Monday, December 31, 2007

I'm Busy Planning

You know what New Year's Eve means right?? Lists!! I love lists. I have a very complicated and unorganized list system. I once shared one of my lists with the chaws and they recommended that I take it to my doctor as proof that I need ADD meds. One list can be 6 pages long and include everything from grocery items needed, calls to return, future children's names, and Mr. Ashley's credit card number (that's on almost every list). Sometimes I color code the lists and then it seems even crazier but it makes perfect sense to me. I love to plan. Doing...not so much.

My friend Jessica mentioned Franklin Covey's PlanPlus for Windows & Vista 5.1 - Full Version Download

PlanPlus for Windows & Vista 5.1 - Full Version Download

months ago and I've just now gotten around to checking it out. OMG, I am in love!! It lets me make my crazy lists with my goals and missions and grocery lists and to do lists and I can color code and highlight and write notes and so much more. I can't get over how cool it is, it's seriously a lister's dream.

Now I'm not sure how I'm going to convince Mr. Ashley of it's absolute VITAL place in my life once the free trial expires, because he is a non-lister and the crazy system I put myself through now doesn't bother him a bit. It may have to be a "surprise" . But I must have it.

I did find a coupon for Save $15 and get Free Shipping on purchases of $75 Use code 17399. It expires January 31st though, so I need to use it before that I guess. Happy New Year to me!

I was busy planning before I found this software, but it has certainly taken things to the next level. I have a very interesting approach this year--an outline (all official, like we learned in school) for 2008 with Financially, Emotionally, Mentally, Socially, Physically as headings with sub categories and a list of goals for each. I love it! (I know I'm a dork)

I'm pretty sure that between the software and the outline, 2008 is going to kick ass and I will finally become the Woman I Want To Be.

I hope you all have a fun New Year's Eve planned. I'll probably just be making more lists. Not that that's not fun, but you know what I mean.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Wrap Up: The Novel

Wow. I do love Christmas. I just wish it could last a few more days or something. All that preparation for one frenzied day. People are expecting Mr. Ashley to work (Mr. Ashley is ALWAYS working) and I want him to just be able to chill with us. There are probably also a few people who are thinking they'll be getting their photos any day now, but they are wrong. I don't think anything should be expected of anyone until after New Year's.

Anyways, Christmas here was awesome, as usual. It was the over the top insanity and all day playing that I love. Santa was really good to us this year. I'm not really that surprised since I've been extra good and all, but Mr. Ashley was a little surprised and will probably continue to be surprised in the coming months as the statements roll in. Oh well, what's done is done. Luckily, he's got a short memory. He'll be over it by February.

Big Kid was quite concerned that it wasn't snowing by the time we got home on Christmas Eve. We had already been over the fact that it absolutely, positively, in no way, shape or form was going to snow where we live this winter, or any winter. I thought the matter was taken care of one day weeks ago when we had the following conversation:

Big Kid: In Deecember you catch snowfwakes and have snowball fights and go ice skatin' on wakes.
Ashley: Oh, not here you don’t. Sorry, but we live in Florida. It doesn’t snow here. It snows most other places, but not here. Mommy is a grown up and I have never played in snow or ice skated on a lake.
Big Kid: Weally? Why?
Ashley: Because we live so close to the equator. It doesn't snow in the South.
Big Kid: But it snows in winter time and now it is winter time.
Ashley: No, not in Florida.
Big Kid: Den maybe it's not winter yet. Maybe it is still Fall.
Ashley: No, it's winter. Remember how there was really no difference between summer and fall? Like, we didn't have changing leaves or acorns or any of that? One day it was just fall? Same thing with winter. One day it's just winter.
Big Kid: Oh (sadly)
Ashley: Yeah, it’s kind of a bummer but at least it is always warm here so we can go to the beach or out on the boat or in the pool and we can wear bathing suits whenever we want. Sometimes it's so cold up North that they can't even go outside!
Big Kid: Hmmm. Then maybe we will just go out to Ice Cream Island and catch sand flakes and throw sand balls and build sand men and ski on the water!
Ashley: YES! I LOVE that idea. Except for the part about throwing sand. See? It's fun to live in Florida.

So I thought that was a done deal. Then Christmas Eve, as we're sitting under the palm trees listening to Jimmy Buffet inspired Christmas carols, he announces that Santa can't come until it snows and how he can't wait to wake up in the morning and see snow everywhere. Ugh. I forget that it's not normal to have no snow experience and I realize that of course The Jews are really talking up winter, since they're trying to avoid the whole Christmas thing.

He must have forgotten that last year we took him to the annual event where they truck in a few tons of snow and let children push and shove each other to have 2 timed minutes on the slippery, slushy, muddy mound of chipped ice. Or that time we took him downtown and stood under the streetlights as soap flakes blew out and floated down around us, very much like real snow, just don't stick your tongue out or get it in your eyes.

I remember "glice" skating as a child. Someone would set up a huge sheet of waxy white stuff and charge kids money to put on ice skates and "glice" skate on it. Catfish will know what I'm talking about. I haven't seen that stuff in ages, either it was a ginormous liability or the ice skating rink put them out of business. One year my dad's buddies brought us cooler fulls of snow from Indiana and we had snowball fights in our bathing suits on our screen lanai. That's about the extent of my childhood memories regarding snow.

I thought I was pretty much over the whole snow thing without ever even having been there. I saw 2 inches of muddy slush once and caught bronchitis and was terrified to ride in a car on icy roads and pretty much swore off any interest in anything cold from that point on. But the other day my friend Amy sent all the Chaws a photo of her neighborhood, all covered in soft white stuff and all the trees bare and dripping with ice and snow and her darling red headed boys frolicking in it...and it totally took my breath away.

I really, really, really want a white Christmas and am begging Mr. Ashley to commit to a fabulous Christmas 2009 vacation at a wonderful lodge somewhere (so I could hide inside and have just as much fun if I do hate it). I completely see why Big Kid is so convinced there should be snow and so disappointed to realize that it wasn't going to happen. So we're definitely going to do the whole snow thing at least once and I'm also really pushing hard for a Tennessee Autumn 2008, because begging my Northern friends to mail us pressed leaves every year just isn't going to cut it for Big Kid.

I've gotten kind of off topic from Christmas, but oh well, you're stuck with me and I'm in a chatty kind of mood.

So our pre-Christmas activities included:

Chocolate coated candy canes (nice alliteration)

Snowman Soup (The bag included a packet of hot chocolate, some mini marshmallows and some Hershey's kisses and then I attached the candy cane aka stirring stick to the ribbon.

M&M Teacher gift (M&Ms in a glass jar with this poem):

Cute stuff, huh?

We spent Christmas Eve here:

The boys woke up to this Christmas morn:
They totally freaked. They both ran around and shrieked and clapped and went in the little house and hopped on the motorcycle and pedal car and laughed and squealed. little kid reached into his stocking, pulled out a chocolate Santa wrapped in tin foil and bit it's head off before anyone could stop him. Big Kid chattered happily about Santa and searched the pile of gifts for tags with his name on them. They opened the gifts and ooohed and aaaahed about their treasures and eyed each other's stuff jealously/hopefully until we were sitting in a mountain of wrinkled gift wrap and boxes of toys.

little kid did get put in time out right in the middle of present opening and I'm pretty sure it was all caught on video for posterity. You really have to be a total punk to get me to put you in time out on Christmas morning during gift opening. He was really sassy all morning, for instance, I told him he couldn't open prezzies if he was going to have his paci in his mouth so he marched to his room and came out with a paci in each hand and got right up in my face and switched pacis out, tilting his head and grinning each time he'd pop one out to put another one in. I ignored that but when he started running around hitting people, pulling hair and screaming in our faces, I was done.

That's his new charming trick by the way, if you tell him no or express any displeasure in what he is doing, he will purposefully scream as loud as he possibly can while staring at you angrily. We're ready to kill him over that shit. He got his chair turned around during Christmas Dinner for screaming at us all for not showing enough enthusiasm when he decided to stack up some of the fine china within reach. That kid.

So after breakfast we went to my mom's house for even more presents. Christmas with my mom is like Oprah's Favorite Things if Oprah watched a lot of QVC. My mom LOVES QVC. And QVC loves her, I'm sure.

My mom goes totally overboard though, and gets us awesome stuff. I got an amazing lens for my camera, a gorgeous Juicy Couture sweater, a bunch of Philosophy bath stuff, a waffle iron, a stack of books I've been wanting to read and all kinds of other stuff. The only total flops were some old lady pajamas (QVC) and a black shirt with a buckle on it. I start to open it and she says:

Mom: Now don't be offended by the size.
Ashley: XL?
Mom: I just held it up and they must run small, it looks like it would fit you.

So I unfold it...and unfold it...and unfold it again. It's fucking huge. It could provide shelter for children in Darfur. So, it's going back.

Every year Mr. Ashley hits the Christmas lottery with my mom. Mr. Ashley mostly had super sucky childhood Christmases and my mom feels the need to make up for all of those sad Christmases with an obscene amount of gifts. He got a GPS, a nice digital camera, a Wii, a digital picture frame, clothes and a bunch of other stuff. It was insane. I was, and am, a little jealous.

The kids were overwhelmed with presents and Big Kid was pining for some time with little kid's Vtech laptop. When I told him no, it was little kid's time to play with it, he angrily opened a pair of rollerskates from my mom and declared that they were yucky. I snatched them away from him and put them up, telling him they would go to poor children who hadn't even gotten one present this Christmas and that he could sit in time out for the next 2 present rotations (see a pattern here? heathens).

Later that day he got a chair and got the roller skates down and came in to the room I was in to tell me that he was just smelling them and they weren't stinky, so maybe he'd just keep them. When I pointed out that the issue was never that the skates smelled bad and that he was just being a bad boy and acting ungrateful, he apologized but maintained that they had been a little stinky at first but they were fine now. Whatever.

So now my house is destroyed and there's all this new stuff that needs a home and I'm going to have to take down all of the Christmas decorations and nag Mr. Ashley to put it in the garage and then it will sit in the middle of the garage until March or so when I start yelling at him to put the boxes and the tree bag in a proper location and then we will debate about what location would be the most suitable and why. Fun, fun, fun.

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas! God bless you if you read this whole thing ;-)

I Am Alive

but I am addicted to Wii, leaving very little time for the computer, and the out of town guests are here, leaving very little time for the Wii or the computer.

Hopefully I'll be back later.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas Eve!

Whew! I'm super tired. I still have a few presents to wrap but I've got The Christmas Story on 24 hour loop and I'm pretty sure I'm mostly ready.

This has been a really fun holiday season because the boys are at such great ages. Big Kid 100% believes in, and enjoys, the magic and little kid is all about socializing and singing and clapping and shiny things. I'm really excited about tomorrow and a little sad the season is coming to an end already.

Tonight we went to a candlelit church service on the beach. It was pretty awesome to be laying there during sunset, wearing capris and a t-shirt, listening to the church choir sing One Love by Bob Marley, watching the palm trees silhouetted against the orange sky. Big Kid was wowed by the candlelight portion of the service, as I always am, and it was neat to see his sweet happy face, lit by candlelight, swaying to Christmas carols being played with a steel drum, while little kid alternated between sitting and clapping or racing down the aisles of chairs in order to socialize with neighbors.

Then we pigged out at Buca DiBeppo and afterwards drove around a local neighborhood that is famous for their outlandish decorations. Wouldn't you know that we lucked out and saw Santa? We threw the car in reverse, rolled down the window, chatted him up for a minute, and are now officially able to cross him off our to do list. I'm not such a bad mom after all.

Now Mr. Ashley and I are setting the stage for tomorrow morning's magic. I'm so excited to see their faces! However, I'm also super tired and a little drunk and a little over wrapping. I'm also a little over the the raging party my neighbors are having. It sounds like a rave, only in Spanish. They're lucky I'm in a Feliz Navidad kind of mood, because I usually have a very low tolerance for music so loud it shakes my windows.

I'd better get back to it, or the kids will wake up to find me passed out amongst piles of wrapping paper and unwrapped gifts. If I don't "talk" to you tomorrow, have a very Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Admit It

NOW is anyone ready to get behind my idea to postpone Christmas until the 30th? We'd combine Christmas and the New Year into one long holiday and we'd buy ourselves a little more time to actually enjoy the season.

Also, I think winter break for the kids should only be 1 week. I think 2 weeks is excessive, bordering on inhumane.

Today Heidi Louise (my Dachshund) ate every bit of an unassembled gingerbread house, including half of the box. I was uber pissed because I had to clean it up, and because she looks like a snake who ate a goat, and is grunting like a hog with every breath which is irritating, but I will admit I am kind of grateful for the excuse not to do the gingerbread house. It's fun and all, but I've got a long list of things I want to do still and that one was sort of near the bottom.

I have to go back to baking (read: eating) cookies. It was fun for about 30 seconds. Now I'm just tired (read: full).

Friday, December 21, 2007

All I want for Christmas

Big Kid: Daddy, I need to tell you what I'm gonna get mommy for Chwistmas.
Mr. Ashley: Okay, step into the bathroom and tell me
Mr. Ashley: Ohhh, hmmm, okay, we'll see. I'm not sure if she would like that but if you think so, you can get that.

(Coming out of bathroom, running over to me)

Big Kid: (stage whisper) Mudder, do you know what I'm gonna get you for Chwistmas?
Ashley: No and you can't tell me, it's a surprise. Don't tell me.
Big Kid: (stage whisper) Your supwise is gonna be a book...about penguins!! (delighted smile)
Ashley: A book about penguins???
Big Kid: Yeah, you will love to have a book about penguins, won't you?
Ashley: Yes I would! That sounds awesome.
Mr. Ashley: You didn't tell her about her present, did you?
Big Kid: I had to make sure she wiked books about penguins. She does (Huge smile)
Mr. Ashley: We'll see...(looks at me and shrugs) Sorry. Maybe he'll reconsider.

We Are the Champions, My Friend

So I had to excuse myself early from the annual online Chawbacon Festivus party because of a killer headache on Wednesday night and I woke up yesterday with the same headache x 100. I spent almost the entire day in my room with the tv off and the door closed, with a pillow wrapped around my ears and a down comforter over my head. Good times!

That majorly set me back on my quest to outdo all of the other moms, so I canceled our rsvp to the mom's group Christmas party tonight and scaled way back on my planned attack of Leo's mom. No regrets either, because even with minimal effort, I'm still the best mom in Big Kid's class. Maybe not the mom's group since I can't even be bothered to attend, but whatever. I'm pretty sure I'm the coolest mom in the mom's group and that's got to count for something.

Leo's mom was a no-show. Deadbeat. I bet she's one of those mom that chooses to work full time and let someone else raise her kids so that she can afford fancy cars and pedicures and vacations. Because that's why working moms work, you know. I learned that on Babycenter.

Anyway, I don't know where she was and I don't know who was responsible for the "cupcakes" but they flunked. They took Brownie bites and put frosting on freakin' lame is that? Come on, at least buy frozen unfrosted cupcakes. Brownie bites?? Are you freaking nuts? We know those aren't cupcakes and we know you didn't make them. LAME-O.

We did the snowman soup and it was a big hit, Big Kid was so proud. My teacher gift also rocked and I'm betting it was the best gift in the class. I'll be back with pictures and details of both later.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

You Better Not Cry

Can I just take a moment to tell you how much I want to see Santa this year? Almost as much as I want to be held down and have bamboo sticks forced under my fingernails.

So far, every year, I wait too long and then I drag my child/ren to the mall and stand in a 45+ minute line with a bunch of whiny brats and their rude pushy parents, wondering why the hell Santa is taking so long and excited for Big Kid to have his magical Christmas moment. Then we FINALLY get up there, after prompting, quizzing, prepping and threatening Big Kid for nearly an hour, and I shove him towards the jolly old soul only for him to A) Scream B) Run C) Hide.


It's the same Santa who is there every year, some nice old guy with a beard and longish hair and the whole nine yards. He's got a hare lip, so he kind of looks like a mix between the Easter Bunny and Santa and is a little creepy looking, so I do understand the fear some kids have.

One year we forced Big Kid to sit there and used the photo of him writhing in Santa's lap, screaming in open mouthed terror, tears on his face and gum on the sole of his shoe, for our Christmas card. Most people thought it was funny and there were only a couple of child abuse allegations as a result.

So why do it this year? Because knowing little kid he'll hug Santa tightly and snuggle into his lap for giggling and cuddles and cooing and Big Kid SWEARS that he's ready this time, that this is his year. The photographer in me is pining for that elusive photo of both kids looking at the camera and smiling, happy together on Santa's lap. Oh, and the mommy guilt. If they don't see Santa, my children will grow up to be serial killers, or even worse, they'll think I was a terrible mother.

However, could someone please tell me how this guy flies around the world in a reindeer powered vehicle delivering gifts to millions of kids over the course of one night, but he can't take appointments? Or at least get those little flashing coaster/pager things restaurants use to tell you when your table is ready and hand those out?

Because trust me, only assholes wait until this close to Christmas to take their kids to see Santa, and I'm really not in the mood to deal with such idiots. Or my kids. I'm not ready to deal with them in the confined space of a line for almost an hour.

Why do I do this to myself?


Mr. Ashley said cupcakes were already on the sign up sheet for school. DAMMIT. I asked him if Leo's mom was bringing them but he said he hadn't checked and that he was taking no part in my war. Some husband/father he is, huh?

So quick, what else can I bring?? Any ideas? The whole "No Christmas" thing really puts a damper on the season and hinders my creativity. Oh I'm so ticked.

Declaring War

Big Kid: Sometimes, when I ams at school, just sittin' at my table, doin' my work and stuff, Leo says some fings dat I do not wike.

Ashley: What does Leo say?

Big Kid: He always says I am a gwurl. I am not a gwurl, I am a boy.

Ashley: Well yeah, you're a boy. Why does he say that?

Big Kid: I don't know. He says it and says it.

Ashley: What do you say to him when he says that?

Big Kid: Dat I am not a gwurl, I am just a boy darn it. Because darn it isn't nasty. (Something he feels the need to confirm once a day. Maybe The Jews think it's nasty? I'm fine with it)

Ashley: Do you tell one of the teachers?

Big Kid: No.

Ashley: Why not? You're a total tattletale at home.

Big Kid: Not at school dough. But today, Leo said that I'm too wittle for pwe-k.

Ashley: You are not too little for pre-k! You're as big as Leo, aren't you? (Big Kid is the youngest and probably the smallest in his class, but he's not freakishly small or anything)

Big Kid: He's taller but I got better muscles because I eat all my begetables and stuffs. I told him dat too.

Ashley: Do you think Leo is just being silly or do you think he's being mean?

Big Kid: He's bein' mean. I told him to stop, darn it. It's okay to say darn it.

Sooooo, I was going to drop the whole cupcake rivalry I've got going on with Leo's mom but it's ON now. Which kind of sucks because I already volunteered to make THESE (thanks for pointing them out, sweet readers) for the mom's group Christmas party, which was already an Overachiever moment since 70 people rsvp'd for it. Because I'm not a little bit busy or anything, with Christmas going on (apparently still on the 25th since I'm seeing no momentum behind my movement to change the date) and this full time freaking business I had to go and start. Damn.

So now I'll be making them for the mom's group and the winter break party, both on Friday. What I'm really going to do is get unfrosted frozen cupcakes from publix and just decorate them. Because I'm an evil genius like that. That's what I did for the birthday cupcakes too. Same difference.

I'll also be asking Ms. Sharon what the hell is up with Leo. Maybe his mother needs to spend less time making cupcakes and more time on teaching that little barbarian some manners. He's obviously just jealous of Big Kid's intelligence, good looks and charm but still, it's just unacceptable.

I'll be making sure I give Leo the Evil Eye when I go in there from now on. It's on. Him and his mom and their cupcakes are going down.

Wish me luck.

Monday, December 17, 2007

You Know What's Fun?

Designing and ordering the Christmas cards.

Addressing and mailing out the Christmas cards? Not so fun. I have had pretty much the same mailing list, with a few edits, for the last NINE YEARS. Why do I still have to scramble for addresses/new last names/apartment numbers every single time I have to mail something to these people?

Also, the post office charges $.52 (or something) to mail a 5x5 card. Could someone tell me why?? Before you try to tell me something about their machines, let me tell you that they clearly need to update their crappy machines. 5x7 is fine, but 5x5 is extra. That's ridiculous. No wonder email and automatic bill pay and online shopping are putting the post office out of business. It's an archaic system with laughable customer service. People HATE, DREAD and FEAR the post office. Bastards.

Anyway, this is my card. I didn't have it printed with my blog address on it though. Believe it or not, I try to keep that on the down low in real life. It's a shame, because there are some people that really need help realizing how funny I am and/or who would probably really enjoy it, but I'm just not even going there. It'd be a little weird to be writing about sex toys if I knew Aunt B was reading, know what I mean?

I'm also supposed to place 2 photo orders tonight, design 2 photobooks and wrap presents but I really don't know about all of that. Most urgently, I need to hunt down the missing pieces of data that are necessary in order to send out the stupid cards, but I'm already over the excitement of the cards. It's just too much.

I propose that we move Christmas to the 30th this year. I mean, we all pretty much know that December 25th isn't Jesus' actual birthday right? Besides, he wouldn't mind. He definitely wouldn't want everyone all stressed out about it. I really think this could work...

EDITED TO ADD: Please note the proper placement of the apostrophe in goodness' sake. I just want to point out that a lot of people would have screwed that up. Also, do not, DO NOT let me catch you signing your cards "The Ashley's". Not necessarily "The Ashley's" because that would be super weird of you but "The yourlastname's" is not correct. Merry Christmas from The Ashleys. Happy Holidays from the Yourlastnames. I am so embarrassed for the sender when I get cards with this error. I recently saw an M&Ms ad that said "The Smith's" and I couldn't believe it. Don't feel too dumb if you've done it but do not do it again.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Amazon deals + 1 click checkout + wine + Christmas = DANGER

Also, if I don't get more comments on the post below, I'm joining the writer's strike. Come on people, it's comment-worthy. If you're speechless, at least say so.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Overheard in the Car

Emmers: Look Big Kid! Mountains (points to piles of dirt while passing a construction site)

Big Kid: No Emawee, dese are not mountains, dese are just piles of dirt.

Emmers: They are too mountains, Big Kid.

Big Kid: No Emmers, dese are just made by mans. The mans all pile all the dirts up on top of each other and it makes dese piles. Real mountains are not made by mans. Dese here are just mountains of dirt.

Emmers: Yeah, that's what I said. Mountains.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Re: The Golden Compass

Stop sending me emails about it, people.

Yeah, I've heard, it's anti-Christian and will lure my children to read a trilogy of novels that have some Biblical analogies and characters that supposedly represent the church and other religious whatever. I've heard about 473 times now, in fact. Mostly from the same relative, who I didn't even realize was that religious.

First of all, you've made me VERY curious to see the movie and buy the books, where it wouldn't have even blipped on my radar otherwise. I have a small pile of books I'm already looking forward to, I really don't have time for a trilogy but it's already on the Amazon Wish List. I never make it to the movies, but I bet I'll see this one. I'll at least order it when it comes out on Pay Per View.

Secondly, if my kids see a movie and it inspires them to read a long ass trilogy with a bunch of philosophical, complicated overtones...that's cool with me. I'd bet my kid was pretty smart and I'd probably explain the hoopla and ask him what he thought once he finished it. I'd be confident enough in his faith, or accepting enough of him questioning it, and sure enough that either I raised him to be firm in his beliefs regardless of what he reads or that he'd just read it like he would any other fiction and understand it as such, that it wouldn't bother me in the slightest.

Third, and most important, if for some reason you are just compelled to forward something along (and really, 99% of the time you shouldn't be) CONSIDER YOUR AUDIENCE. Stop sending me Republican and/or anti Clinton stuff, don't send me things that you really need sent on to 10 other people, don't try to lay any guilt trips on me, don't send me shit that I will snopes and have to forward back to you, don't send me anything overly religious and/or boring.

Thanks :-)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


What the hell is the deal with Nip/Tuck?? It used to be such a good show, now it is just stupid. It's so stupid that it's only redeeming quality is being funny because it is so bizarre. I can barely handle it anymore. Talk about jumping the shark.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Put On Your Thinking Caps

I forgot to tell you all that Friday after the doctor's appointment was Big Kid's Hanukkah program at school. Somehow I lost an hour (there may have been shopping involved) and raced into the auditorium just as his class was filing out. I felt really bad but luckily, I don't think he knew I wasn't there all along and honestly, I doubt he knew the words since he missed the week before. And face it, we're not Jews. I wouldn't have known what they were talking about anyway.

So afterwards there was a Hanukkah party in each of the classrooms. We're all standing around, eating our Latkes and admiring the Hanukkah decor when the teacher says, "Everyone save room for dessert. Leo's mom made cupcakes!"

Okay. Annoying, especially since I specifically asked if I could bring anything, but whatever. Then one of the little brats shouts "LEO'S MOM IS THE BEST!" and the rest of them all follow suit, cheering and smiling. Big Kid looks right at me and said "Leo's mom's the best. She made us cupcakes."

Um, Leo's mom can kiss my ass. Does Leo's mom make Bento lunches? Did Leo's mom have a snow cone machine at his birthday party? Can Leo's mom make cupcakes that look like little buckets of popcorn? Did she hot glue his little brother's Halloween costume together? Take him on a kick ass Disney vacation with his best friend? Does she make mummy dogs? Reindeer food? Have we forgotten about those fucking turkey cookies I got no glory for? She's got nothing on me.

I look over at her, instantly recognizing that self satisfied little smirk for what it is. She's cute and skinny, appeared friendly. We probably could've been friends had she not tried to replace me as The Coolest Mom in the Class.

So now I have to think of something really cool, holiday related but Jew friendly, that the kids will love that I can bring to upstage her for the winter break party. Does anyone have any ideas? Because you know and I know and the teachers know that I'm the Coolest Mom in the Class but Leo's mom needs to know and the brats need to be reminded, apparently.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Dear Santa,

Give me presents please. I am a good boy and I help wash dishes. I want a super bouncy ball that goes high to the sky. I wash my hands and use some soap and rub them together. I like to play toys like my animal toys. I like toys at Wal-mart too. I would like paint in a box and playdoh.

Please bring little kid a baby toy like me when I was a baby.

I like to play outside, I want to bring a wagon everywhere. Daddy fixes things and widget makes things too and fixes robots. I like to read a book. Have a happy Christmas and tell Mrs. Claus hi.

Big Kid

Today I Have

-Wrestled 4 ornaments away from little kid to put them back on the tree
-Have cleaned up 2 broken ornaments
-Mopped up one pile of cat puke
-Done 11 Super Hugs
-Turned down 9 other Super Hugs
-Put away play food
-Retrieved lettuce, Subway leftovers, a tomato, 2 pieces of cheese and a carton of eggs from little kid and put them back in the fridge (all separate occasions)
-Yelled at little kid 17 times about being in the fridge
-Made up 2 long rambling, oddly detailed, kind of funny stories with Big Kid
-Rescued Mr. Ashley's camera from little kid
-Picked up the contents of 4 files that little kid threw all over the room
-Threw away one ripped up magazine
-Stopped little kid from putting a screw in his ear
-Found one miniature ornament in little kid's mouth
-Caught little kid with the stapler
-Put little kid in time out 4 times
-Answered 972 questions
-Put 3 toys in timeout on top of the fridge
-Shouted "DON'T BE A TATTLETALE" to Big Kid 7-9 times
-Folded laundry
-Folded laundry again when little kid unfolded it as soon as I turned my back
-Cleaned out silverware drawer
-Retrieved ladles, serving spoons and turkey basters from little kid's room
-Unsuccessfully tried to sneak M&Ms into my mouth undetected
-Surrendered my M&Ms to the vultures
-Thwarted little kid's attempt to eat a penny
-Removed little kid from the laundry room 3 times
-Attempted to reinforce the baby gate 4 times
-Put away play food
-Begged for quiet time on 6 different occasions
-Tried to start dinner and gave up
-Put away play food
-Yanked a pen away from little kid
-Played referee to 4 fights
-Threatened the dog's life for continuous whining
-Caught little kid making phone calls 3 times
-Removed little kid from the dishwasher 4 times (the new dishwasher, since the old one unexpectedly died yesterday.)
-Said "Of course you can both sit on my lap" 7 times
-Asked for just a little breathing room 8 times
-Reprimanded Big Kid for tripping little kid on purpose
-Put away play food
-Reminded little kid not to touch my computer 12 times (I just got up after typing this to figure out which cat is locked in which room so I can stop being tortured with the incessant pawing at the door and sure enough, came back and found the little turd pounding on my keys)
-Took aluminum foil away from little kid (got to find a way to keep him out of pantry)
-Put up more Christmas decorations
-Told little kid to stay out of Tupperware tubs of decorations 16 times
-Played peek-a-boo 33 times

and Mr. Ashley wonders why I'm tired? I don't care if he did spend all day in the sun clearing our yard with Taco, my parents' house boy. My day was way harder. I am totally exhausted and counting the nanoseconds until bedtime. They have worn me down mentally and physically and frankly, at this point I'd let them juggle knives for a little peace and quiet around here.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

He Wasn't Faking It

Well yesterday was little kid's 15 month appointment. It turns out that his blue hands and blue tinged lips were the least of my worries because the pediatrician was mostly concerned about why we hadn't brought such a sick child in sooner.


It seemed like the average cold that EVERYONE ELSE HAS. Sure he still sounds a little wheezy and he has a small rumble of a cough and has really been hanging on me, but I figured that was just the after effects.

Turns out he has Bronchiolitis, Pneumonia or the beginning stages of Asthma. I guess we'll know more when we go back tomorrow. I feel really, really bad. If last week wasn't so crazy busy, I probably would have ended up taking him in. For the record, I did call and the nurse agreed that it sounded like the average cold and said he just needed rest and plenty of fluids. Oh well, I suck.

Of course little kid was his charming, mischievous self while we were there. He would dash to the door and run to the nurse's station to try to crawl into one of their laps or press his face against their legs. He leaned against the doorway of our room and would stare out at one of the nurses as she ate her apple slices saying "mmmmmmmm" and grinning at her until she offered him one. He sat perfectly still and smiled at the doctor while he poked, prodded and gagged him with the wooden stick. He wanted the front desk girl to hold him while I filled out the forms. He is such a little lover. He will beg anyone to hold him and he'll just melt his body into yours, burying his face in your neck and hugging you tightly. He has no concept of stranger danger. If you'll hold him (or give him food), you're friends.

So him and I are like siamese twins today. He is hanging on for dear life and I'm indulging his sick little self. Let's hope he gets well soon, because I'm just not cut out for this kind of attachment on a full time basis and little kid is enjoying it a little too much.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Seems Harsh

Ashley: How am I going to get little kid unblue before his doctor's appointment tomorrow?
Mom: Hmmm, I don't know. What about Comet?
Ashley: Comet? Like the stuff I scrub the sink with??
Mom: Yes, why not? I bet it would work.
Ashley: Isn't it like bleach? And I think it would hurt, it would seriously scrub him.
Mom: Well, you don't want the pediatrician to know that you don't watch him.
Ashley: I watch him.
Mom: (silence)
Ashley: I do watch him. He's fast.
Mom: (silence)
Ashley: Well, I don't think Comet is a good idea at all.
Mom: I don't know what to tell you then.

Two Questions

If one suspects that one's child may have ingested some food coloring, should one call poison control?

How would one go about getting blue food coloring stain off of one's child's mouth and hands before said child's doctor's appointment tomorrow?

The Big Event

As promised, wedding photos. They aren't in any particular order since Blogger makes posting photos unusually challenging in my opinion. Also, I wasn't available to play photographer, so most of these are taken by Mr. Ashley or in a real hurry by myself. Unfortunately, due to total psychoticness on the Bargain Board lately, I have come to agree with Mr. Ashley's rule about not posting identifying photos. So you don't get to see how gorgeous Catfish is or how great my hair looked or any of the best photos, since the goal is to usually catch people in an identifiable state. Thanks again, crazies.

The beach

Unity Sand

The lovely couple

Catfish's bouquet with hanky

My bouquet--so gorgeous and I forgot to bring it home with me :-(

Catfish getting ready

Catfish's gown

Orchids that were sprinkled everywhere

Hastily constructed table numbers

Coolie cups with their cipher on it (so cool!)


First dance (sigh)

Bringing sexy back indeed

Catfish and I
My butt is not that big. It is an optical illusion created by that purse strap, the bright color of the dress and the fact that Catfish is a size -2.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Unhappy Hanukkah

So tomorrow Hanukkah starts and Mr. Ashley says it would be too weird for us to celebrate it. I don't really see why. I don't care if The Jews celebrate Christmas, more power to them. I think it would be fun to light the candles and play the Dreidel and eat chocolate gold coins and get little presents. I (think I) know the story behind the whole Menorah thing and I don't think it goes against my beliefs in any way and is as likely a miracle as any other. I mean, a baby destined to save the souls of the world who was born in a barn to a virgin with three magical guys who show up with presents?? I think if that could happen then candle oil could definitely last longer than it was supposed to.

I don't see how it would be any more confusing than sending Big Kid to the Temple to learn Hebrew and celebrate Shabbat. Personally, I think The Jews deserve to be celebrated. Do you know how hard it is to find Hanukkah wrapping paper?? I got The Jew for the Chaw gift exchange last year and it was a real bitch finding a funny card or some appropriate wrapping paper. I got her a rubber ducky vibrator and some cocktail scented bath gel in case you were wondering.

Anyway, I just thought you should know that Mr. Ashley is a Hanukkah Grinch. I'm being denied my rights as an honorary Jew and I'm not happy about it. How many presents do The Jews get at Hanukkah? Because he owes me that many more Christmas gifts + some candles.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

My Bestfriend's Wedding: A Novel

All I can say is WOW. Just WOW.

First, Catfish and the new Mr. Catfish are two of the best looking, best dressed people I know. They just exude style. At any given moment, they look like they have just stepped out of a GQ layout. Even when they don't look their best, they look better than everyone else.

Secondly, they come from amazing families. Fun, loving, warm people who have friends of the same caliber. They are much loved and it shows in the faces and actions of their family and friends. It was a great crowd and I am already lamenting the fact that I won't see these people again nearly soon enough.

Third, they know how to throw a party. The band was THE BEST live music I have ever heard from people without a record contract, hands down. You couldn't not dance. The photographer and Reverend were gay lovers (which was interesting and convenient) and were intuitive, sensitive, philosophical, helpful, experienced characters. The caterers were family friends who own local restaurants and the food was family style and DELICIOUS. It was all perfect, seriously.

Mostly, Catfish and her family are so well loved. She has hordes of people claiming to be secondary aunts and uncles and even extra parents. Everyone wants to do her a favor, everyone wanted this to be more than special and everyone contributed everything they had to make it that way. I have been to bigger weddings. I have been to fancier weddings. But I have never been to a more meaningful, sentimental and celebrated wedding (other than my own of course, but that was because it was mine). You could seriously feel the love and happiness in the air and the party was just infused with it.

And boy was it a relief to finally get to that point. This wedding has been a challenge. You see, Catfish's dad has been battling throat cancer. Well actually, he beat the cancer but he's still battling the effects of his treatments. It has been a REALLY tough year for their family and to throw wedding planning in on top of it made planning more difficult than it would normally be.

There was some last minute rushing around. On three different occasions I uttered the words "I need it fast, I'll pay more." Catfish's childhood home (where the reception took place) buzzed like a beehive with friends and family pulling all of the last minute details together and it was more than a white lie when I assured Catfish that things looked great and were coming along nicely. A bridesmaid and I commandeered a nail station at the salon and sat there with our paper cutter, card stock, glue sticks and sparkly things constructing table numbers. I almost had to physically restrain Catfish as she yanked out real eyelashes while panicking over fake ones, after her hair appointment took 3 times as long as expected. I know that the Reverend omitted the truth when he assured her via cell that it was not sprinkling at the beach, nor was it going to and I really wasn't that sure when I promised that her veil wouldn't whip around like crazy, as it was on the balcony earlier in the day.

But in the end, it was Divine. Elegant. Exquisite. Chic. Magical.

Even though her "2nd" dad stepped on her floor length veil, yanking it out of her hair during the ceremony. Even though her beautiful hair comb fell out a few minutes later. Even when some evil, wretched, hobag, assface, scunty beachgoer refused to move out of the way and said she was going to ruin the wedding photos on purpose. Even though the cake was leaning and a few of the fish in the centerpieces were floating. Even though the police broke up the party early.

It was all perfect.

We got ready in an insane penthouse condo, on lend from one of the a family friends. It had a 180 degree view of the water, a full movie theater and amazing decor. I gave Catfish an antique wedding handkerchief embroidered with their initials for her something old and something blue. I think her maid of honor came up with her something borrowed but that didn't directly pertain to me, so we'll skip it. I'd like to say we drank champagne and pampered ourselves leisurely but the reality was that we were running around like crazy people, sweating and searching for perfume and earrings, restraining Catfish from further eyelash mutilation, shoving wads of meat from the cold cut tray down our throats, and trying to figure out where the fuck the limo driver was and if it was really going to rain. There were champagne glasses everywhere, and I would just slurp down any of the ones that were half full, so who knows how many glasses were consumed.

Finally, we slid Catfish into her ivory, goddess inspired, whisper of a gown, crammed ourselves all into the annoyingly late limo and departed for The Big Event.

Catfish and I grew up together on a very small island. Some of my earliest memories involve playing on white sandy beaches every weekend with Catfish and our crowd of friends while all of our parents socialized (read: drank), so it was really cool that Catfish got married on one of those beaches. It was surreal to be there again, with many of the same families who were there all of those years ago, watching a grown up Catfish on Daddy Catfish's arm, looking stunning, walking towards her future. Crap, I'm about to lose it again just typing it out. I was a freaking wreck.

The ceremony was so special. The Reverend gave everyone a piece of sea glass to hold onto and infuse with their love. He covered the couple's hands with a piece of cloth that had been blessed by 1500 monks in a monastery in Budapest and that has covered the hands of over 425 marrying couples. The mother of the groom said a prayer. Catfish's uncle played the flute and a family friend played the violin. Two sets of friends did readings. The parents blessed the rings and then shared a heartwarming, spontaneous group hug. Gauzy ribbons fluttered from bamboo poles. The altar was covered with a cloth Catfish's grandmother made before she passed. The words of the ceremony were touching and unique. There was a unity ceremony with sand from both of their hometown beaches and it mixed prettily in a container that we then placed our sea glass into. People laughed and people cried. The sky was stunning and the weather perfect. Wow.

We rolled up to the Catfish home in a trolley and filed inside the house for more champagne toasts and makeup reapplication. As the band announced us, we strutted across the lanai and out onto the backyard stage. I had two escorts, so you know we were cracking the "manwich" jokes and I was loving the attention (SALWG that I am).

The new Mr. and Mrs. Catfish had their first dance. I can't remember what song it was to, but it was jazzy and perfect and they had taken lessons and just looked fabulous together spinning around out there.

I had barely taken my seat when the band called the Best Man up to the dance floor to give his speech. Fuck. I was nervous about my speech. On one hand, I was glad to be getting it over with so I wouldn't have to worry about it anymore but on the other hand I was pretty sure I was about to make an ass of myself. At the rehearsal dinner I had kept it short and sweet and then the best man and maid of honor got up there and recreated the couple's life stories and made me feel like a total rube. So I lengthened my wedding speech and wouldn't you know those two talked 5 times as long as they did the time before? Damn. I totally felt like I was going to get up there and just puke on myself.

But I didn't. I know I looked nervous. I probably talked too fast. I cried a little. People laughed at the right times and clapped at the end and Catfish cried and people complimented me all night on it, so I guess it wasn't bad.

So the speech went well and it was special and most importantly, over with. I was finally able to kick my shoes off and relax and enjoy this night under the stars in this backyard I knew so well with these people I loved so much. Orchids and lanterns with tea lights hung from the tree we spent so many years on a hammock under. Candles floated in the pool we had splashed around in our whole lives. People kept stopping me to reintroduce themselves and act astonished that I could possibly have two kids (I was double girdled, by the way. I cannot tell a lie. It clearly worked though). People told me their Catfish and Ashley childhood memories and I got a million hugs. I hung out with Catfish's big brother and one of his bestfriends that I had a childhood crush on (still hot) and I got a little thrill when he told me I looked too good to have two kids. I saw the girl I've known since third grade who had a brain tumor and wasn't expected to live into adulthood. Mr. Ashley loved my hair and push up bra and was all lovey dovey like I like. My glass was refilled with good champagne every time I turned around, and someone put a light up charm on my flute so that I wouldn't have to drink dregs like I had all day.

Then Catfish danced with Daddy Catfish and I seriously lost my shit. Everyone did. At one point as I was sobbing and wiping my nose on my hand, Mr. Ashley advised me to "man up" and told me this was not pretty crying that I was doing. I just couldn't help it. She was so beautiful and he looked so great and I love them both so much (starting to snivel again now).

Finally, with full tummies and the formalities and tears out of the way...I DMAO. We all did. The band could sing anything and had serious personality. They sang "Bringing Sexy Back" and everyone gathered around the new Mr. and Mrs. Catfish as they broke it down and hammed it up and looked like something out of a music video. I know it wasn't their official song, but I will never forget it because it was so "them" (read: fun and sexy).

Daddy Catfish got up and rocked it on the drums while his brother played the flute to some blues and once again, everyone was laughing and crying. Some family friends got up and played the violin and sang Ave Maria and then sang Amazing Grace to the tune of House of the Rising Sun a capella, which was awesome.

Then we were back to dancing and shrieking with laughter as the band got Catfish to shake it for "Hey Now" and got into the crowd and sang "Gold Digger" to the silicone and restylane enhanced maid of honor's Ferrari driving boyfriend. We sang "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Santeria" and wiped away sweat and pinned up rogue curls and danced, danced, danced. Then the lead singer, who was remarkably similar to a young Tina Turner, said she was going to sing one last song in honor of our police friends who were in the front yard and broke out into a perfect rendition of "I Shot the Sheriff". A 10:30 noise curfew and several complaints got us shut down, but honestly, it was okay. We had so much fun and so many special moments had taken place and we were all so tired that after a little bit of grumbling, everyone exchanged their hugs and kisses and love yous and let's do it again soons and congratulations to the bride and groom and went on our merry ways.

I was relieved to get home and rescue the babysitters and take the 40 some bobby pins out of my hair and wash the black off of my tired feet and crawl into bed and stay there the rest of the night and most of today.

We were invited on a yacht today but the kids have really been missing me, and I was really tired and I have no voice. I am pretty much partied out at this point.

Sorry for the novel but I want to make sure I never forget any of it. The 600 pictures taken over the last 3 days will help ensure that too, but I wanted to make sure Catfish got to see it from my perspective because I have felt warm and fuzzy over this event all day long. Besides, I know you all love wedding stuff.

Maybe tomorrow I'll upload some photos. I'm going to take my headache and go crawl back into the bed that is probably still warm from my last nap and hope that my voice reappears tomorrow. I have to deal with the Stage Mother again. I swear she's never going to go away. I'll tell you about her latest sneaky shenanigans later. I will also still tell you about the bachelorette weekend, who cares if we're out of order when there is bare beave involved.