Thursday, January 31, 2008

I am so Lost

with LOST that I'm past caring. However, Mr. Ashley still loves it (although he doesn't seem to be able to explain what's going on either).

But how is the fat guy still fat? They are stranded on an island. I know there was some sort of pantry of food or something...but wouldn't he have lost at least a LITTLE weight? Give us some realism here.

The whole thing is a little far fetched, but this one detail gets to me. It's Hollywood for heaven's sake, they should figure something out.

Someone Just Reminded Me

That it's the last day for voting!! HOORAY!! I'm as tired of reminding you as you are of hearing it, trust me. So this is officially the last time...


It's so easy. Just take one minute, people. I have what, like 90 posts for January?? The time I spend on you folks is insane. But you're worth it.

I am too though, so go vote.


No more online shenanigans today. I have GOT TO accomplish more than the bare minimum in life.

I really don't want to though. I'd rather be here with you all.

It's getting so bad I'm thinking of going back to the Fly Lady system. I hate all those emails though and I say really nasty things in my head to Fly Lady and her cronies, even though they seem like nothing but nice people.

Just a little too nice, know what I mean? And all that crap like her emailing me to go to bed early and put my damn shoes on in the morning...blech. Like the mom I never had. Because my mom sure didn't harass me like that. If she had maybe I would be a better housekeeper. (read: This is all her fault.)

Who needs it though? It's all just so monotonous and repetitive and pointless. I've actually found that if I spend all day cleaning and picking up after everyone, it just looks the same again tomorrow. However, if I stop doing everything other than laundry and dishes (and only when it is essential), eventually it just doesn't get any worse. All of the weird crap that little kid would ever throw around the family room is already out, so there's really no more mess to make. It works for me, but not so much for Mr. Ashley.

If you see me online today, tell me to go clean my house. Well, if you see me before 4:00pm.


2:00pm. Yeah, 2:00pm.

Like Flylady says, baby steps.

(P.S. I would link you all to Fly Lady but I don't want her somehow following you back here and finding out that I say nasty things about her and Kelly, even if I do mostly just say them in my head. I know she's right and I aspire to her greatness, I really do. I resent her for it at the same time though. Hey, I'm human. So google Fly Lady if you need house help.)

News Flash

If you eat the blue palette out of a watercolor set, you will have beautiful peacock blue/green poop the next day. Just something to think about.

Also, little kid can now open the child safety devices on all of the cabinets. Of course, he is most attracted to the cleaning supply cabinet and apparently knows how to work spray bottles. We're either going to have to watch him better or get rid of all of the cleaning supplies. So today I guess I'm getting rid of all of the cleaning supplies (we don't use them anyway).

This morning he dumped his drinkable yogurt onto the floor so that he could try to lick it up. On purpose.

What am I going to do??

Speaking of Friends

A few of you are asking who the Chawbacons are. By doing so, you are making it obvious that you haven't read every single word I've ever written, which is a no-no, but I'm sure you're working on it. I'm going to link to my original explanation post RIGHT HERE

Everyone also always wants to know where the name Chawbacon comes from and I don't think I explained it in that other post so I'll do that now too:

When we first met we soon figured out that you could insult anyone by calling them a Rube and they really wouldn't ever get offended, nor would you be banned from Babycenter, so we constantly called each other, and everyone else, rubes. The synonyms for rube were hick, slack jawed hee-haw and chawbacon. The Slack Hawed Hee-Haws was a little wordy, but we instantly loved the word Chawbacon. Besides, there was so much you could do with such a great word.

The word Chawbacon was actually banned from Babycenter for a few months. You couldn't type it without the filters catching it and rejecting your post. This sort of infamy was right up our alley and although it was an inconvenience, we considered it an honor. After a long email exchange with one of the mods, they claimed that it must be an accident (suuuure, awfully convenient accident) and "fixed" it.

We ended up leaving Babycenter for good because you cannot be a group of friends there without everyone hating you. Even if you all state your opinions as individuals, and even if everyone doesn't have same opinion, it is still a "clique" or a "gang". Even if you all are active posters that give your opinion on everything, the second you start a thread congratulating each other on a year of friendship, everyone marches in and starts slinging shit and being angry. There just weren't enough reasons to stay.

So we moved to greener pastures and have lived almost happily ever after (except when we're on the same cycle...then it is time to head for the hills).

After a couple of years, Chawbacon is just too long a word to say all of the time, so we're The Chaws. Also, there is only 13 of us now, instead of the original 15. Don't ask.

So that is the condensed history of The Chaws. Now get to reading the archives people, you'll never pass the final exam if you don't even know who The Chaws are.

People Want To Know

Where little kid got the shirt he's wearing below. I got it from Monkey Boy Clothing on Etsy. He has the Fire Breather one and Big Kid has the Strong Man one, I ordered them for their Circus Birthday Party. I think the post about the party was in August or September. I'd get you a link but I already had to go in search of that link above and hyperlink it and everything and really, that's enough for today.

The shirts are really nice quality though, above and beyond your average t-shirt for sure. The stitching is nice and the fabric is thick and the graphics are really, seriously on there.

Okay, I'm tired. Be proud that I got that info to you in such a reasonable amount of time. Practically unheard of.

Edited to Add: Well damn, I just actually looked at that page and don't see any of the fire breathing shirts listed. You all should email them. I'm pretty sure that with most Etsy people, if you want something badly enough they'll try to help you get it. It can't hurt to ask.

Edited Again to Add: I just looked at the page one more time and see that they have a website at, they would probably rather you go there anyway. I am not going there tonight because I'm tired and can't buy any more stuff right now and I refuse to let you all influence me to buy any more stuff, and I'm tired of doing all of your legwork for you. So maybe the fire breather shirt is there, maybe not.

I'll probably have to check tomorrow. For editorial purposes. I also might have to buy some more shirts just to make sure the product still meets Ashley's Closet expectations. Yeah. That's a plan.

I'll see you all tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


2,697 readers today with 4,258 page views...

You're all a bunch of drama lovin' hos!

You better be voting for me for Best New Blog in The Bloggies!

Feel free to vote for me for the nominations in my sidebar too, although I'm not officially harrassing you about that until later in the year (it's a one vote sort of thing though, you may as well get it over with now.)


I ate my bubba's watercolors.

A Naked Party

The other day my mom was in the car with me and the kids when she mentioned something about dropping by the condo.

Big Kid: We could have a party dere!

My Mom: A party? At the condo? That would be fun.

Big Kid: It would have to be a naked party.

My Mom: A Naked party?!?

Big Kid: Yes, all of our fwiends would be dere and we would be naked and dancin' and stuffs. We always have naked parties wif our fwiends at da condo. My mudder is dere and da ladies are dere and all the kids are dere too.

My Mom: (Drilling holes in my head with her eyes) What is he talking about?

He does have a way with words, doesn't he? Can you even imagine if he's telling The Jews this sort of stuff? Holy crap on a stick.

I'm sure you all remember when The Renee and I vacationed in a beachside condo this summer. Well, one day after returning for the beach, we stripped the kids down at the door (6 kids=a lot of sand), put them in their undies and just let them chill for a while. At some point, they started dancing, one of them called it a naked party, and it caught on like wild fire.

It was weird of him to bring it up like it happened just yesterday when I don't think we ever discussed the naked party thing again. It makes me wonder...exactly what kind of crap IS he saying when I'm not there??

Make New Friends But Keep The Old

Let's talk about friendships (and begin cleaning this place up).

One of the Chaws recently posted a UCLA study on friendships among women. Ironically, she posted it on the day of a board blow up, but it did still get some discussion then and has really left me thinking.

In a nutshell, the women scientists noticed that when things got stressful, they would sit down together, brew a pot of coffee, clean the lab up and talk. The men would go home early, stay secluded and not want to talk. They got to thinking that maybe there was something to that pattern and they did a study on how friendship affects the sexes biologically.

Interestingly enough, in times of stress, women gathering other women and talking/venting/enjoying each other's company actually makes their brain release Oxytocin (the same stuff I was hooked on while breastfeeding). This does not happen for men.

If you think about it, it makes sense. For who knows how long, I'm sure when the town was threatened or the men went off to battle, the women gathered together to get through it while the men went off to fight it. It's almost like a survival instinct.

So basically, we NEED friends and we need to be able to gather those friends in times of stress. Sadly, in times of stress we also tend to isolate ourselves and put our needs last, which only worsens our problems. I believe the study even found that there were actual long term health benefits to the bonds formed between women.

This got me thinking to how when I'm freaking out about shit hitting life's proverbial fan, I feel so much better after shopping with my mom or dinner out with LK or even just typing it all out for the Chaws. Even if nothing gets settled during that interaction, I just feel like things are a little more do-able. It explains why I go home from Mom's Night's Out with that warm happy glow and why my girl crushes make my heart beat a little faster (and here you all thought I was a lesbo).

It also explains the surge of popularity of internet communities and the whole phenomenon of online best friends. Where else could you quickly gather support? Where else could you immediately go to vent? People are there, all the time, no matter what, and a lot of them know exactly what you're going through in any given situation.

I guess this goes back to the Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus deal, but it also says a lot about our relationships with our men. We NEED to talk. We can feel lonely even if they're in the same room some days. Most of us want to discuss, discuss, discuss and most of them want to drink beer and watch Deadliest Catch and pretend nothing is going on at all. They really biologically don't get us. Making us need other women even more.

I also know how hard it can be to make friends, especially when you are already in a stressful spot in life and need them desperately. I was so lonely after I had Big Kid. The My Gym moms just didn't get me, or my kid who was unable to follow directions and insisted on dancing inside of the big red circle instead of around it like the other kids (shocker, I know).

Then I joined a playgroup...BITCHES. Man, I felt like the last kid picked for dodge ball that day. I really put myself out there too, sweet, friendly, helpful, funny...they were just mean girls.

It was hard to get back on the horse after that one, but one of the Chaws (isn't it always the Chaws solving my life problems?) told me about I looked for a playgroup in my town and I found one that sounded pretty cool. I signed up and participated in their online message board and finally gathered up the courage to go to a playdate. They were nice. They were normal. They were down to earth, funny and welcoming. There were lots of them to choose from.

I started meeting them at parks and had the kids as an excuse to get through those awkward moments while we were getting to know each other. I went to a Pleasure Party one of them hosted and had a blast. In no time I was hamming it up at the Mom's Nights Outs and exchanging emails with a few favorites.

I don't hang with them much anymore, but I've got the 4 that I clicked with the most and that's all I really need. At this stage in my life, I feel blessed with as many other women as I know. I feel bad because I can't even keep up with some of the real life friendships as much as I'd like(the online friendships add to that problem) but I think I'm at a stage in life where my friends understand me enough to be okay with that.

I really want that same kind of happiness and those kind of friendships for all of the women out there that are feeling isolated, ready to pull their hair out, thinking no one gets them and feeling mad at the world because it really IS necessary in order to maintain our sanity.

So go find some friends! It won't be easy. You'll have to get out of your pjs. Your kids can and will embarrass you. There will be awkward moments. But you NEED them. Biologically, chemically, emotionally, you NEED other women that get you and who you can gather when times get tough. Every friendship doesn't have to be a BFF and it may take you a while to find "The One" (or hopefully OneS), but they are out there.

And when you meet them, know that they have their demons too. They have that wall up that us women build, the "I'm a perfect wife and mother" wall. Their house is a mess, their finances scare them, their marriage is crumbling, they're addicted to something...everyone has their issues. Even if it is something that doesn't look like much of an issue to you, they have things about themselves they wish they could improve on. So don't be intimidated.

Also, you have to put it out there. Even once you get yourself physically there, people probably won't be getting in line to be your buddy. Smile, talk, ask questions, tell people their kids are cute, ask where they got their bag. WHATEVER. Show them what you have to offer, even if you think it isn't much. Eventually something will stick.

Those of you who have friends, remember how important they are and seek them out when you need them, even if that means putting yourself first for once. In the long run, it is the best thing for everyone. You're worth it and you deserve it. That and a spa day.

Preferably with friends.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

You Know...

It is like a cow (very much like a cow, as a matter of fact) that wandered on to the rail road tracks. Half of you feels bad for the cow, who has a small brain and a large body, but you also can't believe it is stupid enough to stand there staring around stupidly and chewing its cud while a train is heading straight for it.

And that is why you you can't tear your eyes away as the train rips it into a bazillion pieces and litters the surrounding area with cow guts. Because really, the cow should have known better.

Hopefully this will conclude our chapter on MANisha, who definitely overstayed her welcome and never really did an adequate job of entertaining us in the first place (until she was too stupid to move off the tracks, that was some good entertainment)

Oh and if you haven't voted YET for Ashley's Closet for Best New Blog, you're as queer as MANisha is.

And no one wants to be that queer.

Troll Trap

(Sorry, you got here too late to see the best of the drama. I have been in email negotiations with the former troll and I've decided that we're going to set her free by deleting her photos. I cannot explain her actions but I do believe she is genuinely apologetic and the punishment has gone on long enough. Now let's all move along, folks)

So, I set a little troll trap and our stupid troll stumbled right into it. Poor troll. I almost felt bad for it. I figured out who she was through a combination of sheer luck, her own stupidity and my geniusness (oh and a little help from a new friend).

I was even talking to LK about her this morning and I said that this really must be a pathetic individual. I also decided that if she never commented again, I'd let her go. If she commented with something stupid, I'd bust her. If she commented on my children, I would publicly humiliate her like the piece of human crap that she is.

But Ashley...what if it isn't her?

It is her. I have undeniable, irrefutable proof that it is her.

Her IP address has been at my site within 3-5 minutes of every nasty comment that has been left and then came back at least a dozen times after each nasty comment to read the comment page. The real lucky break was when I was over at the new Mama Drama Uncensored blog and was reading the comments. What do I see but a comment that says "your blog sucks ass" all lowercase like our lazy troll, with said troll's photo as the avatar. Fascinating.

So I emailed the Drama mama and said if it wasn't difficult to do, could she get me that commenter's IP address and pointed out that it was a real coincidence that we would both have someone whose favorite phrase is "your blog sucks ass" and who is unable to capitalize. She said it was super easy to do with Wordpress and that the comments themselves are labeled with IP numbers, unlike my statcounter where it is a guessing game based on times.

So she got it to me and yep, same person! Then this person posted right after me on a Babycenter thread (with that same photo as her avatar) and I got another troll comment within a couple of minutes of that, with her IP address. Ironically, she later posted on another Babycenter thread right behind me saying that she didn't like the drama and that the drama queens have taken over the board...ha ha fucking ha. LOSER.

It was like a criminal who couldn't stay away from the scene of the crime. She made it so obvious...and so easy, but I still wanted to give her a little more rope to hang herself with. Wouldn't you know that she slipped the noose over her head all by herself today?

She commented that I obviously don't love Big Kid since I talk so much shit about him and I obviously write what I'm feeling. Well, Manisha (perfect troll name, by the way, we couldn't have come up with something better even if we had tried) for someone who has read just about every page of my blog...I think you would know that it is little kid that I'm always talking shit about. And that I love every naughty inch of him.

So here she is...Manisha the Troll. Manisha, don't start screaming libel because you only have a case if someone is spreading lies and I have proof. I also have a lawyer in the family. You are as smart as your writing indicates, my friend.

(Deleted photo)

For anyone that thinks this is mean of me....don't fuck with my kids. EVER. Even if you fuck with me, I'll usually let it slide but the second you bring the kids into it, It's on like Donkey Kong (that phrase is actually compliments of our last troll).

Also, public service announcement here...don't use the same screen name you use on Babycenter on every other forum you belong to. A quick google search brings up photos of you and your husband, your last name, home town, your age and birthday, the highschool you graduated from, the make of car you drive, your love of guppies and your inability to hold a job. Oh, it also led me to your blog...which sucks ass. Really, it does. I understand your bitterness. Well, no I don't, because I'm not insane but I guess I could see how my success would drive you insane with jealousy.

Time to find another blog that sucks ass my friend!! Maybe you should spend more time on your own!

P.S. The ONLY reason I didn't use your last name too, so that any time anyone googled your name they would instantly know what a lame ass soul you are, is because Mr. Ashley told me not to. You're lucky I'm a better person than you are. Oh, and I see you've already been back several times to check the reactions to your last comment...I love thinking of how surprised you'll be to find out that THOUSANDS of people have a face to put with the stupidity now.

A Dilemma

I think I've mentioned before that I don't tell real life people about my blog. Mostly because I think they'll be freaked out to see that I've been blogging about them (Would my girl crush like to know that I've told thousands of people that she has really nice boobs?) and because I don't want anyone reading about the sex toys and me talking shit about children and thinking differently about me.

I also enjoy being able to blog about anyone at any time. Even though I don't say anything bad about the people I know well enough to share it with, some people might feel weird about being a character and might take offense to things that are not offensive.

The dilemma is that people in real life have no idea that I'm famous. (Don't say I'm not, I am too famous.) Not to be able to brag about the traffic I've been getting, or my Bloggie nomination, or all of my great comments and friends is really hard for an attention loving weiner gobbler.

I only told Catfish because it is so hard for us to keep in touch. We're both pretty sucky friends, which makes us perfect for each other. Sometimes we'll let a year go before getting our shit together and I thought it would be fun for her to read about the boys' lives. Besides, Catfish is also an attention loving weiner gobbler (always has been) and loves to see us talking about her.

In a moment of weakness, I told LK just because I had to tell someone. Plus, I knew Emmers would have to be a character and figured it wouldn't be right to post her kid's pictures and shenanigans on the internet without her even knowing.

The only person it kills me not to tell is my mom. We have a unique relationship and I've pretty much always told her everything. This started off as a fun little secret and it was just easier NOT to explain the extent of my online world. Then things started snowballing and I started to feel like I was lying by not sharing it with her. Now things are avalanching (is that a word?) and I feel like I'm lying every time I talk to her!

Also, my paranoia convinces me that she knows. She has been in my house (alone even) while my weiner gobbler cards were out lying around. She has used my laptop. Anyone can google weiner gobbler or master cleanse or poop or sunpass ticket and land do I know she hasn't? She really freaked me out today by saying I should start a blog to jot down all of the funny things the boys say and she knows right? Otherwise, how does she even know what a blog is?

Regardless, if thousands of people are visiting a is pretty much a matter of time before someone I know stumbles across it. If you are someone I know and you have stumbled across it, do me a favor and keep it on the down low, would you? It is too small of a town and the last thing I need is people finding out I called their kid a wuss, or fat, or said that I wish they'd never been born. That would be bad for business, one would think.

If I have called your kid a wuss, or fat or wished they'd never been born...I was kidding, I swear. It's all in the name of entertainment. My Class Clown Syndrome is a medical diagnosis, a chemical imbalance even (remember, I am on Effexor). You can't use what I say against me.

As far as my mom knowing, I guess I have to tell her. I mean, it's not like I'm going to stop anytime soon. As weird as it will be to tell her a year later...imagine how weird it would be to broach the subject 5 years later. When I have a book deal. And I'm a household name. And I'm filthy stinking rich. Yeah, that could be awkward.

Because I'm a lister, let's list my concerns here:

1. That whole Too Timid product review team that I'm, erm, I mean my freaky friend, is on. Sometimes my freaky friend likes to discuss products here and that would be a little weird. I am, I mean she's not, a big perv or anything, it was just a cool opportunity and advertising for them is a fun and entertaining way to make a little money.

2. My colorful language. Not sure if my mom has ever even heard the term fucktard? I know for a fact she hasn't heard some of the phrases Kate suggested for our troll friend. I do drop the f bomb all over the place around here and that cannot change. I'm also not sure if she'd understand the whole girl crush thing? It has the potential to turn into some weird talk about bisexuals and The Gays and I am not one (not that there is anything wrong with being one). I swear.

3. Trolls, drama and internet psychos. She knows about the Photowow Mafia psycho shit, but otherwise she is still an innocent as far as how scary the internet can really be. Also, she may worry about those who are so concerned with my parenting skills, not realizing that there are Perfect Parenting Police all over the internet that validate their parenting by insulting the jobs being done by others. And that people are J-E-A-L-O-U-S. Jealous, jealous, jealous.

4. The need to share. I think it would be very, very hard to keep this secret. It is hard for me and it's my own ass I'm protecting. The blog is funny because I can say whatever I want (and do) and that will continue. I would prefer that Big Kid not become a social outcast because of his mom's shit talking hobby.

5. Getting offended. I'm not sure what I've said in the past, or if it could possibly offend, but everyone is a character. I have to think what best way to portray them to amuse others. I really don't think I've said anything I'd regret, but you just never know. Also, there's that whole issue of knowing that anything you say or do around me could become tomorrow's source of entertainment for thousands. That's a weird situation to be in, I'm sure.

So there we go, that is the list. A lot of valid concerns there, but whatever. I'm going to ponder on it for a couple more hours and then I'll probably pull the trigger. Just wanted to let you all know, so that if we ever get a commenter that says things along the lines of, "Ashley Suzanne, I better never catch you using language like that!" and whatnot, you'll know that my mom is in the closet with us.

Don't feel the need to censor yourselves. I won't be. She's cool, I promise. I'm pretty sure she can handle it. Man oh man is this weird.

What a Mess

Today little kid has already dumped out a bag of goldfish crackers (all over my floor), crushed a granola bar into smithereens and threw it (all over my floor) and brought a small bucket of dirt in from the back deck and dumped it (all over my floor).

I guess this means I really *have* to vacuum today. I hate the vacuum. I thought for sure if Mr. Ashley got me the purple Dyson that would change, but I was wrong. It's still loud and I have to plug it in and push it around and I just hate it.

Someone really needs to be watching these kids.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Tattle Tale

Today, from the moment he got home from school, Big Kid was whining and bitching about everything little kid did or touched.

It didn't take long of the constant tattling for me to completely lose my patience with it:

Big Kid: Mudder! Mudder! He weft a cwacker on da back porch. I just founded dis cwacker out dere.

Ashley: You know what? That's it. little kid, come here. I'm putting his shoes on him, driving him to the zoo, taking the boat out to monkey island and leaving him there. I just can't take it anymore, every little second hearing you tell me what things he is doing wrong.

Big Kid: (instantly getting pale and eyes filling with tears) You're gonna take him to da zoo and weave him? By himself?

Ashley: Yes, you think I should, don't you? You're the one that keeps telling me every single thing he does wrong. It's always something, all day long, little kid is doing this, little kid is doing that. I just can't deal with it anymore, maybe the monkeys will take better care of him.

Big Kid: (starting to cry) Mama, no. No, don't do dis to wittle kid. He is dest a baby. He cannot wiv wif da monkeys, mama, he cannot. (full on crying)

Ashley: Do you love him?

Big Kid: (nodding tearfully) Yes, I do.

Ashley: Then get off his case, okay? I love him too. He's not going anywhere. He is a naughty little baby though and he gets into things all day long. Unless it is something that could hurt him or hurt you or break something...I don't want to hear it. I don't want to hear if he gave Heidi Louise a cracker, I don't want to hear if he opened the junk drawer, I don't want to have to hear if he brings the food processor into the family room again. I usually see it. I'm choosing my battles. I appreciate when you tell me when he's standing on chairs or has a knife or is covered in food coloring, but otherwise I don't need to know every little thing. Okay?

Big Kid: So you're not gonna weave him anywhere, wight?

Ashley: No, of course not. I love him.

Big Kid: I wuv him too. He is my bery bestest bubba in da whole world.

Sweet, huh? Wouldn't you know I had to use the same threat again later that night? Instant tears again too. Yeah, I know, totally mean of me. Some of you may recognize this new parenting tactic as being inspired by the time I threatened to put little kid in his parrot costume and leave him at the parrot cage and got a similar response. I'm shocked that this gets such a reaction, but I'll be keeping it in my back pocket for sure.

I'm not above threats, lies and scary stories to get a little peace and quiet around here.


Our troll is back! I was afraid it had wandered off and found a blog that didn't suck ass, but apparently not. I guess even trolls take Sunday off, you know, it being the Lord's day and whatnot.

Since the majority vote was to keep it for now, let's start brainstorming on names. Troll, you may want to get caught up on the comments. Kate had some great suggestions at some phrases that may be halfway amusing or at least make you stand out a little. If we're going to keep you, you MUST step it up. Our first troll totally spoiled us with a passionate dislike of me and some really clever wordsmithing.

Mr. Ashley thinks we shouldn't feed it or pay any attention to its sad self because next thing you know we'll have packs of trolls roaming the place, dropping their turds everywhere. But I'm a sucker for stupidity and I love being told how much I suck ass.

Let's all thank my new friend Holly for the tag on this post. My new favorite phrase.


I have lots of witty and brilliant things to say today, but I got caught in the quagmire of parenting forums today and wasted my whole morning.

Some people there are worried about little kid's access to staplers and whatnot, some are sick of hearing about me or announcing that they have no idea who I am on every other thread and one even feels sorry for my children because she doesn't believe people can have alter egos and just get offline and be a normal person and a perfect mother.

I have offered to post the number for FL CPS and my address and even have little kid waiting at the end of the driveway (it's a long driveway) so that I could get out for a French pedi before rush hour traffic gets bad. I have also promised any future children to the care of these concerned citizens. So far, no takers. Damn. My toes look really bad too, it's been 2 months.

As far as an alter ego...did I somehow give the impression that I am a normal person and perfect mother in real life? If so, someone has hacked my account and is spreading untruths and if you ever hear any such thing again, know that it is not me. An imposter! No, no. I am wacky and loud and talkative and inappropriate and laid back (read: lazy) and unconventional in real life too. Faaaaaaaar from perfect, but we do manage to get the job done around here, believe it or not.

So that's what I've been doing instead of being here with you all. Lame of me, huh? I know. It's a sickness. Let's try not to tell these people about the time little kid was on the back porch with a snake or the time he found that lighter, k? Thanks so much.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


I fixed the "Nothin' Standard About It: Part One" pictures. I'm still not sure what the deal was with that.

Can someone tell me why the hell photos in Blogger don't upload to where you put your cursor? All the copying and pasting and lines of code and blah blah blah. Insanity. The part that sucks most is that I only had one photo left to do and I somehow highlighted and deleted the whole post. I had to 'X' out of it before Blogger auto saved and when I came back it was there, but I had to start from the beginning. Major suckage.

So if you didn't see before, go look. If they stay up there I'll finish part two really soon. I swear. As soon as you vote.

Did you

Vote today? Because I really, really would love it if you would. Considering that I've been poisoned AND caught a troll this weekend, I really think I deserve extra effort.


It is near the bottom at the left, you just have to hit my button (meow) and submit a valid email address. No spam to follow.


Saturday, January 26, 2008

New Pet

Guess what I got?? My very own troll!!!

Cool, huh?

I've always wanted one. We had a couple of shizzy trolls but I think this one is different, plus it promises to stick around!

I've always thought trolls were kind of interesting and even sort of cute in a repulsive, omg what a loser you are, kind of way. I remember when Monogram Momma had one and I was so jealous! She promised one day I'd have one of my own and I waited and I waited and finally I emailed her and told her that I think she had one because people are jealous of her and that maybe no one was jealous of me?

But now I got one!! .

How lucky is this? A troll during sweeps week. I didn't even have to adopt a kid.

I'm going to try to not make too big a deal over it, because clearly it seeks the fame and fortune that comes with leeching from my success, but I wanted to point it out in case you notice the increase in comments and because I know you all love stupid people.

So let's make Anonymous feel welcome! It's hard for trolls to make friends.

Edited to add: My troll is bossy and says dumb things like "True that". Who says that these days? Pathetic, ugly chicks that never had any friends in highschool and who are stuck in the late '90s, that's who. I'm so bummed. I kind of hoped I'd get an intelligent, witty troll although I know those are hard to come by.

Let's not name it just yet, this may not work out.

Edited Again To Add (Yes, even though my troll thinks people who edit blog posts are idiots): I got a lame one. I never thought I'd say it...but this troll makes me miss the Photowow troll. Selfish Attention loving weiner gobbler? Self centered piece of spooge? That shit was funny! They deserved more credit than I gave them.

Are there any funnier trolls out there that would like to step up? What should we do about the little shit that we've got now? Ignore it? Disable anonymous commenting? Play along and let it stay? Choose your own adventure, folks.

A Confession

I have a confession. I've been thinking about how to tell you all this since October. I've almost started this post so many times. It's just that I don't want you to think differently of me. Also, it is not funny. No. This is serious. You'll probably never think of me the same again. You might not want to read anymore.


Okay. Here goes. Once I hit publish, there's no going back. Well, I could delete it, but you bitches are quick. 300 of you would probably already know and you'd be sure to spread the word. Whispering and gossiping. Did you hear about Ashley? Emailing and IMing each other. Starting secret internet forums about me where you would copy and paste the confession I had thought I deleted.

I don't care. I'm going to bare my soul to you all. You deserve to know.

Okay, so.................................................................................

I'm on Effexor for anxiety. There. Now you know. You've been reading the ravings of an insane person. A MEDICATED insane person.

What's that you say?


What do you mean so?? This is huDge news.


It's not?

Everyone is on something these days?


What about the stigma though? Surely I have the stigma now, the one that those with mental health issues have?

No? There really isn't a stigma now? Lots of people need something or another to get them through tough times? Or just to get them through times?

Well, now that you say that, I guess I don't look at other people who are on Lexapro or Prozac or whatever and think that they are crazy. Well, some of them I do, but I think they're crazy no matter what.

So why the hell have I been keeping this secret for months? You mean, I could have told you about how weird I felt at first? I could have explained that my brief absence was a complete and total detachment from the world and that I wasn't sure if it was better to be anxious or to absolutely not give a shit about anything ever?

Damn. I struggled through all of that alone. For no reason at all.

Well, you'll be happy to hear (or you should be) that now I'm feeling better than ever. Like ever ever. I do get more headaches than I did before and that may be a side effect, but whatever. A good excuse for an Excedrine and a nap.

I don't remember if I ever knew what happy really was? I mean, yeah, of course I've been happy. But truly content with life? I don't remember. I mean my life pretty much does suck lately. I was stressed to the max with this whole condo thing and I have a financially unstable future due to this depressed real estate market (maybe it needs some Effexor too?) but I'm not up all night feeling sick about it or anything anymore. In fact, most of the time, I don't think of it at all. A MIRACLE for a big thinker (read: self torturer) like myself!

A fellow chaw once described being on Celexa and said that it took that knot of frustration in her throat away. That struck a chord with me, because I recognize that knot of frustration as a way of life, but I still didn't do anything about it for months, because surely I was not as crazy as she was.

But she's not crazy. She's smart. She came to the realization that she didn't have to live like this. That life can be good. That maybe sometimes you need some help remembering how to be happy or that sometimes it feels like God DOES give you more than you can handle (and no, this is not a reference to little kid).

Two of my other close friends have recently gotten on something too and they have both shared with me that they feel the same way that I do. Different. Good. Hopeful. Grateful. Happy.

Now that I'm on it, I've noticed all sorts of other women who are on it, all people who I deem "normal". So I guess I'm not some crazy freak. Well, maybe I am a crazy freak, but that's not what causes my anxiety and moodiness. Moodyness? Moodiness? Is that really a word? Looks wrong.

Anyway, I just wanted to share in case anyone else out there was on the fence about just may be a good thing for you. There's no shame in it. I'm sorry it doesn't make for a better confession, you all know I've been looking for something earth shattering for sweeps week. This isn't it.

Dear Emmers,

I had a lot of fun at your birthday party!! You looked so pretty!

Sorry Big Kid was such a butthole today. He heard all about it from me, don't you worry.

I'll try to post photos later, everything was oh-so-cute!

Aunt Ashley

Sigh of Relief

The dishes did themselves while I was getting my hair done yesterday!! I told you all, good things come to those who wait.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Dear Salon Patron,

I just wanted to point out that it is rude to stare. Also, almost everyone you'll ever encounter in the civilized world has figured out the concept of mirrors...and can see you staring at them in them.

We all look at each other, as women we can't help it. But out and out staring is inappropriate, especially at a salon for heaven's sake.

Maybe you've never seen long, curly hair brushed out and crowned with foils? I thought maybe this was why you were staring (because it is a sight) but every time I held your gaze for a moment waiting for you to smile, say something and/or look away, you just kept staring. Also, you weren't looking so hot yourself, with your head wrapped in cotton and dark brown slimy stuff dripping around your hair line, so you had no business staring at me and my wild 'do.

I know that I do have a tendency to make a spectacle of myself and hold court around there, but today was pretty tame. I turned down wine in favor of my poisoned McD's Coke and The Gay One was out of the building, so he wasn't even around to talk books with me until I was walking out the door.

My hair dresser and I were involved in one of our fascinating, animated conversations and you were probably just surprised to see us discussing the social dynamic of the feudal system and the awesomeness of the architectural details of ancient castles and cathedrals...but everyone knows that you either have to speak up and join in on the conversation or that you're supposed to eavesdrop while pretending to look at a magazine.

Everyone except you, I guess.

I wasn't being loud either, I did several volume checks while trying to figure out what the hell your deal is. You didn't even smile when the assistant asked my hairdresser why she never put me under the dryer and she responded that it was because she knew I didn't want to go home any sooner than I had to. Everyone else thought it was funny, but there you sat, staring.


I'm just trying to help you get a clue. I consider it my duty to rid the world of the socially retarded, one freak at a time. I do think there is hope for you, but we need to know exactly what the problem is first.

Please, help us help you.



Where are the photos in my post about the Standard?? Is it just me or is nothing there at all? WTF is up with that?? I don't want to re-upload them again and without the photos, the bachelorette weekend story isn't nearly as much fun.

Oh no. A dreadful day indeed.

What should I do?

ETA: OMG, I am so pissed. I checked again and it doesn't seem to be a poison induced hallucination. Blogging people, have you ever had this happen before?? Fuck, fuck, fuck. I can't believe this sort of shit has to happen when I'm practically on my death bed.

EATA: WHY that post?? WHY this week?? WHY today?? What if this happens to the bald beaver photos?? Why even bother??

EYATA: I would consider re-doing the damn photos for you all, but how do I know it won't happen again?? If I find myself sitting around this weekend, not poisoned to death, bored and caught up on (read: unwilling to do) everything else. I'll try to think about re-uploading them.


I shouldn't have sprung both contests on you at the same time, because it has caused some confusion and some whining about all the work you all feel that you are being forced to do (sha...don't even go there).

The Blogger's Choice Awards are over in the side bar there. They end at the end of the year. You have to log in to vote and can only vote once per log-in name, I believe.

The Bloggies (Best New Blog) are what we are currently concerned with. They end the 31st. You just have to click a button and provide your email address for this one. You can vote once per day per email for that one.

If I don't win, you all will hear about it. It will be your fault.

Edited to add: And you all better hope that you're putting forth more effort for the Bloggies than you are for the Blogger's Choice Awards. 30 some votes?? Between 700-1400 readers every day the last week and THIRTY SOME VOTES? It's an insult. When I see the blogs with 100s of votes, it makes me wish I had readers that loved ME like that. You lazy a-holes. We won't even talk about a certain mommy blogger who has been elevated to a God-like status, because if we do I'm sure you'll all run over there to comment and vote or even worse, leave a comment here about how freaking great she is. Thou shall not worship false idols. Or something like that. It ticks me off.

Who's in Charge Around Here?

You know what sucks? Other than people that aren't voting for me daily in the Bloggies?

The fact that there has been dishes in the sink for two days and it doesn't look like they're going anywhere.

I thought for sure if they sat there long enough, they would figure out a way to clean themselves up and get back in the cabinets, but apparently no can do.

Same goes for the laundry on the it going to sit there all week? Frankly, I'm getting tired of looking at it. Also, it hinders any further laundry progress because I don't want to add to the pile.

I have a hair appointment today. You know how I love my hair dresser and our book discussions. The Gay One is bringing me some historical fiction I've been looking forward to reading, so I'm eager to get my hands on it. I also love sitting and drinking wine and having pretty hair. Maybe shit will straighten up around here in my absence....

Good News!

I'm sure on this fine Friday morning, most of you are sitting there thinking, "What can I do to show Ashley my appreciation?"

Well, I have got your answer!

Turns out, you can vote once per day per email address for the Bloggies.

So go vote for me for Best New Blog please! Yes, even if you already have. Do it again. I sometimes post more than once in a day and I'm sure you all enjoy that. So, you can vote at least once per day.

Two Things

1. My neighbor's smoke alarm in their garage or on their lanai must have run out of batteries, because it is beeping every two minutes and has been for the last THREE FUCKING DAYS. Damn. It's really nice out too, I keep opening the sliding glass doors for a breeze and 6 minutes later I'm ready to kill someone.

They live in Miami during tax season (they are CPAs) and God only knows when they'll be back. It's seriously killing me, I moved to an area with a big yard and few neighbors for a reason.

2. Lots of questions, comments and emails regarding the bald beaver, or lack thereof. It's a three part story, people. You saw what I had to go through just to get you what I got you last think I can cover the yacht, dinner, the club, the stripper pole and the beave all at one time?? Come on. You're expecting a lot. Technically I have until February 11th or so until my three months are up, so be glad I've even gotten started on it. I'm actually ahead of the game.

You'll be glad to know that part 2 is already in the works, you pervs.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sweeps Week

Everyone will be happy to hear that Big Kid has no cavities. This is because I'm such a good mom.

Actually, it's probably because he had really spaced out baby teeth (the cornditos...they're growing together now, I was sweatin' it though). Anyway, the dentist said that it is actually a good thing. He was a really good boy for the x-rays and cleaning, being the people pleaser that he is.

little kid spent his time using a gigantic toothbrush to brush the teeth of various stuffed animals (all of the stuffed animals had chompers, it was pretty funny) and to hit and poke Big Kid while he was in the chair.

They have all of the chairs for the cleanings lined up in a row and the boy next to Big Kid was about 15. little kid was so very interested in his dirty, scuffed up skateboarding shoes with the fat laces that he had to run over and sneak a peek about 12 different times. I would guess that it would be a little awkward to be getting your teeth cleaned while a small person stood at your shoes with a gigantic toothbrush and stared at you, so I tried to detain him but he's a slippery little sucker.

Afterwards, we ran by Joann's to pick up supplies for the Valentine's playdate. Remember how my inspiration for the party was the photo stamps that I won't end up using since they're being passed out at school? Remember how my inspiration for the invites was the itty bitty envelopes? Yeah, well those envelopes cost $8. Now that it is all said and done...I have spent a ridiculous amount of money on invites for a pre-k playdate. I am such a freak.

Then my mom and I got brave (my mom is a total adventurer, always talking me into nutty stuff) and decided to take the kids to a matinee. Know what movie will NOT be receiving an Academy Award this year?

Alvin & the Chipmunks.

I didn't think it would be the next Pulp Fiction or anything. But you're talking to someone who will happily watch Hoodwinked or Chicken Little 400 times. I do kid's movies. I LMAO at Shrek, that fat, ugly bastard. This was just queer. Big Kid loved it though and was fascinated to hear that mommy and daddy both used to watch Alvin & the Chipmunks and that I remember Catfish and I singing to their Christmas song as kids. She had the record.

What was truly fascinating is that little kid was awake for half of the movie and he behaved. I'm dead serious, he sat there quietly. Didn't try to escape, hurt himself or others, torture me, screech, nada. It really seemed like he was watching it. That was really nice because I was REALLY tired today and not in the mood for a bunch of b.s.

So that was my day.

I feel kind of weird posting it for some reason. All of a sudden, there are a lot of you here from the Bloggies. It's kind of like everyone's standing around staring at me, wondering what I'll say next...and all my normal boring life stuff doesn't seem as funny, although I know for some reason it usually amuses you all. That time I got poop thrown at me got a huDge reaction. Bitches.

It's like sweeps week or something. I need some sort of hook or angle to work. You know, like how I sent Big Kid to the Temple school for the material I knew it would bring us. Did I tell you all about the time I almost adopted that 4 year old? I didn't want to get you all excited, and of course there was more to it than just entertaining you all, but it would've made for quite the storyline. We can always use more characters and interesting situations.

I'll think on it. Maybe I could be a foster parent until the 31st? That's when the contest ends, you are voting right? RIGHT?

Oooooh, I could pick up a drug habit and go on a wild and crazy binge. Just for you all. In the name of entertainment. That sounds like more fun.

I don't know, I'm just throwing stuff out there. Let's continue to think on it. Nothing that would suck like getting pregnant and having morning sickness and then a kid to deal with. Or Photowow. Or Master Cleanse. Good God, none of those things. I love you all...but not that much.


I love using a curse word in a title.

I woke up thinking...oh no, just 5 hours ago I was blogging. Really tired and sort of buzzed. How bad is it?

Luckily, not so bad even though the formatting is whack. Oh well, you got part one.

Really, we're quite lucky I didn't say anything WILDLY inappropriate yesterday because it was that kind of day.

Now I've got to take Big Kid to the dentist so I can't even lie on the couch in a semi-coma all day. My mom is bored today and pretty much insisted on going with us (because she would be under foot at home, they are won't be under foot at the dentist?) and I really wish she would just pick him up and take him herself.

Both of them.

For a week.

Ha ha ha.

A girl can dream.

I'll be back later...feel free to pass the time by voting!

Nothin' Standard About it: Part One

So yeah, Catfish had a bachelorette party. She did this before the wedding, as is the tradition, but I just haven't gotten around to telling you the whole tale yet. So this all happened in November but we're going to pretend that it is current and still relevant. I have warned you that it takes me about three months to accomplish things, so I'm still within the acceptable time frame. We're going to jump right in...

I wasn't supposed to head over to Miami until Saturday, but Catfish wanted me to come Friday and I wanted to go (read: escape) Friday and I told Mr. Ashley that poor Catfish really, really needed me there and as Matron of Honor it was pretty much my duty to do whatever she said, and he agreed that I should go.

So I went. My parents insisted I take their car because my dad had gotten it tuned up and cleaned out earlier in the day and they would feel safer if I took it. A vacation from the mom-mobile combined with a vacation from mom-ness in general was an exciting prospect, so I took them up on it. It's a good thing I did since I got discombobulated upon arriving in Miami and suddenly found myself in the Sun Pass toll lane with no Sun Pass. I paused for a moment, blinded by lights and paralyzed with the fear of doing something wrong, briefly considered backing up and then looked around desperately for somewhere to stick the $1.00 in toll money (that my dad made sure I had in the center console) while people honked at me.

This is a good time to mention that people in Miami are mean. I know I'll at least get one comment from someone in Miami saying "We're not all mean, blah blah blah" but in general, your whole coast can be tough to be around. There, I've said it. I thought it in Ikea too. You are an aggressive community. Some of you are probably nice, but I am a small town girl, I don't like your gum chomping and loudness and your pushy-ness. It's nothing personal, really.

So I drove on through the toll and later called my parents to tell them that they may or may not be getting a photo of their car going through a Miami toll booth, and that there may or may not be a $100 fine attached to said photo, but if they should receive something like that in the mail that it was not me. I also got yelled at by Mr. Ashley. He'll say he wasn't yelling, but he was. I think $100 is a little steep. It's not like I blew through it at 80 mph to save myself a dollar. Bastards.

Anyway, I soon arrived on South Beach and found myself at Catfish's super cute condo with a glass of wine from her recent trip to Sonoma sitting on the glass table beside me and no fear of little hands smashing both to the bamboo floor below.

There were books on the bookcase...that stayed there the whole time.

There was a vase with some grass stuff...never got knocked over.

She had glass coasters on her glass tables...can you even imagine?

I asked her if she even realized how lucky she had it and she said that she did know. That sometimes Mr. Catfish will be laying on the couch eating a bowl of cereal and she'll be in the kitchen ironing her cloth napkins (I'm dead fucking serious) and he'll look up and say, "Honey...I'm so glad we don't have kids." and she'll say, "Yeah, I know. That would suck."

So at least they know what they've got. Kids are great, but you can have some later. There is something divine about not having to share all of your food and keep your beverages up on the kitchen island.

Catfish and I stayed up most of the night, talking about wedding plans, stuff in life that sucked, the realities of marriage and children and how great it would be and how hard it would be and how much fun it all was. It was so nice just to have some girl talk.

At butt o'dark the next morning (I think it was 8am), her coffee grinder starts grinding beans for her coffee (yeah, I'm serious). I hollered a "Holy shit that thing is loud" and heard a groggy "good morning" from her bedroom area, followed by the sound of a text message coming through. She pads into the living room and settles into the oversized couch I'm snuggled up on.

We proceeded to read some of the funniest text message drama I have ever encountered, me being old and out of the loop with the text message world. The whole bachelorette party was "planned" via email. At the last minute, the Maid of Honor (yes, Catfish had a maid and a matron, she can do whatever she wants) got an opportunity for us all to go out on an amazing yacht. Honestly, I was a little bummed at first that this would mean no full day at the spa, but I was curious about the boat. We were given several days notice that this change was happening, but somehow someone didn't realize until the day of (I guess, who knows).

She is a notorious drama queen and was about 6 weeks pregnant with her first, and already feeling her ligaments stretching (insert huDge eye roll here). So she text messages the MOH and tells her that she needs more notice for a change of plans, that she can't be changing plans at the last minute and going out on boats in her condition.


Before anyone pities her...we're talking about a 70 foot yacht. Also, she could have still gone to the spa, we were going to be there until 1pm. Instead, her and the MOH (who don't even know each other) volley a series of snotty text messages back and forth, keeping poor Catfish updated the entire time. Although annoying, it was funny as shit and we got a TON of mileage out of the "not in my condition" joke.

So Catfish and I roll our eyes and drink our coffee and eat our breakfast and talk and talk and talk and then realize we could be talking at the spa!! So we jumped in her VW Beetle and off we went.

This company that owns The Standard buys landmark type properties and tries to keep them as they were, while imposing a few funky changes (dont quote me on that, this was 3 months ago). See The Standard sign upside down under the Lido Hotel sign?
We signed in and they gave us our locker keys on little bracelets and black Havaiianas (to keep, you know my cheap ass loved that) and we began our Standard Spa Experience....

We went down a long, weird hallway that reminded us of our drug influenced South Beach days and walked into a round marble room. I believe it was called the Hamam (feel free to look up the spelling yourself). There were 4 stainless steel bathtubs on one side, a marble island in the center and marble steps around the edges, with niches carved out of the smooth marble walls. Even the ceiling was marble.
We hung up our robes and kicked off our flops and laid our towels down on the marble, face to face, and laid down on it's heated surface. The heaters underneath the marble made the floors hum a little, so your whole body was warm and vibrating. You weren't supposed to talk (a rule Catfish and I have struggled with since Kindergarten...we did no better here) so it had the solemn, peaceful silence of a library or church.
It was HEAVEN to lie there quietly, meditating and able to appreciate life. I highly recommend it.
We got bored soon enough and crept down to the steam room. It was so thick with steam that we couldn't even tell if we were alone or not and we giggled nervously as our voices bounced off of the tile. Once again, HEAVEN.
Knowing that it was almost time for our treatments, we went back to the hamam and laid there softly chattering, giggling and shushing each other.
And then...and then...Willa came and got me.
Now I know, every now and again, I tend to sound a little lesbo-ish. I do have a lot of girl crushes. But Willa....Willa I would marry. Willa is The One.

First of all, she was really pretty. Second and most important, I have NEVER had a better massage in my life. I've had some massages too.
She covered my whole back with a steaming towel and massaged me through that before expertly rolling it down my spine which made my vertebrae pop. She played with my hair, taking my ponytail out and gathering all of the curls up in her hands and combing her fingers through them, gently tugging.
Yeah, I know, it sounds totally gay. It was unbelievable. It wasn't even weird.
She massaged my ears and stroked my face and and rubbed my finger tips and toes. She knew exactly where the aches and pains were and how much pressure to apply and how long to hold it. She was an angel, I tell you. A real, live angel.

It was so nice to be pampered like that. Don't worry, I kept it appropriate. I only get weird when I'm around you all.
I guess while I was fantasizing about Willa, Catfish was being treated to a spread eagle yoga show in the hamam, by a guy wearing nothing but a small red speedo. I'm kind of sorry to have missed it, the expression on her face while retelling it was priceless. It would have made a great first hand account, but we're going to have to take her word on the obsceneness and awkwardness of it all.
Catfish was still being body wrapped and scrubbed and soaked in a fragrant tub when I had to leave my sweet, sweet Willa, so I explored the grounds and decided to enjoy the pool area.
The Standard is famous in Miami for it's scene around the pool and I see why. Super cool facilities and great people watching.

See that wall thing at the far end? That's another small pool and a waterfall cascades over that wall. You sit on a ledge right beneath it and it pounds on your shoulders and neck and makes you never ever want to leave. Never, ever.
You could buy mud and lather yourself up and sit in the sun to bake and then rinse off in these tubs:

The View:

Some kick ass chairs I relaxed in (without anyone in my lap or screaming for me to push them):

The Fire Pit (When you all make me rich and famous, I'm renting the whole place and taking you all...well everyone who can prove they commented and/or voted):

Pretty freaking awesome, huh? You know what else is pretty freaking awesome? The fact that I'm up at 3:35am, after making up 87 excuses I could use to get out of it, after having to restart my computer and re-upload 3 of the photos because of an unexpected power flicker (motherfucker), after having to screw around with formatting for 20 minutes, after being so tired I feel like a zombie and realize that I'm not funny this late at night and all I can really do is post photos...

You owe me. If you don't vote after this, you're officially a bad person. Sorry, but you are.

I'll get part 2 to you soon, but after the mess that this became, I'm not making any promises.

(Edited to add: The formatting is STILL wonky. Crap on a stick. You're just going to have to deal with it people.)


and while we're talking about how evil I am, I feel the need to confess that I am no longer Bento-ing. Someone commented a while ago and wanted tips on it.

I'm pretty sure I confessed when I started that it would probably last no longer than a month. That is my general time frame for an obsession, before it putters out into obscurity.

Sure enough, Big Kid had to tell The Jews that he was still hungry after lunch. Totally embarrassing. I can't be bothered to Bento even more food, besides, it doesn't even all fit in the box, so it isn't officially Bento anymore.

He can just eat a regular sandwich. Like the kids whose moms don't love them.

(I still haven't written that post, it is 2:08am!! See why I don't make promises??)

Come On People, I'm Not THAT Bad...

Okay, we're going to keep the bad day stuff to a minimum because really, in the grand scheme of things, none of it is a big deal.

However, we do need to address the dead baby thing because I can't be accused of that sort of evilness, especially since it could affect voters. It is reminiscent of the whole anti-Semitic thing I got a while ago because of The Jews (my son goes to a Temple pre-k, for the newcomers). Would you believe that chick and I are good friends now? These things can be worked out.

Here is what was said:

I'll start this off by saying I'm not a troll, but I have only been coming to this board for about a month. And it is very hard to offend me about most subjects. I would've voted for you (I read all the posts that come up on the 1st page), but your "dead babies" comments really bugged me, seemed very insensitve, especially since I'm a momma of a stillborn angel boy. I understand everyone has a right to feel the way they feel, and I'm not even saying you should feel compelled to volunteer, or charge for, your time to be a photographer that does provide such a loving, wonderful service to grieving parents. What I am saying it that they had every right to make that be a segmant of the seminar and not just a booth.

Off my soapbox now (as you can tell, stillbirth is a subject extrememly close to my heart),

And here was my response, copied and pasted straight from Babycenter because I just don't have the energy to summarize or provide you with new opinions on this matter and I think this sums it up nicely:

Still birth is very close to my heart too, since one of my bestfriends who was due the same month I was gave birth to a stillborn baby. I know how deeply her experience has affected her and our group of friends donates to the March of Dimes in his memory, remembers his birthday, will forever have his name in our hearts, and have watched and tried to help through the grieving and healing (if there is such a thing) process.

My point was that as a mother and a woman and a person who was there for a photography lesson, I should have been specifically warned about what kind of photos I was about to see. I am very sensitive. Those images are etched into my mind forever and my heart is SERIOUSLY, SERIOUSLY broken for the parents. I can honestly say they were the most powerful images I have seen in my entire life and I know that they are priceless images and will be an enormous part of those poor parents' grieving process.

I don't watch the news. I don't click on the links of news stories around here that obviously result in something bad happening to a child. I don't expose myself to any more devastation than absolutely necessary. It is very selfish of me, and I WISH WISH WISH I could be the photographer giving those parents that priceless memory, but it would be at the sake of my own sanity. I'm even seriously considering, and even looking into, volunteering to do it for families of terminal children...really just trying to figure out if I'm even a big enough person for THAT.

My point is, I would have left the room if I had known what they were about to show. Not even that they shouldn't have shown it, just that viewing should have been optional (and I stand by the fact that it was awkward placement of the segment, at the end of a seminar on lighting)

It's okay to be offended. I do just want to clarify that my whole schtick is being inappropriate. It gets me in trouble but it also gets me attention. It also kind of helps lighten my load, know what I mean? I sort of HAD to tell someone about what I saw and how it made me feel, but decided in the context of my blog that it would be better to shock than sadden. It's okay if it's not your style, I just want to make it clear that I'm not running around making dead baby jokes or anything. It's hard to even type the phrase.

All righty then? This is awfully deep stuff for a place that talks so much about poop. Are we all clear on the fact that I'm not evil?

I just wished I hadn't seen it, that's all. For my own peace of mind.

Going to go write about my wild weekend of debauchery for you guys now, only because I promised.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Did You Vote?

Just Checking

Best New Blog


I'm so pleased with you all for getting me nominated that I'm going to publish the first part of the Bachelorette party post tonight. Finally. Like I've been promising.

At some point soon, you will all actually SEE the bald beaver with your own eyes. Damn right I got pictures.



I am in the running for best new blog!! Please help me win, pretty, pretty please. It's pretty awesome just to be nominated...but if you all really loved me, I would win.

You *may* have to register, not sure, but I promise this is easy. (Edit to add: you don't have to register, just give them your email and later click on a link from that email address, totally, totally doable) I am worth it. My category is down near the bottom on the left.

Now let's remember, those of you who are thinking you will do it later, that I think about you all every day and that I have had a VERY prolific month and have done a great job at keeping you all entertained. Let's also remember our ongoing issue with the comments. I will also mention here that I am NOT impressed with the voting effort going on for the contest with the shiny buttons in my sidebar (that's a different contest that ends at the end of the year). Not at all. I plan on beginning to bitch at you all about that just as soon as we finish up with this.

You have until January 31st. Get to it!! Don't make me find a job that actually pays something!!

Don't worry, I will remind you every day!

Fatty Fatty Two By Four

Heidi Louise has discovered that she can no longer squeeze through the deck railings. If she had seen herself in a mirror lately, I doubt this would have come as such a surprise. Her belly is practically dragging on the ground. Her little stick legs can barely support her body. She looks like an engorged tick, with her teeny tiny head and her teeny tiny legs protruding from her swollen, round torso.

So I heard a bunch of banging around out there, and since little kid is in his room protesting his first nap of the day I knew it wasn't him, and I found her hanging there, half on the deck, half off, back legs scurrying away, head jerking around this way and that, grunting and obviously in a panic. So I go over and give her fat ass a few gentle tugs...and nothing. She was seriously wedged in there.

Now I'm starting to panic. Mr. Ashley wasn't home and this sort of thing is not usually my department. What will I do if I can't get her out? Is it even possible to oil up a weiner dog? (Have I mentioned that she's a one eyed weiner dog? Because that makes it even funnier.) What would one use to lube up a one eyed weiner dog? (Insert Too Timid ad here, go buy stuff, I need the money)

I would have to cut the deck railing I guessed. Do we even have a saw? We have a chainsaw. So, so much could go wrong there though, besides, I'm afraid of chainsaws and I don't even know if I could start it. Maybe I would have to kick the railing out? I did take kick boxing (twice) when I lived in the Keys. That plan actually sounded very dramatic and fun, but I knew if I kicked out the rail that little kid's prison would be breached and I'd be unable to contain him out there, and with Mr. Ashley's 10 year turn around time on projects, I'd be doing his whole toddlerhood with no confinement. That wasn't happening.

Having run out of options, I tried squeezing her front legs together and sliding her backwards. Not budging. Finally, in a moment of panic, I squished her fat belly as hard as I could and jerked hard...with a grunt and a pop she was free...and ran right over to little kid's table in search of abandoned snacks.


Big Kid: Mudder, do you know who Mahtin Luthuh King is?

Ashley: Um, you?

Big Kid: Yeah, he was a man who had a dweam. He had a dweam dat all da peoples would be fwiends, eben if dey had diffewent cowor skins and dere hair is diffewent and dey go to diffewent chuwches and stuffs, dat evewybody should be fwiends no matter what. Dis was a lot of earliers ago, but dat was his dweam.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Boring Random Stuff

So the bee guy (not the same guy as before, this one is clearly lazy) told us to walk around our property and listen to every tree for bees. Um, we have almost three acres!! We have a ton of trees! Mr. Ashley is allergic to bees. We called YOU so YOU (THE BEE GUY) could come and find them. We didn't know we had bees when we had 70,000 bees not far from the back door, we're not the people to be trusted with the job!

I have a looooooooong overdue eye appointment at 4 that I'm nervous about. She's nice but I don't want to answer all of the questions about how often I take out my contacts and whatnot. Also, last time I saw her (2+ years ago) she said that my blood vessels were growing over my cornea and that if it continued my corneas would have to be scraped. Yeah....I don't think so. Corneas and Scraped don't even go in the same sentence. No thank you. I'll just go blind, people will expect less of me that way.

Nothing else to report yet today. Oh! We're out of milk and I didn't notice until AFTER I made my morning coffee. Have no fear, I found a little thing of McD's milk that said it expired on January 1st but it still tasted fine. It was either that or sour cream. I was NOT going without coffee this morning. No way, no how.

America's Future

Every time I see this video, I LMAO. I just came across it again and decided to share.

I'm a little concerned with how she pulls up her shirt at the end...think mommy's a stripper?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Bee Gone

I think it was about two years ago that the boys' Godfather offered to come out to our property and clear our acreage with a bush hog. We were so super grateful because we live in a very lush environment and stuff is just constantly growing and it is just too much to battle.

He spent about half a day out there, working his ass off in the summer heat. This is typical of him, since he is the nicest guy I know. All of a sudden, I look outside and see him leaping from the bush hog, waving his arms around and screaming. I stood there confused while he jumped in the baby pool and splashed around and jumped up again hollering. I poked my head out the door to see him hauling ass across my yard screaming "BEEEEEEEEEES. OH MY GOD, BEEEEEEEEES".

Then I saw them.

It was like in a cartoon, where you literally see a cloud chasing someone. I screamed for him to come in the house, quick, and he ran in and I slammed the door behind him, while he rolled around on my floor and slapped at himself. I screamed at Big Kid to run in his room and shut the door and began slapping the bees off of his Uncle Sam. He hesitated, confused and overwhelmed by the situation, but obeyed when I looked up and saw him and started screaming again.

I told Sam to run into the bathroom and take off his clothes, since bees were still fluttering around inside of his shirt and shorts and to stay in there while I tried to kill the few straggling bees that were in the house. By this time, our screaming had attracted the attention of Mr. Ashley and he killed bees in the house while I looked outside and saw our yard encompassed by a tornado of bees. Every window I looked out of, bees were flying by.

Sam came out of the bathroom wrapped in a towel and said he had counted 30 stings. I told him I thought we should call 911 but he insisted that we didn't and his wife would come get him and take him to the ER.

I opened the phone book and looked in the yellow pages under "bee" because I didn't know what else to do and it wasn't safe to go outside and luckily, there were listings under that random sounding category.

The bee guy came right out and sprayed this stuff and vacuumed all of he bees up. He was going to take them and make them make honey, I guess. Then he found the hive, which was pretty much the entire interior of a rotten cypress tree that Sam had knocked over with the bush hog. He estimated that we had 70,000 bees in our yard!! SEVENTY THOUSAND BEES IN MY YARD. The tree was just a few feet from the boys' swingset.

Sam turned gray and fainted on the way to the hospital, but they gave him some sort of shot and said he needed to avoid bees from here on out and he was otherwise fine. I truly believe he may have saved one of my boys' lives, because if one of them had stumbled upon it, things wouldn't have turned out so well.

The reason I'm telling you this today is because this morning we were playing on the back deck. We caught a snail and made a habitat (read: a prison) for it. Big Kid named it Darryl Dean. I thought he meant Geraldine, but he insists it is Darryl Dean. He also warned little kid NOT to eat it, or he would be in big trouble.

Anyway, while we were out there I noticed 6 or 7 bees gathered around the sand and water table. It looks like we'll be calling the bee guy again. The worst news of all...little kid can't go out on the deck until the situation has been investigated. It could take days. I've been using that as his personal, oversized playpen and now I'm trapped inside with him.

Send bee free thoughts my way and let's hope the bee guy can get out here soon.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Sort of Funny, Slightly Sad, Kind of Weird, Really Long Post

It's always interesting to read drunk posts the next day. Not that last night's entry is so bad, but you can smell the alcohol on my breath in that post. Is unorganized even a word? Should it be disorganized? I don't know, I do SAY unorganized, but I'm not as technical about my talking. I think I saw some other errors too, but we're going to leave it be. Sometimes, in spite of the perfectionist in me, we have errors around here and if you catch them, don't think you're smarter than me or think that I don't notice or know about them. I might. Sometimes I'm just lazy and sometimes I like the way I say things better. Now that we've got that settled...

I had a great time this weekend! Ikea was fucking awesome, I'm still in Ikea shock. I want to go back but I'm almost kind of scared to go back? It was total shopping sensory overload. The Swedes do shit right, don't they? For cheap too. It is unfortunate it all has to be put together because Mr. Ashley's turn around time is even worse than mine. Waaaaaay worse. Basically, if I want Big Kid to have a loft bed when he's a teenager, I'd better buy it and start nagging now.

My mom and I had a great time. It was fun to get away together. As my parents get older, they seem to be getting quirkier. They are definitely those wacky people that think their dogs are kids. They feed them this crazy, refrigerated raw diet, let them get away with destroying the house and call each other with updates on what "the boys" are doing every 15 minutes or so. I'm not even kidding, in a regular afternoon outing with my mom, my dad will call 10 times and at least 9 of those times is an update on the dogs. INSANE.

Well now they have a GPS that they have named Matilda. It is pretty cool, I will give them that, however, it isn't part of the family. There is no need to call to ask how it is doing or to call home to give a Matilda update and ask how the boys are doing. She's an electronic, she is doing fine, and the boys are dogs, they are doing fine, probably licking their butts or peeing on your carpet. Also, she can't hear you. There's no need to respond to her, admonish her, question her or thank her.

This was particularly annoying:

Ashley: So there is this couple...
Ashley: ...that own this photogra...
Matilda: BEAR RIGHT.
Ashley: Is it done? Can I talk now??
Mom: Go ahead, she's done.
Ashley: So this married couple own the stu...
Ashley: Damn!...anyway they...
Ashley: Oh my god, just forget it. Nevermind.
Mom: No, go now. Now she's done, go ahead.
Ashley: Are you sure?
Mom: Yes, I'm sure.
Ashley: They own the studio and he does the...
Ashley: CAN'T YOU SHUT THIS FUCKING THING UP?? Seriously!! This is ridiculous!! I'm turning it down, I'm not listening to it anymore.
Mom: Don't you talk like that Ashley. We don't talk like that to Matilda. Don't touch her either.
Ashley: I should not have to compete with a...

So, that got old fast. Otherwise we had fun.

The seminar was good, not great, but good. I'm glad I went. The first three segments had me super motivated and excited and inspired. Then we came to the last segment. Ugh. It's a super delicate situation and it is sad, which I don't want to expose you all to.

There is a non-profit organization of photographers who do pro bono work for parents of babies who won't be leaving the hospital. They showed a lot of the photos and a video of one of the stories and how the organization came to be and it is GREAT that these people are doing this for grieving parents. Wonderful. I wish I was the sort of person who could, but I am way too sensitive for that. However, personally I think this subject matter should have contained more of a warning or should have been more optional to view, like maybe it could have had a booth at the trade show and interested photographers could pick up info.

It made me super sad and now I can't stop thinking about it. :-(

So, now that I've made you all sad, what's left to talk about? It makes for an awkward segue, huh?

Tomorrow I have a photo shoot at the ungodly hour of 9:30am with kids that I know are brats and one of them isn't that cute. The Jews are taking MLK day off (they sure do take the full gamut of holidays, don't they?), so Big Kid doesn't have school and he wants to go to the library. I guess he is not aware of the fact that I am a wanted woman at the library and there is a chance I will be arrested upon entry. We have a battle that has been going on for years.

When I was pregnant with Big Kid, I had borrowed a book. My mom returned it for me while I was in the hospital. A month or so later I go to check out a book and they said I owed them money because the book had been damaged. I told them I knew for a fact that the book was not damaged, I had really liked the book and remember exactly (it was a breastfeeding book called "So that's what those are for" or something like that, very helpful and funny) and I know my mom did not damage the book. They insisted that their notes said it looked wet. I asked to see the book and they said they no longer had the book. I told them I did not damage the book and therefore would not be paying for the book and they told me I would not be checking out more books until I did. Carmen told me that, I still remember that ho's name.

So I boycotted them for years. They lost a ton of revenue from the late fees they lost over that period of time. Finally, when I was pregnant with little kid I decided to forgive them and DONATE the cost of the book to their fine establishment. With the word DONATION on the memo line. But when I got there they said that they had no record of me and maybe my account had been deleted for some reason. I figured maybe they had boycotted me just like I had boycotted them but I didn't say anything, and let her sign me up again and get me a new card.

Turns out there was some confusion with my last name (I did the maiden name as middle name thing, confuses everyone) and that record WAS still there and one day when I went in without my card, they looked up my name and saw both records and that money was owed for damaged books on one account. I explained myself and I know she thought I was up to something sneaky but she dropped it and I'm glad she did because no way was I paying for it after all this time, when I had never damaged it in the first place.

So although they were suspicious of me, we were pretty much on good terms again, with me increasing their revenues and them tolerating Big Kid's loud public tantrum phase and calling/emailing late fee notices often.

and then came little kid.

Wouldn't you know, little kid decides to go and rip up one of their books and Big Kid "loses" one right around the same time. I say "loses" because conveniently enough, it was the book he checked out every time he went, a lift the flap Little Einstein book, and the last time he got it one of the flaps had been ripped, which totally infuriated him. Then he "lost" it, but found it several months later.

So I had to reply to one of their threatening emails and admit that one book had been damaged and the other was missing and they replied that I owed them $20. I know I owe it to them, but it definitely makes me in no hurry to get to the library. I can BUY a book for $20. I'm sick of them and their late fees anyway. Screw them. We're not going to the library tomorrow.

I really had no intention of sharing my history with the library with you all tonight, but it does feel good to get it out. I am not a bad person. Really, I'm not.

Edited to add: I forgot to tell you all that I had a fucking gum chewer behind me the entire seminar. Slurping and sucking and smacking and making loud, squirty, squishy noises.

After an hour of it, I seriously thought about turning around and punching him in the face. Total sneak attack, hopefully knock his teeth out so he can never chew gum again.

My second idea was to turn around and hold my hand out like your mom would, kind of make the "give it to me" motion with my hand.

In a real moment of desperation, I thought about just asking him nicely to spit it out.

I settled for turning around twice to give him dirty looks, but I don't think he cared. It definitely didn't slow down his disgusting chomping.

Don't make me hear your mouth noises, people. Come on. If one person reads this and spits out their gum before a meeting, I've done my duty for the day. Thank you for your cooperation.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Class Action

That is it! I'm calling an attorney and starting a class action suit for all of the unorganized people in the South East.

Hellooooo.....we haven't had Ikea!! Clearly I wouldn't be so unorganized had I been raised with an Ikea in close proximity!

Holy shit people. I should be giving you the silent treatment for not telling me to get in to my car and drive straight to the nearest state that has one. It was like Disney World, only better!!

Man oh man.

So I'm in Boca Raton. Me and my tired feet. I have had two Gin and Sprites and two Black & Tans (read: a little tipsy) and now I'm sitting in this business center talking to you all. Can you say A-D-D-I-C-T?

Dork and a half. That's me.

If you see me tomorrow, I have most likely crept away from my photography seminar in order to be here with you all and that would not be right. To discourage such behavior, I'm going to ask you to completely ignore me, no comments AT ALL, if I post again before 8pm or so on Sunday.

P.S. I have noticed that my blog doesn't display the same on this monitor that is not a widescreen. If my page doesn't display correctly for you all, please go out and get yourself a widescreen monitor. Anything else is just lame.