Thursday, December 31, 2009
War on Peace
Not so much for your sake, but because my poor little brain may just explode if I begin worrying about the whole world's problems.
But about this Christmas Day bombing attempt...
So I've been standing barefoot on cold, dirty linoleum, shuffling strollers, bags, laptops and babies in arms, measuring liquids into 3 oz bottles before securely ziplocing them into a TSA-approved baggie, waiting around for hours before flights and getting questioned like a terrorist at every checkpoint...but some Nigerian who was on watch lists, whose father warned us he was crazy, who paid cash for his ticket, didn't check bags, had his Visa denied in UK and studied in Yemen...he goes right through? Wearing women's underwear stuffed with explosives?
After a decade, 2 wars, trillions of dollars, tens of thousands of lives lost, Americans terrorized (by the TSA, not the terrorists) here at home--THIS IS WHERE WE ARE AT WITH THE WAR ON TERROR?
I'm starting to think we are our own terror. We are going to get ourselves killed through our own rampant stupidity and misplaced priorities. Our own people are literally going hungry and dying and we're chasing this rag-tag group of idiots around the world (and we apparently suck at it) wasting more money we don't have while barely bothering to protect those here at home?
And you know, flying is bad enough. What used to be somewhat of a luxurious treat is now akin to riding a Greyhound bus. I don't want to go through a full body scanner that will show me naked. I don't want to remain seated with no entertainment for an hour before landing. The thought that flying is most likely going to get even worse, as a result of our own inability to manage the rules put in place after the last attack attempt, is truly unbearable. I see road trips in my future.
Anyway, I think it is safe to say that the war on terror is going just about as well as the war on drugs.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
I pointed out that it was starting to look a little suspicious--two sets of work friends and bosses dying of freak accidents shortly after he began working there. He agreed and sincerely seems to hope that these people can quit making bad choices.
He liked that job too--he was putting dinosaurs and old cars together for a museum. Now he's working in his brother's art museum. I have told him there will be hell to pay if his newest boss has any freak accidents and dies and that if he wants a new job, he should just give Big Kid his letter of resignation instead of staging any polar bear attacks or poison frog ingestion.
Yesterday little kid was running around searching for his cowboy boots before we left to go on a boat ride.
"Wear your Crocs, it doesn't make sense to wear boots on the boat!" I reminded him.
"I needa wear my wook boots! 'at's what I wear, my wook boots. Not Cwocs!"
"No, wear the Crocs. You're going on the boat so boots don't make sense."
"I want my boots, mumum! My wook boots, I needs 'em!!"
"Fine. Get me in twouble, mumum. My boss is gonna be bishin when I show up in Cwocs and not wook boots."
"What did you just say? Your boss is going to be...?"
"Bishin if I don't wear wook boots."
"BISHIN. MY BOSS WILL BE BISHIN' AT ME IF I DON'T WEAR BOOTS."
"Um...that's a bad word. I'm pretty sure you're saying a bad word and that's bad. Do you mean 'complaining'? Like your boss will be mad?"
"Yep, he gonna be bishin' at me 'cuz of dis. 'at's what I'm sayin' to you."
Awesome. My 3-year-old now uses "to bitch" as a verb. We can probably thank Mr. Ashley for all of the talk about bosses bishing.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
On Christmas Eve I was ready to do a whole feel-good "it's such an exciting time of the year to be a mom"-type post, but now that I'm dealing with the aftermath of putting together 20 tons of stuff, 90000 new pieces and sounds, and the complete disaster that was my sparkling house just 3 days ago, I'm not so sure "exciting" is the word for it.
We had a great Christmas though. The last few days have gone by in a blur of Mario. Big Kid got a Nintendo DSi for Christmas, much to his surprise. When he opened it, he re-checked the tag and said, "This is from you guys? You bought it wif your work money? It's like $132, maybe more! I can't believe you did it!" He sat there in disbelief as we explained that we wanted him to have it, and finally, that I got an awesome deal on it. I keep threatening to ground him and take it...I really want my own.
We also got Super Mario Bros for the Wii and I love it. I have played for hours and have lost all feeling in the tip of one of my thumbs. Oh well. I feel like a kid again. I remember when Catfish and I would stay up all night and try to beat the various Mario games through the years. It's a nice distraction.
Mr. Ashley has the next week off and the extra help parenting and time together is all the gift I need. Plus it will be nice to have someone around to watch the kids while I defeat Bowser.
I hope you all had a Merry Christmas. I'll be around this week, but don't expect too much (which is a pretty good premise to operate under regardless.)
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
I'm not necessarily proud of that, but I won't apologize for it. This show is AMAZING--the cast is completely absurd and the whole thing was a total train wreck from the get-go. I had no idea this little sub-culture of guidos and guidettes (they call themselves that...) existed. It's like watching an anthropology study in progress.
They all dress terribly, have awful hair, 99% of them have ugly faces, horrible accents, no class, seem completely vapid but they all think they are THE SHIT. In a good way. It's fascinating and oh so funny. Also, these are people in their early to late 20s. It is so weird!
For those who watch the show, I am crazy about "The Situation". I know it's perplexing, he's a total pig but I love him. This gets some eye rolling from Mr. Ashley and I get that. I just think he's hysterical to watch. He'd need a paper bag over his head and a gag in his mouth before I'd call him attractive, but he is my favorite character, for sure.
Just thought I should confess and encourage anyone holding out on principle to go ahead and watch. It's so bad it's good.
Monday, December 21, 2009
The Naughty List
The other day we were watching Polar Express and it was the scene where the elf is reviewing the footage of a little boy saying something like "I didn't do it!" on a row of televisions.
"Uh, what's he doin'?" little kid asked, looking nervous.
"Checking to see if kids are being naughty or nice. I bet he thinks that boy is telling a fib, so he's investigating to see if he needs to be put on the naughty list." I answered.
little kid instantly turned 2 shades paler and started studying his knee. "Oh. Din't know it was wike 'at," he said, chewing on his lip.
Yeah...I'm evil. Don't worry, it doesn't seem to have affected his behavior any. I felt bad, but only for a second.
Big Kid has him convinced that Santa brings you socks and undies if you are naughty and every once in a while, he'll say something like, "It's nice to get new socks and undies. Wight? 'at's still nice." But he says it sadly. Then other times he'll say, "I'm a good boy, wight? I snuggle you, I help you some."
I assure him that Santa knows that almost all 3 year olds are a little bit naughty. I remind him that he has a good heart and just needs to work on making better choices. I tell him if he's a good boy up until Christmas, he's a shoe-in for some toys.
"Yeah, I gotta good heart. I do. And I is still a baby."
And he will get toys...but he also might get one box full of socks and undies as a warning.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
I've got to say...I was nervous for him. I wasn't sure we were ready. I considered canceling (a lot).
But we practiced every night and decided to do it.
He was the first to play and as he walked in front up to the front of the room, he was as pale as his shirt and his little lips were pressed into a nervous little line.
But he did it! He played 4 variations of Twinkle Twinkle, did a great job and enjoyed the applause. He bowed at the end and was the epitome of adorable.
The other students were older and more experienced, and it was nice to talk to their parents. I get the feeling they're all a little more hardcore than we are about it--lots of talk about colleges (at 8 and 10 and 12). We figure he has his whole life to learn so if there's a night where practice doesn't seem feasible or he's just not on top of his game, oh well. If he bitches about practicing, I remind him that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to be good at something and ask if he wants to be good. Usually, he ends up deciding to practice.
His teacher and her boyfriend both play for the Philharmonic and the boyfriend mentioned that he had wanted to play basketball during high school but was told he couldn't do both. Yeah, it worked out well since he's professionally employed as a violinist and is insanely talented but I could tell he was still bummed he didn't get to try basketball. I don't want it to be like that--I want Big Kid to play violin because he wants to but I want him to get to try other things as well. He does one half an hour lesson a week right now and I may look into doing 45 minutes every 2 weeks in 2010 instead. I don't want him to think I chose this as his life path when he was 5, he's free to check out other activities.
The two teachers played some songs together and it was awesome; it totally had me teary-eyed. It was pretty cool to be enjoying a private concert by Philharmonic violinists in their living room. It is also cool that they are a couple and can make music like that together.
So, Big Kid did well and is pretty proud of himself. I've been jokingly calling him Maestro lately and he's requested that I go ahead and call him that full time from here on out. I was going to videotape it all for you but I ran out of batteries midway through (DOESN'T IT FIGURE?). Maybe he'll do a private performance for us.
Friday, December 18, 2009
That's right, the landlords that have begged us to stay for the very specific time frame of 3 years announced 3 weeks before Christmas that they are putting the house on the market. They assured me in their email that they wouldn't show the house on Christmas Eve or Day, so as not to inconvenience me and I assured them that they wouldn't be in all that week, thanks to their general bad timing and the virtual tour that we're agreeing to. So, I've been cleaning and going through the Ashley stages of grief: Hysterics, Self-pity, Anger, Action. We may be nearing acceptance soon, but there's no telling for sure.
So far the action plan has included:
A.) Deciding that if we ever win the lottery, we are buying the house up North that my landlords are renting just to torture them near Christmas time.
B.) Driving up and down every street in this and the neighboring subdivision and scouring Craigslist and MLS for rentals--and found 2. In all. Only 1 in my price range. I know I have a while to look but that had me back to stage one (hysterics).
C.) Tracking down the owner of the house 3 doors down, which is nearly identical to ours but has a pool. It was for rent right after we moved in for the same price, so I looked up the owner's address in public records and sent him a letter apologizing for being a semi-creepy weirdo but explaining my desire to stay in the area for years, hopefully in his house if his tenants moved out. He called Mr. Ashley asking if we were for real and they totally hit it off. The people living there signed a 6 month lease and are month to month now, are unmarried and wishy-washy according to him. So he was going to see what their plans were and call us back.
Soooooo, I need them to decide to move out. I think our best options are to get them to decide to purchase a house, to break them up, or to drive them from the area. I am sure the whole neighborhood wonders why I drive to the end of the cul-de-sac 2 to 3 times a day and stare in that direction while I get my mail, but I'm trying to come up with an action plan and hoping, wishing, praying that they decide to move. Because moving 3 doors down to a nearly identical house with a pool would be ideal.
I suggested that one of us have an affair with one of them to break them up but we keep arguing over who gets to. I also think poop bombing may be a good idea since it definitely had us rethinking the neighborhood when it happened to us. Or I need to convince them to buy this house and let us move into that one.
I'd still like to stay in this house. The realtor said he doubted it would sell quickly (we have until April regardless) and that he mostly dealt with investors who would be happy to buy the house with a nice family already in place--but the owner of the other house inherited it and his parents built it so he wants to keep it forever, but doesn't want to live there. And it has a pool (with an alarm to deter little kid.)
So we'll see what happens. My house has never been cleaner. I'm not happy about it.
(but may end up being happy if I get a pool.)
Thursday, December 17, 2009
UPS and MIA
I know I've been M.I.A. and I'm sorry (I always swear I won't apologize since this is a volunteer position, but I feel like we're friends and I should explain my absence.) I've been extremely busy cleaning my house top to bottom and stalking my neighbor 3 doors down. I'll be done with the house cleaning part soon, which will leave more time for stalking and entertaining you all.
Please review these 14 sites to make you smarter in the meantime. (Not that you're not smart now, that's not what I'm saying there.)
Monday, December 14, 2009
Fish and Polar Bears
"You want to get a new goldfish, just like Dorothy?" I asked.
"What about Bubbles?" he asked.
"Well, Bubbles could maybe move somewhere else or just, like maybe she..."
"NO! No, I love Bubbles."
"Okay, maybe we could just get some friends for Bubbles then."
"All right, but I still miss Dorofy."
So I dropped him off at school and went to Wal-mart to get a replacement Bubbles and some friends. One of them didn't even make it home and is in my freezer awaiting return. Bastards.
Anyway, I'm pretty sure I'm going to pull this off, as long as the replacement Bubbles makes it a while. If all goes according to plan, Bubbles will be around (in one form or another) at least another decade.
Speaking of unfortunate deaths, I guess little kid's imaginary work friends all died in an accident with a Polar Bear. "That's really, really sad," I said. "I don't like that, maybe they were just hurt and went to the hospital?"
"Nope, dey are all dead. All my wook fwiends died."
"Well, dey made bad toices and den dey died."
"So what happened?"
"Dey got ated by a Polar Bear."
"Wow. That's crazy."
"Yeah, but I wike wookin' alone. So it's okay. I miss my wook fwiends but I do wike wookin' alone."
"Yeah, me too. I know what you mean."
In the past, I've had jobs where I really wouldn't have minded at all if my coworkers were all eaten by Polar Bears. Working alone definitely has its advantages. It just seems odd that he makes up imaginary coworkers who are mean to him, beat him with grill brushes and die grisly deaths.
Friday, December 11, 2009
I was tired. I doubted it was fatal, I had already had enough of this day, and I just wanted to go to the bathroom in peace.
"HANDLE IT BETWEEN YOURSELVES," I yelled back. I heard him pause at the other side of the door and then heard the slap of his feet on the tile as he left the room. I heard:
"little kid, mom said for me to handle it, your biting, and I decided I'm gonna give you a time out."
I never thought it would work. A time out from me invokes screaming, begging, running through the house, promises of better behavior and usually a wrestling match. I thought Big Kid was probably about to get beat down.
"A time out? For how long?" little kid asked quietly.
"You know, I'm not gonna say a time. It's not gonna be 3 minutes like mom does. You go in dere and sit on your bed until you feel like bein' a good boy and knowin' not to bite people. 'Til you can be nice."
and little kid went to his room...and sat on his bed...for about 2 minutes, after which he stuck his head out and said, "Bubby? I can come out now?"
"Can you be nice now? You ready to be a good boy?"
"Yep. I sorry, bubby."
"Come on out. You're a good boy who makes bad toices, little kid."
It was so sweet--and although it should concern me that Big Kid may be a more capable parent than I am (at 6 years of age), I'm mostly glad I may be able to get him to take on some of my parenting responsibilities from time to time.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
New readers, Catfish and I have been friends since we were 3. We're the forever kind of friends who can get back together after lengthy separations and feel like we're picking up an old conversation, no awkwardness or extra effort required.
She found out she was pregnant shortly after her dad passed away from cancer, and I feel very much like he sent her this baby boy--got up to heaven and got right down to work, because that's how he is. To say I'm happy for her would be a gigantic understatement. Thrilled, elated, ecstatic would be closer but I'm not sure there's a word for the level of gladness I feel.
So everyone think happy baby thoughts for the Catfish family today! She's a warrior woman who will make an amazing mom and her and her husband will definitely make a cute baby (and she looks freaking amazing pregnant, you'd want to hate her but she's too cute.)
(New readers should definitely read all the way back until they find Catfish's bachelorette party posts in February 2008. I'd link to it, but this is a rated G post and that one was not.)
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
I want to beat someone with that bag of browning, half-eaten, half-regurgitated apples. We JUST went to the grocery store. Maybe I need one of those inflatable bop bags that you can knock down as they pop again for situations like this. That may do a better job demonstrating to little kid how his daily shenanigans make me feel.
I did take some of the change from his pockets and told him he'd be buying me a new bag of apples, and he is furious about that and thinks I should use my own money. He has hordes of change lately, I'm not sure where he's getting it from, but I'm going to start taxing him for damage so I can get some of it back. I asked why he didn't just eat one apple and he says he was tasting them all to find the best one.
He's standing in front of the television right now, wearing a button up shirt inside out and upside down, munching on an apple (presumably the best tasting apple in the bag) and occasionally mentioning his plans to be good from here on out. This is a conversation we have about 48 times a day.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
No, I have not progressed from a bus-fearing parent to a "walk yourself home, 6-year-old" type of parent in a few short months. Today was an early release day and I had no idea. I can't even say I forgot--I flat out had no idea.
Big Kid didn't go to school yesterday because he was sick and I know they are out of school on Friday. It also wasn't on the school sign and there are never early release days on a Tuesday.
I about had a heart attack when I heard the door open just after noon and his voice say, "Anybody home?" My mind was racing--was there an emergency? Was he sick? Who brought him home and how?
But he was alone, his smiling face in our foyer. "It was early release day! I figured you forgot so I dest walked on home."
My adrenaline was pounding in my ears as I asked if he had crossed any roads (no), talked to anyone (no), what he would have done if someone offered him a ride (screamed NOOOOO and ran away as fast as he could) and finally, if he was scared.
"Not at all," he answered,"I was happy. I picked you some flowers. I been tellin' you I can walk home alone." He offered me a crumpled handful of flower heads.
He has been telling me that he could walk himself, but I've been telling him no way. All of the "what ifs" of his adventure today scare me, but I am proud of him and a little bit glad he got to do it and prove he could do it. That being said, he's not doing it again until college.
We took advantage of our surprise extra time together by getting him a hair cut. He's still shaggy but looks good and was cracking me up as he regaled the stylist with his love for his favorite color, cerulean blue. He freaking loves him some cerulean blue. The stylist seemed amused but mostly confused.
Then, we went to the library. That's right--I've called a truce on my library war. And by calling a truce, I mean I paid them the money they claimed I owed them without protest. Mr. Ashley says this is the last time I get a library bail-out and that I need to make it work. I think I can this time, my new library branch doesn't appear to be managed by Satan's minions.
Monday, December 7, 2009
I'm 90% sure that he woke up in the middle of the night and stole an ice cream sandwich. Let's just say someone woke up in the middle of the night and left a trail of ice cream sandwich wrapper pieces from the fridge to the couch and he's my #1 suspect, especially since I caught him helping himself to another one after breakfast (and I made him throw that one in the garbage.)
He has broken one ceramic Santa Claus and my Christmas village has been infiltrated with army men. I've got green plastic men crawling on their bellies through the church yard and standing in the town square with rifles. There's a plastic cowboy straddling a ceramic cow.
The nativity scene has survived unscathed, but Big Kid is very perturbed about the Baby Jesus' lack of clothing. He thinks Mary could have asked around and come up with a onesie or something. I pointed out the swaddling cloths but he just shook his head in disapproval. He was also pretty skeptical about myrrh as a gift for a naked baby that didn't even have a real bed. Big Kid would've been the wise man that brought the baby Jesus some clothes.
Friday, December 4, 2009
An open letter to parents everywhere:
One of Big Kid's friends got an iPod for losing his first tooth. AN IPOD FOR LOSING HIS FIRST TOOTH. That is setting a dangerous precedent and seriously screws things up for those of us who give a dollar.
I read a forum recently where a parent transcribed a letter from her child to the tooth fairy asking why she got $5 and her friend got $100. $100? I refuse to believe it. This kid better be lying, or there had better been some drunken "it looked like $1 in the dark" type mistake that the parents are still LOLing about. I do know that at least 2 kids in Big Kid's class got $20 last year for losing their first tooth and I thought that was borderline crazy.
I say we try to keep it around $1--maybe an occasional $5 if we're stuck without change or there are special circumstances. I did a $2 bill the other day, but in fairness, I had no idea he was going to lose a tooth and it was the smallest bill around.
Anyway, if we collaborate on this it will make our stories more believable. What Tooth Fairy would pay $100 per tooth in this economy? Let's keep it within the realm of probability here. A Tooth Fairy dealing in iPods sounds downright shady to me.
Thank you for your support in this matter,
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
little kid: Aday? Now?
Ashley: Well, we just got a parking sticker and I can do the rest of my work later this afternoon.
little kid: And I have a day off! My wook fwiends not here and I not goin' a wook. So, we could definitely go to da beach aday, mumum.
Ashley: You have the day off? Nice! We're both free of work, I know where our bathing suits are and it is beautiful out. Sounds like a good beach day to me.
little kid: My pirate ship is in da twuck. My baving suit is in my dwawer, I'm gonna go put it on now.
And I'm going to go put mine on now and make this messy house disappear and avoid seeing Karate Kid again at the same time!
Thanks again to everyone who helped with the walkathon. Big Kid raised just over $100 total and he was elated. He kept talking about how his teacher would be able to get a few nice things now and how happy she would be to get some new stuff. He was really proud. He says he loves his school so much that sometimes he feels like crying when it is time to go home (and no, it's not because home is that bad).
I was going to go walk with him today, but once I suggested that little kid and I could sing "You're the best around, nothing's gonna ever keep you down" or "I would walk 500 miles and I would walk 500 more" while doing the Running Man beside him, he said he'd probably just walk with his friends. So, I guess I'll just go to the beach instead.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Zhu Zhu Pet and Karate Kid
And the Zhu Zhu pets hamster goes to....drumroll please...Marissa from Albany, NY (chosen by random number generating website)! Email me your mailing address and I'll have Mr. Ashley mail it since my post office anxiety is at an all time high in December. I think post offices should have drive-up windows. They could have a package lane and a letter lane and tellers like at the bank. I'd still hate it, but way less.
We put our Christmas tree up, which was a real adventure thanks to little kid's help. Despite us telling him not to, he's been using the tree as a forest for his army men and pirates. He's also taken the extra pieces of the Christmas train's railroad tracks to prop up as ladders so that his men can climb up to the tree that way. Yesterday I pulled a medium-sized fake Poinsettia berry from his nose. It was up there pretty far. He said he was just trying to smell it.
He recently reported that he was fired from his job. I guess his work friends called and told him not to come to work anymore. He got a new job though, mostly working on monster trucks, and he's been doing some part time medical work on work friends in the play room. He needs scissors for that though, which has been a real problem since he's not allowed to use scissors. So far he's had every day off from both jobs, but I've still heard lots about both.
He's also become obsessed with the movie Karate Kid. I saw it twice yesterday and once already today. He's going to be pissed when he finds out that Netflix wants it back. I've had this song stuck in my head for a week:
(the cute cat video that accompanies the song is an unrelated bonus)
I can also do a mean crane kick.
I shouldn't complain because it's much better than the Black Stallion television series obsession.
Big Kid Sponsors
So, if you want to be awesome and donate $1.00, you would make Big Kid very happy. I don't want to deal with the whole "per lap" thing, so I'll just make up a name for us (Frank A. Weiner?) and give it as one payment. To make it extra fun, Big Kid and I will send some fun mail (sorry--it's not a zhu zhu pet) to the first 20 awesome people who contribute. I need to turn the sheet in tomorrow morning, so any time up to midnight will work.
Not only would you be making Big Kid happy and making me look like a good parent, you'd also be helping his awesome organic-gardening, classical music-playing public school.
No worries if you don't have an extra dollar, I just figured I would ask on Big Kid's behalf. He did wrangle $15 worth of pledges out of our surprise out-of-town guests (that will show them!) and that's pretty good in my unmotivated opinion, but he would really like to get some more.
I'll be back with our hamster winner soon, I've got some work deadlines to meet!
Monday, November 30, 2009
In the Dark
I don't like Twilight.
I don't like it. I don't get it. I'm sick of hearing about it.
I'm also annoyed that I don't like it because people seem to have a lot of fun loving it all and I hate feeling left out, but I just don't understand.
I thought the book sucked (but I didn't read the whole thing--I couldn't) and the movie was awful (didn't make it through that either) and I'm just not that into underage guys who wear lipstick. Maybe this makes me old? There have been signs of that lately, I've totally got a "music these days" post brewing in me so stay tuned for that.
I know smart well-read women who like this shit too. I know some of you do. I even know MEN who like it. Men. With penises. Not gay ones. But I don't see the appeal. Give me Interview with a Vampire any day--Team Edward and Team Jacob can have each other.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Zhu Zhu Pets really are that Cute
I had been contacted about throwing a Zhu Zhu pets party back in June and was excited to do it in August for the boys' birthday, but due to repackaging and some other setbacks, I didn't receive the playset and hamsters until September. I didn't go all out party-wise as I had originally planned, but I did invite a few friends over and set up the playset and handed out the hamsters, and kids were freaking thrilled.
The only downsides I can warn you about is that the playset helps conserve batteries--if you let your rodents roam the house, you'll go through batteries really quickly. Secondly, warn your child not to put the pet on their head. Big Kid did this right away and had a hamster quickly entangled in his hair. This is particularly worrisome because he apparently thinks putting a real hamster in your hair would be appropriate hamster-owning behavior. I had to cut some hair to free his hamster, and no, he would not let me take a photo of him with a hamster dangling from his head.
As far as the play set, the running ball is really cute and fun to play with, as are the main parts of the play set and the little add-on car thing. The hamster goes into the garage, slides into the car and races across the room. I crack up every time I see it. We have Chunk and Num Num and they are beloved family members (who sometimes end up under the couch for a week or so at a time, without dying and stinking up the whole house.)
So yeah, searching around town and paying more than retail for these things is frustrating but they are seriously the correct parental answer to the "Can I have a small rodent?" question. They are adorable, they have a habitrail, each one interacts with you and the playset differently and they make really cute noises.
I have one extra one left over and I'm going to give it to one of you for Christmas. Comment below by the end of the day Monday, with either your Blogger user name or leave a comment like "Susie from TX" so that I can easily announce the winner.
I am happy to save at least one of you from tromping around in the cold in search of toy hamsters.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
My day went pretty well. It started off a little rough because on the way to my parents' house, Big Kid figured out that turkey comes from actual turkeys and that information caused instant hysteria along with deep mourning, and brought on a million questions.
"Are you tellin' me dat all dose chickens I ate were really chickens??" he wailed. "I thought beef and pork and chicken dat you eat came from factories! When I invent my machines, I'm gonna invent one dat makes it so you can eat meat but not have to kill animals."
He eventually settled down, ate the turkey, and seemed to enjoy it but I have a feeling it will come up again at some point. I felt really bad for him, he was truly devastated to realize he's been eating chickens, turkeys, cows and pigs. I can empathize, in theory I'd make a great vegetarian. I just like the taste of meat too much.
So I had a traditional dinner with the family, came home and kicked some ass in Wii bowling and then came across this Gives Me Hope site--the Fuck My Life for optimists. It's beautiful and has totally sucked me in, and made me tear up more than once. There are lots of good people out there. I'm going to work harder at being one of them more often (no promises on that though).
Hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving. I also hope you stay warm in your homes tomorrow and don't go out and get trampled to death for a cheap Blu Ray player.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Update on Reggie
He doesn't really do much, so there aren't many Reggie tales to share. He turned his pointy little nose up at the wheel I bought for his cage, which is unfortunate since he's fat and that wheel cost $25. We've been letting him loose on the screen lanai at night and he runs around having fun out there, but otherwise he's snuggled up in the tube in his cage or between my hip and the arm of the couch.
He really only likes me. He tolerates Mr. Ashley and avoids the kids and pets. He doesn't really care for strangers and gets all poky and starts hissing, but he's cool with me. He doesn't bite, just makes himself difficult to hold. I love that he only likes me, it's about time I have something that is mine. The kids and pets don't even try to mess with him now. Lily the German Shepherd would love to be friends and attempts one gentle kiss each time he's out but he's not really down with that at all. She seems satisfied after she's done it though, I think she believes they're making progress.
He's really not much trouble. I use pine shavings in the bottom of his cage (which is still a plastic bin because it's working out great) and he eats cat food. I try to feed him fruit or peanut butter but he's not that interested. He does like wet cat food but it makes his cage smell, so that's a once a week thing. I put a variety of different toys in his cage each night and sometimes they've moved, so maybe he plays with them. There was some talk of setting up a Reggie cam and even streaming it online, but you know...I'm lazy and all. I also have technical difficulties and stuff.
Anyway, Reg the Hedge is doing great, I guess.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
little kid Works
"I gotta go to wook amorrow, mumum. I'm sorry."
"You have to work? Tomorrow? Okay, that's cool."
"I sorry, but I gotta go to my job, mumum or my wook fwiends will be mad. One of my fwiends will hit me wif da gwill bwush."
"Your work friend hits you with a grill brush? That sounds terrible."
"It is. He's a mean guy."
"What's his problem? You should talk to Human Resources about him."
"Yeah, I'm gonna but I've gotta go into work amorrow, k?"
"Yep, that's fine. You've got to do what you've got to do. That's work."
He used to work from his office in the playroom, but now he says he works next door. He hasn't needed to go over there because he's had a couple of days off. He was supposed to work the night shift yesterday but had to call and cancel because we said he had to go to bed on time.
Apparently, he works on tractors and cars because he's always talking about how he had this or that vehicle up on a lift and had to take his work rag out of his pocket to take a plug out of the bottom of it, and how it was messy or difficult.
"I need a wook sirt, mumum. Wif buttons and a collar and my name, but no pictures or nuttin'."
"A work shirt? Like a mechanic shirt with a patch with your name on it or something?"
"Yeah, but a twactor dwiver sirt too, ya know? And a pen, I need a wook pen. I do lots of stuff for my job. I use tools and stuff, dwive twactors and motorcycles, put cars up on lifts and stuff."
"That's awesome. I had no idea."
I thought it was harmless enough to indulge this fantasy, but it has now morphed into an elaborate, almost constant alternate universe of lies and I hear about his work plans, friends or problems all day long. It is like having a second husband except he never leaves the house or makes money and he sometimes pees on the floor. He's interrupted me three times while typing this to tell me he has to work tomorrow and to show me a picture of some wood that he drew for his work friends.
So yeah, I'm rethinking the whole "just go along with it because it's funny" decision.
Cute and Funny
Look at this bird
3 little pigs
A baby fawn
See my baby?
Cat in overalls Do not try this at home.
Photo with Santa Big Kid did this when he was 1 and we made a Christmas card out of it. It was legendary and I pray that Big Kid will be cool enough to let me do it again when he's 18 or so for a side-by-side..
Monday, November 23, 2009
This picture doesn't show it well because the zoom is awful on my little camera, but there were about 90000 pelicans swarming this one area off of the island. We drove by on our way out and it was like a carpet of fish, all jumping and squirming over the tops of the waves and being plucked up by birds. It was crazy. We also saw a ton of dolphins that day, playing in the wakes of boats and jumping through waves.
It was an awesome day.
We have surprise out of town guests so we've decided to bust Big Kid out of school a little early and go do it all again today. Pretty nice way to spend a Monday!
Friday, November 20, 2009
Turkey Made Dinner
It was hysterical. I'm not sure the irony was intentional, but I really loved this picture. I read the rules and we had to mail it out the next morning in order to make the contest deadline. Honestly, I wanted the turkey picture more than a turkey and I seriously thought about "forgetting" or pretending to mail it but I thought it was wrong to deny him his chance of being in the contest. He had last minute thoughts before dropping it into the blue mail box and I briefly tried to talk him out of it. He sent it anyway. He would really like to win a turkey.
He drew a copy, but of course it's not quite as adorable as the original. I'm thinking about making him a photo book of the art in his art gallery as a Christmas gift to him, so I might actually get around to hooking up my scanner really soon. I really wish I had done it one of the many other times I've said I should.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Boy Toys (not the fun kind)
Barbie houses with elevators? A printer that works on your nails? A cupcake maker? Who wouldn't want to play with that stuff? I want the new Barbie camper for Christmas and I'm not kidding one bit. It looks fun and I should get stuff to play with too, especially if I'm expected to play.
I know I can buy this stuff regardless of who it is marketed to, but Big Kid is already way cootied out by girl stuff (although I believe he secretly longs to play with these things, and has admitted that it's fun to have girl friends so you can play with their toys) and little kid would play with it but would rather have a vehicle of destruction versus a pink recreational vehicle, so I think we should buy this stuff for me so that we can all enjoy it together.
All 3 of us want the cupcake maker, but it irks Big Kid to no end that the company is called "Girl Gourmet". It burns him every time the commercial comes on. Boys like cupcakes too.
I want to get him a Nintendo DS Lite for Christmas this year and I thought it would be easier to find a deal than it has been so far. They're $30 off at Wal-mart on Black Friday, but is $30 off worth potentially getting trampled to death for in the early hours of the morning? I'm not really thinking so. But $130 is a crazy amount of money for 1 gift for a 6-year-old. Everything little kid wants is inexpensive and easy (mostly GI Joes and Dinosaurs), but stuff Big Kid is into is pricey.
little kid is pretty freaked out to discover that Santa's gift giving is behavior-based. Big Kid told him you get socks and underpants if you're bad, and now every time he's in time-out (so about 17 times a day) he cries, "Santa's only gonna get me socks and pants! I'm gonna make good toices from now on."
I've tried to assure him that so far this year he's probably been good enough to get some Santa gifts, but that he should be a very good boy from now on. Soon after that conversation, he tried to climb to the top of the fridge and knocked down a glass jar of honey, which exploded on the kitchen floor. THAT was a bitch to clean up. If there was a Santa, I'd be very concerned for little kid.
Big Kid is home from school today because he woke up with a slight cough yesterday and seemed warm. Today he was insistent that he was still sick and he needed to stay home so that he didn't cough germs on people, but I haven't heard a whole lot of coughing. Yesterday he was insistent on little kid remaining a certain number of feet from him to avoid infection, and would become near hysterical if that line was crossed. I'm thinking he may have a small cough and a great plan to skip school and keep little kid at bay.
I would like to thank Dora the Explorer for encouraging my kids to yell out "BANANA PANTS" several times as I've attempted to write this post. I'm sure it was super educational for my kids and having a chorus of people scream out "BANANA PANTS" at random intervals makes for ideal writing conditions. Maybe one day a group of moms could get together and scream "BANANA PANTS" at the writers of Dora the Explorer as they go about their day, so they can see just how funny it is.
(Although that really would be pretty funny...)
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
They are stuffed animals with an online character equivalent in a website with games, some social features, virtual rooms to decorate for your characters that you nurture and care for. He loves his animals. He draws pictures of them, they have personalities, they are well-known members of our family.
All 18 of them.
You have to buy a new pet each year to keep your account active. I hear people bitch about this, but whatever--you can get them for as little as $8 and the stuffed animals are really cute. As you buy new pets, you add them to your same account. I think your pets can even interact and go to each other's rooms or something.
The pets come with tags with an online activation code. I came across a ton of these in my desk drawer not long ago, and knowing they've all been activated, I threw them away.
Then Big Kid mentioned that he was having password issues. No biggie, I thought, I'll change the password. I thought for sure they would email the account that had activated the pets, like every website everywhere, but no...you needed one of the secret codes in order to change your password. And if you didn't have it, you were just shit out of luck, never to see your pets again. Sorry. Stories from angry parents and heartbroken kids all over the internet confirmed their stance on this policy.
I felt sick as I remembered myself throwing away the tags. I admitted to Big Kid that I'd done it and he told me that they say not to throw them away. Had I seen that, I would've thought it meant not to toss them prior to activation and probably still would've tossed them. I didn't realize the importance of these tags.
Big Kid was sobbing and my heart was pounding and my mind was racing with plans to fly to the headquarters of Webkinz and tell them that they would give back Zumby and Wumby and Cat Matt and Cat Pat and Poodle Noodle and Poodle Doodle and Arctie and Drake and Sophie and Mr. Lime and the rest of them right then or they would die. Period. Because I wasn't going to carry this burden forever. A lost password shouldn't be the end of some kid's carefully created, costly virtual world that he spent years building and I'd just as soon be in jail as hear him cry about this for the rest of our lives.
I dropped everything and combed over the house search party-style, square foot by square foot, and finally, in the back of the bottom of a drawer, almost unrecognized in my panic, was 1 wrinkled Webkinz tag with code.
So he got his pets back.
But I really don't want to spend more money with a company that would willingly do that to kids for no good reason, and I'm re-thinking the Christmas list as a result. Expiring without a new purchase is pushing it, holding pets that you purchased hostage if your kids (or you) make a mistake seems villainous.
So I am warning you, if your kids aren't into Webkinz, I wouldn't introduce them and if they are--KEEP YOUR FREAKING WEBKINZ TAGS. Better yet, write the code down in 10 different places and then lock it up in a safety deposit box somewhere. Because Webkinz would rather make your kid cry than email you a new password.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
He's on a real mess making streak lately. For no clear reason, he's been having accidents in the middle of the bathroom floor. He is good and potty trained, so I don't know what's going on there, but it sucks. He has "on purpose" and "on accident" confused too, so he'll come tell me that he pooped on the bathroom floor on purpose (or maybe he is doing it on purpose). Sunday morning around 7am, little kid's wet, cold, clammy hand reached out and patted Mr. Ashley on the face, and told him that he had peed and pooped in the bathroom on purpose but not to worry 'cuz he cleaned it up. Or tried like a good boy.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU God that it wasn't me. Because little kid's strategy for cleaning up poop is usually very different from anyone else's and results in far more damage than need be.
So, Mr. Ashley's Sunday morning sucked.
My goal this week is to kick the laundry's ass. We are never "caught up" on laundry, the very idea is inconceivable to me. little kid has to change his jeans every time they get wet or dirty, everyone thinks towels are one-use items, Mr. Ashley's work clothes are constant, not to mention all of the rags and towels used to clean up puddles of various substances.
Plus, I suck at laundry and hate doing it.
But, the laundry is my bitch this week. Everyone's drawers are overflowing, my linen closet is stuffed full and the pile is much smaller...but there is still laundry. There is always still laundry. It's a mystery to me. That's why I hate it. You can never truly conquer the laundry. It's a life long fight and I don't think I have what it takes to commit to that.
I'm going to do it this week though.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Dear Kids Everywhere,
So please, for the love of God, stop screaming, "I WANT A DRINK PLEASE. WHERE'S MY DRINK? I'M THIRSTY!" at every single meal.
I am sick and tired of kids needing drinks. I will get you a drink in one freaking minute.
Joke Gone Bad
But this joke stopped being funny about 350 "punch someone in the face" jokes ago. We've even instituted a ban on any talk of punching oneself, or others, in the face.
"Really?" I answered, "Cool, because there are a few people I'd like to punch in the face. I'll do it tomorrow."
Big Kid paused. "Are you kidding?"
"Me? No. I'm making a list right now. I might just drive around town and punch some people in the face. So far I have 6 or 7 people on the list."
"Mom, you can't punch people in da face."
"You can on "Punch people in the face" day. Right?"
He studied me for signs of joking and then went back to playing the computer.
Over dinner I told Mr. Ashley, "Big Kid said that tomorrow is 'Punching people in the face' day" and with no pre-planning or prompting from me, Mr. Ashley said, "Nice. It's going to be a great day at work tomorrow if I can punch people in the face."
Big Kid nervously asked, "Mom? Um, what would happen if adults started punching adults in the face? Like, for no reason?"
"They'd go to jail, you can't punch people in the face, except for on--"
"Mom, dere is no 'Punching people in the face' day'! I made dat up 'cuz it's funny," blurted out a distressed Big Kid.
"Oh! Well, it wouldn't have been so funny had we ended up in jail, now would it?"
Yeah. I'm mean. But so is Mr. Ashley and we're sick and tired of "punching in the face" jokes.
(Although the idea of a "Punching people in the face" day is pretty appealing.)
Also, remember how I was going to write a book for NaNoWriMo in November?('cept not a novel and not exactly following the rules?) Yeah, that's not going so great. I secretly suspect that I go to bed early because night time is the only time I can write, and the thought of it just paralyzes me. No one can really argue with being too tired...it's not like I'm willfully not doing it--I'm just too tired to get as much done as I'd like.
But when I do (try to) write like you would for a book, I feel lazy and silly and boring when I then try to blog. I start so many entries and think, "Why would anyone care?" or that the entry doesn't wrap up nicely enough. That's sort of the problem with the book thing too, the constant "Why would someone buy this?" and "where is this going anyway?" mindset. But I know (or suspect) that the appeal of reading blogs is that it's like an ongoing conversation, or a peek into someone's diary, and that's much easier and more enjoyable to write, so I don't know why "booking" has managed to screw up "blogging". Basically we're back to me being neurotic and just putting the brakes on everything and sleeping instead.
I'm not depressed either, for anyone suspecting that. I'm actually doing great lately. I'm so glad I'm off of Effexor, it took 2 weeks of SHEER hell and sickness, then I threw up one night, slept 16 hours, and woke up pretty normal and was able to start living again. There are definitely days where the darkness or anxiety tries to creep in, but I'm better at noticing it and trying to either do something right then and there to improve whatever situation is causing me angst, or to just make a real decision to ignore it and remind myself that overall I'm doing well. I think I have a better perspective on things now or maybe just more of an appreciation for life. I'm glad I'm off of it, but also grateful I got some distance from my self who needed it in the first place.
So I've got no good excuse for being boring, just writer's block and serious doubt. I kind of want to write a novel, but have a couple of seriously smart, experienced-in-this people really encouraging me or offering to help me write a book along the lines of the blog, and I can just picture the, "omg, she will never get focused or get this done" looks I'd get if I decided to derail to do something I know nothing about. And I'm super lucky to have people who want to help me, so I need to take advantage of that before they wise up.
Truthfully though, I don't really want to be a "mommy blogger" or a "mommy author". Don't get me wrong, it's easy and fun and I love what we have going here, but aren't I a mom enough of the time already? It's ironic that I write parenting articles, manage a mom website, and write a mom blog (2, actually) and there are days that I'd rather do Mike Rowe's tasks on "Dirty Jobs" than be a mom, and we all know that I have no idea what I'm doing at least 90% of the time. I don't really want to be defined by motherhood, although it's by far my greatest accomplishment, I just still want to be "Ashley", too. I'm lucky to have all of it though--I love my job, love you guys (most of you), and love my kids (almost always).
I don't know. Now I want to file this away in the "Draft" folder, never to be seen again, because it sounds sort of whiny and more uncertain than I'd rather be. One day I should post everything in the draft folder, half-written. It would probably be pretty amusing and quite telling.
Well, I am semi-rambling and this is probably not even terribly interesting. I'm not really looking for feedback either, don't get me wrong, I always love comments, but this isn't one of those "Tell me I'm talented and pretty and the best thing since sliced bread" type of posts (but if you're just dying to say it, I won't stop you).
I've got to get to work. I do have other stuff for us to catch up on later and we'll try to normal things up around here by just doing it.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Not so Thankful
"Hmmmmm...my Webkinz, but somefin's goin' on wif my password, you need to look into it. Uh, my teacher. Dad. I don't know. Did I say you? You, because you're nice to me. Murphy because he's cute. Hmmmm. Maybe dat's all."
"What about little kid?"
He looked at me, paused, searching my face for signs that he may get in more trouble for the truth than lying. "Errr," he made a weird, apologetic kind of face. "I, uh--hmm. You see, mom, I don't feel dat fankful for him everyday, you know? Some days...some days he really bugs me. He can make life hard some days gettin' into all my stuff, hittin' me, not followin' rules and stuff. So...he's not really on my list."
"Well you're lucky it's only some days, because he bugs me pretty much every single day, but you know what? I'm still thankful we have him. He's cute and I love him and he's funny. I know how you feel, but you're still glad you have a brother, right?"
He looked up at me again, squinting a little. He took a deep, exaggerated breath and slumped his shoulders.
"You're glad you have a brother, right? Right?"
"Right," he answered reluctantly.
For whatever reason, on that particular day, I don't think he was that glad to have a brother. He loves him fiercely, and is terribly concerned for his future and well-being. He's probably just sick of being randomly punched in the chest or having his stuff stolen and abused. I get that.
This morning as they were getting into the shower, I overheard Big Kid say, "little kid, come here. Look here. You need to flush dis toilet every single time, even just pee. little kid, are you listening? Our dog, Lily, sometimes drinks out of dis toilet. Finking about dat, about her drinking out of here when you haven't flushed your pee--dat makes me want to frow up. We can't be havin' dat. You need to flush and den close da lid after so she can't get in here. I hope you're listening to me, I'm serious about it."
little kid agreed and promised to start flushing and shutting, so we'll see. It's nice to have an extra person around to help civilize little kid though.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Yeah, I feel sorry for him, that's awful he's sick...but no one should have to go through that kind of clean up process. No one. Especially not me. All alone. My walls and chairs dripping in puke.
I quickly put a shocked little kid in the tub and came back to survey the damage. I gathered some towels and covered the worst of the puddles, still in shock and unsure of what course of action was going to be necessary. I went back to the bathroom to observe little kid playing happily in the tub and then back to the contaminated area to observe the towels not doing much. I got a string mop and a bucket and hot water and bleach and sort of swabbed the whole area down, yelling out every minute or so to check on little kid. Naturally, the swabbing made everything a big bleachy puddle-like mess and ruined the jeans little kid had been wearing but I'm fine with that--I felt better about the distance gained thanks to the mop handle.
I went back over everything with spray cleaner and rags once I got him out of the tub and it's probably cleaner than it usually is, but I still feel like that whole section of the house is contaminated. I might never eat at that table again.
Mr. Ashley threw up this morning before work, so we're probably gearing up for a PukeFest Spectacular around here this weekend (because it always happens on the weekend, right?). I want no part of it.
little kid seems fine now, rifling through drawers, refusing to put pants on, abusing the ice maker and my cat, sneaking batteries into his room, you know, the usual stuff, but he doesn't let minor set backs like projectile vomiting slow him down, so that's not a good indicator of whether or not there will be more puking in my future.
I hope not. I know chances are slim but I really hope not.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Big Kid interrupted us from across the room and said, "Do you fink you two could start sayin' "Fursday"? I don't need a little brudder who finks Turdsday is a day of da week."
It usually irritates me when he corrects me, but he actually has an excellent point.
Monday, November 9, 2009
"That's really weird," I told him, "What was dad's dream?"
He shuddered a little. "I don't want to say. It was more like a nightmare."
"Now you have to tell me! little kid, did you really dream about cowboys last night?"
"Yeah!" he answered, but he usually dreams about horses or cowboys or spiderman or dinosaurs.
"So, Big Kid, what was dad dreaming about?"
"He was...boxing kids."
Laughing, "So your dad was beating up kids?"
"Boxing 'em, like wif gloves."
"That's funny, could you see my dream?"
"I tried, but I couldn't get into your dream bubble. I did try lots of times, but nope, yours was too tough."
Mr. Ashley swears he wasn't dreaming about beating up kids, but he could be lying. Big Kid often has interesting dreams. I used to but haven't had many that I remember lately.
My good friend The Renee is in town!! The kids and I met her down at the Ritz pool where we hung out this afternoon. It was so awesome to see her, we haven't been in touch as much lately but getting together was fun and normal like it always is and we had a great time. Tomorrow we're having a girl's night out and I can't wait. I've been remarkably social and having fun again lately. Em's mom and I went out Saturday night and I got back in touch with the super hot, super fun Girl Crush from way back and she's missed me. So I'm doing good with all of that.
I also mopped and vacuumed today, which isn't really relevant to this post but I feel like I deserve some recognition for it. I've decided that I actually have an undiagnosed domestic disorder. People have learning disabilities and behavioral disorders--my inability to effectively manage household chores falls somewhere on that spectrum and I want a name, and possibly some medication, for it. So let's work on that.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
"You need to pick up 'is bug, mumum, 'ose kinds of bugs taste gross."
"Taste gross? You don't eat bugs, little kid. You're not supposed to eat bugs, ever."
"I know. Bugs taste terrible."
"Have you eaten bugs?"
"Uh...just a little."
"That's truly disgusting."
"Yeah, 'at's what I'm tellin' you. Bugs taste disgusting."
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Well, the other day he tried to mark my beautiful dining room table as his territory and I slipped and fell in it. As I came up with a detailed plan to quietly murder him in the garage and bury him under the hedges and tell the family he had run away, I picked up the phone and called a nearby spay and neuter place and calmly managed to say "undescended testicles" without laughing at all.
He's there now and I hope I've gotten my point across that the dining room table is mine! You fuck with my beloved table and punishment is swift and brutal. Let it be a lesson to everyone. I love that table.
I was doing good about it today, too, but after I reminded her, she yelled, "Mike, THAT'S the dog with the undescended testes," as I handed Murph over to some guy in front of a crowded room full of people. It was fine though, just a nervous giggle.
Poor Murph. He looked sad. I'm proud of myself for getting it done though.
The last few days, little kid has been really good. Playing quietly in the play room, doing his own thing most of the day. Yesterday I walk in the play room and see 16 (SIXTEEN!) Tootsie Pops. That's what we left out for trick or treaters, and I guess he grabbed and stashed some. Now that I've cut off his stash, we're back to being connected at the hip. He's lucky he's so cute and funny; yesterday we spent about half an hour perfecting an evil baby face that had me laughing until my sides hurt. He also loves me fiercely. He was going to punch a Salvation Army truck driver in the eye for taking up 6 perfectly good parking spaces, which I may have wanted to park in. I assured him that my parking space was fine, and that semi-drivers are limited in their parking options and that it was fine, really it was, and we don't punch people no matter what, but he was pissed on my behalf and was glad to see the truck was gone when we came out of the store. He's also going to tell a neighbor not to walk past our house in the morning so that I don't have to hear the dogs bark, which would be pretty awesome.
I think we're going to get him a karate suit for Christmas and let him do the 30 day trial period of baby fighting and then buy him some DVDs or something until he's older and I can find a less expensive program, because the whole karate thing sounds a little like a scam to me. I'm not paying $125 a month plus testing fees for someone who refuses to learn to wipe his own butt (he swears he'll learn tomorrow. Every day he swears this.)
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Ashley: I want to get a pretty tan, but I guess I'm getting too old for that, so I put on spf 60 instead.
Mr. Ashley: Yeah, we both need to start working out.
Mr. Ashley: We need to start working out, you know, together, as a family. It would be nice to get in shape.
Ashley: Were you listening to me?
Mr. Ashley: Yes! That's why I'm saying, we need to work out and get in shape so you feel more comfortable--
(he gets flustered at this point, realizing that the conversation is terribly off track but unsure as to why or how)
Ashley: Uh, you were not listening! I was talking about pre-mature aging and you are talking about me getting fat!
Mr. Ashley: Wh-what? No! You aren't! I was...I thought--I was talking about me...about how I was thinking...
Ashley: Mmmm hmmmm.
(death laser eyes)
So, pretty safe to say that Mr. Ashley thinks I'm getting fat. My favorite jeans seem to agree with him. I did just recently find out that my local parks program offers childcare for $3 per drop-off and that does seem appealing--I may become a work out addict at those kinds of prices.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Halloween was fun. I don't have many pictures because I decided to go old school and load up my old film camera since it never fails me. I'm kind of excited to get actual pictures back, too. I was resistant to the whole digital thing and now I kind of feel like I'm going to include the film camera on major holidays and birthdays just to make sure that I get things printed on a regular basis. Here are 2 digital ones I do have:
People were confused by Big Kid's costume but 99% were pretty good about it, either making a guess (Al Capone, an elegant gentleman, a wealthy man) or nodding and smiling. We live in an area of predominantly old people, so most were still completely confused when he explained that he was a "Mack Daddy", but were grateful that we had come by and were excited to have trick or treaters. It was really nice and the kids loved it. I think little kid will attempt to trick or treat for every holiday now, he was reluctant to quit and has been scheming all weekend to get his hands on his candy bag. He was adorable knocking on doors Cops-style in his muscle-bound Batman costume.
Remember the awkward mom from last year who always told me the weird things Big Kid said about me, and who sat with him but didn't help him buy/get lunch when there was lunch confusion? (as if I'd send him with an empty lunch box on purpose! He had lunch money! We just forgot to take the empty lunch box out of his backpack. He went hungry that day, she was happy to report to me) Yeah, we ran into her during the day.
We walked up, said hi, the dad said, "So, is he a pimp?" in a I-can't-believe-your-kid-is-dressed-like-a-pimp sort of way (which I get, I really do, I knew people would not approve and am okay with that. Some tact and a lower voice would have been great, but okay.). I laughed and winked and said, "He's a 'mack daddy'! He picked out the costume, he likes the snazzy suit!" Ha-ha. Then the mom says, "Big Kid, you haven't grown at all!" I looked at her and then turned to her son, talking about how we missed him, how was school, and again she says, "Big Kid hasn't grown at all. Look son! Look how Big Kid hasn't grown!"
WTF lady? I was JUST feeling bad about not keeping in touch with these people too, and was starting to think I had mis-interpreted her prior awkwardness. I look at her again, over our kids' heads. "They've both grown! They're getting so big." ha HA, come on lady. Don't give my kid a complex.
"No, Big Kid hasn't grown at all! Look how short he is!"
"Yeah, well, uh, we'll see you around," I said as we walked away. She brings it up 4 times? After I gently correct her and change the subject 3 times? I am so confused about what this lady's deal is, and it sucks that our kids like each other so much but she's always saying and doing stuff that seems so odd.
(For the record, her kid is a full year older than Big Kid and was easily the biggest and oldest kid in his kindergarten class last year. Big Kid's 6, wears size 6 clothes, and is about average in height to the rest of his class this year. This is only relevant to show how weird it is for her to go on and on about his perfectly average size.)
I feel bad that our kids get along so well but I just can't deal with her. I could even deal with not wanting to be BFFs, but every time we see each other, she says something that leaves me feeling confused. Big Kid's just going to have to be friends with the children of cool moms, if kid friendships require so much mom interaction these days.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Yay for the Great Pumpkin!
little kid told me that he was coming to snuggle us and then he remembered the pumpkin might come to life and bite him. Then he stopped and made a scared face and shivered, and then ran back to his bed where he stayed until Big Kid told him it was safe.
He recounted this tale to me about 14 times this morning and I told him how proud I was of him.
Now I have to think of other objects that could come to life and bite him, so I can sleep in every weekend!
Friday, October 30, 2009
The Great Pumpkin
They seemed skeptical but I insisted that they sleep in tomorrow for their own safety, promising to come get them when the danger has passed.
Let's hope it works!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
"A truck," I answered.
"What's it called? I know iz a truck, what's 'at truck's name?"
"A Pumper? Wow, Pumpers look so cool, mumum!"
"Haha, no Hummer. With an "H" sound. I guess they are cool, real Hummers are used in the army because they are bullet proof and can climb mountains and stuff."
Now I can't drive anywhere without hearing, "A Humper, mumum! Look at da Humper!!" several times from the back seat. If we see one in a parking lot, he begs to approach it for a closer look. I don't correct his mispronunciation because it's so cute and funny, and because I think Hummers are kind of lame (overcompensating much, men-with-small-penises?). I may start calling them Humpers myself.
little kid swears he will have a Humper or a Monster Truck or a Monster Truck Humper one day. He probably will.
He also loves motorcycles. A neighbor of ours has a Vespa and I pointed it out and said, "Look at the motorcycle!" and he said, "At is not a motorcycle, at is a scooter. Totally different, mumum, it is." I have no idea where he learned the difference between a scooter and a motorcycle. He's right though, it is totally different.
We have another neighbor with an orange Lotus and little kid points and screams, "MUMUM--'ere goes da cool guy in his wotus! Hey cool dude!" as he waves. I think the neighbor enjoys the attention (or why else would he be driving a bright orange Lotus?) but it's a little embarrassing for me. I believe I told you all about the time we were out to eat and little kid spent the whole time staring at the guy next to us, who had driven up in a yellow Ferrari, and whispering "At is a bad dude. One baaaaad dude."
I guess it works out because he gives these people the attention they bought and paid for, and he gets to admire their rides, but it has led to some awkward encounters.
I have been pleading with Mr. Ashley to please let me drop little kid off with his old babysitter for just one day--I could clean the house and attempt to find shreds of my sanity to piece back together. Mr. Ashley has repeatedly insisted that we didn't have the money for this type of luxury. I asked if he had bail money for whatever happened when I finally snapped and he laughed it off. I cried. I told him I was very serious and he said he knew and that when we could do it, we would. Soon, he promised.
So I've been waiting, asking on a weekly basis if we had the money, even applying to part-time or freelance jobs daily in the hopes of accumulating some money so I get could a break when needed.
This weekend I told Mr. Ashley that NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) was approaching and that I planned on doing it (but not by the rules, of course, because I like to complicate things) and that if I didn't get a day off this week to get us caught up on laundry and general housekeeping, that I would not be doing house work for all of November and we would be in a sad state of affairs by December.
Oh, and that I still badly needed a break from little kid.
And he said yes! Hallelujah, he said yes! I have hoped and dreamed for this peaceful day of cleaning for so long and finally he said yes!
So I emailed the babysitter Monday night. We normally email, so when I hadn't heard back yesterday, I was in a panic. I went to call her and realized her phone number is stored in the address book of a paid email account I had just closed. I thought it was in my phone too, but I guess not.
So I have no phone number for her (and she's a police man's wife, so they are unlisted). And I have little kid. And a messy house. And a violin lesson for Big Kid (and little kid has been banned from those, so I'll wait with him in the car while Big Kid goes in).
And I am so bummed! And so panicked that she'll never check her email and I will have lost her. Also, today was Big Kid's Fall Party at school (at 8:45 am which I thought was weird) and when he found out I wouldn't be able to stop by (because siblings are not allowed) he cried. Which made me want to cry because *I* am the one who should get to cry! *I* am the one missing out on the Fall Party and a clean house and the violin lesson and a day of semi-relaxation!
I sent Big Kid to his party with a big bag of fun treats for his friends, and I have a good new book to read during the violin lesson, and I'm pretty used to my messy house, and I'm trying to look on the bright side of things...
but it still really sucks!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Very Important Parents
However, the other parents were so excited that they didn't want to sit down. You see, they couldn't get their photos and video if they were sitting down. They shouldn't have to pay the $10 for the school-shot copy of the DVD, they would just go ahead and film it. Also, two photos of their child surrounded on stage by their class was not enough, they needed to capture every moment, presumably for a flip book re-enactment of the event.
A few knew that standing would be impolite, so they raised their cameras over their head and shot continuously from there. Unfortunately, much like a human head, a pair of hands and arms with a camera can easily block the view of the person behind you.
Several parents thought it was okay to stand on or around the videographer's platform. Half of the room was sitting behind this platform, and couldn't see their child if they happened to be in the center of the stage--but hey, the platform parents got to see their kid, right? That's what's important, right?
The polite camera people jostled each other in the side aisles and blocked all of the exits.
I glimpsed Big Kid, in a narrow V created by a fat guy's head and the arm of an overhead camera holder, by leaning dramatically to my right occasionally, careful not to block the view of people behind me. I hardly saw him at all.
He was by far the cutest kid there too, and once he spotted me, he began winking at me with an enormous smile, utilizing half of his face to do the winking since he's still new at it. It was hysterical and adorable and I would have loved to have seen it more than three times.
There was a mom with a camera in baggy capris, crocs and an ugly shirt up on the video platform and after she turned around several times and noted the dirty looks I was giving her for obviously blocking my view by standing somewhere she shouldn't, I almost snuck up behind her and kicked her knees out. I thought about it, I probably would've gotten a standing ovation from everyone sitting behind us.
If she knew how big her butt looked from the back, I assure you she would have taken her seat willingly. I should have taken a photo of that and posted it here, that's what we'll do next time. These people must learn and are incapable of getting a clue like the rest of us, so we're going to have to find new ways, like posting their big, rude asses online for public mocking.
If you are a music teacher who organizes stuff like this, for the love of my sanity, please permit the parents to get 5 minutes of picture taking on stage prior to the show and then tell them no photography allowed, make them sit in chairs, and let them buy the video. It's a fundraiser and a crowd controller and absolutely worth $10 not to have strangers fantasizing about breaking each other's legs during the show.
I look forward to actually seeing the performance once I purchase the video. From the glimpses I got, Big Kid is clearly a rock star in the making.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Couple of things: Mom and dad met at acting class; clearly they didn't learn how to act. And I live in Colorado, and at some point I think the stupid balloon actually went over my house, and they should most definitely pay our state back! How unfair for my taxes to be spent on this crap!! Also, I would like an apology. I was a MESS all day as I watched the ENTIRE thing unfold on tv. I hate them.
(Hope you don't mind me using your comment here, Annie, it reminded me of something that has been nagging at my brain lately.)
I was also worried sick about Balloon Boy. I have a 6-year-old--I was nearly out of my mind with anxiety about how that boy's mother must be feeling, and what that poor little boy's (most likely) last moments would or will be like.
Then to find out we had all been duped? That national media eclipsed presidential speeches to cover a hoax so these asshats could hopefully get a reality show? That those parents instructed all of their kids to lie to authorities, media, neighbors and friends? Fuck them. I don't have any more eloquent way of putting it.
That same week, some mommy blogger (and I won't link to her--her site is monetized and we should not give money to melodramatic attention whores) insisted that airport security had taken her baby out of her sight--tweeted it, asked people to retweet it, cackled over how she was going to sell the story to publishers...and then TSA released video proving that her child had been next to her all along. The video was doctored, she claimed.
Okay, so...you're so important that a government agency is going to edit security footage to conspire against you to protect their reputation on Twitter? It seemed doubtful.
In response, TSA released unedited footage from ALL 9 CAMERAS, with all 9 time-stamped and showing her baby right next to her. So she went "on vacation" and came back admitting nothing but pointing fingers and screaming, "you're mean" at people who had believed and repeated her story and were now understandably angry at her outright lies and her audacity to continue it so.
So, people are crazy and you don't need a license to have kids. Also, new media gives crazy people a world stage and we give them a willing audience. But unfortunately, all this nonsense (and these are just 2 recent examples, there's child-related craziness all over the place) erodes our human desire to help the vulnerable. It rightfully turns us all into skeptics for next time. It makes us less likely to get involved in someone else's plight, and that's really sad.
The pedophile-scare-craze is also contributing to the erosion of caring (and I have the same fears every other parent does, it is a terrifying thought). When I was in elementary school, our church pastor and his wife would regularly have groups of girls spend the night at their home. There was nothing weird about it at all, just a loving, childless couple who enjoyed entertaining kids in their home. Can you even imagine allowing that in this day and age though? It would seem highly unnecessary at best, sinister at worst.
I recently read about a guy who spotted a clearly lost and crying child in the mall, but since it was a little girl and he was an adult male by himself, he didn't feel like it was appropriate to approach her, just in case someone thought he was trying to take her. He kept an eye on her from afar until a woman passed and then asked her to go help the little girl. So, we're creating an environment where a grown male can't even approach a lost and terrified little girl without being scared of being accused of something untoward. There's something not right about that.
It means our kids are missing out on the joy of being surrounded by people who care, or at the very least are concerned for their immediate welfare. That makes me sad for them. A lot of us had childhoods enriched by other adults--teachers, neighbors, coaches, etc. I read an account from someone who had befriended the school janitor when she was a child. Her father was molesting her and one morning the janitor asked how she was and she blurted out the terror she was living. He took her to the guidance counselor, who called the police, who ended her ordeal. This day in age, janitors wouldn't/shouldn't befriend random little girls.
I guess there's no real answer or solution. It just sucks that so many adults are too stupid to trust, and it's making normal adults fearful and skeptical of others.
It sucks that they (the crazies) are hurting our kids one way or another.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
I admired one particular piece entitled "Hello Jello" and offered one dollar for it. He thought about it for just a moment before saying, "I don't wanna sell it, but I do want your dollar, so I'm gonna sell it and make anudder one 'zactly like it." Future art dealer in the making, that one!
Tonight before he went to bed, he hugged me and said, "Mom, I wish everyone in da world was dest like you. But all lookin' different. But like you on da inside."
Damn. I seriously couldn't even begin to make this shit up. He is so awesome with the compliments. I wish everyone in the world was like HIM. It would be a much nicer place to live.
Questions about Death
"What do you mean?"
"How do dey get buried?"
"Uh, well, they usually have friends or family that notice they're gone and those people call the police and then arrange for a burial or cremation."
(Oh shit, why did I bring up cremation?? That was so unnecessary! I so suck at this whole parenting thing!!)
"Cremation is, uh, when a dead body is turned into ashes."
"Ashes? What do you mean?"
"Like what's left over from a fire."
"Wait mom, how do dey do dat? Make da body be ashes? I don't like dis. Why?"
"It's nothing to feel weird about. Your body is just a shell, it's your soul that matters. Your soul goes up to heaven and then your body is just a used up shell. Like, you know when a snail changes shells? When you find a snail's old shell, it's just an empty shell--there's nothing special about it. You could break it up into a million pieces and no one would care because the snail moved on. You know?"
"Yeah. Mom?" he asked, his eyes looking watery, "When I die, will I be dead forever?" He took a deep, shuddering breath and started blinking rapidly.
"Uh--no. No. You'll be in heaven. Your soul will leave it's shell and go up to heaven and be with everyone you've been missing who died before you."
"Will I die before you do, mom?"
"God, no. No way," praying he wouldn't realize that this would mean that he'll be forced to eventually deal with my death.
"Oh, good!" he said with relief.
"Will I be dead when da two fousands are over wif?"
"What? When it becomes the year 3000?"
"Yeah, whatever comes after two fousand."
Unsure of how to answer, I hesitantly went with the truth. "Yes, you'll be gone by the year 3000."
"No!" he exclaimed, looking shocked and scared.
"Wait! I did my math wrong! Mama's so bad at math. It will be the year 2100 when the 2000s are over, and you'll still be alive then. You'll be alive, but really old. Probably chasing little kids off your lawn and telling younger people what the internet was like when you were 6."
"Whew," he said, looking relieved.
I'm not sure what the preoccupation is with death lately, but discussing the subject with a 6-year-old is like skipping through a field of land mines. After the last "whew" I quickly excused myself to the bathroom, where I hid until it was safe to come out.
Random and unorganized
(That's foreshadowing to clue you in that this will be a sub-standard, unorganized post)
We took the kids to a hockey game last night. It was their first and little kid has been dead-set on being a hockey player for some time now, although he has never seen the sport. He loved the fighting (who doesn't?) and kept yelling "You wanna piece of me? You wanna piece of my team?". Then, much to the horror of everyone sitting around us, I bought both boys cow bells. The look on people's faces when I pulled them from my purse and presented them to the kids was well worth the ridiculous $16 cost. Our team sucks, so they didn't get to ring their bells as much as they'd like, but I was a hero in their eyes (and everyone sitting next to us can go suck it).
Big Kid was snuggling in bed with me the other night when I was watching Dateline. It was near the end and I didn't think he would pay attention, so I didn't turn it. Bad move on my part because it was about a murder case, and Big Kid didn't even realize people killed other people, and of course he paid attention.
"What happened to dat lady, mom?"
"Oh. Uh, she died. It's sad."
"She died?!? How? From sickness? An accident?"
"Well, no. It's really, really sad, but someone killed her. A bad person. That doesn't happen a lot." I lied.
"MOM! NO! NO! Tell me dat din't happen! Not to her! Why?" he asked, eyes filling with tears.
"Oh babe. I don't know why. She didn't want to see her boyfriend anymore and he got mad and did a horrible, horrible thing. Maybe they were fighting and it was an accident."
He started crying. "How could he do dat?? How? I can't believe dat happened to her. I'll never forget her, mom. I'm so sad for her."
I was so pissed at myself for accidentally exposing him to that. I spent the time before bed trying to calm him down and assure him that she was now safe and happy up in heaven.
"You know what, mom? I'm gonna build a machine dat makes it so no one dies ever. 'Cuz I hate dat, I hate dat people die and I don't like heaven. My machine would also bring back Heidi Louise and dis lady here and no one would have to be sad." I told him that was an awesome idea and that he should definitely add that to the list of machines he's planning to invent.
To finish up this awkward post, here are some links:
Salvador Dali and his pet anteater (Dali puts the 'awe' in awesome, I'm a huge fan.)
Dogs and children (Don't leave them alone together or this could happen.)
$13-an-hour secretary job gets 500 applications (Oddly, this made me feel better about being rejected or ignored for the 30+ part time jobs I've applied for)
Photos of pollution in China (Wow.)
To Andy Warhol, From Mick Jagger (I know it's probably not cool to think so, but I believe Andy Warhol was a bit of a hack. Don't get me wrong, I now enjoy the iconic art like most people, but more for the "pop culture" aspect than any talent on his part. Back then I would've been calling bullshit, though.)
What does Marcellus Wallace look like (I really love Pulp Fiction. I've seen it a million times and would watch it again right now. It's on my top 5 all time favorites list. I've seen everything other than Inglourious Basterds by Tarantino, and I truly think he's a genius.)
This is who I want to be in 40 years (No explanation needed.)
Hitler without the mustache (I think his mustache was partly responsible for all of the evil-doing)
What would Jesus Do (not this, he was like a liberal and a socialist! Gasp!)
Damn, I have a ton more but this seems like too much. Either it's been too long since I last did links, or I've found a lot of cool stuff since then. I like to include all the newly found stuff because I'm highly unorganized and anything that isn't at the top of the favorites list eventually gets forgotten and lost because I can't remember if I shared it before or not. Oh well.
Have a happy Sunday! I have Catfish's baby shower today (Today, not last weekend!)