Monday, November 30, 2009

In the Dark

I know I will probably have my vagina revoked for saying this, but...

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 see that Zhu Zhu pets are looking like the next Tickle Me Elmo this year, and I hate to say it--but they are so cute that they are worth all of the trouble.

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

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Turkey Day, turkeys!

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

Lots of Reggie-related questions lately. I know I've been quiet about him, but I swear he's alive and well and still adorable.

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

little kid says he has a job.

"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

I have a ton of work to do this short work week, I've already taken 3 breaks today to create lincoln log cabins (seriously, log cabin architect may be my calling in life) and I just caught little kid trying to stick a small metal rod into an electrical socket, so you're getting some cute and funny photo links this morning:

Look at this bird
3 little pigs
A baby fawn
See my baby?
Humunga Stache
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

Island Time

Friday afternoon little kid walked up to me and said, "Amorrow I'm gonna go get our boat and go to da island. You wanna come?" We all thought that sounded pretty good, so we made it happen:

the sand bar we go to

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.

Big Kid prints.

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

Yesterday Big Kid asked me for a stamp and an envelope and when I asked what he was doing, he said he was entering a contest to win us a turkey. He then presented me with a picture he had drawn of a turkey wearing a pilgrim hat standing next to a table with plates of corn, with a thought bubble that said, "I made food."

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)

All the toys for girls are more fun.

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

Webkinz Warning

I think I've mentioned before how Big Kid is completely obsessed with Webkinz. He adores the stuffed animals, plays the online game, has the folders, pencils and a notebook. His birthday party this year was Webkinz themed. Sometimes I have to ban talk of anything ending in -kinz just because it gets so insane and I can't take it anymore.

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 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

Cleaning Up

little kid sprayed down my kitchen with sunscreen this morning. SPF 30. I'm pretty pissed about it since we need sunscreen and go through it like crazy, and the spray stuff is pricey (but vital when you're dealing with whiny, squirmy kids who need re-application) and because my whole kitchen is now slick and reeks of faux-conut. Also, we don't need any help with making messes around here--they happen easily and naturally, no reason to spray down the cabinets and appliances and tile floor with greasy smelly stuff.

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,

If an adult sets a meal down in front of you, chances are, they're about to get you a drink. If they've provided your sibling with a drink, chances are even greater that you are about to get a drink.

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.

Moms Everywhere

Joke Gone Bad

The other day, Big Kid declared that it was "Punching people in the Face" day the next day. I don't know why, I guess it is a boy thing, but he likes to joke about getting punched in the face or punching someone in the face (which explains why little kid says it, but when Big Kid does it, he is clearly joking. I think little kid probably would punch someone in the face if he felt the need).

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.)

Hi there

I know I've been boring lately, I don't really know why. Well, I guess I do, being around sick people isn't the best inspiration and the time change screwed me up and I go to bed so early now and The Renee was here so I was doing stuff.

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'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

Last night Big Kid was telling me all about Thanksgiving and the pilgrims and the Indians and the feast and explained that Thanksgiving is about celebrating what you're thankful for, so I asked what he was thankful for.

" 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

PukeFest 09

This morning, little kid barfed all over the kitchen table, a box of doughnuts, 2 chairs, a window and about 100 square feet of the family room.

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


Mr. Ashley and I were talking after work and he mentioned that he needed to go into work early on Turdsday. We frequently call it that thanks to years of listening to a funny local radio program in our area, I know others who do it too. (Justifying here.)

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


Today in the car Big Kid said, "little kid, I was in your dream last night. I went into your dream about cowboys, my friend Jake's dream about vampires and Dad's dream."

"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


This morning while letting the dogs out, little kid spotted a dead beetle on the porch.

"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


You know how I couldn't get Murphy fixed because I knew I'd laugh when I had to call for a quote and tell them that he had "undescended testicles"?

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.

Karate Kid

I don't know what it is about the time change, but I pretty much have to go to bed around 7 lately. I have been more productive during the day but I am just completely wiped out by night time. I'm lucky Mr. Ashley's so good about home work and bed time stuff.

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

Say what?

Conversation with Mr. Ashley prior to going boating:

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.

Ashley: What?

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 Weekend

I feel like I've been neglectful of you all, but I went out on the boat on Sunday (which now runs smoothly thanks to a collaborative effort from people who look forward to enjoying the boat!) and have been super tired thanks to the time change and the resultant never-ending days. I've also eaten an insane amount of stolen Halloween candy, which makes me not feel so great.

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:

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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.