Saturday, August 28, 2010

Jack Johnson and G. Love

So, I actually ended up going to the Jack Johnson concert on Thursday. This seemed like an impossibility, driving 2.5 hours away on a school night with friends to go listen to music. When Girl Crush brought it up, I was like, "During the first week of school? On a school night? In West Palm Beach?"

"Yeah," she said. "Get tickets and come with us." Like it was no big deal.

Jack Johnson is definitely one of the artists that make up the soundtrack of my life. I love his music and have so many great memories that he's played background in. The thought of driving far away on a school night with friends to listen to music seemed adventurous (hey, I'm old!) and I really, really wanted to go.

At first, Mr. Ashley acted like I was nuts. I think he just likes the struggle because we both knew we were going to go. He loves Jack Johnson too, he's just practical about things. "Who would watch the kids? Who would drive? When would we get home?"

I asked my mom about watching the kids, half expecting some hesitancy or a hint of "this is a crazy plan" but she was like, "Sounds fun, you should go."

So we went!!

Girl Crush and her husband had already invited another couple and I was nervous about if they would be fun and if they would like us. Conversation was slow at first but the husband ended up telling some stories about his brother that closely followed the Facebook updates of a good friend of mine and we figured out that his brother was one of my brother's best friends. The wife was really funny and sweet. We all liked each other and were good friends by the end of the car ride.

We got to the concert and walked in and paused next to a small platform while we figured out where to go next since we were hours early. A lady on the platform picked up a microphone and announced that G. Love was going to come up and play. We love G. Love and were doubly excited when we found out he was also on the tour. We stood there in disbelief as this cute geeky guy hopped on the little stage. People were walking right by, buying t-shirts, sitting in the parking lot drinking before the show, and we were 20 feet from one of the artists we had come to see, listening to some of our favorite songs with a very small group of people just beginning to gather.

There he is singing "My Baby's Got Sauce". Sorry for the poor video quality; I'm short, don't have zoom, couldn't stay still and people did begin to congregate when they started recognizing songs.

Then G. Love announced that Jack Johnson was going to hop on stage so they could play acoustically together, and sure enough, he did. It was awesome and he's amazing. We made eye contact and I'm pretty sure he wanted me to travel around the world with him while he wrote songs to serenade me with nightly. But since we're both happily married, we knew it wasn't meant to be. Girl Crush thinks she had the same kind of eye contact, but that can't be right.

We had cheap lawn seats, so to end up so close to the entertainment during what felt like a private concert was pretty awesome.

The concert itself was also a ton of fun. It rained a little while the opening acts played but we were lucky enough to have an umbrella. The girls huddled under it and people-watched while the guys sat in the rain and laughed. By the time Jack Johnson came on, the sky was clear and the weather was perfect and we all danced and sang and had more fun than I can even remember. (There may have been some alcohol involved.)

I was going to upload more videos, but I swear just getting those 2 up took me 3 days. My computer is doing a fun new thing where it turns itself off randomly because of a cord issue, so starting any task is like playing Russian roulette.

Anyway, it was soooooooooooooooo much fun that I'm now sad forever that it's over. Best concert ever and I've been to some good ones.

The moral of the story is to go on adventures as often as possible. Especially if you're old and otherwise boring.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Racism does the world a little bit of good:

Dr. Laura to End Show Amid N-Word Flap

How dare people infringe upon Dr. Laura's First Amendment rights to say the n-word 11 times on air by using their own First Amendment rights to complain about it! Now she's just going to stop talking as much--how do you like that?

I think this is the only time in my whole life where someone's use of the n-word made me feel happy. This is one small step against racism, but one giant step against annoying people who talk too much and get paid to act hateful.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dear little kid,

Today you turn 4. Several days ago I reminded you, "Your birthday is Tuesday! You'll be 4!" and you looked wistful as you nodded in agreement.



"I'mma invent a 'chine to make me stay tiny forever. Mmkay?"

"That sounds like a great machine!" I answered, wishing you could make it true.

I asked you what was wrong when you suddenly looked sad. "I don't think I can make a 'chine like 'at 'til I'm already big. So it won't wook."

"You should invent a time machine and we can go back to whatever time you want," I offered.

You looked interested but doubtful. "I gonna try, but I don't know if I can." I told you it was worth trying.

Every single day you ask me, "I's gonna get bigger, right? Every day I gonna get bigger, no matter what," and I confirm that it's true. It's not that you want to get bigger, it's that you don't want to get bigger and are checking to see if there are any ways around that.

You are a happy, joyful, mischievous and (mostly) carefree (for good and for bad) little soul. These are the days of your life, and you're wise enough to know that. Each day is a new adventure and you can have a good time anywhere, any time, under any circumstances. You exude fun and glow with genuine mirth.

You are bold in everything that you do, including how you express your love. You knock your big brother down daily with bear hugs, both of you collapsing in a heap of giggles (or yelling). You creep into our room at dawn to rub daddy's back and press your face into his shoulders as he sleeps. You serenade me each day with a song you made up. I always wanted someone to write a song about me and you did. It mostly goes like this:

"Mumum, come to my heart! Come.To.My.Heart, my looooooooooooove! COME to my HEART, my DEAR mum-muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmm. Cometomy HEAAAAAAAAART where you should be because I loves you, my sweet mommy. COME TO MY HEART!!! My loooooooooove."

I hear this in your warbling, high little voice while waking up or making you lunch. It is ridiculously funny and completely absurd. It often makes me laugh and tear up at the same time. I got the guy who wrote me my song. It was just a slightly different guy and song than I had envisioned. I love it and you more than I can ever say.

I know that 4 is going to be an awesome year for you. You started pre-k yesterday and this is the first phase of our life where you've ever been away from me for any set amount of time. I didn't think you were ready, but you were. You gave me a quick kiss and turned and walked away, looking impossibly big in the school clothes you helped pick out...looking not very much like a baby at all. You are getting bigger every day, whether we like it or not.

I feel blessed to have the happiness and silliness you bring to our home. I look forward to seeing where life takes you. But I also hope you manage to invent that machine that will keep you tiny.

I like you, I love you and I'll always protect you.

In your heart forever,

Monday, August 23, 2010

Time Trick

I have a 2nd grader.


People, this is not possible. I am clearly far too young to have a child in 2nd grade. Moms of 2nd graders are experienced moms and real live grown-ups. They are older/oldish and their kids are really big. Not like me. I just had that kid!! Like, not that long ago. I clearly remember when he was 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and that just wasn't that long ago. Not 3+ years ago.

This means that in 3 more years, I'll have a freaking 5th grader!! See how wrong that is?

I tried to convince him to stay in bed and snuggle with me forever, pretty sure that we could pause time that way. He didn't want to, though. He wanted to start 2nd grade. He was excited and hardly even nervous; he had no idea that as I was buttoning his shirt, I was having thoughts of hiding us both in the hall closet until this whole 2nd grade thing passed.

Mr. Ashley took him to school and called me all teary-eyed afterward, both of us trying to figure out how we became parents of a 2nd grader so quickly. Somehow my baby turned into a handsome, confident big boy and I'm not even sure exactly when or how it happened.


As Big Kid would say, it happened "because life goes." That's the part of life I like the least, though.

What can you do?

(No, really. I'm asking.)

Stay tuned for "How in the hell did my little baby get in pre-k and why won't he wear what I tell him?" later today. Pre-k starts at 12:30.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Super Mario Bros Birthday

I'm way behind on picture posts lately. I still want to post some vacation pics but who knows when I'll get around to that. So, here are some pics from the boys' Super Mario Bros. birthday party Saturday:

Big Kid wore his mustache for most of the party. little kid wore his for almost exactly 15 seconds.

The goody bags had Super Mario gummy snacks, peach rings candy, Mario trading cards, and a Mario keychain; the boys got Mario or Luigi hats with mustaches and the girls got crowns and a diamond ring.

I made those background decorations. My entire house was covered in construction paper for a week. No lie.

We made the pinata, too. It fell down before it broke so I guess we flunk pinata-making.

Check out that look of determination!

Big Kid was furious when Mr. Ashley lowered the pinata up and down as he swung at it. But then he yelled for Mr. Ashley to do exactly that to all of the other party guests.

There was an obstacle course where the kids had to do different tasks, including walking backward in front of the Boos.

Then they water-bombed Bowser at the end--unfortunately the water balloons wouldn't break. That actually made it all pretty funny. I didn't graffiti the racquetball court, by the way, it was already like that.

little kid captured the flag at the end of the obstacle course.

Big Kid and Em. Aren't they big?? I have close to 7 years of pictures of them like this!!

Mario match-up. little kid won! Without cheating!

This is how hot it was. Ridiculously, mind-meltingly hot. The cupcake frosting slid right off of the cupcakes and onto all of the kids' clean shirts. Oops.

We also did a Yoshi's egg hunt with hidden plastic eggs that had a gold coin, Mario stickers and Mario and Mushroom charms inside, and a pass the Piranha Plant game. The winners got Mario money pouches.

I wish I could show you the invites because they were the cutest part, but our personal info is all over them in an un-editable way, so sorry. I also made scratch off tickets that the kids had to scratch off to determine who their character was. Super cute and fun!

The kids had a ton of fun and the boys are already trying to plan next year's party. It's not happening. I'll need until at least 2012 to even consider another party.

Monday, August 16, 2010


The other day I was folding laundry and the boys were playing in the art room (they have taken over the office) when Big Kid came to me and said, "little kid is on the internet looking at pictures of boobs."

little kid is 3. little kid is not allowed to touch computers or look at pictures of boobs. What the hell?

I rushed in there to find little kid grinning at me, with a close-up boob shot on the screen behind him.

I acted like it was no big deal because they didn't seem too traumatized by it but reminded them that they can't use the computer without permission and scolded little kid for sneaking onto it. I'm really kicking myself for not having parental filter software installed since it's been on my list for a while now. I'm finding some TODAY. Mr. Ashley has also gotten some instruction on better browsing habits, because I suspect that Firefox's tab restore feature had something to do with this. Pretty sure (and by pretty sure, I mean positive) he looks at boobs on the internets too.

This morning I heard little kid in the art room. "What are you doing in there? You better not touch that computer."

He answered, "Don't worry, mumum. I's playin' Webkinz, not lookin' at boobies."

School starts in a week. They have computer class. Who wants to bet he tells the Lutherans that he's seen boobies on the internet?

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Interview

Well, right after the interview I would have said it went well. But now that I have had many hours to review every single thing I said and compare it to every single thing I should have said, I have morphed the entire interview experience memory into me sounding like Miss South Carolina in the Miss Teen USA pageant.

And I KNOW it wasn't that bad! I did pretty well and gave a lot of great answers.

But man, the interviewer was good. If it was an essay test, I would have passed with flying colors, but some of the very open-ended, barely related to the situation at hand questions really threw me for a loop at first. They were all the type of questions that took a moment to think of an answer for and now I'm hoping I didn't look like a bumbling idiot while forming my responses.


Then I started getting nervous about these questions requiring in-depth complicated answers at a moment's notice and was over-thinking things as he was asking, instead of just relaxing and answering. This made me stumble a little on questions I usually ace (Why should we hire you? and What are your best qualities?). Again, I'm sure it was fine but I wish I could have a redo. They are looking for someone poised and articulate and I'm just not 100% confident that I was appearing that way by the end of the interview. I have also started misremembering his facial expressions and have convinced myself that he was outwardly hostile by the end of the interview--this 100% did NOT happen. At all. My memory of the situation clearly can't be trusted because it is out to sabotage me for some reason.

He'll be making a decision by August 27th (the day after the Jack Johnson concert, woohoo!) and honestly, I won't be devastated if they don't hire me. It's an awesome job, but one that will require an incredible amount of hours. I'd be away from home far more than 40 hours a week and they want me to regularly be on television. Yeah, I could be on television but the thought makes me want to barf. I would also need an entirely new wardrobe, including black tie stuff. Which would be fun, but expensive as I was getting started.

So, we'll see. If they can find someone better qualified who answered those questions more gracefully and who loves the thought of being on t.v., they should hire her. If I get the job, I will be excited and I will work my ass off and get some Valium for television appearances.

Mr. Ashley no longer loves the idea, especially knowing that I will rarely be home. I think he learned his lesson on telling me to get a job when he doesn't really mean it. I think we're both in the "If it's meant to be..." camp at this stage of the game and could take it or leave it.

So, I don't know. I guess keep your fingers loosely crossed for me?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I Know

I Know! I'm the worst blogger in the whole world. It's not you, it's me. I really do miss you and everything we once had. I hope we can be together again soon.

I had the interview, an unexpected out-of-town guest that night who stayed until Wednesday and today I'll be running around like a chicken with its head cut off getting ready for the boys' birthday party on Saturday.

Please forgive me. If you've been cheating on me in my absence, I understand. I will be back with more inane rambling soon, I promise.

And thanks for all of the well wishes for the interview, I'll be back with an update once I get a minute!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Dear Big Kid,

7 years ago today, I looked down into your tiny little baby face and thought, "Man, I'm tired."

Having babies is very hard work.

I knew I was embarking on the greatest adventure of my life, Motherhood, but I had no idea what I was really in for.

Every emotion I have ever experienced was multiplied by 1,000 when I became your mother. Sadness, joy, fear, excitement, anxiety, elation, empathy and pride, among the many others. By loving you, I was able to love the whole world more. I gained a depth of perspective that I couldn't even comprehend before. You have given me so much already, just in 7 short years.

And it has been a short 7 years! My God, where has the time gone? If I've already had you for 7 years, and let's pretend you're not really an adult until 21, that would mean that I only have 2 more of these time periods with you and that's just not enough. Yes, that's the crazy way that a mother thinks. You have even distorted my perception of time, since 14 more years seems insufferably short. (And my view on this may change again when you become a teenager. If I could keep you 7 forever, I might.)

Aside from being the unique, sensitive and super smart little boy that you are, you are a cool guy. I have had so much fun with you this summer; you are so funny and quick-witted and enjoyable to be around. I loved playing the new Super Mario Bros. with you and was astounded when you beat the entire game. It may be silly, but I am so proud of you for that! You wanted to do it, so you did. It's not that you played excessively either, but that you spent time researching game strategies and reading game guides. I have never beat a Mario game (and I wanted to) and you did it at 6 without using cheat codes. It was awesome. You're not only smart, you're a hard worker and that will take you far. I know you will go on to do even bigger things in the world than rescuing Princess Peach.

Anyway, thanks for being you. Thanks for helping me become a better person. Thanks for growing up to be the amazing guy that I know you will be.

I like you, I love you and I will always protect you.

Happy 7th Birthday, my friend.


Friday, August 6, 2010

The Job

So...the day before yesterday Mr. Ashley was kind of hinting that I should get a job.

(The hint was somewhere along the lines of, "You really need to start looking for a job.")

He has been happy about me not having a job (the plan was for me to stay at home through the next school year) and I think he was just having a bad day.

So I said, "FINE! I'll get a job!"--knowing it would be nearly impossible to get a job in my city right now. I checked Craigslist and the online classifieds and cried, "There aren't many jobs and I'm not qualified for most of them! My only option is to be a waitress at IHOP!" (No offense to the waitresses at IHOP, you do what you gotta do.)

"Whatever we have to do," he answered, knowing that I would most likely not do that.

I was annoyed about the suddenness and unexpectedness of all of this. I checked my Facebook page to take my mind off of it and right then (literally) a job posting came up from an organization I know well. A really perfect Dream Job type of job.

"I found a job to apply for!" I shouted, yelling the job title across the room. Although I lacked some of the qualifications requested, we decided I should go ahead and submit my resume, figuring it couldn't hurt to try.

As I was working on a cover letter, I got a Facebook friend request from the Executive Director, who I had known from my previous job. That made me nervous but excited.

I stayed up until 4:30 in the morning working on my resume package. Construction resumed right behind my house around 7:30 in the morning, so I awoke to the sound of clanging machinery and tried to proofread. It's like little kid could sense that I was attempting to escape and he did his best to make sure I couldn't concentrate. Around noon the construction people went on break and it was quiet, so I locked little kid out of the room and read through everything twice. And then I hit send.

An hour later I had an email requesting an interview, to take place on Monday morning.

Aaagggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh! How exciting! How dreadful! How flattering! How scary!

What will I wear? What will I say? Can I still be normal around people in a professional environment? What if I forgot how to work? What will I do with the kids? What if I get so nervous that I say something really dumb? What about those Jack Johnson tickets I have for the 26th? What about my plans to lay by the pool and workout during my free time this school year? Remember how boring or difficult work can be? Remember how fulfilling work can be? Remember how nice extra money can be?

Mr. Ashley was as shocked as I was and briefly seemed to regret asking. It's been so nice to have you home, it's been so good for the kids, we can make this work for another year, work will pick up again drastically next month, last month was just really expensive, what will we do about childcare?

But this is The Job. The job that would answer the "What do I want to be when I grow up?" question. A job that I would enjoy, that I would be proud to do, that would look amazing on my resume and could take life in a completely different direction. This Job won't be around next year. I want this job! I really do. Mr. Ashley realizes that too and has warmed up to the idea, agreeing that it's for the best and seeming excited now.

I am worried about childcare since little kid's pre-k runs from noon to 3. I also feel terrible because I just convinced Big Kid to switch to the school across the street, promising that I could volunteer more and walk him home from school. I was really looking forward to that and know he was too. He asked what I was working on when I was putting my resume together and I decided to be honest with him.

"I am writing a resume to try to get a job. There's a really good job available," I said.

He looked really sad. "What's the job?"

As I told him, his eyes widened and he smiled. "Wow! What a neat job! You'd be good at that, I hope you get it." Oh how I love him.

I haven't mentioned it to little kid and won't until I know if I'm hired. I currently do some marketing for my hair salon in exchange for hair services and little kid has suggested that I just stop getting my hair done, because the 2 hours a week I spend on it is just too much. As I type this, he is clinging to my shoulder, kissing the side of my face softly and calling me his "little baby love and his little 'tato." He gets confused by food-related terms of endearment and often calls me his little tuptup (ketchup) or his sweet mac and cheese. I really wanted to squeeze out one more year of babyhood before he starts kindergarten.

It is bittersweet. The truth is, I have had the best summer of my life being home with the two of them. I've had some awesome summers too--I lived in the Keys one summer! I have had many carefree, party-filled summers, but these few months of playing Mario, swimming in the pool and going to the beach with my boys have been the best. I'm sad to see it end.

But who knows. Maybe I won't even get the job.

But I hope I do and sort of think I might.

How can such an exciting prospect also make me want to barf?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Career Options

little kid is still adamant that he will never, ever live apart from me.

He wanted to be a "shooter" (his word for soldier) when he grew up. This topic always upset Big Kid greatly.

"You can't be a shooter, little kid, it's dangerous! Do you really want to kill people? War is bad! Shooting people is bad! What if you died? Mom--little kid is saying he's gonna be a shooter again."

Regardless of my position on the current war and military spending, I do believe all soldiers are heroes. Every one of them, by default, just for signing up. I am eternally grateful for their sacrifices and service and I have nothing but admiration for them and their families, who are also heroes for living the lives they lead to support our soldiers.

That being said, I'm not out to raise heroes. Call me selfish, add me to the "bad persons" list (I'm probably already on there) but the very thought of either of my children wanting to be in the military makes me feel sick with dread and worry.

I knew better than to act upset over a 3-year-old's threats to enlist though, mostly because he would definitely love the idea forever if he knew how much I hated it. So I thought of a better tactic:

"Being a shooter is a very important job and it's a good job, soldiers do a wonderful thing for our country. It is very hard for them because they have to live away from their families when they are away at war."

"They lives away from their mudders?" He looked worried.

"Yes. For a long time. Maybe years."

"Can you be a shooter and still live wif your mumum?"

"Nope. Hey, you could be a policeman! They have guns and they can live with their moms."

(So maybe I'm willing to raise a hero after all.)

"Cops can live with their mumums? In they own houses?"


"I'm gonna be a cop! I'm thinkin' I'll be a good cop, you know why?"


"'Cuz I'm good at beatin' up my bubby!"

(Okay, maybe I spoke too soon on the whole hero thing.)

"That's not how it works, little kid. Cops don't beat people up. People are innocent until proven guilty--policemen can't treat everyone they arrest like they are bad guys."

"But what about the bad guys? Can I beat up the bad guys?" I told him I didn't think so.

During a later conversation I suggested that he would make a good astronaut.

"I am NOT bein' an astronaut!! Why would you want me to be a astronaut?!" He seemed angry at the suggestion.

"I don't's exciting and amazing, you could ride on rocket ships and do science--"

"I'm not bein' an astronaut and livin' on a whole 'nother world from you! I'm livin' with you forever, 'member? Not in outer space!"

"Oh, yes. I do remember. An astronaut wouldn't work then."

Today I made the mistake of promising to buy him his own tools and a toolbox as he grew up, so that he would have a nice set of tools by the time he left our home to start his own family.

"I don't need tools! No tools, I'll use daddy's tools 'cuz I'm not leavin' you. Bemember? You still okay with that?" He has picked up on the fact that Mr. Ashley and I really don't love this plan of his.

"Yep. I'm okay with that."

And that's why I'm afraid I'll be living with a Scuba-diving cop one day.

Monday, August 2, 2010

iPhone Home

Big Kid: Mom, can I get an iPhone?

Me: What?!? Are you crazy? I don't even have an iPhone! You're 6 years old, are you kidding me?

Big Kid: Please? Come on, mom.

Me: You are INSANE!! What does a 6-year-old need an iPhone for?

Big Kid: So I can call you and stuff. I want one 'cuz the new ones are 4D now. Wouldn't that be cool? When we talked, it would be like I was standing right in front of you!

Me: Wh--? Oh, 4G? Not 4D. 4G just means it processes data faster, or something.

Big Kid: (looking disappointed) Oh. I guess I don't need one then. But when they go 4D, can I get one then?

Me: ...yes. Of course you can.

Let's hope we're at least 2 decades away from 4D phone calls, so that he can buy it with his own money. It would be pretty cool to talk to my grandkids in 4D though...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Home Again

Alright friends, I'm back from vacation. I don't think I've ever left you all for so long! I wanted to update you guys but I was in an area without internet (the horror! They didn't even have a Starbucks!)

I had to do a bit of work for a company I do some marketing for and found myself on the floor of a gift shop, stealing wireless and getting dirty looks from people who clearly thought I was an addict. When I finished, I snuck over here and even had the "New Post" page open before my walkie-talkie crackled to life with an "are you ready yet?" I decided not to leave my fellow vacationers waiting, but I did feel bad for leaving you all. I hope you can forgive me. is giving one of you that cute Juicy dress, so that should partly make up for my absence. I used a random number generator and it chose #3, so our own dear Jennifer from Momma Made it Look Easy is the winner of that adorable dress!! I am really excited that such a good commenter won! Jennifer, send your mailing address to my email address over there in the sidebar and I will pass it along to the nice folks at!

Vacation went well but I'm still worn out. Our housesitter left us a note that said, "If it were up to me, I'd kill every one of these animals except for the hedgehog," so I'm guessing I need to start looking around for another housesitter (or new pets...)

Mr. Ashley wants to go to the beach today but after 6 straight days in my bathing suit, I kind of dread the thought of putting it back on. Oh, what a hard life!