Saturday, January 30, 2010


Mr. Ashley is at work today and has been working lots of Saturdays lately which sucks for everyone. Having been up since 7 am, around 9 am I decided I would be daring and attempt the forbidden, luxury maneuver of a quick shower by myself.

I knew it was risky and was trying to think of the safest way to steal a few minutes when I caught little kid throwing rocks at the cat. I told him to stop and he threw one last rock in her general direction, so I put him in his time out spot for 3 minutes, locked all exterior doors, told Big Kid to tell me if little kid left time out (he was drawing at a desk nearby) and attempted the world's fastest shower (which started with cold water).

It was great, enjoying the full stream of shower water all by myself for a minute. Big Kid popped his head in and said, "He's bein' good, can I let him out and we'll play on the white board together?" And I got greedy and thought I could possibly shave quickly (without someone staring at me and wanting to help) if they were playing nicely together. "Yes, that would be nice but make sure he stays with you. Leave the bathroom door open, I'll be out in one minute."

Two seconds later little kid came stomping in. "You takin' a shower? No you not. I takin' a shower," and started to strip.

"No! You took a shower this morning with daddy before he left for work, please just let me do this alone. Get some super heroes and play here on the bathroom floor or go play with your brother."

"Oh no. Oh no! We shower togever, mumum! We share water! YOU WATER WASTER!! I'm gettin' in, I am, I'm takin' a shower." He stood there naked and defiant.

"No you are not. You can have another time out or go play, no shower. I'm getting out as soon as the soap rinses away, like right now."


Big Kid came in, looking apologetic, "I guess he wasn't ready to come out of time out. Want me to take him back? Come on, little kid."

"No, I'm getting out right now, thank you for trying to help me."

As I stepped out of the shower and grabbed for my towel, Big Kid gagged and covered his eyes with his hands. "Ugh gross, mom, you're naked."

"...I'm in the shower."

"From now on, you should bring your towel into the shower. In case we're out here, you know? Seein' you naked is gross."

"Yeah, gurls are gross," little kid agreed before starting to make fake puking sounds.

SEE WHY I WANTED TO TAKE A SHOWER BY MYSELF? Insulted, harrassed and I never even got to shave.

Friday, January 29, 2010


So today I checked the blog email, which I rarely check since I already deal with an insane amount of email for my job and most of the blog email can wait since it is often one big can 'o spam. But this time, in the junk folder amid claims from Bob Frank and Ahmata Ahmoud that they could MAKE ME RICH or that I had won $18O,OOO,OOO,OOO.oo in a lotto, was an email from a casting agent asking my family to apply for an upcoming family-related "docuseries".

Curious, I did a little Google Fu and it looks legit. It also says something about putting the FUN in dysFUNctional so word is clearly getting around about my domestic failures. The whole thing was funny and intriguing so I called Mr. Ashley on the way to school and told him. I was laughing in a ha ha what-have-I-got-us-into sort of way and he was not laughing. Mr. Ashley thinks we should apply. I pointed out how ludicrous this was, how we did not want the whole world to see our laundry couch and that we were probably not as funny in real life, that not even one funny thing happens per day to provide blogging material sometimes. Also, his ass isn't home most of the day and he's universally loved by everyone who meets him. That he'll be the one who runs off with a hot college girl while I'll be on the cover of US Weekly in St. Croix with my buff bodyguard, still having to deal with the kids between appointments for hair extensions and time with my personal trainer. It makes me tired just thinking about it.

They told me that I could also pass the info along to you all, so here's their website. You all should apply so that by the time Mr. Ashley talks me into it, they'll have found everyone they need already.

And please don't tell Big Kid. You KNOW Big Kid would be all about having a reality show.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


In an amazing burst of productivity, I finished all of my work hours for the week already and have even got things in place for next week's tasks. The house is a mess, but my work's all done and I'll have time for the beach tomorrow and can look forward to a smooth start on Monday.

So to be nice (and instead of starting on house cleaning), I decided to get us all caught up on internets. I hope this helps you enjoy your work (or non-work) day like I will be enjoying tomorrow. So here's some stuff (nothing depressing, I promise!):

How to use a semi-colon (helpful!)
Sea horse (Photo)
Banksy movie at Sundance (article)
Laptop sleeve that looks like a book! (It's a...laptop sleeve that looks like a book)
Free Einstein Bros bagel (coupon)
Fun online 20 questions (game)
Rare photos of famous people (DO NOT skip this one!! Good stuff in there!)
Amazing scuplture (photo)
Hug a baby (150% cuteness)
Squishy Manatee (manatees are adorable animals that don't get enough credit or attention for their cuteness.)
Anteater in a sweater (photo)
and another anteater (because they are funny!)

Okay, that's all for now. Have fun!

Get Away

A Facebook friend of mine posted that he had a friend who was looking for someone who was good with a camera that could go to Haiti for a week or two soon (probably for a documentary since he's in the film industry) and I caught myself thinking, "Wow, that would be a dream come true."

Then I realized that if you automatically think leaving home to go to the scariest and most dangerous place in the whole wide world right now would be a dream come true you A.) probably desperately need a vacation B.) have seriously lowered your standards when it comes to the idea of a "dream come true." Damn. I'm laughing about it now but it was a startling realization.

I think it also came up because I have been feeling a little hopeless about the world lately. I halfway did it to myself, subjecting myself to too much Haiti news and reading "What is the What" by Dave Eggers about the Lost Boys in Sudan and then watching an 8 part documentary about the cannibalism, war, human waste and child soldiers in Liberia all in the course of a week or so. So yeah, that was probably a little much for my bleeding heart and I keep going back and forth between "what can I do?" and "Look at that mess, there is nothing I can do."

Sometimes I think we were all better off before the days of global communication because life would be much easier if I could focus on the small community around me, without the distractions of the rest of the world's problems. Yeah, it's a selfish viewpoint I guess but as individuals we could probably manage to take care of most of those within the "monkey sphere" of our community if it was a more manageable number of people we felt responsible for or aware of. It feels so overwhelming that so much of the world is hurting so badly right now.

And let's not even get me started on American politics. I vote to draw a line down the middle of the country, everyone choose their side, new governments made up of normal people with no political backgrounds and let's just see what happens. I think the producers of Survivor could do a better job finding candidates to run our country at this point. Many current politicans are crazy, most of them are pussies, too many of them are corrupt; it's a 3 ring circus of wrongness.

Anyhoo, this wasn't supposed to turn into a heavy rant. And don't worry, I'll stop calculating how many black orphans would fit in my playroom and consider more practical ways to help.

(But a Brangelina-like tribe of orphans would make for an endless supply of blogging material...)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Big Kid and I have got little kid watching Leapfrog Letter Factory (the poor man's Your Baby Can Read!, in our opinions) and he's starting to pick some of it up. So we decided to take it up a notch and try to get him to learn to spell cat.

For the last couple of days, one of us will ask him at random times throughout the day if he knows how to spell cat. He usually puts his finger on his chin as if deep in thought and comes up with some 3 letter grouping that's similar. So yesterday at the bus stop I quizzed him on it again and he said, "Mumum, I'm not gonna be talkin' 'bout this cat stuff all my time. I'm tired of talkin' 'bout it! Don't be askin' me how to spell cat, you know how to spell cat. I just a baby still."

"It's C-A-T."

"See? You know how to spell cat!"

"I want you to learn how to spell cat."

"Babies don't need to spell cat, they mumums spells cat for 'em. I don't wanna talk 'bout it anymore."

So yeah, school should be interesting. Maybe once we graduate to Leapfrog's Word Factory it will start to come together for him.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Answer is No

little kid is pissed that I won't let him take a bath after he flooded the bathroom earlier using the sink and a small collection of buckets and cups.

He started off by begging, then yelling, then sobbing and then wailing and insisting that he would be fired as a result of my actions and made sure I knew it would be all my fault. Did I want him to be fired? Is that what I want?

(I didn't even know he had gotten a new job.)

He plans on calling my parents, my brother and one of Mr. Ashley's friends to tell them what I've been up to and he is certain that they will all join him in his righteous indignation and shun me from here on out.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Dr. little kid on Duty

I have had a headache all weekend. It started off as a sore throat but has morphed into a full on, maybe-I-should-chop-my-head-off-for-relief constant pain that makes it feel like my eyeballs might fall out.

little kid cannot stand that I'm unavailable to him, so out of the kindness of my heart, I invited him in for a quick snuggle.

"Will you rub my forehead, little kid? My head hurts."

"Um, how 'bout I wub your chest, mumum?"

"...because my chest doesn't hurt and my head does?"

"I wike wubbin' your chest though."

"Yeah...but I don't want you to."

"I got just da ting, mumum."

"Oh, that would be great, little kid. Anything you could do to help would be nice."

He then proceeded to collect five pillows and piled them on top of me.

"There. That's da ticket! Yeah!" He shouted once I was under the mountain of pillows. Being under a pillow mountain does very little for migraines, in case you're wondering if it works.

"little kid, I have a meeting early tomorrow morning with Big Kid's school. You have to go and be good," I warned him, dreading the 8 a.m. consultation I have for speech tomorrow.

"Cool! I wike bubby's school."

"No, we won't be with the kids. Just grown ups."

"No babies?"

"Nope. Just you."

"That sucks."

"little kid, please don't say that! That's not nice for babies to say."

"Mumum, I can say 'at, as long as I don't say it at parties. Iz fine."

I kicked him out then, because I realized about 30 seconds in that inviting little kid into the room was as quiet as curling up on concrete with a jackhammer for someone with a migraine.

Mr. Ashley had difficulty luring him back out, until he offered a bath.

"Oh yeah, that's da ticket, baby! Be back when I'm cwean, mumum."

I can't wait.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My Other Half

little kid announced this morning that he thinks he's going to be a dentist when he grows up. I thought this was a great idea, one of his best yet, until he said, "After you done wookin', I'm gonna pwactice wif my tools on your teefs." He's still mad I said no.

The other day it looked like he was going to get into dermatology when he became completely obsessed with a mole he spotted on my back. He began tracing it and prodding at it, eventually trying to claw deep into my skin to pinch it out. I asked him to knock it off and get back to the back scratching but from that point on he could think of nothing but the mole and its removal.

The scariest part was when he leaned over my shoulder to whisper in my ear, "Be still. I'm gonna get it wif my teef." That's when back-scratching time was definitely over.

We argued about it on and off for days afterward, him wanting to inspect it or asking when I was going to go to a doctor to get my "scab" removed.

It was bizarre. little kid VERY MUCH feels like he owns me and all of my person. He has no sense of separation between the two of us as individuals. As I work, he throws himself across my shoulders like he's a human shawl and watches television while breathing in my ear. If I eat, he wants half, if not all of whatever I'm having.

The other night Mr. Ashley brought the kids bags of M&Ms and a chocolate bar for me, as a treat. I saved my chocolate bar and little kid spotted it the next morning.

"Can I have some of 'at chocawit bar?"

"No, it's 7:30 in the morning."

"After lunch?"


After breakfast, "Where's mah chocawit bar now?"

"I said later! It's 8:30 in the morning and that is MY chocolate bar. I will share but I'm not giving you all or even half, daddy brought it for me and he got you a treat too."

"I'm gonna have some of dat chocawit bar."

Before lunch, "I can't wait to eat you chocawit bar."

"You're not eating my chocolate bar. Just a piece."

"Two pieces."

And after lunch, I wasn't ready to open my chocolate bar. So when he demanded, for the 60th time that day, the chocolate bar, I said, "You still have some M&Ms, how about you have those instead?"

"Okay." He scarfed them down. "Now where's you chocawit bar."

(I didn't end up sharing the chocolate bar, on principle alone. When I finally opened the chocolate bar, he heard the crinkle of the wrapper and stormed into the room, insisting that he heard candy and demanding to search the area and for me to show him my hands. I forced him out and hid the chocolate bar until he was in bed and then I ATE EVERY BITE BY MYSELF.)

Yesterday I peeled us both hard boiled eggs, put his in a bowl next to his cup of juice and took a bite from mine and set it on a paper towel on the kitchen counter. As I walked over to the garbage can, he left his place at the table to run over to the counter, grab my egg and start eating it.

"Why did you do that? Why didn't you eat your own egg?" I asked.

"I was so hungwy, mumum. Too hungwy. I couldn't stand it."

" you left your egg to run across the kitchen, reach up onto the counter, and eat the egg I was already eating."

"Yes," he answered solemnly, glad I understood.

As infuriating as this all is, he is my little buddy. We had a kick ass time at the beach yesterday. I read, he played, no arguments--it was awesome. He reminds me several times a day that we are best friends...I've just never had a friend who insisted I wear them like a pashmina or thought it was okay to steal food from my mouth as I ate it.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bad Tenant

Guess who missed the 9 a.m. appointment he just had to freaking have?


His truck was in his driveway at 8:45 and gone by 9:05. I waved to him at 8:15. And you know that when he remembers again or just feels like it, he'll just march on over here and knock and at that time I'll tell him he needs an appointment because I'm sick of him and we can start the whole cycle over again.

When I was in real estate, you'd hear that a house was tenant-occupied and you'd shake your head in frustration. The term "bad tenant" was thrown around lightly. Now I know why there are bad tenants. They have been conditioned by bad realtors. This guy's my neighbor and the husband of my child's teacher--wouldn't you try not to be a complete shit head if you were him? Come on.

I hate them all. My landlords, their realtor, Mr. Realtor Neighbor, all of them. Everyone's on the list.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

School's Out! Again!

Big Kid has today off because it's a teacher in-service day. He had yesterday off for MLK day. He had 2.5 weeks off for Christmas break with a one day teacher in-service day attached to the end. They had one day off because they built in one potential day off for a hurricane or tropical storm, but we didn't have one so they had to take a day off once hurricane season was over since they had accounted for a day but hadn't needed one.

It's a little bit insane. I'm not even counting the multiple half-days, usually one a month it seems. Don't get me wrong, I love having Big Kid around and I miss him when he's in school but I'm a little concerned about when the heck these kids have time to learn anything between their multiple days off and daily social obligations.

I also have no idea how full-time working parents do it. What a nightmare, having to arrange and pay for childcare every other minute for all of these days off and early dismissals. It screws up my work week which is as flexible as it gets since little kid CANNOT behave with Big Kid around. He lives and breathes to provoke Big Kid and can't stand to see him sitting around playing his Nintendo DS or reading a book. I think he's just trying to engage Big Kid in play and has no idea how to go about that. I've tried to give him some suggestions (high fives instead of hitting! suggest something you can do together instead of screaming in his ear!) but screaming, hitting and running seem to be the best ways to get instant action.

Everyone would be better off if we had school on this Tuesday.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Lunch with Big Kid

On Thursday I was invited to eat lunch with, go to recess with and read a story to Big Kid's class since he was student of the week.

I brought McDonald's and as kids filed into the cafeteria, they gathered around me. "You're Big Kid's mom?" "Is that McDonald's?" "I like hamburgers." They fought for seats near me, leaving the one next to me empty for Big Kid. His face lit up when he saw me there (with McDonald's).

The tables are round and hold 12 people. So I attempted to eat lunch with 10 wide-eyed little people peering at me from above their sandwiches and lunchboxes. Timidly, one of them attempted conversation and once they realized I would talk to them, they competed for my attention and told me that their mom had a baby a year ago or that they had two houses, one mom house and one dad house, and someone would shout to interrupt with the helpful information that if babies ate a Barbie shoe, they could die. I could barely understand what they were saying but attempted to seem engaged and interested.

It was surreal. Also, first graders have really big heads. This one teeny, tiny pale little guy with gigantic eyes stared at me with his head pushed all the way forward, like he was straining his neck to get the closest look possible and slowly munched his sandwich, never taking his eyes off of me. He eventually worked up the courage to tell me that he liked hot dogs. First graders are weird and are super funny.

I also got a first hand look at the situation with Big Kid's one true love (of the year) and her best friend who conspires to keep them apart. From what I can tell, this little group of 3 girls likes to make Big Kid chase them around the playground. Duh! They all like you! They love you, in fact! I assured him.

"No, dey hate me. I hafta chase 'em all da time to be near 'em!"

I've tried time and time again to explain that the more a girl acts like she hates you, the more she's probably in love with you (at least while you're in elementary school). He tried time and time again to explain that these girls are running from him screaming, clearly they don't love him.

After witnessing the running away screaming, I can tell they do indeed love him. I don't know why we are so fond of mixed signals as females, but it starts young. Poor Big Kid. He chases them, but he wishes they'd quit running.

Monday Wake Up Call

I got a lovely wake up call this morning.

At 8:00 a.m. I heard what could have been a knock and then a bunch of loud barking from the dogs. I stayed in bed, willing it to go away but I could tell the dogs were serious about their barking. I got out of bed and pulled on the dress I had been wearing yesterday, thinking I'd probably have to chase a neighborhood dog from the door step.

But no, there was a guy there, smiling sheepishly. I glared at him through the glass and cracked the door open. "What?" I made sure he knew I was pissed. I let the kids stay up until 9:45 last night so they would sleep in and he was ruining that.

"Hi! I'm a realtor and I was just wondering if I could look around the house. Just really quick."

"No! No! You have to call the realtor for this house."

"I did."

"Then we said you could come Friday any time between 3 to 6 and that didn't work for you? We hadn't arranged another time yet."

"Yes, I had this thing I was doing, a class. I'm your neighbor." Most realtors refuse to work Friday after 2 p.m. Sure he had a class.

I stood there on my doorstep (I had stepped out because our German Shepherd was thinking about squeezing through the crack in the door to eat him...I should have let her) naked under my short dress in chilly weather at 8 a.m. on a Monday wondering why a neighbor would do this to someone. Also, let's remember that I have curly hair...have you seen curly hair first thing in the morning? Loosely bunched into a pony tail? I surreptitiously tried to wipe under my eyes in case of any mascara smudges (and I HATED this a-hole for catching me like this).

"I live across the street."

"No you don't," I said, because he doesn't.

"The house next to that one," and he points to...Big Kid's teacher's house. Yes, that's right, Big Kid's teacher's husband was standing before me at 8 a.m. on a Monday, a nearly naked, disheveled me, asking for unexpected entrance to my home.

"I work for an investor. He likes me to just take a quick look--"

"No. I'm sorry. I'm not trying to be difficult, but not today. We thought we'd be here for years...we haven't told the kids we're leaving yet," and then....because it wasn't bad enough...I almost started to cry. I was so tired and so embarrassed and so angry to be in the position I was in and my voice cracked a little and I started to get a little teary eyed. I got it together right away but it still sucked. I hate when shit like that happens to me. I told him he could come Wednesday at 9:30.

"How about 9?" Are you serious, motherfucker?


Then he sort of leaned sideways so he could peer through the floor to ceiling entry windows. "It's just that people are lined up wanting to see this house. It's the best priced house in the whole community and I think this is the nicest street. Maybe we'll put in a contract on it contingent upon inspection. I just wish..."

"Have you seen the virtual tour? It looks exactly like that. We won't be letting anyone else in before Wednesday at 9, so don't worry. Do you think the investor you work for would be looking to rent it out?"

He got all nervous and evasive so I know the answer is no and that he'd be willing to lie to weasel his way in. Jerk. We were smart enough to have written into our lease that we didn't have to let any prospective tenants or buyers in until 60 days before our lease ends, so we have until mid-February before we have to do anything for anyone. We're trying to keep everything amicable...but I'm not going to have these pushy slime balls waking me up so they can march through my home. If this guy wasn't Big Kid's teacher's husband, I'd tell him to go F himself and good luck ever getting in. No one else is allowed in until the day our lease indicates. At least this guy gives me someone to blame for the new policy.

No word from the owner down the street. I think this guy is so nice that he would let a month-to-month tenant whose ability to pay had been compromised stay as long as he wanted, contract-free. He even says things to Mr. Ashley indicating that he'd rather we lived there but it doesn't seem to occur to him that without a lease, he can end things any time on his end too. I need a landlord like that.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Chuck E Cheese

On my way to Chuck E. Cheese for Em's birthday party.

You know I love Em if I'm willing to do Chuck E. Cheese on a weekend.

Wish me luck. The Big Cheese can be a scary place.

Friday, January 15, 2010


I am truly feeling physically sick these last few days about the devastation in Haiti.

It's similar to the feeling you get after someone you love dies and you have instances of momentarily forgetting and laughing at something or having an inane thought and then realizing "What am I doing forgetting?!" once the feeling of dread creeps back again.

I think normally it would be semi-easy to shut off if I could will myself to ignore the news since all of those people are outside of my personal "Monkeysphere" (did you read the article I linked the other day?) but as someone who has to do hypno-breathing in the confined space of a crowded elevator...the thought of people being trapped and alone and scared has me out of my mind with anxiety. Yes, it's sad for everyone else who died or lost family, but these people who are stuck or hidden somewhere under rubble are what haunts me.

Also, we live in an area with a lot of Haitian immigrants and the pictures of these terrified, broken people and the piles of bodies remind me too much of people in our community--kids from Big Kid's class, the garage sale hagglers who can be maddening, the hardworking families I met through real estate who were pooling their money and purchasing investment properties with cash, all with some interesting or scary story of how they got here. All very real people, just like the people there.

And Haiti really sucked before all of this. Haitians were already prisoners to poverty and government oppression. Seeing these tattered people on mountains of rubble trying to dig their people out, looking tired and like they know it's pointless but what else can they do? God. Aside from the bodies and the diseases and the complete loss of the little anyone had, just the physical task of clearing the area will be monumental. And that's the least of their problems.

Also, if I hear anyone bitch about being sick of hearing about it (and I have already)--I will slap you in the face. It's actually fairly easy to avoid...for the first day there was an awful lot of Leno/Conan crap competing for news space with it. The truth of the matter is that there is some amazing, courageous reporting coming from Haiti right now. We're all quick to bitch when CNN is discussing the Gosselins, so let's give credit where credit is due for reporters camped out in razor-wire protected compounds in one of the scariest places on earth right now, just so that we can know what's going on in our world. If the news wasn't overwhelmed with it--that would be sickening. That would be serious evidence that human compassion has dwindled to extend only as far as the contestants on American Idol. Ugh.

Anyway, sorry to start Friday morning with something so depressing. The sun is out and it's warm here again and life is good but the thought of everything going on there is completely overwhelming. NPR has a great list of places you can donate to, we chose Doctors without Borders but I know Yele has been doing some good things in the area for quite a while now. Anything is better than nothing.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bonus Post

5 reasons pigs are more awesome than you
The fake LA freeway sign that became a real public service
Printers are the spawn of hell
Understanding the Monkey Sphere
So close!
Fun! Fun?
Rosa Park's mug shot
15 things worth knowing about coffee
Most popular DIY projects of '09
Cool abandoned stuff on an island (not sure if I've shared the one before or not--you all know I love this guerrilla exploration stuff)

P.S. someone had asked for a link to my recommended reading list...yeah, I can't find it now. Although the smart ass tags are cute and fun, they have totally screwed me when it comes to organization and practicality. I'm going to find it though and report back because you all had some great suggestions on there. Also, I've been meaning to keep track of all of the books I read this year in my sidebar because that would be fun so I'll get around to that one day soon.

So the short answer is: I'll get back to you on that!

Edit: And we have a hero who bookmarked that entry! Here's the book list made by you all.
Pretty sure there's a list I made that's farther back, but that book list by you guys is an awesome start and it's the one I was looking for to update my library queue list. We'll do another reading post soon, I've been reading like crazy lately!

The Boys

Okay, I'm back.

Freaking out about housing has become an almost full-time job now that March is rapidly approaching. I guess people in the 2 neighborhoods I want to live in didn't read all of those NY Times articles about it being a renter's market. There are lots of houses for sale or that have clearly been abandoned to foreclosure, and a couple of unreasonable owners who can't let go of the fact that market rent has dropped and who still need some time to let reality catch up with them.

Mr. Ashley called the owner of the house down the street that we want, and with NO diabolical mischief from myself whatsoever, it turns out that the current tenant broke up with his girlfriend and is currently two weeks late on rent. He has until tomorrow to pay or he has to get out and it will be ours. I have never wished so hard for the financial hardship of an innocent soul. He's a single guy living in a big paid-off pool home with cheap rent in the best school district in town though--he's got to go. Big Kid has announced more than once that he is NEVER, EVER leaving the house we live in now and I think a pool is my best chance of convincing him to change his mind.

Speaking of Big Kid, here are his before and afters, as promised:

Lucky coincidence that he was wearing the same shirt, these weren't taken with the intention of being before and after shots. That's his class bear he's holding there, he got to bring it home for the weekend. He has been longing for this opportunity since school started so I got suckered into taking that bear to 2 birthday parties and bowling and then had to deal with a deep mourning period when he had to return it to school.

little kid is still begging for a "sharp" haircut like his brother's. I still want him to keep his silky baby hair. He swears he really is ready for big boy hair (I'm not!). Here he is looking decidedly grown up with it all slicked back fresh from the shower:

(note the kick ass sweater vest)
and here's 2 boys and a bear:

The weather here is supposed to warm up on Thursday. I'm holding out hope that normal life can resume again then.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Easy Amusement

Totally cheating with a links list today. They're not even smart links either, mostly amusing (if you're a nerd) images. No good excuse, just tired! I think the cold has forced me into hibernation.

Cute little bird
Cat on a pig in a blanket
Climate summit cartoon
I believe you has my stapler
Goats who stare at men
Editor kitty
Wife blogs husband's sleeptalking
Newborn Wishes comic
Danny Devito's contract (Always Sunny in Philadelphia related video)
Photo bomber
My next life
Happy hamster
Buffy we need you
It's a sin!

Tomorrow you get Big Kid hair cut photos and probably some little kid pics just for fun.

Friday, January 8, 2010


I'd like to turn comment moderation off, because we've been relatively psycho free for some time now (knock on wood) and because I'm not always available to publish comments in a timely manner, but the increase in spam lately is INSANE.

I get at least three comments in a foreign language each day. I get tons of "Your site is well organized and the subject matter is very relevant to my interests" with links to Cialis or Viagra embedded into them--just total crap. 5 or 6 a day easily, some days more.

So I'm sorry we can't turn comment moderation off and it sucks we can't have nice things because of the penis-enlargement-pill peddlers of the world. Also, if I've ever rejected a comment of yours for apparently no reason, there's a chance I suspected it was spam for some reason. Don't take it personally, I'm just on a hardcore NO SPAM streak because I can't let those bastards win.

Also, I see that my comment feed on the sidebar stopped working again. Pretty sure this happens every new year, which seems pretty ridiculous. I'm blaming Google for all of it--the spam, the comment feed, the cold weather, all of it.

Art Heist

little kid lost another job. At breakfast yesterday he blurted out "Dee art museum is stupid."

Big Kid said, "You aren't allowed to say stupid since you're a baby, and you can't say my art museum is stupid!"

"Yeah little kid, you can't say your job is stupid in front of your boss or they might fire you," I explained. "You can't say stupid at all because you aren't allowed, actually."

"You're fired!" Big Kid yelled out in a Trump-like fashion. little kid looked sad.

"Big Kid, maybe you could just write him up or send him home without pay for the day. Firing him is a little extreme, I don't think he meant it."

"But mom, 'member when I worked by myself?"


"I miss workin' by myself."

"I know what you mean. Well, it's your art museum. You're the boss."

"little kid, you are fired. You can't be callin' your job or my art museum stupid."

After we dropped Big Kid off at school, I asked little kid what he was planning on doing about a new job.

"Why? I don't gots to get a job. Maybe no job. Or maybe I'll make a art museum."

"Oh! Two art museums in one house? A little competition for bubby since he fired you? Are you going to start making some art?"

"No, I'm gonna take his arts when he's at school and moves it all to my museum."

" you're going to steal his art? That's not cool."

"It's my new wook."

"No. That's not going to happen. How about you start a security company and you could offer to guard Big Kid's art museum from bad guys? You would work for yourself, but you could still work together. You've already got a badge and a flashlight!"

"Yeah and I'll steal his art while he's sleepin'!"

So it looks like little kid is venturing into a career of art theft at the tender age of 3. He's had 2 bosses die of mysterious circumstances and there's about to be an art heist at the museum he was just fired from. I see big things in this kid's future.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Your Baby Can't Read

Big Kid is seriously disturbed by those "Your baby can read!" commercials.

"Mom, if babies can read, don't you fink little kid should be able to read? 'Cuz he can't. Not even close."

"Babies can't read."

"I seen 'em do it on commercials and stuff. Some babies can. Our baby can't and he's 3."

"Babies don't really need to read though."

"Yeah but eventually you gotta be able to read and I fink little kid should be learnin' some time soon, you know? I could read when I was 3."

"Yeah, you're different from a lot of people. I know what you're saying though, he does need to learn some stuff."

I bought the Leapfrog Letter Factory DVDs because that's how Big Kid learned to read, but so far little kid just screams for Karate Kid or Willy Wonka every time I try to put it on.

He'll never learn to read at this rate.

Fresh Starts

Big Kid got his hair cut the other day. He decided to go short and spiky, so that shiny, shaggy hair is all gone. He looks adorable of course and loves his "spikes", but I mourn each hair cut regardless of the outcome--I'm attached to that hair that I'm always running my fingers through. I momentarily considered swooping down to the barber floor for a handful to shove into my pocket as a keepsake, even though he is six and has had many haircuts. I knew I'd look a little crazy but I'm entitled to that as a mother. Then the barber stepped on the hair mountain and shoved it aside with his feet, so I didn't go through with it. We left a shiny golden pile behind. I'll get you some pictures when he comes home from school, he'll be proud to show it off.

Now little kid has hair envy and wants "sharp" hair like his brother's. I agree that it's probably time for the first haircut since we're nearing 3.5 years old, but I don't know if I can let him go short and spiky. He still has that super silky, platinum blond baby hair and I know it will begin to turn to little boy hair once it is cut close. I showed him a sweet, traditional side-swept little boy cut and he was pretty disgusted at the thought. He wants to use gel like Big Kid does. He wants clippers to tickle him on the neck. I want silky baby hair. We're in negotiations about it now.

My throat still hurts and it is cold (well, 40s and sunny which I know sounds good to some of you, but remember that I've never even seen snow so it's all relative and I am very cold). Other than the sore throat, I've been pretty productive so far this year. Well, yesterday I was--so maybe it's too soon to tell. Pretty sure I'll be kicking this year's ass though. 2010 will be my bitch.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2010 So Far

I've been sick, so that's sort of sucked. Mr. Ashley has been off of work, so being sick wasn't as miserable as it could have been and I did have that stack of library books, so I pretty much just stayed snuggled up in bed and read for two days straight.

On New Year's Day, I read "Don't Sleep, there are Snakes" and then on Saturday I read "Little Bee". They were both good, but the first got a little too technical on linguistics towards the end and required some skimming, and the second one got a little too much like chick-lit at times and I hated one of the protagonists (Sarah--too shallow/skanky for likability). Little Bee had the potential to be an amazing story, but lacked some depth in areas. I ended up feeling slightly disappointed by the whole thing.

On New Year's Eve, we took the kids to see Avatar. We wanted to see a matinee and it was this or Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel. I dislike sci-fi and am sick of hearing about how James Cameron farts rainbows, so I was reluctant to see Avatar. I was also hesitant because of the PG-13 rating. A little Google-fu revealed that the rating was due to some violence, a smoking character and mild cursing, and I saw that tons of parents had taken their kids and thought it was fine. I also remembered the Avatar Happy Meal toys that were out recently and decided it was obviously a movie intended for kids. Mostly, I had a headache and did not want to hear Alvin and his cronies squeal for 2 hours and therefore my ability to judge appropriateness was probably impaired.

Although it was an amazing, beautiful, incredible, visually stunning, emotionally intense film that I think everyone should see...I think some people should probably wait until they're a little older because it was VERY violent and really scary at a few parts. My kids did well, but if I had known exactly what was up I would have waited until they were several years older. Big Kid kept putting my hand over his eyes and then putting the 3-D glasses over my hand, so he could peek out to assess whether it was safe to return to full viewing. little kid fell asleep, possibly from sensory overload, and then sobbed to find out he had missed the big robot vs. aliens fight.

"I fink it's good you missed it, little kid," his brother told him. "There were these huge robots chasin' and killin' people and planes blowin' stuff up, tons of fire and 'splosions, super loud..."

"I can't bewieve I missed it!" little kid wailed, "Will we buy da DVD, mumum? Pwease? I wanna see wobots killin' awiens and stuffs too!!"

No one seems permanently damaged and I haven't witnessed any plots to blow up innocent groups of people or light stuff on fire as a result of viewing said age-inappropriate movie, and they both really loved what they did see of it (as did Mr. Ashley and I), so I guess it all worked out. But I'm admitting there were a few "OMGWTF was I thinking bringing my kids to this"-type moments. Amazing, fantastic movie though.

While we were walking into the theater, the kids already had their 3-D glasses on. The previews were the "Turn off your cell phone" type messages as we started walking up the steps toward our seats. The boys were walking ahead of me and the new Alice in Wonderland preview came on. Big Kid turned to me to ask where our seats were and screamed AT THE TOP OF HIS LUNGS at the 3-D cheshire cat that appeared to be lurking right behind him. I LMFAO but people around us weren't amused (and I don't see why not, because it was funny as hell).

The kids don't start school again until Tuesday, so my holiday feels slightly extended. This is good because I'm still not *quite* ready for 2010. Soon though.

Friday, January 1, 2010


Happy New Year, friends! Here's a fun 2009 Year-in-Review video:

I had intended to start of 2010 with a BANG! of motivation, inspiration and activity but have settled for a slow roll into it instead. 2009 sucked SO.FREAKING.HARD that I need/deserve a day or two to recover from such a wretched year.

I had also intended to start 2010 with hope, faith and certainty that this year will surely be better than last but reality insists that I acknowledge that I have no real evidence that it will be, and there's a really good chance it could be even worse. I can try my very best, but that doesn't necessarily dictate the outcome of events, unfortunately.

I think I will be a slightly better person this time next year, just because I believe I am a slightly better person than I was this time last year. It turns out that all of those hard-earned lessons broadened my ability to appreciate more and have empathy for others. Having less of everything (including certainty) makes it easier to recognize and value the things you can count on in life.

I don't think having more of everything again could hurt either though, so it'd be awful nice if that's what was in store for 2010.

I'm sure I'll need to formulate a plan for the upcoming year some time soon. It causes mild anxiety for Ashley, Master Lister & Planner, to not have some resolutions already in place on the 1st's raining. And I'm tired. And I have a nice stack of books from the library. And I like to start new shit on Mondays anyway.

So I'll do it later.