives alone

As summer winds to a near close (we have two weeks to go) Micah has become increasingly bored with all the stuff that a few weeks ago was still entertaining. Since it is much too hot to go outside and play, the repertoire of indoor activities is getting a bit worn out.

So he decided to spy on me.

Now apart from probably being pretty boring since I don't really do anything interesting, this is a tremendously challenging task because we live in a 1200 square foot home. It is obviously not challenging due to the wide expanse he has to cover while covertly trying to determine what imagined evil task I am up to. Rather, it is challenging because when you can walk the whole house in like 15 steps where does one hide while spying on someone? In an effort to help alleviate his boredom we have mutually agreed that I will play along and over look any suspicious movements around me, thereby allowing him to maneuver himself into better hiding spots.

This has led to my realization that Bond didn't live alone simply because he refused to settle down and was a womanizing rake. Rather, who would want to live 24/7 with a spy? Between the fact that I can't open my linen closet (the one good hiding spot in the house) without encountering a nine year old touting espionage gear, and the part where I am supposed to ignore the dogs who adoringly follow him to his hiding places, I feel like it would be easier on both of us if I walked around with my eyes closed.

While neither of us want the summer to end, I am thinking this may be a long last couple of weeks if I can't come up with some alternative indoor game that will be appealing to a 9 year old with a lot of pent up energy!
Read the Printed Word!