Monday, May 31, 2010

Party Down

Yesterday Big Kid had a birthday party to attend. As he was getting ready to go, he started getting really upset that his little brother wasn't invited.

"Don't say anything about this to the mom or the birthday boy, okay? He will go to parties you won't be invited to. This is not an insult or a big deal, it happens when you're brothers. He isn't even upset about it."

When I arrived at the party to pick him up, he had made an extra craft, collected an extra bag of pinata candy and had carefully written his brother's name on a spare tattoo. He swears he didn't say anything to the mom, who mentioned how he really loved his brother.

As we were walking through the party with the mom, saying our goodbyes, I said, "The activities you guys did were really adorable."

Big Kid said, "Mom! Did you really just say that?" He quickly glanced at the other mom before looking back at me in disgust. "Why would you say that?"

"That the activities were adorable? Because everything is set up so cute?"

He looked relieved. "I thought you said 'horrible'. I was really wonderin' what your problem was. It would've been the worst thing you've ever said ever, for sure--at a kid's party, callin' it horrible."

I laughed nervously and loudly said, "ADORABLE! Everything is adorable, certainly not HORRIBLE," for fear the mother had misheard me too.

He then went on and on about how much the cupcakes sucked:

"See how I ate the frosting but not the brown part? That's because the brown part was no good."

"Oh, well, you don't really like cupcakes so, yeah, but you liked the frosting so that's--"

"I love cupcakes, mom. You know I love cupcakes. I just didn't like these cupcakes."

Ha ha. Thanks, Big Kid, for thwarting my attempt to rescue us from this awkward moment.

At an earlier play date with this same family, he informed the mother that he didn't eat his macaroni and cheese because it wasn't as good as his mother's, and that she should ask me how I make it.

So, at least she was already familiar with the Ashley family brand of charm.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Facebook Frienemies

Can we talk about the weirdness of Facebook for a moment?

Some of you may remember that I was resistant to the idea of Facebook and initially felt like I was at a party with everyone I'd ever met in one room and was really uneasy about all of these different walks of life coming together in one central location.

But then I discovered the joys of being able to watch the mid-life crises of high school friends and the receding hairlines of former boyfriends and the long, drawn-out, public warfare of relationships ending in front of 400 of the couple's closest friends and family members.

And I like seeing pictures of everyone's new babies.

So, I adapted and began enjoying it. It's also a very easy way for me to keep in touch and keep family updated, two things I really suck at doing. It has also definitely strengthened some friendships and brought good people back into my life.

But I do not have 400 Facebook friends. I do not want 400 Facebook friends. My rule for friending someone is, "If I saw this person at the mall, would I stop to talk or duck into the nearest store and hide?" Occasionally, there's an in-between ground where perhaps we'd both nod and smile as we walked by and I'll take those people, too.

But what the hell is with strangers, people I completely cannot remember at all, or blatant wannabe stalker requests? I get an alarming number of these.

I've got about 6 people in the holding pen right now who I feel guilty pushing "reject" on, but can't figure out why on earth they want to be my friend in the first place.

Facebook is bringing a whole new level of social awkwardness into my life.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Twice today I chased our little orange tabby cat, Tangerine, around our neighbor's yard. Both times I saw her as I was leaving and although she isn't supposed to be out, I thought she had possibly squeezed through the screen door and escaped. Both times I absolutely had to be on time to where I was going and knew I would be back soon. I will confess that I completely forgot that I had seen her the first time, so when I saw her the second time, I was really irritated at her and myself, and was aggressive in my attempts to retrieve her.

Finally, I caught her! And then I realized that it wasn't Tangerine after all.

So yeah, my neighbors are probably wondering why the hell I'm harassing their cat, because they don't know that we have nearly identical kitties.

Loyal readers will remember the time that I found Tangerine dead on the side of the road on my way to a school function for Big Kid. I was devastated, sick with worry and grief throughout the function, stopped and studied the dead, one-eyed body on the way home and was disgusted with myself for not wanting to pick her up and put her in my car. (I was going to make Mr. Ashley go get her. I don't ever touch dead things.)

Then I pulled up at home to find Tangerine waiting on the door step. Very much alive, with both eyes intact.

So it's a good thing I didn't have the stomach to put that dead cat in my car.

I guess this is what I get for owning such generic-looking cats.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Busch Gardens: the Weird and the Wonderful

We had an amazing time at Busch Gardens this weekend; the kind of time that makes you wish your kids could stay small forever.

(Until the drive home, when you begin estimating the number of days until the youngest's 18th birthday and begin to brainstorm feasible reasons to leave the country at that time.)

At 3 and 6 (4 and 7 in August), they are at that magical stage where everything is an adventure and they are pretty easy to hang out with. Mr. Ashley and I looked at each other in wonder as we passed the sweaty parents pushing strollers in crowded areas and carrying dangly-legged newborns in Baby Bjorns in 90 degree heat, and wanted to high five at that finally not being us. Don't get me wrong, we loved it when it was us but holy heck is it easier to get around these days.

Busch Gardens is awesome in itself and I may even like it more than Disney. The mix of animals, rides and places to hang out is nice. The animal enclosures are beautiful, compassionate and designed to bring the animals close to you. In the Gorilla enclosure, we watched a mommy gorilla lean against the glass window we were behind and nurse her baby as the daddy lounged in the grass with his hands behind his head and observed us back. As we were climbing some net play enclosure thing, we found ourselves just a few feet from big hanging bats in the adjacent netted enclosure. The rides were fun, there were splash pads and water play areas all around the park, and unlike Disney, they serve beer, if you're into that type of thing. (I am.)

They also opened a new Sesame Street play area which was incredible. I wanted to push kids aside and run across the gigantic bouncy floor area and splash in the water area and run through the net tunnels like they got to. But I didn't, because security was present.

Unfortunately, the Sesame Street 4D movie gave Big Kid a mild form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In 4 different scenes, water shoots out from the seat in front of you as something water-related happens in the movie. I'll admit that it was irritating--the number of times was excessive and if you were short, you were more likely to get hit in the face. It was also early in the day and we weren't hot yet, so sitting in the blasting air conditioning in damp clothing wasn't fun but it was no big deal. Except to Big Kid.

He was super mad about it and felt like Sesame Street had done something mean to him on purpose; he couldn't figure out why they would think kids might like getting a surprise squirt of water to the face and over the course of the day he kept bringing it up and getting angrier each time. We finally just had to tell him that he had to try to move past it and that we didn't want to hear about it anymore.

But moving on from it just wasn't possible for him, so he would just try to frame it differently: "Mom, what was your favorite part of the 4D movie?"

"I don't know. The underwater scene with the bubbles?"

"Hmm. I'm thinkin' Cookie Monster because there was a giant spaceship cookie, and that was the monster instead of Cookie Monster, and there was no squirtin' water." Then he'd look at me quickly out of the corner of his eye to see if I had caught on to the fact that he was still obsessing over the water.

It went on all day Sunday. He mentioned it again Monday morning (by bringing up his favorite scene and its non-liquid merits) as soon as he woke up . On Tuesday, I saw that he wrote this in his class teddy bear's travel journal:

It says, “On Sunday we were still at Bucsh Garden's. We watched the elmo 4D movie. I did not like geting wet.”

Since we hadn't really taken the class bear into Busch Gardens, we had previously decided that the journal entry would be about the car ride and playing in the hotel but I guess he was still working through the trauma and needed to record it for posterity. Which I'm kind of glad about, because it's pretty funny.

And if you can't laugh at childhood trauma, what can you laugh at?

Way to go, Elmo.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


As long as no one is skipping anyone in Uno, they really, truly love each other.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Not Funny

It was joke day at Big Kid's school yesterday and he was reviewing his material over breakfast, trying to find the perfect joke to share.

"Do you got any jokes, mom?"

"Hmmmmm, not really. What's black and white and red all over?"

"I don't know, what?"

"A penguin in a blender!"

His face flickered from confusion to disgust before he began laughing uncontrollably. Once he calmed down he shook his head and stared at me. "You know that would not be appropriate, right? There will be kinnagardeners present. I hope you know better, mom. That's pretty sick and discustin'!"

"Yeah. You probably shouldn't take joke advice from me, but I see that you already know that."

"It was funny but not for little kids, ya know? You probly shouldn't be talkin' 'bout blendin' up penguins in front of people younger than first grade. Or maybe even not at all, really!"

Later that night, he had a school assembly. It was cute but I didn't see much of him--not because of obnoxious parents this time but because there was a much funnier child sitting closer to where I was. At each song's chorus, this little guy would scream the words at the top of his lungs. As the audience began giggling and the focus began shifting to him, he really amped it up by adding his own dance moves. He had just completed a 360 degree turn of full pelvic thrusts that would have made Elvis blush when the vice-principal hopped up on stage and whispered into his ear.

His little face fell and all of the parents groaned in disappointment; a nearby dad whispered,"There goes the entertainment!" He was determined to continue, but the vice-principal had predicted that and hid behind a Ficus tree on stage. The little boy would start grinning and getting antsy, clearly coming up with a plan, when he'd remember and turn around to see if she was still hiding behind the potted plant. She always was. He still got out a few yells and some hip wiggling, but she put an end to the majority of his theatrics. I know I wasn't the only one who was disappointed.

We're taking the kids to Busch Gardens this weekend! Florida people, you can get a free 2010 pass for children under 5. We are all looking forward to it but little kid is SUPER DUPER can't-talk-about-anything-else-making-it-impossible-to-get-stuff-done excited.

This post seems a little disjointed and unpolished, so I'm going to leave this picture of a baby hippo here to distract you from that:

Have a happy Friday!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Kids Bowl Free

We signed up for Kids Bowl Free, a program where bowling places (you choose one) will let your children bowl 2 games for free every day over the summer. I looked high and low for a catch but it seems legit! We've already started receiving our coupons each week. I guess the bowling alleys realize that all of the shoe rentals and snack and soda purchases will make it worth their while. Also, you can choose to buy an extended family pass for $24.95 (I think, I did it a while ago so don't hold me to that) that allows 4 extra people. We did that and I added my parents so that they could take the boys if they wanted.

I'm seriously excited about having this option once the daily afternoon Summer rains start rolling in. Also, bowling always ends up being ridiculously expensive when we try to go so it will be a treat to be able to do it more regularly. And they have nice cold air conditioning there.

If you sign up at and enter this email address as the person who referred you, I could be entered to win a trip to Disney. That would be so awesome of you and I would so sincerely appreciate it. Just copy and then click the link and paste it right into that section, easy peasy chicken pie. You should sign up no matter what because it is a great offer but I think sending me on an all-expenses paid vacation would be fun for all of us.

(Don't try to email me at though, use the one on the side bar over there. That one's about to be spam city because that's what happens when you publish an email address online.)

Poor Boy

Mr. Ashley and I were talking on the phone the other day when I said,"I can't believe Big Kid only missed 3 questions on his Stanford Achievement Test. Such a smartypants!”

“I can. I can't believe little kid punched Big Kid in the face last night for using a Skip card on him in Uno."

“I can.”

“Then Big Kid just stood there and said, 'He punched me in the nose!' all sadly. He didn't even try to hit him back!”

“He never does, he's a true pacifist. Except on the rare occasions where he completely loses his mind over something. Every once in a while, he'll rough someone up. At least they're both predictable, mostly.”

“Little kid is predictable as in you can predict that he'll kick some ass.”


I looked over at the couch and saw Big Kid studiously reading a Captain Underpants book. A little too studiously.

“Yes,” I continued, “They are good boys. Big Kid is so smart and sweet! I really love him. I feel bad for him though because he smells so terrible. I don't know what is going on there, it's like he has rotten fish stuffed in his pockets or something. I mean, seriously, when he got in the car today I gagged a little. So gross!”

“WHAT?! Really?” a concerned Mr. Ashley said as I snuck a glance over at Big Kid, who was glaring at me with pure fury in his eyes.

“HAHA!! Eavesdropper! You were listening to me! Mwahahahaha, CAUGHT YOU!”

“'Course I was!! You were talkin' about me!” He was annoyed and angry as Mr. Ashley and I howled with laughter.

Eventually I got him to admit that it was a little bit funny, and he was very relieved to hear that he doesn't smell bad.

Monday, May 17, 2010

I Stink

I've been doing some weird skin care stuff lately, the oddest probably being that I use hemp oil a lot. I think I'm seeing some improvements but it's too soon for any big reviews. I definitely smell strange shortly after using it though and little kid hates this passionately.

"Stop puttin' at stinky stuff on you's face," he says when he sees me applying it.

"It's good for me and the smell goes away pretty quickly," I tell him.

The other day we were dancing together and God Speed by the Dixie Chicks came on. All moms of boys get emotional when hearing it and I am definitely not immune to that. I cry every.single.time. it comes on and there we were, forehead to forehead, his warm breath on my cheek and his pudgy arms around my neck, his big blue eyes staring into mine, when I said, "This song always makes me think of you and your brother. I hope you and I dance to this song at your wedding when you get married."

My eyes filled up with tears at the thought of that really happening, and the reality that my time with him is more temporary than it seems, when he said," I's never gettin' married, mumum. I stayin' wif you forever."

I answered, "One day you'll meet a beautiful girl and you'll fall in love with her and you'll want to kiss her and love her forever and marry her."

He was quiet for a moment and then said, "I don't think I's gonna find a girl more bootiful than you, mine mumum."

As I completely swooned with the overwhelming joy of such a sweet, sincere moment in life (and feeling very pretty), he added,"Maybe someone 'at smells better though, 'at's for sure. 'Cuz you smell awful, puttin' at stinky stuff on yous all a time."

Ahh, well, I'll take what I can get. I'll concede the title of Best Smelling Girl to someone else, as long as I get to be pretty.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Reading List

Yeah, so I know that we do this every quarter or so and then I always promise that I'll compile all of the suggestions into one Master List of Wonder and then I don't and then I need suggestions again but can't find the old posts since I don't use the tag section correctly and then I need to ask you all again--but I need some book suggestions.

Specifically, I need some AMAZING, COMPELLING, cannot-put-it-down-and-pity-the-non-reading-fools-as-you-read-it type of books. I have read so many duds this year that it isn't even funny. I've also started a lot of books and just said, "forget it" halfway through because I couldn't bring myself to care about what happened next. I miss that "swept away" feeling you get with a really good book.

I just finished "Between the Assassinations" and it was fine. Not great, not good, just fine.

I can't even begin to list what I like or have read but I do love Wally Lamb, Dave Eggers, John Steinbeck and Margaret George, so similarly genius authors would be good. I also like historical fiction or things set in interesting time periods or situations that I can read more books about, like stuff about old circuses or interesting royal families, etc. Does that make sense? I'll read just about anything though, which is what has led to this problem of reading so many books that kind of suck.

So please tell me the last REALLY good book that you read and you loved.

BFFRN (Best Friends for Right Now)

I was just snuggling with my cat, Pearl, and telling her how she was my very best friend in the whole wide world and how I didn't know what I would do without her.

And then she bit me right in the face. Really hard. Completely out of nowhere.

Doesn't it fucking figure?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Ant Farm of Death

Do you want to teach your children about the realities of life?

Like death?

And disappointment?

And desperation?

And torture?

Are you hoping to raise the next generation's best-known sociopath?

Then you need the Uncle Milton's Gel Ant Farm!

The fun starts when you send away for your new ant buddies. They are FREE with your ant farm! Except for the $4 shipping and handling. Your children will wait excitedly by the mailbox for days, maybe weeks, possibly months! Because they ship them pretty much when they feel like it and blame the weather. It's an excellent lesson in disappointment and gives you the opportunity to explain the absence of the ants every single day when you check the mail.

But one day, your ants will come! (Maybe.) And they might even be alive! (Some of them.)

They suggest that you put the tube of ants in the fridge to calm them down before introducing them to their new home (because they are mean ants that will bite you, much like the free ants in my backyard) but ours were pretty subdued as they marched over the 20+ corpses of their comrades to escape the tube. We only had 4 survivors, meaning I paid $1 shipping per ant.

They looked bewildered by their neon green gel surroundings. They immediately began searching for an exit, completely ignoring the 4 pre-made tunnel holes that had been provided for their enjoyment. I left them alone so they could adjust.

When I checked on them later, one had been exploring! It was now in one of our short tunnels, flailing around, apparently stuck and suffocating in the gel.

"Why is there gel in the ant farm again?" the kids asked.

"I don't really know," I answered, contemplating a search and rescue retrieval mission. Maybe he wasn't flailing, I thought, maybe he's just new to tunnel digging in gel. Perhaps he's fine.

(Because what was I going to do with him even if I did rescue him? Tunneling is kind of the point.)

His three friends paced back and forth on the surface of the gel, occasionally scrambling up the smooth plastic sides to the curved top in an attempt to escape.

By the next morning, the explorer was dead in his gel grave and another was belly up and shriveled on the surface of the gel. The other two were frantically trying to climb away from the slimy green surface.

"This is sad." I said.

"It is sad." The kids agreed.

"This is no kind of life."

We watched for one more day as they valiantly fought to escape their prison. The next morning they were running out of energy and just scrambling at the plastic sides sort of pathetically.

"Can we let 'em go?" little kid finally asked.

They are non-native to our area but they couldn't breed (no queen) and were facing certain death--so we released them into our front landscaping with a stern warning not to bite anyone.

For us, the Ant Farm of Death was pretty depressing. I scraped all of the gel out and we may fill it with beach sand and try again with free local ants. But if you're hoping to raise the next Dexter and/or want to make your kids cry, the Uncle Milton Gel Ant Farm is exactly what you want!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


I am convinced it is Friday. I know the calendar says otherwise, but I just know in my heart that it is true.

I am also quite sure yesterday was Thursday. I don't know if I'm just a day ahead of everyone else, or if the clocks or calendars got screwed up but today is Friday, dammit.

I think we should all have a 3-day weekend so that I can get back on track by Monday.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Show and Tell

Here are those bunnies that I "rescued":

I'm assuming that they didn't die, although I didn't call the wildlife rehab place to find out because I didn't want to hear if they did die. They seemed okay. Mostly.

The wildlife rehab place was kind of mean. Mr. Ashley said they treated him as if he had personally attacked the bunnies. You can't blame my dogs for wanting to play with that kind of adorableness! I still regret not keeping the fat one, even though I know that's just the crazy talking.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

God's Assistants

The other night at dinner, little kid was asking questions about God.

"I can't wait until you start pre-k, little kid. You'll learn about God there and I think you'll like that," I said, looking forward to the day that the Lutherans take over in this department.

"I wanna learn about God too," Big Kid said.

"You learned a little about God when you were in pre-k, except they were Jewish so it was a bit different. Same God we talk about, just different history, holidays and characters. Same guy up there looking after you though."

"I know a little bit about God," he said, cheerfully. "You know who made humans? God.

You know who made the Earth? God.

You know who made the flag for the United States of America?"

I was getting ready to correct him about God's involvement in the physical creation of the American flag (and was also considering complicating the conversation with the theory of evolution) when he finished--

”God's assistant! Betsy Ross! And she didn't mess up when she put 13 stars on. There were only 13 states then. So she did it in a circle but now we have 50 states and we put them in straight lines, which looks nicer, I think, so I'm glad we got those other states.”

I agreed.

I also signed him up for Vacation Bible School. With the Baptists, who are hard core but they also have the most money and the best ideas for fun stuff to do. My children are going to know everything about every religion, mostly because their parents are too lazy to do it themselves and are leaving it up to others. Then they can choose whichever holidays and characters they like the best.

As long as they know it's the same guy up there looking out for all of us, I'll be happy.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Lost Sight

I had to go to the eye doctor today because one of my contact lenses ripped (and I'm way overdue for an appointment and out of contacts). I have an astigmatism--but don't worry, it's not my fault; I didn't do anything to cause that, it's just the way that God made me.

The eye doctor actually said those exact words. It's a good thing I was too blind to see his face because I think I would have laughed and he was being very serious. I just nodded and stared straight ahead.

He was also amazed with my decision making skills. You're so sure of yourself! So confident in your answers! The best decision-maker I've had in quite a while, you must always end up with perfect prescriptions.

Well...thank you. I do usually end up with contacts I can see out of, so I guess I do pretty well.

No really, you're excellent at this. People are never this sure.

We ended up doing it 3 different times with 2 different machines.

Which looks better: 1 or 2? 3 or 4? 3 or 5? 3 or 6? 7 or 8? Amazing. Now let's do it with this hand held machine, too. I hope you don't mind me taking up your time, it's just that I'm a perfectionist and I want this to be right for you. I want it to be perfect for you, like crystal-clear perfect.


So he was nice and it was fun, if not a little awkward. I am annoyed with God for creating me in a way that hinders my ability to go home with contacts that day vs. waiting for them to be ordered. They gave me sample contacts to get me through, but they aren't the perfect, special crystal clear prescription that we worked so hard together for.

While I was paying, I set my glasses next to my purse because I was thinking, "I better not just throw my glasses into my purse and then they'll see how I abuse my glasses and try to force me to buy a case or new glasses or something else" because it's a factory-type of eye doctor place where they up sell everything. And then when I got home, I realized I didn't have my glasses.

When I called them to tell them that I left my glasses, she very matter-of-factly said, "Oh, they aren't here!"

So among thousands of pairs of glasses, you can state with absolute certainty that the ones I've left there are not there? I told her they were there and asked if she could take my name and number for when they turned up. This seemed hugely inconvenient to her.

I am afraid that my glasses will be lost among the sea of glasses and/or that the very people who want me NOT to have glasses (so that I have to buy theirs) now have my glasses.

So much for me and my excellent decision making!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Just Two Please

Sitting here on Mother's Day with people running around tearing things up and fighting, and Mr. Ashley out on a work call (his new position keeps him "on call" 2 weeks every month), I can't help but think that what I REALLY want for Mother's Day is a fool-proof birth control plan.

I love the two kids that I have more than words can express, they are what makes life good and despite all of my bitching, they bring me constant joy and give me a reason for being...but I don't want more. Unequivocally, absolutely, positively DO NOT WANT to give birth ever again. I don't even get those pangs of longing when looking at other people's bellies or babies. I feel warm and fuzzy over their excitement and I love their babies, but lord am I glad it isn't me. The very thought of it being me gives me the heebie jeebies, and not in a good way.

As if to illustrate my point, little kid is screaming "CAN YOU WIPE MY BUTT?" from the other side of the house as I type this. He will not do it himself. Ever, he swears.

That's the kind of stuff I don't need more of.

But every birth control option out there sucks and hormones and I don't mix well. After much research, the idea of a vasectomy came up and Mr. Ashley agreed that it made the most sense. I even argued against it at first, pointing out that he may go on to marry someone else some day and maybe she would want kids. Too bad for her! he declared. He didn't want more kids or to start over again with babies, no matter what.

Until I got down to researching doctors and then actual appointment times. Now there's just major evasion of the topic when it comes up.

"It seems a little invasive," he mentioned.

"Yeah, so is growing a human being in your body for a year and then pushing a whole person out of your vagina and letting it suck on your boobs for another year. Twice." I reminded him.

"True," he agreed.

Now whenever the kids are fighting or ruining our fun, I say, "You want more of this? Throw in some dirty diapers and midnight feedings?" and he agrees that it sounds pretty awful.

There are days where, if I had a better grasp of biology and knew where my tubes actually were, I'd chew through my own flesh and tie those puppies up myself. Without anesthetic.

Now that's invasive. Moms know invasive.

To Moms

Personally, I think we deserve a whole month. But enjoy whatever you get!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Change of Heart

This morning I was sound asleep, in the middle of a dream (nothing interesting, I was trying to get directions from some lady on the phone--annoying but maybe I was going to go somewhere neat) when I heard, "MUMUM, WOOK AT MY SHESELL."

"No. I'm asleep. Lay down." I mumbled.

"You's not asweep, you's talkin'. Wook at dis shesell I's got."

"little kid, I'm still dreaming." and at that point, I still halfway was. He was out there in the periphery but I was more asleep than awake. I could have had another good 5 minutes and Mr. Ashley was already awake and available for him to harass.

"Ohhh. You's dweamin' 'bout indians? Or twucks? Or a knight? Oooooh, maybe a knight! Is 'at what's you's dweamin' 'bout, mine mumum?"

"GAH! I CAN'T EVEN SLEEP IN PEACE! Why can't you ever give me a minute? This is not how I want to start my day, little kid."

"You's 'wake now, wanna see my shesell?"

I'm actually starting to look forward to my dentist appointment tomorrow morning. Get there at 8 in the morning to have strangers scrape, poke, inject and drill inside of my mouth with burning teeth smell everywhere and tooth dust floating around--or another day of staying at home with little kid?

One woman's torture is another woman's spa day. Also, my dentist has televisions and I get to watch whatever I want (NOT Shark Week, NOT Dino Squad, NOT Voltron and NOT Transformers.) Sounds like a mini-vacation.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Big Baby

In an attempt to stay a baby forever, little kid has stopped eating vegetables.

"EAT THEM!" I yell.

"I don't wanna get big. If I get big, yous can't carry me."

"You're big now! I can hardly carry you now!"

"I not gonna get any bigger. I gonna stay a baby."

"It doesn't work like that. You'll get bigger no matter what but if you don't eat your vegetables, you won't develop properly! You won't be strong enough for t-ball! You won't be able to run fast! You'll have a big head and people will be able to see your skeleton! Just EAT THEM!"

He asks me to hold him probably 15-20 times a day. I'm not exaggerating. I break down and do it maybe 5-7 times a day. He's almost a third of my weight and quite awkward to hold. It's sweet but also very heavy. He wants me to carry him around stores and the post office. He gets envious if I dare hold any other baby (greatly reducing the amount of other-baby holding that I do, because I don't want to hear "HODE ME! HODE ME!" for the rest of the day.)

He can swim without floaties and when Em's mom said, "What a big boy! You're not a baby anymore!" he glared at her as I explained that he was still a baby and had intentions of staying that way forever. "Really?" she asked him.

And I know I'll miss my baby when he grows up--but I'll never be able to honestly say that I didn't get enough time with him as my baby. Because he's holding onto babyhood for as long as humanly possible.

Dream job

Last night I got a job offer to be a writer in Australia. I was going to have to move there and I was going to make $72,000 a year. I was sitting at a conference table and some guy was making me this offer and instead of telling me how much I was going to make, he punched it into his calculator all dramatically and spun it around to show me. I was so excited to be moving to Australia and to be having a job!

And then I woke up. And I was pretty sad that I wouldn't be moving to Australia or having a job.

Don't get me wrong, I've become really good at not having a job. More pool time, more drinking, more movie watching--I'm doing an amazing job at all of those things.

But I'd give it all up to be a writer in Australia.

Here's a shoplifting bird to help us get over the disappointment.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Lessons in Safety

This morning on the way to school, a morning radio host was playing the 9-1-1 tape of a 14-year-old who accidentally shot and killed his best friend. It was pretty intense and devastating stuff but I am HARDCORE with the "Don't ever, ever touch a gun" routine, so I explained to the kids what was going on and how incredibly sad it was for these boys and their families and how it all could have been avoided if they had never touched the gun.

They were serious and solemn about it.

"What if it's a yellow gun with "NERF" on the side and foam darts? Can we touch those?" Big Kid asked.

I affirmed that anything involving NERF, foam darts or brightly colored plastic was most likely a toy and was okay.

"Will 'at boy go to jail?" little kid asked.

"Kids can't go to jail, little kid!" Big Kid answered.

"Well, they can. There is a jail for kids but I don't think he will go because it's an accident. But some really bad kids do end up in jail, it's very sad."

"Are you locked up in a jail? You can't go home to yous mumum?" little kid asked.

"No, you can't go home to your mom."

"Hmmm. I not gonna worry 'bout it."

"No, you shouldn't worry about jail. You're a good boy."

"No, I not gonna worry 'cuz I will just 'scape from jail."

"Oh, well you can't escape. They've thought of that and made it really hard to escape."

"Uh, I gonna turn into a dinosaur, eat all a cops and come home to my mumum. They pwobably didn't think of 'at, huh?"

"Oh. No, they probably didn't think of that. The point is mostly just NOT to touch a gun. Ever. If you see a gun, tell your friends not to touch it and run and get an adult."

"Yep and I not gonna worry 'bout jail."

So the good news is that Big Kid will never, ever touch a gun and little kid already has a plan to escape prison! He also made me buy him batting gloves, and now wears jeans, cowboy boots and black leather gloves pretty much full time.

At least he won't leave behind any fingerprints.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Dr. Evil was actually not evil at all. They were very nice and there was a section about dental anxiety on the form, so they got a little essay about the Novocaine Nazi, my high tolerance to numbing agents and my sensitivity to people getting all pissy and treating me like a crackhead about it. They understood.

Unfortunately, my cleaning isn't until next week. So the dental hygienist could be evil, but I'm not quite as scared as I was before. I'm still worried about it though and reserve the right to freak out closer to then. I did get the soda lecture but I needed the soda lecture--Coke is the only thing keeping me from wedding weight. But I really, really like Coke.

Today little kid starts T-ball! I'm excited for him. Remember when Big Kid did t-ball? Or more accurately, when I woke up every Saturday morning so Big Kid could wander around the field and tell his coach that he was too hungry or tired to run bases and would consider it next week? And then never hit a ball or willingly ran a base? And then on trophy day we decided he didn't deserve a trophy and slept in?

I'm thinking it will go better than that this time.

The other day as Big Kid was getting ready for school, he looked over at little kid and said, "Mom, he's gettin' bigger ebery day and he doesn't eben know it."

"Yep, you are too," I answered before looking at him and seeing that his eyes were full of tears. "Are you about to cry?"

He angrily wiped his eyes and said, "NO! I just love him bein' a baby."

I feel a little like that this morning. How did my baby get big enough for team sports?

The thought of being only 15 years away from Major League Baseball-type money helps though. little kid has promised to buy me a big house (with stairs), a boat, and a car for every birthday!