Thursday, July 22, 2010 Juicy Giveaway

Good news!

I'm going on vacation and one of you is going to get a cute little Juicy girl's dress for free!

When people offer to give you all stuff, I try to say yes because you all love stuff. Sometimes when it's a website, I feel a little nervous about saying yes because what if I don't like their site--we are honest here but we (usually) don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. When offered the darling little Juicy dress, I was intrigued on your behalf and the concept of a search engine for kids clothes sounded like something we would like. I briefly checked it out and it looked legit, so I said yes to the dress.

But last night I actually had a minute to check it out in-depth and am happy to report that it's a really helpful site, especially with back to school shopping going on right now. is a shopping search engine for children’s apparel that carries everything from school uniforms to brand names like Juicy Couture Kids and Little Marc, and offers information on sales as well as which sites offer free shipping--all on one page! Pretty cool! It also has nice sorting features, which makes it easy to browse by price or category.

As a mom of boys, I'm completely sick of shopping in the same 3 stores all of the other moms of boys shop at and I did find some really cute stuff using the search engine. It's probably even more fun if you're shopping for girls!

Which brings us to the Juicy dress. Ta-da:

So cute!

Enter to win by leaving a comment and promising to name your next child Ashley.

Okay, just kidding about naming the next child Ashley, but it would be a nice touch. Only U.S. residents, please. The dress is available in sizes 2 through 6. Moms of boys, feel free to leave your name. Maybe you know a girl or maybe you hoard things for the daughter you may have one day. Maybe you just like to win things. Maybe you just really like to leave comments and the prize would be a nice bonus. I don't know. But thanks to for the dress; I wish it came in my size.

Contest runs through next Saturday (July 31st). I'll be floating around on crystal clear spring waters on my inner tube if you need me.

Cross Dress

One thing led to another and I ended up putting one of my sundresses on little kid today as I was folding laundry. (He asked me to, although he denies this now.)

We both giggled as we snuck into the room Big Kid was in and little kid tapped him on the shoulder, cracking up over wearing jeans, a Jimi Hendrix shirt and a sundress. Big Kid looked up and laughed.

"Let me go get my camera," I said.

Big Kid's smile instantly stopped. "Don't you do it! Don't you dare take a picture of him like that."

"Oh whatever, it's all in good fun," I said, reaching for the camera.

"DON'T DO IT! NO PICTURE! I won't let you do it, mom. I'm not havin' you take a picture of my bubby in a dress."

"What is your problem? He's fine with it. Who cares?"

"I care! He might care when he's more growed up. If you do it, I'll be all tweaked out."

"Tweaked out?!? Did you really just say that? Are you for real?" I could tell he was for real, just by looking at him. His face was turning red.

"I will not let you, mom. If you do it, I will delete it or break your camera or do whatever I think is best. I'll take little kid and we'll run away!!"

Honestly, I've never seen him so mad at me. There was only one other time that was comparable, the one time I swiped a soapy finger in little kid's mouth for out-of-control sassing. Big Kid threatened to call Poison Control on me that day.

At this point, little kid was running around the kitchen island screaming and trying to tear the dress off. I decided to give up on the photo; I can't have them running away right before we leave on vacation.

We should all be so lucky to have a brother like Big Kid, though.

Despite Big Kid's noble effort to save little kid from embarrassment, little kid keeps asking me to put the dress on Big Kid. When I told him that Big Kid would never go for that, he suggested that I just hold him down and force the dress over his head.

I think he's your more typical type of brother.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Frigidaire Professional Series

Do you like hand washing dishes?

Love the feeling of dish pan hands?

Enjoy the excitement of reaching around blindly in scalding hot water for sharp knives?

Then you need a Frigidaire Professional Series dishwasher!

Its puzzling error codes will stimulate your brain while your new manual labor role occupies your time and lets you have a more intimate relationship with your dish ware! Amazingly, the Frigidaire Professional Series dishwasher has a knack for quitting right before you have guests or leave on vacation! Sometimes it's just joking and can be reset, but sometimes you just have to wash your own damn dishes!

They call it the "Professional" series because you'll have to hire a professional to wash your dishes once it quits working. And if you can't afford that, you have the added benefit of on-the-job training to become your own professional dishwasher! It provides job skills, people.

Admire the Frigidaire Professional Series dishwasher's sleek stainless steel interface as you and your dishtowel painstakingly dry each plate and bowl and cup. Watch how the green flashing "ER" signal reflects off of the cutlery you're scrubbing. Eat nice family meals off of paper plates with plastic forks in your beautiful kitchen.

The Frigidaire Professional Series dishwasher can do all of this and more!!

(Well, not much more.)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What's for Lunch?

"Some people's moms are dead and den no one's bossin' 'em around! My wook fwiends moms is dead, they's got no one bossin' 'em!" little kid announced.

This is a recurring theme, his imaginary friends and their dead mothers. Sometimes they have mothers that let them do crazy shit, like bake cupcakes every single day and frost them by themselves. Sometimes they are adults who can do whatever they want. But often their mothers are dead or have died recently.

"little kid, do you know how sad you would be if I died? You started to cry when I came back from my 3 hour hair appointment today because you had missed me so much. If I was dead you could never talk to me, hug me, kiss me, snuggle me, play with me--nothing, ever again. You would miss me forever."

"Well...I could talk to ya when you was up wif God. Pippi Longstocking talks to her mumum and she's dead. I'd get to see ya when I go up wif God, too."

"But I could never talk back. I couldn't be here for you during your life. You'd be talking to me and missing me, but you wouldn't get to see me or be with me again for a very, very long time. It would be very sad for you, little kid."

He looked pensive. "Yeah, a little bit sad. Dere would be no lunch."

Detecting the pissed off look on my face, he started to talk about how much his work friends missed their dead mothers. I just sort of ignored him, so he paused for a moment and then went on to mention how his work friends still got lunch since they still had dads.

"It's a good thing I got's a dad, dontcha think?" he finished.

Pics & Stuff

Picasso Awesomeness
My new drinking glass
Brown glove chipmunk
When I grow up I'll have one
Friendship test
Uphill battle
Life tips
In Search of Missing Pieces

Friday, July 16, 2010

Silence of the Lambs

Is it wrong that when I put sunscreen on the kids I like to say, "It rubs the lotion on its skin, or else it gets the hose again?"

Or is it really, really right?

(I hope it's okay because we've already gone through 16 ounces of sunscreen this summer.)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fire Starter

I walked into the kitchen earlier and found a lighter on the ground in front of the refrigerator. The lighter is kept up in a cabinet and looking around revealed that one of the kitchen stools had been moved.

I was REALLY angry. Just days ago I made a specific point of telling the kids about a friend of mine whose house burned down when he was 7 and how all he had left were 4 half-melted Star Wars toys. This story made Big Kid weep for 2 days. I finished with a list of things that can start fire and shouldn't be played with, and reminded them that not only could you lose all of your toys but that your family and pets could die. (I tell a lot of scary fire-related stories because fire terrifies me.) Everyone was very solemn and seemed to understand not to ever, ever even touch anything that could start a fire.

"LITTLE KID!!!!" I yelled. He walked into the room wearing pajama bottoms and cowboy boots, smiling nervously. "Why would you touch the lighter?!"

He cocked his head to the side and with a wide grin said, "Because that's just how I roll, baby!"

Word for word, that's what he said.

And it's actually a pretty good answer because that is indeed how he rolls.

It took me a moment to collect myself and to make sure I wasn't showing any signs of being amused. I know I can't encourage his psychopathic tendencies.

But it was pretty funny.

The moral of the story is that I need to find somewhere little kid-proof to hide the lighter.

Maybe the attic?

Back Scratcher

This morning the boys were playing video games in bed while I woke up. Big Kid was at the end of the bed playing and little kid was lying against my back, watching his brother play.

"little kid, will you scratch my back for me?"


"I will, mom!" Big Kid offered.

"No, Big Kid! I got dis! The situation is taken care of!" little kid replied, sounding angry.

I waited a few seconds before asking, "So are you going to scratch my back, little kid?"

"No! And Imma make sure Big Kid don't either! I don't wanna but I'm not lettin' him do it!"

Thanks, little kid.

My back is still itchy.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Free Fall

Last week I walked into my bathroom to find a naked little kid standing on my toilet, one foot on either side of the seat, pooping and going through the make-up on the counter at the same time.

"What are you doing?!" I yelled.

"Cleanin' up," he answered.

I angrily explained why long distance pooping was a terrible idea and told him to never ever do it again.

"I do it all a time and nuttin' ever goes bad," he insisted.


Lo and behold, there was evidence of long distance pooping gone wrong in their bathroom this morning. I was beyond furious and between his habit of nervous laughter and the poop smeared all over the bathroom (he had attempted clean up), I'd say it's a miracle everyone made it out of this situation alive and unharmed.

What is he thinking when he does these things??

Do I even want to know?

Praying Mantis

We went to the pool the other day and there was a dad there with 2 girls who looked around the same age. I'm guessing the girls were probably 12-13 and I believe he may have been their step-dad. They all jumped in the pool and soon he was tossing the girls from his shoulders. I thought it was fun they were all playing together.

Then I heard him say, "You are light as a feather! It's so different from having your sister on my shoulders, it's like having a wild buck up there when she's jumping. You are so light it's like nothing!" and I thought it was kind of a dickish thing to say, but that he probably hadn't realized how it sounded.

I looked up to glance at the heavy one and was surprised to see that I couldn't tell which one would be heavier. The girls were right around the same height and body shape, they may have even been twins. So I watched behind my sunglasses as they continued jumping to see if one was especially clumsy, and I could find no difference in the two girls except that he continued to complain how heavy the one was and even suggested that she start swimming laps daily.

"Have you ever seen a Praying Mantis?" he asked the one he liked. She hadn't. "It's a type of bug, really tall and thin and willowy. Super light! You remind me of one, so skinny."

I hopped in the pool and swam over to Mr. Ashley. "Do you hear this guy?"

"Yes. What the hell is his problem? They're the same size!" he whispered.

I was floating near them again and was trying to think of a way to laughingly say "You're crazy! They're both in great shape!" next time he complained, but I could tell that he was a tough guy who wouldn't have taken it well and that it may have led to additional torture for "the fat one". His wife and her mother eventually showed up and I thought for sure it would stop once they were present, but nope, several more remarks about the size of this perfectly average pre-teen.

After 10 minutes of hearing him insist that he was the only person he knew that couldn't float (because of the size of his muscles--*insert ginormous eye roll here*) and a declaration that only "shit floats" (whispered conspiratorially to the "skinny girl"), Mr. Ashley and I had to leave early because I could no longer control myself from openly glaring at him and snorting in derision.

Interestingly, his wife was wearing a bathing suit she had NO BUSINESS wearing. Maybe homeboy should try suggesting that she swim some laps.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ninja Poop

Big Kid misheard the word "nincompoop" somewhere and has been calling little kid "ninja poop" lately.

I haven't bothered to correct him because ninja poop is one of the most amusing insults I've ever heard.

I also don't care that name-calling is against the rules when it's something that funny.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


I would like to thank the parents of the screaming children in the doctor's waiting room today for supplying a whole herd of last minute reminders of why a vasectomy was a good idea for our family.

Although I undoubtedly don't want to give birth again (I'm 3 lbs from wedding weight, people!), of course there was some wistfulness with closing this chapter of our lives. For about an hour last night, I mourned the daughter I will probably never have. But then I tried to actually picture myself having another baby and the sleepless nights, the lifelong implications, and the cost and all I could think about was how I could go on a nice vacation with that much money. That's a good sign that I'm done, I think, when I'd prefer Belize over a baby.

And can you even imagine little kid as a middle child?

I also shouldn't go through pregnancy again for the same reason I don't do well with hormonal birth control--it makes me fat and crazy and I dislike being fat and crazy. For the first time in almost 5 years, I feel like me again and it is really very nice to be that version of me.

Mr. Ashley is doing well and said it was really no big deal. I am so grateful that soon I will have no valid reason to fear that I'm pregnant every month.

The other day Big Kid told me that if he ever had a little girl baby, he was going to name her Bailey because he knew I liked that name because it was my grandpa's. It made me swoon to hear it, but I told him that his wife may have something to say about that.

"Well, how do I get a wife that will let me use the name I want?"

"I guess you'll just have to discuss things like this...and pick a nice lady to marry."

"Like the type of lady who won't be screamin' at the kids and stuff?"

"Yes, that would be a good start."

"We could have two girl babies and I could name the first one and she could name the second one."

"That is a pretty good compromise and I would love to have two granddaughters."

"But then I won't have a little boy to draw comics with and play Mario with and stuff."

"You could have more than two children. Some people do. Also, girls like drawing and Mario."

" I just need to find a nice lady that wants two girls and one boy and likes the name I like."

"Yep, that's it!"

So maybe I'll get a Bailey one day after all.

Mr. Ashley is still very open to the idea of international adoption should our fortune ever drastically change. I like having the option...but I could go on a lot of vacations with that type of money. And get a boob job.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Lie Detector

little kid is on a real lying streak lately and I'm getting tired of it.

Yesterday he walked into the room with a completely blue mouth and a guilty look on his face.

"Why is your mouth blue?"

"It not."

"Uh, yes, it is. What have you been into?"

He was struggling to keep a serious look on his face, his little mouth pursing as the corners turned upward, struggling to smile.

"Did you get into the candy?" I checked his hands and they were still damp from a suspicious recent washing.

His mouth turned into a little "O" and he rolled his eyes toward the ceiling--making a bizarre face that was very similar to the ridiculous face Big Kid used to make when he first started telling lies. "No, mine Mumum."

Walking into the room he just left, I found a small pile of candy wrappers under the desk. He continued to deny his involvement, despite the blue candy wrappers and his blue mouth, and he got in trouble for it anyway.

Later that day he was taking forever with lunch and wasn't allowed to leave the kitchen island until he finished his bowl of homemade mac and cheese. About 10 minutes later he came into the room I was in, triumphantly announcing that he had finished.

"Really? What a good boy!" I exclaimed. As I got up to go into the kitchen, I saw that he looked nervous. "Did you really eat it?" I asked, watching the "I'm lying" face creep up.

"Yes, I ated it all! Like um very good boy." The bowl was indeed empty, but my suspicions remained.

Then I suddenly remembered a jedi parenting trick The Renee told me about years ago:

"Hey, little kid, I've got a special test that tells me if kids are telling a lie. Will you please come here?" I asked, squatting down to his level. He looked a little apprehensive.

"Whys you want me to?"

"As part of the test. It's no big deal if you really did eat your lunch, I just need to make sure."

I stuck my arm out, thumb up. "Okay, I need you to squeeze my thumb with your hand and look into my eyes while I ask you a question, alright?"

"MMMkay," his eyes were growing wider, as he tentatively reached out and wrapped his small hand around my thumb.

"Okay, now squeeze my thumb and look right at me," I said, looking into his eyes, "little kid, did you really eat all of your mac and cheese?"

He hesitated for just a moment. "Yes I did." He tried to sound confident.

Any fear that I had that I'd be unable to read him correctly completely faded with that one sentence. Anyone who had truly eaten their mac and cheese wouldn't have that slight tremble to their hand or those wild wide eyes or that scrunched up little mouth struggling not to laugh.

(Laughter and smiling is a nervous reaction for little kid--it took me months of total rage as he laughed in my face during punishments before I realized this and now I know to ignore it.)

I shook my head in sad disappointment. His shoulders drooped. "little kid. This is very sad for me. The test says that you're lying. It is not good to lie. God doesn't like lies, Santa Claus doesn't like lies, and you cannot be telling lies. What did you really do with your mac and cheese? Don't lie more! That will make it worse!"

"I feeded it to a dogs, mumum," he admitted. I praised him for admitting it and felt pretty amused by the whole situation and my glorious new trick...until bedtime.

Because at bedtime, I found an enormous bowl-sized clump of mac and cheese under his bed, partially ground into the carpet.

And he blamed it on the dogs, who must have put it there once they realized they didn't like mac and cheese.

Monday, July 5, 2010


Today we had Em and her family over to swim and play.

Big Kid and Em were born 6 months apart and have been friends forever. They have celebrated 6 birthdays together, explored Disney World together, spent the night at each other's various houses and learned a lot about friendship and a little about the opposite sex through one another. They have fought over toys and their plans for the future; she once cried and tattled on him for telling her that he didn't think they'd grow up and get married because he loved her like a friend. Then she informed him that he was wrong about that. They were 5 then.

We haven't seen her in a few months and I was astounded to see how big they look standing next to one another now. I have pictures of her as a wrinkled newborn, propped up against his bald, wide-eyed baby self and now they walk around holding hands; her with a ponytail halfway down her back and him looking so tall and tan.

As we were saying our goodbyes today, I saw her approach him with a shy smile.

"Hug me, Big Kid," she said, throwing her arms wide, dramatically. He returned her smile and was swooped up into her hug. His head was awkwardly on her shoulder, his face purposely turned from hers. "Let me see your face," I heard her say.

"No." he answered, still hugging her tightly.

She untangled herself from his arms and put one hand on each cheek, pulling his face in toward hers, smiling but looking serious. I realized what was going on just as she leaned in for a kiss.

"EM!" Her mom and I and Big Kid all shouted at the same time. She had already accomplished her quick kiss and was giggling as Big Kid wrestled away, swiping his hand across his mouth and blushing furiously.

She headed for the front door and turned back again, "One more hug?" she asked, grinning and holding her arms out again.

"NO!" Big Kid answered.

She laughed again and left, leaving me shocked that our babies were so big now.

Once the door closed behind them I said, "Hey, Big Kid? You and Emmy can't be kissing--"

"You're tellin' me! The trick to that is keepin' my face away from her face, but that sure is hard when you're friends sayin' goodbye! Don't worry, mom, I didn't like it!"

But I'm afraid that one day he will.

Some Links

Where I will live when I grow up
I have been here, and will spend the rest of my life trying to get back here
You are and a rebuttal
Impossible is nothing
Bookshelf Porn (Safe for work, but the stuff dreams are made of...if you're a big nerd like me)
Photoshop makes the rest of us feel ugly
Audrey Hepburn was beautiful (before Photoshop even existed) and she stayed that way.
Being Successful
Fur coat
Good buddies
When Life Gives You...
My dream

Summer Time

Next time 4th of July rolls around and I want to buy fireworks, just encourage me to light $30 on fire and throw it into the driveway. I don't know if it's because all of the fun fireworks are illegal where we live or what, but fireworks are never as enjoyable as I expect them to be and I forget this every year.

We had a rainy 4th of July and Mr. Ashley was on call for work, so it was hard to have any kind of crazy fun. We went swimming once the rain cleared and walked down to the lake to feed the ducks before lighting some stuff on fire and going inside for ice cream sundaes.

Not much else to report here. I've been really surprised by how quickly summer is passing. Remember how long summer felt when you were little? What happened to that? I've been having such a great time with the boys that I really dread the start of the school year. Yeah, the free time will be great but the homework and the laundry and the lunch-packing is a big fat hassle.

Also, a new school year means that people are growing up, and that makes me a little bit sad. Okay, it makes me a lot sad! I just want time to slow down, is that too much to ask?

Saturday, July 3, 2010


My boys were watching "Red, White & Blue, Magoo" the other day and Big Kid said, "Good thing our country has its freedom!"

little kid answered, "Yeah, it's a good thing mommies and daddies are free 'cuz I don't gots a lot of money for new ones!"

Have a happy 4th of July and don't burn off or blow up any body parts! I promise I'll try to get back on track with blogging next week.